Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Snakenaps

7/13/2020 - Snakenaps - Name of the King - Chapter Nine (1438 words)

19 posts in this topic

This is a short chapter, at under 1500 words, and one that's going to lose a good chunk of its content when I (hopefully) revise it this week. This one's sin? POV's. It has an unnecessary cow POV, and a scene that sits closer to third person omniscient than Ir's POV. 

 
Despite me knowing a lot of its flaws, I'd like your thoughts. I was tempted to throw in Chapter Ten today, because in a perfect world, I'll cut a big chunk of Chapter Nine and make it small enough to fit in Chapter Ten...but mostly I'm hoping to be able to rewrite Chapter Ten before I submit it. There's...laziness that desperately needs fixing. I know what's the major issue in that chapter, and I'd rather have you guys pick apart my solution than a problem I already know is broken.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my comments, which I read through again before posting, (and the rest that I've commented on up to now--as a means to getting back up to speed and delving back into reading). I tweaked them very slightly, as highlighted in blue.

Comments

I didn’t really think ahead to this chapter, but if I had, I think I’d want her to be back at the palace, so that’s good. It’s reading well, I like how her entrenched ideals are faced with the challenge of feeling sympathy for the cow, and then her enthusiasm for the kitchens.

found her feet stopping”- I’m firmly and profoundly against people discovering their body parts doing thinks apparently of their own freewill, because, eyes, jaws, arms, etc. have no freewill, and that happens is a deliberate act of the body on some level. IMO, the effect is to make the protagonist sound terribly passive and ineffectual: weak, not in charge of their own body.

main room of the kitchen” – confused: she was going into one of many rooms, but it’s now the main room of the kitchen, what other rooms are there? The larders? The cold store? The rest doesn’t seem relevant after this.

a million other jobs” – Earlier, there were a million kinds of spices. Hyperbole is best used sparingly in narrative, IMO. It feels to me kind of like cheap sensationalism, but you especially don’t get two of these in the same chapter, I reckon, let alone on the same page. Also, I’m prepared to accept that it takes 100 kitchen staff to run the kitchen, but I don’t believe you’d be able to see them all in the same place at the same time, and certainly not when you are standing in one spot. There will be some away fetching and carrying, some in the stores, some on a break, some behind partitions, etc. And I expect there will be a separate nightshift that comes on later to wash up and deal with requests for room service late at night. My mother had this theory about 'night starvation' which involved having a wee snack if one woke up during the night, like cheese and biscuits. Because of course cheese does not give one nightmares...not much!!

human-sized vases of flour, sugar, and more” – This seems hugely impractical to me. The flour and sugar must arrive in smaller containers, doesn’t it? It must do, sacks that can be loaded onto waggons and then carried into the kitchen. So, these then have to be tipped into a six-foot storage vessel. Do you not then need a ladder to get any flour or sugar (grain, whatever) out again? That would be crazy, so there must be some other mechanism, like a hopper at the bottom? It just seems really labour intensive, a lot of double-handing, to use a modern term. Not efficient. Also, they can't be called vases, surely. Vases are for flowers. There must be another word.

Change of POV – Hmm, while I don’t automatically object to this, as we’ve been in Ir’s POV almost the entire time (with that small secret agent POV in Chapter…2?); I hope there is a good reason for it.

it would take four” – This is a nice moment, and this POV is nicely done: we get to see Ir enjoying the kitchen. I’m just not sure the POV switch adds anything that could not be conveyed in Ir’s POV. Pe could have said out loud about allowing the extra days. Pe doesn’t actually do anything, just watches Ir. I recall WE talking about whose POV the narrative should be in with a multi-POV piece, and the accepted view (espoused by Dan, I think) was that we should be in the POV of the character with the most at stake. In this situation, that remains Ir, because we don’t know what’s at stake for Pe.

as the small woman” – Wait, is this a third POV in this chapter? This doesn’t read as being back in Ir’s POV.

So, we’re in Gol’s POV, it seems. Nope “Ir felt like her blood” – So, we are in Ir’s POV. The ‘small woman’ is a POV typo then.

vowed not to tell anyone else, concerned about voiding the contract because of her lack of secrecy” – Oh, come now! She doesn’t get to be all holier than though about this now after telling everyone she met for an entire day, basically (that was how it felt to me).

coworkers” – So, these are Pe’s colleagues, right? LOL! Sorry, could not resist that. > ‘co-workers’, I think. I read it as cow-workers, of course.

