Mandamon

20180226 - The Society of Two Houses - Part 4 - 3474 words - Mandamon

11 posts in this topic

4th submission!

I'm skipping over the other two parts I submitted, as I updated them similarly to the first section. I feel like this is starting to go in the right direction. This is all of part 3. Let me know what you think!

Our story so far:
M finds the body of the Speaker when arranging a time to present his new invention. The Speaker had been in possession of a list of members of the secret society M belongs to. He tells the head of the Society, who confers with the record keeper for the society. The head explains about the history of the Society and how it will probably be shut down if word gets out. M needs to find the killer and the list.

M talks to his two colleagues, who work together closely on the technical details of the automatons they are designing. One goes with M to talk to two other members whose names were on the top of the list. Both have a means for getting around the Society's geas that keeps people from talking, but neither seems to have motive for the murder. M and his colleague go back to the record keeper, who they find lying in a pool of blood.

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:D It's been a long time since I've critiques or submitted and I'm happy to be back at it! It looks like I'm the first to comment on this one! Yay! I haven't read the other 2 parts, so @Mandamon take my comments with that in mind :D Also, I probably would have put a Gore (G) tag on here, just to be safe. Also, you have 2 characters in here whose names start with M, so I'm going to use M to refer to the main character, and Moort. to refer to the other.

  • On page 1, I'm a little confused with whos who. I realize this probably wouldn't have happened if I had read the other two. I think it may also be from you getting confused with names. So I think by the end of page one, the main character is still "I", and his friend is G, and then Moort. is someone else, right? 
  • Right off I'm getting the impression that these guys deal with this stuff all the time. They're being very callous, which based on your summary of the other two parts is understandable, just figured I'd point it out.
  • Definitely need a (G) tag on here
  • What are they playing these Melodies on? Is it an instrument? Or something else? I'm really confused but I think reading the other two parts would have solved that for me :P
  • Ok, so I'm starting to get the impression that by "attuning" (if you don't mind my using that word) the Melody of Potential they're basically watching a replay of what happened? Am I right?
  • Wait!!! G has paws and is furry!?!?! Also something else that probably wouldn't be a problem if I'd read the other parts. I'm not sure if me mentioning these is helpful or not, but I figure I'll point them out just in case they haven't been mentioned in previous parts.
  • The dialogue and voice here on pg. 4 are great!
  • "Thus it was mere happenstance when G called out, "Aha"!" a few minutes later, and I ran to her side." This feels really clunky, especially the "and I ran to her side" part.
  • I'm still a little confused about how all this music/Melody stuff works. Also, I don't know if you're a musician or not, but as far as I know you don't "Tune chords". You tune strings, keys, or other physical parts of the instrument. I don't know if you've thought about this or not, just figured I'd point it out.
  • Ok, I've got the names down, Moort. is someone else that hasn't had a role in this part of the story yet.
  • I still don't understand quite how the Symphonies and Melodies work yet, but I have enough of an understanding now to realize what's going on.
  • When they start talking about how "I" never lived in the mansion I feel like they've gotten a little off track from the problem at hand.
  • The way G goes from a "Wait, what do you mean," to a "You don't have to tell me" feels a bit inauthentic
  • On pg. 9, when M says he could trace who held the weapon, he mentions he could use a combination of symphonies. Is it normal to combine symphonies for specialty use? If it is normal I don't think he would have mentioned that he would combine the two, and instead just say he could trace the weapon.
  • Ok, I'm really starting to understand the symphonies now, which is fantastic, and I love the way you've built it up over the course of this part, although I was a little frustrated in the beginning and I think it could use some more description or explanation in the first part of this part.
  • When G mentions checking the wounds on pg. 9, and M thinks that if F had less hair, G would be green, I got a little confused and it took a few reads of that sentence to figure out that F is the species that G is, and that they have a lot of hair (which is why G is furry). I just wonder if you could make it a little easier to get this at a first glance, maybe mention that G is an F earlier in the story (which you very well may have done in earlier parts)
  • In the second to last paragraph of pg. 9, they decide that Moort. will have more ideas, but they say they can trust them. Was that supposed to be he/her? Or is Moort. a group or species? Up to this point, I have the impression that Moort. is a singular person. Again, you may have established this in previous parts.
  • Ok, so Moort. is a singular person. I think that bit about the them was either a typo, or you were referring to more people and it just didn't come across.
  • Nope, not a typo, I understand now.
  • After finishing the rest of the story, I just have one more comment. Based on what I know of the characters, especially how G kept the body out of her eyesight, I think at least G was acting waay too callous in the beginning when the body was found.

Overall I really liked the story! It drew me in and although I was a little confused with the whole Symphony thing, I think I have a basic understanding now, and I'm excited to read more! I might even go back and read the other two parts when I have a minute  (which I'm sure are in my inbox somwhere)

Edited by MasterJack
Didn't mean to post that yet
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Reading this one first this time!

Overall

Not a lot of comments on this one. I liked the end a lot, with the flare up of the SB, and the ending! A few stray typos, but otherwise, chugging along. I'm still having a hard time investing, but again, I think that's more that I don't generally read mysteries. Writing was smooth!

As I go

- slashed with cooking knives? Harsh

- page three: saying the 'he didn't struggle' out loud seems redundant, since they've already talked about it twice.

- page four: what's the timeline here? I'd assume the secretary has now found the first body and the police are after our protag?

