kais

12/14/2020 - Kais - Pruitcu - Ch 1 (L) - 4047 words

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Once again, this is the start to a new trilogy, which is actually book five in a series. I continue to be interested in A) new readers: are you interested enough to keep reading? Are things too confusing? and B) old readers - are the voice and tone consistent with other books?

 

This is draft 0, so LBLs aren’t needed at this stage (unless you really really want to). I’m….not sure this chapter has a very impactful arc for a first chapter for new readers. I think its good probably for old readers but I don’t know if what is in here is enough to keep new readers going. I’m thinking I might need to beef up the leads for the B plot, but I’ll wait to head back from all of you.

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Well.

I have no clue what is going on but I'd forgotten how much I enjoy your writing. Just how high is this books learning curve because now I feel stupid. I got the basic just of the planet and being stuck on it but not all the history that kept on being mentioned.

Edited by Turin Turambar
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34 minutes ago, Turin Turambar said:

got the basic just of the planet and being stuck on it but not all the history that kept on being mentioned.

Did you read the prologue last week by chance? That would have been the grounding point for a lot of the worldbuilding. It's also book five in a series, though I had hoped new readers would find it accessible.

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On 12/14/2020 at 4:37 PM, kais said:

Did you read the prologue last week by chance? That would have been the grounding point for a lot of the worldbuilding. It's also book five in a series, though I had hoped new readers would find it accessible.

I wasn't able to get to it. I'll go trawling through my email and give a heads up if it makes more sense to me afterwards.

EDIT: I went through the prologue - it was less "what was going on" and more "so many (proper) nouns and referenced events." Though the prologue was cool. 

edit again, because I can never just write all my thoughts at once: I'm not saying it's a bad thing that there's a high learning curve. It adds depth to the world. It's just got to be played right, so if it works for you, I still get the feeling that this world is lived in. Just at the cost of me having a clue as to what is going on.

Edited by Turin Turambar
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This is the kind of first chapter I really like! As mentioned the learning curve is high, but I get enough from it that I get the main gist of it and there's enough focus on character connections that the story feels directed and I feel okay not knowing everything about the history. As for the history, I also didn't really pick up everything, but it seems like the main important part right now is that S and E have extreme powers (due to how they were born/created?) and have suffered a lot, so A is trying to help them. I think the chapter doesn't overdo exposition or expository dialogue either. So yeah, I find this accessible, but I also don't mind steep learning curves so it could be a personal thing. I think in particular I was hooked at the sentient fungal people, and I'm happy even if it won't be a main focus going forward since it gives me a lot of confidence in the story to throw in really cool stuff. 

Aro here so maybe I just don't get it but if I had to pick a weak link for this chapter I'd have to say the flirting between A and G4. There are three comments I came up with about it. 1. I didn't need as many reminders of the A's awkwardness as were in the chapter. After the first couple I got the idea and the rest felt like they stalled out the story. I did like how A's awkwardness faded when talking about science though (mood btw). 2. I wasn't really sure why A and G4 were drawn to each other. From what I hear about romance people can just be... drawn to each other, but in narrative I like to see a stronger sense of cause and effect that lets me know the story is in firm control of its events. The closest the chapter got was talking about G4's pilot resume, so if that's what A likes about her then I think that could be played up. This one has the greatest chance of me just not understanding romance but I thought it was worth putting out there. 3. I don't really know how serious they are. Okay this could also be me not understanding romance at all, but I really couldn't tell if they were flirting for fun and it was going to stop there, if A wanted to sleep with G4 as a short-term thing, or if they were interested in a long-term relationship. I think part of it for me is that I don't know the norms of this setting. Is A in an open relationship with E (they're in a relationship, right?)? Is polyamory common? Would E be mad if she knew this was happening (presumably not but I wasn't positive)? So I think the story has to do extra work to spell out what's going on here, though still avoiding being expository since there's already a decent amount of necessary exposition in here. Tricky. I think #3 is the biggest question for me in terms of reading forward because I really don't know if we're going to drop this after a chapter or if it's going to be a main arc throughout the story, or anywhere in between. 

Oh random question: are the fungus people directly related to earth fungus? If so, what phylum/phyla are we talking here? 

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As a new reader, I'm getting traction, but still lost.

This was an easier entry point than the prologue for sure with a clear through line to the exposition. If I had given in to the impulse to start to skim the prologue, I think I would have missed the connection between the prologue and chapter 1. 

