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About kais

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  1. I enjoyed both (I'd not read the short story). Neither were as good as the trilogy for sure. And I agree completely about the Orson Scott Card Series. Didn't like it nearly as much as Ender's Game
  2. @Snakenaps Did you want picture/early reader books too, like Jane and the Dragon by Martin Baynton and such?
  3. HARD agree. It is hands down the best in YA fantasy. In my top three of overall fantasy series ever. @aeromancer you know Nix has done a few more, right? Goldenhand and one other. Not quite as amazing but still excellent.
  4. Noooooo to The Help! It’s white savior crap. Not a good example at all and there are SO MANY better books out there, especially by Black authors, that tackle the same subject matter without it being all ‘oh the poor Black people who need white people to stick up for them’ and 'I need to see Black people being denigrated in order to feel sympathy’
  5. MG Dealing with Dragons series by Patricia C. Wrede (four books) Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede Huntress by Malinda Lo (prequel to Ash, by the same author) Secret of the Princess by Milk Morinaga (we could go down the manga hole here...) Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor Jackaroo by Cynthia Voight Homecoming series by Cynthia Voight I'd need time to dig more, these are what are on the front of my kiddo's bookshelf. YA (again) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow Rule by Ellen Goodlett The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (recent name change there though due to transition) The Abhorsen series by Garth Nix (starting with Sabriel) The Girl from Everywhere duology by Heidi Heilig For a Muse of Fire duology by Heidi Heilig I have an endless supply of YA I think... And you DO want contemporary? Like, contemporary romance? I have a bunch under contemporary YA romance for sure, with diverse casts by diverse authors. edit: I left out a critical adult book! Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse! Native ownvoices with kick butt female lead!
  6. Overall Your characters in general continue to leap off the page, and I deeply appreciate the diversity and descriptions. My biggest problems are too many POV characters, especially switches mid-chapter, over and over, which don't allow me to really connect to the plot or people, and the chapter arcs that either aren't present or don't land. It might help (might) to sort of draw the chapters after they are done. So take your start, middle, and end, and graph them to see if they arc. Is there an issue at the start, then they work towards it, then they can either resolve it or move forward? Are there upset emotions that have to get discussed and then moved past or resolved? I keep looking for how each chapter wraps up, what ties it together as a chapter, but right now it's like a series of vignette snapshots that don't appear to be related. There's really good stuff in here! I think it just needs some editing for clarity and arcs. As I go - pg 2: with fancy floors and all kinds of unnecessary amenities like hair salons and chocolate shops.<-- great detail here! - pg 3: I remain not a fan of POV changes mid-chapter. It doesn't leave enough time to get invested in anyone. With such a short time with our first MC, I wonder if the entire first part could be cut? Does it advance the plot more than 'she arrived and met with her uncle'? - pg 5: for sure, more than a little bit stupid <-- but she got the documents she was asked for quickly and on her first try - Y's POV is very telly and doesn't do much showing at all. It reads more like a long info dump and we aren't in her POV long enough to get any real sense of the characters involved. I'd suggest cutting until she can have her own chapter - pg 6: It had a high collar, and stopped at the mid-thigh but covered the entire arm -- including hands and fingers.<-- Was the chapter supposed to end here? If so, I'm unclear what the arc was for the chapter. We had two POVs and three switches, but none of them seemed to serve a purpose other than 'this is what is happening in this place in time.' Noting that, it might be best to cut all of this and put them into their own chapters so they can each have their action or emotional arc. - pg 7: fourth POV in three chapters is too many. Focus on one character for at least one whole chapter (or even a few chapters) before switching to gain reader investment, has always been what I've been told - pg 7: How have they been divorced for years but still be arguing over who gets the house? That should have been worked out in the divorce settlement before the papers were signed - pg 9: another POV. It's way too many and I'm having a hard time staying engaged because I've been introduced to too many people and settings and I don't yet have a feel for the world, or the stakes, or any of the characters aside from our first one - pg 10: while his husband shook his head. <-- YAY! - end of 11- top of 12: This is a rehash of the same event from another POV. It really slows the pacing and while it does offer some new info, I'd rather get that info contextually from just one POV and one setting. Also I'm not clear why it's a shame they fell in love. Is one pretending or something? - pg 13-14: wait, is he talking to his dad or his husband?? Oh wait I see, A is his father. But his tone just really changed there. - pg 14: Otherwise he was just a big jerk who’d refused <-- this is great! - ending: again, unsure of arc
  7. Goodreads lists for more, especially with intersecting identities Asian + queer (Ash by Malinda Lo is BEAUTIFUL, and MG/YA, with likely nothing at all objectionable) General WoC + queer Fantasy novels by women of color Speculative fiction by women of color (Octavia Butler IS A MUST) Queer women of color My own list, constantly updated, for books featuring wlw (women love women) or f/f speculative fiction, mostly all adult, broken out by genre. If I've read it there's a review so you can check for content. I have a crap ton of middle grade I can dig up too if you want? Also do you want contemporary??
