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Aspiring Writer

Reading Excuses - 11/16/20 - Aspiring Writer - SotU -The Vengeful, the Betrayed, and the Lost - Prologue to Ch3 (4487) - (L,V)

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Okay, first sub. Hope you enjoy it. Content warnings for minor violence and language. 

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Welcome to Reading Excuses! Congrats on putting your work out there. It's definitely a big step.

On to the story. It was fairly easy to read, but I wasn't really drawn in. A lot of the dialogue felt flat and/or juvenile, especially with using words like "guys." There also wasn't a lot of reaction to events that were happening. Basically a one-man ball of death takes out an entire space fleet and no one blinks an eye. We also don't have a lot of insight into the character. He seems invincible and shrugs off all danger, and also has access to the best tech. He doesn't really need me rooting for him, because he's already won. M is a little more interesting, in that she's struggling to get the job done, but she also succeeds in the end, so there's not a lot of tension. These few chapters already have a pretty solid stopping place, and it almost seems like a self-contained short story. I'd be more drawn in by a threat to (any) of the characters, or an undercurrent of tension. Right now there's not much to make me keep reading.

 

Notes while reading:

Prologue:
--Almost every paragraph starts with "she" or "her." This may be a sylistic thing, but it makes reading a bit monotonous.
--I scanned down into chapter 1 and this seems to be consistent with the further story. Try to vary your sentence and paragraph structure more. It will make the writing a lot more interesting.
--The concept is interesting. These people are being controlled somehow, but like many prologues, it doesn't really give me a whole lot to latch on to. We don't even know the woman's name. I'm wondering what this adds to the story that can't be shown in later chapters. Much of the experience is direct sensation by the woman, which tell us how she feels, but not a whole lot about the story.

 
Ch 1

pg 4: "were covered in a black suit made to protect him from vacuum"
--so...a spacesuit? Why not say that?

pg 4: "made his Grav boots increase the weight of gravity on the window."
--that's...not how gravity works. It would be the force or pull of gravity. And the interaction is between the two things, in this case his boots and the window, not on the window.
--Also, I'm wondering how thin the glass is (and why glass is being used at all) in order to shield against vacuum. If a person can break it by increasing gravity without squishing themself into a ball, the ship or whatever would be swiss cheese from space dust.

pg 6: Most of the gadget descriptions have an infodump attached to them.

pg 6: "but his coat absorbed the energy with no issue"
--There's a lack of stakes so far. He can't be touched and everything he does is super effective against his opponents. I'm waiting for something challenging or exciting to happen.

pg 7: "She reloaded her rifle"
--wait, we've skipped POVs here.  Ah...there is a single line separator. There needs to be more indication of a switch in POV>

pg 8: "The two Space Hosts teleported in front of the Royal Guard and lifted them in the air with their telekinesis."
--then why were they wasting time randomly firing without cover? Better yet, why didn't these two lead the charge and just teleport to wherever they needed

pg 8: "a weak spot on the helmet."
--like...a manufacturing defect? What is this?

pg 8: "the entire Royal Guard unit laid dead at their feet."
--still no sense of tension for me.

pg 8: "Both of them were legends, though most people didn’t know about Q."
--then how is he seen as anything, much less "the greatest criminal of all time?"

pg 9: "The guy was"
--there's been at least two references to "guys" which is both vague and doesn't sound very professional.

pg 10: "be insulted that you just took down a unit like it was nothing "
--still no stakes.

pg 10: the chapter ends with an infodump about the drug. Not really pulling me into reading more.


Ch 2
pg 11: A third POV in 8 pages means it's hard to make a connection with any of the characters.

pg 11: "What?! Guys, what happened to him?”
--Another instance of "guys." Also, most of this page is a rehash of what we went through last chapter.

pg 12: "How could he take down a starfighter? Is this Q?"
--I thought the Sources were making sure no one knew about him?

pg 12: "The rest, find that guy"

pg 13: "The Space Benders"
--who are these?

pg 13: "sucking him out into space."
--I don't think this chapter is necessary. It doesn't give us any new information.


Ch 3
pg 14: "his spacesuit protecting him from the vacuum"
--As they are designed to do...

pg 14: "He mentally increased the strength of gravity and broke through the window"
--I guess technically that's correct, but I wouldn't trust these windows on a space vessel.

pg 15: "killing each one of them with a shot to the head"
--are the fighting back? Is he completely invulnerable? So far, he's not a very interesting hero, because he's never in any danger.

pg 15: "This stopped being a game a long time ago."
--I mean, it seems like a game to me. He's basically playing in god-mode.

pg 16: "take a while"
--a day? a week? five minutes?

pg 18: So basically everything was successful with this job and the thieves got all the goods and everything's fine. Is there more story to this? I might just put the book down here if I was reading it. It's fairly tied up. If this is an entire book, there needs to be some sort of inciting incident by this point to pull the reader in.

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1 hour ago, Mandamon said:

We don't even know the woman's name.

She currently doesn't have one. That's why she and her were being used so prominently. Does that make it make more sense?

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Welcome to Reading Excuses! It's always super exciting to have a new person submitting their stuff. 

Alright, opening it up now, excited to see what you have in store!

Pg. 1 Ok, first line makes me feel as if the narrator is probably crazy. Its an interesting way to open, not sure what to think yet.

Pg.1 lots of short and simple sentences, but this seems to reinforce the whole crazy narrator thing.

Pg.1 is this mars?

Pg. 2, top: so…cannibals? Is she not one of the orange people?

Pg 2 “How do I know…” The long list of questions seems a little cliché to me, and the last tow in particular seem a little out of place. Like, borderline humorous, which doesn’t seem to be the tone you’re going for here. I’m also not sure if anyone would question their own ability to think, unless they were some sort of philosopher.

Pg 2 “and stained orange…” and was stained orange

Pg. 3 ah, so its some kind of mind control

Overall this prologue was a little disturbing (not necessarily a bad thing) and a little confusing. The prose itself is clear, and the established mood was good. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here, but that seems to be the point of this passage.

Chapter 1

Pg 4. Not huge, but “listening” has an aspect of paying attention. Ignoring someone seems to be more of “hearing” than “listening”

Just general note here, the writing itself is good. I can clearly tell what is going on.

