kais

05/20/20 - kais - Rosewood Chapter 7 (L) - 3649 words

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L for mild language

 
Only real change going forward into this chapter is that M no longer things magic doesn’t exist, just that it’s rare and it seems to follow her and J-D. She suspects the princess may also have access to this strange magic, and wants to find out more (while also still getting her back her comb, and of course, robbing her blind).
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Hmmm...not sure what to think of this chapter. It's one of the first real glimpses into N, and she's basically a voyeuristic child. I don't know what her game is, and by the end of the chapter, I'm completely on M's side with rejecting her. I'd get out of there as fast as possible and try to steal from another queendom. 

My biggest problem with the whole story so far is that I don't know the stakes. The comb still doesn't seem a powerful enough incentive for M to do all this in the first place, and now N seems to have some reason behind the notebook and prophesies, but I don't know what it is. Does the fate of the queendom depend on it? N's future happiness? J's life? I don't have any reason so far to expect a relationship between the two, and now several reasons not to want it. I think M's a really good character, as is J, and J-D, with the changes. But N is the other lead (I assume) and so far, she's not winning me over.

Sorry to not be more positive about this one...

Notes while reading:
pg 1: "had been immediately pressed into service with the doctors"
--with the doctors, or for the doctors? Does J have medical experience?

pg 1: "talked more about their fake jobs"
--sounds like they're going native. I mean, an honest likeable job that keeps you busy is a pretty good sell...

pg 1: "get the comb, clean out the treasury, and leave."
--which brings up another good motivation question. Once seeing the palace and that she's basically allowed to do whatever, why does M still want to leave? She was giving up her plans earlier (or has that changed...)

pg 2: "hid the stolen necklace and coins under a loose stone in the floor"
--I get the feeling N's source of prophesy is watching all this and laughing.

pg 2: "from dying the moment they got your blood on their hands"
--Is this new? I don't remember toxic blood being mentioned.

pg 3: “That won’t get us the comb.” 
--hmmm...still not really feeling all this just for the comb, even if it has some hint of family.

pg 3: "don’t wear pants there, men or women"
--so...what do they wear?

pg 3: " their dwindling supply of nettle"
--I wouldn't think this would be a problem at all in the castle. Aren't there plenty of supplies?

pg 3: "I don’t think I can take another ball"
--did we miss one?

pg 4: M disobeying/obeying is fun

pg 6: “you’re here. What could I possibly have to worry about?"
--I mean, I was thinking this too. Doesn't M own all the bandits?

pg 6: "that unless that person recognized J"
--it's only been, what, a week or two?

pg 7: "N responded which, really, M should have seen coming."
--er, didn't N actually see it coming?

pg 7: "“You’re not supposed to make this so difficult!"
--In what way? We know so little about N's motives that I don't know why she doesn't just cut M loose. Something larger must be at hand, but I don't know what it is.

pg 8: "Everything I saw"
--ah, so N herself saw things. I thought she was getting it from someone else, for some reason.

pg 9: "Yes. I see a soothsayer twice yearly, as a gift from the queen."
--sooo...did N see these things or did the soothsayer?

pg 9: "Nothing is that exciting. Including me.”
--sort of have to agree

pg 10: "When I was a child, I saw you as a child. As an adult, I see you as an adult.”
--okaaay, that's verging on very creepy. Why hasn't she sought M out before now?

pg 11: "It’s all tied together.” 
--WHAT'S all tied together? I still don't know the urgency behind why all this hangs together.

pg 11: Hmmm...yeah, M's rant is completely right. I don't have much sympathy for N, especially since she's so cagey.

pg 11: "She grabbed the notebook from Nuria’s lap and flung it from the window.
--good. Except there's no reaction from N?
--okay, there's a reaction two paragraphs down. I really expected N to react more. Was this in the prophesies?

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Hi

I really like the tension in this chapter. Didn't find any obvious faults. So here's your post that says nothing but I liked it.

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As per usual, didn't read any of the previous comments.

Thoughts as I go!

Pg 1, "L had made at least seventeen cakes" - Mmmm, cake. I haven't tried to make a cake in years. I always end up making brownies. Also, at more than five cakes a day, I am impressed.

Pg 1, "L covered in corn flour" I like this detail, because I am getting a heavy sense that corn is a very common commodity, between the juice and the flour. A small worldbuilding hint that I appreciate.

