Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Snakenaps

7/27/2020 - Snakenaps - Name of the King - Chapter Eleven (2997 words total

17 posts in this topic

I'm a little short on time tomorrow so I'm sending out my chapter tonight. 

 

...

 

Alright, we're back to Draft Two, although I'm hoping to rewrite Chapter Twelve fast enough to present the Draft Three version of that. 

All comments, questions, and feedback welcome! 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Notes as I go:

P. 3. The name is a good fit for him! But I’m not sure if “Decay!” is a curse or a translation of his name…

P. 5. “Who guided you to the latrines yesterday.” – did she? I don’t remember that.

I haven’t read the chapter where the inciting incident occurred – the unicorn-rescue – so I’m confused by how Ir suddenly realises the unicorn was the king. Maybe the names were the same? I’m not sure whether my confusion is an issue with the chapter or a result of my ignorance.

P. 6. I find it hard to believe that Ir could learn an instrument in time… her contract lasts a year, and that’s not much time to hone the required skill to pretend to be a professional. Unless they let her play the triangle or something, or she has previous musical experience…?

“Ir Ir Ir, I release you” - Unless there’s a known reason for the repetition – I’m thinking like in fairy where swearing something thrice makes it a more potent oath – I’d be inclined to just say “I release you.”

I found the BK’s magical ability interesting – suggestion, more than compulsion, perhaps? – but feel he could have made his instructions more succinct.

P. 7. “Ir quickly strode” – striding implies speed, so no need to say ‘quickly.’

P. 8. “Ir knew that she herself had more pride than what was strictly necessary when it came to

her own skills in the kitchen.” – could be condensed. For instance, “Ir was proud of her own culinary skills.”

“It was easy to see it radiating off of B in waves.” Same issue! “It almost visibly radiated from B” or something.

“Conquer of monarchies” – conqueror.

Nice interaction between P, the secretary, and Ir. It highlights their three distinct characters.

 

 

 

I’m glad to have finally met the BK. I have a better fix on his character, and he’s ceased to be an indirect threat.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Highlighting some things from when I read this...

"dark waiting room, or the plain guard room. Instead, the bright, elegant room  was filled with plants"

--three uses of "room" in two sentences.

"The B.K. reached for a stack of papers" "He began writing."
--there are a lot of instances of things like this through the book. I'm guessing it's with telekinesis, but it sound like he's reaching or writing with his teeth or something.

"All of this because she saved a unicorn from assassins."
--on the one hand, I'm glad she's figured this out to push the story along, but on the other hand it's a very large jump. Wasn't the color of his coat disguised? She goes immediately from this to checking his name. I think this part can work, but it just needs another step or two in between.

"She would never get to go home again."
--not a lot of tension here, because she's already been home, and talked with her family while it was obvious the B.K. knew who she was.

"So he had been paying attention, even while writing."
--I think the whole "pretending to be busy" thing wears thin here. He called her in and presumably he's busy. I don't know why he's making her wait.

“That is a name that will never leave your lips again.”  
--I feel like calling attention to this is the worst thing to do. He could have just never mentioned it, and she wouldn't be the wiser. There was no reason to think that name was special, and no one else knows it, so it's not like she could check on it.

Also agree with @TheDwarfyOne that learning how to play an instrument will take a while. (I have other comments on this in later chapters. I think you handle the time well, but it brings up other concerns.)

"Ir. did not feel the B.K.’s eyes following her through the door."
--So then it wouldn'y be in her POV...

I really like all the information and plot progression we get in the first half, but I'm not sure what function all the fuss about the secretary serves. Especially after something so central to the plot, it feels almost like a side story that doesn't have much to do with anything else.

Overall, a good chapter, and starts to bring out some of the main plotlines.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

1) I's eyes, growing wide, - too many commas.

1) didn't she see him when the restaurant burnt down? Why is she having this reaction. EDIT: I thought you mentioned this earlier.

3) "Decay" ?

