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About shatteredsmooth

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    The Meowditor's Human (They/Them)
  • Birthday 02/28/1988

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    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.
  1. This is a continuation of my other crit, since this is a continuation of that section. p. 7 I like the balance in this scene with the persona;/family life and the fungus advancing like we knew it would based on the fungus pov scene p. 9 Also like the balance in this scene, p. 13 I feel like I missed something here and would need to give this a second read to really get what Frank wants to do. But then I tend to struggle when this book gets technical about the materials, and think it's more of a me problem than something you need to fix. p. 19 Jiow needed her to pull her weight.[A1] [A1]With work? She would spend more time with her son just as soon as she could.[A1] [A1]In terms of character arc this is a decent note to end on, but it also isn’t something to propel me on into the next chapter.
  2. One overall, sort of big picture note, is that some of the characters seem to be staying the same more than growing. I've noticed a lot of growth from An and some from Ag, but to me, the others, mostly all seem the same even if things around them have changed. It might be WRS, but I'm having trouble seeing the arcs and growth. I read all of part 10 together over two days, and while I don't have too many comments on individual things, I feel like the overall arc or beat for the section isn't quite coming together for me. I'm not quite sure what is or have a feeling I'm missing something. As I read: p. 8 Not much to comment on here. It read smooth. There was a bit of tension. Sings of the colony’s progress. Though I think I had been expecting the hole or the call to be something a little more significant and felt a little let down when it wasn’t. p.10 ". It was time more direct attention was devoted to this troublesome area." This feels repeated, sort of. p. 15 The admins may be a little evil, but at least they appreciate the arts. p.18 To an extent, I felt like I was being told stuff I already know about how the implant works and where it’s name came from, but I also liked seeing N tell An to get a hobby. p.24 “The trashiest,” the man said. “My latest is about a Generational and a Vagal who run away into the biomass, but rather than killing them, it does, well, other things to them.”[A1] [A1]This had me laughing out loud p. 25 He’d have plenty to do until his prosthetic was ready[A1] . [A1]I love that A is buying smutt books p. 27 It had been a while since we'd seen Al. Had almost forgot about him.
  3. Another great installment! I thought it lagged a bit in the middle / got bogged down with technical stuff, but other readers might find that exciting. As I read I was excited for the fungal POV. I find that absolutely fascinating! p.6 "ball and chain" I hoped people would stop using that phrase in the future p.18 Interesting seeing people consciously make a choice to keep or even foster inequality in their society. That was blatant. Makes me dislike admins. p. 22 This las scene was a pretty jargon heavy section. I had to read slow to follow and found myself loosing interest a little. Same for the one that ends on page 25. I kept finding myself wanting skim over things, but I can see other readers getting really excited about the construction stuff. p.25 Very glad to be back in An's POV! To me, these are some of the strongest chapters and the ones where the most happens, and this one didn't disappoint. It felt like it had forward motion and made me like An more than I already do. p. 36 I care a little more about the building material from Jane’s POV, though after her intentional creation of social classes, I’m less sympathetic to her. 36-39 Nice moment between J and Ag! 39 Not a bad ending but also not one that leaves me craving the next scene or ready to keep turning the page.
  4. I procrastinated reading this because I liked D and was not looking forward to his fate. It was sad, but didn't quite have the impact I expected. It had all the ingredients do be devastating and emotional chapter but it felt muted and moved fast. I would really dial up the emotion throughout the chapter, but particularly in the last part after D dies and A goes home alone with the baby. There was one part where I think it said they were about the equivalent of 20-years-old and that surprised me. A seemed like she was in her 30s to me. I don't think this is the first time you talked about age though, so it was probably just WRS that I forgot. Looking forward to the next installment!
  5. I read this a few days ago but didn't post because I didn't really have any comments on it. I think this was one of my favorite chapters so far! I was engaged throughout the whole thing and liked the amount of time I got to say with each character. I also liked having the quieter more geeky bee chapter follow the more action heavy one. It would be interesting to read this all together instead of in such small segments, because sometimes, when I read chapters like this, I don't have much if any criticism for the individual chapter but feel like I'm on the verge of seeing a bigger picture issue that I can't quite pinpoint yet. Looking forward to the next part.
