karamel

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  1. Overall The pacing is okay. I don't have any major complaints with it. Nor did anything feel particularly boring. Everything is still very odd and unusual, but I feel like there might be too many oddities and it leads me to be very confused. I want to know where the line is with "normal." I get that what she considers normal is different from "our normal" but I'm very unclear on what is normal and what isn't in this world. I do want to know what is up with this town, but i think there is too much going on for me to get a clear picture. So, I have no idea where this is going. I really don't know what the bigger picture is. It feels very small right now. Another frustration I have is with our protag. I feel like C is way too trusting and her level of naivety makes me think she is very young, so I'm not sure this is in the realm of YA. I want her to think a bit more critically. I hate how she trusts GM so much and doesn't think the people around her are suspicious in anyway. C acts normal enough, but nobody else does and she doesn't bat an eye at that. At this point, I'm not sure if I would read on (i will of course tho lol i just meant as a random reader). I love the mystery but im just not willing to follow C. The writing is smooth though and there wasn't any glaring technical errors! I read through fairly quick and was entertained throughout the whole thing the mystery is great. thoughts as i go: Pg 1 -“What could it be?” im not crazy about the distant narrator here. Feels very MG. -i kind of want C to come to the conclusion that G-M is the only possible person to have put the earrings in the fire. Especially since you’ve moved this to only YA. edit: i guess its smart of C not to assume it was GM because later GM says they aren't hers. Gotta keep the possibilities open. -“Since the essay and films went strange” did i miss something about films? -“Like diamonds being shiny” im not sure what you're trying to say here. That C thinks the diamonds are too shiny and that means she’s cursed? -“A real diamond from a magical one” oh so there’s magical diamonds? … hmm.. Perhaps you should bring this in a bit earlier, like as soon as she noticed that the diamonds look extra beautiful, she can be like “no… it cant be… it couldn't possibly be those [magical] diamonds, but they do look awfully shiny” -“Other signs of the supposed curse” how does she know this? Where did she hear about the signs of the curse? -“Not about shiny jewelry” wait now i'm confused, are there magical shiny diamonds or not? If she only knows that the curse makes you forget things and has never heard anything about diamonds, then why is she worried about the diamonds? Or is it just that she is worried that her mind is focusing too much on the diamonds when she normally wouldn’t and THAT is a sign of the curse? Pg 2 -“Strange in the sense that C does not know him” i would probably cut this part out and go straight to the hair being vines and leaves and grapes hanging off him because that is far more strange than her just not knowing him. After describing his “plantness” you could say “C has never seen anything like this.” or something like that. Edit: actually, I see what you're saying now: it's a small enough town that C knows everyone in the town so it's strange that she doesn't know him… so maybe this is fine as is. I just didn't make the connection right away. -“Nobody has put numbers to ages since before” this is interesting, i like this. But i think it might be good info to know earlier… it really caught me off guard. -“The never-ending present” whoa whoa whoa. Now we got some wishy washy time stuff? And a “before” time. I'm into it, but it seems like a lot on top of the curse and the stove and the vine boy. There's a lot going on in this town! And we’re only on chap 2! -“Nothing ever happens in the town” ...really… nothing? Pg 3 -“Everyone in the town knows everyone else’s name and face” and “it is impossible to meet a stranger” this would’ve been a good reminder earlier when you said it was strange that she didn't know the boy -“Ch rolls into the main room” lol -"now, where should we put you" dad is very sus. I want to know whats up with him. also, isn't V in the room? does he think the talking bowling ball is normal? was the bowling ball actually expecting him? -"put you up here" up where? -"get along like a house on fire" heh... yeah... Pg 4 -“Some old westerns” ah, okay. Those films. WRS i guess -“Except for V” kind of hitting us over the head on reminding us that he isn't from the town Pg 5 -“C would probably think it normal” yeah the line between what C thinks is normal and what isn't is a bit blurry. Her dad being a literal ball isn't weird, but vineboy is strange? Edit: she does mention this later on, so that's good. -“I want to get this curse” im unclear on who is saying this Pg 6 -“Latent chosen one abilities” lol, meta Pg 7 -“In that case, it looks like they’ll remain a mystery” this feels very stilted. -C is very gullible and naive. Pg 8 -“Towns like C dont have many teachers” is this repetition intentional? Is this as if C forgot that she already gave us this exact info in the previous sub? Or did you edit this out of last week’s sub? If this is intentional, it feels very lemony snicket. -“taken aback that anyone can be produced” Is C alright… lol -is the curse in the water? Otherwise, what was the point of us seeing that chem class? Pg 9 -“Could GM be lying?” her? No, neeeever. -“Im sure she wouldn't lie” girl why are you so gullible
  2. Congrats on your first sub!! stoked to read your stuff! Pg 1 So far, i'm hooked with the curse and creepy tone. Things could be trimmed and reworded like the others said, but the spookiness has my interest. Pg 4 I feel similar to how others felt. I thought something might happen by this page, maybe something spooky would happen that would freak the kids out or something that only C sees or gets the sense that something is out of place but then… nothing happens and they’re in class on the next page. Pg 6 “Seems to have disappeared” is she cursed “The back row snickers” this makes it sound like there are more people in the class, aside from the four you’ve mentioned Pg 7 “About historical people doing past things” lol yeah, people in the past doing past things Pg 9 “He is a sphere” im sorry– what? Also, interesting that C’s parents are referred to by their names and not “C’s mom” or “c’s dad” every now and then Pg 10 C seems very oblivious to how rude G-M is Pg 11 “Mottled with long pink shiny grooves” what?? What is going on lol Overall: This reminds me a bit of uzumaki by junji ito, in the way that we, the reader, are observing people obsesses over something (the stove) and it is affecting the whole town. However, im not sure how everything is connected in this story. It does feel like a lot is going on. And the stuff near the end caught me a little off guard, but i am interested to see where this goes and why everyone is acting so strange. 1. She isnt very active yet but that doesnt bother me too much, though i would hope she changes further into the story. She does seem quite naive/oblivious to the things going on around her, especially with the way G-M treats her. 2. Love the setting! I'm all for spooky things, so this is great! 3. I would read on to see what is going on with this town but i can see how the lack of a clear inciting incident makes it hard to know where this story is going and hard to stay engaged with.
