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TheDwarfyOne

130720 - TheDwarfyOne - Chapter Two (V) - (1624 words)

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Posted (edited)

Note: I heavily edited the prologue and chapter one, so the following summary will seem different.

 

Previously:

Prologue: P fights some desert tribesmen. When tackling I about his late arrival, it turns out that one tribesman survived. After some dialogue and conflict, it becomes apparent that he possesses a potentially dangerous artifact. P takes it and leaves an angry I behind.

 

Chapter One: A pumps H for info, but gets very little. A nearby noblewoman and a westerner talk to and about him briefly, revealing that he killed his mother - the king's aunt - when very young. A leaves and finds his assistant suffering at the hands of muggers. They attack, taking the artifact. The westerner saves him and brings him to his office, where he reveals the Tr - the 'pope' - died soon after giving him the artifact.

 

Chapter Two (current): New POV character! Hi is at a funeral, looking to conduct business.

Edited by TheDwarfyOne
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(Psst, you left some names unedited in the summary above. Don't know if you want to fix that or not).

Thoughts as I go!

Pg 1, "the dead man’s brother said." Hmmm, who is the dead man? Logically, the only thing I can think of is the tribesman, but I sincerely doubt this is our corpse. Nobody died in the mugging...so who is our deceased, and his bro? Also, curious to find out what funerals are like in this world.

Pg 1, "She had a proposal for him." Coming to a funeral for a proposal? Either must be urgent, or she's hoping he'll be vulnerable with grief. Or both.

Pg 1, "We live in slums, they live in palaces." I know you already said that our new friend P is a slumlord, but I'd love some descriptions on the room and the casket, to really emphasize the difference between what we (the readers) saw in the theater and the office, to here. Are the buildings made out of different materials? Do they leak (although, with more than one sun, do they get overly hot due to poor insulation?). Is the coffin made out of cheap wood? Does the wood even all match, or is the lid a different color? What do mourners wear, and is it in good shape? 

Pg 1, "we could refuse jobs.(missing quotation mark)

Pg 1, "Dangerous words." More dangerous than already being a slumlord? He seems to be throwing caution to the wind with his grief.

Pg 2, “You have bad timing,” No kidding. It's cruel for her to be here. 

Pg 2, "You’re hard to find at other times" Man, how long has she been hunting for this man if she's willing to interrupt a funeral?

Pg 2,  “Sooo,” Seriously? Going to interrupt the service with business? H seems like a rather callous character, but you need to be, I guess, to survive in the slums.

Pg 2, "It’s because I’m avoiding amateurs." Ouch. Nice way to introduce H. So she isn't a big shot, all confidence. She's barely an adult, playing games she doesn't understand.

Pg 3, "A pair of steel swords,” Considering iron is a precious metal, I can only imagine how much a couple of swords are worth.

Pg 3, "So the temple may continue to serve this community." After it just killed this man. Sick. Turns out H isn't the cruelest character at this funeral.

Pg 3, "Those nearest to the deceased, please take an urn," Confusion. The temple isn't giving the money to the family, but the family didn't come up to donate with the rest of the crowd? So they donate while sitting at their row?

Pg 4, "The point of a donation is that it’s voluntary." Ah, yes, "voluntary"

Pg 4, " the uniform of the temple guard" I feel like this is the first thing that she would have noticed about them, considering she's plotting something illegal. 

Pg 4, "Honey." Honey??? I can think of easier ways to make urns heavier. Not a donation urn. Is honey involved in embalming??? 

Oh man, when I looked up honey embalming, I found the Wikipedia page on mellified man, or the human honey confection and I think I don't want to eat lunch now.

Pg 4, " gods, she’d pestered him" She's lucky that she wasn't brutally punched. No wonder the man seemed a little Coo Coo for Coco Puffs.

Pg 5, "I’m sorry, dad" Since "dad" is used as a name, I'd capitalize it, personally.

Pg 5, "drinking from the waterways" Let me guess, they double as sewage lines. 

Pg 5, "a protrudent protruding belly."

Pg 5, "I’ll… I’ll ask one" Hmmm, notably different behavior than earlier. Her dad must be considerably worse than an unstable slumlord.

Pg 5, "allegiance to one of the bosses" Ah, so P was a small fish in a big pond.

