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hawkedup

07/01/19 - Turn of Ages 5 - hawkedup - 4500 - L

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Posted (edited)

This chapter introduces a new POV and returns to the generals from L's first chapter.

Thanks for reading!

Noteworthy mention: This is the first chapter I wrote fresh (3.0 is a tabula rasa rewrite of 2.0) since joining the group. I think it's safe to say that I've already gotten a lot better. (But miles to go before I sleep). Anyway, thank you for that!

Edited by hawkedup
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Yes, this does read a lot smoother than the last ones!

I liked E's new POV. Eager to learn about some of the tech you're hinting at. I think the interaction between E and M in the beginning needs a little more express buildup before the kiss, but otherwise good. I also like the new explanation for C. If some of this can be moved forward to the first time we meet him, I think that will solve a lot of the problems. I also had a little confusion with some of the blocking and descriptions in the last couple pages, as noted below.

Looking forward to more!

 

Notes while reading:

pg 2: "a trait shared true rift chasers"
--Missing a word?

pg 3: "E could only remember hearing that rhythm a handful of times in his thirty-seven years of life"
--But neither of them reacts to it, except to say they dressed up.

pg 3: "Despite their significant age difference, thirteen years, M flirted with him like a woman with no shame."
--Is that what they're doing? She just commented that he had on a new uniform.

pg 5: "E had discovered how to form..."
--Bit of a long infodump here.

pg 5: “The royal palace?”
--I still don't know what the orders are, and the tension sort of got lost with the infodump.

pg 6: "since they’ve been tolling martial law"
--ah, maybe put this explanation sooner.

pg 8: Nice cheering moment for sticking it to Agent J.

pg 9: "She clapped her hands and beamed at him...And then she kissed him."
--This whole section I don't get a really good feeling for an attraction between the two. They have some good banter, but it seems more like that between working asociates. There's some 'tell' that M is attracted to him, but not a lot of 'show' until the end and it seems sort of sudden.

pg 10: "The bells of imperium tolled the slow rhythm of martial law"
--Is this because of the missing heirs? I didn't catch that.

pg 10: "His last iteration had been left handed"
--interesting

pg 11: good explanation for C. It would be good to see this earlier.

pg 15: "She couldn’t see his face behind his faceplate"
--huh? Was this described before?

pg 15: what's the deal with the thurible? Confused. Why does M call it shackles?

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Hmm, another POV, okay. Let's say I'm going in sceptical.

(page 1)

- Interesting. Yes, for me this is as engaging as Z's POV. Well enough written that I didn't have anything to haul over the coals on page 1!

(page 2)

- "It’s exactly [missing word(s)] you’ve been waiting for"

- "past the turn of age" - I've said before that I don't have a clear understand of what this is. Is it a simple as going grey? But there was an implication in earlier chapters that some dire thing happens and people disappear (literally). I'm still confused by this.

- "a trait shared [missing word(s)] true rift chasers"

- "the new ache in his knees" - If he's having issues with loss of cartilage, or with rheumatism, or some such, it would be odd for both knees to be equally affected, I think. I think, from my limited experience, one is like to go before the other.

(page 3)

“New uniform?” - This reads very much like he says it, because you give him a thought in a paragraph about her. I got confused with who was speaking here.

- I had the impression that the army was in control anyway, but I guess I was wrong. Maybe my mistake. And yet, it was a soldier that told Z's village that they could not have their fiesta, was it not?

- "every curve of her slender form was revealed to him" - VERY male gaze. Does he value her any anything other than her body? I get the impression he does, in which case this kind of line cheapens any regard he has for her as a person.

- "like a woman with no shame" - Ooh, yes, this is going downhill fast.

- "would have risen his ire in the past" - poor grammar. There's no law against just saying 'made him angry'. The trick is to not have the reader notice the writing, because it's smooth, flowing, elegant and involving.

(page 4)

- "excellent scribe with a bright future" - Okay, better... "M was a distraction" - Hmm.

- "What is it this time?" - Bit confused about the timeline. You say at the top of Page 2 that this is a summons to the palace. Then on this page he doesn't know what it is.

- Why are there more than one Director of Operations? That's really odd. The whole going of being a director it to have sole responsibility for a particular area, imo.

- "How he missed doing real work" - Double italics like this is weird.

(page 5)

- "had been a rift chaser" - don't know what this is.

(page 6)

- "These orders were the best possible thing that could have happened to him" - this is the third or fourth time that he's thought this or something like it, it feels repetitive by now.

