Lord Juugatsu

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About Lord Juugatsu

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  1. I run a couple of facebook pages and I'm in a few different groups. The likes don't show 'who' unless you have them on your friend's list.
  2. I also liked the facebook page. My presence here is going to off and on for the next two to three months, unfortunately.
  3. Alright. Jumping right in. Per the follow up of my previous comment, I do in indeed see how Hbelu decided to address the issue with the nobles' return and that's not a bad alternative at all. With the advent of potential new Fruits, the decision to reunite his people with the assumption that new powers will come with their findings is reasonable, except I think I recall in a previous chapter, there was the notion/legend that utilizing these seeds would override the current Fruits. My memory may be a bit off, but it just seems like a rather reckless action for effectively preparing for a large war. He seems motivated by the potential loss of existing Fruits under the idea that the new Fruits would even be useable or provide powers. If the book was in front of me, finished, that's something that would definitely have me flipping back to double check what I previously read. I could be wrong right now, however, I'm recalling from memory. Regarding the above comment by rdpulfer, I haven't had any particular issues with 'magical hair colors', but I do feel like, if you want, then you can add a bit of culture and potential slang into it. Unless I'm wrong, any color other than blonde is magical, right? So what if, for example, blonde hair was just considered colorless hair, and magical hair colors were just colored hair as a general catch all. At least, my recommendation is, if you want to go the route, just sit down and think about what kind of derogatory terms or slang might arise from the culture and perspectives, since hair color is such a prominent aspect of society, I feel like that's definitely something where there'd be some innate hostility and uniqueness to terminology that would have to pop up. The scene felt like Hbelu was definitely taking the lead, and it only make sense, so I don't fault it, but I would say that's why Kisare probably felt inactive and as an observer. I think it's kind of necessary, unless you want the information presented in another way/scene. If she was constantly having outbursts, it would honestly probably irritate me more, compared to goal of making her feel less like an observer. On that end, I do feel like this part wasn't very engaging and do want to know more about Kisare and Belili's reactions, but I feel like it'd have to be more intertwined in the narrative, rather than by throwing out more lines. Alternatively, maybe capping a bit of the meeting and having a follow up between Kisare and Belili (trying not to overstep my bounds on the critique here). Then again, maybe you can balance it out, in the end it's your story, so do what this feedback as you will, of course. This is more commentary on the comments rather than commentary on the piece, so I digress. My lunch break is over, so this is about all I have time for (at the moment), but the piece was only ~1800, which for me isn't a whole lot, and I'm not a big fan of repeating notes as previously stated, but later I'll check back on some of my previous comments regarding the tone or narrative for a bit of relative feedback. I know a lot of the things I noted from earlier chapters have improved, which is why my feedback lately has been a bit more oriented towards story content over the technical writing.
  4. This may either be cut into two parts or be a bit rushed. My Tuesdays through Thursdays are always busy, and it's Valentine's weekend, so there's that. Apologies in advance, but as it's been a week, I don't want to be too far behind on the critique. Something that just randomly kind of popped into my head. The people are carrying around Fruits in pouches/satchels/etc. How likely is it that the Fruits could get damaged when things get hectic? I imagine it'd be alright walking around, with minimal strain, but moving around, dodging attacks, attacking, running around, etc. I feel could possibly damage/waste some of the Fruit's juices. I don't know for certain if it would or would not, but it crossed my mind. The power of the Fruits comes from the juices,so when Hbelu uses the orange to make himself grow larger, and then 'roars' away the attackers, how does that exactly work with the juice? Assuming the magic ends when the juice is depleted/gone? Or is it just a situation where some juice grants like X minutes/seconds? The impression I've gotten so far, at least, is that when the juice is gone, the magic is gone. Also, I feel like he's figuratively sweeping them away with a roar, intimidation, rather than literal, but it's a bit vague. The battle concluded rather kid-friendly, in the sense that it didn't really sound like anyone was hurt or injured and they just sent back Aricaba-Ata and his people. It just feels rather off to me, considering how the rest of the story has been to this point. Also, from the Asha-Urmana perspective, who have already had to deal with the Nobles/Newcomers attacking them, and kind of invading like England to America back in the day, just kind of letting them walk away seems like it introduces a big risk, since Aricaba-Ata knows where they are, knows roughly how many people are present, and can possibly call in a large number forces. Considering his original attitude with Belili Kisare, and trying to lose the trail of the hunting dogs to prevent Aricaba-Ata from finding/following them, this just doesn't seem like the judgment call I'd see him making. The 'visuals' of the fight at this point felt a little rough around the edges, but at the same time I had no issues following it and there were some interesting things done, particularly with the ghost and mists, the intimidation factors employed, and so forth. I noted and actually enjoyed Kisare's hesitation in this scene, as she's been a bit wishy-washy and undecided as to a lot of things since they fled, mostly with trust and being out of her comfort zone, and I can see how she would be somewhat enticed to return to what she knew, even if it wasn't a bueno situation. The submission read really quickly, I felt, for being 2,000 words. That typically implies, for me, that it went along fluidly and quickly, which is good. It might be out of the scope of relevancy, but I am somewhat curious, personally, as to why, what, and how they researched the seeds, given that it's an ancient legend of sorts. I feel like I may have to suspend my curiosity in that regard however, but maybe I'll be surprised.
