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10 more chapters?

one month ago
New draft of chapters 1-15.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/19kYFBcji4UrB4QsbA9TW0Cvhgoidb8rDRqFDvX0KHWY
(I’m hoping this should’ve changed the formatting somewhat)

Changes made:
-Read Gower’s articles on proper English presentation. These were so fucking helpful.
-Fixed a ton of grammatical mistakes
-Cut back over 200 words of unnecessary purple prose
-Written 11,000 more words (and tried to grammar check them)
-Begun working with an artist friend to make a map as requested
-Changed the PAI text boxes to have more relevant information

What am I particularly looking for comments/critique/insults on:
-Characters, especially on the subject of which ones you like/dislike/would like to see more off
-Any other English grammar mistakes (I’m not asking you to proofread the thing, but if I do something blindingly obvious it’d be helpful to know).
-Plot/pacing, is it going too fast?
-Any theories you have on what will happen next/ what would you like to see
-Anything else you think is wrong with the text

Thanks so much for your help :)

10 more chapters?

one month ago
If you're going to be posting a lot of these, I think it would be better to just use one thread to keep all the discussion together, at least while in the rough draft stage.

You write impressively fast so try and bear with me here if feedback is a little slow in coming, even though you've definitely got my interest enough to want to follow along.

10 more chapters?

one month ago
I’ll keep all posts to this thread from now on, please don’t worry about hurrying for reviews/critique! Thank you for taking an interest :)

10 more chapters?

one month ago
New draft of chapters 1-20ish?
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AfSfKI7vgjt_NUR5nqfFoGPFHFEJIuQSFUS6O79dMbM

Changes made:
Added 5 extra chapters
Begun to rework chapter 1 (this should be done for next edition)
Fixed more grammar mistakes
Added the map

What I’m looking for critique/insults/whatever on:
-Literally everything above (grammar, characters, theories)
-More on plot and pacing, is the pacing going well?
-Who’s your favourite/least favourite character and why
-Is the fight scene well written? Not done one of those not in sign language for a dnd game so I’m not sure if this is any good
-Is everything logical? Did you feel confused at any point?

Thanks so much for your help! I’ll probably try to keep most discussion to this thread now, if that’s okay?

10 more chapters?

one month ago
Seems like Aithne is still getting the short stick a little as far as character development. Like I said in the last thread, chapter eleven helps a lot, but in the first two and now in the 20th, for someone who's supposed to be one of the protagonists, we just don't seem to spend a lot of time in her head. Even when she gets a chapter it's sort of this detached narrator describing events, rather than her own perception of them.

10 more chapters?

one month ago
In the next version I think I’m going to try and rewrite the Aithne chapters since she’s been pretty much disliked by everyone that’s read it even though she isn’t meant to be one of the villains. I think the next chapters with her and Briar may help with it, but I’m looking to establish a relationship between her and the reader early on so I’m going to do a full on rewrite for next time :)

10 more chapters?

28 days ago

Well, I might as well do this once again before it ends up being so long that I will just put if off indefinitely, heh. Granted, it looks longer because the font isn't miniscule now, and in the future it should be easy enough just to read the changed parts.

Chapter Thoughts

One - Aithne

The head candles (in this case, the crown) reminded me of Dark Souls 3 (to a small extent) and the Necromunda Cawdor.

Picture of three Cawdor models taken within Tabletop Simulator, they have candles on their heads/backs/tall bits.

Not sure what I expect you to do with this information, but it is a cool visual (even if having melting wax near your hair may be questionable).

I guess I will say that the princess not being a queen is something I'm curious about, but this can obviously be explained later (and doesn't even have to be directly explained). I bring it up because she seems to be at the top of the hierarchy (at least in the introductory scene), but she isn't 'the queen', so it leaves me wondering if there is someone above her.

Seeing mention of 'non-euclidean' reminds me of something I've heard about in the past that I'm too lazy to verify properly, that is, our world is non-Euclidean. Euclidean is flat (2 dimensional). So all clothes are non-Euclidean, since they exist in a 3d environment.

Except, with a little googling, it seems Euclidean works fine for smaller stuff where curved space is not noticeable, and non-Euclidean is also used to mean stuff besides just 'not Euclidean'. The spellchecker is also telling me to capitalise Euclidean in non-Euclidean.

Pretty sure people will know what you mean tho.

However, I will say that now I'm wondering if using Euclidean at all in your work makes sense, since it is based on a name and so tied to history. But then again, that's language for you...but I don't expect the narrative voice to use 'car-like' as a descriptor in fantasy (but depends on the type of fantasy), so who knows!

Hopefully my point makes sense, and I think it is just something for you decide on (and be consistent with). I do think this tangent has gotten a bit out of hand tho.

Going to skip the chapters I've read before, since it looks like this post will be longer due to the more stream of consciousness style for these sections.

Seven - Charnn

I wonder if there is symbolic meaning behind the smaller blue bird beating the red hawk. HMM.

Anyway, I like these descriptions.

I will say that I wonder about slaves earning their freedom in 'a few years', makes me think of them as more indentured servants. Just a thought, and besides, I wouldn't be the guy to try and scam a " giant ".

