Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Ace of Hearts

2/22/2021 - Ace of Hearts - A Bond of Wildflowers - Prologue (D) (1821)

24 posts in this topic

D for reference to the opioid epidemic in America, nothing graphic

 
Greetings, everyone! :) This is the prologue to my novel A Bond of Wildflowers, subtitled "an ace/aro tries to write straight romance for some reason." The novel itself is YA paranormal romance, and I'm guessing it will be clear quickly that this prologue is... not that. The reason for this is that the two main characters in this prologue are important for shaping the external conflict that affects the MC and the love interest, but I couldn't find a reason to bring them in until like 2/3 of the way through the book. I know that most romance novels don't have prologues, so if it's not necessary I might just cut it. 
 
Questions for after reading:
1. General reactions (were you engaged?)
2. Is it clear what A thinks B is? Do you think this should be clearer? Less clear to preserve the mystery? 
3. If these characters show up partway through the book and Archer starts causing problems after what's been mostly romance, do you think this prologue is necessary to prepare you for it or for it to not be jarring? (I understand if it's hard to tell at this point)
4. Is the "kill your queers" a problem here? 
5. Would you be interested in reading more of this? I know all genres are welcome but I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group. 
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree! This prologue is definitely not YA paranormal romance!

On general principles, I would question if that's the correct approach, since you'd be throwing the reader for a loop when they've picked up the book wanting a specific thing, but I'd have to read more to get more context.

Questions:

1) Yes, engaged, though I personally don't like present 3rd POV. Descriptions come across as jarring to me.

2) It seems pretty clear B is some sort of magical Fey that cannot lie, or connected to them, since she dances around that part. The denial works well to keep my interest and keep the mystery up.

3) I would want something with at least one of these characters mentioned in the first couple chapters. Not knowing who the main characters are (maybe the son and the girlfriend?) I'd have to read more to see.

4) I think it's more of "a queer has died" that "killing your queer," if that makes sense. What stood out more was that B had been in a queer relationship (and is possibly trans?) . I was wondering the whole time why she didn't cure her wife if that was possible, but I'm assuming that will be part of the plot?

5) Definitely!

 

Notes while reading
pg 1: The present tense, especially with 3rd POV, is a bit jarring, but then that's a personal preference for me.

pg 2: "if this noble university"
--"IN this noble...?"

pg 3: "A single nervous twitch that most people couldn’t catch."
--Why couldn't they catch it? People are really good at seeing body language, especially if they're trained.

pg 3: "Magic that can be used to cure any disease."
--which is odd because her wife died...but maybe something's coming about that.

pg 7: "The boring part about being able to shape the world to his will is that he always knows what’s going to happen"
--Confused. Is this because he's rich and powerful, or has some magical ability? I can't tell from the context.
 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Answers for after reading:

1. Yes, engaged! I didn't really have any lbls because I was pretty drawn in. A seemed like a good guy at first, one who might be in the demon/monster hunting business, but as I read more, he seemed more the opposite, and I started to take a liking to B. She didn’t seem like she was doing any harm, just living her life, and then A comes in and tries to use her for her possible powers. I wasn't sure why having the two kids break up would help him though? Maybe A is just trying to make it clear that he has power over B’s kid. I guess we’ll see!

2. Pretty clear what they think! I have some questions about what is going on but that’s the point right, all in good time? B is pretty firm in her stance of not helping A, she has very clear opinions about A and people like him. and A is pretty confident in himself, perhaps a bit of a narcissist? I don't know what his goals are exactly but im willing to stick with it (he says he wants to use her powers to "heal the world," but he seems sketch and I don't trust him).

3. Definitely is hard to tell, I would have to read more. Perhaps you could name drop these characters a few times in the middle, or do something subtle that wouldn’t make their appearance later jarring at all.

4. No, agree with @Mandamon

5. Yes, would love to read more! I’m so down for some paranormal romance.

 

Thoughts as I went: 

Page 1

-Present third made me switch gears, but it was okay once I got used to it!

-great opening line! The professor isn’t human, but passes as human. I’m into it. Curious to see what B is exactly, or perhaps she is human and A just sees her as a creature/demon/monster?

Page 6

-”call my personal line” this was a bit jarring to go from him constantly questioning her to giving up and saying to call him. I think bringing the sentence that begins with “A tosses a business card” before the “call my personal line” would help. Or adding something to make the reader pause before A tells the prof to call him.

-"let you adjust your body until it matched your identity" is this a reference to her being trans? or is it something paranormal?

Page 7

-”loves the thing to death” this is very telling, referring to a kid as a thing.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Title

I think titles are important. They very much set my expectation for project. My assumptions don’t always turn out right, but I still make them on the basis of the title. This one is…interesting. It sounds like a Harlequin romance title. My expectations are…undecided.

Character engagement 

MA comes over really full of himself, cocky, but not in a good way, for me. By the time I get to the foot of page 1, I’m hoping someone gives him a slap. Then I see that he’s looking for a favour? Not a good way to approach someone who you want to do something for you.

Story / plot engagement

I was engaged by the discussion, the pace of the debate—although I was confused in places—but the energy carried me forward. In terms of story and plot however, I got basically no real concrete sense of what the story is about. I got what the scene was about, read that at face value. Although, towards the end, it all seemed kind of pointless, since he concludes that he’s going to get what he wants anyway, so what was the point of the confrontation?

Setting engagement

There is very little on setting at all, so I have to assume it’s basically contemporary or near future. I don’t know where I am, either, but again, it seems like a generic American setting, and that’s fine, I can assume that. The thing I have a problem with is that the nature of the world is not set up. There is talk of ‘creature’ and ‘like a real person’ (page 1), then there is talk of magic, but none of these things is set up. Maybe this prologue is tended to be the setup, and if that’s the case, it’s very light on specifics. Are there non-human creatures in the world, or is it just MA’s analogy for something else. Is there actually magic? Unclear.

this outside world” – I don’t really understand the set up. There’s talk of villages and communities, but never any names. This makes it all sound vague and impersonal, which is hard to get engaged with. It makes the conversation ring less true also, since these places must have names, surely, names that people would use in a conversation as shorthand so that they did not have to say things like ‘that community in which you grew up’.

Prose style / quality

So, my (new) system is to start with 10 marks and delete one each time I come across something isn’t right, in my assessment. I won’t go into specifics, because this is not a line edit. I think I might tend to forget to score down, so maybe this will turn out to be artificially high! I dunno. Still trying to find a way to cure myself of detailed line edits, and this is all I got, so far.

