Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Snakenaps

8/10/2020 - Snakenaps - Name of the King - D3 Chapter Thirteen (2647 words)

16 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I'm submitting a little early because life is bonkers and I need a nap. Lies, I just need to go to sleep. Sleep is for the weak. 
 

I'm not going to pretend about being happy with this chapter, but things are shifting in my life and I don't have the time to tweek it anymore. This is a mesh of two separate chapters that both needed a lot of cutting. However, this version doesn't follow from the last chapter, because Ir isn't questioning her ability to potentially cover up ignoring a Revolutionaries spy without the BK catching her. This decision is new to Draft Three, but I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it yet.

 
Anyway, tear it apart. Any questions, comments, or concerns welcome.
Edited by Snakenaps
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the date is wrong on this post, the title date is from last week.

There was a little POV lapse in paragraph 6 where we are briefly told something from P's POV. 

Overall, this chapter was a little flat for me. I understand the importance of these new characters but I don't feel like I know enough about them to care yet. Since Ir isn't in any immediate danger and there's no clear consequence for failure, I wasn't feeling any tension or pull here. 

I liked the hints that these new characters will be complicated and interesting, I'm just craving some of that upfront. Especially from the Canine girl. 

I found it cute that P was acting like she was dropping Ir off for daycare. It was a nice motherly moment. 

Sorry to hear it's been a rough week, good job sticking with your writing anyways!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This works a lot better than the last version. There's a much more concise arc, and the chapter ends in a better place. There's also a lot more good emotion from the musicians when they're told they're training a novice.

As to Ir. not questioning the events from last chapter, I think it could be weaved in here in a few side-thoughts from I. It doesn't need to overwhelm her, but maybe have her think something about it when telling them why she's there. Then come back to it next chapter.

I think @Sarah B is probably right about the characters too. I know them from later in the book, so I didn't have trouble accepting them, especially J, but maybe a little more from L and M?


pg 1: "thinking of blue and gold nights"
--I don't think I ever figured out the significance of "blue and gold." It's mentioned several times.

pg 1: "before dismissing whatever thought flew by her mind. It must not have been important."
--if it's not important, it's not needed here. Unless it becomes important later, but I don't think it does?

pg 5: "Why not place you in the full orchestra where you’ll blend in better?” 
--good question.

pg 7: "No one had said this assignment was confidential, but obviously the musicians hadn’t been told much."
-- I feel like if the king wants her to spy for him and not mess it all up, he would have been sure to tell her either to expressly tell the musicians what she could do, or not. He doesn't seem like the sort to leave this thing to chance, especially when it's this important.

pg 7: “Why didn’t they tell us this?” 
--Another good question.

pg 7: "I can guarantee he’ll join the court’s tour."
--I think I missed this before. I though the only reason the court would travel is because they were going with the king. He's going to oversee all the new corrections, right?

pg 7: "he’s a direwolf. Who would ever think of putting a foreigner"
--Why is a direwolf a foreigner?

pg 9: "Was he insinuating he had sold out his family? For the B.K.? The idea tasted bitter. How could anyone do that?"
--I missed this the first time!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!

1) "You're hands are practically made for it" - I finally figured out why I dislike P. I think it's part of a larger issue. Some of your characters are bipedal, like the mouse M and G (I spent some time trawling through your art to make sure I was right - you're really good!), while others are like regular animals like P. The bipedal animals probably have to have a different musculature because they aren't built for standing on two legs. So I think you may have mentioned that some species have developed a bipedal form (I'm guessing that G is among these) which would make sense (and we're going to waive the opposable thumb problem the same way). That's one issue. The REAL problem is for normal animals. How are the 99% without telekinesis supposed to function? Dogs can move things, I suppose, with their mouth, but how are they supposed to get dressed? Have any job that requires fine motor or even fingers? Once on this rant, the architecture must be really messy, being designed to accommodate a number of different species. Even something as simple as park benches have to work for humans, small people like dogs (for whom the bench is too low and therefore useless) and creatures like Minotaur where it probably isn't strong enough. I suppose that cows and other "farm species" wouldn't need it as they probably can stand at rest for long periods of time and not need benches, but that's just one example. Tables? Bathrooms? Stairs? Can horses even go down a flight of stairs? Can you imagine the cost of having everything duplicated four or five times to accommodate every species? Also going to bring up one last time the problem that carnivores must have, essentially being cannibals.

