industrialistDragon

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  1. Well, if I had to miss a week, at least there's not too much to catch up on! @Mandamon and @kais have pretty much covered everything I would have. I would like to have a bit more about the family a bit sooner -- as Mandamon said, I want to care about J, but as it stands I just don't until the end. Snarky playboys might be fun to write, but they're not terribly sympathetic by themselves. The sections with Ch are better, however, she is still the only gang leader described solely with her physical appearance. She's also the only one whose reputation is only told to us. The young upstarts beat J, and the war veteran has his men break his fingers in a very businesslike manner. Ch just flirts. I'm willing to take a certain amount of "fearsome reputation" on spec, but I'm going to need to see some proof of her rep -- soon. It doesn't have to be anything flashy, just something. Otherwise, this version is much less confusing and troublesome than the first one. But now I am wondering about soup. Like, a lot about soup. Because, like, when you make stock, or bone-broth as it's trendy to call it now, you generally boil the chicken carcass or whatever until the marrow seeps out into the liquid. So, therefore, bones that have been used in most stocks would be useless for casters, yes? But the broth itself would have the components of the marrow in it -- the collagens, the fats, etc -- so would that mean that a caster could glean some kind of power from, like, regular soup? Just, like, pop open a can of Cambell's Chicken Noodle for a quick powerup? Casters hiring the best chefs to make their bone broth, chefs studying the best ways to balance power with flavor? What about other dishes that use marrow in them? Can I inadvertently find out I'm a caster by eating a particularly good stew? And what about roasting? If you're really serious about your bone broth, you roast the carcass until the bones crack before you put it in the stock water. Ideally, bones used in bone broth and some stocks have had almost all their nutrients leeched into the liquid and are, like, crumbly almost when they come out. How would a caster glean anything from that? Would a caster on the wrong side of the law go looking for the worst, most harried cooks in the hopes that the cook didn't have time to make a good bone broth? I'm probably overthinking things. But... ...What about the soup?
  2. DAW is now accepting digital, unsolicited novel submissions. http://www.penguin.com/publishers/daw/ I think the digital thing is the new part?
  3. Well, there's no need for hair shirts and self-flagellation just yet. As @kais said, it's a fairly minor infraction. However. I do expect better of you, young man, so don't let it happen again! *mom glare*
  4. I'm very confused by the opening pf this section. I didn't really get from the end of the first one that he'd been captured, and moreover, i thought he was running from extra-legal goons who were going to kill him not toss him in jail? But now he is in jail? And it's co-ed? But not really because Ch is the only woman in there and maybe the guards just got confused when they put her in 'cause she wasn't wearing a skirt? Why is everyone beating up on him? It didn't seem like from the first chapter that being a caster was somehow taboo or some kind of underclass or something the general populace hated and it doesn't sound like he'd done anything to tick off . I really feel like all of this is coming from nowhere. "She was no dancing girl" == She's Not Like Other Girls. Must be that whole having skin over her muscles thing, since no one else has been described as having it so far. Really, though, it is a little strange to me that of the three prison leaders, it is only Ch that gets a physical description at all, and the only one whose skin color is mentioned. The men are described by their deeds or J's impression of their character -- a young hothead, a "war veteran" -- but Ch is "unscarred" with pretty eyes. "I wasn’t an idiot, as far as I knew." -- Well, he sure is acting like it. I agree with @Mandamon that J"s infatuation is over the top and pretty unbelievable. Is Ch a caster too? Her putting a whammy on him to make him act like that is something I'd believe... Honestly, as the scene goes on, J's behavior is getting a little creepy and making me a bit uncomfortable. Ch has so far done very little to show anything more than needing his skills for a job, and maybe a passing interest in quick sex from J, if you want to stretch crass flirting that far, and J is acting like they're soul-destined intended lovers and conceiving of an immediate dislike for any male (that's not worthlessly effeminate like P) that interacts with her... and it's not a good look. I think I'm going to let @kais handle this rape- and threat-of-rape-as-character-motivation, but I see it. This is my disappointed face. Over all, I also agree with most of what @Mandamon has said as well. I feel like the talk about the job is where the plot really starts taking shape, and most of the relevant information from the first chapter and first half of this one could be incorporated later on. Starting from the job offer would be stronger than where the story starts currently. I'm still on the fence about the voice. It is, as others have said, very distinct, however I also feel like it's overshadowing some of what's happening.
