Reviewed [Pchap] Week: 219: Mending in-between spaces - Feedback

Mystydjinn

[Insert rimshot]
Jul 29, 2013
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Flint, MI
#1

swaswj

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 18, 2008
6,631
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#2
Giving first-person a try, huh? I find it's actually refreshing to change things up once in a while, but it's definitely harder to catch mistakes when you're working outside your comfort zone.

First thing that crops up: your tenses aren't consistent.

Groaning, I pulled myself out of the sandbag pile again and walked back to the red line drawn on the padded floor of the training room.

This time she let me toe the line instead of sucker punching me and with a breath I dropped into basilisk stance.

“Ready?”

I nod and hear the chain of her mace rattle before I’m finished, then it’s suddenly dark out.
In the example above, the purple words indicate past tense while the orange ones indicate present tense. Either one is fine but make sure you stick with the one you choose. In first-person, especially, picture the narrator telling the story.

There's something about the setup that leaves the chapter lurching. I'm not sure that in media res is the proper term here, but this chapter begs for some introduction, probably after the first break. Before the first break, it reads more like chat RP than a chapter, but it does clear up after that.

The transitions between past and present feel odd. Normally, there'd be some thematic tie between what's happening in the two time periods (not just the words triggering unrelated memories). For instance, some scenes of how she got the original cloak, why she had it, those would have been good memories to jump back to. Similarly, the final scene at the end which gives a rushed explanation for why Aelflead showed up in the temple thread was out of place, not fitting in with the rest of the chapter.

All in all, I did enjoy seeing this different side of Aelflead, but would suggest keeping a more cohesive focus on what's going on.
 

Writing Week is 222

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