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Snakenaps

5/4/2020 - Name of the King - Chapter 3 (3011 words)

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Any and all comments and opinions are welcome!
 
Previously: Ir saves a strange unicorn from an attack by an unknown group, resulting in a fire that burns down the restaurant she considers her second home. 
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I'd be happy to get the ball rolling here :) 

“She was too late” – Of course they knew already, and this is my single biggest issue with this chapter. Ir has worked at the restaurant for many years(?), she would know that someone opened up early to start the ovens, or whatever. She would know that the shopkeeper next door would know Car well and would get news to her.

“need to throw out every bottle of booze” – I don’t buy that they would have any booze in the house. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.

“specie” – I see this is used throughout, and it’s been bugging me from the beginning. I see no reference online to specie being used in the singular (as it were) to apply to the ‘family’ of an animal, all the references I can find are to ‘species’. ‘Specie’ does have a meaning though, but it is in relation to a financial transaction, or ‘provision’ (I haven’t researched extensively). I stand to be corrected, of course ;) 

OVERALL

A good chapter, with lots of emotion, which I thought was sensitively handled. I enjoy being in Ir's company, she's determined and loyal, and cares for her family. She's driven to succeed, but what will happen when she comes under real stress, or choices become harder? We've had a sample of the former, but I'm keen to read more to see if the story goes in the direction I hope it's going.

This chapter is a logical progression from the previous chapter obvs. Not much in the way of action, of course, but I do not mind that. Bit wordy in places, and I think a good, tough edit could take 10% out of the length and make it flow better.

My expectations now are that she will receive some sort of ‘sign’ in the next chapter that will guide her into the murky regions of intrigue into which I’m sure the story is headed. We do, I think I need a pacier chapter in the next one. It feels like in these first three you have got Ir where you need her to be, and now we will see things start to gather pace.

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Really nice flow to this chapter. Your MC's voice is clear and sympathetic. 

A few small things:

The first sentence is a bit wordy, it feels like 'writing' more than a part of the story. This is the only place I noticed this though.

Typo, near 25%: "Better to hear it from you than..."

I'm not sure how strict you want to be to the time period, but the words "Take down" (in this context), "undercover operation" and "alchoholism" feel more modern and stand out.

In the paragraph starting "I've got to get ready..." the last two sentences both start with the MC's name, and the first sentence of the next paragraph also includes her name which gets a little repetitive. 

"A coyote head appeared ..." for me it felt odd that 'head' was specified, especially since the MC has such a long history with the couple so she is familiar with their appearance. 

A pleasant read, thanks for sharing!

 

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I agree with @Robinski. cuz when things explode/burn down PEOPLE GONNA TALK! Maybe the convo should be more about her coming forward with information than her making the report?

 

My other thing was pages 3 and 4. Because we hear everyones problems and backstories but we DONT know/hear Irs? Why does she want her own life? I dont buy that she wants to live seperate from her family. They dont seem to overwhelm her or cause her any issues besides being supported.

 

AND LASTLY if the black uni dont come back and fix C's place, Imma start a riot. :lol: (insert knife emoji). Lol jkjk (or am i?):blink:

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My thoughts on this one:

I pretty much agree with @Robinski. It's a good "sequel" after the "scene" of the last chapter, where we get the response to what happened, but we don't really get anything else. My biggest thing is that we need something to move us on from this chapter. Right now it just sort of ends and we're not pulled into what happens next. You could probably cut a lot of the explanation in the first two pages and bring it up in dialogue, to make the plight of everyone more pressing.

This is also where I suddenly got very confused between "civilized" and non- animals and how they are differentiated. I know you had a big explanation last week on this, but I think it need to find a way into the book around this point to stop people from wondering if there is some sort of practiced cannibalism in this world.

16 hours ago, Robinski said:

“specie” – I see this is used throughout, and it’s been bugging me from the beginning.

