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17 Noble-Blooded

About Warmacky

  1. Thank you! My first drafts always tend towards too long. Really appreciate the comments!
  2. Lots of great points, thank you so much! I will absolutely take you up on this! The religions are major characters and closely connected to the plot in this story. Making them feel real and influential on the society around them is challenging, but is part of what makes speculative fiction so much fun!
  3. Very helpful! Thank you for taking the time to go through it. Don't sell yourself short, this looks like 100% quality work to me! I hope to see you around on the forums more often so I can return the favor
  4. Hey Everyone, Thanks for taking the time to read this and giving me a forum to get feedback! You are all awesome. This is a first draft of chapter one for a series I have been outlining in detail for several months. I'm open to any criticisms you want to give in any format that is convenient for you. For my general beta readers I've had success using Mary Robinette Kowal's 4 question structure: What is boring? What is confusing? What did you not believe? What was cool? So if that structure appeals to you, feel free to use it. Given that this is chapter one, I'm also interested in what "promises" (to use the Writing Excuses terminology) you take away from this chapter that you would expect to be fulfilled by the end. I want to find the time this year to keep adding new chapters to this book. Getting feedback motivates me to keep going and keeps me accountable so thank you again!
  5. I've got a first chapter of a new story I wrote this week that I would love to share and get feedback on. Let me know if anyone has any issues with that!
  6. Welcome, happy to have another author submitting their work! Prologue: Really interesting world building. The ash and river of flame have a really dark melancholy feeling to them and I appreciate that (for the most part) the characters are using terms familiar to them without over-explaining them for the reader's benefit. Chapter 1: I like the menial labor protagonist just trying to get by, somewhat unsatisfied with his circumstances but not enough to do something about it. Feels like it is setting the scene for him to be chosen and thrust into greatness and machinations beyond his small town. Chapter 2: The thread of this one lost me a bit at the end. R leaving made sense as it pushed the protagonist to a new low and meant there was less holding him to the current small town, but I didn't follow the pain in his back and the green glow. I was sort of expecting the conclusion of this chapter to be the event where he decides he needs to go make something of himself in the world. Overall: I love the uniqueness of the imagery of hell being water as opposed to flames and fire and all the downstream impacts of that view. There were some grammar items and some awkward sentence structures, but overall it flowed nicely. I expect we should be very close to a real inciting incident that kicks off the adventure? I have pretty high tolerance in stories for revealing the world slowly over time so I appreciate all the unknown terms and events, but something about the story events has to hook me pretty soon to keep investing time building up that context.
  7. Very excited to finish this book after much time wondering how the pieces would come together and end! Also excited to see the kickstarter go live and I love that so many authors on this forum are a part of it, you can count on one additional backer from me! Some thoughts on this section: Overall I thought ending with a slightly cryptic but very active Bio section was a great call. It definitely leaves me wanting to pick up the next book to find out what shenanigans the Bio has in store for the colonists. Definitely could benefit from some more tension rising and/or big reveals in the last third of the book. I think some kind of ongoing unknown mystery that gets resolved in the last section can do wonders for making a book ending satisfying. As usual your writing is exceptional and the characters feel so alive and unique. Comments by section as I read: I liked the Z and Ji section, but it took me a good while to remember who Zhu is since he was such a minor character that I don't think we have really seen since they were back in sanitation on the ship? Maybe another mention or two of him along the way in Ji's sections would keep the name fresh in my mind. The Ag and P conflict didn't land for me. I guess it is because we have only seen her guilt, but none of the acting out or frustration from P in previous sections. It just felt kind of out of the blue to me. The scene itself was believable and well done, but not seeing the last 10 years of P's life meant it had less emotional impact for me. I liked the An section where he checks on SVG, but was VERY surprised that his reaction to his friend's disappearance was to sit down and write rather than try to find his friend and mentor. I would have expected him to turn that Radian upside-down to find out what happened to his friend. Maybe if there was a note left for him where SVG leaves him the shop and asks him to pursue his passion as a writer would have made his reaction fit better for me. I love J so much, but was surprised at her lack of prep here. Coming from the world of corporate politics I see so much of her as a version of people I have worked with. At the very least I would have expected her to ask C to summarize the brief for her and explain WHY she should take this unusual meeting with a Generational. What happened to her concerns about being overthrown? Is that all ancient history now? It seemed to kind of flash up and then disappear. Someone in a position of authority for a long time like J would certainly be slacking over time as she gets comfortable, but never underestimate her desire to APPEAR informed even if that means putting more and more weight on her support staff to do the leg work. Ending with the Bio section was really a great way to end. I wish we had seen more of this experimentation and proactive progress from the Bio sections in the second half of the book! This has the potential to be a huge hook for readers. Great job!
