shatteredsmooth

April 20, 2020_Book of Mel_Ch. 1/Sub 1_4934 Words (L)

22 posts in this topic

Hi Everyone,
 
It's been months since I've subbed anything, but I'm back with a new WIP. My Monday's tend to be very busy, so I figured I'd send this out a little early.
 
Over the winter, I read a few college-set paranormal or contemporary fantasy romance novellas, and impulsively decided to write one. Three weeks later, I had a 60,00 word novel. I let it sit for a while. Now I'm trying to decide out what to do with it.
 
I revised and cleaned up the first chapter's content as best I could without feedback, but this is the first time I've ever finished a story where the romance is the main plot. I'm open to any kind of feedback you have, but I suggest you don't spend  much time on grammatical stuff. It's way to early in my writing process to worry too about grammar. 
 
This is set in the same world as a series, The Evanstar Chronicles, that I am in the process of publishing, but it is not part of that series. Even though the main character in this is a prominent side character in the other books, this is meant to be a standalone. It does not tie in to the overarching plot of the series. 
 
The Book of Mel is just what popped into my head when I needed to throw a title on this. It will probably change at some point unless I shelve this.
 
Thank you!
 
Sara
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Was anything attached to be read?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Experience said:

Was anything attached to be read?

I should've come in an email. I sent it to the email that usually goes to everyone. Did it not go through?

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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20 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Did it not go through?

I got the attachment just fine.
 

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I can definitely tell this is more of a romance than an action story, but I still want a little something more from the first chapter. We've got a few potential suitors, between A,T, and Mi (and I've read Power Surge, so I know what the outcome is...;-), but there's still nothing that quite engages me. Some of the introductions are kind of clunky, more telling than showing. If we had a strong indication what Me wants in life, that might help, or some accident or embarrassing incident that means she can absolutely never see one of them again (except she's going to be seeing them every day...). Since Me's telepathic, it would be really easy for her to hear something she shouldn't, putting some conflict between her and the people she likes.

Romance isn't my main thing, of course, but I think there needs to be just another edge to draw us into the characters a little more.

Interested to read the next chapter!

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "You make it" -> "You'll make it

pg 1: "that shields that" -> shields that"

pg 2: "Thoughts faded as the person returned to the building."
--who is this referring to?

pg 2: "The same once Mel was going into the class that she was most nervous about: Introduction to Computer Science."
--This was hard to read, but I think it's supposed to be:
"The same one Mel was going into. The class that she was most nervous about: Introduction to Computer Science.'

pg 2: "She was exhausted from keeping a shield up for so much of the day"
--except she has her shields down now, right?
--ah yes. Confirmed a paragraph later.

pg 3: "was pink-haired skater girl with she/her pronoun pins"
--I was a little tripped up by this the first time the girl was introduced. If she's referred to as a girl, then isn't she using she/her pronouns? Maybe she uses she and them, but it seems weird to specifically call it out.
--and then they both introduce with pronouns as well. One or the other can be removed.

pg 5: "The word hadn’t been in his head."
--which word?

pg 6: starting with "To most of the people," this paragraph is a bit info-dumpy. The parts about the Sight are fine because it works with M explaining how she sees the world. Do we need to know about the rest yet?

pg 6: "Everything brightened."
--also, I'm not sure where we are. M's head throbs from...something. Before the break, she was in class. Now where is she that she's looking at pixies?

pg 7: "Her DNA was a chaotic mix..."
--could definitely take this out of the infodump above, then. You could also make this smoother, something like "She was a a chaotic mix of Elf, Angel, and Human, which was why..." I don't know that "DNA" is really necessary. Some more infodumping after that. We already know all these things about her, so it's unnecessary words.

pg 7: "It reminded her that these abilities"
--eh, also pretty clunky. I don't think she needs to remember her main goal at the time, since she's in college.

pg 7: “Yeah. I guess I just got a little overwhelmed.” 
--Did she have to leave class or something?
--also, is the italics right after this the Pixie? A bit confusing.

pg 8: “Which one did you like best?”
--sound like she's asking which parent he liked best.

pg 10: "the boy" sounds weird here. Why not just call him by his name?

pg 12: Interesting start, but I'm not hooked yet. Does M have a goal? Is something fantastical going to happen, or is this more of a college romance?
 

