Snakenaps

4/2/2020 - Name of the King - Ch.2/Sub 2 - 4215 Words (V)

19 posts in this topic

Here is Chapter Two, where the action kicks off. I want any and all opinions, good and ill! 

 
Chapter One began with Ir working at the restaurant, which is akin to her second home, where she used her magical ability to know names. When Ir went home, her older sister, Su, announced that Su and her husband were joining the Revolutionaries. 
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall

It was nice to get our inciting incident! I think this is likely your first chapter, though even with that said, it still could use some cutting. The first three pages are more scene building and don't appear to contribute to the greater narrative. They also slow the tension. If you start maybe a paragraph before the leaving of the restaurant, that would be a great, strong start to the narrative. Especially as a first chapter. Then you'd just thrown in the unicorn, with readers expecting humans, and you'd have a great hook for sure.

I enjoyed the fight and chase, and the return home. Generally I'm not a fan of POV switches mid-chapter, or even within the first three chapters, but this one worked for me because I already knew about the unicorn. 

So, yay to inciting incident, but a bit of fat left to trim. Carry on!

 

As I go

- The first page I'd suggest cutting. They start the chapter off with backstory and not action, and it leaves a less than dynamic introduction to an early chapter, where you want strong dynamics and pull

- Page two gets a bit more dialogue, but there is still no forward progression

- pg 3: ...grumbled to herself in indecision as she slipped out the front doors <-- okay here. It looks like this is your plot point for the chapter. I'd suggest maybe a paragraph before it where people say their goodbyes as they close up the kitchen, then lead right into this. We aren't invested enough in the world yet to want to follow the day-to-day of these characters. For me, that kind of pacing works well once we've had some hooks and need a breather, and want to really really get into the lives of our characters. In a second chapter, it mostly makes me want to skim.

- pg 3: human head? Are there humans in this world?? If not, why is it a human head and not uh, say, fleshy, flat faced head with short snout?

- pg 4: I don't understand 'with the force of magic.' I think mostly because I don't yet know how magic works in this world, so I don't know how forceful it is or isn't. I can't get a mental image

- pg 4: this unicorn scene is giving me vibes from SPACE UNICORN BLUES, which is probably my favorite book right now

- pg 4: the pot is a bomb? Or is it a bomb in a pot? Like...a flower pot? I need a bit more description

- pg 6: full magical explosion? Per the comment above, I need more information on the magic of this world before I can really get the feel for what that means

- pg 6: what are they tardy from??

- pg 7: blocking. I don't know what is happening. The unicorn exploded the patio, then....flew them to the attackers, but then water came? Is this all unicorn magic? Can it fly without wings? IS IT AN ALICORN?? Look, we watch a TON of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic in this house, and I have questions

- pg 8: hoping to shake off any followers <-- Aren't we assuming the unicorn was the target? Why would she have followers? I thought she was just collateral damage?

- pg 10: A hydrokinetic and a telekinetic <-- but isn't telekenetics, as a SF and fantasy trope, just the ability to move things? Wouldn't water fall into that?

- pg 12: the assassin fired on ALL the unicorns in the city? Simultaneously?? I'm confused

- pg 13: I was on board with the POV switch until pg 13. Here, it becomes more plot dump and the tension lags. You could probably cut this entire last page and just end with him thinking about his name, and how no one should have known it. The last line and the last paragraph are strong, so keeping them would be good

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi

Would there be issues of mixed dining, say a person would be offended that a dragon orders lightly roasted maidens and all that? Also, I like the POV of A, he seems like he's in control and is plucky.

pg 1 - back pain would follow - so chiropractors are in high demand and rich? 

pg 4 - Gun! - is she throwing herself in front of the unicorn, or is she getting out of the way?

pg 6 - fire was crawling up - I think that's passive voice, but I'm not even sure if I can identify passive voice so take this with a carton of salt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked this chapter a lot. In the beginning it felt like a bit more of the nuts and bolds of owning a restaurant than I needed to know especially since most of the details work like our world.

Otherwise, I had no issues with pacing. To clarify my comment on last week's chapter, I am not well read in fantasy epics. The tropes and pacing specific to that sub-genre is not in my wheel house, sorry about that :-). Historical/political, and scifi epics are more my thing and what informs my perspective on pacing. Sounds like you still have Robinski for fantasy epic pacing though!

A couple minor things:

Unicorns being common in this world might have been good to know last chapter? Just an idea. I had assumed they were very rare up until the assassination attempt. I find myself wondering how the BK being a unicorn affects the other unicorns in this area. Ie: prejudice, special privilege, suddenly a new economic subclass.

