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1/18/2019 c29 Will9035
I'm curious what you mean when you say that you think this "could've used more." I'll admit that this was not among the top tier of the prompts you've shared in this anthology, but that doesn't mean I don't think it got the job done. I also wouldn't disagree with you if you meant there could've been more to explain the history of Shaina and Konan, or more details about the Tribe. But, again, for a short like this, I got enough of a basic gist of what was going on that those lack of details for greater context wasn't too bothersome.

The sudden implementation of sci-fi technology at the end did kind of come out of left field, though. I spent this whole chapter imagining that Shaina and Konan were in a more primitive setting, so to suddenly be reading about repuslors was a little jarring. But, again, I feel like there was a lot more context that we didn't get here, and I'm sure the lingering questions I had about this chapter would've been explained in the full work.
1/8/2019 c28 Will9035
This is definitely one of the stronger entries here that you've written. The first two-thirds, including the build-up, the explanation of Saige's powers, and the confrontation with Zachary, were all handled perfectly. I especially liked how you foreshadowed Zachary's ability to detect Saige's presence, and how the conversation with "possessed" Emma went on juuuuuust long enough to lure me into a false sense of security before Zachary delivered the "oh crap" line of this story.

Also, as always, the imagery you evoked was spot-on. Picturing Zachary and Emma was extremely easy, and I especially felt like I got a good grasp on Zachary's character. Though I hadn't expected him to pull out a gun and murder his date in the middle of a restaurant. That seemed like a super-risky thing to do, unless he owned it the place where they were eating? Maybe the people and employees in there had ties to him and, thusly, couldn't afford to let him get in trouble for committing murder in plain sight?

Those questions aside, this was an enjoyable read. Once I realized that Saige could overtake people's consciousness(es?) I had a feeling you'd have some neat things in store. I'll totally believe you saying that you had fun writing it; that enthusiasm shined through.
12/28/2018 c27 Will9035
I’ll easily believe that you have lots of ideas in store for this story...or, at least for the world that it takes place in. There was definitely something intriguing about this little scene, and I did find myself genuinely curious in aspects besides the characters. I mean, don’t get me wrong, your dynamic was (as usual) great between Karce and “Mary.” For such a quick scene, I feel like you got their personalities across pretty well. (I can see military people who don’t like each other is very much one of your strengths.)

But for me, the real star of this quick show was that suit. I don’t know what else to say about it, besides the fact that it sounds totally badass. I almost would’ve preferred a chapter where “Mary” obliterated a cocky enemy with it. This short was a lot like a tease in that regard: the central character (unless that was meant to be Karce) has an amazing toy, and we don’t get to see her play with it.
12/19/2018 c26 Will9035
I'm not sure whether or not the complete lack of dialogue (save for Amanda's quick, incomplete mental translations) was intentional or not when you started writing this chapter, but it definitely worked out for the better. I'll admit it was a little weird at first, but only because I'm so used to seeing two characters playing off one another or having a confrontation in these snippets, and this time there was nothing. But, like I said, it was for the best. You were trying to show Amanda's aptitude as a combatant, and you demonstrated that very effectively here. Forcing a conversation would've just slowed everything down, and her actions and inner thoughts spoke enough that you didn't need someone else there to help develop her further.

The constant reminders about how disgustingly she felt to be covered in mud and sweat were a nice touch. It humanized her quite a bit. The imagery was pretty evocative here as well, though that's always been one of your strengths. I especially liked the images of the three young people who had been subjected to some apparently horrific testing. Those were especially gruesome, and you did it all with no melodrama or excessive descriptions.
12/9/2018 c25 Will9035
Wow. This is definitely one of the most violent things I've seen from you yet. I don't think it'll shock you too much to hear me say that the grisly execution of Noguchi was the part that stood out the most. Of course, this entire chapter was designed just to build up to that, so I guess it doesn't come as a surprise.

Given the short length of this piece, I think you did a really good job with the characterization of both Noguchi and Nayo. I really got the proud, power-hungry general vibe from Noguchi (even though he clearly wasn't in much of a position to assert that dominance, what with being exiled and all), so kudos for incorporating that kind of characterization into a short time.

And while I agree with you that Nayo does indeed have a lot of potential (how her body got the way it is being one such obvious story), I don't think I have as firm a grasp on her as I did on Noguchi. Of course, that's not a bad thing, because you definitely got her across as this intelligent, patient butt-kicker who is ridiculously good at luring her opponents into traps. But given how "merciful" she was to Noguchi, and then earnestly hoping the other exiled generals would take a path of less resistance, it's pretty clear to me that she has her noble traits as well. I think she would make for a good protagonist.
11/1/2018 c24 Will9035
I was thinking that this would be a rather dramatic departure from norms for you, until Ellen became all godlike and roasted Donaldson. But that's not a complaint, because this was another well-written little tale that gave me all the information I felt I needed to form a complete-enough picture about these characters, the situation of the world (post-apocalyptic) and how humanity had fractured itself in wake of the devastating war. And, I won't lie, there was something immensely satisfying about seeing Donaldson get completely obliterated like that. For his limited page-time, you certainly made him easy to hate.
10/18/2018 c23 Will9035
I definitely got the vibe here that you had lots of other ideas for this prompt, though obviously I don't have the faintest clue what those ideas might be. It kind of surprises me to hear that this cast was a real "spur of the moment" development, because it seems like you have some little details of their personalities already down pretty pat. I'm wondering what it was you had in mind for Paige, because this portion ended with you sounding like you had much grander ideas for Amanda.

