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1,017 Sentient Awakened Object


About Robinski

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    Fighting unnecessary capitalisation since June 2013

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  1. I love listening to writers talk about writing. I also love to listen to journalists talk about film. Anyway, for RE purposes, there's a very enjoyable (I thought) interview with Lee Child (author of 25? Jack Reacher books) from the Empire Podcast (well-respected movie magazine in the UK) in which Child talks about various things, but touches on his writing style and process. I thought there were some good snippets. It's not technical, but I just think he's very easy to listen to. Episode #290. I think you need to get via iTunes or Soundcloud or some such.
  2. Real-world slang for diarrhea. Yeah, it the was context, I didn't read it as that because it was just that one word sitting on its own. We're here to help! Sounds interesting.
  3. I'm glad to be reading another chapter of this, especially one that's had the benefit of a good edit. Sometimes, first chapters can be the most difficult, and following ones can be more in rhythm and progressive, so I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes. (page 1) - Interesting epigraph, but why is it on a page of it's own? I should come before general chapter text, I suggest. Why not review examples in books on your shelf? This was odd to me. Also, I didn't get a sense of numbers attacking the lord. It's a good idea for an epigraph, but I think it lacks punch, scale, description. It's hard to picture the scene. (page 2) - "was probably happening outside" - Vague words like 'probably' are a turnoff, I think. It's more engaging for prose to be more direct and positive, assertive, if you like. - "weren't uncommon" - Similar to the above, negative phrasing is less engaging than positive phrasing (i.e. fights were common). - "if someone wasn't bled" - This sounds more like a medical procedure, as in bleeding to let out the poison, use of leaches, etc. Also by someone, do you mean each individual person? Phrasing not the clearest. - "The hut was one room large" - this is redundant for me, and phrasing sounds odd. Not needed, imo. - Actually, I have a lot of issues with this sentence. I feel there's a lot of redundant stuff in it that just clutters it. "The hut was one room large, with a cook pot to cook his food in, a bed opposite the door, and his a thigh-high surgeon’s table for his patients, which stood against the adjoining left wall." Covered large already. We know what a cooking pot does, no need to tell us. Doesn't matter where the door is. The surgeon's table will be the correct height for the purpose, no need to tell us that. How is the wall adjoining? Does that mean it is shared with another building? Not clear. You describe what's in the room, but the description is very basic. I don't know anything about colour, feel/texture (i.e. materials), smell, light levels: all the things that allow the reader to picture a place. I'm not saying write twice as much, I just think the description could be more effective. (page 3) - "latched shut with a deadbolt" - In that case, it's bolted shut, surely? - "pounded on it from the other side"- Again, this is redundant. Obviously they are not pounding on it from his side of the door. I'm not going to mention any more of this redundant phrasing because there's too much to read to stop on every page (I imagine there will be more!). My message would be to ask if something it necessary as you write it. If it's obvious, leave it out. Readers get pretty tired of being treated like they're dumb pretty quickly. - "he would have felt dirty in turn" - This sentence confuses me. He seems to know about sanitation, so he knows it's not a waste of water, surely, otherwise his patients could get infected from a dirty table. His thought doesn't help to convince me about his abilities. - "But as the only person with medical experience in CP" - You've said this already, no need to repeat. Or, at least rephrase so it sounds different. - "refused to divulge his knowledge" - good detail, like that, and enjoyed the line about the teeth. - "definitely, stabbed" - What's this comma for? Strange. Suggest delete. (page 4) - "burrow their way..." - Nice bit of gruesome alteration there - "bright orange color" - I'm not medic, but I cannot imagine it's necessary for a blade to be that hot. It it's orange, is that not forging temperature? I'd suggest researching that, but I'd tend to skip details that either cannot be confirmed or aren't relevant. He heats the blade to sterilise it, fine, move on, imo. (page 5) - "looked like that all the blood" - typo/grammar. - "It was definitely a process" - I don't know that this means: a hard process? I don't follow. - "needed their help" - I got no sense that they ever thought he needed their help: they never offered any. (page 7) - "out of emotion" - Grammar: this ain't it. What emotion, there are lots. "Twisted, rabid emotion." - I know, but you still haven't said what emotion: anger, lust, jealousy, fear. - The name CP is a bit odd, or rather, it's odd that some places are generic fantasy names, but CP is not, and even Star is something else. Generic fantasy names, to me, don't convey any sense of setting or world-building, because they mean nothing to the reader. I've been there myself, making up names for places. I think it's more interesting and rewarding for the reader if they have a basis in setting or world, language, something that the reader can identify with. - I think the Lig--- town is spelled differently in this two instances, but same place, yes? (page 8) - On one level it's weird that Outpost is a city, but then the reader can surmise that it used to be an outpost of very little, but grew into a city. This kind of goes to illustrate my point above. - "Walking with on feet that" - extra word. Also, sentence structure around here not great. First one is not a complete sentence, imo, and the second one is a run-in, imo. There are ways to break these rules