- page nine: you have a typo where 'dep' should be 'deep', I think

- page 11: oooh, the ending is excellent!

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Thanks to @MasterJack and @kais!

On 2/26/2018 at 6:43 PM, MasterJack said:

I probably would have put a Gore (G) tag on here

Noted--there's another section at the end that I'll need to tag as well.

On 2/26/2018 at 6:43 PM, MasterJack said:

I haven't read the other 2 parts, so @Mandamon take my comments with that in mind

I think about 80% of your confusion comes from not reading the first few sections, but if you do read them and are still confused, please let me know!

On 2/26/2018 at 6:43 PM, MasterJack said:

They're being very callous, which based on your summary of the other two parts is understandable, just figured I'd point it out.

This is a good point, especially in regard to G. I'll take another look over this to make sure I get all the right emotions included.

 

12 hours ago, kais said:

I'm still having a hard time investing, but again, I think that's more that I don't generally read mysteries.

Hm...I'd like to see what you think on a full read-through. Do you think the lack of investing is from not identifying with the main character, or from the plot? Is the story by itself interesting?

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I am very interested in this section now, in a way that I wasn't before with previous sections. I think this is mostly due to the plot however, and not the characters. Ma has a bit more personality this time around, but still feels pretty generic to me. His friend strikes me as a pretty typical sidekick for this sort of adventure. Mo is Mo, and since they're not spouting weird conspiracy theories I don't really have an opinion of them one way or another. The action moves along nicely, and the deductions section made it feel more like a mystery to me than the previous sections did. The ending was really good! 

 

As I go: 

"unbalance the species " -- I am unclear what this means? My first thought is vertigo, but it can't be that literal... 

"something wickedly sharp" -- er, yes. That is very obvious. I cringed a little bit at this line. It's the sort of thing that gets put in crime drama TV shows a lot, but I think that's so that you can follow the deduction scene even if you were out getting snacks during the scene with the body. We just read a description of the wounds so we already are caught up with how they look. (Also, aside, things that are as sharp as or sharper than kitchen knives: sewing shears! haircutting and barber's blades! Animal grooming tools! Probably certain woodworking tools that are used for high detail or fine cuts! Hunting/carcass dressing tools! The specific nature of not just knives, but "kitchen knives" makes me immediately wonder where they are in relation to the kitchen, and why/how they knew just  from looking at the marks it left behind that it was that kind of blade and not any other of the myriad things that could hold a smooth keen knife-edge)

I am much more interested in this section than I have been with previous parts. The descriptions of the symphonies feel more dynamic and natural in the deductions section as well. 

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@industrialistDragon - Awesome! Glad this is interesting you more. I think the lack of personality is going to be a perennial problem with this sort of plot, but you may find some more meat next section? Not sure. I'll be beefing that aspect up even more in later edits.

9 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

unbalance the species

Ah--politically. I'll clarify that.

9 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

something wickedly sharp

Very good points here. As the characters are mainly scientists/engineers and not chefs, I'll look for some more interesting and pertinent objects they might think of more readily.

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Posted (edited)

I’m feeling a bit out of tune as I start this again, having have a flip back to the first part in between. So, be ready for some WRS :)

  • The phrase “changing from a wind quartet to a flute” doesn’t chime for me. If nothing else, would it not be more like going from the solo to a duet, since M was sensing Healing alone, then joins G in sensing Potential? Have you had a musician read the stories to check the musical reference for accuracy and authenticity?
  • regular syncopation” – This is an oxymoron for me. The definition of syncopation is something that involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat. I don't think you can have 'regular syncopation'. If it’s regular, it’s something else.
  • cycle markings” – Huh? I'm a traffic engineer; this means painted markings on the road for the benefit of cyclists. I think you mean the date was marked?
  • At the point where G comes to answer M’s call, in the following conversation, you've lost me there. There are lots of statements flying around here, and I don't think there's a clear path to this conversation. Needs work, imho.
  • my parent’s parents’ good friend

There’s a lot of good stuff in here, and I like the tension. I’ve provided LBL comments, which I hope are useful. I think my main issue here was some of the fuzzy logic in the arguments which, clearly, is a really important aspect of a mystery-thriller. This is a great story though. Of all the d-verse stories I have read, this one is the most urgent and exciting, I think.

<R>

Edited by Robinski
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On 26/02/2018 at 11:43 PM, MasterJack said:

It's been a long time since I've critiques or submitted and I'm happy to be back at it!

Great to see you back, Jack :) 

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Thanks @Robinski! Very helpful as always and the LBLs are much appreciated!

10 minutes ago, Robinski said:

changing from a wind quartet to a flute

Yeah, that was an experiment in prose, and I'm not sure I like it either.

11 minutes ago, Robinski said:

Have you had a musician read the stories

Not yet, although I met a lady who's working on a musical for Mistborn down in Charleston (!) and she's going to read them soon. I was classically trained in violin, so I have some knowledge, but it's been a while for me...

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14 hours ago, Mandamon said:

working on a musical for Mistborn

:huh:

:blink:

:wacko:

:unsure:

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On 3/1/2018 at 5:25 AM, Mandamon said:

Do you think the lack of investing is from not identifying with the main character, or from the plot? Is the story by itself interesting?

I like the story idea, for sure. I like the MC better this time around than I did before, but I think it's...maybe the pacing? Maybe a bit the pacing and a bit the MC? Let's give it a few more chapters and I can tell you more.

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