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kais

TCS - Chapter 'Bar' - kais 01/08/18 4985 words (L)

12 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Please abbreviate all relevant proper nouns (names, places). I'm hoping Yor doesn't come off as problematic in this (although he is sort of problematic by nature). I'm also hoping the various microaggressions actually land for people. Tear apart as you will. 

 

L for language

Edited by kais
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Overall

I think I'm more comfortable now, starting to "get it". Still a few oddities, but with time I'm sure it will all make sense.

This chapter is a tad rough, but you did say that. Honestly, I'd skip most of the beginning, establish N- is a celebrity in a clearer manner and why she is, and clean up her interaction with the Captain, give us something that can make the shift to her taking on the job and resolving to get back home seem more organic. 

As I go

- What's with N- and gender? The N- are genderless or something, right? Is that why it's a thing?

- Why did N- swear when the bar tender asked her age?

- The bar tender's questions are a tad awkward, reads like a child with ADD how they are all pouring out at once, mixed with statements.

- Might need some clearer distinction between what N- says in her own tongue, and what she say's in common. Only a minor gripe.

- N-'s interaction with the Terran feels a tad awkward. He seems to know too much about N-, and what's with the flirting? Is it meant to be flirting?

- I don't quite get why the Terran, and the Captain have any interest in N-, hell why did the bar tender have any interest in N- at all?

- Ok, so N- is a celebrity? Missed that. That seems a big point, something N- would care she wasn't, maybe that needs to be established a little more clearly.

- I assume everyone hate's Terran's? That's why N- reacts the way she does? Wouldn't N- be more questioning of why the Captain has any interest in her at all?

- N-'s chain of thought from start to end, where she ends up in tears feels a tad messy. 

- It's made clear at a business level why the Captain wants N-, but on the emotional level, why is he being nice to her? Especially if he wants no crem dung.

- The ending of the chapter feels too much like an echo of the previous chapter, with this chapter not really bridging the shift in N-'s emotional state, or her chain of thought.

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15 hours ago, toomsta said:

This chapter is a tad rough, but you did say that. Honestly, I'd skip most of the beginning, establish N- is a celebrity in a clearer manner and why she is, and clean up her interaction with the Captain, give us something that can make the shift to her taking on the job and resolving to get back home seem more organic.

I think @toomsta sums up what I think about this very well. I thought this was better than the last couple entries, mainly because N and Y have a good chemistry (or I know their future chemistry). That said, I still don't see why N protests this job offer so much more than, for example, the one from last time. This one is demonstrably better. There are better interactions near the end, where Y makes it clear he doesn't care about the rules, and is probably a smuggler. If that was made clear sooner, then N would at least have a legal excuse to refuse him, even if she really wants to go.

On microaggressions, I think they come across clearly, but like toomsta says, it's all pouring out at once, and makes the bartender and the blonde guy seem like toddlers asking too many questions at once.


Notes while reading:

pg 4: "It’d been under the guise of not being able to meet her dietary requirements,"
--I'm still not sure why N's aren't liked. Do people know enough about them to think people from N will mess the carpet or something?

pg 6: “You’re her, aren’t you?”
--so how widespread is this? Does everyone know about her?

pg 9: "yet no one was wearing any shoes."
--This is the second or third time this has come up, and I don't remember it from the books...?

 

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I'm dying. No amount of coffee can overcome this fatigue. Sorry this is short. :mellow:

Of the three parts, this one is the best. It has a beginning, middle, and end and they all flow decently into one another.

I still don't understand the card game. It feels really random still even though I can see it's been given more justification in-story. All the same, it ultimately doesn't do anything. We learn everything about Yo, Ne, and the job from their other interactions, and its ineffectiveness just makes it look like filler. 

I agree that the rapid-fire questions go on for far too long. Pick two or three of the best ones for each character, maybe, and give Ne a chance to halfway respond? It might help to space them out a bit. Also, I think you could probably up the sleaze on the smarmy pua/celebrity stalker. It was amusing when he got punched, but Yo's repeated beating on him made me feel for the poor guy. :3 

Agree with most of the other comments, too. I'm lacking a lot of buy-in still, and a decent sense of the stakes. So far, Ne's only managed to look like she flies off the handle for barely any reason, and I know that's not the case. And I still think Ne + Journey Youth would help some of it. 

 

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On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

What's with N- and gender? The N- are genderless or something, right? Is that why it's a thing?

The idea was that N is pretty sheltered and this is her first time really out and about in the systems. Lot more than the three genders she has on her world, and she's trying to mentally sort it out without getting anyone too angry with her.

On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

Why did N- swear when the bar tender asked her age?

It's from the second part (you may have not read it). She hates being a journey youth, basically. Could also be WRS maybe.

On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

like a child with ADD

LOL okay okay. Will cut

On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

He seems to know too much about N-, and what's with the flirting? Is it meant to be flirting?