6) Why doesn't he replace a servant? That seems much easier for the BK.

6) Was that some kind of compulsion or telepathy?

9) P actually understands her hatred for the job?

I'm really confused why she needs to be a musician. That seems a bit of a stretch, rather than replacing one in a small army of servants. 

 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the most part, I enjoyed this chapter. It was tense and feels like things are moving forward. However, there were a few places I was confused, which I will note below:

"like an inkblot among the finery" Nice description! 

"...dragon god..." What about the fey thing? When did dragon gods come in?

...situation that must be addressed..." I was pretty confused about I jumping to conclusions about the kitchen. Wasn't the whole reason she was working for the BK because he knew what happened? I was almost surprised she didn't worry he'd found out she had relatives in the resistance or something about the contract being breached.

"Az..."  

So did he lie to W about how I's name knowing power works? 

Like some of the others, I was confused as to why she said decay. 

"She had felt  his magic..." I think it took me a little longer than her to piece together he was the unicorn from the restaurant, though looking back, it shouldn't have. There were several hints, and then the name...if I had read this and chapter 1 closer together, I would've put it together with or a little before I.

"R..., do not reveal their identity..." So how does he know the name? Did I tell P? I might have just missed something. But this definitely implies he lied to W. 

 "If you need to refer to that person, he or she goes by..." I would use they here since it is what you use for W/R everywhere else. 

"I... did not feel the...eyes..." Since this section was close third from I's POV, I'd take out that line. I don't think you really need it anyway. 

One thing I forgot to mention before-- when BK does the whole telepathic compulsion thing, I finally felt like he deserved to be the villain of the story. Up til that point, I thought he was misunderstood and I was sympathetic to him.  But now he has shown a little bit of a villainous side. 

As usual, I'm looking forward to the next chapter. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the truth is out! I was so glad that you address who the first unicorn was and that it was revealed without a huge revelation scene. The clues were there and we were expecting it so the reveal was satisfying but not overdone. 

The "decay" line also left me a little confused.

More good P parts, she is quickly becoming my favorite character. However, writer instinct has me concerned for her future safety since she is a mentor in a fantasy story :-)

Some of the description words for the BK sound more like infatuation than fear coming from I. She thinks of him in very complimentary terms for the most part which seemed strange to me. 

Looking forward to the next chapter!

And thank you for giving me something to read, I guess it's a slow week for Reading Excuses :-)

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main two aspects of this chapter that I enjoyed were the BK's character and Ir's found friendship with P. In regards to BK, I think his characterization is on point. I think the key detail is how aware he is of his surroundings even when he seems completely disengaged, such as when he tells Ir she can take more tea. It's both humanizing and makes him seem more competent/threatening, and I hope we see more of him being simultaneously aloof and alert. What made Ir's friendship with P stick for me was how P intentionally messed up the schedule to give Ir more time. The fact that P faced negative consequences for her actions makes me more connected to her interpersonal relationship with Ir than any proclamation could. I definitely think this is a strong dynamic that could be leaned on in future chapters if necessary.

20 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Some of the description words for the BK sound more like infatuation than fear coming from I. She thinks of him in very complimentary terms for the most part which seemed strange to me. 

Along this note, I noticed a sense of awe in Ir, which interested me. It's hard for me to point to where it comes from, specifically. I think the story realizes that showing only fear from Ir doesn't really give us anything new about her, and I appreciate that it doesn't hammer her fear to death (or that at least it addresses new sources of fear like performing on stage with an instrument... which I felt). That being said, it does feel like there's more room to explore Ir here. Her fear, anxiety, and potential awe feel standard for the situation and therefore don't feel as characterizing for her specifically. In my mind the two paths forward are to either explore how she deals with the fear/awe in a distinct way that helps us see who she is, or to add more emotions to the mix. But I'm sure there are other ways. 

