Ace of Hearts

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  1. Hey everyone, and sorry for the absence. Had a great time visiting family and now I'm back to work. I rewrote 80% of chapter 7 from scratch since it was clear that the middle part was lagging, and I decided to send it through again. Questions for after reading: 1. If you can remember the previous sub (no worries if not since it was a month ago lol), is this one better? Does it address the weak spots of the previous draft? 2. How do you feel about the characters? I've been trying to make W more likable in general.
  2. I'll have a spot for Monday too, please!
  3. Aw I'm only the second person here on Friday? Better make sure to give you some good feedback then pg 1. I know we talked about how much of Is' arc revolves around her ideas around weakness, and it's good that you seed that here in the first page. pg 2. So far liking the way Is sees A. This is a good way of pulling him into larger plot threads, since right now he seems a little disconnected from it (though not as much as Ali, which I assume you're also working on). It also creates something permanent she has to deal with. I was worried about the poisoning coming across as too easily fixable, but her owing A is not. pg 6. By the top of the page I'm getting antsy for more plot movement -Ugh I don't want to sit through talk about recovery and exercises any more than I'm guessing Is does pg 8. This is where my engagement jumps back up. So the spellstone A brought along by mistake was actually useful in the end! I'm starting to see why there was so much focus on it in earlier drafts... though I do think the story is stronger without all the fuss about it. pg 9. The addiction idea is interesting to me. I'm guessing that's repurposed as anti-magic propaganda pg 10. Don't do what again? Get poisoned? I really do not like V as a person and this doesn't help. pg 11. Again, I'm seeing why C was such a big focus in earlier drafts. And again, I think we're totally fine without it. -A question that hasn't been addressed by the characters so far as I remembered: why go after #2 in line for the throne? Surely R is the bigger deal politically and they were at the same tournament. pg 13. I'm running into the same problem with V I've had before: when he's here, everyone else takes a back seat. Feels like he's given exposition to Is and she's not allowed to do anything character-wise because he's the king and his presence dominates the scene. pg 14. I didn't get the impression V was jumping straight to romance in his line at the top -Okay so what's the relationship between the locations K and T? T is a dukedom and is under the fealty of V, but is more ethnically tied to K? Or is that just A? pg 16. I knew this was coming but if she does get sent off to an area away from the action it will be disappointing to me. 1. Yeah, mostly. The one thing that felt a bit off to me was Is crying. I think that's because her physical state and recovery itself isn't that interesting to me compared to the larger-scale consequences, which seems to be what she's crying about. 2. Yeah! I thought the info was really well-delivered here. Only point of confusion is the relation of A and Tram to Ket, as mentioned in the line edits. 3. I like Is, and I'm a lot more excited for her arc now that she has a real connection with A and owes him. And as a princess she definitely can help him out. V is... I still don't like him as a person and he seems to drown out the interesting parts of other characters when he's around since they need to behave around the king. I don't know how much it can be helped honestly since it does make sense. I'd rather, say, have V tell A to pressure Is into recovering in a remote location offscreen so we get to see A and Is interact more, just as an example. 4. Is, A, the politics, and how they're all connected. I'm really hoping the story focuses more on this than Is' recovery, because it's more dynamic and brings multiple main characters into the forefront of something important. I know Is is going to recover, and even if she doesn't it's not like she's really engaging in the story directly by recovering from a poisoning. Plus, there's no threat of things getting worse (so far), so it's easy to not care. Contrast that with Is needing to repay A and A needing to not get torn apart by the racist nobles. That could easily get worse, opens up a ton of fun character interactions, and really makes the characters work to get what they want instead of sitting around and waiting to get better.