Pg 3, "You’ve got a twenty-two hour carriage ride" Oh man, an eleven hour airplane ride sucks. I can only imagine how awful this would be, even with the stops to exchange horses.

Pg 3/4, "The plot might be in by the time we get back" Do you mean plant instead of plot, or am I confused?

Pg 5, "Her pony was much farther from the ground" This makes me smile :) 

Pg 6, "shoved it under her thigh" Petty. This is something I would have absolutely been tempted to do myself.

Pg 7, "A pair of flowered pants" This sounds like something my sister might wear, and something I would probably trip in.

Pg 8, "Everything I saw" So there is no soothsayer? N is the soothsayer? Am I thinking of too early of a draft?

Pg 9, " I see a soothsayer twice yearly" Nevermind my last comment, confusion and questions answered.

Pg 10, "Do you have to patronize me at every turn?" N comes off as that poor, frustrated, overworked mother who has to plan for everything, while her idiotic, kleptomaniac children bumble around and mess things up. I feel like she needs to slap leashes on everyone but L. J needs a leash, not necessarily because he misbehaves, but he would absolutely stumble into something he was allergic to if he wasn't watched 24/7. 

Pg 10, " pointedly stared out the window." Mature. I feel like M is passive aggressiveness ramped up to an 11. 

Pg 11, " the sound of your laughter." I feel like this is a rare sound...

Pg 11, "How many times?!" Oh man, I would feel so incredibly freaked out, creeped out, and worried. I mean, I don't trust N to not spin the information to her favor. What does N want out of all of this? Somehow, I doubt all she wants is friendship and roses and love.

Pg 11, " she liked to control a conversation" What else does she like to control? N strikes me very much as a control freak/planner/type A personality.

Pg 12, " flung it from the window." Now some peasant - who is probably illiterate - is going to find this journal. The question is, will they keep it for the pretty drawings, or turn it into toilet paper or kindling?

Pg 13, "We are not friends" Ooof.

I thoroughly enjoy the strong personalities in all of this, although I don't trust N yet. She's too crafty. What does she want? What are her end goals? 

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Comments :) 

(page 1)

- Very good opening: we are caught up with everyone in a succinct, but interesting way. It's nice sort of montage paragraph, but sets the scene for the chapter too.

(page 4)

- The conversation with J is not exactly riveting. I can see how it's necessary, but I'm pleased to see N arrive. Hoping things now will be spiced up a notch.

- "came around the side of the castle" - This is peculiar. I would imagine things are arranged such that royalty can walk through the castle, come out of a door and travel the shortest distance across the dirt to get into the carriage. N having to walk outside seems unlikely.

- "you might blow up like a pastry" - I don't know what this means, or what it looks like.

- "write you an exemption" - I can't believe there is so much paperwork.

- "out of that. Get in the carriage" - These instruction are mutually exclusive, but... how about "Get in the carriage and out of that," would at least specify an order of actions.

(page 6)

- I like the trick with the notebook, but I'm surprised N would let it out of her sight.

(page 7)

- "grabbed for the notebook" - Where is the book the whole time M is picking the jerkin and buttoning it on? It's not in her hand.

(page 8)

- "sulking hair" - heir? :lol: 

- "from under her leg" - Oh, yes. Forgot this.

- I like the trip down memory lane we get as M looks through the book, and the description of the book itself. This bit is especially nicely done.

(page 9)

- I lost interest when the explanation of the money started. This is an emotional exchange between the book's two main characters, and I really don't want to be taken off on an arithmetic lesson in the middle of it. The punchline is good, but the middle bit...

- Yeah, I'm totally with N in this scenario. Stop patronising, M.

(page 11)

- "she grabbed the notebook" - Ha, ha! Nicely done.

- "could hear every conversation" - hang on, this is not what we're talking about. If N only sees the soothsayer twice year (was it?), and the sessions take place in real time, clearly there is no way she can hear more than a fraction of the conversations that M has. Also, N said that she does not get to choose what is relayed, so, this response from M is just completely off base, inaccurate, like she was not even listening to what N said about the parameters of the process.

- Another very effective montage of memories there. Some powerful stuff, well delivered. BUT, I return to my point that it is simply not feasible for N to have seen any meaningful proportion of these memories, unless she was visiting the soothsayer daily, or certainly weekly for most of her life.

