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About Mwindaji

  • Birthday 01/14/1998

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  1. Overall, I found these chapters to be a good step forward in the story. There are some simple changes that could be made to help the prose flow, but the story itself seems to be on a pretty solid track. After reading these chapters, I’ll stick with my predictions of where the story is headed. Also, I’m starting to doubt that the gifted have any powers at all. Phrases like, “Don’t even think about running away,” make the MC think her mind was being read, but could just be explained as a pretty common phrase used to dissuade her. Other rumors about their powers could be attributed to technology they possess that people in the little towns no longer have. Of course, the gifteds would likely be encouraging these rumors. I don’t know if I’m right, but this is just the impression I have from the story so far. Just a few thoughts I had as I read: I find it odd that the MC is able to run away with no one stopping or following her. The sombrero as a disguise conjures a bit of a silly image in my mind, like she might stand out a lot more because of it. Are sombreros normal attire here? Maybe if you had mentioned some “privacy freaks” wearing them earlier on it would feel more likely as a disguise. Je gets reported for very small things, so why shouldn’t Ju be reported for helping her escape the law? So far there hasn’t been much evidence that the gifted can actually read minds. I’m starting to wonder if they really can. Je doesn’t know what a car is, but I thought the first chapter opened with her watching the gifteds unload a supply truck.—You hang a lantern on this though by pointing out that she should have seen the similarities, but it still pulled me out of the story for a moment. Probably not a huge deal. The idea that metal is rare where the MC is from definitely changes that way I envisioned her town when reading about it.
  2. Sorry to get to this one so late. I’ll probably be brief, anyway. I like the overall feel that you’ve set up with the first bit of the story, though sometimes I wonder what details are necessary. I like the details you’ve chosen to include, and they seem to drive home the gloomy feel A has in the regular world. However—and I think someone else mentioned this—there is a surprising lack of detail (for me) when they end up travelling to faerie. A seems to have been hopeful for this to happen for a long time, but all the details seem sparse once it does. I would expect they’d be clinging on to a few more details. Overall, this chapter has me interested in the story, and I think it’s a good introduction to your world. I’m interested to read more. I’ll try to get to the other chapters you’ve submitted as soon as I reasonably can. Again, sorry for being behind, and for being so brief. As I go: Page 1 I like the feel you’ve established with the opening paragraph I think the pronouns can get confusing in the second paragraph, where “them” switches in one sentence from referring to the teens, then to A, then back to the teens all in one sentence. I had to slow down and reread it. Page 2 “A remembered when they let their mind wander back to that time” this feels awkward, like A is remembering letting their mind wander. I like the conflict between A’s fondness for the fae and the danger and terror. I like a lot of the detail and internal thoughts because they help me understand how A feels about the real world. However, it's starting to feel like there's not much happening besides A walking and thinking. Page 4 “A, in that mist-shrouded moment, thought weren’t glad to be safe…” This sentence is a bit confusing. Maybe a typo somewhere? Page 5 “closets” closest? Page 7 If Ae isn’t involved in kidnapping the kids, it seems oddly convenient for them to land right in front of him. Page 8 You changed the spelling of C’s name here.
  3. I've wanted to get back to responding to people's subs, but I've just gotten busier and busier all year! I'm still pretty busy, but here's at least a little feedback: From what I'm picking up, there are people called gifteds who not only have magic mind-reading powers, they also run the world. It also seems that no one is allowed to do, say, or think anything remotely out of line. It seems like whoever is pulling the strings of this world has gone too far in ensuring that no one has their feelings hurt, and that no one has any difficulty. So a dystopian society run by mind-readers. There are some things that raise questions for me, but only the sort I assume you intend to answer as the story progresses. The mc had the most obvious personality, probably the most noticeable since we're in their head. We don't know the mc's name though, which struck me a little odd, and I might find it easier to connect with a few more details about them. On this same line of thought, the relationship between K and A seems hard to read. I couldn't tell how serious their relationship is, especially given little details like the fact that she didn't know about A's brother. That could be a sensitive subject of course, it just made me think that they were in an earlier stage of their relationship. I definitely didn't think they were at the stage where they'd get married. My guess is that the mc is going to be forced away from home, into a situation where she is around gifteds all the time. Whether this is the result of the trial or a different event, perhaps involving the upcoming wedding, they'll find themself having to confront the gifteds. I'm guessing they'll end up as part of a resistance or something. Like @shatteredsmooth, the only reason I actually think this is because it feels so dystopian, which I assume is intentional? Anyway, sorry I have to be so brief in my response. I hope you get something constructive out of it!
