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Everything posted by Moonsilver

  1. Hey y'all, this is chapter 1 of the first draft of my first fantasy novel, Dreams of Devils. It's rough so let me know where it's in need of polishing. Questions: 1. What do you think of Nimos? Is he a character you can ride with? 2. Does the world-building get info-dumpy at any point? 3. Is there anything you feel the chapter is lacking?
  2. Omg, I just saw that y'all said to go ahead and post this week on Monday Oopsie. I figured I was posting this Monday, so if I can, I'll still go ahead and do that.
  3. Hey, can I submit Monday as well? Without getting too much into it, we had a family emergency earlier this week that turned into a loss and I've been out of town settling some family affairs. I figured I'd just wait to submit until the next Monday.
  4. Apologies, I got held up at work and had a bit of a crazy day. I will email the chapter and get a topic up by this evening.
  5. You could start the scene with Is arguing with Do about how she needs to get out and be seen to keep up the charade of normalcy. Do would likely disagree as her tending healer, wanting her to rest and heal more before going out. Then she goes to the park anyways and sees everyone there. I think this is great. Do it. Firestone still seems more magicky, just because it's magic you can see. You only see the effects of the energystone. It does imply though, that some magic has a darker aspect to it than others, which is intriguing. I see what you're getting at. I can't put my finger on it, but I was becoming annoyed with Is every time she refused help from someone, and then struggled and was in pain as a result of it. It's like I kept wanting to roll my eyes at her and to tell her, "you just survived an assassination attempt, and before that you defeated Ro in the tournament. No one is going to think you're weak if you need help walking afterwards or need to rest or whatever." I think my problem is I still don't understand her compulsion not to appear weak. Why is she so concerned about this? This is complicated for the part of the scene with May and Det, since they don't know about the assassination attempt, so she's also trying not to appear weak to maintain the ruse of normalcy. In this case, maybe play it more like the reader sees occasionally grimaces and other fleeting signs of discomfort, but Is doesn't really mention her pain or tiredness. We know what kind of state she is in, and that's she's trying to put on a brave face for her father. So we can see more of Is' toughness in a scene where we know she's hurt and feels bad, but acts like she isn't and doesn't think about it as much. Turn up her competence slider in working through the pain with grace. I'm starting to ramble so I'm out.
  6. I think it would have been a really nice moment if Al had offered Is an arm, and she took it. I really wanted to see that happen.
  7. 1) Any boring bits or bits that don’t make sense? Most of chapter 7 where C is concerned with getting good grades and ignoring everything else was somewhat frustrating and boring to me. V was making some cogent points, that I wanted C to address, but she just tried to ignore them and focus on homework. I think that C spends way too long to realize that GM tricked her and that getting good grades isn't going to do anything. 2) Do C and V’s character arcs track? As it is, I don't see much of an arc between the two of them, particularly V. He feels like he's been absent a lot lately, and quite a bit more passive than when he was introduced. There's has been more with C, but at the same time, she has frustratingly maintained her dense naivety. 3) Does the info about the WS in chapter 8 feel satisfying? Was it too easy to guess, or did it come out of nowhere? Are you interested in the mysteries still to be uncovered? It wasn't particularly satisfying, since I had figured that out many chapters ago. It was very easy to guess. I am interested to see what's going on with the WS, but the intrigue is starting to sour. I want some more meat about the WS. I want to know about the plane. I want to know what the deal is with C, was she created in the WS? I want more juicy WS bits. As I go- (Chapter 7) pg 1 - It seemed like "Consumption and Conservation" was going to be an important book, but from how C describes it, it's about rich people arguing about money and getting married. This may be a red herring from C's POV, as it feels like it might be actually about the town of C. I also find it interesting that Consumption and Conservation both start with "Con", as does the protagonist/town name. I still feel like the book is important, and possibly about the town and its people. Especially when we get the line, "the book's approach to responsibility." We've already seen the word "responsibility" used in reference to the WS. pg 2 - Her brain wants to focus on how much she misses MD. Does she really? They didn't seem to have a close connection, and she's only had him for a couple of days. Perhaps it's because she was his creator. - "Instead of building up and up until it spills over, the buzzing energy inside her seems to have vanished." I still want to know what the deal is with this. Is it magic, is it a metaphor for a mental health problem, is it a physical ailment? - It feels like C is ignoring all the interesting questions that have been posed lately, and is instead trying to drag reader down the path of boredom she has selected for herself in her quest to become good at schoolwork, even though she knows that GM was lying about the grades thing. pg 3 - "I have completed an aerial circuit of the town." Just now? Isn't the town quite small? I feel like V did this the first day he was there. What has he been doing with his time if he's just now completed an aerial circuit of the town? - "And your house is at the origin-that is, the dead centre-of the circle!" Mmhmm, around the house with the stove, which is definitely cursed. Makes sense. - "Are you still working on that essay? This is getting silly." Agreed, V. Very much agreed. We saw through GM from the beginning. Why is C still committed to getting good grades? - "We still haven't finished investigating the plane!" Yassssss. We need to get back to that, please. I want to know what's going on with that so badly. pg 4 - "...on a single-minded mission to do whatever it is that teachers do in the staff room." I feel like I've already read this line from you much earlier in the novel. pg 5 - "She sees a nasty bully, laughing at other people's trust." Geez, finally C. Been waiting so long for C to realize this about GM. You can only be so naive until it begins to cross over into stupidity. And we know that C isn't stupid. pg 6 - "A hungry, smouldering elephant in the room." This is an excellent line. I love it. pg 7 - "So MD can't understand most language, other than his name, but he can recognize the phrase, "WS?" Chapter 8 pg 1 - "This jumper is a metaphor, isn't it?" Haha, I love this. pg 2 - "If you keep trying to find out more, you will not be permitted to live in town any longer." Oh wow. What would they do, just exile her? - "I think the WS can burn anything. Not just objects, but concepts too...You don't gain or lose anything, but it all gets shuffled around." Hmm interesting that C has figured out this much. pg 3 - "It can't quite burn anything." Wow. Mr Sta folded rather quickly. - "Since before before." Haha, this is amusing, but also intriguing. - "...and to clean up or take care of any unwanted products." Is he talking about V or MD, or is he possibly talking about C? Hmm.
  8. Any confusing/boring sections? There wasn't anything particularly confusing, but this chapter was uneventful. I feel like the conversation between Is and Al was a missed opportunity for some meaningful dialogue between them. Is spent a lot of time being tired and in pain, but also not taking steps to lessen it other than using the spellstones. Thoughts on characters? May had the strongest characterization in this chapter, and also the best lines. I don't know what it is, but I feel like your supporting characters tend to hog the spotlight and get the best scenes and lines. Your protagonists end up looking bland and ineffective compared to them. Also, your protagonists spend a great deal of the scenes doing inner monologue, when they should be interacting with the world and people around them. I think they need to get out of their heads a bit. Give them more dialogue, and juicy dialogue at that. Points of interest or engagement? I wasn't engaged for most of this chapter. It became interesting when Al and Is finally got to have a conversation, although that was also very short-lived and unexplored. This chapter lacked conflict, at least in terms of the POV character. Is refusing help and feeling bad isn't compelling conflict. We need more than that for her POV chapter. I want to see her get upset at May or Det, or even Al. Or maybe she allows herself to be upset at her dad in front of Al. As I go- pg 1 - "She opened her eyes and stared at the spellstone," I think this would be a great place to actually describe the spellstone in detail for the reader. I just see a random gemstone in my mind. - "The feeling of the spell traveling up the arm that held the stone and through the rest of her body at a steady pace without her being able to do anything to affect it was unnerving, to say the least." This sentence drags a bit. - "...she asked, switching to massage the other leg. Is nodded once and switched to the other leg." This reads strangely, almost like Is has 3 legs. pg 2 - "The girl had never been comfortable with any magic beyond firestones." This seems so odd to me, since a firestone is so much more "magicky" than a strengthening stone in my mind. It's not like you can really see anything happening with a strengthening stone, but I know that's not the point. - "...paranoid that magic might somehow ooze over the border on its own to cause chaos." Great characterization line. pg 3 - Wow, using the energy stone seems horrible. Like stabbing yourself in the heart with a syringe of adrenalin. Seems a bit like black magic or something. pg 4 - ..."or Is was too tired to notice anything out of the ordinary." Wait, isn't she wired from the energy stone? - "She walked back through the gardens with May, which automatically meant also walking back with De." You can cut the "automatically" and this will flow better. - "For the most part, the arrangement left Is free to pace silently..." The "for the most part" isn't doing anything here, other than weakening your sentence. I would cut it. pg 5 -..."but Al cut in before she could say press the matter." It looks like the "say" needs to be cut from this sentence. - There are a lot of names on this page to keep track of. May, Mal, Der, Isr, Sha, Cer, Gi, Ro, Al, Neri, Det. pg 6 - too tired to think any more of it until her cousin's enthusiastic "enjoy your evening" trailed after her. Haha, yes, great humor and characterization here for May. pg 7 - "Was that a May-shaped shadow silhouetted against the wall?" I love this. May seems like the pushy, overly flirty friend that means well but also oversteps their bounds. pg 8 - "So much for her plan to avoid letting anyone see her slow, painful ascent of the stairs." Good characterization of Is, but also somewhat repetitive. pg 9 - "She refused Gin's offer of a hand under her elbow." Right now, it seems like Is' main personality trait is to refuse help from others. Are we going to find out why? I would like to see more about who she is. - "What is the king planning?" This seemed to come out of nowhere, but I'm glad for some juicy conflict-related dialogue. pg 11 - "Even a supporting hand on her elbow would be helpful to take a little of the weight off her legs." It's one thing to have Is constantly refusing help from others, but it weakens that when she is wishing she hadn't refused help and wishing that someone would just help her. It sets up a hypocritical sense to her thoughts and actions. She spends a good part of this chapter refusing to allow others to help her, and then wishing they would, and thinking about how nice it would be if they did. It's like she's playing the stoic and the victim at the same time. pg 12 - "Al glanced toward the stairs once more before bidding her goodnight and turning down the hall to his rooms." I would have liked to see this happen on screen, with the actual dialogue. I feel like Al and Is have had precious little time to talk, and it would be nice to get some more characterization from both of them. Don't cut short their already brief interactions.
  9. I really like this, where the car is able to sympathize with the man, despite the radically different POV. I'm glad you like this idea, I think it's a fun manageable way for us to practice writing throughout our busy lives and to find some enjoyment in a small project that we can complete quickly.
  10. This is Prompting Excuses, where your answers are 1 paragraph long, because our lives are in a hurry, and we're trying to get prompter. Alright Prompters, so the concept is that I'll provide a weekly writing prompt, and if you're interested, you will write a paragraph response in this thread within that week, and others will be able to comment on and critique that paragraph. This is meant to be a creative excercise to help us sharpen our writing chops in a meaningful and concise format. There is no pressure on this, it's more of a casual thing you can pop in and out of when life allows. Participate if and when you can, that's cool. If you would like to suggest or recommend the next weekly prompt, just post it in this thread or DM me and we'll add it to the list of potential prompts. I know it's the middle of the week, but I think we can manage a prompt within that timeframe. Let's say the week starts over on Mondays going forward. If you can't get something done within the week's prompt, that's fine, you'll get another opportunity next week. This week's writing prompt: Write a scene involving a student and their unconventional mentor. (not a wise, old wizard)
  11. I remember that was a fairly dry talking heads scene too. A moment where Al makes the connection between Ket weather mages and his father in that scene would really ramp up the intrigue and involve Al more in the talking heads discussion.
  12. Everything is better with David Tennant, he's like ice cream
  13. Kate Reading and Michael Kramer right?
  14. Whaaaat? Why didn't he respond when they were talking about Ket weather mages in court? Wouldn't he have thought about his father?
