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About hawkedup

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  1. I'll take this into consideration. I definitely don't want other fans of WOT to immediately think of my book as derivative, especially not on page one. Yeah I'm having a really hard time finding a balance with exactly how authoritarian the G-K and the Church should come across to the average person. Everyone (most everyone) considers the G-K a savior but more and more people are figuring out just how non-benevolent a leader he is. Not to mention the BIG TWIST (dun dunn duuunnn) that I have planned for later. I think you're right in that maybe I shouldn't use such a concrete word or at least clarify that while actually speaking the Old Tongue is illegal, small infractions especially in rural areas aren't punished. Thanks again for pointing it out and going into it. Yeah you don't have to worry about that with me. I worry about coming across as defensive, but I promise I will never harbor any hard feelings toward someone who is taking time out of their life to help me become a better writer.
  2. Hi @The Kraken's Daughter! I enjoyed this submission. You have a real natural (as in it feels natural when reading it) grasp of pacing/progression and story structure and your prose flow very smoothly. In my opinion these are the the absolute hardest part to get down when it comes to writing. My biggest failing is structure, so I'm not a little bit jealous. My page by page comments are from a cold read as I go so keep that in mind. 1- Sea monster. Cool. I want to see what this list of hers looks like on the page. Would help with character build. 2- For some reason calling these people "friends" seems forced. Not a fan of magicked-up. 3- I like that you open up with the mystery of the sea monster and A on the hunt, but as of right now this first section almost feels superfluous. A doesn't pop off the page enough to carry the scene. We need a bigger hook, something that puts me in her head. 4- So, what you're saying is that... he's smarter than the average boar? Why does nobody else stick around? Seems off. 5- "But as I said, you have already heard the story." Ok considering how adamant Kr was on page 2 about this guy's story, this is really really disappointing. I'm not so sure about the word frills here. I'm picturing a Gyrados. 6- I'm not convinced by R's story and I'm not sure why A does buy it. Does she know something we don't? There should at least be one very specific detail that stands out to her (and to us) that convinces her. 7- This dream is very specific. Is it more of a vision? Or just a flashback? 8- "...but she had never before shown any interest..." Wait how long has she been on this ship? Time jump? 9- “I just don’t see why you’re willing to put your whole scheme in danger just for—” This is a good intro to conflict but it's coming a bit late. P-e-r-r-i-n will always be a WOT name to me. "The sky was glorious." Cut this and go straight into the description, which is glorious. I'd like to see more description like this throughout. 10- "And why would your second mate let something slip about a plot?" - I like that the slip may have been intentional and that A picks up on it. 11- I like that he lied about the route. This is a good building moment. “H just doesn’t see it that way, is all." I'm disappointed that the first hint of real tension is resolved so easily. 12- "Can I kill such a magnificent creature?" - Boom. There it is. I knew you'd hit us with it eventually, but this is the hook that needs to happen up in the very first section. 13- So 1] This straight up flash back makes me dislike how the previous one is set up like a dream. 2] I like that it adds a level to the character and world that has desperately been missing up to this point. But 3] It doesn't flow as well as the current day plot line. "unwise to stare at shadows during the spirit hour" Tell us why. 15- So this is a good mid point but there are definitely some things missing, primarily tension. I feel no threat from the monster or the crew. Overall: Despite the lack of conflict I never found myself wanting to skim. I actually really like how you handle A's attractiveness. It feels natural rather than forced and would like to see more hints about this. A definitely needs to pop off the page more. Introducing her quest to kill the monster on page one I think will help with this greatly. Thank you for submitting! Looking forward to the next part.
