Why? Why would a blind person consider some form of seeing as a curse?Jaligard wrote:***Fourth version***
Born blind, the street musician Tessa always considered her ability to see auras—and nothing else—as more of a curse than a blessing.
Why would it matter in matters of seeking friendship? How would any potential friends even know she was reading their aura? How does seeing auras handicap her in seeking friendship?Seeing auras may not win her many friends,
Good.but being able to spot the blackened hearts of brigands keeps her safe in the besieged city of Beldessario.
Why not say "along the canals" (following the canals), rather than "alongside" (next to the canals)?Tessa walks alongside the canals,
Is that what kidnapping does, tears one's life asunder? Kidnapping tears one's life apart? Into pieces?playing her dulcimer for strangers and relying on their generosity to survive.
Tessa’s meager life is torn asunder when she is kidnapped by Raz,
One wizard's utopia? His utopia and his alone? That's how it is punctuated.a fire wizard so evil he has no aura. He wants to remake the world into a wizard’s utopia and does not care how many ordinary people have to die along the way.
Omit "along the way" as anticlimactic.
This does not appear to logically follow. He wants to remake the world, has a dream of remaking it, and the one thing he needs (in order to do this) is a protegee? Why??The one thing he needs most of all is an apprentice to carry on after him,
What latent magical powers? First we're hearing of this.and Tessa’s latent magical powers make her perfect for the job.
And, it's a job? She's been kidnapped to perform a job? Job seems like an odd word for something one is coerced to do.
Omit, as it's info we already know.As Raz’s captive,
Tessa learns that she has been working magic all her life.Whenever she offers up something in trade worthy of her prayers, her request is granted. It has earned her a patron, a place to live, and protected her virtue on the streets, but left her penniless and alone.
Confusing. How could she have been unaware that she was offering and receiving in kind all these years? Was it not obvious why she had a patron, place to live, and protection?
What is "something in trade worthy of her prayers"? Please explain or rework. Think of the flap copy of a book you might pick up. That's the kind of clarity that should imbue every sentence and every idea you put forth here.
What did she have, to sacrifice, before? Why does she have nothing left? What sort of sacrifices have been needed, and why? What sort would be needed now, if she had the wherewithall? I'm thinking "sacrifice" might not be the best word here.With nothing left to sacrifice,
How would he "twist" her? Maybe explain what he would do to her. "Twist' just doesn't seem very descriptive.Tessa must outsmart Raz before he twists her into a wizard as depraved as he
This sounds almost like an afterthought, when I presume this will really take some doing.and, while she is at it, undo his evil plan.
I still think calling your setting a fake or artificial Venice is an odd way of promoting it.THE HEART OF BELDESSARIO is a 90,000-word fantasy novel set in a Renaissance pseudo-Venice,
Alright, this makes me think the whole story is a comedy. And a mundane one at that. Is it?complete with courtesans, sword-fights, wizard duels, and a bucket of water.