kais

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  1. I'd like a slot for Monday as well if there is room.
  2. Nice to see you on the boards again. Overall There's a great story in here, buried in dialogue. I love the air ship, I generally like the characters (the doctor in particular, and the captain, and the AI) and the Arthurian mythos is always fun. I think if you could cut the dialogue down to one conversation in this chapter, with the most vital information that sets us on our quest, it would be a deeply compelling opening chapter. As it stands now, there are too many conversations for a man who can barely walk, and by the third one I was having a hard time concentrating It's a good start! Trimming will make it much more powerful. And as always, your writing continues to improve, as does your dialogue between characters. As I go - pg 2: it's interesting that he sees her as a nurse but she is a doctor. This does a lot of character building with very little work - pg 5: I was pretty on board until C says 'this is nothing' as he is trying to stand. He's a little too 'man' right now, a little too trope. I'd like just a little something to set him apart, since right now he reads like a caricature - pg 6: that its a racing airship is a very fine hook - pg 8: getting antsy. Looking for the greater world stakes and plot about now, or more specifics on C's personal motivation other than having failed a woman - pg 10: the dialogue is getting stilted through here and you are losing voice. I'm having a hard time telling the captain from C - pg 11: I'd rather they'd gotten to the spear a few pages up. I think we could manage without a few of the dialogue pages to get right to the spear - pg 15: too much talking. I need something to happen, either action wise or the plot moving forward - pg 17: if C is that sick/in pain, he's doing a LOT of talking. How is he keeping all this going on when he can't even walk? Whenever I wake up from surgery and such I can barely hold my own side of a conversation. And this is his third. It stretches believability to me - pg 20: I know it was likely discussed, but I grew weary of the dialogue and had a hard time focusing. So I'm still not sure why they need this map. Is it to navigate by? Why does C care and doesn't he want his spear?
  3. Overall There's great characters here and some nice emotional resonance. I think there are some out of order events in order to get reader buy-in, and there needs to be a more firmly established overarching plot and motivation. The chapter ends without much reason for anyone to read on to the next chapter. I'd like a slightly stronger hook to move me forward to the next part. Otherwise, it was fun! For your questions, yes, it's clear this is a romance book and it's pretty clear who the love interest is. I didn't have any issues with that. The characters are already pretty three dimensional. I don't think there were any issues with any of that. As I go - pg 1: This is all I can hear. - pg 2: I'm struggling to tell if 'Amma' is a grandparent derivative or a gender neutral parent derivative. I think hanging a lantern on it early would help - pg 2: is this YA? It's reading like YA - it's pg 4 before we get the answer to whether Amma is a parent or grandparent - pg 5: the emotional buy-in happens on page five, when we get the information on 'amma' and the adoption. I'd suggest this come a touch earlier, because all the driving to school stuff was starting to really sag the narrative. I'd be much more likely to enjoy the drive if I had the buy-in first. So maybe a bit or reorganization - pg 5: grass in Oregon in September? Not native grass. it's all well dead...unless the school is watering the lawn I suppose. Ah, or they could be eastern Oregon I suppose - pg 7: the dialogue is fine and very appropriate for the age but I'm starting to drift again. I want some hint of plot at this stage, or at least narrative direction - pg 8: if the flower petals and magic are the plot, I think they should be sprinkled in a lot earlier. Like they could drive past the pond and the MC could think about them early on, or have the mom mention them, etc. - pg 11: is there a reason you're using the traditionally (US traditional anyway) female spelling of Erin for a male character? Trans coded? - pg 14: the boyfriend is coming off very mature here and our MC, not so much. Unsure if this was intended or not - the end of the chapter doesn't really move me to read on.