  3. Thank you, I'll definitely look into it. I'm trying to have the "voice" match the POV, but now I'm not so sure that I'm accomplishing this. I'm sad that they come across as unfavorable since it was an intentional nod. WOT is my favorite series, and one of the many ideas from my "Ideas" file that came together to make this story was: "What if the Old Tongue from WOT was Spanish?" I'll see if any alternative speaks to me while I push forward. I'm curious what your thoughts might have been if I hadn't included the word anathema. My defense is that while speaking the Old Tongue is anathema, specific words being peppered in as part of local vernacular isn't "speaking" the language. Sort of a small defiance without actually breaking any ecclesiastical law. Your reaction seemed to spill into the entirety of the chapter, though, so now I'm thinking a possible reword or simple deletion of the word entirely might be for the best. Like you said, I could spend some time showing how people who actually speak in the Old Tongue are treated. Thank you for taking the time to point this out and elaborate on it. Thank you this is very helpful. In early drafts I feel like I do way too much internal dialogue and thoughts and you pointing this out makes me think I over corrected in this draft. This is the plan. They play a huge role later and in the next chapter we see what happens to someone without a soul lantern, but I take your point and will see if I can make them more interesting earlier. Right now my rule is: Italics if the word is specifically identified as a word from the Old Tongue like fiesta; No italics if the word has become common vernacular like pueblo. Thank you for this. I do want them to come across as seeming younger than contemporary teenagers, but 11 (or 6-8 as was also pointed out) is definitely not what I'm going for. Thank you! I was really hoping to elicit exactly this. Good catch. I thought I put in there that she was a widow but I must've missed it. Thanks! I had a comparison originally I promise! lol Generally about 40, though it hits some people sooner and some people later. (Let's say + or - 2 years.) Thanks for all the feedback! Before I started submitting here, I was feeling really down about this story but I have new vigor going forward. Thanks again!
  4. Previously: L is a chambermaid at the royal palace. She is also a spy for a group called the Faceless. At some point in the past she swapped faces with someone so she could disguise herself. She is on her way to her morning duties when her friend J surprises her. The surprise is in an area that is off limits to servants. When they hear important officials (generals) coming, they hide in a shed. L uses her magic to eavesdrop and learns that the generals are planning to take down the Faceless. --------------------------------------- I didn’t want to re-re submit L’s first chapter. Here are a few key changes I made based on your critiques: - The V-o-i-c-e only has a single ambiguous line. - General C has been mentally aged from a toddler to an older child. It is also clear now that he was once a military strategist but that his mind has been wiped recently. - General Y is more caring toward Gen C. - Food descriptors have been removed entirely. - L is more methodical and holds her immaturity in check better. Thank you for reading! For the first time in years I feel like I'm actually getting better as a writer and that's thanks to all of you.
  5. I'll have to check my wording. Their hands only touch the water when they pull a soaking chile out to clean it. The numbness mostly comes from the chiles themselves because they are as cold as the water. As for why no implement: It's simply because doing it by hand is far more efficient. Really just her. He works on an avocado farm. Small town syndrome. People keep their doors unlocked at night. Walls are to keep animals out more than intruders. That sort of thing. I'll try to clear this up. Well they'd still pay for food and drink and lodging (if they come in from out of town) and there are carnival like games. I'll see if I can't throw in a line to clarify this. Thank you! Can you elaborate on this? I'm very interested. Thank you for reading!
  6. I will also take a spot if there is one open.
  7. This is a good point, thank you! Small town syndrome. I'll see if I can make this clearer in 4.0. The color isn't a conscious choice (in almost all cases). It's like a group mentality thing. People know that the God King's color is blue and if they work directly for the God King then their lantern has a higher chance of being blue. I see your confusion. I'c is already Z's personal god and so therefore she doesn't have to make the choice. I'll make it clearer! Good to hear! Thanks for reading and for the feedback! (For some reason it won't let me tag you guys.)
  8. G is easily my favorite character so far. Do you have big plans for him?
  9. @molah If you highlight a specific sentence or words you want to quote a little icon that said use quote will pop up.
