kais

06/22/20 - kais - Rosewood Chapters 11 + 12 (L) - 5900 words and 4219 words

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L for mild language. First chapter is a bit long, second is under the word count, so I think they average out to pretty much 5K each. They get longer in the ball scenes because there’s quite a bit going on and no good place to cut!

Changes since last sub - have retconned that N was funneling money and aid through Sub to help Ma and J-s out during their childhood, as best as she could. This is another reason she has the inns. (and did it all without her mother’s knowledge)

Fair warning, these chapters get GOOFY with tropes. Dresses and dancing and feelings, oh my!

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These two chapters had me on the edge of my seat. I was going to read one and comment then read the other, but I had to keep going through. There are so many things coming together in this chapter. 

I loved how the panic built throughout the ball, starting with M noticing things that anyone else there might not notice. The guards were really laying it on thick with the wine to the point where I was shocked where in such a suspicious state, M didn't get suspicious of the wine. But that was addressed shortly after when she scolded herself for not realizing it sooner. 

The whole thing was very faced, maybe in some places a little too fast, but for the most part, the rushed, blurry around the edge feeling seemed to work well because of the "flush" state M was in. 

There were a few specific things in the begining of 11 that confused me, but I didn't make too many comments as things progressed. 

"...small talk with Ji..." So I meant to ask earlier, but it Ji one of the 3rd or 4th genders? I'm not entirely sure if I have a reason for asking this, other than a comment about "these aren't <i forget if it was men's or women's> clothing. 

"...heel to her shin shucked her from..." This part was confusing. At first I thought N had kicked her, but then I realized she had gotten separated from N. 

"...leaving the second a knife hit the skin of the putrid thing..." Makes sense now but I had to read this line a couple times.

After this, once N and M got together, it got easier to follow. I liked the interaction between them, liked what N revealed. It made sense in terms of everything you've added. I got the sense that maybe there was a little something missing from M's reaction. Otherwise, I thought that part was well done. 

"I'm seriously" Typo? 

"...favors, a little wine wasn't going to kill them." As soon as I read this line, I was 100% sure it was poisoned

"...ignored the danger right in front of them." Glad this was acknowledged. 

After this, I stopped making notes because I was super engaged. But here are some things I am thinking now:

There was good build with the flush. 

I had been under the impression the blood helped J and killed everyone else, but I guess not. It's more it helps in small does and kills in higher ones? 

M's hand healed without a scar, but in an earlier chapter, she looked at her palm when thinking about plan b and had scars on it. 

I'm wondering how long everyone can be dead for before they can't be brought back by M's blood. How long does have to revive them? Does she know? 

All the swords as favors had me thinking the poison wasn't going to just kill them but make them go into flushes like M and kill each other. 

That's about it for now. I'll let you know if I think of anything else.

I am very much looking forward to reading the rest. 

 

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Hi

I'll probably do this in two posts, depending on my time.

1) pastry of a dress?

2) dragons - this is coming a bit late...now I don't know if this is relevant to plot, or world building. Perhaps it's just me; I really like dragons.

2) how did they get tailored to fit? I don't recall any kind of dress mess.

2) how would she know how rich people dressed their kids.

2) almost with a straight face - I had to read that twice to figure out what you're trying to say.

2) V between your eyebrows - do they have the English alphabet? why? 

3) dragons again

3) for the nerd in me (nothing to do with the story) I want to know what's with the custom of everyone matching

4) I'd say she's probably supposed to stick with her charge (you may have mentioned something like that; I don't remember) so of course she wanders off at the first opportunity.

5) weapon gifts! I'm suddenly really interested in this castle's culture. Please tell me the weapons have matching sigils or something? [I read the next line - personally, I think that'd be cooler that bits of paint]

5) didn't you just say that the weapons were assigned? How is she supposed to pick one?

6) But she had no reason - M didn't strike me as a curious type for things that don't matter to her.

6) durian...durian...durian...excuse me, but what is a durian?

7) why is she panicked? I know she likes N, but then wouldn't she be angry? Jealous? The guards bother her, but again, it just doesn't seem in her personality to care about things that don't relate to her. 

8) "Explain, or be escorted" - that's the type of line that makes me cringe. Every time.