- "insocient" - did you mean 'insouciant'? This sticks out like a ten-dollar word where the prose has not been all that elaborate up to now.

(page 7)

- "DoI was hired by the GK" - Why would the GK need to hire them, he commands them all, does he not? Department implies part of a the larger whole of the same administration. Now, it can be the case in some corporation that certain departments have to compete with external providers in bidding to provide services even to their own company, in order to maintain open and competitive practices, but I don't get the sense that's what's happening here, since I don't see that there would be any competitor organisation to the MC in the private sector, I just think it's the wrong word!

- Ha!! Well, aren't I a chump! If only I'd read on one more line :rolleyes: Let me come at this a different way. I don't get any sense that J is stupid. He's been painted as a very standard pen-pushing chull-pain. Look at this guy, he's a bad guy, you can tell because he's fat, and his sidekick is greasy. I think it's kind of lazy characterisation, if I'm honest. Surely, J would need to be pretty shrewd to rise to the head of the department. He certainly would know that the GK would not hire them out.

- Extending this point, E's reaction to J is dismissive, which also seems imprudent, and unlikely. If J has risen to this position past him, and he's been working with the guy, even trained the guy, he must now that his is resourceful in some way, even if it's as a career-building, non-team player. Surely E must know how J rose to the position he's in, because he's observed it happening over the years. I'm not convinced by this exchange / background between E and J.

(page 8)

- "If you’d like to stay here and wait until I get back, you are of course welcome to stay" - repetition rather awkward.

- "Have a beautiful day" - I'm disappointed by E. He's very flippant, almost recklessly careless. He does not come over to me like a shrewd operator. I can see there is resentment between these two, but the way he deals with J is kind of childish actually. There's a reading of this scene in which J is in the right, setting aside what has gone before. J doesn't do anything wrong as far as I can see, he doesn't threaten or seek to undermine E in this scene, and E is the one who is insubordinate.

- "Oh, thank you, Enrique" >>> "And then she kissed him" - No, I don't believe this. It's very old-man fantasy. I expect him to wake up at any moment. It's just too easy, and somewhat disturbing. If you're going to go down this route, I think you have to be clear about how this apparent adoration of the young, female subordinate is earned. There has to be a cost, there has to be doubt, maybe some shame/guilt, some reticence.

(page 11)

- Isn't C a general? Why would he be running through poleaxe drills assigned by a captain? Maybe I'm misremembering.

(page 12)

- The door is locked from the outside? Confused. Why does the person outside knock? More confused.

(page 13)

- Who is Ger?

- What is a siphon?

- "as if that explained everything. She supposed it did" - It really doesn't:" I don't know what's going on.

- Who is Z?

(page 15)

- Completely mystified by what M does with her lantern. It's the first time we've seen anyone does anything like this. But there's no explanation, so I just let it wash over me, not understanding, but reading on to get past it.

Overall 

I'm not invested in these strands of the story. I feel there is so much that goes unexplained, it's just mystifying and therefore not involving. I don't like E, he feels shallow and his priorities are kind of warped, it seems to me. His regard for M is wholly unwholesome, it seems to me. And M, I don't fid her convincing. It seems like she should be self-seeking, using E to fulfil her own lust for advancement. For her just to be trailing around worshipping E feels wrong to me.

I can see there is call to feel sympathy for Cr, but for me his situation has not been well explained or shown to the reader in order to earn to emotional pay off of him being used as a tool by the GK, almost cast aside. 

I think there is an underlying weakness in story and that is a lack of characterisation, of character establishment, clarity of motivation, that makes it difficult for me to invest in what the characters are doing now. That is okay for Z because she is young, and because she is coming from a position of complete ignorance (in a good way) of what's developing around her, so the reader can discover it with her and not be confused. (Although as noted by others in the last sub, there is maybe a need for Z's character background and emotional state to be better established.) With the other characters, maybe because there are so many, their introduction feels rushed. There isn't enough space to establish any of them in a detailed and rounded way, so they end up feeling like cut-outs, sketches, that I don't really understand in terms of motivation.

Sorry to be harsh. I like the set up. There is a good idea (several really) running through this story, but I think there is too much going on for me to get properly invested in any of the characters for the reasons noted. If this was a tight single POV on Z from the start I think you would have a much stronger story. I don't think the other POVs really add anything to that.

<R> 

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On 7/1/2019 at 8:35 AM, Mandamon said:

Is this because of the missing heirs?

