kais

TCS - Chapter 'Acclimation' (revised 'Survival') - kais 01/01/18 5443 words (L)

9 posts in this topic

Please abbreviate all names and places. This is still a rough draft so be as brutal as you like. I tried to solve the larger issues of lacking a through line, and the tension just not being there for the first half. Hopefully at least those are fixed!

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Overall

I didn't read the previous submission, sorry about that. This however is a perfectly well written piece, from that point of view I have no complaints. I mean you have created a universe that seems real, that come across like it just exists. That is an accomplishment.

Maybe because it's early Tuesday morning after New Year's day, right before work, but I just don't click with the it. I don't quite get it. Perhaps cut to the chase - why can't she go back? What is stopping that? What is it that she thinks she needs to resolve in order to fix things? Give that to me up front. I know you establish what in fact she needs to resolve to fix things at the end, but she needs immediate purpose, even if she ignores it because she's depressed, confused, whatever.

I'd take my comments with the appropriate grain of salt however. I feel like I've missed essential information or something. 

Thoughts as I go:

- Just a side thought, why did the President exile her to the "gold coffin" instead of just killing her? I'm sure I missed something, being new to RE, but it seems like a Bond villain move right now. Why don't the M-'s just send her back? Why isn't her primary goal to get back, at least at first? Was exile and what it meant explained in more detail earlier? If she's a competent pilot, what stops her from stealing a shuttle or something? Or at least why doesn't she think of that?

- N- discussing gender to herself over the R- seems too detailed. I get into this debate sometimes where a disorientated character in a strange situation isn't really going to think so clearly, or like an academic. I'm not saying I'm right, just something to consider. I know N- is somewhat of an academic given the chapter I read previously, so I can live with that. 

- You lost me at "Leadership?", the paragraph that follows is a mystery to me. There's a few paragraphs where you go into detail on a kind of tangent that just don't feel relevant at that point in time, or don't come with a means to give me context or understanding. Again, I might have missed something.

- N's line about choice and airlock seems to have been perfectly understood by P-. That kind of goes against the communication trouble that just happened?

- The jump in time feels a little jarring, is there another way to deal with that?

- Should I already understand what a Journey Youth is at this point? 

- I wouldn't mind some descriptions to give me a sense of place, and the people. What do things looks like, how does it shape or change the way N- thinks or feels? What so the various species look like? What are they wearing? Can you give me those anchors into your world, into what N- is living through?

- The N- seem to use technology easily enough. Comms, ships, etc ... Kind of not consistent with the N- not using technology.

- The ending, make sense, it's well written. I just don't understand the context again. I assume the book, the conflict here was established in previous chapters? I would reiterate that conflict early in this chapter.

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Interesting to see @toomsta's response vs. mine! Looks like I got a lot of references be reading the books, which may help answer your question about whether to market this to people who have read the books, or to a new audience.

Overall, I thought this was much improved. It has much better tension, and the inclusion of the uncle at the end gives us some setup for the first book. That said, is this the end of this storyline, or it is going somewhere else? What you have is a pretty good ending for N getting on her feet in the larger universe (thought she hasn't really met Y yet.)

Still some infodumping and confusion with the antagonism to the Youths. It makes sense for N to scorn them after failing at jobs, but not as much before. As I say below, they're actually a really good opportunity to learn about the universe.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: well, this does give better background for why N hates the president so much.

pg 2: Why wouldn't the Mins. let N use the comm? Does it cost something?

pg 6: still a litle infodump with the Ris. Where would N have gotten the information about the moons, and is it necessary?

pg 7: why is N suddenly contemplating blowing up Ris. buildings? After the books, this would make sense, but not now.

pg 10: This is better on why N doesn't want to be considered a Journey Youth, but I still don't know why she doesn't just take the posting, get cared for a couple years, then be free to get a job anywhere. Honestly, it sounds like a good introduction into galactic civilization from a backward planet.

pg 11: ok--well, she does do this. But I'm not sure whether it's unreliable narrator on N's part that she failed the jobs, or a lot of coincidence. Why would she fail at them if they all weren't her fault?

