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Snakenaps

11,23,2020 - Snakenaps - Name of the King - D3 Chapters 27/28 (6,191 words combined)

17 posts in this topic

We continue onwards...

 
Thanks to everyone for putting up with a much longer submission than normal.
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I said this at the bottom, but I think the various parts of these chapters need to be streamlined. There's a lot of good stuff here, but scattered between worldbuilding, romance, and an antagonist, and there's not quite enough of any of them. I'd love a chapter fully devoted to Ir. learning about magic with the king and the O, and then maybe another chapter building the romance with J, and touching on how S is pulling away. But putting it all together pulls in too many directions.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "Three days had given her plenty to clean and try to forget everything. '
--what about three days? I looked back and didn't see anything at the end of the last chapter. Probably WRS.

pg 3: “Why don’t you have an accent?” 
--I think this may need to be seeded earlier. If people don't know of the feylands, then how do they know what accent they have?

pg 4: "but I know that isn’t worth the price of fifteen salaries"
--glad she's finally asking this.

pg 4: "Why are names so important?”
--good question.

pg 5: "some people don’t identify themselves by their given name. They might have a nickname that is more them than the one their parents gave them.”
-- Feel like this hasn't really come up before now and is sort of a big theme in the book. We were never really given any reason for names, nor hinted that names make magic more powerful. Having some example of this earlier in the book would seed a "surprising yet inevitable" moment here.

pg 7: “No need to call for the guards. I am immune to poison,”
--Great move by the king. This reminds me of when my dad was teaching me chemistry, neutralized sulfuric acid, and drank it.*

(*The further story is that he made me calculate the chemical formula, asked if I thought it was right, then when I said yes, poured the correct amount of base in the beaker and drank it. In retrospect, of course he also knew the answer was correct, but I'm sure my impressionable teenage eyes were as big as dinner plates.)

pg 8: I think I finally figured something out. Every time the B.K. has appeared, he's acted as a mentor to Ir. His character is said to be a tyrant, but he's taking the place of the archetypal mentor, which is traditionally a good (or neutral) character. I think this is why I have so much trouble seeing the B.K. as bad.

pg 9: "other name-knowers like yourself,"
--I still want some sort of side comment about this elsewhere. Would she have seen another one in the castle? Has P. said anything about them?

pg 10: "More like a master and an apprentice"
--Aha. Yep.

pg 11: "In that world, was she a chef…or something more?"
--I feel this doesn't land with as much impact as it could. She hasn't really been a chef the whole book. She's been a name-knower and a musician, but we haven't had a lot of scenes with her being a chef.

pg 11: "adding it to his castle."
--I thought it already crumbled?

pg 12: "She had slowly learned that he only acted that way when something meant a lot to him but he didn’t want to show it"
--I don't know if this is necessary to say. It's pretty obvious from the context.

pg 13: "Chatting about food, they headed up the beach."
--good development here, but I want more! There's not a lot of resolution to this section, and it doesn't move the story along to have Ir tell J what happened. If the real intent here is to deepen their relationship, we need to see some more of it.

pg 15: "are too tired to riot"
--too tired from what, exactly? We haven't really seen people actively rioting.

pg 16: "No, an impossibility. Not with the animosity between her city and M."
--hmm. I don't know if this jives with how she was just thinking they needed to move on.

pg 16: I'm on the fence about the dinner scene. It does establish S's position, but I don't know if it gives enough other information to be worth keeping.

pg 17: "pushed magic"
--we still haven't gotten en explanation of his this works or what it looks like.

pg 18: "handed me a knife to start peeling potatoes"
--I still don't understand this. Do they not put wooden handles on knives? Why does she have to touch the metal at all?

pg 20: "Why was she learning from O, nearly four months into her employment, and not one of these other charmcasters earlier on?"
--I was about to ask this as a critiquer as well. I feel like we need some more explanation of magic earlier.

pg 21: This is the fourth scene in this chapter? They've been good, but I feel like it's losing direction. Ir was learning about magic with the king and O, but then there was romance with J and dealing with S in the middle. I'm thrown around to different plot threads

pg 22: and then there's yet another scene thrown on top of that about the performances. These chapters have a lot of really good parts, but they're all jumbled together. I think they can be stripped down and put back together so you have one thread at a time, and it will make these chapters a lot stronger.