-         Typos:    7/10 – not much at all, pretty smooth read in terms of language

-         Readability:    9/10 – see above

-         Enjoyability:    7/10 – I did enjoy the cut and thrust of the discussion

-         Word choice:    9/10 – I’m reading Stephen King’s On Writing, and his advice is use the first word that comes to mind, as it’s no doubt the one you thought the best

-         Grammar:    7/10 – again, pretty clean, which was nice.

Clarity / confusion

After one page, I’m not clear what’s going on. Something to do with plants, and drugs. I’d rather have a clearer idea of the situation. There’s no mystery here, just a lack of explanation, IMO. E.g. ‘Classic set piece’ – what classic set piece? Unclear. 

must have found a loophole” – A loophole in what? Unclear.

Specific issues

Knowing the incompetence of rich people” – This is lazy, characterising all ‘rich’ people as incompetent makes her look shallow and unsophisticated. The world is a far more complicated place. Also, define rich. $80k a year, $150k a year, $500k a year? See? However, characters are allowed to be careless, lazy, have poor grammar, etc. So, maybe this is what is intended.

Why doesn’t she just lie to get him off her case? His strategy in his questioning appears to be that she will not be willing to lie about it if he asks her the right question, which is pretty naive, IMO.

Things I enjoyed

The verbal jousting was enjoyable. The dialogue was fast-paced and, although I found a lack of clarity in places, I did enjoy the pacing, and the tone of the conversation, (despite the fact that I didn’t like either character).

Things I disliked

Her calling him Mr. CEO every time she referred to him got old very quickly. Made her sound snide.

Parental instinct is such a fickle thing” – It’s not though, not at all, not even slightly. My daughter is 26.

Biggest issue(s)

Nothing hugely objectionable. My biggest issues is the lack of clarity on the set up. I’m still no clearer as to whether there is real magic in the world, and whether the Professor really is an inhuman creature. I don’t feel that I’ve got a solid foothold in the story, and that’s not good at this point.

Would I keep reading?

More out of curiosity then any liking for the characters. MA was particularly unlikeable, but I didn’t care greatly for the doctor either.

Overall impression

Intriguing, without being engaging. I don’t like knot knowing what kind of story I'm reading, and that would carry me a bit further, just to try and get some sense of what is actually going on.

Thanks for sharing with the group :) 

Edited by Robinski
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Questions for after reading:

1. General reactions (were you engaged?)
2. Is it clear what A thinks B is? Do you think this should be clearer? Less clear to preserve the mystery? 
3. If these characters show up partway through the book and Archer starts causing problems after what's been mostly romance, do you think this prologue is necessary to prepare you for it or for it to not be jarring? (I understand if it's hard to tell at this point)
4. Is the "kill your queers" a problem here? 
5. Would you be interested in reading more of this? I know all genres are welcome but I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group. 

1. - Probably I've covered this, but, in summary, I'm not sure engaged is the right word, not. I'll stick with intrigued.

2. - No. Not even slightly.

3. - No. If you can't make a new character threatening and villainous as they appear for the first time in the book, you've got big problems. You should not need a whole prologue to introduce a character for later, IMO.

4. - I don't understand. Where does that appear in the submission?

5. - I was sort of curious to see where the story was going, but, from what you describe it seems it's the story of the romance between the son who has Huntington's and the sheriff's daughter? "I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group." This is a SFF genre fiction group. What do you mean by 'straight teen romance'? Do you mean it's not SFF, but a contemporary 'straight' romance? That would not be of any interest to me, TBH. Or, do you mean it's a straight (i.e. binary / CIS) SFF romance? Unless I've missed something, this is a writing group, that's what it is. It is not a writing group with any mandated orientation. It is a writing group that welcomes all and sundry, but favours none, I trust.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall:

Somehow in all of my YA reading, I never got into much of the paranormal side of it.  So be warned that my reading will probably reflect that.

1. I’m definitely interested in where this is going, though I would probably be really confused if I opened a book expecting it to be YA romance and ended up starting here.  Especially if we then don’t see him for quite a while.  I think that plus the present tense would be tough step for me to get over if I didn’t have it recommended by someone whose reading tastes I trust or if I was going into it without knowing the purpose of starting here.  That being said, I think the chapter itself is engaging.  I enjoyed the dialogue and am really interested in seeing where the main story fits into the world this sets up. 

2. I got the impression that he’s assuming her to be some creature that isn’t capable of lying.  And her behavior seems to confirm that. But I’m not familiar enough with mythological creature categories to know what that plus healing abilities implies. 

3. I’d probably find it a little jarring, but I think it could be smoothed over if there’s some way to have some interaction with either him or the trouble he’s been causing elsewhere in the first few chapters.

4. I don’t think so? But I have a lot to learn on this front, so I’d put more value on others’ answers to that.

5. Definitely :) 

I read this yesterday and am trying to remember what LBL thoughts I had.  There weren’t many.

B’s rather simplistic comment about rich people being incompetent seemed to stuck out as odd.  Hating rich people? Especially those she blames for enabling the opioid epidemic? That makes sense. And I don’t blame her. But assuming rich people in general are incompetent seems like an overly simplistic opinion for her to have as an intelligent and educated person.

Also, while I already distrust the deputy, since he seems to be on A’s side, his dismissal of parental instinct seems unrealistic.  Especially since he is a parent.  Even if he is part of some organization that is hunting down various magical creatures and is generally just not a great person, I’d expect him to dig into the manipulation/threat possibilities of a parent/child relationship instead of discarding it altogether.

The deputy’s involvement with A when his daughter is dating B’s son seems weirdly coincidental without any other information (I guess it’s possible that he found out about B through conversations with his daughter or her son, then sent A after her? Or the girlfriend was part of it from the start and is only dating him to get more information about B? The one line does imply that she’s involved.  But I’m not sure how getting them to break up makes sense…).  My mind probably latched onto it more than it had to, but I remember having a skeptical moment during the phone call.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Overall

The prose is solid and I had no issues reading. I think there are some large logic flaws, some of which I've noted below. Mostly I just don't believe this interaction. I am a professor. In the sciences. If someone came into my office and started with this, even if I was a magic person in hiding, I'd tell them to get out and when they didn't, I'd call campus security, then yell until a bunch of people came into the hallway and made the person so uncomfortable they left. Especially if they were threatening my family or treating me less than human. Professors go through a lot to get those PhDs and we know how to handle BS. Even if our lady here isn't really a prof, she's around enough of them to know how they act. 

The chapter is fairly short, so I think you could spend a few more words giving us meat. What, specifically, is the guy looking for? What kind of magic? What background does the woman have? Right now I just hate the man and think the woman is a very confusing professorial caricature. I think the bones of this are great, it just needs some reorganization, a bit more meat, and for the woman to be a bit more realistic.

