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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    North Carolina
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    Practicing and Teaching Karate, Reading, Writing, Gaming, Tinkering
  1. Agree with the others that this chapter is probably necessary, but not that engaging. Having read the previous books, it's nice to jump back into A's life, and the fungus are great as always. I also really liked A's reaction to O. which is what I wanted last chapter. E is...not as engaging as I wanted this chapter. She's mostly just trying to get A to come to bed, which, fine, but I think in the larger context of the plot seems superficial at this point. There's a lot of rehash here, and I think even more for someone who's read the previous books. Maybe this could be cut down to a little fungus negotiation, one or lines from E about sex, and then A's reaction to the news? I feel like that last part is the only really relevant plot point. Notes while reading: pg 1: "She tapped twice" --nnoooooooo... pg 2: "I can grow a fruit for you if you’d like?” --oh ugh. pg 4: "(she’d been on the stairs a lot today and brown was not the only color staining her robe)" --Not sure what this means. She missed a bathroom break? She's bleeding? pg 8: I'm wondering if all this explanation is needed to bring the reader in? I can't remember if there is an A/E chapter before this or if this is their first real introduction. If the latter, then it's probably necessary, but it seems like a lot of this is rehash of talking about Ard and Prit. They're trying to find the ship but we already know what happened to it. pg 15: Good. This is the reaction I was looking for last chapter from A's POV. I feel like there's still a lot of the characters learning what the reader already knows in this chapter. pg 16: "First, we’re going to go have sex." --lol.
  2. I agree this was a strong submission! Nothing really jumped out, though the middle could probably be edited down a bit. 1) Definitely better. I'm still not sure it needs as much conversation about homework as it has, but talking about friends and acquaintances is good. 2) Not really. A little slow in the middle in MD's POV, but this pulled me along with the questions it asked. 3) About right, but I'm not sure how necessary it is, and whether MD is actually sentient. It might bring up more questions that it answers. 4) I thought this was a really good exchange. I'm also wondering if C just forgot, or if there's something larger with the curse not wanting her to find out. Notes while reading pg 1: “Proximity equals friendship?” --An interesting mistake people make. pg 2: "in activating a curse" --still not clear on this. I thought it was more or less permanent? pg 2: "creating a creature" --is it one or two creatures? Does V count? pg 4: "But there are also four tiny beds" --this room is very disturbing. pg 8: "I know, now, what kind of things are burned in the Wood Stove" --interesting
  3. I'm in agreement with the other that the beginning needs to be trimmed down a bit. The whole thing about where to sit at lunch didn't really hold my interest. I'm also liking N a lot more after this, and liking W a lot less. W seems to be creating problems, like @kais says. The romance reads pretty well, aside from a few strange things I noted below. N is definitely sweet and I'm glad W finally goes with him. So overall, good chapter, but I think it can be cut down quite a bit. Notes while reading: pg 1: "It’s sad to think of him growing up without me..." --something weird going on in this sentence. pg 1/2: This goes on a bit with deciding about where to sit. It's not really drawing me in because it's an extension of the stuff from last chapter. I'm ready to get on to new stuff. pg 3: "peer tutoring period" --did we know about this before? pg 5: "I don’t know why that surprises me so much. He did spend a lot of time on that poster." --yeah, I thought that was pretty obvious and not surprising at all. pg 5: “That you didn’t ask anyone else out.” --do people generally ask a lot of different people to a dance? I feel pretty disconnected from high school, so maybe that's a thing. pg 6: "There are literally over a thousand people at this school and he doesn’t want to dance with anyone except me?" --Isn't that specifically what dating is about? Choosing a particular person? pg 7: "They’re both assertively understanding in a way that makes me feel inferior and guilty," --ugh. This actually makes me dislike W even more. pg 7: "You people say things that aren’t true. I always forget.” --A nice clue in the mystery of N. pg 8: "All this social maneuvering is exhausting." --N has been doing the least social maneuvering of anyone. pg 9: "being unable to experience romance or attraction" --is this the right way to say this? I'm not sure, as I don't have experience with this. "Unable" just seems rather final. pg 11: "I feel bad for being the one to kick it off" --I am not mostly convinced these are all pretty terrible people except for N. pg 14: “Glitter is gendered like that?" --Lol. I'm really wondering what he's doing will all this glitter now.
