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Aspiring Writer

Reading Excuses - 11/23/20 - Aspiring Writer - SotU -The Vengeful, the Betrayed, and the Lost - Ch4-Ch6 (3417) - (L,V,G)

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Takes place on S VI. Slightly gory descriptions, though nothing horrible. And for all of you worried Q was a Mary Sue, your concerns have now been answered.

 

Edit Why did nobody mention the title was wrong?

Edited by Aspiring Writer
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I have to say I wasn't really engaged by this sequence. We've just come from three chapters of fight scenes, we get one page of him wandering around trying to get information, and then another three chapters of fight scenes. By the end of it I want some context. What is his situation? What is his mission or objective? I guess people are chasing him, but why? All I know about Q is that he likes to kill people and every government seems to be after him. There is no motivation for his actions, as yet.

I think there is a lot of neat scifi tech and worldbuilding buried in here, but it's not coming through on the page. Rather than a play-by-play of him fighting the Angels, I want to know what kind of society makes all these various squads of elite operatives. Is there a single government? An empire? Many? 

7 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

And for all of you worried Q was a Mary Sue, your concerns have now been answered.

They really haven't. Q spends the whole time trouncing one of the best elite forces (so we're told), has the ability to pull whatever weapon he wants from his coat, can instantly sense anyone coming for him, and knows all about his enemies. I have no concerns about his safety. Four elite soldiers finally punched him out after he killed two, and he basically let himself be knocked out. I imagine he will immediately escape his confinement next chapter.

Again, I think there are the makings of a fun pirate-y story here, but right now I have no investment in it because there's no tension.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "the drug was nice"
--It's a bit generic. This is a good place for a sci-fi drug name, like "Relaxxer," or "planetHaze" or something like that.

pg 1: "somewhat glowing"
--is it glowing or not?

pg 1: "all of whom got quiet once they saw him"
--Why? Because of his glowing clothes?

pg 1: The beggars are a bit...standard. Like, why are there beggars here? This planet runs itself, but seems to have an employment problem if there are scads of beggars lying around. Same thing for the generic "gangsters." They aren't just going to stand around to be window dressing. I assume they have their own stories and objectives.

pg 1: "His eyes weren’t as glazed over"
--Is this saying all beggars are also drug addicts? Or they're all starving?

pg 1: "I only had an education"
--not sure what this means.

pg 2: "He leaned and whispered"
--I'd think the beggar would hold out for the money he's expecting then. Why does he suddenly give in? His information is his only lever to get sustenance, since he's a beggar. It's literally his only card and he just gave it up. He has nothing to lose, so guns shouldn't be a real threat.

pg 2: "someone wearing beggar cloak"
--first, it's missing a word, and second, are there so many beggars that wearing a cloak like a beggar makes one blend in?

pg 2: "peaked" -> "peeked"

pg 2: "Pieces of the man flew off"
--this is a...strange way of saying he was shot.

pg 3: "She was Ph."
--are we supposed to know what or who this is?

pg 3: "Boundless"
--who?

pg 3: "Which meant she was Boundless"
--ah. The explanation should probably come before using the term then.

pg 3: "guy in the alleyway"
--ah, I was confused again. These are names, not titles. I think all of this needs to be a lot clearer that Q is identifying a small group of specialized people.

pg 3: "His coat absorbed most of it, though he started to feel the heat of the plasma on his chest"
--yeah, I still feel no concern that Q might be hurt.

pg 4: "The spirit wailed and lunged at him, but he jumped over it "
--To the last point. There are a lot of these sort of descriptions, which boil down to "this dangerous thing happened, but it was no problem for Our Hero." It takes away a lot of the tension. If it's no problem, don't even mention it. Show us the thing that have a chance of hampering the hero.

pg 4: "when he noticed a white spirit trying to sneak up on him"
--This is another problem. Q instantly sees everything and recognizes everyone. And those who recognize him seem to be stricken with terror. Why?

pg 4: "Just like Boundless’ spirit, he could fly and go through objects."
--a lot of infodumping/telling through here.

pg 5: "Surprisingly, it worked"
--not really. Everything he's done has worked.

pg 6: "but it didn’t happen. Deciding not to question it"
--Another tension killer. Q just walks away and nothing bad happens. I want him to be at least inconvenienced by these people but he's easily beaten three elite members of a well-known (evidently) special forces group.

pg 6: "he had been hit into a wall"
--thrown? Also, I guess this isn't over...

pg 6: "He did a disarm maneuver with his other arm"
--no, I take that back. Once again, he beats his opponent, even while blind and stunned.

pg 6: "another one of the..."
--how surprising. Shouldn't he have been expecting more by now?

pg 8: "Q slipped a toxin into his fingers from his coat."
--Eh? This sort of comes out of nowhere.

