hawkedup

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  1. Great chapter. I think the narrative bumps are really starting to smooth out and the characters are really starting to come alive. Most of the issues I had were resolved almost immediately. While there were points in the story that I thought needed a good deal more description, other moments were perfect. The two spots I think need more detail are 1. When they are riding their bikes. What you have is good but wind in the hair. A bug in the mouth. Something really immediate that makes you feel like you're riding down these slopes with them. 2. When they find the clown doll. That moment could have real punch and provide a linchpin to the chapter. Which leads me to my only real qualm and that's that the chapter does lack a linchpin. It doesn't really build to any one thing, and I think that's a missed opportunity. Keep in mind that this doesn't even have to be a big plot point and you actually have a couple really good moments earlier that would work as linchpins if they were later in a chapter. This isn't to say you have to restructure or make those the linchpin moments but as an example: This is fantastic. There is so much that has been building that pays off in this one paragraph and the lead up to it. After this moment, though, the narrative starts to meander again. Not as badly as previous chapters, but there really needs to be something meaty that sticks out before the chapter ends. Personally, without actually changing anything, I think that could be the clown. This one isn't really a qualm so much as my straight cis male wondering... Why exactly is "she" a "they"? The way it's built here makes it sound more like social rebellion rather than not feeling like a girl/boy. I'm glad they and D have the conversation about the clothes, but I'm left wondering if this character's conviction is sincere, genuine or even serious. I started making line-by-lines but was so engrossed I stopped pretty quickly.
  2. Thank you for bringing this up. This is definitely stuff that should be clearer earlier for the reader. So "Mama" had Z toward the end of the third year of her first tour. Papa is older than Mama by two years so he (essentially) raised Z from ages 0-5 by himself, though Mama visited every chance she got (not many). So Mama came home for good when Z was about 5 years old and had been there consistently until a year before the story starts. So Z isn't used to her mom being away.
  3. Ok I see it now. No it was just supposed to inform that she had spent 8 years in war. Thanks!
  4. It's after midnight. They left the pueblo the day before around 8 AM and stopped around 10PM. Figuring they were probably only on the move for about 12 of those hours, travelling 28 miles, that averages out to about 2.33 mph, which I found to be a realistic pace. Keep in mind that these children undergo rigorous physical training on the regular and all of them have made this trip to Rossendar City before. This is what I was afraid of. Originally I blocked it out into it's own little sub chapter and then bounced back to Z's POV but it felt disconnected so I tried to integrate it into the main narrative so it felt a little bit more immediate to Z's POV. All four of you called this out, though, so I see that my experiment failed miserably and I'll go back to either making it all dialogue or blocking it separately in the next draft. Think darkfriend from Wheel of Time. It has come up before but now I'm thinking it should be defined better. So, this is 100% accurate. Yes. Women enter the breeding program as soon as they conscript (16). Yes. The turn happens (on average) between the ages of 38-40. Once the turn hits, the person ages at a ridiculously accelerated pace. Most die within a year, two at the absolutely most. I'm not sure where I implied she was at the Front for the past year but I'll fix it. This whole time she's been camping in the wilderness outside the pueblo, using the Sub Terra for shelter and only made a couple trips to the city. Thanks for reading and all the comments, guys! This chapter took me twice as long to write as normal and it just felt like nothing was clicking and if it did click, it clicked at the wrong time. I've already started revising based on your comments and it's turning out much better already.
  5. Unfortunately, it did not. After three weeks the police finally found the body. The story, so far as I can piece together, is that he pulled to the side of the road so as to not drive drunk. A woman saw him and told her boyfriend. Together they made to rob him at gunpoint. They told him to start running and my bull headed cousin did not run. Matt never was one to back down. But thank you! I won't bring down the thread anymore.
  6. Previously: Z, R and M are in possession of a demon egg and secret information that could change the world. Their plan is to take the egg to the highest authority, the God King. On their way, they are attacked by another demon who they believe was searching for the egg. They are saved by Z's mother who disappeared almost a year ago.I had some trouble with this chapter. I blocked it out different ways, first setting U's story apart as a flashback, then incorporating it into the scene for more immediacy and finally a mix between the two. I don't think the emotional resonance I was shooting for quite takes hold, but I hope I'm wrong. Also, this chapter ends Act 1.
