Re: Critique My Next Chapter (The Exalted Guard)

#1
I have the next chapter for the Exalted Guard ready, but I would like some Critique over it before I post it up. If anyone would like to give me tips on how to improve, go right ahead.


Mike stopped at the gated entrance to Peterson Park, placing his hands on his hips. He bent to the left and right to work any remaining kinks out of his body before wiping away the small sweat that had started gathering on his brow.


The only sweat that had gathered on his brow after two hours of running.


And that was the thing that worried him.


Peterson Park was a popular place for fitness nuts like him to go to. The sidewalk looped around the entire park, was a good two miles long, and had enough steep hills to qualify for an entire routine on its own. Mike would always come here and do at least three laps, one power walking, one jogging, and the last one at a full sprint. The satisfying burn that would result from it was worth the pain his muscles put him through the next day. His body had started getting used to it before he got sent to the slammer, so he figured this would be a good way to get back into the groove of things and work up a sweat.


However, the reality of things was far different.


He had just finished his fifth lap, power walking the entire time.


And he didn't feel winded at all.


His red t-shirt didn't cling to his body from the moisture, his shorts were still as dry as they were this morning, and not a single one of his muscles was crying out in pain from the workload. It felt less like a work out and more like a warm up. He frowned while starting to jog in place, turning to the sidewalk path that looped around the park. There were other runners out and they all stared at him with a mixture of awe and jealousy. They were all bent over, hands on their knees and breathing heavily from exhaustion, while he hadn't broken a sweat doing the exact same exercise.


Mike kept his head down while starting to jog in place. He turned towards the entrance gate and ran back into the city. He put just a little more speed to it than usual to outpace anyone who might follow him. The last thing he needed was people asking why he was the only one not even slightly winded from the work out. And if these people were as obsessed with keeping fit as he was, then they certainly would start asking.


Which, at any other time, he wouldn't mind.


Now? He just didn't have the answers.


Once he was far enough away, he lifted his head up with a thankful sigh. His smile turned into grimace as he observed the neighborhood he had entered. The crumbling apartments, the warped concrete in the roads, cans that rolled along the side of the street, and chain link fences set up around basketball courts revealed the everything you needed to know about the area. The people who roamed the street didn't help either. Torn, saggy clothes, walking with their heads hanging down, and the occasional homeless person or drug addict passed out on the side of the street.


Mike shook his head at the poor living conditions as he rounded the corner of a building. He had to slow down to make sure he didn't step on any of the refuse or piles of garbage. He ignored the putrid smell coming from the whole area, having smelled worse while he was doing time. He runs into quite a few people who try to intimidate him, but a simple confident sneer is enough to scare them off.


Mike felt a pit form his stomach at the sight before him. Many of these people probably got here through no fault of their own. Maybe they had a bad week that spiraled into their financial ruin, maybe they got laid off too many times at work, or maybe they did choose this for themselves. Whatever the reason, he can't imagine this was how they wanted to live out the rest of their lives.


Then again, what could he really do to help them?


“Plenty,” he was surprised at the voice that came out of his mouth. However, he didn't say anything to take it back. He just...felt like it was right. Like there was plenty he could do to help this people. But then...what-


The nearby sound of laughter makes him slow his pace. He stops at one of the many alleyways, peering through the gaps in the chain link fence that separates it from the sidewalk.


What he sees makes him frown in anger.


In the middle of the alley, hiding beneath the shadow of a large, green garbage can, were five teens. They were squatting near the ground in a semi-circle, attire almost completely identical to each other. Grey hoodies with matching sweatpants. Except for two of them, who were obviously women. They wore small leather jackets with jean shorts, not even trying to show one hint of modesty in with their bodies.


They all had their eyes focused on the inside of their circle, where a mangy, limping cat circled an equally injured dog. The two animals kept hissing and growling at each other, while the teens whooped and prodded them with sticks taken from the ground. He saw coins and crumpled up dollars exchange hands as they bet on what the outcome would be.


