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Alderant last won the day on March 6 2018

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  1. Yeah, I've noticed that as well. That's going to need some revision, because part of the problem is that that's the way I talk. Jettying is a type of construction used commonly in medieval building construction, where the upper levels overhang the street as a way to improve the amount of space one could have despite limited floor space within the city. Yeah, this didn't work for me either on a couple more read-throughs. I'll probably switch back to imperial. Noted. This has more to do with world-building. It's an error I'm working to fix in the next draft--basically, soldiery isn't a well-looked on profession, so people that put care into things made for soldiers are kind of supporting an undesirable business. Working on this in the rewrite. L's hair is actually a very, very dark blue. There's probably a better word I can use...part of this just comes down to my personal color palette. Again, this goes to the world-building. Legs are supposed to be hidden, so soldiers often wear slitted skirts over trousers to have the appearance of modesty while freedom of mobility...not that that's really understood given the current text. Working on fixing this. That's intentional. Thanks, that's a good bit of advice. Half the problem is just knowing if I've hit the situation thoroughly enough. I'm glad it reads well. That's a good suggestion...I think I'll take your recommendation here. Yes. Typo. Lol. I'm actually mimicking the way my daughter speaks, so it's more phonetic than proper. This might be an American idiom...but it's a way of describing an accent that sounds a bit thicker and less precise than one might be used to. I might have phrased it the wrong way here though, because it's usually described as a "mouth stuffed with cotton". Mm. I'll think about this. Part of it grammatically is that I'm slipping through L's mental voice instead of my own, but it's a small change. That's good to hear. <phew> I.D. is correct that this is actual metal wire woven/embroidered into the skirts. Also, I need to mention this in the chapter, because gold is less valuable then silver here. Silver is...quite expensive, last time I looked at my coinage spreadsheet.
  2. Glad the prose works. And yes, the idea is to avoid those pacing problems. WoT is an influence, but it is not the influence. There are no singular influences to the writing of this story. ( ) I didn't see this in my draft, so it's possible some formatting got wonky between scrivener and word. Thank you. That's a helpful comparison. I could tell you everything in chapter one, but then where would the mystery be...? At this stage, it's more along the lines of asking "why is steel hard?" or "why is the sky blue?" I could explain, but it would be pretty banal, and I don't want to take pages to explain why glowstone and necrite exist and how exactly they operate. They're just part of the world. Midnight is a deep shade of blue. Black is black. Because of propriety. And it's not under her authority to do so. That's probably something I could include, thanks for the idea. Noted. Sounds like you have a hard time enjoying a story from a noble's perspective--which means it will be interesting to hear your thoughts throughout, because the idea of 'life as a noble is easy' is something I'm working around, conceptually. As for this: I'm working this out. Probably going to split at the scene break, expand the opening scene for the sake of world-building, and have the rest happen in the next chapter, which will allow me to include a scene I'd left out for a later chapter. I think you're right on the incident needing more punch, I've been toying around with that inevitability. Will consider. Thank you! That's helpful insight. I'll add that to my rewrite considerations. Good point. I'll take that into consideration. Perfect. (Ehehe) By the way, it's usually called an epigraph. I'm okay with prescriptive suggestions. I'm an assimilator, I take ideas and if they work, I incorporate them, and if they don't, I discard them. Never be afraid to offer a suggestion on what you think would improve the story--I'll choose whether or not I want to use it. Thanks for your thoughts!
  3. L is straight, so clearly I had a problem here. I'm trying to go back and rewrite it accordingly. I think the problem is just that I was so focused on including description that I used the wrong kind. HOWEVER, If you wouldn't mind helping me do a rewrite so I can better understand the principle, that would be awesome since I actually do have a character I want to be writing from a lesbian gaze in this story, and I want to make sure I do it the right way. Your experience would be incredibly valuable. I'm doing a pass on this chapter to try to bring this out more, but the society is definitely a topic of address within the novel. I missed some points that ultimately communicated the wrong thing, I think. The standards of dress, for example, aren't gender-specific--they're imposed on both genders (which is why both genders wear skirts), but I didn't indicate that very well. There's also a bit of gender-flipping in the prominence of genders in public society--this is something I also didn't portray very well. Yes. Working on making this more evident. This is one of those things that's going to be addressed over the course of the novel. Your second idea is closer to the truth.
