Sarah B

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About Sarah B

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Pacific Northwest
  • Interests
    Scifi, hard sciences, medical science, boats and sailing, most things hand crafted and or nerdy.

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  1. I have to say, this is my favorite chapter. The reveal of the village is a bit of a let down so far, but I feel like it is still a big pay off for the reader and for W who has worked hard to let the relationship progress to thos point. I agree on both points. It's nice to see N as less of a puppy in this chapter, and I like that W notices and appreciates this different aspect of his nature. 1st paragraph, second sentence gets a bit convoluted. "This person was descended" I may be wrong, but to my ear it's either "this person descended" or "this person was a decendent". Not much else to say. I liked how the dialogue flowed in this chapter and the transitions were effortless to follow. Well done!
  2. This really felt like two separate chapters to me, although short ones. With just the page break the time skip felt a little awkward, although maybe this could be remedied with a bit more transition? Sorry, I am not the best editor by a long shot. I have trouble with organizing chapters in my own WIP. Points of engagement: I think the emotional impacts were good, the only parts I had a hard time with was the conversations about people I hadn't read about in a while. Skipping over the fight felt abrupt, as a reader it felt like something was being hidden from me. Perhaps this was intentional? This is the lost relatable/likable I remember R being. A few line by lines: "D was why he was here." A little unclear "L and A were both mountainous. And they were all bastards." At this point I wasn't sure if this was two people or two nations. The switch between 'both' and 'all' hinted at nations but this line snagged me. Thanks for sharing!
  3. That's fantastic news! Well done! My favorite by a large margin is the second option. The first would be my second choice. The last version didn't hold up to the others in my opinion, although the detail of why the skin darkening spray was being used was nice. A few details caught my attention. If you weren't looking for line by lines, please ignore: In Version #2: The first paragraph has a lot of comas, so in my head it read a little choppy. "Darkening of his skin" is in a slightly different font than the rest of the text. "I may have a job to do...": Q's thoughts later on are italicized, but these aren't. Unless he is speaking outloud? Again, well done! Please keep us posted on how it goes
  4. 1. My main points of confusion were: -trying to pin down how familiar W and B are. W seems very aware of B's behaviors and body language cues, but doesn't recognize her father. You mentioned before that B will be ret-conned into the story earlier, so maybe this will resolve itself. The conversation between W, B and B's dad read a little awkwardly to me. -Where do B and B's dad go? They both seem to just vanish after N shows up. 2. Its nice to see a teen relationship that isn't built around an easily resolved misunderstanding like many high school romance movies. I like that they talk things out rather than angsting. Side note: "What's going on D...? Was this nickname used before? It doesn't seem familiar Thanks for sharing!
  5. Starts with a bang! :-) I think the magic parts were very clear mostly, but agree that a little more on the Oathbands would have helped. Especially the point where the MC's band for his wife is gone, I think the beat wasn't as strong as it could have been with a little more info. The statement that haveing twins without magic is a death sentence seems a little exadurated, but maybe an anxious father's nerves justify that. The antagonist midwife felt a little thrown in. I think her name might be missing from the draft with "_" in it's place. I think having her character makes a lot of sense and movies things well but maybe a little more on her, or her impact on the situation would be nice. She seems to just apear out of nowhere in the story after a brief mention but her motivations and actions have a huge effect. The MC is naturally sympathetic, as a reader I want the poor guy to save his family. The part after the blast was a bit confusing to picture. I remember from the previous draft about the ice sphere, but from this version I don't get that. The situation with the roof collapsing is also hard to put together. I don't know if this is a situation where more on the setting before the crisis would help or if it's just a symptom of me missing the shorthand for what a castle is like since I'm not a fantasy reader. Maybe neither :-) I should leave this point to those more versed in fantasy I expect. Well done, thanks for sharing!