  3. I don't have much to say about this cause it was pretty short but I was mostly engaged and read through pretty quick! My interest mostly comes from N and W's interactions and the mystery with the flower. I am desperate for flower plot. N seems like he knows something and i want W to just ask him and then they can go adventure together. I didn't mind An at first but now she def seems shady and too involved with popularity and i wonder why W and An are even friends. I'm not too excited for the coast party... unless N shows up and some drama happens >:) Agree! The ending was kinda meh. i just want to know more about N. thoughts as i go: pg 1 "its sweet of you to pretend" hmm... this seems v passive aggressive and not like something a mom would say unless they are meant to seem distant and rude. Pg 2 “A flower cut from its roots” i like this line Pg 3 “Barrage slide off his tongue like he normally does” this might be WRS but i dont remember him having this problem “‘Really.’ A smile creeps on his face.” why does he seem so menacing. Pg 4 "He is surrounded by oddities" what oddities? i haven't seen any oddities. i think the only odd thing is the hippy community and the flower but i havent really been shown much else. Pg 5 Aw, N is cute i like him Pg 6 “The only explanation is that he was already rejected several times” i used to think this all the time. relatable lol “I have no intention of doing any such thing” W is very relatable sometimes Pg 7 “I’ll bet A was thinking about this offer” so she aint a true friend huh Pg 8 “Im the weeb” do people irl refer to themselves as weebs? Weeb is considered an insult, no? last line lacks punch, i want the chapter to pull me into the next one or at least feel more conclusive.
  4. I want to first note that your pacing in this one is strides better. I didn’t comment on your last chapter but I did read it and my main issue with it was pacing. Just like the very first chapter you sent, I felt like things kept happening one after another without any time for us to take it in let alone for the characters to take it in. I think that ties in with the lack of emotion from A, adding more emotion and spending more time in his head helped with the pacing. We needed more reactive scenes vs active I felt like. And you've done that here so, good job! 1. Is there more tension in this version? ie. Do you feel more imminent danger? Yes, more tension for sure, especially near the end with the axe coming down on him while he tried to escape. 2. Do you get a better sense of Aurelius? Does he feel like more of an MC? Kind of. He is def an unlikeable character imo; he feels like a wild, cocky teenager when faced with the jailer. I don't know what to latch onto with him. Is he smart? Is he strong? is he cunning? is he sensitive? is he witty? what am i suppose to like about him? I'm just not crazy about him and I dont care if he dies yet. That sounds harsh, and I don't mean it to be, but I just think he could use a little more work if he is our main POV. 3. How's the dialogue? Better! Some cliches with the jailer, but overall it is better. 4. Do you think this is an improvement from the last version? Yes! I think this is better paced, has better tension, has better characterization (though still not enough), but less world building and less global stakes (like @kais said) It does feel very small. Also, the way it ended... idk if I would read on if I picked this up at a bookstore. I'd probably put it down. there's not a whole lot pulling me forward. as i go: Pg 1 -“He had a bed in the cell” this is telling. I think you can do better than this sentence; something like “He rolled onto his side and stared at the bed across his cell.” that isnt perfect, but the point is we’ve condensed the two sentences you have and showed the reader that A has a bed but is choosing to lay on the floor. And i feel like that’s a good indication that he is feeling low. We can assume he isn’t feeling great if he is on the floor when there’s a bed that is most likely more comfortable than the stone floor. Pg 2 -”the hatred he felt inspired him to live on… he would have justice” I agree with @kais in that im not crazy about his motivation. Tropes aside, this feels a bit strong coming from the version of A I read in the previous versions of chapter 1 and 2. Is A a particularly angry person? Is this realistic for him or is it just something that's convenient for plot? I would of course be upset if I were in A’s position, but i'm not sure I would react this way. And that's fine, some people are more strong willed than others, but this just feels 2 dimensional and cheap. -“He wondered how he hadnt seen it before” would this be better as something like: “How did he not notice this before?” ? “he wondered” is a filter, it distances the reader. Pg 3 -“Could it be that someone used a spoon?” why am I reading this in an eccentric overly-comical british accent -“A smile stretched across his face and he laughed” he is coming off as very delusional, idk if that was the intention or not. -“When the jailer was sleeping” there’s only one jailer? Not multiple to cover breaks? I feel like the count would be smarter than this. -“The weeks rolled by” weeks? Seems rather long. Why is the count keeping him? I feel like it might be cheaper for the count to kill him. Pg 4 -“Hello, jailer” im trying to imagine that im in prison, would i say “hello, prison guard”? eh, probably not. Pg 5 -I dont really like A, he seems too feral. I dont empathize with him. Pg 7 -“Five guards” wait where were all these guards when the jailer was sleeping?? they could've covered his break or something -I think this is way better than before, but it feels like a chapter in the middle of the book rather than chapter 2 where we don’t really know A or care too much about him yet. -“Innocent of any crime” his crime was seeing the count steal his sister and mind control his parents, thats enough of a reason for the count to kill him. heck, he should’ve done it sooner imo. Pg 8 -“Can i pray before— What speak up?” I actually thought this was funny lol -“Though they thought he was a criminal” do they tho? Don’t they work for the count? Don’t they know the count is the “evil” one?
