C_Vallion

8.30.2021 - C_Vallion - Price of Peace - Chapter 12 RevA - 4100 Words

8 posts in this topic

Hello, All!

Note on the wordcount here. About 3800 words are the actual chapter.  The first page is a sort of “Things to pretend you remember from Part 1, because I failed to include them or they have changed slightly based on Part 1 feedback”.  

You’re welcome to comment on that or not, but it seemed a little more honest to include that in the word count than to have 3800 words in a chapter and 300 in an e-mail. Since my e-mails are too long as it is.

Anyway.

Thanks for the comments on Chapter 11! It definitely seems like there’s more in there that’s echoing what was in Chapter 10 than I’d realized, and there’s also a good deal in both 10 and 11 about the overall magic law situation that I want to have introduced in Part 1 when I go through the next round of revisions.  

My current plan for the next round of revisions to Part 1 will have Al more focused on trying to get involved with revising the magic laws, in hopes that it will highlight more important plot focuses earlier.  That should also remove a little of the info-dump-pressure in 10 and 11, since more of the basic information will have been introduced already. 

Content Warning: Mild Language

Usual questions:

  1. Any confusing/boring sections for this chapter?
  2. Thoughts on characters?
  3. Points of interest or engagement?

Thanks so much!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! For what it's worth, I think it's a good idea to have Al's part 1 plot focused on the magic laws. There's an interesting conflict there, with the question of whether something so dangerous and volatile should be allowed to be used for good purposes. And the poisoning, and the king's decision to break his own laws to save Is, could be a good way to dramatize the conflict, so that it doesn't feel like they're arguing about abstract concepts.

As I read:

p3 - I 'remember' from part one that T has been flirting with Al, and her family considers him a good prospective match. I know that Al is looking for a wife, preferably one that gives him a political advantage in the capital. Do I 'remember' whether Al has any interest in T? It's not clear to me whether he's interested but doesn't think he has a real shot, whether he's uninterested and unsure how to let her down gently, or whether he doesn't know what he wants to do and is just making stuff up as he goes.

p6 - Sounds like Al doesn't think a match with T would be politically favourable enough for either of them, and thinks that T is just messing with him. Makes sense, but I think it would benefit the scene to have this information sooner.

p11 - I'm not sure why some people take issue with indoor sword training? Clearly it's not an issue of space. Is it just a decorum thing?

 

1. As I said in the LBLs, some earlier clarification of what Al wants or doesn't want from T would be good. Other than that, I didn't spot any issues.

2. Before this chapter, I didn't have the impression that D and Al were close friends, but they seem fairly close here (that might be something to add to the list of things to establish in part one).

I'm not sure what to make of T, although that might be intentional. Many of the characters seem to think she's an outrageous flirt, and that seems to be true, but I'm still not sure what her real intentions toward Al are.

3. I like the way the training session shows off Al's strengths and weaknesses in dealing with the nobility, and I like his description of the long, boring winters in the castle. It gives some context to the importance of roads in this setting, and I understand better why Al places so much importance on them. The tension between D and Al caused by Al not being able to reveal the info he has is interesting.

Generally, I have to say this chapter feels like a lot of setup. None of it is bad or slow in and of itself, but it feels like we're a ways into the story now and I'm starting to get antsy for things to actually kick off. I'm still not sure what the main plot is going to be, beyond 'main characters do politics'.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I’m trying to catch up on all the chapters that I’ve missed, so sorry if I address something that’s already been addressed or misinterpret a character. Anyways, on to the critique!

Pg 1.

“pained yelp” this sentence seems a bit clunky. I think you could cut the word “pained”

So far the dialogue flows very naturally!

Pg 2

“mentally drained … most days” The next sentence also ends with “most days” IDK if this is a problem or not, but I did notice it.

“D had kicked out one of those…” it’s not super clear to me if “One of those” refers to a spy or a secret mage

Pg 3

Even though I haven’t read up to this point, this short paragraph at the beginning does a lot to characterize T, which I enjoyed

Pg 4

“expose his bad habits…” Get some ice for that burn!

Pg 5

Enjoying the fight scene so far.

“A was painfully aware…” To me, this seems to come out of the blue. His reactions so far to her seem a bit more detached, though this could be more established in previous chapters. I think maybe it doesn’t land for me because it came right after a paragraph describing how she was lagging behind, which doesn’t seem like something A would be attracted to.

Further down the page, it seems to land better for me in regards to his feelings of attraction, since he is thinking about her talent

Pg 9

 “was close to when he was…” This could be more concise. It’s a little confusing to read.

Pg 10

So far the conversations in this part have been good, but this is the point where I’m officially starting to skim.