There is so much world building! It seems very interesting but I am still struggling to piece together what I need from the background info. 

One line was challenging, "You four are scheduled for next weeks..." given how variable life is in this story, I had to go back and reread to see if "you four" was G4 as a group entity or the new aliens. 

By the end, I am more interested in the planet that I am starting to wrap my head around than seeing the MC leave it. I might be misunderstanding the situation, but it seems like G4 is being way too insistent that they leave now when there is no real deadline, except for the message that A doesn't seem to think is important. 

I do want to say that everything reads well, it feels like developed world. As an new reader, I am craving something straight forward to grab onto and lead me through the rest. The characters seem likable and interesting, but so far both MC's have spent most of their viewpoint thinking about facts and other people's motivations so I don't feel like I really know them or their voices yet.

It might also just be me. I am not at 100% so that could also be the problem :-)

(Nothing to worry about, just tired and life stuff)

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As an old reader, this was great to read and get back into things, but I do understand the concerns new readers are having. The biggest thing for me as well was the flirting between #4 and A. I though E and A were in a pretty exclusive relationship, but it sounds like E's pushing them for a poly relationship. Nothing wrong with that, but might be good to spell it out consent-wise if that's where this is going.

The arc was good for me (again as an old reader). A has a pretty definite call to action that she resists until it overpowers her. It might not be as strong a call to action for new readers, however, if they don't know they aftermath of how A got there. Maybe having a little more information from S about finding a new cousin could be a bigger draw?

Last, I was not at all expecting this to go in the direction of retire rather than take time off. That seemed an abrupt switch in tone from the rest of the chapter. Is this going in the direction of A and E never coming back to Ard? I wouldn't think that was really possible.

 

Notes while reading

pg 1: "did not like fungi"
--lol

pg 1: Weird deja vu from this discussion. I swear this same conversation happened in book 3...

pg 4: "They were probably about even. She hoped."
--also lol

pg 7: "another hour until curfew"
--is this like young people being home at a certain hour, or an actual curfew?

pg 8: "Or do I just keep flirting with you outside..."
--glad #4 is calling A on her crap.

pg 9: "And then she took A’s hand"
--I thought they were already holding hands?

pg 11: “Nice tapestries though,” 
--and hung with such care...

pg 12: "destroy the last vestiges of my fairy-tale infatuation"
--I like #4.

pg 15: "you tell it you are going to retire.”
--Huh. Okay, I was expecting A to be persuaded to take some time off, but I was not expecting #4 to want her to retire.

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So, still a bit of a learning curve, but after reading pages 1-2 a few times I think I have a grasp on things! There weren't as many info dumps which is good, though, near the end of page 3, I had to read that sentence that starts with “Walking towards A’s Palace” quite a few times and it seemed like unnecessary info (at least info that we don't need yet).

 

I actually quite liked the A’s awkwardness. It felt very relatable for me. I liked when she said she could make the trees produce fruit. And also I’ve totally been there where a friend is trying to get you to hang out but you have work to do and it’s stressful. G4 seemed a little aggressive at the end but maybe that's just because i don't have a firm grasp on her character yet. I was very confused on page ten. It seemed like G4 invaded A’s mind but I couldn’t tell what was happening in their minds vs real life. 

 

This may just be me, but I feel like you were setting something up with that space shuttle that was going to hold all them kids. My mind went a dark route and thought by the end of the chapter, we were going to find out that the shuttle blew up with the kids in it...soo… yeah. 

 

I agree with @Ace of Hearts, I wasn't clear on everyone's relationships. I was shipping G4 and A because of the flirting but then G4 said A had a girlfriend and that threw me off. Poly rep would be cool but I think it needs to be more clear that that is what is happening rather than A being unfaithful.

 

Overall, I can clearly see the vastness of the world you created and I appreciate all the details, but I was still pretty confused at some points. Though, not enough to take me 100% out of reading it. The first page was a real learning curve with all that fungi talk but after looking up a few words, it mostly made sense! :)

Edited by karamel
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In answer to your questions: 

It does seem interesting enough to continue reading, but it is also still very confusing. This chapter was better in terms of confusion than the last chapter, I think, but there was still a lot of proper names and references to events and species and things that I didn't really know about. I was also a bit confused about GF. She just hops right in like they have met before and demands that A retires? She has a strong voice but she seemed rude to me, just hopping in without knowing the background and demanding that A stop her job and leave. Personally I suspect that she might have ulterior motives, but that is just me.