effectively, but I'm just not sure it's happening here. - "barraging her with an avalanche of questions" - Heh, classic mixed metaphor here. Would he not barrage her with a barrage of questions? Just sounds kind of messy. - "they tended to hound you" - I don't feel all that engaged with L's supposed blood-soaked background. It's pretty much standard for hard-bitten antiheroes these days. I know we've seen her in a fight but, I don't know. I think it's telling not showing and I think that always will be less effective. The "been fighting half my life" line, for me, was rather jaded, verging on cliché. I mean, so what? Say you're 30, you've been fighting for 15 years, why do I care? Im sure there are plenty of others who have been the same. - "wrinkled old hag" - What L? That line doesn't land for me, because it's clearly untrue, is it not? - "brain damage" - You've indicate that the italics identify something by way of a twist. I'm trying to keep references like this in mind in order to judge later how I feel about the whole thing when it's revealed. (page 9) - "Probably eaten" - This is a great bit of world-building, I think. Subtle, better than telling us about ribvs, which I don't know, and can't picture. - "he obliged her" - You said they were 10 minutes away, but then it sounds like P talks for at least 10 mins with all the info he gives her. - "--runs--" - I don't get it: what's this? (page 11) - "two-foot distance" - That's very little if it's a cordon sanitaire to prevent him attacking her. His fist could reach over that distance and pop her one. I think it should be further. - "that's a kid's story" - I don't know enough about the world to buy into this properly. It doesn't really carry as much impact as it should, I think. Compared for example if this was set on Earth and she was from Atlantis. (page 12) - "overpowered or killed" - These two things are not equivalent and opposite. I think maybe 'and' would be better than 'or'. - "A wordless half-hour dragged by" - you said they were ten minutes away: continuity. (page 13) - "outermost part of the town's perimeter" - The perimeter is the our edge. This feels like saying the same thing twice, imo. - "yet even more desert" - again, one of 'yet' and 'even' is redundant. - If it's only a foot wide, it's not a drawbridge, it's a plank. You would never design any kind of bridge to that size, imo. - Why does the brothel have a 'moat'? Confused. - "fist-sized hole" - I'm not sure what the tone of this story is. It comes over all hard-bitten and gritty, although I don't really feel that, then there is a broadly comic moment like this, which feels odd to me. P as the shambling fall guy feels like he's from a different story. - "old and wrinkled" - I did not get that sense from the scene with G before. (page 14) - "noticed her for the first time" - I really don't buy this, she's standing right there and G is incredibly nervous of violence after what just happened to him. He's going to notice someone with a sword right away, probably before he notices P, imo. - "did you lose an arm on your way up here?" - I don't buy this either. He's enough of a medical man to know that if sh'e just lost the arm she would not be able to walk around as nothing had happened. - "Come on in" - For a man about to run from the town for his life, he gives in awful easily to treating her, isn't seem to thin about it much at all, or put up much resistance. - Hmm, POVs - I'm trying to decide how I feel about an other POV shift so soon. I hardly feel like we've been in L's POV at all before we are back in G's, and practically in the middle of the same scene. I don't see a good reason for switching. Who is the main character of the story? How am I supposed to know? I would suggest trying to write and good story well in one POV before hopping around in multiple POVs. - "at the earliest" - Weird way to describe age. What is the point of that? - "a fair amount of silver hairs" - Grammar. It's 'fair amount of silver hair' or 'fair number of silver hairs', otherwise you've got singular / plural disagreement. I don't mind characters talking with poor grammar, but it bothers me when it's narrative. (page 15) - "pilfered through the chest" - wrong word: 'pilfer' means 'to steal'. Clearly he is not doing that as he has G's permission. (page 16) - Two people 'starting' at each other is weird and repetitive. - "She seemed in no particular rush to explain." - I just don't understand enough about the world, so these references and sense of surprise and shock don't really land. Why should I be amazed at someone knowing what a prune is? I don't have enough set up. - Also, prune juice. If G uses it regularly (ha-ha, see what I did there?) he's going to burn through his supply very quickly. How does he replenish his supply? Sounds like he can't, in which case. He'd run out in a matter of weeks, would he not? Physiologically speaking, I don't think a couple of drops in ones tea is going to have the desire effect, is it? - "Two by midday" - Does he mean patients? If this is such a violent place, I would have thought that would be quite low, but certainly not unusual. All you would need is two people fighting to have two people in need of medical attention. (page 17) - "And both of them had enough muscle between the two of them" - grammar. This is repeating the same idea. You only need one of these, they don't work together. In fact, they're contradictory. 