June 22 2020_ShatteredSmooth_Book of Mel_Ch. 8 Sub 9 (LV)

11 posts in this topic

Content Warning:
Language for some swears
Violence for a physical and psychic battle with a demon. Mel doesn't exactly win the psychic battle, and it's traumatic. 
This chapter moves away from the romance for a beat and ventures more into the Demon hunting side of the story. This is probably one of the darker chapters, if not the darkest chapter, in the whole book. 
There is a new world building / supernatural element introduced: "Between". In the first draft, it had been mentioned earlier, but I am 99% sure those hints ended up edited out of the chapters you all read. I kept thinking, "oh, this isn't the right place to introduce this, so I'll move it" and never found the right place to put it. Is it okay mentioning it for the first time here? If not, maybe I could introduce it in Ch. 4.
Let me know what else is or isn't working.
Ch. 1
The night before classes start, M saves a guy from a Demon. Next day, she meets a cute girl in class and realizes the guy-she-saved is the TA (Mi). 
Ch. 2 (revised)
 M follows Mi, chats with him, reads his mind to find out he doesn't recognize her and talks to him way more than she planed. Later, she goes to a LGBTQIA mixer with her roommate, A, and the girl she met in class.
Ch. 3 (revised)
M meets Mi on a rooftop. Tasha has a skateboarding accident and breaks her arm. M and T almost kiss. M heals Tasha's arm, but messes up and uses too much energy.  M flees to her room, but Ally has company. 
Ch. 4 (revised)
M missed the masquerade because Mi's ghost hunter friends went missing. Turns out they summoned some demons. M almost died fighting them. 
Ch. 5 (Revised): Mike said the ghost hunters are alive. M goes out for pizza with Ally and Tasha, where there is lots of flirting. Mi shows up and begs her to go with him to meet the ghost hunters. Fearing he's in danger, she goes, but their office was empty, and then a possessed driver tried to run Mi over with a car. 
Ch. 6 (Revised). M was alone with Mi. They cuddle and talk a little about feelings and a lot about the paranormal. 
Ch. 7 (last time / revision in-progress):  A sparring match with T turned spicy. M's mental shields and telepathy malfunctioned at a very inconvenient time. 
Ch. 8 (This time): M has dinner plans with Mi, but she gets called away to hunt a demon. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


The fight scene went well and the romance with Mi is building just fine. I like the little bits of backstory we keep getting about M's family, too. I thought her mental powers seemed supercharged in this one, like they came from nowhere, but maybe that's WRS?

My biggest issue is how the love triangle is being set up. If I picked this book up in the bookstore and didn't know you, I'd consider it almost wlw phobic. I've tried to point out sentences below that showcase what I'm talking about. It just seems like every interaction with Mi is emotional, contains desire, mystery, friendship, trust, while every reaction with either of the girls is intrepidation (sp???), concern, broken promises, worry, unease, frustration. If we reversed this, it would be a very quintessential 'learning you're a lesbian' story, but with the genders set the way they are it...doesn't work. I know that's likely because you know M will end up with Mi, but at this stage I'd say every thought about the girls and most every interaction needs to be changed or just cut (though I agree the girls add an important dimension to the piece, I think it could stand alone without them).


As I go

- pg 1: relieved that A wasn’t there <-- this is another one of those places that makes it clear M isn't interested in the girls. She spent all the time before this worrying over Mi and looking after him, reading him, and the first note we get about the girls is avoidance

- pg 2: could just hook up with different people all the time or why she needed to sleep with someone every weekend <-- here's another one. Worry over Mi, ask Mi questions, be concerned, think about the girls and get irritated

- pg 2: questioned whether or not really wanted to have sex with anyone and wondered how much of wanting to try it came from hearing other people think about how much they liked it. <-- this is great! It might help if it came a lot earlier though in the book

- pg 3: M's 'that sucks' seems very under-emotive for the amount of tragedy Mi just dumped on her. She likes this guy, has been worrying over him constantly, but the best she can do when he talks about the death of a beloved parent figure is 'that sucks'?