Agree. I also looked this up and it doesn't seem to be a word. You can have one species, or many species, but there's no singular.

16 hours ago, Robinski said:

My expectations now are that she will receive some sort of ‘sign’ in the next chapter that will guide her into the murky regions of intrigue into which I’m sure the story is headed. We do, I think I need a pacier chapter in the next one.

Yes, and I further think this should be appended onto this chapter, at least in part, to drive the reader on to the next chapter. This is opening of the real story, the call to action, so we need something to shout that it's coming.

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Posted (edited)

Overall

I don't have a lot of comments. There wasn't anything structurally wrong with the chapter, and the interactions were very slice of life, with good emotion. However I'm not sure what the chapter arc was supposed to be. What purpose does this chapter serve? How does it move the plot along? If our protagonist is depressed (as this shows), what is she doing about it? She goes to a temple, but it doesn't resolve anything, either. I need something to move me to the next chapter. To keep me reading.

On 5/4/2020 at 2:54 PM, Robinski said:

I stand to be corrected, of course ;) 

You're correct! Species is both singular, and plural

12 hours ago, Mandamon said:

My biggest thing is that we need something to move us on from this chapter. Right now it just sort of ends and we're not pulled into what happens next. You could probably cut a lot of the explanation in the first two pages and bring it up in dialogue, to make the plight of everyone more pressing.

Yes this. This was my issue exactly.

 

As I go

- pg 3: it just occurred to me that it would be such a fun plot twist if she got to the restaurant and it was fine!

- pg 5: I'm amused by the description of the outfits as 'honeybee black and yellow'

- pg 7: I'm not convinced that they'd all just write it off as a cookware and then disperse. Where's the speculation? The anger? The investigation?

-pg 9: an Orin dragon like from the Neverending Story??

 

Edited by kais
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6 hours ago, kais said:

it just occurred to me that it would be such a fun plot twist if she got to the restaurant and it was fine!

:blink: well, that twisted my head for one...

I'm sure there's a reason for the restaurant to burn down, but this is a fun idea

6 hours ago, kais said:

I'm not convinced that they'd all just write it off as a cookware and then disperse. Where's the speculation? The anger? The investigation?

This is a good point: not something I considered as a I read. I get that most would be depressed and defeated, and that Car would be in that number, but it would play more realistically, and give Car and may Ir someone to play off in that scene, if at least one person was angry. 'How could this happen, someone must have done something?' - 'Let it go, X. It's hopeless. Getting everyone riled up won't change anything.' - 'Aren't you even gonna fight, Car?'... something, whatever, and all the time Ir is fighting that horrible feeling of guilt, knowing the was involved. It would put a lot more tension in that scene, which would give the chapter more of a kick. Good point.

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On 5/4/2020 at 10:05 PM, Sarah B said:

The first sentence is a bit wordy, it feels like 'writing' more than a part of the story. This is the only place I noticed this though.

I am hilariously over-wordy way too often. I swear, the entire book is at least 25% longer than it needs to be. 

On 5/4/2020 at 10:05 PM, Sarah B said:

I'm not sure how strict you want to be to the time period, but the words "Take down" (in this context), "undercover operation" and "alchoholism" feel more modern and stand out.

This is something that I slip up on often and need to be more aware of. My mother particularly hounded me on it in the first draft, but obviously I'm still missing words. 

On 5/4/2020 at 10:05 PM, Sarah B said:

In the paragraph starting "I've got to get ready..." the last two sentences both start with the MC's name, and the first sentence of the next paragraph also includes her name which gets a little repetitive. 

Oversaying names is another downfall I have, which has been pointed out to me by at least three people, which signifies I definitely have a problem. 

Thank you @Sarah B !

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On 5/4/2020 at 2:54 PM, Robinski said:

Of course they knew already, and this is my single biggest issue with this chapter. Ir has worked at the restaurant for many years(?), she would know that someone opened up early to start the ovens, or whatever. She would know that the shopkeeper next door would know Car well and would get news to her.