12) OK. 3rd time's the charm. WHAT'S WITH THE DRAGONS!

Spoiler

13) So speculation - blood of dragons give vestigal powers

14) dug into the lean-to

14) so how did she know her name in the beginning, and how did she expect M to know her?

15) so one vision in your life...but a different one every year? I'm confused about precogging.

17) why doesn't this cause a bigger scene? an attendant scooping N up, breaking her hoops (I assume it'd make a sharp sound that people can hear) and carrying her across the room?

18) without trying the wine. How stupid is the guard for slipping like that. On second thought, why would they tell the guards something like that?

Overall: Foreshadow dragons earlier. Also, I never got the impression that M much cared about things that don't pertain to her, though it's important to the scene. I like the emotional outburst in the middle, and the tension (though unwarranted.) Still, some stilted text threw me out of the scene several times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Part II:

1) the wine - she's conscious enough to tell?

OVERALL: no real comments. I liked the scene, and there was some solid action and reveals that kept the scene moving. The only thing I'd say is I'd like to have met the person who did this before, but for all I know I already did (the mastermind, not the grunts who carried it out.) I like M's use of her blood and all that, and it didn't feel like deux es machina because I already knew that she couldn't die.

 

 

 

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I'm not a fan of romances; I just feel a little invasive reading them. However, I can respect on an intellectual level that you've created excellent chemistry between M and N, and I admire that even jumping in at chapter 11, I can see that there's something going on between them even in page 1.

Pg.1: you made the possessive of Jacks Jacks', which is incorrect unless you're talking about something belonging several people named Jack. It makes for a really weird word, but the correct way to describe something as belonging to one person named Jacks is Jacks's. You had a similar problem with pg 5 of chapter 12; it's not princess', it's princess's. If you wanted to describe something belonging to several princesses, it would be princesses'.

Pg. 6: the term "confectionery sea" was confusing to me -- are you implying that the dresses looked like confections? It seems like a weird metaphor to me.

The repeated insistence of the guards that they try the wine and take the blades seemed a little forced to me. I get why it's necessary, but if no one but M notices it, maybe it should have been a little more subtle.

I personally didn't mind the dragons part -- in my opinion, it makes very little sense when different worlds have the exact same curses that we do.

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I'm going to do these in two chunks since it is two separate chapters.

Chapter 11:

Pg 1, "She went to Cook’s lectures." *rubs eyes* My girl did, what now? Oh man, there is something wrong wrong wrong.

Pg 1, " She manages stilted" Wrong verb tense.

Pg 1, " You asked me to attend, and I am attending." Who knew that this what was going to make M actually start behaving properly. It's actually a little frightening. I don't like it. I sometimes find M infuriating, but this is so much worse because it is so not her.

Pg 1, "You are so frustrating sometimes." Geez, N, just give the girl some space. Let her think her emotions through. But that would require letting go of the sense of control...

Pg 1, "a lime green, lacey monstrosity" *shudders in disgust*

Pg 2, "this bordered on visual abuse." Hahahahaha!

Pg 3, "assumed third or forth gender." Bring forth the exact definitions for the fourth gender, please ;) 

Pg 3, "It felt hot." Then she won't get cold in that silk after all!

Pg 3, " A third with…she couldn’t tell. Swords?" Rancid oil smell and sword table??? I am suspicious...

Pg 3, "An elbow found her ribs. A high-heeled shoe" This is what you get when you plunge into dancers instead of scooting down the wall.

Pg 5, " But only at the end of the ball." Everyone is going to get all seizured up or something...I'm worried...

Pg 5, "as well as the royals had assets." And probably wants more assets...

Pg 5, "She reached for dagger"

Pg 5, "The gifts are assigned." Extra suspicious...only some people are going to be affected?

Pg 5, "where a rows" One row or multiple?

Pg 5, "carefully spaced so they wouldn’t touch" So that the poisoned daggers/swords don't affect the clean ones...

Pg 5, "the leather on both looked blotchy and over-lubricated" Someone wants our princess extra dead or indisposed...

Pg 6, "He was lying." I don't like this. I'm definitely getting stressed.

