Robinski

Robinski - 170320 - TMM, Chapters 9 and 10 - 5038 words (LS)

25 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hello everyone,

 

Soooo, please do ignore until tomorrow, but I've got a heavy day ahead, so thought no one would mind if I just 'slipped this under the door' a bit early and ran away. 

If you do have time to read this coming week, I'm just looking for anything that occurs to you. I'm ramping up the pace a bit with a 'full' submission. Interested to know if it holds your interest for two chapter and 5,000 words.

 

Previously on The Mandroid Murder...

 

Chapter 1: On the Moon, Dr. John Mills tests An-con's new tech by putting crippled ex-miner Callan into an android using synaptic mapping.

Chapter 2: Quirk arrives on Earth and travels to Milan, where he puts an envelope in a bin then meets a nice lady. They have tea/coffee. [2,899] – 1st sub

Chapter 3: Orphaned Moth discovers Giulia's task for Uncle Toni and takes it over, then gets an android social-worker from La Madre. [2,692] – 2nd sub

Chapter 4: Moth takes the train to Milan in the company of Grimes, leaves him at his hotel and makes the pick-up for Toni. [2,738] – 3rd sub

Chapter 5: Quirk is accosted by a cop when walking with La donna. Callan struggles with his situation.

Chapter 6: Grimes meets with Toni and enacts the plot to kill the Capo. [3,394] – 4th sub

Chapter 7: Quirk meets with Toni and signs up to look after Moth. [2,911] – 5th sub

Chapter 8: Quirk and Moth go to the convent and are accosted. S-778 saves the day, but actually doesn’t. Quirk messages PPF. [3,878] – 6th sub

Chapter 9 and 10:.... [5,038] – 7th sub

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Cheers, Robinski

Edited by Robinski
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I skipped a chapter (I'm sorry!), but here I go:

 

p.1

Strong first sentence. Nice!

I'm guessing that this is another fragment from the android from the prologue. Interested to see where it goes.

p.2

" To their left " - I think that mentioning M. or Q. would be nice before you refer to them by a pronoun. I'm also lost as to whose POv it's supposed to be.

p.4

"Odd, since he wasn’t handling any of the luggage, just M.’s baggage, as was rapidly becoming usual." - didn't he state a page above that he was carrying his own bags?

p.5

Glad that poison struck again, rather than being a one-time affair.

p.6

The android is cute <3

p.7

" latte foam " - don't describe skin using food metaphors. I recommend this site for more info: http://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/post/95955707903/skin-writing-with-color-has-received-several

Also, to me this read out of the POV. I assume the person was human, but Q. doesn't call everybody by "xie" pronouns by default, how did he know what to use here? Was there any visible indicator?

p.10

Still adoring the android :)

p.11

I think a solitary dialogue tag somewhere near the top of the page would do great.

p.12

Good questions here. Glad the character asked them.

p.13

I’ll bet you a slap in the face versus a kiss on the cheek  - LOL. I take it as a promise to the reader 3:)

p.14-15

More droid! Also, I knew these laws already. Didn't they also have a counterpart?

p.17

Poker with a droid? O.o That... doesn't seem like a good idea.

p.19

No kiss to the cheek then? :/

p.21

" I think you’re a privileged, conceited little rust with an overblown sense of her own importance, but we’re going to be spending a lot of time together. " - building a bridge, he says?...

Oh, there it is! Yup, nice way to end the part.

p.22

"M" word? "More"?

Overall

Well that's going on nicely. I must admit though, I don't know how I'll be able to keep up - my time is limited, and I want to read submissions by our newbies, too :/

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Hey, thanks for reading, @Ernei!

2 hours ago, Ernei said:

didn't he state a page above that he was carrying his own bags?

He was until he hired the trolley for the bags, but it wasn't clear, I agree. I've tweaked a little and may need to clarify further when I get to Edit #2.

2 hours ago, Ernei said:

don't describe skin using food metaphors

Yes, I walked right into this one after commenting on the contra-position on another forum :( Thanks for pulling me up on that.

2 hours ago, Ernei said:

how did he know what to use here? Was there any visible indicator?

