kais

2/01/2021 - Kais - Pruitcu - Chapter 1 (L) - 2132 words

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We continue on! Chapter 1 proper, which is short and hopefully compelling. I wonder if it needs expansion in some areas, as it’s under 3K words, but I can’t really see where fat could be added. Generally, I’m interested in if you connect with the main character, if the chapter makes sense and ties into the introduction, and if you’d read to the next chapter.

I’m attempting the not-recommended thing of three chapters in a row with three different POV characters. I’m trying to tie them all together through a clear central issue (Pruitcu), and hoping that is enough for reader investment. Looking forward to your comments on that.

As a side note, I’ve edited some sections of the introduction based on the feedback, and included the major one in the comments of last week’s sub, if you’re curious. It mostly changes the information around the little biometal spheres to include a discussion of fungi.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Comments.

(page 1)

- "Yesterday it had exploded...it" - POW, this is great line. Also, I like the opening. Nice amount of background, and a little character voice. I know who Sal is, so I feel a certain amount of grounding.

To harp back to your email/intro post though, I don't carry much of anything about Pru from the prologue. I seem to remember an see about it in passing, but it didn't seem to have any significance for the events in the prologue.

- "recorded in sterile words" - Where did Sal get these words from, the news feed, the net? Who reported it, and where?

- "the transmission feed" - What's this then? If there was no warning from Pru, who published these words?

- "She shouldn’t have been" - Why should she not be doing these things?

- "flush with every kind" - :lol: 

- "a creature of comfort and a creature of habit" - Only LBL this page for me, so let me have this one! 'a creature of comfort, and of habit', IMO, is smoother.

(page 2)

- "and he had more cushioning than Sal who, with her factory-installed genetics, had ever managed" - typo.

- "Were they another subspecies? Were they slaves" - The reference was to the planet, not the race or people living on it. For 'they' to follow, it would need to be 'who knows what history the people of Pru had?', surely.

- "They’d just left the planet" - What, they'd just left Pru? Confused. I thought they were on Ard.

(page 3)

- "firm CT" - Was it always spelt 'Cell'? I feel like it used to be 'Cel'. I always pronounced it 'kel'.

- "SOLD TO AN UNNAMED SHIP CAPTAIN" - BOOM! Plot ahoy, captain. I'm in for this. Excellent personal motivation.

(page 4)

- "I hate you." - Awesome line, great character moment. Confused though, why did the Mark contact in this apparently philanthropic gesture? Is that not most unlike a Ris, and especially a Mark? > "TO ATONE" - Ah, okay.

- "partner-type-thing" - I really like Y and S together, so it's a little disheartening to see her quite dismissive attitude towards him. One of my imagined promises from the author therefore, is to see her be more loving towards him, provided that he deserves it, of course.

- "SYSTEM REPRESENTS A THREAT" - But how, it's just been obliterated?

- "WE NEED A CS PRESENCE THERE" - Hah, ha. So he (they?) does (do?) want something.

(page 5)

- "THE BREEDING AND ENGINEERING FACILITIES ON K" - Ooh, he's offering her the chance to find the other rejects and take up residence in the forming breeding facilities. This is a joke right? 'Step into to parlour said the spider to the fly...'

- "DO NOT CROSS THE VOID"

Spoiler

giphy.gif

Seriously though, I hope I'm not meant to understand this line, because I have about a dozen question about it.

(page 6)

- "moved our wilt rate to storming zero" - I find the swear rather harsh and inappropriate. He's talking to his lady love here, not Ne.

- "every alien head they could find" - :lol: 

- "she headed knowingly towards" - not required. She can't head for it unknowingly, IMO.

- "if I even bring it up" - Please define 'it': unclear.

- "went off in search of a puddle" - not table service?

(page 8)

- "for an activity I’m sure I’m too old for" - Him and me both.

(page 9)

- "resigned herself to another handful of months in space" I just assumed they normally lived on the ship, in space.