  6. I agree with the earlier critiques that the first page or so feels unnessicary. It reads like the "previously on..." start of an episode. I had a hard time with this chapter. It felt like the conversations went on a bit too long without anything happening in the present. The biggest event in the chapter happens 'off camera' which dulls the impact for me, especially since W's POV tends to be distant. B is getting interesting here. I am haveing a hard time telling her 'voice' from W's though. "Future assessment of boys I associate with" Has B always spoken formally like W? W definetly comes off as more sympathetic here than she has before. She's dealing with major life events and bearing up under them. Her apparent lack of interest in N's wellbeing threatens that somewhat, but seems to me in keeping with her character. B's apparent knowlege of serious danger directed at N seems strange. It makes her past behavior more confusing and it also seems like a strange time to bring it up. It feels like a lot from her all at once. But I did miss a lot in the middle, maybe this was set up already? Thanks for sharing
  7. Hello! I think this read well as one chapter! If it was split, it doesn't seem like the second chapter would have enough substance on it's own. The fireside conversation was my favorite part and made me like the MC better. Especially in showing that while she was willing to take on some responsibilities, she was still dreading them. The dialogue when they first saw other people in the valley was a little confusing as far as who was speaking. I sorted it out, but it took some re reading. The MC showing off her secrete skills was a nice touch and a fun moment. The end felt a little fuzzy and rushed as to what was happening, but maybe that was intentional? I'm afraid I don't know why she dislikes G, I'm assuming that was in the parts I missed. One sticky point for me was when they get into a discussion about energy spell (I'm assuming it's like we see her using where it eases pain and strengthens muscles) acting on the heart. I was assuming this was figurative the heart as someone's core (because making someone's heart beat faster wouldn't really help them with endurance unless other things are happening too), until they got into 'causing a heart attack'. I don't know if you want to get into this or not, but a heart attack is the obstruction of blood flow to the heart's own tissues. What you are describing seems more like sudden cardiac arrest, which is usually caused by electrical or mechanically stopping the beating of the heart. Both terms are fairly new medical science, we didn't have any strong idea of what was happening durring a heart attack until the 1900's (so says google). I've forgotten when this story is set but it feels older than that. But it is magic! So feel free to ignor all this. If you want to go deeper into though, I am happy to help. Thanks for sharing!
  8. I've missed a big chunk of this story, sorry about that. I'm afraid I'll never catch up if I try to catch up on critiques from nearly 7 months of absence so I'm just going to pick up with the current week. I hope that's alright. I can't comment on the pacing in relation to recent events in the story, but this felt like a good recovery/recap chapter that covered relationships and the ongoing issues for this MC. (Good timing for me to return) A few places felt a little wordy and ponderous but not bad. I feel like part of that is the old world tone and texture. I enjoyed the sparing parts the best, but very much needed the later conversation to know what was happening and to put it in context. Nothing felt unnecessary. Three line by lines caught my eye: The paragraph starting: "She nodded and then lunged in..." "series of motions that was (were) almost indistinct..." "But she was still lagging when the paused..., both breathing heavily." The last part of this sentence reads awkwardly for me. "Yeah, I didn't either." This felt out of place with the rest of the dialogue between these two characters who both speak fairly formally. Maybe just more modern than the rest? I am enjoying getting back to your story, thanks for sharing!
  9. That is awesome, well done!
  10. I missed a big chunk in the middle of this story, so I can't really speak to continuity or plot. I hope it's alright if I just note a few things that stood out to me: A few lines came off as a little awkward to read: "He smiled at me..." "I assumed that you were justified..." "Because it's not like I made a few silly..." Not wrong gramaticially (as far as I can tell) but a little sticky. "I almost succeeded" Nice line! "I can tell you're not attracted to her..." Ouch! I don't know if that was intentional, but that sounds harsh for N. In context it makes perfect sense, but the phrasing sounds like a barb directed at W since the reveal about E's sexuality doesn't come until later. I agree with @C_Vallion that the switch in conversation between W and N from pretty heavy relationship stuff to "what do you want to do now?" Seems fast. I'm missing a break of some sort between these modes. Terminal illness is a heavy topic to cover. It seems like you're handling it with care and depth, well done! Thanks for sharing!
