So, I noticed something in your manuscript that I wanted to talk to you about. It’s a subjective observation, but hear me out on this one since I’ve been noticing it a lot.
Delphine, Adrienne, and Joelle are acting in ways that seem illogical to me. Specifically those three, because it’s about a specific thing. In short, the girls sound like they were written by a guy XD
Their reactions are often odd based on the situation. A specific instance I’m thinking of is the scene where Delphine stops Hugon on his way down.
Her reaction is to calmly question him. I mean… maybe?? but it doesn’t make sense to me.
Put yourself in her situation. She came upstairs, alone. It’s relatively dark or dimly lit. She’s nowhere close to anyone else, there probably isn’t anyone within earshot, and then she sees a strange man in her bedroom.
I wouldn’t have calmly talked to him. Every alarm bell in my head would have gone off at the exact same time and I would have sprinted all the way until I was with other people and not looked back.
That’s an extremely dangerous situation for her. To her it’s a new stablehand or a complete stranger. If she was a man, this probably would have been different. She probably would have been comfortable enough to talk to him and find out what he was doing there, but for her it’s very different.
And later, Adrienne’s reaction to it doesn’t quite line up either. Assuming Delphine still stuck around long enough, I don’t think Adrienne’s reaction to Hugon chucking Delphine under the chin would have been to find it amusing. Delphine would have been uncomfortable, very probably scared. I don’t think Adrienne would find that funny, I think she would have given Hugon a scolding.
And there’s another instance, way later on, in chapter… 35 I think, where Tristan looks Delphine up and down, practically judging how pretty she is, and she blushes. That isn’t a compliment. She’s uncomfortable, or at least, she should be, and he doesn’t notice or care. Nothing is so awful as getting checked out like that. It’s humiliating, embarrassing, and uncomfortable. I had the immense urge to slap Tristan through the screen.
Also, you often accentuate how pretty all three of them are, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it shouldn’t be universal or defining.
Not everything they do has to be pretty. Some instances I remember off the top of my head are when Joelle’s wearing a fancy dress while about to ride and sweat and get dirty.
Also, that other scene where Tristan makes some comment about how Delphine is pretty despite being unhappy. Why is that necessary? Let her be unhappy and ugly, feelings aren’t supposed to be pretty.
Same with Tristan thinking that Delphine is pretty when she’s blushing instead of thinking about what embarrassed her and stopping it because it’s making her feel bad.
Essentially, their traits shouldn’t automatically be measured by pretty/not pretty. It doesn’t matter, it makes them seem more trivial, like they’re decoration for the story.
In general, Tristan and Hugon tend to be dismissive of Delphine, Adrienne, and Joelle. They don’t particularly care about what they’re feeling, they just care if it gets in the way of what they’re doing.
And on that note, they tend to speak quite disrespectfully to and about the women. It’s nothing blatant, but I’ve noticed it multiple times.
This may be intentional because it’s in character, but is it necessary? To me, it just makes them outright idiots and I genuinely want to hit them next time they’re rude. They aren’t treating the girls as equally competent, they’re treating them as an afterthought.
A bigger issue is that Delphine and the other girls don’t seem to recognize it. Hugon treats Adrienne like a nuisance with no sign of repenting until after she’s dead.
Tristan constantly dismisses Delphine and treats her like a pretty bother even when she’s trying to help and she doesn’t seem to notice and doesn’t resent him for it.
This may change later in the book but so far it’s something you may need to fix.
I’m not saying I have absolute truth on this, I only have one perspective, but I wanted to throw it out there. My perspective isn’t going to be yours, and someone else isn’t going to agree with either of us.
I highly recommend you get other female beta readers to give their opinion on it and maybe ask your sisters. It’s something that’s easy to get wrong, and most people don’t bother fixing it. I’m just asking you to think it over and ask some others.
(And I gave you an essay again XD Man, I had a lot of trouble writing this, I really don’t mean it to come across harsh, I just want TTD to be as good as it can be, it has a lot of potential and so do the characters!)
Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?