Sarah B

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Everything posted by Sarah B

  1. Hi! Just putting my hat in to submit a chapter this week, June 1st, if there's room.
  2. Whoops.... I just commented a list of the hyphenated words for chapter 20. Great minds think alike I guess :-) Maybe you caught some I missed
  3. Feels like things are winding up! I have no idea how you are going to resolve things in only 5 more chapters but I am excited to see/read you do it. One thing jumped out at me reading this chapter, there are some oddly hyphenated words. At first I thought it was a particular character's speach pattern but it occurs in multiple speakers dialogue and outside of dialogue. I'll list them in case this wasn't intentional; (P6) Ex-actly Sub-tle, shut-tled, (the name) Or-i..., effi-ciency, ac-ceptance, inter-fearance, in-formation, ne-gotiation. Thanks for sharing
  4. @Snakenaps already caught the typo I noticed, everything else looks great! The line mid way, "Did they bring through the wrong thing?" Very intriguing. It feels like this may mean S which would make it a fun reveal... or maybe just new to me as a first timer? Either way, I liked it. Thanks for sharing
  5. That was a quick chapter! It flowed very easily and was pleasant to read. I only have two quick comments: The sentence, "Her stomach knotted painfully,..." caught my eye. This feels like two separate sentences rather than one. To my ear for this to be one sentence the comma needs to be a semicolon or a linking word like "while" added. I could very well be wrong, I'm not a seasoned Grammer-smith. I liked this chapter a lot, however two back to back reaction/reprise scenes felt a little repetitive since nothing realy changed from either conversation. I don't know if maybe one could be covered in summery, could occur later on, or maybe some complications could result durring a scene? Thanks for sharing!
  6. No worries, I'm sure! Besides, everyone is in suspense to see how your story ends. I can use the extra week to fix some issues and format mine into acceptability. Looking forward to seeing your chapters!
  7. No need! I really appriciate the offer but you have a deadline and I don't :-). I've been working on a novel as my main project which is still in it's first draft and nowhere near ready for other eyes. This is just a short break/ side project to help get me through the middle slog. Your book is getting ready for the world! Don't let me hold you up.
  8. I'm not sure if this is permissible or not but I would like to submit a writing exercise from the WE podcast. The exercise was to write a first chapter for a hypothetical book while trying to suggest the kind of book it will/would be. Then the assignment was to ask Alpha readers what they would expect from the book based on the chapter. I re-read the guidelines and didn't see writing exercises mentioned either way so I thought I would ask. If not, no worries! If so, June 1st or later is fine. I'm in no hurry :-)
  9. I've got nothing for this chapter, looks perfect :-) I have a harder time with the R chapters in general. It's probably New-Reader-Syndrome again but I don't feel very invested in R or what's happening around him. It seems like R was important in previous books, so not having read those is probably my problem. Looking forward to seeing where your going as the end draws nearer! Thanks for sharing
  10. Wow, both chapters feel like the story is accelerating! Ch 17: I noticed two places where WW is mentioned as 'her' instead of the usual identifier. Once near 20% and the second time near 35% in the paragraph starting "But what does it do?" 2nd paragraph: "or not in a normal situation." This sentence reads strangely to me. Near 50%: "Hope rose and S..." in S? Thanks for sharing!
  11. I really liked this chapter. It definetly feels like a pay off for the build up since the fire. A couple small things I noticed; Paragraph 2: "Echoed by generations before him..." this struck me as odd phrasing since echoes usually follow rather than proceed. Around 10%: "Ir, fulling aware..." fully? The terms about unsafe labor conditions and contract terms struck me as ultra modern as well. Expected employee deaths due to accidents and unsafe conditions were figured as part of the budget in fairly recent history for factories and large construction projects including the Empire State building. Or, maybe your world is a kinder place than industrial north America. Quick question: I might have missed it if you mentioned this already, but do common people have clocks or another method of timekeeping? If not are there clock towers or chimes so people know what time it is? Just wondering because of the specific work start time mentioned at the end of the chapter. Looking forward to the next chapter, thanks for sharing!
  12. I loved getting some concrete answers to burning questions in these chapters! I only noticed two things: I may be wrong, but the beginning of the 15th chapter seemed like God-mode POV. Just the first few sentences. In chapter 16, paragraph starting, "The first one did attack and kill the E...". The third sentence is missing opening parenthesis. it was really nice to have "Instan..." and "System Bs" explained. This might be part of the suspense, but at the end of Chapter 16 I find myself wondering why any one species would be willing to throw themselves at a threat if all the others are just going to sit back and hide. There would have to be some pretty heavy bribery or manipulation at play. Thanks for sharing!
