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ginger_reckoning

1.11.21 ginger_reckoning EK ch 3+4 2493 (VL)

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One thing I forgot in the email: is it still too infodumpy? I feel like it might be, but IDK. Thanks again! 

edit: I forgot to send the first full chapter. The second document has the full 3rd chapter, but not the fourth. Sorry. 

Edited by ginger_reckoning
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Wow, is this what it's like to be first? *crickets* ...its lonely.

ahem, anyway...

I wasn't gonna be too nitpicky on this, but I forget myself sometimes, so, sorry about that.

 

Page 1

-oof i was really confused at the beginning. I went back and tried to figure out if there was a chapter i missed but… i guess i didnt. This beginning seems like it belongs in the middle, or maybe it needs a good opening line that tells the reader what's going on. I get that it's a void and there's lights described but it was very disorienting for me.

-”drooling on the throne room floor.” How does she know this? I assumed she didn't know what the thing did at the end of the last chapter but now she knows she is not in her body? From the last chapter’s ending, i thought she had physically transported to somewhere else

-”E felt her body sweep” oh… so she is in her body?

“Flesh sagging downwards” makes me think she looks like a saggy grandma

 

Page 2

-”pressing down on her. Penetrating her.” would it be “pressing down on her, penetrating her.”? a comma instead?

-”All she saw was the black eyes focusing on her” this sounds odd for some reason, I think it's the “the.” maybe just say “all she saw was black eyes”

 

Page 3

-”by pretending to be just another tyrant,” Is tyranny better? 

-”E put a hand to her forehead.”

 

Page 5

-I was not expecting a change in pov, but aight let's go. 

-”They weren’t literal fires, of course,” oh, yeah i was picturing literal fires lol

-”She could smell sweat and adrenaline,” what does adrenaline smell like? Hmm, sweat yes, maybe. I think saying it smells like adrenaline is too telling, but you were on the right track with sweat. Maybe it smells like sweat and.. Breath? Idk what other smells would make you think of adrenaline lol there is also some filtering going on, which doesn't bother me, but ya know. maybe it would work better if you said “the thick scent of sweat from adrenaline hung in the air like smoke” ? but maybe that's too wordy. watch me focus too much on one sentence like a fool :P

-”a few paces off and began floating alongside her as she approached and jogged up the stairs” this sentence had too much going on, it was a bit hard to follow

 

Page 6/7

-”against those…monstrosities.” yes, the mysterious monstrosities. 

-”next level down” had to think about this one. I see now that you mean next level down in power and not literally like in the building. Heh, silly me.

 

Chapter 3:

Aside from being confused in the beginning, I thought the stuff with E and the ominous voice was cool. It kinda felt like a world between worlds and I was down for that. I definitely feel like you set some things up. I am confused, though, about whether E knew what was happening or not. She seemed to be fully aware of where she transported the next time (with all the floaty people (not people)) but it wasn't clear if she knew where she was in the glowy-lines void.  Btw, i also liked that the floaty robots have their own void (like in "the good place"). at least, that's how i pictured it.

Chapter 4:

I definitely felt like more happened in the third chapter compared to the fourth. I think you can just call this all one chapter rather than two, or find a way to blend them more so that its all one. Also, the ending of the fourth chapter doesn't really propel me into the next chapter, i am unsure if i would read on (i mean i will of course if you submit further, but like objectively, i'm not like, “omg i have to read the next chapter.”)

 

Overall: I am most curious about the things you set up in previous chapters and in the third chapter: about what A was talking about before he died regarding E, what the tear is and what is its connection to E, E and G's past, etc. I know some of this wont be explained until later but I dont care as much about the state of affairs in the galaxy. Perhaps its because I don't have enough information about the way everything works yet to care. Maybe its because the stakes dont feel tangible to me. E has mistakenly declared herself a tyrant(which btw is objectively hilarious), but she was already sort of going to do that, right? Idk, maybe im thinking too much. I'll just answer your question, was this too info dumpy? No, I didn't think so.

I do think this has a lot of potential. And the povs felt different enough to me. I do appreciate some good set ups and I hope they get paid off. Like those monstrosities, i wanna know what those are.

so, yeah :)

Edited by karamel
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Mis comentarios.

(page 1)

- Who is 'her'? Who's POV are we in? (Maybe it's EK, and maybe it's all EK, in which case likely this would not be a question in reading the whole book.)

- "If it is here, then it must have killed the other one" - If what is where? What other one? I don't like having this many questions at the start of a chapter.

- What is she talking to? I guess it's the magic McGuffin. Lines?

- What killing?

- What is 'it'?

- "far, far out of her league here" - Where?

- After the first page, its only towards the end of the page that I feel in any way oriented or attached to the story. Maybe that's what you're going for, but it's not a particularly comfortable or enjoyable experience, IMO.

(page 2)

- "She bolted up" - bolted as a verb means 'to run'. Conventional usage (and therefore clarity, IMO) would b e 'She sat bolt upright.' There's a school of thought that says language conventions (like grammar) are just guidelines. I believe if you follow that hypothesis to its logical conclusion you get social media, which is a hot mess of misunderstanding, fallacy, inaccuracy and error. Rant over. It's not you, GR, but there is a lot of laziness over grammar in the world and I hate it.

