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Snakenaps

10/5/2020 - Name of the King - D3 Chapters 21/22 (5,569 total)

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Hello, I'm back, ya'll.

 
I'm not happy with...like, at least the next 4-6 chapters. I wasn't able to give these two the tidying I would like, but, screw it, I've already lost two weeks momentum. Hopefully things will change as I settle in as a fine arts teacher. 
 
Thank you ahead of time, as I know I'm not good at spreading my love as much as I would like. 
 
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Welcome back! 

Some overall notes on the chapters:

These chapters added to the intrigue in a big way, so that was very exciting!

I have only read a few chapters of this book, so I don't know if this is normal or not for the tone you've established, but it seems like most of the book is done in a third person limited perspective. The beginning of this segment was done in what seems like a third person omniscient voice, which kind of threw me off. I did like the details in that part (the leap year thing seemed a lot like the running of the bulls in a fun way) and there was some important stuff about the time passing, but it definitely read like a lot of "telling" or like in LOTR when Tolkien just goes on a long thing about the customs of hobbits. Interesting, but kind of bogs down the pace IMO. Is there another way to present this information of time passing? One that is more directly involved in a character's perspective?

Another thing that bothers me, but is a little hard to put into words, is the BK. He seems to think that he has a reputation for fairness and being a good leader, but that is at a stark contrast to what Ir and the others seem to view him. (with all the emphasis on the violent takeover he apparently did) So I am a little confused about this. It could be what you're going for, to show the difference between his self-percieved notions and the opinions of others, and to be honest I don't know much about his characterization, so I won't harp on it too much. 

Related to that, I think someone mentioned earlier about him allowing people to speak their minds about him, but not liking protests. In this chapter, we see the pamphlets have apparetnly upset his plans in a big way. I don't think he should be surprised by this if he allows free speech and criticism. (Especially since it seems like he really doesn't want to be overthrown, and criticism is usually the first step of revolution. (Especially against someone as violent and tyrannical as he apparently is))

These chapters seemed like a very important plot point, and it raises a lot of interesting questions, like how did they get the information on BK, and who are they, even? Why does the world need to evolve? Does it have to do with the fae escaping, or something else? So it was very intruiging to read. 

I liked the mudraker pamphlet lol

Also, I don't think anyone would think it was weird if she cried while cutting a bunch of onions

And quick question: Is she burned by iron? Like, magically? Or did I just misunderstand that? 

I forgot to make notes as I went, sorry about that. I did notice a few small grammatical errors, but I'm sure others will catch them. I'll reread sometime this week and edit this post with the things I notice. 

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Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

And quick question: Is she burned by iron? Like, magically? Or did I just misunderstand that? 

Yes, iron burns those with magic. Ir has low magic, so she can tolerate it for a longer period of time. The BK would be feeling pain much faster. How pure the iron is affects how quickly it burns, too.

Also, thank you! You're really helping me realize places I need to continue to fix up. If you think the third person omniscient is bad *now*, you should have seen this chapter before. Or, even worse, the original chapter 23. Ick. 

If you want to read the previous chapters, PM me. If you don't have time, I completely get it. I'm behind on critiques myself. 

Edited by Snakenaps
Grammar
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I think these chapters expand well on the world, but like @ginger_reckoning, I have trouble with the back and forth on the BK is evil/not evil. Ir. even says he's a warmonger in one paragraph and then praises him in the next.

There's also some good chances to develop the relationship between Ir. and J during these chapters, but nothing happens. It's sort of assumed they're together, but the don't actually talk about it.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "that the registry would begin on the first"
--Why would the king not keep his word?

pg 1: "as he passionately instructed her family"
--J is coming over, and there's lots of description of him interacting with the family, but is he talking to her as well? This seems like a really good place to have an interaction between the two of them, but it's overshadowed by all the other description.

pg 2: "never even known that her mother wanted to visit C."
--Along with a better breakdown of the geography, I think there needs to be some statement about travel somewhere in here. A lot of these people act like they've never been out of their hometown, but then a lot of other people are from other cities. How often do people move around? Do they go to live in different places? Immigrate or emigrate?
--especially as this statement is immediately followed by concern over being "corrupted" by foreigners...

pg 3: "his words were proving true"
--Except an official was killed...was there consequences for that?

pg 3: "had never felt so dangerous"
--again, the protests have been peaceful, right?

pg 4: "shuttered" -> "shuddered"

pg 6: "took out a heavy gold necklace"
--again, telepathically, I assume. So more he floated it out of the drawer?

pg 7: "in his very own writing"
--So the illustrations are of Fey words the king wrote? But regular people wouldn't know his handwriting, and they've surely seen him before, so why does saying his eyes are yellow and mouth like a dragon prove anything? I feel like the pamphlet isn't really saying anything people wouldn't already know. It's still an attack, but I'm wondering how many it would convince he was Fey, who didn't already believe it.

pg 8: "This was a high breach of security"
--ah, yes, that there's a breach in his translators is more worrying.

pg 9: "there was a high chance he could repeat history for a fourth time. There was no certainty of him winning, either"
--These seem contradictory...

