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107 House Lord

About C_Vallion

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  1. I would like a slot for Monday if there's room.
  2. This is definitely something I need work on all around. I've gotten a little better at spotting it, but I still need to work on my sense of when things are getting bogged down. It was likely even worse here than usual since I was trying to push the internal thought process related to Al's history to make sure that came across. It's good to see that it seems to have worked in that regard (progress!), but now I have to go back and trim once I have enough distance from it to get a fresh look. Magic trouble is coming. It's just still further out than it needs to be, because I'm still having trouble finding a way to show the differences between actively cast magic and spellstones early on and clarifying where the tension of each should be. I do have an angle in mind for a new prologue that would do that and provide a smoother introduction to some of the chapter 1 background, but it's probably going to be in rough idea form for a couple more weeks. In the meantime, I apologize that no spellstones have yet exploded. I'd thought I'd added a little more on this, but apparently it needs more clarification. Ultimately he goes back to the arena to provide the officials with an explanation of Is-'s absence, since he figures there will be bigger issues if he and Is- are both just mysteriously gone when they go to continue the tournament. In the version with too many meandering early chapters, Al and D interact in some of those early chapters. He is mentioned in chapter 1, but this is the first time there's any real interaction with him. Now that the two chapters are combined, It will probably be easier to see if I can shift this around to make this work better. I was hoping that having both the healer's trickery and Al's guessing at the reason in the same chapter would make this smoother, but it seems like it probably needs more work if it's still not seeming feasible. I'll work on nailing these things down a little more clearly as well, since there are a lot of different perspectives going on here. Ultimately, @karamel, you've got it correct. Al is conflicted on the whole thing, but here he's pushing back against the king's insistence on keeping the laws, because if Is- dies and he gets accused of being involved, things won't go well for him or the duchy. @karamel and @kais, I think the end of the chapter is needed to lead into the next chapter, but it does probably need some work. I will probably check in with you guys after I submit that chapter to see if you have thoughts on whether there are better ways to smooth over the transition between the two chapters. Thanks so much, All! Lots of helpful thoughts, as always!
  3. Overall: I like the adventure in the other plane and what Ori learns there. Meeting the other At- and learning a little about how the planes exist next to each other was really fascinating (I like delving into the ideas surrounding different planes of existence, so that whole aspect is right up my alley) , and I'm looking forward to seeing how things continue to go forward from there. I do agree with @RedBlue's thoughts that the last section after she gets back to this plane feels a little out of place. I get why it ends with Em- showing up, since that’s way things don't go like they were supposed to. But I’m not sure what to make of the stretch that comes in between when she gets back and when B tells her the news. Pg 2: “N very rarely get to be in control.” Oof. “horrible, curled tickling” Blech. Also, it seems like curled is either a typo or a wrong word? Not sure what’s supposed to be there. “DISSLV?” Hah. But also. Blech. Pg 3: What’s going on here is a little hard to follow. I get the rough idea of the fungi adjusting things and her telepathy abilities shifting, but the actual details of noticing sound changes and hearing other conversations and trying to talk to Y are all a little confusing. Pg 5: “More as an emotional touchstone…” I don’t think the word “more” is needed here. Or maybe even “more as”. At the moment, it’s making me expect a “than” to complete the thought, which is messing up my perception of sentence/thought breaks. “Then she’d face her demons…friend-now-god” All in a day’s work. Her dialogue here certainly fits the excitable tourist stereotype, but for some reason I find it hard to see Or being convincingly bubbly. Maybe just because most of the time we’ve seen her she’s either been in pretty dire circumstances or struggling to process her world falling apart. Suddenly being forced to act a part that doesn’t really meld with her personality (or what we’ve seen of it) seems like it wouldn’t go that smoothly. I do like the “best ‘meeting the High Priest’ smile” line a lot, though. Pg 6: “lead to curtained doors” -> led So we’re in the “lobby” now? I think it might be helpful to have that noted since we don't have a clear understanding of how this portal hopping goes at this point. Pg 7: On one hand, I really like the room being double booked. Specifically for a hatching party. It made me chuckle. But it makes me wonder what exactly this lobby is for and why our mystery meeting (did we get any information on what it’s about? Or did Y neglect to mention that?) would end up being held in the same facility as a hatching party. Is it just a sort of mid-plane meeting center to keep people from having to cross