- pg 5: After what happened with T, Mel didn’t want her interactions with him to get too physical. <-- here's another one. Happy hand holding emotions, bonding emotions, then negative emotions surrounding the girls, to the point where they are now interfering with her relationship with Mi

- pg 6: I'm having a suspension of disbelief with the purple goo of Between. It just seems...too much? The world constructed thus far as been very urban fantasy grounded. I'm cool with the Between, too, but making whatever you want with purple goo, makes this a higher level fantasy than I'd sorted it as and really makes me step back and go, huh what?

- pg 7: Unsure what pop culture is being referenced, but I have never thought trolls were fairies.

- pg 8: wait, her mental shields can change and be like spaceships???

- pg 9: HAHAHA storm trooper dig

- pg 9: mind into a temple of again I'm confused as to the sudden abilities she has. It's always just been shielding and now she has all these powers seemingly out of nowhere

- pg 12: did she trap the thing in sunshine? Doesn't that mean she won?



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what kind of reading you want so I'm going to do this in three  parts:
first my overall feelings and general ideas.
secondly specific questions i'm left with
thirdly line by line notes

overall: I like it, I do enjoy the way you mix the magic with the normal without compromising on either side. I enjoyed most character interactions and those I didn't are most likely caused by me not knowing the background between the characters involved. Sometimes the talk about sex feels a bit forced, like you want to specifically mention it even if there doesn't seem to be a direct reason for it. For example when reading Mi's mind in a moment he's processing trauma and trying to compose himself, I know guys are a horny bunch, but if he was thinking about sex at that point he should probably see a therapist. 
The fight scene is well done, Me and her mom felt in danger the whole time  adn the actual descriptions were also engaging so keep that up!
I also like the way you link what sye's mentally doing to physical actions while making clear there isn't actually anything physical going on, it helps me grasp whats happening without it being too vague

Specific questions:
-considering i just finished reading it, the biggest question i have is 'wait, weren't they fighting IN Between? but now they're retreating to Between? And if not, how the hell did no one notice a GRENADE going off. I can handwaive shooting a gun, that could be drowned out by the noise of a highway above, but a grenade?

-i'm not really gettring the love triangle. It has me somewhat confused about whats going on with A and Me and Mi. I assume that's plenty clear from previous chapters, just pointing out here i'm not going to comment much on it since i don't know enough from just this chapter

-another question i can't say for sure hasn't already been answered: why doesn't the demon just possess Mi? or send trolls after him? why possess a human to try and kill him when there seem to be more effective options?

- the talk about Mi's scholastic history seems a bit forced and awkward. This might be entirely intentional as it is a perfect time for awkward conversation, just make sure its in character for Mi to start talking about mostly irrelevant stuff when he's stressed.

-it's unclear to me whether he was hit or someone tried to hit him but failed to do so. You seem to imply both things here on seperate occasions. For someone reading the book straight through that won't be an issue, but for someone just (re)starting on this chapter that might be confusing

- when Me wants to call mom but can't and she contacts 7 other hunters but can't get through to them, That feels like massive foreshadowing something is messed up with all hunters, make sure you manage those expectations, unless of course thats common and cleared in earlier chapters 

-IF mom wasn't shielding  when Me arrived, why didn't the demon break her mind? She was clearly weakened, and the trap had already been sprun, Me was already there so why keep mom alive?

-mom shouting at the trolls remain to banish it and then you saying it's a replacement for latin banishing spells makes it feel like spells aren't really important, just the intention is, make sure you're not breaking one of the rules of you maginc doing this (i don't know if you are since i only read this chapter)

-it feels like the demon is playing with them, which makes it feel like he's feeding Me false information, not sure if thats intentional on your part

- if Me is in its mind she can't feel what its doing to hers, yet in the same sentence you say the demon will withdraw if it notices Me finding anything it doesn't want found? how can it still feel whats happening in its mind while its rummaging around in Me's?

-While going through the demons memories, who is standing behind the crosroads demon? wouldn't she experience the memories from the demon's PoV if they're his memories? the exposition about fairies seems a bit forced too unless the person he's talking to legitimately doesn't know about pixies, which seems unlikely from the rest of the conversation

-blackout protocol??? whats this? either curiosity peaked or callback to previoius chapter, in any way I wanne know what it is! (so if you want me curious at this point, good job)

-7 breaths... 7 hunters she tried to contact....  7 ears on the beast, do you just liek the number 7 or are you hinting that 7 is an important number?