They walked me to the gates tonight” – What gates? Confused. I don’t know what’s being talked about here.

Using your magic to sense how I’m doing” – Confused: that’s not Ir’s power. Oh, no, it’s Car’s POV, but do I know what Car’s ability is? Maybe I did, but I’ve forgotten.

OVERALL (Somewhat outdated given your opening comments) – This chapter is really short, and I’m struggling to see how it merits being a chapter on its own. There are four pages in Ir’s POV where we see the palace kitchens, but we don’t see them properly, and for all the ‘big’ and glowing terms used to describe them, they don’t come over especially wonderous. I feel like we are left with the narrative telling us they are wonderous, without actually being shown that. 

I really did think we were going to see Ir walking through the kitchens, seeing amazing things, techniques, ingredients and people, seeing them working acts of culinary wizardry, which very well could be described, cooking with ingredients that It has never seen before, and cannot even identify. Then, I thought we would get a first episode of Ir and Pe going through the first part of the kitchens to name the staff, of whom there are 100, but that is either skipped over, or they turn around and go out again. Switching to Pe’s POV to see Ir wondering at the kitchen does not work for me, because of the reasons above. It’s all telling, IMO, no showing. 

The culinary art is Ir’s raison d’être, so, I believe it’s important to see the extraordinary nature of the kitchen through her eyes, not remotely through Pe’s. And, we need much more texture, more detail, the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of her first trip through the kitchen. I was expecting this to spin out into a whole delicious foodie trip through the best kitchen in the world, meeting the characters that she will be interacting with over the next four days, but, the way this chapter is at the moment, you could cut it entirely and just see it as a flashback through Ir’s eyes as she sits shooting the breeze with Car and Gr.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much the same thoughts at @Robinski for this chapter. It should either be condensed into an aside or a flashback, or expanded into its own sub-arc with a tiny plot progressions. Probably cutting will be cleaner.

Major thoughts for this chapter:

There was a lot in the first section that made me think too much about how animals and people work in this world. My note on "plucking mundane chickens" was to question whether there are non-mundane chickens, or are all them non-sentient? I’m picturing a goose plucking a chicken or something (because you did have a sentient goose earlier), and it’s like a human preparing a gorilla to eat…

Then with the ovens, If one of the sentients fell in, would they even know? I’m thinking of murder mysteries, where they just disguise the body as non-sentient.

Yes, unnecessary cow POV is unnecessary.

I was then very confused with the omniscient section. I thought it was in G's POV for a moment, but it switches back to I.

The chapter is pretty unfinished, so I think it could definitely be edited down and added to the next chapter.

In other news, I'm back to reading ahead on this one! Hoping to get a couple chapters done today.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Notes as I go:

P. 1. “I’ve listened for years about the palace kitchens” – a slight rewording to ‘I’ve heard about the palace kitchens for years’? Otherwise it’s confusing, because you hear that type of thing, you don’t listen it.

P. 2. Repetition of “first.” Not necessarily bad, but I noticed it.

“’Thanks!’ An extra bounce seemed to have been added to P’s step.” – Very awkward phrasing.

P. 3. I like the initial description of the kitchen, and its scale! Kinda interested in the interaction between ‘mundane’ and ‘civilized’ here, and wonder whether the turnspit dogs would be mundane or civilized…

Hrmmm, the first few sentences of P’s POV seem to be clunky. For instance ‘decided to herself’ would be much better as simply ‘decided’. I think the POV in itself isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but as it stands it doesn’t say much about character or conflict, just gives a single bit of information – that P will keep them in the kitchen longer. This could be handled just as easily through a sentence of dialogue, and it can be implied she’s being kind.

P. 5. “her blood hadn’t sung like this for eternity” – again, seems unnecessarily clunky.

Yep, the sudden omniscient at the end here was really jarring. You could definitely imply all that with I’s voice instead.

 

Overall: I think you're right to think this would do better condensed. I can see it being reworked into a single scene of a different chapter.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

1) That bit about how she regards the kitchen is GREAT. For some reason, it subverted my expectations.

1) Her reaction about the BK seems forced when juxtaposed by ch. 8 - last week she barely seemed to care, and not much of her reaction seemed to warrant much change.

3) civilized animals roasting other animals. And goats. Does nobody find this disturbing?

3) plankton - I don't believe that a cow would make such a metaphor.

4) it would take four. minimum. While the viewpoint felt necessary, I think that line in and of itself one me over to her character.