  4. I'd like a slot for Monday if there is space.
  5. Okay, edits have happened! I've taken out almost 1000 words, which I think will help a lot. The front and middle banter has been blocked into one and shorted to about a quarter of what it was. The end banter remains since it looks like that paired well with the tension. We now get to the 'we have to get At first before we go to Pru' by the second page. I've clarified what an 'eld' is. Thanks to the new readers for pointing out that I had not defined that. I've clarified why Yord and Nick are okay letting her take the lead and not asking too many questions (though now they do ask few more) I got rid of all the holo stuff and now they just get a bunch of redacted files and that one holo that half-plays. Sal does tell Nick that Ata gave her codes to the Ard database. Nick has a good mid-chapter summary for those lost I've added a definition for what an "Aggression Talent' is. Sorry to the new readers. Made that too subtle It's my hope that this makes what Sal does with the holo laser gun clear, and also then ties into why the ship gets pulled off course. I also clarified the action: Thank you all for the help with trimming. With the epigraphs I often forget what information is redundant, and having new readers is critical for knowing what basic world stuff I need to define again. This chapter is much stronger now!
  6. Overall Not much to say about the last chapter since it isn't finished, except that it seems exceptionally heavy-handed with gender-based ideology. It makes our main crew seem deeply hypocritical, and I think playing up the assault line more and less about omg they don't believe in enbies will help that a lot. The first chapter seemed to not advance the plot and I think could easily be removed. I remain overwhelmed by information being told to me when I'd much rather learn it organically and experience it. I need these plot points and world building introduced slowly while I get to know the characters and their motivations. Right now it's all just a great big jumble in my head. As I go - the opening paragraph doesn't carry any real tension and I wonder if it is the best place to start from - pg 3: worldbuilding wise, I am confused as to what is going on. I get that E is a transman. Check. There may or may not be magical body transformations happening. Other than that I'm just super confused and not yet hooked, either - pg 4: That man had just propositioned <-- it's more powerful if you don't restate it, I think - pg 5: Murdering people like him<-- I don't see where they threatened trans people. Just women who don't want to sleep with them - pg 6: I'm unclear how the interaction with E and the men advances the plot. Is it just there to show us how his power works? I'd rather it do so for a plot pivotal moment - pg 8: I remain deeply confused with the world building. This is post apocalyptic but after that I'm confused. They are talking about how people used to be trash, but from the opening of this chapter it appears people still are so...I'm not clear what has changed or what this conversation is about - end of first chapter: I... I do not know what the purpose of this chapter was. I can see that E has made a decision, so excellent. But it seems like there was a semi-pointless water element scene that told us men are lecherous, and then discussion about how men used to be lecherous. And then E makes a decision. I think there's just too much discussion about the world, not enough showing, and too many threads. This is an early chapter and I need it to simply and clearly lay out the world and stakes. I still don't really know what they are, or what E and S are going to be fighting against other than the generic 'the man'. Yes there is the end line about unifying mages (what mages??) and a sisterhood (only have a vague idea what this is) and stopping A from grabbing power, but I don't really know who A is or what the trouble is, as its only been talked about and not really shown - again, not the most dynamic start to the chapter - pg 10: issue with the flood situation. This pulls Judaic (and Christian, and a bunch of other religion) flood narratives into play. As Christianity is a dominant religion in the USA and I'm critting from the USA, I was immediately thrown from the narrative upon reading this since it isn't referring to the religious flood, but a later flood. And that makes my brain scream GOD PROMISED TO NEVER FLOOD AGAIN. So then that makes me wonder if old religions were wiped out or if we are saying they never existed and are all wrong or what? It's a place I hang up, so I thought it worth mentioning - pg 10: Now they had a purpose: try to convince the mages and the sisterhood that they actually wanted the same things. They had things to say. They had to make people listen to them. <-- which is what? - pg 10: too much telling. I don't care about any of this yet. I want the characters to do something. - pg 12: this is very... they're going to try to deal with people with strict ideology, but this convo on page twelve makes them look like they have just as strict ideology, just on the other side. Assault of course is not okay but they way they are talking about it they aren't highlighting the assault so much as the 'they believe different things than we do about gender and they are therefore wrong.' Of course nonbinary people exist but this comes across as the author beating us over the head with it, instead of a natural part of the world and world building.
  7. I caught poison the first time, yes, but only by the chapter after it. Not from the first exposure. It's a much cleaner intro and I understand what is going on. But I still don't have clear, larger book goals or stakes for her. Not ones that really feel like they could carry a book, anyway. It is getting better, but now our MC needs to really expand her world, needs, and emotions to be book-worthy.
