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12 Bridgeman

About leapfrog

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  1. lol yeah me neither (unless you count annoyance maybe? though that was always more at specific people than alloromantic people in general) but I didn't really want D to go down the "what's wrong with me?" route Good points, thank you! Re: the ending, do you think it'd help if D liked B more as a person? Like not romantically, but if I showed that they got along more (rather than just mentioning it). I mean, it's supposed to be sad or uncomfortable, because she is giving into what her father/society expects of her, but I was also trying to go for the angle of D trying to find a compromise between what's important to her
  2. Hmm yeah I don't think I remembered G's line about keeping oaths, or at least didn't mark it as important, so bringing it up again might be useful. And specifying that it's like a specific oath to the king or otherwise somehow different might be good to emphasize why Al can trust these people with this oath.
  3. Hmm I thought the storage room moment was interesting, and I loved GM's POV section (especially the line about burning/burning brightly!) before the phone call. In general, I'm enjoying the humour -- like the names, I think they're really cute and fun. And the line about V staring at the room -- I liked that! I didn't think the homework part was necessarily boring or annoying, but I was under the impression that GM was lying about grades giving you marks as a whole, so I wasn't too sure about where that's supposed to go. Setup for more curse information, maybe? And the phone call seemed a bit... sugary lol so it wasn't really for me. Noooo don't tone her down -- I loved this GM!! Was a highlight of the chapter for me lol. pg 1 finding dog food: the dog that died didn't need dog food (from this guy)...? pg 3 "have free run of the house": for some reason, this part about the clean house and Mopdog's effects gives me a very ominous feeling. pg 5 not remembering the dog that died - has the memory been collectively wiped from the town? That might explain the shopkeeper guy not knowing where dog food was :thinking: pg ~6: GM's personality here is great, I love it, but I've got some questions. Why was GM taken to feed the Wood Stove (makes it sound like it wasn't her choice; her parents told her to do that)? Why now? Why feed it? What does "lose herself" mean? Is that like a coming-of-age 'ritual'; is that why C's dad is round, etc.? And C being 'vibrant and whole' kinda contradicts what the teacher said earlier about not relying on C imo -- GM makes it sound like C will thrive where the rest of the town won't, but I was under the impression that C was going to disappear or something lol. I expect some of these qs will be answered later but that's what I'm thinking about pg 9 "C will not succeed": is she laughing because the homework thing is fake (C won't find out the truth by doing well in school) or because GM is confident C won't ever get high enough marks?
  4. Did I forget something about vampires and wood...? What weapon would be from a wooden chair...? Sorry, what did you mean by that? Oh interesting... in an earlier draft of this I had D as being unique by being birthed -- I got rid of that because I couldn't quite make sense of it and it didn't go anywhere, lol. Plus I was worried her aromanticism/asexuality could be attributed to that 'uniqueness' rather than it just being a her thing. Thank you for your notes!!
  5. If it's not too late, would it be possible for you to send me chapters 2 & 3?
  6. Thank you all for your feedback!! Looks like I've a lot to think about By this, do you mean like more reflection on why D turned B? I was trying to go for D being aro -- did that come across any? Thanks for those questions -- I hadn't considered these at all (oops?). Could you expand on where you got the brainwashing thing from, or was it the premise itself? (I wasn't trying to expand much on B because I didn't really think his relationship to D was important wrt her conflict... but maybe that's where it came from?) Also yes please on the worldbuilding mechanics/vampires -- I know next to nothing about biology, so your notes were pretty interesting since I was just about handwaving everything, haha What implications are those? That it's unclean....? Also could you expand a bit on what about it was abrupt? Thanks for your comments on the beginning -- I was worried there was a bit of a tone shift or that it didn't fit, which seems to be the case.
