C_Vallion

6.14.2021 - C_Vallion - Price of Peace - Chapter 3 (New) RevA - L - 3906 Words

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Hello, All!
This will be following last week’s chapter as we continue forward with new chapters, the Ali PoV chapter having been cut. 

General note going into this one: I know there were still some questions on the magic law specifics after the chapters I’ve submitted.  I have an editing note to make sure that’s clarified earlier on, but at this point in the story, the key thing that is important to know is that magic can be used in two ways:

  1. Actively cast spells- can backfire if the user isn’t careful.  In Gil-, the only spells that are legal to cast are the fire spell and the sleep spell, which are both viewed as very profession-specific.
  2. Spellstones - basically a simplified press-a-button tool. Safe for the untrained, though some have unpleasant side-effects. Perfectly legal, though only a few types are common in Gil-.

Content warning: Mild language

Things I’m looking for:

  1. Those who’d questioned how the previous chapter ended, does this change any of those thoughts? If not, do you have any thoughts on how to transition better from there to here?
  2. Are there things that seem confusing or could use more explanation?
  3. Thoughts on the characters as presented up to this point?
  4. Points of interest or engagement?

Thanks so much!

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p1 - It took me a minute to work out what was going on at the beginning of the chapter. I think it would help the transition from the last chapter if you made it clear up front how much time has passed, and how the situation has changed (or just that Al's been out of it and doesn't know what's going on)

p1-2 - I think you can trim the logistics of the chores Al is planning to do. I get that he's trying to ground himself in mundane activities, but we don't need to hear this much detail.

p3 - the description of the owl decor is cool

p4 - I'm not following the bit about Al's oath not being J-bound and formal Accusations.

p6 - I gather that the stuff with oaths is important. I'm also gathering that whatever is going on here is not the normal way of doing things, and it's very shady business. It's a bit frustrating that our first proper introduction to this ritual is an instance of it not being used as would normally be expected in-world, because I have no context to know what's normal, what's different, or what any of this is meant to achieve.

p8 - Not entirely sure what just happened. I think G has been officially let off the hook for failing to prevent Is getting hurt? But if King V was always planning on giving G the all-clear, I don't know why calling in the magistrate was necessary, or why G was freaking out.

Bottom of p8 - New theory: I think G asked for the ritual to happen because he felt guilty and wanted to be absolved via magic religion, and the king went along with it even though he doesn't take issue with G's actions. I think the whole ritual sequence would read better if we understood the characters' intentions from the top. Once we know what they're trying to do, we'll be able to focus more on the Judge and the scary magic, which I think is what the scene needs.

 

2. As I explained above, the part with the confession and the Judge would have played better if I had more context to understand what's happening, especially knowing what the characters are trying to achieve before we get into the magic stuff. I think you could probably do that with dialogue when Al gets called in - the king and G could take a minute to explain to Al what they're about to do, instead of having Al be confused and implying that some shady business is about to go down.

I'm also not totally clear on where Al and King V landed on the whole 'treason' thing. Did Al take funds from C-ia or did he just take funds from a random lord near the border? Is this a big deal and will there be consequences, or is it all smoothed over now that they've established that Al has nothing to do with the assassination attempt?

3. My thoughts on Al haven't changed much this chapter. G seems like he might have some serious issues of his own brewing, but I'm not sure if anything will come of that. King V came across as fairly canny when dealing with Al, but seems to have difficulty wrangling his own subjects.

4. The part where the king questions Al with the truth stone was engaging (although, as I said above, I'm a bit confused about how that ended). I also like the concept of the Judge as a magical force that can be called upon to smite people who do bad things.

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Overall

I think this chapter suffers from the same thing as the previous chapter: wordiness. There’s a lot here that can be cut. BUT the general bones and arc of this chapter is good. I think the tension is good– though cutting this chapter down will increase the tension even more– and I love the whole thing with the judge being able to condemn(...kill) people who have done wrong, as well as that power being used via magistrates and stones and spells.