He inwardly groaned at the sight. Bunch of kids with nothing better to do than be cruel to some animals just minding their own business. Why is it that boredom mixed with youthful stupidity always led to things like this? Though, he supposes he can't complain too much. He did stupid things when he was young too because he was bored.


But this? He'd never stoop this low just to get a laugh. This was disgusting.


He felt his hands curl into fist as he watched the cat get prodded into taking a swipe at the dog. The dog flinched back, its left eye taking a deep scratch wound. The crowed went wild at the sight of blood, calling for more carnage in various languages. His right hand shot up, grabbing the chains. His gripped tightened on it for a few seconds but he did not move.


Mike felt the overwhelming need to jump over the fence in front of him, walk over to the kids, and give them a little lesson in discipline. He felt like jumping in and rescuing those animals, taking them to a vet, then getting them a proper home.


But....


He sighed, forced his hand to let go, then turned back towards the sidewalk.


He couldn't fight the teens. He was on parole. If the police caught him making trouble, then it's right back in the slammer for him. And he had no doubt at least one of the teens would be quick to call the cops, then lie to them about what happened. Then Mike's ass would be grass.


As much as he wanted to help, he had to ignore it.


He turned his gaze towards his feet, as he started his jog back. He would just keep going until the end of the neighborhood, then he'd start heading back home. 


He hadn't even gone one step, before the heard a high pitched voice come from the alleyway, “Hey! You guys! Leave those poor things alone!”


Mike stopped in place, mentally groaned, and walked backwards until he was standing in front of the fence again. The teens' heads were all focused on the other end of the alleyway, forcing Mike to squint to see what they were looking at. Through the darkness he could just make out the thin outline of a girl standing among the refuse on the ground. She couldn't of been more than sixteen years old, yet here she was trying to stand up to five thugs in a dark alleyway.


'Girl after my own heart,' Mike chuckled while shaking his head. He couldn't deny her guts, and it wasn't like he hadn't picked plenty of fights he stood no chance of winning. Didn't matter if he got beat up, as long as he stood his ground and gave as good as he got.


Unfortunately, judging by the glints in the eyes of some of the teens, they were planning to do more than a simple beat down. The cat and dog saw their opportunity, both dashing towards the end of the alley where the girl was. Mike watches them scamper past her into the wider city beyond, hoping to god they don't end up getting run over by a car.


The punks start whistling as they form a half circle around the girl. Three of them are already behind her to cut off any attempt at escape, while the toughest looking one is trying to intimidate her. To her credit, she doesn't give them a single inch, staring their leader in the eyes with as much indignation as she could muster.


Under normal circumstances, Mike would be cheering her on, yelling tips on how to fight multiple opponents at once. She wouldn't win, but she'd give them enough trouble that they'd probably back off rather than do anything worse to her.


Right now though....


“Come on kid,” Mike mumbled, not noticing his hands gripping the fence, “get outta there.”



It's when the leader raises his hand towards her face that he finally acts.


Mike is on the other side of the fence faster than the eye can track, landing on the other side with his knees bent to absorb the shock. He sighs, places his hands in his pockets, then starts leisurely walking towards the punks. Just as the girl slaps the leader's hand away, Mike belts out a loud whistle. It's high pitch echoes off the walls of the alleyway, gaining the attention of the six people at the other end.


“What do we have here?” he smiled as the five teens began to turn towards him, “Didn't your mothers teach that nobody likes a bunch of bullies?”


Mike's mind is already racing as the leader points towards the two guys to come with him, while the girls move to block the exit. The three of them start to walk towards Mike, fanning out to his sides to limit his movement and block any escape. Meanwhile, Mike is thinking about how he's going to handle this. He knew he could take them all down without breaking a sweat. The problem was if his actions got out to the police. If any one of these assholes called the cops afterwards, Mike would be up shits creek.


Of course, that's only if Mike swung first.


But if they swung first, then he could plead Self-Defense in court. It wouldn't absolve him of all wrong doing, but it would mean he wouldn't be violating parole.


Now all he had to do was push the right buttons.