  7. Personality-wise, he seems pretty nice, or at least caring? As for goals, it seems to me that he's worried about the state of where he's from and its relations and presumably wants to smooth things over to some degree (guessing by when G swore at him). I didn't notice anything particularly confusing that should've been established in chapter 1. I was a bit confused at the guard situation here and who Al could trust, but I'll get into that more in the play-by-play I think the stone setup is very cool! And I liked how it tied into law and politics and all that with magistrate mention. I'm interested to see what being a mage means, as I'm assuming using a magic stone isn't enough to make someone a mage. Also, I'm assuming anyone can use a stone? Generally, the magic setup here seems to be pretty straightforward to me. pg 1 - I was expecting Is' POV right off the bat, so I had to read ahead a bit to see who we were reading from. Might help if his name was dropped a bit earlier. Also last chapter I think I was suspecting the duke poisoned her! So I was surprised to see that it wasn't him. pg 2 - re: the part about her facing off other people -- for some reason, I had also assumed that Is was sort of a 'seeded' participant of the tournament, and didn't realize how many people/if she fought people before R. Maybe some clarification before this would be good. pg 3 "This way" -- I had to reread a few times to figure out what Al was doing and why he was suddenly taking charge. Also at "The man's jaw clenched..." I thought that was kind of weird. I'm not too sure why Al trusts this guard, since he doesn't seem to trust the royal healers and so on... but more than that, does the guard know about the poison, or has he guessed? If a guard of the royal palace is asked if it's safe for the royal family, I feel like it's kind of weird if he just doesn't say anything. pg ~5 - when Al was asked if he was OK and he said no -- what was wrong with him? Was he panicking, or something else? pg 6 - I was concerned when Al was wondering if G was trustworthy! Was happy to find out that he didn't seem to be, but you had me worried there. pg 8 - when he says, "You're with the guard," I was confused -- was this the same guard as before that he thought he could trust? Why did Al think he was with that guard in particular? Or does he mean like the royal guard in general? Also "bloodied guard" later that page -- who? The one who got the healer? Why's he bloodied? Or is it T's perspective thinking of G? And on pg 9 -- Al is assuming all royal guards are safe to trust? But he didn't trust the healers or the tournament officials? I get that he's unsure of who to trust, but it mostly just made me confused lol. pg 11 on revealing knowledge -- I liked this part! I thought this was interesting, and I'd like to know more about what being a K mage means (or being from K?) and how being the son of one affects Al. pg 12 "where'd he planned to go once..." - I think I missed this part, but I couldn't find it. Where was the guard planning to go? Also, why was it important that Al not be there when the king came? Because he'd blame Al? (Why does the healer care about that?) I'm getting the sense that the king is not a very nice/positive guy, lol.
  8. In general, I'd like some opinions on general flow and consistency (does everything make sense/fit together?), and on the ending and whether or not the story feels complete. Some thoughts on the characters would also be great -- does the dialogue feel natural or do the characters' voices sound distinct? Do you like them? This is a short story I've got to hand in soon, so I'm open to just about any critique!
  9. Hm... I like her character, I think she has an interesting personality, but I'm not really sure where this is head or what her motivations are. Definitely family-oriented, I guess? And I liked R's character, I thought he was pretty interesting from the introduction. I didn't really feel like it was dragging anywhere in particular, so no? Is it clear that something significant is wrong in the events following the match? If so, when does that click, and does it need to be clearer/earlier? Yes I got that something was wrong! I didn't think too much of the weird armour smell, which is when I'm assuming the poison happened by reading these comments lol, but definitely during the fights. Like hearing Duke A won when he shouldn't have was I guess the start of feeling that something went wrong. And I like the fight between I and R; there was this frantic sort of feeling that I liked and really made it seem like something was wrong or at least out of the norm. I kind of doubted what was happening during the convo with G, but then once she was tired I was worried again. I don't have a lot of specific line comments, but anyway: pg 2 "squinting at sun-glare on tournament...": I had originally thought the two characters were going to participating in the tournament, but this part kind of made me doubt that and wonder if they're just watching. Also on this page I was bit thrown off by the introduction of I's second nickname - since her first preceded that, it took me a moment to figure out where it came from lol. Also R uses both nicknames for her? pg 5: was excited that she was gonna fight! pg 11 "losing an arm": is that foreshadowing? :eyes: I think I clocked in on the being poisoned at around "Why was she so tired?"
  10. Could I have a slot too please?
  11. I mean, ultimately, it's up to you if that's something you want to explore in the story/setting - just like any other racism presented in other fantasy works, if it's to a degree that a reader can't handle then they just.. won't read it lol. I guess just if there's a direction to it, that's all. But those are my 2 cents Ohh yeah, not fitting in either space is pretty common too, I feel you on that.