Nice job on a first sub!

Your questions

1. General reactions (were you engaged?)
More or less. But the prof really threw me out of the narrative
 
2. Is it clear what A thinks B is? Do you think this should be clearer? Less clear to preserve the mystery? 
I have no idea and that bothers me. I'm not sure I'd keep reading if I picked this up in a store
 
3. If these characters show up partway through the book and Archer starts causing problems after what's been mostly romance, do you think this prologue is necessary to prepare you for it or for it to not be jarring? (I understand if it's hard to tell at this point)
If this is a prologue, I think it definitely needs more meat and potentially a resolution of some form. Other than that, I don't think I can answer this question. I think I'd rather see A as random background noise throughout the book and then have him start making trouble.
 
4. Is the "kill your queers" a problem here? 
It doesn't count if the queer is dead when the narrative starts. Signed, A Queer
I'd caution though, if the prof is trans, then you might want to tone down the language at the start with the primate comparison. It's too easy to mistake the MC for being upset over trans, versus magic
 
5. Would you be interested in reading more of this? I know all genres are welcome but I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group. 
We do romance! BRING IT ON. 
 
I think the prologue isn't going to work mostly because of the age of the characters. If this is YA, it needs to have its protags front and center. Teens may drop the book otherwise.
 

As I go

- good opening line, though I think rearranging the clauses might make it a touch less awkward to read

- after paragraph 1, I do not like M.A.

- if 'professor' is part of a formal address, it gets capitalized

- pg 2: as a scientist who does genetics work, 'plants' is an entire kingdom. A professor is highly specialized, so likely she would do genetics work on maybe, at the widest, a phylum. Likely just a few genera. So I'd have her response be much more specific, like 'unless you want to do genetics on bracken fern varietals...'

- pg 2: And I’m sure you’re busy as well with all the profiting off the opioid epidemic you’ve been doin <- maid and butler here. But I think if you reworded it, it wouldn't be. Could be as easy as cuttingthe 'you've been doing'

- pg 3: the taunts here are the same as we've already had. He already implied he had the son's genetic info. No need to repeat

- pg 4: I am incapable of healing people through supernatural means.” <- I'm at a logic stop. If she wouldn't use her magic to save her wife, why would she do so, under duress, for her son? Like why does this guy think he can strong arm her into it, when clearly the death of her wife would have tempted her much, much more? I feel like he needs some other thing to hold over her. Like 'I'll give the disease to you and everyone you love and then you will HAVE to use magic or watch the world burn,' etc

- pg 5: If she really didn't have magic and was just a regular human she'd have called security the second he accused her of magic. I think he needs to have this thought, that he is clearly on to something because she isn't just demanding he leave her office because he's spouting nonsense

- I'm mostly confused by the ending

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your responses, everyone! :) This feedback confirmed what I was wondering about , which is that this isn't where I want the story to start for a YA romance. If I run into problems with these characters later I can address them then. 

On 2/22/2021 at 2:04 PM, Mandamon said:

On general principles, I would question if that's the correct approach, since you'd be throwing the reader for a loop when they've picked up the book wanting a specific thing, but I'd have to read more to get more context.

Yeah that's the main worry I had with this prologue. I think I felt like I was missing something in later chapters and this was the band-aid solution at the time. Plan now is to cut the whole prologue and workshop any issues with these characters when we get there. 

On 2/22/2021 at 2:04 PM, Mandamon said:

2) It seems pretty clear B is some sort of magical Fey that cannot lie, or connected to them, since she dances around that part. The denial works well to keep my interest and keep the mystery up.

Okay, this is what I wanted to come across. I might need more help with this in the future since B ends up being fairly non-traditional for what someone connected to the fey acts like. 

On 2/22/2021 at 2:04 PM, Mandamon said:

4) I think it's more of "a queer has died" that "killing your queer," if that makes sense. What stood out more was that B had been in a queer relationship (and is possibly trans?) . I was wondering the whole time why she didn't cure her wife if that was possible, but I'm assuming that will be part of the plot?

Yep that is part of the plot. The idea was A thinks that B would need his help to access the healing magic, which I'm realizing wasn't clear. I'll keep this in mind for later encounters with them. And yeah, B is trans. 

Thanks for your thoughts! I've noticed you always do a really good job of figuring out the main things that aren't working. 

On 2/22/2021 at 4:25 PM, karamel said:

1. Yes, engaged! I didn't really have any lbls because I was pretty drawn in. A seemed like a good guy at first, one who might be in the demon/monster hunting business, but as I read more, he seemed more the opposite, and I started to take a liking to B. She didn’t seem like she was doing any harm, just living her life, and then A comes in and tries to use her for her possible powers. I wasn't sure why having the two kids break up would help him though? Maybe A is just trying to make it clear that he has power over B’s kid. I guess we’ll see!

I'm glad that their general dynamic came across! The kids breaking up is a minor plot point that's relevant later. Since the prologue is probably getting cut, I'll leave it to later chapters to explain it. 

On 2/22/2021 at 4:25 PM, karamel said:

-"let you adjust your body until it matched your identity" is this a reference to her being trans? or is it something paranormal?

Yep B is trans. I'm now realizing that it's more confusing than it needs to be since magic is in the picture. 

Thanks for your comments! :) 

On 2/22/2021 at 4:32 PM, Robinski said:

MA comes over really full of himself, cocky, but not in a good way, for me. By the time I get to the foot of page 1, I’m hoping someone gives him a slap. Then I see that he’s looking for a favour? Not a good way to approach someone who you want to do something for you.

Not in a good way for him or for the story? I'm trying to get the story to make him hate-able. 

On 2/22/2021 at 4:32 PM, Robinski said:

There is very little on setting at all, so I have to assume it’s basically contemporary or near future. I don’t know where I am, either, but again, it seems like a generic American setting, and that’s fine, I can assume that. The thing I have a problem with is that the nature of the world is not set up. There is talk of ‘creature’ and ‘like a real person’ (page 1), then there is talk of magic, but none of these things is set up. Maybe this prologue is tended to be the setup, and if that’s the case, it’s very light on specifics. Are there non-human creatures in the world, or is it just MA’s analogy for something else. Is there actually magic? Unclear.

this outside world” – I don’t really understand the set up. There’s talk of villages and communities, but never any names. This makes it all sound vague and impersonal, which is hard to get engaged with. It makes the conversation ring less true also, since these places must have names, surely, names that people would use in a conversation as shorthand so that they did not have to say things like ‘that community in which you grew up’

These are really good points I hadn't considered, and I think all this will be clearer if we just jump to chapter 1. Another reason to do so. 