  10. Alright. Good stuff. Jumping right in. 1 - This opening feels too formal considering the tone of the rest of the story that I've read so far. 2 - "And he was always left to deal with the mess." I'm a big fan of starting sentences with conjunctions. But this one doesn't work very well." - Isn't petrified wood brittle? - "The hut was one room large..." Awkward phrasing. - G pops off the page way more than L or P did in the previous chapter. 3 - Does the young man not have tattoos? - As he's thinking about how he's safe because he's the doctor I'd like him to base this on past experience. 5 - Why would the blade be rusty but the hilt polished? I can't imagine anyone treating their knife this way. 6 - Maybe this is sexist, but do men wear shawls? - Capital It will always be Pennywise. 7 - A lot of interesting sounding stuff is happening off screen. 8 - So this was a good opening. At 8 pages it didn't feel like it dragged and I never skimmed. 8.5 - "with on" Dropped word. - I feel like L is a weathered veteran type of person who would be beyond blisters. - (Later she isn't given anything by G for her feet.) - Once again, interesting stuff implied to have happened off screen. 9 - I still don't like the mental logs. Even under the best of circumstances such a thing is a crutch, and without some type of recording device or notebook, it's even worse. 12 - I have a hard time believing that someone who understands multiplication would have this much trouble with numbers. Having trouble believing there could possibly be that many people is one thing, but with the numbers themselves? Nah. 14 - I'm digging it. This chapter feels well put together, and so far I haven't seen any glaring overarching problems. The dialogue definitely flowed smoother here than it did when it was included in the first chapter a few submissions back and the world is more visceral. 16 - I don't think he'd say poop here. Feels out of character. Something more medical? - If it's so rare how is he reliant on it? And why can he give it away? - What happened to the overly talkative P? I feel like he'd have actually gotten worse once he was around someone he knew and liked. 17 - Why does she so readily give her name to G? Overall I think this was a strong submission. The pacing was good and most of the problems I found were minor. I'm more interested in the story now than I was after reading Chapter 1. You'll notice some gaps between my comments. That's because I was so engrossed in the story. Kudos because it's not like me to give up the critical eye for pages at a time. My biggest thing is that so much cool stuff happens in the form of exposition. I want to SEE it happen.
  11. @JWerner Can you resend it as a .doc? I have issues reading PDFs and if I try to convert it to read on Google Docs it completely jacks up the formatting.
  12. @kais Definitely an upgrade! Let's get right down to it: I only had a few comments this time around. Anything I suggested last time that wasn't addressed, I'm going to assume you consciously didn't take my suggestions (I am not hurt by this don't worry) so I won't be mentioning them again. 1 - Even knowing what I know about the ship, and seeing the rewording compared to the last draft, the first paragraph was hard not to skim. - Second paragraph is much better and really should be the opening hook. I could see dropping a few of the ship details here and cutting the whole first paragraph. 2 - “It’s the only resource we have in excess.” Good line! 3 - A insisting E stay here helps initiate a direction for the chapter that the previous draft lacked this early. - "breathes" breaths - Both A and E pop off the page better in this draft and E doesn't annoy me nearly as much. 4 - "Nothing on Queen is fair." Another good line. 5 - “Just outside the door, at the start of a day..." I'd like more specificity than "a day" here. - I like that the flashback is changed to dialogue here. 6 - I like that E messes with A here a bit, but there are a few problems with it. It implies a slyness I haven't seen from E before or after and I think E might keep some of the more intimate details to herself and cherish them. The "giggling about the delight of lesbianism" works way better as dialogue, though. - Is the information about T's brothers important at all? 7 - What was the point of the other two women at all? 8 - I don't really need her lack of knowledge about ships repeated. 9 - The "Everyone remembered..." paragraph feels much tighter now and you didn't have to make any cuts. Kudos. - However, the page long info dump it transitions into is a bit much. Had to fight the urge to skim. 10 - The flow of the chapter is stalled at this point. 11 - It's a testament to the draft that I didn't cheer when A punches E. The action is still a little too cat fight for me. - “Your arrogance is obnoxious and trying...” Literal LOL. - I want the dialogue to happen during the meat of the cat fight. 12 - The transition from thinking AI-T is an auditory hallucination to the revelation that it's the ship needs to be more gradual and have more oomph. Also, considering the chapter completely switches tracks after this, I think this revelation would be a really good place to break the chapter. 14 - E being perfectly fine with the ship being named T seems very out of character. 15 - I think the line between whether or not the AI is or isn't T should be darker. You can have a moment where it's unclear (probably back where I mentioned the chapter breaking) but the ambiguity doesn't work for long. 18 - Yes. Everything after page 12 feels like a separate chapter. Overall: Very good revision. My one biggest gripe is that I feel like you over corrected by getting rid of ALL the flashbacks. I definitely want at least one, something very personal, that shows us that E was different with T somehow. Something intimate that E wouldn't disclose in dialogue.