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Ok, so just a few notes on the beginning scene, then some line-by-line for the rest. I got pulled in until I realized I had forgot to do the short notes :P

Ok, as for the first chapter in the sub, the setting was nice and well described. But for some reason it seemed a bit…I don’t know…romantic? Maybe I just watch too much Bollywood, but it reminded me of a palace love scene, with the pink stone and the window looking out onto the ocean, and Ir’s odd relationship to BK just made it seem weirdly intimate to me. (there was one part where he was described as slim or something, and I think that also contributed to it) Personally I think it would be way cool to have the juxtaposition of the lovely scene and setting with the Dread of having to face the BK…but he still just doesn’t seem that evil. If that was the point of the scene, however, then you nailed it.

As for the magic stuff, I also think that its nice to finally get some answers, but I think it would be even better if there was just alittle bit more of the foreshadowing in previous parts of the book to how the magic works.

And as for the part where he drank the poison…

Friggin P O W E R  M O V E

Ok, now starting on the line by line

Pg. 11 “hair shot up” I’m not really sure what to imagine here, so I’m going with the Angry Ghibli Hair Thing

“names help focus” so she’s just spilling the details of the whole thing huh. What happened to the bird spies and all those

“he asked accepting” he asked, accepting

“offered with a touch” personally I think just “offered” is fine

Pg.12 “Such as strong” such a strong

Pg 12 “mash them together” #relatable

Pg 13 “age of sixty” lol I was startled before remembering the whole medieval setting and all

Pg 13 “with the incredibly long line” this strikes me as an awkward piece of dialogue

Nice to see some development between those two!

P 14 “under the weight of GW’s stare” Oh yeah I forgot that he was there. Maybe a mention of a curfew or something before this?

P 15 “he’s plans to build” he plans to build

On another note, I like her progress on this point. The university is a good point to bring up, and her personal knowledge of him gives this a lot of support as well. It makes sense why you wouldn’t really want to portray him as super evil if this is your point. To show this change in her mind. However…this is kind of hard to explain, but this just doesn’t quite feel earned yet. (sorry, that’s not super helpful IK) I think maybe because even from pretty early on, she seemed to accept that the BK wasn’t all evil. If it were a slower revelation, I think this part might have more impact. That’s just me tho.

Pg 16 oh oof poor N lol

Pg 16 “the O’s rump” is O a title then?

Also, this feels at odds with the other scene. I think this should be a separate chapter

I’d love a little bit of information on how charms work

Ok, so I literally laughed out loud when he handed her the iron XD. That was kind of just surprised me, like when my own dog drops a piece of garbage into my hands. Except for it burns you!

Wait I thought iron burned you, not froze you

Pg 20 and now she’s in a crowd? Seems like a lot of jumping around

I think this short little scene could probably go as her going to one of the other places. Like maybe she has this scene while walking with J to the resteraunt, or something like that.

Pg 22 “trying hard not to think about it” NICE

But this little section doesn’t really add much. Could probably be tacked onto another scene

I liked that we got a lot of answers in this sub! And some good character development. It just seemed a little all over the place. I think some of these could be added to other scenes, as I noted.

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11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

This reminds me of when my dad was teaching me chemistry, neutralized sulfuric acid, and drank it

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Yay my first critique! :) I read all the summaries for the previous chapters and shall do my best! Also, I could be completely wrong with some things so please correct me if I am wrong or just ignore me :)

pg 1- “a freshly scrubbed house” This is a super small stylistic thing, I think, but I wonder if it would sound better as the freshly scrubbed house. When you use “a” it sounds more random to me, like she was looking at a random house rather than the one she is in.

pg 1- “had felt like a lifetime” I found that the word “had” was used a lot and there is nothing wrong with this, but it feels a bit distant, like this is further in the past.   How foolish of me to have written this. BUT the only reason I left this in is because I remember learning about using the word “had” to differentiate between a flashback and… not flashback and some of the places you used the word feel a bit unnecessary.

pg 2- at the very tippy top, did you mean contract rather than contact?

pg 2- ”thick, soft clouds” nice descriptive words in this sentence!

pg 2- “Nestled” is used in the last two paragraphs (might be a bit too close) I didn't notice this the first time but I did the second.