This is the same problem that crops up in the first chapter: when the restaurant opens and closes. Thankfully, something easy to fix. 

On 5/4/2020 at 2:54 PM, Robinski said:

‘Specie’ does have a meaning though, but it is in relation to a financial transaction, or ‘provision’ (I haven’t researched extensively). I stand to be corrected, of course ;) 

Did not know that! I love new facts! 

On 5/4/2020 at 2:54 PM, Robinski said:

My expectations now are that she will receive some sort of ‘sign’ in the next chapter that will guide her into the murky regions of intrigue into which I’m sure the story is headed. We do, I think I need a pacier chapter in the next one. It feels like in these first three you have got Ir where you need her to be, and now we will see things start to gather pace.

Unfortunately, Chapter 4 is arguably one of the worst in the entire book. It has one of my two least favorite scenes. There's a good chance I'll be cutting Chapter 4 extensively and meshing it with Chapter 3 or Chapter 5 so we can get along to the exciting bits. 

Thanks again for the LBL's! There is something very reassuring about drafts covered in red ink. Maybe it's because I know there are flaws, but I can't always see them? 

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Posted (edited)

On 5/5/2020 at 5:54 AM, CherishLarain said:

I agree with @Robinski. cuz when things explode/burn down PEOPLE GONNA TALK! Maybe the convo should be more about her coming forward with information than her making the report?

 

My other thing was pages 3 and 4. Because we hear everyones problems and backstories but we DONT know/hear Irs? Why does she want her own life? I dont buy that she wants to live seperate from her family. They dont seem to overwhelm her or cause her any issues besides being supported.

 

AND LASTLY if the black uni dont come back and fix C's place, Imma start a riot. :lol: (insert knife emoji). Lol jkjk (or am i?):blink:

I absolutely agree on the talking point. I need to have someone banging down Ireen's door or something, and her realizing she's too late. There is cover-up going, but I can show that better. 

The idea of Ireen wanting to leave was a scrapped idea from Draft One. I obviously missed it here. I can make her motivations more clear.

As to the fate of the restaurant...well, you'll just have to trust me...

Thank you @CherishLarain !

Edited by Snakenaps
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On 5/5/2020 at 7:12 AM, Mandamon said:

I pretty much agree with @Robinski. It's a good "sequel" after the "scene" of the last chapter, where we get the response to what happened, but we don't really get anything else. My biggest thing is that we need something to move us on from this chapter. Right now it just sort of ends and we're not pulled into what happens next. You could probably cut a lot of the explanation in the first two pages and bring it up in dialogue, to make the plight of everyone more pressing.

This is why I'm leaning towards combining Chapter 3 and 4 if I cut them both well...we need to get to the meat. I think there are some foreshadowings I can sneak in as well if I am careful.

On 5/5/2020 at 7:12 AM, Mandamon said:

This is also where I suddenly got very confused between "civilized" and non- animals and how they are differentiated. I know you had a big explanation last week on this, but I think it need to find a way into the book around this point to stop people from wondering if there is some sort of practiced cannibalism in this world.

I need to make all of the worldbuilding clearer from the beginning. Like Ireen being a human. If the foundation isn't solid, then it falls apart. 

Thank you for your LBL's! I like seeing where you get confused, because I have been living in my own head for far too long. 

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23 hours ago, kais said:

I don't have a lot of comments. There wasn't anything structurally wrong with the chapter, and the interactions were very slice of life, with good emotion. However I'm not sure what the chapter arc was supposed to be. What purpose does this chapter serve? How does it move the plot along? If our protagonist is depressed (as this shows), what is she doing about it? She goes to a temple, but it doesn't resolve anything, either. I need something to move me to the next chapter. To keep me reading.