  8. Enjoyed this section! Thanks for continuing to provide your weekly installment for my enjoyment I think my hardest thing right now is seeing how everything is going to come together for the soon-to-be end of the book. I am hoping for some big reveals or cliffhangers to prepare for the next book but I haven't noticed any big foreshadowing so far. Maybe you have totally fooled me! I agree with kais comment from the last section about the value of a B-plot here to keep things engaging and fresh. Some notes I took along the way: An's section was interesting. I like the new kind of trap they found and the ground swallowing people. People disappearing into the ground is a pretty frightening thing so I felt like it really notched up the tension. It might be cool to foreshadow people disappearing in the colony that no one can explain before this trap gets triggered so this section then solves the mystery. That could be an interesting mystery that could be fun to play with. Ja's comments about the older Gens had me asking "are the older Gens actually a problem?" I imagine the truly "too old to work" group is a pretty small % of the population and it doesn't seem like they are rationing calories or doing anything that would imply they are on the razors edge of survival and couldn't feed this group of retirees. Given all the issues they are facing it didn't seem like this would be a priority for Ja to be addressing right now. If she DID address it, I think she would just secretly start killing people off, not publicly announce that they want them gone because they are useless. The rash of unexplained deaths of old Gens would start rumors but no one could tie it definitively to her at first. Maybe Christiaan would betray her, unable to live with the guilt of enabling these murders. I may be writing some fan fiction of this world in the future Another question from the Ja section. She seems to feel like a revolt is imminent, but I haven't seen any evidence that this would be the case? In fact, she seems VERY well entrenched and in control. If anything, antagonizing the retiree Gens is actually making this theoretical revolt more likely. It just seemed strange that she is suddenly concerned about this revolt after 10 years on the surface without any real disobedience issues. Maybe we just need to see more discontent from the Gen characters towards Admin along the way and actual mentions of revolting or "not standing for this any longer". For Al's section I had two issues. The first was that not much was really learned or accomplished other than their decision to have a child. They mention being on reproduction blockers sort of implying that was keeping them from having kids which I didn't really follow in their particular relationship? The second issue was regarding the 3 years they have been together "off-screen". Their interaction feels exactly the same to me as in their last section and almost everything in their conversation is something they could have discussed in Al's last section. I was hoping for more inside jokes/comfort/familiarity or something that evidences the large amount of time they have spent meshing their lives together. General comment, the 2 year gap between sections is reeeeeeally moving our timeline forward quickly now. In some ways we are getting such a small look at each time period before a new perspective shift that it is pulling back my engrossment in the story a little bit. Like the difference between reading about something that happened in a history book vs a narrative story, if that makes sense? I could be way off base, but checking in once every few years for a single scene where they discuss some of what has happened recently is missing the mark for me. I think the Ch section did a great job of adopting a childlike tone and perspective. Was surprised F "got" them a chemistry set instead of "making" them a chemistry set since this seems like it would be a low priority item to have a manufactured purchasable version of. I also thought the line "but they were kind of nervous at the thought." was a perfect place to "show" rather than "tell" their nervousness. In Ag's section something dawned on me that I thought might be worth considering historical examples. If you look at societies of human beings who have endured hardship for an extended time (London bombings in WWII, US in the Great Depression, etc) there are lots of examples of them becoming fairly stoic and adjusted to the discomfort as a part of life they must endure. I was noticing Ag here is still complaining quite a bit about being stuck on the planet and fighting the Bio despite what is now 10 years of getting used to it. I would be complaining too, but I thought it was interesting to think about the amount of time they have had for this to become the norm and how that might effect their inner monologue. The Bio sections are always an interesting perspective, but they are starting to feel a bit repetitive in that the Bio continues to try to enter the colony and continue to be resisted. Most of the things the Bio observes are things the reader already knows about so there isn't much new being revealed in these sections. I think the challenge is since the colonist behavior is pretty static now (just try to survive and build) if the Bio is just describing what it sees then each section will become similar. I thought the colonists that had gone out into the Bio would be really interesting, but since it is revealed they all died without the Bio learning much it didn't give me the sense of dread that the Bio is about to gain the upper hand. I would love to have more parts in the Bio section that are shrouded mysteries where the reader is given some foreshadowing in an oblique way of what the next big move might be and we have to puzzle it out. Really looking forward to how this is all brought together at the end. Keep up the good work, I admire your writing consistency every week!