Also, I get I'm not really your target audience with this, but the flirting between GF and A seemed a bit odd to me because I assumed that A is in her 30s maybe and GF sounded like she was described as much older than that (like her 80s or something? Hard to tell, but Definitely older than A) Which could be cool and good for the established setting and your wlw audience, but I found the age difference to be a bit jarring. Also the flirting seemed a bit out of nowhere, since this seems like the first time they have seen each other for a long time, and A seems to be in a relationship with E?

I definitely related with the awkwardness of A, because my brain also turns to mush when there is an attractive person, so I thought that was good. Other than that, I remain intrigued by the sentient trees/planet, and the thought of paying rent on an entire planet was really funny/fascinating to me. (i had to look up what a hyphae is tho) I also am curious to see how this relates to the thread with S, so that is pulling me forward as well. 

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On 12/14/2020 at 11:29 AM, kais said:

I’m….not sure this chapter has a very impactful arc for a first chapter for new readers. I think its good probably for old readers but I don’t know if what is in here is enough to keep new readers going.

As an old reader, I was happy to check in with A and she how she was doing. I had not forgotten much about her, so it was easy to immerse myself back in the world. The details about the backstory and world building did seem more naturally incorporated. It reminded me what happened in the last three books without overwhelming me with details. 

I loved seeing A stressed and not comfortable in ruler duties...exactly in character. 

The voice in this chapter was much stronger than the prologue. 

But it terms of the arc...I wasn't sure what to make of this chapter. So did E essentially pay GF to convince A to take a vacation and/or retire? I feel fuzzy on what G4 was doing there. I feel like I am just missing something about the purpose of that whole shenanigan. Especially since GF was really digging into A by the end, more like an old friend than someone who only met her once before.

There were some hints as to how this is connected to the prologue, but the prologue is what seems to set up the plot. This seems to set up a possible character arc for A.

It does prove the prologue is necessary (something I might have been questioning before) because without the prologue, I wouldn't have had enough plot to really go on.

On 12/14/2020 at 7:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

2. I wasn't really sure why A and G4 were drawn to each other.

I wasn't really either...

And I was a little nervous about them flirting so much...in my head I was like, is A going to cheat on E? And then I was wondering if their relationship had turned open in the shorts between the series and E sent GF there to sleep with A. I was confused. 

On 12/14/2020 at 7:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

but I really couldn't tell if they were flirting for fun and it was going to stop there, if A wanted to sleep with G4 as a short-term thing, or if they were interested in a long-term relationship. I think part of it for me is that I don't know the norms of this setting. Is A in an open relationship with E (they're in a relationship, right?)? Is polyamory common? Would E be mad if she knew this was happening (presumably not but I wasn't positive)?

I was wondering all of these things. 

I know in the previous books, there were poly relationships, but if I remember right, they tended to happen when the third gender folks were involved. 

And from where I left off in the Third Don, I thought A and E were just together. However, it's been a while since I read it. 

On 12/15/2020 at 11:32 AM, Mandamon said:

The biggest thing for me as well was the flirting between #4 and A. I though E and A were in a pretty exclusive relationship, but it sounds like E's pushing them for a poly relationship. Nothing wrong with that, but might be good to spell it out consent-wise if that's where this is going.

100% Agree.

On 12/15/2020 at 11:32 AM, Mandamon said:

--Huh. Okay, I was expecting A to be persuaded to take some time off, but I was not expecting #4 to want her to retire.

Take some time off seems much more reasonable than retire...considering the planet is in her head. 

On 12/15/2020 at 11:41 AM, ginger_reckoning said:

Also the flirting seemed a bit out of nowhere, since this seems like the first time they have seen each other for a long time, and A seems to be in a relationship with E?

Same questions. It seems like many of us, both new and old readers, were confused about this.

 

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Thanks everyone! Looks like the main issue is the same across all crits - we don't know enough about A and E to get on board with the pressure G4 is putting on her. This is a BIG MOMENT for A, series wide, but without the backstory, readers don't get the arc at all. 

Current plan is to scrap this chapter, or at least move it to more midway through the book. Chapter 1 is going to be a G4 chapter now, and i think we will alternate S and G4 for a few chapters, until the worldbuilding is more grounded. 