'Both of them had enough muscle' means that one of them had enough muscle on their own, whereas 'had enough muscle between them' means that neither had enough muscle on their own. Maybe both had half enough muscle. (page 18) - He's stitching her wound with twine? Surely that will get infected in a New York minute? Do they not have cat gut or something like that? Maybe not. - "she is paying" - She said she would. Why would she bother saying she would if she wasn't going to? Why not just threaten him to treat her? I wasn't convinced by him doubting she would pay initially. - She's heading for the door, but she's staring at him? That doesn't sound right, like she would need eyes in the back of her head. (page 19) - "too dangerous to perform life-saving maneuvers on a man with a stab wound" - Huh? But he's dead, what's the down side going to be? He can only die once, might as well try to save him. Not good logic here. - "still have time before C gets back" - I thought G already had decided to leave? This seems to present a different situation, or maybe I'm reading it wrong. (page 20) - "slice off [missing word?] bodyguard's private bits here" - like 'your'? - How can you make a crutch out of one shin (bone)? - "any chance you could take these guys? I'm afraid I’m making a case for us swapping names right about now" - Half the town?!?!?! That's not a reasonable question to ask, imo. Also, I don't understand the line about swapping names, because everyone knows who they are, so there's no premise for that to be funny. Overall I'm still missing huge amounts of background on the world, so I cannot understand why it is the way it is, and why some statements are significant. I can't invest in things like F being a mystical place, or prune juice being this amazing elixir, because I have no context. The characters are not as engaging or immersive as they could be. I don't feel any personal connection to them, certainly not to L. G was fine, rural sawbones in trouble. I think it's the lack of description, or rather the description there is not really pulling its weight, or rather showing that the character have weight. The tone, I feel, is rather uneven. I mention above where I thought that stood out. I don't feel the grimness, only occasionally glimpse it, I think, but I just don't feel it's driven home. Sorry to not be more positive, but I think this needs more work. I think maybe it would be a benefit to read some stuff that is in a similar vein, to see how other authors convey the sense of grime, and violence, and hand-to-mouth existence. POVs - I'm really not a fan of having more than one, when the central POV is not on screen for very long, and isn't grabbing me by the throat and dragging me through the story. Hope there is something useful here. I'd be interested to read this after some more revision. <R> p.s!!! - Sorry, pretty heavy on the negatives again. I do like the doctor as a character, I think he's go good potential to be the more compelling of the characters on screen. I do like the set up, but I'm frustrated at not having a clear picture of the world. I like a good deal of the dialogue, some bit's not so much. The pacing, for me, is good (notwithstanding POV changes). There are positive here, and I think the story has potential, I just think there is more work to be done to get there.
  4. I like it! What a great concept that pairing up of songwriters. Did they draw the names out of a hat, or was it more organised than that?
  5. Oh no, hope everything gets resolved okay. Good luck.
  6. More comments: hurrah! (page 1) - "to create utopia rules" - utopian? - "Those that didn’t have enough voices" - Those what? Individuals only have one voice, of course. Those groups? - "There was a pocket door" - Is this a door with a pocket or a pocket with a door? I'm still not sure I get this. - "T was wrapped around her" - suggest, for clarity, or 'The essence of T wrapped around her' - better given what comes next. (page 2) - "the pod. Smiling in the sun that didn’t burn. Breathing the air that didn’t choke" - To me this is one sentence. - "I hate time. It never comes out in my favor" - good line: doesn't come out in anyone's favour, to be fair. (page 3) - "Her voice turned critical. Accusatory." - Again here, not "Her voice turned critical, accusatory"? - It's part of the same thought. - "three deep breathes" - typo: breaths. - "Whether that would end up being rage" - Same as 'anger', surely? - "E stood in shattered pieces and could glue memories together forever" - this could be clearer. I do sort of get it, just not the best flowing metaphor. (page 4) - "A held her hands up like a in surrender" - There can't be any doubt what this is, surely. - "She should have been with her family There where she could have had medical care" - I presume? - "saw T with a picc line" - Don't know what this is: confused. - "hospital crushed around her" - I think you have a crush a thing. This is like saying 'crushed towards her', I don't think it works. (page 5) - "Two other women entered the ship" - redundant. - "She died here" - Is still feel this is going on too long, being repetitive. We've been going round this circle since Page 2. - "working on an impossible project they’d only ever seriously discussed" - Wait, T and E discussed getting a ship and leaving Q? That's never been mentioned before, and I don't think E's been behaving in this chapter as if this'd been a thing between them. - "The next thing the m----" - Typo: missing a capital? - "How did you meet her?" - I still don't like this backward looking stuff. Nothing has happened in this chapter: we've been stationary, now we're going backwards. Now, I know I've said before that I don't need 'action' on every page, but I feel like all E thinks about is T. That's fine, it's a recent loss and now she's losing T again, but I just do not find it compelling reading. - "sex talk made people damnation uncomfortable" - Some people, not all people. - "Yeah, it started as conversations" - comma needed. - "delight of lesbianism on an all-woman planet" - I still don't get this, surely it's an inevitability? (page 6) - "Did she know about this?" - Unclear here. Clearly, T knew about it. She worked on it. The question is did she know about it before she left the dome to join the M, I think. - "T had two brothers" - Is this relevant? I'm not really interested, I just want to get through the flashback. - "seemingly pointless experiment after another" - Why would they be doing portliness experiments? How could a scientist motivate themselves to do something that was pointless, when resources are so scarce? (page 7) - "E had been so damnation sure upon signing to Q" - What's the purpose of all this navel gazing? - "She built this for you, I think" - This is it. This is the chapter here, on Page 7. I really