Yes, but they don't know this yet.

On 7/1/2019 at 8:35 AM, Mandamon said:

what's the deal with the thurible?

8 hours ago, Robinski said:

Completely mystified by what M does with her lantern. It's the first time we've seen anyone does anything like this.

It's a fake.

8 hours ago, Robinski said:

I've said before that I don't have a clear understand of what this is. Is it a simple as going grey?

Once someone hits the turn of age (usually around the age of 35-40) they then proceed to age at an extremely accelerated pace. Average lifespan after hitting the turn is about 18 months (if the person is lucky enough to die of old age).

8 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "every curve of her slender form was revealed to him" - VERY male gaze.

She's standing/posing in such a way as to specifically draw his gaze.

8 hours ago, Robinski said:

Why are there more than one Director of Operations?

Each department has its own director.

8 hours ago, Robinski said:

He certainly would know that the GK would not hire them out.

He knows. This is a slip of the tongue that E uses as an opportunity to be cheeky.

8 hours ago, Robinski said:

E is the one who is insubordinate.

Yes. This is as close to insubordination as E has ever come. It's the (his) equivalent of telling your cremhole boss to storm off before quitting and walking out with both middle fingers in the air. 

9 hours ago, Robinski said:

No, I don't believe this.

I'm not a fan of the kiss either. I wrote it 10 different ways and just picked the one that bothered me least. Thinking it might be better to cut it and move it to a future chapter when the characters are more familiar to us.

9 hours ago, Robinski said:

Sorry to be harsh.

No need to apologize. I prefer harshness and genuine feedback to "I liked it!" which was 99% of the feedback I got before joining this group.

Thanks for reading, guys!

This is officially the end of all the primary POV introductions. The plan is for Z to have every odd numbered chapter and 50% of the novel's POVs. The other characters will share the other half of the book, each getting between 5-15% of remaining POVs.

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Overall

The writing flowed really well in this and the chapter had good direction. I'm getting POV confusion at this stage, and I bounced hard off some elements below, but the actual construction of the story and plot, at least in this chapter, worked for me. I think this has been your strongest chapter thus far!

 

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

If you're going to go down this route, I think you have to be clear about how this apparent adoration of the young, female subordinate is earned. There has to be a cost, there has to be doubt, maybe some shame/guilt, some reticence.

I agree that this needs more developing. If she's using the resources she has to get ahead, fine. If she is a double agent, fine. Just.. not a sex object, and not a racially coded stereotype sex object in particular. 

 

As I go

- another POV? Ehhhh

- pg 1: a lot of telling still. I'd rather be shown that the boss wanted to get rid of E, not be told

with ebony skin and hair that she didn’t even try to tame. Issue 1) what color skin does E have? Does he have skin? Thus far skin tons are being routinely called out on people of color, leading to the problematic white default. Issue 2) 'wild hair' on a black person is problematic at best, and implicit racism at worst. Here is a great link that describes the problem and gives a few hundred ways around it.

-  Leaning back on his desk that way, every curve of her slender form was revealed to him. Objectification like this raises my hackles. If I were reading this in a bookstore I would put the book down now. It's not that characters can't act like this, but the narrative needs to refute the problematic actions. Thus far we have a black woman with wild hair being looked at like a sex object... and that's a real issue that needs addressing.

flirted with him like a woman with no shame Why would she have shame from flirting? Is flirting a crime in this world?

She only acted the way she did to see if she could fluster him. My concern here is that we're going to be told this, functionally in narrator voice, and the narrative isn't going to refute it or give her more complex motivations

- pg 5: wait, hold on. He is some kind of telepath, and he taught other people this, and that made everyone stop doing crime? I need more information here. This seems way too important to be skimming over, especially with the population control aspect

- Mar also does not appear to have skin

- the bad boss is fat? Please, tell me he isn't the villain

- pg 9: huh. Okay. I buy the kiss noting the lead up. She seems to be using sexuality to drive advancement, so it tracks

- another POV. My head is spinning

- C has skin! But we don't know what color

- pg 11: calling C 'boy' is not the best, due to his whatever condition that keeps his mental faculties down

- Jess also has no skin

 

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14 hours ago, hawkedup said:

proceed to age at an extremely accelerated pace. Average lifespan after hitting the turn is about 18 months

I think you have to spell that out for the reader the first time you use the term turn of life.

