kais

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About kais

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  1. There's some precedent for using xie/xir in mixtures in SFF. I have seen 'xiefriend' for girlfriend/boyfriend and X. in the place of Mr. or Ms. You can of course, avoid the honorific issue by giving the nonbinary person a title, like Dr., but we have Mx. for that, too. Personally I adore the xie-additions to normal words, but I don't speak for everyone in the community, either.
  2. Ahh good call. I've changed so much in the beginning it doesn't make as much sense. I have edited it heavily Check. I've tied it back into the magic versus nature thing I put in the edited beginning. I think it makes more sense now This is partly WRS and partly bad blocking. Will fix. Have fixed sleeve description and O's problematic blocking Yes. This got played up a lot more in the early parts so it isn't so shocking now Have expanded! Ehhhhh. There's like three lines about it scattered throughout. I'll reread and see how things are coded now. It may or may not stay. Thank you so much! One more read through and this thing is off to the editor!
  3. Your questions Yes, it sounds like your pitch. I don't think the pronouns were a problem. I think my biggest question is how long were you planning on this running? I don't think it has enough 'thickness' for a full novel, but could make a great novella or short of some other form. Overall This piece I think actually would work really well in the anthology we are both in. I'm not sure how it will fare as a longer piece, as there's not enough tension to keep me invested. It was hard to keep reading in that last chapter as I was waiting for something to kick off, or some inciting incident. Overall though I think this is the best piece of writing you've submitted to the forum thus far. It has a lot of heart and great characterization. With a little bit more forward momentum it'll be a great piece. As I go - pg 3: trespassing is one word, not two - end of page three: while I had been enjoying the ambiance, it's dragging on way too long at this point. I need either a plot development or some tension - ch1: I'm not sure how I feel about the first chapter. From a technical writing standpoint it's solid, and I like the imagery. I think it might just not be my genre, because I don't sense an immediate threat, thereby don't have any tension. I also wonder at this point how A can save their old house when they have failed to follow through, it seems, on a number of prior things (like PhD, etc.). I think I might need a reason for the failures and some show that things have changed and this is the turning point in A's life. That might help a lot - pg 5: as an academic aside, if they went right from undergrad to PhD, I'm not surprised they didn't make it. That's hard. - pg 9: Is A purposefully coded as bipolar? - I enjoy the A&P interaction - aren't all wines fruit wines?? - pg 12: ah okay, so definitely bipolar
  4. Overall Much improved and I think almost set to go. I made a few notes below. I do have a question though. Are we meant to see that Ori is pompous but the council is also bullish and pig headed? Is it sort of a both sides are grey deal? Because I want to get behind Ori at the end but his reasoning prior is problematic. Not sure how you were hoping the piece to land. If the stimm gets better explained, I'd feel comfortable saying he falls within a recognizable yet still accurate band of autism behaviors. Depending upon how much more you want to do, @Mandamon, you could show that Ori really understands by seeing the need for pressure from hitting the wall, and then deducing the blanket pressure of the air (which I think is implied, but could be pulled out more, too). This is a grey area because stimming is not inherently autism related. It generally comes from SPD, so you're weaving in a (very identifiable) comorbid into the equation. But the general population doesn't know how to tease those apart, and many autistic people do also have SPD so it makes sense. (As an aside, so many autistic people also have SPD that my kid's therapists insisted she must have it too because they'd never seen autism without it. That was a lot of fun. Ahh, small towns.) As I go - intro rework: ahh, I get a much better picture of O now! Yes, the pompous comes through. - pg 21: the hitting the wall while writing-- you've identified the stimm but not the cause. Since he enjoys the equation he presumably doesn't need to stimm from that. Is it a reaction to their presence disrupting him? If so you might want to add something like 'when they'd first come in he'd just been writing, but now he stopped every so often to knock his hand rhythmically against the wall." or something. A stimm, generally, is a way to calm down from too much input, or to give input when too little is available. As you've presented the equation as enjoyable and what he prefers to be doing, reading the section had me immediately go back and search for the disruption, since, to me, knowing what inputs he likes tells me a lot about the character. - I'm still confused as to why Kr doesn't know how to help La. If all males in the species are like this, shouldn't all the women know more or less how to help? Or is it just Kr, specifically, that doesn't know? If so might be worth a line with her indicating that everyone else seems to not mind but she's got places to be, or something. - I like the part where Ori considers diving into the equations. Shows us a bit more about why he is the way he is
  5. Final installment! Edits since last time:1) Methal is now a heavy magic-using kingdom. Magic is banned in E but there’s still a black market2) MCs no longer do poo battle with dragons. Now they just get pulled into the carriage after getting damp butts from the sedge3) Methal has a large magic library, from which Met stole a book written by the original colonists about early magic, and how early colonists kept ending up in other people’s minds. Book has a way to stop it but one of the people has to die. Other than that, events are all basically the same. I have about 500 words to play with and I wouldn’t mind using them on these last two chapters, especially the final separation scene, which might be too brisk. Any thoughts at all are welcome, but especially if the ending hits home and if you think the separation magic stuff needs some work.