  7. I'm sorry it took my so long to get to this! This is the first chapter where Q and M really felt like independent people. I liked that we got to see their differences more and I'm really starting to like M. She reminds me of Lift from Edgedancer and I get a little smile every time she does something M-esque. I also like that the chapter has actual forward motion. I finally feel like I'm in the story and the story is moving. The problem with that is that it's only starting to happen on page 80, and this sense of progression keeps getting interrupted. Which brings me to my biggest issue with the chapter and the novel so far. I feel like the world building is getting its own way, which is strange because we are still talking about Earth and not one too far removed from present day. When I read a Dresden book I feel For instance, there's a bunch of tech being described and most of it is pretty easy to wrap your head around if you've read any sort of SF in the past, but it's at the point where as soon as I get to the description of the tech my eye immediately starts skimming. The tech will either do what the plot needs it to do or it won't be mentioned again. And therein lies my issue. I feel like I'm getting a lot of information that isn't directly pertinent to the book I'm reading. In 80 pages I feel like I've really only gotten 5-10 pages of truly important information and most of that is muddied or muddled.
  8. 1 - "Notebooks, paperbacks, three-ring binders and harcovers were all squished together on the shelves." The thought of this makes me cringe! lol - Distrusting D feels a little out of place at this point. 2 - The poison ivy threw off my sense of setting. I was picturing a bigger city where poison ivy wouldn't grow wild. 3 - "I couldn’t make sense of how the books were organized..." At least they tried. I'm still anxious about it. - "I learned that factory... hauntings would resume." I feel like more specific instances would really suit the narrative. 4 - "I’d gotten hit with a wave of random sadness more than once walking into a small room with an old bassinet in an old Victorian-house-turned-antique store in western Massachusetts." I really like this image but it's very awkwardly worded. - Are we supposed to dislike the dad? Cos I do. Hope we get more about this relationship. 5 - "Ghosts were easy enough to accept." I think your premise is at odds with your world building. Do common people know about ghosts? Why or why not? In the age of social media, I can't imagine a REAL ghost not going viral. Unless they were common place. 6 - "C went missing a few weeks ago." Nice little "the plot thickens" twist. 7 - "like hot water dripping out of a kettle onto my heart" Interesting. - "My skin felt like it was covered in bugs and being ticked by tall grass." Both seem a bit much. - "My blood felt like it had turned to soda." Huh? This one lost me. 9 - Good opening. Gives us direction and purpose. - After one page the momentum is still good and streamlined. 10 - "I looked around and realized the other mannequins were gone." Not to belittle what came before, but this is the first twist that has gotten me invested in what is happening. 12 - "It's a little haunted..." I love this. Overall: I feel this was your strongest submission so far, especially chapter 6 which I felt had really good forward motion throughout. As for the supernatural elements being muddied, I kinda see where the others are coming from, but I also think having the characters pick a specific theory earlier might turn that mud into world building foundation. I also think the characters voices are working. When you said you tried to make them sound younger I was hesitant but it works well enough. I read a lot of Enderverse books so I'm okay with children not necessarily speaking like "children". Sorry again about the late reply! Looking forward to the next submission.
  9. I would also like a spot when subs come back online
  10. Thank you! We grew up together like brothers and everything about his disappearance is fishy. The last anyone heard from him he was leaving a casino. His truck was found on fire in the middle of nowhere. Two people were caught using his cards but were cleared for some reason but now two other people who were also using his cards are in custody. Meanwhile there is no news about him and search parties have turned up nothing. Anyway, sorry, not trying to hijack your thread! I’ll read the submission ASAP.
  11. @shatteredsmooth I'm sorry I haven't done any reading this week (a relative is currently a missing person and my head just has not been in the right space) so I haven't read this submission yet, but when I saw the subject for the newest episode of Writing Excuses, I came right here to share it. Have you given it a listen yet? Worldbuilding Gender Roles
  12. Sounds awesome! Have fun! Looking forward to listening to the podcast
  13. What's the big event, anyway?
  14. Me too. Will give me a chance to catch up on critiques!
  15. It *is* established before but I tried to play it down in the hopes that the reader’s expectations are at least slightly subverted when they get to the scene in this chapter. High praise! I see the confusion. The blade hits a rib and she dead arms, but looks like I forgot to actually include that Good catch! Thanks for reading, guys!