(page 12)

- Excellent emotional punch at the end. For all my complaining about the feasibility of the soothsaying, I do not mind that M misinterpreted it (IMO), and even then, she does seem to accept that--on a practical level--it's only a small proportion of the memories that in the book, but they are all tainted. That aspect works well for me, it's the earlier monologue that seems manifestly unrealistic. 

- So, the ending is a great surge of antipathy from M and N, and unhappiness in the other direction, HOWEVER, I think it's lost by the last paragraph. I think a much better ending is on 'We are not friends' which is a great line, given how important it is to N. The content of the last paragraph, we can either work out for ourselves (it's pretty clear it will be a difficult journey) or can be played out in the next chapter.

OVERALL 

Very little to add. A good chapter, lots of punch and conflict. Good snarky, snappy dialogue and some nice 'montage' scenes of recollections gone by. Nice job, Looking forward to the next chapter.

(LBLs sent, pretty minor stuff.)

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Posted (edited)

I agree with @Mandamon about this story thus far. At this point in the story, I am really on interested in N. As for M, in a lot of her tantrums/conversations, she sounds likes a teenager to me. I keep imagining her and J younger.

Also, a random note/question I had; Is J gay? Or ace? When N is walking around in a sheer shirt and we see M's reaction but not any of J's. Which I get he wouldnt be trying to hit on or flirt with the girl his sister is into, but as a straight guy he still might look or at least avoid trying to look. But he would still see what M saw, which was titties. He also doesnt have a reaction when M starts taking off her clothes, which is weird. 

Edited by CherishLarain
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I am uncertain about this chapter and having a hard time pin pointing what is going on with it. There seemed to be a lot of telling about what the group was doing, which isn't necessarily a bad thing on its own, because it is efficient. The taking off the shirt in front of anyone mostly seemed like M because she was trying to fluster N, but then there is also the fact that while complaining about the shirt showing off her breasts, she is blatantly exposing them for better viewing. Is that worth getting the princess to blush?

I expected things to get a little steamy in the carriage, but quite the opposite happened, which jarring given how the chapter started. 

There was a lot of tension between M and N. The scene felt sort of on the border of being a little too childish at times while also feeling a little cruel. 

I was happy to finally have some details about the journal and prophecy. 

P. 9

“It’s not like a got to choose. I saw other people, too.”

Two things about this line. I think the A should be I. 

And what does she mean by saw other people? Were her visions about other possible suitors? 

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On 5/18/2020 at 9:31 AM, Mandamon said:

My biggest problem with the whole story so far is that I don't know the stakes.

Check! Basically everyone said this so I've gone back through the chapters and upped N's railroad discussions. It's now established that N was at the tavern to meet with a railroad representative from a neighboring island about acquiring railroad ties so that Bad Mill isn't the only monarchy with a railroad. N is concerned the other monarchies will be left behind in the trade economy. Some snippets

Spoiler

“I could, but first of all, I don’t have it here because I don’t keep valuables where thieves can steal them, and secondly, then I wouldn’t get to see you in clothes that actually fit. It’s also not how prophecies work. I don’t get a choice, you don’t get a choice, the best we can do is follow the rules and get through it. If I want to seal this railroad deal and drag Asp Grove into island chain economy, I need you, and I need you at a ball. This one works.” She made a shooing motion with her left hand. “One week for the comb. A pouch of gold stars for each of you, too. Is that enough?”

Spoiler

“You’re early,” N said, as if that somehow explained everything. “I’m doing the best that I can with this altered plan. You’re right, I must have interpreted the events wrong, but that doesn’t change what needs to happen. You’re clearly part of this. Would you please just listen and do as I ask? I’ll give you the comb, but I have to get the new rail treaty established, first.”

And then the bulk of the explanation comes next chapter. Hoping this will help a lot! Every chapter now has some railroad backstory in it

On 5/18/2020 at 9:31 AM, Mandamon said:

why does M still want to leave

Hmm. I'll have to figure out how to address this. She has to stay long enough to get the comb, and she's uncomfortable at the palace in general. Have added this line in the interim

Spoiler

. She wasn’t going to abandon her guild for a soft bed and regular meals. Probably. 

 

On 5/18/2020 at 9:31 AM, Mandamon said:

Is this new? I don't remember toxic blood being mentioned.