planes entirely to get together for discussions/parties/meetings? Not having an idea of what Or thinks she’s trying to do is making it hard to get oriented here, and I think we could use a few more cues as we go along to absorb things more easily. Pg 8: As a general note, I really enjoy how often your characters are thrown into frustrations with technology. I feel like my (admittedly limited) perception of sci-fi is lots of fancy futuristic tech that is intuitive and always works smoothly. Answering machine holograms misunderstanding directions and user interfaces that refuse to cooperate generally feel far more feasible to me. That being said, after Or tries to get out of there, it takes a full page of fighting with the computer to actually do so. It might be possible to trim some of that back without losing too much of the computer-frustration humor. Pg 9: “Smell of campfire” I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean. The use of “Step one”, “Step two”, and so on really confused me because I immediately assumed we were back on-plan and doing whatever it is she was supposed to do somehow. It wasn’t until the next page that I did a double-take and had to go back to read it properly. Once I’d gotten my brain aimed in the right direction, I really liked the transition from lobby room to N, though. Especially getting to “Step five. Nothing changed.” As an ominous “well. Looks like we’re stuck here now” Pg 13: “the wrench you dropped yesterday.” This sentence strikes as too specific to feel like natural conversation. What was she doing with a wrench out…wherever she is? Pg 14: We spend a lot of this page following her spying on the birds. Does she know that this is the sort of information Y has her looking for? Pg 15: “I went through the wrong door.” You could say that again. Pg 16: “Gave up your lead position on the Guard to for a stay of execution” something in the wording there is off, but I’m not sure what it’s supposed to say. “…promised me you would never...” Ouch. Still more time spent listening in on the birds than seems necessary. Especially when the conversation with At is pretty intense and she should probably be paying attention to her. Pg 20: Question about naming conventions: On page 18, At asks “Does your At- believe in Ard-“ so she refers to herself that way as if she expects it to be normal for Ori. She refers to Ori as “Four”. She obviously doesn’t want to be referred to as “Exile”, but seems to get angry on page 20 when Ori mentions “My At-…” and asks if At- let her call her by her child name. I’m not entirely sure what is going on here. What is normal by N naming standards and what would be more like a pet name (since At calls her “Four” and not “Ori” when she’s running over). If Ori is referring to At as “My At-“ wouldn’t that be proof enough that she’s used to calling her that? Is there some third name that this At- would expect Ori to use to refer to At-? “And- trees like the N…” isn’t this something we know already? Not about the fungi, but the first sentence? Pg 21-24: The shift from At shouting at her to being told she has a discount at all of the gift shops is a weird, sudden shift. Especially when she doesn’t really process any of what just happened. She mentions that Y would be thrilled but that she no longer cares. But how much did she care in the first place other than what revolved around it being a paying job. There’s a vague feeling that she’s exhausted and overwhelmed, but it’s hard to say what exactly is the main source of that. The birds’ plotting? The experience of going plane jumping in general? The fact that she and At have counterparts on the other plane? The fact that they’re married there? The way the timelines worked out differently? The fact that At was angry at her for replacing the Ori that existed there for however long? I don’t have a good concept of what thoughts or emotions she’s pulling away from the experience except that she’s tired and wants to leave with B-. And if that’s all she cares about, it feels like she’s ignoring or running away from a lot of things. I feel like it's not supposed to come across as “A bunch of stuff happened. I’m tired. Lets get out of here.” But I don’t have a better sense of what aspects of the experience are sticking with her.
  4. Hello, All! After the feedback on Chapter 4, I will be planning to move Ali's introduction to later, once the existing PoVs are better established. I wasn’t sure whether to submit this or just continue forward, but I think the gap between now and my previous submission, along with the fact that it now ends in a different place, made it more worthwhile to submit it before moving on to the next one, which will immediately follow this one. Content warning: Mild language. Mild gore. Mild violence. Reference to PTSD. Depiction of panic attack. As usual, nothing graphic all around, but I like to provide a heads up. So. Things I’m looking for here: Does this do a better job of presenting Al’s motivations as more than just helping the princess? Previously, there was some trouble with the king stepping in and taking over, and Al just helplessly observing. Does this fix some of those issues to make Al more active through the second half? I’m a little concerned that there’s just too much happening in this chapter. Are there things that are getting bogged down in the details or that seem either confusing or unnecessary? Or that could be trimmed back? Any spots that were especially interesting or engaging? Thanks so much!
