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Majestic Fox

02-19-2018 - The Green Ocean - Chapter One, part one, 2440 words - Majestic Fox

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For those who have read previous versions of this in the past, consider giving your feedback to others before me.

Chapter one is well over the recommended 4,000 word submission suggestion, so I'll submit part two of the first chapter next week.

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Aaaaaaaaaannnnddddd, we’re back. Where the hell have you been?! Let’s get into this.

  • I think you’re 642nd version of the first line and first paragraph are strong ;)  Start with the smoking gun; crate mystery, tension, doubt, intrigue. Excellent. I think you could make it one paragraph, personally.
  • If they survived the attacked” – typo.
  • she could not take a step without” – another step? Or, could hardly take a step? The original phrasing suggests to me she’s standing still.
  • looming, jagged forms” – comma, please; as it’s a list, albeit a short one.
  • the region of their known landscape” – this phrasing was complicated for me; I didn’t get a clear sense of the geography
  • Curious. The giant standing there must have squished all the grass down. So, presumably we’re to think that this happened some time ago? Secondly, if water started running into the footprint immediately, would the grass grow back quick enough to beat the rising level of the growing pool? Nice imagery whatever the case.
  • inky eyes regarding her as intently as the woman’s” – i.e. the woman’s eyes, I guess, not regarding the woman.
  • a hand full of lady’s” – I know this isn’t wrong, but I wanted to make it ‘handful’. Also, shake the water off the plant or it’s going to make the basket wet, and any herbs already in the basket, and the basket might get mouldy if not left to air out properly :) 
  • What could have unsettled her like this?” – The giant’s footprint? Wait, how did she not see the footprint, if it’s big enough for W to lie down in?
  • through the gate with the huge black deer” – missing word, or rephrase
  • I like the tension here, and the mystery, but then I always did. I think it needs to be more convincing about how F didn’t see the footprint. Good characterisation so far. W’s inquisitive mind is engaging, and clearly she’s not beyond a bit of deception, and potentially there is something deeper going on.
  • and the dull of chipping of metal on rock” – missing word. Also, when does rock become stone? I kind of feel that once it’s been quarried, and is being worked on by a mason in their yard, it’s stone, but that may not be the distinction after all.
  • How long is this tunnel? It feels a bit odd. Is it not just an archway in the wall? What purpose does it serve? It wasn’t there in previous drafts, was it?
  • Transport engineer response: The main entrance to the town coming into a small courtyard doesn’t compute for me. How do they deal with large volumes of people? What if they have to evacuate, if there’s a fire or some such? How to wagons make turns or pass each other in a small courtyard? I think this needs to be a bigger space. Look at the example of medieval towns in England, I bet they have arrival ‘spaces’. A small courtyard, to me, is maybe 10m square at most.
  • patches of barely” – barley, presumably.
  • not been born her” – typo
  • being merely hard working ” – ‘hardworking’, I think
  • through the smoke filled air” – I think this, and various other instances of compound adjectives, need to be hyphenated, or the sense of the phrase changes.
  • I like how we get a clear introduction to W’s goal, her aim, to become accepted in the village. I’ve been trying to work on that in my own writing. It’s nice to see it done effectively.
  • A gust of wind blow” – typo
  • You repeat ‘Green Ocean’ twice close together near the bottom of Page 9. I always think such repetition sounds ‘off’.
  • there were an adequate number” – ‘was’, number is singular
  • For what it’s worth, I’ve heard of nerves being frayed, but not spirits. Perhaps that’s my problem, expecting to hear the more conventional phrase, but I think that’s why conventional phrases work, in part, because they are familiar, we can relate to them, understand them from our experience rather than just through reading them.

Good job. I’m on board, but then I always was. I expect to see the next bit next week, okay? In my view, there is nothing here that is ‘broken’, so no need to go back (or forward) changing a bunch of stuff, in my view. Just keep going!!

It’s good to have you back :) 



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And remember it's a 5,000 word limit; also, you're usually good to +10% (5,500 or so) without needing to ask for acceptance to go longer :) 


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Very cool intro! I remember liking this story a lot, and I'm glad to be reading it again. There's a lot more immediate danger this time from the beasts of the forest, and you've described W's situation well. I also remember the magic being confusing before, but this was an easy introduction.

9 hours ago, Robinski said:

Wait, how did she not see the footprint

I was also wondering about this. Is W  somehow the only one able to see them?

I'm reminded of a lot of Miyazaki movies by the description here. As @Robinski says, the limit is 5000 words, so you could have subbed the whole 4000 this week. I'll eagerly await next week, however!

Notes while reading:
pg 1: "Version Six Hundred and Forty Two" have great persistence, responding to us tearing this thing apart! Looking forward to the new version.

pg 2: attacked -> attack

pg 2: "A drengir was standing right here"
--do you mean "had been?" I assume it's not still standing there.

pg 5: So how far outside was W? Seemed like the deer ran for a while, but if she wasn't even supposed to go out, she'd gone pretty far.

pg 6: "Collecting damsels for M"
--In the forest? Or is there some distance outside the city that's safe?

pg 6: "had not been born her"
her -> here


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Welcome back!  This is my first time reading your work, so I'm excited. :)

So I enjoyed this, but it did take a couple pages for me to get interested in the story. Partially I think it's because I just finished a book recently with a similar set up to this one, but also it's something else. I can't quite put my finger on what was keeping me from getting invested though. Maybe all the uncertainty in the first part? I'm very interested in the acolytes and the deer-riding hunter, less so about the protagonist. She's fairly generic to me at the moment, but not unpleasantly so. I'm willing to wait a bit to see what she does.  I want to hear more about the forest, that is very intriguing to me.  I caught some grammar errors and skipped words here and there, but not enough to seriously derail me (Plus, I think between @Mandamon and @Robinski most of them have been covered ;) ). I think I will need to see a larger section of the story before I can make more helpful suggestions, sorry. 

Looking forward to the next part! 


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Thanks for the feedback, Industrialist Dragon. What you said is useful. 


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I thought it was fairly well written, but lacked buy-in to the characters. I was also unsure of the chapter arc, although that may be more to do with it only being a half chapter. Still, the start seems to wander a bit. The world seems to be shaping up nicely, so I'm interested to see where it goes.

On 2/21/2018 at 4:17 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Maybe all the uncertainty in the first part? I'm very interested in the acolytes and the deer-riding hunter, less so about the protagonist. She's fairly generic to me at the moment, but not unpleasantly so.

These are exactly my thoughts. The secondary world and characters are very interesting, but the protag is not yet. However I'm in no way turned off, so willing to give it more time for sure.


As I go

- strong opening!

- the 'unseen rivulet' sentence is pretty adjective heavy

- WRS? I feel like I don't know enough about W or this creature to be invested in this chapter yet or what is going on (page 3)

- page 4: suspension of disbelief issues - are they riding a deer or a moose? Cause if it's a deer it has to be giant

- page 5: if W is allowed in the forest, why does F remind her of the rules?

- page 6: the info about W's foundling nature might be better served earlier, to give context to events. It's the first time I've really connected with the character and at this point I'm starting to feel like I'm finding my footing in the story

- page nine: *has deep reaction to cedar being burned in a fireplace*

- page nine: also has relevant backstory that would have been nicer earlier, to further ground the reader in the story


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