karamel

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  1. Welcome back! I look forward to reading this! Opening #1 pg 1 -”he bore no disadv” the “he” here threw me off. I think you can get away without mentioning a name right away but here, i feel caught off guard. -”now, if only.., but it was not, quite” I don't like all the commas in this sentence; it feels super muddled and unnatural. -”the most comfortable ones” compared to the other openings, this one feels very out of order. I know this line is referring to the miles but it almost makes me think, “most comfortable what?” also “unfortunately” doesnt feel entirely necessary -”making a pained expression” I’m having trouble picturing this whole action. He winked while making a pained expression?? What was he trying to do here? edit: I see now its bc of the seat and him not fitting into it right? that's why he is pained. when i see wink, i think flirting, so this read odd to me. -also idk what s-n® is -”the first thing Q did” i would’ve never known this was the POV character were it not for having skimmed some other crits pg 2 -”porter departed was to disrobe” I think there's a tense issue here. Get rid of “to” maybe? Opening 1 feels incomplete at the end. Would i keep reading? Probably not. There's nothing that makes me think “wow i need to figure out what's going on.” there’s no oomph. There were a lot of the sentences that felt a bit wordy and did not flow as well as they could have; I think I mentioned them in the lbls though. Opening #2 pg 3 -way better opening line. though, I don't read a ton of scifi so all the terms in the first sentence tripped me up. IT-, So-, and Geo 1. I wouldn’t completely abandon this piece based on that but still. -”at least his Mer-” the first pronoun here flows way better than in the other opening. -”passengers required to wear the same” were required? -”thumb-shaped N shuttlecraft’s passengers” I dont think there’s a huge problem here, but to me, this feels wordy. Also could this be taken as the passengers being thumb-shaped?? It's the shuttlecraft that's thumb-shaped right? ;p -”it was not, quite.” yeah i still don't like this phrasing. Feels unnatural. Im not sure about this, but I think "quite" is one of those words that you can cut, like really and very. Or at least use it sparingly. This is the first instance tho so its probably not the word itself, just how it's used. -”the most comfortable ones” okay this is exactly the same in opening one but for some reason, i dont mind it here. Like the last few sentences in this paragraph feel okay to me. so i guess ignore my previous gripes? “Family s-n ®” ohhhhhh the family s-n. I wasnt understanding this but it reads like “a family crest,” huh? I see now. The family android. pg 4 -”marrying the boss’s daughter” ho ho intriguing -”i may have a job” italics? -”his efficient frame” huh?? Efficient?? Lmao! I’ve never heard someone describing their frame as efficient. Like he’s in shape? -”the softly lit cabin must serve” tense error? is this present tense? Must have served? -”and that loathsome flash” i love lines like these that add character -better ending, though the Jen line felt a bit out of place. Opening #3 pg 5 -”left him stiff and aching” i stand by opening 2 being the best intro of the POV character -“The most comfortable, but the slowest” i like the previous phrasing. This phrasing feels awkward -”tunnel to the security station” i also like “security station” better than checkpoint -”once his sy-n porter” this feels way more fast paced and im not getting as good a feel for the character. I do like that it’s simpler and less wordy but we’ve lost the vital character building moments -”stepping from the shower, he regarded his eff- frame” a lot of sentences (like this one) in this version flow better, imo. In this paragraph, though, there might be too many simple sentences -second best ending. It feels more complete than the first but its not as good as #2’s. I dont feel like ive been given anything in this one that makes me want to continue reading. Overall: I agree with the others! Opening two was far better! ^ this literally sums up everything i want to say.
  2. as i go: pg 1 -i think its hard for me to be impartial since i've sort of been here since the beginning with this, but so far i like it. You’ve set the priorities straight and laid down everything where I can see it. Introducing mage healers being against the laws right away? Awesome. I know what to expect going in. there’s going to be a conflict with magic laws. That's way better than before, I think! -this first big paragraph already tells us so much without being overwhelming (though im not sure what it looks like to fresh eyes) and i love it, huge improvement. pg 3 “And funneled it into the form it was most familiar with” interesting. I like how you’re approaching the intro to magic -also way more tension than the previous version “If it wouldn't leave Al to fend” awww lil Al. this might not land as well for new readers (compared to how it landed for me). I feel like it's a little call back and I enjoy that! But being a prologue, it wouldn't hit me the same if I hadn't already read parts of this story. pg 5 “A task that would only become more difficult as more blood” hmm is this sentence providing anything? Seems like common knowledge. Orrrr not common, but like you’re describing someone walking in mud, it’ll only become harder the longer they walk in the mud. We can assume that sort of information. -i think the pacing falls a bit slow here, i notice a lot of mention of him focusing on her pulse. In fact, its mentioned like 7 times, 4 of them being on this page. You can probably cut some of that in order to keep the tension strong. pg 10 “Father.” At first, I thought Br was saying this to Dw. pg 11 “choked out one last sleep spell” i wonder if this is the best way to phrase this. Seems like you wouldn't “choke out” a spell. also, and this is a mostly personal thing, around here some of the language feels.... over the top? I do think it fits the situation, but because ive only just met these characters i dont feel the same feelings that they are. idk if im describing this correctly. it just has that melodramatic feel which i think can be pretty dangerous territory. i'll give you some examples of lines that felt melodramatic to me: -any time "desperate sob/cry" is used (in fact, "desperate" is used 10 times. idk if thats too much but im laying it out there for you decide.) -"barely holding back a sob" -"Al sobbed into—" you know what, im gonna stop here and say any time "sob" is used. I think its the word sob that feels melodramatic to me. (its used 8 times if you were wondering ) 1. it was clear to me! 2. I didn't notice any problems with pacing besides what i said in my lbls. 3. All those things seem to be addressed! you can always build on these things later as well. 4. I dont expect everything about the magic to be laid out in the first chapter. you could probably include a line or two more about the oathbands— actually, i think it sort of makes me more curious if you don't describe everything right away. its hard to truly tell what else should be included or expanded upon when im not a new reader 5. just the nameless midwife was confusing. it felt a bit jarring to have her pop up like that. she definitely annoyed me! which is good and means i was concerned for the other characters. 6. I guess i answered part of this above. but I agree that the midwife felt a bit forced in. not exactly out of place but definitely like you needed the push to get things where they need to be. she probably just needs to be introduced differently. 7. I think i was most engaged in the beginning. it felt like a strong start to me. and the magic in general.