  4. Thank you @Mandamon & @industrialistDragon, those are both very helpful bits of feedback. I'll go to work on what you've mentioned--some of those fixes should be fairly easy, but some will require a little bit of work. Thanks for your patience and understanding...a lot of it is definitely unintentional, so pointing out how it comes across and alternative things to consider is very, very constructive, even if it hurts a little. If you could...I could use some help with 'oppositional' writing. I'm not even 100% sure where I'm doing it or what's making it come across (I might have an inkling), so if you could continue to keep an eye out for this and give suggestions for improvement, it'd be greatly appreciated.
  5. Okay. Here's chapter one for the epic fantasy previously mentioned and submitted. Prologue is still under personal consideration, so rather than resubmit with something I'm not convinced I want yet, I'm just going on to the main story. As a reminder/bit of information, this is an adult-level epic fantasy (like Wheel of Time or Stormlight Archive) written ultimately for my daughters to have female characters to look up to and admire. I'm playing a bit with some tropes and ideas, but at its core it's a fantasy written for women. With that out of the way, I hope you enjoy it! EDIT: I know it's a little long--I'm sorry!
  6. Sorry for the absence, some things kind of went sideways in the last few weeks. I'm going to get back into critiques (I'd really like to catch up, I missed doing this), but can I also have a slot for next monday? It's a little long, but I wanted some early feedback before I go too far. Sorry, I know its not entirely fair to ask to post when I've not been critiquing. I can wait if necessary.
  7. Two things--one, this is from Shallan's perspective. Keep in mind she's the epitome of an unreliable narrator, but also that in this scene she was much more concerned with the fact that the chasmfiend fell on Kaladin and possibly ate him than its eyes burning. Second, We don't entirely know what "burned out eyes" looks like--no one ever really takes the time to dwell on or describe what they look like after. It's possible that Shallan's description of the eyes afterward as is what the eyes look like afterward, or--equally possible--she's just not paying much attention because she's more concerned about other things. It could be a simple error, but either way it isn't completely story shattering. We don't entirely know how fabrials/spanreeds work in the first place. It's likely Dalinar wasn't talking about replacing the ruby itself, but rather that he was worried about running out of the currency that makes the spanreeds work in the first place. That said, however, it's possible that the spanreed could have the ruby swapped out if the replacement was also conjoined to a different spanreed in Urithiru. Theoretically, so long as you had other rubies that were connected to a separate spanreed, you could take one "reed" and swap out the rubies as needed. This one actually doesn't seem weird to me at all--remember, spren like Syl can choose who they let see them. The only exception to this rule seems to be not Rlain, but Rock, who can see all spren regardless of if they want to be seen or not. There's no reason to assume that this rule of choosing applies only to humans, so the fact that Rlain doesn't see the spren and is unaware of Lopen's spren in general isn't weird in the slightest to me. Also, Lopen's spren is male: I think this one's been covered enough, but old is relative. Dalinar's in his fifties--so "an old general's trick" more than likely indicates recent history. I believe the wall itself is a "fabrial" that only needed stormlight to function--keep in mind that Urithiru had giant columns of gemstones that were meant to power everything from the lifts, to the plumbing. It's not unreasonable to believe that the wall of drawers served a similar function, and that's why it popped open when Renarin infused it--Renarin wasn't using the surges, per se, just turning the power on.
  8. Gotta have clean clothes when you're flying at hyperspeed.
  9. I do try to get proper knowledge before I write. But I might miss some things by virtue of ignorance (that it's a thing I should be concerned about). So, I'll ask forgiveness in advance, and if something comes up be sure I'll be asking about it.
  10. Whew. This is great feedback. I'll try to keep this in mind as I go, but part of the problem is simply I don't know what questions to ask. Thanks for the support. These are really good questions. Thanks! That's also a good question, one I hadn't fully considered. I've tried to reduce and fix this in the revision. I got used to using certain terms in the plotting/drafting stages and forgot to properly introduce all of them. Yeah, I've discovered I have some issues with setting the scene properly. I have trouble recognizing scenery in real life, so I'm working to fix this in the revision. This is probably more likely a failing on my part. But that's a good question to consider. Noted. Though, I'll ask: what defines "medieval-like speech"? That seems to be the most interesting part so far. Trying to fix this in the revision...I feel like the focus is off here. Sorry, I'm not sure what that means? P is MJ. A is Warden. But yes, that could distinctly be clearer. I'm wondering if I should write this segment from A's viewpoint instead. It'd take out the use of the magic system in the prologue, but it might be a little more of an engaging intro. Thoughts? I draw inspiration from many places. The lifestream is one of them, though the similarities end here. You'll probably pick up on a few little nods to my influential sources throughout the novel. Thanks! Probably next week or the week after. I think I'm going to do a test run of writing this same scene from A's perspective, P is clearly not working at this stage for a number of reasons.
