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Mandamon

20200504 - Fall of the Imperium Ch 14 - 6234 words - Sub 25

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Once again submitting two chapters this week. Thanks to everyone for putting up with me taking over the forum... Both chapters are around 6200 words as well, because of course. These two are the last remnants of what I submitted previously. From here on out it's all completely new!

SUB 25
Chapter 14, where we find out what happened to I. Pick it apart!

Previously:
S/E/I arrive in the other facet with their news of the Elg. The Eff and court are there, E has problems with trust, and E/I learn about their folks. The Eff faints shortly thereafter. E battles the voices inside her as they travel to the Ari, and attacks S. In the Ari enclave, I struggles with his image, we learn of the Ari, and E and I use each other's houses for the first time.
M arrives with the society to the Imp and is attacked by Elg. People die and M finds himself with more and more responsibility as they attempt to figure out what's going on. They learn the Eff is also killed, and M makes clever use of a portal to save his life.
Ri and co arrive on HD's homeworld, gather themselves, then engage the Elg in the Imp. They barely escape, and find out where other refugees have gone.
S/E/I learn more about the Ari and find there's only one hammock in the bedroom. They all attempt to pass through the wall, but are stopped by the Elg. S devises a new plan and they try again, with disastrous results.
M leads his posse on a hunt, without success, and meets up with R and her posse. Many connections are made.
 

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Overall

Good content, but rougher than the last chapter I think. The ending in particular confused me. Twins can access each other's power so they can go between facets, but I don't understand what the trio are doing at the end. Each going to a different place? How are their portals suddenly working? How did S and E get back so easily?

The dialogue is pretty good, and the trio's I love yous are adorable, but the mechanics of what is going on confuses me a lot. I think it should be an easy clean up, and the confusion might be because of too many words, not too few.

 

As I go

- top of page three is all stuff we already know, and could easily be cut

- pg 5: I think these first five pages could all be condensed into one page, where I has feelings, holds the diadem, then decides to put it on. Right now there is a lot of rehashing things we already know, and the very choppy thought process we got with E, too, last chapter

- pg 8: there are a lot of redundant thoughts throughout here that slow down the pacing. For instance: 

The conversation slipped and chattered and I could make out little. The... after the end of the war. So that was when this memory happened. Ari were still accepted after the war? That was not in any history book.

You could easily cut third and fifth sentence so that reading through, this flows better and the reader doesn't have to keep going between memory and I's thoughts. Thinking back on the previous chapter, I think that's what threw me with E, too. We'd get impression, impression, thought, when I wanted impressions informed by thought, so that I didn't have to leave the scene to get into the character's head. It slows down the pacing, at least for me, when I have to jump back and forth.

- pg 11: oooooh I see the similarities to the little centipede things now!

- pg 16: the magi dying after the portal finishes is confusing to me

- pg 17: how did they keep him alive for eight days?? Water?

- pg 21: I said he had a way through to the other facet, but they seem to be doing something else here?

- pg 23: oh I see, they're still trying to get through? I think that got lost somewhere. I might need more clear dialogue, or less unrelated dialogue, in this section

- pg 25: okay why is it so easy to get to this second facet, but so hard to leave it? Has that been explained yet?

- pg 27: there's a very natural break for the chapter to end just as Sa and E arrive back

- pg 29: I'm not clear what good this information about the twins does them. It doesn't help them  get through the wall, does it?

- pg 30: I'm definitely bothered by how easy it was to return back to this facet. I think I need that explained. It seems like a giant worldbuilding hole right now

- pg 31: as S’s hands tailed down his spine. <-- needs to have a bit more, like '...tailed down his spine, and then a bit further.' Right now it seems like moving down the spine was the sex act

- pg 33: I am left confused. How is the triple portal working?

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Much clearer this draft! The memory jumble was easier to follow and I got a lot more out of it this time :-)

I's new spidey sense was also fun.

The sentence "He had dragged In through the worst..." is a bit confusing and clunky.

Around 50% "Consumed by what he had done." Because I have a dark sense of humor this first struck me as a pun for how he disposed of the body.

I probably missed something, but based on I's timeline of 8 days and E being stuck as a Ev for days, was S traveling through the wall for that long? Is that an artifact left from the previous draft?

When I asked if I and E are siblings or something else, you explained it to me and also said that I and E are not in a romantic relationship. I think you (sorry if I misunderstood) also asked me to say something if it seemed like they were. At no point have I noticed anything that shows I and E being romantically involved. However, the 'fade to black' scenes that end with all three of them getting into the same hammock could easily suggest that all three are equally intimate with eachother. I had assumed that they were until you mentioned otherwise.