  3. as i go: pg 1 -ooh so Al is teaching people how to fight? -“The pair two from the end” idk why but this sounds odd. My brain was having trouble with this phrasing. pg 2 -idk what they’re talking about at the top of page 2 with the bruises. this could just be me though. -I feel like the line on page one “of course it would be them” falls flat because i dont know who “them” are… is?... are? Idk. Anyway, it might work better if we have a short paragraph/sentence describing who Al is talking about directly after it. Because later when it says “Al reached the pair and found Lady T waiting” for some reason i pictured her separate from the pair, like she was not part of the training and instead watching Al because she likes him. -"D had come up with the idea of having Al” this might work better if you place it a bit sooner to clear up some confusion. Better to be up front about what's going on I think. Before this paragraph, i'm just wondering what's going on and why Al is training people. Or maybe its fine where its at and its 4 am and im not fully here -“Had kicked one of those out” hmmm this felt like odd wording. A bit too vague. pg 5 -”Al was painfully aware” yeah i got the impression he wasn't into her, like maybe he found her attractive but nothing more. pg 9 -i’ve been holding consistent interest until around when “Dw—” is mentioned because it doesnt feel relevant to me -by the time Ais— is mentioned, it feels like too many names. 1. I think around page 10 is where my interest really dwindled because it just felt like they were reminiscing and talking about non plot relevant things. you could probably shorten their talk. 2. This may be wrs but I didn't know D and Al were as close as they seemed in this chapter. T seems seductive and possibly manipulative. I dont dislike her though. She made this chapter interesting for sure! 3. I was most interested in the training/sparing and Al and D talking about Al's suitors. I think this chapter also suffers from the walking and talking dragging (though not as much as previous chapters) and I'm still craving things to move along plot wise. This was a decent chapter though! I'm just ready for the main plot to say hello.
  4. As per usual, I am a bit sleep deprived so I apologize about not making sense or being harsh. as i go: pg 1 -this conversation about the magic sort of feels like it could’ve been in the last chapter pg 3 -I like the comparisons for the magic usage but im waiting for something to happen. It feels like their conversation has gone on for longer than necessary pg 4 “What are the spells you’re undergoing” i kinda wish she would ask this question sooner. This is like the driving force of tension and should probably be more front and center. -there’s more tension at the end of page 4/beginning of page 5. We should get to this sooner in the chapter (probably) pg 6 -hmm im losing interest on this page. Lot of walking and standing and talking pg 7 -yeah interest is dwindling. there’s some good lines of dialogue but you can cut this way down without losing anything -”wielding the power of the gods” regaining interest pg 8 -”turning the gods wills to our own is” hmmm interesting. Foreshadowing? “So. wielding the power of the gods?” interest dwindling again 1. Nothing confusing. I think there's quite a bit you can cut in this chapter. Like @RedBlue said, this whole chapter is just walking and talking and you can definitely feel it. There's probably a way to make this chapter feel more story/plot relevant rather than just walking and talking. 2. It's not that the information isn't understandable, it just feels bland. I think it's the way this is all presented. The characters aren't doing anything. There's no action and I'm a bit desperate for action at this point in the story. 3. Hmmm, I'm not entirely sure about this. I'm not sure this chapter works, especially for where its at. The ending does feel hopeful and like Is might do more in coming chapters, but maybe this should come sooner. At this point, I want to see the characters make their moves and push the story along. I wanna see progress in the plot but I'm not really seeing a whole lot of that. Sorry to be a downer on this one. I do still enjoy Is-n and I like his relationship with Is. He's a good contrast to his brother. 4. I noted this in my LBLs. I liked when Is confronted her uncle about his healing and asked if others knew. Also the part about the power of the gods.