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14 hours ago, hawkedup said:
On 02/07/2019 at 8:09 AM, Robinski said:

Completely mystified by what M does with her lantern. It's the first time we've seen anyone does anything like this.

It's a fake.

How am I supposed to know that?

14 hours ago, hawkedup said:
On 02/07/2019 at 8:09 AM, Robinski said:

- "every curve of her slender form was revealed to him" - VERY male gaze.

She's standing/posing in such a way as to specifically draw his gaze.

That doesn't make it 'right'. He's still leering.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:
On 02/07/2019 at 8:09 AM, Robinski said:

Why are there more than one Director of Operations?

Each department has its own director.

Okay, but I find it unclear. How do they tell the difference? Would they not call them Dir of Inquis Operations; Dir of Admin Operations, etc?

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:
On 02/07/2019 at 8:09 AM, Robinski said:

He certainly would know that the GK would not hire them out.

He knows. This is a slip of the tongue

It doesn't come over like a slip of the tongue. To me, it comes over like the author engineering a situation that allows E to be cheeky.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:
On 02/07/2019 at 8:09 AM, Robinski said:

No, I don't believe this.

I'm not a fan of the kiss either. I wrote it 10 different ways and just picked the one that bothered me least. Thinking it might be better to cut it and move it to a future chapter when the characters are more familiar to us.

This is encouraging to hear. I like that you've tried hard to make something work and come to the realisation it doesn't. We seem to have a consensus :) 

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

The plan is for Z to have every odd numbered chapter and 50% of the novel's POVs. The other characters will share the other half of the book, each getting between 5-15% of remaining POVs.

I'm reassured to hear that Z is the primary POV. Anything you can do to sway towards her will work better, I think. There's a really danger of losing focus with multiple POV, or that readers favour one and therefore resent the others before they can get back to the one that they like and are engaged with. So-called rules are made to be broken though, clearly, since my last fantasy novel had ten POVs and I think the folks on here were about ready to throttle me :D 

4 hours ago, kais said:

Does he have skin?

:lol: 

4 hours ago, kais said:

the bad boss is fat? Please, tell me he isn't the villain

I know, right? Why is it the all the villains in all the worlds have to have weight control issues, in one direction or to the other extreme?

4 hours ago, kais said:

C has skin! But we don't know what color

:rolleyes:

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6 hours ago, Robinski said:

I think you have to spell that out for the reader the first time you use the term turn of life.

I'm trying not to spell stuff the characters take for granted out too too much because I'm building to a "the truth was hidden in plain sight all along" moment, but I do take your point. I thought Z's second chapter clarified what the turn of age actually is, but I'll make a note for the next draft to see if I can't bring the reader in on the know a bit better. I'm also hoping readers recognize the "turn of age" as particularly important and pick up on the hints since it's the title of the book.

Sometimes you just gotta spell it out, though, right?

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

To me, it comes over like the author engineering a situation that allows E to be cheeky.

Fair enough. It was supposed to show that J thinks in modern terms when it comes to the department where they are hired privately most of the time. I'll see if I can make this come across more and make the dialogue flow better.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

There's a really danger of losing focus with multiple POV, or that readers favour one and therefore resent the others before they can get back to the one that they like and are engaged with.

I get that. The first draft was a single through POV, but I got bored writing it. Multiplee POVs is just more fun to write. 

Any advice to help make multiple POVs work (none will be cut) would be super helpful!

11 hours ago, kais said:

Thus far skin tons are being routinely called out on people of color, leading to the problematic white default.

M is only the second non-white character who has had her skin tone called out. 

90% of the characters are Hispanic or Indigenous. The characters only notice skin color in passing and only if its a tone that's particularly out of the norm.

It's brown default.

I actually have a plan when it comes to describing skin tone and other racial features but after the backlash I got for just using "honey colored" in my first submission I'm not going to implement it until the next draft. I want to take stuff like white default and flip it on its head, but I also know this group is... sensitive about these things. So I'm just focusing on story and character and pacing and the like this draft. I'll probably just remove all references to race, skin and skin tone entirely in submissions going forward.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

That doesn't make it 'right'. He's still leering.

True. Just someone who has been extremely lonely for years and who knows he will die alone in less than a year.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

Why is it the all the villains in all the worlds have to have weight control issues, in one direction or to the other extreme?

J is a very minor character. He's also really not all that fat. E just hates him and so emphasizes his "flaws" more. E himself is not much skinnier than J but he only thinks of it as his "softening" middle. 

