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PiedPiper

6/22/2020 - PiedPeterPiper - These Shattered Worlds Prologue/Ch1 (L)(G) -- 2808 words

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Gore for descriptions of blood, L for strong language.

My first submission; contains prologue and first chapter of an ongoing novel tentatively titled These Shattered Worlds.

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OK, that was a weird read..

OVeral feelings: This is definitely not my kind of story, but I do fee lwhat you're going for. It definitely reads smoothly, I started with the intention to focus and read through slow and detailed and found myself drawn on and to the end without realising how much I've read so thats definitely a good thing.

There are minor spelling and grammer errors, but not enough to bring up, I think t hey'd be better served with a very focused line-edt when you're done .

I did enjoy the chapter more than the prologue. In the prologue you don't make a very clear distiction between what is imagined/remembered and what is real which made it somewhat hard to read and follow. I did however like the contrast between ehr acting almost like a prisoner in a psych ward before showing that in fact, she's completely free to go as she pleases and the only reason she doesn't is in her own mind.

In the chapter I do like the same scene from both points of view, and I'm curious how you're goign to pull t hat off throughout the entire book. What i liked a lot less is the information straight to the reader between parentheses, that pulls me straight out and i found myself ignoring them to stay in the story (which, like i said, was very easy to just run along with)

I have a very clear sense of both characters in just this first small chapter and I want to commend you on doing that so fast, of course they'll need to be rounded out throughout the book, but I did find myself somewhat invested in them straight from the start.

All in All, i'm looking forward to your next submission, keep up the good work

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Congratulations on your first sub! It's a big milestone for sure.

Overall

I'm not sure what the arc was to this chapter. We get introduced to the sisters but only the first one seems to have some sort of goal. I thought the prologue was extraneous, but I really liked the first chapter before the POV switch. I was immediately interested in the MC and was curious about her costume. The sister I didn't care much for--she seemed whiny and I lost interest in the narrative when it switched to her POV. She isn't doing anything  really, other than being sisterly, so her POV seems not necessary.

Still, a good start! And major kudos for submitting!

As I go

- pg 1: she would see her looking up at from the floor, <-- missing word in here?

- pg 2: which by now was beginning to peel off the blade in flakes <-- because...decay? How long has she been dead? I'm confused as to the set up here

- pg 3: I think the epilogue should be cut. It is confusing as to whether she is alive or dead, and it doesn't seem to help the story at all. If this is a journey about how she ends up in that room, it'd be a lot more fun to start off without knowing how it ends

- pg 3: there's some awkward sentence structure in here but I'm not going to pull it out and make comments. I'm assuming this is a fairly early draft? Always time to take care of punctuation later (or wait for @Robinski...)

- pg 3: There was nothing especially unique about C’s bunks <-- I'd suggest not telling us about it then, since we are in the critical first five pages of a book

- pg 4: pale-as-Lune skin <-- I don't know what a Lune is, but +10 points for describing white skin tone

- pg 5: If our MC is in disguise, wouldn't talking to her undisguised sister blow her cover??

- pg 6: POV switch in the first chapter? I do not recommend this. We need time to get invested in one character before you switch to another. Give us at least a few chapters with your first MC before you switch over. As it is, the momentum I had with our first MC is now lost, as I don't know anything about the sister, nor do I yet care

- pg 8: Rehashing the same scene from another POV is also not generally encouraged. We already have this information. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@killersquid thanks for the feedback and compliments. Your advice was clear and concise; I now have a good idea about what to work on.

@kais it sounds like I really need to tweak the way I've structured the beginning. Thank you for your suggestions on which things to cut.

5 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 4: pale-as-Lune skin <-- I don't know what a Lune is, but +10 points for describing white skin tone

I'm confused -- are you saying I didn't rely to the reader's default assumptions about the main character's race? I feel like I'm missing something here.

Sorry about the grammar/spelling! I'd imagine it's a little jarring.

Edited by PiedPeterPiper
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Welcome to Reading Excuses and congrats on the first sub! 

I have similar thoughts to @kais. I wasn't really sure what the arc was, and the prologue didn't add any information to me, because I didn't know who the character was or why we would care about her. I'd definitely cut the replay of the scene from the sister's POV. Unless it adds anything to the story, it's going to drag the pace down.

