kais

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Everything posted by kais

  1. Agree. This would go a long way to helping, though you'd still need to change the tone of the husband so that he actually listens to and takes his wife seriously.
  2. I'd like a slot for next Monday. Finally ready to get back to my pulpy sci fi book
  3. Bah, we all have Author Problems. That's why we're here instead of the NYT bestseller's list. Oh, to dream that dream... (also, if you hang around long enough you can watch one of my first drafts go through and eviscerate as you will. They're...not pretty.)
  4. This is a critique co-op with fairly well enforced rules. We also use email, not posting.
  5. Overall I like how there is more movement now, of the characters, and S is showing more agency. I did suggest some cuts since you had a good flow going and then there was a bit too much introspection. In terms of promises, I think the one big one is the one from book 1. That promise was S. We got to know him, he proved he had all this potential and we were left with a mystery. Unfortunately this book has only just started giving us those answers. I'd really like to see more Sam in book two, and Sam with a touch of agency, and maybe a POV from both the Ard characters. They were really the heart of book one, those three, and I'd be nice to stay with them throughout. Otherwise though, I do love this gold power! As I go - I will never be able to see the word 'emissary' without hearing it in the voice of that older Bajorin woman from DS9 who thought Sisko (Cisko?) was the emissary - the epigraph person seems to having very plot-convenient remeberences - A fact I have recalled only in the past few minutes I think I'd rather see this built in and revealed than dumped. As above, it's very convenient - page 3: +10 for new neopronouns. - pg 5: I appreciate S having some agency here - pg 7: LOL @ 'And S.' - The three paragraphs, however, I think could be cut entirety. It slows the great tension building and tells us nothing we don't already know
  6. Overall So first off, the flow of the story was good and it certainly made me feel things! So connection with reader=check. Unfortunately, as you will see below, I had a number of very large issues with the protagonist. I found him to be, at best, deeply unlikable, and at worst, a murdering, child-stealing, narcissist. I think this could work as a short if it worked more like The Butterfly Effect, where there are increasingly problematic repercussions. It would also be nice if the man had a moment where he realized he was doing all of this for himself, and that he did not actually care about his wife (is he about to leave her at the beginning??) or his second daughter, so obsessed is he with the past. Basically, I'd like to suggest that if you leave the man as he is, that you have the narrative refute at every given opportunity and showcase that what he is doing is clearly a problem, and not born out of 'love'. As I go - It pains me to shut her feelings out, but I have to be strong. Just an FYI, this is a tone that will get me to drop a book in a hot minute. If the narrator is a guy, and he's not acknowledging feelings whilst being pined for by a girl...this trope is deeply overused and problematic. Men are capable of a full range of emotion. Let them show it. - I reply irritated <-- dude is now irritated because girl has emotions and is showing them. This is my Marge Simpson face. - You know that's all gibberish to me. Because she has emotions and is also Not Very Smart - pg 8: wait, why is N suddenly in the picture? I'm confused - pg 9: oh I see, parallel timelines - Deep down I've always known that I'd be ready to do anything for my family. I just never thought I'd have to kill myself. I don't know. I mean, he's toying with his second daughter's life right from the beginning over his own obsession. So really, the move to kill himself thereby depriving his family of some level income (since he does not appear to be the primary caregiver to the child) is really just as selfish as basically every other thing he has done. - I try not to think of the suffering she and L have to be going through. WOW. This character has deep, deep problems -... will have to live without me. Oh god! What'll A do without me? It'll break her. She barely managed to survive N's death, and only because I've been there for her. Who'll help her when I'm gone? Hopefully someone without narcissistic personality issues? - There's a hole burning in my chest where N should be, but I'll never risk losing my other girls again. If he's going to have a come to Jesus moment, I'd like it to be a lot more drawn out and impactful. Because right now I don't feel like he has actually learned anything, or changed. He made a series of Really Terrible Choices and through basically magic, has no repercussions. He screwed with multiple lives, murdered someone, stole a child, and left his wife, all so he could have the perfect life. The narrative does not counter any of that and in fact, makes it seem like that is alright since everything ended well. For me, that is a large problem.
  7. Oooh, flash fiction! So my initial impression is this song. I think there's some elements that float without real meaning, like the importance of the shield being blue (unless it's straight up blue is a boy color business). It seems too like the father is a writer and the boy is upset the father spends more time writing than with him, that he loves writing more than him. A very Charles Schultz/Peanuts sort of thing. I had to read it a few times, which isn't that unusual with flash fiction. I liked the imagery of the play and writing, and the things leaking from the back just as they leaked from the son's (who may also grow up to be a writer?). So, final impression--very Cat's in the Cradle. I liked it!
