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Snakenaps

11/2/2020 - Snakenaps - Name of the King - D3 Chapter 23 (3,960 words) - (V)

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I'm not dead, I swear.

To all of those whose critiques I have fell behind on - I don't have the time to go backwards and write my comments but I will be reading all past submissions so I can move forward with your new content.

Onto NotK...

This is a largely rewritten chapter with a new scene. This and the following chapter has caused me writer's block for nearly two weeks. Lovely writing for an hour and a half and then realizing it wouldn't work because of XYZ and having to try again. I cannot say I am happy with this, but I am happier than what I had previously. This is a step forward.

Minor violence warning. 

Edited by Snakenaps
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Overall

The last section was good! I liked the section with BK too. The first section just...seemed all over the place emotionally and I think it could use trimming and streamlining. I think there are too many POVs for one chapter, all trying to tell the same story. It'd be stronger with one, maybe two, not rehashing events but propelling the arc forward.

It's a good installment, and I'm glad to see plot movement and get some tension. I think there is a bit more fat to trim, however, before the chapter really sparkles.

 

As I go

- pg 2: okay, there is action happening but I feel like I missed something. I think that first page should set the stage for the action in page 2. So maybe something like, They hunkered wherever, counting pamphlets, counting fingers, counting the minutes left of their lives should they be discovered. As it is the first page is very hum-drum and then WHAM we get smacked with what is supposed to be tension, but without the setup I just feel confused and a bit cheated. Set the stage. Make me want it.

- pg 4: some redundancy on this page, especially with the word 'attack'

- pg 4: blocking has me very confused. Where are they? What was their goal? They wanted to distribute the pamphlets but there were guards waiting for them and they got scattered....where? Docks somewhere? And now...they are trying to rescue some who were captured?

- pg 5: wait, so they aren't going after the captured people? I feel like there's an emotional vacuum here now. They got found out and people were taken but the ending is...very casual. I think the emotional beats in this section are all over the place. I need some consistency

- pg 7: War's entire POV appears to be an info dump. 

- pg 8: three POVs in one chapter is too much for me. Is War's necessary? What is the purpose? What is the arc?

- pg 10: yup, definitely think War's POV doesn't need to be there

- pg 13: So wait, is there a time jump when we get to Su's POV? I'm lost again 

- pg 13: better emotion through here. More consistent

- pg 14: strong ending, though I wonder why they are coming to this conclusion so late? This seems like a plot arc that should have come around chapter three or so. 

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2 hours ago, kais said:

pg 10: yup, definitely think War's POV doesn't need to be there

I was like 80% sure it needed to go, but I needed to hear someone else say it. 

That first part that is all over the place with Sue is the scene that has been causing me pain for two weeks and I finally just went "screw it!" And puked this up. 

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I have to agree about Wa's POV. It also makes the time line confusing because it feels like Wa is in battle, then dry in the castle, then back outside again with no time passage. 

I like where you are going with Wa's character, but it may be more impactful if the gentler side isn't revealed until later and if we have a chance to see him as something of fear and dread first. I feel like knowing that he prefers not to kill takes some of the tension away from S's situation. 

Some page breaks would help the jump between POVs as well. At least between Wo and S's last POV is one paragraph to the next. 

"Her revolutionaries" was S the leader of her cell? I missed that. 

I was also a bit confused by S's final thoughts since the story began with an assasination attempt. Wasn't that attempt also by the revolutionaries? If the revelation is that S is now taking a leadership roll and intends to act on her own regardless of what her higher up's have planned, there might need to be a bit more here. 

So glad to see you're continuing! Looking forward to the next chapter!

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Overall, this was a good chapter in the center of all the action! Things happened! I still have some reservations about how big the revolutionary group is and why they think the BK is doing a bad job. There's also some confusion over who the BK is fighting. Is it C? Is it the revolutionaries? Have they joined forces?

I don't mind the POV switches as much, but yes, I'll also agree that W's POV is the weakest of the three. Good to know some more backstory about him though.