think the last page or more of introspection contributes nothing, just takes longer to get to something that is motivating and engaging. - "the lilac essential oil, natural, the last cargo" - is this not redundant? Surely essential oil has to be natural, does it not? - "E when he tried to flirt" - Can you try to flirt? You can flirt badly, flirting can fail, but it's still flirting, isn't it? (page 8) - So, the T-dr--- is the same as hyperdrive, I guess? I like the emotional punch of this discovery. Again, I've had to read through so much, well what felt to me like padding to get to this bit. - "one giant exhale" - If it wasn't you, I'd stop reading at this point. I loathe this form with a passion. The noun is 'exhalation', 'exhale' is a verb. Merriam-Webester, the most popular dictionary in the US, does not list 'exhale' as a noun. Unfortunately, Wiktionary does, but it defines that noun as 'an exhalation'. (page 9) - "sixty-eight" - Typo. - "There were two hundred children on Q in a good year" - It occurs to me here that we've never seen the inside of the dome, so I've got very little impression of the scale of the settlement. That's a lot of children. I guess you've said how many people are on Q, but it's doesn't to come to mind here. - "destroy another in-progress experiment with birch saplings on the way down" - wouldn't the experiment have been destroyed when it reached the floor and broke? - "The m----" - Quite noticeable inconsistency in capitalisation in this chapter. - "A missing T-drive" - CAPS again. (page 10) - "This time she inhaled the smell" - Did she take an inhale - "U of F Y" - Funniest line I can remember in weeks. I wish M-o-t-h had said it. - "as gingerly as one would a head of lettuce" - Huh? That is the weirdest analogy. I would not be especially gentle with a head of lettuce, compared to like a feather, or a flower. Or, is this supposed to be ironic? I didn't get that. - " damnation important" - great line. - "The spell of T lifted" - Why now? How? - "didn’t give a damnation about any of you" - and this... what is the basis for this statement? Sounds like E just made sh1t up. - "Your arrogance is obnoxious and trying" - This line weirded me out. In that one line, A goes from being powerful and single-minded matriarch (possibly played by Glenn Close) to evil Bond villain (possibly played by Ben Mendelsohn). The backhanded slap contributes to the same transformation, compared to a front-handed slap, which in a weird way, is more noble/honest, imo. (page 11) - "her her" - duplicate word. (page 12) - "A fax. A fax" - Why is fax repeated italicised? I don't get the message here. (page 13) - "Okay okay" - comma required between repeated words, surely. Never seen it not comma'd. - "growling under her breath" - missing word, I think. Sounded weird otherwise. (page 16) - "and you know that, or at least, you guessed it" - I'm not saying we need to see this 'on screen', but I remember nothing in the first five chapters that suggested E thought Earth was anything other than a ruin. So, this came out of the blue for me. - "stamp a box of tree seedlings" - Again, this is not foreshadowed. The implication is that E knew this and dismissed it before the book starts, but I feel we need something, a completely throw away line while she's thinking back to something else, that shows her in the lab stamping boxes of trees seedlings. I don't remember any comment about Q exporting trees, all I remember was E failing to get trees to grow here, i.e. they all were imported to Q. This is important: it's the whole driving force for E's motivation to get off Q, it seems to me, but as I said, not foreshadowed, imo. - In light of the recent report by the UN (I think it was) that it would take the Earth 3M years to recover from loss of species (I know, not the same thing, but still...) I'm going to be on the lookout for any unrealistically short recovery periods for terrestrial ecosystems like oceans. - "No one knows how to get to Earth" - This seems spectacularly unlikely on one level. if I stop and think about it for five minutes, maybe I can convince myself. It just seems that the whole of Earth's astrophysical knowledge probably could be stuck on one hard drive, so why would they not send a copy with every single ship? - "because it was a pipe dream" - I remember nothing of this dream being reported in the first five chapters. We need some foreshadowing of that, unless you tell me it's WRS. (page 17) I basically never do this but, theory on the 'twist' coming up: - "it’s been half a century since the first ships left Earth" - Good, I wanted that info right about now. - "The slip of electronics" - what is 'slip' in this context? I don't get it. - "like a measured exhale" - "Earth is fine" - This is such a throw-away line, so dismissive of the whole conspiracy involved in misleading millions of settlers, it's too light a touch here, I think. - Big last line, but "by extensions" fouls it up and it loses its impact. "You can argue all you want, but this ship and I are here to take you home". Yup, please cut the comma'd bit, it just confuses the message, imo. Overall Not much to add really, it's all up above. I got bored in the middle when the chapter just stopped. I need foreshadowing of some of the simple actions that lead into the reveal in this chapter, but a big bucket of flashback--for me anyway--is a pace killer, and I didn't see what it was for. I didn't feel it Brough anything. We know E misses T and we've known I t from Page 1, and every other page in between there and now. It's been the sole focus of every one of E's scenes, so dropping in pages(?) of flashback to minutiae really didn't work for me, and it's too late to foreshadow the samples and the mundane little clues to the reveal in the same chapter the reveal happens, imo. There's a really strong, inciting chapter in here, but I don't think it's there yet. I like where it's going, but it feels like the reveal doesn't delivery the punch I wanted in terms of Earth being fine after all, and how that came about. I think somehow there is both too much information and not enough. <R>
