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About TKWade

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    In the middle
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    Reading, video games, drawing, writing, all of the above.

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  1. @Mandamon & @Snakenaps Thank you both for the kind words! I'll definitely try some of these approaches this week and try to tease out what works best for me. I like knowing things like that you don't consider submitting a book until your 60% done, that gives me a good baseline to work towards.
  2. I'm not really sure how to start this off, so I'll just get into it. I've had a real issue writing for the last few years. A couple of years back I was really active for several months, really into wanting to write and get to a point where I have a finished product, even a poorly written one. This year and most of 2019 were really pretty rough for me, I really struggled with nihilism, self-hate, a feeling of being trapped and standing still while life rushes past me. It all felt like an extremely heavy weight on my chest, a really oppressing feeling. Finally, I listened to my wife(she's way smarter than me, so I shouldn't have been so stubborn lol) and started seeing a therapist this year. Long story short, I want to create content but I lack discipline, I always have and I'm hyper-aware of it. I struggle with ADHD and I expect that I can't complete something before I even get started on it, so I want to find a way to set myself up for success. I'm not sure of the best way to handle submissions this time. Before I had an issue with moving past chapters. This time I really don't' know where to start. Do I write 10 chapters and then start submitting? Do write most of a book and then start submitting so I have a better idea of where my story and characters are going? Do I just do small writing exercises that I can complete and submit them as shorts to get feedback? Right now I feel trapped in life. I want out. I have a great job with amazing bosses that I have no right to complain about, but I feel miserable at the thought of being here for 20 more years. I want to create content and take some agency back in my own life. I have a wife and kids, so writing really stands out to me as something that takes far less financial risk compared to other types of professions and I enjoy writing and creating new worlds and characters. It's something I know I enjoy when I'm really in it, but right now I'm not because I'm unsure of how to start, so like usual for me, I just don't. I guess I'm looking for advice.
  3. build up in chapter 2 and then just there suddently in chapter 3, i feel like the climax of that struggle was stolen from me. I expected some kind of build up until they first glanced it and would be able to take in the releived and excited reaction of the group at the time it happens. pg 2. "The four soldiers made their way past glowing windows and sounds of laughter or hushed conversation as the sun disappeared. Ace on his stretcher garnered stares and glances from windows, but one glimpse of the uniforms drew the curtains closed." I dont' know, this doesn't work for me for some reason. I think it's because the way the action is described in each dwelling makes it sound private, so I'm not expecting to learn that people are actively watching them. You might add that there are some looking out from their windows or that their attention is drawn to them initially, but then diverted upon seeing who they are. It just seems like i'm missing a piece of information. pg 3. "walked. Why had he reacted so loudly against seeing his family?" i feel like this whole paragraph is a lot of telling us how he feels. I wonder if these bits of information couldn't be dropped in more nuanced ways to help build Amin as character with complex feelings, uneasy to see his family again after being gone so long, without just telling us what he's feeling in such a straight way. I felt like this came across really stiff. I like your descriptions of the setting, I feel like I can really see Birdrock. pg 3. "carrying a body. Typical." Is it typical for him to bring bodies on stretches to her door, or just typical of him to be up to no good. Seems like that could use context maybe. I really enjoyed the meeting with his family. I really felt it and that was great.
  4. Welcome! I think @Paracosmic_nomenclator nailed pretty much all the points I had, so I wouldn't rehash them. I would add that on page 5. "I will not fail. I can't fail! He told himself" I would do like Para said, but also italicise it to make it clear that it's an internal thought and dialogue. Loved the magic system. As soon as you started to describe it all I could think about was Gara from Naruto who is one of my all-time favorite anime characters Kudos, and I'm super excited to learn about the world
  5. @WritingAubergine Welcome! Super happy to see some new peeps - Make sure you're indenting your paragraphs. The break makes it easier for the reader to organize the writing while they're reading. The same with your dialogue. Make sure that new dialogue is starting a new paragraph. P2/P3 you have a single paragraph is that is literally the length of a page and you have a couple of instances of dialogue within it to break it up. And it should be broken up quite a bit. - I understand this is an excerpt, but it was really difficult for me to get into from the start. You might next time provide some setting. ie: Mr M studied the two grungy men across from him, deciding the best way to get through might be a good 'ol fashioned story, he took a large drink from his tankard, slammed it on the table and got into it, "This here story..." - I have no idea of the pre-text here, so I'm just making stuff up, but I hope that makes sense. - Mr M sounds like he's just sitting there with his hands on the table telling a story flatly. You might through in actions and hand gestures or something. The story itself is active, but the character telling it seems passive and boring. Being a great storyteller has very little to do with the story and far more to do with the drama and gestures used to tell it. I'm just not pulled in and within three pages I found it really difficult to get through. - I do love the old story turned on its head though, well done. Keep at it and I'm excited to read more!
