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5/27/19—The Scarlet Saber Chapter 1 (Revised)—4154 words—L,V,G

15 posts in this topic

Right-o, I've done my best to fix the issues pointed out to me by you wonderfully brutal folks. If you think said issues are still present, or if new issues have cropped up that you wish to let me know about, have at me. 

I think the one thing I must forewarn people of (if they haven't read it in the e-mail yet) is that this chapter is now approximately 500 words longer. And I deleted the second scene to use it in chapter 3 instead. Just so ya know. 


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I like opening with a letter. It has a bit of an “as you know” aspect to it that I think could be cut, though. I don’t think the “as you have no doubt surmised” bit is necessary.

“what I will call the Battle of the Strait-Shore,and subsequent exile-in-captivity to the Ferrotribus to you” - This feels very clunky and sounds like you are naming the retreat.


Can the path itself be demarcated? Wouldn’t the path be doing the demarcation?


Hound meat. Gross. Good detail.


I like the way you introduce our first description of L. The sentence tells us so much more than just a physical description.


Showing us the two red lines on the hilt early. I like.


I immediately disliked the idea of a mental journal but you hung a lantern on it right off the bat so I’m gonna give it a chance and see if it pays off. Still. Is there any reason she can’t have a recording device of some sort? Moving on.




I’m not liking the thought journal. My mind keeps harping on it and pulling me out of the story. I want it to be cool like Cooper’s tape recorder in Twin Peaks but it’s distracting.


Just the name Heavenly Council makes them sound like a right group of bastards.

Why isn’t her empty shirt sleeve cut/sewn/rolled/etc?




Is her hair a liability? Why isn’t it tied back? What does she do to get it under control?


How does one groan inwardly?


The raiders appearing feels more organic now, more in line with what they end up being. In the last draft, with them appearing in the lightning on the horizon I thought they were going to be powerful wizards or something and was let down. This is more grounded. Good change.


The description of what a raider is could be more specific, but I like you comparing them to the nobles. You could say they are more honest than nobles about their intentions.


“enough away enough” - Drop redundancy.


Shirtless in a desert? No. Definitely not. Desert dwellers would be covered head to toe.


I do like the description of the tattoos, but we shouldn’t be able to see them right now.



Need better descriptors than their sizes. Give medium-sized man something noticeable. Also, even though P is the biggest, why does she think he is the leader? Doesn’t he also look the youngest?


I’m assuming the throat clear is a hint at why she was speaking in italics before. I’m interested to see why that was the case, but I am glad her dialogue is normal.


Does anyone think of Dire Straits the country band? I don’t even like country.



This is reading much smoother than the last draft.


Why is the chip being common in the desert unfortunate?




Lockjaw is arguably my favorite thing to come out of the Inhumans house at Marvel.

Definitely peaked my interest about this nameless girl. Does she have to be nameless? Is she important to L? What kind of abuse did she suffer and did L suffer the same? Not questions that have to be answered now.




I have to say even though there is less action so far, this encounter is more tense than in the previous draft. L seems more competent, her attackers less stupid.


“Come on! Attack me!” he shouted. - I’d cut that line completely.


I don’t like calling him fist-fighter. Aren’t they all fist fighters? Could be raider. Highwayman. Or even just boy to get across how she sees him. Fist-fighter feels awkward.


I can’t imagine what it might even sound like for fingernails to dig into palms so this line kinda takes me out of the story. Huh?




Wait. F has a club? I thought they were all unarmed? (Goes back to check.) Oh, you said unarmored. Ok. Now the fist-fighter thing makes more sense. Maybe clarify who is carrying earlier while she is assessing the danger level of each?


When she slashed F you have a pretty good excuse to give us some gore without being too on the nose. I think it would add something to the character/interaction/world building.


“Boo!” Love it. That’s how you use italics.


I’ve never heard a the screech of a dying goat but I can sure as rust hear it in this moment.


I think stopping to point out how terrifying and gruesome the moment is works against you. For one I want L to have seen and done far worse and two it undercuts the moment.




L doesn’t seem like the type of girl who has to muster any courage.


Oh. She was afraid. Hm. I didn’t get that she was afraid until you told me right here.

Yay poison! Or lack of poison. Sniffing the blade. Good detail.