  9. I'm excited for it!
  10. Hey @Bondsmith-Edgedancer, if you check the first 4 posts from Silk at the top of this thread you will find all of the information you are looking for. I was new a few months ago and found she had done an excellent job of detailing all the specifics you need to know to participate (side note: it has been a lot of fun participating with this group of amazing authors!) . I'll summarize some of that for you here to point you in the right direction until you have a chance to read the details: Silk's 2nd post is dedicated to all the submission format rules. It specified everything from file type, to font, word count, naming conventions, and the submission process. Please review those details when you have a chance. Hopefully both! This is an exchange of critiques where you read submissions from other writers and give them feedback in exchange for them reading and critiquing your work. Some people post entire books over the course of many submissions. The maximum word count per submission is 5,000 words. Keeping the length short ensures you get more feedback because the time commitment to read and comment is lower. You can have your email address added to a distribution list which has submissions sent every week that you can read and comment on. Please DM Silk and Robinski your email address to be added to that. Submission details are referenced in detail in the 2nd post by Silk on this thread. Please do refer to the 4 original posts by Silk on this thread for more details. I found it all very clear when I read through it and it will be the fastest way to learn what you want to know since you can read it at your leisure! I definitely won't do it justice trying to summarize everything here.
  11. This was a slower section for me. Almost all of the previous sections have really held my interest and had a lot of tension, but for some reason the "Biomass is now infecting our building material", which logically SHOULD be a REALLY big deal, came off as a bit mundane? I have reflected a lot on WHY it didn't come across as a big deal, because I was really struggling to explain it. Some thoughts on that topic: Characters mention they all knew it was just a matter of time so there is not much surprise on their part, and they already kind of have a plan of attack. The initial "incident" had a VERY minor impact of redoing some construction (compared to the ship falling, supersoliders getting killed, biomass tree falling into the square, etc) The short term resolution of using other capping mechanisms is arrived at and confirmed fairly quickly/easily without a lot of failed avenues or set backs (or at least comes off that way). The threat itself feels like a "we will miss our deadline" threat rather than a "the world is in peril" threat. Logically the implications are much larger than missing a deadline, but the characters seem mostly focused on what a pain in the behind it is going to be to redo a lot of their construction with the new version. It might have more oomph if there was an Admin perspective talking about how they will have to burn down people's homes or dismantle the day cares or whatever preventative measures that would have huge impacts on the colony's survival if a bunch of infrastructure needs to be destroyed to keep the biomass out (if you accuse me of just wanting another Ja section because she is my spirit animal, I won't deny it ) Maybe part of the issues with the slowness is that we have multiple contiguous sections that deal almost exclusively with this one issue. Primarily F and Ji perspectives on just this one issue until the very end where there was a smidgen of A, who was mostly trying to convince herself to have some work life balance. I think A's section would be a great step back from the intensity to focus on a private issue she is struggling with if the average tension level had seemed higher throughout. In most of the previous sections I felt like we had more variety in perspectives and each person was addressing their own issues so multiple issues were being moved forward in quick succession so it felt like there was more action. Pg 11 - probably an autocorrect to "acropolis" Pg 12 - I thought adding a "2" onto the end of the construction material name sounded odd. I was thinking "2.0" would be a better fit since it implies a new improved version. Pg 13 - "moulder" should be "molder" Maybe this section just didn't click with me for some reason. I will be interested to see how others perceived it. Looking forward to seeing how the book ends and what kind of cliffhanger we are left with! This is quickly becoming my weekly series I look forward to