Overall 

Excellent. Very clean, interesting, engaging. Sal is a great character, and Y is in the picture. Nick, I still find a bit much but he doesn't get much to do, so that's fine. I think my issue with him is that he seems only to have one setting. He's kind of always there, but he doesn't seem to develop, grow, get much to do. He's like a piece of noisy furniture to me.

Looking forward to the next paragraph I don't see any need to pad this one. I mean, padding, by definition, is bad, right? :) 

Edited by Robinski
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Pg 1:

+1 for ship names.

“at least two hundred and twenty-three years” why 223? “at least” makes me expect a rounder number.  Unless the species we’re talking about here uses a sort of prime-based counting system where they round to prime numbers instead of base-10 where we’d round to 200. Or at least 220.  I am all for prime-based counting systems (Now I sort of want it to be that.  Is that a recognized sci-fi thing? After all, base-10 always seemed to be very clearly related to the fact that humans have ten fingers and ten toes, so counting seems to start there.  But that doesn’t make sense for species that would base numerical systems on something else.  Primes seem like a more universal concept to base a common system on… maybe this is why I don’t read as much sci-fi.  I get too distracted by the actual math and science details). If that’s not the case, 223 sticks out as too intentionally chosen for the phrasing. Is it 223 years? Or is it “at least” that and probably more?  Then we go to the 200+ years in the next sentence, which makes more sense. As long as we are keeping with base-10.   And now that I have spent far more time talking about math-theory than most people are likely to be interested in, I will move on.

First paragraph has a lot of new names, which I didn’t have as much trouble with as I’d feared at first glance.  The simple sentences make it easier to digest.  But the phrasing of the “It had write-ups…related to.” sentence made that one take a pause and slow re-read of to figure it out.  I think the repetition of “that…” phrases one after another made me lose track of where we are.

“Yesterday…” Oh.  Oops. That’s unfortunate.

“…her missing past.” I think calling out Sal-’s name here would be helpful.  My first thought was that we were talking about Pr-‘s missing past, since we opened talking about some of its history and at this point, I don’t read enough sci-fi to know if planets are ever referred to in gendered terms. [edit: on a second read-through, I realized that the “along with another piece…” in this sentence comes across to me as there still being something else in addition to the Pr- data that got buried away at the same time, which doesn’t seem right.  Seems like something closer to “There went another piece…” or something along those lines might be more accurate? Unless I’m misreading.]

“Captain…what.” Another sentence that seems to have a little too much information in it.  I think just splitting it up a little might help? My first readthrough had understood it as Y being the “owner of [the ship and “her boyfriend/…”]”, not “[owner of the ship] and her boyfriend/…” so I’d thought we had Y, Sal, her boyfriend, and Nick. This was clarified before too long, but was jarring and a little confusing.

Pg 2:

“S- who…had ever managed.”  Extra word.

Pg 3:

“I SAW YOU IN THE DATABASE…”  How big of a problem is this?  I’d gotten the impression that she was poking around in places she wasn’t supposed to be, so being caught at it seems like something she should be more concerned about.  I don’t have a good idea of what the implications are of a mar- catching someone in the database means. Is it a matter of happening to stumble upon her? Is it the mar-‘s  job to be sort of policing the files? Were they waiting for her specifically to dig into the file? Do Sal- and Pi- know each other? Sal- seems pretty rude when my first thought was that she was already in trouble.

Pg 4:

Pi-‘s name seems to switch between nh and hn

Pg 6:

“…will explode my head…”  explode seems like an odd active verb choice. That may not be quite the right term.  I’m guessing that there is some implied species-related ability that I’m not aware of, where this verb choice is intentional, but it just sounds funny to me without confirmation of that.

Overall:

There were a few spots where the information was conveyed a little too quickly for me to absorb it all, but overall, things were pretty clear considering the amount of new information it gets across.

I don’t trust the Ris-, and expect things to go wrong with this little mission (besides, where’s the story if things aren’t going to go wrong?).  I know Sal- is mostly just hopeful about the opportunity, but it seems odd that she’s not more suspicious about the random message and big request from Pi-.  Unless it’s more expected than I’m understanding.  She’s reluctant to change things, but I’d expect more concern about the Ris- not following through on their promises if it’s such a big opportunity.  Especially when the only response to her asking what they want is the vague “to atone for the past.” Which is kind of them, but it seems like actual atoning for past behaviors wouldn’t be hinged on making rather significant demands of her.

