hawkedup

05/27/19 - hawkedup - The Turn of Ages - 3100 (L,V)

11 posts in this topic

Hey, everyone. This is the first 3,100 words of my WIP. Sorry for sending it a bit early, but I'm not 100% sure that I'll have access to a computer tomorrow. Thanks in advance!

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Posted (edited)

Hi Hawkedup. First of all, as a fellow (relative) newcomer, welcome to Reading Excuses and thank you for submitting your piece! My critique follows, and I hope you'll bear with me, because this has its strengths and its issues. 

First of all, I like your writing style. It's very descriptive while usually avoiding floweriness (read: usually) that really paints your world quite vividly. 'Globe' in particular really brought me into the world; it also brought 'Little Match Girl' to mind for me. You make it quite clear that R City is not the sort of place you'd want to live in, and that circumstances are quite dire.

However, you have problems with pacing. First off, you have two vague prologues. The first prologue itself isn't really a prologue; it's more like an epigraph to the real prologue, 'Globe.' (Which makes me wonder why the epigraph-prologue, which is literally written as an address to someone else, is not italicized while 'Globe' is.) And 'Globe', while very atmospheric, does not move forward much story forward that I can see. And calling the viewpoint character 'the girl' constantly makes me think she is either completely unimportant, or you're deliberately hiding her name from us. More on that latter method later on why that's a bit of a problem.

And then we get to L, which is where the pacing problems become even more evident. You take six entire pages to describe L's morning routine, with way more detail than is necessary. While I can't speak for others, I'm not exactly interested in what angle she wakes up in, what she had for dinner last night, or three paragraphs of yoga. The parts of this that do make me wonder about L (odd voices, magic, etc.) that sound really interesting are bogged down by way too much detail and meandering. I would suggest considering which of the details are really necessary to furthering the plot, describing L's character and painting the world, and cutting out those that aren't.

I am definitely interested in how you subvert the whole 'So Beautiful, it's a Curse' trope. Whose face has L stolen from? Is this person dead? Is L basically a Faceless Woman? What's a 'spec'? The mystery abounds, but it takes a while to get to that point of enrapture.  

My (admittedly few) notes are below. 

pg. 6:

"This light was the girl’s soul lantern, which she had named F." I would just call her L by this point. There's no need to keep her name a mystery for another whole page. 

"No, the Voice again." Add 'said'.  

pg. 8:

"After another long set of moments, she put her arm down, and let her eyes adjust." I'd change this to 'after a few seconds.'

"Her eyes adjusted but Firefly got brighter and brighter until it was too bright to look at directly." You already said in the previous sentence that her eyes had adjusted.

"He headache faded a bit, too, thank the God King." Change he to her.

 

pg. 10:

"She raised her hands to the heavens, palms upward, arching her back, then bent to touch her toes." I'd suggest replacing with 'ceilingward.'

pg. 11:

"She moaned with near ecstasy as the knots loosened." I'd say 'she sighed happily.' Having 'moaned' and 'ecstasy' in the same sentence immediately creates a sexual connotation. But if this was your intention, leave as is. 

"Chambermaids were not allow to keep sharp objects in their rooms--too many “accidents”." Now that is an interesting world-building detail.

pg. 11-12:

"The hair dissolved into mist (like a dead man’s snow globe) before reaching the floor." Someone brought up 'author intrusion' to me the other day, and this is definitely that. It really took me out of the story when you spoke directly to me to remind me of something I'd just read about a few pages back. This also goes back to 'Globe'; keeping the girl's name from us is the same issue. If keeping her identity a secret is really that important, I would not tell the prologue from her POV. 

Edited by JWerner
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Hello and welcome to Reading Excuses! Always nice to see new people around.

Overall

It's a reasonable start. There's not much voice and it feels a bit generic, including the 'must save family.' The double prologue threw me and seems unnecessary. Still, I'd give it another chapter if picking up this book cold.

If I were reading this at a bookstore I would want more meat in my first chapter--more sense of awe or a more gripping through line (in place of the standard FAMILY). What is wrong with her family? Why do they need her help? Does her magic have anything to do with it? Her magic sucks her energy, tell me about that. Did she steal some poor woman's body? Tell me about that!

