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Jill the Lass (Alternative History)


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#21 Aquinesse

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 12:02 PM

Hi, I rarely read history, alternative or not, but I really like your style. I can clearly imagine the scene. The beginning made me curious, and I would definitely read more even if it's not my favourite genre. And it is so much better than some books I have to read at university ;)

And your definition of baby made me laugh ;D



#22 BadgerFox

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 02:14 AM

Redraft #4! (with sincere thanks to all who've helped thus far):

 

 

“Good God, look at him!”

The clerk smirked at the child in Otto’s arms. “You’ll need to lock him up in a few years’ time. The young gentlewomen will be breaking down your door.” Seating herself at the desk opposite, the clerk adjusted her ink-stained mittens and took a sip of tea. Over the cup’s rim, she devoured Otto with her eyes, a laudanum-addict eyeing up a tasty spoonful. “I hope you won’t think it improper if I say the boy plainly takes after his Papa,” she winked.

 

“Thank you,” Otto murmured, the phrase coming out sullen instead of grateful. Twenty-three years in this world to practice receiving compliments politely, and he’d still not discovered the knack. Improper? Never! he thought sardonically, but then, that’s what I get for entering a private office with some strange woman at a seedy little Berlin agency, isn’t it?

 

Otto’s singular Turkish looks often made strange women try to give him things he hadn’t asked for. Free drinks. Cat-calls. Sweets. Compliments. Themselves. Tobias was only ten months old, and already Otto fretted for his future. He had his father’s black eyes, his mother’s uncomplaining manner, and a sweetly trusting disposition whose origin was frankly anyone’s guess.

 

The clerk plunked her teacup down, heedlessly sloshing watery brown onto the documents beneath. She sighed. “I fear little has changed since we last spoke, Herr Müller.”

 

Otto’s stomach, already empty, lurched now with dread. If the agency hasn’t found me work yet, then God help me.


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#23 nattydee

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:09 PM

I like this a lot! Just a few suggested tweaks:

 

“Good God, look at him!”

The clerk smirked at the child in Otto’s arms. “You’ll need to lock him up in a few years’ time. The young gentlewomen will be breaking down your door.” Seating herself at the desk opposite, the clerk adjusted her ink-stained mittens and took a sip of tea. Over the cup’s rim, she devoured Otto with her eyes, a laudanum-addict eyeing up a tasty spoonful. “I hope you won’t think it improper if I say the boy plainly takes after his Papa,” she winked.

 

{Swap order to put the thought before the vocalization, so that the reference to "improper" is clearer}

 

Improper? Never! Otto thought sardonicallyBut then, that’s what I get for entering a private office with some strange woman {he didn't enter with her, did he? She was already inside?} at a seedy little Berlin agency, isn’t it?

 
“Thank you,” Otto murmured, the phrase coming out sullen instead of grateful. Twenty-three years in this world to practice receiving compliments politely, and he’d still not discovered the knack. 

 

Otto’s singular Turkish looks often made strange women try to give him compliments...among other things he hadn’t asked for.  Free drinks. Cat-calls. Sweets. Compliments. Themselves. Tobias was only ten months old, and already Otto fretted for his future. Tobias had his father’s black eyes, his mother’s uncomplaining manner, and a sweetly trusting disposition whose origin was frankly anyone’s guess. It was a woman's world, and Otto feared his son's ability to navigate it. {Just a suggested addition to make the flipped gender roles clearer...but maybe there is a better way to convey this}

 

The clerk plunked her teacup down, heedlessly sloshing watery brown onto the documents beneath. She sighed. “I fear little has changed since we last spoke, Herr Müller.”

 

Otto’s stomach, already empty, lurched now with dread. If the agency hasn’t found me work yet, then God help me.



#24 perpetual

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:37 AM

Redraft #4! (with sincere thanks to all who've helped thus far):

 

 

“Good God, look at him!”

The clerk smirked at the child in Otto’s arms. “You’ll need to lock him up in a few years’ time. The young gentlewomen will be breaking down your door.” Seating herself at the desk opposite, the clerk adjusted her ink-stained mittens and took a sip of tea. Over the cup’s rim, she devoured Otto with her eyes, a laudanum-addict eyeing up a tasty spoonful. “I hope you won’t think it improper if I say the boy plainly takes after his Papa,” she winked.

 

“Thank you,” Otto murmured, the phrase coming out sullen instead of gratefulTwenty-three years in this world to practice receiving compliments politely, and he’d still not discovered the knack. i like this a lot. great characterization. Improper? Never! he thought sardonically, but then, that’s what I get for entering a private office with some strange woman at a seedy little Berlin agency, isn’t it? this feels to heavy handed/unnatural. our natural thoughts would go something like "that's what I get for being here" because we understand what "here" implies. as is, this thought is for the reader's benefit to help give setting and it just reminds us we're reading a book and need to be told where it takes place.

 

Otto’s singular Turkish looks often made strange women try to give him things he hadn’t asked for. Free drinks. Cat-calls. Sweets. Compliments. Themselves. Tobias was only ten months old, and already Otto fretted for his future. He had his father’s black eyes, his mother’s uncomplaining manner, personally... seeing as you're talking about a woman, this could could be taken as an insult, or at the very least, a backhanded compliment. and a sweetly trusting disposition whose origin was frankly anyone’s guess. love this, too. i am wondering from this paragraph if the mom is still in the picture.

 

The clerk plunked her teacup down, heedlessly sloshing watery brown this reads awkward to me. doesn't read natural. honestly, sometimes simple is best. "Tea" onto the documents beneath. She sighed. “I fear little has changed since we last spoke, Herr Müller.”

 

Otto’s stomach, already empty, lurched now with dread. trust your readers to presume the right emotion. especially if you're going to give us his direct thoughts. If the agency hasn’t found me work yet, then God help me.

 

 

Sounds good so far! Just a few nitpicky things ;)

 

I'm also wondering how Otto has such German names if he's of Turkish origin. My history may be rusty though ;)


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#25 Timejockey

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:26 PM

Redraft #4! (with sincere thanks to all who've helped thus far):

 

 

“Good God, look at him!”

The clerk smirked at the child in Otto’s arms. “You’ll need to lock him up in a few years’ time. The young gentlewomen will be breaking down your door.” Seating herself at the desk opposite, the clerk adjusted her ink-stained mittens and took a sip of tea. Over the cup’s rim, she devoured Otto with her eyes, (like) a laudanum-addict eyeing up a tasty spoonful. “I hope you won’t think it improper if I say the boy plainly takes after his Papa,” she winked.

 

“Thank you,” Otto murmured, the phrase coming out sullen instead of grateful. Twenty-three years in this world to practice receiving compliments politely, and he’d still not discovered the knack. (maybe make the next part its own paragraph?) Improper? Never! he thought sardonically, but then, that’s what I get for entering a private office with some strange woman at a seedy little Berlin agency, isn’t it?

 

Otto’s singular Turkish looks often made strange women try to give him things he hadn’t asked for. Free drinks. Cat-calls. Sweets. Compliments. Themselves. Tobias was only ten months old, and already Otto fretted for his future. He had his father’s black eyes, his mother’s uncomplaining manner, and a sweetly trusting disposition whose origin was frankly anyone’s guess. (I love this description)

 

The clerk plunked her teacup down, heedlessly sloshing watery brown (maybe something like "its contents") onto the documents beneath. She sighed. “I fear little has changed since we last spoke, Herr Müller.”

 

Otto’s stomach, already empty, lurched now with dread. If the agency hasn’t found me work yet, then God help me.

Really not much to add here, just a few suggestions and minor changes. It's very good!






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