neongrey

12/26/16 - Waning, ??????? (1985 words)

10 posts in this topic

This is a single scene. It may just be worldbuilding cruft and only usable for my own reference. I may expand and repurpose this into an interlude or a standalone short or something like that; this is not a POV with a real place in the main novel for reasons that might or might not be obvious. You may or may not remember this character appearing as a one-off in a Savae scene in the original draft.

Mostly it's for curiosity's sake that I'd like people's eyes on it. It is a rather different type of ownvoices writing than we usually discuss, in addition to other constraints of the POV.

Mostly I just want to hear what you all think. Not looking for anything too intensive here.

e: I think this is the first scene of a standalone short. I think it's romance. ... sort of.

Edited by neongrey
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I liked this piece a lot. It's very 'quiet,' but it informs quite a bit of the world you've created, the politeness and forms of names, the gender dynamics, and the gods. It could easily be turned into a short story or even a prologue for the book.

I'm guessing Ilnathoa is autistic of some sort? I'm not very informed on different types, so I may be missing some nuance. Also, is she a human, like Savae? Or is she one of the Shudkathra? I'm thinking the latter from the reference to the Dragon and the veil.

"Lamina" is repeated a lot. The word by itself doesn't mean a lot--just a layer of something. I'm not sure what its referring to here--air? magic? Aether? I don't think we've encountered this yet in the other submissions.

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She's shudkathra, yes, and I am aiming somewhere on the spectrum, yes. Which is something I feel a little bit awkward applying in this way given that here it's a result of a very different set of senses rather than per se any neuroatypicality, but, well. We always do apply our own standards to things.

Lamina relates to their perceptions, yes; they have basically no perception of the visual spectrum whatsoever. They are aware of something other. Iluya will touch on this more when she comes more into her own in the text; she is somewhat of an expert... in the aelin sense.

If she weren't wholly confined and basically unwililng to leave (her presence would be the reason why the bigwigs are certain the peace talks are legit) I'd actually consider swapping someone out for her, but with a target of 120k, four povs is already pushing it. Interludes, maybe. But Ilnathoa -- or any shudkathra, really-- has access to certain information that I'd like held in reserve until the second book, and the first is not per se about them.

I think this is a short. Gonna keep going forward on this, I think; I think I've teased out a bit of an internal plot on this. A little break from 7-8-9, at any rate, and even if this isn't usable exactly it should be a helpful exercise.

Edited by neongrey
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Hmm. Well, I enjoyed the gender language explanation a lot. There was some good tension there at the beginning, too, and the POV character was very intriguing. I'd read more about her certainly. This would be a great teaser to put out before a book launch, as it really grounds the world. I enjoyed reading it!

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Yeah, it's not much to go on, but hey. I think I will sound out the story here, finish it off. Probably send out the whole thing when it's done, then maybe shop it around some once I've got it cleaned up. I can think of a few markets it might fit for if it does come out suitably standalone. If nobody bites, I can hold it in reserve until the whole thing's done.

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- "She hopes that they do not understand that they are not." A bit confusing. Took me a couple of times to get it.

- I do like the discussion of the language and the complexity of masculine and feminine usage. Takes me back to Portuguese class in college :)

- Had a little trouble with the setting. This is some sort of prison - at least the main character thinks so - but they serve tea? Again, I had reread it a couple times for details I might have missed. 

- It's an interesting start. I certainly want to know more!

 

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Her exact environment should be a little obscure, yeah. Part of it's of course that she doesn't see anything, and part of it is that she's defining it based on the fact that she's here regardless of her will and she can't leave, and not by the fact that it's a nice cozy set of rooms that are quite pleasant, really. It's a deliberate choice of word that is very intentionally being used despite the mismatch between connotation and the appointments of her situation. Things like the closet, and the clothes, and the open window with a tree within reach certainly should narrow some things about the nature of her confinement.

Edited by neongrey
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Yeah this is a nice little primer of what I read last time into perspective. A paired down version would read nicely on the back of a book. Like with Way of Kings. 

I have a weird conviction if there are going to be dragons in something, you should say so up front. But that's just me being silly, and this being an intro would solve that. I don't know why dragons should be different than bird people. 

But yes, I like the conceit as the intro... though it might be a little too obvious if put in the middle of the book proper. Like if you've been teasing things or alluding for a few chapters, this feels like cheating. But if you put it up front, I think it's more acceptable/enjoyable because it is doing what it is doing and doing that well. Excited to read more or maybe go back to what you've put out before now that I feel more informed/engaged. 

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Yeah, I'm not sure. As a prologue this would need some massage, timewise; as-written it's after Alia is murdered. But that's simple fixing. It certainly doesn't just slot right in between where I'm writing right now. I'm sure I can find a home for it in the work proper somewhere, though, even if it does find a home as a short.

6 hours ago, Yados said:

I have a weird conviction if there are going to be dragons in something, you should say so up front. But that's just me being silly, and this being an intro would solve that. I don't know why dragons should be different than bird people.

I mean I very studiously avoid most 'standard' fantasy species so having dragons might not be quite as intuitive as it would be otherwise. But dragons are good to have. :v

6 hours ago, Yados said:

But yes, I like the conceit as the intro... though it might be a little too obvious if put in the middle of the book proper. Like if you've been teasing things or alluding for a few chapters, this feels like cheating. But if you put it up front, I think it's more acceptable/enjoyable because it is doing what it is doing and doing that well. Excited to read more or maybe go back to what you've put out before now that I feel more informed/engaged. 

The thing is that most of this is not particularly immediately relevant to the story at hand. It is relevant, particularly in illustrating just how much the aelin are hijacking and appropriating certain things, and it does, as pretty much everyone who's looked at this has said, provide important context. But yeah. Among other things, Ilnathoa knows too much and is concealing too much and is restricted in agency too much to be someone we get a lot from.

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Happy New Year, Neongrey!

Just the thoughts, eh? Alrighty!

I was quite lost in the first half. All I can tell is that the viewpoint character is stuck somewhere that they find physically uncomfortable and socially oppressive. I think I feel a begrudging acknowledgement of how the surroundings are stuck in the way they are.

More than a handful of specialized terms, so it's not an easy chuck of text to read through without further context.

The conversation was easy enough to follow. It goes into a discussion about gods, which has always been a favorite topic of mine.

The viewpoint character raises a lot of flags that are classically sinister. Sharp teeth, eating still-living creatures, and a world-eating deity are the most notable traits. Not sure yet if it's being played straight or if it's going to be subverted. I'm guessing the exact nature of her confinement would be necessary to help figure that out.

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