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Mandamon last won the day on February 26 2013

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About Mandamon

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    Complex and Unnecessary
  • Birthday May 26

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    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Practicing and Teaching Karate, Reading, Writing, Gaming, Tinkering
  1. I'm probably going to skip it again. For one, I'll be doing final edits for The Seeds of Dissolution, and trying to get that released, and for another, I tend to only get bad writing I have to heavily edit from NaNo. But I will cheer everyone else on!
  2. Awesome! Glad it's passed the @kais approval test--that makes me feel better about sending it out to 70+ people for the kickstarter... Yeah, I can definitely see writing some more shorts like this, to fill in space between the novels and novellas. Sam encountering a computer would be...interesting.
  3. Thanks @TKWade and @industrialistDragon! Glad things are clearer. I'll focus efforts on the first paragraph and the house descriptions, and clean up those other places TKWade identified.
  4. Hello all, Here is the third attempt at my short story. It got longer again, but the big changes are mainly at the beginning and the end (plus @Robinski's helpful pedantry corrections throughout....) so if it's too long, feel free to skim through the middle. And any other comments, of course. Deconstruct away!
  5. Thanks @Robinski! I shall delay submitting the next version until maybe tomorrow, and edit for the issues you brought up. Yeah, this is a bit unclear--I need to do a pass in Seeds to bring it out more. There is the Grand Symphony, which is everything, and the individual Symphonies heard by the houses. They're all part of the same thing, but the maji make it a distinction because they can't hear everything. There's a different section of the Symphony for different places, based on what's nearby. Thus the box dominates the theme here, but if you went upstairs, you might hear more of the music of energy in the conduits, or something else. I took a note (ha) from Jordan here, where he described the male and female Aes Sedai working with the other half of the source, even though they couldn't perceive it. I'm actually glad you caught these points! I hadn't written from a POV inside the House of Potential before, so I was experimenting with how they processed things vs. the other houses.
  6. Well, I've changed the short story again, so I could submit for people willing to read a third time. Mainly the beginning and end are different.
  7. Personally, I understand what you're saying. My father does hand woodworking on the side, and I can see the difference in his pieces and mass-produced pieces. However, that transition is what--200 or more years past in our history? Any empathy with losing handworking as the main source of crafting is far lost in our history and probably 99% of your readers are going to say "so what" about that plot line. I think for it to be effective, you have to be very specific about what is being lost and what it means for the country. Make the reader feel that loss.
  8. This is better, but I'm still not sold on the industrialization = bad. Also, S's revelation drags a bit. Could be trimmed. A) I'm not really sure what this interlude adds. We already know S's found the fungus. B ) It's better, but not quite yet. I have some notes below. I think we need to have the "thesis" of this dropped earlier in the story so that it makes more sense here and we can get t to the revelation quicker. pg 2: "Like a chemist. They’re not even a guild" --do you go more into what a chemist does? Is this something coming from the industrialization? pg 5: “It was more than one blanket, and all of them looked identical. Like they’d fallen from a pack of yet more identical blankets.” --This took me a couple reads to realize the importance--that if the blankets were exactly the same, then they were manufactured. I think this could be punched up. Maybe something more important than a blanket? pg 6: "I need to see those textiles!" --Next, on CSI Sorpsi... pg 6: Seems like missing potential that S refuses to interact with the lake and then Sam just tells M what she wants. pg 7: Sam makes a good case for the factories again. Every time I read this I have a hard time summoning any sympathy for the plight of traditional guilds, especially if the trained members can just switch over to using new technology. What is it that makes the old guilds special? Ornamentation? Finer fitting? pg 8: "If you wanted to save the guilds, you’d work with the new technology, not against it.” --uh, yeah. This. pg 8: falling into the lake is a bit plot-ful. pg 10: S's epiphany about magic/alchemy still seems forced. I'm not sure what it needs. Maybe some trimming to get to the revelation quicker? pg 11: "but they were both penalized by Iana when she took the kingdom. They’re the two unbound guilds. Their paths and histories are intertwined." --ah, this finally makes a lot more sense. Interlude: pg 13: At 16, would S still play these games? pg 15: "We can dance at night and the sailors will see our rotations as blinking." --confused by this. Do the mushrooms rotate? Not sure that this interlude adds a lot. We already know S discovered the elf's cup. Does seeing it add anything?
  9. I need cis het male help here. What would you do? Lesbians (loosely, very loosely), but also your sister? @Mandamon @Robinski @TKWade @rdpulfer help! I would say engaging once, seeing they were "busy" and studiously and embarrassedly looking at something else until they were finished, but that's just me.
  10. Thanks @kais, @rdpulfer, and @industrialistDragon! Great comments. Just this one. There was a second story farther down in the stretch goals, but didn't quite get there. Not that I won't write more Dissolutionverse short stories... Blame @Robinski ;-) Hmm...yep, I'll prop up the beginning a little more with some specifics about life back home. Also, thanks to @industrialistDragon for the v1 vs v2 mismatches. I'll fix those. Interesting. I liked how it was cyclic, but seems I'm missing something. Would it help if I added a few more hints at the beginning that K. has more relationship with the issue than he's letting on?