Also, is this a mistake: When the call to arms had been wounded by house Septark he had joined the military,

I'd also space out the counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Spider god Jali reminds me of Anansi, but that's a very surface level observation. I guess it could be a potential point of inspiration if you ever find yourself in need of one.

Eight - Darnun

The Coordinate was capitalised the first time it was used, but not the second. Pretty sure you want to be consistent with this.

This scene seems a bit off, but I might just be partially distracted, as it isn't like it is bad either.

I guess it is because Darnun seems very in control, and then his opponent is just 'centre Tyfling' (names are revealed later tho). The framing makes Darnun's victory weaker? I don't know. Remind me to read this again some time and I'll see if I was not just thinking about it...poorly.

There are parts I like tho, which is what confuses me more, aha.

Nine - Gawn

Oh, red harlequins' name reminds me of Rakdos (from MtG), and Grimm's troupe (from Hollow Knight). Again, I'm not sure what you'd do with this information, but now you know.

Anyway, I wonder if the harlequin fight has any symbolic meaning. HMM. No colour for the fourth harlequin tho?

Also, interesting that this sort of performance can happen near Gawn's homeplace. Obviously, it depends on many factors, but I thought I'd mention it, since I don't get the feeling they'd approve of it (but that doesn't mean they can stop it).

Ten - Zacki

This answers my previous questions regarding the trial by combat, aha.

More importantly, SKELETON KING! No more just a name.

I like your take on them, since I was expecting them to just be a human (or other race) who was a skeleton, which don't get me wrong, can be good, but I think this approach is more unique and has some interesting potential.

Also, Haridan, I swear I've seen or heard this name before but I can't recall where. It irks me.

Looking forward to the outcome of this fight.

Eleven - Aithne

Dreams, I always wonder at if they're some prophetic thing (as that can be tricky to do well). Seems here they're about the past. Neat!

Also, hey, there IS a queen! I wasn't sure if I should go back to edit this in earlier, but regardless, this is answering some of my questions.

HMM. Did I foreshadow by using 'HMM' earlier? My questions of symbolism seem to hold more weight given this green star, attacked ankle, etc. I like it, even if how good it is will depend on the completed work (as that is where how it all comes together will be clearest).

Eye in the sky opening is something that I'm wondering about more now too.

If it wasn't clear already, you've got me interested, aha. How helpful is your world building doc? Just curious, as I haven't tried writing with one (or rather, one that is big).

Twelve - Gawn

Imagine offering a massive upset to known life and saying "Oskar, who has a way with words, will explain the rest on the way, now do you accept!". I'm exaggerating, but narratively I see no way she doesn't accept.

This does make me wonder why I have no doubt about this. I guess it is because the alternative is a 'bad' ending, and as I don't expect this to be the length of ASOIAF, I don't expect you to treat your pov characters the way ASOIAF did theirs in the beginning.

If Gawn does decline (and gets one or no more chapters), I'll be very surprised. I'm not saying you should do that, as I'm sure your plans for Gawn are probably more interesting than a single subversion of expectation. I guess if her arc doesn't work this'd be a good spot to come back to and cut her out? But cutting pov characters is probably best avoided at this stage.

On an alternative note, Gawn ought to be suspicious of this man who is only helping her now. But hey, there could be a reason he didn't help sooner...and a reason her mother didn't help either.

Also, in the text you call it Miremill, but in the PAI you call it Mire Mill. I'd stick to one, but I guess there could be a reason to have them be different.

Thirteen - The Queen of Fire's Servant

Interesting character name. Stuck out.

Simile saying fine fabrics fit like flames is an interesting way to describe it.

Oh, here's a question: do you laugh while writing?

Fourteen - Gawn

My prediction was correct! Although I could've gone back to edit it...

Didn't mention it regarding the harlequins, but spot/searchlights feels modern to me, even if the word choice does make sense. I don't know what I'd replace it with, so keeping it is fine. (I considered cutting this line).

Salt womb magic sounds fun.

Ah yes, no one will think that the most important Tyfling on Pân is travelling with an untrained squire, but what about an untrained squire with a renite blade forged in the fires of the first furnace on the scorpion isle by house Grënkin? And what if the Tyfling has a chained book?

Currently this is just a nitpick that can easily not matter, but I do wonder if anyone will notice those gifts they've gotten.

Hold up:

“What will you do now though, master?”

“We will wait.”

Shouldn't you not wait but go to the princess? Yes, he could be talking about the plan regarding the Tyfling, but I'm showing there's some openness regarding the question. If it is supposed to specifically be about the plan, I'd word the question differently, since like this it is a little humorous due to the alternative interpretation (where he is not gonna go to the princess).

Fifteen - Zacki

Alright, sanguine and that other fancy word for blue you used before is now starting to stand out. I guess I don't see the words often, and I don't think their use is wrong or bad, but I will say that I hope your use doesn't grow to be excessive (as then it can get distracting). The imagery is nice tho.