The scratches are only a week old. Now that makes sense.


I’m not as bothered by fist-fighter anymore.


11 - 14


This last bit flows much better now. P doesn’t annoy me as much as L doesn’t break character in the name of banter. The wound is clearer to me now, too.

The no named and now one eyed girl. Is this S mentioned on p9?


Overall, a good re draft. Much more actualized. The setting was more concrete. The fight scene felt more real. My biggest qualm I already mentioned. I understand the journal aspect. It’s a great literary device that I myself use but I just can’t get behind the make believe journal aspect. Is there any way to incorporate some sort of recording device? Even magical?


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Wow. This is a completely different story than the one I read last time. You did a hell of an edit! L has enough voice to move us a bit farther out of 'random generic fantasy' and the robber boy now acts much more appropriate for his station. The whole piece has voice, which is a huge change, and I really cared about the characters.

My only real niggle is that, looking back, I couldn't tell you what L's motivation is after this first chapter. The chapter ended so strongly, however, that I'm willing to keep moving forward even without. So, carry on. Looking forward to the next chapter.


As I go

- letter at the beginning is much, much better

- Ooo, L has voice now!

- pg 2: most petrified wood is just wood colored, FYI. I'm confused where the other colors in this petrified forest are coming from

- pg 2: the 'I'm on my way to-' passage is very info-dumpy. I don't really need this just yet. She could deliver it in dialogue a bit later, if needed

- oh, the raiders are less generic, too!

- pg 4: 'D, let's get her' isn't very menacing. He sounds like a cartoon villain. I don't know what age group you are shooting for her, but if it's adult, an actual acute threat of bodily harm would work well.

- pg 5: the road tax thing is better. Good hint and violence

- pg 5: L speaks with the same wordiness as the ruffians, but in her head she was a bit more curt. Just notes for next edit

- pg 6: you don't need to state that he is being abused. You've shown it very well

- pg 7: the abused goon is much more endearing in this version

- pg 8: YES the italics telepathy whatever works much better this way. Creepy. Love it

- pg 12: LOL @ 'timid little dandelion'

- solid ending


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1 hour ago, hawkedup said:

I immediately disliked the idea of a mental journal but you hung a lantern on it right off the bat so I’m gonna give it a chance and see if it pays off. Still. Is there any reason she can’t have a recording device of some sort? Moving on.

I'm afraid not. The technology doesn't exist, nor is there a magical alternative. 

1 hour ago, hawkedup said:

Does anyone think of Dire Straits the country band? I don’t even like country.

Never heard of them. There's an English band called the Dire Straits; do you mean them? 

1 hour ago, hawkedup said:

I’ve never heard a the screech of a dying goat but I can sure as rust hear it in this moment.

Okay. Brief, gruesome story. There's this documentary called "Life in a Day" that I believe is still on Youtube; it's a bunch of people's videos stitched together from around the planet, chronicling a single day. And during the happy-peppy ending montage, suddenly out of nowhere there's a goat getting its throat slit and screaming. It's kinda stuck with me, unfortunately. 

1 hour ago, kais said:

Wow. This is a completely different story than the one I read last time. You did a hell of an edit!

Thank you! The feedback from the previous post was super-helpful. 

Glad you both liked this better, and I'll take your suggestions to mind as I take another look through the passage. 


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

Ok, this is MUCH better. I'm now interested in L, there's no weird italics except where it makes sense, and it's intriguing, and the fighting is much more realistic. P also worked a lot better and it seems like L's book. Now I want to see the next chapter and find out what happens!


Notes while reading:

Pg 2. I like L's italicized thoughts a lot better. Gives a much better indication of her character. Just don't overdo them...


Pg 3. "I’m on my way to check out this supposed sixth settlement I’ve heard of..."

-- yeah, starting to drift into plot exposition here...


Pg 4. "In her past year of recovering from the injuries she’d sustained..."

-- again, straying into telling. We don't need to know a lot of this yet.


Pg 5. "thoroughly disgusting chip"

--a chip of what? Or like a potato chip? Still not sure what Gellegmite is.


Pg 6. "After a moment’s hesitation..."

--Still have a problem with this part. She tries to defuse the fight, which is good, but then starts waving her sword around. Someone in control of the situation would be completely calm and only unsheath at the last second when there is no other option.