  5. At the very beginning you start with "Three days later, Aricaba-Ata found them.", which feels like a good hook for a beginning of a chapter. However, it feels kind of odd being present in what would normally be the middle of one though, particularly since you then proceed to summarize the next three days. Quick disclaimer though, it might feel less odd if it was one continuous chapter without a week break in the middle creating that sensation of a pause where there typically wouldn't be one. All in all, it didn't really feel like like 2400 words because it read really quickly (which is good) probably due to the good tension. The stand-off prior to the action read well for me, and I liked the discussion/argument between the two, even if Aricaba-Ata came off a bit as a bit villain. It felt appropriate, because I could see him being that frustrated and quick to get angry considering he was attacked by spirits, his slaves broke one of the bigger taboos (stealing Fruit), and he lost three slaves. I don't know how intelligent he was intended to be, but when Hbelu made the comment that he doesn't track the use of his fruit well, I was thinking 'He doesn't track a lot of things well". I don't know the full length of the story, but I haven't gotten the feeling he's the main antagonist, so much as an initial one until something else replaces him. I feel like there was some repetition that a pass over might resolve, like, we're informed Ilzi is good with magic at least once in the narrative and once by Aricaba, if my memory serves, and it did feel a little out of place coming from Aricaba's mouth (stilted or stock dialogue). The magic usage was a little hard to picture well for me. Even as I'm kind of skimming back over it, part of me wonders entirely what's going on. It seems like there's a mass of water effectively creating an icy wall(?) that keeps back most of the Asha-Urmana, but everyone's placement leaves a really loose image of how things are happening for me. Aricaba seems to create a flamethrower or fireball or something, but then we have a lot of paragraph before a wall of plants arises and blocks the attack? Or was he standing there holding it? Going back over, it sounds like he was holding flames, but the initial introduction to the line kind of sounds like he's attacking with it immediately. And last point of confusion I had here was that, I thought the Asha-Urmana were separated from Hbelu, Kisare, and Belili (at least the water/ice magic sounded large and as though it blocked their vision of the rest of them), so I don't entirely follow how the wall of plants is working to block both attacks. And if the water/ice wasn't a wall of some sort, then it feels odd that Belili thought they just all ran away immediately, rather than backing off a bit. On the other side of that though, this marks the first magical fight we've seen (as in two opposing sides using magic), and I realized that nobody seems like they really have a weapon beyond the Fruits. It sounds like magic outclasses typical weaponry in terms of power, but it also sounds like there's a delay between biting into a Fruit and accessing the magic, where a simple bow or sword to the gut (if distance permitted) would actually be a better tactic just due to the quickness. It's not a knock to the scene, just a neutral observation. I'm definitely curious to see how larger battles will be handled, if the story continues to grow in scope as it seems like it might and how Belili and Kisare's seeds will end up affect the other Fruits, though that feels like a sort of 'key item' for the climax at this point. The more I'm thinking about it, as well, the more I'm wondering what percentage of magic-users to 100% blondes exist. It kind of feels like they're a pretty vast minority, considering not all the blonde slaves are necessarily fully blonde. I was just about to wrap up this post, but I remembered there was one sentence that felt like two sentences unintentionally merged, or like something was missing. "The Asha-Urmana quickly found Belili's skill in pruning, as it was time to clear the final deadwood before spring fully took hold." The first time I read it first half sounds like it would've ended with "skill in pruning useful", and I'm guessing the deadwood isn't just wood laying around so much as the branches, twigs, and such that are cut off to promote growth. Another sort of divergence was also introduced in the sisters, with Belili being good with nature, and Kisare being good with mechanics, it introduces another duality between them of nature versus science. It feels like it's being subtly hinted at that they're going to have a falling out somewhere further down the road, but that could just be because I'm thinking of Mishra and Urza from the Magic:The Gathering story continuum (They were both artificers, but one viewed their inventions as replicas of life where the other viewed them as fully lifeless so they ended up going different paths in life). That's about it for now. I'm kind of surprised I'm the first response. I guess everyone's had a busy week.