  4. I thought this was very enjoyable! Glad you're back to writing. The only small quibble with this is we don't get to see any of the previous main characters' reactions to O learning about the events of the last trilogy. I can't think of a good way to get around that without upending the plot, so I don't think it's too big a thing. And I assume we'll get some of it whenever O does find Ard again. Notes while reading: pg 2: "She needed to call Ard" --I think a lot of WRS going on, but did she have the coordinates for Ard? Also, she seems strangely okay with calling a god-planet she didn't know was real until a few hours ago. pg 3: "our species do not tie pronouns to roles so you may use whichever you feel most comfortable with for me." --I like it. pg 5: so here's the freakout about calling. Maybe it's that she was on drugs so not realizing it before, but it seems like she would have some of these nerves beforehand as well. pg 7: "everything got sorted when..." --Lol. I guess O's going to get the rundown of the last three books real quick... pg 8: "to rescue a woman who..." --I've been waiting for this connection in the book. I'm guessing this is where things can really start happening. I was thinking O would find A face to face, but this way I guess they can have a meeting more on even ground. pg 8: "making it look like she was trying to poke O in the eye" --lol pg 12: "The call disconnected." --I think you could remove either this line or the one before it. Right now it's repetitive, which takes away from the impact. --I like that O gets to go through all the stages of realization here. It's fun to see and gets her on the same page as everyone from the last book. I'm sort of still sorry to miss her getting told this directly by A, but I guess it would be hard to have that happen.
  5. 1) I was engaged through the first part of the chapter, when we were learning more about how the town worked, not as much the second part with GM scheming and the talk about getting good grades. 2) I marked a few confusing things in my notes. 3) She's a bit over the top, but I have seen other characters like this before. I think the best thing is to give her a really solid motivation. "I'm not first" can be one, but maybe give it a little depth. Why is she such a brat? Her mother seems to think she is too, and doesn't seem to be pampering her that much. Notes while reading: pg 1: “You know that’s not a dog, right?” --a little confusing here because the comment is directed at V for comedy, but the dog isn't stated as being in the room. pg 1: "opens the door to storage" --in fact we don't even know if the dog is with them, from the description. It isn't trotting along beside them or anything. pg 1: "chaotic array" "The room looks normal to her." --Also confusing. This is mostly in C's POV, so to say the room is chaotic, and then say she can't tell why someone would think it's disorganized is counter intuitive. pg 2: "Regular pantries can’t make all the food by themselves." --so I guess this is where they get their food from? pg 2: "When they get back home" --oh, so the dog WASN'T with them after all... pg 3: "looks worse than she did on Friday" --worse how? Maybe it's WRS, but was something stated to be wrong with her before? pg 4: "How does the magic work?" --Why is she asking this of another child and not any adult? pg 5: "Something else died, too, but that memory has become a bit fuzzy." --interesting pg 5: "you’re worried about your chickens?" --but she just asked if C had made a sacrifice? pg 6: “You said none of the other kids had been told!" --Yet as we all know, C LIVES with it. I don't know how she couldn't know. GM seems to have a lack of critical thinking. pg 6: "wondering how long it will take to lose herself." --sounds like the wood stove eats memories, or something. Which begs the question, why these people are feeding it? pg 10: I'm not really hooked by the thread of "do lots of homework to learn the secrets." Sounds like the story is going off on a tangent and away from the mystery.