Pg 8. The italics whatever speaking thing she's doing works a lot better with this reveal.


Pg 8 " but this was a whole new facet of terrifying gruesomeness."

--I mean, she did it herself...


Pg 9. Overall, the fight is much better


Pg 9. ". Her knees knocked together and she swayed where she stood; how long had it been since she’d actually been in a real fight? She felt dizzy."

--I thought this was because she'd been stabbed...


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I'm sorry I never got your submission last week. I  was going to read it tonight, but then I realized you'd submitted a revised chapter. 

For the most part, this worked for me. It took me a little too long to catch on to the mental journal, and once I got the hang of it, it was over for a while. I'm okay with the concept of it, but at first, I felt like some of things she was thinking could've just been part of the narration. 

The piece has a strong voice and an interesting character. You have a good amount of backstory present, but like @kais pointed out, her motivation isn't entirely clear. 

The end of the chapter definitely makes me want to read on. She's injured, got this kid tagging along who could be useful but also a pain in her butt. 

As I read:

P. 1

"General, I'm sorry..." Does the general have a name? 

The letter seemed a little cliche and didn't really do much to draw me into the story. Do you really need it? Could it be replaced with something else? 

P. 3-4

"In her relatively brief time here, she’d encountered a few of their type..." And she is looking for the place they come from? I think, earlier, there was something about this being a bad idea, but I think a thought  journal entry might be appropriate here or some kind of reaction in relation to her assessment of them and her knowing she is going to their town.

"Fighting wasn’t a risk she was prepared to take unless absolutely necessary, even against three unarmored men who’d only probably gotten this far in life by stealing and using brute force. For her, there was too much at stake." Her thoughts about these guys didn't create as much tension as they could've. She painted them as easy opponents. Even though she didn't really want to fight, she knew it was inevitable. I had no doubt throughout the encounter that she was going to fight and kill them and found myself not taking the wound as seriously as I probably should. 

I didn't make any notes beyond that, which is a sign I was very engaged in the story. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. 



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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.

Arrggh. I hate PDFs. Can I convert this to a word document? OH I CAN. Much better.



Opening lines: This starts much, much better. "Demarcated" is a bit purple, though, you can just say "lined" or "marked" and it says the same thing--i.e.,


L walked along the uneven path marked by two loose lines of cobblestones



Pg 1:



She adjusted the sword’s sheath—a crude leather scabbard that was fraying up the middle, belted at her left hip—into a more comfortable position. Topping the end of the sheath was a basket hilt that protected a grip tightly wrapped in a dark cloth that was marked with two small red lines.

A little too much detail. I don't really care which hip her sword is belted on, nor that it has a basket hilt. A better way to phrase this would be something like


She adjusted the sword's sheath--a crude leather scabbard that was fraying up the middle--into a more comfortable position.

And then explaining the cuts later, when it's more applicable to what's going on. What you're doing is telling us that there's cuts on the handle and that it has a basket hilt--which at this stage, are both extraneous details we don't need to know.


OOHHH she has voice now! This is wonderful!


Pg. 3


>> "the wind kicked up and wrapped whipped her hair around her face"

(the wind has too many surfaces to blow around, and it blows in only one direct, so it can't actually 'wrap' around anything.)

>> "stood wary warily"

(you can be wary, or you can stand warily, as in a wary way of standing)

Pg. 4


I'm still not sold on the whole, only being protected by a breastplate, gorget, and vambrace, hopefully she has more armor than that, even if its a gambeson (coat of layered fabric). Speaking of that, have you considered the idea of warriors wearing a coat of plates? It's basically a long arming doublet or gambeson, but with metal plates sewn in between the layers for protection. Brigandine would also be an option. If metal is scarce in the world, it'd make more sense for them to try to cover more of their body with smaller plates, rather than shaping large pieces that only cover a little bit.

>> "DS the leader" << "D's the leader"

Pg. 6


>> "The blade was just a little over two feet long, thin and slightly curved, edged outwards and chipped" << I'm not sold on this. Is this supposed to be a katana with a basket-hilt? What do you mean by "edged outwards". Chipped is also not good, it indicates the sword hasn't gotten proper care in a long time, which means the blade is probably dull as well.