Line notes:

p1: She changed into skinny jeans with knee high boots that sheaths built into them. --> seems like there's a 'had' missing from the second part.

p2: Mike had dark circles under his eyes, and his face was covered with a few days of stubble. --> it feels like she would have noticed this sooner if she was really worried about him, you also describe his clothes fairly extensively, this feels like it shoul have been part of the description.

Sometimes, Mel questioned whether or not really wanted to have sex with anyone and wondered how much of wanting to try it came from hearing other people think about how much they liked it. --> missing subject in first part?

p3: “I’m being ridiculous.” Mel looked into his eyes. “Anxiety generally doesn’t make sense.”  --> the anxiety callout sems to  be out of place here, unless i'm mistaken someone actively tried to kill him in the streets, that doesn't feel like senseless anxiety but well grounded fear. 

a mess, he helped me piece myself back together, helped get into grad school  -->  helped 'me' get into grad school?

p4: Look me in the eye and tell you believe it was an accident.” --> 'tell me you believe'

p5: Mel was more comfortable reading mind,  --> reading 'his' mind?

but if the way he thought about ever shifted,
 --> thought about 'her' ever shifted?

Mom: Corned by a Troll in Lowell. Area borders Between.  --> 'cornered' by a troll?

I’m my way. Where in Lowell are you? --> 'on' my way?

p6: Mel stepped out of between to a muddy riverbank at 7:36 p.m.  --> you've capitalised 'Between' up untill here, should do the same here

Bear cans and plastic bags littered were scattered through the muck --> 'beer' cans, not bear 

p7 Troll when it dogged a grenade and threw me out of my chair --> dogged = dodged?

p8: With the gagger in her right hand, --> dagger?

It was one of the few that wouldn’t frenzie as soon as it got a whiff of her, but she could still goad it into attacking --> frienzie or frnezy? not sure

All she needed to lure close enough to the fire for Mom to send out a tendril of flame to burn it.  --> all she needed to 'do was to lure' ?

 She pulled the pin and threw the grenade.  --> threw 'a' grenade? she had several unless i'm misreading

singing it’s back with flames and shrapnel --> singeing instead of singing

Mom’s flames flicked --> flickered?

but the flames clung it -> clung 'to' it

p9: Mom had shielded her the worst of her injuries from Mel --> 'her worst' or 'the worst' 

The cut on her looked deeper than what she had sensed, --> the cut on her 'arm'

Mel was a worse shot than Star Wars Storm Trooper, but maybe with two clips, she at least grazed it --> than 'a' star wars storm trooper or 'than star wars storm troopers' and 'she'd at least graze it' instead of 'she at least grazed it'

She made her mind to a temple of doom --> 'into' a temple of doom

p10 :Alime turned to acid, burning her consciousness. --> 'Slime'

The demon recoiled as Mel locked in a box of sunshine and happiness --> feels like a word is missing here, i think "as mel locked 'it' in a box"

It was clawing her way through a sewage pipe --> 'like' clawing her way ....

and seven ears and more teeth than Mel coud count.  --> 'could' count

p11: It’s deep and smooth. --> it's deep and smooth what? and 'it's' should be 'its' i think

It shoved back into the sewer pipe tentacle she’d crowned through until she was slammed back into her own aching, shredded brain. --> it shoved 'her' back into...  'crawled ' instead of 'crowned'

p12: With Dad’s I know dad stopped by on Sunday, before he brought me back to school. There was a bag full of my stuff when I woke up in the dorm --> 'with dad's' needs to be a seperate sentence.

Mel sent some of that light to strained muscles --> to 'her' strained muscles 

Consentual sex as long as he doesn’t get me pregnant again?”  --> 'consensual'

OK, those were more questions and edits than I expected after reading it through a first time. So let me emphasise this again. I really liked the story, most of those questions and comments wouldn't have bothered me if i wasn't specifically looking for them. Do continue the story please and I'm eager to meet the next part!