  5. as i go: pg 1 “He’d just scowled” dang, harsh G “Then back. Five times” jesus i would die pg 2 “In the gardens at home” okay so i completely missed in the first paragraph where it said Is was at her uncles estate. pg 4 -agree that the colored text should be placed much earlier. It is quite infodumpy but the info is good and i dont know if theres a way around it. Sometimes you just have to be infodumpy *shrugs* pg 5 “Mixedup sleep schedule… odd hours” omg same, except im sleeping all the time and at odd hours. Also, for some reason, this sentence made me think those odd hours were happening now and she was practicing late at night or something. But she still has to have dinner -more engagement on the pages where she practices the magic pg 6 "had he always been this tall?" okay now im picturing him like king bumi from atla lol pg 7 “How often do you usually” the ‘she’ who is saying this might be too unclear. I know its Is but there is the possibility that it could be mistaken for Da saying this -the stuff about the uncle going to get treatment is interesting. Makes me wonder what they do exactly pg 10 Ending seems kind of abrupt. its just lacking that punch to drive me forward. what you have isnt bad, but i think it could be better. Overall This chapter was good! I was definitely more interested in the parts with her uncle and less interested in her training and talking to her aunt. But I feel like the information about her training is important, so maybe just cut that part down a bit. 1. Mostly just the beginning was a bit slow going. Nothing confusing tho. 2. Nothing has changed too much in my opinions of the characters. Da seems nice. I still like Is-n. 3. Definitely when her uncle shows up and we see how well he is doing compared to before. Also the conversation about Is's mother's plans. 4.Yes, I think it would really help clear somethings up and give readers a better sense of the magic conflict. And I do agree with @Ace of Hearts that I am seeing a more clear direction of where the story is going. There is a lot less confusion in this chapter (with the main conflict) and im sad that it took us 10 chapters to get here. Im not quite sure if this should be a first chapter. I think you could make it work, but i think i'll have to get further into the story to see where it goes and then decide whats the best place to start.
  6. 1. No confusing or boring bits! I think this chapter was one of my favorites! Probably just needs to be tightened up a bit. But overall, I enjoyed it. 2. I like Is-a and had no idea he'd get a POV. I think this interaction with his brother works well. I also like seeing the king in a different light. Definitely got the "Is-a is the older brother" vibes (he is older right?) or at least, he seems more mature/wise about magic. 3. My engagement was fairly high at the beginning but started to descend near the end around page 7/8. Though, there was nothing particularly boring. I just liked the beginning more. And it felt like at the end of page 7, the conversation was dragging a bit or seemed a bit repetitive. 4. Yeah, it works for me. I like that we got back on track with the poisoning. 5. Not reaaally. I guess i didnt really connect that Isre would be living with her uncle. but now it feels a bit clearer especially since i have an understanding of who the king's brother is. as i go: pg 1 “Stop fidgeting” idk why but im liking this already “Stench of death” alright im interested pg 2 “Every effort nto to” typo *not pg 3 “A plain, wooden chair” just letting you know that when Isr asked for a chair, i was already picturing a plain wooden chair before this line was said. “Ill pass.” i already love V and Is’s dynamic pg 5 -oh V suspects Is’s mage? “It would take far more than a knife” this makes the king seem younger and foolish, which is obviously the intention, i think
  7. Wow I've sort of rambled my heart out so I am apologizing in advance if I don't make sense or give bad advice. as i go: pg 1 “R pulled A into a turn” whoa whoa whoa im diving headfirst into the deep end here. Are they dancing or are they walking out to the dance area? What's going on? -also where are they at?? -who is Mart? I mean… i can assume things but i feel like im on the outside here. Is he a previous crush Ali had? I see the joke you’re going for but i don't actually get it. -I guess R goes into Mart a bit in the next paragraph… but i still dont know who he is. edit: right, he's the Li heir. my brain just skipped over that. -also this feels like a 180 for R’s personality. Does he like Ali more than Isr? -okay so on my second read of page one, i dont mind all the talk about M. i did my first read while i was at work and i was just not fully engaged, hence my confusion. also there's all these dukes and heirs and its hard to latch onto everything. pg 2 -”tell Adr not to go flirting” see here is some gossip that i could get on board with. However, Idk who Adr is so it falls a little flat. Maybe if we saw Al and Adr interact this could work better. Idk who Li is either tho so again, my engagement isnt as high as it could be. Is Li a person or a place? Or both? “Wont want to risk even a drop of K blood” smh pg 3 “You were right, L must have wanted” im a bit confused here. I feel like i missed some interaction with Al and R. edit: okay, i remember this from three chapters ago, but only barely “It wasnt unusual for Za” agh im sorry im still having trouble with all the names. I think its because we’ve had a lot of POVs and im still learning who everyone is, especially all the minor players. “Having ignored D’s warning” but D just glanced at them? How is Al supposed to know what that means?? “Ill be staying for now” im confused >.