“You look lost, esse,” the leader, his skin tanned from standing out in the sun so much, said with a heavy Spanish accent, “Must've made a wrong turn somewhere.”


Mike chuckled, “Really? 'Esse'? Someone's been watching too many movies. Who the hell says that to people they're trying to mug?”


The leader's eye twitched, as he started to laugh out loud. He turned to his two men, “This man thinks he's funny? Doesn't he?”


A clicking sound, followed by a clash of light revealed the concealed, serrated knife in the leader's palm. He held it up to Mike's neck while audibly licking his teeth, “Do you think this is funny man? Do you?”


“Yeah, I do,” Mike lifted up a finger and pushed the knife away from his neck, “It's funny how you think you can scare me. I've seen foxes scarier than you. So why don't you drop the act and kick rocks before I get angry.”


To seal the deal, Mike spat in the man's eye.


That did it.


The man yelled a curse, as he brought his fist up towards Mike's chest. But his movements were slow. So slow that Mike knew he could easily sidestep the blow. His main focus was on the two douchebags closing in on his left and right. He could drop to the ground, sweep their feet out from under them, then kick the one with the knife in the groin. But that would-


They heard a girlish shriek, followed by two bodies hitting the ground.


They all turned to look at the exit, and saw a newcomer straddling one of the female thugs on the ground. She tried to claw his eyes out, but he simply slammed his fist into her temple until the stopped struggling. Then he turned towards the other girl who was running at him with a similar knife. He grabbed her wrist and hoisted her up into the air before throwing her at one of the walls.


Not wanting to waste the opportunity, Mike dashed towards the opponent on his left. He stomped on the guy's foot then delivered a palm strike to his open jaw when he tried to scream in pain. He followed it up with three rapid punches to the kidneys. As the man bent over in pain, mike grabbed him by his face. With a grunt he slammed the punk's head into the brick wall of the building.


As he felt the body go limp in his hand, he immediately ducked while kicking out with his leg. The other minion tripped and fall forward, cracking his skull on the pavement. Mike watched the teen's eyes roll into the back of his head. Only then did he stand up and turn to face the-


He felt something prick against his side.


He looked down to see the leader, his mouth agape in terror.


His knife's blade had bent from being pushed towards Mike's flesh.


The thug began to back away in terror, mumbling nonsense as Mike slowly advanced upon him. The leader stopped walking when his back hit something.


He thought it was a brick wall.


Until he felt two large hands grip his shoulders.


The last thing he saw was Mike's fist flying towards his face.

Re: Critique My Next Chapter (The Exalted Guard)

#2
So impressions of the chapter were that is was pretty good. At the start we get a little intoduction to Mike’s frustration at life, the world in general, and that type of stuff. Which is a good strat for a call to action. We also get hints as to something supernatural without any explicit reveals. That mystery alone helped drag me through the prose and description more smoothly. We also get good hints as to his backstory and the state of the neighbourhood as needing some intervention.
You showed a lot of Mike’s personality. He is clearly frustrated and not living luxuriously just from how he thinks. He’s a teensy bit caring for people around him, but most importantly he’s smart. We can see him weighing his options and stopping himself from doing something stupid, even if he wants to. Then you throw in a situation that overcomes his cold pragmatism in order to show that he can be driven to action even knowing very well the consequences, and importantly we see him thinking about mitigating those consequences.
The combat was well done. Despite already suspecting he must be superior I still felt he was fighting sensibly and not letting himself get complacent. Competence. I could feel that even with his suspected powers there was still a sense of possible danger.
I do not think there is much room for improvement last what this already is in any large capacity. My on,y suggestion would be to have the power reveal be somehow more surprising or have the fact that he has powers be more unexpected. You can use a red herring, or distract the reader somehow by focusing deeply on something else not related to his physique so that that expectation is not so heavily prominent in the reader’s mind before the fight. The fight is the only thing with enough focus to distract but it is related enough not to be fully effective at making me forget the superpower mystery.
I also lost track a little of what happened to individuals during the fight, mostly the hero-wannabe girl. Some of that is a good thing because a visceral fight is disorientating but I suggest placing small moments between all the action which are easier to calm,y make sense of between all the chaos, like coming up for breath to check where you are.