As to your specific question, mentioning Between for the first time here won't be an issue if you've established that other realms are a thing. If this is the first time she steps into another realm you need to throw in a little more exposition perhaps.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of typos and missing words in this one. I had some trouble reading because a lot of sentences were missing key words. Also, generally the fight scenes were blow-by-blow and not terribly interesting. I was looking for the emotional impact, and didn't really get that part.

I'm not sure of the arc here. I was into M and Mi talking about what happened, and M helping his anxiety, then she runs off into a trap with her mother for...I'm not sure what reason. I mean it does connect back with Mi, but then why would the demon lure her there? Especially since it doesn't seem to want to kill her? I have similar reactions as @kais and @killersquid. M seems very overpowered, and we get about 3-4 new powers here, from the Between, to mind traps, to angel sex, to spaceship shields... But then she thinks she lost the fight? I didn't really get mental injury on her side of the fight. Seems she pretty much destroyed the demon.


Notes while reading:
pg 1: The first line sounds like a weather report. Could probably condense it to target the danger.

pg 1: "considered going home for the weekend"
--She was going to go home with the weather as is?

pg 1: "It had something to do with the almost getting run over."
--and not because they slept together??

pg 1: "Around five thirty..."
--lots of very choppy sentences in this paragraph

pg 1: "texted her saying he was waiting outside"
--I was confused for a moment why she was seeing him when she'd been avoiding him, then realized this was a continuation from the first paragraph when he asked her to dinner. I think this needs more connection.

pg 2: “What does that mean?”
--I would think that's fairly obvious...M gets to it in a bit, but she already read his thoughts. Should she know this?

pg 2: “Please don’t ask.” “I don’t want to talk about that,” 
--well, they're going to be not talking a lot...

pg 4: "The idea that someone from his past tried to kill him was tearing him apart."
--oh. I didn't get this from the conversation. I thought Mi was going somewhere else with talking about his past.

pg 4: "not the ghost hunters that just ghosted you?”
--Yeah, that's what I was assuming. I don't know why Mi would connect this with stuff from years in the past when he's engaged in some sketchy stuff right now. Also, "ghosting ghost hunters" is a little on the nose...

pg 4: "They haven’t come after me again"
--Which means Mi now does think it's the ghost hunters? Need some clarity with his motivations.

pg 5: "didn’t want her interactions with him to get too physical."
"wrapped his arms around M’s waist and pulled her toward him...leaned back against him and closed her eyes"
--This is directly contradictory.

pg 5: "squeezing him tight, pressing her face against his chest"
--still lots of physical interactions...

pg 6: "As long as she didn’t interact with anyone, when she stepped out, only minutes would have passed on Earth."
--what happens if she interacts with someone? Also, this is a new power...

pg 6: "That marked where her mom was."
--Obvious. Can remove this.

pg 6: "Bear cans"
--I'm imagining growling cans now...

pg 6: bit of an infodump about fire, near the bottom of the page

pg 8: "the Troll came into sight. If it saw her, it didn’t react"
--do we get a description of the troll or anything?

pg 8: "the spaceship kind"

pg 8: The fight scene here is very choppy. Lots of short sentences with blow-by-blow, but not anything really interesting.

pg 9: "She made her mind to a temple of doom."
--Not sure what's going on here.

pg 10: "pushed her mind forward"
--like...out of her body?

pg 11: "outright killing could have...consequences"
--I thought the demons had no problem killing M? Also, I'm still not quite sure how M is accessing the demon's memories.

pg 11: "with the limited fire she had left"
--what does this have to do with crawling?

pg 12: "“Oh, that. I didn’t realize he left anything behind if there wasn’t...” Mom trailed off, picturing Mel’s father shifting out of the usual man form he took and into a woman."
--I am not at all sure what's going on here. Is this saying her dad had sex with her mom, then left angel bits behind, then turned into a woman?

pg 12: “I like loopholes that involve me getting laid and you not dying.”
--ok, so I guess that's right. I'm still not sure how it makes M heal her.

pg 13: "seven deep breaths "
--oddly specific.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


1) Why is she so sure that the demon was after Mi and not her?