pg 3- “it was another to be sitting next to him” Another what? I feel like this sentence has little context and might not work on its own. Maybe find a way to link this sentence and the one before it?

pg 3- “decay!” I assume this is some sort of curse word... Perhaps this was mentioned in earlier chapters but it seemed out of place for me. Also, did she literally slap her forehead? I’m not sure about you but I have never actually slapped my forehead, maybe mentally but never literally. Just seems a bit… dramatic? I guess that's the word I’m looking for.

pg 4- “how did politicians speak” This sentence feels a bit confusing to me but I have no suggestions on how to fix it. *shrugs shoulders*

pg 4-  “I didn’t know I had saved your life” i assume she means to put emphasis on “your,” like “I didn’t know I had saved a king’s life” but the way i read it was with emphasis on her saving a life in general… if that makes sense... 

pg 4- “I'm not just knowing names” I don’t know if this wording was intentional but it sounds off to me. If not, then maybe consider rewording it to something like, “it's not just the names of X that I know, it's the names of X, Y, and Z.” Edit: after reading the next chap, I noticed you used this wording again, so maybe it's just the way people speak? 

pg 6- “You did this” When I first read this, I thought she was internally putting blame on TBK for her guilt but the second time(pg 8) I got that this was from a previous chapter. Probably would’ve connected the dots sooner on that one if i read the previous chapters, but i figured i’d point it out anyway.

pg 7- “them as guilty as done so” I think you mean “has” done so

 

Chapter 27 vibes and overall thoughts:

- TBK is suave and aloof but I don’t get evil vibes. I vibed with him more than I (sorry I use the word vibe so much)  I didn’t connect too much with I, but again this is only one chapter and the 27th chapter at that!

- Magic system seems unique! Maybe I don’t read enough but I love your idea of names being involved with magic. Edit: I thought of a sort of magic that uses names (though it is VERY different from yours) Death note! How could I forget!?

- You’ve done a good job setting up scenes and helping me imagine the setting. I noticed the use of colors a lot and some texture words that really help. 

-I am glad we don’t live in a world where apple juice is seasonal. 

 

Words I had to look up from this chapter (in case you were curious, and I knew that you were): 

-Equine -- after I looked it up I was like, “Ooooooh, like equestrian!” P.S. Once I learned this word, I couldn’t stop noticing it every time you used it. Could just be me though!

-Veranda -- I am not knowledgeable in the names of things associated with buildings, so thanks for that :)

 

pg 11- “Unsure what to say” oof, another minor thing/personal preference but I feel like “unsure of what to say” might sound better.

pg 11- “Sparks” Another type of curse word perhaps?

pg 12- “Regulated to my family” I don’t know if regulated is the right word. I am a bit confused by the meaning of this sentence. If it is the right word, then the preposition following should be “by” rather than “to.”

pg 13- “Then i was going to work” this whole chunk of dialogue seems muddled, like the tense is changing or something. 

pg 13- “But her sister and brother-in-law” ooooh family dramaaa

pg 15- I haven’t met Suebin, but I don’t like her, what with treating this poor family so horribly. (jk, i'm not judging her yet, but still… i got my eyes on her)

pg 15- There’s a lot of good family banter on this page and the next

pg 16- “Turned so red his acne blended right in” omg high school me relates so hard.

pg 18- Iron, huh? (that's it, that's the whole comment)

pg 18- “When had she started thinking like that?” oooh subtle, i like it.

pg 20- Oooh there are diff types of magic?? Do tell, O.

pg 20- Idk what ringball is… should i know? Is it important?

pg 21- The whole scene in the crowd feels short and doesn’t add much. Unless you were to connect this scene with the next… and the last scene lacks setting, I am having a hard time picturing where the conversation is taking place.

pg 21- “Bathing in their smiles” whose smiles? Sorry, this is probably because I am new to the story.

 

Overall:

- Wow, I met so many characters in this chapter! I had a hard time keeping them straight but that’s because i didn’t get a proper introduction so no wrong on your part!

- I felt like it ended a bit abruptly, or like the last scene was a little too short. 

- I got more info about the magic, so that's cool :)

Edited by karamel
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22 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I think the various parts of these chapters need to be streamlined

 

11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

It just seemed a little all over the place.