pg 8: "took out an explosive"
--I suppose he's just carrying any weapon he wants?

pg 8: "the best the Sources’ had. Fortunately, he was better."
--This again. Q is better than they best mercenaries money or governments can buy, by such a large margin that he can easily take out four of them? I have no concerns for his character at all by now. It's obvious he's going to survive everything.

pg 9: "the head of the Angels of Death herself."
--There's no tension in this. We already know he's better than her.

pg 9: The long description of V doesn't add anything to the story.

pg 9: "He was barely able to fight the first three."
--uh...he pretty much trounced them.

pg 11: "He now held his MKRs"
--I though all his devices were disabled?

pg 11-12: The extended plot explanation that the two angels have while Q is just standing there is very maid and butler. Why are they just giving him all this information? Why are they having a logistics discussion in the middle of a firefight? Why did Q not just shoot them while they were talking?

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5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'd think the beggar would hold out for the money he's expecting then. Why does he suddenly give in? His information is his only lever to get sustenance, since he's a beggar. It's literally his only card and he just gave it up. He has nothing to lose, so guns shouldn't be a real threat.

The previous line is meant to imply he has already paid and the contact wants more.

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

ah. The explanation should probably come before using the term then

*facepalm* my bad

 

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 6: "He did a disarm maneuver with his other arm"
--no, I take that back. Once again, he beats his opponent, even while blind and stunned.

Technically, he has recovered at that point.

 

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 8: "took out an explosive"
--I suppose he's just carrying any weapon he wants?

he had explosives in previous chapters. As for the toxin, I agree it came out of nowhere, but it's not inconceivable he'd want something that can take someone out quietly.

 

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 11: "He now held his MKRs"
--I though all his devices were disabled?

One, they weren't with him when shocked, two, they're not considered a gadget like his Grav boots, and three, you also never see them used.

 

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 11-12: The extended plot explanation that the two angels have while Q is just standing there is very maid and butler. Why are they just giving him all this information? Why are they having a logistics discussion in the middle of a firefight? Why did Q not just shoot them while they were talking?

With what gun? They have his main weapons, most of his gadgets are fried, and they can keep zapping him with lightning if they need to. He has been beaten and they know it, He's not getting away from that.

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Q spends the whole time trouncing one of the best elite forces (so we're told), has the ability to pull whatever weapon he wants from his coat, can instantly sense anyone coming for him, and knows all about his enemies.

Um, trouncing is what he did to the guards. This was a fight, and it wasn't one-sided. I get he seems over-powered, but he is going to put up a fight, and has years of experience of people trying to kill him and knows to be suspicious. As for knowing about his enemies, the AoD are widely known, so he is going to have some information on them, especially when he may become a target.

 

Edit- also, the drug does have a name, it's called a sucker. 

Edited by Aspiring Writer
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Overall, the tension in these chapters was a lot better. I enjoyed them much better than the last sub, though Q still seems like he wasn’t in much danger from most of them. Also, the crowds and beggars and such seem to be just...there. They don't react to anything, and I'm not really sure what to imagine in regards to the people in this city. Are there a lot of people or just a few? Why do't they react to the fighting? And most of the pople fighting him still don't seem like a challenge, until V arrives. 

I’m more interested this time to see what will happen next!

 

Pg 1 “the drug was nice” just nice huh

“gangsters” I’m guessing you mean, like, gang members? Because for me “gangsters” conjures a very specific image of a guy with a cigar and a pin-striped suit. Which I’m guessing is not what’s on the street here

I like the dialogue here

Pg 2 “someone wearing beggar cloak” a beggar cloak

“spooking the beggars” so how many beggars are there here? Is he passing them constantly, or are they spread out? Is he not worried about them seeing him?

“the man grinned” ok that’s horrifying

“she was P” what is P

Also what is B

Ok, so B is described later down. I would suggest to not have him mentally use the term before the description. But the idea itself seems pretty cool. Martial art astral projection type stuff

“the Sources try to downplay is” the sources tried to downplay it. Tense slip.

Nice fight scene. IMO much better than the previous chapters, as there seemed to be some actual tension and fear from his part that he might lose.

Pg 4, ch5 “he is supposed to be…he chooses”  more tense slippage in this sentence

Pg 5 “his attire” I’m glad this got addressed. There’s some disadvantages to his coat after all

“some random person” poor phrasing, I’d say. I think “bystander” or something like that would be better.

A note though: can these people not see the spirit? Or are just not phased by the fight? Cause it seems like all these people are jus standing there like zombies, not reacting to Q grabbing them and such

Pg 5 “threw his shield” he’s good at objectifying these people

Pg 6 Im kinda confused about what’s going on in this page. How’d he get in the alley?

Pg 8 “Slipped a toxin” so he just has poison on him? Why not use this before?