Heh, glad my typos and grammar weren't too bad. I always have a hard time catching that stuff. 

On 2/22/2021 at 4:32 PM, Robinski said:

Knowing the incompetence of rich people” – This is lazy, characterising all ‘rich’ people as incompetent makes her look shallow and unsophisticated. The world is a far more complicated place. Also, define rich. $80k a year, $150k a year, $500k a year? See? However, characters are allowed to be careless, lazy, have poor grammar, etc. So, maybe this is what is intended.

A is a pharmaceutical CEO so B is talking like uber-rich. Multiple people commented on this so it's simple enough to take it out (well, I'm taking the whole prologue out but I'll watch for it in the future). She's mostly trying to get a rise out of him anyway which there are other ways to do. She's definitely supposed to come off as precise and sharp so I don't think the line is doing her any favors. 

On 2/22/2021 at 4:32 PM, Robinski said:

Parental instinct is such a fickle thing” – It’s not though, not at all, not even slightly. My daughter is 26.

 Yeah this is supposed to reveal that there's something really sinister about J since it's such an outlandish thing to say. Maybe too on the nose? 

On 2/22/2021 at 4:44 PM, Robinski said:

4. - I don't understand. Where does that appear in the submission?

B's wife is dead, and I wanted to make sure that wasn't a problem to be the first thing that you learn about a woman is that she has a dead wife. Moot point now since I'm most likely cutting the prologue.

On 2/22/2021 at 4:44 PM, Robinski said:

5. - I was sort of curious to see where the story was going, but, from what you describe it seems it's the story of the romance between the son who has Huntington's and the sheriff's daughter? "I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group." This is a SFF genre fiction group. What do you mean by 'straight teen romance'? Do you mean it's not SFF, but a contemporary 'straight' romance? That would not be of any interest to me, TBH. Or, do you mean it's a straight (i.e. binary / CIS) SFF romance? Unless I've missed something, this is a writing group, that's what it is. It is not a writing group with any mandated orientation. It is a writing group that welcomes all and sundry, but favours none, I trust.

There are supernatural elements, but it's primarily romance set in contemporary Earth so I wanted to gauge if it would be a good fit for the group. And straight as in the MC is hetero.

Thanks for the exhaustive comments! Even this "reduced" critique is still comprehensive and I really appreciate all the effort that goes into this! 

5 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

1. I’m definitely interested in where this is going, though I would probably be really confused if I opened a book expecting it to be YA romance and ended up starting here.  Especially if we then don’t see him for quite a while.  I think that plus the present tense would be tough step for me to get over if I didn’t have it recommended by someone whose reading tastes I trust or if I was going into it without knowing the purpose of starting here.  That being said, I think the chapter itself is engaging.  I enjoyed the dialogue and am really interested in seeing where the main story fits into the world this sets up. 

Seems like most people are in agreement about this. Easier to cut the prologue and workshop the problems it "fixes" when we get there. 

5 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

2. I got the impression that he’s assuming her to be some creature that isn’t capable of lying.  And her behavior seems to confirm that. But I’m not familiar enough with mythological creature categories to know what that plus healing abilities implies. 

Yep! The healing part is where I stretch things a bit more. It's supposed to imply that B is fae-related (I said this above so I don't feel like I'm spoiling anything). 

5 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

Also, while I already distrust the deputy, since he seems to be on A’s side, his dismissal of parental instinct seems unrealistic.  Especially since he is a parent.  Even if he is part of some organization that is hunting down various magical creatures and is generally just not a great person, I’d expect him to dig into the manipulation/threat possibilities of a parent/child relationship instead of discarding it altogether.

Well, this definitely makes me think I need to keep an eye on what J does in later chapters. I suspect he'll require a lot of work for proper buy-in... or I can change some plot elements. You're not the only person to say this, so I'll keep a watch on it. 

5 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

The deputy’s involvement with A when his daughter is dating B’s son seems weirdly coincidental without any other information (I guess it’s possible that he found out about B through conversations with his daughter or her son, then sent A after her? Or the girlfriend was part of it from the start and is only dating him to get more information about B? The one line does imply that she’s involved.  But I’m not sure how getting them to break up makes sense…).  My mind probably latched onto it more than it had to, but I remember having a skeptical moment during the phone call.

Ah, that's something I hadn't considered. Here's hoping it feels more natural when this gets explained more, but I'd appreciate more feedback about the dynamic when it does come up again! :)

Thanks a lot for your comments! 

1 hour ago, kais said:

Mostly I just don't believe this interaction. I am a professor. In the sciences. If someone came into my office and started with this, even if I was a magic person in hiding, I'd tell them to get out and when they didn't, I'd call campus security, then yell until a bunch of people came into the hallway and made the person so uncomfortable they left. Especially if they were threatening my family or treating me less than human. Professors go through a lot to get those PhDs and we know how to handle BS. Even if our lady here isn't really a prof, she's around enough of them to know how they act.

Well let's hope I get there by the time I finish my PhD because I do not do well with any sort of confrontation. This is a really good point and I'm glad that there's someone here with more expertise in academia than me since multiple adult figures in this novel are science profs. *jots down notes for what to do if weird aggressive stuff happens in grad student office hours* I probably don't need to tell you this, but further feedback about the academic references is much appreciated! :) 

1 hour ago, kais said:
2. Is it clear what A thinks B is? Do you think this should be clearer? Less clear to preserve the mystery? 
I have no idea and that bothers me. I'm not sure I'd keep reading if I picked this up in a store

Hmm I'll try to keep an eye on this in the main novel since I'm most likely just cutting this prologue, but I think it's even less clear there until it's straight-up revealed. If there are any more moments when you feel like you should be getting more about what's up with a character that seems to be supernatural, feel free to let me know (no pressure to comment more than you already are though ofc)!  

1 hour ago, kais said:
4. Is the "kill your queers" a problem here? 
It doesn't count if the queer is dead when the narrative starts. Signed, A Queer
I'd caution though, if the prof is trans, then you might want to tone down the language at the start with the primate comparison. It's too easy to mistake the MC for being upset over trans, versus magic

Huh I hadn't considered that with the primate comparison. And good to know about characters who are dead when the narrative starts. That's how I feel as well, but I wasn't sure how widespread that opinion was (I think I don't notice bad queer rep as much as a lot of other queer people do). 

1 hour ago, kais said:

- pg 2: as a scientist who does genetics work, 'plants' is an entire kingdom. A professor is highly specialized, so likely she would do genetics work on maybe, at the widest, a phylum. Likely just a few genera. So I'd have her response be much more specific, like 'unless you want to do genetics on bracken fern varietals...'