5) The last scene felt...dry. With lots of exposition and telling.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I’m picturing a goose plucking a chicken or something (because you did have a sentient goose earlier), and it’s like a human preparing a gorilla to eat…

:blink: Yes...

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Then with the ovens, If one of the sentients fell in, would they even know? I’m thinking of murder mysteries, where they just disguise the body as non-sentient.

Oooh, bonus short story!!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! I have some extra time this week so I'm jumping into this review. I haven't read any of the other chapters, so keep that in mind for my critiques. :) 

In terms of what I like about this chapter, I thought the conflict between "I hate what this place stands for" and "Wow this kitchen is so cool" worked well on a larger structural level. At least, that's what I think the conflict is, not having context from previous chapters. What's making the scene tense despite its lighthearted nature is that we suspect Ir isn't going to be able to keep enjoying this kitchen with everything else going on, so setting it up as something she adores makes sense. 

On 7/13/2020 at 10:44 AM, Robinski said:

There are four pages in Ir’s POV where we see the palace kitchens, but we don’t see them properly, and for all the ‘big’ and glowing terms used to describe them, they don’t come over especially wonderous. I feel like we are left with the narrative telling us they are wonderous, without actually being shown that. 

This is the main opportunity for improvement I noticed while reading through. In particular, I want to feel like we're in a chef's head while she's looking through these kitchens. Is she excited by the quality of specific tools? What does she think about the stock of ingredients? What does she want to make with them?

I also think the dialogue has the potential to do even more work here. Right now, it's letting characters convey information, but it's hard for me to get a lot of personality out of what they're saying since I could imagine a lot of different people saying those lines in the same situations. I think part of this comes from how P is excited by everything, and exclamation marks are used to try and create that excitement when I think it would be stronger if dialogue word choice and character actions conveyed that emotion instead. In general I'd be careful of exclamation marks. When I notice myself relying on them, it often means that I'm trying to push weak writing into the spotlight rather than strengthening it with more specific word choice. 

Best of luck in revision! :) 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I liked how this section read overall. I can see why you wanted to use P's POV since it adds some depth to her character and gives us a chance to see the kitchen from a broader perspective with IR's reaction to it. 

I also had a hard time with the animals roasting animals although I think it could work. It's a bit creepy, so there is always to option to lean into it. This was amplified by the reference that the firepit was 'big enough for to pem to stand in' and left me thinking I bet she would fit on the roasting spit too if they like beef. Maybe only preditor animals work in kitchens, not by law but by preference? I can't imagine happily cooking another human for  people to eat, regardless of if they had been sentient before death. Especially if there is no difference to anatomy between civilized and uncivilized. 

There were a few sentences that wander a bit. The one that caught my attention in particular was, "Ir felt a deep shade of loneliness...". Phrases such as 'nearly' and 'almost' and 'like' tend to weaken whatever statement they are attatched to. Leaning on those words is something that I struggle with as well, probably why I notice them :-)

If you decide to keep the P POV (it sounds like from the introduction you may not), a page break afterwards would be good to signal the change. 

Looking forward to the next chapter, happy writing!

Edited by Sarah B
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unnecessary Cow POV is my punk rock band name

Overall

I think the only real new information is the first section. The other two just rehash what we already know and don't add anything to the plot. But the first part is really fun and a good start to a chapter.

On 7/13/2020 at 10:44 AM, Robinski said:

The culinary art is Ir’s raison d’être, so, I believe it’s important to see the extraordinary nature of the kitchen through her eyes, not remotely through Pe’s. And, we need much more texture, more detail, the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of her first trip through the kitchen. I was expecting this to spin out into a whole delicious foodie trip through the best kitchen in the world, meeting the characters that she will be interacting with over the next four days, but, the way this chapter is at the moment, you could cut it entirely and just see it as a flashback through Ir’s eyes as she sits shooting the breeze with Car and Gr.

I 100% agree. I want to be amazed and see the world through a cook's eyes!

Also I still think it's weird that there are sentient and non sentient versions of animals, and that animals eat other animals. Would a sentient chicken eat a nonsentient one???

 

As I go

- pg 3: ah yes, the P POV doesn't seem to add anything to the plot

- pg 4: They both watched with envious pleasure as the small woman feverishly described her day. There's a fair amount of this going on in this chapter, wherein you've just showed us something, then tell us about it. These types of lines can be cut. They don't give new information and bog down the narrative

- I also don't think the third beat is needed, either

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/13/2020 at 10:44 AM, Robinski said:

I really did think we were going to see Ir walking through the kitchens, seeing amazing things, techniques, ingredients and people, seeing them working acts of culinary wizardry, which very well could be described, cooking with ingredients that It has never seen before, and cannot even identify.