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Overall

So, this reads more like a character draft than an intro chapter. Around page six I think is where things really start, but then they die back again a few pages later. Romance books have these sort of standard benchmarks, and queer romance, especially if you are going f/f, has rules. It's not that you have to follow them, but you end up with angry readers if you subvert too many expectations. It's like SFF writing. You write sci fi, it needs to have science in it, even if it's techno babble. Space opera focuses on relationships, military sci fi focuses on chain of command, etc.

So in romance, there's always at least an A plot (the romance) and the B plot (the event that brings our characters together, etc.). You still have to do character/plot/stakes, but in romance, the world and events take a backseat to the romance (flip from other writing, where romance tends to be the B plot). 

This means that you still have to set up characters/plot/stakes in your first chapter, so people can get buy in. You've set up the love triangle just fine, but I don't yet care about any of the characters, or know really why M is doing anything (until we get her motivations on page 6). 

In addition, you've set this up as a spec fic romance, which means you have to do worldbuilding. Contemporary romance will focus on an event (a sports event, an arranged marriage, etc.) whereas spec fic romance means the B plot has a bit more teeth than in contemporary. But in the end, what makes a good romance is a B plot that can stand on its own, even though it is deeply overshadowed by the A plot. 

My best suggestion would be to go back through the chapter and add in your B plot. Add in the stakes. Cut a lot of the daydreaming for once we have a bit more established. Answer the questions why do we care about m? What is she doing? What are the consequences if she doesn't do it? How will her romance with either pinkie or the guy affect her goals?

As I go

- pg 1: Uncle's voice is really young. Letters tend to be more formal, too, than speech, but the letter is written more like speech, by a Gen Z almost.

- sitting on a bench and taking a deep breath is not a particularly dynamic start. The third sentence would work better

- I had to reread the first page three times to figure out what was happening. She's dropping her mental shields so she can read people telepathically, yes? I think the water and rock part threw me off, made me think she was doing something telekinetic instead of just reading people

- pg 2: A person with pink hair, ripped jeans, and a skateboard clutched under her left arm <-- Reader confusion. If she is getting a 'her' pronoun, why refer to her as a 'person'?

- She's thinking about a person in a dress and braid, but then thinks about her dog? The way the sentence is arranged, it makes it sound like the person described is her dog

- OHHHH these are people's thoughts! I see! I think we need a bit more indication. I was very confused.

- pg 2: All these early people M is hearing are femme and I find that very amusing

- pg 2: A person with wild honey colored hair stepped outside, pushing his glasses up. <-- there's that pronoun plus person thing again. It's super confusing to me

- Pg 3: +5 for cleavage

- pg 4: so, romance, yes, the A line is the romance. But you need a B line, and it needs to be established by the second or so page (even if it changes). The first two pages of this were reading people's thoughts, which doesn't give me any insight into M, or what she is doing, her interests, etc. We have a touch of character, we do not have stakes, and therefore the buy-in is missing

- pg 4: better repeat the word 'innocent' on its own line. It took me a minute to figure out what the word was in question

- okay wait, it's M with the cleavage? I'm so confused. I think we need dialogue tags on the thoughts. I can't tell what is M and what is people she is reading

- pg 6: this paragraph about sight needed to come a lot earlier, I think. In fact, I think you could start the book on page 6, with the sentence 'M's head throbbed'. It's much more dynamic and gives us a solid grounding in the world, and M