Oh, I guess I'll make my prediction for the winner: Teabla. Confidence here isn't anywhere on the level of my Gawn prediction, but I do still think that the narrative of 'failing and being disgraced' isn't the one you're going to go with. Now that I phrase it like that, my confidence in the prediction has actually increased.

I guess that if I can predict the major plot beats & conflicts consistently, some elements of the tension may bleed away. The story can still be good as long as it doesn't hinge on the ambiguity of who will succeed. But this isn't something to worry about much (edit - because the prediction was wrong anyway!).

Anyway, overall my guess is there will be happy ending where frost and flame both lose (alongside the Greenkin, heh). A fourth, colourless, and happy outcome that falls from the moon eye is my weaker continuation of this prediction. But the overall outcome isn't the interesting part, it is the journey and ideas that are explored, so even if I'm right it hardly matters.

Teabla yelling her out her specific frustrations is a death flag (similar to a sudden mention of family back at home). This better not cost me my prediction!

One of the superiors saying 'Fuck' is interesting to me. Such a swear feels modern (again, to me), but it does depend on the setting you want. I know I've used fuck in certain fantasy settings. Readers understand it.

I do think having them say 'nine hells' (or something else world building related) is more colourful, as it builds up the world and is more interesting than a slap (that swears ought to feel like, that can be jarring). I guess it depends on what effect you're going for. Worht thinking about.

Moving on, Zacki trying to jinx my prediction...my faith wavers!

Welp, my prediction was wrong. I like the payoff for the boot tho, an unexpected Chekhov's gun! Very nice to see.

I will say that the Frost side seems like the bigger bad guys atm. Will see how my perception of this changes with time.

Is the large pool of water the green flies are going to the underground lake? Obligatory HMM and musing on symbolism.

So Far

I like it! I think the pacing is good, but I can be a bit hit or miss at identifying that, aha. Don't think I was confused at any point, but who knows, might've misunderstood something. Regardless, solid stuff, I just hope the Discord doesn't kill your productivity (my biggest concern imo).

I know there's more chapters, but writing like this is taking longer than I anticipated, so I'll have to finish them later.

Grammar Mistakes

Dialogue Punctuation

This was mentioned before and you said you'd make adjustments etc, but there's still issues.

“My lords, my ladies, my princess”, the man announced,

Take a look here, you've got the comma outside the quotation marks!

Should have it be: “My lords, my ladies, my princess,” the man announced,

The comma's purpose here is to connect the dialogue with the attribution ('the man announced' part), making them part of the same sentence.

When you have a question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!) at the end of the dialogue, you don't change them to a comma (but they are treated as a comma for the purposes of capitalisation).

e.g. "My Liege!" he shouted.

I based the example on: “My liege!”, Bantor said.

Here, you'd just drop that comma outside the quotation marks.

“I refuse to believe that our enemy can simply be defeated with mere words, look how they left us to starve less than a year ago!” One woman said,

Notice here you capitalised 'One', but 'one woman said' is an attribution, so it has to be part of the sentence being spoken.

“I refuse to believe that our enemy can simply be defeated with mere words, look how they left us to starve less than a year ago!” one woman said,

Personally thought, if ending dialogue with a question/exclamation mark, instead of said, I'd use questions/shouts instead. Keeping attributions simple and mostly using said is good, but with shouting and questioning I think using other simple words is still acceptable (i.e. questions, shouts, yells, answers).

Oh, finally, with all that said, if you've got dialogue starting after a full stop, capitalise the first word.

her feet pointed towards her guardswoman. “let us not forget that [text]."

Should be: her feet pointed towards her guardswoman. “Let us not forget that [text]."

Now, dialogue can continue across multiple lines, in which case it wouldn't get the 'first word capitalised' treatment. With that said, if dialogue starts mid-sentence (after a comma), you would still capitalise the first letter.

e.g. "Silence," she said, "let the princess speak."
"Silence," she said. "Let the princess speak."
She said, "Silence, let the princess speak."

Anyway, I hope this helps show why dialogue punctuation can actually be interesting (rather than just random annoying rules). The way your sentences are constructed can impact their meaning and flow. I'm not the best at actually putting that into practice, but it can be cool to consider (especially for more important scenes...but all scenes should be important in some way).

Gower's Article was linked before, and I think it is pretty good at being clear (the examples are great since they cover many situations, like the attribution being in the middle, at the start, etc. instead of just at the end).

Here's a much less readable article from The Editor's Blog that I used to link to in the past. It is the reason I call the attributions dialogue tags (sometimes anyway, I am trying to be more like Gower now). I think the examples can still be useful, but your mileage may vary.

Ellipses

I'm much less confident regarding this, but I think that with ellipses you generally don't put a space at the end.

those... things spit

Should be: those...things spit

There are different styles tho, I think one is: those . . . things spit

Anyway, whatever you do, be consistent and it should be fine. I bring this up in part to see if someone else has an answer they're more confident in.

I used to write ellipses how you did there, but I ended up asking Gower about it (although it was a while ago, so I might be misremembering his response). Regardless, I'd say this is a smaller thing than the dialogue punctuation.