  6. This is miles better than the previous version! I agree with the others that the opening paragraph could be more exciting. Maybe something about making sure they make a good impression on Duke A, or else...(war/disfavor/etc) where the reader has a good reason for the tournament? I appreciate the reasoning behind the two nicknames, but that's also something that can be put in a later chapter to focus this one better. Plus, having Is refer to herself wiht one nickname and someone else with another is super confusing. Is has a much clearer character this time. She's competent and knows how to perform in social society, even if she doesn't want to rule. She's also a good swordsperson. I think the whole thing needs to be trimmed down to be an effective first chapter and get to the fainting/poison sooner. I made a couple notes below, but you could take out a page or more easily by shortening the description of the fight and cutting the first page down a little. It's much clearer that something's wrong, to the point where I think some of that can be cut down once the reader realizes there's a problem. Dragging it out more leads to the question I had of why the medics aren't doing something. Having the poison act a little quicker will bring us to the inevitable conclusion faster. Good work! I'm much more interested in reading this story. I can tell it will a slower, political-leaning one, and less with the action scenes and snappy plot turns. This indicates much better what the reader will be getting into. Notes while reading: pg 1: "But the entire purpose of the dinner..." --This is starting out much better! However, I think the rest of this paragraph could be cut. The reader can guess these things. pg 2: “You’re late, R" --This is weird. Is. Thinks of herself that way, and that's already a shortening of her full name. Plus the R nickname is very close to R's name. Why does she have two nicknames? This is confusing. pg 2: "“I’m not an idiot, I" --and here he uses her other nickname, and then the next page it's back to the "R" one. Especially in the first chapter this is way too confusing. pg 4: R is coming across a lot better in this version as a lazy good-for-nothing princeling. pg 5: "should have been more careful fighting someone who didn’t know what he was doing" --Is's character is much clearer this time around as a competent, compassionate person. pg 5: "The edges would be soaked with blue dye when the matches began." --the sword, I assume, though this makes it sound like the tent is dyed. pg 6: the tension lags here. Duke A's victory is very passive. It could be worded a lot more actively to keep the excitement of the tournament up. pg 7: "find him suddenly charging back" --charging forward? I'm not sure how you charge back. pg 8: "She dodged and deflected..." --at this point, I think the fight is going on too long. pg 9: "The vivid blue line from her knife was higher than she’d intended, but it was still on the white of the gambeson." --from this, I'm guessing she hit the base of his throat with the slash, to make him start coughing? It's not clear, however. pg 9: "The very thought made her feel sick." --the thought of an accident, or of her taking the title? pg 11: "whiff of the acrid smell" --the poison is introduced a lot better this time, with each piece building up the suspicion. pg 14: "Something was wrong." --glad she's at least acknowledging it. There's too much suspicion at this point for her to brush it off. pg 15: "she shouldn’t be having this discussion" --why not? pg 16: "What was going on?" --At this point, I'd start thinking of what was different and tracking down the weird smell in the armor. I get that she's out of it, but I'm also having trouble believing people who are so concerned with the royal line's safety will just go away when she's obviously got something wrong.