To contrast: Z's Papa is fat, but she doesn't consider it a character flaw and so it isn't mentioned in her POV.

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1 hour ago, hawkedup said:

It's brown default.

This is excellent and totally fine, but calling out only certain skin tones, particularly darker ones, is still a problematic othering issue. Brown default can still lead to colorism, which is something that doesn't get as much air time as racism, but is an issue nonetheless. It's fairly clear from the names that your characters are likely not all white. However, calling out one or two people in skin tone sets a very deep precedent for your world. You just need to be conscious of what you're doing. If racism and colorism are in-world, also fine, just make sure the narrative deals with it. 

Doing brown default would mean, to me, calling out lighter skin tones and not calling out darker ones, unless colorism is an in-world thing (which is also fine, just needs to be established). So like, so-and-so had skin the color of uncooked dough and piss-yellow hair, or something, to show the disdain (if you want) and clear othering of white people. 

This is just one of those things that the writing community, in particular, is really working to deal with. It doesn't work both ways because historic inequality, equity, and the continuation of white authors writing POC. It's like fridging--not cool if a male character does it to a female. If a female does it to a male? It's still kind of co-op literary device but it doesn't carry the same social weight. 

I don't think deleting all external appearance markers is the answer. Instead, here is a handy guide for ways to talk about these things in writing.

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I hear you, man! Thanks for the response and the links. I’ve done a lot of research on this before but haven’t seen that particularly sight before and it looks pretty extensive. 

Once I’m more confident in the characters  and the world, I’d love to really take the subject and dig into it with you. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Hawkedup,

This chapter has a two major problems. First off, as has already been pointed out, everything about E's leering of M (and her disappointing characterization as little more than a temptress) is somewhat creepy and in need of revising. Please try to write her as someone who's more than just an object of the older male's desire.

You also have a LOT of exposition; characters telling other characters things they probably already know. I would honestly recommend adding some flashbacks for the sake of your pacing, if possible. Anything to integrate the information in a more organic fashion; for instance, anything revolving around C, maybe you have a character reading a report. It would come across as more natural than characters saying out loud what they already know. 

(pg. 1)

-Agent E's first gray hair appeared three weeks ago, but his sideburns were already completely white—I don't think the colors are distinct enough that you can honestly differentiate between the two, if you're asking me to believe his 'first' graying hair is coming when his sideburns are white. Sideburns are hair too.

-That… 

… and M.—Trying to create a dramatic pause this way works against you.

(pg. 2)

-She said he had been an inspiration to her when she was back in the academy.—Change to 'back when.' Current grammar makes it seem like he's an inspiration to her when she's at the academy, at present. 

-M was short for a woman—Delete bolded part

-Her eyes were large in a deceptively soft face—How do you tell when a face is 'deceptively soft?'

-a trait shared amongst true rift chasers—Added 'amongst'

(pg. 3)

-The smell of the hair dye was also suddenly very pungent to his own nostrils.—Delete bolded part. What else would it be pungent to? 

-“I understand,” she said, and gestured down at her own person.—I would change 'own person' to 'herself.'

-Despite their significant age difference, thirteen years, M flirted with him like a woman with no shame. He wasn’t delusional, though. A young beauty like her had no real interest in a washed out old questioner.—For reasons already raised, please rewrite this.

(pg. 5)

-Back then, he had been the youngster everyone of the old blood hated—Talented character who rises through the ranks and becomes universally despised by jealous old guard? You're straying into Sue territory here; take it from someone who wrote a character like this and continues to regret it. I would at least edit out that EVERYONE hated him.

-Once he learned how...or hide—Exposition.

-He knew in his heart that this would be his final case.—Why? You've gone several pages with keeping us in the dark.

(pg. 6)

-After giving us nothing but low level appraisal jobs for the past few months, trying to force you into retirement?—Exposition. 

-a greasy looking man named M who rarely spoke and always stared down his nose, behind.—Behind what? 

(pg. 7)

-despite being a scribe from the Great Library, M carried a dagger with red ruby in the hilt.—Why despite? Are they not allowed to have weapons? You haven't explained. 

-J returned her salute halfheartedly, without stopping, barely registering the woman.—I would change to 'her'

(pg. 9)

-“What I meant was--” He paused for emphasis. “--you’re coming with me.”—What did he say prior that was supposed to mean 'you're coming with me'? I am confused.