Pg. 4 “increase the weight” Gravity itself doesn’t have weight. Maybe replace the word “weight” with something like “pull”

Also, if he’s breaking in from the outside of the ship, there would be a strong rush of air outwards as the inside of the ship depressurized. So he would probably be pushed out, not sucked in. Unless his g boots are just super, super strong I guess. I don’t know how those work.

Pg 5, top: air would be sucked out immediately.

How is he wearing a hat in space?

Heheh Jeff

Pg 5: MRG, ah these are the guys from the prologue. They made a mirage.

Pg 6: “started having their guns…” this phrasing seems weird to me.

Pg 7 Ok, this guy seems rude.

Pg 7 Ok, I already like this scene with M more than with Q. There’s a lot more tension to it.

Pg 8: “starred in horror” stared

Pg 8 why did they wait to use the SH

Pg 8 how can you be a legend if no one knows about you? I’m guessing just a legend specifically in the criminal world

Pg 9 so is insufferable bastard an actual title?

Pg 10 “gratefulness” -->gratitude

Pg 10 “Yeah, not that…” this is my favortie piece of dialogue so far

Pg 10 So he’s addicted to drugs, but there are no ill side effects?

Pg 11 D’s name stands out, since everyone else has normal names

Pg 13 That was a cool moment.

Pg 14 Eh I’m still not a huge fan of this guy

Pg 14 Again, how is he keeping his hat on in the first place?

Pg 15 “organic garbage” ooooh is he a robot or something?

Pg 16 M is overall just a more interesting character to me

Pg 18 ok, this makes a little more sense why they would wait to use the SH. Also, is it her own mother she has to talk to? Or the mother of all SH? Or the leader of the group? Can’t wait to get some answers to these questions!

  • So, my overall thoughts on this piece: it is well written and easy to understand, which is a huge plus. I can tell you have developed a style already, which is good. I wasn't super engaged with what was going on, however, and I just didn't really like the MC all that much. Though, the way he is framed, that could be the point. He did seem very nonchalant, which seems to be what you were going for, but just having him waltz in and do everything right isn't really all that engaging to me. However, there is definitely a very strong sense of character, so that is good. 
  •  I could take or leave the prologue. It seems kind of like a Doctor Who stinger where they reveal someone getting eaten by the alien but you don't see the alien until halfway through the episode. Well written, but it seems like we won't be coming back to this setting for a while. 
Edited by ginger_reckoning
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Welcome!

The pacing and tone is very consistant. It reminds me of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan or John Carter series with an unstoppable hero leading the reader along to show off the imaginative setting.  

The prologue is by far my favorite section. The only part that stuck out to me was the "coherant" lines which didn't flow as well as the rest. 

Chapter 1:

I have to agree that.a page break would be useful between POVs. Otherwise a good hand off though.

"The SH dead" this part of the blocking was a bit confusing. Since the SH on the right is already mentioned as dying, I assumed this was the left one. 

Is SH a reference to Space Ghost? Just curious.

"And yet they are both seen as the same." This seems like a comment out of POV. 

Chapters 2 and 3

The space hat also confused me, as well as picturing someone wearing a trench coat over a space suit that sounds a bit like a wet suit. M can see Q's face well enough to describe the stubble, so I'm assuming there is some sort of helmet with a transparent face sheild and a hat on top of that. 

"My mother likes to send them to me..." this line stood out to me as oddly young and whimsical for a character that seemed task oriented until now. 

You definetly have your action blocking down! I liked how you didn't get too bogged down in the motion by motion and kept the scenes moving. 

Thanks for sharing

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3 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Is SH a reference to Space Ghost? Just curious.

I have no idea what Space Ghost is.

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56 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I have no idea what Space Ghost is.

I feel so old :-)

No worries! It's just an old cartoon about a space adventurer /super hero. I don't think there is anything new since the 90's and it was hoaky even back then. The similar sounding name just struck me in the nostalgia. 

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22 minutes ago, Sarah B said:

I feel so old :-)

No worries! It's just an old cartoon about a space adventurer /super hero. I don't think there is anything new since the 90's and it was hoaky even back then. The similar sounding name just struck me in the nostalgia. 

Ha! Same.

I was mentally saying "Space H. Coast to Coast" in my head every time that name came up.

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Hey, and welcome again to RE, @Aspiring Writer. it is always really exciting to read a new voice, so without further ado, jumping right in :D 

(page 1)

Prologue

- A prologue. Yippy-skippy! (Mind you don't slip on that sarcasm. I think I spilled some of the metaphorical floor ;).) It's just...prologues. Half the time they are not prologues, and 49% of the time--it seems to me--they are 'complex and unnecessary' :ph34r:

- The repetition of the word 'repeated' is awkward.

- There is certainly a strong narrative voice in the first few lines, but by the time I get to 'happy', I'm thinking...So what? This is my life too. There isn't anything remarkable here, nothing surprising or engaging that has snagged my attention to pull me through the first page, let alone through an entire novel. This is the moment of truth: the next line.

- Phew!! I really do think if I was reading this in a book shop, I might have put it down and moved on depending on that next line, but you introduced the split vision at this point, and that's caught my attention Nice timing.

- The prose is a little in need of refining, I think (What draft is this?), but I'm engaged now. I'm intrigued to know what is happening.

- I don't quite understand why she can't see what she's eating. Is this like a split screen, this visual 'impairment'?

- "How did she know that?" - Confused: how did she not know that?

(page 2)

- "or some other dead mass" - Well, what other dead mass? Is it not orange? Not humanoid? This feels like a slight POV cheat, as everything else has been clearly described.

- Drinking from a puddle seems like another POV 'cheat'. The problem is that, because we have been told nothing about the society that (she thinks) she is living in, I make the assumption that it is the same is mine (in general terms). So, I would not expect her to drunk from a puddle without remarking on it, or it seeming unusual to her.

- "people in golden armor" - Were they not there before? I feel like, the first time she looked around, all she saw was orange people.

- "or working" - Working at what? Are they in a call-centre?

- "What supported her was barely enough to keep them alive" - Strange phrasing: support in this context sounds more like the chair she's sitting on (for example).

(page 3)

- End of prologue. Okay, conclusion: Everything is awful. Humans are slaves, and yet, are they. or is it just the orange people that are slaves? It's a pretty nightmarish vision of...something, or somewhere, but it was pretty effective, if very vague. But then I guess you can get away with vague, almost formless, if it's a dream, or a vision.