Oh yeah, B definitely doesn't work with all plants but her specialty is in genomics which seems more applicable to a side project with a totally different study system than other forms of plant science. Like my internship advisor a few years back had me work on population genetics of Aconitum which she had never done anything related to before and it went fairly smoothly all things considered. Though it helped that it was a diploid genome (I don't envy strawberry researchers). So B does work on only a few genera most likely (I haven't thought of specific ones; is that necessary?), but she feels confident that she could learn a genomic analysis for many different plants (maybe not seedless plants because those are weird, but maybe!).

And part of it was that she's also trying to simplify it for A since she's mostly trying to say "I can't help you."

Sorry, can get a little carried away talking about this stuff. :unsure:

1 hour ago, kais said:
5. Would you be interested in reading more of this? I know all genres are welcome but I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group. 
We do romance! BRING IT ON. 

Excellent. :) 

Thanks for your comments! I'll probably be asking more questions about if characters are believable for science profs. Learning that I might not know my advisors as well as I thought. :ph34r:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Ah, that's something I hadn't considered. Here's hoping it feels more natural when this gets explained more, but I'd appreciate more feedback about the dynamic when it does come up again! :)

I think part of it is just that the full cast that we are aware of all seem to be closely connected to a sort of weird extent. I think just seeing some people who aren't either part of A's mystery organization or being actively targeted by said organization will be helpful.  I don't think it will be as obvious without this as the prologue, but at the moment, my mind couldn't help but sort of go "isn't there anyone in this world that is just a poor innocent bystander going about their normal life?"  Which hits especially hard when the two sides of the equation are currently very secretive.  So it feels like everyone is either a secret magical creature hunter or a magical creature being secretive.   I'm pretty sure my mind twisted it way out of proportion, but figured it was worth mentioning as a sticking point.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your first sub!

I definitely think there’s the bones of an interesting story here. I trust you won’t be offended, though, if I say that I hope the POV character dies at least one horrible, screaming death, because I can only assume how I’m supposed to feel about him. That isn’t necessarily a problem, especially for a prologue, but he did straddle the line between “antagonist” and “cartoon villain” and is unfortunately coming down on the wrong side of it. Assuming that my experience of him was in the general ballpark of what you’re going for, I suspect landing him on the “right” side of this divide could be accomplished by tweaking a couple of things. One, we have no idea what he wants or why he wants it. I think it would be quite natural for the professor to ask him what he wants, or clearly resist the urge to, etc etc. And two, we don’t really see him deflated or contemplating defeat at any point in this chapter. It’s clear that he’ll get what he wants, if only in his own mind, which undermined the tension somewhat.

Onto your questions:

1. For the most part, yes, though I suspect I wouldn’t have been if it had gone on much longer. I noted the points where my engagement slipped below.

2. I’m assuming some kind of fae (changeling maybe?) that can't lie. I don’t really think we need more on this point.

3. Yes, hard to tell. Those early chapters would have to continue to lay some groundwork for MA’s appearance in later chapters, and I’d definitely want to see at least one of the characters from the prologue make a reasonably early appearance.

4. Mmm maybe? I don’t think that a throwaway line in the prologue would get me to stop reading on this basis, especially since the dead spouse isn’t somehow dead as a result of being queer, which is kind of the quintessential version of the trope. I’d probably read right over it unless we started getting more dead queer characters. That said, I acknowledge don’t have the same relationship to this trope as some folks do.

5. Definitely! That said, I want to note that this absolutely did not read like a YA romance, so it may be worth adjusting the prologue to give readers a more accurate expectation of the rest of the book.

As I read:

“...train a chimp to obey traffic laws” this is pretty telling about how M views the professor, it’s the first line that sticks out to me as suggesting the professor is less than human as opposed to other than

M seems like he’s antagonizing the professor a bit, which seems unwise since I’m pretty sure he’s about to ask for her help.
     Edit: Yep there it is!
     Second edit: A couple pages later, I’m STILL questioning his “start with the threats and antagonism” strategy. I assumed the dead spouse was public knowledge but going through private medical records is a pretty big deal.

Also, whyyyy hasn't she just thrown him out yet.

The conversation on the second page seems a bit all over the place. Opioid epidemics, institutional bias, dead spouses… it seems there’s plenty of conflict here but I don’t feel quite anchored enough to parse it. Maybe if M says what he wants first and some of the rest of this back-and-forth can happen as he attempts to persuade her?

By about the middle of the first page, I was pretty sure I didn’t like M. By the bottom of the second page, I was dead certain.

p4 and the “CEO” appellation is getting a bit old. I get that she’s returning some of the antagonism in kind, but repeated often enough it feels a bit silly.

“In the end, MA will get what he wants…” I think this would work if we saw him coming back around to this position after a setback, but the fact that he doesn’t seem fazed at all by the professor’s approval deflates the tension somewhat, since it doesn’t feel like a setback happened at all.

The last line feels maybe a little too on-the-nose, especially since there’s already been a couple references to “hunting” and “prey,” but maybe it won’t feel that way if some of the other things I mention get addressed.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Silk said:

I trust you won’t be offended, though, if I say that I hope the POV character dies at least one horrible, screaming death, because I can only assume how I’m supposed to feel about him

Yep, yep. 

1 hour ago, Silk said:

That isn’t necessarily a problem, especially for a prologue, but he did straddle the line between “antagonist” and “cartoon villain” and is unfortunately coming down on the wrong side of it. Assuming that my experience of him was in the general ballpark of what you’re going for, I suspect landing him on the “right” side of this divide could be accomplished by tweaking a couple of things. One, we have no idea what he wants or why he wants it. I think it would be quite natural for the professor to ask him what he wants, or clearly resist the urge to, etc etc. And two, we don’t really see him deflated or contemplating defeat at any point in this chapter. It’s clear that he’ll get what he wants, if only in his own mind, which undermined the tension somewhat.

Hmm, this line of reasoning is really interesting to me. It sounds like he doesn't necessarily need to be less evil or more sympathetic, but rather clearer in what he wants to do and more vulnerable?

Even in the main novel, he's kinda a generic stock villain. I was wondering if I could get away with it since the main tension is going to be in the romance so he mostly acts as a way to force external conflict but if it's jarring here I'm guessing it will be jarring there. Thanks for pointing this out! 

1 hour ago, Silk said:

2. I’m assuming some kind of fae (changeling maybe?) that can't lie. I don’t really think we need more on this point.

Yep, fey is right! And good to know. :) 

1 hour ago, Silk said:

3. Yes, hard to tell. Those early chapters would have to continue to lay some groundwork for MA’s appearance in later chapters, and I’d definitely want to see at least one of the characters from the prologue make a reasonably early appearance.