  12. This was a great read. The premise of house cats grown to enormous size is really interesting, I have two cats who I would be scared to death of if they were that big. There is a zero percent chance they would let me ride on their back! The thing that struck me the most about this piece was the palpable sense of fear and tension. You really had me feeling the desperation, the cold, and the harsh reality of this semi-post-apocalyptic world! One of the most striking scenes to me is her fear and vulnerability around P in the city/camp. As a man reading it I found myself saying "holy crap being a woman traveling alone among strangers is SCARY!". Kudos on your effectiveness here and putting me in someone else's shoes, it makes the whole story for me. The ending was such a great relief after feeling that burden throughout the story, I teared up a little! Definitely plenty of copy edit items to address at some point. I would absolutely read more short stories in this world. There are so many interesting downstream effects of this change to the world to think through. Is catnip worth more than gold now? Did dogs get big too? Is a Lion or Tiger now 50 feet tall?! I hope you write them!
  13. This was probably my favorite section so far. The fungus ramp up was a good intensity bump after they had seemingly got things somewhat under control. Watching J wrangle the other Admins is always intriguing. I was very surprised when A the Vagal was told to get a hobby! Then the book maker/seller was such a charming section. It is great to see the culture returning to the colony and thriving as humans tend to do. I hope the bookmaker M is a character we see more of as I thought he was very interesting! Before this section I didn't view A the processor as a particularly lovable character, but boy was I wrong. Seeing him adapting to his new life and finding love was such a humanizing turn that really had me empathizing with him. This section breezed by when reading, seeing some warm moments in a story that has been largely bad news for most characters so far. Great job!
  14. Really enjoyed part 9! Various typos or wording comments in my inline commentary. It went by pretty quickly for me as I was engaged in the story and what was happening. It was interesting to see how you were progressing time 6 months at a time and dropping into a perspective here and there. I always find it tough to move time forward in big blocks in an effective way when you get to a point where there isn't a ton of new/exciting things happening but I thought your approach was well executed. The children of J and A feel a bit like set dressing in their sections? For how all consuming children are, we don't actually see too much of them. I assume they will be prominent characters in the next book so it would be great to start to get to know their personalities and upbringing a bit. As per usual, I really enjoyed the settlement politics so the Admin sections are some of my favorites. Of course the biomass sections are also really interesting to read and decode what it is telling us. Great job on this one!
  15. I missed Chapter 1 so I am worried that has given me a skewed perspective on chapter 2. With that caveat out of the way: There is sooooo much world building going on here without a lot of plot movement. The world you are building out seems really interesting and unique but I re-read multiple sections trying to connect all the dots in my mind (and remember them). Some areas I think you just need some wording tweaks to remove ambiguity, but I felt like I was drinking from a fire hose of details about the family dynamics, the religion, the magic system, the geography, who the characters are, and the details of the mystery all at the same time. I felt like there was a lot of dialogue and the characters always speak in full un-abbreviated sentences which makes it longer. Just as an example "I agree that we should relay this." feels a little robotic and makes the dialogue a lot longer than something like "I agree." There are some sections where a single character talks for 5 or 6 sentences in one big block without any descriptions or breaks. If I were doing a revision edit of this I would go through and ask "how can I say this more concisely?", "does the reader need to know this level of detail right now?", and "does this character need to fully explain their reasoning for their opinion here?" on each line to try and streamline for better pacing. It's clear you have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about the world and how everything should work together which I am very excited to see, but (from my "jumping in at chapter 2" perspective) it felt like too much new contextual information thrown at the reader at the expense of not moving the plot very much despite 4500 words. Your synopsis of chapter 1 sounds like a lot more plot movement happened when compared to this chapter. I look forward to learning more about this world you are building! Take it with a grain of salt, sorry I wasn't around when chapter 1 was posted.