10 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

Things I’m looking for:

  1. Those who’d questioned how the previous chapter ended, does this change any of those thoughts? If not, do you have any thoughts on how to transition better from there to here?
  2. Are there things that seem confusing or could use more explanation?
  3. Thoughts on the characters as presented up to this point?
  4. Points of interest or engagement?

1. i didnt have a major problem with the ending, it just felt like a lot of the tension was lost at that point and not knowing anything about the judge didn't help. Going back and reading it now, it hits different. but the first time reading it was just kinda meh. I dont have any solid advice on how to improve though :( sorry.

2. I like that Al mistakes the whole situation as the king wanting to force him to confess to something he didnt do. He obviously views the king in a negative light and is afraid of him so he assumes the king is out to get him. however, because of Al's internal thought, im not quite able to grasp what the king is thinking. I have no idea where things are going until Al spells it out for me. I kind of note more on this further down.

3. I don't have a complete picture of Al yet. He feels neutral to me. And i dont have strong opinions about other characters yet either. So far, i think the king is pretty fair and understanding despite how Al views him.

4. All the stuff around when G said he wanted to confess and then again when Al thought the king was trying to weed out his "treasonous" doings was engaging.

 

as i go:

pg 1

-agree that there should be a smoother transition into this chapter. I had trouble remembering where we were/left off last chapter even though I just read it a few days ago. Just something small like, “(the next morning) Al was staring at the ceiling after a night of shotty sleep when a knock at the door startled him. He blinked stupidly at the guard….etc” just so we know where we’re at and how much time has passed right away.

“Spending half the night staring at the ceiling” lol i didn’t even know this was here when i suggested the edit above.

pg 2

“That would have to wait until it wouldn’t set off another episode” i assume the episode is the panic attack but this sentence feels vague

pg 3

“His majesty has questions” alright, this is good. This makes me want to read on. But there was a lot of meandering to get here. There was a lot of mention of Al’s sleeplessness, you can probably cut a lot of that. You can also probably cut some of the descriptions surrounding dialogue. For example, at the very end of page 2 when Al says “thank you,” i think the sentence before that can be cut– it didn't add anything for me. There's a few sentences like that where we get too specific. I can imagine most of this stuff on my own. Another example: last paragraph on page one. The very first sentence is quite wordy and can be cut down.

-”i hadn’t expected” we start with dialogue again after the short pause (and this is probably personal preference) but i think starting instead with “the room wasn’t large” would help me picture things better since i have no idea where we are at the start. Maybe tell us which room we are in exactly. “The king’s office/council chamber/whatever wasn’t large, but….”

-“He couldn't help but find…” and “a wolf circling...” these can probably be combined in some way to shorten it. I feel like this is another instance of wordiness.

pg 4

“wasnt Judgebound… formally Accuse him... make a Confession” lots of capitalization going on. Is a Confession like a confession but with the power of… a higher power (judge)? Also… accuse him of what?? confused on this page

pg 5

“hands clasped too tightly at his back” wasn’t he sitting? How were his hands at his back?

“she asked perfunctorily” there's a lot of adverbs in this chapter. You can probably cut a lot if not all of them.

pg 6-8

“G wishes to confess” ah, yes, the meat of the situation... whatever that means :)

-confused tho because G didn’t do anything wrong… so it feels all for naught. I mean i guess it introduced us to the judgement process which makes the ending line have a bigger punch. Tho, it might be an even bigger punch if someone actually um..burned (but its probably too early for that) edit: i guess G’s actions make sense because he feels guilty. in my head i was just like, "G, you're wasting everybody's time, the king isn't gonna let you die for not knowing EXACTLY what was going on with the princess."