Re: Critique My Next Chapter (The Exalted Guard)

#3
Wrote: So impressions of the chapter were that is was pretty good. At the start we get a little intoduction to Mike’s frustration at life, the world in general, and that type of stuff. Which is a good strat for a call to action. We also get hints as to something supernatural without any explicit reveals. That mystery alone helped drag me through the prose and description more smoothly. We also get good hints as to his backstory and the state of the neighbourhood as needing some intervention.
You showed a lot of Mike’s personality. He is clearly frustrated and not living luxuriously just from how he thinks. He’s a teensy bit caring for people around him, but most importantly he’s smart. We can see him weighing his options and stopping himself from doing something stupid, even if he wants to. Then you throw in a situation that overcomes his cold pragmatism in order to show that he can be driven to action even knowing very well the consequences, and importantly we see him thinking about mitigating those consequences.
The combat was well done. Despite already suspecting he must be superior I still felt he was fighting sensibly and not letting himself get complacent. Competence. I could feel that even with his suspected powers there was still a sense of possible danger.
I do not think there is much room for improvement last what this already is in any large capacity. My on,y suggestion would be to have the power reveal be somehow more surprising or have the fact that he has powers be more unexpected. You can use a red herring, or distract the reader somehow by focusing deeply on something else not related to his physique so that that expectation is not so heavily prominent in the reader’s mind before the fight. The fight is the only thing with enough focus to distract but it is related enough not to be fully effective at making me forget the superpower mystery.
I also lost track a little of what happened to individuals during the fight, mostly the hero-wannabe girl. Some of that is a good thing because a visceral fight is disorientating but I suggest placing small moments between all the action which are easier to calm,y make sense of between all the chaos, like coming up for breath to check where you are.


Thank you!

For the record, this is the 15th Chapter, so a few things have been established already. This includes Mike's powers. I will try and make it clear where everyone is in the fight though, thanks for that.

Re: Critique My Next Chapter (The Exalted Guard)

#4

I haven't read the previous chapters, so I'll only focus on this chapter's overall impression when I critique. but there is something I'd like to mention, which involves your previous chapters. what are the facts that have already been mentioned in the previous chapters? it could be anything from his powers to his physique or where his background. ask yourself that, and if you see them appearing again in this chapter, try to cut them out. now it's only my assumption, but I can see a lot of potential things which may have already been established. and if it's true, they'd become redundant. as of now, your chapter works better as an intro chapter. 
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: He bent to the left and right to work any remaining kinks out of his body before wiping away the small sweat that had started gathering on his brow.
 
 
The only sweat that had gathered on his brow after two hours of running.
 
 
And that was the thing that worried him.


 
 
the 2nd sentence is redundant and kind of unnecessary. especially the phrase 'that had gathered on his brow'. it could be avoided with a bit of clever wording. besides that, it's also better to reduce the use of the word 'that'.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: However, the reality of things was far different.
 
 
He had just finished his fifth lap, power walking the entire time.
 
 
And he didn't feel winded at all.


 
 
it's unnecessary to make short, less impactful sentences into full paragraphs. they could easily be compiled in one paragraph.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: Mike kept his head down while starting to jog in place. He turned towards the entrance gate and ran back into the city. He put just a little more speed to it than usual to outpace anyone who might follow him. The last thing he needed was people asking why he was the only one not even slightly winded from the work out. And if these people were as obsessed with keeping fit as he was, then they certainly would start asking.
 
 
Which, at any other time, he wouldn't mind.
 
 
Now? He just didn't have the answers.


 
 
there's nothing wrong with this part, and it does show the protagonist's caution, but it's also a missed opportunity to introduce conflict. if he really was questioned and struggled to find the answer for the inquirer as well as himself, it'd be more interesting. as of now, it feels like the easy way out.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: Mike felt a pit form his stomach at the sight before him.


 
 
'pit in the stomach' or 'a knot in the pit of the stomach' is usually used in case of fear or nervousness. I don't see why he would be.
 