  12. Yeah, it was the animal-like thing. I am... not good with biology, I will admit, but I think I get that explanation! Yeah, it's not really anything specific atm. I'm biracial and my thoughts on what few biracial/mixed-race characters I've seen in fiction are pretty complicated, so I don't want to get into that here lol, but it's really more of an instinctive caution seeing the unfriendliness. I think re: being visually distinct... well, it depends on what you mean by that lol. And ofc your experiences can differ from mine, but ime people don't normally assume I or the other biracial people I know are biracial or mixed-race -- people normally try to guess one specific race or ethnicity (and can end up wildly off mark, but that's neither here nor there lol). Gotcha, so the throne has to go to a guy. Here's to hoping Z will get her moment anyway
  13. Can't comment much - for H, I got 'desert I think' and 'colosseum, so Roman-esque?' And since I read that this was inspired by Middle Eastern cultures, just thought I'd comment that I read something recently about someone saying that they're tired of seeing Middle Eastern-coded fantasy characters/settings being synonymous with 'from the desert', but that's all I got for you. I'm not really sure, considering I don't know what happens next. There's a lot I don't understand in this chapter, too. I don't think it's bad, necessarily, if N dies and then we move on with his siblings in a time skip or something. Might serve as interesting backstory or something. Although, to be fair, I don't really remember reading very many books with prologues, so I can't say much. Honestly, I got about S was that he was mixed-race and looked different. And he likes nature or something? And Z... she's physically strong? N seems kind of wishy-washy to me, tbh, but that might be because I don't really get his motivation for what he's doing this chapter or much of the background info on what M is doing or what the countries are up to. J seems pretty normal, like your smart and skilled brother who's going to rule the world (or country) lol. Way too little. Or, like, it introduces too much but doesn't elaborate on it all? Either way, I'm pretty lost on most of the political and societal background information. Yeah, I get the political fantasy drift. The magic -- and the stones? -- seem important, but not necessarily a huge huge focus (especially since there are already workarounds), so I don't particularly expect super complex magic. pg 1: I like your first line, specifically starting with "...going to die today"! It's pretty snappy imo. You lost me pretty quickly afterwards, like at "all of the reasonable possibilities..." in the same paragraph. I reread that sentence a few times and couldn't really follow what you were trying to say. pg 2: A bit confused on what M wants or is doing. I got that she was from K and then ran to N for help? "guilt of limiting himself...": made me go 'ooh why?' on the RA: seems like one person, but I think you mentioned N was looking for red cloaks, which makes it seem like multiple people? "Nobody could blame him..." this and the next sentence made no sense to me. I have no idea what it's referring to. pg 3: "...going to challenge him," -> I originally thought this meant challenge the RA and not J -- there's been a lot of information and names so honestly keeping track has been a bit difficult. pg 4: "mutt--or a calico" -> yeah, I did not like either of these descriptions. (Although apparently calico is also a fabric? Idk, I just think of cats.) Also, the whole skin splotches thing made me think of vitiligo - which I didn't really get what it had to do with being mixed-race, tbh. (I mean, I guess it's a fantasy thing? But imo the link could be made more clear.) Also, in general, I couldn't really follow what you were trying to say with the genetics thing, sorry. (Skin colour is decided by the mother's genetics? Is that it?) And if it's important, I guess it needs to be said somewhere, but it did seem like a bit weird timing to talk about all that now. And, honestly, it makes me kind of wary of where it will go in the story -- assuming S is a character who will get his own arc, what that means for him. pg 5: "better Holy Ruler..." -> so is J sponsored by the K army? Does S's identity factor in at all to his claim to the throne? on the equality thing: I don't quite follow what that's trying to establish. Something about sexism or feminism in this fantasy setting? normally there's sexism but in royalty there isn't? imo wouldn't sexism within the monarchy (i'm assuming it's a monarchy?) indicate how the rest of the society is structured, for sexism at least? Did Z get the same claim to the throne as well, but she doesn't want to challenge either? "father sons": but he could theoretically still father daughters? I feel like that doesn't quite line up with the whole "blessing or a curse" thing... or what that means. (I took it as some kind of reference to asexuality? But I'm not sure that's correct, though I did read that you said he was meant to be aro here.) ""immodest" green eye shadow": I thought the women were wearing green, so it would be a 'woman's' colour... or is the eye shadow the immodest part? pg 6: lol relatable @ the zoning out on the X country/empire: is H like a city-state within X lands? and forests have gods? interesting :eyes: on eye description: i thought you already described S's eyes, so doing it again here seemed a bit weird? "M didn't want him to die here": ok I'm confused why is he going to die now? i thought his brother was just becoming the king or smth, and he was going to challenge J? if he loses, he dies? what does that have to do with M? pg 8: it seems like an interesting setup, but frankly, I don't get N's motivation. It reads a bit like he's throwing his life away, and I don't get why.