-i like the idea of the stones and the judge and the magistrate and the fire. Good stuff

pg 9

“G saluted, right fist to chest” Shinzou wo sasageyo??? attack on titan?? no? just me? okay...

pg 10

“This road of yours” where you going with this your majesty??

pg 11

“A question of treason” eeek

pg 13

“There will be questions. Someone will recognize the symptoms." confused about what he is implying. why would people think that Al has anything to do with the poisoning? perhaps there should be a bit more clarification with the logic (on page 12) of why Al would be associated. I dont see how the location of the poison has anything to do with Al. but even so, if the king's word is final, or the judge, then why would it matter if someone tries to "make the pieces fit"? the king saw Al use the truth stone so he knows he had nothing to do with it. I guess i dont quite fully understand how the laws and trials and stuff work here. It makes sense that the king is worried about civil war but im not clear on how much power the king holds over everyone and how likely a civil war is.

"others would be glad to have an excuse" but what power do "they" have?

pg 14

Good ending line! Specifically the part about Al’s parents being sent to judgement (now that i know what judgement is).

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  1. I didn't end up commenting on your sub last week because time, but I did feel like the start of this chapter was a bit abrupt. When the Judge appeared in this chapter, I assumed it was from Al & his servant, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Maybe quickly summarize/make it more clear at the end of last chapter or the start of this one what they did in the night? Bc his servant fell asleep, but I don't know what he was doing all this time. Unless that's intentional, in which case nvm. You could also maybe move the part about knock on door at dawn to the very start.
  2. Yep I put it in the line by lines
  3. Thoughts on the characters as presented up to this point? I like Al's attachment to his.. (what is T again? lol) where he's from & his parents. I think that's an interesting motivation. I think his servant is nice, he seems like a nice guy and seems to like Al enough. I don't really have much of an opinion on the other characters. I hope the princess wakes soon...?
  4. I thought the ending was good! The whole thing with the Judge was interesting, if a bit confusing. Al's narration around the convo with the king def made it seem tense! 

pg 1 stone ran out - what was he doing that resulted in that? the Judge thing? 

pg 2 needs to find stone - can he not sleep without it? did something happen to his? 

servant telling him to meet the king -> is this the same servant as before?

pg 4 first line - did Al previously meet the king for economics-type (or other) meetings? did there used to be recurring meetings with the king?

pg 5 - wait so Tr didn't talk to the Judge? Someone else called them/took the initiative away from Al? -> ah, it was G? G told the king he wanted to? then why does Al have to do it/be involved? something about the whole ritual isn't fitting together for me. 

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Well, it seems like the important things are coming across as interesting and engaging (once they've actually been made clear), even if I still need a lot of work figuring out where the line is between too much exposition vs. too little explanation. So I'm excited about that, even if it's going to take a while to find the right balance there.

Hopefully if I let it sit for a week or two and go through it with fresh eyes, that combined with this feedback will give me a better sense of what things need to be introduced where. 

On 6/14/2021 at 0:18 PM, RedBlue said:

p1 - It took me a minute to work out what was going on at the beginning of the chapter

On 6/14/2021 at 8:39 PM, leapfrog said:

Maybe quickly summarize/make it more clear at the end of last chapter or the start of this one what they did in the night?

On 6/14/2021 at 8:19 PM, karamel said:

agree that there should be a smoother transition into this chapter.

Hard to get clearer consensus than that :)  Fortunately, that should be a pretty straightforward fix.   Same with the general meandering of the first scene. 

Now to the less straightforward!

On 6/14/2021 at 0:18 PM, RedBlue said:

I gather that the stuff with oaths is important. I'm also gathering that whatever is going on here is not the normal way of doing things, and it's very shady business. It's a bit frustrating that our first proper introduction to this ritual is an instance of it not being used as would normally be expected in-world, because I have no context to know what's normal, what's different, or what any of this is meant to achieve

On 6/14/2021 at 8:19 PM, karamel said:

wasnt Judgebound… formally Accuse him... make a Confession” lots of capitalization going on. Is a Confession like a confession but with the power of… a higher power (judge)? Also… accuse him of what?? confused on this page

After being so heavy-handed with info dumps in my early submissions, I apparently jumped too far the other way on this one.  I don't quite want it to be the king just explaining how things are going to go, because it doesn't fit him character-wise, and both Al and G would already know the basics of the process.  I think I did trim back a little too much of Al's thinking through what was going, though.  That might have been helpful to distinguish between what is normal procedure and what V is sort of being a jerk about.  