"see you two tomorrow..." two tomorrow sounds a bit clunky to me, might sound better just as "see you tomorrow morning." 

Around 50% "she could hear the horseness..." I read this, stopped, and chuckled to myself about a unicorn being horse. I like the pun but it did kill the suspense for me.

"She was their arquebuses rise..." watched I think? I stopped again to look this up to make sure it wasn't a fantasy term I'm unfamiliar with and learned some interesting things about early guns. Broke me out of the story again wondering what I was missing. I don't mind looking up and learning new words but in the middle of action might not be the best time to introduce an unfamiliar word. Maybe mentioned earlier?

Thanks for sharing!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooh, ooh, I know this one!! :D 

You've already got my comments on the dynamic between Chapter 1 and 2. Still a fan of Chapter 1 setting the scene then everything kicking off in Chapter 2 once I know that Ir has a comfortable life, love in her family and a job she adores, and also once I have a feeling for the setting and recent history.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've also got my comments on this one. I'm interested to see (but not really surprised) that @kais has some of the exact same comments as I do.

I liked this one a lot better than the first chapter and I also think this (minus the first few pages) is the real starting place for the story. I notice we also made the same comments about telekinesis / hydrokinesis.

On the other hand, you'll find I'm a lot more lenient on POV changes than @kais ;-)

On this chapter and continuing, I still have questions on the worldbuilding. I'm pretty sure I is fully human, as if her family, but there seems to be human/animal hybrids, mythical creatures (which I guess would just be normal creatures here...) and standard animals who have intelligence. On things like chairs, I don't have too much trouble, since we see that a lot in SF with aliens, but I have more issues with the standard animals that have intelligence. Can they open doors? Do they live indoors? Also, since the setting is a restaurant, that brings to mind meat products and what/who is being eaten... How do you tell a horse is sentient? Are there sentient fish?

Also, many questions on the system of government, and what it was like before vs. after the takeover. The tech level seems more like early 20th century, at the time when many monarchies were falling, but I'm interested in how the war has affected the city rather than "regulations." It's a chaotic time, and I'm thinking there would be far more signs of the chaos.

Still intrigued by the story and interested as to where it's going!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @kais

20 hours ago, kais said:

The first three pages are more scene building and don't appear to contribute to the greater narrative.

Agreed. I actually nearly cut them before deciding to leave Draft Two how it is currently, because I couldn't tell if it was just slow to me, or if there was an actual problem. I'm glad to see my intuition is on point.

20 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 3: human head? Are there humans in this world?? If not, why is it a human head and not uh, say, fleshy, flat faced head with short snout?

I definitely need to clarify the species of this world in Draft Three. It's something that flew by my radar because I take the world for granted. I'll make a separate post on this thread clarifying this and the magic system. 

20 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 7: blocking. I don't know what is happening. The unicorn exploded the patio, then....flew them to the attackers, but then water came? Is this all unicorn magic? Can it fly without wings? IS IT AN ALICORN?? Look, we watch a TON of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic in this house, and I have questions

This was one of my biggest worries: action scenes and things getting confused. At least the pacing is mostly there. Az is a hydrokinetic, which means he is able to control water with his mind. Outside of Ir knowing his name, all magic in this chapter is his, which I need to clarify harshly.

20 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 8: hoping to shake off any followers <-- Aren't we assuming the unicorn was the target? Why would she have followers? I thought she was just collateral damage?

I need to either delete this line or make it clearer that Ir's more shaking off any imaginary followers. I mean, if I was just attacked, there would definitely be a small part of my brain convinced I was being followed, even if I know logically that's unlikely.

Hopefully, in Draft Three I'll clear out all of the confusing parts! 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @Turin Turambar !

19 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

pg 1 - back pain would follow - so chiropractors are in high demand and rich?

That is not something I have thought about before...hmmm...good question!

19 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

pg 4 - Gun! - is she throwing herself in front of the unicorn, or is she getting out of the way?

Out of the way. I'll make this clearer. 

19 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

pg 6 - fire was crawling up - I think that's passive voice, but I'm not even sure if I can identify passive voice so take this with a carton of salt.

In Latin, this would be called the imperfect tense! It is in the past but still continuing (was/were verb-ing). Here is a handy reference guide for passive voice: https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/passive-voice/

The passive voice can usually be spotted like this: verb "to be" (is/was/has been/were) + verb-ed. For example: The cat's fur was brushed by Marie. If this sentence was not in passive voice but in the active voice, it would read like this: Marie brushed the cat's fur. Another way I remember it, is that the subject of the sentence is not the one doing the action, but rather being acted upon. In my example, in the passive voice sentence, the fur would be the subject, while in the active voice sentence, Marie is. 