  11. Welcome to Reading Excuses! I'm in general agreement with @kais and @industrialistDragon, so I won't belabor the point. I was a little turned off at the beginning of the story by the "perfect wife" syndrome with Suzie. Seemed to be taking it too far. I was also completely surprised that Suzie was dead, at the end. I wondered why she didn't wake up, but assumed something else was going to happen. I'd make this very concrete, as it's the point of the story (unless you can change it completely to get away from the fridging aspect). Also agree on the park/hobo thing being extraneous. Unless he takes another life this way, I don't see what it adds. The story does wander a bit in the middle, for being so short. You could note that he's "cursed" or "a murder" or something like that early on to prepare the reader that this will be a story about John fighting with himself. As to whether it's fantasy? I'd maybe go with magical realism at best, if not simply a story about PTSD. Not that those are bad subjects, just that this doesn't really fall under the "fantasy" umbrella. Notes while reading: You tend to write around John seeing parts of his own body a lot. You could probalby cut these down to make them more concrete. "The first thing I see as my eyes travel up is my chin, then my smile, then my happy eyes." "I notice out of the corner of my eyes that I'm no longer smiling." "I suddenly feel something cold hitting the palm of my hand. " pg 1: "I try to shrug, but her hands are clasped to my shoulders and her whole weight is pressed down on me." --that seems kind of oppressive. pg 7: "but there's only a small spot of blood, about as wide as my own head." --That seems pretty large.
  12. Hello all, Here is my latest short story, once again. Comments last time said this fell flat and wasn't engaging enough at the end, so let me know if this is better. And any other comments, of course. Deconstruct away!
  13. Alright, I think I'm ready to resubmit Rey's First Job on Monday. It's about 5500 words now, so a little on the heavy side if that's alright.
  14. Much better chapter. It cuts down a lot on the slogging and talking, and I think it still gets all the salient points across. I also enjoyed the larger theme of magic in this chapter, and building out some of the history. S studying magic is a bit a a contradiction though, so more explanation of why S is suddenly engaging with magic would help. I do agree Sam's emotional impact is better for having the interlude about them. pg 2: "Sam brushed past me, his shoulder hitting mine hard enough to force me forward. --maybe too much? I would expect some reaction from S for this. (edit: the one at the end of the chapter works, but still not sure about this one.) pg 2: also/also two sentences in a row. pg 2: people live in villages *on* the glacier? pg 2: "No side trips. Four generations haven’t been able to find Iana’s Lake, and we’re not going to, either." --glad this clarification is in there, but it's sort of out of the blue. Has anyone else mentioned Iana's lake recently? The kiss-and-tell section does a better job of getting us information and showing the relationship between S and M. However, why does Sam keep creeping up? I would think after the first time he saw them occupied he would have left them alone for a few minutes. pg 7: "I shrugged and leaned into M. “She likes curly hair.”" --Lol pg 8: "It was an alchemical study, nothing more." --hmm...I dont' quite buy S wanting to study old magic. S has been violently opposed to it until now, thinking it was a perversion of nature, unless something has changed. The lake experience with S is much better. Still not completely sure about S wanting to study the lake though. pg 12: "If the lakes act like that, no wonder the Miantri villagers were spooked when you appeared from nowhere." --ok, I'll buy this. pg 12: “I don’t need to get drunk and I have no interest in magic,” --yeah, this. Why would S go out of the way to study it? S says nearly the same thing a couple more times. pg 19: “You toss it aside like a toy. Without respect for your guild, or our family’s history.” --yeah, ok. Have to say I agree. Some of it is A's pushing, but I get the feeling S never full-stop refused to do woodworking, and in a certain sense, was stringing A along with hope that S would change.
  15. I remember this somewhat from the first time you posted, and this time it's reading smoother. The others have good thoughts on Joe lacking a personality and the privacy invasion. I didn't have as much problem (although selling surlpus military drones is a bit odd) with the lack of privacy, but maybe I was already expecting a dystopic society, from having read this before. If that part gets some more setup, I think the drones might be more believable. Maybe some of them belong the government and citizens just started following along? As @kais said, this does need some editing on the show/tell front. Some of the dialogue and reactions are a little too on-the-nose and the dialogue is still one of the weakest parts. If you don't already, it might be good to say the lines out loud and see if they sound right. Aside from that, I really enjoy the payoff at the end of the story. You've got a good try/fail cycle, and good feeling of success at the end. Notes while reading: pg 1: "Marlene Schaffer" --I'd maybe put this with the first instance of the name rather than further down in the paragraph. pg 1: "Predator done before" --Drone? pg 2: "Wedding present" repeated in the same paragraph pg 11: "They showed every part of her body in lurid detail. The pictures made her feel violated. Then she saw the comments below the pictures." --The middle sentence is uneccessary. Telling pg 17: "Joe pretended not to hear what the privacy fence had just said. The cold, glaring expression on Marlene’s face showed otherwise." --again, telling