Pg 5, "An arm caught her across the face" I have opinions about dear father here, and they aren't polite ones.

Pg 6, " I’ll take him down" Who is their enemy, and why?

Pg 6, " Listening to it sizzle(comma)she got"

Pg 6, "fish juices running down his chin" Does H want revenge, or only Dad, who, frankly, seems to care more about revenge than his own daughter? 

This worked out really well, since I read the edited version of the Prologue and Chapter One yesterday! A nice continuation! 

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I was a little confused through most of this. None of these characters seem to have anything to do with the ones in the first two chapters, and the first scene leans heavily toward P, where I'm guessing H is the character we're going to see more of. I feel like I have more characterization of P. I'm also not sure what punching a priest has to do with anything when P was speaking out against worker's wages. Was it that he asked for donations? I feel like P would probably know how "voluntary" the donations are.

In the second part, there are a lot of hints about someone who hurt H's father in some way, which is why he wants revenge, but I think in this case, more information is actually better. The motivation here is revenge, which doesn't work as well if we don't know why. If you tell that an old foreman broke dad's legs and the never worked right after, we're willing to forgive a lot more dumb behavior on his part because we empathize with his reasons for revenge, even if they're not logical or sufficient. Right now, he just seems like a bitter old man who's abusing his daughter.

 

Notes while reading:

Pg 1: is P the dead man's brother? I had to reread the first paragraphs a couple times trying to figure out who's POV this was.

pg 1: "red bandanna ducking as she frowned"
--Not sure what this means.

pg1: I feel like the POV is H's, but the scene is P's. As I don't know either of the characters, it's hard to connect to either of them.

pg 3: "Is this an appropriate time, father?”
--For...a donation??

pg 3: why is P punching priests at his brother's funeral?

pg 4: “Priests fall as easily as us! As easily as my brother!”
--I thought this was about better wages for workers, not priests?


pg 5: “You did not secure his help then?” 
--oh, I thought she was talking to herself for some reason. The beginning of this section seems like H is apologizing to a dead relative or something.


pg 5: "An arm caught her across the face and she cried out."
--no one seems to acknowledge that he hit her. I can't tell from the text if it was an accident or on purpose.

pg 5: "erupting upwards...She kept her head bowed as she repositioned his legs."
--So I gather that he has some problem with his legs but I'm unsure about the level of mobility.

pg 6: "You’ll have to infiltrate the stronghold yourself and get the swords.”
--I'm confused as to what's going on. There are a lot of hints at things, but nothing concrete. I think you can show off the plot a little more. Right now it's just an abusive father trying to get his daughter to steal swords for...money? And revenge?

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Hi! I haven't read the prologue and first chapter but since this is a new PoV I'm not sure how much context I'm missing.

Let's start with what I think is working here. I do like the way H is forced into a situation much more dangerous than she initially anticipated. I think the larger structure of "H tries to recruit P, but things go awry and she has to do it herself" is a good way of pushing her character and raising stakes. Also, I really like the detail about the donations, and everyone donating having very little to begin with. That one detail did more than P's talk at showing me how this place keeps the working class down. 

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'm also not sure what punching a priest has to do with anything when P was speaking out against worker's wages. Was it that he asked for donations? I feel like P would probably know how "voluntary" the donations are.

My interpretation of this is that P is uncontrollably angry about the situation as a whole and acting irrationally in the moment. Which does feel a little convenient, but I can see it working if we're not really supposed to focus on P's character. For this to be the case, we need a bit more about H, which I'd like to see anyway. What's her motivation in all this? Right now we get that she's afraid of angering her father; is that all there is to it? How is that motivation shaped by her past? We don't need all the details now, but right now I don't quite feel like I'm getting enough of the picture.

I agree with @Mandamon's comments about the father, which are phrased better than whatever I could come up with. One note I'll add is that I'm not sure how to feel about the "he was fit and skinny before but now he's inactive and fat" trope. I get that we don't have full information about what happened to him yet, but it's important to talk about the topic sensitively.

Best of luck in revision! :) 

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Hi,

3) That conversation feels real. I'm missing the subtext of the conversation with the carpentry bit.

4) honey?

6) Nothing indicates that she'll capable, so it's hard to believe that if she does succeed, it'll be deux ex machinas. 