Beyond that vague feeling of things not seeming to quite match up, I really enjoyed the chapter, and am excited to see where things go :)

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Page 1

-well isnt this familiar. 

-yes, this is good. The planet has been there for over 200 years and it explodes. Tell me more please.

-would this occurrence normally send a message to the leaders of Ard? 

-“the data inserted themselves” so is the data sentient? 

-“For no other reason then Y was a creature of comfort” ugh relatable.

Page 2

-“Add-, he’d saved her from” what is add-? A curse word? A deity?

-”factory-installed genetics” good, letting us know early that this is a thing

-”N and i can carry all the spheres” ahhh the spheres. Now i'm wondering what happened to Ne. but nice to know the spheres are still in play.

Page 3

-“Go away” narrator: he did not go away

Page 6

-“Y’s old ship, M’s P” oof there’s a history here that i'm curious about

-“I dislike adventure” well you’re gonna get it whether you like it or not

Page 7

-“I want to die of old age surrounded by people who look and think like me” sounds like my 97 year-old grandma

-“In search of a puddle to place an order with” why is this funny to me lol

Page 8

-“Slips of foam” you mean… flip flops? Nice

Overall, this read well! I wasn’t confused like I was with the first version of this chapter. There are definitely aspects that connect this to the previous chapter. We got Ard, Ris, Yor, those spheres, hauling saplings, and other things. I remember really liking Yor in this chapter the last time you subbed it and i did like his dialogue at the end (“do I have any say in where we’re going”) he was like this nice hairy man. I digged it. But I didn’t feel that so much this time. Perhaps it's because I gained a new perspective of him in the intro. It’s probably a me problem. Would I read on? Yes, I want to see how this is all connected and what shenanigans will ensue. What happened with Ne? And G4? They obviously got the spheres working with the saplings. Why is Y still hauling them after so long? Oh, comfort. Idk how much time is in between book 1 and 3, but this chap has to be at least… 14 years after the intro? What's the big picture? I’m interested to find out :)

Edited by karamel
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Much better! This is snappy and gets into the story quickly. I like it. I noted a couple confusing things that I noticed some others picked up on too. I think this gets us back into the set of secondary characters and off on an adventure!

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

Nick, I still find a bit much but he doesn't get much to do, so that's fine.

Awww, I always liked Nick, and I love the blue hair.

15 hours ago, kais said:

I wonder if it needs expansion in some areas, as it’s under 3K words, but I can’t really see where fat could be added.

Don't add anything! This is short and powers us into the next chapter.

16 hours ago, kais said:

I’m attempting the not-recommended thing of three chapters in a row with three different POV characters.

*rubs hands together gleefully* Yes, come to the dark side...

Looking forward to more!

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "planar pirates"
--Now I'm imagining pirates that only exist in 2D...

pg 2: I like how you're doing the recap here, sort of a peppy narration.

pg 4: "I hate you."
--Yeah, I'd be pretty suspicious of this too. The Ris are not known for being free with information.

pg 4: "REPRESENTS A THREAT TO THE GREATER CHARTED SYSTEMS."
--Aha, there we go. That's the catch.

pg 6: "DO NOT CROSS THE VOID. YOU DO NOT WANT WHAT IS ON THE BETA PLANE."
--not sure what this means.

pg 6: "our biometal incubation balls"
--I assume these were the things in the prologue. Were this in the trilogy at all, or is this a retcon?

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Looks like everyone got here before me...