- pg 7: ah, there's the motivation we've been missing

- pg 8: but I don't care about Mi. She's going off with him, but I want some stakes now. I know there's this 'his brain is dark' think but I think that needs to be brought out a lot more strongly, to get her interest up. Like... maybe she was going for the pink haired girl, and then Mi's brain caught her attention, so even though she ALREADY set up a date with the pink haired girl, she can squeeze in some recon time with Mi just before as long as she times things JUST RIGHT

- pg 9: too much information about Mi. I don't care about him yet. I still barely care about M. I need more conflict! It can be romantic conflict no problem, but I need something

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@shatteredsmooth It came through, no worries. I talked with @Experience about my own work, and they haven't joined Reading Excuses yet, so didn't receive the email. I sent them to the "Welcome to Reading Excuses" page.

I'll post my comments at some point today. I'm going to start reading right after I post this. 

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Posted (edited)

34 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

I'll post my comments at some point today. I'm going to start reading right after I post this. 

Awesome! Thank you. I was kind of laughing at myself after I read the comments I've gotten so far, I think my first chapter has issues similar to the ones I pointed out in yours. I love how it's easy to see a problem with someone else's chapter and then be almost oblivious to it in my own writing until someone else points it out. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Unfortunately, my computer refreshed and deleted my already written comments. Back to the drawing board. 

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, "A Letter from the Prophet": This is more of a forewarning than anything. I have read a lot - and I mean a lot - of books with poorly written prophecies and foretellings. Because of this, whenever a book hints at potentially having any - like the word "prophet" - I tend to automatically go on my guard. This isn't a reflection on you at all, but more than I need to be aware of my personal bias when reading, and that you should have it in the back of your mind when you are reading my critiques. 

Pg 1, " to disassemble the mental that shields that kept her telepathy"

Pg 1, " attention to the computer science building,"

Pgs 1/2: This is making me miss my own college campus. I might have graduated, but I still live within walking distance. I miss being able to go on campus and take a seat and people watch. I didn't have the advantage of telepathy, so I would simply have to make up stories in my head about each person. I miss those days.

Pg 2, "the weight of the water" Hmm...can she drown in another person's mind? What would happen to her sanity and her body if she could?

Pg 2, "Introduction to Computer Science": Ooooooh, something I know very little about.

Pg 3, " she’d pass out in her bed, sleep straight through the night, and wake up refreshed ready to do it all again" Now I know this is a fantasy book. What I wouldn't kill for sleep like that.

Pg 3, "This is going to be so much easier than English." Since M said she was nervous about Computer Science, and that she is a telepath, I am assuming skater girl is thinking this.

Pg 4, "Bio and psychology. I’m really into brains." Hmmm...because it is easy with telepathy, or because she desires to know more about her ability?

Pg 4, "seeing someone else visualized it might help" It was here that I remembered that you said it was too early for grammar. As a teacher, I find this order difficult to follow, but after this one I won't acknowledge anything I find unless it is so glaringly bad I can't ignore it. 

Pg 4, "when class started but Dr. Duncan started class": Ugh, I can't ignore this one, it's like an itch. I'm so bad at ignoring grammar.

Pg 4, "He beamed at the class": Is this warm thoughts man? It makes me wonder who was bemused in the last paragraph...I had thought it was the teacher, but now I am confused.

Pg 4, "always trying to do too many things at once": Oh look, it's me.

Pg 5, "  and swords and grew up around people who tend to break technology": Also me.

Pg 6, “Yeah. I’m not.” Answering telepathy: bad idea.

Pg 6, “Straight.” If she isn't straight, but is admiring Mr. Cute TA, I am wondering is she is bi or pan? I am not familiar enough with demisexuals, and that pretty much ends my sexuality knowledge unless you count ace/aro. 

Pg 7, "a dress made out of shiny gold-colored Twix wrappers" HAHAHAHA, I had to muffle my laughter so I didn't wake my roommate. Oh my gosh, that visualYes.