2) is it just me or is this one of those instances where everything would work out if they only talked to each other instead of saying "I don't want to talk about it"?

2) doesn't she have hormones? or is not human enough for that?

5) if her mom is cornered, why does she waste time calling other hunters? Nearest I can guess, she just wasted a good five-ten minutes or so.

6) no heaven?

6) so the between is essentially the realm of magic? Or is the me projecting my own stereotypes onto it?

7) M can project thoughts. If she lost control with T earlier, wouldn't she have possibly slipped up there? or accidentally project something to Mi at some point?

8) so knives are enough to take down big monsters. Please tell me that they're magic.

9) fancy latin banishing - LOL. does it matter what they say/think? or as long as the intent is the same.

9) she were in its mind - that sounds like a horrible idea. To be fair though, you made it pretty clear that she's outclassed, so drastic measures make sense.

OVERALL: well, now lets carry on through the plot!












Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a little lost coming in on chapter 8, but that's to be expected -- I just wanted to give a precursory warning so you can take my reactions with a grain of salt. I might have feedback on something that would be much more relevant if I'd been there for the previous chapters. Here we go:

In the beginning (about pgs 1-3), there are a lot of internal thoughts. I didn't mind them too much because you broke them up with dialogue, but I did mind that some of the things M ruminated on seemed shoehorned in -- like her thoughts about intimacy or her feeling like a pirate. They were loosely connected to what was going on, and I get that it builds character, but it wasn't really relevant, and it pulled me away from the story a little bit.

Also, you refer to M's mom as Mom, which feels a little off to me. Mom isn't a name, it's a title. Would you refer to a king as just King when you thought of him? I don't know if the comparison helped. Point is -- and maybe this is something that bothers only me -- when you use someone's title, you think of them in relation to you (e.g. my mom, or, since this is in third person, her mom).

Also, M's mom is being attacked! I didn't really get a sense of urgency from M that most people would probably feel when their mom is in danger.

For all my criticism, I thought it was an engaging chapter. Excited to read the next one.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, "She almost said no." Nearly running away again. M is so strong and brave when it comes to fighting the supernatural, so I like how she is...definitely not that normal society. It is frustrating on how her running away affects other people, but at the same time...I'd love to run away from more of my social hiccups myself (although at least I'm not a part of a love square).

Pg 1, "he’d hardly acknowledged her" In order for their relationship, these two awkward, slow dorks both need to learn to communicate. A and T know how to communicate (especially A), but our M&M's have no clue. 

Pg 1, "knee high boots that had sheaths built into them"

Pg 1, "They made her feel like a pirate." *squints eye* Argh, me matey!

Pg 2, "And I don’t live on campus." Kid, that ain't healthy.

Pg 2, "I don’t want to talk about that," These two and their avoidance strategies. It's going to be a blast watching them both suffer when the straw breaks the camel's back (by blast I mean I better get a tummy ache from stress and a chest ache from the sads).

Pg 2, "could just hook up with different people all the time or why she needed to sleep with someone every weekend" See, this is why A and T might work, but not A, T, and M. 

Pg 3, "He squeezed her hand tighter as they paused at a crosswalk." Ugh, I want to give this boy a hug.

Pg 3,  “Anxiety generally doesn’t make sense.” So true.

Pg 3, "I had two bachelor’s degrees by the time I was nineteen." Dang.

Pg 3, “Were you homeschooled?” This definitely sounds like a homeschool thing.

Pg 4, “That sucks.” To put it simply, yes.

Pg 4, " not the ghost hunters that just ghosted you?" Heh heh heh.

Pg 5, “That is a terrible idea.” Agreed. It's a bad idea to go poking bears.

Pg 5, "was more comfortable reading his mind,"

Pg 5, “Right now?” This is the story of how Mi began to live at a restaurant because he was too afraid to cross the street.

Pg 6, "Still no reply." Trap?

Pg 6, "Once she stepped through, time would all but stop for her." Dang, I thought only Demons could do that. Must be fairly unpredictable/dangerous because otherwise I'd be using it to teleport all the time.

Pg 7, "she had strapped to one of her wheelchairs" That sounds awesome. Did I know her mother used a wheelchair? I can't remember...