  7. I think I'm similar to @RedBlue in reaction. There was a lot of meandering overall and it was hard to follow what exactly was going on. The original statement of how N was going to die was in the first paragraph, but then not followed up on until the very last page, so I got a bit confused. 1) Seemed fairly standard fantasy fare? I didn't get a strong feeling of an Earth similarity. I can think of a lot of ways crystals in a hand could get in the way, so I'd like some more explanation of that. 2) I'm not sure why this is a prologue (as in how is in this disconnected with the main story). I think it could be a first chapter if it was cleaned up and trimmed down a lot. 3) Didn't get a lot about the other characters except that S is strong. N seems very philosophical. S is interesting physically, but he didn't really get much screen time. 4) No idea what's going on, so no. 5) I'm guessing N is going to end up living, probably because of floaty red girl. Past that, I guess political/royalty/scheming? Notes while reading: pg 1: I think the first paragraph could be trimmed down. We get the "overthinking" of the prince, but I think it detracts from the impact of "am I going to die today." pg 1: the rest of this page is lots of names and some sort of magic explanation paired with a spying attempt? I was interested when he thought he was going to die, but then this drifted off into a lot of explanation. pg 2: "both of their half-brothers" --still lots of names on this page and I'm having trouble following. Also, who is a half-brother to who? pg 2: “Nothing, nothing,” --this isn't an answer to the last question... pg 3: "needing to read it with his telepath powers" --what now? This is just thrown in there and we haven't gotten any indication of it yet. pg 3: "Most were nobles with psychic crystals like himself" --I thought the spy had a crystal, not him? Confused. pg 4: the heritage/skin color discussion here might be a little heavy-handed. pg 4: "his eyes went to the green empath crystal " --so I guess everyone had crystals? Does Z? I'm unclear on this. pg 6: "almost got lost in the aesthetic beauty of the orange flecks on pink irises." --Is this like a romantic thing? I thought N was more ace? And isn't S his brother? pg 6: "N’s choice was going to be the same in the end" --I'm not sure what choice this is... --oh, I guess to let his brother kill him? What was going on with the red angel then?
  8. 1) Yes, for this part. I think the reaction with the chickens/dog is pretty accurate for the town's situation. 2) I don't think this chapter needs to be as long. V's whole POV doesn't really add anything that he couldn't mention to C in dialogue, and the whole discussion about the chickens can be taken out if we assume this is a farm family and of course they know how to prepare chickens. 3) Yes, definitely getting a better idea of the wood stove. I'm still not sure why, as in, is this a resource to renew items for the town since they're cut off from the rest of civilization, or is it something else? I assume we'll get more on this later. Notes while reading: pg 1: "too much trouble to roll outside" --this makes me think the father is literally round, like a human sphere. I'm still confused by this. pg 1: "that was so easy for another animal to get into." --ah, no. It's specifically not easy for the dog to get into the hen house. He had to squirm under the fence and break in, which means he's likely starved for attention and possibly just starved. This is completely the fault of the negligent neighbor and furthermore he should be responsible for the lost revenue from the chickens. I get the feeling this is not a rich town, and there's no supply from elsewhere because of the curse, so for the dog to kill all their chickens is a Big Thing. --edit: okay, the adults do get into this later, but C should know this as well. She seems like an astute person. pg 3: "No chickens, no dog. Now you boys can leave off your whingeing.” --okay, well, this is actually about what I would expect as a response. Harsh but accurate. pg 4: "never been in charge of younger children" --Is V older? How much? I hadn't gotten that before. pg 4: not sure this section with V really adds much pg 5: "I’ll show you how to pluck and process the chickens." --nope, don't believe that. If C is a farm girl, she knows how to do this already. In fact, the whole family should already be preparing for chicken dishes for the next couple weeks. --and as a corollary, I don't think we need the details of how to process chickens. pg 6: "Things you wouldn’t normally use as fuel, to see if it does anything unusual. I want to see what happens." --I think this is the first real progression I've seen from C. pg 7: "By the time she is done, C feels a lot better." --I have no idea what just happened. pg 8: "It falls into the Wood Stove, and is swallowed up by the nothingness" --cool pg 9: “Mopdog,” --Also cool. I can see how this comes from the combinations of the items put into the stove and the events that caused it.