  5. I agree with @Mandamon on this. There were a lot of confusing terms/ideas and I didn’t follow a lot of the technical things or Y’s theory and I desperately wanted to. I like the characters’ dynamic and it feels like things are coming together and moving along in plot but my lack of understanding the cellulose, the anomaly, and other things pulled me out a bit. As I go: Pg 2 -idk what flares are Pg 3 -oh flares are Sal’s people? -i went back to reread everything now knowing flares are people(living beings) like Sal Pg 4 -“All the important info is restricted” I like that he says this but we get a bit more in the epigraph. niiice -I also like that they’re talking up At and E. It'll make their appearance/reveal all the better. Pg 5 -“We have three unusual planets… and the one whose name i’ve already forgotten” Ha! Same… was there always three? -idk where Y is going with this Pg 7 “So good, we can” I think there should be a comma after “so” because it looks like “so good” like “it’s so good!” but i think there should be a pause after "so" or just take out the “so” idk lol maybe its fine the way it is Pg 10-12 -“A minute of oxygen left” what! That escalated quickly. -Idk what Sal was trying to do. I also dont know if she was what made them move faster into the anomaly or not. I’m a bit unclear on the things happening near the end and i don't know about sal's powers but im willing to wait to find out more. I do like the tension on the last few pages! I’m curious to know where they end up.
  6. Overall I was really engaged with this chapter! I liked the world building a lot here and I loved the ending too. This whole story (for Or) so far has been “ard, ard, where is ard, i need ard” and then bam! The doc is just like “well, you can contact Ard” and I assume that things are gonna be wild for Or in the coming chapters because she has been out of touch for so long. I also liked what you set up with B, her dialogue right before she exited left me with a lot of questions and gave me more reason to want to read on. I am eager to know what she was talking about. thoughts as i go: Pg 1 "Or’s eyeballs hurt” her whole eyeball? Not just her eyes? Is it from not blinking? Pg 2 “What happened to your ship?” earlier when B saw the pirates coming, didn’t she get out of there because she had at least some notion that they might destroy the ship? Would it make more sense if she walked in and said something like “oooo they got you bad huh?” cause she obviously knows that the pirates got her ship, right? “Love the rips in your flight suit, too” i feel like this line doesn’t flow well after the previous one. Maybe its the wording. This is personal preference and feel free to ignore, but I would say “by the way” rather than “too” or i would add a line before this one that breaks up her dialogue, for example: “'What’d you do to get them so interested?' She bent down to Or’s level. 'Love the rips in your flight suit by the way.'” it just seems more seductive that way and more natural but thats just me. Edit: i reread this and now it seems more antagonizing... which probably isnt what you were going for. “Ard save her from mouthy women” I really like what you’re trying to do here. But this line isn’t hitting me like it should. im just not quite feeling it. maybe because I haven't heard enough from B yet. "Or covered her bare midriff... her shaking arm" well now I feel like B's flirting earlier was rude because poor Or is suffering “B knelt down, hooked an arm under her knees” I can’t remember how badly Or was injured, wasn’t one of her arms like twisted? Should B be more careful lifting Or up? Later on page 9, B mentions surgery and I was like wait surgery? Was it that bad? Because the whole time she was carrying Or, i forgot that Or was injured, besides her numb legs (which i assumed was from drugs of some sort.) Pg 3 “Had made Or’s st- thicken” I went “Ha!” out loud lol “Just assuming that everything would work out” wasn’t Or like paralyzed on the floor? How could she get help? I guess i don’t know how long she was on the floor for so this could be a valid thing for B to say. Pg 4 “Free doctors?” free? Doctors? ahem, i beg your pardon but, as an american, the concept of “free doctors” does not compute. “Are you flirting with me?” the way Or talks about flirting feels a little too on the nose for me. That's personal pref tho, i just like more subtle flirting rather than flat out asking, so the way it is now could be very in character for Or. Pg 5 “Everything was fine for a minute” while i was reading the previous paragraph, i was waiting for this, to see how Or felt in that bridal carry. Pg 9 “Y, she’s over here” oh, they know each other? Hmmm “Per Ju last rites rules” oooh yes, I love this. Good worldbuilding. “I fixed your audio processor” oh? They have a history? oooo very Interesting Pg 11 “Her injuries might be enough to actually kill her” I didn’t sense this at all while B was carrying her. Or seemed quite competent. Pg 12 “She did feel lightheaded, more so than when B had carried her” see, i think this should be mentioned earlier maybe, just a little hint of it Pg 13 “They pressed the biofilm onto Or’s nose” i liked this because this whole time I was like “why hasn’t this doctor taken Or in yet if she is so close to dying?” also, im just imagining the doc going “boop” to her nose and Or is like “Wtf?” for a second but she is so stubborn that she doesn’t realize what just happened so she just keeps going on about trying to comm a planet.