  6. If you mean in my comment, it just sounds like you're providing feedback to Mandamon in another writing group. And I'm just assuming it involved solid information, considering it's from the impressive individual who keeps up with every release here.
  7. Between Robinski and Stormweasel, I feel they'll have you covered on the micro word-smithing. I only noted two parts that seemed far enough off to bring into this post. "He didn't want the seeds, after all. Or not just the seeds." I had to read that two or three times and then it wasn't until a bit later I understood Belili's implications. If I'm the only one was a bit slow on this, then I'd advise disregarding this comment, but I feel like being a bit more straightforward, or just possibly adjusting the wording, might help that particular line, and the line stormweasel commented on later, since it seems like Hbelu is being hinted at possibly having some attraction towards Kisare. "Sneaky of him. They would become dependent on the troop." I haven't felt that Belili was slow or naive, per say, but this felt a lot more like a Kisare line since Belili has been rather reasonable in acknowledging how the Asha-Urmana have been helping them so far, and I feel like Belili would hold a higher opinion of them, even if her sister doesn't. There were a few other areas, where I feel like some general word-smithing would clean up Chapter 6, part 1 a bit, but that's already been covered for the most apart by the other kind folks here. Overall, I'm wondering what, if any romance involvement will spring up, since it seems implied that Hbelu may be interested in/attracted to Kisare, and just because Belili refers to him as the prince, I'm not entirely sure if it's a 'Prince Charming' or like 'Prince' royalty due to his apparent position. I don't believe I've heard much in the way of a monarchy for the Nobles/Newcomers. Chieftain, king, or some other title (maybe 'lord', I don't know *twiddles thumbs*) would work in that role. Not sure if it's intentional, but it kind of seems like a potential love triangle that's likely going to wedge more distance between the sisters (more so than the growing difference in their opinions). I could very well be entirely wrong. It's too early to say for certain. I don't recall if they mentioned it anywhere to Hbelu before, but their talent for pruning and tending to Fruit trees and crops in general is going to come in handy again. This is more of errant thinking, but either tending to crops is super common (which with Fruits and fruits being things, and a poor harvest, I could see that justification) or it was a lucky coincidence. I say that because there a number of jobs that don't particularly require and difficult skill sets, and the sisters just so happen to end up doing something they're definitely good at. Basically, I either see this ending up a situation where Hbelu has extra information or the sisters are going to surprise him and the others with their skills and it was just a fluke that's going to work in everyone's favor. Not positive or negative, just thoughts that popped up. Also, I've said it before, and it's still true, I love the way you've captured the relationship between the sisters, despite Kisare being the 'leader' there's still a good balance of Belili feeling like an older sister in a way that doesn't conflict with Kisare being the leader. I wouldn't say it's going into a negative direction yet, as you're keeping Aricaba in our minds, but aside from the three months thing, it feels like some kind of conflict will have to pop up, I'd guess in chapter 7, since chapter 6 is kind of feeling like a breather chapter. (Also is it Aricaba-Ata, or just Aricaba, I feel like I've seen both, but without going back and checking, I'm guessing it's another 'voice' aspect between the two sisters and "-Ata" is a title of some sort?) (And I actually remembered Aricaba and the spelling from the top of my head this time.) That's all that's really crossing my mind for now. Good work as usual overall.