  7. Onto No.3 packs. There are minifigs! Tune in to next exciting episode
  8. Fair enough, I can remember being 18 (vaguely). Sounds cool.
  9. Glad to read the next part of this (page 1) - "destroying and killing" - odd pairing, I thought. Killing basically applies to live things, but destroying can apply to live people, animals and buildings. I think a more thought-provoking choice of words would be more effective here. - 32 BGK is not immediately recognisable as a date. It could conceivably be a place or a location, at first glance. - Why is speaking the old tongue anathema. Need an explanation of that. I don't see a reason to keep that reason concealed from the reader. - I'm already thinking this is a better opening than L's POV. This chapter's opening is much cleaner, it introduces one idea at a time and, for the most part, explains them, drawing the reader in. I like that the GK is... (Oh, I see what BGK is now ) introduced in a neutral way, implied to be good. (page 2) - I like the opening. I like that you've set up a family-oriented situation, but with an undercurrent of conflict (mama's disappearance). I'm not someone who needs action from the first line. What I want is interest and engagement with character (or maybe setting) from the first line. Some people find that easier to do with action, but it's not the only way to do it, imo. - I like Z's voice. I'm convinced she's a 14-year-old girl. - "There was were always leftovers" - grammar. - "the dawn hours" - I'm not convinced dawn lasts for hours, does it? Or is that my gruff northerner bias showing through my grizzled beard? - Why do they need to touch the Chile when they're soaking it? This reads like you've researched it, so I've no reason to disbelieve, just not sure why they don't use an implement to avoid numbing of the fingers. (page 3) - "She had long hair" - Odd to describe the length of the hair and not the colour. I don't know how to picture her. Also, I don't know how to picture the woman because I don't know when "the turn of age" happens, or what it is. - "tall, gnarled walking staff" - for me, there should be a comma between words listed to describe and item because traditionally there is a slightly longer pause between such descriptors, I would say. (page 4) - "There’s soldiers with them" - Grammar: There are soldiers with them. - "still outwardly kind" - Eh, what? How's that? There was no indication that other were not until now. Why does no one else respect P? You need to explain that. Every character in the story knows why this is, so imo it's not right to keep that from the reader: it's frustrating. (page 5) - "Meet in thirty?" - Bit unclear. I presume she means meet at the hall in half-an-hour. - "But she knew better." - Better than what? Unclear. - "when he accepted a spot on the town council" - Nope, super confused now. How is it he's on the council when no one respects him (apart from his family, I guess, and Es)? I would think that would make a council position untenable. - "the the" - delete repeated word. Also, ah, I see about the lack of respect, but you need to explain why that is. It's not mysterious to hide it from the reader, it's frustrating. Okay, we know a little bit more, but this is not the mystery at the heart of your story, this is background and--as I mentioned--everyone else in the story, in particular the POV character (Z, I presume) knows all about it, but chooses not to think about the details. Not really plausible, IMO. - "my little avocado" - ooh, that is not a nice pet name. "most deplored nickname" - just by her, or by everyone in their society? (page 6) - "Go enjoy the fiestalike a normal kid" - How can she do that when everyone in town hates her? I just don't follow the logic. How is it she's got any friends when everyone in town hates her and her dad? - "because she didn’t have friends" - But her dad must know that. No way he doesn't know that, so saying what he said is just cruel. - "the tears to fall" - much more emotionally involving to say 'her tears', imo. Otherwise the emotion is kept at more of a distance, disassociating her from the tears. - "two story home" - 'two storey', or is this an Americanism? - "Her plan was..." - You don't need to explain this. Let the reader figure it out. I think most people would assume this was what she was planning. Spoon feeding the reader is not engaging, imo. (page 7) - "Out of all the children at school..." - very wordy sentence. This can be reworded to be more compact and to flow better. - "the pueblo turned ugly" - I really should not have to be on page 7 before I lean this, IMO. - "The only reason..." - two reasons are given. 'No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!' Also, the thing about the term is not a reason not to kick someone of a Council. I'd suggest deleting the reference to the terms and just referring to the one reason, that there's no proof of complicity. That would be much cleaner, and therefore would impact more, imo. (page 8) - "But--" "Just..." - Why do you use different punctuation in these two instances? I'm not seeing a difference between them. Seems inconsistent. (page 9) - "The rope on this side" - The reader doesn't really have a 'this side'. - "hysterical desire to cut it" - Surely Z only needs to let her end of the rope go? - "grouping up with these two seemed like her only chance" - That wasn't the case when she set out though, since she didn't know they would be there. (page 10) - "well-tended grass" - this is a compound adjective, should be hyphenated. - "Not much else to