Pg 7, "you hadn’t healed so many people": Healed telepathically? Or in another way?

Pg 7, "Get chocolate...feel better."  Who knew I'd be making so many cameos?

Pg 7, "Her DNA was a chaotic mix" There is some really weird hanky panky going on in this world.

Pg 7, "why she could...heal injuries." I'm almost disappointed that my answers of "What can she do?" is answered so quickly. This robbed me of a lot of the curiosity that kept me turning pages. 

Pg 7, "He makes things for silly paranormal investigators." Hmmm...like what? Now I am curious again. I assume our little Twix friend is an eavesdropper.

Pg 8, “That would be great, thank you!” I'd be thrilled too if Mr. Cute TA was walking me to food trucks. 

Pg 8, " making sure Demons didn’t eat any tourists" Ah, yes, average vacation. 

Pg 8, "Sometimes secrets...she collected them anyway." M would be terrifying if she ever decided to be a gossip.

Pg 9, "any of the food trucks had those things." *gasps* No pizza or bacon? You lied to me, this is a horror story.

I'm nearly done and nothing particularly exciting has happened, but I'm okay with it because I'm enjoying the world and the characters. I also thoroughly enjoy slice-of-life and slow burner stories, so this is right up my alley. Might not be that way for everyone. I haven't looked at the other critiques, as is my way. But I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, as if I was the one people watching. It's humorous and entertaining.

Pg 9, "Not as good as bacon pizza" Is anything?

Pg 10, "Pizza...steak." Am I M? I might be M. Especially "cheesy anything, chocolate everything" This right here is probably why I am enjoying the story so much: I'm fresh out of college, I love people watching, I'm a sucker for cute TA's, and I love food. This is very relatable for me. It's like I'm just scrolling through the story going, "Look, here's me, and, oh! There's me! And I'm over there too!" At this point you're just missing horses and this might be my fantasy biography.

Pg 10, "Does tomato sauce count as a vegetable?" If it has enough tomato paste, then, yes, it counts as a serving of vegetables according to Congress in 2011.

Pg 11, "those gorgeous muscles on your back." Is M buff? I hope M is slightly buff. I love feminine but muscular girls. Personal bias.

Pg 11, "Pizza is one the best foods to ever exist." Take that, lame food trucks.

Pg 11, "A complained about the humidity." This is exactly why I live in a state with incredibly low humidity. "M praised it." I've been betrayed.

Pg 12, "gray ace": I had to Google this. I knew what ace/aro was, but I didn't know there was a spectrum. Neat. You learn something new every day.

Pg 13, "she’d eaten at least eight slices." Oh man, what is her grocery bill like???

Pg 13, "They walked along the C": A river, I would assume? I'm not familiar with the east coast. Googled: I was right!

You and I definitely both wrote slower first chapters, and my own writing bias might be why I enjoyed this. I found it relatable, but a lot of it was also new for me. I've read plenty of work with LGBTQ+ characters in them (mostly webcomics, I admit, although Mandamon has helped on the literature side). My previous experiences haven't dived much into the LGBTQ+ community, which is why I sent you a message with a fountain of questions, mostly about the stickers. This may have been why I might have also found this chapter so intriguing. It may not have had a traditional hook or stakes, but the worldbuilding and the promise of a kind of romance I don't read enough about was enough of a hook for me. 

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Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I can definitely tell this is more of a romance than an action story, but I still want a little something more from the first chapter.

Makes sense. 

This comment also got me thinking about the book as a whole and not just the first chapter. Because there are some action scenes, but they are secondary to the romance. I see a lot of revision and rewrites in my future when it comes to finding the right balance of that and making it all come together.  

I do have an idea about how to balance this better in the first chapter and maybe offer more of a hook.

21 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Since Me's telepathic, it would be really easy for her to hear something she shouldn't, putting some conflict between her and the people she likes.

Good idea! 

