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TWD - Interlude I + Chapter 3 - kais 07/24/17 2250 words


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I enjoyed reading this chapter.  I think the interlude words. It added a lot of context and increased the tension when the heir entered the scene.  I flowed into the scene. There wasn't a lot here that didn't work for me. I've made a few suggestions below. 


I wrinkled my nose and tossed the remains of the bamboo sword to the bricks .

 [MP1]I ‘m trying to figure if it is a brink path or a pile of bricks. 


“You’re supposed to surrender,” M said with a pout as she lowered her sword. “You’re not playing right[JG1] .”

 [MP21]I think the tone comes out better with an ‘!’!


M hopped up next to me and began to swing her legs, the soles of her leather boots scuffing the limestone.

 [MP3 ]Something is off with this sentence.  Is M mock riding or just swinging up?  Suggestion:  M hopped up next to me and swung her legs, scuffing the limestone with the soles of her leather boots. 


We weren’t supposed to be up here, but the gold circlet woven amongst Ms braids kept passerby from commenting or getting us into trouble.

 [MP4]Interesting because they climbed the statue before M.

 [MP5]Seems there should have been a point where they look at each other, or make some sort of inane comment before getting to the reasons.


You’re being grumpy. Want to find some other way to mess up the dresses?”

 [MP6 ]Another-it’s how kids talk


 I might not have shared her love of swordplay, but we equally detested the dresses.

 [MP 7]Feels overwritten: I might not share her love of swordplay, but I hated the dress as much as she did. 


but it made my arms tingly when people looked at me in a dress, any dress.

 [MP 8] Redundant? The first ‘dress’ means ‘dresses’. 


“We could go to the river and look for stones,” I suggested.

 [MP 9]What kind of stones?  Stones that look like glass?  Stones that look like bones?  My grade 3 students get excited about an element of something, not a general category. 


“There are lots of bad guys, and kidnapping, and rapes," I said, my voice muffled by the silk.

 [MP 11] Interesting inclusion.  Many children aren’t aware of these things at this age.  I  assume this is a purposeful inclusion to indicate the prevalence of it in their society?


I could see M’s smile in the way the skin crinkled around her eyes.

 [MP 12]I’d rephrase this. M smiled and the skin crinkles at the edge of her eyes. 


The sounds of saws and gouges faded as the shuffle of boots and the chatter of voices dripped into my consciousness.

 [MP 13] Interesting image.  Conveys convey a slow steady process. I wonder if: pooled into my consciousness woks better. 


I rubbed at my eyes, clearing most of the sleep.

[MP 14] I'd remove


Before me was a woman, my height, with long black hair braided against her scalp, in fine leathers.

 [MP 15] This is a sticky clause. I think you want to convey that she wore fine leathers, but the fine leathers naturally attaches to the braids in the hair.

Before me was a woman.  She stood about my height, wearing fine leathers (I’m not sure if this is a body suit or what) and wore her ebony hair braided against her scalp. 


Thirteen, maybe, since Mother had forbidden me seeing her again, and stopped our visits.

 [MP 16]me from seeing her


That was too long to pretend like I still knew M . I didn’t know how to act. I didn’t know what to say. The Royal Daughter was strong, and well dressed, and…regal. I was, what? Damp, and

 [MP 17]I’d cut ‘That was’ from the sentence and connect to the previous one with a ‘;'

[MP 18] Too much use of 'was'. 


I’d still used that word, back when we’d played together, and the royal daughter certainly didn’t keep up to date on the evolution of guild children, no matter how familiar.

 [MP19]Can you use princess here?  It would avoid the repetition of daughter



Edited by M.Puddles
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Sorry these comments are late. It’s been that kind of week. Then again, I see you have one comment before me - slow week!!!