I am interested to see where the sisters go and what will happen. I like the spots of detail about the different planets and the dress styles on Venus.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: First paragraph is more engaging than I thought it would be from describing a room...Still, it could be catchier.

pg 1: is there a reason the character isn't named? Unless it's a big reveal later, naming a character lets the reader connect with them a lot more.

pg 1: "for whenever she closed her eyes, she would see her looking up at from the floor"
--this is where having a name is helpful. I'm not sure who's talking about who

pg 1: "except her left arm bent sharply at the mid-forearm, and there was a pool of blood at her neck and around her stomach."
--and I thought this was the character in the scene, except on second reading, I think it's the other person she sees? Very confusing with no identifiers.

pg 2: "The knife laid" -> "The knife lay"

pg 2: "so she could see her insides as she stabbed"
--okay wait, this is the character in the scene? Confused. How is she not dead?

pg 2: "her food was always slid"
--lots of very passive voice.

pg 2: "She turned them down, and the only thing that saved her from a court-martial"
--they tried to court-martial her for turning down a promotion?

Prologue: Well, I have no idea what's going, but there seems to be a character who's had a mental breakdown? I'm not sure if what part this has to play in the story yet.

pg 3: "she’d ever tell anyone that, ever"
--repeated "ever"

pg 3: "Who would have to try harder..."
--this sentence is confusing.

pg 4: "but the paper was more secure"
--than military communications? Can't anyone read the paper?

pg 4: Not sure what's happening yet. C got orders at lunch, walked around, and has to tell her sister something?

pg 4: I guess her orders were to go undercover or something? A little more definition of what's happening would be nice.

pg 5: "C stood up to face her sister"
--this is after she's undercover and changed her name? Wouldn't she avoid places where she'd see family members who would instantly expose her?

pg 5: "recover from her spell"
--what spell? She shook her head. I didn't see anything that incapacitated her.

pg 6: "The sisters untangled..."
--So why did they meet? I'm not sure any valuable information was exchanged that moves the plot in any way.

pg 6: "pleased with her own joke"
--It's a rhyme, not a joke.

pg 6: "the chemistry teacher calling her name"
--at the spaceport?

pg 6: wait, there's a Colonel, but she's talking about chemistry class. Is she in school or in the military?

pg 6: “I can’t believe she’s leaving again!"
--except she already said goodbye. Why is she acting as if this is a surprise?

pg 7: "her palm, excluding fingers."
--your palm excludes fingers already.

pg 7: "N wanted to catch C"
--soooo...is this before the scene on page 6? Why is it here?

pg 7: "hoping to catch her sister at the spaceport"
--I guess so. Not sure why this is out of sequence.

pg 8: "was headed for Venus"
--So a teenager has completely penetrated C's classified disguise...

pg 8: this is a recounting of the scene we already saw.

pg 9: "it was playing a character."
--except she doesn't seem very good at keeping in character.

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Notes as I go:

P. 1.  An interesting start. Definitely curious.

“She was sure she stunk” – overly long, and ‘stunk’ should be ‘stank’. A shorter version would be “She knew she stank.”

Full stops should be used more often, rather than commas. Think of each sentence as a single thought. Random example (mild (G) warning, I think I should add):

“The cyclops ate a sheep, turning, a hand twisting in its sparse hair, grinning with what he saw were blood-flecked teeth, and beckoned Odysseus closer” could be “The cyclops ate a sheep. It turned, hand twisting in its sparse hair, and grinned. He noticed its teeth were blood-flecked. It beckoned Odysseus closer.”

P. 1-2. Okay, I’m confused. I think you have your tenses mixed up? She seems to be lying on the ground in blood while simultaneously standing and stabbing herself.

I’m… guessing she’s dead, then, and the narrator is a ghost-like deal? Previous bits should have been in the past tense.

Wait, she’s alive, they’re giving her food.

P. 2. The psychologist bit doesn’t seem believable. Also, if she was so unstable that she needed a psychiatrist, why would they be trying to throw ships at her?

Were there no hand-rails on this bridge? Why would the airman need to submit a report about it? Why does she still have rank if she’s so obviously unfit to lead?