  4. Oh boy we got a long one! And for once it's not me. pg 1. Wait so does the mayor not even consider that C might have said no to other C and might not still be in the house? That's my best reading but it seems odd -also why is GM an issue beyond running away? She did give something to the wood stove, right? pg. 2. Okay this is dumb but if the town never changes and has been there since time immemorial then why are there like TVs and stuff? -wow I hate how the mayor talks about his wife (as in I hate him not I hate the writing; the paragraph is great). I hope this dude gets clonked on the head real hard pg 3. Is that what happened to GM? That she did it wrong? Does that mean the sacrifice was wasted or simply wasn't enough and more can be added onto it? pg 4. I am now hoping he gets clonked hard on the head twice. Leave E alone! >:( pg 7. Every time V shows up I feel like I kinda forgot like he existed. I'm still waiting for a bit more from him. pg 8. ...And because of this, C feeling betrayed at what V did doesn't really mean anything to me. pg 9. Come to think of it, has V even done anything to be warranted this trust C is giving him? pg 10-11. Think this can be condensed a bit pg 13. Do they know what happens if they don't burn something in the wood stove? pg 14. At this point I'm hoping for more motion pg 15-18. The ending line is good, but other than that I'm not getting a ton from T's PoV. Overall: 1. Not confusing, and not really boring, but the later parts get a bit slow. For it to not feel slow, it needs to feel like the kids are making progress with their plans. For the most part, they don't until V has an epiphany at the end, prompted by who knows what. So as a result, it feels like the last 8 pages weren't super important and also that V can come up with solutions a little too easily. 2. Yeah everything's good here. I like that V is taking charge and doing something plot-relevant, but he feels both too mysterious and not distinct enough (which I think go hand in hand) for me to get a good read on him. He's supposed to be a hero and protect the kids, but... why? We keep dancing around the fact and not making a lot of progress. That being said, I was engaged throughout both the chapters. Good luck with revisions and going forward!
  5. Thanks for your thoughts, everyone (and I'll try to get my critiques for everyone's stuff done by tonight). I have a lot of good feedback on two different versions, so I think it's time to plow ahead and revisit this tricky chapter a little later. Aha so I wasn't able to slip this past you. Truth be told, I wrote my early drafts with a clear intention to avoid all self-pity, which I think is part of why she came across as arrogant and uninterested to many readers. I switched to more vulnerability in revisions and it's good to know that this is the point where it goes too far.
  6. All right finished the rewrites on what I wanted to do. @Silk is it okay if I send a sub out tomorrow after proofreading with fresh eyes? No worries if that's not enough notice, though.
  7. I'm going to try to pull something together tonight for critiquing. If I do finish, is it okay if I slip in and submit as well? Thank you to everyone who has critiqued so far despite my inconsistent subs!
  8. I'm back after going on vacation for a few weeks! I skimmed over the last couple of subs to catch myself up, and I really enjoyed them. As I go: Pg 2. Hmm I'm a bit worried about T losing her insight. It already gets a bit old after the second time and I'm worried that it will stall the story. Pg 3. Did T burn her insight to force herself not to think about larger issues? That's a more interesting focus point than her not catching cues. Could she have just burned something like her imagination instead? pg 7. I think the focus should be more on "pathetic" and less on "victim" when GM is talking about M. Because M shouldn't be excused of who she chose to become, especially not by her kid who she has a lot of power over as a parent. pg 9. G-M herself seems like the pathetic one here. Is she supposed to be a real antagonist in the story? If so, I think she really needs to step up her game. pg 10. The characters themselves are acknowledging this but nobody really has a plan and they're getting nowhere. It feels realistic but at the same time I think more needs to be happening right now. No and yes. I agree with @C_Vallion that this doesn't quite carry the momentum of previous chapters, and I think for me it's that the main thing that happens here is G-M getting thrown out, which is a very noncomittal change. Who's to say that she won't show up in T's house and have this exact argument with C tomorrow morning? C meeting other C last chapter is something that will stick with her for the rest of the story, but this feels less consequential. Imo either something permanent needs to change between G-M and C, or there needs to be a different large shift in the chapter. Still, I'm engaged at this point! The fact that the people have to give up a part of themselves to the wood stove is a really good touch. I've been thinking about what I might give up if I were in that situation... which is a good sign that the story has really gripped me.
  9. Hi all! Thanks for your patience as I slowly plod along with a chapter every other week (grad school life). I think there's more motion here than in previous chapters, which hopefully makes it more engaging but also means there's potential for key parts to need some refining. Still working on the previous chapters, and I don't think the specific edits will affect this submission too much. Questions for after reading: 1. Points of engagement? 2. Feelings about characters? 3. How do you feel about the way W gets the information from N to figure out what's going on near the end of the chapter? Does it seem contrived? If so, do you have any suggestions for how she and N can figure it out?
