Working up through my backlog.
This submission was created before the switch to 17th Shard.
Here is the archived topic, including Asmodemon's critique http://twg.17thshard...78732#msg178732
I'll second Asmodemon (I'm growing tired to say this sentence) to say that the whole chapter felt kind of weird language-wise. The main problem was, as Asmodemon said the fact that you don't say right out who is talking to whom, so the reader is kept off-balance trying to guess what you're trying to do.
The first half page is a flagrant example of this : it's either omniscient, or told from the other woman's perspective, but in no way from the POV character's perspective.
As you didn't mark the POV switch with the customary break, I didn't understand we had changed perspective until half a page later when I got a new name. I had to come back and read the scene with a new POV in mind to understand what was going on (it made much more sense this way). When you're switching POV, please tell whose head we're in as fast as possible. It happened during the other breaks, but I was ready for it this time.
Some language is also off-period : people in medieval times would never think in terms of percentages (it's actually an advanced mathematical construct). Instead, they would say that the church takes half and the state takes one fifth.
All of that aside, the setting is pretty interesting (especially for me who wrote my first novel in a matriarchal setting), and it is very visual. I worry a little that you went overboard with the "let's kill all the poor taxed people" thing, but you certainly got my attention here.
For the characters, I was more interested by Kaethe, mainly because Damaris appears so sullen.
I hope to see another chapter, that is if you switched forums with us.
Aug 15 2011 - Guenhywvar - untitled story- most of chapter 1
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