Heh, well, after all the debate on this, I am interested to dip into the second submission.
- "more of the drug" - Calling it 'the drug' seems to me to make it less interesting. Names do have power, but this label is the ultimate in blandness, and means that I don't have any real feelings about it. Nicotine; cocaine; heroin; caffeine, these have weight, baggage, which your drug can have too if you give it some kind of identity. How does it affect him? (Specifically, because I know you made a general reference to this before.) What are the risks? Side-effects?
- "other than that, the place ran itself" - I don't quite get what this means. What do patrols have to do with running the place? Patrols are a security thing, surely, whereas running a place is an administrative function.
- "clothing somewhat glowing" - (a) I'm tired of doing to my split infinitive rant on here, so, I'll just say that sometimes it has its place, and sometimes it sounds like someone dropping a metal bucket. I suggest researching it; (b) Why does the thread glow? Sounds interesting, but if it's not explained I have to just go 'Meh' and move on.
- "there was a measure...‘cowered’" - Good line. It's possible to convey so much character in so few words if we just choose those words carefully.
- "He knelt down in from of him" - There was one of these in the first sub. If you use two unattributed pronouns in the same sentence it's entirely possible to read that sentence two ways. It could be Q kneeling in from of the beggar, or the beggar kneeling in front of Q.
- "“Anything I should know about?” he asked" - Okay, I can work out that this is Q speaking, but I do need to work it out, however many nanoseconds that takes my brain. The simplest of substitutions to say 'Q asked' (since it's been several lines since his names used) means there is no requirement for deduction at all. Just because the reader can work something out, doesn't mean you should make them.
- "when I act coy" - LOL.
- "He left him to suck his drug" - I won't mention it again. Just assume I'm bothered by any other instances that arise.
- "walking with a purpose beyond their next meal. Someone was following him" - And not making a good job of it at all, if they are so easy to identify. Actually, sounds like they are not trying to conceal it. Walking purposefully dressed as a beggar would be a giveaway to anyone.
- "Q made a turn" - Here's quite a major issue which--now that I've seen it--can be attributed to a lot of areas back through what I've reader to date. I think maybe it was noted in the previous sub as a feeling of blankness, lack of depth, paucity of description. There's a vagueness to a lot of the actions. He made a turn...how, where, what? Did he turn on the spot in the middle of the street? Did he turn the corner of the building, into another street? Without knowing this kind of thing, the reader is left reaching, trying to fill in their own details and possibly making assumptions that are not what you intended.
- "A pair of hands suddenly grabbed his throat" - (a) I'm not doing my whole 'suddenly' rant again either, but if you take suddenly out, it happens more suddenly for the reader than if you leave it in: try taking that word it, it really works; (b) Hallelujah!! I'm pretty sure this is the first negative thing that has happened to Q in the Prologue and three-and-a-bit chapters. It's about time. I hope he does not get out of it easily.
- "Q punched him with his free arm" - hand is better, IMO. That's what we punch with (I know, but putting aside good boxing advice, which I think is to hit from the shoulder, etc.)
- "He landed with a crack" - This easily could be either one of them.
- "She was P" - Unclear. Is this her name, her ethnicity, her affiliation?
- "a green glowing thing" - Arrrggh! What kind of thing? Hulk? A force-field, a gaseous cloud? A piece of green rope? I don't know how to picture this.
- "Boundless" - What is this? Animal? Vegetable? Mineral?
- "keeping his arms back" - Vagueness again. Description, narrative; it needs to convey emotion, energy, passion, threat: whatever is appropriate to the situation. It needs to convey something. Here, for example, 'pinning his arms' has more energy and threat than 'keeping his arms'.
- "Which meant she was B" - Right, see this is good, but I think you should delete the first reference to B, which just confuses, and introduce it here for the first time. See before this, he hasn't reached the conclusion that she is B. So, one of these reference doesn't fit. I think it's the first one.
- "try to downplay it, but they wanted him dead" - tense issue: disagreement with past tense.