  10. Yep, she knows her mom is sick but doesn't know with what and her parents specifically told her it wasn't the cancer coming back. Hmm while I think it's fine if this is obvious from a meta perspective (Chekhov's Gun and all that), I definitely didn't want to make it seem like W should have easily been able to recognize it... or maybe I can play with that and have her be forcibly denying it to herself until N points it out. Anyone else who happens to be reading this, did you have similar thoughts that W should have figured this out a long time ago?
  11. As I go: pg 1. I mentioned this before in At's chapter, but as a new reader seeing At have to work around getting bothered by her partner (wife? I don't remember if they're married) just for doing her (very important) job gives me a bad first impression of E. pg 2. I like that we're getting some time to see S shine on her own pg 3. From At's chapter we know that they're close to Ard itself and not P, right? Does S have any idea why it says they're close to P? pg 4. Ohhhh they're in the other plane aren't they? pg 5. If P was that important then I'm wondering why we didn't see more fallout from it getting blown up. Other plants like the one O landed on must be scrambling to readjust their economies, right? -The fact that S can't contact At or E makes me more confident about my hypotheses of them being in the beta plane pg 9. Start of the page here is where I feel like we need some more motion pg 10. How normal is the "register or get blown up" thing? pg 12. And how common is knowledge about the beta plane? If S and the crew have heard as much as we have about it, I feel like they should have picked up on what's going on by now. pg 14. Not usually a description person but the bit we get here makes me wish we had more scattered before. I'm able to picture what's going on much better now pg 16. Do they have any idea who the ship is from? I mean if it got registered then I would assume those people don't want to hunt it down pg 17. This chapter has already been pretty demanding so far, which is good but by the time we get to this new mysterious person I feel fatigued and not really prepared to engage with what's going on I agree with @RedBlue that there's not a ton of repeat info, and that most of what we get is good. As for cuts, I think pgs 7-12 felt the most stagnant to me. While it's natural for them to ask what's going on with P, I think we can pretty quickly jump to the fact that Earth and Ard are named something different / Ard maybe doesn't exist? Which can lead to the beta plane realization. Like I mentioned at the end of the LbLs, figuring out they're in the beta plane is enough information for a whole chapter, really. The last few pages introduce a lot of rapid-fire dynamics that I personally would have been better able to handle if they happened at the beginning of S' next chapter instead of shifting things at the end. Imo ending with the beta plane realization is a stronger ending than crash landing on the planet.
  12. Looking forward to reading this! As I go: pg 1. I like that C identifies the lie as a lie, but it means there's still no consequences so far. Honestly I think there should be something established early on for why she can't ask adults, and that somehow gets broken and lets her ask S -I'm spitballing here but one idea is that it's clear from the start that adults won't answer questions, but can be made to confirm guesses. So C knows from the start that she can't ask them until she figures out a bit more about what's going on. pg 2. Neglecting their work? That's what piques my interest and I'm surprised C doesn't ask for more information on that part as well. pg 3. The first line of chapter 10 is me in grad school. Ten years apart from C and in the exact same position (and I'm only half joking) -are the adults that manipulative? So far we've really only seen it from G-M and I'm surprised C seems to accept it as a way of life. pg 4. In the second half of the page I got confused as to who was talking pg 5. You and me both with the reflexive apologies, C pg 6. I feel like C should be skeptical of more manipulation given G-M's track record pg 8. I like the ending here Overall: I agree with everyone else that this is really solid. Which means it's time for me to nitpick and try to take it from good to great. 1. Yes and... somewhat. Looking at other responses it seems like I'm a stickler on this but I do still want a clearer reason C couldn't have asked this before. 2. Nope! 3. For the most part, yeah. My only point of confusion is it feels like we're supposed to trust GM here since the story doesn't make anything she does seem suspicious, but it also seems like based on her character she should be up to something. As an aside, I think right now the story would read the same without V and his character doesn't feel as fleshed out compared to C or GM. I often forget that he even exists. This isn't a bad thing necessarily but considering how prominent he's been so far I'm expecting a bit more from him. 4. I don't trust her. Honestly the "I hate you" is the only thing that makes me trust her a little bit, since her honesty here seems to indicate that she's at a loss.