This is probably something that readers of the first books would have known without explanation, feel free to ignore. 

The new draft is so much easier to read! It flew by dispite the length.

Thanks for sharing!

 

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Thanks @kais and @Sarah B!

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

- pg 5: I think these first five pages could all be condensed into one page, where I has feelings, holds the diadem, then decides to put it on. Right now there is a lot of rehashing things we already know, and the very choppy thought process we got with E, too, last chapter

Ok. Probably some of this is from reordering the chapters. I'll see how much I can cut down.

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

We'd get impression, impression, thought, when I wanted impressions informed by thought, so that I didn't have to leave the scene to get into the character's head. It slows down the pacing, at least for me, when I have to jump back and forth.

Ah, good point. I'll see if can correct these.

On 5/5/2020 at 2:45 AM, Sarah B said:

"Consumed by what he had done." Because I have a dark sense of humor this first struck me as a pun for how he disposed of the body.

Lol. Not intentional, but, uh, probably correct.

On 5/5/2020 at 2:45 AM, Sarah B said:

I probably missed something, but based on I's timeline of 8 days and E being stuck as a Ev for days, was S traveling through the wall for that long? Is that an artifact left from the previous draft?

I think this was clearer the first time through. S is traveling through the wall this long because space/time is wonky there. E loses track of time in the other body, so also spends that much time wandering around.

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

- pg 17: how did they keep him alive for eight days?? Water?

Yes? There was a point in book 2 where E realized that, as an Ari, she didn't need as many nutrients.

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

- pg 16: the magi dying after the portal finishes is confusing to me

 

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

- pg 25: okay why is it so easy to get to this second facet, but so hard to leave it? Has that been explained yet?

 

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

- pg 30: I'm definitely bothered by how easy it was to return back to this facet. I think I need that explained. It seems like a giant worldbuilding hole right now

Hmmm...Looks like I need to clear this up. I'll see what others say as well. Basically, the right sort of magic user can pass through the wall easily, but opening a portal between facets is very difficult and uses lots of notes.

What in particular was confusing about the maji dying?

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

- pg 33: I am left confused. How is the triple portal working?

It's just E and I opening the portal. S is staying there for the moment. I'll see if others are confused over this.There is also more explanation of it in the next few chapters.

On 5/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, kais said:

- pg 31: as S’s hands tailed down his spine. <-- needs to have a bit more, like '...tailed down his spine, and then a bit further.' Right now it seems like moving down the spine was the sex act

Yep. Will adjust.

On 5/5/2020 at 2:45 AM, Sarah B said:

I think you (sorry if I misunderstood) also asked me to say something if it seemed like they were. At no point have I noticed anything that shows I and E being romantically involved. However, the 'fade to black' scenes that end with all three of them getting into the same hammock could easily suggest that all three are equally intimate with eachother. I had assumed that they were until you mentioned otherwise.

Ah, interesting. I'm careful never to show E and I being romantic toward each other, but I can see how this is construed that way. I wonder if the buildup of two books before this makes a difference?

Great comments!

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7 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

I'm careful never to show E and I being romantic toward each other, but I can see how this is construed that way. I wonder if the buildup of two books before this makes a difference?

Might just be reader preference? I'm pretty loose when it comes to relationships in fiction. If it works for the characters and everyone is a consenting adult, it's fine with me.

From a real world perspective, while I have no experience in a shared sibling relationship, I am in a Sam sort of thruple, where I'm (player B.) with two people (players A and C) but those two people are not also with each other. And while the dynamics continue to evolve, at this stage we all interact together as a family unit, but intimacy is not shared. We might do an A/B/C snuggle on a couch, maybe, but if its more than hand holding then it's an B/C and A goes for a walk.

I'm a perpetually cold person, so it is a great dream of mine to have a giant spoon wherein A is spooning me, and I am spooning C. But the chances of this happening, even once, might take years of build up, since spooning is fairly intimate and A and C are not in a relationship together, if that makes sense?

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9 minutes ago, kais said:

Might just be reader preference? I'm pretty loose when it comes to relationships in fiction. If it works for the characters and everyone is a consenting adult, it's fine with me.

Cool. I try to stay away from the squicky factor as much as possible, but they're all certainly consenting.

