Mandamon

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Everything posted by Mandamon

  1. Hi all. There was some discussion of getting feedback on full books (pacing, plot holes, character and story arcs...) rather than just the chapter format submitted here. This would be something that does not compete with the weekly submissions, but takes place over a longer time, where volunteers can read over a full first draft of a book and offer critique. Resources: This idea came up before, and resulted in the creation of a Reading Group A, listed in Silk's Welcome post. There is a dropbox shared folder under JamesW. Not sure if we need his permission to add more people/if he's still around. I can set up a new group if needed. The problem we had before was that people would put things into the shared folder, but there wasn't any notification, so no one has kept up with it. I propose we keep this thread going as notification for those that are interested in reading/having alpha readers for complete books. These critiques would be less about chapter edits and grammar errors and more about the flow of the whole book. We should probably also have a time limit or certain range that is available for alpha readers so 1) the shared folder doesn't get cluttered and 2) the author can gather all the critiques at one time. So far, myself, Robinski, and akobel are interested. At least two of us have books going through final edits that will be ready for alpha readers shortly. Thoughts?
  2. Can confirm. In related news, have you seen how much the chapters I've been submitting have been torn up? ;-)
  3. Hello all! We're at the halfway point of the book, back to S, and things are going to start coming together from now on. Please let me know if you come across any promises I didn't keep. Reactions on anything/everything else is appreciated, from character notes, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing. Previously: E coaxed S out of his room after a strange chime went off. The maji are interested in S's new house. R got some information from a source, and M wants to restart the Society. R reveals the location of the Coalition's headquarters, but can't get there, and everyone is called to the Assembly, where the Coalition unveils an ancient being. E and R discuss the revelation, S visits the Eff in a private audience, and M continues recruiting. Re manages to meet with the coalition, learns E and I's true species, and confronts E. E trades herself for I and S takes I in. The rest of the cast gathers at the wall, and meet the Eff. They learn some new things, then the chime stops as something comes through the wall. We go back to E, who discovers the Coalition's headquarters, and meets some new, strange friends.
  4. I was having trouble formulating my thought for this, but I think @kais has clarified it well: The concept for this is very interesting, but I'd like some more hand-wavium to at least try to address the time travel element. Right now it's pretty shaky in how the knots can keep separate timelines apart and why the energy requirements are tied to the machine itself. I don't need hard science behind it, just a technobabble explanation because it's popping me out of the story as it is. The MC's obsession with the past is pretty overwhelming. It would be nice if the wife could at least acknowledge this rather than just being a sobbing mess all the time. Some of the scene breaks are pretty confusing. It would be helpful especially later on to somehow label which one is which so the reader can follow along better. Again, I like the concept, but I think a little more character development and some polishing over how the time machine works will go a long way. Notes While Reading: pg 1: "I can only think it's a death sentence. The final nail in N coffin. My hands start shaking." --a bit confused as to who N is compared to A, and why the husband immmediately thinks of her. Willing to wait a little to find out. pg 2: "I wonder what she'd be like." --now assuming N is some sort of child lost to time travel hijinks? PG 5: "Thanks to the anchor I can alter the past and still come back to this very moment." --Okaaay...this sounds questionable. pg 6/7: "Ordinarily, this would change the future - and probably would've erased L from ever existing - if it wasn't for the anchor." --I sort of want some explanation for this, even if it's technobabble. pg 8: "She's not in her crib." --sort of confused what happened between the previous section and this one. In the previous one, L is alive. In this one, N is alive, but not sure how. pg 9: "I only realized this when I noticed a second line had appeared on the time graph." --well, that's sort of what I expected to happen. That's why I was wondering how he thought he could change things without changing the timeline. pg 10: "I pondered how I should proceed while looking at the single line on the time graph." --I think this is here to tell us that this version doesn't know about the split timeline, but it comes across as authorial. Why would he mention that it's a single line? pg 10: "She wouldn't either, if she'd just been shot by herself." --Eh? How does he know this? pg 11: "The new anchor ties it all together, fixing our small family to the present" --uh, didn't he learn from the last time? pg 11: "One with two knots - the two anchors I created - and another two branching off from the first." --Confused. I'm having trouble telling which is which. pg 12: "The energy consumption of the anchors is through the roof." --So the machine is generating the energy to keep the timelines together? But he had to boot it up? pg 13: "If I removed the second anchor manually, before the first one fails, I should have a small window of opportunity to act." --relatively confused pg 14: "There's a hole burning in my chest..." --Wait, what happened?