pg 10: "He had little doubt that they had purposefully planned the propaganda so that it had landed when his census was already making a stir."
--Maybe this needs to be brought out more? He jumps to C being the antagonist very quickly, but there's been no really mention of them before.

pg 12: "but couldn’t read any letters that weren’t a foot tall."
--It would be slow, but couldn't they trace out the shapes of the letters big enough so J could read what it said?

pg 15: "Fey cannot leave the Feylands, and the desire to see the world denied to them was overwhelming."
--I feel like there needs to be a followup to this sentence. Are they doing something about it?

pg 15: "the Feylands rises just beyond the Barrier"
--not sure what this means. Before, it said the barrier rises up "beyond the heavens."

pg 16: "who could destroy an entire city..."
--This is definitely tense, but I feel we need a lot more buildup of the Fey before now to make this really land.

pg 16: "He was a warmonger, imperialistic."
--except this is disproved two paragraphs later...

pg 17: "no warm kitchen could sew her broken heart together."
--I feel like she's waffling a lot on the BK. She praises him one moment and says he ruined everything the next.

pg 18: too much description of cooking here, especially after the tension of the rest of the chapter.

pg 19: "crop onions" -> "chop onions" 

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The first half of the first chapter almost felt like another book by another author. I really enjoyed the parts after that, but the beginning felt like a different tone entirely to me. 

A lot of metaphors in the first paragraph. The last sentence seems oddly broken up with the 'unperturbed' in there.

"All were waiting to see if the B K <would keep>..." I think, to make the tense agree. 

"Although A disapproved," I think this sentence is a bit clearer with the comma bumped up. 

I'm going to stop flagging commas... this is more @Robinski's territory. It does feel like there are a lot of sentences with unnessicary breaks, or that should be two sentences for clarity. 

Mar being referred to as a 'dog' always catches me like she's being insulted. Probably just because of all the dog related insults in common usage. 

"Then the day before the first..." A little tangled.

About half way through the first chapter I feel like you got your groove back. The story starts flowing nicely and I'm right back in it. 

Fun developments! I look forward to seeing what happens next. 

 

 

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Overall

Much like with previous chapters, BK seems to drive the narrative, while I does not. She seems like an observer, a way for the narrative to deliver information without plot movement. At this stage I really really need to see some forward momentum, and some proactivity from our MC. 

 

As I go

- we definitely don't need those first two paragraphs. They're just authorial exposition

- pg 2: I think you could start with the last paragraph on this page (Hurdle's day...) and be just fine.

- pg 3: I take it back. Here's your start: Onser 1st, 775... that is a VERY good hook

- pg 5: a strong start with the Onser line, then...nothing happens. Just more dialogue talking about things. I want action!

- pg 5: then we skip to two days later and I wonder why we had the previous interlude, since nothing actually happened of note. The chapter should really start with plot movement, so you have a full arc

- pg 8: the section with the flyer and the movement by the king is good!

- pg 9: I giggled at 'cougar queen'.

- pg 10: It was time to write a speech. <-- ugh, really? This kills all the tension for me. I don't want more talking. Go kill some people or eat some people or something! He got angry, and we had real emotion, and I want him to do something silly and violent

- pg 12: they are waiting, but nothing is happening to them. I do not like this. I want them to be a part of the action. Otherwise, what is the point of the chapter? It seems like all that has progressed the plot at this stage is BK's section. If nothing is happening to the other characters, why do we keep looking in on them?

- pg 15: yup, don't care for the speech. I'd rather someone uncover this information, or there be more threat, and more tension. BK just explaining everything just kills the tension

- pg 17: all the introspection after his speech could be cut. It's BK's viewpoint we should be in. He is the one doing things. I is just an observer, which is why I think I keep bouncing off her character. She doesn't do anything. I don't care how she feels, or her reactions to things, because she appears to only observe. It's BK who is doing things, so right now my interest is with him. When it's his POV I am engaged. When we leave him, I wonder why can't we stay with the plot?

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11 minutes ago, kais said:

When we leave him, I wonder why can't we stay with the plot?

Heeeeeey, I just heard that on Writing Excuses this morning! The villain problem! 

This chapter is such a complete mess. I just finished the Writing Excuses Proactively slider podcast and I was like - oof -. Ir, book wide, is such a reactionary character, and this needs to change. 

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On 10/6/2020 at 10:56 AM, Sarah B said:

The first half of the first chapter almost felt like another book by another author. I really enjoyed the parts after that, but the beginning felt like a different tone entirely to me. 

What's horrifying...is that it used to be worse. You wouldn't believe some of the weird flowerly language and passive voice I cut. 

Just tone-wise, I feel like I need to rewrite the entire next few chapters because they all feel so stylistically different. 

 

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On 10/6/2020 at 9:01 AM, Mandamon said:

I have trouble with the back and forth on the BK is evil/not evil. Ir. even says he's a warmonger in one paragraph and then praises him in the next.

Sue is having the same wishy washy problems. I need to nail down both characters. 

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As I read"

"the city was a great lumbering...to spring" I loved this line. So charged, such a vivid image.