  5. I basically agree with everything @kais and @Mandamon have said so I won't belabor those points further. The last chapter in this section is the one that felt like it finally found its focus and direction. I feel like the rest of the chapters to that point could probably be streamlined and condensed with chapter 5 in mind and made into a really strong start. The issues around the modern references I noted last time are still present here, but they are less extreme. I think partially because there's simply less extraneous worldbuilding information in this section, and more of it is directed towards the plot finally taking off. I had a little bit of trouble with the mention of underground railroad tunnels, for the same reasons kais described. Now, if they thought it was an old underground railroad tunnel mistakenly and once they got into it, it turned out to be a tunnel made by some covered-up failed Oomph rebellion (thus explaining the magic symbols), that would be pretty cool (since it would imply the nice-mom was giving them a hint to get out of there, and cool moms are always fun)... I do agree that some of the elements (evil overgovernment, urban dystopia, magical macguffin delivery quest, death of a mentor figure) are starting to sound a bit generic. While it's not necessarily a bad thing to have identifiable tropes and genre staples in a work, it's not necessarily good, either. The fun of genre fiction comes from the way an author can take an existing archetype and make it their own. So, what is setting this ragtag bunch of heroes on their way to find a father and deliver the quest item apart from all the other ragtag bunches of heroes out there? Why is D even doing what this R person is telling xe to do? That is what I'd really like to see out of this, letting the interesting world that's been created shine through, illuminating and informing the archetypes.
  6. Like both @kais and @Robinski, I think that what's lacking is emotion, primarily. Everything is at a bit of a remove. I'm also missing a bit of the "young prodigy out to prove himself" feeling from Mo. They're young. They're special. They've been told it's a test. This feels a bit like a watered-down version of mature Mo from the other story, and I'd really like them to have a bit more personality. From what I can gather, Bens are something of a minority in the Nether, and it seems a bit like Mo might've had to have fought some to get recognition, especially if the stereotype of Ben people is one of slowness, stolidity or indecisiveness/lack of decision. Which would mean to me that, yes, Young Mo would be Ben-ly slow physically and when compared to another species, but they'd have to be almost suicidally reckless and prone to snap judgments from a Ben perspective just to make it as far as they have, and I'm not getting any of that in their internal thoughts -- it's very neutral bland right now. I am also a little confused by how Mo can see the other symphonies auras, though, that might be WRS? I think I remember they all can see auras, but just not hear them? Or something? Maybe? "there was blue flesh" -- So this is getting a little eldrich horror here, which is cool, but still the tone of the narration is treating it like the evening news. I'd really like to feel the creepiness more than I am currently. .... Actually, are Ben wood or some near cognate? 'Cause all this stuff is happening to lumber, and y'know, that's really, really close to live wood/their own flesh, and, like, i don't know about you, but I'd be extra creepified and squicked out if this stuff was happening to, like, cow leather or something. Yeah, it's leather, but leather was once flesh, and I am flesh, and if it can happen to leather then what about me... y'know? And Mo's here just looking around all nonchalant like "my word what a peculiar flower. I shall have to get the name of the cultivar." Ah, I see it did happen to them. Again, even though I find body horror really profoundly disturbing, I think this part needs more emotion and punch to play up that aspect. This is Mo's own flesh that they are losing control over, after all. The only part that really lost me was the part near then end when the child started changing itself. I didn't understand what it was doing or what Mo was doing or why it was happening just then or why the child would kill its parent... Or... really much of anything about that scene. Hadn't Mo just said they couldn't defend against even cursory changes made by the child? How did they survive then? I'm also kind of confused by the way the child is depicted as being both almost purely random, like a regular child, and as having some kind of three-house-given extra intelligence. Not that it can't be all of that, but right now the two depictions seem like plot holes rather than intentional. I'm also a little skeptical that there is a logical connection between homelessness, and infrastructure deficits, and a seekrit paramilitary society whose mission is to defend against unknown unknowns and infinitely powerful babies. I was with the recruitment speech up until Mo thought about the unrelated economic issues, but I don't really know what the domestic issues have to do with the baby or Mo's recruitment. It feels random. It's a good story, and I like the horror elements, but thinking on it, Mo doesn't do a whole lot. They walk, then they stand still, then they stand still some more until it's over. It'd be nice if they at least interacted with something a bit more, you know?