  6. Here is more of the spooky middle grade book, Junk Junction. I'm concerned I broke something about these chapters trying to fix them--made them worse instead of better. The revision was focused on pacing and character reaction, so I'm particularly interested in feedback on those things, but am also open to whatever other feedback you have.
  7. I'd like a spot for tomorrow if that's ok.
  8. In general, I felt rather lost in this chapter. Part of it could be chalked up to be still being a few chapters behind--I never did quite catch up. But I think part of it is also that there is just a lot of detail in this chapter that we may or may not need all here at once. In the first half, I felt overwhelmed by all the detail about the people in the bar and at the same time, was waiting for something to happen. I also had a time remembering who was who, and in the end, wasn't sure if she had been recognized or not. I agree with this along with most of the points @Mandamon made. When I was reading, I was struggling to pinpoin what the issues were and didn't make line by line comments, but I think he really nails it with this critique.
  9. I'm trying to picture the overall arc of the chapter in my head and the whole thing isn't quite coming together for me, though maybe it's because I read it in pieces instead of all at once. However, I do like the note in ends on. That is propelling me more into the next phase of the story. I didn't really make too many notes as I read, which is a good thing. I was engaged and not seeing problems with the individual sections. Here are the few as I read notes "We think the alpacas might have a good run though. They seem much less resistant to the fungus" Less resistant or more resistant? The context makes me think you meant more but I could be reading wrong. " It was a beautiful symphony." The paragraph ending in this made me think that he has some type of connection to the fungal network now, like it's in his brain or something and none of the characters realize it yet. I could be completely wrong, but if 'm right, then it's some good foreshadowing “But you’re right. Let’s pick out everything for our perfect child. Maybe in a year or two, we can have a second." Something about this line feels forced. Maybe that is the intention. And that is it for this time! The chapter gave me a good picture of how people were adapting, and it ends on a good note.
  10. TW violence for someone getting turned into a mannequin Hi All, I'm working on a revise and resubmit with a literary agent for my middle grade novel, Junk Junction, which I sent through this group in Summer 2020. So some of you have read an older version of this, but it's been a while. Because I have limited words and limited time, I'm not sending the first few chapters. I'm happy with those (I think). Instead, I'm starting with Ch. 4, which is 15 pages in, and right at my inciting incident. This is a section where I made some more significant changes, and I want to see how they work. The revision has been mostly focused on pacing and character reactions, so I'd love feedback on those elements. There are supposed to be excerpts from journal entries at the start of each chapter, but they made my word count go up over 5,000, so I didn't include them in the submission. Here is a very brief summary of what happened leading up to this chapter: E, a nonbinary 12-year-old, is antiquing with their mom, who they are very close with. After finding a valuable antique ghost hunting kit, E wanders away from mom and has a vision of the past when they touch a haunted doll. Panicked, they call for their mom but can't find her. Thank you!! Sara
  11. As I read “He has some serious breaks, but he won’t need anything like this.” I wish I could believe you, An. I’m not sure this is the right POV for this scene? It went fast and had some good emotion from Ag, but she was also very passive in it. I think either An or D would feel more active. I like seeing Ja’s reaction to the discovery of the iron. It gives a good sense of forward momentum. It also made the POV switch feel smooth because the action was related. "...waiting for her place on the List." I liked this scene—it was deep—lots of good emotion and a left me with a bit of a hear-warming feeling. Wholesome. The only downside is it felt disconnected from the first two chapters. The Al scene wasn't as engaging too me even though it did tell the readers some critical information. "he starting installing" did you mean "started"? "thought he might actually live comfortably on the surface of 11d" and now, something must go wrong, in the next chapter. Or the next scene. Overall, this chapter felt unified around one event with the first two scenes. The second two feel more disconnected from it. Well, the last one does show the result of it, I guess. But the baby one, even though it had the best emotion and character interaction, also felt the least connected to the chapter. The overall arc and connectedness of everything as a whole isn't quite coming together for me. Granted, this isn't the whole thing, right? Maybe when I read the next part, it will all click. I think this is some good insight. I more or less agree with this.
  12. Can I have a slot for tomorrow please? I'll get caught up on this weeks crits tonight before I send anything out for tomorrow.