- "It was only a matter of time...job." - Good line.
- "B took out her gun" - So wait, what or who is Phil? Confused.
- "Q engaged his space suit" - How? In what way?
- "The spirit released him and flew over to B, lifting her over the shot" - This is way too slow. He has already fired the shot. This sound like the spirit just stops what it's doing, saunters over to B and lifts her up in the air. It takes too long after the shot is fired, IMO.
- " The spirit caught her before she landed" - See, this is better, because there's no unnecessary description of how it happens, it just happens instantly, in a flash In fact, it happens suddenly, but you've shown it happening suddenly, instead of telling the reader it happened suddenly. Good job here, IMO.
- "She cried out and gripped her hand, which had some blood seeping through her fingers" - As mentioned about, this is another good example of the description lacking drama and energy. Compare with 'She cried out, and gripped her hand, which had some blood seeping through her fingers'.
- "a small thrust from his Grav boots" - Science: gravity boots do not thrust. Those would be jet boots. Gravity boots, as sort of implied in the last sub, locally affect the forces acting on an object.
- "He raised..." - This paragraph describing the later stages of the combat, it sounds stilted. It sounds like neither of them is actually interested in the fight. Oh, she did that, so he did this. I need energy, danger, drama. Without those, I don't really care for the outcome of the fight, and there's not sense that Q is in any danger.
- "and kicked her off the building" - Again: repetitive, and therefore less interesting the second time.
- "knocking her out" - Okay, look this is going to be harsh, but this is way too simplistic. This is what kids say when they are play-fighting in the playground. 'Oh, I knocked you out. Oh, oh, but I get conscious again. No, I knock you out again.'
- "is where I start running" - Why? There's nothing to explain why he can fight off two of them, but this one he runs from? So, I'm like 'Oh, okay, whatever. I Donn't know why that happened.'
- "he is supposed to be able" - Tense error, present instead of past.
- "He was wrong" - He can't be wrong about hoping he could outfly it, because that does not imply he thinks he can.
- "he was close to people, causing R to hesitate" - Why? R didn't hesitate to possess the bystander.
- "He didn’t have to worry about running into people. He can’t choose who he possesses" - This doesn't make sense. If R can't choose why he possesses, anyone he came close to he might get sucked into.
- However, it still only took him a second to leave a body he possessed, so it only delayed him; he was still getting chased by an invincible ghost" - To put it another way, it's bad form to use 'he/him' for different people in the same sentence. Here, he and him right beside each other refer to different people.
- "meat shield" - Here's the vagueness again, big style. Imagine the Green Goblin grabs a 'meat shield' and flies off with them, Spidey is chasing. That hostage is going to be crying, screaming, yelling, puking, cringing: an absolutely plethora of emotions that all build the tension and drama. Here? The person is treated like a piece of meat, not a person. That's not a problem in Q's character, that's a problem within the narrative.
- "but he couldn’t keep this up forever" - Who couldn't?
- "Q took a risk and threw his shield at R" - I'm going to stop reading now, because--to me--there is a nasty undercurrent to this narrative and I'm not willing to read anymore. This is a person you are talking about, not a piece of meat. Maybe they were out walking with their family, taking their kid to a toy store, whatever. Q is completely heartless, inhuman, and I would just love it if he died right here. But that's not even the biggest issue. You see, you can write a heartless character like this, if the narrative recognises the horror of it: Grimdark, basically. But that is not happening into this story. IMO, the narrative is supporting Q's vileness.
What I'm trying to say is that not recognising that character actions have moral consequences will be utterly fatal to any story.
Summary (as far as I got)
- Vagueness in the language is an issue throughout, for me. It's frequently difficult to picture what is happening, and there's not feeling of excitement to it, like someone giving evidence in court. Dry, factual.
- Lack of investment: Case in point Q running from one spirit when he beat two before. Things happen without explanation. If you know why something happens, you need to show the reader or they will be confused, and that quickly leads to frustration.