  9. This is definitely better than last time, and I like that C is more active. That said, I'm still not completely hooked on the story. There is a lot of mystery, but my main issue is that I don't know why C is doing this now. The kids have all lived in the town their whole lives, so what is different? Why is C suddenly suspicious? I think this would help as well to connect to C, as it will give her some motivation. Right now she's sort of drifting through the action, but doesn't have a set reason for her goal of "activating" the curse. Notes while reading: pg 1: Oh yeah...I'd forgotten the town and the girl are both named C. pg 1: "She steps over the line." --I think last time she specifically didn't step over the line, right? This is a good change if so, and gives her a little more agency. --but then the tension drops a bit because it's revealed that they've done this many times. Was she expecting something different? pg 1: “It’s fine!” --Which also makes me question this. Is there a reason they think this time is different? pg 3: “You can do it!” --so what have they done the other many times they've come out here? Have none of the kids ever climbed any of the trees? pg 4: “So, if nothing happens, that proves there isn’t a curse?” --yeah, I'm with T on this one, but they are kids... pg 4: "even at the highest point she could reach." --which...isn't far. pg 5: "whether the curse is real." --Again, if they've known about this their whole lives, I'd like something to tell why this situation is different. pg 7: "all of this might sound like she is making it up" --This makes a lot more sense if she's writing about V and then he appears in town. pg 7: "C likes to give G-M the benefit of the doubt" --this still reads like C is just daft. pg 8: "Chuck is in the kitchen" --this is weird because not only is C referring to her father by first name, but then starts using his nickname. pg 8: "or ask strange questions" --Asking about a wood stove's accepted magical powers is considered a strange question? pg 9: "He is a massive, living cue ball" --I still can't tell is this is metaphor or literal, also, the father's name keeps switching from full name to nickname
  10. In the future, it would be easier on the reader to just combine separate sections into one document. I had to figure out which order to read them in, and I wasn't really sure why the timeline was included. Like @RedBlue, I did not get this at all. When they said they hadn't seen seven darknesses, I assumed that was some sort of multi-year event and they were getting close to their twenties. I don't think they acted five at all. Someone five years old doesn't have the cognition to barter against a death sentence, and for that matter, what is the council doing sentencing children to hanging? I'm also not quite sure what they're charged with. Are they saying they're going to hang children because their father killed people and escaped? That just seems cruel. Overall, I think The Last Day was overly cryptic and it didn't do anything for me. By the time I got back to reading something it affected, I would likely have forgotten about it. For that matter, I'm not sure we need to see the knight's escape. We're told the "bad" part, that the twin's father and friend were responsible for slaughtering forty guards. I think this is lessened by seeing that six knights can't overpower two guards. How did they slaughter forty? The last part caught my interest a lot more because we have two protagonists in immediate danger. As above, I don't think their ages track, but assuming they were older, fending off a hanging and going into exile to track and kill their father is a pretty good hook. I think maybe just keeping this part and expanding on the twin's emotions and how they plan to deal with exile (and what that means for them) will make this much more engaging. Notes while reading: The Last Day: --sort of getting Superman vibes with the son getting sent away from a dying land. pg 2: --yeah, not really sure what happened, however. I guess a goddess sent a guy somewhere? Did he kill her with the sword or not? 59th Winter pg 2: "for them to be this dense." --they are acting pretty dense, if they're leaving a bunch of knights unguarded. Seems plotful. pg 2: "Even with their superior numbers, they were unlikely to give the guard much trouble." --Also hard to believe. We saw someone's bruised face and someone else with a broken arm. But six people trained as knights can't take out two guards? pg 3: "He had decided to expedite the process, it seemed." --maybe a little more emotion from seeing one of his fellow knights die? pg 3: "T hopped from the platform and melted into the crowded streets..." --wait, isn't he going to free the other knights? I thought they were in chains so they couldn't attack the guards? 60th Winter pg 1: "hid her face...vain attempt to hide" --repetition pg 1: are any of these people the same ones as the last chapter? There are a lot of names being introduced. pg 2: "they had slaughtered" --the siblings or the knights? pg 2: Oooooh...the father was one of the knights. Took me a bit to figure that out. Is this what the knights were arrested for, or was that something else? pg 3: "many Talents between the two of them.” --so, doesn't that make them more dangerous to the councilmembers rather than more useful? They already think the siblings will turn traitor. pg 4: "They had avoided hanging" --not sold on this as a last sentence. It's the conclusion of the immediate event, but the reader is more curious about the rest of the story. Where will our heroes go from here? I'd like some hint about their feelings of being exiled.