P. 3. I don’t see any reason to root for this character. They dislike their commanding officer, certainly, but who doesn’t, really? A few lines to explain that she’s on a mission, and most of the walking can be cut out. A first chapter should have a punch to draw you further in; walking around the base can come later. Don’t worry, it’s a mistake I make too ;)

P. 4. The fullstop/comma imbalance seems to be improving.

P. 8. Think about what you’re trying to convey. So, for instance,

“N broke into a run, hoping to catch her sister at the spaceport. She’d deal with the fallout of skipping classes later -- it wasn’t like C would be there to be mad at her, so the worst that could happen was whatever punishment the school bestowed on her.”

Presumably, this is meant to be somewhat urgent. Think about what N would consider in such a situation. Would she think about it like that?

The following isn’t a suggested replacement, just a hastily written attempt to illustrate the point: “N broke into a run, hoping to catch her sister at the spaceport. Her heart pounded. Skipping class – who cared? She put on an extra burst of speed.”

This shows N’s urgency, and highlights what she is thinking. We can infer there may be a fallout, so telling us isn’t necessary.

 

In sum: A confusing piece, but I think that's a result of its stream of consciousness elements. More power to you if that's how you write. Just don't forget to structure it!

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@kais and @TheDwarfyOne, I've started doing serious restructuring -- now that you've pointed it out, there are several unnecessary parts. It also sounds like some of my sections need a lot of clarification.

Thank you for the critiques and suggestions. Some of the parts I thought were problematic turned out to be fine, and certain parts that I thought were good are apparently confusing and/or boring.

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Hi! Thanks for submitting; welcome!

2) it took until page 2 to get some context of what's going on. You're right about your writing, but I'm just going to call that a writing style and enjoy it for what it is.

3) I REALLY like the whole "but no--" until the end. that feels right, especially the last line of that segment.

4) the parentheses are completely telling. It doesn't bug me all that much, though so whatever.

6) Do you start every section with a power line? (like "Raodin woke up that morning, completely unaware that he had been doomed for all eternity") (Quoted loosely from memory from the first sentence Elantris, for those who need it sourced)

6) so is the cutoff a different POV of the same event?

8) oh yes it is. This is actually pretty awesome.

OVERALL: I really like the story, as far as I can tell, and the characters feel right. I personally am getting a bit tired of interplanetary difference but that's nothing against your book. Your stream of consciousness writing, while occasionally distracting, works besides that. The part that was written by two POV's was awesome, but for some reason it felt very on the nose. Looking forward to the rest!

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@Turin Turambar I've actually been working to get rid of the stream of consciousness feeling, because people always mention it as something they had to get over or accept as part of my writing style, and I'd rather they enjoyed it and didn't make excuses for me. (I have gotten rid of the parentheses, by the way, and am putting this comment inside them just for the irony.)

I'm happy to know that you enjoyed the sequences on pages 3 and 8 -- reaction seems pretty mixed, so I think it's just one of those things I'll have to balance carefully from here on out.

Regarding power lines -- I end up starting a lot of sections with them and have been trying to cut out a couple so there's more variety -- especially when I'm in the heads of different characters.

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@PiedPeterPiper

8 hours ago, PiedPeterPiper said:

Regarding power lines -- I end up starting a lot of sections with them and have been trying to cut out a couple so there's more variety -- especially when I'm in the heads of different characters.

I don't mind so much, I just think that it loses its impact and starts to feel cheesy if it's used too often.

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I really liked how quickly you set the context and genre of the story in the 1st chapter. The reader knows that this is scifi, possibly military scifi, set inter-solar system. 

I did find the prologue a bit confusing, mainly the lack of viewpoint character name combined with another 'her' made it hard to tell who was who. I wasn't sure if the MC had stabbed herself or someone else. Also in sentences like, "... when she closed her eyes, she would see her..."

Your characters very personable and vivid right off the bat, which is no easy feat!

I liked both viewpoint versions on their own, but I agree that you need one or the other. I got a bit of 'groundhog's day sydrome' realizing I was seeing the same time frame twice. Using one sister to introduce the other was a nice touch and I could easily see switching viewpoints to the other sister and picking up where the other leaves off. 