  5. Very interesting! I didn't have a problem with the shifting POVs (but then I rarely do). I read it a second time, first with only the regular text together, and then all the italics together to help me make sense of it. It does stay with me, but mostly because I'm questioning what happened. My main questions/comment: 1) Is the demon the father and the man the son? Or the other way around? 2) Why is he referred to as a demon? There's a very close familiarity between the two, but I don't see a reason to call him a demon. Is it because of physical description? or what the (son, I think) thinks of his father? 3) I'm a little confused at the end with who's speaking to who. From the last set of italics, it seems like the father left to hone his craft (and turned into a demon?). But from the last paragraph, it seems like the demon (the father?) is saying to the man (his son?) that the son left to hone his craft.
  6. I liked it. It keeps the whimsy and addresses what happened to L.
  7. Hello all, We're on to chapter 10, and almost halfway through! Back to E this week. As always, let me know what you think. Reactions on anything/everything else is appreciated, from character notes, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing. Previously: E coaxed S out of his room after a strange chime went off. The maji are interested in S's new house. R got some information from a source, and M wants to restart the Society. R reveals the location of the Coalition's headquarters, but can't get there, and everyone is called to the Assembly, where the Coalition unveils an ancient being. E and R discuss the revelation, S visits the Eff in a private audience, and M continues recruiting. Re manages to meet with the coalition, learns E and I's true species, and confronts E. E trades herself for I and S takes I in. The rest of the cast gathers at the wall, and meet the Eff. They learn some new things, then the chime stops as something comes through the wall.
  8. Heh--no worries on my account. Call it like it is. I see what you're saying. I know I need to restructure this whole plot section to get E there in a different manner, but I'm not sure how yet. Maybe I can add some more useful information here when I do that. Don't know where. I think this is pretty much new. Good catch. I think this ties into E not emoting enough. Thanks @industrialistDragon!
  9. And me--I was on the previous page.
  10. Thanks, @shatteredsmooth! Yep, emotion is my bane. I'll make sure to concentrate on this section in my next draft to get in E's head more. Trouble incoming in a few chapters!
  11. Thanks @molah! Especially helpful since you haven't read the other books. This is basically still a first draft, so it will get tightened up a lot, based on what you guys see, Good call. I sometimes have complaints that the magic is too complex, so I'm never sure how much detail to go into. This will definitely get tightened up. Good catch. I'll see how I can make it more menacing. Everyone seems to like M's section, which is the part I basically winged. I just find that funny!
  12. Hello all, Here's chapter 5. This is slightly longer than 5000 words, so apologies. As always, let me know what you think. Reactions on anything/everything else is appreciated, from character reactions, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing. Previously: E coaxed S out of his room after a strange chime went off. The maji are interested in S's new house. R got some information from a source, and M wants to restart the Society. R reveals the location of the Coalition's headquarters, but can't get there, and everyone is called to the Assembly, where the Coalition unveils an ancient being.
  13. Great comments as always, @Robinski! It works majus to majus as well. I think this has been consistent since TTS, so might be WRS. (LOL at all the TLA!) So this was one of the scenes I wrote, but didn't post because I know it needs too much work. I have one vote from @kais to see it, and one here not to! I'll ponder... Yeah, I always have problems with this. Need to find a good way to refer to them. I'm trying to make part of the growth in this book S reaching out and protecting his friends, rather than the other way around, but it's not there yet... I'll have to put in some more detail. It's mentioned once in passing in the first book, but it's one of those things that's like "It's been there for ever, no one knows what it's for..." Yep, I'm going to have to cut a lot of the "walking and talking."
  14. Hello all, given the problems in chapters 6 and 7, I'm skipping over most of chapter 8 for now. I think it can be combined in some way with the last two chapters to speed things up. Feel free to read the M section of chapter 8 I've included, but that brings the submission to almost 6000 words, so no problem if you skip over it and just read chapter 9. What you missed: E, with Re in tow, trades herself for I. He's in bad shape. Re helps I to meet up with S, who takes him and helps him get cleaned up. I is acting strange and makes random changes to his body, but perks up seeing S again. He says E wanted this to happen. As always, let me know what you think. Reactions on anything/everything else is appreciated, from character notes, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing. Previously: E coaxed S out of his room after a strange chime went off. The maji are interested in S's new house. R got some information from a source, and M wants to restart the Society. R reveals the location of the Coalition's headquarters, but can't get there, and everyone is called to the Assembly, where the Coalition unveils an ancient being. E and R discuss the revelation, S visits the Eff in a private audience, and M continues recruiting. Re manages to meet with the coalition, learns E and I's true species, and confronts E. E trades herself for I and S takes I in.