“G grip loosened” G’s grip

“Blackout” black out.

“the best the Sources’ had” doesn’t need an apostrophe

Pg 9 “fingerless gloves on them” why is he surprised by this? Seems like it fits the rest of her outfit

Pg 10 “the gloves” again, I don’t see why he would question the gloves. I think that with the description of her gloves glowing, most people will understand.

Pg 11 “Pain arced” I was really confused by this, especially after the part where he was just flying and then was suddenly in the alley. a description of the lightning hitting him would be good. Like a flash of light or something.

Something to be aware of: V is the only one with an extensive description, and she saved Q. I fully expect her to team up with Q at some point.

Edited by ginger_reckoning
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23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Ok, so B is described later down. I would suggest to not have him mentally use the term before the description. But the idea itself seems pretty cool. Martial art astral projection type stuff

Complete accident. Don't know how I missed that. My brain just skips things sometimes.

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

“the Sources try to downplay is” the sources tried to downplay it. Tense slip

thanks.

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

“some random person” poor phrasing, I’d say. I think “bystander” or something like that would be better.

Yes, and thank you.

 

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

A note though: can these people not see the spirit? Or are just not phased by the fight? Cause it seems like all these people are jus standing there like zombies, not reacting to Q grabbing them and such

Um, yes, Should probably add more of that. Scud.

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

“threw his shield” he’s good at objectifying these people

I'm pretty sure you can diagnosis this guy as a psychopath. 

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Im kinda confused about what’s going on in this page. How’d he get in the alley?

he got knocked in by MK. Was that not clear?

 

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Pg 8 “Slipped a toxin” so he just has poison on him? Why not use this before?

Okay, bit out of nowhere, I agree, but my reasoning is that he would want something to take someone out quietly. As for why he didn't use it earlier, he had a gun and wanted to kill them or just escape. He saw no reason or opportunity to use it. Does that make sense?

 

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

G grip loosened” G’s grip

“Blackout” black out.

“the best the Sources’ had” doesn’t need an apostrophe

Um, my bad x3.

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Pg 9 “fingerless gloves on them” why is he surprised by this? Seems like it fits the rest of her outfit

Pg 10 “the gloves” again, I don’t see why he would question the gloves. I think that with the description of her gloves glowing, most people will understand.

yeah, I removed the surprise factor before reading this actually, cuz I remembered how much fashion varies through all the planets.

23 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Something to be aware of: V is the only one with an extensive description, and she saved Q. I fully expect her to team up with Q at some point.

Mark's kinda given a bit of a character description, though I get your point. And, let's just say you going to see more of her. A lot. Soon.

 

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

he got knocked in by MK. Was that not clear?

No, not really. He was just flying, and then suddenly in the alleyway. 

10 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Um, my bad x3

No need to apologize! Typos and stuff are completely normal, just helping you find them :) 

 

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Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, "making it his go-to planet when in-between jobs" Sweet! After the beginning fight scenes, I'm hoping to see some worldbuilding that will give me a strong sense of setting. That's half the fun of sci-fi! Exploring new worlds, seeing crazy technology, etc. 

Pg 1, " then took another dose" I've been imagining these as suckers and therefore would love to know how you take another dose. How many licks does it take to the center of...your high? The Tootsie Pop owl always did look like he was doing drugs.

Spoiler

What Ritual Has in Common with a Vintage Tootsie Pop Ad | by Stratton  Cherouny | Better By __ | Medium

Pg 2, "“Someone has been asking around for you" Wouldn't this constantly be happening for a man of his...reputation?

Pg 2, " He saw someone out of the corner of his eye" That was quick. Was the beggar a traitor?

Pg 2, "A pair of hands suddenly grabbed his throat from behind" Rude.

Pg 2, "spooking the beggars." Dudes getting shot up must be pretty common if your first instinct isn't to just run for the hills.

It's good to see that not everything is going to be easy on Q. I like the fact that we have a wide variety of baddies. Makes things more interesting. 

Pg 8, "slipped a toxin into his fingers from his coat" Hmmm, this feels like the magic coat of plot convenience, since we had no clue that these existed previously. You could fix that pretty easily by slipping in a line somewhere. For instance, when he flashes his guns at the beggar, you could sneak in something about how the beggar couldn't see all of his other weapons. The beggar wouldn't be so coy if he knew he was talking to someone with nerve toxins and bombs. Q never took chances, after all. A hunted man had to be prepared.

Pg 11, "So, they can die, he noted." Good information, there.