< he says this like they were already conversing. I mustve missed something. I think its cause i dont get their relationship. I guess Z mustve thought R would go with him? pg 4 “What had he failed to do” i like this. I think you should have more of this sort of thing. It gives me a good sense of their relationship pg 5 “The best way to explain things to someone who” i like this too pg 6 “Next time” no! There is no next time! There is only now! i sense bad things coming. “He had obviously noted R’s glance” i think theres a lot of this that bogs the story down. Im always going to be more interested in the dialogue pg 7 “He took another drink...toward their right...banquet tables” yeah stuff like this can be condensed or cut. The gap between dialogue is too long i think. A lot of times i forget what was even said previously. Edit: upon my second read, it wasnt as bad. pg 8 “Who had said that he and Is werent close” oooh drama pg 9 -super intrigued in all this talk about Is because I know Al and R and Is. pg 10-16 -this talk with the king has interesting parts, but again, it feels bogged down with all the breaths, glances, etc. I like that we learn R didnt know how serious Is’s condition was and that we learn about what kind of leader R wants to be. I expect it won't go as he plans but I like it nonetheless. This whole section can definitely be cut down to make the conversation way more meaningful. Just remember that you don't have to describe every single thing they do, or every time they look away. I can pretty much imagine a lot of that on my own. Overall Good news is, I can definitely tell this POV apart from the others. R has a voice and Im into it. He’s probably the most intriguing character so far, seeing as he seemed like a jerk before but its obviously much deeper than that. I like that Is and others underestimate R when he is actually quite smart. I also like the idea of R trying to show Al the ropes of the court. I think even though I haven’t seen much of R, this chapter already puts him at the top of my list character wise. i love a misunderstood character lol. I’ve been having a rough time getting my thoughts across and thinking critically about things so… bear with me please. I'm gonna try to talk through the story and see where you lost me. This will get a bit rambly but we’re all ramblers here, right? Okay, so. A lot of my frustration with part 1 comes from the fact that I cant really see where this is going. Isr gets poisoned... and then what? I really do think the poisoning is a good hook. It's just the things that come after that make the stakes feel low. (i would like to note tho that the stakes are not low for Al, i recognize that) Anyway, onward. We watch this helpless duke try to save Isr even if he could possibly get blamed for the poisoning. Also good. He’s got a lot to lose. Or does he? What if you explained what he has to lose by helping Isr (if I help her, i could get blamed, then they wont support these roads that ive been building and i could have a whole army at my doorstep. Eff it. I’ll help her anyway) unless you already did say something like that and i just can't remember... i remember the "arrest me later" bit but not much else. Then there's a secret trial for Al with only the king and two others. Good. It was a nice intro to the magic. I want to feel al’s emotions more. I think after this is where you lost me because i cant remember what happens next… Al meets with his old teacher who is suspicious and then goes to a council meeting where I cant remember a thing. Also Isr is awake and she is in bed for like 20 years. ← wasnt meant to sound malicious lol So, the political situation. I feel like there's a lot of info or maybe it's just that it didn't stick with me because it's so early on in the story, but it definitely didn't hook me like it should have. There's a lot of characters that I had trouble keeping track of. Overall It’s just a lot of information to absorb in only a few chapters and it's hard to feel invested. It feels like there's a lot going but at the same time, it doesnt. So idk how to explain that. Okay, i thought about it. I think i get the same feeling about this as I did when i tried to watch fate/zero. the idea was exciting. the first bit was exciting. then, it was just these guys walking and talking, exposition galore. i feel like after Al's meeting with the king, a lot of talking happens but not a lot of action. I.e. the council meeting, Isr in bed, all of Al's scenes, even the dance was just talking. Nothing really happened. I might be wrong in this (i probably am) because I cant remember everything that's happened, but that's how i feel as of now. I know that this story is largely political right now, but it doesn't feel intriguing like it should. I think at least with Al you could get away with all the loads of info by having him be equally confused. R notes that Al doesn't understand how the court works and i think you could realllly lean into that in Al's POVs. He's been in seclusion for a while, right? (i cant remember if you stuck with that) He probably is having trouble remembering everyone's positions and names. That would be relatable. But also he is in a position of leadership so he should know everyone else, right? Idk. If you did stick with Al not being around for a while then suddenly showing up, then I feel like that plot point got abandoned because it isn't really mentioned much. I guess maybe i got the wrong impression with where the story was going back in the first chapter. Wait. I dont even remember why the duke is here in the first place. Was it just for that tournament? Oof. My memory has not been the best these days. So, I went back and skimmed the first chapter and it was good! You've got a solid start there! I forgot how promising the first chapter was. All in all, I'm going to say the politics ruined it for me. They were too confusing at the start. Too much for my small brain to handle right now. A lot of this is also WRS. So there's that. On the brightside, Im still interested in seeing where this goes, despite all the harsh things I've said. I hope i didn't confuse you too much and helped even in the most miniscule way. It's seven am and i've been up since 2pm yesterday
  8. I see what you're saying and I thought about this too, but overall decided that it felt unessential. I probably wouldn't have minded it if I were more invested in the characters. I do like @Moonsilver's suggestion about her arguing with Bon Iver— I mean Do. But it doesn't have to be that obviously. Maybe if there were more tension in the situation that would help. Like someone jokingly pulling Isr along and causing her pain and we have to watch her struggle to keep the facade. It could be comedic which would make her more sympathetic. Something like that mountain climbing comment but in action. There was mention of M being suspicious but it didn't stand out to me as much. Also, I'm still unclear on the stakes of them finding out. I know it would be bad but I haven't seen it in action, so my brain is like, "so what if she is suspicious?" I guess, the consequences aren't fully clear to me. I kind of got that, with the mage school mention. But yeah, i just think the biggest problem is that I'm hungry for more plot movement.