Interlude – I know it’s ‘only’ the title, but seems to me the white dresses are stressed a fair bit. The blue sash really is only a highlight to the dress,

  • “kept passers-by from commenting” – typo
  • …and “or getting us into trouble” – I would say “giving us into trouble”, but that might be cultural. The thing is, the person who does the getting is the one who causes the trouble, but the passers-by would not be doing that, hence they would be doing the opposite, i.e. giving into trouble.
  • “but we equally detested the dresses equally” – imho.
  • “The bank is really high this year” – Doesn’t S mean the water is low? Being educated, I would think S would know the difference at a young age.
  • “find the king’s amulet hidden in the glacial lake” – nice bit of foreshadowing there.
  • “tied the blue sash from my dress around my mouth” – I read this like a gag, which was reinforced by the mention of kidnapping.
  • “How would I wear it then? To look like a dashing bandit?” – This is not two sentences, I think, or it take on a different meaning.
  • “I could see M’s smile in the way the skin crinkled around her eyes” – this is a lovely detail. When I think back to the dearth of description in early drafts of AFD…

Chapter 3

  • “I had more to offer, surely, for to this old friend” – I feel like you offer to someone.
  • “Can’t have the royal daughter be seen with a vagabond” – not capitalised?
  • I feel like the last page is a bit scruffy. M describing her base of operations is anti-climactic – or more the reasons why she set up there, introduces small, new details when I’m looking for the chapter to be summing up and sticking the landing.
  • I like how you provide more guidance for the reader in these edited chapters about S’s ‘status’. The fact that it is openly discussed feels more logical and reasonably than what I remember of the previous version, which is the topic being skirted around and not dealt with.

Serval steps forward in this version, I think. I was pleased how you set up S & M’s (Lol, how appropriate!) relationship, and built into the plot. I feel the questions tumbling in my head, but in a good way, not from confusion, but from wanting to proceed and learn the answers through the development of the plot and the characters.


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On 8/10/2017 at 8:53 PM, M.Puddles said:

I  assume this is a purposeful inclusion to indicate the prevalence of it in their society?



On 8/10/2017 at 8:53 PM, M.Puddles said:

Can you use princess here?  It would avoid the repetition of daughter

Sadly, no. As M rants on later, a princess is from a kingdom. Here we have a queendom, so we have a different word.

Thank you so much for these, especially the kid phrasing. It helped a lot!


On 8/11/2017 at 11:49 PM, Robinski said:

slow week!!!

Right? Where is everyone??

On 8/11/2017 at 11:49 PM, Robinski said:

Doesn’t S mean the water is low

Yup, sorry, Typo

On 8/11/2017 at 11:49 PM, Robinski said:

not capitalised?

decided not to, and am trying to change it throughout

On 8/11/2017 at 11:49 PM, Robinski said:

I feel like the last page is a bit scruffy.

Argh, you're right. I'll clean it up.

Thank you, as always!!

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Late, but finally getting caught up!

I'm not completely sold on the interludes yet. I'd want to see more and how they tie in with the story, however, I do like that that introduce M earlier, because more M is always good!

pg 2: “There are lots of bad guys, and kidnapping, and rapes,”
--maybe too grown up of a topic? (edit: I see the comment above, but that still seems like something kids might not talk about?)

pg 2: "“You alright?” I asked, confused as to how I had hurt her."
--seems too grown-up a consideration for a 9yo

pg 3: "“Like this.” I finished the knot and stood back to admire my work."
--What did it look like?

pg 5: "The guildhall has been closed for almost three weeks"
--I was under the impression previously that the grandmaster had just died...

pg 5: "Demand isn’t what it used to be, for any of the guild wares."
--interesting. Why? is there another source, perhaps industrialized?

pg 6: "Apparently Mother had never explained my absence when she continued visiting the queen without me."
--good to see more of these consequences.

pg 6: "the idea of Mother kidnapping the queen. That didn’t make any sense. They were friends. Old friends."
--Did this ever get explored? What their relationship is? At the end of the book it seemed more queen and subject than friends.


I'll agree with @Robinski (as usual) that the end of the chapter could use a little sprucing. In fact, I think the whole chapter needs a little more wonder. S and M haven't seen each other for years, and they go right into banter pretty quickly. It be nice to have a little "oh what have you been up to?" in the middle. It could also be a good place to set up some of the industrialization problems and what else is going wrong in the kingdom.

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