Pg 6, " were all latched shut" So that no one can leave...or come in...

Pg 6, "No green." Bathroom run, maybe (she said hopefully)

Pg 7, "Lime." Whew...

Pg 7, " that lead led to the main"

Pg 7, "oddly bolted shut, with two leather-clad guards in front of it" Uuuuuuh ooooooooh

Pg 7, "The sound of rushing blood" M literally has a temper that kills so I am concerned. 

Pg 8, “I need you to come with me,” Whew, I'm glad that this isn't just a case of jealousy, but M using those wits of her. I was concerned that she was going to let lust blind her to the danger, but I'm relieved that it is, at this time, a case of her wanting to protect N. 

Pg 8, " No one had been allowed weapons in the ballroom" So no one can defend themselves... unless they had an unpoisoned sword or dagger

Pg 9, "She’s right.” Glad she picked up on the cue, although I don't know how she couldn't have.

Pg 11, "with Crown Prince" Our target?

Pg 12, " Maybe there was nothing wrong at all." You wish. There is something very, very wrong. I'm concerned M can't see a trap when it is right in front of her, but her specialty is highway robbery, not ballroom robbery, and this is her first ball. So her logic is sound.

Pg 12, "just a for a moment" That extra "a" is fun to read in a Mario voice.

Pg 12, "clad in jewels and maple leaves, bracken and silk." Soooo much better than lime and lace. Beautiful to picture.

Pg 12, "she needed to do was" Time is ticking before the trap springs...

Pg 13, "I’m seriously"

Pg 13, "That comb you want?" Did N ask to see the owner of the comb? Hoping it would be the dragon, not M?

Pg 14, " started to gnawed at her,"

Pg 14, "there more people, than before" Unnecessary comma. Also, I am increasingly concerned. This isn't a little revenge scheme like I thought it was going to be at first...

Pg 14, "Who lets a ten-year-old pick their life question?" Honestly, that is the most realistic question I feel a ten year old would ask.

Pg 14, " then he let me ride him" This was totally me, because I was ten or eleven when I was introduced to the Dragonriders of Pern.

Pg 16, "shoulders. Two" Missing quotation mark between these two words.

Pg 17, "It was too hot." This has been mentioned multiple times, so either 1) they're all going to pass out from heat stroke 2) M is panicking and could berserk or 3) Dancers are really sweaty. Or a combination of these three.

Pg 18, " scooped the princess up, ridiculous hoop and all" I am increasingly curious on how this is going to go. Also, I would not want to run or fight in that hoop skirt/dress.

Pg 18, " the entire dress deflated like a bladder" But did it sound like a Whoopie cushion?

Pg 19, "trying the wine" Hello poison..." taking your assigned favors." Hello seizures...

Pg 20, "You know how fastidious I am"

Pg 20, "Your father ordered us here" Suspicious. Are they telling the truth and the father is involved, or is that their cover-up lie?

Pg 20, " two glasses" It should be three glasses, one for M, one for N, one for our ignorant prince.

Pg 20, "Oh for butter’s sake." Buttered corn, buttered words, butter's sake.

Pg 20, " a little wine wasn’t going to kill them." Blindsided. Maybe M will be immune?

Pg 21, "Oh no,” Excellent cliffhanger! I can't wait to see what happens next! I'm excited and nervous!

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Chapter 12:

Pg 1, "Why had she let N" Panic and too many things on her mind. I feel I would have made the same mistake.

Pg 1, "This time the rushing in her head couldn’t be ignored." Uhhhh oooooh. Without J to calm her down... D:

Pg 1, " when your eyes unfocus like that" Okay, I really like this detail. I like that we get to see what M looks like when she enters this phase, since she can't tell us herself.

Pg 1, "His hose were so tight." Picturing David Bowie's Labyrinth.

Pg 1, "hard-hitting alcohol" Considering the heat and the dancing, enough hard alcohol can definitely make you woozy within ten or so minutes. I know this from having a shot of whiskey at the end of a full day of RC boat racing in high heat...but M couldn't taste the alcohol, and hard alcohols can be harsh on the pallet. A drug?

Pg 2, " formed near the gifts table." Screw answers, I vote let's grab N and run!