Would you say that by the end of the scene you have a good sense of what's going on?  If so, do you have any thoughts on what specific things would have been useful to present before the magistrate walks in or before Al starts throwing Capital Letter terms around? 

The stakes of the judicial rituals are one of the main things (along with the two different forms of magic usage and how they can go wrong) on my list to be referenced in the new prologue when I get to it. To bring in the idea that someone "going before the gods" or "seeking justice from the gods" is a real thing, not just a sort of hopeful thought or prayer or tradition that may or may not do something.  I think that would also give a little more significance to the end of chapter 2, and would set us up better to go into this one. Does that seem like it might be accurate? 

On 6/14/2021 at 8:19 PM, karamel said:

pg 5

“hands clasped too tightly at his back” wasn’t he sitting? How were his hands at his back?

“she asked perfunctorily” there's a lot of adverbs in this chapter. You can probably cut a lot if not all of them.

Hah. Oops.  I'd cut out a stand up/sit down sequence because it was starting to feel like a song and dance routine, and I apparently missed this in the follow-up edit. 

...but...my adverbs... by which I mean "yeah, you're probably right."

On 6/14/2021 at 8:19 PM, karamel said:

-confused tho because G didn’t do anything wrong… so it feels all for naught. I mean i guess it introduced us to the judgement process which makes the ending line have a bigger punch. Tho, it might be an even bigger punch if someone actually um..burned (but its probably too early for that) edit: i guess G’s actions make sense because he feels guilty. in my head i was just like, "G, you're wasting everybody's time, the king isn't gonna let you die for not knowing EXACTLY what was going on with the princess."

On 6/14/2021 at 0:18 PM, RedBlue said:

I think G asked for the ritual to happen because he felt guilty and wanted to be absolved via magic religion, and the king went along with it even though he doesn't take issue with G's actions. I think the whole ritual sequence would read better if we understood the characters' intentions from the top. Once we know what they're trying to do, we'll be able to focus more on the Judge and the scary magic, which I think is what the scene needs.

So it seems like you guys got to a point of understanding G's motivations, but I need to move that realization earlier.  Or make it less clear that the king doesn't hold him responsible at first. Or possibly both. Does that seem right? 

On 6/14/2021 at 8:39 PM, leapfrog said:

wait so Tr didn't talk to the Judge? Someone else called them/took the initiative away from Al? -> ah, it was G? G told the king he wanted to? then why does Al have to do it/be involved? something about the whole ritual isn't fitting together for me. 

I'll be working on making sure these details come together better.  Did you have a decent sense of what was going on by the end?  It seems like you got to the point of it being G's request.  Al is involved because he witnessed what had happened. So even if V wants to say G didn't do anything wrong, having Al's word on his side gives it more weight than a royal whim.

On 6/14/2021 at 0:18 PM, RedBlue said:

I'm also not totally clear on where Al and King V landed on the whole 'treason' thing. Did Al take funds from C-ia or did he just take funds from a random lord near the border? Is this a big deal and will there be consequences, or is it all smoothed over now that they've established that Al has nothing to do with the assassination attempt?

On 6/14/2021 at 8:19 PM, karamel said:

“There will be questions. Someone will recognize the symptoms." confused about what he is implying. why would people think that Al has anything to do with the poisoning? perhaps there should be a bit more clarification with the logic (on page 12) of why Al would be associated. I dont see how the location of the poison has anything to do with Al.