  7. Questions: 1. I was interested in the very first couple of pages because of character voice, and I was excited to be in this character's head but then it kinda meandered, which is fine for a YA i think, but meh for me. Perhaps you can cut some stuff out, shorten the drive or the morning conversation. Or bring up the flowers earlier. The flowers seem like they will play a big part, but they are super sidelined right now. I agree with @kais that there should be a better hook. 2. Characters are good! None of them seemed flat. I liked Amma, they seemed laid back but obviously very knowledgeable. 3. Yes, I could see the hints, though, if we're being honest, I was shipping the two boys at first, sitting by the romantic pond and whatnot. 4. It's the manga cover boy, right? Pg 1 -oooh, switching to first person -first paragraph already got that YA feel to it. -I know I shouldn’t compare works, but this opening feels similar to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Only because it starts with the MC waking up and talking with their mom. I’m sure this is a common thing in YA tho, I just don’t read enough to know for sure. That isn’t to say i am not engaged tho, I definitely am engaged with this story so far! Pg 2 -the use of "amma" confused me. I looked it up and this term is used in a lot of languages! Seems like it means mother in most of those languages tho. Pg 5 -“My birt parents” typo, birth -i like that they use the korean names for each other but i agree that this explanation should come earlier to clear up some confusion. Pg 6 -“What math class did you think i going” typo, i was going Pg 7 “And have both meet some” typo, have us both Pg 8 -“You can be happy without romance in your life” I wish somebody told me this when i was in highschool Pg 14 -"I was a stupid kid" he is very self aware for a teenager -"we can talk about this later" see, they sound like they are dating. my thoughts exactly I forgot that I actually did read a YA paranormal romance fairly recently, and it has a good hook. Cemetery Boys! If you haven't read that, it's really good!
  8. I don't have much to say about this one! I read through pretty quickly and pictured everything clearly in my mind. Or was stuck and lost her ship, then got picked up by B, clear and simple. I’m looking forward to seeing Or and B interact more! Pg 3 -"I need medical care" seems a little too coherent. If I was in pain like that, I would definitely say 'I need water," but idk if I would specifically ask for medical care. that's just me tho. Pg 4 -“The mangled bioplastics screamed at her” not literally tho, right? -“A murder of bird people?” isn’t murder only used specifically for crows? -“Anyways” I know ‘anyways’ can be used as less formal compared to ‘anyway,’ just wasn’t sure if you meant to use it or not. -“They were bipedal, weirdly” why is that weird? Aren’t birds bipedal normally? Pg 8 -“But im not from Pru!” does Or know what the diff planes are? Or what the void is? It makes sense to me that she would focus on convincing them that she isn’t from Pru rather than asking questions about the planes and the void, if she doesn’t know (i mean, she is injured and is possibly about to die, so yeah, i probably wouldn’t even register everything the birds said if i were in her position) but, as a reader, I am curious and look forward to an explanation. -I'm looking back on my comment above and reconsidering how i feel. (I guess this chapter does open up a ton of questions.) why does it matter that she isn't from Pru? who are these bird people? how can they travel between planes? were they hired to blow up Pru? would they treat Or any different if they believed that she was Ne-? If she is from Pru they can just take her ship and kill her, but if she is from the char syst then they would give her her stuff back and let her go? I don't expect you to answer all these right away, they're just my thoughts. edit: the line on page nine answers some of these questions, "if you pick wrong and my govt comes looking for me." tho, i think she is just saying this in desperation and as an empty threat, and it seems like not having to clean up the mess is what really saves rather than the threat of a govt coming for the birds. -“Hero adventure” makes Or seem younger than I think she is Pg 13 -“‘Hey,’ Or said… it came out sounding like a bad pick up line” made me think of this
  9. I am gonna be an echo here, sorry about that Pg 2 -”and took a bite of the glass” why tho? Is the glass… tasty? Pg 6-7 -sorry, i skimmed the article Pg 8 -”WE HAVE TO GO TO PRU” why tho -”could have been on pru” what does she hope to find? The planet is blown up Pg 9 -”why are we in e-level files?” if these files are so precious, how is she able to have access to them? Pg 10 -”requires clearance” ohhh so some things are protected Pg 14 I don’t think im clear on what an eld is or what their purpose is so im confused as to why Sal would want to bring one. I get that its for information but i dont see how that would help the people who had their home blown up. Sal doesn’t know why Pru blew up but does she know for a fact that no one else knows as well? Pg 17 -you can just type in anyone’s name and where they come from to pay for things?? -”aggression talents did have their uses” what?? Did i miss this explanation? Pg 18 “WE ARE GOING” alright! It’s laid out nice and neat! I know exactly what she is thinking and why she wants to go. I feel like this comes in a little too late though -”the chair, which was the Alu- standard issue” stuff like this is nice for world building, but it’s falling flat for me. I dont feel like I need to know this. The Alu- word means nothing to me. This is just my opinion, but I feel like there’s a lot of instances like that that don’t do much for me -”he barely fit” HOWEVER, this sentence is great! I get a clear image of Y trying to squeeze into this chair, and i love it! -”ready when you are, Lover.” does the “L” need to be capitalized? Pg 19-22 -i loved the character interactions on these pages. I've been a lot more engaged since like page 18. -”if you let Y spike your lemonade” that sounds good D: i want some! -”secreting concern” ew lol -”I never take on dead planets without gods” I feeeeel like I knew that At was a godlike being...but i cant remember so this caught me off guard. I was like “At is a god??” at first -ah, okay, they are being pulled because of the stuff Sal did earlier, okay, that makes sense. Overall, I enjoyed the banter but I agree that some of it can be cut. These were my thoughts before i knew that their course was being altered because of Sal’s earlier communications: This chapter in general can be cut down a lot, imo. I don’t feel like I learned anything valuable, or anything progressed the story. I thought Sal had already decided to go to Pru and Y and N were okay with that. I don’t remember if she wanted to go pick up At and Em before this chap but that could easily be said in a sentence/paragraph. This could most definitely just be me not fully understanding everything and/or missing points that will be important later, but as a completely new reader, a lot of this stuff goes over my head. I do love the characters though, and I do want to know what happened to the planet and where this story is heading exactly. But after learning that her actions led to them going off course, I changed my mind a bit. I love getting to know the characters and seeing them interact and everything but I also want to feel a sense of progress. This is only her 2nd POV but her motivations weren’t concrete in my mind. It did get explained further down in the chapter so that helped, but that could definitely come in earlier. I really liked the last few pages, their banter was nice and the tension was increasing. I think just simplifying this chapter and clearing up Sal's motivations would make it way better!