  5. Overall: I really like this chapter. I am definitely intrigued by the new things we’ve learned and can’t wait to see what the AH holds. 1) Any boring or confusing bits? I think the town meeting goes on a little longer than it needs to. I like the things we learn there, but I think Mr. S’s explanation, especially, could be trimmed back to more basic details. 2) Do the characters’ thoughts and actions make sense? For the most part. I’m having a bit of a disconnect about why C getting the new information about the woodstove is as big a deal as they’re making it. I mention that below. 3) Thoughts about GM and C? I like their interactions here and the background we get on GM. I like both possibilities being presented for GM. That she’s realizing she’s been horrible and trying to be better or that she’s faking it to continue to try to put herself at the center of attention (I could see her thinking that if she takes the blame for trying to start the fire, they might send her to see C-ine instead of C). 4) Is the reveal of new info satisfying? Other than Mr. S’s explanation being a little long, I really liked the new information we got. I did have the thought that it was odd that GM went out of her way to notice the two-story building there, only to just leave it (when the kids have already broken into other buildings in the past. The barn, anyway). I almost think we need to see something about the AH earlier in the story, especially if it’s such a notable thing and the kids have explored pretty much everywhere else. We know C likes poking around in old buildings, so I would have expected it to be mentioned before now as the one old building she hasn’t gotten to explore. There were a few new things that were touched on that were sort of just dropped and left that I don’t know how to feel about (“the late Claim-s”, the way the mayor refers to C, etc.) I don’t know if I’m supposed to pick up on them as significant and file them away until it’s relevant or assume it’s something I’m supposed to understand already or that I’m reading into too much. Pg 1: I don’t remember rain in the previous chapter. Though it does provide a good ominous start. “from which an occasional drip splashes…” I think there should be a comma before this? “which will presumably be set out…” same here. Pg 2: “Coats or snacks or something…” Snack storage is vitally important for any community gathering place. Pg 4: The mayor has a pretty excellent name. But also, “trails of slime”. Ew. He’s E’s father, right? Seems like it would be fitting for MD to follow him around. Also, I’m expecting some sign of why each of the adults has morphed into the strange creatures they are now based on some personality flaw or tendency. I don’t think we’ve seen enough of the adults’ personalities to get a solid hint that that’s how things work, but since we first saw C’s dad rolling in, my brain has been looking for some answer to “why bowling ball? Why skeleton?” At the moment, that’s just a random thought, but depending on what else we find out about that, I might suggest hanging a lantern on some aspect of that closer to the front. “…fire tenders’ … daughter…” well, that’s an ominous ellipsis if I’ve ever seen one. “C is intrigued.” I am also intrigued. Pg 5: I think it would be helpful for C to have some thought about being overheard earlier in her altercation with GM. Maybe noting a contrast between C’s urgent hiss at the end of pg 4 and the volume of GM’s response. Or some change in the noise overhead. Otherwise, it’s not clear until “GM screams” that they’re likely being overheard and about to be discovered, which misses a chance for extra tension here. Pg 6: “all the parents with the exception of the B, and Mayor S.” While the commas are all in the right place, the way the list here is organized, it sort of seems like the mayor is part of the group of parents who are not present. Also, is he not E’s dad, then? if he’s not being referred to as part of the group of parents? I’d thought E had been introduced as the mayor’s son. But it has also been a while since then. “with unnatural appeal…” hmmm… “a little disappointed that the…meeting isn’t more exciting.” Sorry, C. If you wanted exciting, you should have let GM burn the place down. I like C acknowledging that these are the people she lives with, though it’s a pretty quick dismissal of the image she’s been building up over the previous chapters of them keeping things from her. Pg 7: I really like what we find out about GM here. Especially the “plain is entirely the wrong word…” paragraph. I like the image of the diamond earrings contrasted with GM’s rage. I am also glad you go straight to C demanding to know why they made GM do it. Because it would have bothered me for things to go too long without an answer for that. Pg 8: Mr. S providing an explanation is good, but I think there’s more of it here than we need, which is distracting from the tension of the meeting. “late Claim-” I’m forgetting who they are. Wasn’t that T’s family? If that's tied into what she's doing at the woodstove, we definitely need C to have some reaction to that. But I am honestly forgetting who they are, so feel free to ignore this concern. “I hope it was worth it…” So she got them to acknowledge a part of life in town that they all had to deal with on a day-to-day basis anyway? I’m not sure why that’s as big of a deal as it’s being presented as here. Or why C thinks running away is a reasonable response. I think we need a clearer indication of what makes the stakes as high as the characters think they are. At the moment, I’m not sure if it’s something I’m missing or if they’re making a big deal about things. Pg 9: “wants to know what’s going to happen next” seems really detached if she thinks there’s actual danger involved. Maybe stressing what it is she wants to know more about? Con-tine? The house? Pg 10: I like the balance depicted while she’s standing here on the doorstep, but I think for the lines about going in against her nonexistent better judgment to work, there needs to be more of a sense of the fear vs. curiosity conflict. The “neither pushed nor pulled” implies that she would just stand there until prompted to do something unless she decided to do otherwise, not that the pull of curiosity is balanced by the fear of what might be waiting. I like the line about her not having any better judgment, and really like the end line, but I think the build up to it in the last page or so could be a little stronger.
