Mandamon

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Mandamon last won the day on February 26 2013

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About Mandamon

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    Complex and Unnecessary
  • Birthday May 26

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Practicing and Teaching Karate, Reading, Writing, Gaming, Tinkering
  1. Lol
  2. Also, if anyone does decide to sign up, I'll be on two panels on the 30th and 31st, talking about Music in SFF, and about Self publishing.
  3. @shatteredsmooth - I'll also have ability to read it after the 10th, if you still need it.
  4. I've heard a lot of people say Scrivener really helps how they write. I think its methods of organization are really good. That said, I tried it, but couldn't get into it. I really disliked having to go to a different "document" for each chapter. I think it's a personal preference, as I tend to be pretty organized already, and trying to fit my organization into Scrivener just didn't work. I use good old Word, but I use a lot of the header and formatting properties, so I can easily jump to sections I want. I usually have an outline document, the book document, and another document with revisions and notes. That way I can have one document open on each screen (I have two monitors) if I need to refer to notes or feedback. I may end up with a spreadsheet or two as well, based on if I need any calculations or tables in my worldbuilding.
  5. Yep, Vellum is only on Mac, which is a sticking point for me too. I've heard that Vellum does a lot more however. Calibre is more on the publishing side and less on the formatting. If you get as much formatting done as possible before you transfer to Calibre, it works better.
  6. Use Calibre. It's free to download, easy to use, and can covert between docx, epub, mobi, and pdf. I use it for all my formatting. You can even make changes to the epub code directly if you want.
  7. Congrats on the new kitty, @Snakenaps! Definitely. One of mine routinely begs to sit in my lap while I'm writing.
  8. Overall: The sex scene was very well done, but then I know you're good at writing those ;-) However, I had some plot problems with the first chapter and with how quick things transitioned over into the sex scenes. I felt like there were a lot of questions raised, and not really any answers. It was nice that M finally explained how her abilities work, but I felt like I was rushed into it while still wondering about the aftermath of the ball. The sex scene seemed very much like this was the place it needed to be in the story, so we're going to do that now instead of referencing the big pile of murder and intrigue that isn't cleared up yet. Like I didn't want to concentrate on a sex scene yet. I think a little more wrapup at the end of Ch 13 or the beginning of 14 will help transition away from that section. Notes while reading: Ch 13: pg 1: "Lockpicking tools" --really? I would have thought she'd just kick the doors in, or batter them down with a table or chair. pg 1: "remains of the flush" --especially with this. I'd think she'd attack first, look for fine tools later. pg 1: "oil staining—oil, seeped in, and dried" --I think this is repeated for effect, but I thought it was saying something else about the oil. I think "oil staining, seeped in, and dried" is a lot cleaner. pg 1: "wasn’t as fast acting" --yes, strange. pg 2: "she had absolutely no idea how to pick a lock" "ramming a pick through the hole" --what? Then why did she go searching for lockpicks?? Again, why not just kick down the door. People are dying!! pg 2: "A woman in gold" "A male guard" --I think the woman is in a gold guard uniform based on later paragraphs, but my first thought was a woman in a gold dress running at her because of all the color-coding. pg 2: "breaking at least one of his knuckles in the process" --Dude's a guard. He should know how to punch. pg 3: "after the third broken hand" --So is her skin actually hard, or just impervious? I was assuming she still felt like a human, but just couldn't be cut. This sounds like she has dense, hard skin like rock. Also, would weapons be breaking on her, instead of sliding off? pg 3: "slicing the tips of her eyelashes" --so her hair is normal but the rest of her is impervious? pg 3: "will start breathing fire" --lol pg 4: All the dragon stuff is hilarious. pg 5: "The prince’s body spasmed." --oops. Is this the prince that N was trying to make a deal with. I was assuming he was important...guess not. pg 5: "Crown Prince T" --Ah, this is the guy. The other one was refereed to as "the" prince, so I was assuming it was the same person. pg 5: "back to the sock and guesswork" --at this point, why not just slice and repeat? Isn't the sock still dried up? pg 6: "four rooms left" --oh, just realized she's been going room to room, not through the ballroom. Is everyone in an individual bedroom off the ballroom? I think this was the description from early, but can't remember. pg 6: "she could have been convinced" --so did she? And why not if she hasn't? Sounds like she's willing to and this seems like a really good source of income for all the money troubles they were having. pg 6: "what if she hadn’t gone to the smithy first" --yeah, this is a pretty big one. I would have tried to break in the door before running off. pg 6: "dried blood in the corners of their mouths" --wasn't it only three drops? pg 7: "words she couldn’t hear" --still not sure why she goes deaf... --and she can hear N but not the others? pg 8: “A princess and an attendant are dead!” --more than that... pg 9: "very hard to marry you" --eh? This seems a jump. pg 9: “I can’t find the wound!" --wait, so is she bleeding or not? And if she is, how? Don't her wounds close? Ch 14: pg 11: "three days later" --hm. Is this from blood loss or from the flush? pg 11: "She’d been