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21 Awakened Object

About mrwizard70

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  1. these are great points. RE: dramatic intro. I thought this was a full novel and so misconstrued everything. This level of tension is fine for a short story. Instead let me explain it this way, you introduce this extremely tense situation and conflict and then back off, which felt weird. Think not about how you or I feel discussing this, but how the reader feels. RE: Opening in general. It serves no purpose except to increase tension. Would flow better if you played the story straight as far as time goes. RE: Gambling. I thought, even though the final scene, that they were gambling. You need to both explain your game better and make it less wordy. Additionally, why isn't it about gambling? I figured you were going to build into a novel about people who were superhuman because their luck was absurd, but honestly, I have no idea where this is going. There are lots of great themes in this if you make it about gambling, and literally no action if it isn't about gambling.
  2. Have you read No game No life? or watched the netflix gambling high school series? There are lessons in both of those. Your introduction *cannot* be this dramatic, because of the escalation problem. Your characters must carry the story. Money is obviously a non-issue for everybody involved, so it doesn't provide tension. You describe why people dislike this guy in gruesome detail, but I don't like him either, so why should I care? In fact, the only character I remotely empathize with is the "companion" which is derogatory enough already. Don't have your characters magically solve riddles that would be difficult for the reader in one guess, it makes the reader feel bad. If the reader doesn't know what's happening and you haven't established that this is a mystery from the pov of a character who doesn't know what's going on, they'll quit reading. appropros? They were playing games I knew and understood moments ago. Why do they play this game I've never heard of in the moment that's actually important? Is this book going to be about gambling or not? Your characters are a little one dimensional but have solid fundamentals. Your writing is tense and clear, but you need to figure out the plan for this work.
  3. Initial impressions; No offense meant, but if I were reading this in the library, I'd be putting it down around here. It's a fascinating work, but just so far out of the stuff I like to read that I'm not sure what to do with it. Take all advice from me with extra salt because it's from a pov completely different from your target audience. This makes me uncomfortable and unhappy to read. The character isn't taking action and feels like she has no agency, and being inside her head for this long is awful. Work on the dialogue with J. I get it's probably realistic, but it didn't make sense for me to read. Getting to the crash, which feels like the inciting incident, takes wayyyy to long. What the hell!? Like what the actual what? Pick a tone and genre please, otherwise it just straight up stops making sense to me. VR?!?! Other thoughts: There's the conflict with B. and there's this nebulous, ill defined, and hard to grasp thing going on with M. Your characters are AWESOME. They are doing stuff for "plot" reasons and jumping between multiple tones, but the strongest piece of the work is the stuff that goes on when you just let the characters shine through.
  4. This is a great detail, and hacking any of them would be vastly easier than hacking the DMV. The essential problem with hacking a DMV account is that government accounts do not have the users name/email linked to them. Anyone who has an account linked to a public email/ other accounts is much easier to hack for a variety of reasons.
  5. One does not simply hack into government websites. It doesn't work like that. You can brute force them, I guess, but that's the kind of thing the fbi kicks down doors over. Unless you are either on site or already in possession of a password, you need some serious hardware to break into even fairly basic stuff; hiding one's tracks is way harder than following them, especially when you're sending millions of signals directly at the tracker. Most hacks happen because a password is gotten, usually by purchasing it off an employee, and then that employee's account is given access to things it shouldn't be able to reach from within the system.
  6. I'm not so much confused as I don't care. Why do these people matter, and why does what's happening matter? There's an overwhelming sense of urgency and immediacy that was not present in the last chapter. While obviously intentional, it's very jarring. I don't know anything about the society, so I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be terrified or excited at the moment. I'm going to assume that there's nothing of substance going on to me only because I haven't read the previous books. No grammatical complaints, no problems with the politics, and no character complaints because I don't know the characters. However, there appears to be no advancement of the plot at all in this chapter. We are informed things have been happening, but nothing specific actually happens. That's a very general complaint, but honestly, I got nothing. Good enough, in my eyes.
  7. The opening line is great; it's also inherently contradictory, which is either brilliant or unintentional. Did you use "was" on purpose? "Nothing about time is fixed." implies everything happens in the present, but if the entire universe is past, that's also an interesting claim. Great tone in general. Obviously a novella from the first page. Good. Feels like part of a series as soon as you reference plot-relevant events that happened in the past. I dislike the "highlight reel of last book" feeling, but it's part of modern literary convention, so you're fine. I have no comments until strike two. This is wildly unusual. It's very rare for me to forget I'm editing and just read, and it means you've done an excellent job. It's tight, it's compelling, it holds my attention. Strike two: This is hardly a criticism, but as a normal person with absolutely zero mental health issues and little/no attachment to my family, I cannot empathize with either character. This is a me problem, but it's why I'm not giving you much character commentary. M comes off as nearly omnipotent, and I sort of feel like she has control of the situation, and it's jarring to move from M to B. The amount of talking about E without actually introducing/dealing with E as a character is weird. The introduction of M as a hacker is also odd. Anyone who knows about hacking is going to be out of SoD. Maybe remove the mention of the dmv specifically or something. Isn't important enough to matter really, but thought I'd mention it. The payment problem is easily fixable. Talk to the company, they'll give you 45k back because they didn't want it. They're not about to just steal that. I'm not saying that this can't be the conflict, but the way it is explained gives me a great deal of contempt for both C and B, since I'd just go "oh okay awesome. Let me call them." All points are nothing more than my opinion. I like it quite a lot thus far.