11 minutes ago, kais said:

am in a Sam sort of thruple, where I'm (player B.) with two people (players A and C) but those two people are not also with each other. And while the dynamics continue to evolve, at this stage we all interact together as a family unit, but intimacy is not shared. We might do an A/B/C snuggle on a couch, maybe, but if its more than hand holding then it's an B/C and A goes for a walk.

That's definitely the same sort of thing I'm doing here, except in this case A and C are related, which just cements the lack of intimacy between them. I try to always write where E and I are on different sides of S, even if they are all sleeping in the same bed. There's some more discussion of this later in the book.

I'm hoping this won't turn readers off, but if it does, they probably weren't the target audience anyway?

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My overall thoughts for this chapter was that it can be shorted or added to the last chapter. Because for me, even though an important event happened, there is a lot of confusion that doesnt tell me much as a reader, so it feels unnecesary. I understood very little of what happened in the diadems memories.

My other comments are mainly reactions. The first being to the opening paragraph. Which was surprise and confusion. The paragraph mentions the impentrable crystal broke off and put into a diadem and then got stuck in someones head? I imagine my confusion is from missing earlier information so its not a big deal. That was interesting to read. Also though, if it gets stuck in the wearers head, then doesnt that mean that I cant take it off?

 Also I's sudden decision on page 5 really threw me off. This is because if the diadem is important and hasnt been worn yet, then he made a rash decision and probably ignored the original plans for what to do with the diadem. This makes me think then this isnt a brave move but foolish and made from fear. He also made that decision SUPER soon. I feel like I would understand his despiration if they waited a few days and there was no sign of S or Ens. But he does it immediately.

 

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10 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

My other comments are mainly reactions. The first being to the opening paragraph. Which was surprise and confusion. The paragraph mentions the impentrable crystal broke off and put into a diadem and then got stuck in someones head? I imagine my confusion is from missing earlier information so its not a big deal. That was interesting to read. Also though, if it gets stuck in the wearers head, then doesnt that mean that I cant take it off?

I looked back when you started commenting, and I think some of this development was from before then, hence the confusion. But as to your last question...um, yes?

10 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

Also I's sudden decision on page 5 really threw me off. This is because if the diadem is important and hasnt been worn yet, then he made a rash decision and probably ignored the original plans for what to do with the diadem. This makes me think then this isnt a brave move but foolish and made from fear. He also made that decision SUPER soon. I feel like I would understand his despiration if they waited a few days and there was no sign of S or Ens. But he does it immediately.

This comes from some buildup in book 1 and 2. The diadem has been around for a while and has been worn. There's also some discussion at the beginning of this book; Hopefuly that's the reason for it, but I'll see if I can make it clearer.

Thanks, @CherishLarain!

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10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

The diadem has been around for a while and has been worn.

 

OH it has?! well then please ignore my last comments on it and probably any in the future about it. (I will probably have some and I noticed I respond A LOT of the time to your reviews as "I am confused." ) lol sorry

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1 hour ago, CherishLarain said:

OH it has?! well then please ignore my last comments on it and probably any in the future about it. (I will probably have some and I noticed I respond A LOT of the time to your reviews as "I am confused." ) lol sorry

Haha! No problem! You're doing an awesome job for coming in a third of the way through the last book of a trilogy!

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Comments:

(page 4)

- "In reality, he was stronger than either In or his sister" - love this line, this paragraph.

- "as if centuries were passing" - awesome, makes me think of that scene from The Time Machine, not the modern version (pah), the Rod Taylor one. Excellent.

(page 6)

- "Knowledge entered him, a will and a purpose. Seek the leader" - I don't remember how this played before, but I'm really feeling this version. Excellent.

(page 12)

- "No SBs or pipes sending steam and messages from one place to another" - Still deeply into this scene. It's much, much better than before, IMO.

(page 13)

- "spanning..." - Excellent passage.

(page 14)

- "made plans in secret" - Oh, very nice. Evokes that seminal line from War of the Worlds.

- "were still a viable species" - But, surely, they are the same species as the the Bless? Also, there must be Ar who are neither Pill nor Bless, are there not? What of these?

(page 15)

- "the priest he once had been" - Awesome. That BP once had been?

- "though they would never again see the familiar species of their facet" - Don't understand. If they are living as Ar, surely they would see their familiar (natural) species. Oh, I see. It means move away from this facet to another. Not entirely clear, IMO.

- "stayed together and separated" - Ouch. Real feels here.