The last half of this was pretty good, establishing a reason for N to be an exile and what the situation with her uncle is.

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All caught up, look at that!

 

I am once again finding this M-an rescue summary to be longwinded and somewhat unnecessary. The story had some good atmosphere going with the sights and sounds of the spaceport, and it just gets completely derailed by a flashback. The important parts -- she was left to die with vids of what she can never have; she was rescued by heretofore unknown offworld connections possessed by her otherwise straitlaced uncle -- I feel like those could be better sprinkled throughout the entire text, rather than bunched up at the beginning. 

Reading a bit of FF's So still in Ne, especially in the wishing she had training in emotional resiliency. Like, if there was that kind of class, and Ne was in it, she'd totes have hated it, lol. 

aha, I see it gets a retread at the end of the flashback. And another retread of the current scene, to get back on track.  I like the retreads better than the flashback, even though they're a bit repetitious. :/

I don't really have too much of a problem here with the R interaction. It could probably be condensed a touch, but I didn't really mind it that much.  

I'm going to have to disagree with @Mandamon here and say I didn't care for the back half of this story, after the time jump. I felt like it went on for a bit too long, and I didn't quite get as much emotion out of it as maybe it was supposed to convey. 

I would still like to see more focus on Journey Youth, so we agree there at least (thus preserving the ascendancy of #iagreewithmandamon). 

I would also like to know the shape of this thing so I can figure out how to critique it. :P As a short story, it and the previous one need some work. They end with more of a cliffhanger than any kind of finality. Even serial short story series have finality to the end of a particular episode. As chapters, they're decent, if on the more meandering side. If it's something else... I don't know. That might affect how I view them. 

 

I'm still on the fence about whether or not I actually needed this much info, this in-depth about Ne's exile and "origin," and I'm still struggling with overall buy-in.

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Notes

  • Yes, much better opening, I think. I get a decent sense of her starting to panic, even though her life was saved. It’s not immediately clear that N was in the gold coffin.
  • I would like the acknowledgement that death was the likely outcome somewhere on the first page. You mention rotting, but that is kind of removed from the concept of death. Rotting, I think, is more a light-hearted term.
  • On Page 2, all the ‘yours’ turned me off. I wanted the stakes to be more personal. Also, I struggle with N’s summation at the end of that paragraph. I mean really, are we to believe she is suicidal?
  • So, what happened to the pod? Was it still mobile? Was it not an asset that she could have sold, even for scrap? Did the M’s just keep it?
  • Okay, I get that print=food, but I struggle to remember that, because it's an unatural association for me. Also, would people oin the future not have come up with another work for it, to distinguish printing food from printing anything else? So, it's not cooking, because that is still done in some places, probably. Prooking? I can see now where the term 'fast print shop' comes from, but nothing in that label says 'food', which seems an unlikely approach to advertising the product.
  • I thought the b-film was some kind of translator, but it’s just a book?
  • Lack of shoes is very unsanitary. I don’t understand.
  • The arm hair line is funny, but it's really wordy for someone who has just been bashed about, smashed into the grounfd, and been kicked in the head.
  • Oh, goody, a punctuation controversy!!! “Do you…belong here?” Now then, it seems that there are various variations and opinions on how to use the ellipsis. I favour what I have just discovered is The University of Oxford Style Guide approach, which is that there is no space before the ellipsis, but a space after. Hence why I've been correcting this in the LBLs I've been sending (sorry!). I think other the sources agree that, where ellipsis is used to represent a pause… it should be used thusly. Where it is used to represent text being omitted…thusly, or … thusly. I realise that you probably hate me now… but I don’t care!!! :P;)
  • “Maybe she should turn terrorist.” – WHAT?!!!!!!!!!! I really don't buy this at all.
  • “I can find both without your help” – Huh? I don't understand. This feels like a sudden change in mindset.
  • “How old?” - But N already said 15 rotations. Was that in N? I'm losing track of the language being spoken. Also, this encounter feels a lot longer than it did before. I fear it’s lost some of its directness, and feels like it’s becoming rather rambling. It feels like we’ve gone around on the communication breakdown loop more than once, particularly on the ‘adult’ thing.
  • “Answer your com.” – This is the point at which I really start to feel the tension around the call, which almost becomes the driving force of the whole story here. I know she’s been pursuing it since the beginning, but I'm not sure I have felt quite the same passion or need in her until this point.
  • But, surely, she would try calling with a different label other than 'Exile', which must be a red flag?
  • I like the ending. It’s very out-early. I’m presuming this is the last entry in this episode? I kind of hope it is.

