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Majestic Fox

12-03-2018 - Majestic Fox - The Green Ocean - Chapter One, Submission 4, 4076 words

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Please ignore grammar and typos. Feedback on emotional response is more useful  : ) 
 
Note for rewrite: the gateways stuff at the end will be foreshadowed earlier in the chapter. 
 
Cheers!
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Feels like you’re either going to bait and switch with the foreshadowing, or you’re a bit heavy handed.

 

I’m not connecting much to the character, but that’s a common problem for me. This person needs motivations.

 

What are your promises? I’m really not sure where this is going and fantasy readers don’t particularly like that feeling. 

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3 hours ago, mrwizard70 said:

This person needs motivations.

Interesting. I thought I was being heavy handed on the motivation. 

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2 hours ago, Majestic Fox said:

Interesting. I thought I was being heavy handed on the motivation. 

Willow wants to be a hunter because she wants the love and attention of the town that she is an outcast from. Original. 

I mean interesting and realistic motivations. In the chapter, your character admits how unlikely she is to achieve this stuff iirc. If she was at least after a boy it would at least be a well-defined cliche, but why does she care about these people's love and affection? Usually, social outcasts want nothing to do with society, so why is she different? Does she want to find out if the titan-thingies are actually not evil? What inspired that, outside of vague feelings and questioning the established religion during her childhood?

I know you know the answers to these questions, but I don't, and more importantly, it doesn't appear to me that Willow does. This is possibly realistic, as most people don't know these things about themselves, but I as the reader haven't identified the main story conflict yet.

 

Keep in mind I'm only one reader and have peculiar tastes in my books. Others may find this extremely engaging. 

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Posted (edited)

Contrary to @mrwizard70, I find this extremely engaging!

I didn't have a particular problem with motivations or promises. I thought both were clear. Striving for acceptance from an authority that won't give it to you is very common and easy to relate to. As for promises, W seems destined to get out into the forest one way or another, and I'm sure we will find out more about the world.

I did have some concerns with W wanting to change paths from temple adept to hunter at age 23. It seems late, and I wonder what she's been doing until now. I think this is probably an easy fix, but here it seems a little strange. If she was young teens, I wouldn't have any problem. But at this stage in her life, it seems more like "switching" from one path to another rather than "starting" a new path.

In all, a good start, but I want to see more! keep submitting!

Notes while reading:

pg 11: "the tawny haired tanner’s son...Steady on there, son."
--Having two "son"s in a row is a little confusing. I think you're saying T is J's son, but why do you need to reference J's father?

pg 13: "apprentice herself to the hunter"
--again, W seems old to be starting an apprenticeship.

pg 13: Random Cabbage Theft is the name of my new band.

pg 14: "Is that sympathy in her eyes"
--from how G is behaving, I don't know why/how W would suspect sympathy.

pg 15: "She could pierce an armoured hide at ninety paces now."
--good start.

pg 18: "separating a foal from its mother"
--after it's weaned, I hope...I mean they do sort of depend on the deer.

pg 20: "Three and twenty."
--hmm..defintely old for apprenticeships. What's W been doing up until now?

pg 22: ‘Leave to me.’
--missing a word

pg 23: It sounds like W's been an apprentice to the temple until now. Are there any skills shared between that and hunting?

"she could turn herself into someone with the ability to bring it back"
Hmm...ok, this sort of makes sense.

Edited by Mandamon
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Overall

Well, I'm in. Sign me up and get me a 'ship t-shirt. Here's hoping the signs are not misleading and we'll have some f/f romance! Otherwise, I'm moderately invested in the world. I did think this chapter could be condensed quite a bit. It wanders in places, although the meat is good. Just fat trimming, I think, and it will be pretty solid.

On 3/12/2018 at 2:18 PM, mrwizard70 said:

This person needs motivations.

I'm actually really clear on W's motivations, so this wasn't an issue for me.

On 3/12/2018 at 8:03 PM, mrwizard70 said:

If she was at least after a boy it would at least be a well-defined cliche

*headdesk* But being after a woman doesn't qualify as being interesting?

On 3/13/2018 at 1:02 PM, Mandamon said:

Random Cabbage Theft is the name of my new band.