If you're referencing the first terran then yes, it's bad flirting. I've edited the start of the short to indicate N's minor celebrity status, so hopefully this whole interplay makes more sense now.

On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

Wouldn't N- be more questioning of why the Captain has any interest in her at all?

Good point. Will add.

On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

feels a tad messy.

Messy enough to throw you from the narrative? Her thoughts are pretty messy here, so I was trying to be true to that. I don't want it to be a turn off, though, either.

On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

why is he being nice to her?

I'm actually hoping to let this hang in this short, as it leads right into the next one

On 1/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, toomsta said:

The ending of the chapter feels too much like an echo of the previous chapter, with this chapter not really bridging the shift in N-'s emotional state, or her chain of thought.

Could you elaborate on this? Last chapter we left with N angry and closing off an avenue of communication with her homeworld. This one she gets some hope and decides to someday return home.  Is there something specifically that needs to be brought out more?

 

Thank you so much for your comments!

 

On 1/9/2018 at 5:08 AM, Mandamon said:

and I don't remember it from the books...?

It gets at least one call out every book, and is sort of a running gag. All of these call outs won't stay in here, likely. I'll edit them down eventually.

On 1/9/2018 at 5:08 AM, Mandamon said:

I'm still not sure why N's aren't liked.

Okay, have edited to try to clear this up.

On 1/9/2018 at 5:08 AM, Mandamon said:

Does everyone know about her?

Edited to call this out early on in the short

On 1/9/2018 at 5:08 AM, Mandamon said:

seem like toddlers asking too many questions at once

I cut this waaaaay down

On 1/9/2018 at 5:08 AM, Mandamon said:

That said, I still don't see why N protests this job offer so much more than, for example, the one from last time.

Huh. I really missed the explanation on that, didn't I? Have added in and I think it helps a lot. 

Thank you, as always! How soon until we start seeing some new stuff from you on here, @Mandamon?

 

On 1/11/2018 at 8:53 AM, industrialistDragon said:

and its ineffectiveness just makes it look like filler. 

I'll try to fix this.

On 1/11/2018 at 8:53 AM, industrialistDragon said:

Also, I think you could probably up the sleaze on the smarmy pua/celebrity stalker.

Hmm. I don't want him to be so sleazy he seems out of place in the Systems peace. Will ponder this one.

On 1/11/2018 at 8:53 AM, industrialistDragon said:

I'm lacking a lot of buy-in still,

I'm not sure how to help this, short of giving the shorts a plot continuity outside of Ne gets exile and has to meet up with Y sometime. I'll be curious to see what you think of Y's short, which I'll sub this upcoming week. Thank you for all this! Hope you're feeling better!

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Comments :)

  • “she only had the night to kill before Captain Slick—she couldn’t pronounce its real name—was ready to leave orbit” – Little confused. So, they’re not on Mars, but above Mars? “Might as well enjoy being planetside while she could”. Ah, no, in which case, not in orbit? Or did they come down planetside in a shuttle?
  • “The tendons in her hands hurt from the frigate’s interface” – A frigate is a naval (military) ship, that’s not what she’s piloting, is it? I guess I'm saying, don’t call it a frigate. Def: Frigate – a warship with a mixed armament, generally lighter than a destroyer (in the US navy, heavier) and of a kind originally introduced for convoy escort work. Yeah, it’s a dredger, right? That’s definitely not a frigate. CONFUSED! :huh:
  • Seems odd to keep the food printer on the bridge. Don’t they have a galley or common room?
  • She’s not a very good bartender, firing off all those questions instead of stringing out the conversation, and being a listener. Also, patronising is not idiotic, imo.
  • “she might have been willing to accompany him to his room or ship or whatever” – I don’t know how to process this, as I have no idea of N’s level of experience.
  • “She knew his voice” – From just a snort? I'm not entirely convinced.
  • For me, the moment of meeting doesn’t quite click. I like the ‘gamble’ line, but it becomes a bit repetitive by the time it is answered, finally. I think that the language around here gets a bit wordy and could stand some tidying up. I've made some LBL suggestions.
  • ‘epithet’ is not the right word there, I would say. Its meaning is “an adjective or phrase expressing a quality or attribute regarded as characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.” But, K’s suggestion relates to a phrase that is a direct statement.
  • I'm finding some of the dialogue rather wordy. Good coming from me, I know, but I'm a firm believer that, when it comes to speaking, most people are lazy, and will skip or exclude as many words as they can.
  • Y’s lack of reaction to her slumping to her knees made me think that he had gone away. I thought it was unclear that he was still there.
  • At the end, when she’s going up into space, I felt it read really flat. It’s the conclusion of the story and I think you need a sense of crescendo, and you get that by being much more descriptive of how it feels to go up into space. The power, the sound, maybe smells. The sight from the view-screen of going into space. I’ve taken the liberty of illustrating my point in the LBLs.
  • I feel like the last line is rather cheesey. Seems to me you could ditch it altogether and end on Neek getting into space under her own power for the first time.