- "thousands of en" - Cool image. I know what these are, can picture them and therefore got a nice strong impact from the description.

- I'm very much enjoying this encounter. I personally would vote for some tidying up of the first page, but this is very good, IMO.

- Is it 'psy net' or 'mind space'? We seem to have two terms for the same thing, which could get confusing fast.

- "their hopes" - Whose hopes? The resistance? I thought the EN were part of the resistance.

- I like the line about currency and getting paid: smart and snappy. Very stylish. This extends into a point about voice. This is a very nice note of style/voice. I would say that is not always evident through the two-and-a-bit chapters that I've read to date, but as many 'teachers' say, voice can take an author years to develop.

- "A is dead" - See, this brings me back to earlier concerns on the last submission, about the underpinning setup of EK's situation. I think it remains a pretty fundamental issue with the story. The Res are labouring under a serious misconception thinking that she was every only going to be a figurehead, and she makes no reference to that conception here, before she makes policy up on the spot, by herself. I think this remains the single biggest inconsistency in the story so far.

- "The Res now serves as the A. now serve as the A" - Yep, there we have it. These are totally and completely different things. I can't help feeling that the narrative is in some confusion over K's status and/or role.

(page 3)

- What is the pinnacle? I don't remember this from previous submission, but that may be WRS.

- "by pretending to be just another tyrant" - I am thoroughly confused. I though the EN were on the side of the Rebels, but now she's about to pretend to be a tyrant to fool the EN? I don't understand.

- "The weight of it all hit into her and she grimaced" - I try not to LBL, I really do, but it's hard when...argh.

- "went into a short coma" - MEDIC!!!

- "pushed GT onto the back of her hand" - Huh? Confused. What does that look like?

(page 5)

- I forget who Til is, but likely that's just WRS.

- Surely, it's a bit odd that there would be multiple comms centres. Is a centre not about centralising control?

- "She had revealed the Red to the entire galaxy" - Still don't buy this. There must be 10,000s of rebel fighter and none of them talk to anyone else? Nobody has noticed the large space battle going on? There isn't a single journalist anywhere on any world that isn't investigating such things?

- "a sickeningly unnatural unevenness" - awkward phrasing.

- "No ship can teleport within twenty astronomical units of the station" - Why?

- I like the feeling of hustle and bustle you've described here. I'm getting nice atmosphere and setting notes coming through.

- "pleads for mercy" - 'pleas for mercy'.

- "breathed slowly out through her nostrils" - Why is Til all steamed up about an EN choosing a human gender, when Til is of that gender? Not sure she has the right to have such strength of feeling about that, or be offended by it.

(page 6)

- "had already proven herself in the past" - I do wonder how Ek has done that, given that she is non-violent.

- "Master Tik" - In other application, 'master' is a male form of address, so this threw me.

- "Your willingness to yield behooves you" - This does not make grammatical sense. Behooves her to...what? I don't think behooves is the right word here.

- "I don’t think this is a decision that you should make alone" - And we come back to the core problem. This person (G) is her commander. A commander does not speak to a subordinate like that, he/she issues orders. These people are not behaving like that have any kind of military structure, or commander/authority structure at all. The description and labelling of the rebel hierarchy is inconsistent with how it behaves.

- "at the Convergence" - I'm not at all sure we know what this is yet, do we? I kind of gloss over this comment, because I don't understand it.

- "stewards of each planet would convene" - Is this now explained when the Con is first mentioned in the previous sub? It needs to be, IMO.

- "And to give us hostages" - Eh?! What kind of freedom fighters are these?!!

- Is that the end of the chapter? Doesn't read like a logic ending place. What then is the arc of this chapter? Or what is the end of the arc, rather?

Overall 

This reads fine generally, flows pretty well, but there are underlying issues at the heart of the story that I think are perpetuating confusion, certainly for me. (A) EK's role as figurehead. The premise of her being chosen as a Tyrant, I don't understand why or how they thought it would work. If they have freed the galaxy from a tyrant, won't everyone be delighted?

(B) A wider issue deriving from the same source: the political setup up is confused. If I don't understand who is on what side, and whose influence is where and who controls what, it's pretty much impossible (IMO) to follow the political machinations around this rebellion. The political setup is confusing, and I am forced to ask myself (based on what I've read) if the author knows enough about politics in the real world, and in history, to handle the complexities running through the story.

Do you have an outline for the political setup, a map of the changes that it will go through, the political changes, etc., during the course of the story? If so, great, but I think it needs to be spelled out (better) in the first chapter who is on what side, who controls what, what success looks like for the rebels AFTER the coup, so that I understand they ways that people and groups react in any given situation.