2 hours ago, JWerner said:

However, you have problems with pacing. First off, you have two vague prologues. The first prologue itself isn't really a prologue; it's more like an epigraph to the real prologue, 'Globe.' (Which makes me wonder why the epigraph-prologue, which is literally written as an address to someone else, is not italicized while 'Globe' is.) And 'Globe', while very atmospheric, does not move forward much story forward that I can see. And calling the viewpoint character 'the girl' constantly makes me think she is either completely unimportant, or you're deliberately hiding her name from us.

I had both of these issues as well

2 hours ago, JWerner said:

that sound really interesting are bogged down by way too much detail and meandering.

So while I didn't mind the world introduction since this is chapter one, I do agree that the very interesting elements are buried.

2 hours ago, JWerner said:

If keeping her identity a secret is really that important, I would not tell the prologue from her POV. 

Definitely agree. I don't think that first prologue serves any purpose.

 

As I go

- pg 1: prologue end "I love you both" sets me on edge immediately. It reads like a man is going to leave his wife and child and go do something incredibly stupid that he thinks is heroic but is actually really selfish. Although it may not end up being that at all, the trope is so well established that when I see phrases like that, it's an automatic red flag for me.

- page 3: after all the time spent establishing how cold and hungry these people are, I am supremely doubtful that 1) they would care that someone was peeing on them, unless said person was on the outside and could be readily elbowed because the urine would soon freeze and 2) that they would then turn on him as a mob. They're all freezing and starving. They don't have the energy to beat up someone, or shift the mass of bodies. Being truly, unbearably cold means not wanting to move for basically anything. It's a place where you seriously contemplate just never moving, even if your life is in danger, because the cold hurts.

- pg 5: if it is snowing, it isn't likely all that cold out. The coldest days tend to be when the sky is bright and clear, especially at night

- pg 5: so the thing here isn't a prologue, because we already had one, and it isn't a chapter. An interlude? Those don't usually come before an actual chapter. I'd recommend revisiting this narrative structure. Prologues are somewhat out of fashion to begin with and two hits me as very strange

- pg 10: 'tower with her charge' is she a prostitute? Unsure what this is implying

- pg 10: is she doing this yoga naked?

- wait, she's a servant but she has her own room?

- describing your main character via them looking into a mirror is a bit overdone

- pg 12: double 'that' on your last line

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Welcome to Reading Excuses!

Doing this from my phone in line at Disney World, so apologies for spelling mistakes and such!

Similar comments to the others. @kais has some good points about the poor people in the rat pile, and @JWerner has very good comments about pacing, which was my largest gripe. 

Overall, the prose is very good and gripping, but there's not much going on in this section. The whole thing takes place in one room and I'm not sure what's going on. If we had a little more explanation for why L is in her current situation and have a little more action I think this would be really good

 

Notes while reading:

Pg1 ok, I can get behind this as a prologue, though if it's this short toy could just make it a beginning epigraph.

The second prologue thing is very well written, but now I'm unsure what the book is about. It could probably be a bit shorter and get the point across. Since it's all in italics, I'm anxious to get to the "real" story.

Ok, and now we're back with the girl again, but it's not italics? Is L different from the girl? Is unclear who's doing what from the description.

"being overly sensitive to light came with the other chronic pains and inconveniences that made up her life. It was the price she paid for using her abilities and the part she hated most about being a spectral."

--This is a bit of an infodump and a bit of maid and butler dialog. I don't know If I even need this yet, as I'm not sure what's going on.

 

Ok, the girl seems to be Lee

 

"No matter the obstacle, she could not allow herself to forget the real reason she endured such indignities, numerous as they were"

--I feel like you're telling a lot here when you could be showing us this stuff.

 

"She raised her hands to the heavens, palms upward, arching her back"

--hmmm. At this point I'm starting to skim. Between two prologues and a lengthy description of getting out of bed, I'm ready for something to happen.

 

"The hair dissolved into mist (like a dead man’s snow globe) before reaching the floor."

-- this is a bit on the nose for a callback to the second prologue. I appreciate its showing how the magic works, but I really just want her to get out of the room. I think all this could be boiled down to a few paragraphs

 

"Even now, after so long wearing this face"

-- ok, this is interesting. This and why she's in pain address what I'm most interested in. Aside from that, I'm ready to move on.

 

Hm. And we end the chapter with nothing actually happening...I think all this could be greatly condensed and get the same thing across. 

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to Reading Excuses! 