Pg 12

“But why share those concerns…” Ha, this is a good character moment. It really shows their focus on politics. Personally, I would just think that he shared it because he considers A to be a friend.

Looks like that thought was warranted, however

That last bit was very intriguing. It seems like maybe D and A’s relationship will be more strained in the future.

1.       I think the talk after the training went on a bit too long. At first it was interesting, and the dialogue mostly flowed well, but after a while I just started looking for the important bits.

2.       Characters seem pretty well defined. They seem good to me at this point

3.       My favorite scene in here was the sparring section and immediately after it.

Edited by ginger_reckoning
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've missed a big chunk of this story, sorry about that. I'm afraid I'll never catch up if I try to catch up on critiques from nearly 7 months of absence so I'm just going to pick up with the current week. I hope that's alright.

I can't comment on the pacing in relation to recent events in the story, but this felt like a good recovery/recap chapter that covered relationships and the ongoing issues for this MC. (Good timing for me to return)

A few places felt a little wordy and ponderous but not bad. I feel like part of that is the old world tone and texture. 

I enjoyed the sparing parts the best, but very much needed the later conversation to know what was happening and to put it in context. Nothing felt unnecessary. 

Three line by lines caught my eye:

The paragraph starting: "She nodded and then lunged in..." "series of motions that was (were) almost indistinct..." 

"But she was still lagging when the paused..., both breathing heavily." The last part of this sentence reads awkwardly for me.

"Yeah, I didn't either." This felt out of place with the rest of the dialogue between these two characters who both speak fairly formally. Maybe just more modern than the rest? 

I am enjoying getting back to your story, thanks for sharing! 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as i go:

pg 1

-ooh so Al is teaching people how to fight?

-“The pair two from the end” idk why but this sounds odd. My brain was having trouble with this phrasing.

pg 2

-idk what they’re talking about at the top of page 2 with the bruises. this could just be me though.

-I feel like the line on page one “of course it would be them” falls flat because i dont know who “them” are… is?... are? Idk. Anyway, it might work better if we have a short paragraph/sentence describing who Al is talking about directly after it. Because later when it says “Al reached the pair and found Lady T waiting” for some reason i pictured her separate from the pair, like she was not part of the training and instead watching Al because she likes him.

-"D had come up with the idea of having Al” this might work better if you place it a bit sooner to clear up some confusion. Better to be up front about what's going on I think. Before this paragraph, i'm just wondering what's going on and why Al is training people. Or maybe its fine where its at and its 4 am and im not fully here :D

-“Had kicked one of those out” hmmm this felt like odd wording. A bit too vague.

pg 5

-”Al was painfully aware” yeah i got the impression he wasn't into her, like maybe he found her attractive but nothing more.

pg 9

-i’ve been holding consistent interest until around when “Dw—” is mentioned because it doesnt feel relevant to me

-by the time Ais— is mentioned, it feels like too many names.

1. I think around page 10 is where my interest really dwindled because it just felt like they were reminiscing and talking about non plot relevant things. you could probably shorten their talk.

2. This may be wrs but I didn't know D and Al were as close as they seemed in this chapter. T seems seductive and possibly manipulative. I dont dislike her though. She made this chapter interesting for sure!

3. I was most interested in the training/sparing and Al and D talking about Al's suitors. I think this chapter also suffers from the walking and talking dragging (though not as much as previous chapters) and I'm still craving things to move along plot wise. This was a decent chapter though! I'm just ready for the main plot to say hello.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Better late than never right?

As I go:

pg 2. I'm having a hard time parsing the dynamics in the first half of the page but I do like the thing with him training people in his homeland's style

pg 4. Why does A think she toying with him? She could just be, like, genuinely interested. 

pg 5. I think I understand that how this is supposed to progress the plot since more focus will be on A and finding a wife but that's not actually what he wants according to the notes? And he doesn't seem that interested in T. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be the setup to a romance arc or not, and if not I'm not sure what it's doing for the story.

pg 6. A crown? I think I'm not getting the subtext here. Explaining this earlier too might help me see why A distrusts her so much. 

pg 7. All right so A's comment about hoping they reach trade kinda sums up my thoughts about the chapter as a whole. The two individual parts (politics establishing trade and courting as a form of politics) have solid foundations but the chapter seems like it's waffling between the two a bit and feels a little unfocused to me as a result.

pg 8. Would a trade deal really help him once the assassination gets out? It seems like the story's trying to link this together but I don't really buy it with how it's explained tbh. 

-I do like the detail about swordplay forms

pg 9. This would be good to get early on in the story since it establishes A's heritage pretty well and lets me intuit a lot of questions I had about why he's seen the way he is

pg 12. Should I, uh, know what's up with R?