  9. Wow, hi! Sorry i've been MIA these last few weeks! I started working the night shift and haven't gotten accustomed to it yet but, uh, here i am regardless! also sorry if my comments come off harsh or odd, its the lack of sleep catching up to me. 1. I am contemplating the necessity of this chapter. It feels like this could be cut way down or at least include more important/spicy information. I did leave and come back to this chapter a few times but that could be because I have been having trouble focusing. My engagement was fairly low for the first half of the chapter until Al and Is talked. 2. Because I haven't been keeping up, Im having trouble remembering some of the smaller characters. So, none of them stand out at the moment. Im neutral about Is and Al because i haven't really seen them shine. Though, I think I like Al a bit more than Isr because he has had more screen time so I get to see his personality more. regardless, I want to see them interact more. 3. Most interesting part was Al and Is chatting because i feel like they havent really spoken in a while, with her being… poisoned and all. Wasn't really interested in the group's conversation after the concert, or Isr's continuous pain... Sorry Isr :/ pg 1 -i dont remember who Donv is, oops -so this may just be me, but im waiting for the next thing to happen. I got hooked with the poisoning and then the spell stones and the meeting with Al and the king (when we learned how judgement works and all that) but these last few chapters make me want more. This is probably WRS or just the fact that I haven’t been keeping up with critiques. I probably won't feel this way after you tighten things up, cut things back, and if i read it all at once. Or maybe its because its chapter 8 and one of our main characters is still in bed. ← that sounded less rude in my head >.< -lol im pronouncing D’s name as “Bon Iver” in my head -”how could her muscles” yeah i hate to say it but i'm tired of Isr being in bed. I want more action. I want her to do more. I get that she has to recover but it feels drawn out to me. Perhaps it wouldnt feel this way if there was more at stake and if her being down and out affected the plot more. For instance, let's say she was really looking forward to this concert and we focused on that for a majority of the chapters. She’s super pumped and bought a special outfit and everything, but then she gets poisoned and can't go because she feels weak and has to recover. She would probably be super upset and I, as a reader, would be too. That’s a lame scenario but it gets the point across, i hope. I don't feel like she’s losing anything by being out of the game like this. I can't sympathize with her because i havent felt her loss. “These things dont fix themselves overnight” i wish they would tho pg 2 “Evenings concert and next days send off banquet” if something wild doesn't happen at either of these... (╮°-°)╮┳━━┳ ← supposed to be a table -”called for her maid” Orl! Havent seen you in a while! pg 3 “Activated it before she could change her mind” ooof thats how it starts pg 4 “The concert was about as uneventful” tsk. ( ╯°□°)╯ ┻━━┻ ← also supposed to be a table, but now flipped... yeah... i'll see myself out. -also why bring up the concert at all? If it was uneventful… idk, maybe i'm being too picky -im having trouble remembering which one Detr is pg 5 “Mount sha” hmm, wondering where this is going. What's the necessity of mentioning this? Edit: oh i see, to mention the mage school probably? Sorry i'm probably being overly nitpicky pg 6 “Political volatility” seems like there’s a lot of walking on eggshells -i feel like a lot of this can be cut. Six pages of her not really doing much and the audience not learning a whole lot. -i didnt get that M was trying to get Al and Is to be alone at first but idk if its a problem because Is tells us via dialogue that that's what M was doing. pg 9 “Realized the problem” i must've missed something because i don't realize the problem “Refused G’s offer” wait i thought it was just Al and Isr?? Isnt that why her cousin left her? So Isr could be alone with Al? “What is the king planning?” i think this could be set up a bit better, make it really seem like something is on his mind. I do like this tho, my attention is increasing! pg 10 -”but thats changing the metaphor” i like that she says he would just be another shark pg 11 “Voices approaching in the hallway” G is on the lookout for people because Isr doesnt want to be seen for fear of her slow pace giving away that she is injured? Bit unclear -also why isnt Al helping her >:( rhetorical question, but still
  10. Agh, sorry. I started this a few days ago but only finished today. And I'm just gonna sound repetitive since I'm late, sorry about that 1. Yes, mostly. Some parts feel like a bit much/over the top. But i note that in my lbls. 2. For the most part! Mostly just the politics I guess were a bit confusing but it usually takes me a while to connect with and see the bigger picture in the politics so my confusion could be because of that. 3. The king was definitely different here, but thats expected because we haven't seen him interact with his daughter yet. It's nice to see a more sympathetic king near the end. I do like that Isr is quite competent so far. I would like to see more vulnerability from her, perhaps thats part of her arc tho. The healer was definitely suspicious; there was a lot of setup in that area. But Im not sure where its going. I guess we'll see? 4. There was a bit too much focus on Isr suffering and recovering here. A lot of that can probably be cut. I am excited to see where this goes in the political area because i can see a lot of pieces being set and sus characters. I want to know who the actual players are and what their goals are. as i go: pg 1 -”pulling” and “pulled” in first paragraph. Not a big deal, but noticeable “She focused on breathing” you can probably cut back some of the first page. Lot of her struggling with breathing and moving and that's fine for a bit but after a while it seems excessive. pg 3 “Her uncles healer” so she is used to them using this special healer? She obviously recognized him right away and didn’t notice anything strange about his presence. Was all that talk between the queen and king about the healer just a show for Al? pg 4 “He pulled a blanket” the healer did? Is he sitting? Or holding it like a towel after you shower? Im having trouble picturing this. edit: wait whose legs?? He put a blanket over Isr’s legs? I thought he did it to himself. I also thought G might’ve been the one putting a blanket over his own legs. Then i was like… was he not wearing pants?? Now i feel dumb. yeah. my bad. pg 5 “Probing through layers of skin and muscle” eeeeeeeee “Pired the shard of glass” EEEEEE lol sorry, it sounds horrendous pg 6 “Almost suspiciously” this is fine, but it might be better if his expression was described. pg 7 “Rest. rebuild your strength” so i think a lot of stuff before this can be cut. also this might make more of an impact if we knew that Is could not afford to rest. Or that she isn’t the type of person to sit around resting. Which could have been shown in chapter one, its just been so long since ive read it that i cant remember. pg 8 “Trying to push away the flood of” okay, so yeah. It seems like she definitely doesnt want to just sit around… maybe we can push this