Can I be your androgynous drummer?

 

As I go

- page 12: "I'll at the pens..." assume a missing 'be'

- I'm shipping team W x Hunter

- page fifteen: *sigh* Ah, how true, the whole 'have to be better than every guy just to be allowed to do something' thing really resonated

- page eighteen: yup, shipping huntress and W hard.

page nineteen: yes yes, tell us how beautiful she is... more descriptors.... 

- page twenty: o_O  I AM SO HERE FOR THIS

- 21: yes, what would the huntress want with her if the elders said no? BWAHAHAHAHA

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3 hours ago, kais said:

Overall

Well, I'm in. Sign me up and get me a 'ship t-shirt. Here's hoping the signs are not misleading and we'll have some f/f romance! Otherwise, I'm moderately invested in the world. I did think this chapter could be condensed quite a bit. It wanders in places, although the meat is good. Just fat trimming, I think, and it will be pretty solid.

I'm actually really clear on W's motivations, so this wasn't an issue for me.

*headdesk* But being after a woman doesn't qualify as being interesting?

Can I be your androgynous drummer?

 

As I go

- page 12: "I'll at the pens..." assume a missing 'be'

- I'm shipping team W x Hunter

- page fifteen: *sigh* Ah, how true, the whole 'have to be better than every guy just to be allowed to do something' thing really resonated

- page eighteen: yup, shipping huntress and W hard.

page nineteen: yes yes, tell us how beautiful she is... more descriptors.... 

- page twenty: o_O  I AM SO HERE FOR THIS

- 21: yes, what would the huntress want with her if the elders said no? BWAHAHAHAHA

Rereading, I honestly think I need to stop going over these in the morning. I somehow didn't pick up on the idea that she was interested in anyone. Possibly I fell back asleep and forgot the last few pages. 

This deals with motivations in a way that didn't feel cliche. I like it.

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9 hours ago, kais said:
On 3/13/2018 at 4:02 PM, Mandamon said:

Random Cabbage Theft is the name of my new band.

Can I be your androgynous drummer?

Absolutely. I shall play electric violin.

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I was engaged with this section!  And I like this hero worship/puppy crush much better than the odd, possibly skeevy romance in here previously. I thought W's motivations were fine, on the whole.

"but raising the alarm might be a little too much" -- -- --" He’d lived through too many attacks and lost too many friends " --  Since it was in this one, I can answer your question from last week here. (Apparently I just thought really hard about replying but never really did. That's some prime brain fog there and I apologize!) These two quotes are what I am seeing as clashing with each other.  W is thinking about how it's not a big deal, and she doesn't want to alert the town, then she right away blurts out a fact (the footprint) to someone whom she apparently knows is going to do the exact thing she was just saying was overkill when he hears it.  Like, if she knew the old man had seen "too many battles" to be rational, why tell him at all? If she didn't really want the bell rung, why did she tell someone whose only response would be to do that very thing? 

Yay the lady hunter is back! :) 

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Since you’ve sent a Word file, I will do some in-line comments, but main points here:

  • Again, your easy, approachable style carries my comfortably through the story.
  • I’m quite easily able to imagine the cave. You give us enough smells and other sensations to imagine, without lapsing too much into description, I thought.
  • I like the idea of W’s listening with the entire body.
  • The encounter with L, on page 16, was kind of frustrating, because it was a non-encounter, seeing the person but not talking. The difficulty though, I think, is not to make the chapter any longer, since we’ve had a lot of characters already.
  • Was confused that W was going to feed one animal, then started feeding another.
  • W’s thought about Tim not being punished seems naïve to me.
  • W’s conversation with L is frustrating in places. I’ve included various comments in my LBLs about being more certain and definitive in the language, and weeding out words like ‘a little surprised’. Is the character surprised or not? I think it serves the writing well to be clear, and not leave the reader uncertain. In the conversation though, W giving up after one exchange makes her look so weak and ineffectual. That’s not an attractive quality in an m/c. She’s just managed to engage this respected person in conversation then instantly wants to chuck it? I’m not even sure it’s in character.
  • Willow nodded, her heart sinking. She was about to explain to the hunter that she wasn’t disobedient for the sake of it, but something told her to keep quiet. There was a distant look in hunter’s eyes as she stared at the mother deer.” – Sometimes, you can let the reader fill in the emotion. I don't think you need to explain everything, or hand the reader everything. Let them work out some stuff for themself.
  • L’s solemn nod after W made her first kill” – It just struck me here that W’s urge to become a hunter seems at odds with her obvious love of animals.
  • The bit where W considers being indispensible feels like repetition, but only in the phrasing of it. I don't have a problem with her thinking about being indsipensible, but she has already introduced this thread in her thinking, so I think it would be better to refer back to it.
  • or even a functioning gateway to J - the realm their ancestors came from” – Whoa there, what now to where now? This threw me for a loop. Dropping a new name in there right at the end of the chapter is a no-no for me. You're aiming to close the chapter our, but you're introducing a completely new idea.