  10. Page 1 -”as the turning of the stars” better opening! -”G sat” i think you can indent this paragraph -”before you took to tending to the grapes” so far so good, we have a better motivation for them going to the count. -but i do wonder what A did that was different that made the grapes better? Is he magical perhaps? Meh, small concern tho, it doesn't weigh on me too much -”I don’t understand why Count” So far it’s just A and G talking, and that's fine; A mentions M and she actually speaks on page 2 so that's already better than before, but I wonder if M can say this line rather than A, let her speak up earlier. Even tho A mentions that it’s the whole fam, I’m still only picturing A and G on the first page Page 2 -”you’re scaring M” O reminds me of the mom in the umbrella academy, like she’s kinda robotic and something is off about her. She doesn't seem present, like she is in a daze. Those are the vibes I get from this line. Ooh, also a series of unfortunate events vibes, cause the adults are not quite there in that series. -”Have we still not heard anything of Mr.G?” what prompted him to say this? It doesn’t feel like natural conversation. But if he mentioned that Mr.G also had dinner with the count and disappeared, then it would make more sense...it would add to A’s skepticism. Tho, it would be too telling and I would be less surprised when A and his fam run into trouble. -”Mr.G, though, he told me about the” i can sense the author’s hand here. I appreciate that you give us this information earlier so we aren’t blindsided later, but it doesn’t feel natural for him to say this at a time like this. A went from thinking about his sister being strong to asking about his previous tutor. Right now, you’re going from red to yellow, and we need some orange in between, you gotta blend those colors! Blend the conversation better so it flows (probably a bad metaphor lol). Page 3 -”led them to an iron-wrought gate, beyond which” and did a lighting bolt flash as they pulled up? Lol Page 4 -”’Rise!’ he whispered” i read things with exclamation points as yelling so this threw me off. -”the affluent L fam” I feel like this is in conflict with that statement made earlier about the gates opening on their own and that being a luxury. I guess there could be a huge gap between the affluent and the nobles, but the L fam is still described as wealthy. It’s just that earlier I assumed they were middle class wine makers but now you’re telling me they’re wealthy Page 5 -”is that what they call me?” so far, he is still very obviously suspicious and most likely evil -I almost want you to flip this on its head: the count seems creepy, he lives in a creepy mansion, he looks like a vampire, he has an eerie vibe, but he is completely normal and kind. currently, he still leans very heavily into his evilness, i feel like. Page 7 -”What kind of question was that?” my thoughts exactly Page 8 -”G! Said O” her reaction feels a bit delayed. He was walking around the room for a bit and then she decides to yell his name? Maybe it would work better if she only says “what happened?” then I can imagine that everyone was just looking at him as he paced waiting for him to say something and then when he sighs, O is prompted to ask what happened. -”he represent a powerful” typo, represents Page 9 -”Mr.G warned me of Count” Oop! Here we are! A perfect blend for earlier on page 2. You can introduce mr.g by talking about all the things he said about the count. Then G can dismiss A and say that those are just stories, like he already does on page 2. Page 10 -”we should like to leave now” you got me there, i thought he would agree to stay. -”the driver was fed” fed to who!? Page 11 -”the howling of wolves” much better reason for them to stay Page 12 -”no harm in a bath” I beg to differ! They could drown! Also, why would they bathe? I wouldn’t if I were them, too risky, too vulnerable. Page 13 -"blue light in the room that illuminated two figures that loomed over the beds his family slept in." the use of "that" feels a tad repetitive. maybe just "in the room that illuminated the two figures looming over the beds" -“I won’t harm a single head on their heads, observe.” typo, hair Overall: This is much better! I prefer this count to the previous version. The pacing is much better, imo. In the previous version, the events seemed to just happen one after another without any time to process, but now everything flows very well! The characters are better, however, Im not quite sure what A brings to the table; I just don’t connect with him that much, (and some of his dialogue could be fixed as it seemed a bit stilted) but I recognize that this is just a first chapter and I'll stick with A for now. So, yes, I would read on. Mostly because of that last scene; I really liked the count near the end. But now he seems to take on a more comical tone in my head, which makes it more interesting for me. Here’s how i'm picturing it: The count has his own master, who told him he must get G to agree to let them have M. The count asked the L fam politely, offered them a lot of money in exchange, didn’t resort to killing them to get what he wants, and promised their safety. He could have just killed the fam, but he didn't; I commend that. But he still needs to get M. so he uses his magic(?) to make the family agree. They didn’t even kill A after he saw them doing whatever it was to his parents. Here’s where the comical bit comes in: “But fear not, E, I’m finished.” I imagine that the count and E are close, and giving the antagonist a minion that they trust and care about, makes them all the more relatable. I like that E is helping him. Their relationship (in my head) sort of reminds me of lego Darth Vader and lego the Emperor, but more wholesome. I’m all about that. Even when the count says “I won’t harm a single hair on their heads, observe.” I believe him, and he is less of a threat. And knowing that he isn’t at the top of the food chain also makes him more likeable, imo.