Pg 3, " indeterminant gender" So, our four genders, to use modern terms, are cis-male, cis-female, gender fluid, and non-binary?

Pg 4, "hung over" I think it's just "hungover" one word.

Pg 4, "What did she think she was doing?" Dancing, dur, Should have locked N in a closet before rushing off. 

Pg 6, " lead led her through"

Pg 6, " the doors shut behind him" Where they all die in the bedrooms? Maybe the sheets are dusted with a toxin too...

Pg 7, "There was nothing wrong," Uh, heavily disagree. I mean, nobody has died yet, but that doesn't mean things are completely bent out of shape.

Pg 7, "The strength of the wine had been used to hide the oil." Oooooooh...and the oil hasn't affected M because she's Super Woman.

Pg 8, "caught the same sweet oil smell" Daaaaang...that's thorough. Maybe the bedsheets have been treated, not with a toxin, but with the oil as well.

Pg 9, "about those fruits constantly." I knew that remark earlier had to be foreshadowing something!

Pg 11, "God, she’d forgotten how badly it hurt." So, M can choose when she gets injured? Handy for her secret identity of being the Woman of Steel.

Pg 11, “You’ll kill her,” Is M's blood poisonous? What are the after affects? 

Pg 11, "had killed their parents." Oooooooh nooooooo D: 

Pg 12, "onto to dirt"

Pg 13, "Pulled her hands from neck and pinned wrapped them around N’s body, using her own arms to hold them down in pinning embrace." This sentence needs some cleaning up. Do you mean, "Pulled her hands from her neck and pinned wrapped them around N's body, using her own arms to hold them down in pinning (pinned?) embrace."

Pg 14, "wrapped her arms around N"

Pg 15, "Did this happen to the other royals.?" Wrong punctuation.

Oh man, I loved this chapter. It kept me on my toes the entire time, begging for more. I kept forgetting to critique because I felt the need to just inhale this chapter. Excellent job!

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good chapters! It is nice to read through two at once. I though the beginning of Ch 11 was a bit slow, and got sort of confused when M was jumping from topic to topic. At the beginning, she seemed to want distance from N, but that quickly went away, so I'm not sure what happened. Then later, there were several weird goings-on at the ball, and M was focused on them, then dropped them entirely when talking with N, then ignored the emotion they just built to go back to the danger. I about got whiplash. Needs some more transition between the two.

 

Chapter 11 Notes while reading:

pg 1: had to look back at the last chapter to figure out what was going on. I'm not sure why M isn't talking to N, since they seemed to getting a lot, um, closer last week. Is this because of what J said to her? Might need an acknowledgement of that here.

pg 1: "“You have to talk to me during the ball"
--I thought they went to ball last time? Or maybe that was a ballroom?

pg 1: "I made you get on your knees to clean my dress and I don’t even get a retort?”
--lol

pg 2: "and the same color"
--why is it a problem that they match? Aren't they supposed to, since they're from the same country and M is N's attendant?

pg 2: "was not going to make it through the night. Not with such a full view..."
--okay, so M and N are still acknowledging attraction. So why was M keeping her distance?

pg 3: "Every attendant wore the same color as their charge, regardless of gender."
--oh, I though this was self-evident. Not sure why it's a surprise.

pg 3: "assumed third or forth gender"
--I think at this point, this is becoming confusing. What are the indicators M is using to assume? It seems like there are obvious differences, but we haven't been told what they are and I feel like I'm missing something. It's sort of like a character popping up every now and then and someone observes, "Wow, look at them this time! I can't believe they're doing this again!" But then never says what they're looking at or what the person is doing.

pg 3: "she couldn’t tell. Swords?"
--a table piled with swords? Next to the food?

pg 4: "eternally grateful for whatever deity had sneezed vestigial magic on her mother’s womb."
--nice.

pg 4: "royal party favors"
--okay, I guess that makes more sense as to why they're out on a table.

pg 5: “And no claiming until the last dance.”
--are they planning to stab each other as a last fling or something?

pg 6: "press him over costume weaponry"
--I'm getting whiffs of B-plot again, but I'm not sure why M is so obsessed over the weaponry and how it was made.

pg 6: "She shivered at the remembered smell of the durian"
--fair.