  11. I've been looking forward to reading this! Overall, this is a much more impressive start. I'd definitely keep reading, because it does set up the tension between TBK, the cowed city, and the revolutionaries pretty well. That said, I'd still like to see even more stakes with what TBK has done. Especially with the argument about him vs. the old government, it's starting to fall into that same trap of, "it's the same thing they've dealt with for all their life." How is TBK more restrictive than the old king? How is he definitely worse? So Goals, Obstacles, and Tactics are clear, but I think it could still have higher Stakes. As to reader promises, from here, it's definitely setting up the revolutionaries vs. TBK. If I was going in blind, I'd say the restaurant would be a place for spying or other clandestine stuff to happen later in the story....but that's probably not the case! pg 1: "just loud enough to be heard over the fragrant garlic." --the intro to this is good and kept my attention. This is the first thing that drew me out a bit, just because you're mixing sound and smell in one line. Maybe "heard over the sizzling of the fragrant garlic." pg 2: “You burn my garlic, I’ll have your head,” --even joking, would she say this to a mentor? pg 3: "was at less than a third of its capacity" --good showing the effect of the war. pg 3: A bit of an infodump, but this is a concise explanation of the types of creatures, and it's related to the current scene. pg 4: "They had all survived the war" --sort of self evident. I think the important part is the next part of the sentence. pg 5: "keep the restaurant and her family alive." --With Ir being the last to leave and thinking about the future of the restaurant, this seems more like she runs it than C, but I don't think that's the case. pg 5: "conquered her country Pem" --glad to have this definition up front! I'd maybe say "the country of Pem...capital city, B, where she lived," just to make it a little clearer. pg 6: "region of Th" --still unclear on this one. I get the city, and different countries, but what is the "region?" Like a major land mass? A continent? It seems like there are countries in a region, where I'd think that is the other way around, like the Tuscany region of the country of Italy. pg 8: "could be just as bad as..." --I think this comparison needs to be the other way around. The council and the old king could be just as bad as the new reign... pg 8: "decide that they have the authority to search our homes whenever they want" --So was the council an interim measure between the monarchy and BK? Because searching houses and taxing people for no reason is pretty normal under a monarchy, so this shouldn't be a big change unless the council started more democratic practices. pg 10: Much better setup with the revolutionaries, and the parents have a good counter for letting the BK rule. Although S just spitting out the news is a little sudden. pg 11: Foreshadowing!! pg 11: "“No,” Ir said." --Maybe a slightly different response? Right now she's saying "no" to "be brave for once" so something a little more nuanced would seem like Ir isn't branding herself a coward.