do here for fun around here" - extra word. - "feeling a strange sense of surreal euphoria" - overdoing it with these two adjectives. One is plenty. In this forms, it's duplication, imo. - "When was the last time she had done anything besides study with someone else her age besides study?" - You've split the first clause in half with the second, imo. - "There were no guards to stop them, of course" - Why 'of course'? I've been thinking since this scene started that being able to just wander into the house is ridiculous. Doesn't the mayor have any security at all? Even personal homeowner-style security? A door that gets locked? Seems a bit bizarre when they are having an emergency meeting like this. (page 11) - "the meeting area" - This makes it sound like an office or public building, but it's just the mayor's house, right? I think it would place us more in the setting if this was just the mayor's living room. It seems unlikely that a house would have a room only for meetings. - "pulled from the dining table" - Ah, so its the dining room, not the meeting room. Also, pulled 'back' from the table? I can't picture it so well because I don't know it they're sitting around the table or have pulled the chairs into some other configuration. Ah, you go on to describe the set-up. - "walking staffs or cains canes" - typo. (page 12) - "They all looked frightened" - They've gone from being on edge, to be being nervous to being frightened. I don't mind that, but it seems a bit one note that everyone is one thing at the same time, then another, then another, without variation. - "get back to my regimen" - typo. - "and Agent of the" - should this be 'an'? Also, no need to capitalise 'agent'. If you go around capitalising a bunch of stuff, it just ends up that nothing has any impact. - "You may have heard of me" - Oh, dear G*d this is the most horribly insecure thing that any person in authority could say. I have just dismissed him as being an idiot. No, wait, it's Troy McClure, I remember him from such novels as I'm A Non-entity, Get Me Out Of Here, and Ready, Steady Snooze. - The line will have the impact you're looking for if you just let us see Z's almost-gasp. - “By order of the..." - new paragraph. - "I’m sorry, but, but... what?" - Need a comma between repeated words. Also, this dialogue sounds cheesy. All the stuttering and pauses. I've been happy with everything so far (barring minor comments) and the voices have been convincing and consistent, I think, but this scene / last page is not working for me. It's not up the same standard, imo. Have you read it back out loud to see how it sounds? That's a great technique for weeding out roping dialogue. (page 13) - "no way for us to make up the losses" - Huh? Do they charge people to go to the fiesta? - "What kind of threat could we possibly be to anyone?" - does she not understand what quarantine means? - “I can’t reveal much, but I can say…” The general hesitated. “Nothing I am about to say can leave this room, do you understand?” - More awkward dialogue. He sort of repeats himself with 'say'. - "go off on it’s own" - typo: its (page 14) - Can we assume that no one whose name we know said any of the lines that are untagged? - "the silence that followed was tantamount" - wrong word, not sure what might have been intended. - "Z reluctantly followed" - split infinitive. Maybe it's just me, the writing fraternity, certainly at our level, seems to have given up on this. I still think it sounds bad a lot of the time (I do occasionally do it myself). I think in this case, 'Z followed reluctantly' sounds much smoother, more direct. - "hear them back here" - awkward repetition of the sound, imo. And then 'hear' is used again in the next sentence. - "I know where it is" - Boom! That's a massive reveal, surprising and unexpected. nice job. - "What? Know where what is?" - I really don't like this line. What on Earth else would he be talking about? I don't see how he can be referring to anything else, and Z is definitely not daft. I'm sure she would know instantly what he was talking about. (page 15) - "Why not?" - Good question. This explanation better be good. - "written ORPHAN on every page" - I'm not a fan of the bold type here. CAPS should be plenty. (page 16) - "Her pinky interlocked with his" - This sounds like the finger acts of its own volition. It would be more engaging, especially at the end of the chapter, if she interlocked her finger with his, making it more like a personal investment of trust. OVERALL This was a way more engaging chapter to start with. I thought the style was just as smooth as the other chapter, but that the content flowed much more cleanly, the ideas were introduced and general explained as they came up. There were other characters who were convincing, solid backstory, almost nicely delivered. I didn't like the gradual, teasing reveal of what her mother did. I'm not saying spill it all at once, but I think the way it's revealed is frustrating. Rather then doing it in a linear way, only giving one event in the chain at a time then stopping, you might consider showing the whole event, but going down through layers of detail vertically (if that makes any sense). In summary, I enjoyed this chapter more than the first one, because of its clarity. I think that was the biggest problem with the last one we read, too much too soon not explained. Good work here. Thanks for sharing <R>