  7. Hello and welcome to Reading excuses! I really enjoyed this piece! I enjoy superhero stories that deal with the logistics of what the heroes would mean for the world, and I usually like villainous POVs so this is right in the sweet spot for me. I didn't find Ch1 as confusing as most, however I do enjoy a good story-within-a-story setup (at least, when it doesn't turn into a crazy recursive acid trip (looking at you In the Night Garden, grumble)). Though I also agree that the second chapter is much better put together than the first. If the story continues in more of a forward direction from here, I'd probably agree that the stronger opener would be with the henchmen. Mes' chapter, if it's needed, would probably be able to be worked back in later on. My main question out of the first chapter is why, if her power is verbal, Mes isn't gagged or muffled somehow. Earplugs are a good fallback, and gas is effective, I'm sure, but earplugs also impair the guards' ability to react to other dangers, and gas is indiscriminate -- it'll affect anyone who breathes it. A ball gag or muzzle would pretty effectively prevent her from speaking, and it's not like they seemed too concerned with treating her respectfully... I found the second chapter a more difficult for me to get into, to be perfectly honest, but it's also more coherent than the first and has a stronger, more easily identifiable plotline and setting. "from whence " -- Sorry, a little pet peeve. "whence" actually means "from where," so the extra "from" outside the word isn't necessary. I love the elevated vocabulary Mes uses in her rants and speeches. It's a really nice contrast with both the other characters and her more normal thoughts/dialogue. I really enjoy the humor and the cat in the second chapter. I don't have a lot to add to the comments that have already been made beyond that though. I was fine with the ending f the chapter. It's not a cliffhanger but there's enough forward motion in the story that I'd keep reading past that point. I don't know that it needs to be spiced up a ton, but if ch2 becomes ch1, the ending would probably need a bit more seasoning.
  8. Well, it looks like nonbinary.org went down and archive.org doesn't have a cache of the long list anymore, so I went looking for replacements! Here are a couple other lists. They aren't as thorough, but if you're looking for a list to get an idea of what's out there already, or for ideas to put together your own neopronoun, they do the job: Yes, it's tumblr. But it's a fairly large list. Tumblr Pronouns List This appears to be what of the old nonbinary.org was managed to be saved. It's not the exhaustive list, but it is at least full of usage guidelines and references: English Neutral Pronouns I'm a little sad some of the literary neopronouns appear to have gotten lost. No one remembers Laurie J. Marks anymore...
  9. So is a believable 17-year-old. The chapters work better in YA format. I agree with a lot of the things @Robinski pointed out, re the turn from mob justice to letting Sa help them escape. It feels a little too for-the-plot, though it's better than it has been. The other things he mentioned you can count me as voting for as well. The whole point of moms' house in the woods was so that moms was the ONLY person around So, wasn't it? "stitches so even " -- Just a fabric construction note -- unless she's wearing her clothing inside out and using too-large thread in a highly-contrasting color, there's pretty much no way to detect evenness of stitch length in a seam from atop a horse more than, like, a foot away from someone (and even then, I'd doubt it). There are other things one could discern from a distance if one knew fabric and garment construction, but evenness of stitch length isn't it. (Also, having checked out some hand-done antique seams up close, its not the evenness of stitch length that's the giveaway, it's the mechanical difference between a running stitch and a lock or chain stitch, which, I mean, you have to know what all three of those look like in fabric to be able to tell...) (PPS my guess is that it'd be a chain stitch, if it wasn't hand-done, just from other tech levels in the story. Bbobbins came decently later) "They’re going to kill Ma" I can't tell who's talking to whom in this section. I assume it's the witch and So, but without any visual disctinction between the lines of dialogue, it could just be So talking to themselves too. Sameer's reason for taking them to the glacier makes more sense now. "a tense canter, slow enough" -- Not sure a natural canter is all that slow... "The fungus, as I had hoped, did not respond" -- This sort of implies that fungus can, do, and have talked to So in the past and I didn't think there was that much magic in this setting? "horse canter a few meters along the northern trail" -- So... from what I remember of my horse riding lessons, cantering for just a few meters is kind of difficult and the hose generally hates doing it unless it's some kind of dressage thing. Is there any particular reason to use that gait over so small a distance? (or, frankly, while leaving town slowly? cantering isn't the all-out of a gallop, but the natural gait is no easy walk, either.) I like that the serac definition is better incorporated now.