  6. @Silk ?
  7. If it's not too late, I'd like to jump in for Monday with a revision/merge of what had been chapters 2 and 3. I want to get rough impressions of whether I've gotten that more on track before I submit the new chapter next week, since the new chapter will directly follow this one and things end in a slightly different place than they had before. It will probably end up around 5,500 words once I've finished my streamlining readthrough this evening.
  8. Pg 1-2 I like both the jumper metaphor and C’s characteristically blunt comment about it I like this version of the conversation with Mr. S a lot better, but I can’t quite figure out how the town expected to be able to keep something so central to the running of said town hidden from someone who lives in the house with the stove. The curse making everyone forget things and the general strangeness of the town likely helps, but there’s something about the hiding of the information that isn’t quite matching up for me. Especially if they’re telling the other kids C interacts with. The “I won’t tell you anything, but the mayor will explain it after the meeting” seems a little strange from the adults’ perspective. What are they actually discussing at the meeting? If it’s just “Oh no, C is finding out!” Shouldn’t they have had some sort of backup plan in place already. It doesn’t seem like it could be hugely surprising if everyone but the kids in town are aware of what the stove does, and now the kids are also being made aware. Pg 4: “something so rotten that even C can catch a whiff” I like how clearly this indicates the scale of what must be wrong Doesn’t Mrs. F wonder why half her class has just left the room? I'll admit that her not really seeming to care makes me less concerned about what she thinks of C sitting at her desk talking to a magical green raven later on. Pg 5: “don’t need to pretend this is something that concerns you.” T was upset with C before because she thought C knew things and was hiding them from her. But she now does know things that she’s hiding from C. Being upset might keep her from acknowledging exactly what’s going on, but I’d expect C to have more of a response to it. Pg 6: “You suck and I hate you…” I am all for C and GM teaming up to tackle the curse. Or the stove, as the case may be. Pg 7: “nervous, twitchy energy” still not sure what to make of this. I feel like we need a better (even if not entirely clear or accurate) idea of what causes this and what it’s doing. I assume it’s something to do with things going on in the town or in the stove, but without any sort of cause or idea to tie it to, it comes across as a little random. Pg 8: “She can only be in one place” I think we need to be clearer on a couple things (that she wanted to be with T when she went to burn things in the stove and that both things are taking place Friday evening) for the end line to have its full impact. I like the conflict it presents, and I think it could be a strong ending to the chapter, but on my first read-through, my thought was just “oh. I hadn’t realized those were at the same time” instead of “Oh no! Poor C! What’s she going to do?!” that would have been clearer if I’d picked up on the potential for conflict earlier on in the chapter. Overall: There are a couple of points in this chapter where we are edging on the territory of the main conflict between the characters being based in the fact that no one is telling anyone anything instead of actual conflict with the world and circumstances. I always get really antsy about those sorts of things when I don’t see a good reason for characters to be hiding things from each other. They are certainly welcome to hide things from each other, and it might be for sort of silly or ridiculous reasons, but I want to be convinced that they think they’re good reasons. And I’m not entirely convinced of that at this point. The chapter has a good sense of moving things forward, and as usual, I look forward to seeing what happens next!