21 hours ago, Mandamon said:

If we had a strong indication what Me wants in life

Good point. I think this will make a huge difference. 

 

21 hours ago, Mandamon said:

--This was hard to read, but I think it's supposed to be:
"The same one Mel was going into. The class that she was most nervous about: Introduction to Computer Science.'

Yup. That is more or less what I thought I wrote, but like usual, my brain and eyes did not cooperate. Thank you for catching it! :-)

21 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Does M have a goal? Is something fantastical going to happen, or is this more of a college romance?

Yes, yes, and yes. 

 

Thank you very much for all the helpful comments. When I revise, I'll make M's motives clearer, create more of a hook, and clean up some of the clunky sentences. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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22 hours ago, kais said:

This means that you still have to set up characters/plot/stakes in your first chapter, so people can get buy in.

Got it. The B plot does exist, but in the current draft, it comes later. When I revise chapter 1, I will make sure that and the stakes get set up. I know that the B plot is all over the place and a mess later in the draft, so bringing it into chapter 1 will be a good starting point for me to revise and tighten it up.

22 hours ago, kais said:

But in the end, what makes a good romance is a B plot that can stand on its own, even though it is deeply overshadowed by the A plot. 

I think my buried B plot will do this once I clean/tighten it up and it and bring it in earlier. Much earlier.

22 hours ago, kais said:

Answer the questions why do we care about m? What is she doing? What are the consequences if she doesn't do it? How will her romance with either pinkie or the guy affect her goals?

Will do. I'll probably resubmit a revised version of this chapter before I send the next chapter. Many of these are answered in 2, so fixing 1 will have big ripples for 2. It will defintily be better to resub 1 before sending 2. 

22 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 1: Uncle's voice is really young. Letters tend to be more formal, too, than speech, but the letter is written more like speech, by a Gen Z almost.

 

I'll work on this. He's should sound more Gen X, would be in his late 40s or early 50s if he wasn't dead. 

22 hours ago, kais said:

Reader confusion. If she is getting a 'her' pronoun, why refer to her as a 'person'?

I think I confused myself in this whole section. I'll fix it. 

22 hours ago, kais said:

- Pg 3: +5 for cleavage

 

There is plenty more of it in this book. 

22 hours ago, kais said:

Like... maybe she was going for the pink haired girl, and then Mi's brain caught her attention, so even though she ALREADY set up a date with the pink haired girl, she can squeeze in some recon time with Mi just before as long as she times things JUST RIGHT

Good idea. I think I can make that work. 

 

22 hours ago, kais said:

I need more conflict! It can be romantic conflict no problem, but I need something

Okay. I can bring more conflict. 

 

Thank you, @kais! Your comments were super helpful and are not only helping me think about how to improve chapter 1, but they are also helping me see the bigger picture. 

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14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I have read a lot - and I mean a lot - of books with poorly written prophecies and foretellings. Because of this, whenever a book hints at potentially having any - like the word "prophet" - I tend to automatically go on my guard. This isn't a reflection on you at all, but more than I need to be aware of my personal bias when reading, and that you should have it in the back of your mind when you are reading my critiques. 

Thanks for letting me know! Prophecy doesn't have too much of a role in the book. The epithets are more like little pieces of advice he never got to give her and hopefully some world building as the story gets on. 

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 2, "the weight of the water" Hmm...can she drown in another person's mind? What would happen to her sanity and her body if she could?

 

I hadn't been thinking that literally when I said drown, but these are some good questions. They're more relevant to the other books set in this world than this story. 

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Hmmm...because it is easy with telepathy, or because she desires to know more about her ability?

More the later. And also because brains are the one thing she can't really heal, though at this point, her healing ability hasn't been mentioned yet. 

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 8, "Sometimes secrets...she collected them anyway." M would be terrifying if she ever decided to be a gossip.

 

Snicker snicker snicker

Let's say her family is happy that she is away at college for a little while. 