  13. Thanks for your feedback, everyone! Sounds like the resounding feedback is to take a look at the first ten pages, find a central focus, cut out the excess, and streamline the dialogue so it feels natural. I'll get to work on it.
  14. Hi everyone! The stuff below is actually important this time so please read I know I didn't respond last thread, but I did take everyone's feedback into account. Multiple people thought that that my last sub made more sense as two chapters with separate arcs, so I decided to give that a shot and that's what I have here. The content in this sub would be replacing the stuff from last sub, not adding onto it. That is, if I decide to keep this new format. Since it's basically rewritten from scratch and could change the ways I edit the next chapters, I decided to resub. Plus, I don't know if it's actually an improvement, so I wanted to check in. Questions for after reading: 1. Points of engagement? 2. Which general structure do you like better between this sub and my previous one (or do neither work)? 3. For whichever one you liked better, is there anything important it's missing that the other one has (no worries if you can't remember)? 4. How do you feel about the characters here? Any differences from how they came off in the last sub?
  15. Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Phew commenting on this two weeks after submitting it. Anyways I'm going to play around with the chapters a bit more, but my current idea is to take the first part of the first draft and the second part of the second draft, since it seems like people like the detailed discussion with N and the flowers more in this version but liked the conflict between W and A more in the previous version. Thanks again!
  16. Not going to lie the feedback was a lot to take in at first but I'm glad I did it. The first step is always the hardest one. I can't speak for others but what's been most helpful for me is to be confident (but not overconfident, of course). When I have no confidence at all it's easy to feel overwhelmed and give up, but when I think "okay there's a lot of stuff here that needs improvement based on comments but there's also a lot of cool stuff that can shine when I get those fixed up," it's a bit easier for me to edit. Still working on my mentality, though. Never-ending cycle.
  17. As I go: pg 1. Honestly I've been kinda skimming/ignoring most of the epigraphs but this grabbed my attention. Really strong motivation here right off the bat pg 3. I don't trust this... why does O? pg 5-6. I think this can be cut down a bit, especially if the location doesn't come up again. Really I'm waiting for them to talk about personal stuff -the map gets a big ol detailed paragraph and I'm not quite sure why pg 8. I think B's spiel is broader than we need right now. I don't really care about all the different factions at play; it seems like the most important part is that Y is doing something shady that could get O dragged into it long-term and I want that to be the focus pg 9. So O is disappointed in herself that A did so much better than her? Bitter? This is what I wanted more of earlier. -B's response here does a better job of hanging a lantern on the fact that O really doesn't know what she wants from Ard. Any chance we could get this conversation earlier? pg 11. Hmm B seems to cut things off rather abruptly Overall: My personal thoughts are that the conversation with B here and the epigraph should be the first thing we get from O after the call to Ard. I don't think it would be hard to fit in, since O is probably overwhelmed and B can very easily be like "okay let's get you outside for a bit. I know a place" or something like that. The reasons I'm saying this are that 1. this information and the dynamic is important and I want it to be firmly established as soon as possible and 2. there's not a lot of plot motion in the conversation itself so it doesn't feel like the ideal end to a chapter. It's more... picking up the pieces of what happened earlier, which I think is better at the start of a chapter so it can lead us into a new dynamic later on in the chapter. The earlier stuff in this chapter is fine, but it raises questions that get put on pause halfway through. I think having it lead directly into the second part of the job will make it stronger, which is another reason why I want the conversation earlier. So my ideal course of events for the two chapters is (and I know this is prescriptive but I'm assuming you asking for thoughts gives me the go-ahead to do this): O is overwhelmed after finding out all the info about Ard and At -> B notices this and takes her out -> they chat at the restaurant about what O wants -> B offers to take her to Ard -> Y contacts them as O is thinking B's offer over and wants O to report back -> Y offers the job and O accepts -> part 1 of the mission with gathering materials -> part 2 of the mission (partially or fully)
  18. I don't know if this actually helps or not, but you're definitely not alone in feeling intimidated at the start. After sending in my first submission I was so nervous I had trouble sleeping. Writing and editing are difficult and personal processes, and it's normal to feel nervous about various aspects of it, especially getting feedback.