further? or give a reason for why? pg 9 “Forming an addiction” i like that this is a thing because i could def see people getting addicted to it like ...caffeine obviously lol “A sympathetic look” all of his looks are described as sympathetic, odd, thoughtful, suspicious, etc. and thats okay to sprinkle in sometimes (and this goes hand in hand with adverbs i guess) but i think it would help if we also got to see descriptions of his face. Like what makes his face look sympathetic? You dont have to do this all the time of course, or even at all. Just a suggestion edit: yeah, @Moonsilver already pointed this out very thoroughly lol sorry for repeating it “Pulled her knees to her chest and cried” yes, this is good! I could easily get annoyed with her stubbornness to accept help and her overthinking about humiliation but this makes me feel for her. edit: i think i saw that others didn't latch onto this, but for me, it felt like she was holding everything in while other people were present and it showed how stubborn she is about showing weakness so when she was finally alone, she let it all out and was vulnerable. i like that vulnerability! even if she is alone. pg 10 “Dont ever do this” i only know this is joking because Is says it is supposed to be but because i dont know the king that well, it doesnt land. Or maybe its because Is just tells us what he is trying to do. Maybe it would work better if you added that he said it with an awkward smile or a forced laugh(show dont tell tho, amiright?). Not those exactly, but something to show us that he was attempting a poor joke. pg 12 “Hugged her knees to her chest” she does this a lot lol -im not quite following the logic in the politics and how poisoning Is does anything edit: oh the person who poisoned her would get someone else blamed for poisoning her in order to cause chaos? Editx2: oh to blame the duke. Yes. i remember now. heh. pg 13 “But who would that benefit?” yeah who? -it could be that it’s the morning right now but im not following the politics at all, like the relationships between all the locations and such. pg 14 “Some scandalous romance?” did he? Where did this come from? -more engaged in the last paragraph on this page. I guess i like when the problem is stated clearly lol pg 16 -lot of names on this page, bit overwhelming. im not gonna remember any of them. “The pain in his voice...choked back a sob” this feels a bit too dramatic for me. Probably because im not as emotionally invested yet. And this is only her second chapter.
  11. Heyo! Welcome back as i go: pg 1 -agree that the parents say W’s name too much pg 2 “Or is that one of the events..” Ha. N :,) this is good, i want more of this pg 3 -i dont remember when N previously got her the pastries(in the older version), but is now a good time? Wouldnt she want them fresh for breakfast? Arent they getting thai food? Why would she eat them right now(tonight)? pg 5 “You supported me even tho we barely” this is starting to go on and feel repetitive. "and that person is someone i want to grow close with" ehhhh idk what it is but this felt like it leans on the creepy side. partially because he says it so matter-of-factly and not at all like how i imagine a teenager would say it. its sounds more like an old man saying this. pg 8 “I go over my mom’s symptoms” is… now a good time for this? "please dont follow me" stilted dialogue, i think. it feels kinda rude.. pg 9 “But im wondering if theres something” hmmm idk about this. It feels rather... abrupt? Convenient? Overall I unfortunately find myself not caring about W’s situation with her mom like I think i should. Or maybe its just that there’s too much focus on her feelings with her mom and not enough on her first date with N—the balance is off. I might be more upset about her leaving and ending the date early if I saw that W and N were having a better time. 1. Both yes and no. We miss out on cute date moments and focus too much on serious mom talk. Which is fine, but there needs to be a balance. Otherwise, Im not really connecting to them. I couldn't relate to anything in this chapter. sorry >.< 2. Hmm...I dont really have much of an opinion on W. She has had relatable moments in the previous chapters but overall i dont LOVE her. Like, she's alright. And this could be because of wrs since I haven't read about her in a while. i still love N but he was "eh" this chapter. There isn't anything that makes him stand out in this chapter. I feel like N and W sort of speak the same way. ~(okay, interruption. I just read Radio Silence by Alice Oseman and wowie i loved it. I dont usually read contemporary YA novels so this surprised me! I REALLY related to the main characters and I LOVED the relationship between the two main characters (it was a platonic relationship and quite amazing). The two really loved eachother and the dialogue always felt realistic, even when they talk about their sexuality it feels realistic and not forced. Also, I didn't really care for the POV character in the beginning (she was alright but not my fav) because she was all about school and stuff but then the further into the story we get, I started to love her. Idk if this helps at all...but i do recommend it… for the dialogue, likeable characters, and character relationships, and just in general (unless youve already read it... ) okay interruption over)~ Anyway, yeah, Im not sure exactly what it is about W. maybe its the combination of her dialogue and internal thought. maybe she could use this date as an opportunity to try to distract herself from her worries about her mom, like she really tries to be present and it comes off a little awkward but endearing until she cant resist telling N about whats going on and he helps her with some decent advice and its a sweet moment. I think the dialogue we have now is hindering the scene. I assume what I just described is what you're going for...(or maybe thats how the previous version was, i cant remember) but it falls flat for me as it is. We need more cute teenage moments to make the scene less serious. And maybe more insight into her thoughts. its a first date and they're both kinda awkward and yet I didn't really see any of that here. This chapter has a lot of potential! It just needs some ironing out. I went back and skimmed the previous version and it just always feels like W and N are talking about external things...like W's parents. I dont feel like im really getting to know either of them. Oh! that's it. I want to get to know them more that's probably not helpful, but I dont feel like I learned anything about them in this chapter. Okay, I guess we learned more about N and his "rage" but... hmm... i want more, i think. But thats why i told you about that book i just read. Because I did fall in love with the characters and I felt like i really knew them and I saw how much they loved eachother (platonically) and I can't exactly describe what it is. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful! I know I sound like i thought this chapter was terrible but I really didnt! I think you're headed in the right direction! Now you just have to find a good balance and tweak a few things! Easy, right!? Heh. *sweats*
  12. Hello! Welcome to the group! That's awesome that you're a sommelier! I'm gonna be honest that I had no idea what that was until I looked it up just now. But very cool! Stoked to read your stuff!