  4. @Mandamon, @jamesbondsmith, @C_Vallion, @Ace of Hearts, @Silk, @kais, @shatteredsmooth, Thank you all so much for your invaluable feedback! You've definitely helped my find some ways to improve this chapter. I'll be moving around information and hopefully fixing a lot more when it comes time for that. Fortunately, it seems some small changes might help establish this character better, and give you all a better feel of who he is and his personal stakes. Unfortunately, spring break wasn't as much of a break as I'd hoped for, and now I've been back in classes full force without much free time. I think I'll wait for the semester to end in April before I submit any more of my chapters. I'll try to make time to give some feedback to you all though!
  5. Some notes on the content tags I forgot to include in the email: V: there is violence in this chapter, and some involves an animal. G: slight gore, mostly blood, some bodies. Hi all! This is the first chapter of a fantasy epic I've been working on. This is the first novel I've fully committed myself to finishing. I've gotten pretty far into it, and I've learned a lot along the way, but I need tons of feedback. I'm looking for all kinds of feedback. How is this as an opening chapter? Is it too generic?
  6. I'd like a spot on Monday if possible. I vote for the whole thing, if that matters. I'm on spring break, so I'm hoping to give more feedback to people this week:)
  7. Of Mycelium and Men First off, sorry I didn’t get to this critique last week. Life is crazy, but I still wanted to share at least a little bit of what I thought of it. Overall, I really liked this chapter, and the relationships you set up gave me some great reasons to care about these characters. I'm interested to see how things develop between the admins and the others. No big issues really jump out to me. Pg 1: Toilet problems for the entire journey? Just another thing that gives me the impression things weren’t smooth sailing when the fleet left earth. Pg 2: These sound like some pretty serious medical issues resulting from suspended animation. A result of spending longer frozen than planned? Pg 3: I’m just going to put this note here, though I noticed it on pg 3 with G’s name. Are these (G and D’s names) pronounced differently than the original Earth counterparts of their names? Or is it just the spelling that has changed? Pg 4-6: Love the marriage dynamic here, as well as the stakes you’re setting up. I want to see where things go for them as a family on the planet. Pg 9: I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure that earth life didn’t advance past algae-like complexity until around 5-6 hundred million years ago, not quite billions. Of course, I don’t know how far in the future this is set. Pg10-11: It sounds like the admins kind of dived into things without a full analysis. By waking everyone up, they’ve kind of committed themselves to landing before really knowing anything about this place. Pg 12: F basically just acknowledged the same things I did, so I guess it’s being picked up on in-book too.
  8. For me I think I’ll sit out on submissions this week and do some more critique. Thanks though!
  9. This is my first time critiquing creative fiction for someone, so keep that in mind. Thoughts as I read: I’m guessing this is a first draft, so I’m not going to make nitpicks on prose or grammar, unless it really stands out to me. Pg 1-3: Honestly I skipped over the Dramatis after reading a couple of names… hoping that the characters are made clear in the prose. Pg 4: Like some others here, I haven’t read a lot of hard sci fi, so I’m not too aware of any common tropes (good or bad) that I may run into here. I like the idea of the current inhabitants of the ship thinking in kiloseconds, megaseconds and so on. It seems to be a logical development. In my head, I imagine these time measurements were probably used for logistical purposes originally, but became more natural to later generations, as days and months wouldn’t have an observable reference for them. Interesting detail on how resources are managed when between systems vs when in a star system. I assume they make some effort to store energy and resources collected when in these areas. Pg 5: I like how particular Al is about protocol. I would probably hate him in real life, but its fun for the story. I hope we meet Ag later, she seems like fun. Why does Al hesitate to change 11d back to its proper designation? Does some part of him want to live on a planet? I’m picking up that Al’s primary motivation for now is to keep living in space, and he’s scared of the idea of living on a planet. I’m curious to see how this develops. I didn’t realize what you meant by sus-ani until a second read-through. Pg 7: Paragraph 3, sentence 1: Not sure if you need the processor label here, as that has been established already. I can’t decide if placing bets is consistent with Al’s protocol-obsessed character, even though I like it. Pg 8: Like others have noted, the passive voice here does a good job of portraying the thinking of the weird lifeform(s?) on the planet. I’m not always sure on this page what is going on, but I’m not sure that I’m meant to understand, so I enjoyed this bit quite a lot. Pg 9: Is m**x a nickname? Term of endearment? Term of respect? Pg 10: This page makes me think there will be some sort of tension between the higher up people and the others. Pg 11: I’m not sure how this person knows who Xi is. I know I wouldn’t know the name of an ancestor ten generations distant, unless they were especially significant. Others may not have the same experience as me, and it could be a cultural thing, maybe part of the culture that has arisen in a generational spaceship? So it doesn’t bother more than giving me some pause. The contrast between J’s hate of zero g and Al’s fear of gravity is an interesting detail, as well as their clearly conflicting desires concerning living on a planet. I hope there is some interesting tension surrounding this stuff as the book progresses. Pg 12-13 The shock (though apparently suppressed) seems reasonable for J when she learns how long it has been, though shouldn’t this be lessened since she already learned that it had been ten generations since she’d been awake? Or maybe it is lessened and I’m just