 

On 7/14/2020 at 11:00 AM, Ace of Hearts said:

In particular, I want to feel like we're in a chef's head while she's looking through these kitchens. Is she excited by the quality of specific tools? What does she think about the stock of ingredients? What does she want to make with them?

 

3 hours ago, kais said:

I want to be amazed and see the world through a cook's eyes!

Okay, so, I've gone through and shuffled around a bunch of stuff, and spent way too long researching on how to describe food. I think I've got a decent start, but I feel like there is room for improvement.

My favorite part of reading chef biographies is the food porn. I need to get that into the book, not only in this chapter, but add a bit to any food descriptions. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/13/2020 at 10:53 AM, Mandamon said:

There was a lot in the first section that made me think too much about how animals and people work in this world.

 

On 7/13/2020 at 11:38 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

I like the initial description of the kitchen, and its scale! Kinda interested in the interaction between ‘mundane’ and ‘civilized’ here, and wonder whether the turnspit dogs would be mundane or civilized…

 

On 7/13/2020 at 7:43 PM, Turin Turambar said:

civilized animals roasting other animals. And goats. Does nobody find this disturbing?

 

On 7/15/2020 at 0:28 PM, Sarah B said:

I also had a hard time with the animals roasting animals although I think it could work.

 

3 hours ago, kais said:

Also I still think it's weird that there are sentient and non sentient versions of animals, and that animals eat other animals. Would a sentient chicken eat a nonsentient one???

This is definitely a big problem that I'm doing my best to tackle very early on into the book. I'm doing quite a bit of research into the suspension of disbelief. I think I may have Ir tackle this from a religious POV, as her religion states clearly that there are three types of creatures, Fey, civilized, and mundane, and the general way that they were created. That makes it particularly fun when I introduce other religions in Book 2 that are like, "Your creation myth is false, here's how it really went." 

I also just did myself a favor and severely changed the roasting spit line XD 

I need to push that the characters really don't view a civilized cow and a mundane cow as the same thing at all. I know its possible to pull this off. Nobody ever wonders this about Narnia or Zootopia. Not to mention, humans are perfectly good at dehumanizing each other, so having no-talking versions of the same creature can be done. 

On 7/13/2020 at 10:53 AM, Mandamon said:

Then with the ovens, If one of the sentients fell in, would they even know? I’m thinking of murder mysteries, where they just disguise the body as non-sentient.

Honestly, there probably has been some murders at some point...I have this nice line currently in Draft Three from the beginning of the second chapter:

“A license to sell meat products!” C growled. “I can’t believe it. As if we’d go out, murder someone, and serve them with rosemary and butter! Stars, only a Fey would eat an actual civilized creature, instead of some mundane animal." 

This line may or may not make it because 1) don't know if I'm keeping the licensing/permit troubles idea and 2) I also feel like it makes the reader look a little too closely at how this world breaks down. Because, frankly, it does break down when you look too closely.

I have so many sketches over the years about toilets for different species...

My particular favorite non-canon idea was the concept of the Vestal Virgin Chickens. It was this insane way for me to explain eggs about...five years ago? The concept was that unmarried female civilized chickens could be a part of this certified club, where they could sell their unfertilized eggs for money until they got married. Creatures would want to buy these eggs rather than eggs from a mundane chicken, because they were...I dunno, cleaner or something. 

One of the earliest versions has Ir makes money by milking civilized cows. This was back when she lived in the country, bonded a dragon, and had a magical sword. But the question about the job existing still stands. 

Honestly, one of my favorite things to do is punch holes in the world because it does stop working if you look too closely. I just need a lot of smoke and mirrors, and such a good plot and characters readers won't care. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

Honestly, one of my favorite things to do is punch holes in the world because it does stop working if you look too closely. I just need a lot of smoke and mirrors, and such a good plot and characters readers won't care.

The two usual ways to handle this are either not to mention it at all, so the reader doesn't think about it, or hang lantern it it (like you do with the religious beliefs and vestal chickens) and say, yep, this is weird, but it's how the world works. 

I'm thinking that's the better choice in this case.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 16/07/2020 at 11:33 PM, kais said:

Unnecessary Cow POV is my punk rock band name

:lol::lol::lol:

On 17/07/2020 at 2:49 AM, Snakenaps said:

I need to get that into the book, not only in this chapter, but add a bit to any food descriptions.