  9. Overall: My thoughts about the date echo what the others have said. I’ve called out a couple of the specific things that seemed off below, but don’t have too much else to add beyond that. I was far more engaged as they were getting ready to leave through to the end than I was through the beginning and middle. I loved the sunburn smelling-reveal and the follow-up of him trying to backtrack and explain while W is just trying to figure out what in the world he’s talking about (then making the radiation connection). Part of me says that it might come across a little too sudden, but I think we have enough of a feel for N’s strangeness for it to be fine. The main other thing I note at the end, but I feel like we could use a few more hints in earlier chapters that things are not quite right at home for W, even if she's ignoring aspects of it because she wants things to be fine. I'd gotten the impression through earlier chapters that the family is all pretty up front with each other and that it's a relatively healthy/happy family overall. So having two major conflicts thrown in at once here is a lot (W's feeling unwanted and her parents lying to her) when I feel like we haven't had any indication that any of that is going on. Pg 1: “…situation sounds corny” this seems like an odd way too describe this here when we’ve already heard N talking about the flowers being magical. Like we’ve passed corny already and have moved on to flat out strange (depending on W’s thoughts on the whole magic flower thing) Like the others have said, the conversation between Mom and amma doesn’t seem like it’s hitting quite like it’s supposed to. I feel like it’s supposed to come across as a sort of fond, playful teasing, but it’s hitting as a little passive aggressive. The fork wagging helps, I think, but without any other tone/body language/emotion hints, I can’t quite tell what impression we’re supposed to get there. Three cheers for secondhand wedding dresses! Pg 2: The wording of “we’re happy to buy you new stuff” feels a little like she’s being pushy and trying to buy W’s affection. I think the previous sentence gets the point across without risking that implication. Pg 3: “Take care with your words…” This comes across to me as an overdramatized joking line, but it could probably use a tone or body language cue to clarify. Pg 4-6: I like that they invite her parents to join. It makes a lot of sense with the sort of “the more, the merrier,” feeling he gives off, and it makes sense for it to be less pressure on W that way if she’s not fully onboard with the idea of it being a date. I think some of the conversations with them could be trimmed back a little, though. Pg 7-10: I like the idea of him reading the decorations, because I have a very clear picture of what that looks like. I have some friends who are guilty of having far too many cutesy sayings on decorations, and I have also spent time overanalyzing what they’re actually saying, so this is relatable to me. I don’t know if that’s a universal thing, though. N’s “That was my first thought too…” paragraph is a little hard to follow. The main point seems to be pointing out that he’s bi, but the wording of some of it is a little convoluted. Did W know that before now? I’m not expecting her to have any issues with it or question it or anything, but if it’s significant enough for him to call out so clearly, I’d think she’d at least acknowledge it. The jump scare comparison seems a little odd, since they are generally intended to, well, scare people. Is there some other adrenaline kick comparison that might fit startled/nervous excitement a little better? Ideally something that ties to her character? I don’t know enough about taekwondo to know if there would be anything with her experience there that might fit (getting the combination of surprise and excitement seems tricky). But I think the jumpscare comparison is too fear-associated to be fitting. I don’t see it quite fitting W’s character here to put N on the spot in regard to singing. She’s trying to reduce the date-like aspects and lower the expectation pressure on them, but I feel like asking someone to sing for you requires a lot of trust on both sides. At least in a pseudo-date setup. It seems really intimate for what she was intentionally trying to aim their dinner toward. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if N was the type to just hum to himself or sing to himself. So the “Anything can be a song…” line is a good fit for the casual goofiness that we get from him. And her recognizing that he’s a good singer even if she isn’t an expert fits. But anything past that seems like it’s a little ahead of where their relationship is at, at this point. Beyond that, the conversation through here just seems a little stilted in spots, and I’m not sure how romantic it’s supposed to feel. W seems pretty set on taking things slowly, but is attracted to him. If we are supposed to get a better sense of things moving in that direction, I think we need clearer indication of her attraction/nervous excitement/etc. through here. Especially when she’s trying to avoid things seeming too date-like, and is succeeding to some extent on the surface (Having parents along. Ordering takeout. Etc.) I like the discussion over the meal. Though W’s mom offering to pay, then her amma asking W about it seems a little odd. Especially if they’d already paid for it at the restaurant. Pg 12: “You know how when people are sunburned…” “No?” Hah. Pg 13: “Radiation…” Uh oh. Pg 14: “…they don’t want me anymore” This seems like a huge jump from anything we’ve seen from her before. Even as an irrational jumping to conclusions thought. If this is something that’s actually jumping to mind, I’d expect to have seen more little hints of her feeling like her parents don’t trust her or that she thinks they are distancing themselves. But we haven’t gotten any indication that there’s any lack of trust between them. Either W feeling like she isn’t wanted or that her parents are hiding things. So to have both of those things come out at once is a little blindsiding.