  10. Personally, I'd rather see these as chapters than save ~500 words on the week and have to parse across chapter breaks. Comments: (page 1) - "thus more notes are required to make changes" - For me, this could be more dramatic. I imagine this is gong to play a part near the end, and I want it to be really hard for S (presumably?) to do whatever he needs to do to save the day (presumably?). So, would it be overstating to say 'thus, vastly more notes are required...'? - Love 'Prophet' being the name of a time maj. However, "quite valuable" again seems to underplay the value. - "surge of hot jealousy" - At first, I reacted against this, then I remembered that S is really quite young. Then I remembered that I was not at all sure what age S is. I reckon 15/16? In which case, this phrase is entirely right. - "hand was no longer stuck in the half-melted shape" - Maybe WRS, but I don't remember much about this at all. Does it need to be played up more? Might there be a line when In tries to grab S with the twisted hand? (page 2) - "the last of the distance to the back wall" - suggested to flow. - "Someone had told him that, many times" - What? What about it? Unclear. - "hadn’t wanted to use that method in on him" - typo? 'on' sounds better, I think. - "Not at the moment, he wasn’t couldn't" - I feel that S's thought should respond to the question directly, to improve flow. WW say's 'can you?', hence 'couldn't', imo. - "Xyr turned" - Isn't this 'Xy' - as in He/She? - "in shock at the callous use suggestion of eugenics" - It's not actually a use though, it's just a suggestion in this case? Maybe, inference, implication, but WW does not 'use' it on S. (page 3) - "There was a gauze of silk-like fabric covering the opening" - Redundant: you're describing the same thing twice, imo. - "The wall of the Nether loomed very close to the edge" - No need for a comma here. I can't hear a pause. - "hard enough without any disadvantage" - Awkard. I think 'a' or 'this' would both be better than 'any'. 'any' is vague and non-specific. Either of the alternatives would be more positive, and therefore engaging, keeping the reader in the moment. - "heat that blossomed in his belly" - I think this is supposed to be anger, but I didn't make that connection. heat in the belly sounds more like indigestion to me. I think it would be easier to understand heat in his face, clenching his hands, something more closely associated with anger. This aside, I like seeing some backbone from S. - "is a prejudiced bigot" - What? Where the heck does he get this from? Don't understand. Seems like a huge leap. Is he saying WW is prejudiced against people with vertigo? I hardly think that's an obvious and likely prejudice. - "different angle than the section they came through" - This feels vague to me. Suggest adding ' get to this facet' or 'to get here'. (page 4) - "There must be another corner" - This is very interesting to me. I think it's important and I want more information / clearer description. Is it a right-angled corner? If so, to me it could imply two more facets!! - "The HoT is through here" - ...or maybe not. - "an arm's reach away" - I don't believe this. For one, has he ever experienced that? For two, I think he would be curled up in the ball on the ground if it was that loud. That would be unbearable. - "I can hear what you're doing" - Confused. WW brought them through the wall to the facet. Now they're asking S to take them through the wall. S replies indicating he will use Matter to do it. So, is WW of the HoM too? But S says he should be able to hear other houses, so WW must be using another house, not Matter. Confused. This bit is unclear. (page 5) - Still confused. I thought gold and silver were matter and time (or vice-versa). I don't remember. The whole new house thing seems in flux and I can't keep track of it. It's gone from exciting to confusing. - "passed through like a wet finger through a soap bubble" - Wouldn't the finger burst the bubble? (page 6) - "As easy to tell how far away an island was when spotted on a stormy ocean" - Confusing analogy the way it's phrased. I don't understand the comparison being drawn. - "The colors of all the houses flashed along her path" - More specific please, and more wonder in description, please. All eight(?) houses? What are the colours? I want to see them. - "There was little sound inside the wall" - We were told before "all was quiet". This seems contradictory. - "but was probably only a few minutes" - I think a stronger distinct between his perception and reality would help here. - "supplied everything his body required" - This is repetitious of what you said before about him not need to breathe and being supplied with O2. - "fish slipping through the water" - Nice image, nice analogy. - Repetition of 'around' is disorienting. (page 7) - "This is the HoT" - Awesome. It's sooo cool that it is inside the wall and no one else can get in. Nicely done; very different. Surprising yet inevitable, maybe? - Narrative about the notes etc. and is over wordy, I think, and not easy to read. - "I will explain more" - Exposition alert. This is a bit too on-the-nose for me. Pin your ears back, I am about the explain a bunch of stuff to you while the reader goes and makes a cup of tea. - "S followed her" - pronoun typo, methinks. I believe this was not the first one. - "In would have loved it here" - This is really good relationship building, thinking of the other person first, it's very convincing and really makes me believe S's feelings for In. (page 8) - "pass through the column walls" - Could this be simplified to 'columns'? The use of the word 'wall' in describing columns is confusing when you are making a