- "perform their last change" - Not sure I follow this.

(page 16)

- "...taking their bodies" - This scene is so good. I remember no details from the previous version.

(page 27)

- "She was slightly shorter than she had been before" - :o  This does imply that she could build herself up again? I think we saw something of that implication in the previous book, when she killed the others.

- "clicked an impatient toe on the floor" - LOL.

(page 29)

- "Now we may actually be able to meet our mentors again" - How does he make this connection? They don't know that the mentors are there now, surely, because that was just a kind of coincidence at the feathers of Ori.

(page 30)

- "their instances diverging" - funnily enough, I had a similar thought a handful of pages again, when they were reunited. I thought back to the start of the Book 1, when there were a simple brother and sister, and look at where they are now, so much transformed and transfigured by momentous events, both in the world, but more importantly on a personal, physical and emotional level. It underlines for me what an important chapter this is, and how effective it is.

- "A family" - Okay, THIS time I feel this line. This is the place for this line, and nowhere else in the book. I think there was reference to Man's society being a family, or no, was it Ril and Ori's group? They are the least like a family of the three, but the Soc doesn't warrant the title of family either. it is an emotional thing above all else, and there is not well of emotion in the Soc, or in the group of maj.

(page 31)

- "Save your whining for tomorrow" - great line.

- "outraged expression" - I don't buy this: this is not S. He's timid and uncertain. And what's he got to be outraged about here, anyway?

- "only a little sulky" - This feels forced to me, for comedic effect that just doesn't land because of that. There is nothing at all for S to be outrage or sulky about, nothing.

- Confused, why does WW have to leave because S caught sight of In's back?

- "A little later" - Is this supposed to imply something? It's too vague, even if it's intended to be straight.

(page 32)

- "This thread has merit and grows thicker in the flow" - Excellent line, excellent moment near the end of the chapter. This is what I need here, to know what we are heading in the right direction. Good stuff. Well done.

(page 34)

- Yes, satisfying ending to the chapter.

Overall 

I thought this was spot on. TBH I've lost count of how many times I've read through to this point in the story (3, 4 maybe - not that many really), and this is really clicking for me now. There's personal and inter-personal conflict; there's love and bonding and friendship. There's some tension, although it is a sequel chapter, but the undercurrent remains; and, most importantly, IMO, there is decisiveness and forward motion. Nice job. 

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Posted (edited)

On 06/05/2020 at 4:22 PM, Mandamon said:
On 05/05/2020 at 7:45 AM, Sarah B said:

I think you (sorry if I misunderstood) also asked me to say something if it seemed like they were. At no point have I noticed anything that shows I and E being romantically involved. However, the 'fade to black' scenes that end with all three of them getting into the same hammock could easily suggest that all three are equally intimate with eachother. I had assumed that they were until you mentioned otherwise.

Ah, interesting. I'm careful never to show E and I being romantic toward each other, but I can see how this is construed that way. I wonder if the buildup of two books before this makes a difference?

Must admit I have never given this a second thought. I think you've alway been scrupulous about this. In Book 1, it was never a love triangle, but a love 'V' (as it were), in my recollection. As would be expected, as En and In were brother and sister. Most love triangles, in fact, are not triangles at all, so it's a total misnomer--just saying.

Anyway, as we learn through Books 1 and 2 that En and In are actually part of the same being, so to speak, there is still an element of weirdness (by our conventions), that they would to an extent simply be pleasuring them-self (selves?). I think the dynamic encourages the reader to contemplate the nature of En and In's dynamic and their physical nature itself, rather than implying anything icky. I feel that any ickiness is only at the very top, superficial level, if one even thinks about that at all.

I mean, it could be played on an existential level through the whole of the book and into the future as En and In drift apart, diverge, and become more and more separate entities, but I don't think there is room for that here, or a particular need. Seems to me the important thing is to underline that they are not and never have been brother and sister in any sense that we would consider.

Edited by Robinski
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Thanks @Robinski!

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

awesome, makes me think of that scene from The Time Machine, not the modern version (pah), the Rod Taylor one.

Cool! Love that sort of montage.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

I don't remember how this played before, but I'm really feeling this version. Excellent.

Cool.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "were still a viable species" - But, surely, they are the same species as the the Bless? Also, there must be Ar who are neither Pill nor Bless, are there not? What of these?

Yeah, I think some confusion on this line. I can reword.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "the priest he once had been" - Awesome. That BP once had been?

Yep!