6) I don't know who and what and why they want revenge, so it's really hard to be invested in the quest of whats essentially an abusive father.

 

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Hey, Dwarfy,

Glad to be reading the next chapter. On to the comment! :) 

(page 1)

- "red bandanna ducking" - Not sure this image is very clear. I mean, I think I get the idea, but it sounds like the bandana is ducking on its own, independent of her head.

- "indicated the crowd felt the same" - Unclear: does the crowd feel the same as the speaker, or do they feel that the words are dangerous? Again, I think I know the answer, but the phrasing makes it unclear, IMO.

- I get a very clear tone on the first page, which is good.

(page 2)

- I had to online search for 'gipon'.

- "Everything was very clean" - It's not clear to me that this comment refers to his clothes. 'Everything' is unspecific here.

- "child of stasis" - Huh? Confused. Stasis has a pretty specific meaning in SFF, by default anyway. So, does this mean he was a child of stasis while he lived, or is it purely referring to now that he's dead? I guess stasis could be in the sense of purgatory? I just think it's a bit unclear what I'm to draw from this phrase.

- "I can get us in, at least partly" - Eh, what? This doesn't sound like a great proposal. Like 'I'll get you part way in, at which point you'll probably be caught.'

- "How does that sound?" - it might be WRS on my part, but it doesn't sound like much. Swords are the sort of thing that I imagine it would be quite difficult to move on for actually cash money.

Also, the dialogue, here, I think it could use a little polish. I like the idea, the tone, I just think it can flow better, have more bite, more swagger.

- "older man from before stepped beside an urn" - Did I miss something, what older man? The one that answered P? Yeah, okay, fair enough. Also, phrasing 'stepped beside an urn', I think is missing something, grammatically.

- "visibly holding back tears, stood beside another" - You don't need 'visibly' here. If our POV character can see it, it must be visible. Also 'stood beside another' - what? Young woman? That phrasing--the description--is weak, for me.

(page 4)

- "If she’d known he’d been that unstable" - tense slip. 'was' is fine here.

- "A fleeing woman, probably forty, grabbed her arm" - The woman's age seems irrelevant here, kind of distracting.

- "A was cradling the horizon" - Is A the moon? I would say it's 'cradled by the horizon'.

(page 5)

- "spending precious money on a bucket of clean water" - Did she have a bucket with her? I think she did not. So, did she purchase the bucket too? This seems unlikely. So, did she hire the bucket?

- "protrudent" - not a word: protruding.

- "And selling them will give us money and, with it, power" - I'm happy to believe that this plan is ill thought out by him, but I rally don't see how this is practical. Clearly, these swords are recognisable as they seem so rare. So, (1) anyone who might buy them would likely know where they had come from, or certainly that two ne'erdowells could never have owned them; (2) a couple of dropouts suddenly coming into massive wealth is going to be really suspicious, and attract the attention of the authorities; (3) I'm dubious about the money is power thing. I feel that, in this world, it's about more than that, it's about who/what you are and where you came from.

So, I believe this is a bad plan. These are good characters, and the pain-wracked, bitter father ups the stakes for H. I think it's a well realised POV. As I read on, I'm glad she's expressing doubts about the plan. I'd be even happier to read as we go about her doubting it would work at all, or maybe P will come in and do that.

(page 6)

- "she got her breathing under control" - A very cold and mechanical phrase. I'd expect this of a trained solider, or an experienced thief, but she's not either of these.

- They are clearly not destitute, as they have fish, bread and vegetables, none of which are mouldy or 'off'.

- "But… but -" - Wiki has a good page on punctuation. There are two types of pause or interruption here, it's confusing to the eye.

- Formatting of the last line: should be indented.

OVERALL 

Decent chapter. I had some issues with details, but overall I thought it read well. I think this is our third POV in this new version of the story. That's okay, but as a reader I'm looking to latch onto someone as the main character and invest in their story, their motivations. Presently, I have, I think nine potentially important characters. I don't feel I can discount the two in the prologue as not recurring; there is the POV character, the two drinkers and the 'professor' in Chapter 1, and now three characters from this chapter to follow (I'm discounting the priest and P's father as bit players). There are a lot of moving parts for what is basically the first twenty pages of the story.