·       I like the close of the chapter, leaving us with a clear image of the m/c's aspirations.

This was good, easy to read and to follow. I have some issues however, main ones above, and many details in the LBLs. The biggest difficulty, I think, is the number of characters. It feels to me like they are being shoehorned in left, right and centre. There are some clear and clearly important NPCs, and W speaks to those people, has conflict with them, and their characters and impact on W comes out clearly. BUT, there are also names thrown in when the characters don’t appear. I would give strong consideration to cutting those, letting us focus on the people who are there. There is no way the reader is going to remember the name of a character who is not on screen, so why mention them at all when you will only need to reintroduce them. Ergo, mentioning them now doesn’t achieve anything, imho, other than taking away from the recognition of the characters who are in the chapter.

It’s a good first chapter, for me, but a trifle long. I think some of the wording is unnecessary and could be cut down to make the chapter more direct and flowing. I'm happy to take a pot-shot at that in an alpha-read of the whole story, as I mentioned before.

This is good. Keep going. Chapter 2 please :D

<R>

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On 13/03/2018 at 3:03 AM, mrwizard70 said:

but why does she care about these people's love and affection?

Kudos to @mrwizard70 for reappraising the earlier comments. I do think this is a good point though. Like @Mandamon, I was clear on W's desires, but the underlying 'why' is important. However, I think that you did mention this in one version of the chapter, that W is a foundling, is that correct? If so, and you did not remove the reference in one of the 9,001 earlier edits (the first version not being an edit, of course. I'm paying attention, you see?), then I think you might want to tag it again at the end, to help the reader keep that in mind.

On 13/03/2018 at 8:02 PM, Mandamon said:

I find this extremely engaging!

Seconded, heartily!! If you stop submitting this before the end, I'm going to come find you, and I know where you work, remember ;) 

On 15/03/2018 at 0:27 PM, Mandamon said:
On 15/03/2018 at 2:49 AM, kais said:
On 13/03/2018 at 8:02 PM, Mandamon said:

Random Cabbage Theft is the name of my new band.

Can I be your androgynous drummer?

Absolutely. I shall play electric violin.

Ooh, ooh: I'll bring my guitar and bass to REcon - house band!!! :D 

On 15/03/2018 at 2:49 AM, kais said:
On 13/03/2018 at 3:03 AM, mrwizard70 said:

If she was at least after a boy it would at least be a well-defined cliche

*headdesk* But being after a woman doesn't qualify as being interesting?

Yup, that first part was my reaction too. I must say I didn't get the f/f angle at all, but probably it just wasn't blatant enough for my blunted sensibilities.

On 15/03/2018 at 8:58 PM, industrialistDragon said:

And I like this hero worship/puppy crush much better than the odd, possibly skeevy romance in here previously.

Yes, this, totally. Okay, I guess that's where the f/f angle was perceived. I didn't read past hero worship.

On 15/03/2018 at 5:59 AM, mrwizard70 said:

page nineteen: yes yes, tell us how beautiful she is... more descriptors.... 

- page twenty: o_O  I AM SO HERE FOR THIS

- 21: yes, what would the huntress want with her if the elders said no? BWAHAHAHAHA

ROFL - you are incorrigible, @kais :lol: 

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