-Is it just the thing about the courts and succession he pointed out to V? Though the real question is how Ali is dealing with that I guess.

pg 13. I think this would be good if... well, to be blunt, if I cared about D. 

On 8/30/2021 at 8:02 AM, C_Vallion said:
  • Any confusing/boring sections for this chapter?
  • Thoughts on characters?
  • Points of interest or engagement?

1. Some of the background politics were a bit confusing to me. I think an easy thing to clarify is why A seems to be a prime candidate for marriage. And who the people are like T who want to marry him for political gain. Are these people from minor noble families or is he up there with people from the big leagues? 

2. This is the first time I feel like D is supposed to be an important character, and I think we need a bit more as to what his overall deal is. Like what is his niche in the court ecosystem? R has multiple, since he's the crown prince and also is the blunt/abrasive/hotheaded guy and D just feels... kinda like a dude. 

3. I liked the swordplay stuff because of how intuitive it was. I think I'll be engaged with the rest of the stuff too once it gets clarified a bit. 

Oh also I know you sent me that thingy a while ago to read and I am planning on reading that but I kept forgetting. But yeah it's on my mind. :) 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So. Turns out jumping back into coaching with both feet really kills my writing/responding schedule.

On 9/2/2021 at 1:40 PM, RedBlue said:

Do I 'remember' whether Al has any interest in T? It's not clear to me whether he's interested but doesn't think he has a real shot, whether he's uninterested and unsure how to let her down gently, or whether he doesn't know what he wants to do and is just making stuff up as he goes.

On 9/4/2021 at 7:30 PM, karamel said:

-”Al was painfully aware” yeah i got the impression he wasn't into her, like maybe he found her attractive but nothing more.

On 9/2/2021 at 7:50 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

“A was painfully aware…” To me, this seems to come out of the blue. His reactions so far to her seem a bit more detached, though this could be more established in previous chapters. I think maybe it doesn’t land for me because it came right after a paragraph describing how she was lagging behind, which doesn’t seem like something A would be attracted to.

Further down the page, it seems to land better for me in regards to his feelings of attraction, since he is thinking about her talent

Definitely need to work this out better. Some of it will come in through changes in Part 1, to make the perception shift here clearer. But some definitely just needs clearer definition here to seem more consistent. 

On 9/2/2021 at 1:40 PM, RedBlue said:

I didn't have the impression that D and Al were close friends, but they seem fairly close here (that might be something to add to the list of things to establish in part one).

On 9/6/2021 at 6:45 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

This is the first time I feel like D is supposed to be an important character, and I think we need a bit more as to what his overall deal is. Like what is his niche in the court ecosystem? R has multiple, since he's the crown prince and also is the blunt/abrasive/hotheaded guy and D just feels... kinda like a dude. 

This is a thing that should have come across stronger in Part 1, as D is one of the few people Al knew before coming to the capital, and D's father is also one of the people Al is trying to get trade started with, as their holdings share a border.  I don't think the framework around who is who was clear enough in the first few chapters for those details to stick, though, so I'll definitely be working on that in the Part 1 revisions.  Good to know that it's not quite working as-is.

On 9/2/2021 at 1:40 PM, RedBlue said:

p11 - I'm not sure why some people take issue with indoor sword training? Clearly it's not an issue of space. Is it just a decorum thing?

Mostly it's the equivalent of an overwhelmed mother shouting at children for playing soccer or baseball or whatever in the house.  Mostly a decorum thing, but also a "you're going to break something or hurt someone and I don't have the time or energy to deal with it right now" thing. 

On 9/4/2021 at 7:30 PM, karamel said:

"D had come up with the idea of having Al” this might work better if you place it a bit sooner to clear up some confusion. Better to be up front about what's going on I think. Before this paragraph, i'm just wondering what's going on and why Al is training people. Or maybe its fine where its at and its 4 am and im not fully here

This was originally mentioned in one of the cut scenes from Part 1.  At the time, I was considering replacing this chapter entirely (cutting out the training), but I ended up reworking it to approach things from a different angle instead. I'll have to make sure that's clarified next revision.

On 9/3/2021 at 6:20 AM, Sarah B said:

A few places felt a little wordy and ponderous but not bad. I feel like part of that is the old world tone and texture. 

Just a few? :D Unnecessary wordiness and ponderousness are definitely things I need to be working on. It's good to hear that it fits the tone to some extent, but I know it ends up slowing down the pacing of a lot of the chapters where there's already more walking and talking than can be engaging for too long. 

On 9/2/2021 at 7:50 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

1.       I think the talk after the training went on a bit too long. At first it was interesting, and the dialogue mostly flowed well, but after a while I just started looking for the important bits.