Gah. Right. Al's dad being from K-tan is only really mentioned in passing in the first two chapters, and I don't know that I mentioned much of anything yet about what's significant about that (another thing to go in the prologue, then...). 
The poison comes from the mountains bordering K-tan and C-ia.  I'll have to check my wording.  It's quite possible that wasn't made clear. But that's probably the vitally important point here for understanding this.
So if Al has had any dealings with either of them, it immediately looks really bad, because he either helped an assassin get through or unintentionally allowed them to get through.  The fact that his father was foreign (and specifically K-tani) means that if other people find out where the poison came from, they'll immediately be pointing fingers at Al. Especially since a number of people are already predisposed to mistrusting him because he looks K-tani.
 

On 6/14/2021 at 8:19 PM, karamel said:

pg 14

Good ending line! Specifically the part about Al’s parents being sent to judgement (now that i know what judgement is).

Hooray! Most of my ending lines are not great, so I am glad to hear that this one works.  Though in this case "passing into judgment" is their go-to euphemism for death... so... I'll have to figure out how to make sure this doesn't come across as them being condemned for some action.  And after checking the actual document, it looks like using the proper phrase would be the first place to start *facepalm*



Thanks for the thoughts!  It will be a huge hellp while I'm trying to find the line between overexplaining and underexplaining on some of these bigger world-building details. 

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26 minutes ago, C_Vallion said:

Would you say that by the end of the scene you have a good sense of what's going on?  If so, do you have any thoughts on what specific things would have been useful to present before the magistrate walks in or before Al starts throwing Capital Letter terms around? 

I think I got a good sense of what was going on by the end of the scene. Basically, G was confessing that he messed up, Al gave witness testimony that G didn't actually break his oath, V said that it's all cool, and through the whole proceeding the magistrate was calling upon some kind of godlike power they call the Judge to smite anyone who wasn't being honest, right?

I think that, in order to cut down on confusing capital letter terms, it could be established straight away that this is a Confession for G. You don't need to namedrop the other types of rituals at this point.

It would also be useful to know straight away that this is is a legitimate thing in their culture - I got the impression that V was doing something weird and shady, but by the end it seemed that this was a relatively normal (if drastic) measure for dealing with people who may or may not have done something wrong.

The biggest thing I think you should establish early is what we should expect the outcome to be (ie, 'this ritual will either absolve G, or incinerate him'). If we know what they're aiming for, we can relax and see what the characters do to get there rather than feel like we're confused.

If you're worried about avoiding exposition dumps, you could put the info in dialogue that has its own conflict. For example, the conversation that V and G have at the end of the scene (where V complains that this is too risky and G says that he's willing to risk incineration to be absolved) could be moved to before the ritual starts, and then the reader will know what the Confession does and the danger of incineration and G and V's motivations, all without a tedious infodump.

51 minutes ago, C_Vallion said:

The stakes of the judicial rituals are one of the main things (along with the two different forms of magic usage and how they can go wrong) on my list to be referenced in the new prologue when I get to it. To bring in the idea that someone "going before the gods" or "seeking justice from the gods" is a real thing, not just a sort of hopeful thought or prayer or tradition that may or may not do something.  I think that would also give a little more significance to the end of chapter 2, and would set us up better to go into this one. Does that seem like it might be accurate? 

Yes, I think it does inform Al's thoughts at the end of chapter 2 to know that the gods are not an idle threat in this setting. And it would probably be good set up, because then the prologue will make the reader anticipate seeing the god justice thing in action. Seems like you've got a lot to get through in this prologue, though, so maybe keep an eye on that.

54 minutes ago, C_Vallion said:

So it seems like you guys got to a point of understanding G's motivations, but I need to move that realization earlier.  Or make it less clear that the king doesn't hold him responsible at first. Or possibly both. Does that seem right? 

Yep, as I said above, I think this would improve the scene a lot.

 

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3 hours ago, RedBlue said:

Seems like you've got a lot to get through in this prologue, though, so maybe keep an eye on that.

Hah. Yeah. This was the problem with my first several attempts at the prologue. Where I tried to introduce half a million key things from a PoV that wasn't doing me any favors. 

