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Robinski

Robinski - Waifs and Strays - Submission 9 (V) 2727 words

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To recap; Benam is still in Lufmatho jail, accused of killing a handful of kingsmen, which he does not deny. Ahma has returned to her work after the invasion of inn. Covelle and Dyllis broke into Ghintor (the harbourmaster)’s office, seeking trade intelligence. They disturbed a group of disguised kingsmen apparently lying in wait for Ghintor, who engaged them in combat while Covelle and Dyllis escaped. Covelle uncovered that Dyllis lied to him, and she reveals her manipulation of his emotions through casting. Dyllis revealed the existence of a casters’ group (The Sphere) and its leader (The Modus). They argued over Dyllis’s plan to manipulate Covelle’s father, and things between them became tense. Latterly Dyllis revealed her discovery of the kingsmen’s camp and Covelle reached a conclusion that they are not kingsmen.

 

This submission is hot off the press and I didn’t have time to give it a once over, which I normally would, so please excuse the anomalies.

 

Delighted to receive any comment – many thanks for reading.

 

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I can't find this in my inbox - did others receive it or did it not go out?  Happy to read and review. 

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The bigger question to ask is, did I send the flaming thing? Remember how I said I'd had a couple of beers....(yup).

 

[...Now sent.]

Edited by Robinski
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Writing as I read -


 


Interesting being in Ahma's point of view. This moves slower - a lot more description of the town which is nice. Liked the bit about the enterprising seagulls. Very different take on the world - not sure I feel as comfortable in Ahma's head as I do in Covelle's or Benam's. Benam was vivid and Covelle was quick-witted. Trying to figure out what Ahma's voice feels like - right now it feels far more contemplative and observant. Way more detail than usual


 


...would she as a relatively low-class woman feel comfortable opening the door to Jenquis' office without permission?


 


I like the sequence wher she finds the clerk - especially her breath getting louder in her own ears.


 


 


I also like the description of the office smelling of dust, vellum, and pipe smoke - but question whether Ahma would notice this in a panic.


 


Decent job painting the rather ghastly scene in teh office - very sensory - still questioning why Ahma isn't a little more incoherent. Has she seen a lot of death before? If not, she might not be as collected as you have her painted. But good smarts on her part noting that that tobacco is still smoldering.


 


Her fear fades? Maybe I have the character misread - but I'm thinking she should be in shock.


 


While there are some mechanical errors attributable to the fact that this is "hot off the press" - I'm actually really liking the verbiage in this sequence. Ahma's POV seems far more sensory than Covelle's or Benam's - not sure it that's becasue of her character or because this is't an action sequence. But the prose is more rich and flowing than normal. 


 


"Ahma felt reassurance at the captain’s presence and, as she relaxed, felt an overwhelming sadness descend" - Not crazy about this. I get that she's not panicked and can finally process what happened - but at the same time I don't associate relaxation and reassurance with with overwhelming sadness (or overwhelming anything, for that matter).


 


....okay now we get the swashbuckling! Love that we're essentially having a sword fight with a fire poker!


 


I like how her thoughts get less focussed after she's cut. 


 


Don't like that the gash is described as three inches - too technical. 


 


One objection at the end - she remembers the killing muttering something but we never heard him say or mutter anything. We probably should remember this with her - you don't have to give the quote, but many be note that he mutters under his breath during the fight.


 


ON THE WHOLE - pretty good scene. Adds another layer to the whole thing and a fun POV. Really curious how this all connects back to Covelle and Dyllis. Nice addition. 


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Great comments, thanks Lemming. I'll go through them in detail - on the run at the moment (towards work, nothing sinister!).

 

One quick point though, there is a reference to the killer muttering about children, Ahma catches it as the man advances towards her. It was supposed to be subtle, so that the reader didn't recall it until she did when asked the second time by Nertin, but perhaps it was burried a little too deep.

 

"A flicker of surprise crossed his features and he muttered something about children then started towards her."

Edited by Robinski
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@CommandateLemming: Thank you again for your comments, now have time to review in more detail.

 

Interesting what you say about Ahma's pov - not I bad thing, I'm getting, but different - appreciate it is slower sometimes. She's lower in the social pecking order than Jenqis certainly, but I don't see the class structure as SO rigid that she can't knock on a door and go in, especially as she is making a legitimate delivery, and she is entering the clerk's outer office / reception room.

 

Good point about her not registering the smell, I suppose that's a pov cheat in a way - I'll think about that.

 

Fair point about her 'overwhelming' sadness - I'll consider that and may well tweak. Also the point about her fear fading.

 

The 3 inch gash thing - I accept that - it's gone.

 

Back on the muttering comment about 'children' - I'll see what other reactions I get, but will definitely consider trying to wave the flag a little harder where the comment is made, hopefully without smacking anyone in the face with it.

 

Really glad that this scene added something for you, as I really do hope for Ahma to be an interesting character, and to bring something to the story.

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I wouldn't worry too much about the muttering - I just missed the flag. I don't think it needs much editing.

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I'm not really sure what to think with this passage.Granted, I missed last week's submission, so that may be a contributing factor (don't you just love exam season?), but I'm unsure why I suddenly care about Sir Jenqis. I don't recall really any interaction with him--which may be different in a real book, rather than a weekly submission--and am puzzled why his death is important.

 

Similarly, the Theracians were the folks we just stomped in a war like twenty-ish years ago, right? So them coming back is bad. But I'm not entirely convinced of how awful they are--so far they're shadows and conjecture and Benam, the only character who would have encountered them, hasn't done much to enlighten us on their badassery. 

 

However, I did like that we were coming back to Ahma's point of view, that we're getting a slow, simple view of the world, a blue-collar POV rather than a retired hero or an upstart thief. She's not at all good in a fight, but her thinking's quick--which a) seems to fit and B) works really well without going into fantasy cliche of every protagonist is a master swordsman. I find myself rooting for her without really knowing why, not necessarily that she'll win, but find a quiet happy life that never comes to heroes.

 

One thing that really bugged me though was that nobody pressed for details on the supposed thief. "You have no idea what he looks like, which means you pretty much saw a dark shape flit out the window. Yeah....we'll get *right* on that." The fact that there are corpses would change that, but probably also cast suspicion on Ahma, since she cried "thief" not "murderer", something she clearly would have known to be untrue. Just every bit of that interaction bothers me--I doubt it would go down like that. But that's me.

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Hi JP, thank you for picking the story up again, been a while since I sat an exam, but I have nothing but memories of loathing them. I hope that you missed an exciting submission concluding the particular episode of Covelle and Dyllis's raid on the harbourmaster's office, but I guess only you could be the judge of that! There was nothing germain to this week's submission that I can think of.

 

In relation to Jenqis, he has no direct signifiance to the plot at all. Why should you care about his death? An innocent man and his colleague have been brutally murdered while going about their daily business, a cause for outrage among moral people, but in terms of significance to the plot, you'll need to wait and see. You are the first person to question this, take from that what you like, I think it's a good question to ask.

 

At least one other didn't remember the Theracians, so I take heart from the fact that you did from the couple of references in Benam's dream. I'm writing a new prologue in which there is more about them, and I will consider your comment, which is a good one.

 

Your point about the killer is a good one. I had every intention of glossing over that element, but that isn't good enough or believable, so you are right to call me on it. I'll go back and tidy that part up.

 

Good points, many thanks JP.

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