kais

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Everything posted by kais

  1. I think it is because she is frustrated and emoting in this chapter, and I haven't really seen that level of emotion from her before
  2. Thank you all for the comments! I've taken out over 1000 words, added in some more plot stuff (fungal pigment secretions are dissolving cellulose!), and tried to streamline. In the end I think this will end up being a chapter mostly for the older readers, so as long as it wasn't too boring, it should be okay. It does mean that I need the chapter after it to be a stronger installment, so moving on to those edits.
  3. S for discussion of sex and some suggestive nudity. No actual sex. Moving right along. There are three main beats in this chapter and I’m hoping they tied into each other well and that you feel like this chapter does move the plot forward and doesn’t just rehash what we already know. It’s got some critical emotional points for readers from the first four books but I don’t know how new readers would see it. Thanks in advance!
  4. Overall I think if you just flat out cut the first chapter and then trim some of the back half dialogue in the second chapter, this will be a decent installment. W getting over herself and drama to go to homecoming is good movement forward. The bit about the flower is cute. The drama in the first chapter is...very alienating. I'm hoping we get more concrete about the flower soon though, otherwise it is starting to feel like a bait and switch. As I go - not a very strong starting line - pg 3: I am not at all engaged through here. A lot of talking and high school politics that just do not click for me. Where is the flower? Where is the romance (or romantic tension, or just some kind of tension that isn't our MC whining?)? - pg 5: I don't understand the paranoia connection between going into the woods and getting glittered. What if the guy just likes glitter? - pg 5: but really it’s between Ni and Brit at this point.” <-- I agree. Oof. Can our MC stop obsessing about it? - pg 6: It's like every side character agrees with me, that W needs to chill and stop making drama. Then W makes more drama. I do not like this MC and because of that am not invested. - pg 7: in the Willamette Valley <-- *waves from the IRL Willamette Valley* - pg 12: I definitely prefer this chapter. I actually think you can cut the previous one. I don't think it moves the plot and it doesn't do good things for W, imo - pg 14: okay this 'why do you like me tee hee' is going on too long for my taste - the ending is cute
  5. Overall I liked the first chapter, though I think mop dog's POV in it isn't necessary. Same with V in the second chapter. I felt like the info C did get on the stove was a touch too easy to get, and would have liked to see some of the associated fairy tale consequences, or some kind of payment she had to use to get the informaiton (like putting mopdog back in the stove, etc) Mostly I feel like we didn't move forward this chapter. We got some threads confirmed, but there was no real progression. On the plus side, I do finally really like C, and am invested in her journey. As I go - pg 4: V still feels superfluous as a character. I'm not clear what he contributes - pg 5: wait, how does she get to the 'never going to get wood stove explained' conclusion? There's some huge logic jump here I did not follow. There was decent mystery with her suddenly getting a perfect but I don't understand how it so suddenly crashed down here on page 5 - pg 7: the mopdog POV in that first chapter does not appear to contribute to the narrative or story - pg 8: it feels like she is getting this information very easily all of a sudden - pg 10: I still think V's POV isn't necessary. He doesn't advance the plot so much as just tell us about little things. C is really our dynamic character and it is far more fun to watch her figure things out than have little helpers do it
  6. Overall I don't think this chapter, or POV, are necessary. We get plot movement only through dialogue talking heads, which does not engage me, and having had three POV characters in as many chapters has left me without a foothold in any of them. I'd much prefer to go back to I's POV and have her discover things, which would be far more engaging. It's not that this POV here isn't active--she is--but it's just rehashing things we already know as readers, and that means there is no tension and no forward momentum. As I go - not a strong starting sentence. It doesn't draw me into the chapter - first two pages and nothing has happened. Probably can be cut - pg 3: feels like mostly background info dump here - I think this would be a more engaging chapter if it was actually the sister stopping by to check up on the injury, not just thinking about or talking about doing so, and wool gathering - pg 5: ah, here she goes to see her. So here is where the chapter starts, really - pg 6: I like the sister when she is worried and commanding. That part worked I think - pg 7: still more 'what happened yesterday'. Everyone is just talking and postulating and nothing is happening. We are at the same place, narratively speaking, that we were last chapter - pg 10: the 'I was attacked yesterday' doesn't have any real impact because we already know this. I think the reason the chapter is lagging is because it is just rehashing what the reader already knows from another perspective. This is common in contemporary romance but isn't usually done in fantasy. And when it is done in romance it is between the two love interests - pg 13: so much talking. Its hard to not skim. - I don't care about plots because I don't care about characters yet, especially since this is another POV and I haven't had time to settle into it -