As I go:

pg 1

-First paragraph feels like an info dump and I'm not feeling it tbh. 2nd paragraph is good and I can see how it's trying to build to that moment to shift the tone, but I still prefer starting off in the action of the story

-I'm curious why this seems like no big deal to people other than S. Is it a routine occurence to have planets blow up like this? 

pg 2

-Like that we get a bit on how S sees Y, both physically and as a person

-I don't follow why this is the planet A's fault but I don't feel like I need to know right now. Seeing S' conviction is enough... so long as we get more info later

pg 3

-The communication here works well because S being interested in the planet P is set up. I care about what MP has to say about P and how that affects S

pg 4

-I think I understand their dynamic. MP is affiliated with the people that enslaved/did terrible things to S and her people, but they feel for S and are trying to help her. S doesn't want anything to do with the people who caused her so much pain even though she's desperate for information at this point. If I'm right props to you for setting up a complicated dynamic like that so quickly

-middle of the page is mostly stuff I was assuming already. I honestly think their messages make their dynamic clear enough that we don't really need any background

-Okay, the implications of the statement at the bottom of the page aren't super clear to me. How exactly does P's destruction make these other people from the J system more of a threat? I don't really get it and I think this is important for me to know. I also wouldn't mind a bit of exposition from S about the J system, honestly, so long as it's still character-rooted. I'm guessing she doesn't care about it as much as MP does. 

pg 5

-I also feel like I need more about how the planet of E actually plays into this. Also, it sounds like E and At are on the planet of Ar? "Conflict of Interest" doesn't really give me any idea of what's going on. Does S know what they're talking about? 

-So the moon K is S's homeworld, is that the implication? If I had to guess I'd say the whole thing was abandoned when it got out how horrifying the experiments were. How does S feel about this place? The description makes the broader dynamics clear but what I really want to know is what this means for S. Is it a chance for her to reclaim for herself the knowledge that was used to hurt her? Is it a place so terrifying and scarring that she never wants to set foot on it again? I'm guessing somewhere in between. 

pg 6

-It wasn't clear to me before that S dislikes adventure and change. I think this is more powerful if it's shown in her reaction to P being blown up or when she's talking to P rather than told to us here. Right now it feels like it's being thrown in to force her to be conflicted, if that makes any sense. 

pg 7

-Not immediately clear to me that N is the one speaking

-Her internal thoughts here are another case of something that I think could be shown in more detail. We learn that she wants to uncover her past and be surrounded by people like her, but what does that mean for her? What parts of her history is she excited/nervous about uncovering, and what does she feel like connections with people like her can bring that her social life here can't? Also, as much as I love the hitting people with a coffee maker, it feels a bit comedic for what seems like a very serious topic. If I were enslaved I'd want to do a little more than hit people with coffee makers. 

pg 8-9

-Nice to see a bit of Y's personality here. I don't hate him as much as I did last chapter 

-Good ending that cements her taking up the metaphorical sword to become more active as a character 

Overall:

Not sure I have too much to say other than the LBL comments. The stuff with S thinking about her past and talking to P is really solid overall, and my only comment is that I think there's room to give her more specific motivations about what she's interested in (going home, learning history, finding other people like her, ect). Right now I can see (almost) anyone in her position having her views, and I want to see her personality inform her desires in a way that's unique to her. 

I think I need a bit more on the mission she's been assigned to. I get that there might not be space to explain every relevant tidbit to a new reader, but I don't really know how S feels about it which I think is the bigger issue for me here. Also I still don't really get why they want S to be doing this even though they talked about it so I feel like I should. 

I definitely enjoyed reading this and I'm interested to see more! 

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18 hours ago, Mandamon said:

*rubs hands together gleefully* Yes, come to the dark side...

Yes, come, come... <holds out basket full of puppies> Have as many POVs as you like, no one will mind :ph34r: 

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Not much to say from me. I think the changes that you’ve made work well and it certainly works as a first chapter for me.  

I’d agree that there isn’t an obvious place to pad it out – it ends at a good point and the arc feels complete. I do think it’s possible that beefing up S’s longing for a history could make the chapter potentially a little more powerful, especially for new readers who are only getting very glancing bits of S’s history, but I’m not sure how that would translate into a scene where actual consequential things happen, since it really doesn’t seem like this chapter is missing much. As it stands though, I think the why of S is doing this is clear enough, and it's a good punchy start. 