  13. Hi @molah! With (exceptions) my page by page comments are done as a dry run and made as I read. 1 - I'm not a fan of the title. Not because it's long but because a] All The Words Aren't All Capitalized and be b] Spoilers. - (And c] It's not really accurate. The story isn't about the day itself so much as the how.) - Do we need it pointed out that the corridor is natural? - Steel feet. Interesting. Robot? - ‘Mooom. Are we theeeere yet?’ The robot is her child? - Is she claustrophobic? - How does she know it's a huge cavern if she sees only a wall of blackness? - Why isn't all of D's dialogue italicized? - Not a fan of the SW reference. Took me out of the story and it's alienating to people like Gave from the Office. 2 - As a general rule I'm against sound effects but it does help set the atmosphere here. - (But it's only used once so now I'm wondering if it's necessary at all.) - "The cavern was an elongated dome resting on a rise." Huh? I can't picture this at all. - What's casting shadows? - Oh stalagmites. - Why would there only be one column? 3 - "began climbing" to "climbed". I'll only point it out once, but active tense throughout, especially in such a short piece. - "Was she even on Earth anymore?" Not feeling this line. Redundant. - Okay, I'm on page 3 of 7 and only now is there any indication that the italicized dialogue doesn't belong to D. I'm guessing she's having flashbacks or something. This should be clarified immediately on page one. - Not sure why she giggles. - Since I just figured out the italicized dialogue is flashback this is confusing because the last line seems to respond to her joke and it also seems to be coming from a different person who isn't her child. 4 - Her outburst feels out of place, like the giggle. Are her emotions being manipulated by the pillar? - Now there's narrative mixed in with the flashback dialogue. Feels uneven. - "hearing voices again" So the flashbacks aren't being caused by the pillar? 5 - Wait. So the pillar IS affecting her? I feel the story should pick a concrete lane. Either have the flashbacks be a part of her OR have them be the product of the pillar. - The flashbacks have started to feel like info dumps at this point. 6 - I feel cheated that there's just a shot to get rid of the voices. Like they were only there as a literary device. Why didn't she take the shot earlier? 7 - Good ending, but I want to know a] why the magic worked and b] how she knew it would work the way she wanted. Overall: So I see what you were trying to do. Explore the complex emotions of losing a child and give an example of the lengths a mother might go through to bring the child back in as few words as possible. The first part I think works. Perhaps it is because I have children, but I don't need much for me to identify with that emotion. The lengths a mother might go through part falters because the only risks we see are condemnations from the past for trying what she is trying. There is no immediate risk. No immediate threat. And no obvious consequences besides voices she hears already anyway. It also doesn't seem like she's doing anything anyone else couldn't do. Your prose are solid. I like that the story is focused and always feels like it's moving forward (minus some of those later flashbacks). And I really like what you're trying to do with the story and with very little revision you could get it there pretty easily. Unfortunately, it didn't really provoke any substantial feelings. I felt her loss in that I have children and know how I would feel if I lost one of them, but the story itself doesn't convey these feelings to me. I didn't find myself rooting for her to succeed, which I should have. I think the bones of a fantastic story are here, but the fat needs to be trimmed away and the meat needs to be meatier. In such a short piece, about such a sensitive topic, I should've felt like I'd been kicked in the balls.
  14. Hey, everybody. So a little background here.The Turn of Ages is going to follow multiple plot threads that take place in different parts of the world (Rossendar City, the "pueblos" and the Front) before coming together at the end of the book. The original plan was to start with L's first act and then switch to this chapter. The reason being is that I wanted to pepper in world building using an urban character/setting where the "old ways" were mostly forgotten before showing a rural setting where the "old ways" are more prevalent (as shown in this submission). After all of your comments on world building last week, though, I'm wondering if this chapter might not be a better introduction to the world. I think this switch might also help strengthen L's chapters, too, since they will be happening at a time when the reader has more information. I'm particularly keen to know if you guys agree with this assessment or not. You DO NOT have to have read L's chapter to understand this one, though there are some obvious and intentional parallels between L's story and Z's story. Please keep in mind that this is written toward a younger audience (I want to share it with my children as soon as they start reading for real) but I am hoping for an "all ages" type of story where anyone can enjoy it. Thanks again!