  8. I've already seen this chapter, so I'll just echo @Mandamon's comments that this needs A) EMOTIONS and B.) actual motivation for our lead that motivates both her and the reader. What does she want? What is her arc? You explained it in very long chapters to me in an email but I want to know it, intuitively, from reading. I want to get it from her actions and her emotions. I don't want to have to ask, I want to just know.
  9. Overall Much improved! Well done! It still reads pretty tropey and like you're writing a satire, but I'm enjoying it so not much bothered. The only place I really hung up (other than the mother who is still barely two dimensional) was at the end, where we learn about the brother being 'special' but no one really emotes on it. Agreed. It's better, but still very much reads like satire. As I go - I think your epigraph would be more powerful if it was just the quote and not the bit before it - pg 1: I think my confusion could be helped if you spent a few sentences describing who was in the carriage (the 'they' referred to early on). Otherwise when you mention M, we have no idea who she is. Right now as far as I know there are two people in the carriage - much better with the sister! - LOL 'I could live in such a house' I love her - pg 4: I still don't really buy why they are going to this dinner when there is every red flag in the book. I think we might need a bit more motivation if this isn't just tropey satire - pg 4: To the best wine in the Southern Fold <-- ahh okay. Maybe just a little bit more discussion around this on the first page to really get it through our heads? - pg 5: again, the mother comes from absolutely nowhere - pg 6: it seems very weird that he would be allowed to use a privy where he could potentially hear someone in distress - pg 9: so they got invited because of wine, but the count wants the daughter. How did he find out about her? I think a line or two about her helping with the wine, or how she came to the count's attention, would be nice - pg 11: ah much better with why they stay the night - pg 12: there is a lot of telling, and sometimes showing and then telling. - pg 14: This is no ordinary brat <--this seems like a giant understatement. Why aren't they more concerned? Also introducing a chosen one trope is...it clashes with the vibe of the story. I was on board until this, and now I feel unmoored.
  10. It’s all in the first post in this thread. Just read through and follow the instructions
  11. Would anyone mind if my sub is a touch over limit this week? It's at 5662 right now. I'm going to see if I can skim it down but thought I'd ask, just in case.
  12. I just realized its a bit over, but last week's was way under so hopefully you'll all forgive me. The flashback to little At and young Ori is now officially chapter 2. Chapter 3 (Ori finds Pruitcu) is now chapter 3 (this chapter). It has been edited per the last round of feedback, and the Keft player is now a different character. Same basic idea as before, but I’m hoping the execution is smoother and you are all more invested in Ori, and that I have appropriately differentiated her from Ata. Also note that in the previous chapter I really hit the ‘Ori wants to be in the Guard because she wants to be a HERO, not because she necessarily enjoys flying. She wants the glory of finding Ard, then wants to leave the Guard and go work on Ard and do something really big with her life. So that line should carry into this chapter pretty well, I hope. In the document attached, you’ll also find epigraphs. I’ve finally started writing them for the book, so I’ve shoved the three that have come before at the very start of the sub. You’re welcome to crit them or not as you like, but the backstory they give will probably help in interpreting the events. Thanks all!