Oh, and before I move on. I am enjoying the accuracy of the writing. Refining language is one thing, and there is always room for that (Always, in any thing), but I find the line-level construction (punctuation, etc.) pleasingly 'accurate'. Good job :) 

(page 4)

Chapter 1 

- "It was comfortable... in space." - I like Q's internal voice. (Hmm, how odd to comment on a character who's initial is Q.

Spoiler

I've written two novels--and am just finishing a short story--with a main character named quirk.

- "He liked to make himself feel better..." - This sits in a great line, but the language here is passive, and confusing, IMO. I would simplify it. I find it hard to turn off my editor brain, which immediately tries to offer suggestions, so, by way of illustrating my point, I think something like 'He took endless satisfaction from annoying...' Then again that, probably, is more in my Q character's voice than yours :) I mean it's literally only "He always felt better after annoying..." A simpler phrasing would be better, I think.

- "You can attack now" - This is not professional terminology for this sort of thing, and makes these people come over as amateurs. Professional 'agencies' have codewords to make it harder for someone eavesdropping to understand what's going on. Even phrases like 'Go, go, go' are neutral in the sense that it could mean different things.

- "made his Grav boots increase the weight of gravity on the window" - Okay, science. If you're going to write SF or even space opera it has to be convincing, and you have to convince the reader that you understand things like gravitation, orbital mechanics, etc., even if it's just a case of copying the terminology from somewhere else, or doing high -level research. Gravity is not weight, objects have weight, which is a function of mass and the acceleration due to gravity, acting on the mass of the object. You can't increase your weight (I would argue). You can increase the force that your body or some other object imparts on the target object, but that's going to involve an external force, separate to gravity. I'd suggest a simpler phrase here. I'd suggest that he can have a device that messes with the force of gravity locally, but he can't change the gravity of the planet, just introduce another force that counteracts, or compliments it, I would say. Sorry to prattle on so long, but this sort of stuff bugs me :) 

(page 5)

- "The safety shutters closed just as he entered the ship, closing the breach and keeping the air from being sucked out" - No. I significant amount of air will be sucked out in the time he takes to get through the opening. Also, the air will rush out from the room and push him away from the opening. At the very least, he will have to battle against that force to get in. I would suggest watching some quality SF movies and films to get a handle on this stuff. Gravity, springs to mind, and The Expanse.

- Hat? I'm confused.

- "This must’ve been a repurposed ship" - Tense issue: This ship is still a repurposed ship > 'This ship must have been repurposed.'

- "MRG" - Ooh, what a cool name. I like it.

- "dove behind the wall" - This encounter feels strange. I think the timing is off, I think he has too long to dive for cover before they start shoot. It feels like the enemy are treated as useless dummies. if you make them act hapless and stupid, the reader won't feel any sense of threat. They should not have to wait for a command to fire, IMO, and Q should not have time to throw out a couple of pithy thoughts before he jumps aside. That aspect feels lame to me.

(page 6)

- "He couldn’t tell whether to be complimented that he took such extreme measures, or insulted that he thought this would stop him" - Really quite confusing sentence, because you have two people referred to several times both using the pronoun 'he'. I approve of not using names too often. I think you are quite right in that, and it's well done in the narrative for the most part, I think, but when there are two 'he's, we need some differentiation.

- "mentally activated it" - How? I'd like to know more about the mechanism. 

- "started having their guns pulled out of their hands" - passive phrasing. Having a gun pulled from one's hand doesn't take any time, IMO. So, I'd suggest phrasing this more directly, to ramp up tension. Also, the word 'suddenly' is not sudden, it has the opposite effect. If you just write, 'The RGs' guns were pulled from their hands'--that happen instantly. But if you put 'suddenly' in there, it's an extra word the reader has to read before they get to the action, so it actually slows down the effect, from a reading perspective. This is my opinion. You want something to happen instantly or suddenly, just say it.

- "magnetically pulled toward the bomb" - Okay, I find it hard to believe that these guns include any sort of ferrous metal in them that would have a truly magnetic effect. Pulled towards the bomb, okay, but it's not actual magnetism, which I think the phrasing implies.

- "It left Q and the ship alone, able to target what he wanted without pulling his weapons away" - I don't understand this at all. Where did all the enemies go?

- Okay, I lost some respect for Q at this point. Anyone going in battle with a weapon and they do not know what is does has seriously poor judgement.

- Also, the guards are still there......Oh, wait, I understand 'it left Q and the ship unharmed'. I think you need to be wary about the prevision of your word choice and phrasing. I think the primary meaning--the most obvious one--of left someone alone, it to leave them without company, in isolation. I think that accuracy of phrasing is very important to ensure reader understanding.

(page 7)

- "five feet" - Hmm, Imperial measurements. Okay, but it sounds old-fashioned.

- What is a 'Source'? Don't understand.

- There's something up with the line spacing here. The break between POVs needs a complete blank line between it and the next POV, double-spaced and everything. There needs to be daylight.

- "She had forty of her men" - IMO that's a crazy number of troops to bring onto a ship in the same place. Think of it tactically. All these soldiers trying to fire past each other in a narrow corridor, and spaceship corridor are going to be narrow. That is a loooooot of bodies to get through an air lock. Do they all have pressure suits on?

(page 8)

- This is the point at which I start having trouble. Somehow there is no weight to anything, no meaning. A couple of men teleport, use tk, one dies; I don't really care about any of it. I'm no invested in the characters, or the situation. I don't really care whether they succeed or not. In fact, seems like they are the baddies, space pirates. I've no reason to dislike the defenders. It feels like the Empire invading a certain spaceship with Leia Organa on board.

(page 10)

- "you can show this gratefulness" - gratitude, IMO.

- "take the bridge before they send a distress signal" - No. How long do you think it takes to send a distress signal? The alarms went off the moment the ship was breached. The distress signal will have been sent minutes ago, surely. There I nothing to stop the commander sending a signal the second the shooting starts.

- And, okay, good, Q is all over that, but the thing is I don't believe M would not know that. She's an experienced pirate, she knows how ships work. IMO, it's not credible that she would not have this knowledge.

- "withdrawal tantrums" - Excellent. Again, this is a good character flaw for Q, and adds more colour to the character. It's his motivation I don't like, but I am solidly expecting his evil to be subverted at some point.

- Finishing the chapter on dialogue is good, but this line deserves to be a new paragraph, especially when it's the last line of the chapter.

(page 11)

Chapter 2 

- Another new POV. This is an issue because I'm not engaged with any of the characters yet. Also, none of the POVs stands out as having a particular distinctive voice, so they tend all to sound the same.