I'll also echo not getting a strong feel for B here. I can't speak as much to the larger plot (I'm pretty sure I do have the emails for older submissions but I'm too lazy to read through all them right now), so I'll stick to what we have here. I feel like we get a great idea of B's archetype as the hyper-competent secretary and what we're missing is examples, which can also help feed into motivation. Everything P says about B interests me, and we need to "see" her in action to get the full effect, even if it's only in recollection. What's an example mistake she found in a noble's paperwork that forced the others to get their act together? How does she act when she finds these mistakes and gets to blast nobles for them? I don't think the story must answer those questions specifically, but seeing her in action will make her feel alive to us. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey look, I'm in the right week again!

Overall

Good tension through the first 3/4, and I loved the name reveal with the king. A great interplay there and some solid worldbuilding. It's the first time I've really cared about the king, since he keeps being name dropped and backstoried but we never got anything concrete. Now I enjoy him as a character and am interested in backstory.

I think the bit after she leaves the king's chambers could be cut easily. it doesn't add anything and just bleeds tension from the rest of the chapter. By the end I have no real forward momentum to keep reading.

A solid installment though, as always!

On 7/27/2020 at 10:29 AM, Mandamon said:

but I'm not sure what function all the fuss about the secretary serves. Especially after something so central to the plot, it feels almost like a side story that doesn't have much to do with anything else.

Same issues.

 

As I go

- pg 1: lot of redundancy on the word 'room' there in that first paragraph

- pg 2: good tension through here

- pg 3: nice reveal! Love it!

- pg 3: a lot of repetitions of I's name, when 'she' would work much better

- pg 5: by this point, I's internal monologues are draining. I want the scene to move forward!

- pg 5: she's going to learn an instrument....overnight!?

- pg 6: I actually think it was scarier without the direct command part

- pg 9: why is she not panicking over this music assignment??

- not a very strong ending. It doesn't make me want to flip immediately to the next chapter. I'm wondering if it shouldn't end right after dismissal from the king's room? That would end on a higher tension high note and really lead into the next chapter

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2020 at 7:19 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

P. 3. The name is a good fit for him! But I’m not sure if “Decay!” is a curse or a translation of his name…

Curse. It'll be more obvious in Draft Three when I make everything a little smoother, I hope!

On 7/27/2020 at 7:19 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

P. 5. “Who guided you to the latrines yesterday.” – did she? I don’t remember that.

I haven’t read the chapter where the inciting incident occurred – the unicorn-rescue – so I’m confused by how Ir suddenly realises the unicorn was the king. Maybe the names were the same? I’m not sure whether my confusion is an issue with the chapter or a result of my ignorance.

The latrines were how Ir and W met in Draft One/Two. I cut that and rewrote it because it was too long, felt cheap, and had none of the BK's manipulations in it.

And, yes, she named him when saving his life. 

On 7/27/2020 at 7:19 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

P. 6. I find it hard to believe that Ir could learn an instrument in time… her contract lasts a year, and that’s not much time to hone the required skill to pretend to be a professional. Unless they let her play the triangle or something, or she has previous musical experience…?

This is what is really going to make the musicians furious in Draft Three once they are introduced. The upper management wants miracles, while the workers look at each other in disbelief and go, "That's not how this works at all!" 

I might have gotten that bitterness from teaching. 

On 7/27/2020 at 7:19 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

“Ir Ir Ir, I release you” - Unless there’s a known reason for the repetition – I’m thinking like in fairy where swearing something thrice makes it a more potent oath – I’d be inclined to just say “I release you.”

I found the BK’s magical ability interesting – suggestion, more than compulsion, perhaps? – but feel he could have made his instructions more succinct.

I'll let you in on the secret. Originally, swearing thrice was the inspiration, much like the iron and silver. However, it evolved because I needed a key way for astute characters to be able to realize when the BK was hypnotizing someone. He's not great at it, mostly because he doesn't use it often (how can you trust someone if you know he might be using magic compulsion on everyone? Not a good PR move), so he needs to use the keyword (a person's name, preferably their true name) to make sure his magic has them "leashed."