  8. Appreciate the feedback. I'll be heading to work shortly, so I'll try to be brief. In response to both of you simultaneously: The general trend I've seen from feedback has been rather negative about the first half, that it was slow and uneventful. I could have something happen, but I feel like that would be superfluous padding to distract from the real problem, so I'll pass. What I'll likely be doing is cutting out the trip (and transferring absolutely relevant details as Gin's thoughts while eating breakfast or something in a much more brief summary), cutting to Alex's part, then close with Gin's return to his apartment instead. Cutting the trip also resolves Robinsiki's micro-scale comments (since those parts aren't present anymore), and gets the story through Act 1 a little quicker (something I've been thinking about, but none of my alpha-readers have made any real comment on except Mandamon, kind of indirectly). More towards Robinski on the second half. I was a bit surprised actually, by your thoughts on the Alex's part. I can definitely see where you're coming from, but I've gotten mostly positive feedback on Alex's section. If I had to guess, it's probably more from the tension presented in people not as familiar with CSI/cop shows (I know the only one I've watched any significant portion of is Criminal Minds), and the other drawing point was probably more to do with the character interactions between Alex and Justin. So I do appreciate the food for thought, genuinely, but that part is probably going to mostly remain as is. Keep is straight though. All opinions help. Regarding Robinsiki's comment on stating the obvious, It also seems to be a balancing act with trusting reader memory or laymen knowledge. I may have to wait until beta readers get a hold of the story to really evaluate, since I've seen comments swinging both ways where, at least once on the same paragraph, one person has trouble following it because I didn't spell it out enough and another thought I elaborated too much. Fun stuff. But, noted for now. Regarding Mandamon's comments, I'm big on character dimensions/depth, and trying to really get into a character's thoughts, motives, personality, and so forth, and rather than trying to adjust them for the plot, I'd prefer to have the plot adjust for what the characters would realistically do with the information they have and their personalities. However, hold onto that thought regarding character story vs plot story, and occasionally let me know your thoughts on it as the chapters progress. As stated, I haven't had that kind of comment from any other alpha readers, while I've been sitting here writing wondering if Act 1 is too long. When I do another pass over, I can definitely try cut back on the repetition, I'll keep that in mind. Both of you sort of touched upon the character interactions and elements being the stronger part of the story so far. I've gotten similar comments by some others, more so once the remaining 'secondary' main characters are introduced. Without trying to corrupt my alpha-readers with knowledge, or a path for the story, I do want to say that each character for the most part has their own interest/agenda with varying degrees of overlap that result in interactions. And it's something I'm keeping at the front of my brain as I write.
  9. As I mentioned on another post, I have this piece going through another writing group before it hits here, and they're really digging into it, so the gap between this chapter and the next one hopefully won't be 2 months. All feedback is welcome. I have my own thoughts on this chapter, as well as thoughts from three others in the other group, so let's see how your guys' thoughts fall on this chapter. Chapter 1 summary: Ashland city is moderately abuzz about a certain ‘flagpole corpse incident’. Gin Kurogawa, a business consultant, was walking home after finishing a meeting at his client’s workplace. He gets jumped by the Boltz, the gang whose member was carved up and displayed on the flagpole. After wiping them all out single handedly in an inhuman display of martial arts and strength, he stops by a criminal doctor, Selena Shenyuan to get patched up from the self-inflicted damage. An exorcist, Alexander Lord, sees the aftermath and strongly suspects that Gin is possessed by a devil much stronger than the normal possessions his organization sees. Thanks in advance.
  10. I have my second chapter almost ready (just need to clean up from my other writing group's initial read through), so I'd like to submit this Monday.