 

Note while reading:

pg 1: "imitation of the Fey legends"
--Fey dress in all black?

pg 1: "Sweat dripping down" -> "Sweat dripped down"

pg 1: "They both knew that if O went out again, that the arriving air navy would catch her."
--has she gone out before? Did the Navy recognize a certain dragon? How is she marked?

pg 2: "Yet, there were no bodies lying on the dock. The city guard was not so inaccurate."
--Not so accurate because there were no bodies? Or not so inaccurate--compared to...what?

pg 2: "The drills the Revolutionaries beat into her seemed to slip away like water."
--I guess they didn't beat them in enough, then.

pg 3: "forcing them to raise shields."
--this sounds like they're on the Enterprise. Maybe "raise their shields?"

pg 3: “They’re Pem-ans.”
--I think this is a really good comment, especially to contrast the reasonable thinking about what they want in a government, above. It shows they're still pretty close-minded about countries and how they should work together.

pg 4: "the barking masses of two M. soldiers"
--are they dog therios? What masses?

pg 4: "Why had the soldiers not killed them? Why the nets? Why the chains? Surely the protests would be enough to fill the jails?"
--really? She's concerned that the occupying force isn't killing her fellow citizens? Basically, this just cements the democratic revolutionary as worse off for people than the monarch.

pg 6: "Intimidation tactics saved lives on both sides."
--and the monarchy is already showing they're better at this than the revolutionaries.

pg 7: "The direwolf runt and unicorn half-breed had found answers in each other even though life had separated them soon after. When W, broken, lost, grieving, heard of a black unicorn..."
--okay, now I want a W/B.K. side story. 

pg 8: "The people of Bor."
--wait, I thought they were Pems? Still very confused on this.

pg 10: "Triangles for the air force. Squares for the army. Circles for the navy."
--is this all for the revolutionaries? How big is this? I didn't there were that many of them.
--Or is this an attack by Cr.?

pg 10: "“Wasn’t your name-knower supposed to prevent this?” 
--what could she have done? She hasn't been placed anywhere where she might do some good yet.

pg 11: "“His vision for this country may seem like insanity"
--It's seemed pretty practical to me so far...

pg 11: "had sent out a pecker formation"
--this seems...humorously named...

pg 13: "the general’s brilliant battle plans that had forced P. to surrender. That brought B. into the slavery it was in now."
--Okay, so here P. and B. are both in the same sentence and I still don't know which each signifies.

pg 14: "There was only one obstacle, and he was mortal."
--Weren't they already planning to kill the BK?

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Sorry, I don' have very in-depth notes on this one, as I'm trying to get this done while I have a little time. But my thoughts on this:

These have been some of my favorite chapters so far! It's cool to see everything start to go to hell, and to me this is the part of the book where things start to get really interesting. All the wheels start picking up speed and such

The beginning fight scene was a little confusing. I wasn't really sure where they were or what was going on. I do like that we finally get a S viewpoint, tho

Ok, I'm conflicted about Wa's viewpoint here. I like the side we get to see of him, and all the analyzing, but I agree that this will probably have more punch if we first see him being ruthless and powerful, and then later see his softer, calculating side. It's cool that his main power is illusions though, as with warlike characters they usually have warlike powers, and spies and jesters/pranksters have illusion powers. So this is cool subversion.

Yep. Wo's viewpoint is the highlight of this chapter for me. I love how flippant they are. And it seems that Wa might end up being the Starscream? Intrigue 

This second S viewpoint is a good wrap to this chapter, though having both--separated by two differnet viewpoints--makes it a bit confusing as to the chronology. Personally, I would suggest having all the S stuff in one piece. Maybe we can see Bk and his minions planning their whatever, then W attacks and S freaks out. But that's just my presumptous take on it. 

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15 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Personally, I would suggest having all the S stuff in one piece.

You and I must have connected telepathically because I was thinking the same thing. Have it kick off with Sue and end with Wo. That way Wa is introduced in Sue's POV and then you actually see him behind the scenes with Wo. 

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Hi! Thoughts as I go:

Pg. 1: If you're going for a Gettysburg address-style thing ("by the people, for the people, of the people"), might I suggest: "selected by the people, composed of the people, and acting for the people?" I think the parallel sentence structure might help, and you missed "for the people." Obviously just a suggestion; if it's that way for a reason, I don't want to step on your writing toes.

Pg. 1: Another picky thing, but when you say "scraped the ceiling of the massive building, typically used to store newly arrived imports" you make it sound like they use specifically the ceiling to store newly arrived imports.

Pg. 2: "O lunged through the closed doors, throwing S to the ground. She landed on her sword, gasping at the pain." I'm confused about the mechanics here?

I'm especially confused going forward, because falling on your sword means you got stabbed, no? How is she still an active participant in the battle?

Pg. 6: "Yet, two wars and countless successes had weaved trust." You want to replace "weaved" with "woven" here.

Pg. 6: "The direwolf twitched an..." the pronoun here feels awkward.