 

8 hours ago, karamel said:

I felt like it ended a bit abruptly, or like the last scene was a little too short

Glad I'm not the only one feeling this. The second chapter is a part of a combination of three chapters split into two, and this one I especially feel like needs to be fixed up. Hopefully, with everyone's opinions I'll be able to pin point what exactly needs smoothing over. I feel like fixing plot holes and streamlining is going to be a big part of Draft Four, while Draft Three is me trying to figure out what is relevant and where the plot holes even are. 

 

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23 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'd love a chapter fully devoted to Ir. learning about magic with the king and the O, and then maybe another chapter building the romance with J, and touching on how S is pulling away.

I haven't considering a magic lesson with the BK and O. That's an interesting concept... I think I need to find a balance. Draft One/Two's magic lesson was too focused on charms, which is more relevant to the second book than this one, and slowed down the pace to the point where was skimming. I think I need to find a happy medium on magic lessons.

Chapter 28 is long enough that splitting them and then developing both of scenes won't be an issue. Have two separate chapters will certainly make it easier on the mind. Magic chapter. Relationships chapter. Boom.

23 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Feel like this hasn't really come up before now and is sort of a big theme in the book. We were never really given any reason for names, nor hinted that names make magic more powerful. Having some example of this earlier in the book would seed a "surprising yet inevitable" moment here.

Good point. I've touched on it so briefly in the past that it might as well not be there (unless I cut it this draft??? Hard to remember).

23 hours ago, Mandamon said:

This reminds me of when my dad was teaching me chemistry, neutralized sulfuric acid, and drank it.*

(*The further story is that he made me calculate the chemical formula, asked if I thought it was right, then when I said yes, poured the correct amount of base in the beaker and drank it. In retrospect, of course he also knew the answer was correct, but I'm sure my impressionable teenage eyes were as big as dinner plates.)

This is amazing. I want to be able to scare my students like this.

23 hours ago, Mandamon said:

If the real intent here is to deepen their relationship, we need to see some more of it.

"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." 

This is where I need advice. I'm not with good relationships, especially ones that turn romantic. Mostly stems from my lack of experience, I think. I don't even know where to start. 

Thank you @Mandamon !

Edited by Snakenaps
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11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

the setting was nice and well described. But for some reason it seemed a bit…I don’t know…romantic? Maybe I just watch too much Bollywood, but it reminded me of a palace love scene, with the pink stone and the window looking out onto the ocean, and Ir’s odd relationship to BK just made it seem weirdly intimate to me.

This is hilarious to me. I have never considered this before. I'm glad you spoke up.

11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

I think it would be even better if there was just alittle bit more of the foreshadowing in previous parts of the book to how the magic works.

I need to go back and add foreshadowing to everything. Thanks for leaving me this note so that I can make sure I don't leave "magic system" off the list.

11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

And as for the part where he drank the poison…

Friggin P O W E R  M O V E

Hee hee hee.

I'm going to change up the poison because I feel like that is too run of the mill. I want to switch it out for something more worldbuildy/magical (maybe touch on the fact that silver is deadly?). But I definitely want to keep this feeling no matter what I switch it to (open to ideas).

11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

However…this is kind of hard to explain, but this just doesn’t quite feel earned yet. (sorry, that’s not super helpful IK) I think maybe because even from pretty early on, she seemed to accept that the BK wasn’t all evil. If it were a slower revelation, I think this part might have more impact. That’s just me tho.

Actually, I completely agree with you. I think the current problem that undermines this revelation is the fact that his government is still too utopia and perfect. It makes it hard to think of him as being bad when...he doesn't do anything that bad. 

11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

I’d love a little bit of information on how charms work

This tells me I cut too much from this chapter. Previously, it had nearly 1,000 words on charm explanation that went too deep to the point where I was skipping. I need to find a happy medium.

Thanks @ginger_reckoning !

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10 hours ago, karamel said:

Yay my first critique! :)

Yaaaaaay!!!!

10 hours ago, karamel said:

I read all the summaries for the previous chapters and shall do my best!

If you have any questions, let me know. It can be a weird world to suddenly get dropped into.

10 hours ago, karamel said:

Also, I could be completely wrong with some things so please correct me if I am wrong or just ignore me :)

This is the beauty of critique! You are always right, I am always right, because we are both entitled to our opinions. What is a critique other than an opinion? One of the things you'll learn here is how to figure out whose opinions are helpful for what scenes, and who has a bias. For example, if it involves prophecies, best to ignore my opinions because I am heavily biased against them. 

