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RedBlue

6/21/21 - RedBlue - Constance Wood Stove ch 14 (2829 words)

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Hello everyone,

Thanks for the feedback on chapter 12 and 13. I’m thinking through ideas for adding a bit more foreshadowing of the twist to the early chapters in the book without breaking the plot.

Chapter 14 this week. Content advisory for magical injury.

Questions:

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

2) Do the characters’ actions make sense?

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Pg 1:

I don’t think we need the middle sentence in the first paragraph.  It feels a little repetitive to have the list of the previous chapters’ important events, and that’s having had a break between reading those chapters.

“They gave her its name.” Subtlety does not seem to be their best thing. 

It’s odd to see T described as small.  I’d generally pictured her as older/taller than C. But I don’t know why that’s in my head.

V’s absence now is not concerning at all…

Pg 2:

“…beneath her own name.”  I like this line

Pg 4:

“He doesn’t react to the fact…” hmph.  Jerk.

Pg 5:

“She asks T…” This sentence followed by the next two dialogue lines seems repetitive.

Pg 7:

Gotta admit, GM has a point here. 

I get the point of her wanting to go by G here, but it seems to be more drawn out than it needs to be. 

Pg 7-10

The argument between C and GM goes on longer than necessary.  It covers almost 4 pages and the main points we get are 1.GM isn’t going home and wants to join the crew/change her name.  2. GM taking pride in her manipulations/”people skills” 3. C calling her out on that and refusing to accept any nonsense (which I really like, but I think it could be covered in less page time). And 4. The vague implication that V is missing and GM knows about it. 

She’s been sort of passively noticing V’s absence through this chapter, which had me expecting something to happen on that front.  Even if it’s just C concretely realizing that he’s missing and being afraid of what might have happened. I’m sure part of this is the week-by-week submission aspect, since starting to move more in that direction in the next chapter isn’t really that much farther along, but it feels like we get a lot “Look over here to where V isn’t where he’s supposed to be!” and C doesn’t even notice, which feels like a loose end.

Pg 11:

“Not forever” I like that line, but following it up with “they both go to sleep” weakens it a bit, I think.  After all that’s happened and acknowledging that she’s not really sure how things will be going forward, just going to sleep seems like an odd break in tension.

 

1) Not confusing, but things meander a bit, especially after a couple more intense chapters.

2) Mostly. The main thing that didn’t quite line up was C not calling out V’s absence, especially when attention is drawn to it a few times, both in her thoughts and by other people.

Overall, this wasn’t quite as engaging as the last couple of chapters.  I like the things it brings up. T’s consequences. C and GM both detaching themselves from their parents. V’s ominous absence.  C putting her foot down when it comes to GM’s manipulation.  I think there could be a lot of tension in each of those things, but it’s getting lost a little in the mix.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry I haven’t critiqued the last few chapters! I’ve only been able to do like 1 or 2 a week, but I have been reading the story and I have time for this chapter now!

1. No boring or confusing parts! There's just some things that can be trimmed/cut, specifically the conversation/arguing between GM and C in T's house.

2. For the most part! I think i make notes for any actions that dont make sense in my lbls.

Overall

I love the progress that's been made in recent chapters! This one felt more like it was building up to something (especially with V and whatever is going to be produced from T's sacrifice), but i didn't have any major problems. I like that C was able to stand up to GM and that GM seems to be on the road to a redemption of some sort. I'm curious to get more answers about everything!

as i go:

pg 1

“V was here to keep an eye” was he though? He’s been gone for a while… where he at?

“Takes as a good sign” C no! That's not a good sign! Vegetable person is missing!

pg 3

-”my parents’ journal” wait why did she think it was a good idea to burn this journal?? Is it because it’s a big sacrifice? to keep the town going?

“the journal she has spent so long looking for” has she spent long looking for this journal? I know she was looking for the answers it contained, but did she specifically know there was a journal?

pg 4

“the green boy took years” makes sense why no one was surprised by his appearance

“the only person waiting is Ant-” i didn’t know who this was at first or what the implication was for the next line. Because he is useless?

pg 6

“one without the oil stains” lol what

“You know, the bad one” LOL

6 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

Pg 7-10

 

The argument between C and GM goes on longer than necessary.  It covers almost 4 pages and the main points we get are 1.GM isn’t going home and wants to join the crew/change her name.  2. GM taking pride in her manipulations/”people skills” 3. C calling her out on that and refusing to accept any nonsense (which I really like, but I think it could be covered in less page time). And 4. The vague implication that V is missing and GM knows about it. 

-agree with @C_Vallion that their arguing does go on a bit long

pg 8

“another sacrifice out of T” you can make a sacrifice more than once?

“When the room stops tilting?” she okay?

pg 9

“Wait! You need me!” girl if you wanna be part of the group stop manipulating people like this

pg 10

“Do you though?” GM what’d you do with V? >:(

“I wouldn’t be so sure” I get that maybe C doesn’t believe GM but like V has been missing for a while so i kinda wish she’d take this more seriously.

pg 11

“How long can you stay here?” she means in the town, right? Not at her house? lol

Edited by karamel
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I thought this was a really good followup to the last couple chapters. We get C, GM, and T's reactions to the changes. V's disappearance is ominous. I was a little surprised everyone knew about him, but I think that makes sense from everything to this point.

