kais

Fox - Chapter 5 - kais 04/09/18, 3629 words

8 posts in this topic

Continuing on. Same issues to look for: age appropriateness (S is 17), and pacing not dragging.

Last Time: S accepts an alchemical apprenticeship on the condition of approval from S’s mother

This Time: S heads to the Woodcutter’s guildhall to get need permissions, but finds a childhood friend instead

Next Time: S and M reconnect in a bar

Please abbreviate all proper nouns

Thank you!

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Overall, the way S and M meet back up is smoother than before. However now there's almost a disconnect between when M first meets S, and then when they're walking back to the pub. M at first seems like she hardly even remembers S. Then later, she starts talking about "us," and I found it a strange switch. What changed?

I think you could also add a sentence or two to the beginning to show that S is going to the guildhall to get permission from Mother to train. Might be WRS but I was confused why S was not still at the palace or with Master R.

pg1: last sentence of first paragraph is long and awkward.

pg 2: I like this sequence better, that S goes to the guild and expects Mother to be there.

pg 3: "They might have just moved"
--this seems so unlikely that S wouldn't even consider it.

pg 5: "You didn’t think to say hello, apparently, after bringing Master R back to the castle?”
--Yeah, I thought this was odd too.

pg 5: "since Mother had forbidden me seeing her again"
--Was there a reason for this yet? Can't remember between different versions...

pg 6: "closed for almost three weeks"
--so then how did the fresh paint, roof tiles etc happnen?

pg 7: "I was thinking of turning the hall into the new Q.G. office."
--Aha. So I guess M and Mother have the same outlook on cleanliness...
--Also, why is the office not in the palace?

pg 9: "I dropped my head and my eyes moved back to the ground."
S is so meek here and M is so competent that I have a hard time believing they would get back together, especially with M having to deal with the treaty and the kidnapping. S hasn't seen her in so long that I wouldn't expect much favoritism either.

pg 10: Why is M operating in a pub, instead of in the palace?

pg 11: "Explain why Master R won’t shut up about you"
--ok, well this at least explains why M is even giving her the time of day.

pg 12: "I missed you too. Mother-"
--I read this first as S was calling M "mother" and I got confused. I think because it cuts off right after that word, and makes a complete sentence.
 

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Really liking the interaction between S. and M.. After all the angsting S. does it’s nice to see a character S. interacts with well that is confident and not at all angsty.

 

Mother: While I was reading I kept wondering why S. was so sure this chapter that their mother would be at the guild house, because I don’t remember it being mentioned that she would be there. Perhaps that’s weekly reader syndrome, but leafing back through the previous submissions I couldn’t find anything definitive that pointed towards the guild house. In chapter one S. thinks that she ‘took these walkabouts yearly’, which I took to mean that she goes wandering and no one, not even S., knows where she’s gone. So the surety that S. has that she’d be at the guild house felt a little odd.

 

Change of heart: In tandem with that, maybe it’s because S. now needs their mother’s permission to apprentice to the alchemist, but S. seems to worry about their mother a lot more this chapter.

 

Salt: Why is the chapter title salt?

 

Swirls of red: I was a bit confused about S. catching swirls of red behind M., thinking there to be guards, but the courtyard is apparently still empty. I wasn’t sure if there actually were guards there or if S. was imagining it, or if they somehow turned invisible. Because with the queen missing there is no way that the guards would/should ever leave M. by herself or to let her approach a vagabond in the courtyard of an empty guild house. So there should be guards all around M., but I never really got the impression that there were.

 

New guard’s office: What’s wrong with the old one? And I’d expect the Q. guard to be, you know, protecting M. most of all, so wouldn’t they have their offices in the palace with M.? Or is the Q. guard not just the guard of M., but also the city guard and/or standing army? Right now I’m running on the assumption that they are a small outfit solely there to protect the queen.

 

Master woodcutter: When M. says that the master woodcutter is under suspicion of kidnapping, you mean A. right? S.’s mother? If that’s the case then it would make sense for her to be missing, at least as far as M. is concerned, because if I kidnapped the queen I would not let the heir know where I was. So if that’s the case, why is M. surprised that A. isn’t with S. at the guild hall together?

 

Also, if A. is the suspect in the kidnapping of the queen, and S. is supposedly never far from A., why isn’t M. pressing S. harder on the whereabouts of A. and the queen?

 

Master R.: If master R. won’t shut up about S. then shouldn’t M. already know what S. did to help R.? Because they didn’t do much together other than fighting the trees, and it was the alchemical stuff S. used that impressed R. So if R. is impressed, and talking about the solvents S. used, then it’s only a small leap from there to why S. had to use the solvents, against the tree creatures.

 

Forbidden to see each other: Why would S.’s mother do that? Has this been explained already? Having a personal connection to the future queen seems to me like it would be advantageous for the woodcutters. Since S. is seventeen now, the last time they saw each other S. would have been close to eleven years old. What happened? And is that the same reason why S. had to live in their remote house and wasn’t really allowed to leave? I know in part it’s also because S. has huge social anxiety issues, but it seems to me that continued isolation only worsened that, and that S. was more open in the time spent with M. in their youths.

 

Pub: Why is the heir to the throne having a ‘headquarters’ in a pub, rather than her palace? I’m hoping the next chapter will shed some light on that, because this seems like a huge security violation, especially in light of the queen having gone missing.

