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Mandamon

20150223 - Fruits Of The Gods Ch7 Pt2 (1764) - Mandamon

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The story so far:
Kisare and Belili escaped their captivity on the Aricaba plantation, along the way finding that Belili has a lock of magical hair colored brown, enabling her to use the Fruit that grows in their land to do magic.  They meet up with Hbelu, prince of the displaced Asha-Urmana people, and plan to work in his village, building a new life. However their old master attacks with his guards.  The village fends him off, though he vows to return.  Now, Hbelu, the elders, and Kisare and Belili hold a council on what to do next.

Thanks!

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I'm new to Reading Excuses, so this my first critique . . . ummm . . . ever, if I do anything taboo, just slap me later :)

 

I'm obviously new to this narrative, but I really liked this chapter. I liked the idea of the different Fruits, and what it took to make them grow. I also liked the council intrigue as the village plots their new course of action. 

 

This might be nit-picking, but "magical hair coloring" reads a bit awkward. Maybe there needs to be a term for this in the world. I think the idea of hair coloring denoting a sign of special abilities is really interesting, but giving a special name to the phenomenon might make sound less awkward while freeing up more ways to describe it indirectly.

 

Since Kisare is the central character here, it feels like she is sometimes lost in the shuffle. You do a good job of showing her reactions to the proposal. But I still think there should be more about her thoughts and voice in this chapter, even if it means there is less of the council. 

 

I hope this helps. I can't wait to read more! 

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rdpulfer--thanks for the feedback and welcome to Reading Excuses!

 

I've also thought "magical hair coloring" is kind of awkward.  I haven't come up with a good alternative yet...If you think of anything let me know!

 

Yes, Kisare is a little on the sidelines in this chapter.  Some others commented that she could raise some more objections.

 

If you do want to read the "back issues" send me a PM with your email.  No pressure, of course.  I'm trying to include a short summary in my entries so people can get caught up.

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Alright. Jumping right in. Per the follow up of my previous comment, I do in indeed see how Hbelu decided to address the issue with the nobles' return and that's not a bad alternative at all. With the advent of potential new Fruits, the decision to reunite his people with the assumption that new powers will come with their findings is reasonable, except I think I recall in a previous chapter, there was the notion/legend that utilizing these seeds would override the current Fruits. My memory may be a bit off, but it just seems like a rather reckless action for effectively preparing for a large war. He seems motivated by the potential loss of existing Fruits under the idea that the new Fruits would even be useable or provide powers. If the book was in front of me, finished, that's something that would definitely have me flipping back to double check what I previously read. I could be wrong right now, however, I'm recalling from memory.

Regarding the above comment by rdpulfer, I haven't had any particular issues with 'magical hair colors', but I do feel like, if you want, then you can add a bit of culture and potential slang into it. Unless I'm wrong, any color other than blonde is magical, right? So what if, for example, blonde hair was just considered colorless hair, and magical hair colors were just colored hair as a general catch all. At least, my recommendation is, if you want to go the route, just sit down and think about what kind of derogatory terms or slang might arise from the culture and perspectives, since hair color is such a prominent aspect of society, I feel like that's definitely something where there'd be some innate hostility and uniqueness to terminology that would have to pop up.

The scene felt like Hbelu was definitely taking the lead, and it only make sense, so I don't fault it, but I would say that's why Kisare probably felt inactive and as an observer. I think it's kind of necessary, unless you want the information presented in another way/scene. If she was constantly having outbursts, it would honestly probably irritate me more, compared to goal of making her feel less like an observer. On that end, I do feel like this part wasn't very engaging and do want to know more about Kisare and Belili's reactions, but I feel like it'd have to be more intertwined in the narrative, rather than by throwing out more lines. Alternatively, maybe capping a bit of the meeting and having a follow up between Kisare and Belili (trying not to overstep my bounds on the critique here). Then again, maybe you can balance it out, in the end it's your story, so do what this feedback as you will, of course. This is more commentary on the comments rather than commentary on the piece, so I digress.

My lunch break is over, so this is about all I have time for (at the moment), but the piece was only ~1800, which for me isn't a whole lot, and I'm not a big fan of repeating notes as previously stated, but later I'll check back on some of my previous comments regarding the tone or narrative for a bit of relative feedback. I know a lot of the things I noted from earlier chapters have improved, which is why my feedback lately has been a bit more oriented towards story content over the technical writing.

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Juugatsu, thanks as always for the great feedback.  I'm nearly finished with the book--only about half a chapter and the epilogue left, and I'm starting to see the themes that I need to clarify in the rewrite.  What you're talking about here is one of them, with how the Fruits and the new seeds affect the Asha-Urmana.  Hopefully this is one of those things where I can clarify once I have the ending in place.

 

You're right about any other color but blond being magical.  I think later on I made a shorthand that "color" in the hair = magic, but that doesn't entirely work either.  You and rdpulfer are correct about needing some in-world slang.

 

Good feedback on Kisare as well.  It's always hard with the "Council of Elrond" type scenes (as Robinski has put it) to make everyone feel active.

Next week will be about the same length, but I've found I tend to get better feedback on shorter sections that a 5000-word submission.  Glad you're seeing less technical issues.  This is about the time where I felt the story really started to come together.

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