I'm not sure if that helps or not. I learned about the passive vs active voice in Latin. Actually, I learned most of my English grammar through Latin... 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Sarah B said:

In the beginning it felt like a bit more of the nuts and bolds of owning a restaurant than I needed to know especially since most of the details work like our world.

I definitely have an issue with "Oh ho ho, I've done all this research, now let me show it off." It makes for a lot of unnecessary details. 

15 hours ago, Sarah B said:

To clarify my comment on last week's chapter, I am not well read in fantasy epics. The tropes and pacing specific to that sub-genre is not in my wheel house, sorry about that :-)

Thankfully, I'm writing something much shorter than the usual fantasy epic. All pacing feedback is handy, because not everyone only reads a certain genre. Not everyone who reads my book if/when it gets published is going to be a specialist in the fantasy genre. Therefore, it is important to be able to write something that appeals to a broader market. Your feedback is still very important to me. Have any recommendations for historical/political fiction? I'm about done with People of the Book by  Geraldine Brooks and I'm currently more interested in reading historical fiction or sci fi than fantasy at the moment. I switch genres a lot.

15 hours ago, Sarah B said:

"She was their arquebuses rise..." watched I think?

You're totally correct. I drop words and mix up words all the time. My brain and my eyes don't always work well together, especially considering how fast I type. 

15 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I don't mind looking up and learning new words but in the middle of action might not be the best time to introduce an unfamiliar word.

This was an issue in Draft One as well. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, here's clarifications on the worldbuilding and setting! Thank you to all who have been pointing out my lack of clarification!!! I'd rather have you confused than future readers. 

21 hours ago, kais said:

human head? Are there humans in this world??

15 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Unicorns being common in this world might have been good to know last chapter? Just an idea. I had assumed they were very rare up until the assassination attempt. I find myself wondering how the BK being a unicorn affects the other unicorns in this area. Ie: prejudice, special privilege, suddenly a new economic subclass.

 

4 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'm pretty sure I is fully human, as if her family, but there seems to be human/animal hybrids, mythical creatures (which I guess would just be normal creatures here...) and standard animals who have intelligence. On things like chairs, I don't have too much trouble, since we see that a lot in SF with aliens, but I have more issues with the standard animals that have intelligence. Can they open doors? Do they live indoors? Also, since the setting is a restaurant, that brings to mind meat products and what/who is being eaten... How do you tell a horse is sentient? Are there sentient fish?

Ir and her family are fully human.

In this world, there are human/animal hybrids (referred to as "therios" which can mean any combination of human/animal, from animal-headed therios, to sphinxes, harpies, centaurs, and more), there are definitely mythical creatures, and standard Terran animals. However, more notably, there are three distinctive classifications of intelligence, which I do talk about later on but definitely need to be broadly hinted at for clarification at the beginning.

Fey: These species are trapped up north and are essentially considered demonic monsters. They are massively magically powerful, but notably are unable to feel compassion and are not inventive.

Civilized: These species are the cast of the book. These are essentially people that may or may not be a mythological creature, human, or a standard Terran animal. They talk, think, and act just like people. They open doors (doorknobs are horizontal and not round), they live in houses (of various sizes and structure), and have dietary needs matching their specie. A carnivore or omnivore eat our next classification, mundane.

Mundane (mundies): These are Terran animals, which the same level of intelligence as the animals we interact with in our reality. Certain species can be either civilized or mundane (i.e. horses, dogs, cats, birds, rats) but cannot produce offspring with each other. They are considered two very separate things, and for a civilized horse to mate with a mundane horse is considered bestiality. This leads into a lot of problems for those with mental disabilities, because in a lot of societies in this world, they are unfortunately assumed to be mundane or close to mundane, and are usually killed (sometimes followed by their entire "cursed" family). This is not my own opinion, I literally have a degree in special education, I don't condone that. Fish, insects, and other bug-like creatures (looking at you, spiders), are always mundane. Mundane animals are typically used for eating, not for labor, as the labor can be filled by civilized creatures. Pets are uncommon, but not unheard of. There's little need to own a cat for rat control when you can hire your neighbor.

It is easy to tell a civilized creature from a mundane animal, as a civilized creature typically wears clothing or accessories and, well, acts like a person. They talk, look at the world around them with interest, smile, frown, and generally act like people. Specism does exist, but it is more likely for someone to be discriminatory regarding the size of creatures than towards one exact specie. 