 

Overall:

Characters: Q is not as much as an abrasive jerk this time around. However, with all of the action, I'm still struggling to get a sense of who he is outside of being sci-fi Clint Eastwood crossed with Cad Bane. He's a wanted pirate with a beef with his brother. But, like...what makes him human? Relatable? So far, he strikes me as having a flair for the dramatic. Is he super into clothing? Does he spend hours finding just the right boots to go with his hat? Is he such a [email protected]$$ but does he secretly love fruity drinks instead of hard liquor? Does he put up his boots on every chair when he sits and tilts back just enough that you think he might fall?

Spoiler

Pin on The MandalorianThis picture of clint eastwood is a signifier that this film is a western.  From the cowboy hat, pistol hostler to the desert b… | Clint eastwood, Clint,  Movie stars

Pew Pew

Setting: I want more. Give me a sense of this world. You can actually tell us a lot about Q by letting us see the world. Why does he love Planet S for much? Is it because it is the only place he can find those toxins? Is the street food out of this world even though it would never pass any kind of health inspection? Does the smell of unwashed beggars, ship exhaust, and illegal drugs excite him? Are there aliens? How are people making do without tech? What if you compare it to a high tech world so we can get an idea of what tech even looks like there. Do signs normally float? Does Q love this place because the lack of neon lights means he doesn't get headaches? Does having low tech suck because there is no super fast public transportation?

Storyline: I worry this story is going to be 75% action 25% plot. This is a strong action story with a heavy amount of swashbuckling. The reason why The Princess Bride was so good was because we got a sense of who the Man In Black was by how he defeated his foes - who we understood well. Pirates of the Caribbean's early movies were amazing because they took the time to let us get to know Jack Sparrow so any time the pirate was attempting to escape his foes, we were all cheering for him. Han Solo might be a jerk, but he was a charismatic jerk who would do anything for the people he cares about, like Chewie. If it is an action story, but I'm not rooting for the hero...well, that makes life hard. 

Reader's Promises: Since we are seven quick chapters in plus a prologue, I thought I'd tell you what I feel the current "reader's promises" are for me at the moment, or what I am expecting.

1) Sci-fi action story, leaning in on space opera/western. Definitely not hard sci-fi. There is going to be a lot of fighting with some cool, magical foes. Maybe - maybe?  -  a touch of politics. Not sure how fantasy this is going to lean. 

2) Lots of:

Spoiler

Judas Priest - Breaking The Law (1993, CD) | Discogs

3) Protagonist is a jerk, which means I'll either come to love him (example, Gen from The Queen's Thief) or actively root against him (Kvothe from The Name of the Wind). Currently, rooting against him, because I want to see what he will do when he has nothing.

4) Family strife with dear brother.

5) Maybe some cool tech? We've seen it with the guns, the glowing jacket, and the boots, but I would love to get more. 

6) Not child friendly. Lots of violence, but not necessarily gore. 

On 11/23/2020 at 6:53 AM, Mandamon said:

I have to say I wasn't really engaged by this sequence. We've just come from three chapters of fight scenes, we get one page of him wandering around trying to get information, and then another three chapters of fight scenes. By the end of it I want some context. What is his situation? What is his mission or objective? I guess people are chasing him, but why? All I know about Q is that he likes to kill people and every government seems to be after him. There is no motivation for his actions, as yet.

I think there is a lot of neat scifi tech and worldbuilding buried in here, but it's not coming through on the page. Rather than a play-by-play of him fighting the Angels, I want to know what kind of society makes all these various squads of elite operatives. Is there a single government? An empire? Many? 

Going to echo this. I need to know why *I* should be invested in this, because right now, Q isn't enough for me. 

Spoiler

If you could give me more details That would be great - give me details That  Would Be Great (Office Space Bill Lumbergh) | Make a Meme

Keep in mind, maybe I'm not your intended reader. But to give you an idea, this is what typically keeps me from setting down a new book (and it typically is a combination):

1) The character(s) sweep me off my feet from page one (example, Inkheart or the movies About Time or The Hundred-Foot Journey)

2) The world/magic is so fascinating I have to stick around (Mistborn, anything by Terry Pratchett)

3) Implied stakes/promises (Ender's Game, The Book Thief)

4) Reputation of the book or author (The Name of the Wind. Kept waiting for that one to get better. Unfortunately, that wasn't a book for me. A good example would be Oathbringer which took me roughly 200 pages to get into. I bullied my way through slogs of worldbuilding because I trusted Sanderson to deliver. He did.)

 

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9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 2, "spooking the beggars." Dudes getting shot up must be pretty common if your first instinct isn't to just run for the hills.

The gunshot wasn't what spooked them, the bits of flesh flying off were. Plasma weaponry normally cauterizes wounds

 

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 8, "slipped a toxin into his fingers from his coat" Hmmm, this feels like the magic coat of plot convenience, since we had no clue that these existed previously. You could fix that pretty easily by slipping in a line somewhere. For instance, when he flashes his guns at the beggar, you could sneak in something about how the beggar couldn't see all of his other weapons. The beggar wouldn't be so coy if he knew he was talking to someone with nerve toxins and bombs. Q never took chances, after all. A hunted man had to be prepared.