  10. Pg 2: “cellulose-fueled…devoid of cellulose” a little repetitive. Especially when it’s mentioned again later in the paragraph. “used electrolysis” of water into hydrogen and oxygen? Or of some other substance into air with another chemical makeup (one that’s less oxygen-rich and therefore less flammable)? I assume this just means we’re creating our own air instead of using stored air or purifying it from some outside source, but am not entirely sure. I don’t know how much it would stick out to anyone else, but the phrase “used electrolysis” feels like it needs more explanation, even if Sal doesn’t know the specifics of how it works. My instinctive response was “used electrolysis to do what, now?” since I’m more familiar with it being used for electroplating or electrochemical machining/electrolytic machining, which doesn’t make any sense in this context. I like the “he’d be smug about that” line. Pg 3: Had space pirates been mentioned before? Is she just assuming they’re part of the normal state of things when a planet has exploded? Or was there something specific mentioned about them? Pg 4: “Why is what?” sounds like he’s responding to someone’s question. I’m also still not entirely sure what happened with the oxygen last time around. How it disappeared and reappeared so quickly (and if it was sucked out to create some sort of vacuum, how’d we not have some severe pressure change side-effects?) How long were they unconscious? If they lost enough oxygen to fall unconscious for any real amount of time, I’d expect there to be more serious physical side-effects. “It’s a vacationer’s interface” Hah. Good call, manufacturers. Pg 5: “based on what she’d read” did we get this earlier? I wonder if it might be worth mentioning some of this when she’s first noticing there aren’t any other ships around. Pg 6: “wave your hand…” Better not risk any sudden movements here… Pg 7-8 I like their automated answering machine. Specifically, that it casually lists the option of not being destroyed along with its other information. Pg 15: “Americans…” Oh good… Pg 19: I like the idea of the last line (my condolences to Y for his loss), but feel like we haven’t had enough interaction with Y recently for it to hit as well as it could otherwise. I’m not sure if that’s more an issue of how long it’s been since we last saw Sal and co. or not. I think Y’s attachment to whiskey is mentioned one other time in this chapter, but I don’t remember previous interactions with him coming across strongly as “the thing Y is going to go back into the burning building for — or in this case, the thing he’s going to check on first after the ship has gone down— is his whiskey.” And without that connection in my head, the line falls a little flat. Overall: It having been a while since we’ve last been in this POV (time-wise, if not pagecount-wise) makes it hard to be too sure what things I might have remembered and what things were new. I think the main thing I noticed that seemed to go on a little long was the time from the sense of “things aren’t right” to figuring out that they’ve switched planes. Ultimately, that realization takes from pages 11 or 12 through the middle of 16, and while all the discoveries/proofs/etc. in the middle are interesting, I think it stretches on a little too long. But then, I remember being at the end of the last chapter and understanding that they were swapping planes, so while the differences were interesting to me, I didn’t share as much of the characters’ tension through those realizations since I already knew (vaguely) where we were, or at least what had happened (again, vaguely, but enough to make their discovery less exciting). Other than that, I really enjoyed the chapter and am looking forward to seeing how they try to move forward from here and what additional trouble everyone gets themselves into in the process.
  11. We do have a handful of voice actors (3-4 male, 2-3 female, depending on who is available when. But a couple of them also have professional actor friend-pools to pull from) who we've worked with on other projects, so we don't need too many limitations on that front except in regard to what size cast is practical to maintain. I've heard of The Magnus Archives but haven't listened to them (horror isn't my favorite thing), so I'm not hugely familiar with the show. Let me know if you think it would be worth trying to turn into something.