  19. As I go: pg 2. Don't strain a muscle patting yourself on the back, C -omg I love how C doesn't understand the implications of what she's asking E to do. I am now headcanoning her as as aro until disproven pg 4. I love G-M's paranoid, scheming mind. Imo this makes a lot more sense than her thoughts about distracting C with homework pg 5. It's worth noting that I'm really engaged by the social dynamics of the kids and less engaged with the airplane rn pg 6. Hmm this is all surprising but like I said my real engagement is coming from the kids and their interactions. Maybe it's just the time in between weekly subs but I can't quite remember why the plane matters so much pg 8. I can tell that C being vague here about her fear of G-M is intentional, but it doesn't give me much to work with. If she can't work through her feelings then she could think about other examples pg 10. G-M seems... really pathetic here. I definitely liked her (as a character, not as a person) more when she felt on top of her game Overall: 1. Nothing's really boring, but like I said the friend group politics are more interesting to me than the plane and wood stove, so the part where C is investigating the plane on her own is a lull for me. Up to you to decide how much of that is the story and how much of that is me. 2. G-M being so honest with C is a bit of a head scratcher to me. She's constantly scheming and thinking so surely she can see that acting like a total a-hole to C isn't going to work, right? I think there are ways she can frame the same thing but be much better at manipulation (such as tear-jerking C, like "All I wanted was to be accepted by everyone and they all like you so much," ect.). As for C, I'm glad that she's standing up to G-M but I need a bit more about where that comes from. Yeah, she realized that G-M manipulated her, but I don't really get a good sense for how that makes her feel. Overall, though, most things do make sense. I really like E after this chapter. He's just a dorky guy who has some tender feelings and I want to protect him.
  20. I'll also have a spot for the 31st please, pending space.
  21. I think you're hitting the nail on the head here. One of the first things I'm seeing about V is that he is endangering people close to him for the sake of presenting a certain way, which makes me jump to conclusions. I figured that wasn't how I was supposed to see him. Oh if this is the case I think your job is fairly straightforward, actually. If her plot is focused around family, we need to know more about her dynamics with the family and her own family conflicts rather than this large-scale political stuff. It sounds like her plot is going to basically be a relationship plot, just not a romantic one. Romance as a genre has a very clear-cut plot structure that I think is worth looking into when making plots around interpersonal dynamics, romantic or no (really nothing about the romance plot is actually romance-specific). Just my two cents though. Phrased another way, I think her conflicts are more powerful if they're about the fundamental relationships with her family, and current events are just a gateway into exposing or developing family dynamics. Right now the conflict is about the event itself, which Ali really has no control over. As @RedBlue said, I wouldn't beat yourself up over this. It's the reason we're here! And my advice is similar: to ask yourself what changes from the start of the chapter to the end of one. That being said, what you think is an important shift might not be one for us, which again is why we're here.