in the middle. The dead middle." --not sure of the significance here. Was she concerned N was going to take advantage of her while she was sleeping? pg 12: "I’m demanding this by how? Why" --"by" -> "but" --also, yeah, I'm surprised N didn't know about this too. pg 12: "I want it back. Now" --almost too many things going on with this page. Underwear and sexual tension, dead guard, N's angry, M doesn't have wounds...I want someone to address one question at a time... pg 13: "Her body sang thinking about it' --that's...weird. Were there more changes with how the comb works? pg 13: "She held the comb in her hands" --with all the other stuff going on, I don't really care about the comb right now. I want to know who poisoned people and why, what N is doing, about things, how the ball panned out, who's the kid...the comb is the least of my worries. pg 14: We're jumping into the whole dragon mystery thing here, but I'm still concerned about the last plot point that wasn't tied up. Too many questions right now to focus on another mystery. pg 14: "Talk to me about T.S." --About what? I'm forgetting what significance this place has. It's not N's land, because that's where they are. It's not the common forest...Sorry, probably WRS, but I think it needs a reminder here too. pg 15: "somehow in a clean tunic and pants' -did she pass out again? pg 15: "You owe me a lot of answers before I’m sleeping with you" --uh, yeah. I'm having a hard time transitioning back to romance here because I'm still wondering what's going on. pg 17: "And yet you were covered in blood" --this doesn't seem like a mystery to me. She cut herself. N saw her do it. pg 17: "didn’t have the right kind of pressure. Or maybe it was the angle the blade was held." --that seems like a blatant lie. I have trouble thinking even M would believe that. pg 18: "There was no smoke. No smell of burning flesh" --why did she burn the rug? I'd think N could tell it was hot just by the heat the iron gave off. pg 20: "the skin littered with scars, both old and fresh" --wait, her back isn't scarred but her hand is? Or does she only scar when she cuts herself? pg 21: "You forget the guards" --really? I would have thought that would be at the top of N's mind. pg 21: “It’s different now.” --it is? Why? pg 23: “Do you heal faster than normal?” “A little? Maybe?” --I thought she healed up like wolverine? Didn't that happen last chapter? pg 25: “I’d like to tell you about my first,” --uhh...okay? Let me tell you about this other person I had sex with before we have sex? That seems...like a turnoff. pg 26: "Every time, that woman has been you.” --ah. I guess that works. pg 27: “If it’s your first time" --yeah, sort of confused by this. N was being sarcastic at first, but then said she had been with other women? But then I guess she was pretending they were M? Or has she not actually been with other women? Confused. pg 29: "how much more amazing three would be." --three...fingers? Sorry, lost the thread somewhere in there with all the sexytimes.
  9. The two in this chapter still have a lot more chemistry than the other characters, but I'm seeing a lot of problems with them too. I think the chapter got to the point eventually, but there was a lot of words about dead uncles, grandfathers,and aimless driving that could probably be edited down. Also, I have a pretty big problem with M reading Mi's mind with no permission, then drawing away and setting very strict boundaries for herself, then imposing on him, drinking until she obviously has no control, then forcing the one that didn't set the boundaries to enforce them against her. Honestly, I'd be wondering what was up with this person by now and trying to keep my distance. Seems like every time they're together, M makes sure Mi knows he can't come near without permission, then leaps into his arms. I think this is even worse because Mi has no idea what he's getting into with her, while M is basically spying on every aspect of Mi's life and knows all about what he does. Every time they're together, one of them doesn't want to talk about things, but M is the only one who gets to keep her privacy. Sorry--that turned into a bigger rant than I thought. I'm starting to get uncomfortable with how their relationship is progressing. It seems very untrue so far. Notes while reading: pg 1: 'She didn’t think she’d lost any memories" --how could you tell? pg 1: "the sound engine" --?? pg 2: I don't think we need the detailed analysis of how her uncle made his money--just say he left her a college fund. pg 2: "shamelessly using prophecy to make sure he always earned more than he lost." --shameless is making millions or billions of dollars. Making more than you lose is sound investing (and doesn't really need prophecy...) pg 2: "by the time she’d pieced together" --I guess this is a character moment, but I'm not sure what knowing about her uncle adds to anything. pg 2: "she felt something shift and snag in her head. Cold shards stabbed new places, making it harder to focus on sensing what wasn’t in her head" --not quite sure what's happening. She can't sense as far as usual? pg 3: "stepped onto the roof of the Green Building" --oh, wait..is she not visiting T then? I thought that was what all this was leading up to. pg 3: "every memory of him was tainted now" --with what? Was this by the demon? I didn't catch that. pg 3: "I’ve been up here since.” --wasn't that, like, yesterday? pg 4: “When we were at the restaurant?” --I'd think that was obvious. That's when she ran off. pg 4: “Could someone have done something to it?” --I thought the demon messed with things. It had her mom's phone, right? pg 5: “I don’t want to talk about it.” --it seems like whenever there's something that could further the relationship between them, one of them doesn't want to talk about it. A few times is okay, but it's getting frustrating, like everything could be solved