As we know from subs recently past, Snakenaps is considering her governmental set up, and I posted her the first link, which may prove of some use, if you haven't already listened to it. Also, 'bonus' cast on political intrigue!!

https://writingexcuses.com/2019/06/09/14-23-governments-large-and-small/

https://writingexcuses.com/2019/06/16/14-24-political-intrigue/

On a similar topic, the organisation of the rebels in general continues to give me confusion and disengagement, as they do not behave 'correctly' for the way they are described with their military structure.

There was plenty I liked about this. Lots of the little details, description and general narrative flows pretty well. I'm, fine with the pacing too, by and large, but it's the underling issues that prevent me really engaging with the story. Also, I'm not really sure what their goals are, individually or collectively. They seem a bit vague.

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Pg 1:

The opening was a little confusing.  The end of the previous chapter had me expecting E to end up in some other physical place. I caught on to it being a sort of disorienting void-like place instead, and maybe the shift would be less jarring if I’d read the chapters right in a row, but it took me a little time to get oriented.

I think a little more description of what E is perceiving would be useful. We get the glowing lines, but what does the atmosphere feel like.  Does it feel like a physical place or just some disconnected mental thing? And if she feels like she’s physically there, what’s her physical reaction before she really processes where she is.  She brings her arms up to shield herself from the glowing lines later, but in that initial moment, does she tray to flail her arms for balance? Or try to feel for ground or feel like she’s swimming/floating/flying? I’m not sure

“Wy not?” I’m not sure who she thinks she’s asking this to, since it seems like it’s a response to something someone else said.

“Stop the killing!” This came across as her telling the mysterious voice to stop killing people, but I assume it’s supposed to be what E is trying to do.  Could use some rewording.

“Each second…floor.” This to me implies that she’s perceiving it as more of a mental location/presence, unless out of body mental wandering like this is something she’s familiar with. Though, if there are various psychic beings in the world here, I guess it might seem less strange.  If she feels physically present here (physically reaching up to shield herself from the lines as they approach, etc.) is she aware that her body is still somewhere else, or what it’s doing?

“gravity reassert itself” I think this is what we need the contrast to in the opening lines.  I like the description of that brief weird disorientation as she shifts back into what she initially perceives as normal until she sees that she’s not in the throne room.  Though I do find it odd that the mental space where the en- communicate has a sort of floor for her to be lying on if the en- are always floating and aren’t actually physically present there (are they?)

Pg 2-3:

“Information was…” I like this line and the follow-up.

“The words … necessary lie” I’m not sure how this is “perpetuating the evils…”  Stating that the Resistance is now in control, and that everyone should continue on as normal until they hear otherwise seems like a straightforward explanation of the change in power.  She doesn’t seem to be threatening anyone if they step out of line.  She’s just hoping they don’t panic.  Though, I almost think she’d want to add something to back up the instruction to continue life as normal if she wants to make sure that no other power tries to step in and take over during the chaos of a shift in government.  

Pg 5:

I really like the idea of the opening paragraph, but think it could benefit from clarification of the non-literal fires in the second sentence.  Not this exactly, but something along the lines of “Panicked conversations were breaking out all over the station.  Little verbal fires that she was responsible to put out.” Then continuing on with the image to mention them being more dangerous than literal fires.  I like the image, but before it gets to the clarification that it isn’t an actual fire, I’m just really confused about why Tik is standing there watching things burn. 

“Now…dead.” Hah.  Poor Tik.  Is it a problem that I sort of like her better than Ek at the moment.  Though it might just be that I’m more sympathetic with the sense of helplessness of having to manage the chaos. I am usually sympathetic to the poor characters left herding cats while other people do more exciting things.

“orange instead of yellow.” Are most of their eyes yellow?  Is it significant that hers are orange instead?  If not, I don’t think we need the contrast.

My brain got caught on the word deicide.  Mostly because it’s not one I see much, so I automatically see it as a typo for decide.  That being said, it is technically correct based on what we know.  But it seems like an odd criminal charge to make unless there is precedent for the use of the word. How often are gods murdered in this world?

The chapter makes me more curious about en- and what exactly their role in the world is, and how they function.  They seem to pick some …something? to imitate or embody? I’m not entirely sure what it means that LN “had obstinately chosen a human gender” It’s obviously not the norm, but I don’t have a good idea of what the norm is.  I’m also not sure if Tik’s reference to LN as “their en-” implies some sort of ownership/possession or just specifies LN as the one that Ek happens to be friends with. I’m really interested in figuring out more about the en-

Pg 6:

“Ek had already…monstrosities.” This is what I want to see fleshed out more. Reasons why Ek was chosen for this, and proof that they have some reason to think she’s capable of this task.

Through most of page 6, I’m honestly still more in agreement with Tik than with Gy and LN…

I don’t think we knew enough about why they were waiting until the Convergence for this change in plans to be significant. We were told that it was the best plan, but I don’t think there was a clear enough explanation for why they should wait for us to be as concerned as everyone here (except LN) seems to be that the news got out earlier than planned.  It’s explained a little here, but when it’s too late to follow that plan anyway, it doesn’t seem like as much of a loss as it seems like it’s supposed to be.