10 hours ago, karamel said:

This is a super small stylistic thing

Give me all the super small stylistic things. Since I'm quickly approaching Draft Four, I'm starting to think less about the "big picture" and start nailing down the little details. If you see me putting adverbs in the wrong place, please let me know. I'm bad about that.

10 hours ago, karamel said:

“decay!” I assume this is some sort of curse word... Perhaps this was mentioned in earlier chapters but it seemed out of place for me. Also, did she literally slap her forehead? I’m not sure about you but I have never actually slapped my forehead, maybe mentally but never literally. Just seems a bit… dramatic? I guess that's the word I’m looking for.

10 hours ago, karamel said:

pg 11- “Sparks” Another type of curse word perhaps?

Common swears:

"Decay" Refers to their deity, Rav, who has this ying-yang like thing going on with two charms, growth and decay. 

"Sparks" Refers to their religion's concept of souls. 

"Stars" "By the stars" Refers to their deity, who is often depicted in art as a cluster of stars before creation.

I slap myself on the forehead constantly, so this is some of me bleeding over. I think I picked up the habit because it lets students visibly see when I know I've made a mistake.

10 hours ago, karamel said:

I vibed with him more than I (sorry I use the word vibe so much)  I

You use vibe a lot, I use the words dude and rad a lot.

10 hours ago, karamel said:

Maybe I don’t read enough but I love your idea of names being involved with magic.

True names and such are not uncommon in fiction, as it is pulled from folklore (as is iron, silver, and charms). I've just got a nice twist going on with them meshed into a strange world. Combined, it makes for an interesting take. 

It actually all stems from the fact that I am really bad at memorizing names...so I gave that ability to Ir. 

10 hours ago, karamel said:

I noticed the use of colors a lot and some texture words that really help. 

I am an artist, so I think this is where I bleed over. I want to go back and add other sensory details in appropriate spots. A little more smell, a bit more touch, you know?

10 hours ago, karamel said:

Words I had to look up from this chapter (in case you were curious, and I knew that you were): 

-Equine -- after I looked it up I was like, “Ooooooh, like equestrian!” P.S. Once I learned this word, I couldn’t stop noticing it every time you used it. Could just be me though!

-Veranda -- I am not knowledgeable in the names of things associated with buildings, so thanks for that :)

Your instinct was correct: I always want to know what words people get stuck on. Veranda has tripped up you, my sister, and my mother, so I need to sneak in a quick pseudo-explanation in there through description. 

Fun fact! Equine and equestrian are both derivatives (or off-shoots) from the Latin word "equus" which means...you guessed it...horse!

My favorite Latin derivative is probably ambulance...which comes from "ambulo, ambulare" which means "to walk." Because, you know, you walk to the hospital.

Another favorite is astronaut, coming from "astrum" star and "nauta" sailor. So an astronaut is literally a star sailor. I've always loved that. 

(I took Latin in middle school and high school. I'm severely rusty now but I am still filled with fun facts).

10 hours ago, karamel said:

Wow, I met so many characters in this chapter! I had a hard time keeping them straight but that’s because i didn’t get a proper introduction so no wrong on your part!

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry, I completely forgot to add I actually have a website with character bios. The worldbuilding is a little out of date, but most of it is good enough to be some help. I also have added Cast of Characters and a World Summary to the summaries page, which I have renamed the "Cheat Sheet."

Thank you @karamel ! Fantastic first critique. You've got an eye for details I strongly appreciate. 

Edited by Snakenaps
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On 11/24/2020 at 9:56 AM, Snakenaps said:

I slap myself on the forehead constantly, so this is some of me bleeding over. I think I picked up the habit because it lets students visibly see when I know I've made a mistake.

So I was reading Locke Lamora and I came across this part where it said, "He slapped his forehead." (because he forgot something) And it made me think of you, so I rescind my comment!  :)

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2 minutes ago, karamel said:

So I was reading Locke Lamora and I came across this part where it said, "He slapped his forehead." (because he forgot something) And it made me think of you, so I rescind my comment!  :)

Such a good book!!! I really need to reread the series. 

*looks at giant stack of unread books*

Eventually. 