  13. No need to apologize about the adverbs! After reading Stephen King's On Writing, I try to not use adverbs and instead just get better at describing. (that simple, huh?) <-- (sarcasm, its not that simple) Yeah, I struggle with this as well. I just finished The Fires of Vengeance by Evan winter and I remember near the beginning there was this scene that totally could've been boring and not engaging but — okay, im realizing this wont help you because: there was a sleeping dragon in the room and the main character was seeing things that werent there. But the conversation was kind of info dumpy i think. I actually don't remember the conversation that well but I remember the tension being really high. So uh... yeah Hmm, I would actually suggest pushing him more and making him seem more suspicious because that would definitely increase the tension! I got the sense that he was worried about something unrelated to Al.. like it was work between R and Ga. Specifically in their interaction at the top of page 3. It seemed like he was looking for something or awaiting news of some sort but i didn't get the impression that he was being completely confidential about it... he could probably be more suspicious. And when he asked about the concert, i didnt catch that he was trying to steer the conversation or gain control of it in any way, it just felt like he was having casual conversation with Al. Oh, but i see now that Al noted his enthusiasm seemed forced further down on page 3. Perhaps it was because I have that tendency to glaze over the in-between descriptions in order to read dialogue. I guess all this is to say that his strangeness didn't land for me either because it was too subtle or because I have never met him so I don't have any expectations of him. Maybe he is always jittery and awkward? I mean, Al can point out that he is being weird but I wouldn't be able to make that connection myself without having previous knowledge about his character. It is really early on in the story tho so I don't know how much this matters. Another thought: So yeah R is being suspicious and that's obviously setting him up for something later on, but i think we spend too much time with him in this chapter. You know how you usually want things to do more than one thing for you? Like a conversation can be about one thing that's important for us while also showing us another thing that is also important? Well I feel like the meeting between Al and R is only doing one thing at a time (for most of the meeting). I could be wrong about this and not thinking as critically about it as I should, but that's just my thought lol Oh wait! Back to my earlier example about that book i read. That conversation/scene was doing like three things at once. There was tension between the characters because they had opposing ideas, important infodumpy information, and it showed that the main character may be losing his mind. Though, that's not really relevant to your story because there isn't as much going on, but you get what i mean. Also, please feel free to ignore me because im ranting at this point. As I do. Yeah, I wouldn't worry about G too much right now. Or even Al, because you can always go back and add things to make him shine later lol Probably, yes. And this is also probably majorly because of WRS. I didn't get a strong sense that they were opposed to magic because they use the stones and healers and the king had that magistrate use magic. I mean, the king did say— wait. I just remembered that the king said he didn't want to use his brother's healer and then Al walked in to find him with Isr. Okay, this is 100% wrs because I cant quite remember how that conversation with Al and the king went regarding the magistrate, and if Al convinced the king to use the healer. Anyway, yeah i would make it clearer that the family is supposed to be really opposed to magic. That would make seeing Isr using magic way more intense. Also yes, I would also make it clearer that Al's goal is to make magic more acceptable. Yes absolutely it could be wrs! I tried to think about it this way tho: Isr=1 chapter, Al=3 chapters. I went into this thinking Isr would be the main main character but then after her chapter we got 3 chapters with Al so it threw me off. But thats not to say that doing it that way is wrong. I just didn't expect it. Yes, that makes sense. Again, i think this is wrs. Its okay! I usually do the opposite and under-explain which leaves the reader very confused and in the dark.
  14. Overall First off, i want to say that your writing is still really good. I never notice your sentence structure or vocab usage and that's a good thing! I'm not pulled out of the story because of bad writing. Good job on that front! Second, I found myself leaving and coming back to critiquing this chapter a lot. I didn’t feel like there was anything keeping me here and engaged. I think this chapter’s main problem is lack of tension and stakes and there not really being any sense of progress. Of course, i dont know how the story will go, so some of the information here could be very vital. And i do see bits of things being set up, but it feels hidden and bogged down and tensionless. 1. I do agree with @RedBlue in that it did feel too slow to me and I had no idea where the story was heading. I didn't know why Al met with R for a while and even then im not really sure what we gained. My engagement was fairly low for most of this except when Al and R were talking about his mothers crimes (which didn't go far, but i felt like we were getting somewhere with that) and then with Isr holding the fire ball. 2. I noticed some obvious things that are hidden from the reader but i figured they would be explained later so i didn't let them prevent me from reading. Its not so much confusion as it is a promise(s) that I expect to be made good on. (like what Al's mom's crimes are and how R would be continuing them and what R is worried about) 3. I have no clue where I stand with G because he tries to be funny but also he was kinda wimpy in front of the king but also really aggressive with Al. I've just seen so many sides of him that im not sure what to think exactly. Al is the same to me as last chapter. I don't feel like I learned anything new from him in this chapter. Very neutral. There wasn't much of Is but she is still stubborn for sure so that's in character. 