I forgot to backside it in the version I sent out but yes, it's in there now

I'm hoping knowing more of N's backstory will help with things! Thank you @Mandamon!

 

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On 5/18/2020 at 7:28 PM, Turin Turambar said:

So here's your post that says nothing but I liked it.

LOL well thank you! I do appreciate it! Thank you @Turin Turambar!

On 5/19/2020 at 4:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

Do you mean plant instead of plot, or am I confused?

I meant garden plot, but I think its great if its read as story plot, too!

On 5/19/2020 at 4:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

Somehow, I doubt all she wants is friendship and roses and love.

All that, but also TRAINS

On 5/19/2020 at 4:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

What else does she like to control?

*coughs* That's for later

On 5/19/2020 at 4:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

The question is, will they keep it for the pretty drawings, or turn it into toilet paper or kindling?

I LOLed!

On 5/19/2020 at 4:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

I thoroughly enjoy the strong personalities in all of this, although I don't trust N yet. She's too crafty. What does she want? What are her end goals? 

Well hoorah! Glad it was a winner chapter for you. Thank you, @Snakenaps!

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On 5/20/2020 at 11:19 AM, Robinski said:

I don't know what this means, or what it looks like.

I was thinking vol au vent style pastries actually! Yummmm

On 5/20/2020 at 11:19 AM, Robinski said:

I like the trip down memory lane we get as M looks through the book, and the description of the book itself. This bit is especially nicely done.

Yay!

On 5/20/2020 at 11:19 AM, Robinski said:

The punchline is good, but the middle bit...

Hmm okay. Will revisit

On 5/20/2020 at 11:19 AM, Robinski said:

clearly there is no way she can hear more than a fraction of the conversations that M has. Also, N said that she does not get to choose what is relayed, so, this response from M is just completely off base, inaccurate, like she was not even listening to what N said about the parameters of the process.

CORRECT! Blown way out of proportion but M is a bit shocked, too

On 5/20/2020 at 11:19 AM, Robinski said:

. I think a much better ending is on 'We are not friends' which is a great line, given how important it is to N. The content of the last paragraph, we can either work out for ourselves (it's pretty clear it will be a difficult journey) or can be played out in the next chapter.

Check and deleted! Good call! That we are not friends is a real gut punch for N.

On 5/20/2020 at 11:19 AM, Robinski said:

Very little to add. A good chapter, lots of punch and conflict. Good snarky, snappy dialogue and some nice 'montage' scenes of recollections gone by. Nice job, Looking forward to the next chapter.

Hoorah! And thank you for the LBLs. Hoping to get to them tonight or tomorrow. Thanks @Robinski!

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On 5/21/2020 at 4:11 AM, CherishLarain said:

bout this story thus far. At this point in the story, I am really on interested in N. As for M, in a lot of her tantrums/conversations, she sounds likes a teenager to me. I keep imagining her and J younger.

Mandamon was more interested in M. Typo? Or is N more interesting to you? Just trying to sort out for edits!

On 5/21/2020 at 4:11 AM, CherishLarain said:

s J gay? Or ace?

He does in a few chapters when there is nudity. But sheer shirts aren't a big deal in this world, as I was trying to show. He's not gay, no, or ace, but he's been overly sheltered his whole life by his big sister and like everything blows up his skin so he doesn't do a lot of, er, associating 

Thank you for the comments, @CherishLarain

On 5/22/2020 at 7:48 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

but then there is also the fact that while complaining about the shirt showing off her breasts, she is blatantly exposing them for better viewing. Is that worth getting the princess to blush?

Yup! Because she will show them off on HER terms, darn it!

On 5/22/2020 at 7:48 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I expected things to get a little steamy in the carriage, but quite the opposite happened, which jarring given how the chapter started. 

Oh its coming. (aheh)

On 5/22/2020 at 7:48 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Two things about this line. I think the A should be I. 

And what does she mean by saw other people? Were her visions about other possible suitors? 

I've cleared this up to discuss how she saw herself discussing railroads with the crown prince. Will be useful for @Mandamon's concern, too:

 

Spoiler

“Don’t look so shocked,” N snapped. “It’s not like a got to choose. I saw other people, too. I’ve seen our island linked properly by rail, shipping ports for every monarchy. Meetings with Prince Thoms.”

            “Let’s focus on more important things that what princes you want to kiss.” 

Thanks @shatteredsmooth!

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