2) L is hard to follow. Not a criticism - I'm just commenting on his distinctive style of speech. It's a good thing.

3) I like the detail about last names. Just one question though - one of the uses of surnames is to distinguish multiple people with the same name. Without surnames, how do they distinguish two people with the same name? 

4) "Decay" This is going to sound weird, but I focus on the expletives in a novel because it reveals a TON about the culture. So what's the story behind 'decay?'

5) "Fish guts" see above. So he's a sailor/fisherman? That would make sense for I, not L. On the other hand, this sounds like a Siuan line.

6) Ok, that makes sense why she's here. Why not a personal attendant though?

7) So someone will need to be near I to get the names. Won't it be suspicious is someone is always right next to the musicians and always talking to one - especially if he/she/it works at the BK court, it's likely to be a somber person, not at all suitable for a concert or something. 

7) also, I don't feel the three of their's distress enough.

7) and a breach of contract.

8) she gets real names, and why would she lie about that? And she doesn't know for sure what her nieces name is to her? She bets?

10) Just make sure that the music theory makes sense for the world. The number of beats varies around the world. In the USA, it's 12 A, A sharp, etc. In other cultures the numbers and proportions are different.

 

OVERALL: I see where the tension is supposed to be, but I don't feel it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall

I don't have a lot of line comments. The chapter was well written and easy to understand. However while I understand that the point was to introduce new characters, that isn't enough, for me, as a chapter. There was no arc. I could have just as easily gotten the information out of a dramatis personae in the back of the book. I think the information presented would be good as the B line in a chapter, while the actual arc plays out. What that arc is...I'm unsure. I think what's made this a very slow book for me is that there is only one thing going on at any given time, and it often tends to just be worldbuilding or character introductions. I'd like to see these things happen in tandem with actual plot movement. If each chapter could have an A arc towards the plot, then a B line could continue to introduce characters and world. I think this would put a lot more tension in the book and make the chapters really move, instead of feeling like, oh, just more characters. When will we get to the plot?

13 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I wasn't feeling any tension or pull here. 

Agreed

2 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

I see where the tension is supposed to be, but I don't feel it.

Also the same. There is no urgency to any of this.

 

As I go

- pg 4: 'newbie' is very current slang and throws me from the narrative

- also FYI, that was a LOT of introductions in short order. I will not be able to keep them straight

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/10/2020 at 1:12 AM, Snakenaps said:

This is a mesh of two separate chapters that both needed a lot of cutting. However, this version doesn't follow from the last chapter, because Ir isn't questioning her ability to potentially cover up ignoring a Revolutionaries spy without the BK catching her. This decision is new to Draft Three, but I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it yet.

You have a good point here, but I didn't notice when I was reading. I was just kind of caught up in the story and maybe not thinking as much as I should when I critique things. 

Anyway, I'm a fan of this group of musicians, and I liked the dynamic with them all and the perspective they offered on the BK. There is a lot of history and world building without much telling. It felt natural. 

"Dainty." Is this describing the dog musician? 

I am struggling to picture a dog playing drums. Does she hold the drum stick in her mouth? Hit the drum with her tail? Use her paws to step on pedals that make things hit drums?

...stifle her surprise... What was she surprised about?

...leave B... I wouldn't want to have to travel for a job I didn't want in the first place. 

"...how well do you know names..." Her answer was about how she knows them, not how well she knows them.

I like that I clarified how she knows the chosen name, not the given name. 

The end seems more optimistic. 

I think once you pull the thread from the last chapter through this one, it will shape up nice!

Looking forward to reading more!

On 8/10/2020 at 9:48 PM, kais said:

I think what's made this a very slow book for me is that there is only one thing going on at any given time, and it often tends to just be worldbuilding or character introductions. I'd like to see these things happen in tandem with actual plot movement. If each chapter could have an A arc towards the plot, then a B line could continue to introduce characters and world. I think this would put a lot more tension in the book and make the chapters really move, instead of feeling like, oh, just more characters. When will we get to the plot?