Some common species in this region include: humans, Terran animals common to the northern Mediterranean region/California valley, theriomorphic crosses of humans and these Terran species (i.e. restaurant owner C), griffins, unicorns, and two species of dragon. 

4 hours ago, Mandamon said:

The tech level seems more like early 20th century,

1550's, give or take. I break the rules occasionally, but for the most part, I used the 16th century northern Mediterranean coast for reference. Mostly Italy. The world is mostly a blend of northern/mid Italy with a good dash of the California valley and hints of others. Architecture is a mesh of Roman, Renaissance, and classic Islamic. 

There are arquebuses (an early long-barreled gun), cannons, printing presses, caravel ships like Columbus', clocks, cranes, and more.    

21 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 10: A hydrokinetic and a telekinetic <-- but isn't telekenetics, as a SF and fantasy trope, just the ability to move things? Wouldn't water fall into that?

Telekinesis: The ability to move solid objects. The average creature can move about 5-20 lbs max. 

Hydrokinesis: The ability to move liquids (usually water-based, depends on the creature). The average creature can move about 3-30 gallons max.

There are many forms of kinetic abilities, although telekinesis and hydrokinesis are really only the main ones in this book. Ir's mother has photokinesis (can control light) but that is never mentioned by name, I believe. Another character has thermokinesis (can control temperature), but I know I never mentioned that one by name. I refer to the different abilities by showing them, but not necessarily giving the proper name. Ir, for example, is a nominascio - literally, "I know names" in Latin - but I don't use this term outside of my notes and the website. 

Someone moving tables and an entire pool's worth of canal water...??? Now that's unusual. I need to emphasize that. 

Creatures tend to have one or two magical abilities. A creature without magic is called a "null" and is not affected by iron/silver. There are definite cases of civilized creatures having more than a couple abilities. Fey tend to have around five, Greater Fey maxing out around 15-20. Mundane animals very rarely have magic, but it is not unheard of for a fish to suddenly turn invisible. Poof!

I'll definitely make all of the worldbuilding clearer on in Draft Three. Trimming the unnecessary will leave room for the answers to necessary questions. 

Let me know if there is anything I can further clear up!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would make a much better first chapter than the other one. 

I think you could trim the opening with all the details about the restaurant a little, but otherwise, I was very engaged with most of the chapter and didn't make too many notes. The voice was stronger, the characters felt more alive and vivid. I'm excited to read more!

As I read:

"The restaurant business as brutal" Did you mean was? 

"...didn't matter what monarchy...back pain would follow you..." Great line; great detail!

"...drawings of each ingredient..." The whole literacy thing described in this section is interesting. How much of a disadvantage is it in this world? How do they get around it with the business side of managing the restaurant? I don't need these answers right away, but I am curious. The kind of curious that pulls me more into the book. 

"...humans to dragons..." How big are the dragons? How big does the restaurant have to be to fit them? 

"A slowly swam..." With the timing and the way the manuscript was formatted, I started reading this thinking it was a dream. It didn't take long to realize it was a POV switch, but that interrupted the flow of my reading. I'm also exhausted. I didn't sleep much last night and read way too many student essays over the course of the day.

I had to re-read a few passages in A's section. At first, I was confused about which side he was on. "...that was not loyal to the throne..." was the line that made it clear he was working for the new monarch that everyone seemed to hate in Ch. 1. 

I can see what you set up for here creating some good tension between the mc and her rebel relatives. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

 Have any recommendations for historical/political fiction? I'm about done with People of the Book by  Geraldine Brooks and I'm currently more interested in reading historical fiction or sci fi than fantasy at the moment. I switch genres a lot.

If you want a deep dive on a particular region Mitchner and Clavell aren't 'page turners' but I always feel like I have experienced something new from their books. Sand Pebbles was a great book for a huge conflict from the perspective of someone who just doesn't care. Moonlight Palace and A Song for Bellafortuna are lighter and very pleasant reads with great atmosphere. For political/historical non- fiction, Undaunted Courage (Lewis and Clark), Ghengis Khan the making of the modern world, and maya to Aztec ancient mesoamerica revealed were interesting for showing very different cultures and technologies interacting and merging.

I genre hop too :-) and take on strange reading goals. I think it's like palate cleansing. I love scifi first and foremost but without a break it can become like, "meh, spaceship."

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed this chapter a lot more than chapter one. I also liked A's pov, but not sure how I feel about it being in the same chapter as Ir. My only other thought while reading was  "WHO'S GONNA TELL C ABOUT HER SHOP??!!" I felt more invested in what happened to it than what happened to Ir, but that just might be my personal problems (ie I have a fear of a sudden loss of income). So I panicked hard over the loss of the shop espcially since they JUST started making money off it.