  8. Overall I liked this! The middle could have used a bit more detail, but as a straight up fairy tale, it has good bones and some sound flesh. I really liked the end. I think it probably needs a few 'filling up' passes, but that's about it! While I did love the end line, I'm inclined to agree that a rescue would help. You could do it and still have that clever end line. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. As I go - pg 2: capes are gendered? - pg 2: 'as a baby trusts its father' struck me a little weird. Babies generally trust their mothers a whole heck of a lot more, although how much of that has to do with mom being a walking lunchbox is up for debate - pg 4: missing 'have' in 'I won't any friends' - pg 6: 'though I am a fool, I will remind you how.' Seems strange, since 'fools' in a court generally do help people laugh - nice end!
  9. Overall Oh, that went fast! I enjoyed the A reveals! E seems to have some plot blinders on throughout this, and I expected more out of her during the early imprisonment, but the tension holds well during the time with the two non-conforming As. I had this same issue Overall though, nice chapter! As I go - pg2: why is E practically asking to be blindfolded?
  10. 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!
  11. Uh, everyone? Registration is open!! If you're new, we maybe sort of decided to do an in-person get together at WorldCon 2019 in Dublin. It will certainly be nothing like the first meetup of The Guild. Everyone is welcome. I AM SO EXCITED! ETA: SO EXCITED AND NOW OFFICIALLY REGISTERED!
  12. Juan, Greg, Frank, Nick, Theo, Jesus, Kelly... more...
  13. Well I got an email asking me to confirm my times available. So I'm officially a program participant, but not sure on what yet. Didn't see anything about tracks or panels or whatnot.
  14. This sounds amazing. I have an in-person writing group but it is more industry support than critique. Yours sounds truly excellent.
  15. 100% here for multiple neopronouns in a book. I think Ard tapped out at... four(?) by the end. I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO BETTER. You will have to define them at some point, though, because there's no universal use of them yet. A one sentence drop for each would probably be fine.
  16. AHAHAHAHA FIRST! Overall A bit wobbly in spots but good forward momentum. I did really want S to go through the crystal, instead of something coming out. Generally I think this chapter would benefit from more emotional connection (I know I know, funny coming from me and my drafts), which is always something you can put in later after you get it streamlined. As I go - are the colors acceptable? Aww, love - I'd be sad to lose this fun color conversation if you blend this into other chapters - 'the mute species' suggest deleting this. I think it's apparent and kind of more fun if it's not said - 'the species did not have the same concept of gender...' I'd like to consider myself fairly well versed in this world you've created. To this point, I thought it had been implied that there was no 'usual,' as you've been great about showcasing a number of sexualities and genders as just part of the world. This line, to me, calls that all into question. This is Mand ascribing his views, but its coming off as authorial view. I think it also limits your world. It would come off better as just starting with 'it was considered polite to ask...' - Agender=not currently doing anything. Hmm. I get it, but maybe needs just a touch of something else. 'Agender, as they were not currently doing a gendered assignment' or something along those lines, maybe? Gender by task is amazing world building and I love it, but it takes a bit of tweaking, I think, to make sure its not reinforcing weird Earth biases - Did Moor's name always have a 't' in it? Is my brain being weird? - nonbinary pronoun confusion, pg 5: This Lob we are talking to is agender and using they. Lar uses zie. Different part of the nonbinary spectrum, or typo? It 100% makes sense to use different pronouns with different enby derivations, but just wanted to make sure that was what you intended. - FOR THE DISSOLUTION yes please - the epigraph seems redundant with previous chapters. we know all this already - you know, I'm just going to come out with it. I want more on this R/O relationship. It's danced around in most of the books, and they have spats and such but I want like, an actual convo between them about their deal. Maybe a page. Maybe it ties into a beat with S and E and we just get Feelings for half a chapter. Either way, every time a line is dropped about R/O and there's no emotional tie, I get grumpy. - uh.... I want to be there for this swap! I is back, E is gone, and I feel like a SUPER AWESOME MOMENT has been stolen from me - I defending the trade very nonchalant seems counter to the yelling about torture a bit back. Right now it reads like I was in some sort of resort spa. He isn't upset at all - pg 9: yes, definitely want more reactions from I about his experiences - pg 12: I want you to know that right here, right now, I am yearning for a heartfelt S/I scene. They have so much in common and EMOTIONS - this bridge.... WRS? What is it? Where is it? Why is it important? - pg 16: YES PUT A HAND UNDER HIS CHIN, DARN IT! - 18: S has had like zero agency thus far, and right now I just really want him to run into the crystal wall