“I'm sorry about your sister, but some are simply not capable of preserving the perfect form granted to us by the Lyrd…”

Regarding the above, I've heard not to end sentences with ellipses, but I don't recall if it was just a warning to not overdo it or if it is against 'the Rules'. Regardless, using ellipses like that is done for a reason, so I don't think you need to change it, but I thought to still mention it.

Apostrophe

“Speakings all I got”,

To get the meaning of: "Speaking [is] all I got," You'll want to contract the 'is' against 'speaking' with an apostrophe.

"Speaking's all I got,"

Another example is: "Clouds a good girl"

Clouds = Plural for Cloud (nonsensical here).
Cloud's = Cloud is.

Here's a site that covers the myriad uses of Apostrophes!

Not the best, but might be useful? I like it anyhow, but I don't think you need to read it through, more just a resource that could help in some situations.

Proper Nouns

I'm not 100% on this, so not sure why I'm mentioning it, but I think some names of places/nations/things should be capitalised as they're proper nouns...but again, not 100% sure on this.

I guess I'm curious if anyone else will bring this up, and specify how to know when a fantasy noun is a proper noun. Sounds like an obvious question, aha.

Conclusion

Consider copy pasting the writing onto another google doc and enabling comments/suggestions. Mind you, I don't know how helpful that'd be, but I figured I'd mention it. The stream of consciousness style would work better that way...I think. Just an option I thought I'd mention.

Other than that, grammar still has some issues, the pacing seems good, and the story is engaging (and makes sense). Will be interesting to see where the plot goes.

Hope this post has some use, aha. I'll probably keep the streams of consciousness play-by-plays till chapter 24 (I'm committed!), but past that, I'll cut them.

10 more chapters?

28 days ago
My reply might be slightly brief so I don’t over explain absolutely everything and annoy the shit out of you. Suffice to say that I’ve gone through the grammar things you’ve mentioned and tried to fix them, although I extremely doubt I’ve found every single bug/error that I’ve made. I’m going to post a ‘commenting enabled’ google document when I hit 50 chapters because at that point I’ll be looking almost exclusively into making grammatical changes. I’ve also made most of the story detail points you made, like having the Superior say something else instead of ‘Fuckkk’ which looking back seems super out of context if I’m honest.

Now I’m going to go down through the chapters you mentioned and try and asses everything one by one, if I don’t mention something ive noted it down for the next edition of the chapters.

First I love necromunda, so this might just be a none intentional inspiration.

Yeah the hawk and bluebird is foreshadowing. More foreshadowing comes from the extra chapters I’ve added today.

The red harlequins are essentially nomads that travel with big armies. There’s like 3 major factions that make up the forces of frost, so the cultural diversity makes sense in world.

Harridan means ‘old hag’ I believe. It’s also a warhammer 40,000 monster if that counts?

World building doc is more a link to various other documents like a wiki. It might not be super helpful as even I have trouble navigating it sometimes but if you want it I’ll send you a direct message :)

I sometimes laugh while writing but it always comes out wrong, pretty sure my laughter sounds weird but of course I wouldn’t know.

Someone will definitely mention Gawn and Oskar’s gifts, it’s a plot point later on.

I’ve changed the Eablo line to show that he’s going to see the princess, and then wait for his plans to occur.

I’m glad you like the boot boy. I’m honestly pretty proud of that one.
Also the green flies are a metaphor for Gawn and Oskar, and the pool is the sea.

There aren’t really any bad guys, but I suppose you could say that the forces of frost start out as the antagonists. That will change later on though.

Thank you so so much for such a detailed review! Honestly it really means the world that you’ve spent time doing this and I’ll be sure to add your critiques to the work as time goes on and editions progress! Seriously, you’re just the best! :)

10 more chapters?

28 days ago
Foreshadowing is nice (even if I don't always catch it).

AH, Harridan is a 40k monster, lol. Probably saw it there (I've looked at the units, but don't collect or anything).

You laughing when you write means you're one of the gods that was mentioned. Very meta!

Stuff does seem to be more complicated than the standard 'good v evil', so it will be interesting how events play out as things progress.

I'll need to take a look at the changes when I get a chance. Glad the review was useful!

10 more chapters?

27 days ago
I love foreshadowing, makes books worth reading a second time and it’s also fun to write.

Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s a winged thing but I’m honestly not to sure as I’m not a massive nerd (promise).

Yeah, I’m Haqen, but it’s more of a joke than anything else.

If I had to say one faction was truly hood I’d say it’s the hill tribes: these poor fuckers have been beaten into oblivion so many times. They just want to drink tea and worship trees. The bad guys are... well you’ll find out.

It was super useful! I look forward to anything you have to say!

10 more chapters?

one month ago

Wow, this is extremely impressive productivity. I'll take a look in depth later when I get the chance 

10 more chapters?

one month ago
Thanks! Can’t wait to hear what you think :)

10 more chapters?