 

Overall thoughts:

The flow of these chapters was good.  Some spots could benefit from the addition of some extra detail and definition, but I could follow what was happening and am curious to learn more about what’s going on.  I do think it would be helpful to have more of an idea of what our end goal is by now, though.  We defeated the old tyrant, hooray! And they obviously have plans for next steps, but we don’t have a good concept of what they are really trying to do other than set Ek up as a sort of figurehead, and that Ek wasn’t their primary choice.  But we don’t really know what was so bad about the tyrant or why they picked Ek or who Ge was, or even what the Resistance as a whole is aiming for, since we only get Ek’s part of it.  

I’m still not sure how I feel about Ek’s dialogue.  I know she’s supposed to be unprepared and out of her depth in all of this, but her dialogue seems a little naïve or overly casual for someone who is supposed to be the figurehead of the Resistance.  Her talking to the en- is more fitting for someone who should have had some training to at least seem like they could be the Au-.  It might make sense that she shifts away from her more natural conversational tone when she’s addressing a bunch of en-, but something about her regular dialogue lines make me feel like she seems out of touch with what’s going on.   Her response to the en- shows that she can push past panic and speak politically, and that she understands her role and responsibilities, and I’d like to see more of that side of her.  Still uncertain and out of her depth, but aware of the situation and engaging with the role that she’s found herself in.

I really enjoyed Tik’s chapter, though it cut off rather abruptly. I always enjoy seeing the background support team trying to do damage control or make sure that things are actually working properly so that the more officially important people can do exciting things.

I still feel like I don’t get a good concept of what we are aiming toward, or what the Resistance is aiming away from, and think we could use more of that early on.  But I’m enjoying reading, and am looking forward to seeing how things progress from here.

Thanks for submitting!

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16 minutes ago, Robinski said:

As we know from subs recently past, Snakenaps is considering her governmental set up, and I posted her the first link, which may prove of some use, if you haven't already listened to it. Also, 'bonus' cast on political intrigue!!

https://writingexcuses.com/2019/06/09/14-23-governments-large-and-small/

https://writingexcuses.com/2019/06/16/14-24-political-intrigue/

Thanks for sharing these! I somehow managed to miss those two while I was digging through old episodes to listen to. 
I've also found Tim Hickson's youtube videos on empires and how they rise and fall to be really useful to think through some of these things. 

https://youtu.be/51MWp0Hgo90
https://youtu.be/1yu5MHeLMEY

https://youtu.be/jAKfs0TaOR4

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33 minutes ago, C_Vallion said:

I've also found Tim Hickson's youtube videos on empires and how they rise and fall to be really useful to think through some of these things.

I love HelloFutureMe! I've been listening to his videos while I work at home! :) good recommendation

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14 hours ago, karamel said:

”drooling on the throne room floor.” How does she know this? I assumed she didn't know what the thing did at the end of the last chapter but now she knows she is not in her body? From the last chapter’s ending, i thought she had physically transported to somewhere else

Hmmm I guess I did jump the gun on this explanation. (I mean, knew that, so why not her? <sarcasm>) Thanks!

14 hours ago, karamel said:

what does adrenaline smell like? Hmm, sweat yes, maybe.

Oh yeah, this was supposed to be an alien thing. Like, she can smell hormones and stuff. I should probably call this out more. 

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

After the first page, its only towards the end of the page that I feel in any way oriented or attached to the story. Maybe that's what you're going for, but it's not a particularly comfortable or enjoyable experience, IMO.

Thanks, this is valuable information

Oh, also, I think everyone commented on this, but yes, it end abruptly. This is not meant to be the end of the chapter, I just didn't like the conversations after taht point, so I didn't include them in this sub so I can rework them. 

Quote
  5 hours ago, Robinski said:

As we know from subs recently past, Snakenaps is considering her governmental set up, and I posted her the first link, which may prove of some use, if you haven't already listened to it. Also, 'bonus' cast on political intrigue!!

https://writingexcuses.com/2019/06/09/14-23-governments-large-and-small/

https://writingexcuses.com/2019/06/16/14-24-political-intrigue/

Thanks for sharing these! I somehow managed to miss those two while I was digging through old episodes to listen to. 
I've also found Tim Hickson's youtube videos on empires and how they rise and fall to be really useful to think through some of these things. 

https://youtu.be/51MWp0Hgo90
https://youtu.be/1yu5MHeLMEY

https://youtu.be/jAKfs0TaOR4

Thank you! I will check these out for sure. 

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

"I don’t think this is a decision that you should make alone" - And we come back to the core problem. This person (G) is her commander. A commander does not speak to a subordinate like that, he/she issues orders. These people are not behaving like that have any kind of military structure, or commander/authority structure at all. The description and labelling of the rebel hierarchy is inconsistent with how it behaves.

Hmmm yes this is important. I will rework this to make G more assertive, I think. 

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

"And to give us hostages" - Eh?! What kind of freedom fighters are these?!!

oppurtunistic ones

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

(B) A wider issue deriving from the same source: the political setup up is confused. If I don't understand who is on what side, and whose influence is where and who controls what, it's pretty much impossible (IMO) to follow the political machinations around this rebellion. The political setup is confusing, and I am forced to ask myself (based on what I've read) if the author knows enough about politics in the real world, and in history, to handle the complexities running through the story.