I'm glad at least I have the emotion nailed down, because historically that has been lackluster. I definitely need to start pushing the story forward. Structurally, I might not have problems, but I think I definitely have long-term pacing issues. I tend to be wordy and put in unnecessary scenes which bog things down. Thankfully, it is easier for me to take away than to add, so Draft Three should be really fun to chop. 

23 hours ago, kais said:

You're correct! Species is both singular, and plural

That's 3/3 on species! I'll ctrl+F and fix all of those in Draft Three. 

Thank you @kais !

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16 hours ago, Robinski said:

This is a good point: not something I considered as a I read. I get that most would be depressed and defeated, and that Car would be in that number, but it would play more realistically, and give Car and may Ir someone to play off in that scene, if at least one person was angry. 'How could this happen, someone must have done something?' - 'Let it go, X. It's hopeless. Getting everyone riled up won't change anything.' - 'Aren't you even gonna fight, Car?'... something, whatever, and all the time Ir is fighting that horrible feeling of guilt, knowing the was involved. It would put a lot more tension in that scene, which would give the chapter more of a kick. Good point.

Plus, conflict = good story! The chapter definitely needs that kick, and I think that this could had a lot to the current chapter, and add strength to the future ones. 

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On 5/5/2020 at 7:30 PM, kais said:

pg 9: an Orin dragon like from the Neverending Story??

I know this sounds horrible, but I've never actually seen the Neverending Story because I know the horse dies...

But I did Google this! And apparently in the Neverending Story, there is an Auryn medallion! https://theneverendingstory.fandom.com/wiki/AURYN

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19 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I've never actually seen the Neverending Story

Same. I heard that damnation able Kajagoogoo song first, and there was no way I was watching it after that.

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Sorry I'm so late! 

As I read:

"Dark bread and slapped sweet butter on it." Yum! 

"Chamomile..." Double yum, getting some of this ready to drink now. I like the mom! 

"I've got to call C...what happened" So I get she is trailing off, but something about the line tripped me up and made me reread. 

"Irene stood...fix this mess" There is something a little awkward about these last sentences and it is hampering potential for emotion. There was decent emotion in the scene, but playing around with the last few sentences could increase the impact once you get to that phase in the writing process.

I didn't getting all the details about all the employees before I actually saw them. I felt like there would've been more impact if I was seeing them and learning their stories simultaneously. Granted, I'm not entirely sure I needed to know all their stories. 

For someone reason C's alcoholism surprised me.  If it was set up in Ch. 1, it got lost with all the other information presented in that chapter. Or maybe I just forgot over the course of a couple weeks. It could be WRS. 

"...ashes, of smoke, of dead dreams." A sad line, but one of my favorites. Lots of emotion packed into it.

A lot of the reaction to the restaurant burning down and people loosing their jobs seems extra relevant to present day right now.

Overall, there were some nice moments in this chapter, but I felt like something was missing. The arc wasn't complete or just wasn't there. We needed to see the fallout, but I expected by the end of seeing the fallout from the fire, that I would know what Ir was going to do about it.

I kept expecting the unicorn to show up in the church or someone to contact her there. That doesn't actually have to happen, but without there being some clear sense of what's next, I'm left floundering. As a reader, I need something to propel me onward.

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On 5/6/2020 at 9:52 PM, Snakenaps said:

Thankfully, it is easier for me to take away than to add, so Draft Three should be really fun to chop. 

This is truth. I'd always rather have too much than not enough. Deleting things...well, moving things to the file of misfit lines.... can be so much fun. 

 

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On 5/7/2020 at 2:00 PM, Snakenaps said:

I know this sounds horrible, but I've never actually seen the Neverending Story because I know the horse dies...

 

I think I saw it when I was a little kid, but I only remember little fragments of it. I've occasionally thought of re-watching it because I'm not sure how many of the fragments I remember are actually the movie or a dream it caused. 

But I hate it when animals die in movies or books or anything. So I think I will not watch it. 

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Just now, shatteredsmooth said:

But I hate it when animals die in movies or books or anything. So I think I will not watch it. 