  22. As I go: pg 1. Especially for a new PoV, we need conflict to draw us in. Just watching her make stuff isn't doing it pg 2. The character detail about the hideout is cool. But overall I still feel like I need real conflict. Seems like the story is trying to foster interest by having her worry about Is but we already have another PoV character doing that and it's not a strong conflict on its own. pg 3. And when the conversation moves to V it gets more interesting. He really is the lifeblood of the story so far which I think is a problem, honestly, since he overshadows multiple PoV characters pg 6. Ali is more active than Ala so far which is a good sign! Though her motivation is very nonspecific here. Making sure that her sister is okay feels a little too easy as reasoning for her actions. I need to feel like I know Ali beyond that pg 8. The fact that we already know what's going on deflates the tension here pg 9. The fact that the situation is so serious makes me wonder even more why R and Ali were excluded from this. Especially R since he's first in line for the throne, right? If someone tried to kill Is then V should have checked on them. pg 11. Okay at least R brings it up. I 100% agree with him for whatever that's worth. I'm legitimately wondering if V can be trusted now pg 13. I still am fully on R's side here. If I were him I'd be making my own plans for protection. V doesn't seem to be even remotely interested in keeping him safe and does have probable cause for not really caring if R gets offed (his own daughter takes the throne) 1. Not necessary now. Ali's not doing anything new that feels like it adds something to the story. Honestly I feel like R is in a much more interesting position right now and the fact that he basically has nobody on his side and needs to stand up to the king gives off protagonist vibes much more than Ali does here. She seems politically unimportant which is fine but not when the entire chapter revolves around political power. As an aside, the fact that V finds out that an assassination attempt was aimed at person #2 in line for the throne and doesn't do anything to alert person #3 and especially person #1 makes me think he might legitimately be up to something. I really don't buy the excuse about not causing panic. There had to be some story he could tell for pulling them away. 2. I can't fully remember but I don't think there was a problem 3. Activeness, yeah, especially with the servant. Though when talking to V she does get overshadowed by R. Motivations are the area that need improvement for me, which goes hand in hand with goals. I don't really understand why she feels the need to personally uncover this herself. I mean, if I were her I'd do it because I trust V about as far as I can throw him but that doesn't seem to be her opinion. I also think I need a bit more about why she's the one equipped for this problem. The fact that she's politically less important than V and R means that the justification for her being a PoV character in a heavily political setting needs to be stronger.
  23. As I go: pg 1. Is this a real book? It sounds like the most boring thing imaginable pg 2. Shouldn't C be interested to talk to E about this stuff? I mean, her whole plot revolves around uncovering what's going on in the town, right? E might be able to help her. pg 3. We know the effort is all futile anyway so I'm not sure how much time we need to spend on this pg 5. This is where the action of the chapter really starts. Honestly I think we could cut the first three pages and start with her getting full marks pg 6. I think this can be cut down to a paragraph or two. I do like the reveal that E's being told about the wood stove though pg 7-8. While I'm glad we're getting information, I think this scene is a large liability for the story right now. The fact that all C needed to do to get information about the wood stove was to ask makes all of the previous chapters feel irrelevant. pg 9. Hmm I really don't understand C's distrust in S specifically. He's been more helpful than anyone else so far, and what he says seems to (at least sort of) track. pg 10. As with C's action here, seems like V could have done this at any time 1. Nope! All good here 2. Hmm I like C realizing that G-M was bullying her but like I said above I'm not sure why she distrusts S so much. I didn't get a ton from V personality-wise I didn't already know, honestly. 3. Honestly this is my biggest comment on the chapter. I think the timing here is good, and I think the information itself is about what we need to know and makes sense. The problem is the way C and V find out what happens. Stories need to have a strong sense of cause and effect (much more so than real life) to be compelling, and that's what's breaking down here. C asking for help and V flying around doesn't have a strong cause. Like I said, it feels like they could have gotten this information at any time and the fact that they spent 7 chapters wandering around accomplishing nothing when the answers were so easy is the biggest thing I want to see addressed in the story as a whole. I can see where the story is trying to establish cause and effect by having C realize that G-M got the information from adults which prompts C to ask, but that's also something she could have figured out before. Though this isn't a comment on your writing skill at all. This kind of stuff happens. The easiest solution is to come up with some reason why C couldn't have successfully asked S before, and explain why the situation changes so that S responds. Right now the story is relying on "she doesn't think to ask S before" as the reason, which is not nearly as satisfying as her overcoming an actual barrier to ask S and get the information. I think this is similar to what everyone else is talking about with not moving the story forward. Even though we get enough plot-relevant information, it doesn't feel like C moves her own story forward because all of the information is handed to her rather easily. That being said, I can see the potential for this chapter to be really awesome. The reason I'm going so in depth is that I really want to see the chapter succeed.