Thank you for the help getting this more streamlined! Now I'm off to edits. Be back in a few weeks.

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So....many.....LBLs. Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Comment, even-though-I-desperately-want-to-pick-at-all-those-annoying-details. [To be read in a William Shatner, Captain Kirk voice.]  

Comments:

(page 1)

- I'm swamped in details that I can't quite get a grip of. Spores, fungus: okay. First half of the page I'm okay with, we've got fungus and bipedal species. Then he ambassador starts speaking, and I'm straining to keep up, but still managing. I lose it though at the end. I don't know what G4 is, invitations, I'm a bit confused. I'm still processing mushroom people, Nk, and El and then Mn. It was clearer on the second read.

I mean the narrative is good. it moves quickly, I get a good sense of the distraction, the negotiation. I think it's just tidying up.

(page 2)

- "How much longer would you estimate your planet will remain in our system" - In critiquing the first trilogy, and then Book 4, I learned, over the course of many months to stop caring about the scientific details. However, here was are again at a new baseline, and so I will revert to type. 

A new planet coming into a solar system must surely affect the gravitational and orbital dynamics of the system. Maybe not immediately, and maybe not dramatically, but it strikes me that after a year, they might find that the following year is a day short, or something, I don't know. I'm not an astrophysicist, but I still thought to ask the question, so maybe others would.

- "“Uh. That.”" - I know this is trendy modern speak for agreement, but it's not immediately clear, IMO. Maybe if it was its own paragraph.

- "slapped the biofilm through her robe" - Great detail. I presume this is her silencing the ringer?

(page 3)

- "emitted a quacking noise" - ROFL, but would any of these people know what a quacking noise was?

- "G4. At the palace. Here to meet her." - I don't know about new readers, but for me, her being amazed about this isn't enough to get me excited about it. I vaguely remember this dynamic, but it doesn't really resonate with me. It feels like telling to me.

Okay, we get the reminder/explanation shortly afterwards, so the effect is not long-lived. And then the description, the dialogue in the meeting and first conversation is very engaging. G4 comes across like a fusion of Hanna Solo and Leica Skywalker, maybe with a smidge of Olive Wan Kenobi in terms of G4 approach her later years. Good job. I'd be perfectly happy if this character played a part through the story.

(page 5)

- There is a verging towards info dump in a couple of the things that At says, just a smidge. I think the 'info' could sound a smidge more natural.

- "A group of young third gender gat out" - So, I thought gat was the third gender? This makes it sound like they are the 3rd gender of gat, which is not how I remember it.

- "cheeky, for their age" - in other words, completely normal for their age.

(page 6)

- "We don’t have the strongest history of inclusion for those..." - Very info-dumpy language, IMO. The 'As you know, Bob...' isn't there, but it's strongly implicit in this phrasing, I think.

- "Ar the planet had not traditionally kept ‘flares’ in the general population" - Yep, the more you explain, the more info-dumpy this gets. The youngsters passing felt quite natural, but we don't need this information here, do we? I think it's too much. The other effect with info dumps, IMO, is that every additional info-dump is multiplied in its info-dumpiness by the existence of the previous one. I postulate the following mathematical relationship (as yet uncorroborated by quantitative research):

1x Info-Dump Occurrence (IDO) = 1 dumpere (proposed unit of reader dislocation from the narrative); 2x IDO = 4 dumperes; 3x IDO = 27 dumperes: in other words, defined by the parabolic function y = x^x. Different readers will have different tolerance to dumpere levels, but I think a statistically relevant population is likely to be affected by a level in the region of 10 dumperes per chapter.

I think this issue here is that At is essentially explaining the historical situation to herself. So that would be butler-and-butler? Or, maid-and-maid, I suppose.

- "At turned all business" - this sounds passive to me; almost not in her POV at all.

- "It was a history At was determined to overwrite..." - great line

- "The shorted g" - typo? I don't understand 'shorted' in this context.

- "As can have more than two Ts?" - This reaction feels too late for me. I know the thoughts relating to flares were in At's POV, but still, it makes this feel after the fact.

(page 7)

- "It’s great that you don’t just randomly kill people anymore" - Would G4 know that this was the case?

- "Did you just tell me to hush?" - great banter here, or great bants, as we would say in Glasgow.

- "kid who was only a few days shy of zir twentieth birthday" - Hmm. 'kid'? Don't buy that. My perspective is human, and I would not think of a kid as being 20 years-old.