Also, I did something radical this time by actually trying to use my thinking skills to fill in the necessary blanks, rather than looking for an explanation for everything. I daresay, I was actually able to make basic sense out of what everyone was saying. So kudos are in order for you there.

Yeah, as it stands, I have no idea where these characters stand on the good vs. evil spectrum. For some reason I even sense some anti-hero elements in Kristoph. And, like I said above, the none-too-subtle allusions to Paige's true motives (whatever those may be). Again, very impressive for someone who just threw the cast together almost on a whim.
10/8/2018 c22 Will9035
I think you're being too hard on yourself here. While I'm not sure I would'e picked up that this was a story/chapter set in the medieval era (despite the references to horses and kingdoms) I still think you handled this little story pretty well. Once again, you have the dynamic down well of two people when at least one of them really cannot stand the other. That seems to be something you're quite good at. From a character point-of-view, I can't see the setting being a huge problem at all; as long as you have those two characters with some conflict between them, I think you'll have a finished product that's at least a little compelling.

On a side note, there was something about Kinton that was oddly fascinating. He was a demi-god, right? The fact that you have a superior being working alongside an inferior one sounds like a premise with an interesting story behind it. I actually see some potential with this one, if for no other reason than because something like this is out of your comfort zone and it would be cool to see how you handled a setting that was the exact opposite of your forte.
9/28/2018 c21 Will9035
I actually think you established these characters pretty well. While they're the classic pairing of military officials at odds with one another (though I'll admit it's usually a subordinate versus a superior, not two people of equal rank), I thought the way they played off each other was very organic and believable. Granted, I have no idea how either Hawk or Kollie would act towards others outside, but if you were worried about their "dynamics" I think you're cutting yourself a bit short. The confident Hawk more open to taking risks, and the stern and calculating Kollie. That's definitely a winning combination for some drama right there, should you decide to move forward with these characters.

Maybe it's because it's been so long since I've read "Message on the Line" but I didn't know what these two were talking about for the most part. I know you weren't trying to establish the entire world here, especially since this is just a single conversation shared between two characters, but the references to Aug-ware, Fraya and Ortensia did suck me out a little bit because. But I also understand that that's something that can't really be avoided in a scene like this, so I get that you're kind of in an unwinnable situation here.
9/18/2018 c20 Will9035
This so seems like the kind of chapter you would have a lot of fun to write: this speculative technology for battlefield use, and a character just having the opportunity to play with it and show off what it can do. I'd say this is a "Bob Evans" chapter boiled down to its pure essence, and that's a good thing. You played to all of your strengths and not only came up with a suit that didn't sound so outlandish that it broke my suspension of disbelief, but you explained its functions well enough that even a guy like me could understand what was happening. (Although, I was wondering...didn't the characters in "Jackson Gray" have armor like this? It's been a while, so I may very well be misremembering.)

And now it's my turn to say a character's reaction caught me off guard. If I were in Amanda's shoes, I would be pumped to have just gotten to play with armor like that. The fact that she responded the way she did has me wondering whether to think of her as more of a killjoy or someone who's just extremely careful when given new toys like this.
9/8/2018 c1 cshen
Hey, the narration is fun to read :)
9/8/2018 c19 Will9035
Oh yes, there was no question that this was a period piece. (I'm guessing the mid-to-late 90s?) But kudos for you for not hitting us over the heads with it. I feel like a common trap would be to have the characters say stuff like, "This totally rad teleportation gizmo is as awesome as seeing Michael Jordan make a slam dunk! Maybe when we get back from this adventure, we can go catch 'Independence Day' at the theaters. Aren't these Clinton years gnarly?"

I can definitely see why this is the kind of story you'd want to write: the romance drama, the new technology, the settings that are lightyears away from us...all the classic trademarks. And, I must say, these characters seem like a pretty fun group. Keeping them human, while also emphasizing that they are, in fact, still teenagers. (Like how Allison is focused intensely on how much she's into Ross, and worried that she's becoming part of a hazing ritual) All I can say is, it sounds like you have loads of potential for a full-fledged novel here.
9/2/2018 c18 Will9035
My first thought was that this story could've been taking place in the same universe as "Privileges," what with the attractive humanoid angels. On the one hand, Marcus is well aware that those sorts of angelic beings are a thing, but I think these beings are called something different from the ones in Privileges.

Either way, this was a good read. The violent bits were rather visceral, especially the bit about the guy's skull being driven into the asphalt. I could hear that in my mind's ear, and it wasn't a pleasant sound. It's a good thing that you said you'd revisit this in due course, because this strikes me as the kind of story that would play very well to your strengths.
8/12/2018 c17 Will9035
Ah. So THIS is the project that eventually came out to 90,000 words. Maybe that's appropriate, because based on this I can tell very little about these characters-be it, whether or not I should root for them, who their enemies are, what their backstories are, and what their ultimate goal might be. But it definitely seems like a classic Bob Evans sci-fi adventure story with an anti-hero protagonist who is a little rough around the edges for some people and missions to accomplish in outer space.

And now that you've said a lot has changed, I'm curious how this will change once you start uploading the final product. But whatever it is, I'm expecting more epic space adventures from these characters.
8/5/2018 c16 Will9035
Now this is interesting-your author's note at the end talked about how the characterization was the main pull for you here, but I was actually the most fascinated by this world that you created. While I was at first confused about what everyone was talking about (but what else is new?) when they talked about the Burn and the Binding, I became much more curious about how those aspects of this universe came into being and what you had in store for them in regards to the story that "didn't pan out." And that's not a knock against your characters, either. They all came across with their own personalities, and Drew's shock at that little revelation in regards to Carrie's sex life was pretty visceral.
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