I like the concept you introduce in this chapter. A character who can wear someone else's face seems interesting, especially when that character seems to be using not only the face but the person's job as a cover. There is lots of opportunity for tension there. However, I was a little confused by the double prologue, and wasn't a fan of how you choose to introduce this concept. I'm not 100% certain, but it seems like this is some kind of post-apocalyptic dystopian fantasy? There are hints that it is the future, like one person calling something Yoga while others didn't know the word, but there is magic and a god-king. 

The letter definitely had me curious. I liked that. 

However, when I got to the next part, I was confused about the italics and the distant narration that sometimes zoomed into the girl's point of view. I didn't fully realize it was a flashback until page 11. Throughout the chapter, I was uncertain if it was the same girl, right up until this point when she compared her hair disappearing to the snow globe. 

Overall, the biggest problem that  I had was nothing out of the ordinary happens in the first chapter. It is someone going through a regular morning routine and you use that to convey information about the world. The flashback scene before that was better in the sense that something not quite routine happened, and it had some impact on her. However, that isn't the case here.

My suggestion is to trim this as much as possible. Think of what parts of the routine are essential and what bits of information can be saved for later. Something needs to happen in this chapter. Writing a characters morning routine is a great way for the writer to get to know the character, but as a reader, I need something to happen to really make me want to read on. I'm not sure how far along you are in your writing process, but I very rarely actually use the opening chapter I start my first draft with. 

Anyway, it does seem like an interesting concept, so I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next. 

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Will get to this soon.

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STANDARD DISCLAIMER: For demographic information, keep in mind that I am a white male nearing his thirties, married, with two young children, and come from a background of being LDS, conservative, and with a long history of chronic depression, so these things may color what I say during review. I try to be as open-minded and unbiased as possible.

Sorry for the late reply. Between having four submissions each week to get through, my own drafts, and a slew of other activities (including work), I'm really behind on critiques. Keep in mind that I haven't read the other's critiques for the sake of brevity and getting through these submissions.

Let's get started.

Another fantasy! I love fantasy. As a way of warning, however, I have read a lot of fantasy and epic fantasy, good and bad. Because of this, I might be harsher on what I see as something often repeated, or common pitfalls or tropes, and I will probably go into more detail on why things don't work, if I come across them. This isn't meant as harshness or something to frustrate you, it's meant to help you grow as a writer because I love fantasy, and I think we need more quality fantasy on the market.

Keep in mind also that I have done a lot of research into medieval arms and armor because the book I'm writing is high/post-medieval epic fantasy. I will be a lot more detailed in this regard than the average reader, because knowledge is power--and there's a lot of misinformation perpetuated in fantasy with regards to medieval arms and armor.

To begin with, let me explain my general formatting for critiques. I have three sections: nitpicks, inconsistencies/concerns, and problems. Nitpicks are things that don't necessarily impact the story at large, but are something that personally does gel for one reason or another for me. Inconsistencies and concerns have largely to do with content, whether or not something seems out of character, falls into a common bad fantasy mistake, or any number of general writing errors. Problems are things that I feel need to be reworked. Not all critiques need all three of these sections, but some do.

Critique:

Spoiler

Prologue:

We're starting with a suicide note? That makes me really, really uncomfortable.

Part 1:

Uhhh....holy info-dump, Batman. Also, you're in third-person present? That's really weird, and prone to tense inconsistencies.

Also...why do we have effectively two prologues, here? The first isn't really a prologue, it's more of an epigraph or header, but the second prologue--aside from comparing a tangle of cold, brutal homeless people to some Lovecraftian nightmare, tells us very little. It doesn't really introduce us to the magic system in a definable way, nor does there really seem to be much point to the scene aside from giving us a throwaway character who's lived a hard life. Usually prologues show something occurring completely elsewhere in the world, but that is vital to the events of the story, or at some distant historical event that the series simply can't focus on, but is equally vital to the story. My best guess is that you're trying to give us backstory to your main character--and that's unfortunately the worst type of prologue to write. It's info-dumping, telling us everything we need to know, rather than let us learn through the story organically. I'll come back to this if I need to, but off the cuff it seems like a really bad way to start the story.

Chapter 1 (Page 5)

Wait, now we've switched tense again? Your 'Prologue' was in first, your second Prologue was in third-present (and omniscient, straying into limited occasionally), and now we're in third-past. This is very, very confusing for a reader.

Wait, the Voice? I'm really confused.