Clearly, it's not wrong to take this approach, but I think it's more challenging to make both POVs compelling if they are going to run in parallel, and I have a sneaking concern that there might be more POVs coming (maybe not). I guess I am just saying that I have a slight concern as to the territory we are heading into. There's various advice from 'reputable' sources about--as a starting author--writing one good, compelling POV well to learn how to do it, and to demonstrate to agents and publishers that you can do it as a new author. That always seemed a bit glib to me as general advice. I get it, but really, as readers we've been absorbing multi-POV work for a long time, and surely must have learned a thing or two as we've read. I certainly haven't follow that advice myself. However, I think we can have multi-POVs but still have a clearly defined main character that we are most invested in, our guide through the story as it were. That's what I'm hoping for here, and that we get time to get to know them, invest in their motivations, and do not get into too much choppy head hopping.

I'm enjoying the story. Two good POVs set up. I want to see them progressing now, and to get that character depth and investment :) 

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17 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'm also not sure what punching a priest has to do with anything when P was speaking out against worker's wages.

Good point: agree. I leapt to the assumption that it is the priesthood that runs the country, or at least the city, either a theocracy, or as the tool of some monarchy's authority? I wonder if this was supposed to be explained in the prologue, or Chapter 1? If so, I did not really get that as clear takeaway, or it's WRS and I've forgotten.

17 hours ago, Mandamon said:

there are a lot of hints about someone who hurt H's father in some way, which is why he wants revenge, but I think in this case, more information is actually better. The motivation here is revenge, which doesn't work as well if we don't know why.

#iagreewithmandamon

I don't think it's essential--I was willing to go with the vagueness--but I agree it reduces buy-in to dad's motivations, and therefore by association to H's.

17 hours ago, Mandamon said:

he just seems like a bitter old man who's abusing his daughter

I was in doubt over this. I mean, he certainly verbally abuses her, but with the blow coming from his arm, and not his hand, it sounded less deliberate to me, and I almost thought it was accidental? Unsure, but I kept reading, figuring it might become clearer.

5 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

I'm not sure how to feel about the "he was fit and skinny before but now he's inactive and fat" trope.

Good point. I meant to comment on the last line of the chapter too. Juices running down his chin is a really trope for someone being greedy and generally vile. Perhaps the best 'recent' example is the scene in Minas Tirith with Denethor when Merry comes to challenge him about Faramir. I've never been able to look at a cherry tomato the same since. My point is, it feels a bit 'tell-y', like a sledgehammer blow when we've already got that he's a baddy. Anything that comes at the end of a chapter automatically has more weight than the same line in the body of the chapter. I think the juices is kind of unsubtle. Dad being fat too, is a clear sign that he is not underfed. It raises all sorts of questions about whether he withholds food from H, as she is not really described, that I can recall.

This brings another point that I forgot to tag, but @Mandamon has, which is the paucity of character for H. She seems quite brash and confident when she appears at first, but quickly becomes uncertain. Then, by the time she gets back home, she seems fearful. It's hard to tie down her character in my head, as Many points out.

Still enjoyed it though :) 

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I enjoyed the new POV and overall liked the chapter.

I thought the shift in confidence between dealing with other people and dealing with her father made sense. The relationship between the abusive and abused isn't rational, very intelligent and competent people can be made to beleive that they should be subservient to an abuser that seems like they should have no hold on them. I am assuming that's the nature of the father/daughter relationship here, I could be misreading the situation. 

The pacing felt rushed to me, I would have liked more of the setting and atmosphere folded in, to get a sense of where things are happening, sights, smells, etc.

Looking forward to reading more, happy writing!

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Thanks for critiquing, everyone!


@Snakenaps

On 7/13/2020 at 7:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

"We live in slums, they live in palaces."

Hrm, good point.

On 7/13/2020 at 7:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

Oh man, when I looked up honey embalming

Oh, yea, don't do that :lol: It's also an historic method of preserving bodies. Alexander the Great was buried in the stuff. Keeping the dead preserved is important in this culture, and the rich have elaborate (and expensive) means of doing so. I figured honey was a cheaper slum-alternative.

On 7/13/2020 at 7:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

"a protrudent protruding belly."

I... just realised I've been horribly misspelling that word. It's meant to be protuberant. The more you know.

