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About shatteredsmooth

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    Recovering Grammar Anarchist
  • Birthday 02/28/1988

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    Lake Attitash
  • Interests
    I love speculative fiction, dogs, and cats. Aside from writing, swimming, hiking, biking, and kayaking are my favorite activities. Sometimes, I get ideas about triathlons and never follow through with them. I like growing my own food, but fertilizer feeds the toxic algae I want to keep out of the lake, so my garden doesn't always do that well.

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  1. My concern with that wasn't so much the average reader but an editor who would read both the first chapter and the synopsis, especially if that editor read the synopsis first. It was just because reading the chapter, I thought for sure he was single, and then when I got to the synopsis, I was like "Wait, this guy is married?" But yeah -- for someone picking the book up off the shelf, it wouldn't be an issue at all.
  2. One thing I forgot to mention was I like how on page 4, S is clear about how he doesn't react well to medications but acknowledges that some people do. I also liked his confidence in his ability to manage it even when W doubted him.
  3. Overall, I like the concept. However, it is lacking emotion for the kind of story it is. There are the voices, which the narratives voice says are hallucinations even though they just seem like she is remembering things. I'm not sure why they have to be hallucinations or labeled as voices. I think they would work better as a narrative device if they weren't. Then there is lots of description, which could potentially convey more emotion than it does. If you really honed the prose and the way things were described, and let the italics be more of a narrative device than hallucination, this could work as flash. However, it could also be a fantastic short story if you slowed down and dug deeper into the character. The last line is perfect if you do decide to keep it flash. I never quite figured out who or what D was.
  4. Done. Sorry about that. I forgot the change it after I copied the lines.
  5. This was a lot better than the last submission. It had some really nice world building balanced with some action. The time Z spend with the father showed the relationship nicely, though I almost want a little more of that and a little less of her telling us background stuff in the begining. The first page is a little bit of an info dump. Could you open with making the food and intersperse some of the other world building throughout that scene? The person coming to the door with news of the council meeting is a great turn of events. The evening definitely isn't going according to plan. However, the conversation between the dad and the women goes on a while without any reaction from Z. I'd like to see her react more to this person before the conversation gets underway. Z thinking about the lady's kid being an a-hole seemed like a change in voice. "would have chosen I as her own personal god." I'm looking for an if or but. If she..., then she would have... or would have chosen..., but.... "No,” Z replied." There was too much time between M saying something and Z replying. I got distracted by all the information that came between and forgot who Z was talking to and why. I loved the end of the chapter, and the idea that this demon might not be dangerous like everybody thinks demons are. This definitely leaves me wanting to read more! This seems like a perfect introduction to the world, and I think it would make a great first chapter. Unlike the other one, this has a clear inciting incident. I completely agree! I agree with this too. I think in some places, the internal thought tells us too much or goes on a little too long. Think about what information the reader absolutely has to have now and what can wait until later.
  6. Overall, I enjoyed the chapters. I was pulled through and didn't stop to make too many comments. Showing G packing up then switching to L being almost to town created some good tension, though it deflated a little too quickly when she arrived and he was still there. If they at least caught him in the middle of packing or something, it might have been a more gradual resolution of it. There wasn't much tension in the scene where he was stitching L up. Is there a way to build a little more tension there? I'm being a little prescriptive, so feel free to ignore the following: C gets back early, what if he was scheduled to come back that night anyway? That would make everything more tense from G's POV. He'd be wanting to rush, maybe reluctantly treating L. It would make for a more tense scene. Also, when he did show up with his crew ready to do some damage, it was kind of a surprised but not a good one. I'd rather be waiting, dreading that moment, knowing it was inevitable than have it come when I thought things were okay for a minute. When G was treating L, it seemed like he studied her would a little more than the other guys. I don't have much medical knowledge, but it seems like all he does is cauterize and stitch and that's it. Maybe that is all the medical knowledge available in the time period, butI think that piece of it could be a little more developed. Aside from that, I loved G! He had a great voice and loved his perspective on the town of outlaws. I was also wondering how and why he was there. Was he on the run from someone or something else? The prune juice thing made me laugh. A few as I read notes: "Good luck, friend." Why did he call this guy friend? I know it might be a saying, but it doesn't strike me right for this. "L wasn't sure..." This scene break didn't have a # but one of the others did. "After my father died--runs--D came..." Either this sentence is missing something or I'm not getting something. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.