Yes, definitely. This is one of the story's USPs. I can't recall many stories (there are some*, but they tend to by short stories) that have culinary skill as a major strand, so I think it's well worth bringing it to the fore even more, and making it sing.

On 17/07/2020 at 3:10 AM, Snakenaps said:

Fey, civilized, and mundane

Yeah, see, even this line...it rather implies that animals are uncivilised, but they are not that way through choice! Surely, it is much more than civilisation that distinguishes an intelligent animal from a mundane one.

On 17/07/2020 at 3:10 AM, Snakenaps said:

Because, frankly, it does break down when you look too closely.

That feels to me like a big issue. Let's say that your books take off: you would have hundreds of fans scrutinising the implications of your society and how it works. I feel it really needs to stand up to this kind of detailed scrutiny and not break down too readily. I mean, it can still break down, as many worlds do, but surely it needs to hold up long enough for the reader to suspend their disbelief.

It is a really, really interesting debating point. I think it deserves examination in the earlier chapters, and religion seems a good way to come at it.

 

* Plug for my WorldCon panel pal Jon Courtenay Grimwood 

content.jpeg.aa5f398c5091f41dc5593112b9308ee1.jpeg     https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=45PflwEACAAJ&source=gbs_book_other_versions

Edited by Robinski
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Yes, definitely. This is one of the story's USPs. I can't recall many stories (there are some*, but they tend to by short stories) that have culinary skill as a major strand, so I think it's well worth bringing it to the fore even more, and making it sing.

This is a very good point.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Robinski said:

This is one of the story's USPs.

New acronym for me, which I am assuming has nothing to do with the US postal service. 

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

That feels to me like a big issue. Let's say that your books take off: you would have hundreds of fans scrutinising the implications of your society and how it works. I feel it really needs to stand up to this kind of detailed scrutiny and not break down too readily. I mean, it can still break down, as many worlds do, but surely it needs to hold up long enough for the reader to suspend their disbelief.

I'm going to lock it down as much as possible. Learning how to convince a reader to suspend disbelief is a good skill to have. 

If these books ever take off I'll eat my shirt. Statistically, this book won't ever see a bookshelf. First books aren't usually published. Does this mean it won't get published? No, it might, and I'll fight for that chance, but I also like to stay realistic. 

If it does take off and people start poking holes, I'll just laugh along with them and share earlier drafts when it used to be a lot worse. 

I do have one backup plan that is extreme and I'm not fond of, but theoretically, if an agent or publisher asked me to get rid of all of the creatures, the book completely works as long as the Fey remains how they are. A bonus of how I treated all of the civilized creatures like people. I would hate to see this happen, but it is an extreme backup plan. Although, admittedly, I feel like at that point I would rather just make this a trunk novel. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I read:

"...allow her weakness for cuisine to cause...no matter how tempting." I love this line.

"..cud is giving him problems." Once I looked up cud, I appreciated this line.

"...of pastries and fresh bread..." You are making me hungry! 

"...civilized dogs, goats..." So take this with a grain of salt, because sometimes I see random tweets about things and the spin out of proportion in my head, but I'm not sure civilized is the best word here. It makes me think of colonialism. It feels like a word oppressors or colonist use to justify being colonizers because they think they're civilized therefore groups they see as uncivilized are below them. I might be wrong about this though.

"Pem decided..." Why did we switch POVs? It confused me, didn't add much, and seemed really short anyway.

"..." Irene raved... While I was talking, I was thinking she was still talking to P, but I think the formatting might have just gotten messed up when I downloaded it to my kindle, so I missed the white space. Still, P's POV section was short and jarred me so I was less engaged while reading. 

Nice imagery in the last line! 

Overall, I loved some of the descriptions in this section. They were rich and vivid. I felt like I was in the kitchen with I. However, I was left wondering what happened. It didn't feel like the plot really moved forward. There was a hint of an arc at the begining, with I enjoying herself, feeling sympathetic to P, and feeling guilty about both things. However, that fell apart after we switched POVs. I don't think you don't necessarily need to scrap and redo the whole chapter, but you could make what you have work harder by adding something to it. Maybe I sees something in the kitchen and chooses not to report it or something.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Snakenaps said:
19 hours ago, Robinski said:

This is one of the story's USPs.

New acronym for me, which I am assuming has nothing to do with the US postal service.