  7. Also up for Monday if there is space
  8. Overall This is definitely the start of the book, for me. We get the inciting incident, goals, motivations, and cool tech. I'd say it goes on a bit long with the info dumps at the end, but for most of it I was well engaged. A good installment, though again, I think you might consider just starting the book around here, instead of the previous chapters. In a bookstore I'd not have made it to this part, even with the cool airships. Still hoping we see a full on airship battle soon! As I go - I continue to love that ship name - pg 3: I would take it from your calm and measured response <-- the issue with calm and measured responses is that there is no urgency then to get the reader amped - pg 4: I feel like it is taking too long to get to the action. Promises from the end of last chapter and start of this one are airship battle! Yet right now we still have posturing and talking - pg 4: C has a lot of exposition on this page - pg 6: even with your Arthurian summary, I'm lost. I have zero background in this lore, unfortunately - pg 6: so instead of a battle there will be a duel? I feel like reader promises were not kept here - pg 9: so they inherited a machine spirit? But doesn't the Jenny already have one? Will that be an issue? - this description on page 11 would have been better in the first chapter. It explains so much of the world and gets me much more invested - pg 12: yes, definitely would have liked all this sooner - pg 13: She is merciless and oppressive <-- this makes me want a second POV with her, that alternates chapters so we see the other side of the story - pg 16: it seems like the book really starts here, with the inciting incident and now our MC having a goal and direction. I'm much more invested through here than I have been in previous chapters. I feel like we finally have motivation, goal, etc. - pg 18: getting long in the tooth here. I'd say end it around page 16. Getting more info dump now on the machine spirit is pushing things
  9. Overall I think most of this chapter could be cut or reworked. If you're going to put it with the previous chapter, that would be awesome. If you want it to stand alone then I think it needs a rewrite to be more active, with A interacting with the plot and the plot moving forward. Well written as always, but I think this chapter gets back into the old format of talking heads, instead of plot and character interaction. As I go - I think the first sentence would pack more of a punch if it was active instead of passive - She is in here <-- this might actually be a better place to start the chapter - I think most of page 2 could be cut. Move right into the king talking to keep the page from sagging - pg 4: these four pages could be a page, easily. We don't need the verbal recap either, because we were 'present' when the events happened - pg 5: this is where I first engage with the chapter--the idea of illicit spellstone use - pg 6 could be cut I think. And the first part of pg 7. You have teased us with the spellstones, but they are still just talking and rehashing. You might consider making this chapter more active by having A come back into the infirmary with the king's brother already using said stones, and then have reactions from there - pg 10: I'm not sure what the point is to having A being the POV. He isn't engaging the plot at all through here - 10-13: lots of talking through here that is hard not to skim. I'm anxious for plot movement and thus far feel like I'm being teased with plot movement but no actual forward motions are happening - the last page isn't a strong end for me because we knew from the start they were going to send for the mage
  10. Overall This installment had good pacing and I enjoyed the character engagement. This had more of an arc than most of the chapters you submit, so I liked that. Not keen on another POV when I don't feel committed to either of the previous two, but mopdog is pretty cute.The kids' voices aren't really distinct enough for me to tell them apart without the dialogue tags but C is getting a more distinct voice, so progress there. Nice job on the pacing! As I go - I need a mopdog - pg 3: I don't think I care for another POV. I still don't really care as much as I should for our lead character, and I don't have handle at all on V. Getting a mopdog POV isn't giving me the handhold I need into the story - pg 3: yellow with human skin grease <-- ewwww - ah, we have a semblance of plot!
  11. Not as polished as I'd normally like but hopefully still readable. I'm hoping the emotional impact lands and you feel compelled to move to the next chapter. Thanks in advance for the feedback!
  12. Correct! This was the first set of four books I did originally have it happen this way, but ended up nixing it for this instead. I think it works better just because we can get to the meat of the main plot sooner, but time will tell. The chapters leading up to this built this emotional arc so this definitely wouldn't make sense coming in cold. Sorry about that. Thanks everyone! Looks like not much to edit on this one, which means likely next chapter will require a lot of editing. I appreciate all the feedback!
  13. I’d like a spot for Monday, but I likely won’t be able to submit till Tuesday if that works. Wild weekend. So I can skip a week if someone needs the slot, too
  14. You can kill a vampire with a wood stake, which is very easy to make from breaking a chair. Legs on wood chairs, spindle backs, they snap really easily. Also I blame this on growing up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They get bound to a person, but then that person has to give their heart away, so they don't stay as a couple.