In general, what you've missed over the past several months is far too much of this.... way too many important things getting bogged down. I apologize in advance if you're reading back through things.  Hoping I can do a much better job of trimming on the next round of revisions.  Welcome back, though! 

On 9/6/2021 at 6:45 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I think I understand that how this is supposed to progress the plot since more focus will be on A and finding a wife but that's not actually what he wants according to the notes? And he doesn't seem that interested in T. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be the setup to a romance arc or not, and if not I'm not sure what it's doing for the story.

His political pursuits will be more central in the next round of Part 1 revisions.  That will partly be magic law related (which is important to him personally) but also trade and marriage-related (which he thinks are the more important things for ensuring stability for the duchy.)

On 9/6/2021 at 6:45 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

pg 6. A crown? I think I'm not getting the subtext here. Explaining this earlier too might help me see why A distrusts her so much. 

He's assuming that she's hoping to marry Ro-.  Or whatever bachelor she can claim who will give her the most power/influence.  Because that's what he's seen her tend toward. He doesn't distrust her, so much as he assumes she'll be back to flirting with Ro as soon as he's back in the picture. Until he sees that she actually cares about and has put a lot of work into sword training, it doesn't really occur to him that she's anything more than a power-hungry flirt, so he's a little dismissive of her attention until he realizes that his opinion of her has been misguided and superficial... So, you know. I just need to convey that in the text...:mellow:

On 9/6/2021 at 6:45 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

Should I, uh, know what's up with R?

Not entirely, though I should have maybe had a stronger indication that it was about the conversation he'd had with V at the end of Part 1.  Just need to figure out how to make that work without breaking pov-knowledge.

On 9/6/2021 at 6:45 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I think an easy thing to clarify is why A seems to be a prime candidate for marriage. And who the people are like T who want to marry him for political gain. Are these people from minor noble families or is he up there with people from the big leagues? 

Good call. I'll have to make sure I'm clarifying those details better.  Some of it was mentioned earlier on, but it's been ...a while ... since those chapters were submitted, and those mentions probably got bogged down in other things, since that's what happens to a lot of my background information.

So, brief summary. Ultimately, A is titled and comes from what was once a powerful family (all of the duchies are coastal, so they have more direct control over the kingdom's naval forces), and everyone assumes he's desperate, so they're hoping they can con him into a marriage with related negotiations that benefit them far more than they would benefit him and the duchy. So as long as they're willing to look past everything related to his father (which some are and some aren't), he's quite the catch for anyone looking to tie themselves to old nobility or a higher-ranking title.  The people who would be considering him range pretty widely, since no one is sure what to make of him, or what he might be able to be manipulated into, or whether he knows enough to keep from running the duchy into the ground. 

 

So much for making this a quick response to everyone... but what else is new?

Thanks, all!  Lots of helpful thoughts here for me to keep in mind as I'm figuring out exactly how to approach the situation with T and the political background here.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2021 at 11:15 PM, C_Vallion said:

This is a thing that should have come across stronger in Part 1, as D is one of the few people Al knew before coming to the capital, and D's father is also one of the people Al is trying to get trade started with, as their holdings share a border.  I don't think the framework around who is who was clear enough in the first few chapters for those details to stick, though, so I'll definitely be working on that in the Part 1 revisions.  Good to know that it's not quite working as-is.

Ahem I'm a couple weeks late but better late than never?

The fact that Al knew D before coming to the capital somehow slipped my mind (or I missed it altogether, but it does sound familiar?). I think this could definitely be played up. Are their domains close? Would be easy for Al to pick out aspects of shared culture or just reference what they've done together. 

On 9/14/2021 at 11:15 PM, C_Vallion said:

He's assuming that she's hoping to marry Ro-.  Or whatever bachelor she can claim who will give her the most power/influence.  Because that's what he's seen her tend toward. He doesn't distrust her, so much as he assumes she'll be back to flirting with Ro as soon as he's back in the picture. Until he sees that she actually cares about and has put a lot of work into sword training, it doesn't really occur to him that she's anything more than a power-hungry flirt, so he's a little dismissive of her attention until he realizes that his opinion of her has been misguided and superficial... So, you know. I just need to convey that in the text...:mellow:

I do think it's okay to just flat-out say he thinks she's interested in R. 

On 9/14/2021 at 11:15 PM, C_Vallion said:

A is titled and comes from what was once a powerful family

I think for me this was overshadowed by the racism (xenophobia?) towards his dad and I think it's important to hammer in. Could be interesting to balance the two. Have people act like they respect his family based on its history while at the same time just totally throwing shade at him/his dad for race/ethnicity. 

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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.