28 days ago
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BvQm21i2PTR-uF7K6FFnAlkyoypErM_Ra3vySn3cK7c

Changes made:
A ton of grammatical errors pointed out have been fixed.
Added another Briar chapter that I’m hoping adds more to Aithne, as well as adding snippets of inner dialogue to her chapters to try and make them feel like they’re more from her perspective.
Tried to fix my dialogue.
Tried not to be distracted by the Discord.
Added 4 chapters.

10 more chapters?

26 days ago
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BvQm21i2PTR-uF7K6FFnAlkyoypErM_Ra3vySn3cK7c

Changes made:
-Hit 30,000 words and then surpassed it, meaning this is officially the longest narrative I’ve ever written!
-Added 2 chapters
-Changed one of the character’s names, as I’ve made his plot far more involved (and the new name gives foreshadowing in a cool way)
-Multiple grammar and spelling checks

Thanks so much for reading you beautiful people :)

10 more chapters?

25 days ago
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BvQm21i2PTR-uF7K6FFnAlkyoypErM_Ra3vySn3cK7c

Changes made:
-Wrote 10 more chapters (I've written 10,000 words since yesterday)
-Hit 40,000 words and then gone past it
-Spellchecked the entire thing, along with running it through a few spell checking programs. I’m around 90% sure I’ve got most eliminated now, but I know I’ll have missed a few.
-Begun working on a few more maps

10 more chapters?

25 days ago
How did you...
But...
How are we supposed to....

Ummm, all this productivity is just not cool, can you please SLOW DOWN? You're making the rest of us look bad. And I never learned to read this fast. Or at all.

10 more chapters?

25 days ago
Having relatively few friends and hyper-fixation really help with quick progress, although I’m planning to take a break from this project to try and write something fun for a week or two before returning.

10 more chapters?

25 days ago
(Additional trigger warnings: mentions of rape, body horror, intense fantasy racism, misandry (though I know that gets some of you turned on), mentions of scatological themes)
Yeah this new version gets a bit freaky:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BvQm21i2PTR-uF7K6FFnAlkyoypErM_Ra3vySn3cK7c


Okay I’ve added 7000 words, promise I’m finished for today now. The first ‘arc’ of the story is very very nearly done and should be added in the next week or so. At that point I’m going to basically go through the whole thing and decide what really really really needs to be there.

Added:
-More Aithne and Briar development
-More queen of fire development.

10 more chapters?

25 days ago
>writes 17000 in one day

Please explain how there are not only enough hours in the day for this sort of thing, but how you manage more than 2k without having your brain fried and unable to write anything of value for the rest of the day.

Oh and this is without mentioning the fact that you have no deadlines chasing you away from procrastination.

Though some real questions I have are

1. How long do you plan this thing to be?

2. How many viewpoint characters do you plan to have?

3. Have you read any of the stormlight archive books? I finished the first one a few weeks back and it reminds me of your type of story. That being long epics with many characters. I will also add it took about 4 years of restarting, or a couple weeks on my latest attempt, to finish it and it is now my favorite book.

I assume some of these might have already been answered, but I haven't seen them in this thread so I was just curouis. I'll probally give it a read after your trimming of arc one.

10 more chapters?

25 days ago
Logistically I can write around 1000 words in 45 minutes. Add 15 minutes for spell checking/grammar and minus a ton of time for unnecessary sleep because I have a fever and boom there’s 17000 words. Plus I love the world I’m writing about and don’t have work today so that’s a big motivator.

1) 150k words is my goal, might be less or more depending on how much I end up enjoying it. There’ll probably be a part two though.
2) 15ish, though some will turn up a lot more than others and some tell the same story from different perspectives.
3) I haven’t actually, I’m trying to read the first game of thrones book as well as house of leaves but I am an incredibly slow reader.

Thanks! I’ll try to finish up this arc as soon as possible so I can enjoy your feedback!

10 more chapters?

25 days ago
Since you're this close to the end of the first section, I'm just going to wait to binge the rest it all at once and give some more thoughts, since before you do the major edits seems like the point more feedback would be the most useful.

It's pretty clear the writing skill is already there, as is the depth of world building and obviously fkn inhuman levels of motivation and productivity. As far as recipes for a great fantasy novel go the only thing you've got left to worry about is pacing and character issues with juggling so many perspectives, and pacing yourself as well so that you don't experience burnout at the speed you're working.

10 more chapters?

24 days ago

Well, I should've done this sooner, since as is, my breaking up of the post means you had time to write 23 more chapters...almost double what you had prior! Anyway, here are the promised thoughts upto chapter 24.

Chapter Thoughts

Sixteen - Darnun

Capitalisation of Tyfling isn't consistent in this chapter.

"... so only women can get salt womb power?” “The salt womb powder”, Bantor corrected.

Pretty sure you meant to type power instead of powder.

Interesting world details at the start of this chapter though.

I did find it odd that the people who came to take the teacher away done so not only during class (in front of the students) but also done it while wearing clear markings. Mind you, it would make sense to do it like this to send a clear message. I just hope they weren't trying to be discrete.

Survival by coincidence is interesting, since it makes me wonder if it wasn't reminiscing that caused her head to 'sink'. Regardless, coincidences do happen; they only work to undermine the plot when they're unintentional and overused.