As I read:

“She shouldn’t have been poking around in archival records, especially not restricted ones.” Could be WRS and I’m just forgetting some of her capabilities from previous books but if they’re restricted to that level, why does she have access anyway?
               Edit: The fact that MP is also in the database and can pinpoint who is viewing it with enough precision to send them a message also suggests to me that this restricted database has the security of a good strong piece of Swiss cheese.

“…referred to by Y as his ‘love handles’” I like the sentence but the antecedent is unclear, maybe swap the order of this sentence around?

It’s been a while since I read the previous version of this conversation so I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but this version of the conversation definitely feels more effective than the last time I saw it. I think perhaps S’s contact is being a little more up-front with the information provided? I like it.

More information about the problem that the exploded planet poses too. All good here!

“Want to come meet N and I for some grub?” Hadn’t they already made plans to go for dinner a few pages up?

On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

Seriously though, I hope I'm not meant to understand this line, because I have about a dozen question about it.

I assumed we were not, but I also have questions. And for the record, I really want to see how one "cauterizes" space. 

On 1/31/2021 at 7:43 PM, kais said:

I’m trying to tie them all together through a clear central issue (Pruitcu), and hoping that is enough for reader investment.

So far so good, I think. The mention of Pruitcu in the prologue intro was pretty glancing, but I'd expect that of an intro, where we're sort of primed to look for small connections to the rest of the story, so I think that's fine.  The Pruitcu issue comes through through much more strongly here and as long as it does so reasonably strongly in the next chapter as well I think this will work fine. 

On 2/1/2021 at 9:02 AM, karamel said:

-”N and i can carry all the spheres” ahhh the spheres. Now i'm wondering what happened to Ne. but nice to know the spheres are still in play.

Forgot to mention but I noticed this too, I definitely think this chapter does a good job of tying in stuff from the prologue intro. I don't think these were in the original trilogy, were they?

On 2/1/2021 at 9:02 AM, karamel said:

-“Go away” narrator: he did not go away

:lol:

 

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Overall, I think this is a lot clearer, and I am definitely a lot less confuesd than last time. However, that may be from already reading this, but it does seem clearer to me. I also resonated more with the character, which was good. I'm still not sure if I could just begin a series from this point, but I do think that its better. I think playing up the "I like my friends, but I want to know people like ME" thing would be awesome, and that was definitely the thing that I related to most. 

Alright, opening the doc now. 

pg.1 so, just a question, is this implying that P planet can also move, since it has been in the system for only two hundred something years? Sorry if that's already been established

I noticed some changes to this paragrpah from last time. I don't know if its that i've read it before, or if the way its worded is just easier to read this time, but it definitely read less like a text book compared to last time. 

Pla-pirates?? Like, dimension-hopping or something?? 

So far its easier to follow, but again, not sure if its because I've read some of your stuff now or not

pg 2 "and he had more cushioning..." this sentence went on a long time, and I got a little confused

I like the text messaging. That's a lot clearer, I think. 

pg 3. This is just personal preference, but I'm not a fan of parentheses. I mean, I use them a lot in my critiques and things, but not a fan of them in prose. But that's a bit nitpicky.

"Salamander legs..." lol this is relatable.

"this is MP" reminds me of when you're working on a google doc at like 12 at night and you can see that there's like two other people also there...

"Technically" this is a nice explanation that was implied last time, but I like getting it straight as well. 

"They are yours" mmmmmm I don't trust this, M seems to be baiting her. If that was not the purpose, this might be a little too thick. 

"pay in information" but isn't your own moon a physical thing, and not information?

oh, this is explained later, nvm

"do not cross the void" sounds like an ominous death rattle to me. Or just confusing jargon.

pg 7 "who look and think..." this is the one that has resonated with me the most so far.

the raspberries thing is still incomprehensible to me

pg 8 I believe the singular is capitalized God? Not sure if that's a hard-and-fast rule or not though. 

I like this last line

 

 

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On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

What's this then? If there was no warning from Pru, who published these words?