Nice suggestion.

 

9 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pew Pew

I see my love for Cad bane is showing.

 

Also, funny thing, but one of my readers that I have in a PM actually liked Q and wanted more of him, which is currently confusing me as I'm trying to figure out why he likes him and you're all not very interested.

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Just now, Aspiring Writer said:

The gunshot wasn't what spooked them, the bits of flesh flying off were. Plasma weaponry normally cauterizes wounds

 

Nice suggestion.

 

I see my love for Cad bane is showing.

 

Also, funny thing, but one of my readers that I have in a PM actually liked Q and wanted more of him, which is currently confusing me as I'm trying to figure out why he likes him and you're all not very interested.

He's cool and I like his sense of humor, also pew pew. :P

Spoiler

Didn't expect to see me here did ya?

 

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39 minutes ago, Somebody from Sel said:

He's cool and I like his sense of humor, also pew pew. :P

  Reveal hidden contents

Didn't expect to see me here did ya?

 

Actually, I did. I've become better at predicting you.

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8 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Also, funny thing, but one of my readers that I have in a PM actually liked Q and wanted more of him, which is currently confusing me as I'm trying to figure out why he likes him and you're all not very interested.

It could be a manner of taste or age. When I was younger, I read anything and enjoyed everything. I will admit that I read all four Twilight books and the side novella and loved them as a teenager. I used to like Eragon, which I can't stand much anymore because it is a rip-off of Pern and every single fantasy cliche on the face of the planet. 

Nowadays, I will set a book down immediately if it starts relying on tropes or cliches without a good spin. I suppose I'm like an agent or a publishing company - I'm looking for what is hot and what is fresh. I want things I have never seen before. I want to be wowed, not just taken an adventure I've seen a million times. I'm not interested in the Hero of a Thousand Faces and I'll put a book down in a heartbeat if the protagonist is a Mary Sue. 

This group is primarily made up of adults who have been reading and writing for years. I'm one of the least experienced writers here, but I make up for it by reading ~40 books a year and studying my brains out about everything involving writing. Between us, we've seen or read it all. We're not looking to just be writers (as we already are that, including yourself!), we're looking to become the best of the best. Constantly striving to create something that isn't good but incredible. Something that has never been seen before that makes the pickiest reader go wow.

Right now, there's nothing we haven't seen before with yours. It makes it difficult to get through when we aren't looking for a light show but rather substance. Q is a combination of every single cool guy ever written without anything that makes him original. Right now, he feels like a fantasy, a wet-dream wish fulfillment of a [email protected]$$. The plot is currently so paper thin that it barely exists and you haven't show us enough world to make me interested (and I want that). 

There's a saying in critiquing: if one person says it, they may or may not be right. If three or more people say it, they are onto something. I think at this point, you've probably heard our concerns loud and clear. Now it is your turn: will you take criticism and be willing to put in the time and effort to push yourself and your work to become better?

That's the whole point of this group: to make mistakes, never settle for mediocre, and work with others to strive to great. @Robinski turned my entire Draft Two red with corrections. Did I defend or explain? No. I analyzed his work, compared it to others' opinions, and I ripped apart my story to the ground and have been rebuilding since. And I'll probably be writing five more drafts after this one.  

The ball is in your court. You've been with us for two weeks, and it is time to reflect. What do you want, from yourself, from your writing, and from a writing group? Are you willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to improve? Are you willing to put in the hard work to help others improve? Or are there other priorities right now in your life that you need to put first at the moment? 

I don't have those answers. I'm a teacher. I always always always want to help everyone improve. To become as incredible as I think they can be. I hope wherever life takes you - be it staying here or moving on - I hope you never stop writing, and never stop loving writing. 

That's the end of my rant :)

 

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As I go:

 

pg 1- “finally, he recognized” I don’t feel like this “finally” is earned or necessary. You would use “finally” after struggling with something for a while, so I think the use of the word is too soon and isn’t doing anything for the sentence. 

 

pg 1- “not that he remembered” the wording in this sentence feels a bit confusing, Maybe use a better describing word for the beggar rather than just “he.” like “old man,” or something.

 

pg 1- “took out another sucker” i feel like i missed when he took out the first sucker. Edit: I realized that it’s the drug from the first sentence but when i read the line “Q sucked in more of the drug” i assumed he was inhaling. Maybe this is addressed in the previous chapters! If it was then… nevermind :) Edit on the edit: okay wait now i'm confused… is a sucker a lollipop or like something you suck on to inhale a drug?? Cause i dont think people “suck” suckers lol they lick them..