Fortunately, the event of Al's parents' deaths inherently involves 1. magic going drastically wrong, 2. Vows and Oaths as capital letter, supernatural things, and 3. Circumstances that are feasible for making an Accusation against the people responsible for their deaths. 

So, in theory, it's doable.  Whether I can put it together in a way that makes the key things understandable without adding in all the other things that don't need to be there is the big question. :) 

 

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Overall

There are some good components in here, but a lot of trimming is needed. I also am just not connecting with A the way I want to. I actually really like the king and his verbal snares, and I like the spell stones. A...I think needs his emotions amped to like 11 in this, because he is way too calm for being interrogated by the king.

Aside from that, I'd say your writing is improving. This needs far fewer cuts than earlier chapters, and I did see the arc and narrative progression despite some 'fat.' So well done there!

 

As I go

- the first sentence isn't a very strong lead in to a chapter

- the first page does not compel me to keep reading. Too much talk of boredom and menial tasks and such make me feel bored, too

- pg 2: the 'good morning your grace' seems to just be the first page repeating itself

- pg 3: I think you can cut the entire first beat. I don't think it progresses the plot in any meaningful way that couldn't also be accomplished in one or two sentences

- pg 4: I'm confused with all the new capitalized words

- pg 6: tension really starts building here. I think maybe a page lead up to this is all we need, then wham onto the tension of page 6

- pg 11: they're talking about treason so I feel like I should care more, but I don't. There's...there's richness missing I feel like, from the story--potentially from reactions or emotions, that I think would make this feel more whole. right now I can tell important things are happening, but I don't yet care about any of them

- pg 12: ah, the line of questioning is clearer, but I think the connection to the poisoning should be sooner and distinct enough that the reader can at least guess it is coming. I felt blindsided instead of 'surprising but inevitable'

 

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On 6/16/2021 at 10:46 AM, C_Vallion said:

I'll be working on making sure these details come together better.  Did you have a decent sense of what was going on by the end?  It seems like you got to the point of it being G's request.  Al is involved because he witnessed what had happened. So even if V wants to say G didn't do anything wrong, having Al's word on his side gives it more weight than a royal whim.

late but yeah, I got it being G's request. I didn't quite realize Al was there to make things seem more credible, but it seems pretty obvious in hindsight now lol

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On 6/17/2021 at 6:35 PM, kais said:

A...I think needs his emotions amped to like 11 in this, because he is way too calm for being interrogated by the king.

I really need to develop my sense of this better. I feel like I'm usually paranoid about things coming across as over the top emotionally, or about emotional description interfering with conveying information (which we know I already need to work on), and then they quite often end up quite flat. I almost need to do an informational editing pass and a separate emotional editing pass.  And then a trimming-back-the-extra-wordiness-those-added-in pass. 

On 6/17/2021 at 6:35 PM, kais said:

Aside from that, I'd say your writing is improving. This needs far fewer cuts than earlier chapters, and I did see the arc and narrative progression despite some 'fat.' So well done there!

Hooray!  Progress! Now to keep it continuing...

It seems like most of your notes echo what the others have said as well, so it looks like I've got my work cut out for me.

Thanks so much! 

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  1. Those who’d questioned how the previous chapter ended, does this change any of those thoughts? If not, do you have any thoughts on how to transition better from there to here?
    I think this transitions well.
  2. Are there things that seem confusing or could use more explanation?
    I think it might be interesting for the magistrate to present a little more explanation to the process when they being the questioning with the fireball. This is the tense/conflict scene in the chapter. Let's ramp it up more.
  3. Thoughts on the characters as presented up to this point?
    I think the characters are good thus far. 
  4. Points of interest or engagement?
    I was really interested in the scene with the magistrate and the fireball. I think that scene needs to be lengthened. Have her explain the ritual to the men in a ritualistic way, even if they already know, and maybe have her ask a few more questions. 