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: The nearby sound of laughter makes him slow his pace. He stops at one of the many alleyways, peering through the gaps in the chain link fence that separates it from the sidewalk.
 
 
What he sees makes him frown in anger.
 
 
In the middle of the alley, hiding beneath the shadow of a large, green garbage can, were five teens. They were squatting near the ground in a semi-circle, attire almost completely identical to each other. Grey hoodies with matching sweatpants. Except for two of them, who were obviously women. They wore small leather jackets with jean shorts, not even trying to show one hint of modesty in with their bodies.


 
 
my biggest gripe. confusing past and present tense. it usually happens if a writer writes in the present tense, which is harder, for a more immediate effect. they sometimes switch back to the easier past tense by mistake. it's quite jarring. learning to use the tenses properly, is a must for a writer. other than that, the teens you introduced feel like faceless mob characters from games. or they work for some strict organization that requires its members to adhere to a specific dress code. if it's not that then you didn't need to describe their dress at all since you didn't describe any other features. just 'five poorly dressed teens' would have done the job.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: “You look lost, esse,”


 
 
I won't say anything else about the tense except that it hurts my eyes, but its 'ese' i think.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: To seal the deal, Mike spat in the man's eye.
 
 
That did it.
 
 
The man yelled a curse, as he brought his fist up towards Mike's chest. But his movements were slow. So slow that Mike knew he could easily sidestep the blow. His main focus was on the two douchebags closing in on his left and right. He could drop to the ground, sweep their feet out from under them, then kick the one with the knife in the groin. But that would-
 
 
They heard a girlish shriek, followed by two bodies hitting the ground.
 
 
They all turned to look at the exit, and saw a newcomer straddling one of the female thugs on the ground. She tried to claw his eyes out, but he simply slammed his fist into her temple until the stopped struggling. Then he turned towards the other girl who was running at him with a similar knife. He grabbed her wrist and hoisted her up into the air before throwing her at one of the walls.
 
 
Not wanting to waste the opportunity, Mike dashed towards the opponent on his left. He stomped on the guy's foot then delivered a palm strike to his open jaw when he tried to scream in pain. He followed it up with three rapid punches to the kidneys. As the man bent over in pain, mike grabbed him by his face. With a grunt he slammed the punk's head into the brick wall of the building.
 
 
As he felt the body go limp in his hand, he immediately ducked while kicking out with his leg. The other minion tripped and fall forward, cracking his skull on the pavement. Mike watched the teen's eyes roll into the back of his head. Only then did he stand up and turn to face the-
 
 
He felt something prick against his side.
 
 
He looked down to see the leader, his mouth agape in terror.
 
 
His knife's blade had bent from being pushed towards Mike's flesh.
 
 
The thug began to back away in terror, mumbling nonsense as Mike slowly advanced upon him. The leader stopped walking when his back hit something.
 
 
He thought it was a brick wall.
 
 
Until he felt two large hands grip his shoulders.
 
 
The last thing he saw was Mike's fist flying towards his face.


 
 
the fight is a bit confusing and hard to follow. you can't use your environment without somewhat establishing it. the female character also disappears during the scene, painting her as a wallflower. the introduction of the newcomer is also abrupt. other than that, you also made a sudden switch of viewpoint at the last scene, which seemed like a poor attempt at 'third person omniscient', if I'm not mistaken. try to stick to your viewpoint and make it interesting. don't switch it without proper setting.
 
 
that's about as much as I can tell you. I'm not a grammar or punctuation expert, but I still spotted some mistakes here and there. it's a bit descriptive sometimes, especially in the slums part. it feels somewhat unnatural there, and some readers might be alienated. there are some redundancies too, but it's still more or less an enjoyable read.
 