  13. Thanks everyone! Confusion as to why G4 doesn't know what happened in the previous books. I tried to hang a lantern on it with this; Romance between O and A: If it is going to bother people, I can tone it down. However there are plans... This is my fault. I added what you're asking for into the previous chapter and then didn't include the little niblets so you could all get up to speed. I edited the flashback chapter to really hit O's dreams being the one to find Ar and then get off Ne to prove herself. So she was going to ditch the Guard first chance she got and take any old job on And just to be someone. My goal is to run O and A fairly parallel in terms of end goals, but with very different desires to get there. A wants to change Ne by proving Ar exists and it's all just science. O wants to find Ar to get notoriety and do something amazing with her life. At wants what is best for her people, O wants what is best for her. O then has to change that mission after she fails to keep A from being exiled, and wants to make up that failure by rescue. Any tips on how better to bring this dynamic out would be much appreciated. This is the added paragraph I've put in to try to just very blatantly draw the parallel
  14. I'd like a spot for Monday, pending space
  15. Overall The prose is solid and I had no issues reading. I think there are some large logic flaws, some of which I've noted below. Mostly I just don't believe this interaction. I am a professor. In the sciences. If someone came into my office and started with this, even if I was a magic person in hiding, I'd tell them to get out and when they didn't, I'd call campus security, then yell until a bunch of people came into the hallway and made the person so uncomfortable they left. Especially if they were threatening my family or treating me less than human. Professors go through a lot to get those PhDs and we know how to handle BS. Even if our lady here isn't really a prof, she's around enough of them to know how they act. The chapter is fairly short, so I think you could spend a few more words giving us meat. What, specifically, is the guy looking for? What kind of magic? What background does the woman have? Right now I just hate the man and think the woman is a very confusing professorial caricature. I think the bones of this are great, it just needs some reorganization, a bit more meat, and for the woman to be a bit more realistic. Nice job on a first sub! Your questions 1. General reactions (were you engaged?) More or less. But the prof really threw me out of the narrative 2. Is it clear what A thinks B is? Do you think this should be clearer? Less clear to preserve the mystery? I have no idea and that bothers me. I'm not sure I'd keep reading if I picked this up in a store 3. If these characters show up partway through the book and Archer starts causing problems after what's been mostly romance, do you think this prologue is necessary to prepare you for it or for it to not be jarring? (I understand if it's hard to tell at this point) If this is a prologue, I think it definitely needs more meat and potentially a resolution of some form. Other than that, I don't think I can answer this question. I think I'd rather see A as random background noise throughout the book and then have him start making trouble. 4. Is the "kill your queers" a problem here? It doesn't count if the queer is dead when the narrative starts. Signed, A Queer I'd caution though, if the prof is trans, then you might want to tone down the language at the start with the primate comparison. It's too easy to mistake the MC for being upset over trans, versus magic 5. Would you be interested in reading more of this? I know all genres are welcome but I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group. We do romance! BRING IT ON. I think the prologue isn't going to work mostly because of the age of the characters. If this is YA, it needs to have its protags front and center. Teens may drop the book otherwise. As I go - good opening line, though I think rearranging the clauses might make it a touch less awkward to read - after paragraph 1, I do not like M.A. - if 'professor' is part of a formal address, it gets capitalized - pg 2: as a scientist who does genetics work, 'plants' is an entire kingdom. A professor is highly specialized, so likely she would do genetics work on maybe, at the widest, a phylum. Likely just a few genera. So I'd have her response be much more specific, like 'unless you want to do genetics on bracken fern varietals...' - pg 2: And I’m sure you’re busy as well with all the profiting off the opioid epidemic you’ve been doin <- maid and butler here. But I think if you reworded it, it wouldn't be. Could be as easy as cuttingthe 'you've been doing' - pg 3: the taunts here are the same as we've already had. He already implied he had the son's genetic info. No need to repeat - pg 4: I am incapable of healing people through supernatural means.” <- I'm at a logic stop. If she wouldn't use her magic to save her wife, why would she do so, under duress, for her son? Like why does this guy think he can strong arm her into it, when clearly the death of her wife would have tempted her much, much more? I feel like he needs some other thing to hold over her. Like 'I'll give the disease to you and everyone you love and then you will HAVE to use magic or watch the world burn,' etc - pg 5: If she really didn't have magic and was just a regular human she'd have called security the second he accused her of magic. I think he needs to have this thought, that he is clearly on to something because she isn't just demanding he leave her office because he's spouting nonsense - I'm mostly confused by the ending
  16. Overall Unfortunately this chapter has all the same issues as before. It does not have a defined arc and does not seem to progress the narrative at all. Our MC exists and the narrative attempts move around him. He is unfazed by a minor thing and so we also do not care about it. The most emotion comes at the start with the jewelry gift, and that is really the meat of the chapter. I'd say you could cut this whole chapter out, and stick the beat with the jewelry somewhere else. But this chapter does not give the reader anything to grab onto, nor does it have an arc or plot progression. Again, the writing is just fine. It's never an issue to read the sentences. I just need the narrative to move and engage, and it continually tries to feed me information I don't want and get me to care about things that the MCs themselves can't be bothered to care about. As I go - I was more or less on board until page 3. The hook of the jewelry spellstones is nice and makes me think she will still get one with magic in it and it will end badly. So hook. But then they go walking and I clock out - pg 4: I don't care how he slept. I'm trying to sort out what the chapter arc is - I think pg 5 is unnecessary and you could cut the whole thing. Potentially also page four. Walking and talking does not keep my attention. Also still trying to look for the arc of the chapter - pg 6: He would miss his desk, <-- here is where I start to check back in - pg 7: by reconnecting with the Baron <-- aaaand back out. Too many names I don't care about - pg 9: Why would anyone waste time on such a mild inconvenience?” <-- this pretty much sums up the issue. Its a mild inconvenience, so it can't carry the plot. It's so mild it does not grip the reader. The MC does not care, so I do not care.