Pg. 8


>> "L assumed her favored stance, her arm angled downwards across her torso, sword pointed deceptively downward, and waited." << Much better.

This action sequence is much more visceral and involved, and shows more aptitude on both sides. Much much better.

Pg. 9


L you idiot, don't go for the neck!

Pg. 10


>> "burned like a mother" << This colloquealism makes very little sense even in our world, and relies too heavily on modern vernacular to be comprehensible, which makes me jump out of the in-world immersion.

Pg. 11


>> "When he noticed his comrades...kidnappers? Acquaintances were dead, he stepped back a pace" << This is really confusing.

>> "She traced her thumb over the leather grip, where she planned to make a mark for her kills alongside the other two scratches that were barely a week old"

(this is the perfect place to put this in. Remove the description of the scratches from the beginning, and just leave it here.)


Pg. 12


>> "When he suddenly began to walk after her in great strides, she quickly drew her sword again as he grew uncomfortably close, and he came to a halt."

(You've already said he was walking toward her in great strides.)


Overall, this is so much better than your first submission, it's practically an entirely new chapter. I had a few notes above, but on the whole, I was engrossed, invested, and enjoyed reading this entire resubmission. L has so much more personality now, so much more presence, and I feel a connection to her that was completely void before. I like her kind of cocksure manner--and I love that you mention she's scared. This is a dynamicism that was missing in the first submission and it breathes life into this character.

The dialogue is much, much better as well, and the way that you've changed things makes for a much more organic reading process that makes me spend less time asking why things are a certain way, and more time wanting to continue reading and finding out. The action scenes, as I mentioned, were much more visceral and real, which in turn made them more immediate and engaging to me as a reader, and the ending finished solidly. I want to read more. Good job.


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On 27/05/2019 at 5:51 AM, JWerner said:

you wonderfully brutal folks

Ha-ha!! :lol: That's going on the Reading Excuses T-shirt (only half joking, pre-orders for WorldCon?)

(page 1)

- Good. Definitely better. I'm completely clear that I am in desert setting, no water, sore feet. Good. I still think it's curious someone marked out a road. For one thing, those cobbles are going to get covered up by drifting sand. I think it would be like building a road at the North Pole, or in the Sahara: pointless.

- pick out of a crowd - :lol: great line, and very pithy way to instantly describe the character in outline: a very effective first impression.

(page 2)

- Good, some long range visual description. It's not hugely detailed, but it's enough to put me in the scene. A little more detail wouldn't go a miss for me personally.

- Where does the blue come in for the wood?

- The mental journal is a cool idea and gives you the chances to trick the POV and tell the reader things that otherwise would probably sound awkward.

- I LOVE the juxtaposition of her thinking of ways to kill someone in a jokey way then the next bit... "A bit of humour... going to die within two days" BOOM! That's great. The problem I have is that you lose the impact of that great line with all this stuff about beds and blood and legs cut off. I'm not saying drop that, I'm saying give us space to absorb the thought of her being dead, then go to a new paragraph with the next thought. Too rushed.

- Is L missing a leg too? Confused.

- More confused. All these stuff with Star and Straight, the Council a boat raiders: for me it's all too much too soon. The reader has no chance to make any sense of all that stuff. In other words, the paragraph about the 6th Sett is very, very tell-y, in a bad way. I think it stretches the mental journal idea--which has worked well for me till now--too far.

- "Back home, it was called the D" - Interesting.

(page 3)

- "three figures had appeared down the road" - This goes to what I was saying earlier about description. The description is better, but I want more. Do they appear from over a crest in the road, from a dip in the road? Around the corner of a dune? I don't know what the landscape looks like, and yet it is all around.

- "weapons, though at least they forward..." - These are part of the same thought, therefore same sentence. Also, forward? I think 'honest' would be clearer, and is quite funny.

- How are they pale when they live in the desert? I know you get cold deserts, but this doesn't seem to be that.

(page 4)

- Yes, for me this encounter is already better than the previous version. It feels more realistic.

- "In her past of recovering from the injuries..." - This sentence is way long and running-on and confusing.  it's four lines long and not clear. Very wordy. And the last sentence about metal is overkill. You've just explained that, then you say it again, but in seven words which would replace the four lines prior to that.

