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30 Pahn Kahl

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  1. I feel like Belili would be more likely to think first of the what the man looked like before thinking of his name, especially seeing as how they've just now met. As a reader I'm having trouble connecting the council's names with the characters they represent. It seems odd to me that Belili would pick up on them so quickly, especially when they're as complicated/unfamiliar as Anagmeshu-Ea is. This part confuses me a little bit. On my first read through I took it as "For now" being the words unsaid, which isn't true. Upon rereading I understood what was going on better, but I still don't think I understand what the unsaid words were. Should I be able to guess what they are? I like how this and the part where Hbelu proposes taking the whole set of seeds from the sisters. I feel like it makes the purple-haired folk more interesting and not at all noble. I was surprised when Hbelu made his first offer as I did not think he would try to exploit them, as it seems he did. (He could of course just have been truly undervaluing the seeds, but that's less interesting to my mind.) By making the Asha-Urmana a little suspicious you create tension in the story. I also like this. I enjoy how you're showing a different interpretation of Hbelu than when Kisa described him. Kisa I believe said that Hbelu was interested in Belili for her looks, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Overall I liked this chapter. I think you did a good job of characterizing the elders and an even better job showing the split between Kisa and Belili's perspective. You were correct when you said that their personalities become more defined later. I will note that while the Asha-Urmana making Kisa and Belili work to pay off their Fruit debt helps to make the troop more interesting, it also takes some of the drive out of the story. As a reader I was excited to see the sisters move into the wider world, maybe see the large city that was mentioned in a prior chapter, be exposed to larger goings on, etc. Them being stuck working for 3 months takes some of the movement out of the story. I expect that events will occur soon that disrupt the work / make the work interesting, but as of finishing the chapter, those were my thoughts. I'm kind of bad about picking out word-smithing details, but hopefully one of the other RE members can critique soon and offer suggestions there. For me stories are usually in three groups. One where the writing is an obstacle before immersion. A second where the writing is competent and lets me sink into the story and just read. And a third where the prose stands out above the story and can delight in its own ways. As long as a story is not in the first category, and yours is definitely not, then I tend to just read straight through and think about what I thought afterward.
  2. First off, thanks for reading and critiquing guys! Sorry I'm a bit late in responding. Lerroy, Robinski : I tried to pick out some of the things both of you mentioned. Him not being prepared for being injured and not being able to ride Alph is less of bad planning on Taras' part and more of an oversight on my part . Most of the other things seem to tie into me knowing more than the reader and not explaining myself properly. I'll make sure to keep your comments handy during revisions. Stormweasel: Thanks for such a detailed critique. I always enjoy getting some tips on how to repair loose sentences. It acts as an effective boost to my own wordsmithing imagination. I like your suggestion about showing rather than telling when I'm describing what the performing troupe brings to Taras' mind. I'll try to implement something similar to that. Instead of addressing your points one by one I'll just keep them close at hand for revisions. Thanks again!
  3. Definitely a cool response to some tight word restrictions. I liked how quickly you introduced the problem, though it took me a while to figure out what exactly the problem was. I was with Mandamon in being confused for a moment as I thought they were dying of old age when it had been stated in the first paragraph that stasis stopped aging. Being confused on the problem for a moment was really my only trifle, and that could be explained away by my being tired. I enjoyed the dialogue. It worked as an effective way to add a little weight to the story, a little pull into the world. I found it funny that upon reading A1 my first thought was "steak sauce? Now that's an odd twist". Context filled me in though. I agree with Lerroy that doing some short writing exercises as a group could be fun.
  4. Thank for reading and critiquing Mandamon! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy these chapters as much as prior ones. I am definitely not as happy with the chapters that take place out of Athalin as I'd like to be. Most of these early chapters were written before I got any feedback about what works and what doesn't, so I didn't get a chance to apply comments to improve them. Chapters 2 and 3 were more of a happy accident, at least in seeming to take comments on chapter 1 into account. I pictured Alph as a small pack mule, which I didn't think could be ridden, but apparently that's totally a thing. So yeah, I'm thinking the Taras chapters will just need to be reworked once I get through the story and come back during revisions. I don't even know if Taras will stay a primary character, I have much more trouble writing his chapters than Mort/Katja's or Eddrin's. On the crazy stuff going on with animals at the end. I tried to make it pretty overwhelming, to make it easier to kind of sink into Taras' viewpoint, as he's both injured and potentially hallucinating. Doesn't seem to have worked for you as well as I intended. Just came off as confusing. Thanks again for taking the time to read. Hearing what people think about each chapter helps motivate me to keep pushing forward with the first draft, hopefully improving as I go. I'm uncertain on whether to keep submitting weekly, as it's at least two chapters before we get to a chapter that has feedback implemented and I don't want to burn everyone out. I guess we'll see how things play out.