4. Most interesting part for me was when Al saw Is sitting up. Even then tho, there is so much room for an increase in tension/stakes. It wasnt terrible but you could definitely make it more... exciting? i guess thats the word i want. as i go: pg 1 “Loaned palace servant” lol rent a palace servant for only 2 gold per day! A spectacular deal! “Al stopped short.” where was he going? Just pacing? “Take me to him” this feels abrupt to me, like we are starting in the middle of a chapter rather than the beginning. And the servant conveniently brings up the meeting Al forgot about. Idk, It just feels...convenient? Thats the only word i cant think of. Maybe its because i didn’t know what Al was doing in the beginning. “It was a little early” this might work better if i had previous knowledge of it… or maybe it just seems like, “oh he forgot about this meeting and now all of a sudden he is going to be early for it?” -also, it should be noted that i didnt expect us to be in Al’s pov this long. I get that Isr is in a poison coma of sorts but still. I thought we might get back to her sooner. pg 2 “Had an appointment this morning” i thought he was referring to the appointment with R but i think he meant another appointment unrelated. pg 3 -”did you attend the concert?” starting to wonder where this is going pg 4 -i think you could cut or condense the paragraph at the top. Right now, none of this information feels useful or relevant. Plus, you could show that R is a genius rather than telling us. If his brains are important to the story, perhaps show him in action doing something that only he could do because of his big brain lol -im still wondering where this is going. So far, he’s just chilling with this random smart dude and looking through the mail “I overhead at the banquet” what banquet? I think i confused this with mention of the concert from earlier so i was like “wait but al said he wasnt able to go so how could he overhear anything?” afterthought: this is probably unimportant and im probably being too nitpicky about this -”what his old teacher had said” didn’t connect right away that “old teacher” was referring to R lol pg 5 “Al said uncertainly” ahem… probably an unnecessary adverb -im assuming we are going to learn why R is being weird eventually but i feel like… we are at page 5 and havent reeeallly made any progress or learned anything. “R sat down stiffly” hmm unnecessary adverb. But also you dont need the stiffly adverb because the next clause gives a hint about his stiffness, with his precisely placed hands and all. “letting out a breath and dropping his hands” okay so i think there is a lot of this happening between dialogue which is totally fine but i also think it bogs down the dialogue if you do it too much, so i might consider cutting a lot of these descriptors. I just feel like, at times, they are too specific and i usually gloss over them so i can get to the dialogue. -most important thing I'm picking out of this meeting so far is “mother’s so-called crimes” and R being involved in that/continuing her efforts. but idk who R is and why this matters. what are the stakes? “I get my feet under me here” i know this is a saying, but it sounds odd to me here. -tension has definitely been lacking this whole time until a little bit on page 5 when Al asks R whats up pg 6 “Its an odd, you know” typo “Shall we see with the count” typo pg 7 “You’ll have to check with the healer” for what? A stone? Didn’t Al say he already had one? edit: oh he meant to see if Al can go get what he needs from the trunk? because Isr is in there. (you'll see my revelation further down about Isr) “His accent betrayed that this was” betrayed? Was he trying to hide it? “If you are going to risk waking her” ohhh she is in that room? I didn’t connect that. But yes that would make sense since that's where he was staying. WRS! (also, in my head, she couldve moved rooms or something) pg 8 “I’d like to see his face” im a bit unsure about G’s personality but i dont think that’s a huge problem at this point “G returned cheerily” im going to be annoying and point out this adverb as well. I dont think you need to get rid of all of them, hence why i havent pointed out all of them, but i dont like this one here. Maybe something like “with a smug look on his face” would work better. Or something that describes how he is cheery rather than flat out saying “cheerily.” “He said begrudgingly'' not a fan of this one either since you have a good description directly after it, but its your call “Princess Is leaning up in bed” ah yes, peak interest pg 9 Why wouldnt the healer come with Al to watch and make sure he doesnt doing anything sneaky? pg 10 “Hadn’t the king tasked G with finding a” did he? I must have forgotten that
  15. Sorry I haven’t critiqued the last few chapters! I’ve only been able to do like 1 or 2 a week, but I have been reading the story and I have time for this chapter now! 1. No boring or confusing parts! There's just some things that can be trimmed/cut, specifically the conversation/arguing between GM and C in T's house. 2. For the most part! I think i make notes for any actions that dont make sense in my lbls. Overall I love the progress that's been made in recent chapters! This one felt more like it was building up to something (especially with V and whatever is going to be produced from T's sacrifice), but i didn't have any major problems. I like that C was able to stand up to GM and that GM seems to be on the road to a redemption of some sort. I'm curious to get more answers about everything! as i go: pg 1 “V was here to keep an eye” was he though? He’s been gone for a while… where he at? “Takes as a good sign” C no! That's not a good sign! Vegetable person is missing! pg 3 -”my parents’ journal” wait why did she think it was a good idea to burn this journal?? Is it because it’s a big sacrifice? to keep the town going? “the journal she has spent so long looking for” has she spent long looking for this journal? I know she was looking for the answers it contained, but did she specifically know there was a journal? pg 4 “the green boy took years” makes sense why no one was surprised by his appearance “the only person waiting is Ant-” i didn’t know who this was at first or what the implication was for the next line. Because he is useless? pg 6 “one without the oil stains” lol what “You know, the bad one” LOL -agree with @C_Vallion that their arguing does go on a bit long pg 8 “another sacrifice out of T” you can make a sacrifice more than once? “When the room stops tilting?” she okay? pg 9 “Wait! You need me!” girl if you wanna be part of the group stop manipulating people like this pg 10 “Do you though?” GM what’d you do with V? >:( “I wouldn’t be so sure” I get that maybe C doesn’t believe GM but like V has been missing for a while so i kinda wish she’d take this more seriously. pg 11 “How long can you stay here?” she means in the town, right? Not at her house? lol