  17. Overall I think there are two issues at play. A) lack of GREATER stakes B.) arc not established at the start So for the first, I need more about why she races. Fame? Fortune? Love of flying? What happens if she doesn't win this race? What are the actual stakes? There are minor stakes (like if she gets injured she can't fly) but what does flying MEAN to her? EMOTIONSSSSS For the second, it looks like you're trying to set up a shift for our lead from MUST WIN RACES to FRIENDS ARE IMPORTANT. The issue is that I don't see the start of the arc in the beginning of the story. I'd like more maybe of her dismissing her friend because MUST WIN or something, to make the end of the arc work. It's well written! And nice to step away from your other work. And I can see the end of the arc, just not the start, and I think you need to up your stakes. For titles....urgh. SHAMBLES OF STARLIGHT RACE IN PROGRESS not very helpful. I'll keep thinking on it. Nice work! As I go - it isn't the most engaging start. I think it could be tweaked to be more dynamic, since it's the start of a race - pg 1: Small sponsors decorated her sleek sides, but one day Z would see household names there. <-- had to read this several times to figure out what she was talking about - pg 1: was their last planet <-- I think mentioning its a planet spaceship race would be best in the first few sentences. It's a good hook - pg 1: above average height could mean anything - I think the whole first beat here (pg1) could likely be cut and the important parts reintegrated later - ah yes. The first paragraph of the second page is MUCH more dynamic. Start here, please - pg 5: I've started wondering about greater stakes. Why is she racing? What happens if she looses? I know if she gets injured she might not be able to fly again, but is that all we are working with here? I'd like (and I'm searching for) something beefier - pg 7: yes, I need greater stake development. She wants more sponsors because... MOAR MONEY, or family security, or she has to save Mars. Whatever. Without a real grip on those stakes I have no urgency. Win? Lose? Meh. Don't much care. She seems fine either way. What are the BIG TERM CONSEQUENCES of losing, other than her copilot losing his stomach? - crying on the end of page 9 but WHYYYYYYY - pg 12: they just...got rescued? I am let down - does not appear to have an arc that was set up at the start
  18. Overall I think my main issue is lack of investment and engagement. S doesn't emote, and therefore I don't care about them and their struggles (though as of yet they do not have any other than being obstinate and not wanting to do something they're being told to do. This is how my six year old acts). It's fine to have a slower paced inciting incident like this, but if you aren't going to carry investment on DANGER! ACTION! MORTAL PERIL! then we need emotional investment and an emotional arc. We mostly just have talking here, and the smallest hint of an arc at the end. I need S to react and emote more. I want to experience the world through their emotions and reactions. I want to care the way they care. If they do not care, then I can't, either. As I go - I find that first chapter not as dynamic as the second one (where the invitation is in the pocket). I know you don't want to mess with what your editor liked, but I think it would be a much stronger start to begin with 'The invitation had not been in their pocket when they..." - pg 1: and dropped the card on the river bank, almost certain it would find its way back into their pocket and stood This could be a lot more direct and dynamic. Have them drop the card on the river bank, reach their hand into their pocket, and find it back there. - end of page 2 and into pg 3--info dump. Suggest removing or better integrating. I'd also much rather SEE S use those powers than be told what they are - pg 4: Around here, I find myself bored and wandering. The elemental powers are an okay hook but I don't really know anything about S. The boy they hugged has emoted more and I'm more interested in him at the moment. I know about the world but I don't care about the world because I really have no feeling for S's goals or the direction of the narrative, other than that S is being made to do something they don't want to. But since I don't have a foothold in the world and stakes yet, being made to do it doesn't hook me - pg 7: the way the wind spirit 'talks' seems