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Snakenaps

8/17/2020 - Snakenaps - Name of the King - D3 Chapter Fourteen (2,866 words)

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Dawned on me that I forgot to put "Reading Excuses" in the email's subject line. Sorry y'all. Last week I messed up the thread title. I'm just on a roll...

 

This is a Frankenstien chapter, made of two original scenes that have been chopped to pieces, and two new scenes that I essentially want to test drive. I was slow at pushing this chapter out because I literally wrote the last scene an hour ago after I had a "Wait, what if?" moment. The first scene has some jarring notes to myself. Pretend those are really well written Revolutionary propaganda. 

 
To note, the name Ireen pulls up in the last scene is the new name for the BK's spy, W. I decided they needed something Ireen would note as unusual and remember better. So, ergo, a southern name. 
 
All questions, comments, and concerns welcome. 
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Overall, I think this has some good additions to the story. It starts to set up the revolutionaries a lot better than the last draft, and I can see several threads that can be tugged out of this that will lead to more conflict later in the story. Definitely add some things that were missing before.

pg 1: much better to have this summary of what she's been learning, rather than the original.

pg 1: "Not a mouse or bird in sight.”
--oh interesting. I hadn't thought of this in terms of spies. I wonder if the BK has an army of mice at his command...

pg 1: Better setup with S. here.

pg 2: "the spy is grey"
--like, has a grey coat? So they're an animal rather than a human?
--Oh, I see "old man" is included. I suppose that fits, but it's a bit of a stretch.

pg 2: "Why was she doing this?"
--what exactly is she doing? I'm not clear yet. Ir. is doing some sort of favor for S?

pg 4: "forcing them into this position"
--what position exactly? Having to practice more?

pg 7: Good to get some details about the damage to the city.

pg 9: "What’s his real name?”
--good intrigue! I guess the BK is testing her then.

pg 10: "As if that would ever work."
--Lol. Also glad to see this.

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Posted (edited)

Hello

"INSERT STAKES HERE." I can relate. 

1) Name of your spy - I'm missing something here. Spy?

2) all I can tell you - all that I know - so she's willing to tell I everything?

3) why is she trying to memorize her?

6) how many city of bells are there in fantasy/real life?

8) potluck was probably the best thing to try to drag I there.

10) Did we see him before?

OVERALL: The plot is (finally) progressing somewhere - at least, I'm assuming that it is. I feel like I've been led around too long with things happening but not enough connectivity from scene to scene. The scenes do flow from one to another, but that's only because it follows logically, not because of cause and effect. That made nearly no sense, but it's hard to explain. I like the story, and the world, but I want to see the story do something. I think I suffer the same problems though, so don't worry too much about them. 

 

 

 

Edited by Turin Turambar
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Very clear chapter with a good pace!

The only thing I caught is a little picky, so please feel free to ignor;

When the musician is digging through the instrument cabinet, Ir describes how his fingers move in the dark, how can she see them? I had a hard time visualizing this because it seems like he would have been between her and the cabinet, and if he couldn't see the instruments she definetly couldn't see his hands. 

I liked the 'shut up she's not invited' dialogue. Flashbacks to taking a drama class in college when everyone else was established in the group and I was the only new student to not drop the class. Very authentic feeling :-) 

I'm glad your pressing on with this book, looking forward to the next chapter.

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Overall

I feel like this chapter doesn't have enough plot or movement to stand on its own. It's a lot more worldbuilding and chatting while worldbuilding, and a few minor discussions, but that's about it. I'm invested right now in I's music performance and the party, so having this kind of chapter that just fills in on 'I did this today, and then the next day this' feels like filler to me. Now, I'm not an epic fantasy lover either, so it couldn't just be my can we get to the plot already?? tendency.

On 8/17/2020 at 6:58 PM, Turin Turambar said:

I like the story, and the world, but I want to see the story do something.

I feel the same

 

As I go

- I laughed SO HARD at *insert stakes here*

- pg 2: As I read through this part I'm just thinking, I'd be great if the person they are talking about IS ACTUALLY THE KING but she can't remember because he blocked her mind or whatever. So the audience knows but I doesn't. That would be a ton of fun

- pg 3: 'insane' and other words of the sort should be used sparingly and likely only to inform us of the character's bias. Book Twitter and such is really trying to push for the removal of ableist language 

- pg 5: It was very hard not to skim the 'I gets introduced to instruments' pages. I don't care much for how she learns to play, unless there is something deeply plot relevant in here, or funny

- pg 6: It looks like there wasn't anything to move the plot forward in the learn music section. I'd suggest it just be cut or discussed as a 'after three weeks of having a mandolin beaten into her...'