  10. So is a believable 17-year-old. The chapters work better in YA format. "In front of me, tiny colored flakes " -- This paragraph feels really repetitive. In three different, differently awkward ways we are told the powder is floating in the air. Once would be enough, I think. Twice, max. I also found the passages where Ma's reality clashed with So's to be confusing. I think there just needs to be more of a demarcation between the two realities. or at least some kind of description of what So was seeing of the change between the two rooms. I could really use a LOT more description of the factory, its devices, what they are doing, how they sound, why everyone's do divided over them.... While it's better in this iteration, I'm still very, VERY unclear on why the guilds are so set against the "factories." This is the point when we finally get to see a factory in person, finally get to see why and how having useful, drudgework-removing machines will mean the end of all skilled crafts. But, it doesn't. From the description we have, the factory looks like just a bunch of regular people doing what they have to to survive and being unafraid of change. Ma and So come off pretty unsympathetically hidebound here, even with all of the townspeople being "angry villager" stereotypes. This isn't our IRL history, there's no reason the guilds have to die just because technology makes the busywork take less time, and so far I'm still not convinced of the guilds' importance in this world, or why their deaths should matter, which means I'm not terribly invested in the factory or the reasons for/against it. I might just need to see more guilds. So far, we've had woodcutters (which our POV character would be fine seeing die, insofar as the guild itself is represented by moms), alchemists (unbound, which makes them apparently morally grey in-world, and its unclear whether technology would affect them regardless), witches (ee-eevil, and unbound, and the POV character would actively like to see the guild gone, again insofar as the guild is represented by the nameless harasser), name-checks on blacksmiths and carpenters (but no details other than their name), and this unrelated-to-any-other-guild-thus-far-mentioned textile mill. Of the guilds listed, I have emotional responses towards woodcutters (it's So's hereditary guild after all, so in theory I care about it the way So does), witches (ee-eevil), and alchemists (again, because of So's opinions). These three guilds are the ones whose works we have seen in detail (carpentry is only positively shown (briefly) in Sa's spirit house. Every other mention is negative, either in "unguilded crap furniture" or that interlude). None of these guilds seems particularly threatened by a textile mill. None of the factory workers are intended to be sympathetic, from what I can tell. I don't know enough politics to see how one small (very small) town's startup "factory" is going to bring down a country, or why keeping it is worth regicide, apparently (they're going after Ma, after all). If the factory was a woodcutting factory maybe I would care? If I had some kind of investment in a character that was a weaver or a spinner or a dyer or whatever else is being threatened by this factory, maybe I'd care? I don't know. But right now, Mi and its textile mill has so little to do with anything else I've learned about in the book this far, it's only the nebulous concept of "factories are baaaaad" that's connecting it to the rest of the story's tension. "strange pouches of powders" -- Why would these look any different from any other unlabeled pouches hung from any other random person's belt? Previously, I was under the impression it was the bandoleer that marked an alchemist, not simply having pouches. And rather, wouldn't the suddenly appearing from nothing be more of a tell for witchcraft than mere bags? "No unbound guilds" -- Why is this somehow worse than whatever they were talking about before? I'm confused. I'm still unclear WHY Ma went to the factory in this version, but that might be WRS I liked the end of this first chapter in this section. ", a handful of bewildered guilders with no memory of their trade" -- This would be a really, really good thing to incorporate into earlier chapters because it seems like a really big deal and ALSO something So would be able to discover alone, just by talking to other guildmembers. I would really like to see some of these amnesiac guilders, so I could get a sense of what's happening. I feel like I'm being told the situation is dire without really getting to see any of it for myself and finding these new memory-wiped people would be a really good way to get So and me involved in this mystery a lot more. " “Factories,” I whispered" -- Yup. still unimpressed. So is acting like a child scared of their closet and Ma isn't much better. I don't feel any kind of sympathy for them, or like they're in much danger. The townspeople have angry torches, for Pete's sake. I'm waiting for them to start a slapstick chase scene, once they locate the pitchforks they seem to be missing. "Buuuurning," - This just looks silly. The voice was creepy up to this point, but the creepiness has evaporated with all those extra letters. "because my mouth had a bad tendency to run when I was nervous or upset." -- Um... I have seen this "tendency" pretty much never, so far. So is if anything pretty taciturn. This section is really reading out of character for So. Not the apologizing so much, but the couple times So has said things like that, that have no basis in anything we've read so far. It doesn't feel like So is an unreliable narrator, it feels like So is being written oddly. This section is better than it had been, but still needs some work.