  15. Overall I don't understand why C is taking the bait if she knows it is bait. Surely there must be other ways to find out the truth about the stove, like continued experimentation. That she isn't taking charge of the plot and just riding along keeps me at an emotional distance from her. Now G-M, she was great. Very engaging. I more want to follow her now, than C. Writing is still smooth and the voice is stronger in this installment, thanks to G-M. I think really it's just C I'm hanging on. As I go - pg 1: how do supplies get into this town if its all isolated??? Where does the dog food and bed and stuff come from? I have questions - pg 2: ah, I see my question is (more or less) answered. Well done - G-M thus far has the most personality of any of the characters. I was super engaged during this beat - pg 9: I like the baiting, but C's response isn't as...I don't know. It falls flat for me. If she knows she is being baited, then there is no tension. Without tension, the momentum of the plot falters. With G-M it was strong. She has a strong personality and strong motivation and she moves the plot forward. C just...continues to let it happen to her - pg 10: if she knows she is being baited, why is she still going to try for good marks?
  16. Overall While well written, as always, I think there are two major issues. 1) our MC lacks voice, and is coming off as a two-dimensional love interest. You don't need more content, just a different way of speaking and interacting for him that gives him clear emotions that motivate. 2) I don't think there's a full arc here. I'm not sure how the plot progressed, only that I now know about spellstones--but that isn't really plot progression. A bit of tidying though, and I think it will be a reasonable chapter. You just want to make sure these early chapters, and especially if you have a POV swap, are really grabby, to let the reader get invested in a new character and keep reading As I go - strong start! And because it ties directly into the first chapter and continues the timeline, I have no issues with a new POV character so early - there's some lag between the strong start and the He'd come to the capital line, which is, to me, where the meat starts again. Because we are early on still, I'd argue for quick movement early on, then discussion of palace architecture later - pg 4: well, this is reading a lot more like a romance now. But I feel like we've lost all flavor for this MC. I think its because his voice feels watered down. I'd like more...personality, I think. More voice. Right now he's sweet and worries so all that comes across is love interest. I get no sense for his motivations this far in, or personality, or anything three dimensional. Again, it's not an issue of needing more backstory as it is needing more voice - pg 5: this page has too much woolgathering over things we have already experienced - pg 6: I feel like we could have gone from pg 1 to here without losing anything of substance for the plot - pg 8: the interlude with the guard seems either unnecessary, or far too late in the game. I think this early chapter would be better served with that strong start, then the guard won't let him deliver the princess, then he does, then some form of plot movement - pg 10 is where we get to the actual plot movement. I take back what I wrote above. I think page one, then right here to pg 10 - pg 11: while the magic is interesting, our MC no longer feels rushed. I get no real sense of urgency or danger. It feels like he just stopped caring about the princess when the spell stones came out. Again, I think this is more a voice thing than anything else - pg 12: I don't think this chapter has a full arc
  17. Welcome to RE and congratulations on your first sub! Overall That twist at the end was fun! I think it needs a bit better integration, or maybe I'm still having a hard time with how well the BF took the vampire thing. Overall, I was very engaged with this. it was well written and had good flow. A few comments below, and I'd like more reaction from the BF and some clarification along the points you are trying to make with aromanticism / asexuality (couldn't tell if one or both), but otherwise I think its a clever take on the soulmates trope. Though I do remain wondering how this custom came about and why it persists. I think a sentence or two discussing that could be useful. As I go - strong intro lines - pg 1: errr...are vampire hearts not prone to decay? How is it not on ice? How are there not sterile procedures? I cannot suspend disbelief for this without a bit more info on vampires - pg 2: and that was an unexpected twist. So this is a fated lovers romance with vampires? Sure. I'm in. It's also...so much more gruesome than usual - pg 3: wow that isn't soulmate so much as hyper manipulative. Interesting twist - pg 5: would a vampire not be a little fearful of sitting in a wooden chair? I feel like they'd be more into plastic furniture. COuldn't be turned into a weapon then - pg 9: I think here is where the narrative loses me. I'd like D to take more time dissecting romantic versus platonic/family love, and find value in both while also noting she isn't into the former. Here it seems just dismissive of romantic love without any deeper discussion or observation, and that makes D seem cold - pg 12: I don't believe that the BF took the vampire thing in stride like that. I'd like more disbelief or at least learn how he deals with it so well - wait...so they can't keep the romance they found???