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 7, "you hadn’t healed so many people": Healed telepathically? Or in another way?

 

Another way. I need to get more of this in chapter 1 because her healing powers are very dangerous for her and could kill her if she over uses them. And she overuses them. A lot. Sometimes, she can't stop herself from healing people.

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

It was here that I remembered that you said it was too early for grammar. As a teacher, I find this order difficult to follow, but after this one I won't acknowledge anything I find unless it is so glaringly bad I can't ignore it

You don't have to ignore all the grammar errors. I just don't want people spending lots of time finding or explaining them when there is a chance the thing they are reading could get cut and not make it to the final draft. I don't spend too much time proofreading my work until I am fairly certain no one is going to tell me "hey, you really don't need this scene" or give me feedback that would prompt me to make drastic changes.

My brain and my eyes don't always get along, so it takes me a long, long time to catch errors like the one you just pointed out. If that line stays, now the error is caught and it's one less thing I have to worry about later. :-)

I'm a teacher too! I teach freshmen English at a community college. What do you teach?

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 7, "Her DNA was a chaotic mix" There is some really weird hanky panky going on in this world.

 

Yes. There most certainly is. :lol:

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

But I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, as if I was the one people watching. It's humorous and entertaining.

I'm happy to hear this, and see from your comments. You get Mel and appreciate all the things I love about her. 

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 13, "she’d eaten at least eight slices." Oh man, what is her grocery bill like???

 

LOL It's horrendous. 

@Snakenaps Thank you so much for the comments! It made me so happy to see how you reacted to Mel and the chapter as a whole. And the questions you asked were fantastic and will help me clarify so things. Thanks again! 

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Hi,

I really like her character - I have a feeling that she and I are going to get along great. Plus, being part half everything magical part psych is really cool. Mi seemed a bit cardboard, but that might just be me. I did get confused with the whole pronoun thing at the beginning, and didn't catch on until page 10.

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15 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

I really like her character - I have a feeling that she and I are going to get along great.

I'm happy to hear this!!

15 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

Mi seemed a bit cardboard, but that might just be me.

I think I can work on making him come across a little more interesting in this chapter. 

 

Thank you very much for your comments. :-) 

 

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I agree with @kais that this feels more like a character intro than a first chapter. I also don't understand how a computer class is related to the medical and psy field. Why is she taking that class? Also, I have NEVER attended a class where the TA INSTANTLY knew my name. TA's are cool and fun to hang out with but I kept getting confused on whether or not Me knew the TA before.

 

I also didn't feel/see any reason on Me's desire to experience normal. Is her other job too stressful? What is her relationship with her family members? From my own experience, I also find it hard to believe that she would desire to be accepted by humans, considering their treatment of the LGBTQ+. Versus in my reading experience (and DND experience), magical creatures have more fluidity in their sexuality. In some supernatural fiction I have read, its almost normalized that they can have multiple partners, the same sex partners, or VERY different race partners etc. So what makes HUMANS so special to her, besides her family being their protecters?

 

I do look forward to a love triangle between Me and others.

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On 4/21/2020 at 10:49 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

You don't have to ignore all the grammar errors. I just don't want people spending lots of time finding or explaining them when there is a chance the thing they are reading could get cut and not make it to the final draft. I don't spend too much time proofreading my work until I am fairly certain no one is going to tell me "hey, you really don't need this scene" or give me feedback that would prompt me to make drastic changes.

My brain and my eyes don't always get along, so it takes me a long, long time to catch errors like the one you just pointed out. If that line stays, now the error is caught and it's one less thing I have to worry about later. :-)

I'm a teacher too! I teach freshmen English at a community college. What do you teach?

I'll nab the grammar errors that bug me the most then. Also, I am totally stealing "my brain and eyes don't always get along" because that is so me. 

