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Philippa East

Hi Squidge!

How lovely to read about Tilda, and dive into the world you have created. I really like the idea of Tilda being so aware of the Power inside her – literally feeling it – but now grappling to translate this into the creation of the orb. It’s quite symbolic in a way!

Overall, this second version seems tighter than the first, so well done with that.

A couple of thoughts…

1. Be mindful of how you handle the stakes of the challenge. I think you actually nailed this better in the first version (even if you maybe needed to tighten the exposition).

In this version, you tell us (or rather Silviu does) that if Tilda cannot make the orb, she will not progress in her training. To me, what is at stake here seems pretty major! However, Tilda’s reaction to learning this is “Oh.” A few moments later, she decides she’s pretty much going to give up on the test. (“Once more, that’s all. Then she was giving up”)

It was also strange to me that she had been at it 26 times before she thought to ask what would happen if she couldn’t do it. Wouldn’t she know the consequences before she went into the test? (You actually have it this way in version one). Or if not, when she learns the potential consequences, I’d expect this to massively up the anti for her and make her motivation shoot up.

2. Related to this, the point at which Tilda learns what the stakes are changes the inciting incident of your story. If she learns during the test, this is a revelatory moment which means your inciting incident = “Tilda learns she might be dropped from the training if she doesn’t pass a certain test.” If she knows before the test, the inciting incident of your story = “Tilda passes an important test in her training.” Does that make sense?

The pay-off of this scene was really nice! I think this is a much more impactful ending than in version one – ending with the orb appearing. I like how she peeps out of one eye – she can hardly bear to look – and it’s a really nice narrative choice that the light is pea-sized. Her orb is tiny, but that’s not the point. The point is, it’s there. Lovely!