Pg. 7: Again, your use of "the direwolf" as a pronoun rubs me wrong somehow... I think it's just that we generally don't refer to someone by their species? If I wrote a line that went, "the human walked down the street," it sounds weird -- not just because it's unspecific, but because it's not conventionally done. I think the non-specificity of referring to humans by their species is what made it a bad idea, and so now species names just make awkward pronouns. I'll stop pointing this out every time I see it, though.

Pg. 8: Am I a terrible person for liking Wa a little bit?

Pg. 9: "There's no way I could find it" should probably be "there's no way I could have found it" -- since he's talking about a mission that's already happened, right?

Pg. 11: So here Wo gets really mad at Wa and assumes that Wa is trying to get them to change sides. This came a little out of the blue, I feel, because there was no tension between the two earlier in the chapter. This scene makes me think that Wo has some kind of distaste for Wa -- but if they do, they paint Wa in at least a neutral light in the previous scene, which doesn't make so much sense to me. Obviously Wo wouldn't be openly disrespectful to Wa in front of the King, especially if they're as loyal as they say, but Wo's internal thoughts seem incongruous between the two scenes. It's just that something about the tone is a little disjointed.

I'm not sure what purpose Wo's scene serves, but I've written (maybe too much?) about Wa and Wo below and how their dynamic serves to inform the reader and could maybe back up S's impression of Wa?

Pg. 13: You mentioned you should cut Wa's PoV in this chapter even though you like him? I agree. (Killing your darlings, eh?) The fewer PoVs you have, the easier it is to follow. Also, the PoV detracts from the mystery surrounding him, so the less we see through him and the more we hear of him, the more relatable S's fear/wonder is. Of course, I also get the sense you're trying to add depth to his character, make him less of a faceless villain -- but I think the scene with Wo could serve that purpose, considering the comments Wa makes to the King.

Of course, if you decide to incorporate the comment about Wo's dynamic with Wa, you'd be walking a fine line trying to show that Wa isn't terrible while still making it obvious that Wo hates him. I guess you then could take more time to get us to dislike Wo so we like Wa more because Wo dislikes him. God, I'm confused now, between the abbreviated names and the whole complicated like/dislike web. But the real problem is that I'm now compiling a long list of (possibly major) changes that might not actually help you further your goal. So my critiques from page 11 downward are things I personally might do if it were my story, with the information I currently have. You might have something better planned. I'm putting it out there anyway as a sort of stream-of-consciousness reaction/brainstorm.

There's my feedback! It might be disjointed and confusing (what do you know -- it's just like my fiction writing!) and unhelpful, but I did my best.

Edited by PiedPiper
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17 minutes ago, PiedPiper said:

Am I a terrible person for liking Warlic a little bit?

No, I love him too. Which is why this scene is still around even though it needs to get cut :/

18 minutes ago, PiedPiper said:

I'm sorry I addressed the micro and not the macro, but I felt like you had three people already to a better job than I would have.

The whole point of this group is to get as many different perspectives as possible. Which means if you want to pick apart the micro, please for the love of God do. Anything and everything that can make the next draft really shine. 

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Oops, I think I skipped a chapter. I posted my Chp.24 comments in here before moving them over.

Edited by Robinski
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On 11/2/2020 at 5:09 PM, kais said:

The last section was good! I liked the section with BK too. The first section just...seemed all over the place emotionally and I think it could use trimming and streamlining. I think there are too many POVs for one chapter, all trying to tell the same story. It'd be stronger with one, maybe two, not rehashing events but propelling the arc forward.

 

I agree. I think it would be good to focus on S and W and leave General W out. I didn't think his POV really added much.

It was nice seeing things from S's perspective for once, especially seeing her with a sword and away from her family. In both scenes, there were lots of feelings, but they did seem a little inconsistent. 

I loved the M POV. 

As I  read:

"The incoming rain...Like a bruise." You are always rocking the imagery when you write about the city. 

"time to turn chaos into order." This was an interesting POV with some details about BK, but I don't really think it was necessary, especially since later, W hints at General W and BK having a history.

And for some reason, I am mentally 'shipping BK and  GW. I don't think you hinted there was a romantic background, but suddenly, my brain is just making one up. 

"waited for W to do something spectacular..." I loved the different ways they saw the BK vs GW. They revealed a lot of character about GW, maybe more than we got even from his POV. 

"The Rev never had a chance..." this seems to contrast her earlier emotions and thoughts with very little to actually show the change. 

"The BK had to die." Nice ending to the scene! 

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