  5. Wow, this was a solid second half of a chapter, with a great ending. Hooked me about as well as is possible. It was pretty short, and good, so I don't have too much to say. I'll just go through a couple of small things I noticed. A good piece of worldbuilding, and another hint that the natives are actually quite advanced. However, how would she know if it was warmer than outside if she had just woken up? I liked this section quite a bit. Carries a good amount of weight and shows leads into gaps in understanding of the world for Bel and Kisa. I found this a little awkward. Bel's line reads more like something she would have thought internally, but not said aloud. At least, I had to read it twice. This may be because I missed who was talking the first time and got a bit jumbled. I won't quote the ending here, as it was very effective, and I didn't really see anything wrong with it on my first read through. I will note though, looking back, that it is a little odd that the purple-haired people don't react with more shock/emotion when they discover otherwise unknown seeds in a box marked by the gods. Definitely a small thing that would likely not be a thing at all if I had the next chapter right in front of me. Short submission, but very solid. I'm happy that parts of what seem to be the larger plot are starting to come into focus now.
  6. I'm in the same boat as mandamon.
  7. Thanks for reading and critiquing! Mandamon, Thanks for pointing out the new-line for a new-speaker issue in the dialogue. I'll make sure to correct it. It seems pretty obvious to me now, but reading through a later chapter and I found it there too, so clearly it wasn't obvious to me earlier in the month. I was actually surprised nobody mentioned the name drops of Sari and Barrus last chapter, as they felt a little extraneous to me there as well. However, I'm a little confused on how I should introduce them in these two Mort chapters. They're the source of most of the information and knowledge that Mort and co. have access too, but I didn't think it would seem natural for Mort to think about who they were, as she already knows. It's not new information. To fix that, I'm thinking I could just drop the mentions of them when Mort talks about information they provided, or have a small moment early in the last chapter where I would explain their significance. Any suggestions? More information will definitely come in a later chapter, but I'm conflicted on how to best introduce them here, if at all. Lerroy, Both you and Mandamon are right on about the Contempt over-writing issue. I'll make sure to try and make him less overstated during revisions. Good call on the 'turn it off' part, I didn't think of that. I'm glad you enjoyed the ending of the chapter. I was worried that I spent so much time building tension that the ending would feel a little fast and underwhelming. You're right, Visaya is just an extraneous detail. No reason for people to think of the name of the bush every time they glance at it. I'll trim that out during revisions. Stormweasel, Thanks a lot for such a detailed critique! I agree that I seem to have slipped back into (if I ever left?) some of my bad over-writing tendencies from Human Gods. Trimming the sentences down with an eye to keeping things moving and tension up is definitely good advice. I'll make sure to refer to all your individual suggestions during revisions. Thanks again for taking the time to critique, it's highly appreciated!
  8. The Vihart link is more of an entertaining video, where she draws lots of little diagrams and images to explain in a timelapse format. It also actually gives examples of different kinds of infinities, rather than just the sets of infinite size with different values that Lerroy and I have given. The video's actually a pretty fun use of 15 minutes. There's a reason she's so popular on youtube. I feel that you are arguing less that there aren't different forms of infinity, and more that you just don't want to count infinite sets when they themselves are part of a different infinite set, based on some internal definition you follow. Now, I could have no idea what I'm talking about, there's a reason I like programming and writing and not math.