Ahhh, solid issue. Have clarified it's from Ard's intergalactic sensors because Ard spies on everything

On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

Cell'? I feel like it used to be 'Cel'. I always pronounced it 'kel'.

Errr, possibly? I think it was cell as in 'cellulose', but now I have to go highlight it for continuity edits. Will check!

On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

I really like Y and S together, so it's a little disheartening to see her quite dismissive attitude towards him. One of my imagined promises from the author therefore, is to see her be more loving towards him, provided that he deserves it, of course.

Working towards it! Salice has always been borderline autism-coded so I'm hoping to showcase this relationship well enough that you can see that while she isn't the best at emoting, the emotions are still rich and deep on the inside

On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

"DO NOT CROSS THE VOID"

  Hide contents

giphy.gif

EXACTLY. It's not an ominous trope warning. Nooooo

On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

I find the swear rather harsh and inappropriate. He's talking to his lady love here, not Ne

This is a solid point. Have edited

On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

"if I even bring it up" - Please define 'it': unclear.

Oof, correct. I've changed to:

Spoiler

At and E will explode my head if I even bring up Ris, or leaving Ard for…whatever this is. They’re happy there. They’re content. They don’t need this.

 

On 2/1/2021 at 5:31 AM, Robinski said:

I think my issue with him is that he seems only to have one setting. He's kind of always there, but he doesn't seem to develop, grow, get much to do. He's like a piece of noisy furniture to me.

Aww! He grew so much in book three! He had a whole arc! But I'll admit that as a teenager, he's the one I'm least invested in as a character.

So glad this went well! I wasn't expecting such resoundingly positive feedback so I guess it stays mostly intact. Thanks!

 

On 2/1/2021 at 7:48 AM, C_Vallion said:

+1 for ship names.

I think it's my only true writing skill

On 2/1/2021 at 7:48 AM, C_Vallion said:

And now that I have spent far more time talking about math-theory than most people are likely to be interested in, I will move on.

LOL it's not something I gave any real thought to other than it needed to be more than two hundred, but less than three hundred

On 2/1/2021 at 7:48 AM, C_Vallion said:

This was clarified before too long, but was jarring and a little confusing.

I can just cut the Nick part out. That should simplify it

On 2/1/2021 at 7:48 AM, C_Vallion said:

Pi-‘s name seems to switch between nh and hn

ARGHHH you're so right. Making a note to 'search-find-replace' later

On 2/1/2021 at 7:48 AM, C_Vallion said:

Beyond that vague feeling of things not seeming to quite match up, I really enjoyed the chapter, and am excited to see where things go 

Oh fantastic! Seems like its right about where I need it to be. Thanks for the feedback!

 

On 2/1/2021 at 9:02 AM, karamel said:

would this occurrence normally send a message to the leaders of Ard? 

Per @Robinski's comment, I edited to make it clear that Ard has a network of spy satellites basically that feed it constant surveillance info

On 2/1/2021 at 9:02 AM, karamel said:

Add-, he’d saved her from” what is add-? A curse word? A deity?

'Addendum' means 'an addition'

On 2/1/2021 at 9:02 AM, karamel said:

“Go away” narrator: he did not go away

LOL exactly

On 2/1/2021 at 9:02 AM, karamel said:

Slips of foam” you mean… flip flops? Nice

100% correct

On 2/1/2021 at 9:02 AM, karamel said:

Idk how much time is in between book 1 and 3, but this chap has to be at least… 14 years after the intro? What's the big picture? I’m interested to find out :)

Hoorah, and glad it works!! There are about four years between this and the end of book 3, and yes 14 years from our intro incident. I'm glad they connect because with three POVs in short order, I think I'll have a hard time with reader investment soon. Thank you for the feedback!

 

On 2/1/2021 at 11:44 AM, Mandamon said:

Yes, come to the dark side...

Looking forward to more!

I did it in Ard 1, and had agent after agent and editor after editor get on me about it. Ninestar didn't mind as much but even then you should have seen it before my editor got her hands on it. POV EXPLOSION

On 2/1/2021 at 11:44 AM, Mandamon said:

assume these were the things in the prologue. Were this in the trilogy at all, or is this a retcon?

