Joey, hi! Here for the Magical Menagerie event (Team Wyvern) <3 You already know how much I love this story but I am here to gush about everything once again in a more coherent (probably not though) manner. :P
Your first paragraph hooked me when I first read this, and every subsequent time after that. Every single time. "But for the past three years, rather than falling, leaves would melt off of the branches they call home. They stain the concrete, painting the world for us once a year." is my favourite line ever. The imagery here is so vivid and evocative, tinged with such melancholy and a mysterious air, giving rise to so many questions about the world. Absolutely gorgeous.
Mia is such a wonderful, intriguing character as well. I love that you've written this in first person rather than third person -- it makes it so easy to relate to Mia and her worldview. "The old humanity was rotten with secrecy and the primitive constraints of language." This line is EVERYTHING, honestly. During my first read-through, I was like "Mia is me omg" because I can relate to this so much, and her thoughts about expressing her emotions and telling someone she loves them just hit SO HARD. Words are so limited compared to the wide range of thoughts and emotions a human can think/feel, and this prologue brings all of that to the forefront, I love it so much. I'm also really looking forward to seeing more of Elijah's character and the relationship between him and Mia.
I absolutely love that they've evolved to a point where they are capable of empathetic exposure. This is honestly so believable and fits in with the current scenario of the world as well. (Remind me to talk to you about my existential thoughts on the constraints of the human body vs. the vastness of the mind and how I believe evolution is meant to create a being that can balance both equally. I have a lot of them. :P )
People are much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. --> Again, this line is EVERYTHING. Joey, you're dropping a lot of truth bombs in this prologue, I am impressed.
How on earth did you pack SO MUCH into such a small chapter? Every single word in this is important and meant to convey something, it's truly so amazing. There's also just So Much potential to talk about society and human nature in this, I am curious to see where you'll take this next. Thank you for writing and posting this. Can't wait to gush over the next chapter. <3
I have no idea how to respond to the compliments you give! The leaves melting off of the trees was literally the first thing I thought of for this story. I reverse engineered the whole thing to be able to write that line, so I’m very, very happy that you liked that one!
Mia is so fun that I had to find some way to make her come back in later chapters. I was originally going to do a completely new stranger for each one, but I just had to change my mind. She and Elijah are just perfect I have so much in my head about them that’s yet to be written.
Empathetic exposure (I believe I coined this term, but I can’t be sure) is the centerpiece of this whole story I feel like. I wanted to start this off by making it clear that I was gonna do some impossible stuff, but try to say some stuff about real life in the process and I was like, hmmm, what if we could understand one another one hundred percent fully - what would that do to the world? And then I spun that idea into a whole bunch more!!
I’m so overwhelmed by your comments, thank you so much! You’ve been so kind about this story from the beginning, you’re amazing!
Hey, I'm dropping in for the Magical Menagerie reviewing event!
I like the way you've started to weave in a bit of world-building without giving it all away yet. Not only did you give us a sneak peek at how the world has physically changed (namely with the leaves melting from the trees in the fall, which is a pretty neat concept and I'm curious as to why, if they've discovered it yet), but also have shown how the people within the world have changed (like how humans are trying to communicate by means greater than language -- or empathetic exposure, as it is).
I also really liked the way this focused on the importance of evolution in order to quell issues such as language barriers. What's more, and I think what's most important, is that the people are trying and, at least from Mia's perspective, they're doing good things in the world they've been given. That leaves me remarkably curious to see where you're going with this. I'm really excited to see more about the ways the world has changed, and more about empathetic exposure. I'm also really curious to see what stories you have planned to fit into this verse.
All that being said -- write more, please!
I have to admit that I came up with the leaves melting thing almost entirely because I love the aesthetics of how they'd stain the ground as they fell :) Most of the other things have a bit of a greater purpose though, lol. I'm doing to attempt to say something or other about the human condition with how they approach each change and what kind of behavior it provokes. We'll see whether it ends up working :P
The next chapter will focus on an entirely different change, but slowly I want to unfold the world as it is, I'm glad you liked what I've done so far! Thank you so much for the review, it gave me a lot to think about!
Hey! Here for Gryffindor's January RvG and for the Magical Menagerie!
Your title allured me to this fic. The topics are seemingly endless, though there has to be a limit because of the word 'most.' And so what's included? Excluded? Intrigued, I began to delve into this piece.
It's definietly not what I was expecting, though I was not entirely sure what to expect at the beginning, to be honest. For such a short you, you've picked your words with the utmost care, crafting this dystopian world, where I assume climate change has become irreversible. Instead of feeling doomed, Mia brings me comfort and acceptance that this is the end.
What really drew me in was how you show how using language is starting to become outdated, that humans can send each other emotions. Human beings' resilience shines through this viewpoint: no matter what is to come, at least humanity has progressed to the point where what used to be barriers (languages and cultures) will no longer be barriers (or as warring of barriers). This is a fascinating concept, and I'd love to read more. I'm stoked that this is only a prequel. This is such a unique world, and I hope to read more of it soon!
I was looking for a new story to read for the review Magical Mengaerie review competition on the forums and happened across this in the recent updates list. Let me just start by saying I'm so happy to see your writing up on this site!
This prequel is very intriguing. In such a short space and with so few words, you've already created a very distinct feeling that the world is drastically different from the one we inhabit. I mean I know that you directly talk about empathy, but you get the sense that there is a lot more to it than that. There's something about the MC's voice that implies a sense of maturity beyond her years. Is that an effect of the changes or is she just a naturally mature person?
I also really enjoyed how you talked about the intensity of the emotions when felt instead of said. I often find that speaking emotions makes them sound sort of hollow, but being able to feel the depth of what someone else was feeling would certainly change that. I quite like that idea and am almost jealous that that isn't a real world possibility
I'm super excited to see where you go with the rest of this story. I love the idea of it being told in non-linear fashion and that it will feature different characters and changes. I imagine that will really help build the richness of the world. I wonder what the other changes will be. Will they all be related to mental faculties or will there be physical changes too? I'm so curious.
Lovely work as always! I'm so glad you're back.