I like this version a lot better than the last one, subject to the usual list of quibbles, of course :D

Nice work.

(LBL file emailed separately.)

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On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

Perhaps cut to the chase - why can't she go back? What is stopping that? What is it that she thinks she needs to resolve in order to fix things? Give that to me up front.

I think about 90% of this is due to this being the second 'chapter', not the first, so the whole backstory and getting kicked off her planet is missing. Sorry about that! Hopefully it wasn't too confusing!

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

why did the President exile her to the "gold coffin" instead of just killing her

More info provided in chapter one. Violence has been eradicated. Potentially thoughtless overlooking of having a food printer onboard, has not. :P

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

N- discussing gender to herself over the R- seems too detailed

Oh, you'll get no argument from me on this. But it has to go somewhere early in the book, because the number one review comment I get from reviewers is 'what is the deal with the weird pronouns?' So I'm just covering it upfront. Get it out of the way.

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

ou lost me at "Leadership?"

Fair enough. Easy to change.

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

N's line about choice and airlock seems to have been perfectly understood by P-. That kind of goes against the communication trouble that just happened?

Aheh... *runs to edit*

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

The jump in time feels a little jarring, is there another way to deal with that?

Editorially yes, but that usually gets fixed by the editor

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

Should I already understand what a Journey Youth is at this point? 

As a new reader, no. As an established reader, yes. I'll see if I can't explain it a bit

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

Can you give me those anchors into your world, into what N- is living through?

I can, but too many more and the narrative will get bogged down. I'll see if I can strike a balance

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

Comms, ships, etc ... Kind of not consistent with the N- not using technology.

The distinction was made in terms of level of tech in chapter one. Sorry about that!

On 1/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, toomsta said:

I just don't understand the context again. I assume the book, the conflict here was established in previous chapters?

Yeah, that's chapter one stuff, and a tie in to the first three books. You're coming into this all super cold, which I appreciate, but is probably really confusing for you. Thanks for sticking it out! I really appreciate your feedback!

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On 1/2/2018 at 8:57 AM, Mandamon said:

That said, is this the end of this storyline, or it is going somewhere else?

This is the middle section. I think I've settled on little novelette in three parts here for Ne. Maybe. I'm drafting. Who knows? But the plan is that the next one I sub this upcoming week is the last third, wherein N meets Y. Then there is Y's short (probably one part), and then Nick's short (probably one part), then I expand into the world at large.

On 1/2/2018 at 8:57 AM, Mandamon said:

Why wouldn't the Mins. let N use the comm?

Aheh, added in an explanation

On 1/2/2018 at 8:57 AM, Mandamon said:

still a litle infodump with the Ris

edited down

On 1/2/2018 at 8:57 AM, Mandamon said:

why is N suddenly contemplating blowing up Ris. buildings?

Because my brain failed. I've deleted it

On 1/2/2018 at 8:57 AM, Mandamon said:

but I still don't know why she doesn't just take the posting

I need to do a better job of showing this, but I just don't know how. She's 19, and she was just about at the pinnacle of her life, and now she has to go have training to do some mundane task she couldn't care less about. For 19, that would just really grate. And she's not thinking logically, just angrily. I've edited, and hopefully I've made the reason for her disdain more clear

On 1/2/2018 at 8:57 AM, Mandamon said:

But I'm not sure whether it's unreliable narrator on N's part that she failed the jobs, or a lot of coincidence. Why would she fail at them if they all weren't her fault?

