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Everything posted by kais

  1. Overall I was really hooked for the first six pages, after which I felt like things fell apart. I'm not sure the ending really made sense, and it didn't give me a sense of completion. I think the middle dragged. I think I'm on the same lines as @C_Vallion and @Mandamonthat if we got more emotions and more backstory on the suicide it might make this journey with the demons make more sense. Your writing, as always, is solid, and a pleasure to read. I'd love to see this short cleaned up and submitted somewhere. I think the premise is really strong. As I go - pg 6: she takes that demon news in stride. I expected more emotions about that - pg 8: yeah, I really fell out of the narrative with how well she deals with demons actually existing. Up to this point I was well hooked - pg 10: I feel the narrative is starting to wander. What is the arc? Where are we supposed to be going? - pg 12: yup, lost forward motion in the narrative. I think a lot of this area could be cut to streamline things - pg 14: I don't understand why the matron was upset. Didn't she want our MC to hold back? And then out MC does and the matron is upset? - pg 17: been ripped apart by my mother’s suicide, my father’s cowardice, and the whole uncaring mass of modern civilisation that wanted to squeeze every drop from my soul and discard my body in landfill. <-- authentic as they may be, this is over the top for me as a reader. I need more lead up to this, also it seems like a lot. The mother's suicide is, for me, enough trauma to drive the narrative, especially with the father's internet problem - I don't think the narrative loop closes sufficiently
  2. Overall I agree with @Mandamon and @C_Vallion that this is great, that it is neat to get answers, but that we need more sprinkled before. This is just surprising, not 'surprising yet inevitable.' But generally this was a sound installment and I had a blast, so I won't belabor the other points. Previous posters covered them well. As I go - pg 2: this is all great. I'm hooked - pg 4: AWESOME first beat. - pg 8: That seems like kind of a bum deal for the ashen people, even if it is 'luxury' - also I still don't understand why the ashen people don't leave. I think I need a better reason or hook for why they stay. Just 'luxury' without social interaction can't be worth it - pg 9: ah I see. It's addressed now. Excellent - pg 10: the energy bit is confusing - pg 11: does a kid want perfect clarity though? This seems like more of a hook for a scholar than a pubescent girl. I don't buy that its a hook for C - aww, I love the last line. Very kid
  3. Overall There are some good components in here, but a lot of trimming is needed. I also am just not connecting with A the way I want to. I actually really like the king and his verbal snares, and I like the spell stones. A...I think needs his emotions amped to like 11 in this, because he is way too calm for being interrogated by the king. Aside from that, I'd say your writing is improving. This needs far fewer cuts than earlier chapters, and I did see the arc and narrative progression despite some 'fat.' So well done there! As I go - the first sentence isn't a very strong lead in to a chapter - the first page does not compel me to keep reading. Too much talk of boredom and menial tasks and such make me feel bored, too - pg 2: the 'good morning your grace' seems to just be the first page repeating itself - pg 3: I think you can cut the entire first beat. I don't think it progresses the plot in any meaningful way that couldn't also be accomplished in one or two sentences - pg 4: I'm confused with all the new capitalized words - pg 6: tension really starts building here. I think maybe a page lead up to this is all we need, then wham onto the tension of page 6 - pg 11: they're talking about treason so I feel like I should care more, but I don't. There's...there's richness missing I feel like, from the story--potentially from reactions or emotions, that I think would make this feel more whole. right now I can tell important things are happening, but I don't yet care about any of them - pg 12: ah, the line of questioning is clearer, but I think the connection to the poisoning should be sooner and distinct enough that the reader can at least guess it is coming. I felt blindsided instead of 'surprising but inevitable'
  4. Heeeeey everyone! I've been in contact with Chaos and Silk these past few weeks, having good chats and whatnot. I've had some time to cool off and recuperate my 'spoons'. I've asked to be put back on the mailing list and I'm ready to emerge back on the boards again as well. With that said, I do think the lounge is a nice place to have, because as @Hobbit said, there really is no off-topic in writing, since the world informs our work. I thought a fresh slate might be in order, so to speak. SO... WELCOME TO LOUNGE II. Herein we can discuss writing related and writing tangential things, and anything else that doesn't have a topic home (while still being sensitive to the marginalizations of others). To kick things off, I'll start. *deep breath* I sent ATD to my editor this week! Eeeee! I also got accepted as a supporting author at GayRomLit and finished drafting TWD. Whew! I also, somehow, miraculously, made it to season 12 of Writing Excuses so I now feel marginally caught up with the rest of you. Anyway, that's me. Now please fill me in on what I've missed here!