As a general note for the whole book, not just this chapter, I agree with @kais. The overall arc isn't clear. I  know she's working towards saving the restaurant, but what else is going on? I think you could lean more heavily on the revolutionary thread, maybe. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

First of all, thank you to @Turin Turambar @Sarah B @Mandamon @kais @shatteredsmooth @TheDwarfyOne and @Robinski for your critiques both this week and last. Even though I haven't replied much, I've definitely read them and have been letting them swirl around in my mind. Like a hive of bees. Constantly buzzing. 

At this point, we're roughly 30% through the book. Revising Draft Three has come into a hiccup because I haven't dealt with the foundational problems that have come up. So, at this point, I'd really like help creating a list of the major hiccups you have seen and been stuck on. I think that, in order to move forward, I need to stop procrastinating about the hard stuff. 

My list so far is:

  • Lay down strong foundation for the world. This includes:
    • The difference between the mundane/civilized/Fey classifications.
    • The Fey and the Feylands. Who/what they are. 
    • How the world works. How cows, rats, griffins, and humans can all live in the same world. How doorknobs work. What a creature does if they don't have telekinesis.
    • How the magic works.
    • The affects of iron. I have always considered it something like bleach - you might have it in your household but you don't mess around with it beyond its intended handy purpose. This has backfired. So I need to rethink T and his role as a blacksmith (which I definitely want to keep). My sister came up with the idea of him stealing iron cannon balls from the war ruined streets to have enough non-regulated iron to make into Revolutionary weapons. 
  • Give Ir a strong motivation. More than that, a solid, tangible goal besides "Don't lose my job so I don't lose the contract." This will naturally raise the stakes, give a stronger, focused arc, and give Ir purpose. I think this will be easier to figure out once I have the governments fixed and know what she is fighting against.
    • I need a motivation that she'd be willing to bend on. As you guys can already tell, Ir is slowly being torn between what she thought the BK and his minions were like, and what they truly are. Whatever her motivation is in the beginning may not be the same by the end. 
    • The stakes need to be very clear. Not in the vague way, but as in "If X happens, the Y will occur." 
    • Then I need to figure out what Ir's plan is to prevent/fix/reach her goal. The goal is strong in the first third - how is she going to fix the restaurant? But when that is solved by the contract, the plot just...stumbles over itself without knowing where it necessarily is going. Arguably, we're currently in one of the two weakest parts of the story, and that needs to be fixed. 
  • The governments, both for the pre-existing and for the BK, need to be fixed. I think this is causing the biggest problems, because they're wishy-washy and uncertain when they need to be solid steel, especially the BK.
    • I need to figure out long-term what the BK is aiming to have his government look like. Centralized? De-centralized? Turn the former monarchies into states with their own governments? He has a game plan, and, unfortunately, he's a lot smarter than I am. 
    • Why are Ir's people so against the BK? This, again, needs to be something tangible. Not "the BK is bad", but "The BK is bad because of XYZ that negatively affects us in ABC ways."
  • And once the governments are fixed, I should be able to then tackle the Revolutionaries.
    • In fact, the primary focus of the former government will be figuring out why everything was so bad that the Revolutionaries were created.
    • Then, I need to figure out what is so bad about the BK's leadership that the Revolutionaries haven't disappeared and are instead on the rise.
    • If they're on the rise, I need to make them felt. Right now, S and T are the only way to see the Revolutionaries in action. I need to change that. I need to cause some havoc. Sabotage. More assassination attempts.
    • What do the Revolutionaries want, and why is this so promising that S and T are willing to join? Back to the tangibility: not "This will lead to a brighter future for our children" but "This will lead to a brighter future for our children because XYZ will bring ABC."
  • Reader promises
    •  I'm massively lacking on the spy's promise, which I created on accident before I knew what reader promises were. The problem is, I wrote the original story a year ago when I was a lot more ignorant, and now I have to go back and fix the plot holes and questions I should have had prepared before I typed my first word. Oh well. I need to figure out this arc and make it satisfactory with a good ending. I've got ideas, but I'm not pleased with them yet.
  • Crystals. Without going into detail, I need to play this up and give better, more satisfactory answers by the end, even if those answers only lead to more questions. 

