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Snakenaps

9/7/2020 - Snakenaps - Name of the King - D3 Chapters 17/18 (4,653 words total)

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I calculated out that if I continued my habit of submitting one chapter a week, it would take me until March 15th, 2021 to get through this entire book. Now, I may not be as cool as some people here and have a deadline from an agent, but waiting seven months to get full feedback seemed...stifling. So, whenever I can, I'm going to begin submitting two chapters a week, starting with today. We aren't jam packed with people fighting for slots right now, so I don't feel too bad for giving you all a couple extra thousand words to scoff at.
 
Chapter Seventeen is almost entirely new. The first scene was from Draft Two but has been heavily modified, but otherwise only a couple other paragraphs were from before. I'm curious to see how this will be received.
 
Chapter Eighteen is nearly the same, with some tweeks. I'm not happy with this chapter yet. I still feel like the beginning 2/3rds are slow, and need to get cut more. It is also lacking the emotions from the previous chapter except for a sentence or two. I need to fix that. I've definitely noticed that the way I write emotions is like a teeter totter, constantly swinging back and forth from chapter to chapter. I think it is because by the time I finish a chapter with conflict, then I want to write a chapter that is all hunky dory because writing tension gives me stomach aches. I plan to go back and add more angst to this chapter. 
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Bring on the chapters! I'm up for some extra NOTK each week. 

I liked these chapters. There are some tone shifts but given the different settings I think it made sense overall. 

The rain description in the beginning gets a little repetitive, similar words in repeating order but I liked the section over all. 

A few typos/small grammer things:

"A cozy library whose floors..." I think 'with' here, but I'm not 100%.

Same paragraph:

"As P introduced them to those..." isn't she just introducing Ir here? 

Around 80%

"The Blackt was for the elite only, anyone else considered worthy for bathing in the sewer." Maybe, "Everyone else was considered worthy to bath in the sewers." 

 

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No problem with multiple chapters. If you're around 5k words, you don't even need to ask to send out however many chapters fit in that limit.

I think the additions here are good, and start to get more tension into the story at this point, but there needs to be more reaction. We quickly go back to the chapters and chapters of learning to play an instrument. I'd like more consequences of the spy escaping, and/or why the king is starting to get noble's names. Also why there's a surprise concert. Is he planning something?

There could be a lot more intrigue to these middle chapters to set up what happens at the end of the book.


Notes while reading:
CH 17

pg 1: Talking about the mines and using revolutionaries for labor definitely brings more gray area to the B.K. Good addition. Need more of this!

pg 1: Not sure why he's standing outside in the rain, though. He could have done his thinking inside. Did he want to get wet?

pg 2-3: I think there needs to be more tension through here. The performance is in 19 days! She's going to spoil everything! But P. is just like, do what you can...oh well. Even if not a threat, then a "we really need you to do well. We're all counting on you."

pg 3: I missed why they were in the library. We suddenly switch from the concert to looking for a spy translating things?

pg 4: "She met the owl’s knowing yellow eyes"
--Doesn't she only know that the spy's name starts with an "F"? Does it have to be this individual? Couldn't there be more names that start with "F"?
--Good tension though, that Ir. lets F. get away.

pg 6: I'm not sure why they think the B.K. is setting her up for failure. Doesn't he want to use Ir.'s ability? Why would he make her fail and by extension make her useless to him?

CH 18

pg 8: Good that she's still worried about the spy.

pg 8: "and indentured servants"
--this is a big change from what we've seen so far with the castle. It's been a lot of people working hard at their jobs for what they believe. This completely undermines that.

pg 9: "Although I wasn’t able to manipulate emotions until after the explosion."
--So did he have a power before that at all, or was he a null?

pg 11: This is starting to drag a bit. I know that's the emotion in the story, but it also makes it harder to read. We don't need to be frustrated along with Ir. at the monotony of learning an instrument, we want a summary that shows she is frustrated.

pg 12/13: I'm glad her father has some sense that people are going to have to change under this new rule. However I feel like this might be something he'd have said early on when the B.K.'s rule was solidified.

pg 14: 'She had spent all of that time believing that she had been hired to find spies. Now, she wasn’t so sure."
--except she did find a spy--exactly what she was meant to do. Except she let him escape.

pg 16: hmmm...I'm not sure the last section adds anything useful. We already know the king is collecting names and wants to use Ir for that purpose. Collecting an influential merchant or noble's name seems like an obvious extension of that.

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Overall

Same gripes as always. I felt like the meat of the chapter was in the last three pages or so, and the rest could all be condensed to maybe two paragraphs and integrated in. There's just far too much walking and talking without arcs, or growth, or any kind of plot movement to keep my attention. I need things to HAPPEN. They don't have to be explosions but I need to see evidence of the plot moving forward, otherwise it just feels like why am I reading?

 

As I go

- pg 1-2: okay wait, is this a POV break here between pages? Looks like it. What purpose does TBK's page serve?

- pg 4: more walking and talking. In these pages I think the purpose was to point out the owl spy? Yes? If so, that could be done in probably a paragraph within a greater narrative

- pg 6: okay yes, it seems like the point to ch 17 was for I to see the owl. The chapter does not appear to have an arc however, or really advance the storyline. I'd suggest cutting this chapter and putting a paragraph about her finding the spy somewhere in the next chapter

- pg 9: ughhhh still on preparing for the concert. I am very ready for them to get to the concert. These 'learn to play while chatting' interludes could still be kept if other events were happening during them. But it's the constant chat and chat-and-walk that just drags the chapters. I need solid movement towards our plot goal! I need action! I need arcs and character growth!

- pg 13: There were six days before the <-- I think the chapter starts here. This is where the narrative seems to pick up some tension and movement

 

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On 9/7/2020 at 1:05 PM, Snakenaps said:

So, whenever I can, I'm going to begin submitting two chapters a week, starting with today. We aren't jam packed with people fighting for slots right now, so I don't feel too bad for giving you all a couple extra thousand words to scoff at.

The slots have been by word count, not chapters, so your fine. You could've been submitting more all along. And if you go over a little over 5,000 words, well, I can't speak for the others, but I think you can get away with it because your other chapters have been so short. Some weeks, if your chapters are these short, you might even be able to squeeze in three and still only take up one slot, but if it was quiet and you wanted to get ahead, I'd be cool with you taking a double slot and sending 10,000 words...

I admit, when I send things to this group, I am for chapters to be around 5,000 words and then end up dividing a majority of them into shorter chapters later on. 

Now, to the feedback. 

We got more plot in this one. 

I wasn't sure about that little opening bit with the BK. It was a lot of description of him to be from his point of view and there was just a small little reveal of information. 

I loved the lines about the rain.

I was a little confused about the Owl. So, she didn't say it's real name, but did she say any name at all? Did she pretend she hadn't seen it before it left the room? Did she give a different name? Somehow know the one it was using? This wasn't quite clear to me. 

I did like the emotion around her not telling Pem. There were also intense feelings with the sister later.  

"shared her birthday with four of them" So does that mean it was a littler of five puppies, including her?

The cat part was interesting. Certainly adds a layer to the plot. 

There was so much emotion in the scene with the dad. I almost cried. But even as she clings to her family and world, I can see her opinions about everything changing. There has been a lot of character growth, even if things have been a little light on the plot side. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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