Honestly? I don't know. This is a question that I've never been sure of the answer to.

2 hours ago, Ernei said:

Didn't they also have a counterpart?

Hmm? Not that I'm aware of. Other people have tinkered with and referenced the laws. I might need to do more research, but they're not central.

2 hours ago, Ernei said:

Well that's going on nicely. I must admit though, I don't know how I'll be able to keep up - my time is limited

I'll post you a copy when it's published. (The positive thinking starts here...)

Thanks so much for reading - I really appreciate your feedback and I'm so glad S-0778 has a fan! :D 

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18 minutes ago, Robinski said:

Hmm? Not that I'm aware of. Other people have tinkered with and referenced the laws. I might need to do more research, but they're not central.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_robotics#Tilden.27s_.22Laws_of_Robotics.22 - This one is what I had in mind. It kinda stuck in my head, because I once read a book where humans wanted robots to obey Asimov's laws, whereas robots preferred Tilden's.

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- The first line is a little bit redundant and confusing 

- Moth's reaction to Quirk's collapse is pretty awesome.

- And I also like the android interjecting himself whenever he feels Quirk might fall again.

- The revelation that Quirk's poisoning is definitely moving the plot along.

- The Scarlet O'Hara/Scarlet Johanssen line worked for.

- Really looking forward to what happens next - the characters and intrigue are really working. 

 

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Notes: The android humor is funny. Really funny. Reminds me of WolframAlpha. I would definitely like to see more of it, and I’d like to see the words ‘Turing Test’ show up. Also glad to see someone else writing about a non-living being faking the need to eat this week. Robot sidekicks are tricky to deal with, because AI should behave slightly different from humans, but still be compatible, and I think you did a good job. Two further points. First, kudos for using Asimov’s Laws. Second. Really? The robot knows the Zeroth Law and can function without crashing? I find that implausible.

Q is the same, which is good, I suppose. I will call you out for using ‘relaxation first dan’. For starters, it should be ‘relaxation, first dan’ (first dan is an adjective) and, first dan is in reference to an extreme mastery level of martial arts that can’t necessarily be reached by practice alone (from my understanding).

Moth is, well, a spoiled brat, but I suppose that’s because we’re getting Q’s viewpoint.

Side note. So, I’ve been looking into the field of artificial intelligence and human conscious. It’d take a while to go through, but I might be able to give you a brief overview (based solely on my understanding) of the possibility of storing the human conscious? I can’t claim credentials other than many, many hours of research into the subject, though.

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Overall

I'm not as fond of this submission as others. The voice of both Quirk and Moth seemed off, and the first chapter seemed to lack direction. I liked the second chapter a lot more, but Moth's voice faltered in it. I'd like to (again) see more of that suave Quirk who so enchanted me the first time around, as well as the crass yet vulnerable Moth. 

The android portions are interesting me more and more as we go. I can now say I am interested in that storyline as well. But in the first installment, the droid didn't have balls, right? Now it does?

As I go

- that first paragraph is a little clunky. I don't want it to be, because it fascinates me.

- end of page four: this doesn't seem like Quirk. He's very course now in his language, without any flare. Continues on page six. I don't care for this Quirk.

- run on, top of page six

- Her favorite assassin? LOL

- page seven: I don't mind random insertion of third gender / nonbinary character. Adds flavor and variety. I think its only tokenism if you make them a two-dimensional character. Here xie is part of the world building. Bonus, you don't call it out. You don't try to explain why there is a xie, it just is, and no one cares, and that's good!

 - oh, page nine you do call it out. I liked it better when it just was. It ages your world, to have this resolution passed just two years prior, when I assume this is the future? I mean, we have countries now that allow it so this dates your story severely. Suggest just removing this section. Let the xie stand on its own.

- I don't really feel like the story got moving until about page ten. Suggest trimming the pages before, as they seem to not be building to anything substantial, even personality, character, or worldbuilding

- the exchange on page eleven is more along the lines of what I expected from Quirk

- this first chapter doesn't have much meat to it. You might go back and poke it to see what it was meant to accomplish, and try to bring that element forward more

- page 19: I would have liked more of Quirk's suave shown, with the flight attendant. Right now he's just coming off as a creeper who has a foul mouth and makes out with a teenager a few feet away. :(  At least leave the room, man.