- Eh? Who is E? Where with she come from?

- "looked out the window" - Window is not a very SF term. Spaceships tend to use nautical terminology, or words like screens. Window sounds like he's at home, or on the bus.

(page 12)

- "He has a rocket launcher" - Science: if you fire a rocket launcher in a weightless environment your are going to be propelled in limitless space a a huge rate of knots. This needs explanation of some sort.

- "another one his flight mates starfighter" - (a) flight-mates should at least be hyphenated, as it's a compound noun, like 'crew-mates'; (b) it's possessive, so flight-mates' strarfighter.

(page 13)

- "We can’t let them make it to the..." - Some of the dialogue is a bit, corny.

- "How did they get destroyed without him knowing" - Some of the language/grammar is rather simplistic, unstylish. Style and author voice are important. People read to be entertained, and a big part of that is the author's style and voice. The language, the prose should invoke a feeling in the reader.

- "aiming a weird gun at him. He shot it, and a blue ball of energy smashed through" - Immediacy. Cut as much as possible to make the fighting scenes more energetic. Here: '...aiming a weird gun at him. He shot it, and A blue ball of energy smashed through...', this bit is unnecessary, it gets in the way of the action. It's obvious Q shot the gun, just show the effect.

Good to end the chapter on a decisive action like this. I general like the arcs of the chapters, and I like that they are short, that keeps the reader moving, turning pages.

(page 14)

Chapter 3 

- Okay, less of the line by line stuff now. You get the idea of the stuff that is troubling me. I'm going to skim through to the end.

- "he didn’t damage the ship much" - hands damaged the ship

- "engaged the engines, and the starfighter went on a collision course" - need to feel the stakes: this phrasing is passive. It's not the starfighter that does it, it's Q that sets the course. Make him sound active > 'engaged the engines, and the starfighter went on set a collision course'.

- "penetrating its hull before getting sucked back out" - Science: if it's because of the air escaping, the fighter won't be sucked out, but pushed out.

- "He shot the boarding party with a spread shot and then threw a small explosive at them" - It's all too easy. There is no sense of jeopardy, no sense that Q, or anyone else important, is at risk. There are almost not stakes at all. I just get the feeling that whatever the author wants to happen will happen and there is no meaningful conflict, not risk.

- "He saw the bridge crew running around, panicking" - This is lame, and builds on my point above. Give the opposition some backbone, make them believable. I don't think this is believable. Even if there was some initial panic, they are fighting for their lives and survival instinct surely would take over.

- "He mentally increased the strength of gravity" - I don't accept this: see earlier comments.

- "his hat caught" - I don't think this even was explained. What hat?

(page 15)

- "and the company is mine" - Yep, this is the point I would stop reading. If the M/C's motivation is greed, I'm not interested. Okay, it then looks like maybe it's revenger, but they are fighting over wealth and property, so it's still greed. I'm still not interested.

(page 16)

- I think there is a section break and a POV change here. You need a symbol to mark where the POV changes at a page break, to avoid confusing the reader.

- "the hyper ring's defense system" - This is possessive, needs an apostrophe.

(page 17)

- "even though she was a SH herself" - there's no explanation of what an SH is. I don't understand, but, because of lack engagement for reasons noted above, I don't care that much.

(page 18)

- "An entire cargo shipment of S" - This doesn't really have any weight, because I don't know what S does, or is. Is it animal, vegetable or mineral? I don't know. I guess it doesn't matter, I guess maybe I only need to know it's the haul of lifetime, but it doesn't feel like that if I don't understand the context. I think that is part of the wider issue I have with this story, nothing has any context, so it all feels kind of inconsequential.

- LOL, the last line is surprising and unexpected. It doesn't add anything to the story, and it doesn't propel me into the next chapter, but what it does do is implies depth of character that hasn't been in evidence that much. So, I enjoyed it. Made me smile.

Overall 

Physics: Okay, I know this is space opera, but you just can't ride roughshod over the laws of the universe: gravity; vacuum; natural forces. If you don't treat this things with 'respect', the reader will quickly become frustrated or confused, I reckon. It's fine to have doodads and handwavium that suspends gravity, etc., but you need to talk about those natural forces in a plausible way.

Tone: I like it, I like the swashbuckling flavour, and the fact that Q has a big opinion of himself. Swagger can be really effective in a character, and I think there is potential here. The problem is they are criminals, which makes me dislike them, significantly. I presume this is going to be subverted in some way, but I think you need to do that quickly, or I'm going to switch off.

Stakes / motivation: I dislike the fact that all these people are about is stealing, property and greed. It's a poor motivation for any character. How many published stories have that as the motivation? I would say very few, and usually only as a secondary aspect, or side effect. Maybe you are going to subvert that motivation later, but it's too late now. There is no foreshadowing of doubt or guilt. I would not read any further if I had bought this book.

Risk / conflict: Basically, there is none. I never felt for a moment that anyone of the main characters was a risk. The opposition all fell down dead and made it completely easy for Q and M. The result of this is not to make them more competent, but just to make the battle scenes feel fake and staged.

Pluses: I like the short chapters, and the narrative is pretty efficient, doesn't wallow around in description. the downside of that is that the world doesn't have much weight, but it does make the reading fast. I think the arcs are clear in each chapter. Arguably, this is really one chapter.

Prologue: I completely forgot about the prologue, which actually is a style of prologue I've seen used before, and then it swings back in later and the reader goes 'Oh, yeah. I forgot about this.' The thing is, the prologue does nothing to set up the story. There's not reference to anything concrete in the prologue, no names or places. We don't know the character is. I tend to question the need for it at this point, but there's no way of knowing , really.

Sorry not to be more positive. I think there are positives in this but--for me--too many negatives and issues that undermined any potential engagement with the characters. I'll be interested to read the other comments, and see what you make of them.

Thanks for submitting :) 

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On 20/11/2020 at 6:34 PM, Sarah B said:

I feel so old :-)

I also have no idea what Space Ghost it, because that's because I'm on the other side of it, age-wise. Too old to know it :lol: 

Edited by Robinski
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Prologue:

Pg 1. "Everything was perfect." Sounds like someone is trying to convince themself.

Pg 1, " repeating over and over" You have used "repeat" now twice in the same sentence making it...repetitive. 

Pg 2, "They were the same as the person she was eating," Time to find some synonyms for "eating." Since everyone is a tall orange cannibal, I am assume she is one as well.