You might consider imbeding the information in a sentence rather than parenthesis to avoid breaking the narrative. Ie, "...Graduate of the University of Venus Vulcan, one of the underground cities, with..." but that's just a preference thing. :-)

Over all I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hello!

I enjoyed the mystery elements in the prologue. It was a little confusing (I wasn't sure exactly who was looking up from the floor and bleeding) but I was interested in the character's situation and what she was going to do about it. The first few paragraphs of the first chapter flowed really well, I got a good sense of setting and character. I wasn't sure about the time though, and the pace began to slow for me when the two sisters met as I was still confused about many things, and though I liked C and was interested in her, I still wasn't sure what was going on and what her goal was. I didn't see the point of the sisters' meeting/POV change as the significance of their relationship wasn't shown much so there wasn't much emotional impact and their meeting/pov change didn't give enough new information that was explored or had an immediate impact. I like your writing style and your writing is very easy to read! Just some structural changes to make things less confusing would help a lot I think.

Edited by Lost Owl Needs Tea
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Congratulations on your first submission!

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, " the engineers did try to keep everything comfortable" This sounds like literally the most uncomfortable room. Why are there no edges or corners? On the other hand, no edges or corners means dust bunnies are going to have a hard time collecting. Must be an easy room to clean. Plus, you can hose down steel. Why stainless? Is this a cage? An experimentation room?

Pg 1, "dirty, sweaty uniform she hadn’t changed out of for weeks now" First of all, you already said weeks in the first sentence of the paragraph, second of all, if the room is steel, why not just hose her off? I feel like I'd probably go naked than sit in that several week old, bloody uniform. Engineers could deal with it.

Pg 1, " though she never used it." Girl has a thing for steel floor beds?

Pg 1, " At least, not anymore" Hold up...she's ignoring a dresser full of perfectly good clothes? Why? And if she's given a comfortable bed and a dresser, why not at least a wash basin? And she's been in here before, but before the...blood? Did she escape but get captured again?

Pg 1, "She didn’t necessarily want to kill herself;" This room did not strike me as a psych ward, but that doesn't mean girl doesn't have issues. I mean, hell, she's covered in dried blood. Also, if she wanted to kill herself, there seems to be clothes and bed sheets for strangulation. Nothing to hang from, but that doesn't mean you can't get creative.

Pg 1, "her looking up at from the floor" Herself or a new character?

Pg 1, " that would never again express emotion" I think our MC killed someone, saw someone dead, but this also might be some weird prophecy where she sees herself dead and I'm confused.

Pg 2, " she could see her insides as she stabbed and sliced and she stood there in shock" So there was another girl? But where is the body? Is there blood still on the floor? Why hasn't anyone allowed her to clean up? Hoping for answers, feeling lost.

Pg 2, " tried to give her command of a couple ships." What? Why? She isn't a prisoner? Why would they give a promotion to a murderer?

Pg 2, "almost slipped off the unprotected sides" This is a poor design. Are we in a spaceship?

Pg 2, " worried he’d done something to offend a superior officer." Wouldn't most superior officers not be thankful and friendly, at least stereotype-wise?

Pg 3, "thought her commanding officer was a bit of a buffoon." Whoa, name whiplash. At the same time, I am very relieved because I thought that this entire story was going to not say the name of the protagonist and I was very concerned. I'm hoping this next part will go much smoother, since I found the prologue frustrating and confusing, and not as mysterious as you may have been hoping for.

Pg 3, " her highly classified mission" How did he become a commanding officer if he can't even follow basic protocol/common sense? What is the mission?

Pg 3, "natural underground chasms" Not a spaceship, then.

Pg 4, "She didn’t pack anything" So, she's leaving, but doesn't need her firearms? I'm so used to first person or third person limited that not knowing what is going on inside of a character's head is jarring. Is she excited for her mission? Worried? frustrated?

Pg 4, "dropped it off with Colonel" Names that might not matter because she is leaving?

Pg 4, " family matters seemed a ridiculous notion to her" That's pretty cold. With her bare room and this opinion, C seems to be very focused.

Pg 4, "was one of the underground cities on Venus" Having this in parentheses throws me off and jars me out of the story. 