  11. Good to know. I've tried to adjust this a bit in the revision. Noted. I've tried to make this more clear, so let me know what you think when I send the revision. Good bit of advice. I'll try to keep that in mind as well. Hopefully, this ends up being an epic fantasy you actually enjoy. Prevalence of men vs. women in fantasy is a direct trope I'm working against. I've constructed the entire world around this concept. Primarily, this is an epic fantasy I'm writing for my daughters, so one of my forefront thoughts is female characters they can identify with and look up to as they get older, and it's an epic fantasy where mostly women are the heroes. I'm also trying to play with some gender dynamics and sexuality, though since stretching my comfort zones means that it's probably still a few steps behind what others might be used to, some patience might be in order. Yeah, I'm trying to fix this in the revision. Cool. Thanks. I think this means I'm on the right track, at least.
  12. The difference between a favorable nod and an unfavorable one comes from whether or not the nod seems to be a direct derivation. For example, I could reference in a story how in ancient history the world was saved by a tall, red-haired man (which is a nod to Rand). Directly taking something from another text, however, usually does the opposite in that it comes across as an author either trying to ride another author's work, or deriving from another author's work because they lack creativity of their own. And unfortunately, the way this was written, it comes off as the latter, not the former--you have Winter Night being an inciting incident (which is how The Eye of the World began), and the ancient language of your world is called the Old Tongue. Am I making any more sense? Being inspired by the Wheel of Time is great. My own book is heavily inspired by the Wheel of Time. But a good nod is a subtle one, not a blatant one. A lot of my complaint would disappear, actually. My problem is the severity of the word 'anathema', and in my knowledge of history (keeping in mind this isn't my strong suit), even minor infractions of ecclesiastical law is met with severe retaliation--because it's kind of about control. If you allow people small infractions and acts of defiance, then you appear weak and unable to control your subjects. I'm not saying to change what you're doing--but I think you need some more concrete reasons why the people are showing this defiance (for example, they were taken over and its a secret thing they do among themselves to remember their culture!) And there's no better way to show this than through Z's own actions and thoughts. Glad it helped, haha. I always worry about being too harsh. From my (recent) experience, it might be better to err on the side of too much, rather than not enough. Easier to trim than create new content. That said, It's not necessarily about internal thoughts and dialogue as much as it is getting inside the person themself. Not just their thoughts, but their feelings, their body language, the way they physically react to the world around them. A boy touches a fourteen-year-old girl? That girl better react, either with disgust or heart aflutter. Boy falls and breaks his leg? Definitely should be seeing the panic of realizing what just happened, in addition to the pain. It's those kinds of intimate connections with the reader that tend to make the characters pop off the page--and it's something RJ does really well, almost to excess on occasion, so take some cues there.
  13. I haven't gotten to this yet, but I've been using Scrivener for years for Shattered Expectations. I'm hardly an expert, but I'd be happy to give you a few pointers if no one else knows it better.
  14. Argh. It's battle, the missing word is battle. I can clear that up. You're correct. Situation is dire, I need to go back and work that out. It's not YA, so that's a problem if it's coming across that way. Kiiiind of. They're human, but not...quite human. Similarly with the MJ. I can probably clarify this more, but I can't go into too much detail here because it's a plot point. That I can do. Glad that the magic system seems to be well-received so far. Ooohh that is definitely not what I was going for. That's going to need revision. Argh, this isn't supposed to be YA, so I definitely need to go back and adjust some things here. I have to go back and check, but I thought the line was "one of the two". There are only two others, H & Vin. This probably falls into the category of 'needs clarification'. That is correct. I've not been happy with the name, but I haven't figured out a suitable replacement yet. Thanks for returning the favor. I knew there were issues, but I couldn't put my finger on them--I was a bit afraid of being ripped apart and told "nope. This doesn't work at all" (self-doubt depression brain and all), so having potential is good. I was trying to avoid overwriting the prologue (I have a tendency to overwrite) and in retrospect, I apparently overcompensated and massively underwrote it. Writing a time-removed prologue is tricky, I've discovered, because it's a fine balance of divulging necessary information and holding back others for a sense of mystery...but clearly, there's more necessary information I need to add. So I'm going to have to dig back in and revise this...probably be a resubmit to make sure I'm hitting the essential points and getting the tone right. Thanks for the podcast recommendation, there's so many of those that I've been wary of digging into them for lack of what to look at. On the subject of this being YA, can you elaborate more on why it comes across that way? I don't intend it to be YA at all, so I want to make sure I know what I'm doing to make it come across that way and fix it. Thanks for the feedback!