comic book tropey-silly and takes me out of the narrative - - pg 8: why does S want to rescue Ambo F? I had to go back and reread and it still seems like a slim thing to hang an opening chapter on. They need to meet...because they're suppose to have a meeting. Ambo is late. S goes looking. No real stakes here. I feel no danger. I don't think Ambo is in any trouble, or that going onto the water puts S in any trouble. I also still don't know why S doesn't want to do THE THING other than just not wanting to do what they are told. I am not invested. - I am getting kind of reading tired of 'unnatural women' in fantasy and sci fi. I just really want to move beyond it. This is of course, a personal issue, and likely because of the book I'm currently reading which REALLY leans in to it - pg 10: In old books, they’d read about all kinds of horrible things people used to do, from murder to hating people based on who they loved or how they looked. <-- I know this is often done in MG, but it also bugs me. I read for escapism and when things like this are discussed it muddles the real world into my escapism, and ruins my engagement with the narrative - pg 10: the killer was fertilizer for an apple tree. <-- and then @Mandamon wrote an epic fantasy about it - pg 10: We didn’t even need the rope <-- no danger. No tension. - pg 12: But the thought of travel didn’t excite Se like it would’ve days or even hours ago <-- it doesn't excite me at all, because my excitement would be built on S's excitement, and they don't have any
  19. I'm thinking this will actually need to be chapter 2 (so come before the one you read last week). It's another 'in the past' vignette, much like the intro. Unlike the intro it is a clear character-building piece, not a mini adventure. In additional to the usual comments, I'd like to know: A) do you think it is necessary (there was a lot of 'why is G4 doing this I don't understand the connection, and I think this helps??) B.) should it come before or after last week's sub C) does it need shortened or lengthened? Make it snappier, or make it more intricate with maybe a real plot? Regardless, note that next week I'll be resubbing an edited Chapter 2 (or whatever we call last week's sub) as it has undergone substantial changes.
  20. Also up for next week if there's space
  21. Welcome to RE and congratulations on your first sub! Overall Hm. I'm not sure whether you are trying to write a silly trope book here, or actually want to write a gothic horror. If it's serious, then it needs work. The villain and the tutor sound like comic book characters and the plot is convenient and bland. If it's meant to be a parody or trope book, it's on a good path, but needs a lot of tightening and more showing (less telling). Either way, it's brave to start subbing! Good on you. As I go - oooh. Chilling start. Gothic? - that first line is adjective heavy. I'd cut a few - the father has very stilted language that makes it hard to take him seriously - why does the daughter not have a name? - also the father just sounds like a comic book villain - pg 6: the sweetly feminine and demure daughter, <-- ah she does have a name. Probably should give it on page one when she is introduced. Also...is this book very tropey? Is that why she's being described like she's going to fail the Sexy Lamp Test? - pg 2: if there aren't vampires here I'm going to be very disappointed - pg 3: at this stage I'd really like to know why they agreed to this dinner. Just a line or something about how if you turn down an invitation you become dinner or whatever would work fine. - pg 3: come alone, but the Count made a special request for the entire immediate family to join them.<-- ah, we get it here, but too late. This should be page one. But also that paragraph is very much a dump. I'd rather get a lot of that from character interactions and movements. I feel like we are being told a ton of things, especially atmospheric things, that could be much better conveyed through description - pg 4: I'm still really baffled why the family would come to a demon's place for dinner. He's a cartoon villain. Surely they can tell this?? - pg 4: privy dungeon. Of course. Though again, why would they visit if they know this was a thing?? My ability to suspend disbelief is waning. Though if you want to sell me this as a fun trope book, I'd be okay with it. It's over the top otherwise - pg 6: "There's nothing to fear. I