- page 20: Actually, Moth seems harsher than normal too, in this. Her words on this page don't play quite right.

- the 'M' word? Masturbation? 

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3 hours ago, Robinski said:

Honestly? I don't know. This is a question that I've never been sure of the answer to.

As the non-binary elephant in the room, I'll address this. It doesn't matter. This is the future, this is a background character, and you inform so much more about the world in that Quirk uses the pronoun without question than you would if you tried to explain it. I've suggested cutting the explanation entirely. 

In the real world the answer is, when you have a person of indeterminate gender, you avoid using pronouns until they offer one. Not everyone appreciates being asked what their pronouns are, and many do not like being asked what their gender is. 

#nonbinaryquestionhour

 

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8 hours ago, Ernei said:

whereas robots preferred Tilden's

Thanks @Ernei, really appreciate the tip. Wow, Tilden's laws are quite shocking; that's how you end up with Skynet right there. I think I will dig into this in future stories. After a brief glance through the other options, I see nothing there superior to Asimov's Laws. Those other sets seem to me all to have quite a particular slant towards the agenda of the group in question, rather than being universal. Thank you! :) 

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7 hours ago, rdpulfer said:

Really looking forward to what happens next - the characters and intrigue are really working

Thank you so much for reading, RD - always appreciate your opinion. I'm so happy that it's holding your interest. The next couple of chapters will be especially interesting to me, as there is travelling involved, which can be a pitfall for a story.

Thanks again! :) 

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Posted (edited)

Hey @aeromancer, thanks for reading. I always welcome your thoughts.

6 hours ago, aeromancer said:

I’d like to see the words ‘Turing Test’ show up

Lol - yes, that would be sweet. They're not in Draft #1, but I'll note that. Might be one for a future story, but then Brandon S threw all his ideas in Mistborn, so who knows? I'll take that as a note for Edit #2.

6 hours ago, aeromancer said:

I think you did a good job

:D I'm just loving how much love S-0778 is getting this week. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the droid is in the story for a long time. To the end? You'll need to keep reading to find out ;) 

6 hours ago, aeromancer said:

The robot knows the Zeroth Law and can function without crashing? I find that implausible.

As a machine that is programmed, I feel that there must a workaround on any fundamental issues for the operating system.

6 hours ago, aeromancer said:

relaxation, first dan

Thanks for the comma - I call first draft; as to the first dan thing, yup, I'm aware. To some extent it's a throw-away line from Q. He doesn't necessarily understand (although I feel like he would) or care about the absolute authenticity of any thought that goes through his head. On the other hand, maybe he's actually First Dan. Having said, he really doesn't act as if he is a lot of the time. Maybe Moth is breaking him.

6 hours ago, aeromancer said:

I might be able to give you a brief overview (based solely on my understanding) of the possibility of storing the human conscious?

Hey, that would be terrific. To some extent this aspect is the high concept of the story, so I'm not going to be slavish about the facts, given that it's The Future. In the end, I'm a lot more Space Opera than Hard SF, any commentary is always welcome :) 

Great comments, Aero, thank you so much. I love how you always challenge me on the technical aspects - it's great!!

Edited by Robinski
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Thanks for reading, @kaisa, I really value your input. I feel like you're my lightning rod in terms of the fine tuning of character tone.

6 hours ago, kaisa said:

suave Quirk who so enchanted me the first time around, as well as the crass yet vulnerable Moth

Please be assured I am putting big flags in my edit file, but I'm not going to try and adjust this too much on the hoof. I'd rather take stock of the overall reaction and adjust in Edit #2, but I'm flagging each time you call this.

6 hours ago, kaisa said:

The android portions are interesting me more and more as we go. I can now say I am interested in that storyline as well. But in the first installment, the droid didn't have balls, right? Now it does?

Yay for S-0778!! And the storyline holding is so important at this still fairly early stage, as the plot doesn't really accelerate until... well, it's coming. (I'll fix the balls thing. There will be balls.)