What am I missing? What are the major things that are broken? What are the questions that I haven't been able to answer in the book? What are the most concerning weaknesses? What are the strengths you think should be played up? What am I doing right? 

Thanks ahead of time :)

Edited by Snakenaps
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gah...that's a long, intimidating list. Good luck with that. You're list looks pretty conclusive. Many of these problems didn't bother me, but then again I had assumed that many of them would be addressed later. The biggest things that bothered me personally was how anthropomorphic animals with different anatomies exist with humans and the fey felt weak. I figured the BK's goal long term was to make the region a state under his control, whether capital or otherwise.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a big list to tackle. It definetly includes all the things I noticed and then a bunch more.

If you are looking for reference material for the BK, you might consider delving into some anime plots and character arcs. I think what you are aiming for with his character is someone who seems irredeemably terrible at the start but will become sympathetic and even admirable by the end. This is a strong anime/manga trope, as you probably know. 'One Piece' in particular makes a point of making you hate a character and then come to love them or at least understand them (often against your will) and taking villains and making heroes out of them.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Notes as I go:

P. 1.  “thinking, before dismissing whatever thought flew by her mind. It must not have been

important.”  - Rather than say she dismissed the thought (which Ir wouldn’t know anyway) show how Ir would get that impression. Shaking her head? Looking away?

P. 2. “The laughter inside of the room” – unnecessary ‘of’

“Student was an understatement” – no it’s not. A student is someone who needs to learn, which is what Ir is.

“L, her magic confirmed.” – maybe you should italicise for her magic stuff? Actually, this entire paragraph is a bit long. Consider splitting it into the different people performing actions. So, after “wings dipping gracefully” have a new para for Ir’s magic. Then a new para for the gittern. Then a new para for the young man.

Who, by the way, should probably introduce himself before demanding others introduce themselves, or at least have Ir thinking it’s rude that he kinda ignores her when she comes in.

Everyone seems set to maximum wattage as well. Like, Ir enters and they immediately do their best to introduce their respective characters as blatantly as possible. Not that that’s a bad thing! But it’s a bit much all at once.

P. 3. I feel like unfocused eyes would inspire discomfort rather than surprise.

P. 6. It sort of feels like Ir is being entirely reactive in this scene. I’d like to see her impose herself a bit more…

P. 7. “Our stomach” – stomachs?

 

 

Overall: Dialogue between multiple people needs work, and Ir definitely needs to be more active.

Edited by TheDwarfyOne
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, this is Chapter 13 thread, right?

Hey, @Snakenaps, you can change the title of the thread, just edit the original post and the title comes up as available for edit.

"Keep them occupied.” P said." - Are we going to have a problem over this? ;)  This is all one sentence. 'P said' is a continuation of the sentence begun in the dialogue.

I like how you've adjusted the tone of the meeting. I'm definitely getting more standoffishness, a degree of resentment, which is good. More convincing. Nice job.

She's not really sneaking into the events, as such, IMO. She's going in as herself, as a musician. It's not like she's in disguise, or sneaking in the back under cover of darkness.

"What do you mean, ‘traveling’?" - I like that you brought this up earlier. I don't think that travelling was mentioned until much closer to the time they left in Draft 2.

Nice end to the chapter. This version is better, IMO. Not much LBL, but file sent anyway.

:) 

1

Share this post


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

Hey, @Snakenaps, you can change the title of the thread, just edit the original post and the title comes up as available for edit.

Thank you! 

0

Share this post


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

Completely random: @Snakenaps, I think you were the 20k post on RE.

How do you even track that???

If I am...awesome.

1

Share this post


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

How do you even track that???

If I am...awesome.

It said so on the RE tab (20,000 comments).

1

Share this post


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

It said so on the RE tab (20,000 comments).

I never noticed this before!

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.