Pg 2, "She saw some fly overhead." Well, if they are flying, so probably not statues, and ergo alive.

Pg 2, "What supported her was barely enough to keep them alive." Confused. Do you mean that there is barely enough food?

Pg 3, " Life was perfect." Braaaaain waaaaaaash.

Chapter One:

Pg 4, "He heard some commotion in the background." "He" being Q or M? I am confused on whose POV I am in, if this is third person limited like the prologue.

Pg 4, "for higher beings" Like big golden armored dudes?

Pg 4, "was pulled inside the ship" I don't know enough about space here. Would the escaping air pull you inside or push you out and prevent you from exiting? Movies tell me air goes out...but movies also say that a normal table stops bullets and horses whinny every moment of the day. So... *shrugs* 

Pg 5, " Hat? Check." A hat??? In space??? Not a helmet???? Is this a sci-fi special hat? 

Pg 5, "He brushed the glass off his coat, and readjusted his hat," Getting space western vibes here, and I am all down for that.

Pg 5, " He was… a legend." Technically, this is tell, not show...unless Q is actually trying to convince himself he is a legend when he is no more than a big child playing dress up. Hard to tell.

Pg 5, "The barrel" Are there two guns or one? You start off in plural, but the descriptions are singular.

Pg 5, " their iconic golden armor" Well, these guys definitely sound alive now.

Pg 6, " he took such extreme measures, or insulted that he thought this would stop him" See, this is showing a legend. When even the royal guard doesn't stand a chance.

Pg 6, "to his surprise." He didn't test out his brand new guns before going on this mission? I would have made sure all my equipment works before starting a life-or-death adventure.

Pg 6, "laid waste to the entire unit" Hmmmm, when things come this easy, I begin wondering if this is going to be a complex story about a [email protected]$$ or if this is going to be a Mary Sue story. 

Pg 6, " his coat absorbed the energy with no issue." Must be an incredibly expensive coat. Why not just shoot him in the head or in the knees?

Pg 7, "Get over here!" Was it @Robinski who has nailed me for using exclamations too much? More you use them, less powerful they are. Lesson I have had to learn myself.

Pg 7, "why were they all so pathetic?" Not much of a team player, are you Q?

Pg 7, "She had forty of her men crammed into the small hallway" This is good show. Where Q knocked out a unit all by himself with ease, 41 people can't copy his success. That may make him OP, that may not. Hard to tell this early in. 

Pg 7, " if they kept using up plasma like this" Good for you to not have unlimited magic bullets. Ups the stakes.

Pg 8, "The two S.H teleported" Are these guys humans???

Pg 8, "In a minute, the entire Royal Guard unit laid dead at their feet." Why did they not do this from the beginning?

Hmmm...I am struggling to connect emotionally to Q. He's a bit of a d!ck with nothing so far that I can relate to. I know I can love jerk characters (Gen from The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner comes to mind) but so far we've got an OP anti-hero with no weaknesses except for drugged lollipops?  

Chapter Two:

Pg 11, "Blue Three, checking in," This sounds straight out of Star Wars, especially since Wedge Antilles is Red Three. Not sure if this was on purpose or not. 

Pg 11, " I’m ejecting myself into space." When boredom makes you kill yourself.

Pg 11, "Probably being taken by raiders again." Dude needs to do better if he's constantly getting raided. Sounds like that is terrible for business.

Pg 11, "That means they weren’t allowed to shoot at anything." Wrong jurisdiction? 

I am finding D to be a much more compelling character. His friends are dying, he just wants to do his job, and he is up against high stakes (being death). 

Pg 13, " His entire squadron was now scrap metal floating in space." So why is he not dead?

Pg 13, "sucking him out into space. " Of course  you killed the one character I was really starting to like. Rude. 

Chapter Three: 

This is reminding me of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series with the short chapters. Your prologue and three chapters equal roughly two short chapters when I write.

Pg 14, "he engaged his Grav boots to fly him out" What? Shouldn't anti-gravity boots suck you down, not push you up?

Pg 14, " sucked back out" But...earlier Q was sucked in by a breech? I think your physics are a little wonky here.

Pg 15, "This stopped being a game a long time ago." Seems like a game to me. Is he robbing this particular guy on purpose?

Pg 15, "like it was supposed to be before you were born." We finally have a motive.

Pg 16, "his face was covered in stubble" Not for the first time I have been wondering if this kid is wearing some kind of space helmet or not.

Pg 17, "even though she was a S.H. herself" So why didn't she teleport and ravage dudes earlier? What is a S.H?

You get strong points for style with both action and prose. Strong swashbuckler vibes. However, due to how easy everything was for the characters, there was a loss of risk that made this feel more like the game Q was claiming it wasn't. I am more interested in how Q became this legend, rather than what he is going to do now that he is unbeatable. An example I would like to pull is The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore. This book has its own problems with pacing, but it gets one thing right for a swashbuckler story: it shows us the legendary Highwayman being amazing in the prologue, but then it takes 3/4 quarters of the book to actually get to the part where he is that awesome. Right now, this epicness feels unearned, and it makes Q hard to connect to. I feel more for M having to deal with this drama queen while balancing her men and her mother. 

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10 hours ago, Robinski said:

Hey, and welcome again to RE, @Aspiring Writer. it is always really exciting to read a new voice, so without further ado, jumping right in :D 

(page 1)

Prologue

- A prologue. Yippy-skippy! (Mind you don't slip on that sarcasm. I think I spilled some of the metaphorical floor ;).) It's just...prologues. Half the time they are not prologues, and 49% of the time--it seems to me--they are 'complex and unnecessary' :ph34r:

- The repetition of the word 'repeated' is awkward.

- There is certainly a strong narrative voice in the first few lines, but by the time I get to 'happy', I'm thinking...So what? This is my life too. There isn't anything remarkable here, nothing surprising or engaging that has snagged my attention to pull me through the first page, let alone through an entire novel. This is the moment of truth: the next line.

- Phew!! I really do think if I was reading this in a book shop, I might have put it down and moved on depending on that next line, but you introduced the split vision at this point, and that's caught my attention Nice timing.

- The prose is a little in need of refining, I think (What draft is this?), but I'm engaged now. I'm intrigued to know what is happening.

- I don't quite understand why she can't see what she's eating. Is this like a split screen, this visual 'impairment'?