Okay, same problem. You're telling us everything. "She was a special girl", "She didn't have many friends"...these are all things you can show us through her interactions with other people.

Oh, okay. You're writing in third-person omniscient again. It almost seems like you're going for an "Ocarina of Time"-esque Navi wake up scene.

Pg 8 - "God King" << Be careful here. Especially here on a Brandon Sanderson fansite, the God King is a well-known figure associated with his book Warbreaker. Not saying you can't use it, but...be careful. You want your work to stand out, and the fewer parallels people draw between your work and those of established authors, the better.

Pg 7-11 - These parentheses aren't working within your story. I'm generally opposed to their use in the first place because I feel they reveal the author too much, but the frequency with which you use them makes them feel like authorial notes, rather than organic pieces of the story. Some allowance can be made in first-person, but I feel in third-person they are not a good writing technique, and in your prose they feel like tacked on asides from the author to the reader, and completely break any sense of immersion I've been able to gain each time.

Pg. 9-10 - I've started skimming. This is usually not a good sign.

Pg. 12 - Okay, she's wearing someone else's skin? That's interesting. Unfortunately, its the first interesting thing I've read in the whole twelve pages, and that's not great. If I had picked this up in the store, I'd have put it back down and not given it a second thought by page six.

Okay. I have a lot that I could say, but I think I want to limit my critique to a few main points that I feel need to be addressed.

First, your prose. You have to decide what you are going to write in. Past/present, third/first, and limited/omniscient are all choices, but they're also all contained within your story. Pick one, and be consistent. I find with fantasy, third-person limited, past-tense, is the easiest to manage from a reader standpoint, because it allows the reader to experience the story through the character's eyes. The problem with omniscient, is that it's really easy to lose track of what's going on, and it's also really easy to info-dump information that should be woven organically into the story.

Which brings me to my next point. This first chapter, the prologue, and this entire submission, seems to be nothing more than a massive info-dump. The character has very little for me to invest in, because she doesn't do anything. She wakes up, stretches, does yoga, and then stares in the mirror. There is no plot for me to be interested in, no world for me to want to explore, it's just a girl, doing her morning routine in her bedroom while expositing all of the information you want to tell us. That makes it difficult to get into, and difficult to enjoy.

Third, and connected to the previous two, I feel absolutely nothing for this MC. She's a servant in a palace. Why is she important? Why is the story being told through this character's eyes? Why do we need four pages of prologue to set up a morning routine? There is nothing for me to sympathize with, no emotion from the character for me to invest in, and no unique voicing to really grab my attention. Even her motivation is so generic ("saving my family") that I have no interest in wanting to learn more--she doesn't even dwell on why she needs to save her family. Even the magic system--which should have at least given us something to latch onto--is so far nothing more than little floating lights. We know almost nothing about your story, your world, and your MC after twelve pages, and that's not a good thing.

I really feel like this needs some serious revision and work. I know this is harsh, and I'm sorry for that, but if I didn't think you could make something of this, I wouldn't bother going into detail about what doesn't work. I'm not kicking you in the teeth to be cruel, I promise. :)

Hopefully, my words--and those of the others here--help you see where your flaws are and allow you to improve on them--I'd personally love to see you come back with a chapter that blows me away. It's happened before. Keep at it!

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Thank you all for the very helpful critiques! You've given me a lot to think about going into the second draft. I feel really good about this writing group. This is the type of feedback I've needed desperately.

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Hey, thanks for submitting, @hawkedup. Excited to read your stuff for the first time! As they say on the Empire magazine (venerated UK film publication) podcast, every day is Christmas Eve! :)

(page 1)

- I like the title, very epic!

- Hmm. Starting with a suicide note is interesting. The formatting of it is rather affected. I'm not convinced someone who was suicidal would be interested in writing the last lines--some of which belong in one paragraph--in that poetic way.

(page 2)

- Wait, what? So, this is the actual prologue. The letter, for me, is not a prologue. It's kind of like the prologue has a prologue.

- Why is this all in italics?

- "bouncers and security" - Huh? So, I'm cruising along imagining this pseudo historical setting where people starve in the streets and then I read this, which plonks me in the middle of Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night when the clubs are in full swing. This is very modern terminology. Now I don't know what kind of setting I'm in. 