  11. I missed most of this story, which is a shame! It has a lot of charm and character. I can't pretend I knew what the last update with most of the characters was about, but then I didn't read enough to know them. The scene by scene character updates followed by the repetition of two nights camping out felt a little slow. I liked the sensory details and texture for thir first night out and your mention of the pressure on the MC. Perhaps the pacing was to give a sense of time passage? Nice closing line. Reminds me a bit of the "A Series of Unfortunet Events" series. Thanks for sharing!
  12. A pleasant read as usual! A few things that caught me: W's dialogue with her mom reads a little formal and stilted for the situation. 1st sentence after the break is missing a subject. 2nd sentence after the break: double "early" reads awkwardly. "Hippie Forest Commune" this line made me pull back from the MC a bit further. "I don't think it's relevant information." This sounds more like W than A, but it seems like A is saying it. Overall my interest waned a bit in this chapter. I'm in it for the flowers more than the romance, but I say that as someone who never reads romance. Any romance, from classic to current, so that doesn't reflect on your writing in the slightest. I'm still in it to find out what is going on with N and those flowers! Thanks for sharing
  13. Hello and welcome! I like the MC. Not rabidly, but I do like her. Particularly her zero drama tolerance. I want to see how her suborness plays out when she's up against something. The setting is creepy. I like the slow development of strangeness. It reminds me of "The Girl With All the Gifts" (book, not movie) in the sense of the adults all being in on it. If you'll forgive another comparisen, the tone of the setting reminds me a little of "The Lottery" the modern gothic short story in the sense of a mostly ordinary town where something is very dark and you don't know what it is yet. My interest waned a little by the time C was starting the fire, but picked up again when her father is described. I probably would keep reading, but I would be waiting to see what the main conflict is. A couple things that stood out to me: C is described as being smaller than her friends, but then GM is described as the smallest. If no one comes or goes, and it's small enough that there are only four children of school age in the whole town, that's not a very deep gene pool. If the curse has been going on for generations, that creates some issues. As the others said, your writing is very smooth and easy to follow, thanks for sharing!
  14. @kais I hope everything goes well and we have you back soon!
  15. Still loving the world building in this story. I do have to agree about the female character issue. For me, the main problem is that both female characters cater to the male characters around them with very little of their own motivations except to take care of everyone else. I like S, but she feels a bit needy with her eagerness to please C. S and the ship taking orders from the Captian doesn't bother me. Everyone on a ship takes orders from the captain, but how the female characters interact with everyone else becomes that much more important. "C had his doubts." Repleated line, multiples within a few paragraphs. "Thank you." C said. "I think." Read strangely to me. Maybe because "C said" interrupts the thought? "New guy" sounds modern The rope split into four: I think you mean visually it looked like it split into four? Litterally splitting even a large rope into four seems like a very bad idea. If you want to go nautical here, the four smaller ropes could be spliced onto themselves into loops and then shackled to the larger line. Or use tackle. Both were very old world and are still used. "A few buckets were scattered around the room, holding rolled up maps within them as well." (As well as what?) I was picturing barrels here, but I have to agree that this does not seem like a good long term storage plan for paper maps. Are they paper? Leather is another option. Maps were incredibly valuable, good maps decided battles. I can't imagine the aero pirates leaving a treasure like that. "The sky wasn't cloudy that day." POV shift I like the grumpy captain, the ship and I want to like S. C still feels a little blank to me. He feels so very much like "this is the hero" but I don't feel drawn to him. You brought up LOTR in earlier comments, to me C feels like Strider/Aragorn but without the danger and mystery when he was first introduced in Fellowship. I don't doubt for a minute that C will do the hero thing, in a heroic way. And right now there's nothing really in his way. Perhaps that's why I'm having a hard time connecting with him. He's not unlikable. Very ready to read about an airship battle! Here's hoping the peace talks go poorly :-) Thanks for sharing