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Overall

Some of the best movement and tension yet in the book. I really enjoyed most of this! I think it needs some cutting and streamlining, especially all the little interludes that don't seem to help the plot. The magic learning stuff was fantastic, and the little romance interlude was well placed and a nice way to break the magic interludes apart. I'm not sure if the other stuff is necessary, and I suspect it can be broken down and stuck into other interludes without losing the feeling.

 

As I go

- pg 1: The knock on the door was echoed by I dropping the broom< -- consider, especially for first sentences, more active voice. I dropped the broom, startled, by the knock on the door.

- the first interlude could probably be cut. You could start the chapter with: Today was judgement day and it would be super catching and help streamline this chapter

- pg 5: It's weird to me that I, who has never done much more than be pushed along by the plot, is suddenly demanding answers after BK calls her in. It's unusually passive for BK, too. I'm not saying I mind, but that it pings me as weird

- pg 8: this scene with BK is the most engaged I've ever been with this book. I love it!

- pg 10: Both times she had .... <-- paragraphs like this, that rehash what we already know, just slow down the tension. I'd suggest cutting it since the story is moving at a good clip. I don't need a recap on what she is thinking

- pg 10: was wrong, though. It was her fault that G died. Sn was right in the fact that she had been enjoying the palace without considering the consequences for others. Not truly. She wouldn’t be so careless in the future, because next time, it might not be spy that had accepted the risks.  <-- I agree with BK, and I really hoped that I would grow a bit from their talk, or at least see how to look at things differently. 

- pg 11: In that world, was she a chef…or something more? LOVE THIS

- pg 15: could you blend the mini-romance interlude into the family interlude? I loved the romance interlude, but now going over the same things with the family, one or the other is redundant and we are losing momentum. I'm not sure what purpose the family interlude has, even

- pg 22: YAYAY more magic learning

- pg 21: more random interludes. Can these be smushed into others or cut?

- pg 22: that last interlude doesn't appear to have a purpose

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I feel like rust right now, so writing is becoming a little hard,  so let's see what these next two chapters do.

Pg1- good. Descriptive.

Pg-2- try and combine the happiness and pain paragraph. It feels slightly overt right now, and your reader will get what you're trying to do.

"pulled her down." Maybe weighed on her would be better? or maybe both?

Pg3- Nice encounter. Realistic.

Pg4-5- "did, although she wasn’t sure of its purpose." Put this in the next paragraph. Having right after that BK speaks makes it look like she spoke.

Pg6- interesting magic system. nicely explained.

Pg7- I am really liking BK. Very sensible.

Pg10- "not be spy" You forgot the a

Pg12- "such as strong ‘No, way!’" Is this right? It doesn't sound right.

Pg18- "Wincing," I think grimacing might be better here.

Pg19- ohhh, more about the magic in combative situations. me likey. 

Pg21-22- I suggest ending it on page 21. Tha band scene is a far less effective ending than saying "flat out attack"

 

Overall, enjoyable, I certainly liked learning more about the magic. (Granted, I'm bias to those sorts of things). Character interaction was nice, and scenes progressed nicely.

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It was nice to have a big peice of the story at once!

A few things I noticed:

"Do you know what that is?" Followed by Ir's reaction is a bit confusing since BK is talking.

Sorry if this is alread addressed, but it seems like handling knives wouldn't necessarily mean handling iron or an alloy. Most knife work in the kitchen I know of, you only touch the handle which rarely has very much exposed metal on the outside. The little there is seems like it could be covered without much effort. 

The last two segments feel like they need a page break or maybe a new chapter. 

The file I got ended abruptly, so I'm not sure what happens at the end. Or was that just a cliffhanger :-)

Thanks for sharing

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25 minutes ago, Sarah B said:

Sorry if this is alread addressed, but it seems like handling knives wouldn't necessarily mean handling iron or an alloy. Most knife work in the kitchen I know of, you only touch the handle which rarely has very much exposed metal on the outside. The little there is seems like it could be covered without much effort. 

Well, I do know in cooking there are plenty of times where you might need to touch the knife. I'm not a professional, but I do a tiny bit and have seen my mom cook, and there are times they push down on the knife, so Ir would come into contact with it a little.

