My guess is that when you factor in lead times on writing a book, this starts to feel a lot more plausible. The book could easily have been finished nine months before it came out. It could easily have been started a year before that. And its basic shape could have been mostly settled six months before that. So I think we could easily be talking about a book the shape of which should be dated to sometime in 2013.
Which isn't to say none of those threads were starting to emerge in 2013 (or, indeed, quite a lot earlier), but my sense is that they lacked anything like the prominence they have now.
You're right that there's something that doesn't work about this. Thanks for the helpful feedback.
That said, I'm not going to make edits here right now, because I haven't managed to figure out an edit I'd be happy with. I'll keep mulling, and perhaps I'll make edits at some future time.
Just to explain the intention of the line, "moving towards another's pain instead of away" is intended to ambiguously refer both: (a) to adopting a mindset that allows you to mentally grapple with someone else's pain without psychologically flinching away; and (b) to behaving in a way that aims at ameliorating the pain rather than physically fleeing.
As you note, the downside of ambiguity is that the phrase might either be unclear or it might have additional undesired disambiguations (perhaps reading as if it means "feeling a pain more deeply rather than less").
Anyway, thanks again. Will think on this further.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. No other writing yet, but a few things are under consideration, so if they get accepted I'll try to remember reply to this comment with a link.
Thanks for reading and for taking the time to write up your thoughts.
One thing to note is that there are presumably things that witch knows that the reader does not. So while the story itself might not give us enough detail to conclude that there is no afterlife in the story world, the witch may have additional information that allows her to reach this conclusion with some fair confidence.
Yeah, that sounds plausible. When editing, I find it really helpful to read my writing out loud. Listening to someone else read it might have many of the same benefits, and some additional ones besides.
Nice! In many ways, a very different style to what I wrote, but I like to think it shares something of the same spirit (perhaps representing something of a logical next step).
Cool, thanks for doing this! I haven't had a chance to listen yet (my writing time is currently being spent on writing something new), but I'm glad that someone is doing podcasts for forum posts. For me, at least, I find it a lot easier to find the time to listen than the time to read.
Thanks. Fixed (and I took the chance to also fix a few other minor bits and pieces).
I'm really sorry about your father. Thanks so much for commenting, and I'm glad you found that image touching.