  12. Random thought for anyone who might be interested in a sort of group project. My husband does some sound design and audio drama writing/direction/production as a hobby. He just finished doing some sound design work on an audiodrama that someone had done the writing/directing on, and is currently in the process of trying to find a short project to keep developing skills while he's working on the writing for a longer project. Is there any chance anyone here has a short story that they'd be interested working on recreating in that medium? I don't entirely know what it would look like to combine efforts on something like that, but I figured it couldn't hurt to see if anyone here has ever thought of it or might be interested in figuring something out.
  13. So even though I did a good job of buckling down to finish my chapter edits as soon as I got home from vacation, Life decided to hit us over the head with a sack of bricks on Wednesday. So for my own sanity, I am probably going to have to back out of submitting this week. It's close, but it's just not going to be where it needs to be by Monday.
  14. Pg 1: I think the epigraph here is exactly what we need to get a read on some of B’s character and goals. It provides more background for what had seemed to be a suspicious level of helpfulness previously by showing both that she’s been raised to help people who need help and also that there are ways she is hoping O might help her in return. Pg 2: “torn between momentarily monetary stability” Extra word? Typo? “she loves strays” even just this line a little earlier in our interactions with B would go a long way in helping with the “Isn’t she being a little too helpful?” questions. I’m surprised she doesn’t have a few more questions about the job. It being high-paying is probably enough to make up for it being a little suspicious, but she doesn’t seem to acknowledge the suspiciousness of it. Pg 3: “B sighed” wrong name. Pg 7: “clear over the table” wasn’t she wearing a dress? Is this pulling the skirt up or is it a wide skirt? Seems like that would be as distracting as the apparent flexibility. Relatedly, this timing/location makes more sense for being distracted by the pretty lady than the hospital room (especially after her world had just been turned on end) did. It didn’t quite fit when she’d just found out everything about Ard, but having the space between then and here, and a change in location makes it fit much better here. “set a glass of water down for bother of them” for each of them? “perfect for all of us” who is all? B and Y, I get. Should we be aware of anyone else? Pg 8: “Y…they send beings…they come back out again…what he has them do…they don’t get arrested by they don’t seem to happy coming out” My read of this line, the initial “they send beings…” was referring to Y, as does the “he” later, and the other “they”s are referring to the beings being sent into the void? Is that correct? Pg 9: She says she’s doing work for bird people. Did we get information that’s tying her job to the bird people? “You need a drink.” Hah. I agree. Poor O. Pg 10: “going on a minor errand and then …” …oh yeah. This seems like everything will be going just fine and that nothing at all will go horribly wrong. Overall: This deals with the issues I had with the last chapter really well. It provides a much better sense of B’s motivations and character, and has a little more distance (both time and space-wise) between the details of O’s attraction to her and the news about Ata/Ard. As for how to combine them (or not) in a useful way....hm. I like @RedBlue's thoughts on having less of B in the previous chapter. It seems like B might need to be present in some form to get the memo of O being overwhelmed by the news from Ard, but I think having her appear, make her offer to pay the bills and take O to Ard, then give O space might work. So you could have the sense of B’s really wanting to help (quickly followed up by Y’s comment about her picking up strays), O’s not wanting to accept charity, and Y offering the job. I’d have to check back to last week’s chapter to see how much time O and B spend talking, but maybe some of that could be trimmed back and some could be moved to their conversation at the café where O would have had more time to absorb some of the information about Ard. At least enough of it to avoid the priority misalignment I was having trouble with before where flirting with someone she’d just met had been seeming just as important as the life-changing news about Ard. By the time she’s at the café, she’s physically and mentally drained, and it makes sense for her to let Ard-related worries fall by the wayside for a bit when talking to a friendly, attractive lady seems like a far more enjoyable way to spend a little time and decompress a bit.
