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  2. Actually it’s like looking in a mirror. You see what you see and no one else can see it. If he uses his creepy signature to find you all he sees is himself. So you’re safe!
  3. Stuff that's already been covered enough: Jargon. Unclear motivations. General confusion over what's actually happening. Disclaimer: I've never really read cyberpunk, and I don't really know what your typical cyberpunk reader expects from the first 3,000 words of a shorter story. For all I know, this exactly what they like to see. However, the story (so far) does not resonate with me. Part of that is because of the aforementioned issues (being bombarded with terminology, etc.) but I think most of that could remain relatively unchanged if there is any sort of emotional connection to the character, the world or to what's going on. Two entertainment companies butting heads is in and of itself pretty generic, but the real problem is that I have no idea who I'm supposed to be rooting for. Is Y a good guy? A bad guy? I have no idea. I can't even tell if he thinks his company is better or if it's just a job. Would he work with the same aplomb if he was employed by the other guys? Does he do what he does for anything more than money? Is there any moral conviction on his part? I should know the answers to these questions. At the very least I should know what Y thinks the answers to these questions are (preferably both when the two are at odds). I don't relate to anything that's happening. I'm sure a lot of cyberpunk readers work or play in fields that help them relate to the technological side of the stories, but as an average Joe who does not work with tech, I'd like to relate to something. It can be family. Motivations. Hell, even if you described the brain dead consumers in such a way that I'd have take a look at myself and question my life choices. Love. Hate. Romance. That overbearing feeling of mortality that constantly hangs over all our heads no matter how hard we try to push it away. Something to help me grab traction so I can feel that I'm inside the story. As it is, the finger guns stand out as the most relatable thing for me. I had trouble with the fight scene as well. Primarily with the countdown. Eight+ minutes is a long time and if you look at it blow by blow, very little actually happens in that time. Not only that but there is implied down time where nothing is actually happening. So, in my mind anyway, this fight scene is basically happening in slow motion. The writing makes it more exciting, but thinking back now all I have are more questions. Why did D come out alone? Ratings? Why doesn't he use tech like a grappling hook or something? Is he purposely drawing it out? And why does he just let Y escape? Because of the VR thing later? For that matter why isn't Y tethered to these panels in some way? Detection? Even if the reasons I named are true, it doesn't quite land for me. You're obviously a skilled writer. There were a few sentences I had to read a couple times because they were worded awkwardly but outside that and the jargon I felt the prose were quality. The world building, while heavy, shows me that you've put a lot of thought into this and that you had a really good time writing it. As for the 1,000 words I think the countdown segment is your best bet because you could easily make it feel somewhat self contained and show of that you can handle beginning/middle/end.
  4. E's gender identity isn't about stereotypes, but stereotypes play into how they express their identity. If they lived in a world where no stereotypes existed, they would wear whatever clothing they felt like without thinking about what message it would send, and they would still be non-binary. But stereotypes are everywhere in the world. So E, like many (but not all) non-binary people uses those stereotypes to craft an outward appearance that matches their internal identity. Wearing tight clothing what would make them look female would make them feel dysphoric because they know those clothing will lead people to believe they are a girl when in their head, they are not a girl. However, E is 12 and may not be fully aware of or able to articulate exactly what they are doing. This is a concept I struggle to accurately put into words as a non-binary adult, so translating it to kid is a challenge. I'll take another look at this scene during the revision process because it sounds like it might not be sending the message I thought it was. Being non-binary doesn't necessarily have to add something to a person's life experience. It is their life experience. It's not a choice. People don't choose to be non-binary. They are non-binary. I'll try to work this into the narrative somehow. As far as pronoun choice goes, that varies from person to person. Some people will continue using the pronoun that was attached to their assigned gender while others do not. Some even use multiple pronouns. E sees "she" as a pronoun for girls. E is not a girl. E feels more comfortable with they. One of the challenges with this book is going to be finding a balance between explaining enough for cis people but not letting that explanation take over the narrative. In my heart, I am writing it for non-binary kids, but I also want any kid who picks it up off the shelf to be able to enjoy it. I'd like cis kids who read to maybe learn a thing or two about what being non-binary is while enjoying a story about saving moms from haunted mannequins. And to be completely honest, this book would be a lot easier to sell if I just made the mc a cis girl...but I so bad want to write and read stories with characters who share my identity.
  5. Ooooh that sounds very interesting! I'll have to look into it.
  6. Oh, I saw that he was making a new book where he gives insanely overcomplicated solutions to simple problems! It looks great, but I’ve forgotten what it’s called.
  7. Ah I see. I'll probably just stick to What If.
  8. plot

    Ember burst out of the closet. She had to tell Heather that Star was okay. As she was running, a piece of her pinky fell off, but she didn't notice and it grew back very quickly anyway. She found Heather's mental signature and followed it until she came to a door which she opened with a gauntleted hand. "Heather!" she said excitedly. "Star's signature came back! She is all right!" Tamika flinched and turned toward the tall, skinny woman, Ember's intrusion having caught her off guard.
  9. Cassie bit her lip, then stopped because it made it hard to speak. "Let us out." Better just say it. "Um, things...happened in the station while we were getting interrogated." She glanced behind her, still walking, to look at the others. "Like, er, Leona setting stuff on fire. And Flid explaining about magic. I don't know if the police believed us, but -" She cut off awkwardly before finally saying, "But yeah, either way it's not good. I'm so sorry. I..." I what? I tried to stop them? I didn't. I just stammered at the police and then when the others gave up I did absolutely nothing one way or the other. She held her breath, waiting. @Dr. Dapper
  10. ... a piece of Ember's pinky...
  11. Yeah, but a bit more inappropriate. I personally like What If better
  12. And all the things related to it. These included the Goblet of Fire,...
  13. I think those're also whole sentences though? Ene proceeds to roleplay her life away as opposed to *proceeds to roleplay life away* Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah that's way different.
  14. So basically if I were to assume that xkcd, which I have not heard of before this conversation, is the same as What If, which is the most hilariously entertaining piece of nonfiction literature in my possession, that would mean it's essentially humor on steroids multiplied by 12.
  15. Fire rained down from the heavens.
  16. Yeah, it depends on the context. On stage directions, for example, italics indicate action. Oh! By emphasis I mean anything that sets text apart from its surroundings. Yes, I see where the misunderstanding was now.
  17. I agree with both of those, but would also add that action is most easily emphasized by asterisks as opposed to italics or bolding. While the latter two can technically work, it's very tenuous imo. Besides that, the concepts of emphasis and saying an action (an example being *wins*) are very different, and that's what I was debating. Yeah, I think we were misunderstanding each other A webcomic, yeah. Very STEM, math, programming-oriented. And for some reason there are a lot of dirty jokes.
  18. And they're written by Randall Munroe, as in the same guy who wrote What If?
  19. Yep, it’s comics.
  20. Woah woah woah woah. Woah. Let me get this straight. Xkcd is a type of comic correct? (please correct me if I'm wrong).
  21. The law didn’t respond, so he became the meh and kinda bad and also sad as well as unhappy and mad Butter Cream.
  22. Yay for compasses! At least I think that’s what you’d be using! Yayyyy!
  23. Sadly, Fate had doomed it to bear the name Butter Cream at least until it became the great and terrible Butter Cream, as per Lunamor's post.
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