  9. I'll address your points, because it's fun to think about, then link you to a better explanation. As to the limits of '0' and '1'. Those numbers are only limits if you only consider infinity as moving outwards towards positive or negative infinity, up or down the number line. (Already two infinities there, though they are both part of the infinite set that can be seen to comprise all numbers). If you consider 'depth', as in moving towards smaller and smaller increments, it is quite possible to never reach 0 or 1. Now for an example I was given on a professorial tangent in calc. Imagine you are stepping towards a wall. Covering half the distance with each step. Now, if you somehow had enough control over your muscles to be exact with your movements, you can see how you would never reach the wall. You would progress forward, half the current distance each time, and never reach the wall. That is an infinity between two numbers. That's infinity that can exist between any two numbers no matter how large or small. 0 to 1. 1.54 to 1.541, etc etc. When thinking about measuring the infinity between two numbers it's also important to keep in mind that the numbers themselves, without any units like inches or meters attached, can not be measured with a ruler. As the ruler is a measurement tool for units of distance. Now, how you would go about explaining the immeasurable qualities of an infinity between two inches on a ruler is a task for someone more knowledgeable than me. Anyways, here's a couple of links that I found in case you want to read more into it. http://vihart.com/how-many-kinds-of-infinity-are-there/ <- Patrick Rothfuss is a big fan of Vihart. I can't remember why. http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.large.numbers.html http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/CalcI/TypesOfInfinity.aspx
  10. I'm happy to be finally caught up with this story. Plus, I caught up right in time for a fun chapter. Alright, I was going to call you out again on Kisare calling her sister 'flighty' very early on in the chapter. But I liked how that set up Belili's little moment of intensity once they reach the purple hair village. If that's what you were going for across this Kisa POV and the last, then I think her calling Belili flighty (and other synonyms) repeatedly is more tolerable, if a bit heavy handed. I enjoyed the differences in culture between the sisters and Hbelu, and thought you illustrated them through Kisa's POV believably. I also thought the few hints of perhaps Stockholm Syndrome in the sisters was interesting (could just be me picking that up though). The magic scene with the corpse was easier to follow in this one, though I found myself wondering if it was the ghost of a corpse walking about, or the actual rotting corpse? To tag on with Stormweasel about pacing I found the tail of the chase to be engaging, though I was half-hoping that the sisters would come to Hbelu's aid at the end instead of him solving each confrontation with magic. To toss out an idea of what I mean, perhaps have Belili use a slice of Hbelu's apple instead of him. Or to make up for Kisa seeming left out as she doesn't have magic, you could have her do something to obscure their tracks with leaves, branches, etc. Just ideas to get my meaning across. Once they made it to the village I found the description interesting, especially the spirit bear powering the waterworks. However, I thought the inhabitants and their reactions to the sisters could have been more interesting than them just seeing politely interested. I especially think that if their leader, as it is hinted Hbelu is, walked into the village with two 'newcomers' following him the populace would respond with more interest. This also helps with the deflation that Stormweasel talks about. However, seeing as how this is only half a chapter, I would like to withhold any judgement on whether the tension has deflated until after the chapter concludes. The worldbuilding at the end with the running water (and temp. controlled) was a nice touch, and helped offset the feeling that these people are too 'nature-y' to construct more modern conveniences. Even if it was powered by a helpful spirit bear . I agree with Stormweasel, this story is getting better and more interesting as it deepens. Looking forward to more.
  11. This chapter was interesting because of all the new information regarding the magic systems, but was less tense than a chapter that seemed set to be a chase segment felt like it should have been. To me this comes from the fact that the pursuers never feel close until they're right up on them, and then the purple-hair'd man uses his magic to diffuse the situation. I think making the presence of the pursuers more noticeable early on would help with this. Finding out that each fruit does different things with different hair colors was great. Looking at Juugatsu's comments, I also immediately thought about a chart. I'm also curious to know if different shades of a color affect the abilities at all. On characterization, I think Kisare responded believably when the hunter seemed to not want to help. I actually had more of an issue with how Belili reacted to her sister's rashness. When Kisare gets uppity and starts hounding the hunter with questions, spurred on by a contradiction, Belili smiles. She seems amused at Kisare's forwardness. I would think that in the stress of the moment, with the hunter being their best option for escape, that she wouldn't want Kisare's snark endangering that. One last thing. When we finally get to see the purple man's magic the scene comes off as a little chaotic and I didn't quite understand what had happened until the spirit animals started attacking the dog. I also had trouble picturing the thorny vine/bramble that grew. This could be attributed to Belili not knowing what she was watching either at first, as well as shock at how much fruit the man expended. In the end though I really just had some trouble getting the action scene worked out cohesively in my head. That's all the thoughts I've got at the moment. I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading the submission you posted today. Definitely curious as to where the larger story arcs of this are headed.
