shatteredsmooth

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About shatteredsmooth

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    Recovering Grammar Anarchist
  • Birthday 02/28/1988

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    https://saracodair.com/

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    Other
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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. There is a serial killer named Carl in one of my temporarily shelved novels. It's a good name for a psychopath. I might have actually spelt it with a K though. It's been at least a year since I looked at that book.
  2. This was much much better than the last chapter! I did read it all, though I don't have much to say about the M one other than that I really want to go read Society this summer when I have some free time. I second both of these. ..."correct. he jabbed a finger downward." capitalization. I know there had been some discussion of cutting R's chapters because of the rough ones earlier, but here, I was very happy to be back in her POV and am now second guessing suggesting to cut her POV entirely. Maybe it just needed to be refined in the early chapters because right now, it is a breath of fresh air. However... "you know what happened to me the last time I lost an apprentice?" This and a another instance where she thought something like this seemed out of character. Would she really be more concerned about herself than about E? "The next several lightenings..." I feel we move into summary a little too quick. This is making it feel a little rushed. Although, something about the whole thing, more on a writing level, feels rushed too. I'm not sure why. I just feel like something is missing. Maybe sensory details? More emotional cues? Though those should be things you can fill in after once you do have all the structural and POV stuff ironed out. So what I was saying about it feeling rushed. I think there is plenty of room to slow down and have a moment with O and R. I also miss O's POV. "more wretched them him to drive away his anxiety" Yup. For me, this can be true. Not always, but I have found myself getting a handle on my anxiety when I need to help someone I really care about. Either that or I loose it completely, but I think the first thing happens more. But also, I want more reaction from I. And more moments between he and S before the next big thing happens. I want to see more of S trying to coax I into talking. I want to see more of I. He seemed a little too okay when he was talking. "There is one time...in the columns, not the walls." I had to reread this sentence a couple times. "The column wall is thick enough that this, it doesn't matter." This sense also threw me a little. Overall, now I am back into the story. I liked R's POV with the one issue I pointed out, and Sam's POV was engaging again, but he does need to do something. 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? Hopefully he does make a choice and take an action on his own once this thing comes out of the wall. Still, the chapter ended on a fantastic note and I very much looking forward to the next one. I think most of the issues this one has are relatively minor compared to the last one and will resolved with some fleshing out of scenes.
  3. One of those readers here. I think he does need to react more to it. This is more or less how I feel about it as a whole too.
  4. I agree with E being inconsistent. Maybe that is one of the things that was tripping me up in this chapter. I only read the last chapter of Journey, so to me that whole conversation just seemed out of nowhere and confused me. But now that I know what it is, I can kind of understand why it was there. Still, I think @industrialistDragon makes a good. If it is going to be in there, there needs to be more of it. Make it part of the narrative and not something vaguely referenced to in the middle of E internally making a big decision.
  5. I have only skimmed some of the comments, and am late with this, so I didn't make an as I go marks, just general reactions to each scene: 1: Nothing really happens here. It’s Sam being anxious, walking, telling stuff and over hearing it with little reaction. I’m also unsure what this other species appearing is. That just seems to come out of nowhere, like we’ve switched to some different problem. It might make more sense if O was saying it, but I get that might not be idea since this book does seem to just focus on the apprentices. 2: The kiss with S was cute, and the decision making process worked, but would be better with a little more shown emotion. The way the scene opened, with more of the overheard conversation, was not working for me. I found it hard to follow. If there hadn't been something emotionally important going between S and E, it might have worked. I was starting engage with E here, and then it ended...so far, this chapter has a very fragmented feel. Overall thoughts about Sam up to this point: In general, Sam seems like snippets of anxiety in this book. He doesn’t do enough. He is anxious and recapping and reacting and being led around. He is too passive, and while he was one of my favorite characters in Seeds, I am really struggling to engage with him here, 4. I was also fairly engaged here, but also wanted to linger in some of the emotional beats just a little longer.
  6. Good to know. Thank you @Atium!
  7. Ch. 2 has plenty of action. I technically could start there but I think it works better if I don't. Thanks!
  8. I enjoyed reading this! Part of me is satisfied with it as a complete story, but part of me is also left wanting to read more, imagining how these two characters could continue to interact. It did take a while for the story to actually work its way into the main conflict, so that might be part of it. I'm wondering if trimming and honing the begining somehow might make the end feel like it comes to a tighter close. At first, I thought this was going to be a more distant, omniscient narration because of the "a girl" opening sentence. The second one, where a named character asks a question, should have cued me that was not the case. The first time I got a sense of his voice was more "Perhaps, like him...She looked wet." This was also one of my favorite lines in the piece. "...his voice breaking the same way..." This made met think J was young, 12 to 14, but later when he talks about the magic college on the coast, I wonder if he is more 18 to 20. OR maybe he is in the middle? I'm not really sure. "...flames have become even less obedient." This is where I was more confident I was reading close third and had a more concrete grasp of J's voice. The sentence starting with "They had shown none to hers..." was a sentence I had to reread a few times to get. I thought the POV shifts worked well. "S... had not meant to fall asleep" This confused me. Had S fallen asleep while reading? Had they laid back down to think? Did J make them fall asleep with magic? J's action in the end was a nice touch. This was a story that left me feeling good about the world, even if it is about a completely different world.