  15. Yeah, I think the first section needs to get edited quite a bit. Anything in particular you were expecting? Thanks @kais!
  16. Definitely! I may well have a suitcase just with books to deliver...
  17. Um...on for next April 22nd? In other news, April 22nd is also the release day for Fruits of the Gods! (But you fine folks, it's also available on the 20th and 21st for $0.99!)
  18. @Majestic Fox - Definitely helpful. Thanks! Agree. Hopefully this is the effect of a first draft. I usually layer more detail in there on the second pass. I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I thought something was off in the first part of the chapter especially. I'm doing more tell than show. I'll try to adjust this on the next pass. Thanks again!
  19. Cool! I haven't received anything yet, but here's hoping...
  20. Lol. I think Dan would actually find using him in a story funny, especially if he gets brutally murdered ;-) Also: Tom, Henry, Will, Fred?
  21. I really enjoyed this! It's got just the right whimsy of a fairy tale, and a good structure to it. I think the only thing it's missing is the payoff at the end. (prescriptive warning) J needs to rescue L to show that she deserves the cape. Right now we have a cool triumph showing J knows what she's doing, but then the cape shows that it knows she cares about her friend. I think with the follow through on this part, the ending will be much more satisfying. (/prescriptive) pg 1: "For seven years they would observe the cunning tricks of the oldest ravens, and for seven years they would seek out the secrets of the dawn hare." --Is this 7 or 14 years, because right after, it says they get presented with a cape after 7. pg 4: ‘If you leave, I won’t any friends.’ --missing "have" pg 7: "for three times seven years" --This explains the beginning. pg 7: "as she with awe " --missing a word pg 9: Ahhh, that's it? I want more!
  22. @industrialistDragon--Awesome comments! I was just thinking about the who Star Trek aliens thing today while writing. There is a section coming up which addresses this a little, but I do want to put a little more color into the different cultures. It keeps getting pushed aside by the larger plot threads, but I'm going to try to squeeze it in there in the next draft. Sigh. Yes, this is a definite problem with Re. I'm wondering what your reactions will be further on. This is something else I need to squeeze into the next draft. He does get some cool parts, I promise! But I also take your point. Yep. I think I can put more in with this at the beginning, by taking out the part with V. Interesting perspective to replace R's POV with O. I hadn't considered that. I'll have to see what the consensus is later in the book. Thanks as always! You never fail to have great insight to what I need to work on. These comments will definitely drive a better book.
  23. Ready for another week of Facets? Cause I'm submitting unless someone stops me!
  24. *Rubs hands* Just wait....
  25. Thanks @kais and @shatteredsmooth Haha. oh, I and S. I'm glad bits of this are hitting at least. I keep trying to add more with Inas, but it hasn't congealed yet. There are some more moments soon, and I will be adding more in as soon as I figure out what I's deal is... This section will probably stay. The M interludes seem to be self-sufficient on their own. Thanks very much for the feedback on this! I try to get this right, but still fall in holes here and there.There will be more of this later, so I'm certain I'll probably mess up again. On the agender note, that's a really good point. "doing a gendered assignment" is a much better way to put it. This is connected to the last point. Yes, they are different nonbinary labels! I use "they" as agender and "zie" as a third gender here. There will be, er, more of this very soon. I'd love for you to see if it gets too confusing with more genders. I've been having fun discovering new gender names! Yep! Cool. I'd love to put more of this in there. This may be a good point, or I can elaborate on it elsewhere. It will give the R POVs a little more heft. I really miss O's POV here too, but had to cut it when I started. There were just too many, and R and O would just cover the same perspective most of the time. Yeah, this was part of what I skipped submitting. It's in there, but like Ch 6 and 7, it wasn't working yet, but it does exist! Cool. I'd love to keep it in, if it has a chance of working. It felt rushed to me too, but I couldn't put a finger on what it was. Great comments. As always, if you see parts where the anxiety is off, let me know. There is something like this is a couple chapters, but I can add it here as well. This would be something, and I was thinking he was going to go, but if something is coming out of the wall, then why would be go in? Hmmm...I'm wondering if the next chapter will address this enough. Awesome comments, and they will help a bunch!