if they just came clean. There's never a good reason given. pg 5: "Blurboard" --what is this? pg 5: “Can I sleep over? Same rules as Monday?" “But sleeping next to each other is intentional...” --The physical distancing is a part of M's character and I understand it, but as I'm reading, this kills the mood in every single scene M and Mi are in together. It's like she's saying "I want to be near you, except I don't actually want to be near you." I don't know if I just don't get the ace aspect of this or I'm not the intended audience, or what. Anyway, not sure if this helps anything, but I thought I'd mention it. pg 6: "he’d been exaggerating about the condo’s in-progress state" --but she read his mind... pg 6: "It had been at least six weeks since she’d seen her mom" --I read this as if it were present, and was very confused since she'd seen her mom the day before. Also, talking about her uncle again. Is he going to make an appearance or something, even though he's dead? There's a lot of focus on him this chapter. pg 7: and then a lot of talk about Mi's grandfather, when he wasn't actually an influence on Mi's interest in the paranormal? Or I guess he is sort of? This could be a stronger connection, story-wise. pg 8: “I’ve only found one.” --one what? pg 9: "It took her three tries to get text coherent." --maybe shouldn't be drinking as much then? pg 9: "She’d only ever felt this drunk once before" --this seems like a really poor idea in a house where you don't actually want to sleep with a guy you might be attracted to? pg 9: "grabbed a fourth cider" --really?? pg 11: “We set boundaries before you came here, when you were sober.” --uh yeah. Specifically M set the boundaries. I get the feeling Mi is up for whatever, so M coming over, saying "don't touch me," then chugging all his alcohol until she can't make good decisions seems...poor form. pg 11: "There was nowhere private to change, which didn’t actually bother her, but was way past their boundaries." --what now? This doesn't bother her? but she thinks it's past her boundaries?
  10. Definitely with the others on this one. I thought the writing was really good, the voices engaging, and the characters well thought out. But...there was no story, except in the very minor sense that a girl takes a leaf from a troll and then...gives it back. I sort of got a sense that the troll was peaceful at first, but then wasn't really at the end? I think this could be an engaging short story with some thought behind what the meaning is, and fleshing out the arc a little more. I don't even think it needs much--the prose can hold a lot on its own--but just something to make the reader say "oh, ok, I get it," at the end, rather than. "and...?" Notes while reading: pg 3: "“He…he…” it began, face twisting." --Not sure what it's doing here. Laughing? Crying? pg 3: "then reached into a pouch. It drew a single leaf." --drew out? pg 4: "Your girl’s coat is dirty, you know. And torn. You ought to get her a new one.” --Is this the woman talking or the mother? In any case, it's almost the same words as the top of the page. pg 5: "Can I go back up the hill?” --okay, glad she's not stealing the story leaf... pg 5: "We all act sometimes" --act different? This sentence seems unfinished. pg 6: Okay, I guess the woman was the troll?
  11. Yep, and it's not even in South Carolina, where my relatives live. That's worse! Very similar. I'm in North Carolina.
  12. This was at the end of Seeds, so hopefully it's WRS...Not sure how much I can adjust it.
  13. 30% humidity is low for me. Come visit the south! It's 9 pm now, still 84°F/28°C and 58% humidity. It was much hotter/humid-er early in the day. We routinely get 90+°F and 80-90% humidity...
  14. I thought this was better than the last chapter, especially since we have a lot of tension and conflict. I also wondered, like @Snakenaps, if M could choose when she got injured. Cutting through he palm would have yielded a lot more blood than she wanted, I thought, but I guess if she's healing so fast, maybe she had to do it? Definitely wondering how many royals are going to make it! Chapter 12 Notes while reading: pg 1: "thought to check the wine" --eh, I mean it was really obvious with the "why not have a glass as you're running away," but I guess in the heat of the moment it might happen. pg 2: "as the flush rose" --is this M's invulnerability burning off the wine? pg 2: "Said words she couldn’t hear." --did it affect her hearing? Not sure what's going on. pg 2: "the flush raging in her head" --I guess from the wine then. pg 3: "indeterminant gender" --so not one of the four? pg 3: "did her best to read the woman’s lips," --hmm. Nope. Still don't know why she suddenly can't hear... pg 5: Ooohhh...it's too much of the oil stuff on the sword handles. I was thinking the wine was going to make them stab each other or something. pg 7: "There was nothing wrong" --eh? I'd say there's a lot wrong, even if it's just that M has punched a few royals. pg 7: "The strength of the wine had been used to hide the oil" --confused. Strong wine so no one questions the oil on the blades, or did they actually put oil IN the wine? pg 8: “Don’t say the words,” --what words? pg 10: "wrapped her hand around it, and pulled." --why do people always cut the middle of their hands? M could have just pricked a finger or something. This just seems...really stupid. pg 10: "One drop." --I'd think if she cut through muscle, there'd be a stream of blood, not drops. pg 11: "She’d passed out, just after." --well, that was new! The story with her parents puts a lot of things into perspective. pg 12: "she’d never been in one this long" --a flush? Is this the berserker thing? Not sure. pg 12: "Four." --is this seven total drops? pg 15: "She took the sock" --ew. pg 15: "You’re still in flush" --I assume this has been covered before in the changes. Do we know what her eyes look like?