6 hours ago, kaisa said:

this doesn't seem like Quirk. He's very course now in his language, without any flare.

"Aw shoot..." Is Quirk's go to phrase when something bad drops, as you may have gathered by now. It is coarse, and that's what he intends, using it as stress. Having said this, perhaps I can highlight it in some way, call it out, hang an lantern on it, as WE are fond of saying. He also uses 'Jeez' a fair bit, which I agree is sloppy and grammatically coarse. I think I'll look to change that up.

6 hours ago, kaisa said:

Suggest just removing this section. Let the xie stand on its own.

Darn, I was so close!! I deliberately didn't flag this prior to submitting, of course, because it was so important to get your reaction. The first part was true, and I'm really glad that worked. The second part (the call-out, if you will) was there to enable the 'convent' punchline. I'll change the date; you're right, of course, and that was just lack of forethought/research on my part. I will make the dates much earlier and look into what the position is now (more on-the-job training for me :) ) As to the call-out, I take your point about it 'dating' the story, so to speak. I was trying to highlight how certain organised religion my in the future still be closed to such important things. Again, I'll need to research current faith attitudes in this area. The Anglican Church in the UK only approved the appointment of female bishops in 2015. The date of the story is 2099. I will do more work on this area.

7 hours ago, kaisa said:

the exchange on page eleven is more along the lines of what I expected from Quirk

Sometimes, I feel like the pagination isn't the same, do you mean when Quirk and Moth are talking about him dying, being shocked and the neurotoxin? Also, do you guys get the page numbers I set? When I extract the text, I start the page numbering where it is in my current draft. So the footer should start at Page 76 this week? I think I might go to submitting PDF's.

It doesn't override your comments about Quirk and Bernie, but they were in the washroom, did that not come over? I'll think about the scene. I understand your criticism. I think the main issue is that Quirk as I perceive him, and as you do is not quite the same person. While I need him to be intelligent, well-informed and sophisticated, I also need him to have a somewhat rougher side. Perhaps what I need to is highlight the tension between the two, rather than just flipping.

7 hours ago, kaisa said:

the 'M' word? Masturbation?

We've got two guesses on the 'M' word so far, neither correct. I don't know if this is important enough for anyone to remember when it becomes more apparent - if it does. I'll let it ride for now :) 

I'll reply yo your other post separately, as this reply is pretty lengthy, and I don't want to lose it!!

Thank you so much for your comments, @kaisa - they are so helpful to me in this endeavour.

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7 hours ago, kaisa said:

you avoid using pronouns until they offer one

Perfect. I like to think if I had played through an imaginary scenario in my head that would have been the answer. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer this, and for all you do on here to help this Ludite to become more educated about the world.

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7 hours ago, Robinski said:

Sometimes, I feel like the pagination isn't the same

Shoot, you know what? I bet it isn't. I'll use your page numbers from now on. Page 85 was where I thought the exchange was closer to what I remembered about Quirk. 

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

While I need him to be intelligent, well-informed and sophisticated, I also need him to have a somewhat rougher side.

Yes, this is all that I see in him, too. And I can see him as being more crass with Moth, because his guard is down, but there was a subtly to his character in some of your first subs that I just fell in love with. I didn't see that as much in this submission, but it is also one of those things you could edit back in pretty easily.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

but they were in the washroom, did that not come over?

Uh, I completely missed that! In the washroom, then I remove my complaint. That's a time honored place for short liaisons. 

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I'm siding with @kaisa on this one. I'll agree the android was good, but aside from that, I was not as impressed or engaged with this selection. There's a lot of downtime, and a lot of very slow worldbuilding, some of which I feel like I know already. I'd much prefer to be over the flight and to Luna, rather than having nothing to do along with the characters for 7 hours. There also wasn't a strong arc here, which means the tension and  engagement for me is very low.

pg 2: Don't know if this is particularly relevant. We know the guy with the android testing is paralyzed. We know he wants to be in the new body. Not sure what else this adds.

pg 4: "The girl stopped and caused a twenty-case pile up of people swerving to avoid her."
--but they've got all the robo-trolley and upgrade stuff. I was assuming they were riding on one of those airport trams by now.