Fail on my part, apparently. It's supposed to be that she's being kicked from jobs because beings don't trust her enough to let her do anything, since she's the only Ne offworld, and their planet has a reputation for being backwater hicks. I want to convey that in a very passive aggressive manner though, since the Systems are at peace and aggressive language would probably get you arrested or something. I think I do better with this in the next short, but maybe it needs upped here.

On 1/2/2018 at 8:57 AM, Mandamon said:

The last half of this was pretty good,

Thank you! Excellent feedback, as always!

On 1/3/2018 at 4:36 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I feel like those could be better sprinkled throughout the entire text, rather than bunched up at the beginning. 

Hrm. I feel like they derail a bit no matter where I put them. Maybe I can cut them down.

On 1/3/2018 at 4:36 PM, industrialistDragon said:

that kind of class, and Ne was in it, she'd totes have hated it, lol.

I probably would have, too!

On 1/3/2018 at 4:36 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I didn't quite get as much emotion out of it as maybe it was supposed to convey. 

At this point its more flavoring than anything else, to feed into part three. I need some scene of her failing at jobs, and a series of microaggressions, to make the next part work. Must build rage and all that.

On 1/3/2018 at 4:36 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I would still like to see more focus on Journey Youth,

I am holding onto this need for when Nick gets his short. Then it's all Journey Youth, all the time. With happiness!

On 1/3/2018 at 4:36 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I would also like to know the shape of this thing so I can figure out how to critique it

It has three parts. Maybe that makes it a novelette? I don't know. It has three parts. Any ideas?

On 1/3/2018 at 4:36 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I'm still on the fence about whether or not I actually needed this much info, this in-depth about Ne's exile and "origin," and I'm still struggling with overall buy-in.

That's okay! I don't think every short will be for everyone. Much like Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina, I think everyone has their fav characters and will like those shorts more than others. Thank you for the feedback!

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19 hours ago, Robinski said:

I would like the acknowledgement that death was the likely outcome somewhere on the first page.

Totally doable.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

I wanted the stakes to be more personal. Also, I struggle with N’s summation at the end of that paragraph. I mean really, are we to believe she is suicidal?

I've heavily edited this whole section.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

So, what happened to the pod?

Handwavium happened to the pod

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

I thought the b-film was some kind of translator, but it’s just a book?

It's just a generic product name, actually. I should probably rectify that.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

I don’t understand.

It's mostly just a giant in-world joke.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

I realise that you probably hate me now… but I don’t care!!!

I don't hate you at all! My editor has similar conversations with me. I finally just outright apologized that I do not fully understand common usage, and was likely not going to recover from this condition. This is why god invented editors.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

I really don't buy this at all.

Deleted already!

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

But N already said 15 rotations

Translation error. She was saying Ns are adults at 15 on her world.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

becomes the driving force of the whole story here.

That was the plan! 'Ne needs to call home' was sort of supposed to be the through line, and all the stuff she does just to get access to a comm, just to cancel the call the moment her uncle pops up.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

I’m presuming this is the last entry in this episode?

Yes! End of this 'chapter'. One more Ne chapters, and then we move on to other characters! Next installment is the fabled bar on Mars meetup with Y.

19 hours ago, Robinski said:

like this version a lot better than the last one, subject to the usual list of quibbles, of course :D

Nice work.

(LBL file emailed separately.)

Thank you! And major thanks for the LBLs! Very helpful! 

Now go register for RECon!

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2 hours ago, kais said:

and was likely not going to recover from this condition. This is why god invented editors.

:lol: 

2 hours ago, kais said:

supposed to be the through line

Which I was getting earlier, but maybe not with as much passion as might have been expected earlier on. Maybe? Unsure.

2 hours ago, kais said:

fabled bar on Mars meetup with Y

Yay!

2 hours ago, kais said:

Now go register for RECon!

Huh?

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