Re: Critique My Next Chapter (The Exalted Guard)

#5
april18 Wrote: I haven't read the previous chapters, so I'll only focus on this chapter's overall impression when I critique. but there is something I'd like to mention, which involves your previous chapters. what are the facts that have already been mentioned in the previous chapters? it could be anything from his powers to his physique or where his background. ask yourself that, and if you see them appearing again in this chapter, try to cut them out. now it's only my assumption, but I can see a lot of potential things which may have already been established. and if it's true, they'd become redundant. as of now, your chapter works better as an intro chapter. 
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: He bent to the left and right to work any remaining kinks out of his body before wiping away the small sweat that had started gathering on his brow.
 
 
The only sweat that had gathered on his brow after two hours of running.
 
 
And that was the thing that worried him.


 
 
the 2nd sentence is redundant and kind of unnecessary. especially the phrase 'that had gathered on his brow'. it could be avoided with a bit of clever wording. besides that, it's also better to reduce the use of the word 'that'.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: However, the reality of things was far different.
 
 
He had just finished his fifth lap, power walking the entire time.
 
 
And he didn't feel winded at all.


 
 
it's unnecessary to make short, less impactful sentences into full paragraphs. they could easily be compiled in one paragraph.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: Mike kept his head down while starting to jog in place. He turned towards the entrance gate and ran back into the city. He put just a little more speed to it than usual to outpace anyone who might follow him. The last thing he needed was people asking why he was the only one not even slightly winded from the work out. And if these people were as obsessed with keeping fit as he was, then they certainly would start asking.
 
 
Which, at any other time, he wouldn't mind.
 
 
Now? He just didn't have the answers.


 
 
there's nothing wrong with this part, and it does show the protagonist's caution, but it's also a missed opportunity to introduce conflict. if he really was questioned and struggled to find the answer for the inquirer as well as himself, it'd be more interesting. as of now, it feels like the easy way out.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: Mike felt a pit form his stomach at the sight before him.


 
 
'pit in the stomach' or 'a knot in the pit of the stomach' is usually used in case of fear or nervousness. I don't see why he would be.
 
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: The nearby sound of laughter makes him slow his pace. He stops at one of the many alleyways, peering through the gaps in the chain link fence that separates it from the sidewalk.
 
 
What he sees makes him frown in anger.
 
 
In the middle of the alley, hiding beneath the shadow of a large, green garbage can, were five teens. They were squatting near the ground in a semi-circle, attire almost completely identical to each other. Grey hoodies with matching sweatpants. Except for two of them, who were obviously women. They wore small leather jackets with jean shorts, not even trying to show one hint of modesty in with their bodies.


 
 
my biggest gripe. confusing past and present tense. it usually happens if a writer writes in the present tense, which is harder, for a more immediate effect. they sometimes switch back to the easier past tense by mistake. it's quite jarring. learning to use the tenses properly, is a must for a writer. other than that, the teens you introduced feel like faceless mob characters from games. or they work for some strict organization that requires its members to adhere to a specific dress code. if it's not that then you didn't need to describe their dress at all since you didn't describe any other features. just 'five poorly dressed teens' would have done the job.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: “You look lost, esse,”


 
 
I won't say anything else about the tense except that it hurts my eyes, but its 'ese' i think.
 
 
TheImperial Wrote: To seal the deal, Mike spat in the man's eye.
 
 
That did it.
 
 
The man yelled a curse, as he brought his fist up towards Mike's chest. But his movements were slow. So slow that Mike knew he could easily sidestep the blow. His main focus was on the two douchebags closing in on his left and right. He could drop to the ground, sweep their feet out from under them, then kick the one with the knife in the groin. But that would-
 
 
They heard a girlish shriek, followed by two bodies hitting the ground.
 
 
They all turned to look at the exit, and saw a newcomer straddling one of the female thugs on the ground. She tried to claw his eyes out, but he simply slammed his fist into her temple until the stopped struggling. Then he turned towards the other girl who was running at him with a similar knife. He grabbed her wrist and hoisted her up into the air before throwing her at one of the walls.
 
 
Not wanting to waste the opportunity, Mike dashed towards the opponent on his left. He stomped on the guy's foot then delivered a palm strike to his open jaw when he tried to scream in pain. He followed it up with three rapid punches to the kidneys. As the man bent over in pain, mike grabbed him by his face. With a grunt he slammed the punk's head into the brick wall of the building.
 