pg 5: "vertigo that made Q’s feet feel squishy"
--How does vertigo relate to the android? And what do squishy feel have to do with anything?

pg 6: first sentence construction is awkward.

pg 8: a bit too much dialogue and banter on this page. It's starting to slow the story down.

pg 9: "What’s with the water"
--Have you actually described an android anywhere (or is it WRS)? Are these more robotic,or smooth synthetic skin, or fully human looking? I figure there must be something to set them apart, as the androids are easily recognizable.

pg 10: "After all, how badly could it go after the last one?"
--Lol

pg 9-11: There's a lot of plot setting here, which is slowing things down a lot. Seems like some of the information has already been covered. I think it's also that there are lots of incidentals in the conversation that don't really add anything. Lots of stopping to ask what's next. Probably could cut a fair bit and get to the meat of it faster.

pg 11: "is there a cure?"
--he's only thought of this now?

pg 13: This whole chapter is...I don't know...languid almost, for all the rushing to get to the flight. It's ramping the tension down a lot from the fight with the assassin last chapter, and even the discussion about the poison doesn't help because we already know about it. I found my focus wandering while reading this.

pg 14: Tension still draining away in the next chapter. Recapping the fight seems unnecessary.
Phrases like this are what I mean: “So, 778, we’ve got seven hours, what would you like to talk about?” It gives a sense of lethargy to the story.
All the preamble to "what are your assigned tasks" seems sort of fluffy.

pg 15: probably don't need to quote the laws of robotics? 

pg 15: starting to skim this...philosophizing about the laws of robotics is nothing new, and there are entire series on this. I don't think it adds anything to this story.

pg 16: "relaxation first dan"
--eh? he's a blackbelt in relaxation?

pg 17-18: still skimming. I'm not drawn in here. There's no objective or arc I can see.

pg 19: the wordplay about making out in the bathroom is cute, but it's very passive voice, which takes away from the joke.

pg 20: "After my ice-cream, I’ll change, then you can tell about this case we’re working on.”
--some interest in where this is going, but too little, too late.

pg 21: The "agree to hate each other" scene is a little on the nose for me. I'd much rather the two bicker with each other. This feels like a truce, and now the Q&M show is going to get boring because they're not actively trying to hinder each other.

pg 22: "the ‘M’ word."
--not sure what word this is.

Sorry for the negative comments! I feel like there could be a lot more punch to these chapters to get them up to the same speed as the previous ones. As kaisa said, both Q and M's voices seemed different.

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44 minutes ago, kaisa said:

I'll use your page numbers from now on.

Ha-ha. It was the passage I thought it was, thanks. Though, if you could reference my page numbers, it would mean I didn't need to do the arithmetic. I mean, I can do the arithmetic, I'm just that lazy :D 

46 minutes ago, kaisa said:

a subtly to his character in some of your first subs that I just fell in love with. I didn't see that as much in this submission, but it is also one of those things you could edit back in pretty easily

Yeah - I want that too. I just need to be careful to remember it. After Edit #2 for consistency, I'll look at Edit #3 for character tone alone. I'll make that may reading-out-loud edit for language in general. :) 

48 minutes ago, kaisa said:

That's a time honored place for short liaisons

I'm glad you feel you can remove that complaint - I will make the flag slightly larger. In passing, why do they call it the Mile High Club? A mile is only 5,280 feet which, for an airplane, is like take off or landing - not the time to be in the WC!! Even for the right reasons!!! The Airbus A910 is cruising at 52,000ft, so it's near enough the 10 mile high club (except it's not really).

Thanks for the rebuttal! 

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9 hours ago, Robinski said:

As a machine that is programmed, I feel that there must a workaround on any fundamental issues for the operating system.