- "Dire Strait" - Money for Nothing: best riff EVER!! <rocks out for several minutes>

- aaaaand we're back. Interesting fact 'Money for Nothing' uses the word 'faggot' three times. Fairly sure you could't do that now... and quite rightly so.

- I like that L considers fighting a risk, even though she is implied to be highly proficient, although he has lost an arm, so presumably lost to someone? Unclear. Anyway, I like the idea. I would say that the phrasing / wording around here it a bit muddy.

- "let's get her!" - The goons still come over dumb in a bad way. I mean to say this out loud? It feels like low-hanging fruit dialogue, i.e. the first thing that suggested itself. I suggest looking harder at this and finding a more interesting and original line.

- "D's the leader..." - This is lazy logic from L. Some of the most renowned leaders have not been tall. Napoleon, for example (5'7"). Churchill was 5'6". Shorter people tend to have to rely on wits and intelligence, therefore arguably are more likely to become leaders, even in a fantasy setting.

- "whacked his smaller subordinate" - this is contradictory, like D has two subordinates, but D is not the tall one? So he must be the boxer. But the boxer is the nervous one. Very confused. Something not right here, methinks.

(page 5)

- a chip? Like fries? Confused. It must come from something. A vegetable?

- I am enjoying the debate. I think it's much more realistic that there would be this kind of negotiation, showing that both parties would prefer to avoid violence, although neither will admit it out loud.

- "just a little over two feet long" - that's pretty small for a sword. You're talking a glades-type weapon at this length, I think. And then your describe the rest of the sword and I'm thinking nope. Swords like falchions and rapiers tend to be 3 feet long. But I'll just wait to read what @Alderant has to say about this ;) 

- what does 'edge outwards mean? I can't be edge on the inside.

- "she flipped it around in her hand a few times" - on the one hand (sorry...) I don't think a proper swordsman would do this; on the other hand (really sorry!), I can see why she would do this to intimidate them without actually engaging them.

(page 6)

- Oh, so boxer is the largest goon? That's not clear up to now, I don't think.

- "splotches" - This is a terrible word and should only be used by people aged 5 and under :lol: When you're talking about bruising and implied violence, this word just undermines that who vibe, I think.

- "It was obvious that he was being abused..." - I agree, which means you don't need to say this, you've just shown in. Strike this line. Or, at very least delete "It was obvious that".

(page 7)

- I am so much more invested in this encounter than before. It's so much more effective, I think now that it's much more a battle of wills.

- "earthquake" - kind of crude image. I would imagine being in a earthquake doesn't cause a body to tremble (directly).

(page 8)

- "towards the ground" - I don't think the ground is far enough away for something to go towards the ground. He'll reach the ground in less than a second, I think. Going towards the horizon, towards the town, fine, but this sounds off to me.

- She doesn't have time to jump aside to avoid a thrown knife. What is he, ten feet away? The knife crosses that distance in a second maybe. And then, if he's close enough to tackle her, then he's too close to throw the knife, or too close for her to jump aside to avoid it. Try acting this out with a friend, relative or colleague, I think you'll uncover some logistical issues.

- Big, long run-on sentence for four lines.

- Huh? What just happened? Why did he let go of her? And you can't say "Boo" at the same time you're grinning. Try it. But there's no way he just recoils for no reason. did she do magic? Don't understand.

- "bolted" - 'Bolt upright' is an expression, but it's not a verb. I presume it come from being as upright (straight) as a bolt of cloth. 

(page 9)

- The line about her mustering the courage to kick him in the balls confuses me. It doesn't seem consistent with her strength to date.

- Knees knocking? Really? Why? This is a comic image, I feel it has not place here.

- Fighting is boring at the best of times: dissecting it afterwards is ten times more boring. I'm skipping this bit about what she should have done.

(page 10)

- "deprived of plants" - devoid of plants would be the more usual phrasing, 'deprived' sounds like they had plants, but someone took them away. And if they have no plants, they most have all sorts of health problems. Where do that get Vitamin C from or a host of other nutrients for that matter?

- "comrades...kidnappers? Acquaintances" - Smacks of the author not being able to decide which word to use. Pretty untidy and I don't think it really says anything.