This is something I'm struggling with because I don't want to become info-dumpy in the text. But...I do have a little document I drew up, and maybe if you want to look at it and give it some critiques? If you're game, just based on the structure I've set up. I'll put it in the spoiler below. (It is a bit spoilery) 

Spoiler

5ffcc7528a26d_spacepolitics.thumb.png.d9a364a8a65f17886c642cfbc548e9be.png

 

5 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

Still uncertain and out of her depth, but aware of the situation and engaging with the role that she’s found herself in.

Thank you, this is a good idea, I think. 

Thank you everyone!

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Katie? On a Monday? *gasp* I'm trying to get better.

The Forgotten Beginning (new band name, who dis?):

Pg 1, " It was slow going. " Plenty of time to think "What the hell is going on here???"

Pg 1, "massive glowing tree," Brain immediately jumped to the World Tree in Nordic mythos.

Pg 1, "Sorry about—" Sorry about intruding on your tree-octopus time.

Pg 1, "It has been so long." Oi, this means A didn't have access to this, I bet.

Pg 2, "I’m not sure how to respond to its inquiry." Me when first graders ask me really weird, half-formed questions.

Pg 2, "The question is invalid." I wish I could say that to students whenever they ask me something stupid like if we have homework.

Pg 2, "“What is that that"

Pg 2, "was running a gauntlet," Confused. Do you mean running into a gauntlet?

Annnnnnnd we're back.

Dude, this makes everything else so much clearer. Thank you.

After the forgotten beginning:

Pg 1,"She glanced" Who dis? Ek? New character?

Pg 1, "If it is here," Hmmm, a mystery. What is "it"?

Pg 1, "It killed once." Oh, must be referring to "she". Who am I assuming is Ek.

Pg 1, " Stop the killing!" We have motivation! Although she's likely to fail, I think, on this aspect. Admirable goal, though.

Pg 1, "No mortal being should ever be here." Can robots go here, though? 

Pg 1, " Each second she spent here was another second of her drooling on the throne room floor." If this was me, I'd worry less about image and more "gee, am I going to die?" Should I be feeling tension here? Mystery? 

Pg 1, "thousands of blank white faces peering down at her with black eyes." Well that's terrifying.

Pg 2, " Like L" OOOOOOOHHHHHHH How did I not get that before!!! I literally burst out laughing when it clicked. That is clever

Pg 2, "Not prepared at all." I like this, because it really emphasizes that, to me, right now, Ek is still mostly a figurehead, a puppet. So with her strings cut, she's practically useless. How will that change in the future?

Pg 2, "equivalent of a riotous shout." I have decided: I like these aliens.

Pg 2, " it was a necessary lie, for the time being." Confusion. That the Res is the A, or that Ek is the A?

Pg 3, "Rebellion will not be tolerated at this time." Or what?

Pg 3, "For G" I'm zonked. My brain thought you were referring to the Geneva Convention for a hot sec. On the other hand, both seem humanitarian in nature, so maybe you did this intentionally?

Pg 3, "someone better." But convince them you're a tyrant taking over another tyrant. Brilliant. 

Pg 3, "with their masters" Is the entire race subservient?

Pg 4, "onto the back of her hand." Does it stick to her like static?

Pg 5, "now it was her job to put it all out" It sounds like we've changed POV's?

Pg 5, " they had all awoken" Does everyone come out of the Physic Chat Room unconscious? Is this normal?

Pg 6, "had already proven herself in the past" I wasn't there for that. Any examples? Daring rescues? Silver words at the right time?

 

Beginning was confusing, as everyone has said. The politics confuse me, but frankly, all politics confuse me (which is why I suck at writing them), so I'm not a good judge on that. I just swallow any politics and think "if I don't understand now, maybe I will later. Or maybe I'm not smart enough for this." I think Game of Thrones taught me that habit...

I really like your politics graph, though. That is cool. 

Edited by Snakenaps
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In terms of narrative structure, I thought these chapters were stronger than the previous ones. In particular, in chapter 3 we get what looks to me like the inciting incident with E revealing that the emperor is dead and everyone not taking it super well. For me, this is where it feels like the setup ends and the real motion of the story begins, because it looks like the book's going to be about this rebel group dealing with the fallout of their actions on the various planets that are represented. Because of this, I didn't feel like it got too info-dumpy after that point because I knew what the point was and the story was sticking with it. I thought chapter 4 flowed well because of this; the actions of chapter 3 inform the within-group conflict of chapter 4. This made me wonder if the first couple of chapters are even necessary. Killing the emperor seems like a flashy opening but so far the story has more to do with this group trying to deal with the aftermath of their revolution, so strange as it is to say the emperor himself isn't really relevant. That is, unless his cryptic words in the first chapters are going to be pivotal, in which case they should be the main focus of those chapters. 