Hmm. I don't know the background you have with the Three Laws, so I'm going to explain my problem from ground up, forgive me if I repeat information you already know. The Zeroth Law in Asimov's robots crashes them. Literally crashes them. The only robot that could handle the law was R. Daneel Olivaw. The reason for this is established fairly early on in Asimovian literature, showing up in the short story Liar! (appears in the I, Robot short story collection). The robot in LIar!, RB-34, can read minds, and realizes in can emotionally damage humans, which violates the First Law, so it is forced to routinely lie to the staff of US Robots and Mechanical Men, until Dr. Susan Calvin traps it in a zugzwang, and RB-34 crashes. This is because the First Law operates on a essentially binary basis, either it is harm or not. Asimov does mention a series of experimental models (JG models) in another short story that can grade potential harms, ... That Thou Art Mindful of Him, but those have severe problems as well. Anyway, the problem with the Zeroth Law is that if a robot does a behavior that may lead to the harm of humanity, it will crash, brick, become unresponsive, break, etc., and since so given robot can know whether or not any behavior leads to the betterment of humanity, a robot who knows the Zeroth Law has no choice but to shut down.

 

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

Hey, that would be terrific. To some extent this aspect is the high concept of the story, so I'm not going to be slavish about the facts, given that it's The Future. In the end, I'm a lot more Space Opera than Hard SF, any commentary is always welcome :) 

Alright. I'll try to be as general as possible and know that everything I say is only true to the extent of my knowledge. It's a bit roundabout, so bear with me..

Artificial Intelligence can be broken down into two general types, Specific and General. We (current technology) have mastered Specific. There are two approaches to achieving Artificial General Intelligence (this isn't abbreviated to AGI, and I don't know why): ground up, and simulation. For the purpose of this discussion, an Artificial General Intelligence is a computer that can pass a Turing Test, meaning that it's pure intelligence is equivalent to that of a human. [Side note: An AI with greater intelligence is know as 'the Singularity', and is logically impossible.] Ground up isn't so important, it's building an Artificial General Intelligence from the framework of Specific. Simulation is what you should be interested in, as it's a computer program which simulates a human mind.

Now, we don't have a working simulation of human minds, but we do working simulations of parts of smaller mammal's brain, so it is conceivable that a mechanical brain capable of the same thought-patterns of a human is. This isn't the Asimov 'positronic brain', that unfortunately is more fiction than science, but that is probably what you'd be looking at for storing a human conscious in a robot body, complete with biological capabilities like hormones (all simulated). I have no idea how you'd get a human thought-pattern from an organic brain into that mechanical brain, I'd imagine it'd be highly invasive, and possibly destroy the organic brain, but it'd be theoretically possible.

The real problem is moving the human conscious, which is independent of the human mind. The literature of this is recent, so I don't have as good of a grasp of this as possible. It appears from my reading that the human conscious is non-Turing compatible, which means that it is non-computable with any form of a mechanical mind. Meaning, it'd be possible to store the personality, mind, thoughts, knowledge, etc., of a human, but not their soul, to was a bit poetic. I suppose the difference is I wouldn't consider killing a android with a downloaded human brain as bad as killing an organic human, but I really shouldn't be saying those things out loud, being someone might misinterpret it. Killing a android-human is bad. Killing a cyborg is bad. Killing a human is bad. Given the choice between saving an organic or a android-human, I'll pick the human, though.

I've feel like I've rambled on long enough. If you want me to clarify something, just ask here, or over at my AMA thread because that could use posts.

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Thanks Aero, for going into the level of detail, really appreciate that. It's given me plenty to think about!! :) 

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the interlude on pg1 still isn't making much sense to me story-wise, but that's Jumping in the Middle Syndrome, for you. I will say I found it a bit repetitive, even accounting for the stylistic choices. 

 
pg 2 is... a bit awkward. Like, on a grammar and sentence structure level.  It's nothing to look at while drafting, but it 's definitely something to note for line-level edits
 
"guardian after all, not a pack horse" Seems like this would be an argument for S-robot to be carrying his bags as well as hers, not for hoofing it with his own stuff. ;)
 
"handling any of the luggage" what's the difference between luggage and baggage? and didn't he just pay for an automated cart to take care of the lot of it? (not counting him stating above that he wasn't a packhorse and only carried his own)
 
"Quicker than, everyone, else" I think ellipses are usually used here rather than commas, to indicate pauses in speech?
 