Thanks for the critique. Now go wash your eyes with bleach. I know I wanted to after reading about mellification. ;)


@Mandamon

On 7/14/2020 at 2:55 PM, Mandamon said:

None of these characters seem to have anything to do with the ones in the first two chapters

I'm guessing that's not really an issue, though? It's a new POV character in the second chapter. It's fairly typical to have prologue, First POV, Second POV. Right?

On 7/14/2020 at 2:55 PM, Mandamon said:

I feel like I have more characterization of P

Definitely an issue. Will have her be more active.

On 7/14/2020 at 2:55 PM, Mandamon said:

when P was speaking out against worker's wages

Speaking for a 'union' type deal which would protect workers from the priests. Maybe I should make that clearer.

On 7/14/2020 at 2:55 PM, Mandamon said:

Right now, he just seems like a bitter old man who's abusing his daughter.

To be fair, he's meant to be a bitter old man who's abusing his daughter, so yay :lol:. But I take your point on explaining motivations better. I might add a new scene with her staking the place out after this, but that would probably make this chapter longer than A's previous one, which I don't really want to do. Decisions, decisions.

Thanks for your comments. They're always useful.


@Turin Turambar

20 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

honey?

Yes, dear? ;)

20 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

Nothing indicates that she'll capable, so it's hard to believe that if she does succeed, it'll be deux ex machinas.

A valid point! I'll have to highlight in this chapter just how incompetent a thief she'd make. Even if she doesn't realise it.

Thanks for helping!


@Ace of Hearts

20 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

"he was fit and skinny before but now he's inactive and fat" trope.

Well, he can't walk. So he's definitely become inactive. And developed a belly. But I will be sensitive! Hrm. Of course I will.

Many thanks for the feedback! I appreciated your what worked vs. what didn't approach. A handy way to do it.


@Robinski

14 hours ago, Robinski said:

I had to online search for 'gipon'.

Not a baaaaaaad thing though! I hope. Or more people are gonna be googling mellification than is strictly necessary.

14 hours ago, Robinski said:

"child of stasis" - Huh? Confused. Stasis has a pretty specific meaning in SFF, by default anyway.

Ah, does it? Care to extrapolate? It's a religious ideal, here. Permanence vs. transience. I didn't feel like delving into the nuts and bolts of religious practice was strictly necessary, though. Background rather than foreground material.

14 hours ago, Robinski said:

more swagger

Do you want to get Captain Jack Sparrow? Because that is how you get Captain Jack Sparrow. ;)

15 hours ago, Robinski said:

"protrudent" - not a word: protruding.

I am embracing descriptivism over the prescriptive rules imposed upon language by Latin-loving (and draconian)18th century grammarians. I totally didn't just make a spelling mistake.

15 hours ago, Robinski said:

They are clearly not destitute, as they have fish, bread and vegetables, none of which are mouldy or 'off'.

Even in slums, people can get adequate food. In modern slums people grow vegetables in sacks with soil and rocks added. Rye bread is the food of the poor. They live very near to a big river, so fish isn't an uncommon resource. But maybe I should change it anyway if it comes across as too extravagant.

14 hours ago, Robinski said:

Unsure, but I kept reading, figuring it might become clearer

Yea, gonna have to spruce up dem motivations.

14 hours ago, Robinski said:

#iagreewithmandamon

I mean, who doesn't?

15 hours ago, Robinski said:

I think the juices is kind of unsubtle. Dad being fat too, is a clear sign that he is not underfed. It raises all sorts of questions about whether he withholds food from H, as she is not really described, that I can recall.

An interesting point. As I mentioned above, he can't move his legs - ergo greatly reducing his ability to perform aerobic (fat-burning) exercises. The question of whether he's staked a monopoly on the food is curious, though.

Fair point on the juices. (As an aside, that scene in the movies was an act of cinematographic genius. No blood, very little actual violence on-screen, and yet I still felt the visceral horror. More strongly, in fact, than any other charge - in any movie - has inspired).

A thought provoking critique, thanks.


@Sarah B

2 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I am assuming that's the nature of the father/daughter relationship here, I could be misreading the situation. 

Nope, you're right! But I'm thinking a third scene where she's away from the father could cement that notion. Maybe.