  11. thoughts as i go: Page 3 I really liked the last epigraph. It genuinely made me want to know more, and it gave me more incite into what Ard is. Page 4 -”to validate the scientific arguments of At” yes, getting right into, telling it like it is, i love it Page 5 -”which allowed pilots to see” nice explanation of what the transparent sheath is for! -”it wasnt like she was going back to the guard” this is a good line following the previous chapter (when G4 was a teen). It makes me wonder “what happened between then and now” Page 6 -”she’d just rely on inertia” seems risky Page 7 -”right before she’d earned that modifier” is being an exile something you earn? Seems like it’d be the opposite Page 9 -“lemonade” incidentally, i am currently drinking lemonade Page 17 -”it delicately dissect her” dissected? -”like removing the wrong piece” what is this sentence talking about? What wrong piece? Page 18 -”it just travels around and, what? Has sex with other planets?” my thoughts exactly! Overall, I don’t have much to say other than this was much, much better! The tension was way more...tense and I actually felt concerned for Or. It was just all around more clear. noo, don’t tone the romance down! Let Or pine for At! And mirror universe?? I am intrigued!
  12. Okay. I went a little off the rails on this, but hear me out. Maybe it will spark something? Probably not though *smiling emoji with sweat dripping down* So I forgot to mention that, after i read the first paragraph, (this is gonna sound...um...weebish?) I was picturing it like an intro to a paranormal anime. I know that novel and film are different, but I was pretty excited about the prologue. But, here's the direction I expected it to go (based on how anime works): The main pov guy is a demon/monster/fey hunter, he's pretty full of himself, confident in his abilities, can be cool sometimes, but mostly is a douche. He treats these fey/demon/creatures as if they aren't human at all, they are just dirt under his boot, maybe he had a bad experience with them in the past and now he resents them? He interrogates B, she has some insight he is after, but she doesn't give in to what he wants. He is so cocky and confident and she is so annoyed that, by the end of the chapter, she goes full monster and morphs into this demonic looking thing and then he kills her (typical, tho, to have the mom die and be motivation for the main protag) maybe he doesn't kill her, or maybe she doesn't turn into anything too crazy, but this would give the son some motivation (and is he even a shounen protag if he doesn't have dead parents?) Idk where the romance comes in tho lol so its probably good this isnt the direction you're going. Oooh but what if the son is told that the mom was attacked by monsters (he is told they killed her and turned her into what she is) and then he wants to become a monster hunter too so the guy from the beginning becomes his mentor (sort of) but doesn't know that he killed the kids mom. and maybe the son also possesses the power/information that the mom had, so A is trying to use him. maybe eventually the son will see that the guy's teachings are a little wack and he struggles with what is morally right and wrong because A doesn't see the fey as human but they are sort of. Ooof what an internal struggle. Then maybe the son has to work with his love interest to defeat his mentor? But this whole thing would be a shounen anime which means, the romance is subpar, if it exists at all. Also, this deviates from the mom being just fey and going more of a demon/monster/creature route. Also x2, this story probably already exists... it sounds pretty familiar, but whatever. So, uh, yeah. My main problem with this, tho, is that you would be killing a queer transwoman who is presented as a monster. yikes! This reminds me of something else I forgot to mention in your story, I would just be careful if she's the only trans woman in the story and she is presented as a creature (even if it's in the eyes of A). Are there other fey that we get to meet soon? Anyway, I've been watching too much jujutsu kaisen (really good anime tho, highly recommend ). I apologize for going overboard with this, but this is just where my dumb brain went based off the first few pages.
  13. Answers for after reading: 1. Yes, engaged! I didn't really have any lbls because I was pretty drawn in. A seemed like a good guy at first, one who might be in the demon/monster hunting business, but as I read more, he seemed more the opposite, and I started to take a liking to B. She didn’t seem like she was doing any harm, just living her life, and then A comes in and tries to use her for her possible powers. I wasn't sure why having the two kids break up would help him though? Maybe A is just trying to make it clear that he has power over B’s kid. I guess we’ll see! 2. Pretty clear what they think! I have some questions about what is going on but that’s the point right, all in good time? B is pretty firm in her stance of not helping A, she has very clear opinions about A and people like him. and A is pretty confident in himself, perhaps a bit of a narcissist? I don't know what his goals are exactly but im willing to stick with it (he says he wants to use her powers to "heal the world," but he seems sketch and I don't trust him). 3. Definitely is hard to tell, I would have to read more. Perhaps you could name drop these characters a few times in the middle, or do something subtle that wouldn’t make their appearance later jarring at all. 4. No, agree with @Mandamon 5. Yes, would love to read more! I’m so down for some paranormal romance. Thoughts as I went: Page 1 -Present third made me switch gears, but it was okay once I got used to it! -great opening line! The professor isn’t human, but passes as human. I’m into it. Curious to see what B is exactly, or perhaps she is human and A just sees her as a creature/demon/monster? Page 6 -”call my personal line” this was a bit jarring to go from him constantly questioning her to giving up and saying to call him. I think bringing the sentence that begins with “A tosses a business card” before the “call my personal line” would help. Or adding something to make the reader pause before A tells the prof to call him. -"let you adjust your body until it matched your identity" is this a reference to her being trans? or is it something paranormal? Page 7 -”loves the thing to death” this is very telling, referring to a kid as a thing.