Good story, but I felt that there were some flat spots that could do with punching up. LBLs emailed back to you. Sorry these comments are rather late.

<R>

Edited by Robinski
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On 08/01/2018 at 9:59 PM, toomsta said:

Ok, so N- is a celebrity? Missed that.

I took this to mean that she was sort of notorious as this random N that appeared around 'local' spacestations from nowhere, and generally attracted attention by being loud and objectionable / broke and almost destitute.

On 08/01/2018 at 9:59 PM, toomsta said:

chain of thought from start to end, where she ends up in tears feels a tad messy. 

I second that.

On 09/01/2018 at 1:08 PM, Mandamon said:

it's all pouring out at once, and makes the bartender and the blonde guy seem like toddlers asking too many questions at once.

And this. I didn't mind Y pressing her quite hard, because he was no doubt losing patience with her attitude, but why would the other two? Thinking back, I do struggle to put a finger on what blondie's tone was. Was he gushing, impressionable young fanboy, or predatory lounge lizard?

On 11/01/2018 at 4:53 PM, industrialistDragon said:

So far, Ne's only managed to look like she flies off the handle for barely any reason

I agree with ID.

I'd like to read this again once it's had some TLC.

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9 hours ago, kais said:

I don't want him to be so sleazy he seems out of place in the Systems peace

Why are sleazy and peace opposites? pua don't generally threaten violence... 

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13 hours ago, Robinski said:

Little confused.

Sorry. Will clarify.

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

I guess I'm saying, don’t call it a frigate

Argh, this is a typo! It should be a dredger. Thank you for catching!

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

She’s not a very good bartender, firing off all those questions

I've paired down the questions considerably. I could string the conversation into more standard bartender, but I'm afraid it would make the intro piece a little long, and I think the consensus is that it's already too long?

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

as I have no idea of N’s level of experience

Level of experience... with sex? Could you elaborate on your confusion with this part? 

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

For me, the moment of meeting doesn’t quite click

Well, darn. I'll try to get this fixed.

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

I'm finding some of the dialogue rather wordy.

Yeah, this is a common issue I have with first drafts. I'll slim it down with edits.

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

Y’s lack of reaction to her slumping to her knees made me think that he had gone away. I thought it was unclear that he was still there.

Holdover from previous version, where he did go away. Thanks for catching!

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

I’ve taken the liberty of illustrating my point in the LBLs.

Excellent, thank you. I'd planned on expanding it out a bit anyway so these will help. Thank you for sending the LBLs for all these shorts, btw! Really above and beyond here!

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

Seems to me you could ditch it altogether

I'm okay with that!

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

Sorry these comments are rather late.

No worries! Thank you for the feedback! On to your LBLs!

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

Thinking back, I do struggle to put a finger on what blondie's tone was. Was he gushing, impressionable young fanboy, or predatory lounge lizard?

ATM, I'm good with this. I was trying to walk that line between is he decent or is he scummy. Might push him closer to scummy later.

7 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

pua don't generally threaten violence... 

I guess in my mind, in the Systems, the patriarchy that leads to a lot of this type of behavior is under a bit more control so when these things happen they're not so... generally horrid and more start of reasonable and maybe slowly evolve to more base actions. Anyway, everything's up for edit so I'll have another go! Thank you all!

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Quote

Messy enough to throw you from the narrative? Her thoughts are pretty messy here, so I was trying to be true to that. I don't want it to be a turn off, though, either.

It's messy enough that I don't buy her thought process, does that make sense? Even if a character's thoughts are messy, there needs to be some kind of basic logic that can be followed.

Quote

Could you elaborate on this? Last chapter we left with N angry and closing off an avenue of communication with her homeworld. This one she gets some hope and decides to someday return home.  Is there something specifically that needs to be brought out more?

In both endings she wants to return home. In both endings she is given a way to do that. Obviously she hates the first one, and is more hopeful of the second one. I think perhaps if N was more active in looking for alternatives to getting home, rather than it coming up just at the end of the chapter, that might work. I need to go on her journey from angry at her uncle, to hopeful she might have found a way around that. 

 

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10 hours ago, kais said:

I'm afraid it would make the intro piece a little long

God point. Tend to agree.

10 hours ago, kais said:

with sex?

Yes.

10 hours ago, kais said:
21 hours ago, Robinski said:

Thinking back, I do struggle to put a finger on what blondie's tone was. Was he gushing, impressionable young fanboy, or predatory lounge lizard?

ATM, I'm good with this. I was trying to walk that line between is he decent or is he scummy. Might push him closer to scummy later.

It was more that has age seemed to fluctuate with this tone, if you see what I mean. At first, I thought he might be Nick.

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On 1/12/2018 at 10:55 PM, kais said:

Thank you, as always! How soon until we start seeing some new stuff from you on here, @Mandamon?

Glad to help! I'm back from PAX South today, and didn't get any writing done while I was there, but hoping to get a second pass on first part of the new novella this week. I may have something for next week or the week after?

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