2 hours ago, Sarah B said:

The pacing felt rushed to me, I would have liked more of the setting and atmosphere folded in, to get a sense of where things are happening, sights, smells, etc.

I believe Snakenaps commented something similar. I'll definitely paint more of the background.

Thanks!


I'm very glad I found this group.

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8 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
On 15/07/2020 at 2:39 AM, Turin Turambar said:

honey?

Yes, dear? ;)

:lol::lol::lol:

8 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
On 13/07/2020 at 7:43 PM, Snakenaps said:

Oh man, when I looked up honey embalming

Oh, yea, don't do that :lol: It's also an historic method of preserving bodies.

If you are into Grimdark, the Empires of Dust trilogy by Anna Smith Spark is dark and powerful stuff. She has a vibrant literary style that is very compelling, IMO. Anyway, in Book 2 (The Tower of Living and Dying) a dead king is similarly 'stored' in honey for transportation to his homeland. I must admit I was barely aware of this practice, but it certainly chimed with me when it appeared in your story. It occurs to me now, though, to ponder where it is not much more expensive to use honey in this situation? I mean, why would poor people be embalmed at all?

8 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

Not a baaaaaaad thing though!

Not at all :) There's a school of thought that you don't want the reader getting distracted with words they don't know, but that's a fast road to lowest common denominator. I'll admit I used to think that, about not using obscure words, but I've got over it.

14 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
On 15/07/2020 at 8:14 AM, Robinski said:

"child of stasis" - Huh? Confused. Stasis has a pretty specific meaning in SFF, by default anyway.

Ah, does it? Care to extrapolate? It's a religious ideal, here. Permanence vs. transience. I didn't feel like delving into the nuts and bolts of religious practice was strictly necessary, though. Background rather than foreground material.

I found the application of the term a bit confusing in the sense that, unlike someone who is in stasis in a colony space ship, for example, this chap is not going to be woken up, unless they mean in a spiritual sense, and he will be reawakened in heaven? In my head, stasis in a temporary condition, or at least it's capable of being reversed, which death presumably will not be. Or is that what they believe? I dunno. Maybe it's just a mental cue-de-sac that I went down by myself. If no one else thought it worthy of comment then I reckon we can move on.

- "lead this child of stasis to the gods" - ...or not. I've just read the line again. So, I take the line to mean that the corpse was a 'child of stasis' during his life, which implies that life is a condition that the religion equates life with stasis, def. 'a period of inactivity or equilibrium'. I just think there is a big metaphysical debate to be had around this idea, which is quite interesting, and I could totally get behind the idea that a portion of society would rebel against the idea that their lives were 'a period of inactivity or equilibrium'. If that is what this terminology is supposed to mean as used by the priest.

Put it another way, it's all very well to use a neat phrase, however this sort of thing is world-building, and will have implications on your world, society and the people that live in it. It should be the sort of thing the affects the story in a positive way, i.e. by giving the setting more depth.

14 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

But maybe I should change it anyway if it comes across as too extravagant.

Well, it's just a matter of degrees. Clearly they do not live in nice accommodation. It could be the first fish they've had in days, the last of the bread, whatever. It was just that the food didn't seem to have a cost associated with it which made me think they had no shortage.

14 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:
On 15/07/2020 at 8:29 AM, Robinski said:

#iagreewithmandamon

I mean, who doesn't?

It has been known. I tend to disagree once or twice just to keep things interesting. You know, maybe on a leap year.

14 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

an act of cinematographic genius

Well, Peter Jackson has significant experience with practical effects. Just need to look at Braindead :lol: 

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Overall

I need more on our MC before I can be invested in what is going on. The interaction with the father doesn't tell me as much as I would like. I think I need time in her head, since the first half of the chapter seems to mostly be about P, and the second is mostly the father. It feels more like she is a vector for their storylines than driving her own.

On 7/15/2020 at 0:14 AM, Robinski said:

I think this is our third POV in this new version of the story. That's okay, but as a reader I'm looking to latch onto someone as the main character and invest in their story, their motivations

For me, this would be too many POV characters so early in a book. In a bookshop, I'd put the book down. 

On 7/15/2020 at 0:29 AM, Robinski said:

 

On 7/14/2020 at 6:55 AM, Mandamon said:

I'm also not sure what punching a priest has to do with anything when P was speaking out against worker's wages.