 
As he felt the body go limp in his hand, he immediately ducked while kicking out with his leg. The other minion tripped and fall forward, cracking his skull on the pavement. Mike watched the teen's eyes roll into the back of his head. Only then did he stand up and turn to face the-
 
 
He felt something prick against his side.
 
 
He looked down to see the leader, his mouth agape in terror.
 
 
His knife's blade had bent from being pushed towards Mike's flesh.
 
 
The thug began to back away in terror, mumbling nonsense as Mike slowly advanced upon him. The leader stopped walking when his back hit something.
 
 
He thought it was a brick wall.
 
 
Until he felt two large hands grip his shoulders.
 
 
The last thing he saw was Mike's fist flying towards his face.


 
 
the fight is a bit confusing and hard to follow. you can't use your environment without somewhat establishing it. the female character also disappears during the scene, painting her as a wallflower. the introduction of the newcomer is also abrupt. other than that, you also made a sudden switch of viewpoint at the last scene, which seemed like a poor attempt at 'third person omniscient', if I'm not mistaken. try to stick to your viewpoint and make it interesting. don't switch it without proper setting.
 
 
that's about as much as I can tell you. I'm not a grammar or punctuation expert, but I still spotted some mistakes here and there. it's a bit descriptive sometimes, especially in the slums part. it feels somewhat unnatural there, and some readers might be alienated. there are some redundancies too, but it's still more or less an enjoyable read.


Well this thing ate my original post, but here are the things I meant to say:

1. The things that have been established already is that Mike is superhuman in someway, but I haven't revealed what yet. I have dropped hints, and anyone who knows what some of the source material is will get it, but not all of them. Mike was in jail for two years (I did a timeskip previously) and is currently living with his friend Jeremy (upper middle class life due to his job as a Restaurant Manager). 

2. I was unaware of the switching of my tense. Could you pick out the specific parts where I do this? It's kind of something I do subconsciously while writing.

3. I switched viewpoints at the last half? Thanks for letting me know. I didn't notice.

4. The newcomer showing up is meant to be abrupt. The reason for it will be revealed at a later chapter.

5. I did fix the part with the girl. She now attacks one of the thugs that tried to block her exit.

6. Thanks for letting me know about how to make the fight scene better. I'll go back and add some more details.

7. These guys are meant to be just like mobs in a video game. Their purpose is mostly to get Mike to meet two important characters, though thanks to your critique I think I have a way of making them apart of the overall plot. Thank you.

Thank you for the critique. Anything else you think you could add?

Re: Critique My Next Chapter (The Exalted Guard)

#6
this isn't a grammar class, but I'd still give you some hint. e.g. I wrote my critique in the present tense, but one usually writes one's story in the past tense.

still, I'd advise you to look up tense in google and figure it out yourself. that way you could avoid making future mistakes. not everyone has the time or patience to show you every detail, or they would become editors. it's a writer's responsibility to improve his own craft.

never assume your readers won't get an established fact. that's a dangerous trap to fall into. have some faith in your readers, and if there is still someone who doesn't get it, it's not your responsibility. about the superpower though. since you are writing from your protagonist's viewpoint mostly, does he know? in case of third-person limited viewpoint, at the time of the scene, a reader must know only the information your viewpoint character knows. you can have more freedom regarding how much info you give in third-person omniscient, but it's more difficult to write properly.

if it's been established that he was in jail, you don't need to write something like, 'he couldn't exercise because he was in the slammer', instead try ' he couldn't exercise all this time'. though it's still a little farfetched since what little I know about jails from movies and stuff is that they usually have playgrounds and stuff for lifestyle improvement, unless you are in the isolation ward or something.

you only switched to the thug's viewpoint in the last few lines. if you want to properly switch viewpoint, then you should start with a proper differentiating paragraph. it also needs to start from a proper action, like when he starts the attack with his knife.

you don't need to add too many details, only make it more comprehensive. establishing the scene can also be done before the fight starts.