  13. I'm very late, but here. As I read: "...what had happened to the original research" Yikes! I would have so much anxiety about that implant, and would also be so curious. "He could concentrate on all the avenues at once." Jealous! "A hoped he would catch the idea by the tail before he got to Lieutenant N." As in stop himself from telling it or figure out what it was first? "They needed to take the fight to it, clear out the radian, and create a safe base of operations to continue building the arcopolis."Yes, they do. Since they are stuck there. Though I actually feel bad for the biomass. “You’ve just described fungus,” I love this discussion of kids in this section and how different J and F feel about kids. "...and ate the last bite of steak in the colony." This is quite the ending line. RIP steak. He [A1] took an open seat next to an attractive man about her age.[A2] [A1]She? [A2]A line or two of description would be good here “You’re…you’re drinking fungus alcohol?” This sounds like a terrible idea but I think it’s either consume it or be consumed, right? Might as well get drunk off of it. "Likely non-binary, from their clothes and appearance. Were they just as put off by all the noise and people as she was?" What marks someone as nonbinary in this world? In this whole party scene, the description feels lacking and vague. "It would give her something to do instead of moping." The ending for this section feels a little anticlimactic. Overall this was a decent section. You almost lost me with the A section, but I get the need to be stuck in his head with him for that one scene. And I liked how the rest was so focused on F & J. Even though it switched between their POVs, it felt like one coherent section instead of little fragments. I'll try to get to the next section tomorrow.
  14. I almost missed this as it had gone to my spam folder, which almost never happens with RE stuff. I liked getting to see through the bio matt's POV again. However, I have a limited tolerance for that voice, even though it is fascinating, and was losing interest a couple paragraphs away from the end. However, I can see other readers being fine with it as it is. The throwing out moldy veggies scene was cute but also sad because it is heavily foreshadowing a certain death and I am not looking forward to when it comes. I was pretty engaged with the last scene too, and happy it lasted more than a few pages. It leaves me wanting to jump to the meeting. Overall, a good chapter.
  15. Congrats on submitting for the first time! And sorry for being late with my critique. My overall impression was that on the sentence level, you're writing is good but the chapter takes a little too long to get to the action. Your first paragraph caught my attention, but soon after, I was starting to get bored. I think a page or two to concisely convey that this is an inexperienced prince who doesn't want to fight is all we need before the ambush. I also think it would be good to get a better idea of why the prince is suddenly in command now. You asked if the opening was generic. And it probably is. Prince getting ambushed and having to hide seems like a standard thing, but then generic and tropes aren't always a bad thing. However, like some of the others said, what makes this one different? What aspects make it yours? set it apart from the others? Can you work those into the intro? The prince being reluctant is a start, but I want something else to grasp onto. As I read: Opening paragraph was engaging and got my attention By the second paragraph, I was wondering, if there would be someone more experienced leading? Or is this the first time this nation has gone to war in this generation? "Despite his advancing years, his composure betrayed no ill effect from an imminent return to bloodshed." So is every veteran from the last war too old to lead, so they have someone so young and inexperienced instead? "The rest of his armor rode in the baggage wagons"I was thinking the battle was imminent, that they were just getting ready to fight. "...thought that turned to violence" Now we are spending too much time in his head, too much time thinking about the surroundings. Something needs to happen. “But most men your age—in your position—have several battles under their belt already" So why is he in command and not them? I only wish he had allowed you some experience before expecting you to take a position of command. He held you back far too long.” Sounds true "M was there too, not just B" How could he compare a little kid fight to a battle? Even a skirmish? Is he trying to make a joke and I’m just not getting it? (sometimes I miss sarcasm) "B chuckled through tight lips" Not sure if the cousin fight stuff is really needed? I feel like it is delaying us from getting to something happening. In the section when the ambush began, I like how his focus was on his horse and for a moment, he was oblivious to everything else. That showed what kind of character he is. "...the prince out of his stupor." I’d missed this on my first read through. But I think I need to know he is prince from page 1 though. Being prince does sort of explain why he is in command, but I also want more of a "why now". "He wouldn’t be able to catch the deadly cut this time" I like how focused this is on the moment and the hesitation. I didn't make any comments after that. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next!