Good point: agree. I leapt to the assumption that it is the priesthood that runs the country, or at least the city, either a theocracy, or as the tool of some monarchy's authority? I wonder if this was supposed to be explained in the prologue, or Chapter 1? If so, I did not really get that as clear takeaway, or it's WRS and I've forgotten.

On 7/14/2020 at 6:55 AM, Mandamon said:

there are a lot of hints about someone who hurt H's father in some way, which is why he wants revenge, but I think in this case, more information is actually better. The motivation here is revenge, which doesn't work as well if we don't know why.

#iagreewithmandamon

I don't think it's essential--I was willing to go with the vagueness--but I agree it reduces buy-in to dad's motivations, and therefore by association to H's.

On 7/14/2020 at 6:55 AM, Mandamon said:

he just seems like a bitter old man who's abusing his daughter

I was in doubt over this. I mean, he certainly verbally abuses her, but with the blow coming from his arm, and not his hand, it sounded less deliberate to me, and I almost thought it was accidental? Unsure, but I kept reading, figuring it might become clearer.

On 7/14/2020 at 6:32 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I'm not sure how to feel about the "he was fit and skinny before but now he's inactive and fat" trope.

Good point. I meant to comment on the last line of the chapter too. Juices running down his chin is a really trope for someone being greedy and generally vile.

 

I'll third the concern over these tropes.

 

As I go

- pg 1: redundancy on 'stood' in that first paragraph

- pg 3: It's really hard to stay focused because I don't know anything about our MC here. I don't know what she wants, her motivations, anything. I think we need more on her before she really starts to engage and try to deal, because without that backing, her deals don't mean anything

- pg 4: why is this in the girl's POV? It seems to be more about P and the volatile temper

- pg 5: her dad is in his late 30s and has an 18 year old daughter? He got busy young!

- pg 6: the dad calls her an idiot but then wants her to do the infiltration? This doesn't seem consistent. Something is off about the interchange, for me

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Okay. Three POVS so far. P's isn't being repeated. A's is the main. H's is the secondary. The contention is that it's too many POV's at once. Should I then do two chapters in A's POV, then do H's? My concern is that would mess up pacing. But confusing people is potentially worse.

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5 hours ago, TheDwarfyOne said:

Okay. Three POVS so far. P's isn't being repeated. A's is the main. H's is the secondary. The contention is that it's too many POV's at once. Should I then do two chapters in A's POV, then do H's? My concern is that would mess up pacing. But confusing people is potentially worse.

The general consensus is that you spend a few chapters in a POV before switching, especially early in a book, to get readers invested in a character. Otherwise you switch out and people just drop the book because they’ve already invested time in one character and don’t yet care about them, so why would they invest time in yet ANOTHER character?

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I was very engaged in this chapter and didn't make many notes. This chapter hooked me from the start, and I am rooting for H. I really don't like her dad and hope she gets some kind of revenge on him for being abusive. I thought it had a good arc and ended on a suspenseful note.

However, I feel like I haven't really spent enough time in this world with the other characters to get a sense of how this might be related to the plot. I can see this is in the same world, but in some ways, I feel like I am reading a different book. I'd like to settle into one character for a few chapters before being hit with a new POV. Once the reader has settled into the story more, I think alternating every other chapter works. 

Sometimes, when there is a very clear connection, like when the second POV character plays a significant role in a chapter with a first one, switching right away can work, but so far with this book, the POV switches are making it hard for me to immerse myself in the overall narrative. 

On 7/14/2020 at 9:55 AM, Mandamon said:

I was a little confused through most of this. None of these characters seem to have anything to do with the ones in the first two chapters, and the first scene leans heavily toward P, where I'm guessing H is the character we're going to see more of. I feel like I have more characterization of P. I'm also not sure what punching a priest has to do with anything when P was speaking out against worker's wages. Was it that he asked for donations? I feel like P would probably know how "voluntary" the donations are.

 

I agree with a lot of this. I was engaged enough to not really think about when I was reading, but there was so much emphasis on P that I was curious about him and everything that was going on. Wanting answers was one thing that hooked me, but I never got them, and then was distracted because I was hating H's dad and wanting her to have some kind of victory. 

 

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