Mandamon

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Mandamon last won the day on February 26 2013

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775 Wyrn the King

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About Mandamon

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    Complex and Unnecessary
  • Birthday May 26

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    Male
  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Practicing and Teaching Karate, Reading, Writing, Gaming, Tinkering
  1. Got it. I can work on this.
  2. In general, I'm enjoying this. I've made lots of notes on LBLs, and blocking, etc, below. I like the parts with M more than with B, simply because M has a goal in mind. There's a couple places where B's story wavers, especially with the flashback at the end. Basically it seems like B's life is as crappy as possible, so I'm looking for something else to define them. This does feel like a standalone. The only part that seemed in part of a larger universe was all the talk about building weird tech with M and boyfriend. I'd keep the prologue. It defines the whole story. I think it could be the first chapter, though. Notes While Reading: pg 1: "My cousin, E, who didn’t know what I was, or that they were from a family of people who weren’t quite human, dreamed the future organically." --This sentence caught pulled me out as awkward. Probably needs to be two sentences. pg 1: "The other half was about strangers" --"were about strangers" --Much of this paragraph is confusing to me too. You don't give any definition to the strangers, and so the "they" of the strangers keps clashing with "they" of E. You might need some more description around here. pg 2: Good hook at the end of the chapter. As to the question of prologue or not, I like what this sets up, and as M. seems to be a main POV in the rest of the story, can it just be relabeled as chapter 1? edit: reading into the next chapter, I think it's necessary so the reader undrestands what M is doing. pg 3: "people’s thought’s" -> "people's thoughts", "pant’s pocket" -> "pants pocket" "They own pet store" -> "They a own pet store " pg 4: "I stepped out the door without saying bye" --M sort of did; they had an exchange signifying M was going out, in any case. pg 5: "ribs feel like they are" -> "ribs feel like they were" pg 6: "I squeezed his right arm, but he didn’t react. Had he been forgetful lately?" --Are these two things connected? Can he not feel his right arm for some reason? --oh, ok, it is relevant. pg 6: "I’d been to busy" -> "I’d been too busy " pg 6: "weren’t getting hear" -> "weren’t getting here" pg 7: There's nothing wrong with the description of the paramedic, but I'm wondering at the amount of detail. Why is B focused on this? pg 8: "arrived and broke my connection with B" --Why so the paramedics break the connection? Or do they just break M's concentration? pg 8: "a stroke" -> "stroke" pg 8: "flesh would" -> "flesh wound" pg 8: The second paragraph rephrases what M says in the first paragraph, so the description of why she can't heal the stroke could probably be combined with the original statement in some way. pg 8: "I didn’t have to back yet." --Something missing. pg 9: "a good mental health professionals" -> "a good mental health professional" pg 8/9: I'm not sure why M didn't go back to the car. M knew this wasn't the night, so why run all the way out to the bridge? pg 9: "his other grandchild (my cousin)," --parentheses are unecessary with the prologue. pg 10: "I tousled his hair. It was smooth, and even from a few feet away, and smelled like coconut. I never liked" --How did M tousle his hair from a few feet away? What does the smell have to do with the movie? This paragraph is pretty jumpy. pg 11: I'm not completely following the plan here. There's a lot of explanation, but it's all relatively vague and doesn't give me a good idea of what the plan is, thus doesn't have a really good punch at the end of the chapter. pg 12: "I curled my teeth around my lip" --Teeth don't curl (I hope). Maybe "I curled my lip under my teeth?" pg 13: "was in the stores future" -> "was in the store's future" pg 13: "I jammed my shovel into the snow scooping as much on the shovel as possible. Muscles in my back burn as I fling the snow as far as I can." -> "I jammed my shovel into the snow, scooping as much on the shovel as possible. Muscles in my back burned as I flung the snow as far as I could." pg 13: "snow blower was quieter, probably in neutral." --Do snow blowers have a "neutral?" pg 13: "one who is gifted with enough testosterone to be able to push" --I understand this is from B's POV...put just to be nitpicky, I don't think testosterone gives endurance... pg 14: "half the doctors words" -> "half the doctors' words" pg 14: "They waddle deeper into the woods. I whistle, and Gannon chases into snow " -> "They waddled deeper into the woods. I whistled, and Gannon chased into snow" pg 14: "If I were trying to control another one" --clearer to say "If I were trying to control one" pg 15: I was beginning to wonder about the snow blower since it was brought up so much, but you cap this section off nicely with the reason. pg 16: Is there a time jump here? Ah, yes there is. Took a moment for me to get it. pg 16: "I called afraid panic will drive him to the woods" -> "I called, afraid panic would drive him to the woods" pg 16: "paw wholes" -> "paw holes" pg 16: "Tide bound" -> "Tide bounded" pg 17: The flashback give some good character building for B, but does it need to be a flashback? There haven't been any others, and it seems out of place.