Well, neither of those happen so yeah I think this prologue is going into the trash for now. I can tell that there might be larger issues with these characters later on but this band-aid prologue clearly isn't working so I'll think about it more and wait to get feedback if I don't come up with any epiphanies. 

1 hour ago, Silk said:

4. Mmm maybe? I don’t think that a throwaway line in the prologue would get me to stop reading on this basis, especially since the dead spouse isn’t somehow dead as a result of being queer, which is kind of the quintessential version of the trope. I’d probably read right over it unless we started getting more dead queer characters. That said, I acknowledge don’t have the same relationship to this trope as some folks do.

Most people have been saying it's okay, which is a relief for me. Hopefully any doubts go away when we skip this prologue and the first introduction to a queer person isn't "woman with a dead wife."

1 hour ago, Silk said:

5. Definitely! That said, I want to note that this absolutely did not read like a YA romance, so it may be worth adjusting the prologue to give readers a more accurate expectation of the rest of the book.

Yeah I wrote chapter 1 planning to have no prologue actually and only added the prologue in after wondering if I had a problem with B and A not being set up well. I think I'll just stick to chapter 1 since so far as I know most romance novels don't have prologues. Again, I feel like A in particular could require a lot more work... 

Thanks! This was super insightful and hit a lot of points I would have missed otherwise (like A being pretty cartoonish). 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Ace of Hearts said:

It sounds like he doesn't necessarily need to be less evil or more sympathetic, but rather clearer in what he wants to do and more vulnerable?

Yes and yes, though not necessarily "vulnerable" in the sense that "even horrible, puppy-kicking villains feel lonely sometimes." It's more that I have no idea how he deals with adversity, because in the story of his own mind, he hasn't experienced any. He gets turned down and doesn't even pause to re-evaluate. The setback or moment of doubt can be a very effective hook if readers are waiting to see how the character will pull this off/what horrible thing they're going to next, but we didn't get that here - even a moment of frustration that he's going to be delayed/have to do something he doesn't want to accomplish his aims/whatever it is. If he thinks he gets what he wants no matter what happens I don't really need to keep reading to find out that he gets what he wants.

And clearer in what he wants to do, yes, but also acting with some sort of sense to achieve that goal, which I think dovetails nicely with your comment about using him as a device to create external conflict. That can totally work, but if he doesn't act according to some sort of internal logic then the conflict is in danger of seeming artificial and being frustrating rather than interesting.

36 minutes ago, Ace of Hearts said:

I think I'll just stick to chapter 1 since so far as I know most romance novels don't have prologues

Probably a good decision! No doubt there are ways to accomplish this, hopefully we can help you find them :)

Glad you found it helpful!

Edited by Silk
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Not in a good way for him or for the story? I'm trying to get the story to make him hate-able.

Mission accomplished. But I set out reading assuming that he was the MC, which is good, because the old 'trick' of writing villains that assume they're the hero of their own story really does work. So, I see that he's trying to achieve something, not just being mean/evil for the sake of it, which is always less engaging.

8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

These are really good points I hadn't considered, and I think all this will be clearer if we just jump to chapter 1. Another reason to do so.

There's nothing wrong with a prologue being ambiguous. One of my favourite books of the 90's is a novel called Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith, and it has a prologue that I still do not understand to this day, having read the book three times (I think). So, prologues don't have to make sense. So, on that basis, I'm not saying you have to be super expository In fact, that is contra-indicated by the best prologues, I think. but giving an indication of the themes of the story, the type of story and the type of world, I think is important.

8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Heh, glad my typos and grammar weren't too bad. I always have a hard time catching that stuff.

Well, the best way of course is to not have any, then you don't have to catch them ;) Joking apart, I really appreciate reading good quality prose on here, because I assume it as an indication that the writer cares enough about their work to check it over before submitting so we don't have to wade through a bunch of typos. It definitely affects the critique that I give, I find.

8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

A is a pharmaceutical CEO so B is talking like uber-rich. Multiple people commented on this so it's simple enough to take it out (well, I'm taking the whole prologue out but I'll watch for it in the future). She's mostly trying to get a rise out of him anyway which there are other ways to do. She's definitely supposed to come off as precise and sharp so I don't think the line is doing her any favors.

Yeah, the problem is gross generalisations are always wrong, because there is always a proportion of that catchment, that population that does not fit the criteria. There are way more offensive examples of course of gross generalisations, like racism, sexism, etc., and no doubt 'rich' people don't need any sympathy. My problem is that this sort of generalisation is just as bad as saying poor people are stupid. It's just as obviously wrong.

8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:
On 22/02/2021 at 9:32 PM, Robinski said:

Parental instinct is such a fickle thing” – It’s not though, not at all, not even slightly. My daughter is 26.

 Yeah this is supposed to reveal that there's something really sinister about J since it's such an outlandish thing to say. Maybe too on the nose?

Hmm, interesting. I think maybe it was just too ambiguous for me. I tend to take statements very literally, so, if there is any room for literal interpretation, I will pretty much grab onto that.

8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

There are supernatural elements, but it's primarily romance set in contemporary Earth so I wanted to gauge if it would be a good fit for the group. And straight as in the MC is hetero.

I reckon that my comments were prompted by the fact that I don't think it's clear from the prologue that the story has supernatural elements. Now, this is not to say that you can't write a story where the 'super' elements don't come in till a bit later. In fact, I think with supernatural that is almost obligatory, certainly common: the slow-burn build to revelation: establish the norm before turning it upside down. I hope so, because I'm writing a novelette that probable would be described as supernatural, and blow my down if it isn't a romance too, and the first 15 pages are pretty darn normal.

8 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Thanks for the exhaustive comments! Even this "reduced" critique is still comprehensive and I really appreciate all the effort that goes into this!

Yeah, I'm not sure Ive got the hand of brevity yet!! Glad the comments are useful :) 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Plan now is to cut the whole prologue and workshop any issues with these characters when we get there.

Okay. I went a little off the rails on this, but hear me out. Maybe it will spark something? Probably not though *smiling emoji with sweat dripping down*

So I forgot to mention that, after i read the first paragraph, (this is gonna sound...um...weebish?) I was picturing it like an intro to a paranormal anime. I know that novel and film are different, but I was pretty excited about the prologue.