Agreed with the others that I think we need to know a bit more about motivations, especially in a plot that focuses heavily on politics. Though, this can and probably should include some characters who intentionally hide their motivations, and other characters who try to figure those motivations out. Especially within the rebel group. Also, I second not really understanding E's role as figurehead. Is she supposed to appear as the new emperor? If so, why is everyone mad at her for doing so? If not, why did she think that was a good idea? I assumed she was more of a PR person for the rebels but I get the feeling that my earlier reading of that was off. 

One last minor note is that especially because the chapter started in dialogue, I was a bit disoriented as to where we were and what was going on at the start and could have used a bit more scene-setting. And the sassy orb thing could probably be played up even more, honestly. Objects need to have an extra-loud personality to stand out and have more leeway to be extra since we don't always expect human subtlety from them. 

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOO OK SO I JUST REALIZED I FORGOT TO SEND THE FIRST FEW PAGES OF THE CHAPTER AAAAAAAAA

I'm going to resend the chapter I am so sorry no wonder it was so confusing

Edited by ginger_reckoning
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17 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO OK SO I JUST REALIZED I FORGOT TO SEND THE FIRST FEW PAGES OF THE CHAPTER AAAAAAAAA

I'm going to resend the chapter I am so sorry no wonder it was so confusing

HAHAHAHAHA that explains SO MUCH.

I'll go back and edit my comments.

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18 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO OK SO I JUST REALIZED I FORGOT TO SEND THE FIRST FEW PAGES OF THE CHAPTER AAAAAAAAA

I'm going to resend the chapter I am so sorry no wonder it was so confusing

Okay that makes me feel better about being confused. Normally I have to read through submissions pretty efficiently because grad student life, so this time I was like "man I must have missed a lot of stuff from the last chapters."

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7 minutes ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Okay that makes me feel better about being confused. Normally I have to read through submissions pretty efficiently because grad student life, so this time I was like "man I must have missed a lot of stuff from the last chapters."

I even checked the past chapters and was like, "This is a really weird way to start of a chapter."

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Yeah, I'm really glad actually, because when everyone said they were confused, I was like "really?" I thought it was pretty clear...but then I went and actually looked at the doc...

*facepalm*

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1 minute ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Yeah, I'm really glad actually, because when everyone said they were confused, I was like "really?" I thought it was pretty clear...but then I went and actually looked at the doc...

*facepalm*

Hey, remember that I've forgotten to attach my chapter to the email not once, but twice now? We all have those days. 

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31 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO OK SO I JUST REALIZED I FORGOT TO SEND THE FIRST FEW PAGES OF THE CHAPTER AAAAAAAAA

I'm going to resend the chapter I am so sorry no wonder it was so confusing

wow this makes so much more sense! there is so much more detail and everything is much clearer in the beginning.

So, I don't have much to say about the missing pages, other than they were sorely missed and this raises a ton more questions for me. The tear is alive (sort of)! that's bizarre. I'm much more interested. Also, im just gonna add my comments here so you dont have to reread my comments from earlier.

pg 1: "paddled her way through the air" and "technique to 'swim' through the air." okay so, there's air, but no gravity right? I dont know much about this but I thought you couldn't swim through the air in zero gravity? I think it would have such a minimal effect that it would be pointless, cause air isnt dense enough or something. to move, you would have to push off things and propel yourself. I honestly dont know though, so you could be fine and I could be wrong.

pg 2: "as tears streamed down her face" wait so there is gravity? otherwise, would the tears not just... float in the air? idk how it works but thats my assumption lol

"the voice said with a tinge of sadness" the tear has feelings? oh my

 

Edited by karamel
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Overall

Great conversation with the tear, though some inconsistencies. I was very confused by the end and what the arc was to this chapter. Why is she in more trouble now that before she got sucked into the tear? Because she screwed up her speech to the tentacle things? While I am very engaged with E as a character, the worldbuildng remains fairly elusive to me. I'm trying to get a better grip on it but it seems too shallow in places. I need to understand more of the stakes I think--the stakes of the world. I get E's goals more or less, but the greater world I am still trying to get ahold of.

 

12 hours ago, Robinski said:

If they have freed the galaxy from a tyrant, won't everyone be delighted?

Also my question

12 hours ago, Robinski said:

the political setup up is confused. If I don't understand who is on what side, and whose influence is where and who controls what, it's pretty much impossible (IMO) to follow the political machinations around this rebellion. The political setup is confusing, and I am forced to ask myself (based on what I've read) if the author knows enough about politics in the real world, and in history, to handle the complexities running through the story.

Same issue again. I need more information on the world, delivered organically through actions so I can really get a foothold.

 

As I go

she gasped at the sudden change <--- what change? Nothing has been described as a change

- I think it's weird that she knows what the god's tear feels like. This is her first experience with it, right?