  11. I finally got the chance to go through chapter 5. There were a few nit-picky comments I'd be more likely to make if this was in Google docs or something similar (In another writing group, we use it for micro-scale, then use the main group page for macro comments overall). Some of the micro comments I would've made seem to have been made already by others, regarding awkward phrases here or there. As far as I generally understand, awkward phrasing is my main hurtle in writing, so recently I've started doing the whole 'read it aloud' thing, and in doing so, I found myself stumbling over a small, but relevant, amount of my sentences that I previously had no issue reading internally. I don't know if you do that, or would be interested in doing that, but it might catch some of the things people mentioned above. Something minor that just stood out a bit for me, was during their arrival to the Hbelu's village, it said several hours had passed since dawn's break. I can imagine Hbelu traveled slower with two injured companions and a deer over his shoulder, but how early did that guy leave to get to the spot where he first met Kisare and Belili? Minor point, but it stood out to me, and either the days are long, he travels insanely quickly through the woods unhindered, or he took a very roundabout path back to his village (which would make sense). However, as Kisare stated, without markers of some form being able to navigate a roundabout path in woods is either quite the statement about Hbelu's familiarity with the woods or that an unmentioned something was aiding him. I didn't feel like I had a solid image of the building they slept in. The image in my head was effectively a large open area, without a whole lot present in it. Stormweasel also mentions the detail aspect, but while I'm commenting that I had some trouble imagining it, I did note a few areas were kind of a jarring block of description all of a sudden. So I feel the descriptions could possibly be blended a bit smoother. Not particularly good or bad, so much as just neutral observations. I can't tell if there's necessarily...unreliable narrator? I definitely get the feel of being behind Kisare's viewpoint in this chapter (which is good). I say uncertain unreliable narrator because we get a description of what seems like glasses, if not a special pair of magnifying glass, but I got the impression that the Aricaba plantation (How easy do you find it tracking all of the names?) would have at least has some semblance of carpentry, particularly since they had metalworking for chains, weapons, and what not. So the idea of shaped wood, makes me think of like, twigs and branches grown into a specific shape, rather than something crafted and cut. However I was also wondering it was possible that it was something all together different that Kisare was just too unfamiliar with, but I, as a modern day reader, would understand and just didn't make whatever connection. Additional, story (rather than writing) thoughts that arose. We're hearing the side of Asha-Urmana. What we readers previously viewed as just normal people are now being classified as newcomers. This sort of ties into one of the short paragraph above where I mentioned you did a good job of getting me interested in the Asha-Urmana people, but I wonder if later in the story we might get a different perspective of normal/newcomer society, maybe one to try and justify what they did in the past, and probably with an evil image of the Asha-Urmana people. We're talking thousands of years, and the mention of a massacre, despite trying to help, makes me a bit suspicious that cultural clashing occurred and I could definitely see the idea of the 'newcomers' seeing a form necromancy and thinking it's evil. That, or maybe Asha-Urmana's history isn't as true to the story as we might currently think. To sort of route that into a positive note, all in all I like the reveal of the world-building (possible plot elements/foreshadowing). In general, since the beginning of the story (back in chapter 1), I feel like the flow and release of information has been very well handled. The PoV control is definitely starting to feel more natural as well, though I can't really tell if it's the amount of exposure and noticing of the little tricks (Kisare's PoV uses Bel, and Belili's PoV uses Kisa) or if you just found the groove for it, but I'm not finding myself stumbling on who is doing what. I have mixed feelings about the ending. The introduction of 'new seeds' feels kind of out of nowhere for me and a little melodramatic. Like I was hearing 'dun-dun-DUNNNNNNNNN' in my head. It just felt a little cliche or dry in terms of delivery, for me. The implications of where the story will lead, and the scale at which the story sounds like it will head was good however. I get the sense that Kisare and Belili are going to be learning and experiencing a lot of things from a lot of viewpoints, but that's partially due to a suspicion that the Asha-Urmana aren't going to be entirely good people and that the newcomers aren't going to entirely be bad people as the current setup is sort of lending to. Cheers to the next submission.