  12. I think the second half of this chapter has some good interactions in it between E and W, but you could probably cut the first half, as well as going to the beach in general. I don't see that it's particularly relevant to anything. Half the time I'm confused by the character's interactions between each other, but maybe that's because I'm not a teenager. It seems like everyone says one other person is a terrible person, but then W can talk to them for 5 minutes and they just have some issues they're getting over. I'm also not at all sure what's going on with B. If it turns out to relevant to the plot, fine, but I'm not yet sure what she adds to the story. This. I was having trouble figuring out what was bugging me about this interaction, but @shatteredsmooth nailed it. I made a note below that it was fairly obvious N didn't cheat, so I don't know why E needs to defend himself so much with B. For that matter, what they whole deal with him is. My main frustration here is that there are even more questions raised with no explanation, but at least we do get a hint of why the magical flower is important. Notes while reading: pg 1: I think you could cut most of this back and forth. It doesn't add anything. Maybe start with the cars pulling up? pg 2: "On the drive, none of us talk with each other" --how long is this drive?? I mean, I'd personally be reading a book, but I can't imagine a car full of "cool kids" not talking with each other. pg 3: Nothing has really happened yet...I don't care about B except to hate her immediately and until W wanting to talk to E, I don't think there's anything that's moving this story along. pg 4: I don't think we need a long explanation for how E figured out W's mom has cancer. pg 5/6: this whole interaction is very weird for teenagers. pg 7: “Sorry, I think I misread a situation,” --I have no idea where all this is going. Why all this mystery over E? pg 8: "so I don’t need to watch over her" --did he need to watch over her for some reason? pg 9: "He’s looking for magic.” --well, that's the first interesting thing this chapter! pg 10: "I feel my eyes go wide." --this is all still making my feel sympathetic for E and like W is a big jerk. pg 11: "Even if he did maybe cheat on B." --It seems pretty clear he didn't? pg 13: “Dating B wasn’t my initiative,” he says, “Or my choice.” --what is with this guy? Like he's being blackmailed for regular teen activities? pg 14: "He couldn’t muster up feelings of romance or attraction for me," --I mean, sounds like he's just aromantic... pg 15: "I have to move forward." --I think the discussion with E and W is good, but it's sort of frustrating because we don't find anything out, expect his grandfather might be tied into the deal with the flower that we still don't know anything about. E and W sort of make up? But I think that discussion could have easily taken place at the school. I don't know if this beach trip adds anything.
  13. I wasn't very engaged with this chapter. After the last two, floating through this world behind C, I was hoping to get some answers, or at least a little explanation. Instead we're off on a tangent with a chapter we haven't seen much of, with something seemingly unrelated to the main story line. First it was the stove, then the earrings, then V, now this airplane. I feel like I need some stability to figure out what this story is doing. To your questions: 1) Not particularly, because I have no idea what's going on, and no one seems to react to impossible occurrences other than with a shrug. T actually remarks that things seem strange and then nothing really happens from it. The ending is a bit abrupt, so maybe we find out more after this? 2) I think the tone is consistent with the first two chapters, but it's still very distant and disconnected from C and T. Notes while reading pg 2: "the edges of his body blurring and mingling with his armchair." --like, for real? I'm honestly not sure what is metaphor and what is real in this story. pg 3: "since before" --since before what? pg 3: "Leaves were much bigger, back then.” --this seems random... pg 3: "that C is beginning to experience?" --I thought they were all under the curse already? pg 4: "A hulking, ominous shape looming in the darkness" --does he mean he saw something in the barn, or the barn itself is ominous and looming? pg 5: "There can only be one explanation: the forces of evil are converging.” --I don't think V has a very firm grasp on cause and effect... pg 5: "But it couldn’t have flown in from outside!" --wasn't it already stated that there was a time when the curse wasn't around? Would this have been from then? pg 5: "And if the curse came for A..." --Have we seen any evidence of the curse "coming for" someone? I thought it was just sort of generally over the town? pg 7: "She’s a different kind of person than we are" --this all seems very vague and prophetic, but I don't think we have any clear idea of what this story is about. pg 7: "there’s V, an impossible person," --yet no one comments on this? Why not? pg 8: "she surmises that it isn’t" --Eh? What? Why? --I know this doesn't have chapter breaks, but this whole section with T seemed almost dreamlike, and disconnected from the rest of the story.
  14. I think both @aeromancer and I mentioned the first half can be cut down quite a bit, plus have some characters removed. I think that would help if you want to lower wordcount. I thought I mentioned that in my feedback, but evidently not. As I was reading the first few pages, I was thinking to myself, "This sounds like the Scythe board game!"
