C_Vallion

8.2.2021 - C_Vallion - Price of Peace - Chapter 9.5 (Interlude) RevA - L - 3246 Words

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Posted (edited)

Hello, All!

So.  I’ve been calling this an interlude chapter in my notes, but haven’t entirely decided how it will work once I’ve gone through another round of restructuring/reworking Part 1. I think it’s helpful going into Part 2, but I’ll probably look for more specific feedback on that down the road.

Content Warning: Mild Language, mild gore (there's a dead body present) 

The usual questions plus two.

  1. Any confusing/boring sections for this chapter?
  2. Thoughts on characters?
  3. Points of interest or engagement?
  4. Does this angle feel like it works well placed here? Assuming that I can trim/rework Part 1 to clarify Is-a’s perception of the political framework within the court and her understanding of her place in it?
  5. Does this change the direction of where you thought things would be going? And is that a good or bad thing?

Thanks so much!

Edited by C_Vallion
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Hi!

As I read:

p3 - 'He'd spent too many years staring at death over a very thin line to ever be very comfortable with it' - this line strikes me as sounding a bit odd, because the vast majority of people would be uncomfortable around a several-day-old corpse. His reaction is normal.

p3 - 'he could see that the woman was young' - I suggest making this 'the dead woman', to avoid potential confusion. I had to stop for a moment to work out that it was referring to the corpse rather than a new character.

p5 - hmmm it sounds like V sort of maybe suspects Is-n of being behind the poisoning? That ... doesn't make much sense given that Is-n willingly gave up the throne and Do was Is-a's healer when she almost died, but maybe V has other reasons for suspecting.

p6 - Now it seems like V suspects Mi-n? Maybe his earlier suggestion that it could have been Is-n was some sort of ploy.

p8 - 'send them before the Judge yourself' - I'm not sure whether this means 'kill them' or 'perform a magic ritual on them'

 

Generally - I like this interlude, and I like that it pushes forward the poison mystery and sets a clear goal to solve it.

1) Not really any boring/confusing bits. The one note I have is that I think this is the first time I've heard that V and Is-n are working on a plan to form an alliance with Mi-n, and it seems like it's an important motivator for Is-n at least. 

2) I guess Is-n is more important as a character than I previously assumed he'd be? Also, it was interesting to get a look behind V's facade and see that actually he's barely holding it together. That's a contrast from the way he acts in public, but it tracks, and it's a good way of showing that the politics in court are not as stable as they seem.

3) I'm definitely interested in tracking down whoever was behind the poisoning. I still don't have any concrete suspicions, though. 

I also liked the relationship between the brothers.

4) I think Is-n's POV works here, especially if updated Part 1 gives a better indication of Is-a's involvement in court politics.

5) I don't think this changes where I think the story is going, except maybe that Is-n will be a more important character than I first thought (and it's not an issue to have a minor character become more important). Basically the main characters are trying to politick their way around chaos/war, while trying to catch the poisoner who is trying to start something.

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Posted (edited)

On 8/2/2021 at 7:08 AM, C_Vallion said:

The usual questions plus two.

  1. Any confusing/boring sections for this chapter?
  2. Thoughts on characters?
  3. Points of interest or engagement?
  4. Does this angle feel like it works well placed here? Assuming that I can trim/rework Part 1 to clarify Is-a’s perception of the political framework within the court and her understanding of her place in it?
  5. Does this change the direction of where you thought things would be going? And is that a good or bad thing?

1. No confusing or boring bits! I think this chapter was one of my favorites! Probably just needs to be tightened up a bit. But overall, I enjoyed it.

2. I like Is-a and had no idea he'd get a POV. I think this interaction with his brother works well. I also like seeing the king in a different light. Definitely got the "Is-a is the older brother" vibes (he is older right?) or at least, he seems more mature/wise about magic.

3. My engagement was fairly high at the beginning but started to descend near the end around page 7/8. Though, there was nothing particularly boring. I just liked the beginning more. And it felt like at the end of page 7, the conversation was dragging a bit or seemed a bit repetitive.

4. Yeah, it works for me. I like that we got back on track with the poisoning.

5. Not reaaally. I guess i didnt really connect that Isre would be living with her uncle. but now it feels a bit clearer especially since i have an understanding of who the king's brother is.

 

as i go:

pg 1

“Stop fidgeting” idk why but im liking this already

“Stench of death” alright im interested

pg 2

“Every effort nto to” typo *not

pg 3

“A plain, wooden chair” just letting you know that when Isr asked for a chair, i was already picturing a plain wooden chair before this line was said.