  15. Thoughts on the angle brought in by the new pov? I like seeing Ali's perspective, especially on Is. It's nice to see a close relationship between them, as well as with their mother. In fact, I like Ali better then is. I feel like her voice is stronger. Is the new information presented in a way that is absorbable? I struggled with some of the exposition in this chapter, it became dense and chunky in parts, while smooth in others. I noted on the AIG where. I wanted the story of the mage rebellion to be elaborated on a bit more, but with some more drama around it as well. Give me some spicy details. Any confusing/boring sections? I noted this on the AIG, pg 11 was boring/dense for me. Thoughts on characters? I enjoyed seeing some humor and more character in the Queen in this chapter. I also enjoyed Ali's POV, it was easy for me to ride with her, and I liked seeing her close relationship with Is. Points of interest or engagement? I talked about it earlier, but I was really intrigued with the Mage Rebellion. I feel like a more interesting and dramatic treatment of the story, mentioning some specific interesting details, would have drawn me in more. Maybe Ali or Is could read a portion of another journal depicting an interesting scene from the rebellion. And if it were from the POV of a mage...*chefs kiss* As I go- pg 1 -I think it might be better if we have Is' dialogue response, "Is that for me?" to the dramatic flourish revealing the cake before Ali describes how Is looks and begins to to talk about how is' has been, etc. The "Is that for me" seemed delayed after the exposition. -"Desserts were always a reliable way to cheer her up," good characterization -"...spearing and berry and mopping it through the cream on the plate," great visual -"Alina smiled softly," adverb, but also, what exactly is smiling softly? That's a synesthetic phrase. pg 2 -Be careful how many times you use "stiff shoulders" to emote. Try to diversify your physical emoting. -There's a lot of names on this page, and I don't think they all need to be here. It's a lot to keep track of. I would suggest paring it down to what's important in this scene. I want to see the characters talking to each other about each other, and less of them talking about other people. -"she muttered, fidgeting with her bracelet." Al's bracelet, I like that she essentially has a piece of jewelry from him. A physical connection and reminder on her body. pg 3 -"Just don't let her get too excited about the duke of t." That's right, stay away from my mans -I see that Ali is trying to gossip with Is so I understand why they are gossiping about other people instead of discussing their own lives. Ali is trying to avoid their own drama. pg 5 -"She says there's some puzzle she can't figure out." Oh, do tell? Mage rebellion? Consider me intrigued. pg 6 -Have we found out why the mages rebelled already? pg 7 -So Jad was possibly a mage, was involved in the rebellion, and mixed history with erotic poetry in her journal, haha, she sounds like a character. pg 8 -"It has been quite revealing," haha, nice pg 9 -"she asked quietly." I would just say "she whispered" to avoid the unnecessary adverb. -pg 10 -"They have far more to lose if the news gets out." You're talking about Al, right? pg 11 -This page is feeling exposition/infodump heavy. It's losing the feeling the authentic mother/daughter dialogue. pg 12 -"Ali returned the smile and pushed herself to her feet, wrapping her mother in a firm embrace before excusing herself to rest before the next of the week's social events." This is a marathon of a sentence. I would try breaking it up. -I think that Ali needs to mention Is by name in this last paragraph to solidify the connection that she is talking about her sister. It feels distant.