- pg 10: oh boo, she didn't have a big ole memory wipe like I thought. 

 

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On 8/17/2020 at 3:00 PM, Snakenaps said:

This is a Frankenstien chapter, made of two original scenes that have been chopped to pieces, and two new scenes that I essentially want to test drive

There is something accurate about your description of it. Each scene had its strengths, but there was a bit of a disconnect. The scene with S felt very detached from the rest. 

"...mind for the last four days. Beat. Meter..." I love how you linked the imagery to what's been going on in I's life. 

I loved your place holders. 

"musical musings" I am a sucker for alliteration

"...trying to memorize the exuberant..." Nice moment

"...guts to recognize the damage..." This line carried a lot of weight, and the description before it, of the damage the beach sustained, was a nice way to show the negative impact the BK  had. 

"For business." Okay, I, sure. That's all.

"R... That wouldn't be a name she forgot again." I also can't remember why it sounds familiar but think it sounds familiar.  But I'm guessing that person was testing her to make sure she actually couldn't say the BK's name? Is that the spy we already met once? Who had their own POV chapter?

In general, this chapter had strong emotions, and the atmosphere and setting was well described. There were great world-building details. I think the big-picture issue this book has that revolves around lacking a clear arc or through line is what is causing that disconnect I mentioned earlier. I think when you figure out and tighten up the overall arc, plots and subplots, things will come together more. 

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Notes as I go:

P. 1. – “she refused to be anything more than excellent.” – ‘other than?’

“interrupting her musical musings” – this could be taken to mean her musings were musical, as in, not about music but literally of music. It’s obvious which you mean, but it’s still inexact.

P. 2. – “Willing, or had to?” Dun dun dunnnn! Foreshadowing.

“What would P think? Would the musicians be happy to be rid of her? Or would she drag them down with her? Why did she care?” This is your [Insert Stakes], eh?

I really wish I got to see the Revolutionary spiel, ahahah.

P. 3-4. Nice time lapse description!

P. 5. – Surely she’s been practicing an instrument already? It seems strange to feed her theory without the practical (spoken as someone who was forced to learn piano.)

P. 6. - “There’s a reason it’s called the C of B. Every holiday, the bell towers will play beautiful music that echoes through the hills.” – aww.

Much better interaction among the group members than previous chapter. Each feels like they’re just living rather than advertising their characters.

P. 8. – “He backed down.” – I feel this could be more descriptive.

P. 9. – Again, nice description of the surroundings. Loving the evidence of war.

P. 10. – Ra. Drat. Is that the assassin fella/gal? Can’t remember the name.

 

Overall: Starts with conversation with sister, transitions into the main conflict (social issues with the musicians) and then eases into a mystery. Sounds like a good arc!

 

After reading other comments: Well, at least I was right that it was the spy fella/gal! Even if it was a different name. There is a slight disconnect between the scenes, with leaps in time and place. But I don't mind it, personally. As for whether the chapter pulls its weight in terms of plotting, that depends on the purpose. If the purpose was to juxtapose I doing something she is beginning to love while also showing where future tension will lie - with one or two members of the group, and their Ma allegiance as opposed to her own allegiance to the Revolt, then all good. I'm invested in I's joy and love of simple things - even instruments - winning over a group of sometimes doubting individuals.

 

Perhaps the scene could be made stronger. I'm by no means a professional. But I don't think it deserves to be cut.

Edited by TheDwarfyOne
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On 17/08/2020 at 8:59 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 2: "the spy is grey"
--like, has a grey coat? So they're an animal rather than a human?
--Oh, I see "old man" is included. I suppose that fits, but it's a bit of a stretch.

Aw, crud. I was going to skip Draft 4 and come back in at Draft 5, but some of these updates sound really interesting. I may have to reconsider my previously stated position.

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5 hours ago, Robinski said:

Aw, crud. I was going to skip Draft 4 and come back in at Draft 5, but some of these updates sound really interesting. I may have to reconsider my previously stated position.

I mean, the whole reason these updates sound interesting is because you and @Mandamon ripped it apart. 

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Okay, no detail, just overview. Back in the game!! Woop-woop.

1)  "don’t end up on the blade-side of a guillotine" - I like this okay, but occurred to me that 'staring into a basket' has a bit more pith to it. Maybe it's not clear enough, but I like it.

2)  "“I think this is far enough.” S said" - Please don't submit NotK to a publisher or agent with any of these incorrect dialogue tags in it. I'd hate to think of it being rejected out of hand for (recurring) basic sentence structure issues. Promise me!