- "I’m going to be on that ship" - The so-called kid's voice chance dramatically in just a couple of lines, to the point where I'm stretching to believe this is the same person mumbling at the start of the paragraph.

- Pronouns: for some new readers, this will be a baptism of 'zir'. Interested to see the reactions. As an 'old' reader, I had no issues.

(page 9)

- "E get another when they enter their 3rd D" - I think we're running at 256 dumperes by now. I'm calling the CDC hotline.

(page 10)

- "This time, without At distracted, their minds" - Sounds out of POV, and yet, not in any POV. Sounds wrong to me.

- I dislike having three paragraphs for three nouns. I don't think this moment deserves that. It's not like Ferdo is trying to cast the one bling into the Crack of Dumb. These emotions don't have any relevance to the plot.

- "Throne room" - Maybe I'm tired, maybe it's the whisky, but I started skimming the description.

- "The other woman did not let go" - They're....still holding hands? That's weird. That must be 5, 6, 7 minutes, more? That's just odd.

(page 11)

- "put both hands on her hips" - So, she's let go of At's hand then?

- "I didn’t come here to tourist" - You can get away with this sort of 'hip' subversion of a noun once, but this is the second time (in the same chapter), and it was a different character who used it on Page 4 (At). Using it twice like this, IMO, seems like forgetting that it's been used already. I'd say it would work if it's used in a knowing way, i.e. G4 calls out At for using it, such as 'I didn't come here to...tourist, as you so glibly put it before.'

- "We have moon rent due to sentient fungi" - ROFL.

(page 13)

- "the isolation bred from Ri breeding centers" - Double bred/breed awkward.

- Why are there extra blank lines between paragraphs here?

- Sal's demand to At is, really, really...insensitive? Unrealistic? Drop everything and abandon your life? Even if At wasn't a god, this would be presumptuous in the extreme. I'm now irked at Sal.

- "You’re going to take some time off if it kills you" - I'm struggling to see G4's motivations in this. Also, I'm presuming that jealousy is completely alien to Em?

(page 14)

- "most mentory-way possible" - No place for a hyphen, IMO.

- "You were meant to be in a spaceship" - I'm not moved by this speech. I'm incredulous that G4 would make this journey for this purpose. I don't buy that At is in such poor shape that such an intervention was required, and that Em could not pull off this kind of persuasion her (their?) self.

- "knock you unconscious and take you there myself" - What is G4's motivation? I don't understand it.

(page 15)

- Yeah, it's a pretty dramatic end to the chapter, but I just don't have any conviction in G4's motivation for trying to drive At to this, where there has been no appreciable relationship between G4 and At before now, not really, and a crush doesn't count. I don't imagine G4 has been on page for more than maybe 10/12 pages in the four books to date?

On 14/12/2020 at 4:29 PM, kais said:

are the voice and tone consistent with other books?

Yes.

On 14/12/2020 at 4:29 PM, kais said:

not sure this chapter has a very impactful arc for a first chapter for new readers

Not really, IMO. Because I don't think it shows the stakes. It tells the stakes, maybe a little, maybe hints at the stakes, but 'Ooh, you're looking kind of pale and burnt out, are not the stakes that are going to support a novel. I don't think it's a new reader think. I think it's a reader thing.

Overall 

Good tone, bang on, but it's the stakes I've got no conviction for. Promises to the reader? None that I can see, none that I would want to pursue through 250 pages.

You're welcome ;) 

Edited by Robinski
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I finally made it! I ignored the grammatical hiccups.

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, " did not like fungi" Well, I do.

Pg 1, "well beyond those boundaries." Uh oh.

Pg 2, " watching M cabaret." Heeheehee!

Pg 3, "It seemed appropriate." I am having fun with this panic.

Pg 4, "Three years of lightspeed travel" For a hot sec I thought you had meant it had taken three years when I realized you meant it had been three years since the technology had been discovered. 

Pg 5, "She lifted the edge of her collar." Poor A. Such a stark contrast between G.F. and A. Confident and flirty...terribly awkward and bumbling. 

Pg 6, " Nothing to worry about, okay?” Funny how this feels like a lie.

Pg 7, "she’d slept through it. Which was possible." Ah, yes, A, queen and god of administration.

Pg 8, "do I just keep flirting with you" I don't trust G.F. not to have an ulterior motive to said flirting. Not when she knows A is in a relationship.