  3. I'm the opposite. I love Sam and would love a whole book in his POV. I think he's a very compelling character. I've had several people express both these sentiments--hopefully that's the mark of a good character? At any rate, I'm not planning on making S "get better" any time soon, but the beginning of this book is definitely a regression, caused by anxiety over memory loss. I'm definitely looking for reaction on whether that's working or not, or whether I should tone it down. However, S is also going to be forced into some new stuff where he has to adapt. I'm just about to start writing that part, and I'm looking forward to it!
  4. Hello all - Here is the second half of the first chapter, which in retrospect I could have just submitted last week. Oh well--probably good to have a tighter focus on the beginning anyway. This features two other POVs for this book, which I believe will have 5 total. This also references both the first book and a side novella, so if you haven't read those, let me know how confused you are. Anything/everything else is always appreciated, from character reactions, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing.
  5. Thanks as always for the attention to devote to the critiques! It's helped a lot in getting the bugs out! Noted. Do you mean the book title, or the chapter title? Hmm...okay, I don't think I telegraphed this as much as I thought at the end of the last book. Still, glad that it's working here. Yeah, I think you're right. I haven't really gone through with an engineering-grade fine-tooth comb ;-) In part, they're meant to be, showing off that he's caring more about himself that others, but I think you're right that I need to do a little more recap. I've been using 4thewords lately to make sure I push out the words for this first draft. It doesn't copy over italics to Word, so I tend to miss them, which is frustrating... The mystery for this part was supposed to be the chiming sound, but I realized I needed to address the new house, which it why this is disjointed. Very good questions here, which will help out with edits. Good catch. I think the blocking is off here. I can edit. Great response, and something I was hoping to get feedback on. This partially ties in with the memory loss, because it's made him regress, and because I don't want this problem to get "solved" for S, as anxiety doesn't work like that. I can definitely adjust, and I'm also looking forward to what you think of the next section. I think this book will have less POV from S, and more from other characters, so that may help as well... We'll see. Yep, I find myself mentally yelling at him while I'm writing him! He will definitely have some interesting progression in this book, and get pushed out on his own. This is excellent feedback to tell when I've gone too far one way! Thanks as always for the very helpful feedback, @Robinski! I'm about a quarter of the way in the first draft, and just about to get into the bizzaro stuff...should be fun!
  6. I can do another submission on the 15th as well.
  7. I am agree! I just made baklava for our game night tomorrow... By the way, the mince pie from last year was awesome!
  8. Thanks @mrwizard70 and @industrialistDragon! They're described a couple pages in, but I can move it up. That's very purposeful. I've had a lot of people say they're glad to see a main character portrayed with mental illness. It's helped me a lot to understand it because of my research while writing. Absolutely! Lol. This won't be resolved until about 30k words in, but it does come up a lot more. I can add some more attention to it in this chapter, though. Interesting to see your responses coming straight into the second book. Next submission (or two) will be a completely different character and situation, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you think! Yep. I think that's one of my biggest failings with the last one. I've read that people with this sort of mental illness often present as younger, but I think I went a little too far. This book will definitely address that... Yep. That's already earmarked for edits. I could tell this section is too thinky as I wrote it, but wasn't sure which way to correct it. Your comment help! Good catch. I'll do this. I'll bring this out more. Basically he's been hiding out, afraid to tell anyone, so it's not yet apparent to many people.
  9. @shatteredsmooth: Supposed to be middle of next year. Nothing more definite yet...
  10. Well, I think @Robinski and @kais pretty much tagged everything I was going to say, and more. I'll repeat, there are good bones here and solid worlbuilding, but the characters don't stand out for me yet. A couple additions: I've seen absolutely nothing in the text to show this. This may be her character, but right now all I've seen is a girl who's sort of in the background of two men. It would be a great hook to have T showing off her intelligence at the very beginning, or even better, seeing things from her POV. Didn't get this either. This isn't in omni POV. It's in Al's POV. However, if you want to do omni, it's a great chance to show Alex and T's reactions to everything that is said, and give us a much better glimpse into their characters. A true omniscient POV is in everyone's heads, all the time. I'm usually not a fan of it, but in this context, it could go a long way to showing that the characters are racist and sexist, while also showing that you, the author, are not. Might be worth just doing a exercise of a quick three-way conversation between the characters, and try to put in a reaction from the other characters for everything the third person says. It'll be a little much to read, but would probably help you out with capturing that POV. Notes while reading: pg 1: "Genesess" --is this still a gendered term? As in a female Genes? Alex gets a neutral term. To further disassociate this with the original term, it might be good to change it to a neutral term describing the person's race/homeland. pg 1/2: These descriptions still make me think Alex is mid 20's-30's, mainly because of the way he challenges the village elder: "shoulders forward to loom over B. like a bear" "outweighed the old man by at least 30 kilograms" "the hulking bear of a man" pg 