Regarding the PAI, can't wait for a pov protagonist to become a soul candle.

Seventeen - The Queen of Fire's Servant

The Queen replacing the King likely means there were others who were complacent in her grasp for power (or, alternatively, it is a culture thing). Makes me wonder.

Vermillion iron Ravuu thought: a powerful magical element created by the Elven empire that helped them conquer the glimmering isles and slay the Giants.

I think when using italics like this to represent thoughts, you should treat the thoughts as if they were dialogue. That means you'd want a comma:

Vermillion iron, Ravuu thought: a powerful magical element created by the Elven empire that helped them conquer the glimmering isles and slay the Giants.

I don't know the actual style rules regarding representation of verbatim thoughts. Generally, style things want to be consistent tho, so whatever you do be consistent!

However, I do think that having thoughts be punctuated differently to dialogue would be a bit strange.

Eighteen - The Captain

Black Bolts! They weren't just a throwaway mention in a PAI!

Pace doesn't drag, which is good, but I didn't notice the sentences being shorter or anything either, which might help tighten things up. Having people talk during a fight isn't bad, I think it makes sense enough anyway given the context.

As an example tho: And suddenly he was falling from the cart.

Using the word suddenly makes the sentence less sudden (ironically).

Adverbs in general are a tool that can bloat sentences without purpose. If he is falling off the cart, I can assume it is a quick and sudden fall (he was shot in the face). If the fall was slow, pointing that out would be better (since that is a less likely assumption, but it's all about context).

Mind you, I don't think that 'And he was falling from the cart' is a strong sentence for ending the chapter either. The suddenly makes it read better (if you ask me), but I do think the sentence could be changed more to be better.

e.g. And he falls.

Anyway, throwing back an arrow by spinning does seem a bit less grounded to me, but suspension of disbelief, yada yada.

I will say to consider dropping this move if it won't have any impact tho (of course, it is up to you). It does depend on what exactly the combat gear is too, as that might play a role in it. (I'll add that D&D Monks can also catch and throw back projectiles, make of that what you will).

Anyway, I do wonder if the captain survived somehow, or will have more pov chapters later.

Nineteen - Julian

Well look at that, combat gear doing momentum stuff again. Keeping the arrow throwback makes more sense now, aha.

They should've led with the black bolts (of course, there can be reasons for not doing so).

Barkeeps burning down their establishments if a funny thought tho. Robbing bars for black bolts would be an interesting endeavour as well.

Twenty - Aithne

Short chapter, but a good one.

Throwing boulders as artillery is clever.

Briar rolling her eyes as she doubts Eablo (Diablo? Don't trust him!) is interesting characterisation that also paints the tone that these meetings operate by. Briar is pretty important tho, so it could be more of the former than the latter, but regardless, it is neat.

Twenty-One - Oskar

Oskar has a distinct speech, so his thoughts being standard is...interesting? Not sure what you should do here, aha. I do wonder if his accent has a document that explains it in depth tho, heh.

WHY IS CLOUD FRIGTHENED BY WHITE ROCKS! This might not matter at all, but I don't think you'd write that line for no reason.

Oh, rip regarding the Tfyling discrimination, btw.

Anyway:

laying Gawn against one of the slightly sticky white stones

he hadn’t taken Gawn off of the horse

Spooky. If anything bad happens it's on Gawn, she shouldn't've fallen asleep. Anyway, I'm sure they'll both be fine...

Also, regarding the PAI (which was mentioned before), imagine your government telling all its citizens to commit suicide...and them doing it.

Grenkin was big, some surely wouldn't listen, even if I'd expect the majority to not listen. Anyway, it is an interesting element, since mistruths are certainly a possibility, and even if it is exactly what it seems, even that can make sense.

Twenty-Two - Icarus

Will he fly too close to the sun?

Imagine not having waterproof war paint. I don't know anything about war paint, so this point is more of an observation. It could be a worldbuilding thing tho, where rain wasn't an issue where the war paint was historically used. Again tho, I know nothing about war paint...but I do wonder if sweat would mess this one up.

Anyway, I also don't know much about archery, but I've heard that you do NOT do this:

... their slaves pulling back bowstrings and aiming arrows at his head.

Bows aren't guns, you don't 'hold the bowstring' as your arm grows weaker and your muscles scream just to intimidate someone. You'll probably miss by the time you release because of it.

These slaves could just be super strong. Anyway, I'd have them notch the arrows...assuming my information on 'drawing bows' isn't totally bogus, lol.

These aren't good guards, but broader context determines if they should've shot him the second he became suspect, or if humouring him was the thing they should do.

Interesting PAI. I feel that if the moon blocks the suns then the suns aren't sinking beneath the horizon tho (the horizon grows up to meet them?). I assume the moon is bigger than ours relative to the suns (so that it covers them better). Interesting visual to think about regardless.

Twenty-Three - The Council of Frost

“Your best man wouldn’t equal half of one of my women, [text]"

This reminds me of Wheel of Time. If you want to be more like Wheel of Time, you should add a Prologue that is set ages ago.