  6. I'd like to submit on Monday
  7. Happy to have another read through.
  8. So this has me thinking about media that has good autism rep, which is hard. The saying is of course that 'if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism' because the spectrum is SO wide. The Accountant (a movie with Ben Affleck, who is clearly not autistic) was pretty decent, in my opinion, in showing a well-rounded autistic lead. He has some comorbids in there, especially Sensory Processing Disorder, so if you give it a watch know that that is a separate issue. The needing to complete things is, as far as I know, more part of the general autism package. You might also consider reading 'Asperger's Children' which is a fairly new book but looks at why we think of autism on 'high functioning' versus 'low functioning,' which is utter hogwash, and how that kind of thinking came from Nazi Germany. It gets into the nitty gritty of how autism is defined and how we relate it to children. The other thing to consider is sex differences. Things like ADHD and autism manifest differently in girls than in boys, and no one is quite sure why that is. For decades people literally thought girls couldn't be autistic, that it was just a boy thing. There's some neat areas of research that look at autism and the brain--looking at autism as a sort of 'masculinization' (since we equate analytics with masculine thought). The theory (and it's only a theory) is that since girls are socialized more, the masculinization of their brain simply moves them closer to a non-autistic boy brain (and in fact, brain scans show autistic girl brains looking very much like neurotypical boy brains!) and that for boys who are already socialized to be more analytical, it moves the brain into such a deep analytical plane that social skills are left behind. It's just one theory, but I think it helps contextualize understanding autism, and sex differences in autism, and why so many autistic people are on the queer spectrum as well. I think if you read that book and watched the (very different) movie, it might give some starting points. So I guess... happy homework?
  9. I think the issue is that these two things don't play well together. You're (unintentionally) implying that autism = childlike, which is squicky. I suggest removing one or the other to avoid those Unfortunately Implications. A quick primer on autism as well, below, if you're unfamiliar. I think it's a bit muddled in the narrative, because it isn't really defined. Autism, itself, is not a disability so much as just a different wiring of the brain. It's the comorbids that can come with it that can create disability, such as sensory processing disorder (doesn't like loud noises, needs loud noises, doesn't like the way fabric feels, can't eat certain foods, etc.), ligamentous laxity (super loose joints--why some autistic kids walk kind of funny), speech delays, etc. Autism itself is really more the brain prioritizing analytics over social. I could see this working in a hive sort of situation, especially in an engineering Pixie domain, but I think it might need to be brought out a bit more... like he can't leave his blueprints because he's not done with them yet, darn it, and O keeps trying to get the guy to look at him so he knows he is listening, but the guy won't because he can hear O just fine, why does he have to turn his head and listen? But you could also just throw some of the comorbids at him and not have the autism at all. You can definitely have Sensory Processing Disorder without autism, for instance, which might be easier to write in a short because it has such well defined parameters. Happy to answer any follow up questions. I'm not sure we have any autistic members on the forum anymore, (or if we do, any that want to chime in), but my kid is autistic so I'm in this world, if only tangentially.
  10. Overall For a short I think it works pretty well. The ending might need a bit more punch to it, since I think it won't land for anyone who hasn't read your entire back catalogue (I have learned the term is 'completionist'). Particularly, I think O's chat with the council should be a bit.... stickier? More dynamic? Show him really breaking away from them or something akin, so this launches into Tuning. Your Questions -Is it enjoyable? yes! -Is the magic system and worldbuilding clear? yes, but I'm old hat at it now -Are the characters engaging? Well, more or less. I still don't get much of a sense for the Pixies as a whole. O is more O in this installment, and less doe-eyed than in the first one. I don't know if that's good or bad. I liked him naive but this feeds better into the main books. -Does the story make sense? yes -Is the end of the story satisfying? Are there any promises you don't think I fulfilled? As below, I think you need to really hit the nail on the head with the council. Really show how O takes the council's dismissal and how he resolves to interact with them in the future. Make it sting. That would make a nice, sharp ending. As I go - Is L autistic? Is that why O gives him the pressure and the schedule to focus on? - he recovers pretty quickly from killing someone - so if the offspring won't be engineers, does that mean they'll be warriors? Yes? - I don't understand the reveal in the 'make choices quickly' paragraph - pg 32: The 'finally, recognition' part is VERY O. - pg 34: so does the Hivemother use the Symphony through singing? or is that some other thing she is doing to get the soldiers to genuflect? - pg 36: there's a strange disjunct between calling L's items 'toys' and having him be the mother's mate. Is this meant to show the infantilization of the men?
  11. Ahahah typo. Urp. I've pulled it out a touch more in the first chapter. I just don't have the space to really drag it out. Since it's not super plot relevant it may just need to stay subtle. I LOVE IT All little things and easy enough to fix, especially since some of it was dealt with in edits to chapter one. Thank you!
  12. Lantern it is! This is my perpetual problem with this anthology piece. I have a hell of a time writing future magic systems. I'll see how I can build magic into the world earlier.... and looking into this just now, it looks like I put a bunch of it into chapter one when I rewrote it after last week. Aheh. WRS and some vagueness on my part. Will punch up. LOL. Okay, good info to have! I'll get this all smoothed out. Thank you for the comments! Hoping to get to yours today.
  13. Any and all edits welcome. Changes since last time include: the visits are now only 30 seconds long and they come with a lot of nausea and unfocused vision.
  14. Oh that's fine then. Exactly what I was going for.
  15. Also up for the 4th