"Move over, Professor" tense jump? narrator jump? fragment from a prev version? the description in this paragraph only is suddenly acting like we don't know Q and M. 
 
much as i'm loathe to say it, the neopronoun does stick out a bit in this section.  you might go with the more common "they" to indicate that Q's not making assumptions, or if you want to keep "xie" somehow indicate in the text that Q knows that's how this person wants to be called. 
 
It's a bit of a prosaic ending for the first chapter in this section, it doesn't really grab me and make me want to keep going.  I liked in this chapter the way Q kept trying to watch for any other shenanigans and failing because it's a busy terminal, though he still feels a bit... off.  
 
"“You were right, Quirk,”  - now this is a nice intriguing intro 
 
As a person in the good ol' US of A, any mention of the UN as a governing body worth taking seriously startles a chuckle out of me (this is a bad 'Murica! stereotype, and doesn't reflect well on me I know, but it's worth being aware of ). That said, and trying to correct for it, I still feel like having a world govnerning body make resolutiohns on pronouns seems a little... micromanagerial? harsh? is it really necessary to have it lampshaded in text that way? I'm... not sure. 
 
 a sexy stewardess? how very vaguely-fetish 1960s. <_<
 
"T-shift" T-shirt?
 
Um. I'm having trouble figuring out how to say this, but I'm not enjoying Quirk as much in these chapters. By the end of this segment, I find myself identifying much more with the android in their group (not the one in the interludes. him i still can't grok), than either Q or M. SOmething is missing? lost? from the Q i read even just 3 chapters ago. I don't know... it's... *makes vague hand gestures* Argh.  je ne sais quois. It's both descriptive of this feeling and indicative of the knowlege that Ch6 Q would use that word and Ch10 Q would not. Sorry. :(
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3 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

somehow indicate in the text that Q knows that's how this person wants to be called. 

I'd be on board with this. A description skillfully done, perhaps in appropriate POV for Quirk in which he, say, scans for features he finds attractive (breasts, package, whatever), finds said area missing or artfully concealed, and quickly understands and speaks accordingly. 

Ex: Quirk admired the sculpted eyebrows, the high cheekbones blushed just so, the burgundy lips. There was no chest to speak of, but hips pushed at a sleek skirt of silk. Always so delightful, the counter clerks, and this one particularly so. Quirk approached hir with a tilt to his chin...

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Hey ID, thanks for reading - I'm enjoying your critiques.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

the interlude on pg1 still isn't making much sense to me story-wise

Yeah - JIMS will be pretty strong on these elements when you haven't been through the earlier interludes (it's actually the main second POV).

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

pg 2 is... a bit awkward

Yeah, thanks, I'll get to that :) 

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

an argument for S-robot to be carrying his bags as well as hers

Yeah, I made an assumption that S can't carry any more bags; a bit lazy on my part, and probably not true - I'll look at that.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

what's the difference between luggage and baggage?

Right, that hasn't played for you. Luggage is luggage, baggage was a reference to Moth's emotional baggage.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I think ellipses are usually used here rather than commas, to indicate pauses in speech?

Fair comment. I might just leave that for an editor (should I get that far!), but maybe I'll try elips in Edit #2.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

tense jump? narrator jump?

Sort of; it's intended as a shift in Q's perspective, suddenly, he doesn't know who Moth is, and perceives her as a short woman, his perception is really messed up about now. It's supposed to be jarring, up to a point, but I was hoping the reader would be carried through it :)

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

you might go with the more common "they" to indicate that Q's not making assumptions, or if you want to keep "xie" somehow indicate in the text that Q knows that's how this person wants to be called

Ah, thank you so much for the all important second (third?) opinion - much appreciated! I like your suggestion, as it addresses the short discussion above about 'How do you know which pronoun to use?' I'll mull on this, but you option feels like it has a good grounding in the situation. It weakens the punchline a bit, but I'll see how it plays.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

any mention of the UN as a governing body

To some extent this is me taking a world-building shortcut, because I don't need to explain the general parameters of the UN. How in the heck they got into that position, on what that position actually is, perhaps remains to be played out in another story, but in the mean time, I think the North American Federation is a more intriguing prospect. I guess you haven't come across that; there was a reference in the first submission.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

micromanagerial? harsh? is it really necessary to have it lampshaded in text that way? I'm... not sure.