- pg 3: I'm enjoying the interplay with the tear

- pg 3: why is it showing her the way out when she only asked? Didn't the tear just get done saying she had to command it to get it to do anything? I liked that bit. So to have it circumvented without even working for it seemed cheap

- first paragraph of pg 4: there are a ton of words in this paragraph I don't know and its super confusing

 

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Okay so yeah the first couple of pages are very helpful for grounding us in the scene. I mean, I guess all things considered it's actually a good sign that the chapter reads so weirdly without the first couple of pages because that means they're necessary. :) I still feel the same way about the tear having room for a louder personality. Only larger comments here are that I'd avoid using slavery vocabulary and calling people "it" unless you have a really good reason to. Even removing the social aspect, slavery can evoke any number of connotations based on historical context (slavery in the colonial Americas was quite different from slavery in the Ottoman Empire, for example), so without more information it's not a super useful descriptor imo. But hey plenty of SFF books get away with it so what do I know. 

20 minutes ago, karamel said:

pg 1: "paddled her way through the air" and "technique to 'swim' through the air." okay so, there's air, but no gravity right? I dont know much about this but I thought you couldn't swim through the air in zero gravity? I think it would have such a minimal effect that it would be pointless, cause air isnt dense enough or something. to move, you would have to push off things and propel yourself. I honestly dont know though, so you could be fine and I could be wrong.

pg 2: "as tears streamed down her face" wait so there is gravity? otherwise, would the tears not just... float in the air? idk how it works but thats my assumption lol

not sure about the first point, but for the second I'd think tears would stick in globs attached to skin/eyes from surface tension. 

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11 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

If you're game, just based on the structure I've set up. I'll put it in the spoiler below. (It is a bit spoilery) 

I looove that diagram!! Well done. Having said this, yes, there is a LOT of context and information here that I have no concept of in reading the story. Dare I suggest that perhaps there is a need for a prologue? :unsure: 

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9 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Yeah, I'm really glad actually, because when everyone said they were confused, I was like "really?" I thought it was pretty clear...but then I went and actually looked at the doc...

*facepalm*

No worries! It's only a matter of time before I do this or something similar :lol:  

Part of my mind had noticed that the word count seemed off, but I didn't put the two things together.

On the bright side, the addition of this section answered all of the questions I had about it seeming to start in the middle of a conversation. This is much more what I would have expected from E being mysteriously transported to some other place, and does a good job of providing details to add to the image in my head while also emphasizing the strangeness of it. 
I'm still a little iffy about her dialogue voice, but for whatever reason, it doesn't bother me as much when reading the full version of Chapter 3 as it did when only reading the later sections. I have no idea why.

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Well, fortunately I waited a day before reading, so I got the whole thing at one time.

We're getting into the story now, and things are settling down, but I definitely agree with @Robinski and @kais that the governmental setup is very confusing (I made a note about it while reading).

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

I looove that diagram!! Well done. Having said this, yes, there is a LOT of context and information here that I have no concept of in reading the story. Dare I suggest that perhaps there is a need for a prologue? :unsure: 

Also agree, there is a lot of information in there and it has a very specific setup--not one that can be assumed by a standard space opera. I think (rather than a prologue) you may need to do a soft sort of info-dump in the first couple chapters to weave this information in, because otherwise the reader will be too confused by the time you get to the main plot to know what's going on. It would be pretty easy to put a line here and there in the first chapter when Ek confronts the emperor, something like "Why don't you let planets know about the X between you and them?" or when at the meeting in the second chapter have someone mention the logistics of communicating through layers of obfuscation the emperor has put in and that each layer only knows about the one above it.

12 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Only larger comments here are that I'd avoid using slavery vocabulary and calling people "it" unless you have a really good reason to. Even removing the social aspect, slavery can evoke any number of connotations based on historical context (slavery in the colonial Americas was quite different from slavery in the Ottoman Empire, for example), so without more information it's not a super useful descriptor imo. But hey plenty of SFF books get away with it so what do I know. 

I'd second this. It rubbed me the wrong way as well while reading, both "it" and slavery. There are plenty of other ways to say they have been forcibly used against their will.

I still don't understand why Ek was chosen over more competent possibilities, so hopefully we get that explanation soon. I also think a whole resistance group could have come up with a better plan than "hold all the representatives of the empire hostage"

Still interested in the story, and interested to see where it goes!

 

Notes while reading:

(starting with the missing pages...)

pg 1: "That made sense."
--I hesitate to say anything about this makes sense yet.

pg 1: "Almost like…God’s Tear."
--Might be WRS, but this seems like a big jump.

pg 1: "massive glowing tree, or perhaps an octopus"
--you've already got the comparison to a tree with branches. I think adding "octopus" to this just confuses it.

pg 2: "The question is invalid."
--I don't think any of those questions were invalid...

pg 3: using "it" for all pronouns is pretty confusing.

pg 5: pinnacle, dominion, hegemony: I'm not sure what any of these represent yet.