Yes, the things from the intro, and what I'm hoping will be a fairly major plot point. They weren't in the original trilogy because I (mercifully) never showed them hauling saplings. They were in-between Ris hauls when book one happened. That's about the only thing giving me any room to write this new trilogy. 

Thank you!

 

On 2/1/2021 at 3:44 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I'm curious why this seems like no big deal to people other than S. Is it a routine occurence to have planets blow up like this? 

This is indeed part of the mystery, though the edit I did for Robinski, noting it's being recorded via spy satellite things, should help 

On 2/1/2021 at 3:44 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

If I'm right props to you for setting up a complicated dynamic like that so quickly

100% correct. Excellent

On 2/1/2021 at 3:44 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

Okay, the implications of the statement at the bottom of the page aren't super clear to me. How exactly does P's destruction make these other people from the J system more of a threat? I don't really get it and I think this is important for me to know. I also wouldn't mind a bit of exposition from S about the J system, honestly, so long as it's still character-rooted. I'm guessing she doesn't care about it as much as MP does. 

I tried to add to add in a few clarifying sentences, but they made the mission more dangerous than S would take on, so they had to come back out. I think for now P is giving her exactly enough information for her to contemplate an adventure. Anything more and she'd call for people more powerful, and that won't work with how the plot is set up. 

Unfortunately S can't exposits about the J system because she doesn't know anything about it, other than what was given at the very start of the chapter. 

On 2/1/2021 at 3:44 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

How does S feel about this place? The description makes the broader dynamics clear but what I really want to know is what this means for S. Is it a chance for her to reclaim for herself the knowledge that was used to hurt her? Is it a place so terrifying and scarring that she never wants to set foot on it again? I'm guessing somewhere in between. 

Hmmm okay. Will revisit. Let's try

Spoiler

Sal stared at the words, reading and rereading until they blurred. Kon. She remembered pristine breeding labs, cellulose-proof prisons, her mother’s screams, but still, it was home. She could accept the carrot, thereby willingly revisiting (well-dressed) Ris servitude, but gain her heritage and a homeworld in return. She’d be forever tied to Ril but then again, they already had a permanent tether. 

 

On 2/1/2021 at 3:44 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

Right now I can see (almost) anyone in her position having her views, and I want to see her personality inform her desires in a way that's unique to her. 

This is something I'm flagging for another pass. She's 1/2 of the protagonist team, and I'm hoping more specific wants/needs come into play later. She is purposefully a bit 'emotions acted, not debated' but I'll see how this works moving forward. Glad this worked well, and thank you for the feedback!

 

On 2/2/2021 at 2:14 PM, Silk said:

I do think it’s possible that beefing up S’s longing for a history could make the chapter potentially a little more powerful, especially for new readers who are only getting very glancing bits of S’s history, but I’m not sure how that would translate into a scene where actual consequential things happen, since it really doesn’t seem like this chapter is missing much. As it stands though, I think the why of S is doing this is clear enough, and it's a good punchy start. 

 

This is where I'm stuck as well. The chapter feels complete, and S isn't an interior person by nature. She'll always act and react more than she will internalize and analyze emotion. I'll see how feedback goes for other S chapters and then revisit this. I've flagged it in this chapter for review. I think just tweaking sentences might help, for instance

Spoiler

I want more than a history of test tubes and syringes. I want to erase Ris and replace them with cousins, grandparents, and generational traditions. I want to die of old age surrounded by people who look and think and communicate like me.

 

On 2/2/2021 at 2:14 PM, Silk said:

Could be WRS and I’m just forgetting some of her capabilities from previous books but if they’re restricted to that level, why does she have access anyway?

It was in older drafts but got cut. I'm not sure I'll add anything back in. Does it make you wonder if she's good at computers? That was my hope

On 2/2/2021 at 2:14 PM, Silk said:

Hadn’t they already made plans to go for dinner a few pages up?