- "How did she know that?" - Confused: how did she not know that?

(page 2)

- "or some other dead mass" - Well, what other dead mass? Is it not orange? Not humanoid? This feels like a slight POV cheat, as everything else has been clearly described.

- Drinking from a puddle seems like another POV 'cheat'. The problem is that, because we have been told nothing about the society that (she thinks) she is living in, I make the assumption that it is the same is mine (in general terms). So, I would not expect her to drunk from a puddle without remarking on it, or it seeming unusual to her.

- "people in golden armor" - Were they not there before? I feel like, the first time she looked around, all she saw was orange people.

- "or working" - Working at what? Are they in a call-centre?

- "What supported her was barely enough to keep them alive" - Strange phrasing: support in this context sounds more like the chair she's sitting on (for example).

(page 3)

- End of prologue. Okay, conclusion: Everything is awful. Humans are slaves, and yet, are they. or is it just the orange people that are slaves? It's a pretty nightmarish vision of...something, or somewhere, but it was pretty effective, if very vague. But then I guess you can get away with vague, almost formless, if it's a dream, or a vision.

Oh, and before I move on. I am enjoying the accuracy of the writing. Refining language is one thing, and there is always room for that (Always, in any thing), but I find the line-level construction (punctuation, etc.) pleasingly 'accurate'. Good job :) 

(page 4)

Chapter 1 

- "It was comfortable... in space." - I like Q's internal voice. (Hmm, how odd to comment on a character who's initial is Q.

  Reveal hidden contents

I've written two novels--and am just finishing a short story--with a main character named quirk.

- "He liked to make himself feel better..." - This sits in a great line, but the language here is passive, and confusing, IMO. I would simplify it. I find it hard to turn off my editor brain, which immediately tries to offer suggestions, so, by way of illustrating my point, I think something like 'He took endless satisfaction from annoying...' Then again that, probably, is more in my Q character's voice than yours :) I mean it's literally only "He always felt better after annoying..." A simpler phrasing would be better, I think.

- "You can attack now" - This is not professional terminology for this sort of thing, and makes these people come over as amateurs. Professional 'agencies' have codewords to make it harder for someone eavesdropping to understand what's going on. Even phrases like 'Go, go, go' are neutral in the sense that it could mean different things.

- "made his Grav boots increase the weight of gravity on the window" - Okay, science. If you're going to write SF or even space opera it has to be convincing, and you have to convince the reader that you understand things like gravitation, orbital mechanics, etc., even if it's just a case of copying the terminology from somewhere else, or doing high -level research. Gravity is not weight, objects have weight, which is a function of mass and the acceleration due to gravity, acting on the mass of the object. You can't increase your weight (I would argue). You can increase the force that your body or some other object imparts on the target object, but that's going to involve an external force, separate to gravity. I'd suggest a simpler phrase here. I'd suggest that he can have a device that messes with the force of gravity locally, but he can't change the gravity of the planet, just introduce another force that counteracts, or compliments it, I would say. Sorry to prattle on so long, but this sort of stuff bugs me :) 

(page 5)

- "The safety shutters closed just as he entered the ship, closing the breach and keeping the air from being sucked out" - No. I significant amount of air will be sucked out in the time he takes to get through the opening. Also, the air will rush out from the room and push him away from the opening. At the very least, he will have to battle against that force to get in. I would suggest watching some quality SF movies and films to get a handle on this stuff. Gravity, springs to mind, and The Expanse.

- Hat? I'm confused.

- "This must’ve been a repurposed ship" - Tense issue: This ship is still a repurposed ship > 'This ship must have been repurposed.'

- "MRG" - Ooh, what a cool name. I like it.

- "dove behind the wall" - This encounter feels strange. I think the timing is off, I think he has too long to dive for cover before they start shoot. It feels like the enemy are treated as useless dummies. if you make them act hapless and stupid, the reader won't feel any sense of threat. They should not have to wait for a command to fire, IMO, and Q should not have time to throw out a couple of pithy thoughts before he jumps aside. That aspect feels lame to me.

(page 6)

- "He couldn’t tell whether to be complimented that he took such extreme measures, or insulted that he thought this would stop him" - Really quite confusing sentence, because you have two people referred to several times both using the pronoun 'he'. I approve of not using names too often. I think you are quite right in that, and it's well done in the narrative for the most part, I think, but when there are two 'he's, we need some differentiation.

- "mentally activated it" - How? I'd like to know more about the mechanism. 

- "started having their guns pulled out of their hands" - passive phrasing. Having a gun pulled from one's hand doesn't take any time, IMO. So, I'd suggest phrasing this more directly, to ramp up tension. Also, the word 'suddenly' is not sudden, it has the opposite effect. If you just write, 'The RGs' guns were pulled from their hands'--that happen instantly. But if you put 'suddenly' in there, it's an extra word the reader has to read before they get to the action, so it actually slows down the effect, from a reading perspective. This is my opinion. You want something to happen instantly or suddenly, just say it.

- "magnetically pulled toward the bomb" - Okay, I find it hard to believe that these guns include any sort of ferrous metal in them that would have a truly magnetic effect. Pulled towards the bomb, okay, but it's not actual magnetism, which I think the phrasing implies.

- "It left Q and the ship alone, able to target what he wanted without pulling his weapons away" - I don't understand this at all. Where did all the enemies go?

- Okay, I lost some respect for Q at this point. Anyone going in battle with a weapon and they do not know what is does has seriously poor judgement.

- Also, the guards are still there......Oh, wait, I understand 'it left Q and the ship unharmed'. I think you need to be wary about the prevision of your word choice and phrasing. I think the primary meaning--the most obvious one--of left someone alone, it to leave them without company, in isolation. I think that accuracy of phrasing is very important to ensure reader understanding.

(page 7)

- "five feet" - Hmm, Imperial measurements. Okay, but it sounds old-fashioned.

- What is a 'Source'? Don't understand.

- There's something up with the line spacing here. The break between POVs needs a complete blank line between it and the next POV, double-spaced and everything. There needs to be daylight.

- "She had forty of her men" - IMO that's a crazy number of troops to bring onto a ship in the same place. Think of it tactically. All these soldiers trying to fire past each other in a narrow corridor, and spaceship corridor are going to be narrow. That is a loooooot of bodies to get through an air lock. Do they all have pressure suits on?