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Haha! Look at me, being all on top of this for once! (Really, it's just to keep me from obsessively stalking the AW forum for AR updates).

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

What changed?

I switched around some of the interludes and info around the earlier chapters. Sorry for that. Things keep getting shuffled. 

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Might be WRS but I was confused why S was not still at the palace or with Master R.

Ah. It's the very last sentence of the previous chapter. I suspect WRS.

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

last sentence of first paragraph is long and awkward.

Check. Easy fix.

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

this seems so unlikely that S wouldn't even consider it.

Good point

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Was there a reason for this yet?

Not yet. They talk about it at the bar.

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

so then how did the fresh paint, roof tiles etc happnen?

Maaaaaagic. Or because the guild up and left when the grandmaster died and wanted to sell it to M, so it's all clean. 

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Also, why is the office not in the palace?

Ah, the explanation is missing! Thanks for catching this!

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I have a hard time believing they would get back together,

Actually, this line no longer works with how I have them interacting so I've cut it. I've got them a bit more antagonistic up front now, and S with more agency.

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Why is M operating in a pub, instead of in the palace?

I was hoping the busty bar maid in the next chapter explains that...

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I think because it cuts off right after that word, and makes a complete sentence.

Good call. Will edit. Thank you! 

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7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

interacts with well that is confident and not at all angsty.

Right? M is definitely a 'shut up and just do it' kind of person.

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

I couldn’t find anything definitive that pointed towards the guild house

Sorry, this is in edits I didn't submit back through. S determines in an earlier chapter that Mother is clearly late because the guild grandmaster, so it would make sense for her to now be running the guild. Or at least, makes sense in S logic.

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

but S. seems to worry about their mother a lot more this chapter.

Yes, it's due to the earlier changes. Chapter before ended on a great deal of urgency with finding Mother to get the permission so S could start life, already!

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

Why is the chapter title salt?

All the chapters have alchemical titles. Salt is for base matter or body, and in this chapter S has to deal with the change in body and 'base matter' between S and M. Or at least that's what I told myself in my head.

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

but I never really got the impression that there were.

They're there. You're right. I'll clarify. In early early versions S actually spoke with the guards and M never went to the guildhall, but I've changed things around a lot.

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

What’s wrong with the old one? And I’d expect the Q. guard to be, you know, protecting M. most of all, so wouldn’t they have their offices in the palace with M.? Or is the Q. guard not just the guard of M., but also the city guard and/or standing army? Right now I’m running on the assumption that they are a small outfit solely there to protect the queen.

hope this gets dealt with next chapter (this chapter and the next used to be one chapter, but I split it due to YA having generally shorter chapters). 

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

why is M. surprised that A. isn’t with S. at the guild hall together?

Good point. Logic and all that. Will edit. 

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

why isn’t M. pressing S. harder on the whereabouts of A. and the queen?

Solid point, again.

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

hen shouldn’t M. already know what S. did to help R.

Will edit

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

Why would S.’s mother do that? Has this been explained already?

No, it's a slower reveal throughout the book, but starts being hit on next chapter.

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

I know in part it’s also because S. has huge social anxiety issues, but it seems to me that continued isolation only worsened that, and that S. was more open in the time spent with M. in their youths.

This is all correct, and I think it really comes out as the book progresses, that the decisions S's mom made might have been well intentioned, but were inevitably destructive.

7 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

I’m hoping the next chapter will shed some light on that, because this seems like a huge security violation, especially in light of the queen having gone missing.

Yes. Next chapter should answer that very well.

 

Thank you so much for the feedback! Always great to see you popping around the boards.

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8 hours ago, kais said:

Really, it's just to keep me from obsessively stalking the AW forum for AR updates

Yeah, really. I have a note on my phone to check the forum every two days, because otherwise I'll check all the time.

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Heya, LBLs emailed separately. Main points duplicated here.

At the start, I feel that something's missing, an acknowledgment or link from the previous chapter with R and where they ended up.

"here I was, damp and blood-soaked, my hair slicked against my head and shivering from the cold" - Gah. I'm struggling here. So, S saves R, the Queen's magician, and they just send S away without giving any assistance in acknowledgement of the good deed? The chance to wash, fresh clothes, some food.

"Lost to S permanently." - I don't see that it would be any more permanent then its residency in S in the first place. If there is a mechanism for it to move, can it ever be said to be permanent?

"You didn’t think to say hello, apparently, after bringing Master R back to the castle" - See, here it is, pertaining to my first comment on page 1. I think you need to explain how S and R parted after S's rescue of him. Just a short sentence even, on the first page, to join the chapter together.

Really not much, some grammar quibbles and minor suggestions in the LBLs, but this is a strong chapter, imo. The appearance and presence of M, to me, gives the story real impetus and momentum, and takes us down the road of their relationship, of course, with is the best bit :D 

Nice work!

<R>

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Posted (edited)

On 10/04/2018 at 4:11 AM, kais said:

Haha! Look at me, being all on top of this for once! (Really, it's just to keep me from obsessively stalking the AW forum for AR updates).

I would put good money on you having been sifted out for follow-up of some sort. I bet in the 1,300 submission they got there will not be another story like yours. The rejections have been very consistently in order. Unless it fell down the back of the AR sofa, of course. I wish we knew about Mothman's submission, because more data always helps!!

Edited by Robinski
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