I'm almost certainly going to editing around this; Kaisa already called me out on the date - I'll work that whole segment some more.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

a sexy stewardess?

Women (and me) in uniform; what's not to like? A good fetish is a fetish forever.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

Um. I'm having trouble figuring out how to say this... I don't know... it's... *makes vague hand gestures* Argh.  je ne sais quois.

ROFL - This is the best comment I've every had in a critique - awesome! :D Also, no doubt somewhat indicative of a conflict in me in writing the character. I have great intentions for Q&M for be my (later) life's work. I feel like it's the best stuff I've done (which won't mean much to you, ID!) Sooo, I need them as a pair to be sufficiently flexible to carry a range of material, and to have different sides. Kaisa has been trying to keep me honest in relation to Quirk's tone. All I can really say at this point is that I have big flags and several of them for Edit #2 to work on Quirk's tone. The bottom line is that I need him to swear sometimes, but I will be running a close rule over his word choice. The other thing I'm going to consider is to try and have other characters call him out from time to time, perhaps, when things 'aren't like him'.

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

Sorry. :(

No, no, no, you mustn't apologise. You comment here are down right excellent - exactly what I need a hope for. Really nice catch open the 'T-shift' thing, btw - that little runt of a typo is hard to spot!! I kind of like the feeling that you really want to like Quirk though (if I'm no presuming too much). To me, that is absolutely golden, and testament, I hope, to some good work done in earlier chapters. So, something for me to aim at big time.

Thank you soooo much, @industrialistDragon, great comments, really appreciated :) 

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

Move over, Professor

Ah, I'm editing following your comments, and I see this now. Moth referred to S-0778 as Professor Robot in a much earlier passage.

Also, I cut the line about Q being M's guardian not her packhorse.

And, I used the ellipses. Yeah, they're better :P 

Edited by Robinski
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4 hours ago, kaisa said:

Quirk approached hir with a tilt to his chin...

damnation, that's good; that's 50 words out of 70,400. Your royalties are 0.071%*

(* No they're not - you get nothing!!!)

 Seriously though, good point, well made. Either I'm in your debt or we're even :) 

 

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5 hours ago, Robinski said:

The bottom line is that I need him to swear sometimes

I actually don't have much of a problem with the quantity of swears; it's more ineffable than that. :/ In my headcanon Q is a creative compound expletive guy. I know a couple of guys like that, and vile, pungent, and coarse they might be, but they are also gut-laughingly funny and a joy to listen to when they go on a tear. And I'm all for the use of the strategic F-bomb, but for the trope to have any impact, it needs a strong background of something else to play against. I would love to provide examples of what I mean, but pretty much all of them violate the forum's language rule. XD

and it's not just the swears. I was trying to get at that, but i can't because it's so... argh. Like, the NPCs in this section -- quirk doesn't even notice the xir-attendant's clothing, and only mention's B's pillbox hat. As someone who notices clothing, I am CONSTANTLY picking out things like fit, fiber type, drape, construction, hem finishes -- like, i could tell you the color and cut of a person's jeans (and whether or not the darn things are the right size for the person wearing them) from a brief look the same way somebody who's into hair and eyes could do the same for those attributes. Someone as brand- and prestige-conscious as Q should be able to tick off anything worth mentioning (fancy watch, designer cufflinks, status symbol charm bracelet, tech wizard earpiece) in the initial assessment. It's what he cares about so the descriptions we get from his POV should reflect that. I really liked that about him in the first parts I read, but these small things seem to be disappearing. 

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

quirk doesn't even notice the xir-attendant's clothing, and only mention's B's pillbox hat

Do you know, I think you've hit it there, ID. One of the main building blocks of Q's character is the Merion (his suit) - which in earlier chapters is hinted at being of some personal significance than a suit. I spun this out to be the whole sartorial thing, and that nicely shaped his character initially. Since then, as the plot as strengthened, the way forward became clear to me, it seems those things have been overtaken by forward momentum and, I think to some degree, the constant sparring with Moth. 

So, well done! And thank you :) 

Edited by Robinski
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