(page 8)

- This is the point at which I start having trouble. Somehow there is no weight to anything, no meaning. A couple of men teleport, use tk, one dies; I don't really care about any of it. I'm no invested in the characters, or the situation. I don't really care whether they succeed or not. In fact, seems like they are the baddies, space pirates. I've no reason to dislike the defenders. It feels like the Empire invading a certain spaceship with Leia Organa on board.

(page 10)

- "you can show this gratefulness" - gratitude, IMO.

- "take the bridge before they send a distress signal" - No. How long do you think it takes to send a distress signal? The alarms went off the moment the ship was breached. The distress signal will have been sent minutes ago, surely. There I nothing to stop the commander sending a signal the second the shooting starts.

- And, okay, good, Q is all over that, but the thing is I don't believe M would not know that. She's an experienced pirate, she knows how ships work. IMO, it's not credible that she would not have this knowledge.

- "withdrawal tantrums" - Excellent. Again, this is a good character flaw for Q, and adds more colour to the character. It's his motivation I don't like, but I am solidly expecting his evil to be subverted at some point.

- Finishing the chapter on dialogue is good, but this line deserves to be a new paragraph, especially when it's the last line of the chapter.

(page 11)

Chapter 2 

- Another new POV. This is an issue because I'm not engaged with any of the characters yet. Also, none of the POVs stands out as having a particular distinctive voice, so they tend all to sound the same.

- Eh? Who is E? Where with she come from?

- "looked out the window" - Window is not a very SF term. Spaceships tend to use nautical terminology, or words like screens. Window sounds like he's at home, or on the bus.

(page 12)

- "He has a rocket launcher" - Science: if you fire a rocket launcher in a weightless environment your are going to be propelled in limitless space a a huge rate of knots. This needs explanation of some sort.

- "another one his flight mates starfighter" - (a) flight-mates should at least be hyphenated, as it's a compound noun, like 'crew-mates'; (b) it's possessive, so flight-mates' strarfighter.

(page 13)

- "We can’t let them make it to the..." - Some of the dialogue is a bit, corny.

- "How did they get destroyed without him knowing" - Some of the language/grammar is rather simplistic, unstylish. Style and author voice are important. People read to be entertained, and a big part of that is the author's style and voice. The language, the prose should invoke a feeling in the reader.

- "aiming a weird gun at him. He shot it, and a blue ball of energy smashed through" - Immediacy. Cut as much as possible to make the fighting scenes more energetic. Here: '...aiming a weird gun at him. He shot it, and A blue ball of energy smashed through...', this bit is unnecessary, it gets in the way of the action. It's obvious Q shot the gun, just show the effect.

Good to end the chapter on a decisive action like this. I general like the arcs of the chapters, and I like that they are short, that keeps the reader moving, turning pages.

(page 14)

Chapter 3 

- Okay, less of the line by line stuff now. You get the idea of the stuff that is troubling me. I'm going to skim through to the end.

- "he didn’t damage the ship much" - hands damaged the ship

- "engaged the engines, and the starfighter went on a collision course" - need to feel the stakes: this phrasing is passive. It's not the starfighter that does it, it's Q that sets the course. Make him sound active > 'engaged the engines, and the starfighter went on set a collision course'.

- "penetrating its hull before getting sucked back out" - Science: if it's because of the air escaping, the fighter won't be sucked out, but pushed out.

- "He shot the boarding party with a spread shot and then threw a small explosive at them" - It's all too easy. There is no sense of jeopardy, no sense that Q, or anyone else important, is at risk. There are almost not stakes at all. I just get the feeling that whatever the author wants to happen will happen and there is no meaningful conflict, not risk.

- "He saw the bridge crew running around, panicking" - This is lame, and builds on my point above. Give the opposition some backbone, make them believable. I don't think this is believable. Even if there was some initial panic, they are fighting for their lives and survival instinct surely would take over.

- "He mentally increased the strength of gravity" - I don't accept this: see earlier comments.

- "his hat caught" - I don't think this even was explained. What hat?

(page 15)

- "and the company is mine" - Yep, this is the point I would stop reading. If the M/C's motivation is greed, I'm not interested. Okay, it then looks like maybe it's revenger, but they are fighting over wealth and property, so it's still greed. I'm still not interested.

(page 16)

- I think there is a section break and a POV change here. You need a symbol to mark where the POV changes at a page break, to avoid confusing the reader.

- "the hyper ring's defense system" - This is possessive, needs an apostrophe.

(page 17)

- "even though she was a SH herself" - there's no explanation of what an SH is. I don't understand, but, because of lack engagement for reasons noted above, I don't care that much.

(page 18)

- "An entire cargo shipment of S" - This doesn't really have any weight, because I don't know what S does, or is. Is it animal, vegetable or mineral? I don't know. I guess it doesn't matter, I guess maybe I only need to know it's the haul of lifetime, but it doesn't feel like that if I don't understand the context. I think that is part of the wider issue I have with this story, nothing has any context, so it all feels kind of inconsequential.

- LOL, the last line is surprising and unexpected. It doesn't add anything to the story, and it doesn't propel me into the next chapter, but what it does do is implies depth of character that hasn't been in evidence that much. So, I enjoyed it. Made me smile.

Overall 

Physics: Okay, I know this is space opera, but you just can't ride roughshod over the laws of the universe: gravity; vacuum; natural forces. If you don't treat this things with 'respect', the reader will quickly become frustrated or confused, I reckon. It's fine to have doodads and handwavium that suspends gravity, etc., but you need to talk about those natural forces in a plausible way.

Tone: I like it, I like the swashbuckling flavour, and the fact that Q has a big opinion of himself. Swagger can be really effective in a character, and I think there is potential here. The problem is they are criminals, which makes me dislike them, significantly. I presume this is going to be subverted in some way, but I think you need to do that quickly, or I'm going to switch off.

Stakes / motivation: I dislike the fact that all these people are about is stealing, property and greed. It's a poor motivation for any character. How many published stories have that as the motivation? I would say very few, and usually only as a secondary aspect, or side effect. Maybe you are going to subvert that motivation later, but it's too late now. There is no foreshadowing of doubt or guilt. I would not read any further if I had bought this book.

Risk / conflict: Basically, there is none. I never felt for a moment that anyone of the main characters was a risk. The opposition all fell down dead and made it completely easy for Q and M. The result of this is not to make them more competent, but just to make the battle scenes feel fake and staged.