comparison with 'wall walls', if you see what I, mean. - "pushed a screen of hanging vines back" - Two things: (1) splitting the subject of the sentence (WW's action of pushing) with the object (the vines) makes for awkward reading: compare with 'pushed back a screen of hanging vines'. By 'diluting' the action you lose the clarity and the flow of the sentence, imo. (2) Have you every tried to push vines? I think you would end up pushing a couple of strands, your hand goes through and the bulk of the curtain would remain. Isn't it more likely that WW would pull the vines back like a curtain? - "between in the centuries between then and now" - repetition of 'between', typo? - "she gestured" - What, wait? Does WW's sex change from time to time? It's reeeeeeeeeeally confusing. Maybe it's WRS, maybe you told us this before but, if it is that case that their sex changes from minute to minute you're going to have to tell me every second time it happens, otherwise, I am never going to remember. There's too much else going on. (page 9) - "passed down from prophet to prophet" - No, confused again. Some time ago (in SoTH) how two house maj had specific names depending on the combination of their houses. Earlier in this chapter, you used 'prophet' as a title, which I think I conflated with that THM designation (and possibly also with Brandon's Mistborn titles for different types of MU). Now I'm confused--perhaps from my own initial misconception--that prophet seems to have a different meaning. It seems like another layer of title in a world with myriad titles and designations and titles. Gets confusing sometimes. - "there is fabled to be all manner of artifacts there" - grammar kind of muddy here. - "were once plentiful" - numerous, I would say, not plentiful. I would say plentiful is more commonly used for a substance which cannot be quantified individually. As in 'water was plentiful' > bottles of water were numerous. IMO. - "any maj who belonged" - This seems weird to me. So if you're HoM, you are also automatically HoT? There seems to be no basis for that. The corollary might be that no maj of any other house can also be either an HoT or an HoM. It's rather inelegant if I'm honest. I feel like it undermines the wondrous diversity of the symphony and the maj. - "I can teach you" - Confused by the punctuation here. Is WW saying they can teach S of the HoT and the HoM? (page 10) - "the inside of the Spire" - This could be more elegant. 'interior'? - "They went up into the gloom of the ceiling" - I thought this was S and WW moving. Specificity would help here 'The shelves stretched up into the gloom...' (page 11) - "I can feel the time in this place" - age? years? 'time' as used here sounds to me more like, it's 11:15. (page 12) - "A pool where any outcome may or may not happen" - missing word. Sentence sounds off without something in here, imo. - "Perhaps an effect of the dual Houses" - I struggle to put this beside the fact that it was implied that all HoM are HoT. So is it not that case that all HoT are HoM? Confused, still. - "I know there are records here which reference the HoM" - sounds repetitive of what was said earlier. We know this already. (page 13) - I like the feeling of portent, and the reveal of the implication that S may not have come to the N by accident. (page 14) - "much faster than any of us anticipated" - typo, I think. Overall There's a lot of exposition here. There are good emotion notes, and there is a lot of good information, but I just think there is a bit too much walking and talking. I would be trying to cut this chapter down at a word level. I think you very easily could take 10-15% off the words out without losing any of the information. I would like to feel the tension higher throughout the chapter, maybe inject S's sense of time slipping away at the start of the chapter, then it can run through the whole chapter instead of just being raised in the last couple of pages. I like the S is taking a bit more ownership of events, very good. I love that he has a fancy gee-gaw, like a sonic-screwdriver-ring-thing!! There is some logic off in relation to the way the relationship ship between HoT and HoM is described, I think. I do really like the HoT though, how it is situation and the set up within it. Even still, I probably can be dialled up a little more. There doesn't seem to be much special about the building itself. Crunchy old stone temple seems a bit low-hanging fruit. It's a good chapter, I just think it has the potential to pop way more than it does at the moment. Good first draft. <R>
  11. Project 75192: Update 4 - Bags No.2 - 'Mass' Production ("What the heck are these things?") Only three bags this time around, and construction of six identical elements. But what the heck are they...? Nice ratchet detail allowing the edge pieces to fold in and create an angular appearance. Ohhh, they're feet! Of course they are.
  12. Thank you! I'd love to say I was putting the finishing touches on it, but I'm actually trying to revise Il Rosso and submit to GSFWC tomorrow.
  13. The correct answer is though, that I am going to fix it! (That should have been my first answer ).
  14. Hey, many thanks for reading, SSmooth. Q's marriage is on the rocks. But of course the reader doesn't get to read the synopsis, so presumably wouldn't encounter that issue, still, good point! I also take your point about the arc thing. It's always been an issue with this first bit. I think I need to extent it and have him consider what new case to take, or something like that. Thanks again