- "last meal, if you could even call it that" - Half a chicken is not an inconsiderable amount of food. I think this is too much for the way the narrative characterises it. Now, a chicken leg, or a wing, that would be measly and hardly constitute a meal, which I think is what is described.

(page 3)

- "had filled her belly to excess" - yeah, see this is inconsistent with the 'if you could call it that' comment.

- "rats nest" - I feel like this is a nest belonging to rats and there should be an apostrophe, i.e. rats'.

- "rat’s nest" - Ah ha!. So, the instances preceding this have no apostrophe. Also, this is a next belonging to one rat, which seems unlikely to me hence, I still think it should be rats' nest.

- "harder and harder to breathe" - typo or two.

- Okay, I'm really quite confused. The issue of pissing must happen about 20 times a night, or more. If there are 36 people in this nest, someone of them being old, there will be people needing the loo all the time. Are they support to excuse themselves from the nest to go out a pee? Why would anyone let them back in? If you don't get let back in, you're going to freeze. So, who would go out to piss? I imagine the most practical solution would be to say "Push back a minute will you," to the people around you. "I need to pee." People form a wee (pun intended!!) circle, person urinates, which will provide some little warmth to those close by, then the circle closes in again.

- Also, the snow globe. I'm struggling with this one. If someone had a snow globe, would they not have sold it for food long ago? Curious that he still has it, so I'm interested to see where that goes.

- Don't understand the soul lanterns, but I'm rolling with it at the moment and hoping it will be explained before too long.

(page 4)

- "doesn’t notice the shape of the attackers’ soul lanterns" - Why would she? I don't understand the significance or mechanics of the lanterns yet, so I don't really follow this comment.

- "manslaughter" - No, this is not manslaughter. Have you checked the legal definition? You have to be specific and correct about these things. Manslaughter and murder and different. This is murder, most certainly. There is nothing accidental about it; it's not a crime of passion, or killing in self-defence or a jealous rage. These people are killing sin cold blood.

- Furthermore, the term manslaughter is another modern term in what I had thought was a low tech, pseudo historical setting. So that did not fit for me. It's a nice turn of phrase, but I don't think it fits logically.

Well, this world certainly is grim. Soooo many fantasy world are grim. People dying on the streets, freezing to death, dying from hunger. It's not original so it has to be really well written to stand out. I thought this was well written. I thought the prose flowed very nicely. That alone encourages me to read on. I have points of confusion, as I've noted, about the setting because of some of the terminology. 

(page 6)

- Is this the same girl from the rats' nest? Confused. If it is, then 'Snowglobe' should be Chapter 1, imo. if it's not, then I'm really confused. What are the timespans involved here? Is this all in the same timeframe?

- "The way her neck bent could not be comfortable" - The POV is a bit odd.

- The Voice? Confused. So, it's not her voice.

(page 7)

- "summer held on like a shadow clinging to the prospect of light" - Huh? This seemed like quite a tortured metaphor that doesn't seem to work. Light banishes shadow. Why would a shadow cling to that prospect. Okay, light is necessary to create shadow, but summer is associated with light, but you've associated it with the shadow, with the darkness. Hence, my impression is confused.

- "How much longer could she do this?" - Do what? Confused.

(page 9)

- "weigh in", "positivity", "therapeutic" - very modern terms in a pseudo-histofical fantasy setting put me off. It confuses the setting, I think, and the world-building.

- Why is she taking to herself?

- "she’d have no part in its source" - Confusing: I don't know that this means.

- "Sub-Basement 3" - modern terminology again.

- "J and R" - as in José? Tone issue again. Hispanic names? Because the setting has not been established this seems wildly anachronistic.

(page 10)

- "knew beforehand when “random” bunk inspections would take place beforehand" - as I noted before, I find the prose very clear and smooth. I really do enjoy reading it: my confusion comes from aspects of the content, not the style, which I'm enjoying. Here, however, I would see bring the important bit of the sentence to the front, that she knows beforehand, then what she knows. Much clearer, imo.

- "with her charge" - R's charge? Not entirely clear. Also, L clearer did not spend last night, so does she spend other nights with R's charge?

- "It was a quarter of five" - Now you see this bugs me. To me this is a pseudo-historical phrasing of a time, but in the same work you are using words like sub-basement, positivity and weigh-in. Not consistent. I don't even know what this is. Is it 5:15, or 4:45?

- "no alarm necessary" - What, like a bedside clock, smartphone?