  9. Sorry it took me so long to get to this week! I was much more engaged with Re this time around. He's still not my favorite character, but I never like every pov character equally in any book. What won me over with him was how reacted to I being Aridori. There was some betrayal, but also this strong need to save him anyway. The thing that bothered me about this was that he seemed a little naive. Did he believe they would actually let him trade one sibling for the other, that they would actually let I go? In the second section, I reread the opening paragraphs a few times because I was struggling to orient myself. Throughout that section, I found myself having to reread pieces of dialogue to remind myself who said what. Missing a capital letter: "...trouble." he ran a hand down..." When E was feeling like an intruder, I was questioning if the scene should actually be from her POV since it seemed more about Ri and O, but a little further in to the end, I thought you made to write choice to keep it from E's POV. "handful of arrogant blowhards" I read this part and thought it was O, kept reading, and realized it was Ri. I think this is a good example of how she has changed since the opening of book 1. At "lazy" my comment was "Ri sounds a lot like young O did in the pixie story" When Re came bursting into the room, I thought for sure he was going to have the Life Coalition lackeys behind him or something. I was happy that he didn't. I liked how that whole exchange was handled with one exception. I did not really understand what E was trying to tell him about not being worthy of the form. I loved the last line of the chapter but it did feel more like something seen through O's eyes than E's. Overall, I was very engaged with this chapter, but hit a couple bumps when I had to go back and reread a few times. I'm starting to see some of the big pieces moving around and wondering how long it willl be before they come together. It already seems like Re has a piece of information that might be related to S's Nether voice. I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
  10. That is totally ok! Thanks for reading it anyway, because the comments are quite helpful.
  11. @industrialistDragon You just gave me a much, much clearer idea of what the problem was. Thank you! Your questions, and trying to answer them, really helped me see how this opening was confusing and somewhat misleading about the focus of book. Looking at all the feedback on this thread, I'm thinking for readers who read book 1 and were aware of both the Jo, Je, and E parts of the plot and how that book balanced the internal and external plots, the concept of this chapter could work with revisions and edits, but if I want it to be something friendly to people who have not read the series, it needs more of an overhaul or rewrite or to be a different chapter. Makes sense. :-)
  12. Good to know. Thank you! You're right. Consider this description gone. The inciting incident happens in Chapter 2. Maybe that should be Ch. 1... One reader suggested Ch.2 be my opening, and the other wanted the "deep breath" before the inciting incident and the accompanying explosion. I don't know why, but over three drafts, I have been very resistant to starting with that chapter. I keep insisting to myself that there needs to be something less violent and less dark before it. But maybe not. Modern day, just south of Portland, Maine. I probably need to put the word "Maine" right after Portland because most of the country sees Portland and assumes Oregon. But location aside, @Mandamon and @industrialistDragon also seemed skeptical of this in general and it caught me off guard. I'm wondering if unplanned teen pregnancy seems more common to me than it actually is because I work at a community college, and if people who get pregnant in high school to go college right after high school, or even with in a couple years of high school, it is usually at a community college. I know it is more common with the low-income students, but it does happen with the middle class suburban students too. I'll have to put more thought into how I handle it on the page. The opening scene in book 1 was internal, but E was jogging, and a stranger was following them, so there was suspense. After that was dialogue with Me and a sparring match. Book 1 tended to alternate between internal conflict, emotional/romantic scenes with J, and fighting, but the more I think about it, the more there was always something else going on in the more internal scenes. I think I am starting to understand the problem here more. There is more at stake than just saving him, but I will still rework his reaction to this because I think it is a little out of character. I'll keep an eye on that as I edit. Thank you @industrialistDragon and @kais for jumping in even though you haven't read book 1! You gave me some great feedback. :-)
  13. I will be very unhappy if someone stops you. I want to read this book!
  14. That makes sense. Through out much of that scene, it felt like I was either watching the stadium from above it, in a bubble of quiet with E and R, or just fully in E's head. That may have more to do with it than just the volume of their voices. But that disconnect aside, I loved the content of the conversation, the tension, and E's reaction to everything. OK. That was part of it, but also what confused me was when she actually did it, she used the symphony, which made me think it was something any majus of the house of healing could do.
  15. Thank you! This gives me a much clearer idea of what isn't working. :-) And based on what you said, I'm thinking his reaction is a little out of character for him, so I will definitely change it.