But, here's the direction I expected it to go (based on how anime works): The main pov guy is a demon/monster/fey hunter, he's pretty full of himself, confident in his abilities, can be cool sometimes, but mostly is a douche. He treats these fey/demon/creatures as if they aren't human at all, they are just dirt under his boot, maybe he had a bad experience with them in the past and now he resents them? He interrogates B, she has some insight he is after, but she doesn't give in to what he wants. He is so cocky and confident and she is so annoyed that, by the end of the chapter, she goes full monster and morphs into this demonic looking thing and then he kills her (typical, tho, to have the mom die and be motivation for the main protag) maybe he doesn't kill her, or maybe she doesn't turn into anything too crazy, but this would give the son some motivation (and is he even a shounen protag if he doesn't have dead parents?) Idk where the romance comes in tho lol so its probably good this isnt the direction you're going.

Oooh but what if the son is told that the mom was attacked by monsters (he is told they killed her and turned her into what she is) and then he wants to become a monster hunter too so the guy from the beginning becomes his mentor (sort of) but doesn't know that he killed the kids mom. :o and maybe the son also possesses the power/information that the mom had, so A is trying to use him. maybe eventually the son will see that the guy's teachings are a little wack and he struggles with what is morally right and wrong because A doesn't see the fey as human but they are sort of. Ooof what an internal struggle. Then maybe the son has to work with his love interest to defeat his mentor? But this whole thing would be a shounen anime which means, the romance is subpar, if it exists at all.  Also, this deviates from the mom being just fey and going more of a demon/monster/creature route. Also x2, this story probably already exists... it sounds pretty familiar, but whatever. So, uh, yeah.

My main problem with this, tho, is that you would be killing a queer transwoman who is presented as a monster. yikes! This reminds me of something else I forgot to mention in your story, I would just be careful if she's the only trans woman in the story and she is presented as a creature (even if it's in the eyes of A). Are there other fey that we get to meet soon?

Anyway, I've been watching too much jujutsu kaisen (really good anime tho, highly recommend ;) ).

I apologize for going overboard with this, but this is just where my dumb brain went based off the first few pages. :D

Edited by karamel
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@karamel I'm really happy to hear your thoughts and just listening to people talk about stuff like this can really help me come up with my own ideas!

In this case, though, I don't think that's the story I want to tell for now. But something along those lines is good to keep in mind for if I want to add more paranormal aspects to this story down the line. I don't think I'd kill off the mom but I have considered adding in more monster hunting elements. We'll have to see if that's necessary. 

There are other fey-related people (B's son shows up in chapter 1, though nobody in the story knows he's fey-related at that point) in the story, but the cast isn't that large overall. We really only see 3 fey-related characters: B, her son, and her mom. B is the only trans woman in the story and I'm thinking that she and A don't really need to interact much, honestly. 

Thanks for your thoughts, and no need to apologize! :) 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked this submission, and would definitely read on, regardless of what the genre is.

1. Definitely engaged, good tension and mystery.

2. Well, I was confused about what B is and hoping that it would be revealed by the end of the chapter.

3. I don't think the prologue is necessary, but I liked it. I think that if what you're doing is setting up the main antagonist and source of conflict, I think you could rework it. I kept thinking about Game of Thrones, how the prologue introduced the White Walkers and was thrilling, but then jumped back to the main story. I think if your aim is something along those lines, then we should clearly see that the POV is an antagonist, not only a jerk. In this current prologue, it makes me think I'm going to be reading an action thriller where the line between good and bad is hazy and that the POV will be the MC.

4. Dunno what you're talking about.

5. Yeah I'd read on, I enjoyed the style, what with the suspense, tension, mystery, etc.

Overall, I'm not sure what to add; I liked it, but I would feel tricked if the story jumped to a plain romance. I'm sure there would be elements of action, but maybe not enough for what it feels like this prologue is setting up? But I dunno, I'd have to see the next chapter to make that call. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm

I'm not sure what I think about this. But if I were picking up a YA paranormal romance novel ( I am a big YA reader), and got this prologue, I would be pretty grumpy. I'm guessing B's son is either the mc or the love interest, and the girlfriend is the other? I can see how this information would add tension, might if I was skimming the opening to decide if I wanted to read, I would potentially put it down. Granted, it is short enough that I might be fine as long as I skimmed ahead and assured my self there was a better protag coming soon.

On 2/22/2021 at 8:25 AM, Ace of Hearts said:
1. General reactions (were you engaged?)
 

Somewhat. I did not like A (probably wasn't supposed to though) and didn't quite understand what his powers or abilities were and was struggling to figure out what he wanted from B.

On 2/22/2021 at 8:25 AM, Ace of Hearts said:
2. Is it clear what A thinks B is? Do you think this should be clearer? Less clear to preserve the mystery? 
 

I had no clue while I was reading, but now I'm thinking he thinks she's some kind of fairy or faerie or similar creature? There is some value to the mystery...but it was also frustrating, and I like knowing things. I don't like surprises. When  reading a physical book, I read the first few pages, then the last few pages, then decide if I am reading the book. Other readers might feel different. But I would rather just know. 

On 2/22/2021 at 8:25 AM, Ace of Hearts said:
3. If these characters show up partway through the book and Archer starts causing problems after what's been mostly romance, do you think this prologue is necessary to prepare you for it or for it to not be jarring? (I understand if it's hard to tell at this point)
 

I don't think so. If you have hints maybe that the girl's dad is involved in something, then I think it would work. And maybe since Archer seems to be some big CEO, there could be some vague references to him at least existing. 

And if  I know B's kid is something supernatural being trying to hide, or at least knows that B is, I will expect some trouble is possible.

On 2/22/2021 at 8:25 AM, Ace of Hearts said:
4. Is the "kill your queers" a problem here? 
 

Did anyone die? I admit I was a little confused. A was acting like someone was already dead, but then that person was still alive, but had a disease that would cut his life short. One B potentially can cure. The wife also has this, but again, potential cure? Or did she already die? I had a hard time following whether A was offering condolences for an actual death or a pending one. I was too distracted by trying to figure out what A thought B was and what he wanted that I was having a hard time grasping other details.

On 2/22/2021 at 8:25 AM, Ace of Hearts said:
5. Would you be interested in reading more of this? I know all genres are welcome but I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group. 

I like YA and I like paranormal, so I'm good to read it! 

I sent half a college paranormal romance through here last year. That's not too far off from YA. 

Overall, I'd say leave out the prologue for now. But if you get to a later draft and betas think A's appearance is abrupt, you can always out it back.

Edited by shatteredsmooth
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, julienreel said:

3. I don't think the prologue is necessary, but I liked it. I think that if what you're doing is setting up the main antagonist and source of conflict, I think you could rework it. I kept thinking about Game of Thrones, how the prologue introduced the White Walkers and was thrilling, but then jumped back to the main story. I think if your aim is something along those lines, then we should clearly see that the POV is an antagonist, not only a jerk. In this current prologue, it makes me think I'm going to be reading an action thriller where the line between good and bad is hazy and that the POV will be the MC.