  5. It’s longer than I’d like for a chapter, so if you have thoughts on what could be cut, or where/if it should be broken into two chapters, I’m all ears. There is a LOT of plot movement in this, as we are hitting the ramping up section of the book. Thanks again for reading!
  6. Overall I definitely don't think there is too much going on. I think the number of events are pretty reasonable, however I feel like they were mostly teases, which upset me as a reader. The tension would build (the fight, the spellstones, the poison transfer) and then nothing would come of it. There are three major tension events, but no tension outcomes, which leaves me feeling like reader promises were not kept--especially with the spellstones. I think there's a missed opportunity here to have A have effects of the spellstones or the poison cloud his hearing or equilibrium or something during the king talking (which was Plotful but not very dynamic) which would give much-needed tension to the info dump beat. It's getting better, and A does feel like his own character, interacting with the plot now. Now I'd like the plot to deliver on reader promises, and maybe spend less time getting info dumps from A's thought process. I think mostly I'm grumpy because I really loved the part with the spellstones and was expecting BIG TIME SHENANIGANS. More spellstone trouble, please. As I go - pg 1: this page has all the makings of a good, tense chapter opening, but is bogged down in words and, I'm not sure how to describe it...turned phrases that bleed out the tension. An example: - pg 2: This is a critical line: Two days in, and he’d stumbled into a royal assassination attempt. Goddess preserve him. That I think gets lost with all the mental musing before it. - pg 6: through here is just very internal, a lot of musing and thoughts when I want there to be more movement and action and talking. I think that's why its so hard for me to stay invested in A--he's really internal even when he's performing actions - the part with the fight where A realizes the other guy 'couldn't' have done it is nice - pg 11: I got excited that the spellstone was being lied about but then nothing came of it, which was disappointing. - pg 13: yes, very disappointed in the spellstone section. Now he's just talking to the king. We had all this good buildup and then just...fizzle. Same with the fight, though at least they fought - pg 16: I'd be far more engaged with this chatting and political stuff if A had been spellstone poisoned or something and was struggling to stay away while it was going on, so the tension was continuing up - I'm not sure that last beat is necessary. The part about A having poison on his clothes could easily be moved to an earlier scene and cause him to actually faint or something, which would increase tension
  7. Overall Generally, a very engaging chapter! I read right along with very few notes. I think the ending needs punched up a touch, and there's some wordiness at the start of the chapter that could be tightened, but overall I think this has a great arc, solid characters, and forward tension. Nicely done! As I go - that first paragraph is wordy in places. I think cutting down some words would help give it stronger impact - pg 1: Frustrated and feeling a growing rage <-- I'd rather see this than be told - through page four here I'm very engaged - pg 5: I'm confused. I thought G-M wanted C in trouble? So why is she now trying to burn down the hall to save C? Motivation switch I don't understand - pg 10: despite her feeling of present danger, she really wants to know what’s going to happen next. <-- LOL kind of meta but I like it - I think the end beat is off just a bit. It was building to a Big Reveal, and instead leaves us sort of dangling. I think a shock at the end might work better, like a teaser of what she sees (someone who looks just like her?)
  8. I’ve moved chapters around too much now so I don’t know if this chapter is redundant, or the first time you are all getting this information. Please suggest cuts wherever appropriate. It may cover much of the same ground as the At/E chapter, but I’m not sure. There’s some critical information about what isn’t on the beta plane that has to get across, and they have to get on the planet. Everything other than that may be redundant. Help!