  15. STANDARD DISCLAIMER: For demographic information, keep in mind that I am a white male nearing his thirties, married, with two young children, and come from a background of being LDS, conservative, and with a long history of chronic depression, so these things may color what I say during review. I try to be as open-minded and unbiased as possible. Sorry for the late reply to this, I've had a few things on my plate. Keep in mind that I haven't read the rest of the comments here yet. Let's dig in. Nitpicks: Inconsistencies/Concerns: Problems: Critique: Before I say anything else, let me state that this chapter was far more interesting than the last. The pacing was better, and stuff actually happened, which is great. I didn't find myself skimming, so that's a big improvement. Excepting the pinky promise at the end (which is childish without a reason for teens to be using it), there was a lot less overall immaturity, which is much easier to read. There were some problems. Most egregious being your use of Spanish--and the problem isn't that you use it! Let me make that clear. I have absolutely no problem with the way you include Spanish words and phrases within the text. Not italicizing them makes them feel organic within the terminology. Where it becomes a problem, is in this idea that the "Old Tongue" is anathema, yet no one bats an eye at its use. In fact, its use is so common that they call themselves the "pueblo" and refer to the festival as a "fiesta" and the worst they get is a raised eyebrow. This isn't anathema. Historically, anathema was one of the highest declarations a church could declare on people or ideas, second to heresy. It was basically outlawing an idea or person, claiming it was cursed and people could be punished or declared anathema themselves by just speaking to or helping a person so declared. It's a Really Bad Thing with Bad Consequences. If it's really so bad, so outlawed, than even a single use of the word should have consequences--especially when it's to someone as high up the chain as a General! Another huge problem is you so much time telling us what is happening. Z feels more like a passenger of the story, rather than a main, viewpoint character. We never really know what she's thinking or how she reacts to a situation, unless the Plot demands we do, and then we get a whole bunch of info telling that says "she does this/feels this/did this thing because" so that the Plot can move forward. And as a reader, that's frustrating. I highlighted one part in the Inconsistencies/Concerns and provided an example of how you can work on changing this throughout your story. Next, we come to the elephant in the room, which is Z herself, and this is linked to the previous two points. First, I don't understand why she uses so much Spanish when it's anathema. Hopefully by now, I've covered why that is thoroughly enough. Generally speaking, a character that would go so against societal law like this would be a rebel, not a "I want to fit in" kind of character. Second, there is nothing about Z to grip me into the story. She's a fourteen-year-old girl whose mom ran out on their family and whose dad is borderline negligent with his daughter. That's it. She has almost no emotion that comes through the story, no interesting quirks to make me want to understand her better, no internal dialogue to let me know her thoughts and feelings. And that's a problem, because buying into your MC is one of the surest ways of making a reader invested in the story. If the reader cares about the character, they'll naturally be more eager to see the journey that character goes through. Finally, I still see nothing about your world that is exceptional, that makes me really want to continue reading. It still reads as a kind of generic western fantasy setting, just one with Spanish names and Hispanic food. Your soul lanterns are the one thing that's different in the world (that I really want to like), but they're so underplayed that they're bordering on unnecessary. There's no intrigue about the lanterns, no personality. I'm guessing you're setting up Z to have a startling revelation when her soul lantern forms--but the soul lanterns themselves are uninteresting and not really integrated with the world culture. Those criticisms aside, I think Z is a much better "in" character than L. L has too much going on for the reader to immediately buy into, and definitely would work better after some introduction to the world. I liked that so much happened, and overall, the dialogue was miles above what was presented previously. This submission actually seemed to be going somewhere, with a specific slant in mind, and you have some excellent seeds for potential drama if you choose to pick them up--conflict between Z and her parents, conflict between Z & R, the emotional trauma and baggage of being an outcast, these are all really good, driving motivators that are very relatable to your target audience. I'd like to see you spend more time on the soul lanterns. Really dig in and tell us why these are a thing--what makes them something unique? They take shapes...but why does everyone have the same shapes? How do these soul lanterns integrate into society? Is the soul lantern a determining factor in a person's social class or profession? Is it an expression of their own unique personality or spirit? I really feel that you have the potential to tighten things up by focusing on this one thing--but right now, they seem to just be flavor in the world, and that's not interesting. Make it interesting. I'd also like to see you flex your showing muscles. Take some time, pick one segment of your story, and really try to dig into how the world looks through the character's eyes. How do the things others say affect them, mentally and emotionally? How might they react to provocation, on the inside? How are their thoughts all jumbled by their experiences? Focus only on the character, then submit that or get some feedback to see if it reads better. Good work. Keep it up. Every submission gets better, and that's what we want to see.