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4/3/23 - Ace of Hearts - Bond of Wildflowers v2 sub 8, 3425 words (VL)

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Warning for abusive relationship dynamics.
Thanks for the feedback last week, everyone! I went a bit over word count last week so this one's slightly shorter than normal. My main question here is whether the emotional beats at the end land well.
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I thought the emotion was great through this whole section. The beats land well for N, A, and W. The werewolf part I did not see coming, but gives an interesting twist to what comes next!

Speaking of which, this seems like the end of act 1 of the story. I was not expecting N and W to get separated, so I'm wondering how that will affect the next section, as I really like their chemistry. I'm still not sure where the story is going overall, whether we're going to have two different plotlines inside and outside the fey realm, or what. Definitely still engaged with the story and looking forward to what comes next.

Note while reading:

pg 2: “But you are right,” she says, “That I must capture you.”
--unclear on who this is. I thought just A, but it seems like the whole group maybe?

pg 3: "she shifts her weight to her shoulder and rams into me"
--I think technically, "she shifts her weight and her shoulder rams into me" since you can't really shift your weight to a shoulder.

pg 3: "Within seconds, hair starts to grow on A's face."
--Whaa...was not expecting that.

pg 3: "can’t be killed without a silver bullet"
--who said anything about killing? And does anyone here have a silver bullet?

pg 4: "the day after when I ignored H. the next day"
--some repetition. Also ick.

pg 4: “I’m never letting you control me again.”
--oh good.

pg 4: "a study stance"
--not sure what this is.

pg 5: "spite is the better of two evils."
--Not a great look for N, though. I've never seen him as spiteful.

pg 7: Good chapter. Nice to see N stepping up.

pg 7: "useless dress shoes."

pg 7: "followed by her running back off"

pg 12: Great character section through here, though it feels a lot like an ending! Not sure where the story is going after this, but I'm interested to see!

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Ahhhhh- I'm so sad! We finally have them on the same page and then- sigh. I suppose that's the way these things go. Nice bit of action here, it was a fun sequence!

Page 3

He yanks out the earring, and it’s only then that I look up at the sky.-- Did he have this earing before? I don't recall. If he did maybe it should pop up every time we see A.

Page 4

All the memories flood back at once. A rare day when she was allowed to laugh and play with us by the stream as a kid, and her being mad for days after I splashed water onto her until I made her a woven flower basket as an apology.-- Ok, I feel like we've danced around what happened between N and C for a long time without really seeing it. I want to see some more solid memories happening so we can understand their relationship better. Just me.

Like I’m not going to today-- I think you can word this in a stronger way to make it cut more. 

Page 8

“We don’t have much time,” N- says. “You put your trust in me, and now I’ll do the same for you. If we keep following G-, will we be able to convince her to leave with us?”-- Maybe it's late and I'm too tired, but I don't really understand what this question is. 

Page 9

I couldn’t respond even if I knew what to say with my panting. I swear, my lungs are never going to forgive me for this-- Oh I love the way you phrased this! clever and funny and something different than the usual ways this gets described- nice!

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be.”-- I guess I don't really understand why N has to leave and why he can't come back. I know his grandmother wants him to stay, but it's unclear why he would make this choice right now. Maybe if it was set up as a clearer option earlier. 

Page 10

something else, and those feelings coul-- If feel like this should be a but instead of an and.

And that's it! Nice job as always, I'm getting drawn deeper and deeper into the story!

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P2 “We have to run.” I’m not sure why, but I was surprised that N’s mom seems to be on his side here, I guess I figured she would be more on the side of the fey.

“Then a vine shoots out from the staff and grabs onto my mother…”Again, surprised she didn’t go for A first.

               Edit: Ah, explained a couple paragraphs down.

P3 “Full moon.” I. uh. I was not expecting this. I guess this is maybe what the weird interaction with the wolves was about in the very first scene, but a bit more foreshadowing leading up to this moment would help.

P4 The two paragraphs of reflection on C and W are nicely juxtaposed, but taken together it makes it feel like N’s standing around thinking during a fight scene. Maybe something a little more specific to break up the scene and draw his attention from C back to W?

P6 “I hear her running off without me…” Wasn’t N right in front of her? Why is she not in his line of sight?

“Both A and F stand in between us…” Again, it feels kind of like people are standing around waiting for our attention to be drawn back to them. Are A and F not trying to capture N and W? Where did C go? And, maybe WRS, but is F the given name for N’s mom or grandmother or they unaccounted for too?

P7 “Well, the werewolf thing was a shock” LOL

P8 “by their tall statue” should be “stature,” spellcheck won’t catch this one

P10 “We can’t be friends.” Good reversal here, but again, a little more foreshadowing may be helpful.

P11 “Instead of worrying about me and your parent…” Yeah, I’m surprised w’s going along with N’s “I have to do this alone” thing considering their parent’s caught up in this.

P12 “…save my community.” There are a few people who are obviously threatening people N cares about, but I don’t really understand what the threat to the community is. Since MA and the Aeg have been looming threateningly in the background this whole time, I assume they have something to do with it, but that threat isn’t really concrete yet.

Overall: I enjoyed this chapter overall – lots of good reversals and reveals. There were a couple things, flagged in my LBLs, where I was totally off-guard and suspect a little foreshadowing would go along way, but I think in terms of what’s actually happening and when, things are coming together nicely.

Aside from my previous comments about wanting a bit better understanding of who’s who and what’s going on in a bigger-picture sense, my biggest struggle with this chapter was blocking. I couldn’t always track of who was where, and it felt like folks often vanished from the scene and stopped doing things when the camera wasn’t pointed directly at them.

I'd also echo everything @Mandamon said. This feels like a very "end of an act" scene to me. I'm not quite sure where the story goes from here, but looking forward to finding out. 

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