  18. Overall While yes, the romance is apparent, I think you have two chapters here. There are two arcs happening, one with N and one with A. if you break them apart, trim the excessive dialogue, stick in flower plot relevance, and then end about a page early on that last chapter, I think you'd have two strong installments that keep reader engagement. I'll add that I'm still struggling with out MC. She's deeply unlikable and seems to create more drama, then complain about it. I know she explains why she thinks the way she does but she keeps engaging in drama and gossip. I'd think that if she hated it that much she'd just...not engage (also...Willow uses she/her, right? Or no? I've forgotten. Sorry!) As I go - not a strong opening line. It doesn't make me interested in the chapter or compel me to read further - pg 2: of all the characters in this, our MC is definitely the most passive aggressive. Also, two pages in and there doesn't appear to be a chapter arc - pg 3: ah, so N is a flower? Is that what we are getting out of this chapter? If so I think the flower needs to be more present and really driving the narrative. Right now our MC's bitterness is all that is driving things and I find her generally unlikable, which would be fine if her other 'sliders' were higher - pg 5: is the pending dance homecoming, or prom? I'm confused - pg 6: Is he telling the truth <-- he's only ever told the truth. Why would she doubt him? I don't understand why she is so prickly around absolutely everyone. Everyone seems genuinely nice to her and she responds to coldly, even paranoid. It almost makes me think the arc is the MC eventually coming to some self realization about how she acts, more than anything else - pg 8: this conversation is going on too long. I want more beef to the plot movement. Just say yes or no to the invite! - pg 8: All this social maneuvering is exhausting. This is why I don’t trust people <-- thus far it seems like our MC makes up most of it in her head - pg 8: but I don’t know what I did wrong <-- I don't know what he did wrong, either - pg 11: I think the convo with N and then the realization with A are two different chapters. there are two partial arcs here and no full one. I think separating them out and adding in flower plot will make them both more robust - pg 14: I'd suggest ending the chapter on him saying yes to homecoming. We don't need anything after it and it would make the arc more powerful
  19. I think keeping it vague is fine. I don't think I've ever met anyone with Klinefelter only, but obviously it exists. In the general population its much more common to have XY androgen insensitivity, which would also give you, I think, what you're after, and might be more understandable/relatable to readers. But if you aren't getting specific, I'm not sure its worth worrying about. Has my identity been breached!? (joking) Also WOW we have a lot of enbies on here now. NICE.
  20. Klinefelter is rare, and may give you borders you don't want later. there are...wow I don't know, probably close to fifty well-documented intersex variations, and then each has plenty of variations on its own, plus all the rare rare ones that don't have names. For this particular situation, I'd argue you don't necessarily need to use a specific template as long as you understand what is encompassed by intersex: variations outside the traditional bounds of 'male' and 'female.' This can be hormonal, genetic, physical, or some combination of all three. You don't have to have ambiguous genitals to be intersex. You don't have to have chromosomal abnormalities. What is very common is that intersex rarely occurs in a vacuum-usually it comes with a host of medical issues that can be life threatening. And I think that's where many authors fall short on intersex--they take the 'cool' parts and never the consequences. Our bodies are not built to walk the line between biological sexes, and doing so comes with a cost in most instances (and I'm not talking social costs, but those are huge, too). So making sure you're writing the whole person, the whole body, not just the part that seems magical, will make the character far more authentic than tracking them with some specific diagnosis, if that makes sense. If you do want to follow a diagnosis template, I'd suggest an 'easier' diagnosis, like congenital adrenal hyperplasia or androgen insensitivity. They're more straightforward, with (generally) fewer other tag along issues and would allow your character to do more, physically. A quick addendum - watch how you deal with gender. Most intersex people are not gender fluid and many are 'cis' gendered (as weird as that concept is when talking about intersex conditions). I'd advise avoiding the tropes of fluid gender for an intersex character. There are gender fluid intersex people, of course, but it's....it's just not as usually seen and smacks more of authorial misunderstanding of the condition. In that same bag is to definitely avoid fluid sex, which again, yes, does happen, but you don't want to get into the weeds on that. Also the emotional and physical costs of fluid biological sex is just...not something most people I think could do justice in writing.
  21. Maybe? You can write generic European fantasy if you’re from a European background. You’ll have a hard time pulling off generic fantasy from a background you don’t share, because you don’t know enough about the cultures at play to generalize. Though you could simplify to a scarf sort of deal and probably be okay. I’ll be interested to see where this goes then. What intersex resources are you using, if any, as a basis for this character? I love to see intersex characters in SFF!
  22. I'd like to sub this upcoming Monday if there's space. Trying to get back into things
  23. Definitely doesn't need a prologue. I think just a sentence or two would do it, honestly, somewhere near the front of the chapter. We don't need a meal, just a taste.
  24. Finally feeling well enough after surgery to get to this! Thanks everyone! I've cleaned up the cellulose explanations, eased the passing out scene, and fixed some nit picky thing. It sounds like this chapter generally stood on its own so not too much to do. Looking forward to start subbing again.
  25. Nothing really to comment on with this. Hoping the emotional arc works and the plot seems to be moving forward at a reasonable clip.