clearly brought you here to die, like Hansel and Grettle." - pg 6: moved to his parents bed <-- blocking issues. I'm so confused. He's just with his dad and sister, right? Where is this other parent? I have not heard from another parent nor had one named. And were they all in the same room?? - pg 7: In the cell was his family. His parents hung from shackles <- wait, what? So he noticed sister was gone, but not the unnamed parent and the dad? And this is....I mean this is very cartoon. OF COURSE they all got kidnapped. What did they think would happen with a dude like that in a castle? - and A can't even hide properly. This family deserves to die - pg 7: he is a demon wearing a human disguise <-- the audience has known this from the first page - pg 7: the wife appears but does not have a name. Soon to be a fridged lampshade? - pg 8: little late to be introducing a tutor. Very author hand plot convenient - Mr. G. also speaks like a cartoon - pg 9: sources that young virgin girls are being rounded up and sent in hidden caravans from the kingdom <-- did this story have a tag for implied rape? Also gross and unnecessary trope. Sexy lampshade indeed - wait what? A breakout? No need to rescue the family? WHAT IF THE MOTHER HAS A NAME??? - if the tutor knew how to break out, why did he wait 2 weeks to do it? - pg 11: the brother has like 0 concern or angst that he is leaving his family to be eaten and sold
  22. Thank you! All typos noted and fixed. I'm really surprised this chapter worked so well for people, and I have moved it to Chapter 2. It now precedes meeting G4 as an adult as she exits to find the blow up planet. Thank you! I.... do not yet know. I think these two are enough to get people into the world, but that also may remain to be seen. I have to get the epigraphs going though, soon. Have clarified. yes, they added two. G4 was better so she got the lower number and the new ship Yes, but only one has the dreams talk to her... I'm pretty sure all the Ne got upset in book 3 when the forests were burning because they could hear the tree screams. I think this is canon? It's so interesting that everyone commented on this as being too old. My six year old asks me this constantly. "Do you remember being six? Did you do this? What did you watch when you were six? What about when you were seven? When you were my age did you also like My Little Pony?" So to me, it sounds almost too young. I've tweaked the wording to be a bit simpler, anyway Thank you! Edits done, and happy to move on! I'll just delete it. It tripped up a few people I've brought this out more to better differentiate her from Ata. Ata went into the stars because she got kicked off her homeworld for refusing the religion. G4 wants to be a space hero. Have also added that she doesn't really want the settee, it's more about leaving the agrarian life. I want her to look like she really thinks she is on the traditional hero journey. I've been trying to move away from internal writing in general, as it can slow pacing and limit places in certain narratives. Also I tend to write very internal characters, so I thought I'd give something new a try. Unsure if it will work but I guess we will find out! It's so weird, because nearly everyone commented on it, but my kid is six and talks like this. So do her friends. Maybe generational shift? Errr, okay. I'll see how I can slip in just a touch more backstory. Argh! Yeah I have to really focus on this in the book. The original 4 books were mostly At, and it's hard to switch gears. Especially since At and G4s lives and journeys have run parallel at times. It's my hope that clearing up G4's motivation will make it more clear that she's doing this because she wants to be a hero. So then when we see her in the next chapter out in a debris field, looking for exiled At, it's very At screwed up and G4 is on a hero journey. Here's hoping! Thank you! Excellent edits If you scroll up there's a rewritten scene I've put behind a spoiler window. I'm hoping that edit, along with a few others, will clarify the differential motivations between At and G4 Thank you! Glad it worked so well! Does the reference to her being the neice of the high priest not connect to that? Hmm. Will poke. (many of the typos you references earlier others caught and have been edited) Awesome. It looks like the consensus is it should be before the other chapter, and the length is suitable. Thank you very much!!