  15. I'm with the others on the answers to your questions. I'm definitely here for the over the top steampunk fights, so fine on that front, but the fight did go on a bit long. You could probably take out one of the "cool moves" and save it for a later fight. Some of the blocking was confusing as well. I've made notes below. As to characterizations, I think we get quite a bit on the captain, so much that I think this chapter should be in his POV. It's his ship at stake. All C does is think really hard and not talk to anyone, and it makes his character very passive this chapter. We don't really learn anything about him because all he's doing is noting the strategy used. There's still some weird talking-down-to-females as well, even if it's the machine spirit. If they've been in these sorts of fights before, I'd assume she and the captain have a standard reporting procedure on casualties. In all, still enjoying this, but I agree, it's time to get to actual plot. Notes while reading pg 1: “No. I do not partake of tobacco.” --I vaguely remember this from last week, but starting a chapter in the middle of a conversation is a bit hard to follow. pg 1: Who's POV is this in? It's following the captain, but doesn't seem to be in his POV. pg 2: "C asked, interrupting." --this makes it sound like this is in C's POV, but he wasn't even mentioned until the second page. pg 2/3: "“The one who is performing a petty attempt at bravado is not us and the ones who are refraining from slaughter are not your men." --eh, this is a big long and bombastic and comes across as sort of limp, rather than being a good return quip. pg 3: "But, now that I have and you’ve given the all-clear signal, we’ll have enough time.” --is...is the captain monologuing? pg 4: "repel boarders!” --but don't they want to keep them there? I thought that was the whole point so the other ships wouldn't fire? pg 4: "C knew that..." --okay, I think this is still in C's POV, but he's only mentioned once every couple pages, so it makes for a strange sort of half omniscient perspective. pg 5: "crippling it for the fight and turning back towards the fight." --repetition. pg 5: "One of the exploding shells hit an engine," --I think this explanation should be before the "ship explodey" part. pg 7: "blade extended, the blade extending" --also, has he taken a page from RWBY? Also also, why kill the captain if they were going to use him as a hostage? pg 7: "C realized. And with B’s death, we have nothing to discourage them from raking us with fire until the ship is shot from the sky." --exactly what I was saying above. Also, C is very passive this chapter. pg 8: "have only been a few minutes" --certainly seconds, not minutes. I think in less than a minute they'd be a smudge on the ground. pg 8: "as the two warriors traded a message that didn’t need to be spoken out loud." --unneeded because this was shown the sentence before. pg 8: "back to the backsword" --?? pg 11: "flicked his wrist to dump the burning tobacco off his pipe down into the coal dust cloud below." --I do admire the captain's chutzpah. pg 12: There are paragraphs of thinky bits from C in this chapter, and I wonder if it would be more engaging if he spoke with someone instead. pg 13: yet more situational explanation with the thinky bits. This would be better shown than told, or at least in conversation. pg 14: "precisely 250 feet of rope" "Physics took over" --I think something is a little off here. They'd need more than 250 feet of rope to snare the bridge before the rope pulled taut, and then when "physics took over" I was imagining the ropes tearing sections out of the ship and the ship flying up in the air in response. Unless this ship is a LOT bigger and heavier than a steel bridge, which I doubt. Might need some more blocking outlining in this section. pg 15: "Mercenaries get paid up front. Salvagers get paid upon delivery" --lol pg 16: "blinked at the indifference" --also, she's giving an efficient report. I'd expect a well-trained officer would do the same. pg 16: "be more sympathetic to human injuries" --why? stitches and a splint are very minor injuries. I don't think there's much empathy that needs to be displayed here, unless the injured men are within hearing distance and complaining about minor injuries from killing three ships. Also, the captain himself put his men in a lot of danger without telling them of the risky moves he was executing before doing so. pg 16: "right torso" --is there a left and right torso?? pg 17: "fused metal screeching and tearing apart" --that's going to be problematic. Either his armor is scrapped, or if it's part of his body, it's a significant injury. pg 18: "Not if it’s an airship. But a Knight, and a hidden one at that?" --confused. So is he saying (thinking) that they shot a knight in the city instead of a ship? How would that work if Ir already figured out the trajectory? Also, more thinky bits here, but then he says them a few paragraphs later. I'd rather he engaged with the other characters more.