Now, if we were to run into a magically stronger character...say a Greater Fey...then they wouldn't need to say names three times or ask for the person to listen at all. 

Thank you @TheDwarfyOne !

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2020 at 10:29 AM, Mandamon said:

"dark waiting room, or the plain guard room. Instead, the bright, elegant room  was filled with plants"

--three uses of "room" in two sentences.

Room room room room

It isn't one of my chapters without something to cut XD

On 7/27/2020 at 10:29 AM, Mandamon said:

"All of this because she saved a unicorn from assassins."
--on the one hand, I'm glad she's figured this out to push the story along, but on the other hand it's a very large jump. Wasn't the color of his coat disguised? She goes immediately from this to checking his name. I think this part can work, but it just needs another step or two in between.

Would probably help any readers who haven't figured it out have a nice put-the-dots-together moment themselves too...

On 7/27/2020 at 10:29 AM, Mandamon said:

"So he had been paying attention, even while writing."
--I think the whole "pretending to be busy" thing wears thin here. He called her in and presumably he's busy. I don't know why he's making her wait

I should add in something with W in the previous chapter that he likes waiting because people tend to say things they shouldn't to end silence, and also that he likes watching people's reactions. 

As for the writing, the BK has an absolutely painful time sitting still during meetings. Another thing the astute W would notice. He's always got to be doing something, otherwise he gets bored and antsy. He's a multitasker. He needs to be doing something because otherwise he feels awkward, confined, edgy. For all the BK is a king and that involves a lot of paperwork, he actually sucks at having a desk job. I can definitely sneak this in, because it also helps portray him more as a character and less as a figurehead. 

On 7/27/2020 at 10:29 AM, Mandamon said:

“That is a name that will never leave your lips again.”  
--I feel like calling attention to this is the worst thing to do. He could have just never mentioned it, and she wouldn't be the wiser. There was no reason to think that name was special, and no one else knows it, so it's not like she could check on it.

I need to fix this. It's been driving me nuts as well. It's out of character, and it is a cheap way for Ir to get the information she needs for the winery scene later in the book. Maybe she needs to go on a mission with W, I'm not sure. I just know this doesn't work. 

On 7/27/2020 at 10:29 AM, Mandamon said:

"Ir. did not feel the B.K.’s eyes following her through the door."
--So then it wouldn'y be in her POV...

Me and my wandering POV issues... :rolleyes:

Thank you @Mandamon! 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2020 at 3:20 PM, Turin Turambar said:

3) "Decay" ?

Curse word I tested out in Draft Two and am putting in in Draft Three solidly. Comes from their religion, which will be explained better. 

Putting in normal curse words was incredibly jarring, and I already have a problem with anachronistic phrases. Originally, the scene after this one has Ir says the adult version of "darn" a lot, and it just...didn't fit. 

On 7/27/2020 at 3:20 PM, Turin Turambar said:

6) Was that some kind of compulsion or telepathy?

Yup, hypnosis >:D 

On 7/27/2020 at 3:20 PM, Turin Turambar said:

I'm really confused why she needs to be a musician. That seems a bit of a stretch, rather than replacing one in a small army of servants.

I know this sounds weird, but I'm actually really glad you are confused about this, because Ir is going to be better at being confused about this, and the musicians are definitely going to be confused (and furious) about this.

Is there a reason? Yes. 

Will I need to make sure it is extra clear when it occurs? Yes

Everything right now is making sure Draft Three is clear as crystal, instead of this foggy glass it is right now.

Thank you @Turin Turambar !

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 7/27/2020 at 7:03 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

"like an inkblot among the finery" Nice description! 

It is literally my favorite description in the entire book. It comes from a previous, wildly different version of this story from 2017:

"In the middle of the cheerful room, the BK stood behind his desk like an ill-omened inkblot."

On 7/27/2020 at 7:03 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

"...dragon god..." What about the fey thing? When did dragon gods come in?