interpreting it as suppressed shock. Evolution is always a fascinating topic to me. Did the organizers of this voyage not take genetic drift into account? I guess the plan was not to stay in space that long. The biological changes in individuals are interesting, but I’m not sure if there would be enough change to actual genetic code to be of concern, as some of these changes could be attributed to epigenetics, which are much less permanent. I’m very curious now if a few centuries in space is enough for a population of humans to evolve into a new species, especially if they’ve started mixing between ships, which would introduce some diversity… It does make sense as a potential concern, but now I’m very curious. General notes: I am excited to see where this goes, I would keep reading. The potential for interesting interactions/tension between the different classes of people on the ships is intriguing to me. This is good, because I’m not sure if the promise of exploring a new planet is by itself enough to keep me reading. If the planet proves to be very interesting and unique, then I would be interested, but as of now I don’t know enough about the planet for that to be the aspect that keeps me turning pages. So I hope there are some interesting upcoming interactions between characters. Even though I like the idea of these characters using megaseconds for time measurement, it does cause me to pause and think a little more than I’d like every time it’s used. It would take a lot (for me) to get used to it, but I think if the story is interesting enough it would be worth it to most sci-fi readers, especially since it grants your worldbuilding some depth and adds to the social distance between the administrators and people like Al. I’m not sure what a processor is, or what their responsibilities are. Little bits and pieces keep coming as it’s relevant though, which works quite well for me, since I’m under the impression that understanding the full scope of Al’s responsibilities isn’t relevant to what I’ve read so far. I keep wondering what the situation on earth is. Is earth still functioning and these ships are part of a planned mission? Did humans flee earth? Are there other groups of ships like these, somewhere else in the galaxy? Is there any communication with anyone outside this fleet? I also wonder if whoever organized this voyage couldn’t have planned on more use of suspended animation to mitigate some of the concerns raised on the last page. If more people were in suspended animation, then less resources would be used, and genetic drift wouldn’t be a concern. But this would raise a host of its own issues, of course, and I don’t think this is a real problem with your worldbuilding, just a thought that I had a few times while reading. I’m not searching for unexplainable plot holes, just voicing my thoughts as a reader. Final thought: Overall, very good. I want to know what happens next. You've made me think I should get into more science fiction…
  10. Hi @Mythranor! looks like we're both new here! I just have to mention that I once walked into a library, found a fun book in which a princess runs off and finds a dragon to capture her (or something along those lines). I proceeded to sit in the library and read it all then and there, absolutely loving it. Since then, I've wondered from time to time what that book was, and it wasn't until you mentioned Dealing with Dragons, and I looked it up that I was able to figure out what book it was, so thanks for that!
  11. Hi there everyone! I've wanted to join this group for a while now, but always felt like I don't have the time to write as much as I want to, or to critique for that matter. I guess that's what being in college and working does to you, not to mention I also want to spend some time with my wife, as well as my dogs Zuko and Azula. I'm a senior in college, finishing up my geology degree this December. I really love rocks and the outdoors. As a bonus, they inspire me to write! I want to be a paleontologist (in case anyone is wondering what I want to do with geology) and in fact, I've recently started volunteering at a local museum in a fossil prep lab (just another thing to take my time). I've been setting aside some time from my busy schedule to write (and hopefully soon to critique as well), but if this is the only thing you hear from me until the current semester ends, just know things got too busy... I've been writing since middle school, though I do remember making up stories since elementary school. Lately, what writing time I have has been devoted to my epic fantasy manuscript, which has reached about 75k words. I love Sanderson's writing advice, be it in his lectures or podcast, and (I assume like many others) that's what drew me to this site and group. Lots of things inspire me to write. I already mentioned the outdoors, but I'm also easily inspired by books and movies. I spent a couple years in east Africa (Kenya and Tanzania specifically) which is an absolutely beautiful place in so many ways. So some of my writing and settings may take some inspiration from there. I also picked up Swahili as a second language while there, so some Swahili words and names may pop up from time to time. Some of my favorite authors besides Brandon Sanderson include J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan (though I haven't read all of the Wheel of Time, I enjoy his writing), J.K Rowling, C.S. Lewis (specifically for the Chronicles of Narnia, which I read dozens of times growing up), and Brandon Mull. I really enjoy Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and other books like it. I also appreciate historical books and find history quite fascinating, and biographies like Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand tend to draw me in pretty quickly. Well, sorry if I've been a bit long-winded! I'm glad to be here and hope to start participating soon. I'm excited to get to know you all through your writing!
  12. I’d say I’m somewhere between a 12.5 and 13 out of 10
  13. A boomerang guy of culture, I see. You’ll be pleased to know that the dogs in my profile picture are named Zuko and Azula
  14. I have! I plan to read it eventually, but figure I’ll catch up on the cosmere first
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