  14. To be honest, my main issue is that I'm not familiar with the characters and that I spent most of my time reading trying to figure out who was who and who was speaking or narrating. Also I agree about the kids' ages thing; I thought they were maybe mid-teens. The Last Day: pg 1 "the chain's links...": what chains? Once out of the italicized portion, I got confused about who was narrating, especially with the vagueness from "A voice" and so on. I feel like a name instead of just 'he' would have been nice. Also, I didn't get what the relation between the italicized part and the rest of it was. Also, the last line completely threw me off. Is it referring to like reincarnation? Because that's what I got from it. 59th of Winter: Once again, I was confused about the characters. It took me until the action for me to realize that T was part of the traitors. Other than there being a fight between guards and prisoners/traitors, I'm pretty lost. Some small comments: pg 2 "One of them was trying...": This sentence threw me off, it might be helpful to split it up. And I didn't get how the sentence with "felt the cold metal begin..." related to the next sentence. pg 3 "He had decided to expedite...": Who's 'he'? And who is M (and why does/did she matter)? 60th of Winter: pg 1 "C stood beside her": Reading this, I thought 'her' was meant to the council... a name sooner would have been nice imo. It took me until the end of this page to figure out who was who lol. pg 2 "I mean, what...": You were asking about dialogue, I think, and this part stood out to me. It seemed a bit like a sudden switch from the councilman talking all formally and then going a bit more informally. pg 3 "It came to P...": I didn't get why she was suddenly having a flashback. Was it something the councilman said, and if so, what? Re: letting the kids go after their father (if I'm not mistaken): why would the councilmen do that? Aside from the kids being five thing, my immediate thought was that they're the immediate family of the traitor. Wouldn't there be some concern of a conflict of interest or allegiance? I understand that he killed their mother, but even so...
  15. Can't comment because I didn't read the last version :^) Hm... I don't know if I'm connected to her, but I like her well enough! I think one of my comments as I was reading was like "oh, she's cute :)" I think the plot seems pretty straightforward right now - figure out if she's actually cursed, and if so, what to do about it. No other issues imo but I just wanted to comment on how I liked the way you set up the atmosphere of the story - a little bit mysterious and otherworldly, but still real enough :^) Some other comments: pg 2 "she doesn't have much free time": is this referencing something? I don't really get how it relates to T needing to prove herself pg 3 "It might not just be the soil": I'm not sure why sound = not the soil, especially when earlier you said that it was 'eerily' still pg 3 abt the cursed land: I'm kind of confused as to what this curse is - I originally thought it was just making the land around the town barren, but it can hurt people? (Also, is the town completely self-sufficient? I'm getting the impression that it's very isolated.) pg 4 "making something fun happen": this was the line that made me go "C is cute :')" pg 7 on introducing GM: when she was first name-dropped, I got confused. It did make me think she was about to become an antagonist, though, which the rest of the story seems to hold up at least a little? When I read the description of GM, though, I thought it was weird that she was being described on her second occurrence. Maybe consider placing one of the descriptions up when she's first mentioned and then keep some of the others where they are? pg 8 "The Boneyard": is that the name of the house? At first I thought that was the town's name, but then I remembered we got a town name already. Either way, some explanation on what it is would be nice. pg 9 on the dad's description: with the mysterious vibe already set up here, I'm having a bit of a hard time imagining her father and how much of it I should take literally lol. Is he a literal sphere? Does he have arms and legs? Is he no longer skin and flesh? pg 10 "Cold changes to hot": is there a connection b/w the temperature mention here and the cold when C left the town earlier? I assumed that earlier (in pg 1) she felt the cold once she stepped out of the town's... area, and that the cold was a part of the whole 'curse' deal.