  8. Overall It was well written, but I'm not sure how it advances the plot at all. We don't get any new information and mostly rehash old information. It looks like there was an attempt to do an emotional arc by confiding in the sister, but I don't feel any...real pull from that. I didn't have any tension about her family not accepting her, so this talk through didn't resonate. I'm all about emotional beats and family discussions, but I need some sort of tension pulling me through. What is the big overarching plot? Has she found any spies yet? What is the potential situation with the sister? Might she be disowned? What are the emotional stakes here? I also really want the plot to move. It's so enticing, and we had a good start to it last chapter, so I'm ready for things to take off and for us to get another inciting incident for the movement of the plot. It can be an emotional inciting incident, but I need...I need a spark in this, or some hot embers going in, to stay invested. As I go - pg 1: decorated in a high degree of clay. <-- I don't understand this. The clay is a nice clay? There is a lot of clay on the table? - pg 1: The blacksmith’s dark skin <-- we are getting a lot of dark skin descriptions and not really any on the white people. Yellow flag for white default - pg 2: They shared the same brown, slightly wavy hair, the round face, and button nose<-- red flag, no skin tone mention. White default alert - pg 4: Four pages in and nothing has happened that advances the plot at all. Are these pages necessary? - pg 9: no new information being presented through these pages. We already know what she does and how she does it
  9. Overall The emotional arc confused me. I like the connection between the two characters and it is progressing the relationship nicely. I thought Mi's emotions were too often told and not shown. The end of the chapter confused me. he wants to break if off to protect her (trope! take a drink!) and she's upset....why? She doesn't say 'I don't need protecting I'm half angel you human nitwit' or anything, just talks about how he's okay with mind reading and such. So the ending doesn't really land for me. Otherwise the chapter had good progression! As I go - every chapter starts with food and I love it - those first couple paragraphs are heavy with 'felt like XYZ body thing,' but I think we only need maybe one of them. The rest could be shown through action - pg 4: How dangerous <-- I think my question would have been more YOU'RE HALF ANGEL WHAT?? - pg 5: Since we can see into Mi's mind, I'm grumpy we get told his emotions and don't see them through his actions and words and thoughts - pg 8: His anxiety calmed down, but the anger and guilt got stronger <-- yeah all this stuff I want to see, not be told - why is she storming out?
  10. @Snakenaps I have more. So, so many more. Let me know how much more you want. These are all spec fiction, mostly SFF, but I have contemporary lists, too. I can also do an entire list just on POC if you'd like. Adult The Tiger's Daughter by K Arsenault Rivera Safety Protocols for Human Holidays by Angel Martinez The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones Starless by Jacqueline Carey The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling Compass Rose by Anna Burke Velveteen vs. The Super Patriots by Seanan McGuire Shell Game by Benny Lawrence The Solstice Pudding by Angel Martinez Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant Yule Planet by Angel Martinez An Accident of Stars by Fox Meadows The Adventures of the Incognita Countess by Cynthia Ward The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt Love Beyond Body, Space & Time edited by Hope Nicholson The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel by Jacqueline Koyanagi City of Brass (trilogy) by Shannon Chakabotry Moonshine by Jasmine Gower The Exile and the Sorcerer by Jane Fletcher The Ardulum Series by J.S. Fields (oh look, this is me. HELLOOOOO) YA Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller Every Heart a Doorway (long series, all applicable) by Seanan McGuire Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna Gunn Crier's War by Nina Varela Adaptation by Malinda Lo The Rampant by Julie C. Day Santa Oliva by Jacqueline Carey Dread Nation by Justina Ireland Princesless. Raven: The Pirate Princess by Jeremy Whitley Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller Dreadnought by April Daniels Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurts Lunav by Jenn Polish The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow Magnifique Noir by Briana Lawrence MG Not Your Sidekick (the whole series) by C.B. Lee
  11. Here's where I stall. I have lists, oh how I have lists of great books with female leads, most of which are either queer or PoC or both. But those kinds of books are inherently political, as those bodies are political. Black people can no more leave racial injustice from their books than lesbians can leave the patriarchy. The only books that get to be nonpolitical are white books, since white straight cis people are the only ones who can pretend politics don't affect them. So I can list, but they will all be strong books that tackle strong themes with strong women Unrelated - OMG that kitten is adorable!!