  11. Welcome back! Just a quick formatting note here: please remember to double space your submissions. A) it's in the guidelines, B ) for people like me who have trouble reading on the screen double spacing (or even 1.5 spacing!) is massively helpful, and C) it's a good habit to get into if you ever intend to submit work to a publisher. Your last sub was double spaced just fine. Overall: Much like the other comments here, I found this section lacking in direction. Most of the issues from the previous submission are present here as well. I do still like M as a character, and the setting still feels like it could be fun, but right now I have nothing really to hang my hat on, emotionally, and thus I don't care too much about what is going on. I share @kais's worry about the ongoing skin tone issues. If nothing else, it is a confusing inconsistency: either skin color is important enough to be included in everyone's description, like hair color is; or it is unimportant and should be included in no one's description. We-the-readers are not Plains people, we don't have the ingrained assumption that Plains people are pale, and an individual reader's ingrained assumptions are what are relied on when there is a lack of description in-text. A couple years ago, Kirkus Review started noting skin color in all of its reviews and the reasoning behind doing so is worth a read. I also share @Robinski 's concern about the love interest. While it's not a hugely problematic stereotype, it is a very, very overused one. Readers will be less forgiving of blandness in a trope they know well. Besides which, I think everyone is agreeing so far that A is an oily jerk. M can do so much better! As I go This is, as @kais, and @Mandamon pointed out, a very slow opening paragraph. It feels wandering and unfocused. Much like the previous sub, this section feels like it consists mostly of summaries and detached-seeming reminiscences. I end up wondering why I'm reading these things, since the memories and summaries don't seem to go anywhere or be attached to anything. I'm not sure of the overarching plot and I don't know how any of what is happening fits with anything M has thought about or remembered or reminisced over. I feel like M's capitulation towards A is very confusing coming from a supposedly dominant warrior princess. He's been unctuous, arrogantly self-satisfied, condescending, and downright rude to her, and she ends up feeling bad about out having negative reactions to his poor treatment of her. This is not the behavior of someone who believes in her self, her own self-worth, or thinks herself the least bit superior to men. This is more like the response of a submissive woman who wants all men to like her, and that is definitely neither A, nor her upbringing. I agree that it picks up around when the father talks to M about her inheritance. I still like the idea of starting at the humiliating ball, but this would also be a good, interesting place to start the novel.
  12. Well, that resolved quickly! I feel a little cheated, honestly. After all that build up, after finally finding the new people and getting hints of a big plot or mystery, it's all over in a chapter and a half. It's abrupt. I really like legalese-type endings, too, but this one left me a little flat. It just sort of comes up out of nowhere, since up until this point mom's been pretty take charge, action-oriented, and she seemed pretty well versed in bureaucratic wrangling from stuff mentioned earlier. Or at least, that was the sort of charismatic adventurer vibe I was getting off her and the story. And then to have everything summed up by a bit of (relatively simple) semantics she had nothing to do with? It just... doesn't feel right somehow. That N doesn't really do anything except fret also isn't sitting well with me. She should do SOMETHING beside stand there and be a passive observer... " "Yet," I said with a smile" -- this line was such a perfect ending I was a little surprised that the denouement kept going. The actual end is nice and wholesome and I also enjoyed it, but this one ~~! It's just so good! (especially if you wanted to do a series) (I definitely wouldn't mind reading more of it if it was a series) (hint hint)
  13. I'm sorry, I can get overly complicated when I write sometimes. I did not mistake this science fantasy for a hard science fiction story. I did not call for more citations or more emphasis on evidence-based predictions. My point was about frame of reference. I used technology, historical facts, and media references to illustrate that point. They were examples to provide a sense of scope, not indictments of the text. In this submission, there are promises made by using some standard tropes that are then reneged on by modern points of view almost immediately after they occur in the text and this see-sawing feels both un-thought-out and detrimental to the narrative. The solution is not to add citations or pile on useless details, but to better consider the narrative's frame of reference. It is entirely possible to do this without losing voice, breezy or otherwise.