"...best to ignore S's sharp glare." OK, maybe this section had a little too much summary and not enough in the moment. If it is important enough for this big a summary, maybe you need a seen. If not, can you work in an abridged version? Like later, when I gets to the castle to work, and see's J and/or some of the others, and some small piece of this crosses her mind, just enough thinking about it to know they've been hanging out?

When she is out with J in the crowd, in the paragraph starting "H..'s day was..." and ending with "had the same concern," felt a little repetitive with her worrying about him.There were some tense moments when I  expected something to happen, but then nothing happened. I felt a little mislead. 

The section that starts with Onser was a tense start. I can really feel the tension, like the city is a character. I particularly loved the lines "like a living, pulsing snake....lending their voices" Same thing about the rain line ending in "pelting hide and hair like daggers."

"her city didn't stand a chance" This section was beautiful and felt like it was building to something, but then we got a "two days later" before anything major happened. 

I almost think there might have been more tension without the POV shift, but I also like so many things about it, how it adds depth to BK, especially when we doesn't let the merchants "weasel him not laws beneficial for their pocketbooks." This was one of my favorite BK scene so far. It was tense, full of emotion, moved the plot forward...but did overshadow I a little. 

"C' were begining to be able to find relief..." Is this something that changed since you first started submitting this? 

The chopping onions scene was so full of emotion and so I, and I loved it, but Irene hasn't done anything at all in the last few chapters. Had she done more stuff, had she tried to get out and failed, then this scene would be fantastic. But I hasn't done enough, so it falls flat. 

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Heya. Well, I wasn't going to let this pass without at least having a quick gander over it. This will in no way be an in-depth critique, but I don't like to not contribute anything when someone has gone to the trouble of submitting.

1. What is hurtling towards the next year? Not the month or Ca, surely?

2. How do we know the first of the year is unperturbed, it hasn't arrived yet? I feel there is a mixing, or possibly twisting of metaphors here. And there is "Then, the day before the first of the year arrived"

3. It's referred to that 774 is the leap year; in that case, surely it's "couldn’t remember the crowds being this wild, nearly out of control in 770," BUT only if the cycle is 4 years. And yet it must be, because it is also stated that 775 is a normal year. To put it another way, would the reader not assume that the cycle was four years, as that is what is hard-wired into the human head, thus leading to confusion?

4. "Hurdle’s Day was every three years" - Okay, I suggest you mention this before throwing years around, to avoid confusion.

5. "But the crowd held" - This sounded to me like the crowd holding against a charge. I felt it sounded like the fighting had already began. Suggest maybe 'kept its tension in check' or something like that.

6. "She shuttered at the thought" - The word is 'shuddered'. I can't find any definition of 'shuttered' that makes sense here.

7. "She couldn’t help but have a dry mouth at the sight" - Awkward phrasing.

8. "who had been unsuccessfully attempting to weasel him into laws" - (a) it's more conventional phrasing for someone to weasel out of something. I don't see how you weasel someone into something.

9. "and is turning Th into his slaves!" - Them. is the country, is it not? So, he'd be turning 'the people of Them.' or the Them-belese into his slaves.

10. "Printing presses were a growing source of information, but they were still relatively expensive to mass produce" - You wouldn't mass produce the printing press, surely. You don't need as many as something like spoons or shoes, which could be said to be mass-produced. Surely a whole city would only need a handful of printing presses to saturate it with flyers.

11. "he could repeat history for a fourth time" - Repeating history for a fourth time, to me, would be him (or anyone) overthrowing Cr for the fifth time (i.e. overthrown once, then repeated four times). I think repeating 'his feat' for the fourth time could be looked as him overthrowing a ruler (any ruler) and taking control of a country for the firth time, but in history, he has only overthrown each country once.

12. "The cougar queen" - ROFL. Really? So, like Courtney Cox?

13. "No doubt the spy who had stole the dictionary" - typo: stolen.

14. "where the assassins had know his identity" - typo.

15. "A gasp, ripped from Ir’s mouth, was echoed across the entire room" - This is good showing of the significance of the Fe, which I think is worked back through earlier chapters.

16. I'm conflicted by the BK's speech. On the one hand, this is exactly the information that I have been wanting about what his plan is. I mean, I'm premising this is his plan: it sounds plausible as the sort of thing that his plan would be. On the other hand, I'm just not sure why he's telling everyone this information. Okay, I know why he's doing it, to try and shortcut to the tension in the city, but would he really lay bare so much of his plan? Dunno, I need to keep with this to see 

17. I really, really like the description of her chopping the onion, and how it implies (I think) her thought roaming to other places while she goes through the automatic motions. Just one detail "A push of her knife sent a cascade of tiny onions into the yawning wooden bowl beside her" - she has not produced a lot of tiny onions, these are pieces of onion, the onion itself having been chopped up.

Yup, I think this is better than what I read before. I can see the edits in terms of the explanation of what is going on, which is very welcome, and Ir's emotional reaction to the situation. A few drafting things, but not bothering with those at this point, really.

Good job :) 

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