Pg 4, "conspicuous, heavy, and highly restrictive" Are we talking like a million layers for hot weather, or a million layers for fashion? 

Pg 5, "she heard her name" Her C name or her T name?

Pg 5, " stood up to face her sister." Wait, N is her sister? Somehow that flew over my head earlier. Probably me just being tired.

Pg 5, " ticked her questions off on her fingers," My questions as well.

Pg 5, "fixed a cold gaze on her sister." Not sensing a lot of love between these two...

Pg 5, "mom and dad" They're names should be capitalized.

Pg 5, "a little too hard; she was dizzy for a second there" Past injury?

Pg 6, " hug her little sister" From the way that they were talking, I thought N was the little sister as in a couple of years younger but still a teenager/adult. I wasn't picturing an actual child small enough to bend down for a hug for.

Pg 6, "the chemistry teacher" Are they teaching chemistry to six year olds?

Pg 6, " she mumbled to herself under her breath" I mean, I definitely have heard little kids curse like this but it is really shocking, rare, and very confusing. Especially since she obviously knows what it means and isn't parroting. I have no clue what age this kid is and it's causing me a lot of confusion. There's also a lot of missing description: are they in an underground crater, how are they flying ships if they are underground, what color is the rock? Is it smooth, bumpy, etc? Natural? Concrete?

Pg 7, "especially after what happened" Which was...?

Pg 8, "some kind of wrap around her head" Okay, cool, got that clothing description I wanted earlier!

Pg 8, "what are you doing here?" I'm not invested in the characters, the world, or the story enough to relive the same scene again. The emotions of the other person should be strong enough that we don't need the same conversations from different POVs. The only time I'm okay reliving a scene is 1) it's a time travel book 2) it's a side book overlapping with a main book (ie,Mistborn: Secret History overlaps with the main Mistborn series, or in Anne McCaffery's Pern series, the Masterharper of Pern overlaps with Dragonflight).

Hmmm, N seems like a fun nerd character, but I'm stuck on her exact age (high school), while C seems like a cold, military woman with strong goals. Strong animosity between the sisters, which could be interesting, but I'm curious to see how that is played out considering C has left. I wish I could see more of the world. I want to know who Murdering Lady is. 

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Posted (edited)

Sorry I'm a little late!

Overall, I like the world you've created and your characters definitely seem interesting, but I'm getting the impression you're starting the story a little too soon. Not a whole lot happened and  there was a lot of repeated information. The line about taking on a new identity would be a good hook / opening line. Take my comment about the starting point with a grain of salt, because you know the book. I've only read this chapter. 

At first I was a little confused about the prologue. I got that the character was very depressed, and it wasn't until almost the end that I figured out she was in her own barracks or bunk, but just too depressed to leave, and not in a prison or hospital. It was a little unclear about how the dead person died. Had the mc killed her? Or found her dead?

Based on the first chapter, it was clear why the prologue needed to be there, so I'm thinking maybe it can go. There seems to be an anti prologue trend going in traditional publishing, but if you self-publish, then you can do what you want. 

I'm not sure if using Vulcan as a last name is a good idea because of Star Trek. 

By the time you were getting to describing C's fake identity, I was feeling overloaded with everything you had been telling me about her. 

"...know can't just come..." You are missing a word in this sentence. 

"...should have been paying better attention to her surroundings..." I hadn't realized she wasn't paying attention. 

I liked N's thoughts about her name, and the rhyme she made.

When we switched to N's point of view, I was assuming it was after the seen from C's point of view and then was confused when she got the note.

I didn't like seeing the last scene repeated from N's point of view. I didn't get any new information from it that I didn't already know.

I am curious to see where this goes next. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Sorry I'm even more of a bit late.

(page 1)

- I like the (tentative?) title of the story. I am less keen on 'Overture' as a title for an opening. It's quite hifalutin. It could be seen as pretentious if the tone of the story doesn't match, and the style doesn't carry off the 

- "The room wasn’t spherical" - So why comment upon it. Your first line is critically important, and presently it's describing to me what the room isn't. That's really weak, IMO. I read excellent guidance from a published author to the effect of 'How compelling and engaging do you think it is for the reader when you describe what something isn't?'. It's disorienting.