  16. Are y'all doing an audiobook?
  17. Can I have a slot for next Monday please?
  18. Wow, congratulations y'all! That's so cool.
  19. Is the new information presented in a way that is absorbable? If we're talking about the information covered at court with all the talking heads, I don't think it was very absorbable. Part of the problem is that Al is very passively observing for most of this section. Also, the scene comes off a bit dull, because we still don't know much about these countries and the politics. It's difficult, because we won't know until it's told and explained, but at the same time, telling us and explaining is not very interesting. If you want this information to be absorbed better, and you want this chapter to be more interesting, you need to get Al involved. He needs to be jumping in and saying his opinions. Or maybe speaking to someone nearby about it. We need to experience this information instead of it being told. Any confusing/boring sections? This is a very tame chapter, not much happens. Not every chapter needs to be an action movie, but I think there's things that can be done to make things more interesting still. We need some more conflict in this chapter for one thing. I thought there was going to be conflict at the end when R comes over, but he just gives a helpful warning and word to Al. Personally, I want to see Al thinking about or doing more regarding the princess and the assassination attempt. Maybe have him thinking about when he surprised her in her room and saw her use magic. He could be wondering if she knows any other magic. He could be thinking that she looked kind of cute and vulnerable like that. I would like to see more connection being built between these characters, even if they aren't in the same chapter together. Thoughts on characters? Al fell flat for me in this chapter. He was very passive observer. He didn't really encounter any conflict. I really want to see him doing more and being more involved, not reacting to people or allowing himself to be ignored by people. Try to show us a little more of his personality, his faults, his strengths. Is he a bit of a scholar and really into roads? Maybe have him get really into explaining roads and get excited about them when Detric asks. Points of interest or engagement I was interested in 2 parts of the chapter. First, when you start talking about Ke's weather mages in regards to naval action. That could be expounded on. It's interesting because it tells us not only about the magic, but also politics at the same time. Using magic to make politics interesting is a great tool for fantasy. I was also interested at the very end when R comes over to talk to Al. I'm not sure if it's intentional, but of all your characters, R has the strongest personality and screen presence for me. I'm even told he's supposed to be an ass and that to worry about him starting problems, but he seems rather likable and competent to me. Furthermore, he upstages your other characters. He shows up for a blip at the end of the chapter and still upstages Al. He either needs to be less interesting, or Al needs to be more interesting. As I go- pg 1 -"...A had been informed...he was to say nothing of the events surrounding the assassination attempt to anyone..." With the explanation and emphasis of the vow and oath magic in recent chapters, and the importance of this matter, wouldn't the King have made A take a vow or oath? -"R's manservant answered the door and froze at the sight of him." Why is he freezing here, is it odd for A to stop by his adviser's rooms before his first day in court? For that matter, I think R would definitely have had A come over beforehand to advise him. Otherwise, why is he there? -"...starting at the first hour of noon." So, starting at noon? Are there more than one noon hour? -"...a little after the bell tower struck third dawn..." So, I'm thinking there must be some non-Earth cosmology going on here. Is this a world with three suns? pg 2 -A comes off a bit like a country boy spending his first day in the city. Is he really that clueless about the court and how things work there, or is it just because he's not familiar with King V and his court specifically? pg 3 -"It's easier to seem attentive when you are being physically restrained by your clothing." Ha, I love this line. pg 4 -"He's not going to try to take on K's weather mages at sea." Oh, intriguing. I like the idea of weather mages being used as weapons of naval war. pg 5 -"King V raised an eyebrow and smirked..." Be careful with over-using these phrases. Your characters are raising their eyebrows and smirking quite often. pg 6 -"A stared at the man, shocked by the bluntness of it." What is "it" referring to here? I think you mean his words, but this sentence doesn't make sense the way it's written. pg 7 -"He was a bearish man in form and demeanor, and had spent most of his previous interactions with Alaric scowling and silent while his sons presented terms for potential trade between Tra and the C Barony." This sentence drags, I would suggest breaking it up into 2 sentences, or rewriting it. pg 8 -" will be time to begin rebuilding those connections. holdings that may benefit from the trade we will have to offer." I'm not sure why there is future tense here. Why doesn't A say, " is time to begin rebuilding those connections," and, " holdings that may benefit from the trade we have to offer." -I feel like in a more political and less exciting chapter, you should try to cut as many of the filter words as possible. "A could practically feel the looming presence of the Baron. The big man seemed serious." A phrase like "could practically feel" acts as a diminisher, there is so much filtering. Have the Baron loom, we understand it's through A's perspective. So something like, "The Baron of C loomed over A like a thundercloud." And instead of "the big man seemed serious," which leaves the reader wondering how he seemed serious, tell us why A thinks that. Something like, "The big man wasn't smiling." pg 9 -"D was taller than his father, and just as sturdily built, but without the glower and shagginess that sometimes made C seem more bear than man." Great description.
  20. This week's writing prompt: Write a scene from the perspective of an inanimate object that has magically been given sentience.