An old idea, I need to cut this.

On 7/27/2020 at 7:03 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

...situation that must be addressed..." I was pretty confused about I jumping to conclusions about the kitchen. Wasn't the whole reason she was working for the BK because he knew what happened? I was almost surprised she didn't worry he'd found out she had relatives in the resistance or something about the contract being breached.

Yes, I need to make this more clear, both to Ir and to the reader. I've got a good opportunity to have an "Oooohhhh, of course!" moment with the reader following along with Ir's realization, but I missed it here. This was also written originally when there wasn't the Revolutionaries, and I didn't change much from Draft One and Draft Two with this scene because there were so many other, worse problems. 

On 7/27/2020 at 7:03 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

So did he lie to W about how I's name knowing power works? 

Yes...and no. He told the truth about how names can change. He lied about his own. But I need to make it very clear he lied to W at least about his own name. How names can change is a foreshadow to Book Two, rather than anything particularly strong here. 

It's a very subtle hint that his name could have changed to the BK. That he could have fully left behind his past, accepted his role as monarch, and become purely the BK. Instead...he clings to who he was in the past, and therefore his identity and name hasn't changed. The question is...why does he cling to a past he pretends doesn't exist to everyone else? 

On 7/27/2020 at 7:03 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I would use they here since it is what you use for W/R everywhere else. 

Whoops!!! Thank you!!!

On 7/27/2020 at 7:03 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

"I... did not feel the...eyes..." Since this section was close third from I's POV, I'd take out that line. I don't think you really need it anyway

I completely agree. I need to hunt down and find all of those odd POV sections and delete them.

On 7/27/2020 at 7:03 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

One thing I forgot to mention before-- when BK does the whole telepathic compulsion thing, I finally felt like he deserved to be the villain of the story. Up til that point, I thought he was misunderstood and I was sympathetic to him.  But now he has shown a little bit of a villainous side. 

I need to give him a good polish, and fixing the government will help massively because that is the reflection of his character for so much of the book. 

In a perfect world, he'll be a solidly grey character, who often wants the right things, but is willing to do whatever he needs to achieve what he believes is the greater good. In floral terms, the BK sees the forest, not the trees, while Ir focuses on her trees and doesn't see the forest. I sometimes have a hard time writing the BK because I'm a solidly Lawful Good kind of person, and he's not...

Thank you @shatteredsmooth !

Edited by Snakenaps
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2020 at 11:51 PM, Sarah B said:

So the truth is out! I was so glad that you address who the first unicorn was and that it was revealed without a huge revelation scene. The clues were there and we were expecting it so the reveal was satisfying but not overdone.

Dun dun dun!!!

Glad it worked for you!

On 7/27/2020 at 11:51 PM, Sarah B said:

The "decay" line also left me a little confused.

Curse word I tested out in Draft Two and am putting in in Draft Three solidly. Comes from their religion, which will be explained better. 

Putting in normal curse words was incredibly jarring, and I already have a problem with anachronistic phrases. Originally, the scene after this one has Ir says the adult version of "darn" a lot, and it just...didn't fit. 

On 7/27/2020 at 11:51 PM, Sarah B said:

More good P parts, she is quickly becoming my favorite character. However, writer instinct has me concerned for her future safety since she is a mentor in a fantasy story :-)

I love sweet, ol' P. Don't worry, I have no plans to kill her off :) After all, I want to be able to illustrate her playing with her grandchild one day!

On 7/27/2020 at 11:51 PM, Sarah B said:

Some of the description words for the BK sound more like infatuation than fear coming from I. She thinks of him in very complimentary terms for the most part which seemed strange to me. 

That's me leaking through...What can I say, I love my toothy black unicorn? 

Thank you @Sarah B !

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/28/2020 at 8:48 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I think the key detail is how aware he is of his surroundings even when he seems completely disengaged, such as when he tells Ir she can take more tea. It's both humanizing and makes him seem more competent/threatening, and I hope we see more of him being simultaneously aloof and alert.