  12. I think as a whole, I enjoyed this submission the most out of the 4 Fruits of the Gods submissions that I've read. There were some odd POV issues as others have noted, particularly early on. As well as a few cases where I thought the characterization of Belili was a bit heavy-handed and/or out of place. But in sum, chapter 2 ended with a rather exciting glimpse of Belili taking charge and using her abilities with the Apple, and chapter 3 helped push the story forward. To be more specific on my issue with the characterization of Belili, I felt that during Kisare's POV in chapter 3 she was rather quick to call her sister flighty and in some cases incompetent. This came off to me as odd as directly before this Kisare watched her sister take action and kill Tia with magical fruit powers. It also felt heavy-handed in that almost every mention of Belili by Kisare included a modifier like "flighty". This came to a head for me when Kisare goes into pretty gruesome depth about what could happen if they were caught, followed by Belili acting 'meek'. I'll also chip in that the world building with the two moons was well done and, to me, didn't seem out of place. I believe this is the first chapter occurring at night that we've seen, so it's only natural for her to bring it up now. It also tied into the epigraphs, which immediately makes them more interesting to me. I also wondered a little about the logic of Anu in unhooking the three potential perpetrators and letting them out of their sight. At the very least I would have expected one of the slaves to sit near the door and make sure they didn't just make a break for it. Them getting caught unhooked seems like it could have bad repercussions for all the female slaves. Overall though, that's mostly fridge logic for me.(or whatever the trope is called)
  13. I enjoyed this chapter, maybe more than the first. Combine the tension and focus of this chapter with the effective world building of the first chapter and you've got a strong opening. By this point I think I've got a pretty good picture of the sisters, sometimes I stumble a little bit over their characterizations but generally only over sentences where the phrasing is a little confusing. One such sentence was the one where it talked about how Kisa worked her hardest to protect Belili from male slaves and overseers, and that Belili didn't let her know it wasn't entirely effective. I had to read it a second time to grasp who was protecting who. Also, the scene with Belili and Kisare in the mistress's room was a little weird. It almost felt like Belili was in a trance/daze, almost everything that happens to her is 'realized'. You use that word twice in close succession at one point during the scene. In general I felt like I wasn't given enough information about the setting to really picture it, which also lent to the dazed feeling. I liked the plot thread where you introduce Tia as having stole something, then wrap that back around and make it a point of tension as Aricaba-Ata cracks down on his slaves. Effective foreshadowing (is that the appropriate term?) and a good, enjoyable source of tension. The dialogue at the end was very believable and Kisa's more inflammatory nature was fun to see come out in anger at Tia. Considering this chapter and the first chapter as a whole I think I'd like to see the box, which was the primary question raised by the first chapter, addressed at least a little more in this one. It doesn't feel like Belili has much of a plan surrounding it, though maybe Kisare does.
  14. Thanks for reading and for the detailed critique Robinski. On the names. Do you think it would be worth going through and making a consistent decision across the book in terms of names now that I've already gotten a ways into the book? Find and replacing would make changing names pretty manageable so it's definitely an option. I tend to come up with names as I write as I have an ungodly time trying to think them up beforehand, really not sure why. The names are definitely something I'm unhappy with for the most part. Besides Mort and Thinker actually. I haven't read any Terry Pratchett and the Thinker is only the title of the book because before submission I just had it titled "WIP book". Would anyone mind if the names all changed for later submissions? I could always make a little key to help with the transition. There are multiple infinities. I'm sure someone other than me can explain it better. But to my knowledge there is a positive and negative infinity as well as an infinity in the range between any two numbers. Basically, there are an infinite number of different infinities. I'm both happy and sad you called be out on Percy. I'm honestly not even sure why I made him drunk, probably for some attempt at humor. I knew something had to be wrong about my characterizations there, I could feel it. But I wasn't sure what exactly it was. My intent was for him to be talented and capable of helping Mort and Eddrin, but also be aware of how unlikely it was for their little band of rebels to make a difference, and therefore be more willing to just enjoy himself. The characterizations in this chapter were barely even working for me, so I'll make sure to give that a lot of thought whenever I get to revisions for this chapter. On the modern words in the setting. The setting isn't entirely what it seems, but those words are still out of place. I'll find replacement words for them that fit better. Unfortunately the chapter I just submitted today also contains them... Thanks again, I can always count on you really picking out what isn't working!