4: "Outsiders cause problems, and they offend God. I don’t want to kill you, since killing offends God" --This is pretty abrupt. I get the sense these two have been living in the town a while. Why is the topic of killing suddenly coming up? Has something changed? pg 6: "I always knew you weren’t from around here, but seeing it’s different" --Al answers this, but I'm still not convinced. Alex has seen the horse before. There's not enough change here to make me believe there's enough difference with the horse to suddenly make it seem strange. pg 7: Something about the timeline isn't adding up. When did the soldiers come? There was something about the village resettling 20 years ago, but Alex is only 19. Was there another war in between? pg 8-10: There's a lot of talk about what they will do, here. I'd rather get into the story faster, and see this stuff when it happens. pg 11: Lots of place/people names and they don't have any meaning to me yet. pg 13: tongue lolling out like a dogs. --Er, no. Especially not with the "Genesess" connotation. pg 14: so...they just sort of set off. I don't really see a hook for the story yet. They've been peacefully living in a village, and then the elder decides they're going to be killed?
  11. Thanks @shatteredsmooth and @kais! Glad this is still coming across for a new reader! I think there's some combination of these three statements that can help me get the inciting incident to work correctly. I was pretty sure there was too many "thinky bits" at the beginning, but wasn't sure what to do about it. I'll ponder on restructuring it a bit. I think these are also connected. I don't want to bog down the first chapter too much, but there probably needs to be more explanation. I'll have to check the actual text. I think I hinted at a new house, but didn't come out and say it. Thanks, Shatteredsmooth for the general corrections! Those will be very helpful on the next pass. Still pretty slow on that front. My editor said there are a few projects ahead of mine, so I likely won't hear anything until November. It'll give me time to get words down for most of this book, I hope. I'm already at around 25k--about a quarter of my projected length.
  12. Glad to get to the end of this at last! It's been a fun read, and I look forward to the next, cleaned-up version. I think it has a lot of potential. The flow for this last section is pretty good. it's mainly dotting i's and crossing t's to tie everything up. I did enjoy that the method of success was not with magic, but with the implement for magic--good twist. The Lady showing off as a caster was a little surprising, but I guess also pretty likely. Some hints through the text would help make it "inevitable." Notes while reading: pg 118: "My eyes became wet as I stared down at my parents’ gift to me of ten years past" --Might be WRS, but I don't remember a discussion of the mandolin's past. Even if there was, I think this needs more mentions through the text so we know how important it is and feel the loss. I assume this was an expensive gift, which plays against the family's poverty now. pg 119: "She might just let me go if we bring them back" --She who and them who? Since this is a new chapter, probably need to redefine this. pg 119: "was digging at the end of the bone" --is this a bone from the horse, or still the ones from the tiger? pg 119: “A friend indeed.” --is he? I thought G betrayed them? Or might not have, but in any case, hasn't really proved himself a friend. pg 120: "for horse marrow held the power of empathy, of influence, of instruction." --I'd like a bigger reveal with this section. It's very blase at the moment. pg 121: "lit by lamps that must be sparked by a monkey" --?? I'm imagining monkey lamplighters. I think you mean monkey bones mean you can cast fire? In any case, this detail just pulls me out of the story at this point. pg 122: "Then again, why was I surprised that she had a power anchored in cold?" -Also a big revelation done very subtly, and I'm not sure I understand. Her power is cold-natured by default? I thought the type of bones eaten determined that? pg 122: "was either a graceful smith or an effeminate butcher." --"Effeminate butcher" is just...strange. Can butchers not be female? pg 128: "swing his free arm at her because the light would kill her." --it took me a couple readings to figure out this is the light P is casting (which I still don't completely understand) pg 128: "plunged the sharpened handle" --WRS, or did you establish before that the handle was sharpened? pg 130: hmm...the ending seems very abrupt to me. I either want more time with the family, or a little more indication of what J and C will do, or what their relationship is now. You basically wrap up by stabbing the bad guy, but I'm sure there are ramifications from killing a lord. Is J escaping? Does he have a king's pardon? Why is he going to Hass?
  13. Hello all - after a several month break, I'm back into writing. This will be the sequel to the book I posted most on on here, a little more than a year ago. Some of you will be familiar with it. In any case, I'm looking for any reactions, but especially since this is the opening, foremost if it pulls you in. Anything else is also appreciated, from character reactions, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing. Thanks!
  14. I tentatively, might, be in a position to submit the first section of the new dissolutionverse book. Depends on what I get done this weekend. So this is more a challenge to myself to get this section ready to be seen!
  15. Missed a word: Making their ways of speaking different Definitely. If you've changed all the country names around, no need to keep a name where insults to a culture will drive some readers away. Hmmm...maybe consider the effect of experience, vs. learning things? Someone with experience commanding troops will naturally act older than someone who has never been out of the village.