Overall, definitely liked this chapter more than chapter one.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Sarah B said:

If you want a deep dive on a particular region Mitchner and Clavell aren't 'page turners' but I always feel like I have experienced something new from their books. Sand Pebbles was a great book for a huge conflict from the perspective of someone who just doesn't care. Moonlight Palace and A Song for Bellafortuna are lighter and very pleasant reads with great atmosphere. For political/historical non- fiction, Undaunted Courage (Lewis and Clark), Ghengis Khan the making of the modern world, and maya to Aztec ancient mesoamerica revealed were interesting for showing very different cultures and technologies interacting and merging.

I genre hop too :-) and take on strange reading goals. I think it's like palate cleansing. I love scifi first and foremost but without a break it can become like, "meh, spaceship."

Ooooh!!! Putting these on my To Read list!

I recently finished Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's the first sci-fi book I've ever read that was narrated by the ship itself!  If you've got any good sci-fi recommendations, I'm always down for those too. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CherishLarain said:

I enjoyed this chapter a lot more than chapter one. I also liked A's pov, but not sure how I feel about it being in the same chapter as Ir. My only other thought while reading was  "WHO'S GONNA TELL C ABOUT HER SHOP??!!" I felt more invested in what happened to it than what happened to Ir, but that just might be my personal problems (ie I have a fear of a sudden loss of income). So I panicked hard over the loss of the shop espcially since they JUST started making money off it.

Overall, definitely liked this chapter more than chapter one.

I'm glad that you liked it!

Let's just say...Telling C about her shop isn't going to be fun. 

It's going to be very interesting revising this book with new eyes. Writing sudden loss of income, shortages, and restaurant closures is going to be a little easier now that it's something I'm getting real world experience in. Yay. I guess there are some bonuses to a pandemic? 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Ooooh!!! Putting these on my To Read list!

I recently finished Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's the first sci-fi book I've ever read that was narrated by the ship itself!  If you've got any good sci-fi recommendations, I'm always down for those too. 

If you want more books from the ship's perspective: 'Serengeti' is strange but good, 'The Ship who Sang', and the 'Bobiverse' (first book, We are legion, we are Bob) trilogy are some of my favorites. 

I'm a big fan of short story collections that are subtly related and building towards a point so Ray Bradburry's Martian Chronicles and the Illustrated Man, and Charles Yu's "3rd Class Superhero" and "Please, I'm Sorry and Thank You" are all books I love. After I read a book by Charles Yu I find myself digesting it and making new connections for weeks afterwards, he gets in my head like that :-)

I'll stop myself there before I go too overboard. I'm always looking for another book to add to my list if you have any recommendations too! Especially mystery genre which has been my fixation lately. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Sarah B said:

If you want more books from the ship's perspective: 'Serengeti' is strange but good, 'The Ship who Sang', and the 'Bobiverse' (first book, We are legion, we are Bob) trilogy are some of my favorites. 

I'm a big fan of short story collections that are subtly related and building towards a point so Ray Bradburry's Martian Chronicles and the Illustrated Man, and Charles Yu's "3rd Class Superhero" and "Please, I'm Sorry and Thank You" are all books I love. After I read a book by Charles Yu I find myself digesting it and making new connections for weeks afterwards, he gets in my head like that :-)

I'll stop myself there before I go too overboard. I'm always looking for another book to add to my list if you have any recommendations too! Especially mystery genre which has been my fixation lately.

The Ship Who Sang! That's an Anne McCaffrey book!!! I know that title! I've just never read it! I love Anne McCaffrey! She has written so many books

I haven't read much of the mystery genre, but I did read a lot of The Cat Who... books by Lilian Jackson Braun a few years ago. I also enjoy the Dresden Files, which is like mystery/fantasy. 

If you like historical fiction, have you ever read any Sarah Dunant books? What about fantasy/historical, like The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker or the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

 

I haven't read much of the mystery genre, but I did read a lot of The Cat Who... books by Lilian Jackson Braun a few years ago. I also enjoy the Dresden Files, which is like mystery/fantasy. 

If you like historical fiction, have you ever read any Sarah Dunant books? What about fantasy/historical, like The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker or the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik?

Thank you! I'll check them out :-)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

17 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

"WHO'S GONNA TELL C ABOUT HER SHOP??!!"

I know, right? :o  I felt that chill too.

Edited by Robinski
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.