Pg 7, "What the hell are you doing here?" To quote Admiral Ackbar: "It's a trap!"

Pg 8, "They were big, smelly, demons that loved munching on human bones." I wonder if there is a better way to put it, as the sudden exposition jars me out of my panic and worry.

Pg 9, "singing it’s its back with flames and shrapnel. It’s Its back steamed as it roared."

Pg 9, " It’s Its mind stretched out towards hers." I am assuming autocorrect is your enemy. 

Pg 9, "fancy LAllomantic tin banishing spells." Doesn't need to be fancy if it works!

Pg 9, "was a worse shot than a Star Wars Storm Trooper" Ooooh, burn.

Pg 11, "Alime turned to acid" Do you mean slime?

Pg 11, "M locked it in a box of sunshine"

Pg 12, " It’s Its voice was deep and smooth."

Pg 13, " With Dad’s(period) I know Dad stopped by on Sunday"

Pg 14, "She’d have to face the wreckage of her mind" M needs a big hug. So does Mi. My M&M's need a hug party. 

Thoroughly enjoyed the action of this chapter. I liked the metaphors of how M went in the Demon's mind. It made it easy to visualize without being confusing.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heya, more comments.

(page 6)

- "time would all but stop for her" - Hmm, so why not tell Mi she was going to the rest room, if she could be back in minutes? I mean, having said that, I get why she would want to make a break, so not biggy.

- "took her dagger out of her purse" - I thought she had them in her boot sheaths? I'm sure that's what was said before.

(page 7)

- Who is Lu? Confused.

(page 8)

- "took her dagger out of her pocketbook" - She already took her dagger out of her purse, now her pocketbook, and she still has not gone near the daggers in her boots..... Ah, now she had. Still, there's duplication here in some form that's not consistent.

- Grenades don 't make flames, do they? Not that I can recall from movies.

I'm being really good and not talking about grammar or nothing, despite the cravings and the voices in my head ;) 

(page 11)

- "in the mud, gasping, staring up at the underside of a bridge that cars rumbled over" - Great image, I really feel the location. I imagine the sky is grey, and it's raining.


I got a really good vide from the this chapter. I liked how M got called away, it had a real superhero vibe, I thought. Character is torn away from an emotional situation in order to confront a terrible enemy. Even more so when it turns out to be a trap. Nicely done, that, but I also enjoyed the scene with Mi and how that worked on an emotional level.

In terms of the x-roads dem, it seems like it might be the story's big bad? Maybe, maybe not, but I could have done with it being a bigger, badder, more standout village. I never felt that they were in danger they might not escape. I always figured Me would get to of that demon encounter.

Anyway, still totally positive about the chapter. Good job :) 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 22/06/2020 at 5:23 PM, Mandamon said:

Seems she pretty much destroyed the demon.

I thought the demon pushed her out of its mind and escaped.

I do agree that the arc could be clearer in certain aspects, but I felt that I got it. I do hope that she goes back to Mi now to really try and get to the bottom of why this demon is stalking him. I made a comment about the demon having more identity (that's what I mean, although I didn't say it in those terms). For some reason it puts me in mind of the Voice from FotI, a disembodied presence attacking the M/C. In that case, the Voice has a much stronger identity and sense of character, whereas there is no interaction between Me and the X/R demon, which is kind of what I felt was missing, if it is the Big Bad.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/8/2020 at 11:54 AM, Robinski said:

whereas there is no interaction between Me and the X/R demon, which is kind of what I felt was missing, if it is the Big Bad.

I have made some big changes to this chapter, which I am resubmitting this week, though because I split up some of the bigger chapters, it's called Ch. 12 instead of 8. 

These changes include meeting the Big Bad. 

I hope I didn't make it too mustache twirly, but I probably did. I'm sure you'll let me know. :lol:


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @kais  @Snakenaps @Robinski @killersquid @Mandamon @Turin Turambar @PiedPeterPiper for all your comments!

I had gone and made changes to this chapter based on most of the suggestions above, but kept the original structure and events. Later, I realized keeping as much as I did only fixed a portion of the issues. So I deleted a huge chunk of it, and wrote something different, which I'm submitting this week. 


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.