pg 7: "slapped away the man’s hand"
--oh, I wasn't sure whether "bolted" was toward or away. I was assuming away. Still, I'm not quite sure why she has such a big reaction.
(also, "bolted" is used for the locked doors, which is a strange repetition)

pg 7: "Panic that had no rational cause"
--does this have to do with berserking, or is that still a thing? I'm not sure where this comes from.

pg 8: "No one had been allowed weapons in the ballroom"
--I'd think that was fairly standard practice.

pg 8: "how could there be a threat, when everyone was wearing silk slippers?"
--doesn't that just mean they're all vulnerable?

pg 12: "What she need to do was ask the question..."
--Getting a little confused. They've jumped through about three topics and not actually addressed any of them. Is the ballroom actually unsafe? Has anyone asked the guards if they can go out? Why are there swords? And now M isn't even thinking about the things that were making her panic a few moments ago, and wants to kiss N.

pg 14: "“I asked to see its owner."
--the buildup on the comb is really good here. I almost want it to come earlier, but I can understand why it's here. However, I'm not sure why N thinks the question sounds like nonsense. She asked for the owner, who was M, by inheritance. Just because she assumed it was a dragon didn't mean it was nonsense.

pg 15: The connection here works a lot better. I really like the memory N saw.

pg 15: However the transition from "I want a friend" to "my country can grow a tree to stop a monopoly" is a bit of a jump...

pg 16: "too many closed doors"
--annnd now M is completely ignoring the nice emotional bonding between them. I think this is why I have motivation issues with M.

pg 16: "We have to go"
--buuuuut how are they going to go if all the exits are locked?

pg 18: okay, the broken dress ruse is pretty good.

pg 19: the poisoned or whatever wine is coming on a bit strong. I'd think anyone with a lick of sense would refuse it.

pg 19: "She took one of the glasses, and downed it."
--oh, oops. Spoke too soon.

pg 20: "The kitchen was empty"
--Very interesting. But I am wondering how they supplied the fruit and even the water to the party. They must have needed refills at some point.

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I thought this was better than the last chapter, especially since we have a lot of tension and conflict. I also wondered, like @Snakenaps, if M could choose when she got injured. Cutting through he palm would have yielded a lot more blood than she wanted, I thought, but I guess if she's healing so fast, maybe she had to do it?

Definitely wondering how many royals are going to make it!

Chapter 12 Notes while reading:

pg 1: "thought to check the wine"
--eh, I mean it was really obvious with the "why not have a glass as you're running
away," but I guess in the heat of the moment it might happen.

pg 2: "as the flush rose"
--is this M's invulnerability burning off the wine?

pg 2: "Said words she couldn’t hear."
--did it affect her hearing? Not sure what's going on.

pg 2: "the flush raging in her head"
--I guess from the wine then.

pg 3: "indeterminant gender"
--so not one of the four?

pg 3: "did her best to read the woman’s lips,"
--hmm. Nope. Still don't know why she suddenly can't hear...

pg 5: Ooohhh...it's too much of the oil stuff on the sword handles. I was thinking
the wine was going to make them stab each other or something.

pg 7: "There was nothing wrong"
--eh? I'd say there's a lot wrong, even if it's just that M has punched a few
royals.

pg 7: "The strength of the wine had been used to hide the oil"
--confused. Strong wine so no one questions the oil on the blades, or did they
actually put oil IN the wine?

pg 8: “Don’t say the words,” 
--what words?

pg 10: "wrapped her hand around it, and pulled."
--why do people always cut the middle of their hands? M could have just pricked a
finger or something. This just seems...really stupid.

pg 10: "One drop."
--I'd think if she cut through muscle, there'd be a stream of blood, not drops.

pg 11: "She’d passed out, just after."
--well, that was new! The story with her parents puts a lot of things into
perspective.

pg 12: "she’d never been in one this long"
--a flush? Is this the berserker thing? Not sure.

pg 12: "Four."
--is this seven total drops? 

pg 15: "She took the sock"
--ew.

pg 15: "You’re still in flush"
--I assume this has been covered before in the changes. Do we know what her eyes
look like?