Check. Edited. Thank you for the feedback. Looks like this is a strong chapter

 

On 2/3/2021 at 5:39 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

so, just a question, is this implying that P planet can also move, since it has been in the system for only two hundred something years? Sorry if that's already been established

*cough* no, not at all. Why would P move. That would be weird and not at all concerning....

On 2/3/2021 at 5:39 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

Like, dimension-hopping or something?? 

You're very good at the subtext game

On 2/3/2021 at 5:39 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

this is MP" reminds me of when you're working on a google doc at like 12 at night and you can see that there's like two other people also there...

100% what I was channeling

Thanks for the edits! Looks like this draft is working a lot better all around.

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18 hours ago, kais said:

I think just tweaking sentences might help, for instance

Definitely, I think more of this would help. Probably a better solution than adding a scene.

 

18 hours ago, kais said:

Does it make you wonder if she's good at computers? That was my hope

It did immediately make me wonder, but this is sort of undermined by the fact that MP is also in the database and can tell S is in there to boot, which is more suggestive of the database's security not being very good than it is of S's computer skills, to my mind.

18 hours ago, kais said:

noting it's being recorded via spy satellite things, should help 

Also think this is a good idea. I sort of wondered about it too, because the comments about "buried in news feeds" made it seem like it was fairly widely known, but from your comments it seems like that's NOT the case, which it would help to understand.

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On 06/02/2021 at 11:41 PM, kais said:
On 01/02/2021 at 1:31 PM, Robinski said:

I really like Y and S together, so it's a little disheartening to see her quite dismissive attitude towards him. One of my imagined promises from the author therefore, is to see her be more loving towards him, provided that he deserves it, of course.

Working towards it! Salice has always been borderline autism-coded so I'm hoping to showcase this relationship well enough that you can see that while she isn't the best at emoting, the emotions are still rich and deep on the inside

Cool :) 

On 06/02/2021 at 11:41 PM, kais said:

Oof, correct. I've changed to:

Excellent.

On 06/02/2021 at 11:41 PM, kais said:

So glad this went well! I wasn't expecting such resoundingly positive feedback so I guess it stays mostly intact. Thanks!

<thumbs up>

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Quote

 

Hi there! 

I am horrendously late so I'll be brief:

I found this chapter very engaging. Without your noting before the chapter that the planet P was where the tree sphere material came from though, I wouldn't have caught that connection. It would have seemed to me that the trees where the only through line. 

The Ard mentioned in the "previously" caption before the chapter didn't ring a bell, but that might because it's been a couple weeks for me since the last installment. Was this species/planet name dropped before? As a new reader, my first thought at seeing unfamiliar re-cap is "oh crap, what did I miss? Did I read that?" I'm sure the Ard are very familiar to established readers though.

As an outsider to the series, it seems like this protagonist and Ne have similar goals and situations, to rejoin and live with their own species. It might be my memory, but do they both have hairy male captains as well?

I find this protagonist much more interesting and sympathetic as a new reader than Ne. 

Thanks for sharing!

Edited by Sarah B
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1 hour ago, Sarah B said:

As an outsider to the series, it seems like this protagonist and Ne have similar goals and situations, to rejoin and live with their own species. It might be my memory, but do they both have hairy male captains as well?

LOL, the 'hairy male captain' was the same from the intro. The reader is left to wonder what happened to Ne, and why Sal is now on the ship. But the captain is the same.

Glad this chapter worked well and thank you for reading!

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I am also very late to this party, but wanting to tag along for the entire ride. I enjoyed this chapter, the writing was engaging and interesting, not too flabby or confusing. I like how you paint a picture of the setting and characters with the minimal expo required.

One thing that confused me is why Y would go along with S and her desire to go and do who knows what with his ship.

pg 1: "...instead the data inserted themselves into the
transmission feed, were recorded, and promptly buried under..." this sentence confuses me a bit. Is the data an organization? Is the data sentient somehow? Maybe it's because I'm new to this world.

I don't have much criticism to make, it's snappy and compelling, and I understand S's motives--clearly, she's trying to understand where she fits into the universe.

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