:lol: 

I assume you found it? Unique Selling Point, in case you didn't. Marketing speak that has leached into common usage. (I use the word 'leached' advisedly.)

16 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

If these books ever take off I'll eat my shirt.

Buy a liquorice shirt then, just in case. Ir has an excellent voice, and the setting is strong and interesting. I think your writing also has a confidence to it; the ideas are good and character interactions are interesting, believable, satisfying. Sure, there's plenty to do, but it's only Draft 2. You might have another four drafts before you got somewhere near something you would want to sub around.

The central conceit of the world, the different categories of beings, works, IMO, and works well as a concept. It's very entertaining and thought-provoking. It's been done before in certain similar ways: it definitely works. Richard Scary's books and Blacksad came to mind before, Larry Niven's Known Space books is another example (the Kzinti are awesome!!), and of course David Brin's Uplift Universe books themselves. The issue of how mundane and 'uplifted' creatures and therios and Fey all interact is a fascinating and intriguing question, and something I would very much like to read more about.

The challenge of working that out is something I am sure everyone here would be more than happy to brainstorm if you wanted to do that 'in the open' (although it might be best done in camera since it's likely to be fundamental to the story). If you want my 10c on this, spitballing out loud, I think I'd want to go back to the beginning and figure out how this came to pass, and maybe you have done this already.

(1) How did creatures that, presumably, were mundane originally, become imbued with intelligence? (2) Then there are therios, which I think are the humanoid creatures with animal attributes? The Kzinti would qualify in this category, if I've understood it. I found this very interesting derivation: https://www.theriofoundation.org/page/UnderstandingTherio. How did humans and animals get combined so that you can, in this world, meet a humanoid with a tiger's head and claws, but that in all other ways has the attributes of a human? (3) Then there are the Fey, which I still don't have an explanation of, to a degree that gives me a sound footing.

Like I said, it is such a fertile area for debate and fascinating narrative in the early part of the story :) 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/18/2020 at 4:16 AM, Robinski said:

The challenge of working that out is something I am sure everyone here would be more than happy to brainstorm if you wanted to do that 'in the open' (although it might be best done in camera since it's likely to be fundamental to the story). If you want my 10c on this, spitballing out loud, I think I'd want to go back to the beginning and figure out how this came to pass, and maybe you have done this already.

(1) How did creatures that, presumably, were mundane originally, become imbued with intelligence? (2) Then there are therios, which I think are the humanoid creatures with animal attributes? The Kzinti would qualify in this category, if I've understood it. I found this very interesting derivation: https://www.theriofoundation.org/page/UnderstandingTherio. How did humans and animals get combined so that you can, in this world, meet a humanoid with a tiger's head and claws, but that in all other ways has the attributes of a human? (3) Then there are the Fey, which I still don't have an explanation of, to a degree that gives me a sound footing.

Good link! Therianthropics are in the world. The term can be used for shapeshifting (specifically for gods that have animal forms), so, in this world, a therian is someone who can shapeshift. There's no planned therians in NotK, but I do have at least one planned for Book Two, when that is eventually written.  

I have tried in the past to come up with logical reasons why the three different classifications (Fey, mundane, civilized) and their five subcategories (the only one that is brought up in the book is theriomorphics), but I haven't been able to satisfactorily come up with a solution that fits the present world. Originally, way back when, the reason why so many creatures are hybrids and some had elevated intelligence was because when they came through the wormholes from Earth, things got a little scrambled. This concept got thrown out when I decided to throw out the entire connection to Earth, including the many eyed creature that loved Doctor Who and built phonographs. Yeesh. It's like at this point I've written seven or eight different books that just all so happen to have talking animals in them, considering how different this dang book is from the original concept. 

I think the current best bet is to introduce the main religion's opinion on why everything is so mixed up (to sum it up, essentially, a deity's experiment) very early on in the book, preferably Chapter One, no later than Chapter Two. This will explain, preferably with the least amount of exposition and as naturally as possible, the Fey. Then, later, I can always challenge this through other religions (maybe a god that scrambled up a bunch of creatures to make hybrids because he was tired of everyone fighting) or other theories (we don't have an answer because our knowledge of magic is too weak). There are a couple of characters I can already think of who would likely have different ideologies than Ir. 

 Since in a perfect book you would all know who the Fey are by now, I'll put it in the email for tomorrow. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

including the many eyed creature that loved Doctor Who and built phonographs

:blink:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.