3)  I don't understand why the revolutionaries would be will ing to give a hint, but not the whole name. It seems like this would be an all-of-northing deal. Okay, Ir can probably work it out exactly from this with her name knowing ability, but nobody else can...and maybe that's the point. Okay, it took me a while to get there, but I can see the point of this, and that the person that released this information was very canny about Ir's ability(?). And you called it out, good.

4)  Hmm. The sailing scene is shorter than before, and seems kind of perfunctory. I know you still have some stuff to insert in it, but I think I preferred the previous version. It's like this version is too short to be satisfying and have the impact on a personal and character level that the last one had. The debate doesn't last long enough for the to happen, it seems to me.

5)  "the dog’s insane sense of timing" - modern slang, IMO. Doesn't resonate in a pseudo-historical fantasy setting. Also, "not a second too fast or slow", a second it a loooooong time in musical terms. Being out of time, musically, is a matter of fractions of a second. To be out of time by a whole second would be huge, a significant proportion of an entire bar, probably. Darn, there I go LBL-ing! :rolleyes: 

6)  I would say that percussion tends to be viewed as an instrument on its own, and that there is no need to pick out a percussive instrument for Ir, but simply say that she'll play percussion and leave it at that. This does prevent them from going through the instruments and letting her trying them, but I don't think they need to say 'Right, you'll be on tambourine', but just percussion in general.

7)  "began to pick up" - pack up, presumably.

8)  "...next few days,The griffin said, “I hope..." - I...just...

9)  "Not to mention dragon pots" - I don't remember this from before. I guess it is what started the fire? But how does it work, as has it left remnants on the proposed beach, like unexploded bombs? This detail aside, I really like this sort of detail that shows (not tells) the impact of the war, which was something missing before. Nice job :) . Also, there is reference to Dolphin head, but also to Dolphin fish. Minor inconsistency, I think.

10)  "Around four in the evening" - Four o'clock is not evening: anywhere in the world!

11)  "Can do, L. Can do" - Can do is a modern expression. Went 'clang' for me.

12)  "That was the only reason she wanted to go, as L began telling a joke. For business." - How does this bit fit in the sentence, grammatically and grammatically? I don't get it.

13)  "the stone pines" - What is a stone pine,? I thought lines were made of wood, and needles, and cones?

14)  "Before the BK won the war, it had been risky to take the main streets" - I don't understand. During the war, during the attacks? Or under the old monarchy, like from muggers and such? Also, "The giant gapping basement" - gaping, presumably. BUT, most importantly, excellent retrofitting of the signs of destruction of the war. Very nicely done <thumbs up>.

15)  "how to see the dangers that the palace was riddled in. Only, instead of turning back like Ir would, Sue would no doubt recognize those dangers and still plow forward" - Confused. Sue would never have been hired on by the palace, so this is not any kind of option. So, I don't think that Ir would think this thought at all, or not in this way. It is not like Ir to have an inconsistent though, I think. Plus, 'riddled with'.

16)  The last line does not quite land for me. I'm fine with the idea of it, but it's the scan, the rhythm, that I think is a bit off.

Overall 

I like the 'chance' encounter with the man from the bar, and the new description of the impact of the city of the way, cropping up as it did at various parts of the chapter, was excellent; very effective. And yet, I feel like the chapter suffers from the contraction of the trip on the boat with Sue. It's lost a lot of the feeling and atmosphere about it. it doesn't need the capsize element, but they could encounter rough seas, waves, the wake of a large ship. It just feels kind of insubstantial now, inconsequential, which is a pity, given that I experienced what is was before. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think that the previous version of the sail has more value than just the information communicated. This new version, I think, has more in the way of telling the reader about the relationship between Ir and Sue, whereas I think the previous version 'showed' us that relationship, it had time to breathe in the course of that chapter, which it no longer does.

See? Aren't you glad I decided to jump back into Draft 3? ;) 

Edited by Robinski
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On 17/08/2020 at 8:59 PM, Mandamon said:

Overall, I think this has some good additions to the story. It starts to set up the revolutionaries a lot better than the last draft, and I can see several threads that can be tugged out of this that will lead to more conflict later in the story. Definitely add some things that were missing before.

Hard agree. If, in the unlikely event, the sailing trip were to be elongated to recapture some of the lost elements, I would not want to lose any of the new stuff, which is very good.

On 21/08/2020 at 9:26 PM, kais said:

I feel like this chapter doesn't have enough plot or movement to stand on its own.

I totally get this, but can also see the progression from the previous version. It's not a long chapter, so I--personally--would roll with it if I came across it in this form, provided that the chapters around it are showing story and plot progression. Just my opinion. Maybe if there was scope to make more of the mysterious encounter at the end, it would burobide a stronger plot element in the chapter, pushing it on, but I sense you're building to something there which will pay off later.

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