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Hold up...M can just straight out kill people in an incredibly painful death with just a few drops of her blood. Thank goodness she decided to become a robber and not a professional assassin. Can you imagine, an assassin that can't be killed and can kill you with her blood? That would be really cool...but also rather OP and boring. I much prefer this. 

Also, if M is Superman in terms of invincibility, that means N is Lois Lane...And a smart bad guy doesn't go after Superman, they go after Lois Lane. M is going to have to face some tough decisions if anyone ever decided to take out J or N to get to her.  

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I've read through the first chapter. I will post my critique then read the second. I'm looking forward to the second, which tells you you did something right.

P. 1. Manages – should be managed.

P. 2. Lesser, not lessor

“and for as much as M had always wanted nicer clothes, this bordered on visual abuse.” – clunky.

I’m not sure why, but this also caught my attention: “I love the V between your eyebrows when you’re mad.” I tried reading it as “I love the way your eyebrows V when you’re mad.”

P. 3. Snazzy description!

P. 4. “Marani was eternally grateful for whatever deity had sneezed vestigial magic on her mother’s womb” - *Chokes on tea laughing*
“A well-placed heel to her shin” - Makes it sound like it was intentional.

P. 5. “She reached for dagger” - indefinite article required, my friend.

“The ostentatious jewels some of them?” - On.

P. 6. “Most of the guest rooms doors had” - apostrophe.

P. 7. “lead to the main receiving hall” - led.

P. 8. “lead to guest bedrooms” - led.

P. 10. “and the sea of brightly colored peacocks swirling in a mating ritual so stale she could almost feel the rot.” – oof, nice XD

P. 11. “Imagined them dancing in the Common Forest, under moonlight instead of candles. Imagined N clad in jewels and maple leaves, bracken and silk.” - I love this juxtaposition between M’s real, tangible world and the unreal, drunken world of the ball.

P. 12. “I’m seriously, G.” - Serious

P. 13. “A child.” - A child’s.

P. 14. “Had drug into” - Freudian slip? XD

P. 15. “We can’t let them have the only commercial port” – this quote doesn’t start with quotation marks.

P. 19. “Just, you know fastidious I am” - You know how fastidious.

Prince Th sighed. “Overprotective and senile. He just gets better and better.” - I don’t know Prince Th’s character. Would he say this in front of guards? Actively and openly criticising the reigning monarch?

“Please at least try the wine,” she said. “It’s imported from a northern continent and very rare. The king was hoping to share it with all his guests.” – I feel you shouldn’t have the guard mention the wine as well. It’s laying it on a bit thick.

“a little wine wasn’t going to kill them” – M strikes me as the type of person who’d know exactly what could be slipped into wine to kill them.

 

Overall: Not much wrong with this! Enjoyed it.

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Posted (edited)

P. 1. “Why hadn’t M thought to check the wine?” – I agree. I appreciate the effort to explain it here, but “my brother wasn’t here” doesn’t seem like a strong reason. If it was stress or worry or the heat, that’s something to emphasise in the previous chapter when she’s drinking it.

It’s even worse because everyone – the guard and attendant – seemed to be pushing wine at her and shouting “chug, chug, chug.”

P. 2. “Guards at the doors to a royal ball. Why why why?” – to protect the people inside, of course! The real question is why the guards were on the inner side of the doors…

P. 5. Okay, so she left what is probably a death trap. Left her princess undefended. And went back in? I’m not feeling a strong enough motivation for this. Prince Th can be talked to later.

P. 7. “There was nothing wrong.” Oh yes there is. Very obviously.

“From N body.” - N’s.

P. 12. “with J and I.” – ‘me’. I, em, think.

P. 14. “Did this happen to the other royals.” – question mark.

Nice description of the healing process

Overall: I feel like the start of this chapter – her going back into the ballroom, etc. could be replaced. It feels like rehashing the tension of the previous chapter – the swords, the drink, the ball. And it’s not really justified.

This is what I thought would happen: M would drag N into the woods, a scared animal returning to her den, and work something out there in her natural habitat.

I really enjoyed a lot of the descriptions in both chapters.

 

Edit: Also, would M leave N alone again at the end, after an attempt on her life? Maybe she should leave her a weapon or something?