  17. Sneaking in under the wire again, as I do. Overall Loved the bit with S's new house. E is really inconsistently written, and I think you could cut the whole R piece at the end. I think it actually slows tension instead of building it. Otherwise though, I think the pacing in this went well and it is building nicely. It reads like you've found your feet now, in this book, and we're chugging along nicely. Seconded. This is a fairly unique relationship and I would love to see a bit more of the dynamic. Not drama, mind, but evolution of feelings and such. I also feel like this is a consistent issue. Fewer POVs, and longer ones that are kept, would help a lot I agree with @industrialistDragon As I go - pg 1: I'm confused. They know there is a top to the Neth, but then say no expedition has been successful? Where are we in relation to your MG novella? - E's jealousy seems to come from nowhere. There was no hint of it in book one. I think it needs to be foreshadowed WAY earlier, like in a POV chapter maybe, right at the start, for this to make sense. It could work (though oddly I'm less engaged in their three way relationship if it does become a thing, because I like how seamless it is now), but I think it needs groundwork first - pg 3: oh, we're talking about Av now? Wait, when did that character get re-introduced? Do I have WRS? - pg 4: yeah, the snippet of jealousy doesn't really work with the sweetness of the kiss later on - pg 9: the overlap thing is fascinating and well explained - pg 10: definitely like the idea of S being in a new house, instead of having All The Gifts. Nice twist - pg 12: 'S needs him to come back.' E is all over this place this chapter, and not consistent at all. This is the most POV she's ever had in one of your books, I think, so might just be needing to figure out her voice - the bit with E and R at the end feels unnecessary
  18. LOL yes I can tolerate them, but I'm sending you a marked up version to begin with, so you'll want to accept all changes before adding your mark ups or I'll never see them.
  19. Week or two. I don't need LBLs or anything, just wanting to make sure it hit better emotional notes this time around in the end chapters. It's 2K over limit, too, so I can't add anything else.
  20. Anyone have time to do a quick re-read of Dandelions (~14K words) all the way through and see if I've cleaned up the issues? Would like a few more eyes on it before it goes back to my editor.
  21. Thank you again! These remain very helpful as I go through the editor edits, to tweak the story. I've done a lot of work with the glass sleeve, so that it is now in three pieces and just has to be glued up. I think that should help a lot. now on to fix the last part!
  22. 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.
  23. Second attempt. So this… thing I have here is just over 12K, which is the word limit (submitting in 5K chunks, of course). Hence I’m all ears for any crit, but if you want me to add something I’m going to challenge you to also suggest where/what I could cut to get it in. The first page, in particular, I think could be cut down. My goals for this piece included the following: a) trope-filled b.) fluffy and fun LBLs or generalized comments welcome. I’m especially interested on thoughts on the neopronouns and if you would prefer a different set, or even they/them/theirs. I’m not married to the ones I used, and this is going in an anthology where pronouns are expected to be different, but I haven’t settled on which set works best yet. Thanks! (and warning for @Robinski - there's a market scene. Please forgive me!)
  24. @Robinski Thank you so much for these comments! All duly noted and incorporated. I'm blending these bits in with my first round from my editor and I think the story is shaping up very well. Hah, well, I guess that's my calling card now?
  25. Overall While I appreciate that there are only 2 POV characters in this chapter, I agree with @industrialistDragon that I have POV fatigue. I'd much prefer to stick with a character through a whole chapter, even two or more, before swapping. I especially miss Sa, as this always seemed like his story and he has been relegated to the sidelines. I'm wondering if this book wouldn't work well as an apprentice POV book? Maybe Sa, En, and one or two others? That would be a really interesting perspective and limit the POV numbers as well. I loved the I is a POV reveal. Good emotion there! I agree too that there is a lot of overlap in each chapter. They could be skimmed down and streamlined for better flow. But for a draft, looking good! As I go - pg 2: I feel like I've read all this before? Maybe? - pg 7: here we start to get to the meat of the chapter, but I think it comes too late. The part of him learning that his friend was an A would be better on page two or so, to keep the tension moving forward. There was too much talking before - pg 8: I'm missing something. Why is he willing to trade one for the other? What is the motivation behind this? I think I need more emotional lead in here because right now he just looks like he turned villain - pg 10: yeah I'd jerk my arm away, too