  24. I'm first? I'm first! ...Wait I'm like a few seconds too late. Sigh. As I go: pg 2: I like how O's explanation conveys her confusion pg 3: "jerky people" sounds a bit juvenile to me -if the medical bills are so easily wrapped up, I'm not sure if them constantly being pointed out in earlier chapters is necessary. It could even be something O doesn't really think about until they send it in. -Ard consumed her friend? Is this talking about At? What makes O think that? This is what I wanted a bit more of in O's last chapter. -not negotiable why? Because she needs At for a specific reason? Because she has nowhere else to go? The actions here are good but I need a bit more from O's character here pg 4: thank goodness the sexual tension is finally out in the air that's been killing me -Also B's explanation makes sense and all but I'm still wanting something more. Something really special to tie these characters together. pg 7: So is her goal to see if At is happy? To make sure At is happy? And what does that mean for her larger worldview, the idea of an N living with and ruling over gods? This is what I want a bit more of earlier on, though of course the answers don't need to be neat and tidy pg 8: hmm I'm curious why O is especially equipped for this job, since it seems like something with large ramifications based on how it's being talked about pg 9: Wait so what Ard people do borders on sexual assault/rape, which is separate from the same metaphors used for what the planet itself does? As a new reader at least it feels like 1. I should have known about this before and 2. people should be making a bigger deal out of this pg 10: I get that the job is being obscured so it's a surprise to us, but I don't understand from O's perspective why she isn't at least asking about it. -Hmm I assumed she was going to want to take the job out of pride. Instead it seems like she feels like she needs the money to have some connection to reality, which is surprising to me given the rest of her character Overall: I think the events presented here make sense, and it reads well overall. So no large structural changes needed overall imo. I ended up covering most of my big points in the line edits. I think I need a bit more from the character motivation here. What we have isn't bad, but I don't feel in tune with O and B as much as some of the other characters. Why exactly does O want to go to Ard, and how does that interact with At (imo this should be clear even in O's last chapter)? What makes O special to B? Why does O feel like she needs to take this job without asking what it is? And if you don't want to play all your cards right now, I think it's fine to hang a lamppost on stuff that O doesn't know or refuses to think about.
  25. As I go: pg 1-2. The knight is very cool. I'm curious about the general assessment of power level, which C should know. Again, if the guards don't feel like they have the overwhelming advantage it doesn't make sense for them to risk a fight pg 3. V has to be stalling for... something, right? There's no way the assassin listens to him pg 4. I think the assassin's motivation makes a lot more sense than the guards'. I imagine you don't last long picking even fights, so him being basically a big bully makes sense. Why this is surprising at all to C is another question. pg 5. Given the above point, though, the assassin kinda talks like an edgy twelve year old. He's all anger and no substance, and even though I know he's dangerous I'm having a hard time taking him seriously. -I thought C said the guy couldn't be negotiated with? pg 6. I don't know G so while this discussion is believable it doesn't really mean a ton to me. Also A continues to talk like an anime villain. I want to roll my eyes at him every time he talks. I'm guessing part of that is intentional and it's fine to have him be kinda full of himself and unable to see out of his own head but I think it can be scaled back. pg 7. Was the giant light lance and extra knight thing set up at all? If we don't know what it can do beforehand it feels kinda cheap when it's used to solve problems. pg 8-9. I do like the communing that he's doing. It feels very... personal and intimate, which is good for moments like these pg 11-12. Now that A's gone, the dialogue feels a lot smoother. -hmm maybe I'm not supposed to have the same cultural values as these people but I feel like I need more info before I can pass judgment on the queen. She killed her dad yeah but he could have been awful for all we know at this point. pg 13-14. Why does the queen think her father betrayed her? Also while I get that this is filtered through C it seems a bit oversimplified. What is she trying to get out of being a tyrant? What's making the wheels turn here? pg 15. Okay now things are starting to get real. This is where my engagement is highest so far in the chapter Plot, yes. We had the inciting incident here with C being revealed, and I'm interested to see how it goes. Honestly, it made a lot of the previous scenes feel unnecessary since this is really when things take off (especially the fight with the guards. I feel like they don't really add anything and we could have them flee and run into A without all the extra hubbub). World... I'm a bit mixed. The queen doesn't really seem to have any interesting qualities to me, which spills out into the world. Pure evil can be fun, but we still need a bit more about her and the kingdom for me to be invested because it's all nonspecific right now. The mechs are super cool, though. As for C's knight title... no idea and I don't feel the need to know, really. It comes up when it comes up and if he has special skills related to that I'll be excited to see what he can do.