(pg. 13)

-“The plan was for the God King to wait another month before taking G as a host"—Exposition

-You are arguing against the God King’s will even after nearly half a decade in his service. Especially after he was benevolent enough to give you, both of you, the title of general.—Exposition

-Everybody in the room knew she was lying.—If this narration is not omniscient, how does she know this? And why lie, if she knows she isn't going to be believed? 

-It’s been less than a month since the last time the God King used C as a siphon—Exposition


-The last C died when he reached twelve feet, and we don’t have another siphon ready to take his place—Exposition

(pg. 14)

-G and Z had been special...where C came in.—Exposition. 

Edited by JWerner
Edited to soften tone of own criticism, which was initially brusque.
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On 6/30/2019 at 9:28 PM, hawkedup said:

I think it's safe to say that I've already gotten a lot better.

For sure! I don't have nearly as much to say about this chapter as I did the first few you submitted.

Having an adult character after a few chapters of younger characters did take me a few minutes to warm up to, but once I did, I enjoyed the chapters. I liked the tension in it, the details it revealed about the world and the plot, and how it linked up with one of the other POVs. When the POV switched again, I was a little reluctant to move to a new character already when I had just started liking the one I was reading, but after a page or two, I once again warmed up to that character. 

One thing that annoyed me a little was that in both chapters, there was a lot of focus on POV mouthing off to superiors. I liked it more with the first one. With the second, even though it was a different character, it still felt redundant even if the the consequences for one were more severe than the other. 

I was a little confused as to whether or not Y was actually a slave or just felt like one. 

One grammatical edit: "a trait shared true rift chasers" I think there is a word missing.

On 7/2/2019 at 3:09 AM, Robinski said:

If this was a tight single POV on Z from the start I think you would have a much stronger story. I don't think the other POVs really add anything to that.

I would be on board with a story just being told from Z's POV, but I don't mind the other younger character either. I think this is L? She is a teen, right? 

One thing that is nagging at me about the age differences is that I feel like each POV is kind of aimed at a difference audience. The adult characters feel written for adults. Z feels somewhere on the border of YA and middle grade. L feels like YA. 

I'm thinking the story might be better without the adults. 

If you are just writing for you, or even to self publish, you can probably get away without picking an age category, but if you plan to query agents, it probably should fit in one age box or the other. 

On 7/4/2019 at 1:29 AM, JWerner said:

First off, as has already been pointed out, everything about E's leering of M (and her disappointing characterization as little more than a temptress) is somewhat creepy and in need of revising.

I was bothered by this in his POV.  @JWerner  make a good point here. I also agree with @kais and @Robinski's comments on this topic.

On 7/4/2019 at 1:29 AM, JWerner said:

You also have a LOT of exposition; characters telling other characters things they probably already know.

I noticed this too.

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This is the 3rd and 4th POVs we've had in just 5 chapters and I'm really starting feel strained by all of them. It's a lot of protagonists in a very small amount of space, and I haven't yet spent enough time with any of them to care about them or their world.  These POVs are so far removed from each other than they seem like completely different books.
 
I am really turned off by the secretary. Again, this doesn't sound like character voice, or a conscious decision on the secretary's part, but instead sounds like authorial voice telling me-the-reader that this is how things should be. 
 
This seems to be a theme in this work, with characters that are supposed to have problematic views but it ends up not sounding like the characters have those views, and instead looks like authorial voice condoning the problematic views and treating those characters as authorial mouthpieces. It is entirely possible to write flawed characters who hold beliefs that are reprehensible to modern audiences, but it must be done carefully so that it is clear that only the characters, and not the author, believe those things. This is not happening here. The characters sound like they are mouthpieces for the author. They can be fixed, but unfortunately, there's no one silver bullet for something like this, it must be systemic to the work as a whole. As @kais and @shatteredsmooth have suggested, showing reactions and changing some of the descriptions to being more character-focused can help, but each character is going to require different tactics to avoid this particular pitfall. 
 
I suggest these two Writing Excuses episodes as a start. In the season 9 episode, Mary Robinette talks about her experience writing a historically-based fantasy story and how she managed to balance maintaining accuracy in portraying historical biases while also writing something acceptable for modern audiences. While your story is not historical, I feel like her techniques would be applicable. In the season 11 one, DongWon Song talks about how to write characters whose opinions you don't agree with.
 
Writing Excuses Season 11, episode 48: Elemental Issue Q&A with DongWon Song (transcript is here: https://writingexcuses.com/transcripts/11-48)
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