  9. I'd also like a slot for Monday if there's space Edit - just did a word count and its 6,400 words. Anyone mind if I go over this week? I'll try to trim tomorrow before subbing but its a fairly event-heavy chapter
  10. Overall Some decent movement here, though it lagged during the dinner in a few places. For the most part I was fairly engaged. I still don't care for our MC much but this chapter did finally start me on a path to having some empathy for her. I do like the mystery of N and how get more about he's clearly a fairy. I completely agree with the above. As I go - I don't understand the parent exchange. One parent gives some fairly solid advice. The other says it is pessimistic. Then the first is pretty rude to the second. These two are married aren't they? Do they like each other? - pg 3: Take care with your words if you wish for more pastries in the future <-- This is not how teenagers talk. This is so stuffy - pg 6: it was moving at a decent romance clip until the interlude with asking the parents if they want to eat dinner with them. It's sagging through here. Suggest either cutting or setting up situational comedy/drama by having the parents popping down every so often to chat or get something or aggressively vacuum, etc. - pg 7: I’m capable of being attracted to anyone our age <-- surely he has crushes on movie stars and such who are older? - what is a jumpscare? - pg 7: You had better not say whatever mascot glitter companies use <-- huh? - pg 7: honestly the lines in the bottom half of page seven are not making any sense - pg 8: Where are the parents? Also I'm wandering with the singing stuff. I think it's going on too long without the plot really advancing or the date advancing - pg 12: I re-engage around the sunburn stuff - Aww, cute but sad ending
  11. Overall Now that the plot is moving and we are getting information, I'm really engaged. I want to keep reading! Not many comments because I was immersed. A few quibbles and a few places where things were choppy, but to me this is really getting into the meat of the story and because I connected with C a few chapters back, I'm super hooked. As I go - pg 1: “The crux of it is that you wouldn’t be able to live here in town with the rest of us. You would be too dangerous.” <-- This would be a more powerful line if it was just 'you would be too dangerous' - chapter 8: that was interesting! I'd have liked the adult to be a bit more THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES and it feels really easy, still, getting this information, but at this stage in the story I think I'm ready for it, too - I like the end of chapter 10! But I think it needs to be more apparent in the narrative because I did not connect those events to the same time and place until the end cap there
  12. Thank you all for the help! I've combined the two chapters, cutting out about 1000 words and moving the epigraph from the second chapter to the first. The money from Ard doesn't come through right away now, so O has to take the job so that B doesn't have to pay for her. Other change: Yash now encourages O to go have dinner with B after shopping to gab about her purchases and really play up the tourism thing. Thank you all for the help streamlining! I've cut some of the redundancy between the chapters and I think it is stronger for it.
  13. K, some issues with this one. This used to be the second half of chapter ten, and I think hits a lot of the issues people pointed out in chapter ten. Together, they are too long, but noting last week’s feedback now I wonder if I don’t just need to either have them be a long chapter, or get aggressive with the cutting and force them together. Basically this one is all the missing emotional beats. Thoughts on how to meld this with chapter 10, or if it should just be cut, or something along those lines, would be helpful. Or hey if it works, that’s fine too!
  14. I’d also like a slot for the upcoming Monday if there is space
  15. Overall Good movement here and some strong plot development. I loved the final scene. I'm still confused with G-M (see below) but its nice to have the narrative picking up steam. Generally I enjoyed this installment. I am also frustrated. I wanted her to find something important before the G-M showdown As I go - pg 1: I think part of the disconnect I have with the story and C is using words like 'sounds' instead of 'is'. When you use 'is' it makes it clear C is our POV. Using 'sounds' makes it sound like authorial diction, which puts a layer between the reader and the story - same here: is what Ed has to say when <-- why not just: 'E says'? The former is again, authorial story telling. The latter is immediate character - pg 4: through here I feel like there is a lot going on but I just don't really understand it. I want to. It sounds plotful and such, but it's like I'm missing some key piece that will make everything make sense - pg 10: I still find it weird that no one seems to really react to the raven talking - pg 11: G-M turns to Co with a dumbfounded stare. She’s surprised that Co has learned from her last mistake.<-- There is still a fair amount of this, showing then telling. That second sentence can be deleted. We understand it from the first one - I don't get stuck <-- AMAZING line!
  16. Thank you all for the feedback! Sounds like the biggest issue is giving Bell more backstory and character, which I think I'm going to do in a few places, not just this chapter. I often do the romance line last, so it isn't well established yet in this draft (obviously it's a B/O ship). I've got notes and will hit it harder in the next full round of edits. Glad this wasn't too rough! The action should pick up from this point forward, once O crosses the void and all the things hit the fan. Thank you again!
  17. Sorry it didn't get the usual cleaning pass. This weekend was super scheduled. Thanks for reading!
  18. I'd like a slot for Monday if there is space
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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!
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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 -
  25. Also up for Monday if there is space