  12. I tend to map out the romantic arc of any book first, then build the world and the A/B plot around it. So for me, the emotional beat is critical in each chapter. I want to see the character's growth (or regression!) clearly in each chapter. In a more romance focused book this will look like a very standard meet-dislike-like-love arc, where each chapter brings the characters forward in this larger arc. In a spec fic book where romance is a B or C plot, the emotions usually have to do with the action involved. So how is the character coming to terms with events, are they showing progress, even if the plot itself isn't? Often times the A plot may not move in a chapter (like say, a walking talking chapter) but the emotional arc will, getting the characters to the mental place they need to be for the events in the next chapter to happen. Anyway, that's my process!
  13. My method is the same as @Mandamon’s and @Robinski’s. Though I’ve been curious about other software for a while now.
  14. Lockpicking - have changed this so that M does in fact know how to pick a lock Killing/politics wrap up prior to sex scene - I've added a few lines to the start of chapter 14 (right after M wakes up) to discuss how they were only allowed to leave because N's mother threatened war, but they have to be back in three more days for a tribunal to try M for murder. N is upset about this and wants answers before she has to hear them in court. I think this should smooth the transition, as the chapter right after this is the queen basically resetting the B plot. I've also completely rewritten the following chapter and the one after to better deal with these tribunal changes, which actually changed a section of the plot. This really helped me with the problems I was having with this section so THANK YOU. Ohhhh just you wait Three orgasms, in fact. Which several people missed but I'm not sure how to clarify without using the word itself. Will think on this Hoorah! I'm glad it landed well, especially since I think not many on this forum are into f/f sex. I just finished a rewrite of these chapters and the next two, so that these better tie together OMG that would be a HILARIOUS plot twist This was poorly written. I've added a line to make it clear she was still saving a bunch of people too, she just was having a hard time getting the dose right This is a mystery at this stage but will come out in the end Yup! This is correct! You get nuts and bolts next chapter, when they meet with the queen Thank you all SO MUCH for putting up with the mass submission. This goes off to my agent at the end of the week!
  15. Wine - I've removed the first reference to the wine, so now it's just being offered as they leave and so M takes it just to get out of there. I think this will make it still obvious, but less EEEVIL obvious genders - I've gone back through earlier places and done a bit more defining LOL yes well this is indeed what happens! 100% what I was channeling There were some artifacts here from older versions. I've gone through and cleaned them up so the emotional beats all flow together. Agreed! Very stupid, but very tropish Yes, sorry. It got retconned back into like chapter three, all the various parts of the flush, including her bug-eyes. Yes, and I still haven't figured out the throwaway line I need to deal with her monthly cycle. It's established she has one, so how she doesn't murder everyone around her once a month, I'm not yet sure of yet. Errr... you appear to have seen through my tropish plot... In the first version this is exactly what happened. M took N out into the woods and left her well hidden, then came back into the ballroom to deal with the issues. But it dragged the plot down too much and I had to cut it due to flow. That's where a lot of last chapter's forest metaphors came from though! Thank you all for these! The biggest issue was clearly the wine, which I think I've edited down to be less OH COME ON, and the genders, which are now better explained. Thank you for the typo catching, too! On to the next set, and then this thing gets submitted, and I get my life back!