- "Another hole?" - Huh? Don't understand.

(page 11)

- "did decided" - typo.

- The bit where he starts running is awkward. I think it would be more effective if he just started walking after her. The running is strong behaviour, walking is normal. Also, her going all combat: weird. Just tell him to shove off.

(page 12)

- "outtake" - Huh? What does that mean?

- "raised a single eyebrow at him" - you really draw attention to how arch this gesture is by the phrasing. If you say 'eyebrow' that is only one, you do not need to say single, which is excessive, imo.

(page 13)

- "Pi" - Still?

- "I'll follow you for now" - This is repetitive of her say 'for now' before.

- "part of her wanted to hope that he was sincere" - over-complicated. More direct phrasing is more engaging, like 'part of her hope he was sincere'.

- "rib" - still don't know what one of these is, but I appreciate that they have been much less referred to in this chapter. I still think you need to convey something about them, not just drop the name. You could say 'before the rib come to feast on your buddies' thereby implying they are scavengers, which is more than we know at the moment. Also 'buddies' bodies' is awkward, and makes the writing noticeable, which it shouldn't be, imo.

(page 14)

- The last journal entry is confused. I don't understand the phrasing. something missing.

- The whole end of the chapter is confused. There are several sentences that on their own could be summing up lines, the winding road, her being dead, the journal entry. When you run them all one after another, the end of very much stuttering. I think you need a clearer, sharper image to leave the reader with. The options she has from being dead are good. The bit about being scared come from nowhere, I think that's a bad thing to end on, or even to include here; it has no basis I can see and asks too many new questions at the end of a chapter, imo.


This is waaaay better than the first version, well done :) 

I think there are still issues, but so many of the awkward / not working stuff from the first version is gone: it's very much tidier. 

I think the ending is probably the roughest but of the chapter now. L's emotional tone there is all over the place and her fear comes out of nowhere, for me.

Good work 5cf1214dbfcf1_thumbs-upsmall.jpg.534266de3947cfa4c4101b2ec37bfbc1.jpg



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36 minutes ago, Robinski said:

"just a little over two feet long" - that's pretty small for a sword. You're talking a glades-type weapon at this length, I think. And then your describe the rest of the sword and I'm thinking nope. Swords like falchions and rapiers tend to be 3 feet long. But I'll just wait to read what @Alderant has to say about this ;)

It's a bit short for an arming sword, but since he said the "blade" was a little over two feet long, I didn't think much of it. An arming sword's blade averaged about 29"-30" from what I've been able to learn, though some would have been shorter or longer, so it wasn't out of the realm of possibility to me. That said...if by "blade", he meant the entire sword is only two feet long, then yeah, that's more like a gladius or a short sword than an actual arming sword, because once you add the hilt, grip and pommel, they were about 3 feet long. (As a way of note, longswords were typically about 3-3 1/2 feet in the blade, sometimes getting close to 4/4 1/2 feet, but had a much longer handle designed for two-handed use so they ended up on average about 4-5 feet long in total, with some approaching 6 feet.)

Edited by Alderant

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Hey @Alderant, you know you're our resident armourer now, right? ;) 


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20 minutes ago, Robinski said:

Hey @Alderant, you know you're our resident armourer now, right? ;) 

:D I'll do my best. I'd rather be a resource than a drain, anyway.


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19 minutes ago, Alderant said:

:D I'll do my best. I'd rather be a resource than a drain, anyway.

Auch, wheesht (have you noticed yet that I'm from Glasgow?). Nobody's a drain. We're all here to make all the writing better :) 


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11 minutes ago, Robinski said:

Auch, wheesht (have you noticed yet that I'm from Glasgow?). Nobody's a drain. We're all here to make all the writing better :) 

I saw on your manuscript you were from Scotland! Always wanted to visit there. And thanks.


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Thanks everyone! The additional feedback is most helpful.

Probably gonna skip submitting this week because I need to catch up on writing my own critiques, and some more time to spruce up chapter 2. 

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

- The line about her mustering the courage to kick him in the balls confuses me. It doesn't seem consistent with her strength to date.

Yeah, that was me WILDLY overcompensating for some of the feedback on the last version. I was going for 'emotionally relatable' and like you said, it created inconsistency. My bad. 


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