  14. Hello and welcome to Reading Excuses! Overall I'm pretty much in agreement with @Mandamon and @kais: I felt like the bones of a good story were there, but the shape of things could use some work. I like the main character, I like mom, and her friends are decent from what we've seen so far. From a technical standpoint, it could use some cleanup, but that's to be expected in an early draft, especially one written under time constraints. Questions How well do I introduce the world? Where is there too much detail or not enough? -- I agree with mandamon, in that I felt it was a pretty good introduction. I think there is both too much and not enough information depending on where in the story one is, however. What do you think of the pacing? -- Decent. the start is slow, but picks up. Do you see a connection between what happens in the beginning of chapter 1 and the end of chapter 2? -- Between the drop off of a strange artifact and a police raid about a strange artifact? I felt it was pretty super obvious. Is there something I'm missing that would make the connection un-obvious? Does the voice work? -- Sort of? I have some issues. I try to work out why below. Are there any obvious, obnoxious sentence level issues? -- Yes, but i'm sure the other grammar-sensitives will have gotten them already. They're not to the point where I'm driven completely out of the narrative. As I Go I'm not sure how clothing that's presumably made of fabric and not, like, hard plastic or boxes, manages to have edges, and moreover that these edges are somehow so common that the lack thereof -- smooth edges, aka the way normal fabric acts when draped around a soft form like a person -- is so notable that it needs to be pointed out. If the fabric has body and is freestanding off the form it is draped around, words like crisp or stiff or even sharp in some contexts are much more common and understandable. If the intention is to contrast the character's relatively shabby clothing with better made outfits, then words like couture, chic, tailored, well-fitting, or even just high quality or classy would be less-obscure choices. This threw me pretty forcefully out of the narrative. The timeline seems skewed to me as well. There're incongruities like references to women's clothing and pockets that seem very here-and-now, while at the same time there're references to scifi far-future tropes like flying cars and wireless energy. The dissonance between the expectations created by these two things is causing problems for my understanding of the story. No... I can't let it drop there. I need to math some things out. 1956 + 300 = 2256, or thereabouts. In the Star Trek franchise, 2256 is right around the time the original series with Kirk and Spock takes place. In Babylon 5, another scifi series that has "old Earth" roots, the 2250s and 2260s are when most of the original TV show takes place. These are the sorts of ideas and stereotypes that are associated with the kinds date ranges being mentioned here. B5 had references to our time, but they were usually in the context of various characters collecting antiques, not in the everyday usage or mindsets. To go in the other direction, 1956 - 300 is 1656. In 1656, the Dutch East India Company is thriving and well on its way to securing a monopoly on cinnamon. Cape Town, South Africa, only exists as a small supply station for this company. Blaise Pascal, the mathematician, is still alive (though nearing the end of his life), Sir Issac Newton is fourteen, and the fashion of the time has women's pockets (when they were allowed to have pockets at all) as freestanding bags tied to a belt worn over the petticoat but under the overdress, making them exceptionally difficult to access. The mantua overdress is the height of fashion. Bloodletting is considered a valid medical treatment, used to balance the humors in one's body. It is still technically the Renaissance. My point with this is twofold. First, to show how long 300 years really is, and how much things can change. Do we still talk about Pascal and Newton? Absolutely, but not in the same context that we talk about modern scientists. Do we still refer to mantua dresses? Definitely, but it's usually regarding costumes, and generally not in the same context as modern fashion. Bloodletting... eh, not so much. Modern references in a work set in the future are fine, but when they're treated the same way they are now despite the work being set many hundreds of years in the future, it causes confusion. Second, when dealing with well-established tropes like flying cars and specific future timelines the author is creating a specific set of ideas in the reader, regardless of what is included in the text. The thing to remember here is that this is not inherently bad. It's not inherently GOOD, either. It's part and parcel with the baggage that comes from not living in a media vacuum. Any way tropes are used, however, the author should be aware of the expectations tropes create, so that they are able to address any potential issues the history associated with those tropes bring up. Modern and future can and are used in the same story, however, the two need to work in tandem with each other. Here it seems to me that they are often at cross-purposes, and that is preventing me from understanding or getting involved with what's going on in the story. To reiterate, I do like the characters, the world seems interesting, and there's an interesting premise, but to be really invested in what I'm reading I think I need more harmony in the facts on the page, if that makes sense. Anyway, keep at it and welcome!
  15. There's not much to be said about this that hasn't already, so I'll just add my vote to the issues that have already been addressed. I agree that if it's in a fence, it should be a gate, even if it's tall. Then it's a tall gate? I also felt like I lacked character buy-in. He reads a little smarmy to me, and I have nothing else to go on but his sarcasm, so I don't really care too much about what's happening to him. Additionally, despite it being so short, I found myself having a very difficult time staying focused on the story. I kept looking up to find that I'd tabbed out of the story and onto.. just about anything else, really. There's certainly an identifiable style to the jargon and slang being used, but I'm not sure it's doing much for me right now when the story can't seem to work past it to grab my attention for more than a couple minutes at a time.