14 hours ago, karamel said:

“another sacrifice out of T” you can make a sacrifice more than once?

Also had this question.

Agree with @C_Vallion that the argument can be trimmed. I think GM overplays her hand a bit where she keeps trying to manipulate C even though C already called her bluff. Makes it seem like she's not actually that good at manipulation after all, but we know she is.

Looking forward to where this goes next!


Notes while reading:
pg 2: good reaction to the events from the last couple chapters.

pg 4: "That green boy took years to show up."
--what now? I thought C made him? Or was he from T's parents? Might just be WRS on my part.

pg 7: "Also, I live in this house now.”
--well, that's standard GM! Although I don't think T or her grandfather would really object.

pg 7: "I need to be the monster."
--very nice. Shows an interesting progression for GM

pg 8: "when the room stops tilting?”
--why is this?

pg 9: "I win games that you don’t realise you’re playing. I’m good at it, and you’re not.” “I’m getting the phone.”
--for all GM says she's manipulative, and she is to some extent, why is she saying this when C has already threatened to cal Gm's parents? She's not helping her case.

pg 10: "stumbling down the cracked driveway"
--what is wrong with GM? I thought she burned her beauty, not her sense of balance.


 

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  1. I don't think so
  2. Mostly. I agree w the point about C not asking questions about V is a bit weird. Some of GM's points at the end felt a bit weird? Like it seemed like she kept going back and forth between her usual confidence and then, like, desperation. I feel like it might be smoother if she toned both down a little. 

I think in general this chapter is a bit slower than the last one -- a lot of things happened last time, but it feels like things have calmed down and I've lost a bit of the sense of tension

pg 1 "own devices for the evening": oh dear... I'm a bit worried

pg 3 - I thought C was gonna start calling them like "not-mother" or whatever lol

pg 4 abt V: so the parents knew! a life was sacrificed to make V? Am I understanding this correctly? And C isn't commenting on that? 

"Give regards to.." -> ??? I thought she left him and the AH, why would she give him her father's regards

pg 5 "T just stares at C": this is so sad

pg 7 on GM needing to be the "monster": I didn't quite get this. Why does she need to be the monster?

pg 8 room tilting - did something happen? is GM OK?

pg 9 the two paragraphs with GM going "Finally," and the one where she goes "Wait! You need me!" -> these were the bits I was talking abt in question 2 and how I thought it was a bit awkward, or that she was going a bit over the top or something

pg 11 T asking how long C will stay - didn't quite get why T was asking that, though it gives me this sad and ominous sense 

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I'm back after going on vacation for a few weeks! I skimmed over the last couple of subs to catch myself up, and I really enjoyed them. :)

As I go:

Pg 2. Hmm I'm a bit worried about T losing her insight. It already gets a bit old after the second time and I'm worried that it will stall the story. 

Pg 3. Did T burn her insight to force herself not to think about larger issues? That's a more interesting focus point than her not catching cues. Could she have just burned something like her imagination instead?

pg 7. I think the focus should be more on "pathetic" and less on "victim" when GM is talking about M. Because M shouldn't be excused of who she chose to become, especially not by her kid who she has a lot of power over as a parent. 

pg 9. G-M herself seems like the pathetic one here. Is she supposed to be a real antagonist in the story? If so, I think she really needs to step up her game. 

pg 10. The characters themselves are acknowledging this but nobody really has a plan and they're getting nowhere. It feels realistic but at the same time I think more needs to be happening right now. 

On 6/21/2021 at 9:03 AM, RedBlue said:

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

2) Do the characters’ actions make sense?

No and yes. I agree with @C_Vallion that this doesn't quite carry the momentum of previous chapters, and I think for me it's that the main thing that happens here is G-M getting thrown out, which is a very noncomittal change. Who's to say that she won't show up in T's house and have this exact argument with C tomorrow morning? C meeting other C last chapter is something that will stick with her for the rest of the story, but this feels less consequential. Imo either something permanent needs to change between G-M and C, or there needs to be a different large shift in the chapter. 

Still, I'm engaged at this point! The fact that the people have to give up a part of themselves to the wood stove is a really good touch. I've been thinking about what I might give up if I were in that situation... which is a good sign that the story has really gripped me. 

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

I've trimmed the GM conversation down to remove the less necessary back-and-forth, and I've added a line to indicate that C is worried about V's absence rather than just passively noticing it (although she isn't really in a position to do much about it at this point).

And yes, it is deliberate that GM is no longer a threat to C in the same way she was before. You'll have to let me know over the next few chapters whether the change in direction for her character is working :)

Thanks!

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Playing catchup

Overall

I thought it started strong, but then fizzled at the end. The chapter didn't appear to have an end to its arc, likely because it got lost in the GM showdown, that went on too long and I think wasn't very directed. It looks like other people had similar thoughts so I'll just leave it at that and say I am still very much enjoying the story!

As I go

- pg 4: maybe WRS but who is 'that green boy'?

- pg 6: the whole beat with the intruder confuses me. What is going on?

- pg 7: I don't find G-M to be a terrible person at all, so that line strikes me as odd

- pg 8: this fight with G-M is going on a bit long and stalling our plot progression

 

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