  23. We continue on! Chapter 1 proper, which is short and hopefully compelling. I wonder if it needs expansion in some areas, as it’s under 3K words, but I can’t really see where fat could be added. Generally, I’m interested in if you connect with the main character, if the chapter makes sense and ties into the introduction, and if you’d read to the next chapter. I’m attempting the not-recommended thing of three chapters in a row with three different POV characters. I’m trying to tie them all together through a clear central issue (Pruitcu), and hoping that is enough for reader investment. Looking forward to your comments on that. As a side note, I’ve edited some sections of the introduction based on the feedback, and included the major one in the comments of last week’s sub, if you’re curious. It mostly changes the information around the little biometal spheres to include a discussion of fungi. Thanks for reading!
  24. Most readers don't mind a bit of confusion. We know to read on if we want information. Without the inciting incident, however, we just put the book down. Ah, but it is the author's job to engage us enough to read the material. it's less about third time around, and more about still not being grabbed. If a reader admits to skimming, that is likely entirely about there not being any buy in to read closely. We have to want the small details in order to read them, which is why books in SFF routinely start off with a big inciting incident, to draw the reader in. Once we are invested in the world and characters, then you can give us the tiny details.
  25. Thought I'd check it out again to see if you did edits post page 5 Overall So I know how far you have come and how much you have cut. Major applause. It's not easy (as @Snakenaps can agree). However, I think you're still holding too tightly to these political info dumps. We just don't need this information. You need to withhold that information until the reader is thinking about it, asking about it, demanding it. Trust us to intuit, and give us characters and motivation (we still have no greater motivation for I or for the plot) and let us get invested, then integrate those plot details. Don't tell us them, let us see them in the way the characters work with each other. It's a process, and you're making great steps. Writing is tedious and just irritating sometimes, but you will get there! As I go - first two pages can still use a touch of tightening but at least I has agency. I appreciate that - pg 3: still a lot of extra words. You often show, then tell, then show again, when just a show would be enough. As you cut down and work on brevity, I think the next stage will be getting the point across with as few words as possible - first paragraph of page 4: I think you missed the opportunity here to really engage us with father/daughter banter. He could at least rib her about it a little. Or share a laugh as he recounts being equally silly in his youth, or whisper conspiratorially that he also thinks needing to get them charged by a mage is over the top - pg 4: He set the book on the desk, pausing to tap his fingers idly on the cover before stooping to pick up the last one. “Duke A arrived last night,” he said casually. <-- okay I LOVE this, but it is too subtle. You need I to react to it internally so the reader knows to pause and make note. Even just a 'oh shite, that was not a book she was supposed to be reading .... or whatever - pg 6: you're losing me again. Too many names and places I don't care about. I want to be grounded in the king and princess right now. I want to see them engage over the books and the spellstone. That was our incident, so it needs to have that weight. And if it isn't the incident, then it should be removed. As @Robinski noted, I don't think this is actually where the story starts. It's a much better start than before! I has agency, the father has a lot of dad potential. But if they go right from changing spells tones (which is illegal I guess) to talking politics, then the spellstone isn't important and so it isn't where our story begins. Now, if she dropped it and it broke and let loose a massive fire, that would be an inciting incident! - pg 7 has tons of info dump we don't need - pg 8: I should have guessed that anything useful would have been in the other one.” He gave her a wry smile <-- okay so A) I think just cut the maid. She serves no purpose and detracts from any movement and momentum. B.) here is the back part of our incident. You can safely cut everything between pgs 2-8, and pick up here. Have the king talk about how he needs a few basic spells, does she know any, wink wink nudge nudge, they talk about the 'illegal' books. Everything between the inciting incident and this line is not needed - pg 10: argh, but it doesn't go anywhere. Just more talking about a world we are not yet invested in - pg 12:, so after the line on page 8 you can have them do like, three dialogue banters. Have her offer to help. Have him say no, pat her head, and leave. Cut then to ch 12, she relights the Firestone on her own and then thinks something like I don't need books to do this. or akin. Show us her agency and that she is already moving towards the forbidden mage hood. Like her father thinks its a cute hobby but she is serious - pg 14: have her light it fast and confidently, and cut these last two pages. There's no reason to hang onto them, they just kill the middling tension