  8. I'll have something different for the 15th.
  9. As I go. I’m not a fan of starting books with quotes. Alien birds? What does that mean? What do they look like? Character conflict is very on the nose. Not saying it needs to be changed, but it’s fairly direct. Not much subtlety here. Your character is broken. I’m an ordinary stable person, it’s legitimately difficult to relate to him. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing either, but I think it is worth saying just so you’re aware of it. Very abrupt transition. Gong, birds, freaking out, and then suddenly another character has agency and is determining the plan. Last two pages are off. In general god I love your world and magic. The characters are sound, but the way they interact is wack. You have a fancisinating power dynamic and political situation. Did that play into the past book? did I mention how awesome your magic is? gong needs to be resolved this chapter, or at least they need to address it.
  10. So generally what I'm getting from the responses here is that dealing with real-world religions, or the ideas of racism, nationalism, and generally medieval culture is a bad idea. Nothing in this section is even remotely close to the vileness I was planning to have characters spew down the road, so I guess I need to rethink the whole concept. My fantasy is not other's fantasy.
  11. okay. So I'm going to turn this into a couple of broad categories. 1. Character comments. These are super helpful. Generally, I'm thinking I may have a character enter the village with the news and join the party, which allows me to have an uninformed perspective. I'll either create a Janissary or redo Ala. T is supposed to be a bonafide genius. She's a random peasant with a better brain than pretty much everyone except maybe some Stratlavian (Italian) princelings and the Riemunate (ottoman) administrators. I was trying to make her come off as head and shoulders more intelligent than everybody else. Ale is supposed to be a natural horseman and farrier which is why there's a scene with a horse at all. I obviously need to make that more clear more quickly. I was going to do it slow burn but that apparently isn't good enough. He's supposed to be the most emotionally sensitive of all of them. Ala is supposed to start out "better" in his mind, than either of them and gradually allow himself to be overshadowed, developing from a prideful guy to a grizzled and veteran field commander. Yeah, he's archetypical, but I basically want him to be a canvas with which to paint the other two on. This may be the problem. I'll think about how to fix. They'll pick up Sammal (Muslim) soldiers and side characters over time, but that's about as interesting as I can go, racially. I guess I can't get away with introducing them and then leaving things to be shown as we go along. see uninformed perspective note at the start. 2. Red flags regarding race, sex, etc. The problem here is that T's character arc is "I'm so much smarter than all of you that it's not even funny." She's supposed to end up as the head of the mercenary company they form. But it's not much of an arc if the main characters start out weirdly accepting and un-racist/religious. I was trying for an omnipotent pov, but I cannot for the life of me get that right. If it's as big a problem as it appears, I can keep trying. That said: Ala is sexist and racist. Ale is vastly more so. It's literally impossible for them not to be unless I want to give them both even more past baggage, and there's already too much of that going around. They're going to have to overcome these traits while working in a multinational army. Nationalism is a really tricky one. The real world was completely defined by nationalism until the rise of ideology and religious conflicts in the 1600s. Obviously, the peasants aren't going to actively rebel unless they run out of food, but the whole Balkan region (where this is set) maintained national identities and concepts for literally five hundred years of occupation and launched fairly regular nationalist rebellions. T doesn't have it because she's a Gene and pretty much everyone except the Sammal kill them for sport. Ala was raised as a nobleman, and so he's got liege loyalty and chivalry, but no nationalism. Ale has to otherwise I don't have a way to show why everyone's killing each other later on. They're all going to sign up to ride around with an army. Armies of the period were basically Nazis except for the people they killed and raped knew it was coming and both sides did it. The fact that by modern definition soldiers from 1200 to 1700 were undeniably some of the evilest people in history is supposed to be the central conflict of the story. Their mercenary company will become a refuge for the people whose lives were destroyed by the army, and this will inspire them to develop a new model of warfare, which will bring them into conflict with the traditionalist elements, culminating in a civil war. 3.Schematics. This is edited and written stream of consciousness, so don't worry too much about that. I'll make the changes you suggest. Thanks for the comment on names. I toned that down significantly already, so short of abandoning the idea of realism within my story, I'm not sure what I can do besides just having the characters not talk about places. However, my standards push me on that one, pretty hard. If this world's going to be realistic in the fantastic way I want it to be, it's got to have a ton of countries, I figured the minimum of independent lords/dukes/kings/etc would have to be at least five hundred. I'll think about introducing nations later. Taldovia isn't even a country anymore, so I'll just remove that and cross that bridge later.
  12. I actually ask for people to do that in my email. please do!
  13. I was inspired by this; Sorry! dont worry about not getting to it, I completely understand. Keep it up it’s the work on the novella, that’s great to hear.
  14. Take 2! I've made some adjustments, but honestly, I'm more interested in feedback from people who haven't read this yet. 1. How are the characters? This kind of piece relies entirely on the characters being extremely strong from the outset. Specifically our protag Ala, but the side characters are of nearly equal importance. Do you need more from them to become invested? How much more? 2. Does it lack plot/agency/stakes? This is supposed to be the inciting incident, and I've basically introduced the major points of the narrative at this point. Do you feel invested? I want the reader to be invested primarily in the characters. Hoping to avoid "save the innocents and protect the downtrodden" as a defining motive. 3. Anything else you feel like saying! People who have read this already; a. don't feel obligated to reread. b. if you do, have I fixed the religion problem? Thank you very much! Hellisforheroes.docx
  15. I'll be resubmitting an edit of last week.