  14. thoughts as I go: Page 1 -good opening line! -”and it wouldn't leave them alone” my first thought: what wouldn’t leave them alone? Second thought: oh the invitation? -”Addressed to their mother in and embossed mossy letters” this wording confused me. Either i’m dumb, or something isnt right. Should we get rid of the “and”? -”the crunching of feet on rocks” idk why, but i'm picturing feet getting crunched on rocks… -”find its way back into their pocket and stood” shouldn’t there be a comma after “pocket”? -”the elementals all seemed” elementals? Hmmm? Confusion, in a good way, I look forward to an explanation unless you mean the river would bring it back and water is an elemental? Idk, we shall see i guess -i was picturing S in a room at first, then the description of rocks and shells and riverbank came. Page 2 -”like the nutrient rich riverbank” Sounds like something an ecologist would say. -”a grin brightened his” his what? face? -does S have a crush on E? Or are they together? Just friends? I’m confused by the paragraph that starts with “E uncrossed him arms.” It follows S saying something stole their food. Does E think that's a cute, funny thing, so he hugs them? “Something stole your food, ha ha thats so cute, let's hug.” What stole S’s food!? Why was E laughing? Maybe i need more explanation about the stealing of the food lol Edit: OH! the food that got stolen was the snacks in the beginning!! wowie i did not get that. -”Elementals could communicate” ah, and here’s our explanation about elementals -”between humanity and the mother” okay, so this whole sentence can take on three different meanings, imo. The e people can communicate with ambassadors (which are mages who blah blah blah), The e people can communicate with ambassadors AND mages who are diplomats between humanity and the M. The e people can communicate with ambassadors, mages who are diplomats, and the mom. Either there’s a missing comma after “humanity,” or you’re only listing two things: ambassadors and mages, OR you’re only listing one thing: ambassadors, who are mages. -based on the next few sentences, it's just the ambassadors. But because it was said that the elementals could communicate with certain people, I expected a list of various people. So maybe just say that they could only communicate with ambassadors, take out “certain people.” Also, Yikes, -1 point to me for over complicating everything. My bad. -”many skipped words” I read “many” as a modifier for skipped words. I.e. “there are many skipped words” vs “there are many who skip words” -WAIT, i’ve been referring to elementals as people, but they aren’t people, are they? oops. Page 3 -“When A made them trail” what’s trail -“Thankful E” I think this should be thankfully. Or “thankful that E knew better” Also, this sentence is a bit confusing, imo. I think it could be split up in some way to make it a little clearer. -”send them a message through the river” ooooh thats pretty neat -”e’s eyes widened” and “S’s chest tightened” so obviously, they are concerned, but as a reader, I am not exactly clear on why. So this ambassador said he was delayed (because of wind) via unclear message. But he is nearby, so the message should’ve been clear. S suggests he isn't on his ship. Yeah, checks out. But then why are their reactions so intense? Okay, they aren’t that intense, but i guess i'm just not clear what they’re getting at. Edit: okay i re read it and it's fine. I just didn’t understand why E widened his eyes, I felt like they were talking casually. Page 4 -”but A had such a good relationship with them” i'm still a wee bit confused about these elementals. Why would her having a good relationship with them result in enough food and shelter? Okay, I get food, but not shelter, and why do people have to contribute something? So like, if i lived there, i just gotta make art and i’ll be good? Even if it's objectively bad art? is this in place of jobs? -”a little bubble of paradise” you know what, I should probably just keep reading before I make comments. a paradise where they obviously don't have to work jobs, they just gotta contribute to society, but who determines what is good enough as a contribution? -despite my comment about just reading through to get my answers, I’m still confused about the elementals. -”heard rumors they thought ambassadors were” i think the “they” here should be “the women” instead or it should just be made clear that it's the women who think this and not S. also, why are they all women? -”E wasn’t an ambassador” i read this as “E isn’t an ambassador at all” rather than, E is an ambassador, just not in the same way S is. I think you could reorder the sentence to make it clearer. Page 5 -”stop by and hi on my way back” did you just turn “hi” into a verb? Lol nah, missing word, “say.” Unless… you did turn “hi” into a verb…. Then that's cool too. -”walked towards their boat” whoa there was a boat on the riverbank the whole time?? feels a little convenient. -”pressed with a message” can they communicate at any time the ambassador is near water/element they control? You don't have to touch the element? Also, was it the breeze or the water that sent the message? S can use both right? -”your survival depends” wow, that's not ominous at all. (sarcasm, it was very ominous) -”before the floor” hmmm…. The floor? Questions, i have. Edit: oh did you mean flood?? -had to look up what a sloop was Page 6 -”along with its odd name” is it an odd name? -”tied into deeper, vaster” missing letter, into a deeper, vaster one? -”the awareness soared forward” awareness? Who’s awareness? -oh, awareness is the spirit of the ocean? Page 7 -”allowing the spirit to stay in head” to stay in their head? -so, “cohabit” sounded odd to me, i looked up the definition, and surely you don't mean, “the state of living together and having a sexual relationship without being married.” did you mean coexist? Inhabit together? I don't know if co-inhabit is a word, but that's what i want to suggest instead. -what are the S.A.? How would they bind Atl-? -”she wanted S to see him” how does S know this? Possible pov slip? Page 8 -”this was definitely him” oh so his appearance is normal? Lol nice. -”As- and i were concerned” was she though? Did As- say this to S and i missed it? Or is S just saying that to make F feel more comfortable? -”did you know they grow children in vats” Lol! Page 9 -ah, here is the explanation of the S.A. -but here there’s an apostrophe after survivors, and there isn't the other times you’ve said it. -same with "the flood." it is capitalized here, but not when you’ve said it previous times. Page 10 -”maybe a little murder once in a while” this made me laugh lol it’s just a bit of murder! Page 11 -”charge lights so they could shine at light” did you mean night? -”the mother” is capitalized sometimes, and sometimes not. It's a title tho, right? It