  7. Overall: I was fine with this chapter the first time around, but now it is even better. You almost had me crying at one point. I liked the build of emotion better. And this time, I did notice a more significant change in E from the begining to the end. As I read: "It never comes out in my favor." This line struck me as odd. Something about time coming out didn't make sense to me. "Despair won." Everything in this interaction was really tense and set up for the later fight. "...Imagine her dying in joy." This whole scene almost had me in tears. "Information on sex talk..." The first time I read this, I was thinking it was referring to what came before it, and was searching the conversation about E meeting T for innuendo and wondering what I was missing. When I read on I figured out it was setting up for the next thing E said. I love the AI! Within this chapter, I think the revelation about Earth was well set up, but I agree with @Mandamon that it should be hinted at a little in the previous chapters.
  8. That is hitting me. It was the strong when S was in the crystal, and even stronger when he was describing the house of time, which seemed beautiful and intriguing. I think so. I wasn't left with any annoying questions. The urgency about the dissolution created more tension along with Sam wanting to leave. I got some Yoda and Luke Skywalker vibes here making me think Sam will leave and not get to work with W again. I'm also suspecting Sam's actions in book 1, along with the voids the LC created, were related to the speeding up of the coming dissolution. I'm not sure what the others will think, but I liked most of reactions in here, especially S thinking of W as a bigot. I liked how his anxiety was tied to his reactions and how he was determined to control it. Overall, I thought this was a solid chapter. Here are some notes I made as I read: "There is still something wrong with him, and the Ef... could help." This is the one place where I didn't like S's reaction. I am super skeptical of this Ef. I do not trust her one bit and it bothers me how Sam seems to trust her even though she seemed on board with W's eugenics and hadn't gotten the Ari out of their ghetto or internment camps (not sure what you decided to call them). "Seems a defect like this can be extracted..." to "Sam blinking in shock at the callous use of eugenics." This was a great reaction. "The only person who can teach me about this house is a prejudice bigot." Another good reaction. It is also showing Sam making a decision to go with W in spite of this. He is aware of the problematic perspective, but putting his need for information over it. It creates more tension. I also won't feel bad if something happens to W and S is left to figure the time stuff out on his own, like Luke Skywalker. Granted, I was really sad when Yoda died. I'm sorry for Star Wars mentions if that isn't what you're going for. There were two times on p. 6 where you mentioned the nether supplying air or whatever his body needed. This felt a little redundant. “This place can teach me about the House of Matter?” he asked. “I am certain there is information here,” and What about the House of Matter?” Wor Wobniar settled on her tripod of legs. “That is more difficult. I know there are records here which reference the House of Matter, but they are few and far between. Let us see if we can find them.” Also seem to repeat information. If you are trying to show Sam pushing W to focus on that, make try to make that clearer or show his frustration more. It is totally okay with me if you go over. I want to read and find out how it ends ASAP. Don't make me wait longer by dividing chapter.
  9. Overall, I enjoyed this. The mc was interesting and the voice was leaping off the page. I liked the way the world was introduced and how it was so meticulously filtered through the narrators POV. I'm not sure how I feel about the chapter's ending spot. I suppose I could comment better if I read on. As it is, I felt like it sort of ended at the drop, and then Q decides not to take on another job just yet and go to the cafe where random flirting ensues. Regarding the flirting, I'm not sure if I should be reading it as just flirting or if this is actually more spy / PI stuff. It's not enough to stop me from going on to the next chapter, but it does pull me out of the story a little. Notes on the synopsis: "Q married the boss’s daughter" This threw me because in Ch. 1, he wasn't behaving like he was married. OK, maybe married people flirt with other people still, but he didn't think about a spouse or anyone but himself really. Or is the woman he was flirting with the Boss' daughter, and he is still a shill in ch. 1, not a PI? "could from life as a lab rat" I think there is a missing word. Like @kais mentioned, Q's arc isn't really clear from the synopsis.