Pluses: I like the short chapters, and the narrative is pretty efficient, doesn't wallow around in description. the downside of that is that the world doesn't have much weight, but it does make the reading fast. I think the arcs are clear in each chapter. Arguably, this is really one chapter.

Prologue: I completely forgot about the prologue, which actually is a style of prologue I've seen used before, and then it swings back in later and the reader goes 'Oh, yeah. I forgot about this.' The thing is, the prologue does nothing to set up the story. There's not reference to anything concrete in the prologue, no names or places. We don't know the character is. I tend to question the need for it at this point, but there's no way of knowing , really.

Sorry not to be more positive. I think there are positives in this but--for me--too many negatives and issues that undermined any potential engagement with the characters. I'll be interested to read the other comments, and see what you make of them.

Thanks for submitting :) 

Thanks. Changed the fight scenes a bit as you suggested, as well as all the little grammar mistakes and things I neglected to explain (like the hat).  Will say that the lack of context is done purposely to give the reader more questions which will later have answers (And they do have answers). Mistborn took a few chapters to tell us what Mistings are, so I feel this is equivalent to that.

One thing I will ask is the Gravity thing. If the force pulling him down was strengthened, would he really need another force? Because that looks like it would be enough for his purposes. 

Edited by Aspiring Writer
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5 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 5, " Hat? Check." A hat??? In space??? Not a helmet???? Is this a sci-fi special hat? 

Well, he has something to breath out of, the hat is just an accessory, but also yes, it's a special hat.

 

5 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

"laid waste to the entire unit" Hmmmm, when things come this easy, I begin wondering if this is going to be a complex story about a [email protected]$$ or if this is going to be a Mary Sue story. 

Okay, Each one of you has said this, so I would like to explain. In these few chapters, he is very much OP when compared to everyone else. It is meant to show him compared to 'normal' foes before we rip the rug out. Believe me, he won't be a Mary Sue.

 

6 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

"he engaged his Grav boots to fly him out" What? Shouldn't anti-gravity boots suck you down, not push you up?

They can do both.

 

6 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

" sucked back out" But...earlier Q was sucked in by a breech? I think your physics are a little wonky here.

I did fix the scene to be clearer already, but he wasn't sucked in by that first breach, the Grav boots pulled him in despite that.

 

6 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

You get strong points for style with both action and prose. Strong swashbuckler vibes. However, due to how easy everything was for the characters, there was a loss of risk that made this feel more like the game Q was claiming it wasn't. I am more interested in how Q became this legend, rather than what he is going to do now that he is unbeatable. An example I would like to pull is The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore. This book has its own problems with pacing, but it gets one thing right for a swashbuckler story: it shows us the legendary Highwayman being amazing in the prologue, but then it takes 3/4 quarters of the book to actually get to the part where he is that awesome. Right now, this epicness feels unearned, and it makes Q hard to connect to. I feel more for M having to deal with this drama queen while balancing her men and her mother. 

Definalty understand, and I do plan on going more into Q's background... in a much later book. The fact he is unlikable was not an accident, and you'll see it get worse. He is meant to regress a lot before progressing. As for stakes... you'll see some next sub, i swear.

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10 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Believe me, he won't be a Mary Sue.

This brings me relief. Since I've never read any of your work before, I was worrying that you might be writing one. 

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Just now, Snakenaps said:

This brings me relief. Since I've never read any of your work before, I was worrying that you might be writing one. 

Mary Sues have never been appealing to me, so don't worry, I don't tend to write them. Also, I'm pretty sure Mary Sues have to be likable, which this character is not for both people in world and the Reader.

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20 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Also, I'm pretty sure Mary Sues have to be likable,

Bella Swan was a Mary Sue and I hated her guts, even as a teenager infatuated with the Twilight series...

There's the argument that Kvothe from The Name of the Wind was a Mary Sue/Gary Sue and I certainly didn't like him. I loved watching his arrogance continually pummel him into student debt. 

Menolly from Pern is also arguably a Mary Sue but I love her. So...you have a strong point. 

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57 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Also, I'm pretty sure Mary Sues have to be likable, which this character is not for both people in world and the Reader.

Not necessarily. The definition of a Mary Sue varies from person to person, of course, so I definitely don't have final say. However, I believe a Mary Sue is usually just a "perfect" character. That is, nothing goes wrong for them, everybody likes them despite glaring flaws, and if they do have flaws they are downplayed by the author to make them seem as acceptable, even if it is horrible behaviour.  (they tend to be self-inserts, interestingly. Though not all of them.) I think a good example of this is in mainstream media is actually Harry Potter himself, but that is another rant entirely.

So far, this character has kind of seemed like a Mary Sue to me because nothing seems to go wrong for him, but that feeling is offset somewhat by the fact that M doesn't like him all that much. I'm glad to hear that he won't always be like this though. 

1 hour ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Mistborn took a few chapters to tell us what Mistings are, so I feel this is equivalent to that.

I feel like the whole SH thing is fine as well. The genre-savvy reader will probably get that they're space wizards.

1 hour ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Okay, Each one of you has said this, so I would like to explain

Just a thought. You won't be able to explain to all your readers. 

Edited by ginger_reckoning
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16 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Not necessarily. The definition of a Mary Sue varies from person to person, of course, so I definitely don't have final say. However, I believe a Mary Sue is usually just a "perfect" character. That is, nothing goes wrong for them, everybody likes them despite glaring flaws, and if they do have flaws they are downplayed by the author to make them seem as acceptable, even if it is horrible behaviour.  (they tend to be self-inserts, interestingly. Though not all of them.) I think a good example of this is in mainstream media is actually Harry Potter himself, but that is another rant entirely.

So far, this character has kind of seemed like a Mary Sue to me because nothing seems to go wrong for him, but that feeling is offset somewhat by the fact that M doesn't like him all that much. I'm glad to hear that he won't always be like this though. 

I feel like the whole SH thing is fine as well. The genre-savvy reader will probably get that they're space wizards.

Just a thought. You won't be able to explain to all your readers. 

True, but my readers will have access to the next three chapters. *wink wink*

Edited by Aspiring Writer
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12 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

True, but my readers will have access to the next three chapters. *wink wink*

To @ginger_reckoning's point, and to be a little harsh, not if they put the book down before then. Especially for a new writer or newly published name, it's very hard to balance the "wait and see" cool stuff with "yes I am actually a competent writer." 

So the reactions you see in this group are people who have written stuff seeing the potential problems and traps readers may come across in your work.

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