- This grip aside, I'm am actually quite engaged by the first paragraph. I think the description works, and it intrigues me. It's just that first line.

- Hah! I've just remembered that I read this before when you PM'd me that writing sample. Interesting to get to comment upon it now in some detail.

(page 2)

- It's all very intriguing as to what it going on; how she can be dead and not dead. Oh, is it a Schroedinger's (sp?) Cat thing?

Why would the sides of the bridge be unprotected? Seems unnecessarily dangerous. What if the ship had to make evasive manoeuvres? Even an experienced hand would be thrown off.

(page 3)

- So, the prologue...It's very obscure and puzzling and kind of confusing. I think it needs tidied up bit, but that does not mean revealing all the mystery. I kind of like how obscure it is (I tend to like that sort of thing), and it makes me intrigued. This is the core of the mystery, presumably, and our MC--whoever they might be--presumably will encounter the case of this woman who is dead? Alive? I don't really know.

- New page for a new chapter. I know it's 'just' a reading group sub, but it's worth studying manuscript format to get into good habits. There are various sources; I use www.shunn.net

- There are some nice character details for C, makes me interested in her, and want to know more about her.

(page 4)

- There are two very 'tell-ing' statements in brackets. "C herself, of course, had done her bachelor’s and masters in four years, and had just finished her PhD program in astrophysics". To me, they don't sound like the sort of thing she would think herself. It makes me wonder who is narrating. There are ways to work this information into the narrative more naturally. Here for example... 'C found 'playing dumb' irksome. Getting your bachelor's *and* masters in four years should count for something, getting a PhD in astrophysics should be recognised, not supressed, even if it was for the sake of the assignment.' 

- I was carrying this comment for a while, but I'll spill it here: Where is she? What are her surroundings? I do't know what these weird clothes look like, or what she looks like. I've got nothing to picture in my head. There is very little description, which is okay up to a point, but at some point the reader wants to have a picture in they head, and the less you give them, the harder it is for them to do that. They are reading because they want to see the picture that is in the author's head, but if you give them nothing to go on, they can't imagine what you are imagining.

(page 5)

- "C was distinctly uncomfortable when it came to such things" - This must make her job as an undercover agent difficult for her. She foes not seem ideally suited to this kind of work. Shortly after, she's startled by a noise. I'm trying to peg how old she is. Wild guess 20? With N being maybe 14?

(page 6)

- "especially after what happened to their parents" - What happened? Why keep it from the reader? Too much mystery become annoying after a while. Not there yet, but it is a thing.

- Huh? Wait, what...? So, this is  POV change flashback? Okaaaaay, but who is the main character? This is a fair bit less interesting than a secret mission involving a changed identity.

(page 8)

Skimming the dialogue because I've read it already.

OVERALL 

As noted, I actually liked the prologue. I like a puzzle, a mystery. I think it can read smoother and clearer, however, without giving anything away.

I would the sale a bit wordy in various places. That's rich coming from me, I can assure you, but I have set myself the task of whittling down the words. It's still possible to write complex, thoughtful prose without it being cluttered. Vocabulary goes a long way towards sophistication without throwing words at the page (not saying that is what you're doing), brevity is a skill, just as much as anything else though.

The chapter itself; I found the flashback structure a bit awkward. I was all ready to be following C, and then found myself with N, who is a school kid, and therefore I am immediately less interested, because I relate less well to her situation (as an adult). The thing is, I don't think it's clear what type of story this is. I don't it's clear who the audience is (notwithstanding the blood in the prologue).

I'm not great with the different grades, but N almost reads like Middle Grade to me, maybe? And C like Young Adult, but then there is something that might be gruesome going on in the prologue, which makes it more Adult? So, I'm confused, and I also don't know who the main character is, so I don't know which way the story is going to go.

The language is good, what's on the page. I think the grammar and expression is fine, if unpolished (aren't we all at this stage in the process?). I think there is a real lack of description that hampers me imaging the setting, and the characters. I think it has potential, but I don't know if I'm reading a mystery (following C); a space opera (ok, can be both); a character in education story (following N). I just think the lack of clarity (story, genre, audience) is the main issue at the moment.