  15. Pg 1: I think the opening sentence could use a little reworking to flow better. In the second paragraph, I’m not sure that the punctuation around the dialogue would be the same for “is what E has to say” as it would be for “E says” but I’m not entirely sure about that and might just be overthinking the slightly different phrasing. “why can’t you just explain…” this back and forth doesn’t really match up with the understanding I’ve had of C. She knows the adults are hiding things from her now, but for someone who generally believes the best in people, I’d expect her to initially assume they have good reasons for it. She has reasons to mistrust GM (who has been a jerk to her), and maybe Mr. S (who seems to be actively discouraging her from finding anything else out, if nothing else), but I would expect there to be more of a sense of “of course the grown-ups aren’t going to tell me something I don’t need to know right now” even if she’s not going to let that stop her from figuring it out on her own. Not trusting them makes it seem like she thinks they’re being malicious in some way, which I haven’t really gotten the impression of. Just that they’re not telling her anything because she’s a kid who doesn’t need to know about the “grown up things” so she’s going to have to figure it out on her own. And T would have the impression that C is doing the same thing to her. Pg 2: “E gasps audibly…” Hah. The back and forth between them here fits my understanding of C much better, and I enjoyed the contrast between C and E. C being very practically focused on what must be done to solve the mystery of the town, E being all excited about T. Pg 3-4: Not knowing enough about D or E, I don’t really know what to make of GM’s assumptions here. We’ve been shown that GM jumps to conclusions where her position among her friends might be at risk, so that matches up a little, but I don’t know if we’re supposed to see that here or if we’re supposed to trust that this is actually what D is planning for E and T. And if the latter, I’m not entirely clear on why that’s a threat to her popularity when she’s still the one who knew first and has that bragging point. Pg 5: I’m also not completely sure what she hopes to accomplish by continuing to keep C out of the group. When they’re all in school together and the only kids in town, it doesn’t seem like a feasible goal. On my first readthrough, the “fall from this height would be unwise” line didn’t really stick in my brain because we moved right on to what’s inside, but considering where the chapter ends, I wonder if it might be better to push on that detail a little harder here. Pg 6: “exercise books” on my first readthrough, I’d read this as books about physical exercise, which was confusing, but I think I’ve gotten used to just going along with a few odd details here and there because of the curse, so I didn’t think of it much more than that. I assume it’s more like textbooks or books of math problems and things? “Exercise book” isn’t really a term I’m familiar with. “familiar energy tingling through them” I assume this is what we saw the one other time when she then does…something that seemed sort of magic-y but that I didn’t understand. I still think we need a little more information about what exactly causes that or what it’s doing when she fixes it or whatever. Something to give us an idea for where to place it in the story. I am definitely intrigued by what we’ve found in the airplane. “nothing happens when she flips it.” Reminds me of a few of the mystery-switches in my house. Pg 7: “just a schoolgirl” , “She could mess everything up.” I don’t really get what she means here. Messing up C’s exploring? She’s already been interfering with that. It seems odd to me that C was concerned that T, who she is good friends with (or was until recently), would report her exploring to the adults or destroy what she was looking at, but doesn’t seem especially concerned that GM (who is definitely interfering with what she’s trying to do) would do the same thing. We could use a better sense of the stakes of “messing everything up” or “telling the adults.” I think we could also use the reminder of the break in trust before she’s trying to explain her concerns to V. “like she faces everything else” except her friend T’s misunderstanding. Pg 8: “He’s green.” “I should have foreseen this.” Hah. Looking down at GM would also be a good time to remind us how far off the ground we are. Pg 10-11: I like the overall idea of GM demanding to be the influential one in the friend group. Her need to have them need her. But I think some of this conversation could be trimmed back a little or streamlined Pg 11-12: How far of a fall is this? If it’s high enough that GM would expect her to fearfully hide away in the plane until someone saves her, I’d expect some consequence to the fall. Even if it’s just a twisted ankle or some cuts/bruises if she stumbles and falls after landing. I like seeing C stand up to GM, but it could have more power behind it if we get a better sense of there being a real risk to jumping instead of giving in and waiting. Overall: I enjoyed a number of things in this chapter. Specifically C’s plotting to find answers (even if I’m not 100% sure I’m buying into her reasons for avoiding T) and her standing up to GM at the end. I think a little work clarifying C’s reasons for not trusting the adults (and what she expects them to do if they find out what she’s doing) would go a long way toward making it more feasible for C to not go fix things with T right away. Some clarification to GM’s motivations would be helpful as well. If only to provide more reason for why she thinks D is going to tell T and E about the stove and why she sees that as an obvious threat to be solved by getting C out of the way. I get a pretty obvious sense of what GM’s goals are, but her motivations are a little murky, and I’m not sure how much of that is because she’s jumping to conclusions and seeing threats that aren’t there or where I’m just not making the right connections within the story.