  13. Hello! Late to the party this week, sorry about that. I think the suggestions to to add the summons to the castle to the end of the previous chapter seems like a good one. An alternative might be to start chapter four with your MC summarizing the past week in her mind as she goes to the castle, going over the increasing evidence that something is against her as she gets closer to build a sense of paranoia or dread. For me, the hardest area was the first page. There were quite a few short choppy declarative sentences all packed together. After the first page, the story smoothed out and was much more pleasant to read. A couple small catches if you decide to revise this chapter: I think the days math doesn't work out. She has been job hunting for 4 days, but she says she has been told to return in a couple days 3 different times only to find no job. It seems like this would take 6 days. It also seems strange that all four job prospects would have her return in a couple days exactly. There seems to be a style shift in the MC's voice with multiple paragraphs ending in asides or questions that I don't remember from before. I might have just missed it though. Still a fun story, regardless of any kinks in this chapter. I'm sure you'll get it all sorted out. Thanks for sharing!
  14. Hello! I liked the compact nature of your story, that was the classical standard for tragic stories for a long time, one setting and one day. I was willing to suspend disbelief that a very very pregnant woman would be joining a battle charge in the first place, assuming some pretty interesting and dire motivations must be at play. I was a little disappointed when this isn't explained. You make it pretty clear that this is a super warrior woman, maybe she is just that tough, but I would love to see some nod to what she was doing out there. Word 'popping' is repeated. Also L reminding the reader that she just gave birth repeatedly doesn't seem nessicary. That fact is most of what we know about her, she is in the midst of dealing with the outcome for the entirety. That might just be my preference. "He buried the spear head under a rock..." I was a bit confused here. The phrasing seems like he meant to do this and then his head was cut off. The pact threw me off as well. I took it as foreshadowing that this story was not going to have a happy ending, but it by the end it seems like this was a poor decision from an otherwise competent soldier. Side note: have you read "Bones and Stones" a short story by R.A. Salvatore? The tone of your story reminded me of it. I think you might enjoy it. Futility and desperation of battle in a fantasy setting. Thanks for sharing!
  15. Much clearer this draft! The memory jumble was easier to follow and I got a lot more out of it this time :-) I's new spidey sense was also fun. The sentence "He had dragged In through the worst..." is a bit confusing and clunky. Around 50% "Consumed by what he had done." Because I have a dark sense of humor this first struck me as a pun for how he disposed of the body. I probably missed something, but based on I's timeline of 8 days and E being stuck as a Ev for days, was S traveling through the wall for that long? Is that an artifact left from the previous draft? When I asked if I and E are siblings or something else, you explained it to me and also said that I and E are not in a romantic relationship. I think you (sorry if I misunderstood) also asked me to say something if it seemed like they were. At no point have I noticed anything that shows I and E being romantically involved. However, the 'fade to black' scenes that end with all three of them getting into the same hammock could easily suggest that all three are equally intimate with eachother. I had assumed that they were until you mentioned otherwise. This is probably something that readers of the first books would have known without explanation, feel free to ignore. The new draft is so much easier to read! It flew by dispite the length. Thanks for sharing!
  16. Very exciting chapter. It didn't feel over-long with all the movement and information covered. I feel like E is more proactive in this draft which I liked alot. I didn't mind her pondering about the Ev's because I'm looking forward to her meeting up the the characters trying to study them later on so it feels relevant. I do agree with @kais that the fight with the Ev and the inner voices gets confusing. Especially the line, "slicing bits of the An apart." It's still her body, so isn't she slicing herself? Or is this the Ev fighting back? The fight also left me questioning how the An shapeshifting works. It seems like E can completely change her body down to the tissues and organs which is cool, but wouldn't her shifting be restricted by her mass? Ie: if she becomes something smaller where does the rest of her go, or if she becomes something larger is she hollow inside? I bring this up now because I had been assuming that the Ev's are smaller than your average biped. E changes into an Ev and then slices or loses several sets of Ando size arms so it seems like she would end up being smaller as the fight progresses. Then she becomes something large enough to catch S as he falls. This might be one of those things I missed from previous books, bringing it up just in case. I have the same issue with Marvel's characters with a healing factor growing back their legs in 10 minutes without consuming 50 pounds or so of meat, fluids and minerals. Sorry, I am one of those people who gets hung up on details like that, feel free to ignore. I enjoyed this chapter a lot, comic fueled rant asside :-) Thanks for sharing!
  17. Really nice flow to this chapter. Your MC's voice is clear and sympathetic. A few small things: The first sentence is a bit wordy, it feels like 'writing' more than a part of the story. This is the only place I noticed this though. Typo, near 25%: "Better to hear it from you than..." I'm not sure how strict you want to be to the time period, but the words "Take down" (in this context), "undercover operation" and "alchoholism" feel more modern and stand out. In the paragraph starting "I've got to get ready..." the last two sentences both start with the MC's name, and the first sentence of the next paragraph also includes her name which gets a little repetitive. "A coyote head appeared ..." for me it felt odd that 'head' was specified, especially since the MC has such a long history with the couple so she is familiar with their appearance. A pleasant read, thanks for sharing!