As I go-

pg 1

-"blinked stupidly," adverb

-"added uncertainly," adverb

pg 2

-"The guard helped T to his bed and gave A a respectful nod on the way out, leaving the duke to absently return the nod and stare at the closed door for a long moment before smothering a yawn and returning to the table in the sitting room." Reading this sentence is fatiguing for the reader. Break it up into smaller chunks, at least into two sentences.

-There are quite a few long, compound sentences in the first paragraph. Try to vary the rhythm by throwing in some shorter sentences.

pg 3

-"stared blearily," adverb

-'His gaze fell to the covered tray...," be careful of how many times you use the word "gaze" in your writing. It's a unique word, so repetition will stick out to the reader and, and you don't want it to turn into an author trope where you're always talking about someone's gaze in every chapter. This mainly sticks out to me because you used "gaze" 3 times in chapter 2.

-"gestured absently," adverb, also, repetitious from the previous page, "...leaving the duke to absently return the nod..." This is the main problem I have with adverbs, I like to reuse the same ones, and don't realize I'm repeating them a lot.

-"shifted nervously," adverb

-"nodded firmly," adverb

-"...a little afraid," using the phrase "a little" always weakens the following adjective, it's better just to cut it when possible. Other phrases like this are: "a bit", "almost", "usually", "maybe", "possibly", "pretty", "very", and "really".

-"carefully textured," adverb

pg 4

-In "that mad road project," I would change it to "that mad road-project".

-"A's brow furrowed," this is another phrase to watch over use of. A's brow furrows twice in this chapter, and someone furrows their brow 5 times between chapters 3 and 4.

-The Magistrate kind of reminds me of an obligator from Mistborn with the bald head, black clothing, and facial tattoos.

pg 5

-"Judges fires...," oh, this is interesting. So they are judge, jury, and executioner?

-"warned quietly," adverb

-"repeated more firmly," adverb

-"added drily," adverb

-"said cautiously," adverb

-"clasped tightly," adverb

pg 6

-the vow tattoos are really interesting, I dig it

-"asked perfunctorily," adverb

-"said stiffly," adverb

-"looked terrified," this is a filter word that is commonly over used. This is always a good word to search your document for to see how many times you use it without thinking about it. I recommend checking through and seeing how many of them you an eliminate. You use it 48 times in your document.

It basically fulfills the same function as adverbs, conveying something without actually giving concrete details about it. The reader is left to imagine what someone "looking terrified" looks like. What does it actually look like though? Give the reader the specific details. 

It's the difference between a phrase like, "the dog looked happy," and, "the dog wagged its tail so hard that its whole body shook back and forth." 

pg 7

-"A took a breath," "breath" is another one of those words you want to look through your writing and be careful that you're not over using it. You use the word "breath" 81 times in this document. On average, it appears 20 times per chapter

-"blinked instinctively," adverb

-"said calmly," adverb

-"glanced a little sheepishly," adverb

-"nodded solemnly," adverb

-I think you could have used the Judge and the fireball thing to create some more tension in this scene. Perhaps have the King ask a few more questions that could raise the tension.

pg 8

-"The gods built the rituals into the foundations of the world for the times mortal justice breaks down." Interesting world building.

-"If she hasn't gotten a taste of her own mortality, then I hope you have." Oh, good line.

-"said shakily," adverb

-"...Is' healer thought it might help during her recovery." Are we talking about the princess? If so, this is the wrong name, right? Also, I would imagine that the King would not ask G to ask around for a spellstone if it's for his daughter. He would order G to find one and bring it back for her, right? She is the princess, after all.

-"asked hopefully," adverb

pg 10

-"nodding absently," repetitive adverb

pg 11

-"pulled protectively," adverb

-"a little afraid," repetition of "little"

-"carefully pushed," adverb

pg 12

-"proffered hesitantly," adverb

pg 13

-"If you'd been guilty--Well." "well" should not be capitalized.

-"Then we finally get the civil war that we've been dodging since your parents passed into Judgement." Great strong finishing line.

1

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