  12. I'm a little to the party it seems. I'd echo some of the other comments provided, regarding the feedback. Admittedly, I've been a bit tired today, so I'm not sure if it's me or the 150 word limit at fault, but I found myself having to sort of slow down, and interpret a lot of the lines. Just as an example: "Ten years gone, sixty-four remaining..." for the first two times I read it, I kept thinking 'sixty-four' people remained, probably because visually, the sentence was already...well...I could see the rest of the sentence, so I was seeing 'corpse' from later in the sentence and...reading the sentence as a whole, where I had to /not/ do that in order to really get the proper ideas you trying to convey, which left me feeling kind of wary if my 'correct' interpretation was actually correct. You could definitely have some fun expanding on this, and it really feels like it wants to be expanded upon. In the least, the 150 word limitation can be definitely be felt. That is to say,, with the characterization, potential technology present, introduction of the problem, clues as to some cultural and societal aspects, and the (necessary, but) brief solution, the amount of what you were cramming into the 150 words makes certain elements, like the characterization feels attempted but not necessarily nailed (not intending to bash it, if that's how it came out I apologize). Enjoyable read in the end though, and due to its short length, spending the bit of extra time reading it wasn't an issue at all, so it's not really like the above points 'broke' it by any means. I joined around your last submissions of Waifs and Strays, but I don't think I got around to it because you were sharing chapters 9 and 10, and jumping midway into a story, I feel, isn't hyper-conducive for reliable feedback (Like jumping into Mandamon's and not knowing hair colors and Fruits are a thing is definitely might confuse someone).
  13. Not all of the ideas generated below are ones I necessarily had after the release of the podcast prompt, but they fulfilled the criteria. And just keeping sort of very brief descriptions of what it might entail, I'll just go through them. -From an interview or conversation you've had -- Specifics withheld, because I eventually want to work a series of novellas with this idea, but basically a workplace comedy with light fantasy elements as the protagonist does his best to avoid legit work in a workplace full nonsensical locations, rumors, fables, etc.. -From research you've done (reading science news, military history, etc) --Permit Required Confined Spaces, except instead of hazardous, tight locations, the 'space' is another dimension mankind has discovered. A Sci-fi adventure that follows a company whose main purpose is to go on these dimensional dives on behalf of clients for assorted reasons as the new dimension is being explored/studied. -From observation (go for a walk!) -- 'Love bugs' are actually a sentient species trying to kill oppressive humans, however due to size differences and their inability to actively harm humans, they've typically resorted to strategies such as mass suicide on car windshields in an attempt to run them off the road. One love bug is convinced that it can take over a human's body if they get into the human's brain. -From a piece of media (watch a movie) -- Not necessarily from anything recent, but I've read/watched a few things and I am genuinely interested in the whole, Battle Royale/Hunger Games etc. concept of a bunch of people being forced into an isolated area and forced to fight one another, but I haven't really felt any 'a-ha!' sparks of something in particular to introduce anything new on it. I'm mostly interested in the psychological elements associated with it and how the authors/directors/etc. attempt (if at all) to justify the assorted different reactions due to personality types, events in their life, and what not. -From a piece of music (with or without lyrics) --Mankind hasn't created true artificial intelligence, but it has developed 'learning programs' which does a good job of ''pretending' it's AI. The story would follow the reminiscing of an old man looking back on the events in his life that helped him become one of the people who effectively launched the 'psuedo-AI' generation and his thoughts on the culture that developed as robots started getting treated more and more as people. I have yet to read ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’, I’m sure it’d probably touch on similar themes and subjects, but it wouldn’t be apocalyptic as at least one initial difference. Writing Prompt 10.2: Using last week's five story ideas (or five new ones): -Take two of them and combine them into one story. --Using the five above…The easiest one would be combined Permit Required Confined Spaces and love bugs, with the love bugs being more prevalent and sentient in the other dimension. The invasion of the humans would prompt an inter-dimensional war. -Take one and change the genre underneath it. --I think they released a Starving Games or something as a parody of Hunger Games, which would take the drama, psychological aspect of it and I’m assuming turns it into a comedy, so I don't think I can use that. However, I don’t know if there’s a traditional fantasy setup with a Battle Royale concept however… -Take one and change the ages and genders of everybody you had in mind for it --That leaves with me the workplace comedy and reminiscing old man, and I feel like either could have a different age and gender, but I’d probably be more interested in the concept of a young woman at the forefront of development over the pseudo-AI generation, because I can definitely imagine the situations in line with more of a spy-esque novel. -Take the last one and have a character make the opposite choice. --And that means the last one is the workplace comedy, where the protagonist would be doing legitimate work (instead of choosing to try and go the 'easy' route), and the story could still work that way, but rather than say, seeking out the rumored notepad holding information on a project not unlike the protagonist’s new assignment, it’d be more in line with your workplace sitcom kind of deal, I feel. I know I already have a small queue of novels I want to try writing to stretch my wings, so to speak, into different genres, but first I need to finish up at least a draft of my current piece, and I haven't actively gotten new material down on it in the past two~three weeks. I also need to get with my preliminary alpha-readers so I can start getting more chapters up here outside of just that first one. I do like the first two writing exercises of the new season, however, and I'm very interested in seeing how the writing prompts/exercises evolve throughout the year.