- Pacing: okay, I know it's the introduction and you're trying to got a lot across, but this chapter has felt rather slow. It's taken her five pages to get out of bed.

- "He called it yoga" - Whaaaa? Another modern anachronism.

- What happened to the constant, unending pain? Seems to have gone...

- "a hunch or a limp" - Ah! Okay, question answered, but what I don't understand is where the pain comes from. No explanation of that.

(page 11)

- "been causing back problems before L was born" - :lol: 

- "too many “accidents”" - Eh? Really? Find that hard to believe when their lives could be so much worse (having seen what it's like on the streets), but okay, I'll roll with it.

- No need for the brackets, just put the snow globe comment in main text.

(page 12)

- I'm interested to know what others think about the 'pretty' train of thought. I kind of struggled with her thinking she was too pretty. That's not her fault, it's the reaction of others that is the problem. Is she really wishing she was less pretty? Hmm.

- "wearing this face" - What? So it's not her face? I feel like I needed this much, much earlier. To drop this at the end of the chapter, when I've had ten pages about her pain, and her body and all of that, then suddenly she's not wearing her own face? What about the body, is that her's?

- "and that that is thanks" - typo.

Overall

Phew. Well, that was interesting. Very well written prose, I would say. If I was just reading this, I would breeze through it quickly and easily. I got a decent sense of character and motivation. Pacing? Well, aside from my comment about how long she spent in bed (slightly facetiously), I thought it was okay, as there was always a flow of information, so I was entertained. I thought character voice was good too, strong, a bit many maybe, but clearly with significant internal conflict.

Setting / world-building: this is where most of my problems are. I think it's all over the place. The world doesn't feel consistent to me. There are modern terms scattered around, yet there are lots of period details that speak of low-tech standard fantasy fare. There are lots of things introduced that are not explained, G-d Kings; hispanic NPCs; Mage C--ps; Lanterns (that for me is the easiest to accept without explanation, yet); body swapping, etc. I don't think the world has any kind of sense of identity and that is a real issue for me.

I believe there is good potential here, but I think there are problems that, honestly, if I was reading this in a book shop, would cause me not to buy the book.

Thanks for submitting. I hope we'll get a chance to read more if this since I'm presuming we go forward from here and things start happening in the here and now, which really nothing has yet. There are lots of things set up, and I am interested to see what is actually going to happen now that I presume we're past all the set up.

<R>

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On 27/05/2019 at 7:56 PM, JWerner said:

you have two vague prologues

Yup.

On 27/05/2019 at 7:56 PM, JWerner said:

how you subvert the whole 'So Beautiful, it's a Curse' trope

Was it subverted? I'm not sure it was. I had an issue with this. For one thing, if L is 'riding' this body to get into the palace, and its prettiness is a problem, why not chose a different, less remarkable body? I thought there were way too many details that were not explained. I can carry some mystery forward in anticipation of a future explanation, but here, basically, nothing is explained. I can't think go any thing that is explained to a degree that I would understand. That's a problem for me.

On 27/05/2019 at 10:44 PM, kais said:

If I were reading this at a bookstore I would want more meat in my first chapter

Yes, definitely. That vagueness is really what I'm talking about when I say no explanation.

On 27/05/2019 at 10:44 PM, kais said:

Does her magic have anything to do with it? Her magic sucks her energy, tell me about that. Did she steal some poor woman's body? Tell me about that!

Yup.

On 27/05/2019 at 10:44 PM, kais said:

It reads like a man is going to leave his wife and child and go do something incredibly stupid that he thinks is heroic but is actually really selfish

Yes, agree. Easy way out.

On 27/05/2019 at 10:44 PM, kais said:

So while I didn't mind the world introduction since this is chapter one

But there was no introduction. Tell me one thing about the world? It has a G-K, he lives in a palace, some of the people are hungry, everyone has a soul lantern. There is almost nothing.

On 28/05/2019 at 2:32 AM, Mandamon said:

If we had a little more explanation for why L is in her current situation

Yes!! #iagreewithmandamon I was okay with L's section. I've got no need of any more action than that, personally, but I need information, I need to know what's going on, why I'm reading this, what journey am I going on? That way, I can decide if I want to go on it.

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Hello and welcome! I am doggedly trudging through my backlog. I see most of my issues have already been covered here, and also that this version has been superseded by another one, so I'll leave my comments there. 

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