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

Oh, I see. It means move away from this facet to another. Not entirely clear, IMO.

Ah, can clean this up too.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "She was slightly shorter than she had been before" - :o  This does imply that she could build herself up again? I think we saw something of that implication in the previous book, when she killed the others.

Potentially. I wasn't sure this got across. E has less mass from her fight with the Elg, taking bits away. So overall, she's smaller. Was that clear?

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "A family" - Okay, THIS time I feel this line. This is the place for this line, and nowhere else in the book.

Cool. I felt this one as I wrote it. Will scrub the other mentions and keep this as the big payoff.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

Confused, why does WW have to leave because S caught sight of In's back?

- "A little later" - Is this supposed to imply something? It's too vague, even if it's intended to be straight.

Yep. Need to bump up this whole section.

Glad the chapter is working better!

6 hours ago, Robinski said:
On 5/6/2020 at 11:22 AM, Mandamon said:
On 5/5/2020 at 2:45 AM, Sarah B said:

I think you (sorry if I misunderstood) also asked me to say something if it seemed like they were. At no point have I noticed anything that shows I and E being romantically involved. However, the 'fade to black' scenes that end with all three of them getting into the same hammock could easily suggest that all three are equally intimate with eachother. I had assumed that they were until you mentioned otherwise.

Ah, interesting. I'm careful never to show E and I being romantic toward each other, but I can see how this is construed that way. I wonder if the buildup of two books before this makes a difference?

Must admit I have never given this a second thought. I think you've alway been scrupulous about this. In Book 1, it was never a love triangle, but a love 'V' (as it were), in my recollection. As would be expected, as En and In were brother and sister. Most love triangles, in fact, are not triangles at all, so it's a total misnomer--just saying.

Anyway, as we learn through Books 1 and 2 that En and In are actually part of the same being, so to speak, there is still an element of weirdness (by our conventions), that they would to an extent simply be pleasuring them-self (selves?). I think the dynamic encourages the reader to contemplate the nature of En and In's dynamic and their physical nature itself, rather than implying anything icky. I feel that any ickiness is only at the very top, superficial level, if one even thinks about that at all.

I mean, it could be played on an existential level through the whole of the book and into the future as En and In drift apart, diverge, and become more and more separate entities, but I don't think there is room for that here, or a particular need. Seems to me the important thing it s underline that they are not and never have been brother and sister in any sense that we would consider.

These are some great comments. I already made a few changes in Facets to steer thinking more in this direction, and I'm going to continue it as I go along. I'm trying to prop up the feeling of "same person" between them, so also I can show how they're diverging in book 3. There's actually a cutoff point in Facets where the Ari correct E to refer to her "other instance," so I'm going to try to keep away from "brother/sister" after that point.

Also, I really like the concept of "love V."

Thanks a bunch!

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6 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

Potentially. I wasn't sure this got across. E has less mass from her fight with the Elg, taking bits away. So overall, she's smaller. Was that clear?

Yes, I thought so.

You're welcome, as always :) 

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Late late late late late

Didn't read the previous comments! Here we go!

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 2, "The shadows of the box closed in around him," Man, all these kids are going to need therapy for PTSD after this. 

Pg 3, "Few separations were as severe": Hm, does this mean that more you are around your other instance, less psychological (biological?) damage you'll take on when the other passes? 

Pg 5, " Was this made specifically for an Ari?" Maybe only Ari can use it because they are the only ones who can shape their skulls around the spines?

Pg 5, "Xy would figure out what happened soon enough." I mean, WW probably wouldn't worry or anything. I can imagine xy pulling out some form of a notebook and scribbling furiously about whatever happens. 

Pg 6, "He, closed his eyes" Extra comma.

Pg 6, "Spines of crystal pressed through his skull." Okay, you wouldn't know this, but I have a fear of needles because I don't like the idea of sharp, pointy objects puncturing my body. This did not help. *shudders*

Pg 8, " wore a patterned shirt with a sequence of flowers picked out in silky orange thread" I've been listening to too much Hawaiian music. For a brief, unhelpful moment, I imagined B.P. wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

Pg 8, " Had another worn the diadem?" Has it been continually passed down?

Pg 9, "This Ari seemed to be of good standing."

Pg 11, "discovering every particle of his body and learning exactly how it functioned" OOOOOH NOOOOO!!! Oh man, had to step away while giving a surprised chuckle punctuated with many "Oh no's." Oh man, I did not see that coming at all

Pg 12, "the vision speared through him"

Pg 17, "Something he needed to remember." If it is something I am supposed to remember, I'm not connecting the pieces at the moment. I'm okay with that, though. That just means the same realization will hit me and I at the same time in the future.