Good work on your first sub though, well done and congratulations :)

We have had some train wrecks over the years, and this is definitely not that, IMO. I'm interested to read more just to find out what kind of story it, apart from anything else, although I'm hoping you'll just tell us in the forum ;) 

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On 22/06/2020 at 11:12 PM, kais said:

or wait for @Robinski

:lol: 

:huh:

:o

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On 23/06/2020 at 4:56 AM, PiedPeterPiper said:
On 22/06/2020 at 11:12 PM, kais said:

- pg 4: pale-as-Lune skin <-- I don't know what a Lune is, but +10 points for describing white skin tone

I'm confused -- are you saying I didn't rely to the reader's default assumptions about the main character's race? I feel like I'm missing something here.

That's how I read it, and yes, I liked that line.

On 24/06/2020 at 4:20 AM, PiedPeterPiper said:

I've actually been working to get rid of the stream of consciousness feeling, because people always mention it as something they had to get over or accept as part of my writing style, and I'd rather they enjoyed it and didn't make excuses for me. (I have gotten rid of the parentheses, by the way, and am putting this comment inside them just for the irony.)

LOL. Also, I don't mind that style, I think it can work well, and I think just needs polishing for clarity. But it does tend to commit you to using it regularly, maybe entirely, certainly in some situations. Chopping in and out, I think, could be problematic.

On 24/06/2020 at 7:35 PM, Sarah B said:

Your characters very personable and vivid right off the bat, which is no easy feat!

Yes, agree. I forgot to mention that in my critique. I think they are clear voices, and clearly different voices too, which is well done.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your critiques! It was actually helpful to know that there was too little description, because in the past I had put a bunch in, then cut it all out, thinking I went into too much detail... lol. I did some work clarifying the prologue, and I've spent some time refining my character voices since submission, seeing as people were confused/bored/annoyed by N and there were logistics problems with C.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

We have had some train wrecks over the years, and this is definitely not that, IMO. I'm interested to read more just to find out what kind of story it, apart from anything else, although I'm hoping you'll just tell us in the forum ;) 

I wasn't sure how much you'd want to hear, but it is a space opera, and I don't think it qualifies as a mystery. It's possible that there will be a lot of unknowns in the beginning (maybe, to avoid annoyance, I'll just stop mentioning all unknowns until there's an opportunity to learn more about them), but I plan on having several POVs -- I don't think it'll be enough to be confusing, but I could be wrong about that -- and they each know enough that I'm pretty sure you'll have a good grasp of what's going on. I did plan on doing a school arc for N, which was going to intersect with C's spy project later in the book. I also have a betrayal story line with some separate characters that you haven't met yet, and I'm considering doing a split timeline with C/N's parents to show what happened with them. The different plot lines all come together in the end, of course.

Now that I list all of this, I wonder if I'm trying to do too much and if it'll just be way too confusing. I think I'll have to keep writing it to find out. Stay tuned for more confusing answers to good questions.

Edited by PiedPeterPiper
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2 hours ago, PiedPeterPiper said:

I did plan on doing a school arc for N

I see. I'd say that had better be really good, because it gets done a lot, and I think it will influence the rest of the story considerably. How do you write school as a space opera? Well, Ender's Game is how you do that*.

2 hours ago, PiedPeterPiper said:

Stay tuned for more confusing answers to good questions.

Oh, boy, that's funny! Thank you for putting a smile on my face :lol: 

 

(* I do not endorse the views of Orson Scott Card, which are repulsive and reprehensible.)

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1 minute ago, Robinski said:

I see. I'd say that had better be really good, because it gets done a lot, and I think it will influence the rest of the story considerably. How do you write school as a space opera? Well, Ender's Game is how you do that*.

Oh, boy, that's funny! Thank you for putting a smile on my face :lol: 

(* I do not endorse the views of Orson Scott Card, which are repulsive and reprehensible.)

I'd say N's school arc is going to be far from your classical school narrative, although I actually have been going back through Ender's Game and looking at Ender's most important moments. Great minds think alike, but so do we! Also, totally on the same page with you about OSC -- love Ender's Game to death, hate him.

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