Yes, yes, yes! Hah! You got it! This brings me joy!!!

On 7/28/2020 at 8:48 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

What made Ir's friendship with P stick for me was how P intentionally messed up the schedule to give Ir more time. The fact that P faced negative consequences for her actions makes me more connected to her interpersonal relationship with Ir than any proclamation could. I definitely think this is a strong dynamic that could be leaned on in future chapters if necessary.

I glad that this is coming in loud and clear. Actions speak louder than words. 

On 7/28/2020 at 8:48 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

Along this note, I noticed a sense of awe in Ir, which interested me. It's hard for me to point to where it comes from, specifically.

That's probably more my love for the BK coming through than anything else... It's going to be fun tidying up Ir's emotions in this scene. I'm literally rewriting the scene at the beginning of the next chapter because she does an out-of-character emotional 360 that'll give you whiplash. 

On 7/28/2020 at 8:48 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I'll also echo not getting a strong feel for B here.

I think the problem here is that I love a side character too much, and am giving her more of an emphasis than she deserves. B'll be a pain in the rump a little in Book Two and definitely in Book Three, but right now I'm grinding everything to a halt for a character that needs to be introduced but doesn't need to be known well. She just needs to be a cold wallflower. 

Thank you @Ace of Hearts !

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/31/2020 at 0:49 PM, kais said:

I think the bit after she leaves the king's chambers could be cut easily. it doesn't add anything and just bleeds tension from the rest of the chapter. By the end I have no real forward momentum to keep reading.

I agree and disagree. It needs to stay in some form because it is Ir's first real step in beginning to think of the government and its people as separate beings. That the government does things that she doesn't agree with, but that the average citizen is just...a person. Someone who can be a friend.

However, I think that this can be moved elsewhere, or at least cut significantly. It definitely is jarring between the reveal scene and the next chapter. I'm giving mean ol' B more screentime than she deserves because, while she will matter in Books 2/3, she gets too much screentime because I just love writing her. She's so unapologetically mean. B is absolutely the kind of person to call the police on some kid's lemonade stand because they didn't have a permit, or be the head-honcho of an evil HOA. I mean, B would be the kind of person who would have a ruler counting the millimeters between a car and a curb just to see if she could ticket them. My first notes of her labeled her as a puppy kicker. 

On 7/31/2020 at 0:49 PM, kais said:

- pg 3: a lot of repetitions of I's name, when 'she' would work much better

This is a bad habit of mine @Robinski got after me for...

I'm so good at being repetitive. Room, room, room, room. Internal monologues that repeat forever.

The best part of revising is cutting all of this stuff. 

On 7/31/2020 at 0:49 PM, kais said:

- pg 5: she's going to learn an instrument....overnight!?

This is definitely unclear and I need to fix this. She begins practicing tomorrow, but the events are several months off. 

Thank you @kais

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/1/2020 at 3:54 PM, Snakenaps said:

In a perfect world, he'll be a solidly grey character, who often wants the right things, but is willing to do whatever he needs to achieve what he believes is the greater good. In floral terms, the BK sees the forest, not the trees, while Ir focuses on her trees and doesn't see the forest. I sometimes have a hard time writing the BK because I'm a solidly Lawful Good kind of person, and he's not...

 

I think if you are going for a grey character, then your at least heading in the right direction. I could see a grey character doing this. I could see a grey character being sympathetic in the ways he has been sympathetic. 

 

On 8/1/2020 at 3:54 PM, Snakenaps said:

Yes...and no. He told the truth about how names can change. He lied about his own. But I need to make it very clear he lied to W at least about his own name. How names can change is a foreshadow to Book Two, rather than anything particularly strong here. 

 

This makes things interesting! 

:-)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No point in my posting my previous comments two weeks later. Sorry I missed out on the thread. Too much going on. I'm still planning on getting to the updated D3 chapters though. Very soon.

1

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.