 

pg 2- “he left him to suck his drug” same problem from earlier, maybe consider replacing “him” with a more descriptive word, like contact. “He left his contact...etc.”

 

pg 2- you start two paragraphs with “q made a turn” one after the other, seems a bit repetitive.

 

pg 2- good suspense on this page! 

 

pg 3- “green glowing thing” i think you could use something more descriptive here. Maybe like blob or blur?

 

pg 3- “and the guy in the alleyway” i don't think the paragraph break before this is necessary since it continues directly after the previous paragraph. 

 

pg 3- this is a sort of small thing, but in the last few paragraphs where Q is trying to get away from B, the sentence structure seems like it could be varied a bit more. The whole thing just seems monotonous. 

 

pg 4- “had only three fingers” the way this sentence is worded makes that last bit about her having three fingers feel unimportant and random. 

 

pg 4- “which was already coming back”

 

pg 4- this is just me being nitpicky but, “still like a statue” feels like a cliche simile. This seems like a bountiful world that you’ve created, I’m sure there is something out there that is more unique than a statue.

 

pg 5- the spirits can just possess people by going through them?? That sucks lol

 

pg 5- “it still only took him” you used “only” twice in this sentence, seems repetitive

 

pg 5- “q grabbed someone” a pedestrian? Civilian? A… sullinian?

 

pg 5- “meat shield” so this is how he sees people, huh? Ruthless, I tell you.

 

pg 6- “vision was still black” seems too repetitive too soon.

 

pg 6- “been hit into a wall” i feel like a different verb might work better here, like thrown or slammed

 

pg 6- i think you could make this whole scene a lot more tense and engaging by adding more emotion. It feels very robotic.

 

pg 6-”conked off” interesting word choice! Spicing it up I see.

 

pg 8- “Q got and saw” q got up?

 

pg 8- a lot of sentences on this page start with “Q this” “Q that” 

 

pg 8- “M jumped into him” there are a lot of verbs italicized randomly and i don’t think it's necessary

 

pg 8- “hadn’t been sure he was going to make it” I didn’t feel like he thought this at all. He seemed very confident that he would make it out fine.

 

pg 8- “Guard; they were” you can probably use “, but” instead of the semicolon

 

pg 9- Good intro of V! Nice little cliffhanger at the end of the chapter.

 

pg 9- “fingerless gloves on them, oddly” why is this odd?

 

pg 11- “he thought in pain” doesn’t flow well, seems repetitive. I would either remove the “in pain” bit or be more specific about the pain

 

pg 11- “he made his implants” this might have been mentioned in a previous chapter but idk what he means by implants

 

pg 11- “now held his MKRs” they just appeared in his hands? Maybe show him grabbing them or something. Also I thought you meant Q was holding them but I think M was holding them. So that wasn’t super clear. Maybe say “Q’s MRKs”

 

Overall:

-A lot of parts feel like a screenplay where you are just giving us a play by play. You might want to consider varying your sentence structure more and giving us more descriptions and internal thought. It doesn't have to be literal internal thought, you have some of that already. I guess just adding more descriptions will give us insight to how Q feels and sees his environment and surroundings.

-I noticed a lot of unintentional repetition of words. Use stronger verbs and adjectives!

-Every time we are introduced to someone it goes like this, “Q recognized them as X.” Maybe try to spice this up a little and introduce them differently.

-Why do all the angels get cool names except for M?? 

-The main thing is just to vary sentence structure. This was really noticeable on page 8 where so many sentences started with “Q glanced,” “Q changed,” Q and some verb. 

-These chapters feel like one long fight but I don’t feel super engaged. It’s just so early on and I don’t find myself worried or caring for Q. 

-This advice might not work for you, but when I'm writing, I try to keep my fights as short as i can because most people don't enjoy reading fights, UNLESS there are high stakes… which I don't see here. What makes a fight enjoyable to read is the emotion or thoughts of the people fighting, it has to give the readers more than just a play by play. 

-You are good at ending chapters! They generally leave me wanting to know what happens next, especially at the end of page 12.

Edited by karamel
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1 hour ago, karamel said:

pg 1- “not that he remembered” the wording in this sentence feels a bit confusing, Maybe use a better describing word for the beggar rather than just “he.” like “old man,” or something.

Good point.

 

1 hour ago, karamel said:

g 1- “took out another sucker” i feel like i missed when he took out the first sucker. Edit: I realized that it’s the drug from the first sentence but when i read the line “Q sucked in more of the drug” i assumed he was inhaling. Maybe this is addressed in the previous chapters! If it was then… nevermind :) Edit on the edit: okay wait now i'm confused… is a sucker a lollipop or like something you suck on to inhale a drug?? Cause i dont think people “suck” suckers lol they lick them..