  14. Alright, Robinski. I just went through your feedback. The grammar points were all pretty much a direct fix. Most of the points I ended up addressing were cleaned up a bit by trimming content. (E.G. Pretty much every instance where 'Boltz member' was used worked without 'Boltz member' even being there, I just removed 'good' from 'good job' in reference to Selena's parents having employment issues). Going back through the chapter there were also a few points I just took out. In terms of discovery/pantsing vs outline/planning, I've played around with both extremes, and this story is more along the lines of checkpoints for key events, and discovery writing in between. So there were some things that weren't entirely necessary this early on, and cutting out those bits also helped a bit with the info-dumping as mentioned by Mandamon as well. Where there's infodump, I tried to keep it brief, and now it's briefer. I try to uphold the silent observer stance for feedback, so my responses to feedback are usually limited to changes I make, rather than providing additional information, since the story won't have me present to hold its hand. I welcome all feedback, and if it's 'wrong', then it's because I as the writer didn't make something clear enough, or the reader misread. Having multiple alpha-readers helps determine which it is. I will say though, for better or worse, I've gotten mixed opinions on Selena and Gin based on chapter 1. I have one person who kind of liked both, but for everyone else, if they liked Gin, then they were iffy about Selena, or if they liked Selena, they were iffy about Gin. And it's not much of a spoiler, but over the next few chapters additional POV characters get introduced, as one of my personal objectives for this story is exercising multiple viewpoints and character voices.
  15. I'm pretty late this week at getting around to actually responding to the pieces I've read, unfortunately. I actually didn't have a problem with Kisare's attitude. I'll agree, the escape didn't feel super tense, but I didn't personally have a big issue with that because hours of wandering through wilderness: it's not very tense, and I adrenaline does eventually wear off once the immediate threat is no longer immediate, which they seemed to have had some distance between them and their pursuers, given that they (as I read it) a pretty decent head start. Actually...I did have one issue with Kisare, and that was her wavering sort of...how to describe it... Sometimes she seemed like she wanted his help, and was expecting it. Other times she didn't. I can accept some snarky lines from her, but maybe the inconsistency for me is coming across from the fact she seemed reluctant to rely on him in the beginning, then at a later point acts antagonistic towards him for actually helping, and then kind of snobbish. Like, I could see Kisare saying some of those lines, but it felt like she was strongly flip-flopping how she felt about his help, rather than more subtle wavering. Our purple haired friend at first raised a few alarms as possibly being a 'noble savage' archetype. Opposite of stormweasel's impression, I thought the 'proper' lines actually felt a bit odd since I got the impression that he was pretty much adapting as necessary and was a more matter-of-fact type, kind of pragmatic person. Also, I still don't entirely understand what the deal with the flower was. It felt exclusively like its purposes was to show off some of his magic, so it just kind of felt out of place. Maybe the flower has a purpose or he has some druid-esque dogma he follows, but considering we see some of his magic later, I don't know if that was necessary, since I don't know what that was entirely about. But for positive things, I definitely am still enjoying the story as a whole. I also don't know if it was really pointed out before, but different Fruits having different effects for each hair color instantly made my mind go into chart form, and as the power seems to be derived from the juices, it had me thinking about different concepts, such as fruit juice, mixed juices, and so forth. I feel like the information regarding the magic system is coming out at a good pace, since it feels like the pieces are in place, but it's still kind of fluid enough at this point to be surprising.