However, Sarah is 100% right, and I'm going to be blunt because this is in my arena and I am getting hyper. Your society has a decent number of people with an iron allergy, and from what I can tell, you don't do much with societal changes with the metal. You made silver illegal, but iron would be flushed out if it is such bothersome material for so many people. They would look for metal alternatives for iron (Excluding for weapons, where they would try and exclusively use iron.), or try and make sure you never have to touch the metal, either by putting something in between or using gloves. No society is going to keep using a volatile material the same way as we do. It won't disappear from society, the fact it hurts magic people guarantees that but its uses and commonality will certainly be affected, and people will make ways to avoid touching it as much as possible, and that's without getting to how price and demand for the metal might change considering it would be unwanted for certain products but pined for by others.

 

and hi Rob, I awake late again. is it weird being on the Shard during these hours? It always feels so empty.

Edited by Aspiring Writer
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Okay, skimming just to keep pace with events.

Chapter 27

- great first line.

- "taking off" - makes the bird sound like an aircraft, IMO. Taking flight would be more natural, and poetic.

- "end of the contact" - typo: contract, presumably.

- "She could see both halves, like two sides of the same coin" - two halves of what, the palace? Two sides of the same coin verges on cliche. This is prime example of low-hanging fruit, IMO, You could have something that adds to the colour of the local vernacular, I dunno, 'two nuts from the same shell', 'two sides of the same leaf'.

- Love the description of the room.

- "Despite the many numerous couches" - tautology: delete one.

- In fact, "Despite the many numerous couches, cushions, and more" - This is so cluttered! (The sentence, not the room.)

- "Thick, soft clouds punctured by beams of morning sunlight that lit the city" - missing word, otherwise it sounds like the clouds lit the city, which seems unlikely.

- "sat across from him slowly" - Primacy and recency: put the important bit at the end of the sentence. So here, I'd do 'slowly sat across from him'.

- "Her eyebrows raised" - rose, IMO. I think this tense sounds wrong with 'raised'. To me, raise is an action performed on another object. Her hand raised the fan to her face. In her hand, the fan rose to her face.

- "She raised her hands" - awkward, she just slapped her forehead. Too many hand gestures make it sound like she's flapping all over the place, IMO.

- "Why are names so important?" - I feel like this question is kind of sold short. She knows the answer, she caught an assassin, that is worth a huge amount! The knowing of names clearly is important, and she has experienced what that is. I think this question needs to be reframed a bit, to acknowledge what she has experienced in the recent past.

- "caused her chin to rise" - here, this is the same sense as earlier, I think, where 'raise' was used, and I suggested 'rose'. In the approach of the earlier instance, this might have been 'caused her chin to 'raise', and I would have commented on that too.

- "I have been the target of more than two hundred assassination attempts in almost ten years" - 1.75 per month still seems like a lot to me, but ho hum.

- I really do enjoy this encounter. I like how it's reading now, not that I didn't before :) 

- I still don't like the phrase 'national security' which still rings modern to me. Even 'state security' or maybe 'the monarchy's security' would be better, IMO.

- Good ending to the chapter. She has gone through it, had questions answered, and gained new questions. That's still a solid arc to me.

Chapter 28 

- "accepting the offered shell" - How can J see the shell? I thought his 'blindness' was worse than that.

- "Did he…was he feeling the same as she was?" - Good chat back and forth here. I'm not sure at this point whether she has accepted in her internal monologue how she feels about him?

- The end of this section feels repetitive. I've made a few suggestions in an LBL file I'll email you, and one of them is an ending to this section that I think is a bit more end-y. I think you want to leave the reader on a note about something other than food. Food doesn't resonate enough to end a section, now, I think, because it is so ubiquitous throughout the whole story. It's like 'Oh, another reference to food, how unsurprising.'

- "so many of us are too tired to riot" - But it's not just about fatigue, surely? I think this thought could be more powerful in its expression of the collective mood of the people.

- "stared at her knife before cutting through a loaf of bread" - Surely she would not use her own knife to cut the bread. Do they not have a bread knife?

- The use of 'outed' really jarred with me as a modern expression I don't see that it adds anything, and rather detracts from the fantasy setting.

- "thinking of J" - Good. Good building on the romantic arc. And good for her to acknowledge the barriers in the way of the relationship. Barriers are necessary so they can be overcome, and love can triumph.