I am an elementary substitute teacher for both general and special education! After I got my teaching credential last spring, I decided to sub for a year or two to learn what schools I wanted to teach at and what grades were my favorite. More importantly, I wanted one year to breathe and write. Which was how I finally sat down and wrote the first draft of NotK last semester. 

You have my respect. I'll sub middle school if I must, but I won't touch high school. Considering I just finished college, I have no desire to interact with college students for a long, long time. The fact that you teach freshman English...you have my eternal respect. Children I can do...adults? No way. 

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

I also don't understand how a computer class is related to the medical and psy field. Why is she taking that class?

I had an explanation of this and took it out before I sent the chapter because I thought it felt like an info dump, and because the paragraph was really clunky. I can try to work it back in if this is something that might pull readers out of the story. As I type, I'm getting an idea of how to do that. 

20 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

Also, I have NEVER attended a class where the TA INSTANTLY knew my name. TA's are cool and fun to hang out with but I kept getting confused on whether or not Me knew the TA before.

This was one of the details that was supposed set him apart as not your typical TA.

In this version of the chapter, they had never met before, though her last name was familiar to him. I'm in the process of rewriting the opening and doing some reorganizing, so in the new version, they will have already met by the time they get to this scene.

20 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

I also didn't feel/see any reason on Me's desire to experience normal.

I can try to work this in more. There is a reason. If I try to explain it here, I will write way more than necessary. It comes up later in the book, but it probably needs to come up sooner. 

20 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

Is her other job too stressful?

I'm glad you asked. It's killing her. Literally. I really need to work that detail into Ch. 1 instead of waiting until Ch. 3. That is a big part of the stakes many of the others noted I was missing. I should be able to do that in the new version I'm working on. 

20 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

What is her relationship with her family members?

Complicated. They love, but they are are disaster. They're self destructing and dragging her down with them. They know and she knows that the best thing is for her to have time away from them. 

20 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

its almost normalized that they can have multiple partners, the same sex partners, or VERY different race partners etc.

This is true about supernatural creatures in this book's universe, but there isn't exactly a welcoming community of them on earth that Mel can go hang out with. There are some Elf-hybrids around, but most of the ones she knows are her grandpa's friends. Beings the specific mix that she is are rare and don't always live long, even though they could potentially live thousands of years, because their healing magic can kill them if they overuse it and/or use it wrong. I could ramble about this a lot of I don't stop myself now. I'll see if I can find a way to drop a few hints about this early on without a big info dump. 

 

@CherishLarainThank you very much for your questions! They pointed out some details I shouldn't have left out. Thinking about and answering them gave me ideas about how to make the stakes clearer. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Children I can do...adults? No way. 

LOL I am the exactly opposite. I am terrified of children, but enjoy teaching adults.

I teach night classes, so my students aren't fresh out of high school. Most of them are in their twenties or thirties. I like that better than when I taught 18-year olds at a university. 

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@shatteredsmooth thank you for answering my questions! Honestly, I didn't expect a response to all of them. I feel my questions are more of things to reflect on since we are only getting part of the story and I have no idea where the story goes from here. Like you mentioned, somethings will be talked about later on, but reading chapter one I dont know that.

When I read my reflection/feelings are often based on the questions I have about characters and their universes. I look forward to reading more.

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@CherishLarain Sorry if that was too long a response. Sometimes I can't stop myself from answering questions, especially when they are good questions. I'll try to refrain next time or just keep my answers in my private notes. 

Because this story is set in an existing world I've written and published other stories in, I have a ton of world-building in my head. Too much, maybe, and it's hard to figure out what the reader actually needs / wants to know. Your questions gave me some insight about that. :-) 

Thank you!

 

 

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So, like a big cheating cheater, I'm going to skip to the latest version... if that's okay. Sorry I never quite got to this one :unsure: 

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5 hours ago, Robinski said:

So, like a big cheating cheater, I'm going to skip to the latest version... if that's okay. Sorry I never quite got to this one :unsure: 

That is absolutely fine. :-)

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