  6. This is what happens when you're out of band for a month! Bah! I had no idea about NaNoWriMo! Next year I'm going to have to participate. Until then, good luck to all you NaNo's and may your pens(or keys) be swift.
  7. - at least until he discovered how to get his second father or his mother to set him lighter chores instead. - I'm not sure this bit really adds anything to the story. I'd maybe get rid of it to lighten the paragraph. - "...if the phrase will be pardoned.” - typo - how brilliant their aspect of the Grand Symphony was. - I don't understand the context of aspect in this sentence. It sounds like you're saying their understanding of the Grand Symphony, almost. Are you saying they have a feature of the Grand Symphony? It's just not landing for me. - "...transfer it elseways,” - elsewhere? - "“It’s the Systems. I don’t yet ken ‘em. We canna..." You start this dialog off with a really strong dialect, but end it with a really clear dialect. It almost reads as if it's from two different characters. Also, the section of strong dialect is difficult to read, imo. I'd dial it back maybe or just make it a bit more clear. - "...merely from nostalgia..." - I could be wrong, but I think this should be 'for' nostalgia because he's doing it in order to reminisce. If he's doing it because he did it in the past, then maybe 'from habit' instead, but it sounds like he decided to intentionally save the task because he wanted to enjoy the nostalgia from doing it previously, ergo he's doing it for, not from. - “Yes. We have a rodent problem.” lol, I enjoyed this line. - “The cellar, it is down here,” I noticed this before, but I thought it worth a mention. I really appreciate how you've made the Majus' speech patterns instantly recognizable. Well done! - “I didnae know..." - Just pointing out another instance where the dialect is really difficult to understand. As the reader, I'm not sure how this word should roll off the tongue. I just opt to read it as "dinnit" or straight, "didn't". - R sighed and entered the dim staircase. - I like that the stakes are more concrete. I didn't get a chance to read through your second revision, but this is definitely an improvement on the first submission. - He’d never yet caught - this phrasing seems odd to me. I just think it rolls off the tongue a little funky. I don't think anything is wrong with it per say, but I don't particularly enjoy the wording. - If he lugged the crate up - typo - The try-fail cycle you're establishing here in the cellar is much improved. I'm really enjoying the sequence. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Well done
  8. @kais and @SalMonroe Little late on this, but, hah! true! And I fought the fridging thing tooth and nail. Kais had to pull me kicking and screaming, but it finally sunk in, thankfully.
  9. @kais Ah! how did I not mention to fridging trope! blah! I must repent!