Pg 18, "the rapids' memory" Rapids are possessive.

Pg 18, "Eight days!” I find myself echoing this exclamation.

Pg 20, "That form which is natural to me?" He did it! Unintentionally, but he did it!

Pg 22, "What was it warning of now?" Death. The fact that it is being eaten (kinda alive)? I mean, there is so many things going wrong, I'd be setting off alarms too!

Pg 22, " Things are building" Or being destroyed...

Pg 23, "Some other factor disrupts the flow so much I cannot see." Master Memory Wipe?

Pg 24, " a complex shape burst into being" E!

Pg 25, " skimming across buildings"

Pg 25, "smaller in some way" Getting parts of you dissolved is apparently a great weight loss strategy. 

Pg 28, "back up at the others' questions to fill in a gap" Others is possessive.

Pg 29, "She was slightly shorter than she had been before." My first thought was now she'll have more legroom on airplanes. 

Pg 32, "WW, in a rare display of empathy, clacked to the door." Whoa. Who knew xy was capable.

Pg 32, "was different that than his usual laugh"

Pg 33, "Then xy had to leave the room again" Oh, those darn breeders ;)

Pg 33, "hands trailed down his spine"

Pg 34, " a ring of silver and gold surrounding his head at temple height" Of course S has a halo. He's too pure for this world. Boy needs hugs. They all do.

Overall:

I'm glad tomorrow is Monday so all of the storylines can converge (maybe)! 

I personally thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. It answered so many questions I have been sitting on for ages. This chapter felt really solid for me, which is probably obvious because I only asked questions that were 1) rhetorical, 2) reactionary to my place in the chapter, or 3) I expect will be answered later on. I have no concerns, beyond grammatical errors. Give yourself a pat on the back! 

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Thanks @Snakenaps!

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I mean, WW probably wouldn't worry or anything. I can imagine xy pulling out some form of a notebook and scribbling furiously about whatever happens. 

Oh, I'm sure xy took plenty of notes!

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Okay, you wouldn't know this, but I have a fear of needles because I don't like the idea of sharp, pointy objects puncturing my body. This did not help. *shudders*

So glad I can hit all your triggers with this book... :-(

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

For a brief, unhelpful moment, I imagined B.P. wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

That's actually sort of what I was imagining...

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

OOOOOH NOOOOO!!! Oh man, had to step away while giving a surprised chuckle punctuated with many "Oh no's." Oh man, I did not see that coming at all

Lol. I love your reactions...

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

"smaller in some way" Getting parts of you dissolved is apparently a great weight loss strategy. 

Ha! Ok, glad this is coming across.

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Of course S has a halo. He's too pure for this world. Boy needs hugs. They all do.

Poor S...he's just too good not to torment.

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I personally thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. It answered so many questions I have been sitting on for ages. This chapter felt really solid for me, which is probably obvious because I only asked questions that were 1) rhetorical, 2) reactionary to my place in the chapter, or 3) I expect will be answered later on. I have no concerns, beyond grammatical errors. Give yourself a pat on the back! 

Cool! I will try not to wrench my arm...

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Again, much improved from the previous version. I felt like being in the diadem was better. I liked the flow of it and the information it revealed. 

I didn't make any notes as I read through, which usually means I am engaged and enjoying the story enough that my brain is forgetting I'm supposed to be critiquing. The one thing that left me a little confused was the scene with them making the portal. That was a little fuzzy. 

I'm also concerned that they don't have any plan or means of communication for reconnecting. What if S goes back to his facet just as the twins portal back to the other one? 

As I'm typing this, I'm thinking there may have been one or two places where I thought we were in S's POV before remembering it was I, but of course I forgot to mark them because I was caught up enough in the story to just want to keep reading. :wacko:

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Thanks @shatteredsmooth!

12 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

which usually means I am engaged and enjoying the story enough that my brain is forgetting I'm supposed to be critiquing.

That's the best response!

 

12 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The one thing that left me a little confused was the scene with them making the portal. That was a little fuzzy. 

I'm also concerned that they don't have any plan or means of communication for reconnecting. What if S goes back to his facet just as the twins portal back to the other one? 

Yep, sounds like I need to clear this section up. Good thought about communication. I'll see what I can think up.

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