It's meant to be an inhaler, I had no idea people would see sucker and think lollipop thing, it's meant to be like a cigarette sort of thing. I made some changes to try and clear that up in earlier chapters, but I'll still try and add some things to remove any doubts. I have such a hard time seeing a lollipop drug. (I don't really do candy.)

 

1 hour ago, karamel said:

you start two paragraphs with “q made a turn” one after the other, seems a bit repetitive.

...  my god, I did.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

pg 4- “which was already coming back”

*Facepalm*

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“it still only took him” you used “only” twice in this sentence, seems repetitive

I did? *Uses control F* I'll be damned.

2 hours ago, karamel said:

sullinian?

*Applause*

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“meat shield” so this is how he sees people, huh? Ruthless, I tell you.

Yeah... that's not the worst thing he does.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“vision was still black” seems too repetitive too soon

Hmm, true

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

”conked off” interesting word choice! Spicing it up I see.

Thanks

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“Q got and saw” q got up?

Yeah, funny story, I ended up reading the submission one more time after I sent it and found the two times I missed a word after got. It was embarrassing, to say the least. My mind and fingers do not work in unison all the time.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

a lot of sentences on this page start with “Q this” “Q that” 

hmm, yeah, that looks bad.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

M jumped into him” there are a lot of verbs italicized randomly and i don’t think it's necessary

With this one, I didn't know what word to use and jump didn't really get my meaning across. I changed it to launched, which better describes the scene, and removed the italize. 

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

hadn’t been sure he was going to make it” I didn’t feel like he thought this at all. He seemed very confident that he would make it out fine.

Yeah, the surprise would be more how close it got. 

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“Guard; they were” you can probably use “, but” instead of the semicolon

He doesn't think much of the Royal Guard, so the but wouldn't fit.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

Good intro of V! Nice little cliffhanger at the end of the chapter.

Thank you, I thought it was cliche, but effective.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“fingerless gloves on them, oddly” why is this odd?

Ignore that, i forgot to remove it.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

he thought in pain” doesn’t flow well, seems repetitive. I would either remove the “in pain” bit or be more specific about the pain

hmm. Good suggestion.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“he made his implants” this might have been mentioned in a previous chapter but idk what he means by implants

It is mentioned in a previous chapter. It's not completely explained what they can do, but they are mentioned.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

“now held his MKRs” they just appeared in his hands? Maybe show him grabbing them or something. Also I thought you meant Q was holding them but I think M was holding them. So that wasn’t super clear. Maybe say “Q’s MRKs”

Ohhh, that's where the confusion was. sorry @Mandamon, I think I know why you made that final point. I was so confused about why you suggested that.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

A lot of parts feel like a screenplay where you are just giving us a play by play. You might want to consider varying your sentence structure more and giving us more descriptions and internal thought. It doesn't have to be literal internal thought, you have some of that already. I guess just adding more descriptions will give us insight to how Q feels and sees his environment and surroundings.

I'll take that into account when revising. 

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

I noticed a lot of unintentional repetition of words. Use stronger verbs and adjectives!

I'm sometimes distracted or just brain-fried, which is probably why that happens. Thx for pointing them out.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

Every time we are introduced to someone it goes like this, “Q recognized them as X.” Maybe try to spice this up a little and introduce them differently.

Suggestions, please. I'm turning a blank for that.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

Why do all the angels get cool names except for M?? 

Well, there is actually a reason for that, but do you count Vamprah as a cool name? (I like her name, don't get me wrong, but... there's a reason I'm asking. All the other AoD have had non names except these two.)

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I did not mean to press send. I am dumb.

2 hours ago, karamel said:

The main thing is just to vary sentence structure. This was really noticeable on page 8 where so many sentences started with “Q glanced,” “Q changed,” Q and some verb.

yeah, I'll see about that. It's kind of my challenge with fight scenes, one is making them clear and the other is making them engaging.

 

2 hours ago, karamel said:

You are good at ending chapters! They generally leave me wanting to know what happens next, especially at the end of page 12.

Hmm. Yay.

 

Also hey, @Snakenaps Wanna let you know I ended up adding an extra scene at the start of chapter four that's basically all Sullin world-building. You ask for world-building, you get world-building.

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Just now, Aspiring Writer said:

Also hey, @Snakenaps Wanna let you know I ended up adding an extra scene at the start of chapter four that's basically all Sullin world-building. You ask for world-building, you get world-building.

Yay!!! I'm a nut for worldbuilding. There is something incredible about getting to explore other worlds through marks in a book or pixels on a webpage. I feel like I get to peek inside the author's head (you!) when worldbuilding occurs. 

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Just now, Snakenaps said:

Yay!!! I'm a nut for worldbuilding. There is something incredible about getting to explore other worlds through marks in a book or pixels on a webpage. I feel like I get to peek inside the author's head (you!) when worldbuilding occurs. 