  10. Welcome to Reading Excuses, and I'm sorry I'm a little late to reply. It looks like you already have a ton of feed back (which I haven't read yet) so I'll try to keep my comments brief. Overall: I loved the concept of a sentient star making contact with people, and I wanted the story to focus more on this. You had a lot of detail about the political structure of the people on the ship and it distracted me from the part of the story I was really interested in -- the interaction between the beings on the ship and the star. Did the beam have to have been sabotaged? If it just malfunctioned, then you could take out a lot of the distracting backstory about the separatist and the two military crew members assaulting someone who was from the separatist planet. Throughout the story, I did have a hard time following POV changes and keeping track of some of the different characters. The star deciding to help them seemed almost too easy. As a reader, I'd rather see less of the crew and the politics of the galaxy and more of the relationship one person is building with this star.
  11. Also, I was thinking, this could be another opportunity to delve into S and what he remembers or has forgotten from his own world. Maybe he doesn't remember exactly what happened in his world, but he knows that something like it happened and it was BAD.
  12. I'm a little on the late side with this one, but this was definitely one of my favorite chapters so far. Things make a lot more sense now, and the story has a clear direction. However, I feel like the story needs to get here sooner. There is almost too much of E being low and violently grumpy. I'm down with some of the brawling, but it was starting to go on too long. I love the concept of the T or at least part of her personality being in the ship's AI. I didn't notice E getting startled out of it. E didn't really seem to change much throughout the chapter. There was definitely tension.
  13. I'm not sure if I'm answering your question right or not. I think in some context, you can still call the Ari insane. Insane works for their sort of disjointed thinking and having more than one personality living in one body. What I don't like is when you equate insane with violent and murderous. If their being murderous or violent, just say that, or use a word that means that. They can be insane, and they can be violent. Maybe their insanity makes their violent nature worse and more terrifying. That's fine. If it is the way changing messes with their heads, than that isn't problematic as long as it is clear. Just be careful where you place the word insane. How the characters react. Because they hardly react. If I were S, I'd be wanting to get I the heck out of that facet as quickly as possible. That Eff would be a monster in my head. @industrialistDragon explains it perfectly.
  14. For the most part, I liked this chapter. I read through it without really stopping to comment. I was happy to finally have some concrete information about the dissolution and to see more of E. I'm also glad to see E finally finding an opportunity to escape, even if it is cut short. E hearing the other Ari's voice threw me a little because if she did hear it in the other chapter, it was much more subtle and less of a presence. I like the idea of her being able to talk to it and get information from it, but it also seemed to have a really strong hold on her personality, and it seemed she gave into it really easily. I also wasn't sure why the different Ari were fighting about that one assignment, though I could see E taking it as a chance to escape, but she wasn't thinking down those lines. She'd kind of been consumed by the other Ari's thoughts, which didn't feel right. She wasn't putting up enough of a fight. Though I did like how she fought with the coalition after. Earlier, there was one point where P said "We have had the chance to observe many of the maji's systems." This and what he said after it made it sound like he could see the notes or the houses even though he wasn't a maji. I did have a hard time keeping track of who was who near the end, but that might just be me, not a flaw of the story. You ended on a point that is definitely going to make me want to keep reading.
  15. I haven't been in the group long enough to say if it has been suggested before, but I'd rather not use google docs. When I'm critiquing a piece, I really don't want to see anyone else's comments until I have finished making my own, that way I can be more objective and know I'm not being influenced by the other comments. The way it is set up now, we have a choice about whether or not to read first or look at the comments first. In google docs it would be too much work to not see them.