  21. "You let grandfather pick my swimming instructor?" Andyn's voice went up in pitch with each successive word. The lanky, mop-headed youth peeled his tunic off in one quick motion and hurled it backward into the King's face, as he strode through the castle halls. King Ondyn followed and caught the tunic, folding it into a neat square without missing a beat. "What's wrong with my father?" he mocked, failing to disguise the amusement in his voice. Andyn stopped in front of the door that led to the pools and turned around, holding up a hand between them that he clenched into a fist and shook. "This isn't funny, father. I can tell when you're trying not to laugh. You know perfectly well what's wrong with grandfather. He hired an assassin to kill me on my birthday!" The king let out a strained chuckle, coughing to cover it up. "It wouldn't have been a killing blow, just a little lesson in the dangers of complacency." Andyn stared at his father. The muscles in his jaw bunched. "Sometimes I think you're just as bad as him." The king help up a hand. "Hey now, no need to get nasty. I'd estimate that I'm about half as bad, actually." The prince turned and pushed heavily on the door. It creaked as it swung open on rusted hinges. "It's just swimming, right? How bad can it be?" A shining, suckered tentacle snaked around Andyn's waist and yanked him into the pool in the center of the room. His shout of surprise was transformed into a dull gurgling. King Ondwyn crossed his arms and grinned as he watched the prince wrestle with the creature in the pool, periodically snarling curses in his direction. "You're just going to tire yourself out like that," he called in a calm voice. "Use your legs, Andyn, swim with your legs. Attaboy!"
  22. Do the emotional through-lines of this chapter make sense? Yes, for the part. Though the part where Is cries seemed odd since there wasn't any kind of buildup to it or context in that scene, other than she's tired and in pain. Is the new information presented in a way that it’s actually absorbable? Any points that seemed confusing or like some background information was missing? Or just that it wasn’t sticking because of how it was presented. I was with you for most of it. Towards the end when we heard about all the different places that might be involved, and then the names of all the people (Re, Mo, Th, Mayra, Malmir, Aunt Deria) I did get a little overwhelmed. It was a lot of place and people names in a short span. Thoughts on characters at this point? King V is...kingly. Kind of a dick, used to being in control and not questioned or defied, but he does have moments of warmth and affection towards Is. I would like to see more affection between them if they have a close relationship. Some real father/daughter dialogue. I'm interested if this is the first assassination attempt on Is. If so, I would think that it would have a lasting impact on her, and I don't mean physically. Will she become paranoid? Or will she value life more and want to experience more of it. How does the assassination change her? That's what I really want to start seeing from Is Points of interest or engagement? I'm intrigued by the magic system, and also the system of vows and oaths. It seems that both the princess and the duke share the fact that they are typically hiding how much they know about magic from others. I'm eager to see them discuss magic together and become passionate in that conversation. As I go- pg 1 -"...Carefully pulling air into her lungs." "She focused on breathing, hissing in and out of clenched teeth." "She let out a shaky breath." More breathing prose. Spend less screen time on breathing! *raps knuckles with stick* pg 2 -"a frustrated sigh escaped her." *raps knuckles again* No sighs, ever, lol. Sighing in prose is canceled -"Would he keep her secret?" This feels like a more compelling conflict for Is, knowing magic when her father frowns on it. This has a lot of potential. Please tell me she learns more magic. -"...her long list of eccentricities...," this is a promise to the reader. I want to see some eccentricities about Is now. -Ruh roh, did Is just assassinate herself? pg 3 -I thought it was odd when we have "The door slammed open," followed by, "She wouldn't cry." I wanted to see someone coming through the door after it slammed open. It's like we get the promise of action, and then it goes back to inner monologue for Is. You come back to it later, but it's like a stutter step in the flow. -"She choked out out a strained, shaky breath," breath prose. -I noticed that you used to verb "choked" 5 times in this chapter. Three times it's, "choked out," and twice it's, "choked back a sob." Keep an eye out for repetitive language and cliche phrases like that. Cliche phrases often roll off my...fingers, when I'm writing, and I have to go back and catch all of them so I try to watch for them. "Choked back a sob," is an oldie. -"He let out a breath when G's shoulders