should always be capitalized. -”the river gradually widened” the river? Weren't they in the ocean? Are there diff spirits for rivers, lakes, and the ocean? Cause the ocean led to a river, which led to a lake, so would the spirit change? -”peppered the truck” you mean trunk? -”do you understand why you have to go know?” typo, now instead of know. Page 12 -”patchwork skirt swished in the breeze” i'm not fond of the word swished being used here. Swish indicates more of a hiss, but hair and fabric wouldn’t hiss or swish, right? I think of water as being swishy. The skirt could flap in the wind? Or maybe “flowed” works better? Whipped? Or something similar, something more elegant. -“Tell me.” I’m not 100% who is saying this line. Maybe adding “she said” would help. Overall: I was confused about a lot of this. I can definitely see the potential here, though! I think most of my problems stem from the not getting a clear character motivation from S and not knowing where this story will go. I'm not sure how involved I am with S's character, or maybe its just that the events aren't quite enough to make me want more. This is fantasy, but it doesn't feel very fantastic. I am interested in the magic and world you've created! But I think the things that happen in this chapter are a bit... meh. I can see the clear arc of S not wanting to go on an adventure and by the end of the chapter S does accept the responsibility of being their's mom's heir, but it doesnt feel like enough. Or at least, having S go rescue this ambassador is a bit of a subpar way of getting S to take action, imo. Also, what role will E play in all this? Perhaps there is a lot that you can cut back to ensure that everything here is absolutely necessary. Also, I see that you tried to space everything out but I think we need an explanation of the elementals right away and it needs to be more clear. Are they spirits of the Earth? How do they work exactly? Does each tree have a spirit? Each river? Each lake? How is the ocean split? For some reason, I thought they were people at first. Agree! It feels like this is a false/weak inciting incident, only meant to show us how incompetent this particular ambassadors is. It was like a lesson on a kids tv show: the kid goes to rescue this silly adult and learns that not all adults are good so they have to do something about it.
  15. Everyone has already explained everything that I would have said… so I’m just going to be an echo. Sorry Page 1 -i like the tone you've set up, already invested Page 2 -”his daughter, A’s sister” seems repetitive to say its A’s sister. I would pick either “his daughter” or “a’s sister” but not both. -the servent stood in the” typo, servant (sorry for focusing on the minor details) Page 3 -couldn't help but think the servant must be in poor health” tense error i think. Not “must be,” “was” is better -”were yet to be served” this phrasing sounds a bit odd to me. Maybe it would work better as “the dishes had yet to be served” or “no dishes had been served yet” idk, personal preference -”there was a hellish painting” odd painting to have in the dining room. foreshadowing, perhaps? -”rise!” ngl, i thought he was telling his master (the count) to rise. As in, he was a vampire rising from his coffin. Page 4 -”sense of unease in the Ls”and “G would have preferred” POV error i think, isn't this third limited/close in A’s pov? Page 5 -oooh a person/creature groaning in the toilet, i dig it, i dig it. Page 6 -”he must get back” tense error, i think -”what sort of meat is this?” don't tell me its human -”he doesn't indulge on the flesh of animals” is this how meat eaters refer to eating meat?? Page 7 -”G floundered for words” pov slip -“Snapped his fingers and E, his servant” i dont think reminding us that E is his servant is necessary. -”i hope you find your sleeping arrangements favorable” this escalated quickly. -”there would be little sleep for A that night” sounds like a very omniscient thing to say. also this seems like a tense error -“He would lie awake” tense error, right? This is all past tense but “would” is future or uh potential past? Bah! Im not good with tense in my own writing. I guess “would” works with an omniscient narrator.. it just sounds like an odd thing for third limited -“Moved to his parents bed” wait, plural? Wasn't he just with his dad? edit: i missed the line that Mrs.L said on like page 2. because that's like the only other time she is mentioned. Page 8 -”what could he do but follow?” i noticed this line repeated(end of pg7 as well), idk if it was intentional, probably not a big deal, i just noticed it Overall: This story started out great! It definitely has a lot of potential! I was into the setting and the dramatic tone, but by the end, I was just skimming to see what happened(hense, why i stopped writing my thoughts after page 8). Imo, there wasn’t enough suspense in some of the more dramatic bits. After they agreed to stay the night it felt like everything went very quick. I thought, “oh, they’re staying the night now? Oh, now the family is gone? Oh, now they're in a dungeon?? Oh, now there's this random mentor and oop now they’re escaping! Okay!” I guess that would be a pacing problem, right? But i'm no expert, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Also, yes i second everything about the POV slips, the lack of characterization in everyone, the tropeyness, the things that were convenient to plot, etc. Regarding the mentor, I think if you were to introduce him in the very beginning, it would feel very satisfying to have him pop up later. While they are on their way to the count’s house, you could have A think about how his mentor said awful things about the count but then he went missing, introduce him in some way that makes us interested to know where the mentor has gone and suspect the count. Though, this would work better if the count wasn’t so obviously evil. It would be nice if there was something to have us doubt the count is evil. charming people are often the most dangerous! i was not surprised by him being a demon at all. On that note, the main family definitely needs a better or more clear motivation for visiting the count. If there are rumors about him being a demon, and people have gone missing, i dont think i would willing walk into his house (though, i might because i like spooky things). Unless there is some stigma around denying an invitation to have dinner with him. Which, you seem to have played off as A being too young to understand and the father knows best. But i don't think that's enough for the reader, or at least, not for me. I for sure think you could and should lean into the creepy/horror/gothic tone even more. Also, i should mention that I don’t read gothic horror or anything like that, so again, feel free to disregard anything i say. I apologize for not having anything new to add!