“Ill pass.” i already love V and Is’s dynamic

pg 5

-oh V suspects Is’s mage?

“It would take far more than a knife” this makes the king seem younger and foolish, which is obviously the intention, i think
 

Edited by karamel
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As I go:

pg 1. This really doesn't matter but the margins not being standard is going to really bug me I can already tell 

-Is D the healer that used magic to heal Is in a way that's seen as sketchy? Might be good to remind us what their deal is in either case

pg 2. Is it the spellstone that's giving off the scent? I don't remember that being mentioned before but I also miss details pretty easily

-I'm a bit confused in the middle of the page here. They're talking about the old king who... I was just assuming has been dead for a hot second now, so idk what he has to do with the current banquet 

-I will say though I like V with Isr more than with Ala or Is. Like with him and R, it's more of a two-way communciation

-I'm confused as to what the deal with the corpse is 

pg 3. Talk of taking the throne? This isn't a flashback, right?

pg 4. Oh okay things are starting to make sense. The most important detail so far is that this person was involved in the assassination. I'd recommend leading with that to both act as a hook and clarify what's going on sooner. Maybe not like the first line, but I feel like it should be the first major beat after setting the scene 

pg 5. So V suspects D I think but I don't really know why. I feel like it would make more sense in V's perspective. At this point Isr is feeling passive 

pg 6-7. I don't really know what these (ethnic?) groups being talked about are and I'm too confused to work through what I'm supposed to know 

pg 8. He lost R years ago? ...How? Is it just that their relationship isn't good? We've seen no attempts to rectify it so this comes across as a bit hollow to me 

On 8/2/2021 at 10:08 AM, C_Vallion said:
  • Any confusing/boring sections for this chapter?
  • Thoughts on characters?
  • Points of interest or engagement?
  • Does this angle feel like it works well placed here? Assuming that I can trim/rework Part 1 to clarify Is-a’s perception of the political framework within the court and her understanding of her place in it?
  • Does this change the direction of where you thought things would be going? And is that a good or bad thing?

1. I was pretty confused throughout. See line edits for specifics. In general, I think the political and social dynamics have to be extra-clear with a new PoV for me to make sense of it.

2. V makes sense to me, other than his beef with D which I didn't really get. As for Isr... I liked him at the end when he does something to affect the plot but throughout I didn't get a great read on him. Mostly it felt like the chapter was about sparks flying between D and V featuring Isr on the sidelines. And we don't get much motivation from Isr, which I think does matter here more than other side characters like R because we need to know why Isr cares so much about this alliance that's under threat for his actions to carry weight. 

3. V showing vulnerability by being willing to throw away a decade of hard work to protect his daughter and promises of more investigation into the assassin. Unlike Isr, V has clear, simple motives and it's the first time I (kinda) feel for him in the whole book. And because of that, there's a big change that takes place which makes the chapter feel jusitifed. Overall I think the large-level plot works quite well; I just got bogged down in the details. 

4. Hmm I do think a lot of it is contingent upon clearer political setup with Is, but I think the general ideas do work well with what I imagine that setup will be. I do think V here is more interesting than Isr so I'm not sure why we're getting this in Isr's PoV, but maybe that's just a sign that Isr needs work rather than a PoV change being necessary. Or, you know, it could always just be my personal preference. 

5. Tbh before this I didn't have a great idea of where the story was going but I am down for political investigations... though assuming the culprit is one of the nobles mentioned I'll need quite a bit more info as to how they fit into the larger-scale conflict to be satisfied. Basically I'm hoping it's less of a focus on whodunnit and more of a "what is this person's big plan and how can we stop it?"

 

 

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Somehow, I missed my rambling response post last week.  Who even am I?

On 8/7/2021 at 11:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

This really doesn't matter but the margins not being standard is going to really bug me I can already tell

Ugh. Yeah.  Sorry about that.  Those are my standard printing margins for when I'm doing on-paper edits, and I apparently failed to change them back afterward.  

On 8/7/2021 at 11:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

pg 4. Oh okay things are starting to make sense. The most important detail so far is that this person was involved in the assassination. I'd recommend leading with that to both act as a hook and clarify what's going on sooner. Maybe not like the first line, but I feel like it should be the first major beat after setting the scene 

There's a line on page one as soon as Is-n sees the body where he assumes it's someone else the assassin had targeted. Which is also where the banquet comes in. Because he assumes that anyone worth assassinating would have been at the banquet (or missing from it, as the case may be). Maybe that's not clear enough?