stiffened." Breath and shoulder prose in the same sentence. pg 4 -"Trying to bring her breathing under control." BP -"She hissed out a breath." BP pg 5 -"...he let out a breath and rolled his sleeve back...There was an intake of breath from G," BP. -I like the play between the oathbands and the magic. -"She let out a breath," BP. pg 6 -So when the magic is being used, Is can use it at the same time it's being used by someone else? -Ah, so the healer noticed that Is knows about the stones, even to where she can guess what one is that she hasn't seen. -"The healer let his breath out in a rush..." BP -"Her breathing growing uneven again..." BP -"nodded hesitantly," adverb pg 7 -"she took a breath and looked at G." BP -"looking uncertain," how does this look? pg 8 -"His standing there looking hopeless," awkward wording. -"G looked relieved." What does that look like? -"the healer turned back to her, looking resigned." What does that look like? -"I'm familiar with the royal pride." Good characterization. pg 9 -He gave her an odd, thoughtful look," what does that look like? -"he offered a sympathetic look," what does that look like? pg 10 -"...she pulled her knees to her chest and cried." Why is she crying here? Is she just overwhelmed, is it because of the pain, is it because there was an assassination attempt on her life? This kind of came out of nowhere with no context. -"She took a steadying breath. 'Never again, father," she managed as he dragged a chair around to the side of the bed and settled into it with a long sigh." Breath and sigh prose. pg 11 -"She took a breath," BP. -"She felt drained. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. And it wouldn't get better soon." Is this why Is cried earlier? If so, say this earlier. pg 12 -"The words pulled another sob from her." You're using "sob" aggressively in this scene. 3 times in the space of a paragraph or so. pg 13 -I wonder what The Broken Lands are. -"She drew in a shaky breath," BP. -"She wiped at her eyes with her sleeve and let out a breath." BP. -Looks like A is about to get into a lot more conflict. pg 14 -"She stared down at the bracelet and sighed." Sighing. -"She clenched her jaw," this is another cliche phrase to look out for. You use it 3 times in this chapter. -"he let out an audible breath." BP. pg 16 -"You trust May or Uncle T," Uncle Lews Therin Telamon? Please tell me her uncle is the Dragon Reborn, lol. pg 17 -"What about Mal," who is Mal? -"She took a breath." BP. -You used the word "sob" twice again here in the same paragraph.
  23. Haha! Yes, I love it!
  24. Does this chapter feel too slow or too much of a sudden veering away from the direction we’d be going in? Are there spots that stuck out as notably more or less engaging (and any specific things that made those feel that way)? The chapter does feel slow. Partly because it follows several chapters of conflict, action and high tension, and partly because this chapter itself has very little action, conflict and tension. For me, my eyes were pretty much glazed over until we got to the Princess' room. That was the pearl in the oyster for me, although I will admit, it was a not a very satisfying pearl. I feel like there are several places where you could cut leading up to this scene, but also, several places where you could increase the conflict and tension. The reader is teased with parents' accident, and doesn't get any details about it. Also, the reader is teased with whatever A's mother's plans were, but again, we don't see any details, other than it involves magic. When A initially shows up to the room where his parents had the accident, I feel like that scene should be pumped up in tension. A seems fairly traumatized and affected by what happened, and it's his first time returning to the scene. He should be feeling some visceral responses and struggling here. The scene with the princess needs more tension and conflict as well. Maybe have her try to hide her magic from A or make him vow not to speak to her father about it. Secondly, why are neither the princess or A talking about the elephant in the room, the poisoning assassination attempt? I want to know more about that, who or why someone would try to assassinate the princess. I found it very difficult to believe that neither of them mentioned it. Furthermore, the princess didn't offer A any kind of thanks for helping her. Other than her snorting at a few of his comments, there were missed opportunities for building connections between your protagonists. This needs to be a characterizing scene. Give your protagonists some meaningful dialogue that tells us more about them, and tells each other more about themselves. Are there things that seem confusing or could use more explanation? I think I covered this in the first question. Thoughts on the characters as presented up to this point? I agree with the others that Gin, although a minor character, feels a bit all over the place. He's gruff and stoic