Some jokes aside, I like this. Why are they called the Council of Frost if the 'leaders' have been sent away? Why is leaders italicised when they say it! So many questions, but considering what is about to happen to this council, I don't think they'll be answering them...

I will say this is the second time that time has slowed drastically. Is this just a figurative thing, or is it more literal?

I ask since cutting it does speed up the scene, but it is tricky since without a slomo it raises questions of how to describe something that is happening fast. I think it is fine to just describe everything relevant, even if reading it all takes longer than the event would take to play out in real time.

I don't think saying time slows down should be used often, but I know some describe things in a way that is based on visuals (like imagining camera angles, etc). Regardless, I don't think you're overusing it (yet at least, heh).

I might just prefer it to be an in-the-moment thing with no mention of time slowing down, or if you really want time to slow down, to only use it to punctuate something monumental (final moments of major character, etc).

This might be more a writing style thing tho, so don't feel obligated to change it, just be mindful of using it, since it does impact the scenes strongly. I do think you used it well here tho, it builds up the imagery.

This is also a scene that has been built-up to in a few chapters now. It is like that tension thing, where there's a bomb that'll explode in 5 minutes. Either tell the audience and they'll dread it, or don't tell them and they'll be surprised when it happens (and the way the impact changes when you've seen it before).

This PAI says the gateways are misunderstood, I wonder in what way.

Twenty-Four - Darnun

I didn't mention it before, but these are some good horses, dragging a half shattered carriage!

Also: very skilled group of mercenaries were foiled by we were lucky.

I do wonder if it wasn't just luck...but if it was, consider having someone get hurt.

I don't know what type of hurt, or if it'd even work well in regards to future chapters, but say that the dwarf was hit and lost movement in an arm, would that impact future chapters? If no, having it happen would make the attack more impactful.

Granted, the carriage has suffered, but so far that hasn't mattered, maybe it'll matter later tho.

Anyway, the dwarf is totally the traitor so that's why he wasn't hit...and why they didn't lead with the black bolts (calling it now). But that's not the point I was trying to make, aha.

“Karkan geo vallar?”

Did you make up a complete language? If you did, this'll remind me of LotR a lot more than all fantasy does already, heh.

They passed a spider web that had been broken by a pair of flies that buzzed joyfully around the sewer system but what colour are the flies! This is a joke. Anyway, you seem to actually have motifs, which is very neat. I should try including motifs in my stories.

Anyway, is this safe house water proof? He's got sheets of paper here...I hope they don't degrade in this environment.

Nineteen elements, an interesting world building element that makes me wonder.

Also, imagine having your ancestors decimated in 'the battle of balloons'. An interesting juxtaposition.

Oh, wow, okay, her husband was a human she loved, I wonder what this might be related too...HMM. But my own motif aside, I didn't expect this. It seems like some more strands may come together.

I like this PAI and take full credit for its existence even if that isn't right. Anyway, reminds me of 'this statement is false'. If this PAI is true, this PAI may not be true, but if it isn't true, then I can trust all PAIs, but if I can trust all PAIs I can trust this PAI and...yes.

Conclusion Electric Beegalee

As Mizal mentioned, this has great depth, which is great to see. Now that I've read a small chunk, I can more safely say that you're definitely doing well. The plot feels like it exists with a purpose, and the setting is interesting.

I'm starting to recognise characters too, so that's a plus, considering how many there are!

10 more chapters?

24 days ago
Time for another long response to try and get everything out of my mind brain onto the internet. I might wait till I’ve finished writing the next 5 chapters or so before reading anymore just because then the first arc will be done.

I’m going to go through the whole text exclusively looking for capitalisation mistakes, because honestly a lot of the grammar mistakes stem from.
Powder has been corrected to power.
You might not be waiting too much longer for a soul candle protagonist.

I’m also going to do a full dialogue check that includes thought checking.

Yes! Black bolts will turn up in another chapter in arc two.
Removed suddenly.
I’ll shorten the sentences when I have an afternoon.
The chapter will have a few POV chapters later.

The arrow throwback scene is more a ‘suspension of disbelief’ thing to make the captain look cool I suppose, but the SCG gear could probably do with a little more worldbuilding around them.
Black bolts in bars will definitely come up later, again in arc 2.

I think Briar views Eablo as someone who’s coming between her and Aithne. He definitely has alternate motives, if you can guess them I’ll be very impressed.

Oskar’s inner dialogue should definitely be the same as his speech, I need to go back and change this but it’ll be done before the end of Arc 1. Also the Gawn being on and off the horse was me being dumb and is now fixed.
Cloud being scared is definitely important. You’ll find out what happened to the Tyfling family soon, but probably not from Oskar.
House Grënkin is definitely not what it seems.

It’s very likely he will, but which sun?
Changed the slaves bows to crossbows, just so they can point them without looking silly.
Aithne’s camp not being very well protected is something that will come up later, she’s definitely not the best military commander.

I don’t intend to use the slow mo thing a lot, there’s only one other scene it might be used in and that’s very very far down the line. I may cut this scene depending on word count.
This scene is kind of a precursor to more scenes with the rocks.