  10. Hey, @SalMonroe, thanks for posting! I enjoyed the story! So, first off, make sure you're double-spacing your whole piece, it makes it easier to read and I believe it's part of the posting rules in the introduction, no big this time, but for next time it'd be helpful. Make sure you're indenting your paragraphs. page 2, paragraph 3, is a little awkward. I think maybe unnecessary. I think I think it's a pretty common habit to look up after sitting down, in general, I really don't think you need to go into why he does it. You can just say, "he looks up at the tv out of habit." and that would be sufficient. I think you do well staying in first-person and your dialog with S works for me. What doesn't work for me is the ending dialog with Micheal. It feels really awkward and stilted. If you make your dialog more concise and direct, I think it'll read better. Example: Instead of, "it's just a metaphor, John" use "it's a metaphor." It feels more natural. In conversation, we typically don't address each other by name directly. I wouldn't usually say to my friend, "Okay, Dylan, I get it." I'd just say, "Okay, I get it." or "Okay, man, I get it." Why go to the park? I'm fine with it, but I think you need to provide a reason other than there is a cross there to pray to. You can pray anywhere. Your home, your car, your bathroom, literally doesn't matter, so this part seems odd simply because there's no defined reason, other than it be quiet and empty of people. I did like the guy puking on the cross, it felt symbolic. Like the devil laughing at God. It was almost another hit at something more going on. Regarding your ending questions: I think it was just enough fantasy. I like stories like this because it leaves you right on the edge of, "is this dude just imagining it, or is there something more really going on here??" Suzie being dead at the end: I suspected, but I'd like to be a little more concrete. You could write in the last sentence that when he goes back into the bathroom and looks in the mirror the number is 24. You could throw in an off-hand comment on J wondering how S slept through his screaming. That would solidify it. If you want to leave it open-ended you could just throw in the off-hand comment, but I think that's leaving the door open. You could also have J go back to the bathroom, look in the mirror, and react, but not outright tell the reader what he sees. Just describe his reaction to the #24. Ending it like that would also solidify that fact that something fantastical is definitely at work. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Thank you for posting, hope we see more work from you!
  11. @kais You and neongrey have been so graciously honest Sometimes a rough critique is what's needed for growth, I'll never complain. Hehe.
  12. @SalMonroe Welcome to Reading Excuses! I'm excited to read your piece next week and tear it to bits Thank you so much for the thorough critique, and don't worry, I've been decimated by a critique much worse, so you're totally safe. It's based off DnD, but I'm taking major liberties and kind of letting it go where it wants. Point. I will definitely revise this, thanks! My goal here was to contrast his previous life with his new life, maybe I just need to clean up the execution like you say. I have to disagree, but you're also the reader and what the reader perceives is always more important than what the writer put on paper, or meant to put on paper. I'll try to reword this to make it more personal. I kind of thought it was personal enough being directly in response to the thoughts he was having about Val. I will disagree on adding "ever" if only because by saying, "no one escapes the thumb of the Arbiter." it's implied that no one ever does, to include "ever" would be redundant. But you make a point and I will try to revise it. I love what you have to say here and I had similar thoughts, so it's good to hear it echoed by readers. You're not overstepping at all, love the suggestions. Thanks! Point. I'll revise. Because it's an internal thought, I was hoping the smile would be taken as more of an internal smile, but I can specify this in the writing. But quite right, he wouldn't be physically smiling. I have to disagree with this one. People sometimes flip-flop on emotions quickly. You don't know what is going through her head, but you can assume, as the reader, that she's enjoying her quips at him and the reactions she's sparking, but then in realising what she's doing to him, putting setting him up to die, she becomes upset. People joke at funerals all the time, and then in a moment of reminiscing, can become instantly sad about their departed. People are complex and capable of feeling a multitude of emotions all at once. But again you're the reader, so maybe I need to find a way to adjust this to make it easily digestible. Maybe make the switch more pronounced, to be taken as further foreshadowing that Rowan is probably getting set up. Point. I'll revise this. It's meant to be a coping method for his anxiety or boredom, in this case, anxiety, I can find a way to slide that in there. I need to do a better job of making this apparent to the readers, because yours isn't the only comment. He is helping Warren. The idea is that one of the church branches is starting to pick up on Warren's smuggling habits and the priest needs Warren for capturing magi. I'll try to fix this when I fix my Warren issue earlier in the chapter. Good point, I'll revise. Thank you for taking the time to read and critique! I'll really appreciate it and please, don't worry about going overboard with critiques, the worst you can do is not say what you think is wrong with the writing. As long as your tone is respectful, of which it was, you'll be fine. And again, welcome!
  13. I'll expand the first act to try expounding the "why" better. Thanks!
  14. LOL! @Mandamon and I are apparently shouting in tandem from the (virtual) corner. "PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET, DOOFUS! YOUR POCKET!" LOL! And here I was trying to slide his competency up! Lazy writing is lazy.
  15. It's supposed to be a single thought, "Animals pooping on the road while pulling people in their wagons." Maybe just written incorrectly? This is the first part of a 5 part series.