Edited by TheDwarfyOne
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Wine - I've removed the first reference to the wine, so now it's just being offered as they leave and so M takes it just to get out of there. I think this will make it still obvious, but less EEEVIL obvious

genders - I've gone back through earlier places and done a bit more defining

On 6/23/2020 at 7:28 PM, Snakenaps said:

Everyone is going to get all seizured up or something

LOL yes well this is indeed what happens!

On 6/23/2020 at 8:25 PM, Snakenaps said:

Picturing David Bowie's Labyrinth.

100% what I was channeling

On 6/24/2020 at 10:24 AM, Mandamon said:

was a bit slow, and got sort of confused when M was jumping from topic to topic. At the beginning, she seemed to want distance from N, but that quickly went away, so I'm not sure what happened.

There were some artifacts here from older versions. I've gone through and cleaned them up so the emotional beats all flow together. 

On 6/24/2020 at 10:27 AM, Mandamon said:

hy do people always cut the middle of their hands? M could have just pricked a
finger or something. This just seems...really stupid.

Agreed! Very stupid, but very tropish

On 6/24/2020 at 10:27 AM, Mandamon said:

I assume this has been covered before in the changes. Do we know what her eyes
look like?

Yes, sorry. It got retconned back into like chapter three, all the various parts of the flush, including her bug-eyes.

On 6/24/2020 at 10:47 AM, Snakenaps said:

.M can just straight out kill people in an incredibly painful death with just a few drops of her blood.

Yes, and I still haven't figured out the throwaway line I need to deal with her monthly cycle. It's established she has one, so how she doesn't murder everyone around her once a month, I'm not yet sure of yet.

On 6/24/2020 at 10:47 AM, Snakenaps said:

And a smart bad guy doesn't go after Superman, they go after Lois Lane. M is going to have to face some tough decisions if anyone ever decided to take out J or N to get to her.  

Errr... you appear to have seen through my tropish plot...

On 6/25/2020 at 3:13 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

This is what I thought would happen: M would drag N into the woods, a scared animal returning to her den, and work something out there in her natural habitat.

In the first version this is exactly what happened. M took N out into the woods and left her well hidden, then came back into the ballroom to deal with the issues. But it dragged the plot down too much and I had to cut it due to flow. That's where a lot of last chapter's forest metaphors came from though!

 

Thank you all for these! The biggest issue was clearly the wine, which I think I've edited down to be less OH COME ON, and the genders, which are now better explained. Thank you for the typo catching, too! On to the next set, and then this thing gets submitted, and I get my life back!

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11 minutes ago, kais said:

It's established she has one, so how she doesn't murder everyone around her once a month, I'm not yet sure of yet.

Furiously biting my tongue.

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38 minutes ago, kais said:

Yes, and I still haven't figured out the throwaway line I need to deal with her monthly cycle. It's established she has one, so how she doesn't murder everyone around her once a month, I'm not yet sure of yet.

I vote she buries her bloody shorts. Although that leads to the question on whether anything can grow in the soil afterwards. Seriously, imagine suffering from cramps, cursing every god under the sun, as you bury your underwear at 3am in the morning. It's enough to make anybody cranky. 

It won't let me type under the next box. Curse you mobile! But what I wanted to say, is that what is fantastic about tropes is that it gives the reader something to look forward to. I might deduce that something will happen to N or J but not what or how bad or really even why. Will it be the king? The mysterious C? The evil country? Someone we haven't been introduced to yet? Dun dun dun...

39 minutes ago, kais said:

Errr... you appear to have seen through my tropish plot...

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On 02/07/2020 at 10:54 PM, Mandamon said:
On 02/07/2020 at 10:42 PM, kais said:

It's established she has one, so how she doesn't murder everyone around her once a month, I'm not yet sure of yet.

Furiously biting my tongue.

LOL. Surely it's just a case of guarding against unwanted 'escape' of said blood into the general surroundings, which I would imagine is something that the general rule of thumb anyway in this society, for those genders which have to deal with a monthly cycle. Why would she need to do anything different? I did not get a sense that M's monthly cycle affected her any more physiologically than it did any other (non-magical) character with a monthly cycle.

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