I wont say who the traitor is (you’ll have to find out yourself) but it’s interesting you think it’s the Dwarf. Was there any reason or just gut feeling?
I may have Darnun get cut a bit here, partially as a consequence and partially because it might look cool.
There’s like the bones of a language for the book, but it’s not very fleshed out. Depending on how much I end up enjoying making it I may add more or less words to it, at the moment it’s a side project and is basically just English with different words.
This is a red herring but will come up later, I think you’ll enjoy where this plot goes :)
I won’t give you all the credit but you were definitely an influence.

Thank you!! I’m hoping to get the first arc done by next week and I’ll be unsure to include your criticisms! You spending time reading through it is greatly appreciated: you’re the best!

10 more chapters?

24 days ago

Sounds good!

I'll try to guess Eablo's motives later, as it'll require a bit of research.

You know, I was wondering if Gawn being on and then off the horse was a mistake, but the tone of the scene having Oskar confused meant that maybe I was supposed to be confused as well. The 'white rocks' might have some reality altering properties (and that was why Cloud was uneasy).

My next guess is that the rocks are soul rocks and have the Tyfling family souls. So far I've heard of soul wax, so soul rocks might be a bit of a jump, but it is certainly in the realm of possibility...theoretically.

Reason for doubting the dwarf was that I used him in my example, so I had to think of a simple reason he wasn't hurt.

To expand on that tho, he was mentioned previously (he saw the stoutfolk man aboard the wagon clinging dearly onto his tyfling companion’s hand) and then again later in Darnun's chapter. Granted, him grabbing the hand isn't the best idea if he's the traitor (should distance himself from the targets) but being fearful means he probably wouldn't be thinking it all through.

Also, a traitor was mentioned recently, so giving some more character to the traitor means that their reveal will hit harder (as I'd care less if someone who barely gets mentioned was the traitor). I also think Darnun might've been suspicious of him (telling him the room number and 'not to tell anyone'), so we'll see what happens in that regard.

Also, the way Tyarko is acting makes them less sympathetic, but that means they'd make a perfect red herring (tho a double bluff is possible). The dwarf being the traitor would also hurt Darnun more, as they seem to have some history (given they're sharing the saferoom).

Now, Darnun being the traitor will be a fun twist, considering she shot the rifle!

Finally, the husband being a red herring is a welcome surprise. It wouldn't have been bad if things went my expected route, but I do imagine whatever you've got planned will be more interesting. This way the world also stays bigger (everyone being related and knowing each other can shrink the world, but no one knowing anyone isn't good either, lol).

This was supposed to be a short post btw.

10 more chapters?

24 days ago
If that’s a short post you must have big expectations for longer ones.

I’m excited to see what you think. The places people are going should give you some clues.

The threat is definitely more physical than that, but that’s a cool idea that may get incorporated after this threat.

That’s some top notch deduction, if I made him the traitor now it’d make sense but it’s not him unfortunately.
Part of me wants to make Darnun the traitor but it wouldn’t make sense story wise and would probably make the whole story less impactful. She is sort of a traitor to house Grënkin and the Sipps coalition but she’s definitely not allied with the league.

The husband thing being a red herring might make more sense when you get more information on Darnun’s view on motherhood and why she can’t have it.

10 more chapters?

24 days ago
It wasn't short, but it was supposed to be. :[

I was planning on my prediction being some sort of joke...as keeping track of locations is probably one of my weaker points (probably since I interrupt my reading to note down stuff).

Without rereading everything, my psuedo-random guess would be it has something to do with the Lialite, the Amilgimite, and/or the Coordinate. Him having access to the League does mean stuff could tie into house Grenkin, but such guesses are bit too broad. The gate connected to the Fire capital is probably important too, but it tying in with Eablo isn't guaranteed.

It might be fun to try to draw lines on the map to track all the characters. Would be a good way to spot if any of them teleport at any stage, heh.

10 more chapters?

23 days ago
Your guesses are actually pretty close to what I’m thinking will happen, although the conspiracy goes a little deeper than that.

I have notes on where all the characters are and how far they can travel in a day to make sure nobody is anywhere they shouldn’t be, but you’ll still see characters in places they most likely shouldn’t be.

Anyway the full first arc is out now, so I hope you enjoy! Thank you for all your help and thoughts!

10 more chapters?

23 days ago
Anddd arc 1 is complete:
(Trigger warnings: body horror, scatological themes, mentions of rape, misandry, fantasy racism, misuse of drugs)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BvQm21i2PTR-uF7K6FFnAlkyoypErM_Ra3vySn3cK7c

Changes made:
-Oskar’s inner dialogue no longer suck ass
-General spelling and grammar fixes as usual
-Added the final three chapters of arc 1
-Begun plotting arc 2
-Hit 50,000 words

I may take a week break from this if I can bare to not work for that long/school and work don’t destroy my productivity, as well as a chance for people to read the full arc so I can get feedback on it.

10 more chapters?

23 days ago
Nice, I'll check out the rest soon.