Pg 9, "she should definitely not do that" Do not trust. Do not trust at alllllll. Do not liiiiiiiike!

Pg 10, " The other woman did not let go" I know she's your idol, but tell that creep to buzz off. You are taken. Grrrr.

Apparently I'm the jealous one in the relationship.

Pg 11, "You want to go for a ride," NO.

Pg 11, " You don’t have to stay here." There's something fishy going on here. I don't like it. What is G.F. playing at? What does she want? 

Pg 12, "E wants me to relax, that’s fine." Mmmm, I trust A and I trust E and I trust their relationship, but I would like to send G.F. back to Planet N now please. 

Pg 13, "I can’t do this alone." Yes, go help S! 

Pg 13, "She opened her eyes, her tone overly sweet." This lady just walks in here and all over A and I do not like. 

Pg 14, " You were not meant for godhood." How does the planet N and G.F. profit from A leaving? What is G.F.'s stake in the game?

Pg 14, “I can’t." Nope, no way. You don't like anybody push you down. You tell them to buzz right off, right now, even your childhood idol. 

 

I don't think there's anything for me to add that everyone hasn't already said, but I currently do not like G.F. I do not trust at all, no sureeeeee. If you wanted me to dislike her, you did your job well. If I'm supposed to like her...mmmm. 

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Late to the party, as usual. I’d already written this critique by the time I saw you were maybe scrapping-or-moving it, so here it is anyway in case it ends up being helpful for the “moved” version of it.

As an “established” reader I had no problem getting into At’s POV and the narrative. I thought it was pretty well-paced and nothing felt overly info-dumpy. I do why readers new to the series would be having trouble grasping the arc, though, and honestly just in general I’d agree that the arc isn’t quite as impactful as it could be. If this chapter ends up getting moved to later in the book, more setup of At’s deep unhappiness and fish-out-of-water feelings might be helpful to new readers, and maybe taking a closer look at some of the actual problems At’s dealing with would help beef up the B-plot – which I do think is a good idea. I wouldn’t mind a bit more of a connection between S’s thread – which is given an extremely brief shout-out right at the beginning of the chapter and At’s here, since it’s not until the end of the chapter with GF threatening to whisk At off-planet that it becomes apparent they’ll presumably be on the mission together.

I was also a bit off-put by the flirting between At and GF. Well, mostly by At’s response thereto. I kind of assume GF is a stereotypical pilot type who is conscious of At’s little crush and is having some fun at At’s expense. Unlike others, I didn’t really get the impression at any point that the narrative was pushing them together romantically, although yup some of the flirting was pretty overt.

At’s reaction to GF felt a little … extra, though. Definitely the combination of “childhood adoration” and “childhood crush” is a pretty wicked one, but it’s been a while, At now has a lot more pressing problems than she did the last time she met GF, and she has a pretty stable relationship with E. Having At be this flustered was fun, but felt a bit extreme.

As I read:

I love how absolutely disinterested At is in the actual, you know, governance conversation she’s supposed be having right now. I’m sure this will not come back to bite her in the butt.

“At considered fainting.” Hah!

P3 “Walking towards to At” extra “to” here I think

p5 “At turned all business.” This conversation seems to start out of nowhere, since the gs were just out for a walk and At waved at them – I actually didn’t even realize at first that they were close enough to have a conversation. And then At launches into a fairly loaded conversation with them about the ceremony without, as far as I can tell, picking up on any cue from the group that that they’re actually concerned about it. The rest of the conversation is good, just getting into it felt a bit rocky.

“...all teeth and dimples.” Great line.

“...if you took too many comm messages…” 1. I like GF. 2. To be entirely fair to At, I think this is the first comm message she’s actually taken. :P

Bottom of p12, “after a brush with Es…” should be an apostrophe before the s on E’s name.

So… why does going flying mean leaving the planet? Is it just because that’s the type of ship At has? Because I feel like they should be able to go flying on-planet also.

“Have you tried not listening? You used to be really good at that.” I love her

Wait, are we talking about retiring? I thought it was just a vacation.

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Thank you everyone, for the feedback! Noting the issues new readers were having, and really wanting this book to be accessible to new readers, I've disassembled this chapter. Parts that remain are now almost 40K into the book, and the first part of the book is building up G4 a lot more. Hoping to start subbing through what I hope will be the actual starter chapters sometime soon--likely after I hit the halfway point with drafting.

 

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