(continuing with second document on pg 5)

pg 5: "Fire was breaking out"
--"fires were breaking out?" From the rest of the paragraph, this seems correct.

pg 5: "The one that had obstinately chosen a human gender"
--Why is this an issue? That she chose a gender, or that she chose a human gender?

pg 6: "crisis against those…monstrosities"
--is this something we know about?

pg 6: "If it all burned now because of some young human…"
--This goes back to my confusion from last sub of why Ek was chosen. There's no real explanation given, and several other characters, including this one, seem to be better choices.

pg 7: "Had we kept them hostage,"
--yeah, have to say that sounds like a terrible plan. How did they not expect that would bring instant war, instead of peacefully saying they've overthrown a despotic ruler? The logic seems off here.

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I definitely engaged with this story and character, and looking forward to reading more when you do get more written. 

 I enjoyed seeing literally lost floating in the dark and then figuring out where she was. At first, I liked how she fumbled with her interaction with the thing in the stone, but I got frustrated with her interactions with them. She didn't really try to learn anything about them and jumped right to wanting to go home. And when it was obvious the way she was talking wasn't the right way to communicate, she didn't seem to even make an effort to adjust. I get she was scared and caught off guard, but I would've liked to see her have a little more agency or be a little more curious. 

When she was in the e space, I liked that she did do something, but I the tyrant part didn't make any sense. Saying she and the rebellion are no the A was fine, but in he following paragraph, I don't really get how pretending to be just another tyrant would lessen the blow. Did people from other planets actually like living under the old A's rule that she is aware of? How aware were they of a revolution even existing?

Three ends on a nice, suspenseful note. You are very good at doing that. 

I wasn't a fan of the POV switch in Ch. 4. The narrator felt a little more distant at times (when focused on information about the fallout), though not for the whole thing. It seemed like some of the information got repeated when E came into the room. I am more interesting in seeing how E processes the fall out and what she is thinking when she offers to step down. It was interesting seeing her from a different POV, but I think I would've preferred to just stick with her. The chapter didn't seem to have much of an arc with the new character , but it certainly would've for E. However, you did mention this chapter wasn't over yet. Perhaps the unwritten part would change my mind about this. 

Also, with Ch. 4, I wasn't sure I understood the hostage part. 

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Being later has it's benefits I guess, I had both parts available :-)

Forgive me, but is this book YA? This sub carries that vibe. Not in a bad way, but in overall tone and MC interactions as the younger and less experienced character surrounded by 'adults'.

Everyone has gone into such depth... I honestly didn't catch that much to critique. 

"Floated in darkness..." "sudden change" These two statements seem to contradict eachother since it sounds like the floating has been going on for a while.

Coma: could be, but 'unresponsive' is less medically threatening if you want to play it safe. Coma usually denotes some pretty heavy problems or serious medicating. This is scifi so super healing tech is always on the table (hahaha, I kill me. Oh how I would love a bio-bed and a tricorder though!), but people don't usually pop back out of unplaned comas unscathed. At least in our time. 

World building question: If the Ens are all linked on a telepathic plane of some kind, and served the previous ruler on all the worlds he (it?) controled, why is there a question of how many worlds are out there and where they are? Wouldn't the En know? 

I loved the chart, by the way! 

Looking forward to reading more.

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On 1/11/2021 at 9:02 PM, karamel said:

g 2: "as tears streamed down her face" wait so there is gravity? otherwise, would the tears not just... float in the air? idk how it works but thats my assumption lol

Oooh, duh, yes this would happen. This is totally going in the next draft, thanks

On 1/11/2021 at 9:22 PM, kais said:

pg 3: why is it showing her the way out when she only asked? Didn't the tear just get done saying she had to command it to get it to do anything? I liked that bit. So to have it circumvented without even working for it seemed chea

8 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

She didn't really try to learn anything about them and jumped right to wanting to go home. And when it was obvious the way she was talking wasn't the right way to communicate, she didn't seem to even make an effort to adjust. I get she was scared and caught off guard, but I would've liked to see her have a little more agency or be a little more curious. 

hhmmmm yeah...I think this is a very important part, with establishing the dynamic between GT and Ek. So I will definitely try some of these and try to improve this part. 

12 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'd second this. It rubbed me the wrong way as well while reading, both "it" and slavery. There are plenty of other ways to say they have been forcibly used against their will.

noted. 

3 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Forgive me, but is this book YA? This sub carries that vibe. Not in a bad way, but in overall tone and MC interactions as the younger and less experienced character surrounded by 'adul

hmm ya know what, I'm not sure. It defintiely has YA vibes and my vision of what the cover might look like is very YAish, and its mainly focused on the emotions of the young female protag, so kinda? Buuuuuuut it also deals with some things that I think will be a little heavy/mature for YA, so idk. I kind of have a naturally YA style, though, I've found. 

3 hours ago, Sarah B said:

why is there a question of how many worlds are out there and where they are? Wouldn't the En know? 

thanks for bringing this up because i hadn't thought of that. I'm just going to say "no" based on my author knowledge, but now I have to think of a good explanation why...I think maybe because you can't explore with psychic powers? You can only contact people that you know exist. Something to think about I guess...

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11 minutes ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Oooh, duh, yes this would happen. This is totally going in the next draft, thanks

i googled it, here's good ol' chris hadfield to show us! :)

Spoiler

 

Edited by karamel
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