Yeah I guess that is what I was doing. And interesting to hear that from A's perspective it wasn't totally clear that he was the antagonist. I'm guessing this won't be as much of an issue if I just cut the prologue and we view him through the eyes of the protagonist. Thanks for your insight! 

48 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

But if I were picking up a YA paranormal romance novel ( I am a big YA reader), and got this prologue, I would be pretty grumpy.

Well, that's a pretty clear sign this isn't the place to start. Guess it's hard for me to let go of prologues filled with background cutthroat quasi-political shenanigans like this even as I switch to YA romance. 

44 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Did anyone die? I admit I was a little confused. A was acting like someone was already dead, but then that person was still alive, but had a disease that would cut his life short. One B potentially can cure. The wife also has this, but again, potential cure? Or did she already die? I had a hard time following whether A was offering condolences for an actual death or a pending one. I was too distracted by trying to figure out what A thought B was and what he wanted that I was having a hard time grasping other details.

Moot point since I'm cutting the prologue for now anyway but interesting to hear that this was the point of confusion. Guess the text wasn't as explicit as I thought. 

If you're curious, B's wife is dead before the story starts, and the son has also inherited the disease since it's genetic, but is still alive, which is what A is trying to pressure B to help him with.

46 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Overall, I'd say leave out the prologue for now. But if you get to a later draft and betas think A's appearance is abrupt, you can always out it back.

True, true. Thanks for your thoughts! 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Katie, late to the party? Shocker

Questions for after reading:
1. General reactions (were you engaged?)
Yup, but if I was at a bookstore picking up what I thought was a YA paranormal romance, kicking it off with a cold-blooded CEO and a professor would have confused the hell out of me. Neither of them reflect the target market.
2. Is it clear what A thinks B is? Do you think this should be clearer? Less clear to preserve the mystery? 
I have absolutely no clue what kind of creature B is, other than she can maybe heal magically? But chooses not to?
3. If these characters show up partway through the book and Archer starts causing problems after what's been mostly romance, do you think this prologue is necessary to prepare you for it or for it to not be jarring? (I understand if it's hard to tell at this point)
Throwing a shot in the dark, since I haven't read the rest of the book...but probably not. The only thing this prologue seems to show is that A is ruthless, he is cunning, and he wants magic...and you don't need a prologue to show that two-thirds of the way early. There's probably more efficient ways to foreshadow or show that without causing people to go, "Wait, this is YA?"
4. Is the "kill your queers" a problem here? 
I personally didn't think so, but I'm also probably not the person to ask. 
5. Would you be interested in reading more of this? I know all genres are welcome but I also don't know if straight teen romance is super appealing for this group. 
I'd read the hell out of a straight teen romance. God knows I've read plenty of them before. Did you know that Twilight was the first book I ever stayed up past midnight to read? I wasn't a completely nutter high school student...but I still read the entire quartet, one of the side books, and the spoiled draft of Midnight Sun. I'd also like to point out that for me, personally, I don't care if the romance is straight or hits one or more of the LGBTQ alphabet - if it is a good romance, it is a good romance, period. 
 
 
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Throwing a shot in the dark, since I haven't read the rest of the book...but probably not. The only thing this prologue seems to show is that A is ruthless, he is cunning, and he wants magic...and you don't need a prologue to show that two-thirds of the way early. There's probably more efficient ways to foreshadow or show that without causing people to go, "Wait, this is YA?"

This seems to be the consensus. I'm going to cut this prologue (for now). 

10 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I'd read the hell out of a straight teen romance. God knows I've read plenty of them before. Did you know that Twilight was the first book I ever stayed up past midnight to read? I wasn't a completely nutter high school student...but I still read the entire quartet, one of the side books, and the spoiled draft of Midnight Sun. I'd also like to point out that for me, personally, I don't care if the romance is straight or hits one or more of the LGBTQ alphabet - if it is a good romance, it is a good romance, period. 

Good to know! I've only started reading romance in the past few months, actually, and was surprised at how much I like the genre, which is what prompted me to write this. So if you do keep reading, I'll look forward to hear how it reads from someone who has more experience with the genre. :) No pressure or anything though! 

And yeah I'm hoping other people are the same with the straight vs queer narratives... this story's in a weird spot where the MC isn't queer like what would be expected for queer lit, but almost everyone around her is. We'll just have to see how it reads, I guess! 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Good to know! I've only started reading romance in the past few months, actually, and was surprised at how much I like the genre, which is what prompted me to write this. So if you do keep reading, I'll look forward to hear how it reads from someone who has more experience with the genre. :) No pressure or anything though! 

If you need some recommendations, let me know. Although, admittedly, most of my favorite romances are actually webcomics! Highly recommend Heartstopper on Tapas. It's one of my favorites (and happens to be LGBTQ+).

55 minutes ago, Ace of Hearts said:

And yeah I'm hoping other people are the same with the straight vs queer narratives... this story's in a weird spot where the MC isn't queer like what would be expected for queer lit, but almost everyone around her is. We'll just have to see how it reads, I guess! 

I don't know anything about marketing to an LGBTQ+ market (that would be @kais and @shatteredsmooth) so I can only speak for my own literary preferences: I actually don't care/notice much who is falls under the rainbow banner as long as the characters are fleshed out and real. It should be noted that I am straight, so you could say that I don't have "stakes" in the game as the market is overwhelmingly straight and I don't have to look for representation. But to me the whole goal of a romance - or any book, really - is to make the reader connect and fall in love with the characters. You do that right and I don't care if they are as straight as a board or beam rainbows like Mabel Pines teaching color theory. 

Spoiler

tumblr_nqkcwsZFID1rgoub6o2_1280.png (1280×720) | Gravity falls, Gravity,  Billdip

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

If you need some recommendations, let me know. Although, admittedly, most of my favorite romances are actually webcomics! Highly recommend Heartstopper on Tapas. It's one of my favorites (and happens to be LGBTQ+).

I'll definitely look into that! And I might message you with my reactions if I end up sticking with it. :) 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Ace of Hearts said:

I'll definitely look into that! And I might message you with my reactions if I end up sticking with it. :) 

Hit me up! My door is always open.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

And yeah I'm hoping other people are the same with the straight vs queer narratives... this story's in a weird spot where the MC isn't queer like what would be expected for queer lit, but almost everyone around her is. We'll just have to see how it reads, I guess! 

That kind of makes me think of some of Holly Black's YA. I could just be making it out to be queerer than it is, but I think in the Cruel Prince series, the mc was straight but  a lot of the other characters were not.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.