- "Does n/k have any age limits?" - Something really disorient me at the start of this new section. Somehow the description works against what the narrative is trying to tell me (maybe?) and I can't quite grasp the situation. It might be because we don't get bedded in the scene before we're wicked away to what happened before the scene started.

- All these words starting with 'charm--' are charmchuffing annoying :rolleyes:.

- "this wasn’t an alloy like the iron used for her knives" - Iron is not an alloy, it's the base element. Steel is an alloy of iron.

- "The iron itself had never once actually changed temperature" - ROFL, is was totally going to pounce on this, but the next part of the sentence anticipated my attack :lol: 

- All this stuff with the charm master--I can't remember--is any of it relevant to this story? I don't remember it having any relevance in this book, in which case, I'd recommend cutting it. it feels like a darling to me: I fear it must be put to the sword. Whatever the case, I find it quite boring to read, personally. I'm skimming after the first or second sentence.

- I'm super-disoriented at the switch in scenes from the charmdude to her standing in the street.

- "I have missed you" - What?! Ow!! Totally got whiplash with the speed of the cut into the last scene. It's so short. The really does not work for me at all. There's not time to get oriented in the mindset of being in a different place with different people and then the scene is finished. I don't like that at all. You're welcome :lol: 

Overall 

First chapter really good: tense, informative, intriguing, stimulating.

Second chapter: I thought the first scene with J was excellent. The second one with the family, pretty good, drives home the rift among them, which is good. Third scene: Gotta say I was totally turned off. Didn't seem to have any relevance to what was happening. Forth scene: Huh? How did we get here? What's happening? Oh, end of scene. Fifth scene: why? Not a satisfying way to finish a chapter, IMO. Not saying it's impossible to end with a scene that lasts for seven lines, but it better be really good. This one did not hit the mark for me.

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So I read this on Tuesday, and am just typing my comments now. 

Ch. 27

"If this was the end of the contact" Did you mean contract? 

After the whole interaction with BK, what he says about how the assassin would've gotten caught anyway, and how he is immune to poison, I understand why you picked that to be the rebel's method of attempted assassination.  It's a convenient way  to show his immunity and it also alleviates some of the guilt for I, even if she doesn't fully admit. There is no doubt that person would've been caught. But I figured that the second I learned about the poison. This makes me think the revolutionaries are naive, incompetent, and don't stand a chance. And if that is what you are going for with them, then it works. 

Overall, I really enjoyed her interaction with the BK. I liked how once again, he defied her expectations, and how the choices he gives her will increase the tension. 

Ch. 28

The interaction between I and J was cute, and I can see the romantic tension growing between them. I'm wondering if he is actually more aware of it than she is. 

Seeing her vent about her sister to him is good, but I'm wondering if there is room for more of that. In some of the crits for the other chapters, I remember people having trouble with S and the revs as a whole. If you aren't changing some of the flaws with S and the revs, this or a similar conversation elsewhere  could be a place for I and the narrative voice to call out some of the problems.

I's frustration and conflict certainly came through. 

"...die at sixty..." That sounds so young but I can see why it might be the case in that world with the level of medicine it has. Still, I don't fully picture 60 as "wrinkling."

I did get a little confused in the conversation with the family. I re-read and kept feeling like I was missing something about why S was mad at N and L. I get why she is pissed at I, but I feel like I missed what the brothers did to earn her ire. 

I have to admit, I was less engaged in this part than I was when I was with BK and then J. 

However, I did like the  part where N asked about why they compared enemies to F and Irene though "because it makes them easier to kill". Then when it switched to gossip about the red-headed girl, I was less interested. 

I'm wondering if the family scene really needs to be there or not. 

I'm assuming I was drawn back in when I got to the next scene with the O. I didn't make any notes there. I thought it was cool to learn more about how her magic worked. However, I feel like this might have been useful to have earlier in the book. Though I suspect I may have been hostile too it if it came sooner, so I can see why it's here and not earlier. 

There was one short section with her out on the street, and she noticed forces leaving, but that scene didn't seem to have a beat, and then we get a fragment of one with her back to the musicians, but it felt a little like a fragment. It was just a few paragraphs. 

Overall, it seemed like the chapter started out strong, but then fell apart as it went on. When I see it as a whole, it almost has a full arc, but it doesn't fully land. 

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