Hmm, very interesting way to view world-building. i tend to just get hyperactive when doing world building and trying to make everything fit together. Also, I like playing god.

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1 minute ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Hmm, very interesting way to view world-building. i tend to just get hyperactive when doing world building and trying to make everything fit together. Also, I like playing god.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I get worldbuilders disease something nasty. In that way, you and I are complete opposites: you are incredibly action heavy while I avoid it to the detriment of my work, while I go over the top on the worldbuilding and you aren't quite giving enough yet. We balance out each other nicely, which I suppose is the whole point of a writing group. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. 

Another way I look at it is that the setting is as much a character as the actual people. Just look at the Enterprise or the Millennium Falcon. 

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4 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I get worldbuilders disease something nasty. In that way, you and I are complete opposites: you are incredibly action heavy while I avoid it to the detriment of my work, while I go over the top on the worldbuilding and you aren't quite giving enough yet. We balance out each other nicely, which I suppose is the whole point of a writing group. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. 

Another way I look at it is that the setting is as much a character as the actual people. Just look at the Enterprise or the Millennium Falcon. 

... *Proceeds to laugh myself to death.* You misunderstand, I do more world-building than you realize, (If I start writing the fantasy series I'm planning, you might see what I mean) I just try and not give too much away, as is my instinct. I want them to feel natural. It's not I don't do it, I'm just trying to make sure the reader can't solve everything ten chapters in. legit, talk to my friend. I annoy him would the nitty-gritty world-building stuff.

Edited by Aspiring Writer
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1 minute ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I annoy him would the nitty-gritty world-building stuff.

Yo, that's what I do with my bestie. He calls himself my "roadie." 

Worldbuilding is the bomb. What an addiction. 

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3 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

Yo, that's what I do with my bestie. He calls himself my "roadie." 

Worldbuilding is the bomb. What an addiction. 

I legit get high of it. I can be brain dead, but get me started on my ideas for world-building, and I'll have the energy of a five-year-old after eating all the candy in his house.

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4 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I legit get high of it. I can be brain dead, but get me started on my ideas for world-building, and I'll have the energy of a five-year-old after eating all the candy in his house.

Oh my god, same.

I think worldbuilding was the only think that helped me survive the dullest college class I ever had the honor of spending money. I filled sketchbooks full of ideas. Did I learn much...it was how to teach 1+1 to five year olds...so, no, I already knew how to do it. Easy A. 

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2 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

Oh my god, same.

I think worldbuilding was the only think that helped me survive the dullest college class I ever had the honor of spending money. I filled sketchbooks full of ideas. Did I learn much...it was how to teach 1+1 to five year olds...so, no, I already knew how to do it. Easy A. 

Yeesh, that class seems like you would get a lot of free time. You ever had a 'creative high' where you can't do anything but write and hope to eventually tire yourself?

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5 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Yeesh, that class seems like you would get a lot of free time. You ever had a 'creative high' where you can't do anything but write and hope to eventually tire yourself?

Yeah, that was how I ended up giving myself a rip roaring headache after writing 7,000 words one Saturday, skipping meals and not moving from the couch. Totally threw out my back. 

I combat wanting to stay up all night writing by having three 2x3 foot whiteboards above my bed. They're always filled with illegible midnight half-awake notes that I then have to decipher in the morning. I wrote "yew wood" at some point and I'm still trying to jog my memory on what I meant. 

I miss writing highs. I don't get revising highs. I do get procrastination. 

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Just now, Snakenaps said:

Yeah, that was how I ended up giving myself a rip roaring headache after writing 7,000 words one Saturday, skipping meals and not moving from the couch. Totally threw out my back. 

I combat wanting to stay up all night writing by having three 2x3 foot whiteboards above my bed. They're always filled with illegible midnight half-awake notes that I then have to decipher in the morning. I wrote "yew wood" at some point and I'm still trying to jog my memory on what I meant. 

I miss writing highs. I don't get revising highs. I do get procrastination. 

Writing highs always end when you are going back to rewrite something. It is painful. These past few days, I have been rewriting so much, though, I keep missing lunch by two hours. Especially since I have to rewrite the seven I have shared and the next three I want to send.

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1 minute ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Writing highs always end when you are going back to rewrite something. It is painful. These past few days, I have been rewriting so much, though, I keep missing lunch by two hours. Especially since I have to rewrite the seven I have shared and the next three I want to send.

I'm revising as I chat with you. I'm only about one chapter ahead of submissions, but I'm hoping to quicken my process unless school goes bonkers again (which it likely will). Twelve more chapters means I should have submitted everything in time for my birthday in February...but I'm honestly hoping to have all twelve ready for submission by the end of winter break. These are all longer chapters, so sadly my time of subbing more than one chapter at a time is at an end *dramatic sigh*

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