On 8/2/2021 at 4:24 PM, RedBlue said:

p5 - hmmm it sounds like V sort of maybe suspects Is-n of being behind the poisoning? That ... doesn't make much sense given that Is-n willingly gave up the throne and Do was Is-a's healer when she almost died, but maybe V has other reasons for suspecting.

p6 - Now it seems like V suspects Mi-n? Maybe his earlier suggestion that it could have been Is-n was some sort of ploy.

On 8/5/2021 at 7:37 AM, karamel said:

-oh V suspects Is’s mage?

“It would take far more than a knife” this makes the king seem younger and foolish, which is obviously the intention, i think

On 8/7/2021 at 11:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

pg 5. So V suspects D I think but I don't really know why. I feel like it would make more sense in V's perspective. At this point Isr is feeling passive 

Okay.  So at least part of what I was trying to do here seemed to be coming through, and that everyone caught the finger pointing.  Ultimately, I want it to seem like V is rather desperately grasping at straws by the end and really has no idea who to blame but feels the need to blame someone.  Would you say that's coming across? Or does it just seem like it's being unclear about who V thinks was responsible?  Relatedly, is the "But why would he blame D?" question too much of a sticking point? 

On 8/2/2021 at 4:24 PM, RedBlue said:

Also, it was interesting to get a look behind V's facade and see that actually he's barely holding it together. That's a contrast from the way he acts in public, but it tracks, and it's a good way of showing that the politics in court are not as stable as they seem.

On 8/7/2021 at 11:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

Unlike Isr, V has clear, simple motives and it's the first time I (kinda) feel for him in the whole book. And because of that, there's a big change that takes place which makes the chapter feel jusitifed.

Good. Like R's chapter, this is intended to be where we see more of what's actually going on in V's mind compared to the perception people have of him and the front he puts up. 

On 8/2/2021 at 4:24 PM, RedBlue said:

p8 - 'send them before the Judge yourself' - I'm not sure whether this means 'kill them' or 'perform a magic ritual on them'

Ultimately V's not too concerned about the particulars on this front. I'll have to think about whether I want to call that out or not when I go back to revisions on this one. 

On 8/7/2021 at 11:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I do think V here is more interesting than Isr so I'm not sure why we're getting this in Isr's PoV, but maybe that's just a sign that Isr needs work rather than a PoV change being necessary.

The main reason it's Is-n here is because he's a more central focus in Part 2. But his pov does definitely need a little more work here.  I'd gone back and forth between him and D a few times before going this direction to focus on the brothers' interactions, but there are definitely still sections that seem to almost be in-between povs, where there isn't anything that makes it notably from Is-n's pov.  Going to have to nail that down a little better in the next round of revisions. 

On 8/7/2021 at 11:00 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

pg 8. He lost R years ago? ...How? Is it just that their relationship isn't good? We've seen no attempts to rectify it so this comes across as a bit hollow to me

Does this comes across a little more clearly after Chapter 10?  There were hints at this before, but it isn't really dug into until Part 2.   I likely need to add a little more about the family dynamics in Part 1.  Most of that had been in Ali's intro chapter and didn't get shoehorned back into the other chapters after that one got cut. 


As always, thanks, all! 

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10 minutes ago, C_Vallion said:

Okay.  So at least part of what I was trying to do here seemed to be coming through, and that everyone caught the finger pointing.  Ultimately, I want it to seem like V is rather desperately grasping at straws by the end and really has no idea who to blame but feels the need to blame someone.  Would you say that's coming across? Or does it just seem like it's being unclear about who V thinks was responsible?  Relatedly, is the "But why would he blame D?" question too much of a sticking point? 

It’s been over a week since I read the chapter I think, but I vaguely remember coming away with the impression that V blamed D to put pressure on Is-n to see how he would react?

I think the super easy fix for this is just to have Is-n straight up tell the reader ‘V is grasping at straws, so things must be dire’ or words to that effect. It would be in-character and would clear up any remaining confusion. I think the ‘it makes no sense to blame D’ thing would not be an issue if it’s clear that it’s not supposed to make sense.

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15 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

I think the super easy fix for this is just to have Is-n straight up tell the reader ‘V is grasping at straws, so things must be dire’ or words to that effect.

Good call.  That thought had crossed my mind, but my brain shies away from directness.  Because it likes to make my life more difficult. 

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55 minutes ago, C_Vallion said:

Good call.  That thought had crossed my mind, but my brain shies away from directness.  Because it likes to make my life more difficult. 

I feel your pain. My brain also worries that spelling things out will be too on the nose or hand-holdy.

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