in one scene, chatty and giggly in another, fearsome and competent in yet another, and then bowing and scraping, and almost cowardly in yet another scene. He needs to get nailed down. In terms of the protagonists, I haven't seen much of the Princess except this tiny bit in this chapter, and in chapter 1, where most of her screen time is spent commenting on, thinking about, or speaking to R. We do find that she has a sense of humor, worries about her royal role in the future, doesn't want to be a ruler, is stubborn, is a competent fighter, and knows the fire spell. At this point, though, I feel like the Princess is generally defined as what she does NOT want, or does NOT want to be. Does she have motivations or goals of her own? Does she have a conflict of her own that doesn't involve R? A has much more opportunity for character development, and we know that he has a bit of a tragic past regarding his parents, and that he is also a competent fighter, as well as being highly intelligent and motivated, due to the references about his road project. We also find that he's dealing with some depression and PTSD kind of feelings, and perhaps knows a bit more about magic than he should. My problem with A, is that while he has more screen time, and I think more potential than the princess to be interesting, right now he's a fairly uninteresting character. His conflict seems to be fitting into noble society at the castle to help him deal with politics, by keeping his head down. Not a particularly exciting prospect. I think it will be better when the reader knows more about A's parents' accident, and what exactly his mother's plan was and why they're trying to get it passed. Ultimately, I think that both Is and A would be more interesting if we see them interacting with or referring to their antagonist. Or if we see them from the perspective of the antagonist. Do we have an antagonist in the picture yet? What about the person that tried to poison the princess? When are we going to find out more about the plot event that sparked the beginning of the novel? It's like someone tried to assassinate the princess, and then the assassination attempt was never really brought up or thoroughly discussed by any of the characters. Points of interest or engagement? My main point of interest in this chapter was when A finds the princess and goes into her room. I think that scene has a lot more potential, it's begging for some conflict or action. As I go- pg 1 -"A said absently," repetitive adverb, said-bookism pg 2 -"There was nothing to fuel the nightmares," I'm curious about the accident. If it's as traumatic as we're led to believe, maybe A would see a scene for a moment when he first sees the room. Or he could say something like "it looked so different without all the blood." You want to increase the tension for this moment. pg 3 -"bowing stiffly," adverb -"followed hesitantly," adverb -"nodded absently," repetitive adverb pg 4 -"idly opened," adverb -"asked cheerily," adverb, said-bookism -"stared blankly," adverb pg 5 -"said uncertainly," adverb, said-bookism -"dropped heavily," adverb -"sat stiffly," repetitive adverb, you just used the word "stiffen" in the previous paragraph. -Like I said before, be careful of many times you have characters letting out a breath, or a taking a breath, or a breath escaping from them. Breathing and sighing are not interesting or characterizing to a reader, they are generally filler, and often over used. pg 6 -"A's brow furrowed," someone's brow furrows 3 times in this chapter. Try not to repeat this phrase too often. Sanderson is often guilty of his characters lifting their eyebrows exhaustively in his own works, I've noticed. -"Mother's so-called 'crimes,'" ohhhh, the thick plottens. -"It's an odd, you know," looks like there is a missing word here. -"said simply," adverb, said-bookism -"bittersweet smile," you used the word "bittersweet" earlier in the chapter, you may want to use a different word here. pg 8 -"said impatiently," adverb, said-bookism -"returned cheerily," adverb, said-bookism -"said begrudgingly," adverb, said-bookism pg 9 -Shouldn't the princess have some sort of personal guard with her? I would think security would be super high on her since there was just an assassination attempt on her. I found it kind of odd that A just walked into her room. -The princess is using a fire spell? Hmm, interesting. I wonder if her father knows this... -"added hastily," adverb, said-bookism -you use the word "grimacing" twice on this page, perhaps change one of them pg 10 -"muttered drily," adverb, said-bookism -"Your father doesn't know." Ahhh, daddy doesn't know apparently. -"watched uncertainly," adverb. -"shoulders slumped," be careful how many times you mention the action of someone's shoulders. One this page alone, Is' shoulders do something different 3 separate times. It can become distracting, similar to mentioning a character's breathing or sighing too much.