  18. Thank you! I'll check them out :-)
  19. Hi! For me, the story had a strong fairytail sense which was pleasant. I actually wouldn't have minded if it leaned into the language more and gave me some over the top descriptions and details to flesh out the world. It felt like especially with the two meals being contrasted, some more sensory descriptions would have been nice. My main hangup was the overt moral of the story. Not the moral it's self, but the feeling that I am being spoon fed a moral. You made the point very clearly by showing actions and reactions of the characters, so telling the readers that M is the popular Knight who does popular things and the Cou. are the real monsters isn't really nessicary. If I was more invested in the MC and was worried that he wouldn't make the right choice I think I would have been 100% with you for the end and it's moral. MC's outcome: I felt like the MC was sort of abandoned at the end when you got the the character you really wanted to write, your heroine. We've been following him the whole time and then he's just hanging in the net. Aside from knowing that he never faces her again there's no sense of how he handles his defeat, did he learn a lesson, does he change? Maybe he isn't the character that interests you, have you considered making the assasin your MC and the knight your antagonist? Ethical good vs Lawful good. Just some thoughts, feel free to ignor :-) Thanks for sharing!
  20. No specific catches from me! The pet store seemed like an odd detail at first but looking back I don't know why it stood out. Probably just me :-) For some reason this Chapter dragged for me until the last third. It took me a couple tries to read the first 2/3 and normally I can read your chapters (or multiple chapters) easily in one sitting. Based on the other comments this wasn't the case for other readers though. Everything fit really well, I could picture the action, I really have no complaints. Maybe I'm just having an 'off day.' Thanks for sharing!
  21. If you want more books from the ship's perspective: 'Serengeti' is strange but good, 'The Ship who Sang', and the 'Bobiverse' (first book, We are legion, we are Bob) trilogy are some of my favorites. I'm a big fan of short story collections that are subtly related and building towards a point so Ray Bradburry's Martian Chronicles and the Illustrated Man, and Charles Yu's "3rd Class Superhero" and "Please, I'm Sorry and Thank You" are all books I love. After I read a book by Charles Yu I find myself digesting it and making new connections for weeks afterwards, he gets in my head like that :-) I'll stop myself there before I go too overboard. I'm always looking for another book to add to my list if you have any recommendations too! Especially mystery genre which has been my fixation lately.
  22. If you want a deep dive on a particular region Mitchner and Clavell aren't 'page turners' but I always feel like I have experienced something new from their books. Sand Pebbles was a great book for a huge conflict from the perspective of someone who just doesn't care. Moonlight Palace and A Song for Bellafortuna are lighter and very pleasant reads with great atmosphere. For political/historical non- fiction, Undaunted Courage (Lewis and Clark), Ghengis Khan the making of the modern world, and maya to Aztec ancient mesoamerica revealed were interesting for showing very different cultures and technologies interacting and merging. I genre hop too :-) and take on strange reading goals. I think it's like palate cleansing. I love scifi first and foremost but without a break it can become like, "meh, spaceship."
  23. I liked this chapter a lot. In the beginning it felt like a bit more of the nuts and bolds of owning a restaurant than I needed to know especially since most of the details work like our world. Otherwise, I had no issues with pacing. To clarify my comment on last week's chapter, I am not well read in fantasy epics. The tropes and pacing specific to that sub-genre is not in my wheel house, sorry about that :-). Historical/political, and scifi epics are more my thing and what informs my perspective on pacing. Sounds like you still have Robinski for fantasy epic pacing though! A couple minor things: Unicorns being common in this world might have been good to know last chapter? Just an idea. I had assumed they were very rare up until the assassination attempt. I find myself wondering how the BK being a unicorn affects the other unicorns in this area. Ie: prejudice, special privilege, suddenly a new economic subclass. "see you two tomorrow..." two tomorrow sounds a bit clunky to me, might sound better just as "see you tomorrow morning." Around 50% "she could hear the horseness..." I read this, stopped, and chuckled to myself about a unicorn being horse. I like the pun but it did kill the suspense for me. "She was their arquebuses rise..." watched I think? I stopped again to look this up to make sure it wasn't a fantasy term I'm unfamiliar with and learned some interesting things about early guns. Broke me out of the story again wondering what I was missing. I don't mind looking up and learning new words but in the middle of action might not be the best time to introduce an unfamiliar word. Maybe mentioned earlier? Thanks for sharing!
  24. Happy to help! I maybe should clarify though that aside from Tolkin I haven't read much if any epic fantasy so tropes and pacing specific to epic fantasy aren't in my wheel house. I have read quite a few non-fantasy epics (ie Shogun, Taipan, the Covenant by Michener etc.), monster sized classics and epic scifi. I should have been more specific in my comment, sorry about that. I just wanted to clarify in case this affects my usefulness as a baseline :-) Sounds like you still have @Robinski either way though!
  25. Alot of great stuff in this chapter! I also liked the voice and the reactions to it. The description of the Es from inside the wall was my favorite detail. My only hang up is that E getting stranded doesn't seem to have the impact I was expecting, especially with how protective S and I normally are with her. A little more reaction might go a long way. Just my opinion though! Thanks for sharing