Storytime: I have cried in front of one particular fourth grade class twice because I had to read to them the end of Charlotte's Web and the scene where a particular dog dies in Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Both times the teacher - a dear friend of mine and mentor - specifically timed the reading of the chapters so that they would land on the days I subbed, because she was always the one to cry when reading those parts.

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@Snakenaps Last year I stopped reading a book halfway through the first chapter because the dog died. It was Girls of Paper and Fire in case you want to avoid it or skip the first chapter. 

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3 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

@Snakenaps Last year I stopped reading a book halfway through the first chapter because the dog died. It was Girls of Paper and Fire in case you want to avoid it or skip the first chapter. 

I read that book last year because I was curious how it handled anthropomorphic creatures. 

Obviously it only did it decently because I completely forgot I read that book until you mentioned it. I never read the sequel. 

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1 minute ago, Snakenaps said:

I read that book last year because I was curious how it handled anthropomorphic creatures. 

 

It seemed like an interesting concept. The hard cover is still sitting on my porch with the dust jacket marking where I stopped reading. I used to always finished books I started, but my TBR is massive now so a lot of times if I don't like something about the first chapter, I just stop.

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10 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

It seemed like an interesting concept. The hard cover is still sitting on my porch with the dust jacket marking where I stopped reading. I used to always finished books I started, but my TBR is massive now so a lot of times if I don't like something about the first chapter, I just stop.

For me, I'll generally give a book 50 pages. I'm a fast reader, so that isn't much for me. But I've definitely set books down at the 3/4 mark because I just didn't care enough to finish. 

I waited for two months to get my library's copy of The Priory of the Orange Tree because I heard it was incredible. I returned it after finishing about a quarter of it because I realized I had one week left before it was due and I just didn't care to finish it. 

The book I'm glad I stuck around for? The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. The beginning was slow, but I inhaled that series. I don't often read about historical Russia with a ton of brutal, deadly magic. 

I'm currently reading The Way of Kings for the first time and am LOVING it. I've got my eye on Spin the Dawn (described as Mulan meets Project Runway) for the next YA book on my list. 

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Just now, Snakenaps said:

The book I'm glad I stuck around for? The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. The beginning was slow, but I inhaled that series. I don't often read about historical Russia with a ton of brutal, deadly magic. 

 

I loved that series! It's actually driven me to seek out other stories based off of similar folklore. 

Anya and the Dragon was based off of similar folklore, but it's mg, so it's slightly less deadly and not as dark. The dragon is adorable. I recommend it. 

3 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

For me, I'll generally give a book 50 pages

If I get 50 pages in, I finish the book unless it is really, really bad. Based on reading the 1st chapter and the last couple pages, I can usually tell if I am going to like a book. 

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59 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I loved that series! It's actually driven me to seek out other stories based off of similar folklore. 

Anya and the Dragon was based off of similar folklore, but it's mg, so it's slightly less deadly and not as dark. The dragon is adorable. I recommend it. 

If I get 50 pages in, I finish the book unless it is really, really bad. Based on reading the 1st chapter and the last couple pages, I can usually tell if I am going to like a book. 

Anya and the Dragon is now on my To Be Read list. 

I'm that callous person who will set down pretty much any book that becomes a chore to read. If I dread picking up a book because of how bad the story is...I just don't finish it, no matter how far I am into a book. I'll burden a few bad chapters, but if there is nothing attaching me to the book - be it the characters, the plot, or the setting - then why stick around? If an author has something strong in their book, I'm willing to put up with a lot for that one good thing.  Rainbow Rowell's books are the epitome of plotless books I'll inhale because I love the characters so much.

I used to read anything, no matter how bad, but as I grow older, I find that I'd rather spend my time reading high quality books and painting. I very rarely watch TV or play video games because there is usually something else I would rather do. And even then, if I'm watching TV, I'm usually sketching at the same time. 

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