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Robinski

Robinski - 180402 - TCC Chapters 5 & 6 - 5657 words (LSVG)

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Bonjour, tout le monde. I hope everyone is having a pleasant Easter.

Attached are Chapters 5 and 6 of TCC; please forgive the slightly higher word-count. Hopefully, these will be interesting, stimulating and exciting enough that you will not notice!!

Same old all-encapsulating comments would be splendid. Many thanks.

Best, Robinski

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I like that we’re back in Q. and M.’s perspectives in chapter five. Still not quite sold on the other perspectives yet, since there are still so many in such a short time. You’ve made some changes since the previous submission of this chapter, and looking back I had three issues with the previous version.

 

Issue 1 - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: The last time Q. still thought he had delayed onset muscle soreness, several days after the strenuous activities. It’s good to see you fixed this with him realizing he’s pulled something more severe.

 

Issue 2 - The Old Man: Last time I wondered why the ex-father in-law was called the Old Man, and now Q. addresses this in a nice reply to M.’s earlier reveal about her past. I’m liking Q. and M. more and more.

 

Issue 3 - Involvement after the murder: And the third issue was that I didn’t buy why Q. would actually do so much for a client he hadn’t met, for a case he hadn’t really accepted yet. The reasons he gives now work for me.

 

M. calling R.: Nice addition, it both helps cement Q.’s rationale for taking on the case despite the client crashing and it’s a great bit of dialogue for M.

 

Timing crash and M.’s call to R.: Even though I like the addition of M. taking the initiative and calling R., they come across the fire of the crashed plane a little too quickly after hanging up. Q. thinks a little, then tells M. to message the client. This can’t have taken more than a few seconds after hanging up, so the plane would still have been in the air, getting close to landing. Yet after those few seconds they see the fire of the crashed plane, but didn’t see the plane crash? And the police is already on route to the scene? That’s mighty quick for them, since less than a minute ago the plane had still been on a perfectly fine landing approach, with no sign of going down. Timing-wise this feels off to me.

 

Driver’s license: You’ve said that it’s unusual for Q. to drive himself. Is that because he usually has someone/something else do it for him? Or is because he doesn’t have a driver’s license? The comment about not really needing a license due to all the security features in cars in the future makes me think it’s both these reasons. However, drivers’ licenses apparently still exist, otherwise why would Q. remark on it? So if they exist, they should be mandatory in order to drive a car, otherwise, why have them? And if they are mandatory to drive a car, they should also be mandatory for renting a car. So either Q. doesn’t have one, and should probably not be able to rent a car. Or he does have one, but then why remark on cars being so safe that he wouldn’t need a license? This remark would have made more sense if he’s let M. drive the car instead.

 

Chapter Six: Another jump back in time to Mor’s perspective. Not really a fan of being in this guy’s perspective. I think part of what’s bothering me about all the Y.Knife perspectives is that they take away the mystery of what’s going on with the case Q. and M. have taken on. We know the major players, we know the evil mastermind behind it all (O.M.), we know the chief henchman (Mor), we know the objective. We basically know everything. To me that’s less interesting than figuring out what’s going on along with Q. and M.

 

OLED: I know that Mor wants to see what’s going on, and apparently infra-red sight is not enough to see with (really?) but for someone on a clandestine assignment shining a massive beam of light comes across as remarkably stupid.

 

Nitpicks:

  • Repaired: “The three compadres repaired to the”. I don’t think repaired is the right word here, or it’s slang I don’t know.
  • Donned his jacket on: The word ‘on’ is redundant in this sentence.
  • Never works with children and animals: Never work with children and animals?
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Generally agree with @Asmodemon that this is reading better, though I think ch 5 could be cut down significantly to increase the pace/tension. I'm also not a big fan of M's POV in ch 6. I have some notes at the bottom, but basically, with what we find out this whole chapter could be summarized fairly easily by R telling Q this information (unless R is dead).
 

I also like the new info on The Old Man, but I want more! Hopefully we will find out some more tidbits soon.

Notes while reading:

pg 3: "And there were plenty, now and then"
--this took me a second read to figure out. Doesn't follow well from the last sentence.

pg 3: Long intro to this chapter. I think the first couple pages could be cut down to get to the dialogue quicker.

pg 5: "Feeling that, once again, he’d been bested by a fourteen-year-old"
--there's a lot of text in here to not actually give the reader any background about either character...

pg 5: "still had self-drive cars"
--I read this as "cars that drive themselves" first, and got confused.

pg 6-7: lots of stuff in here about roads and local elections that don't seem to have much to do with the plot.

pg 8: "beamed at him"
--probably need a name here so we know it's Q and not a video call with R.

pg 9: "she knew how to hurt someone"
--How? By calling him "dad?" Isn't Q old enough to be her father, and her ward to boot? Seems pretty accurate to me.

pg 9: "Q reckoned it was because, often, he felt like a missing person himself,"
--this is a new angle, but I don't know if there's story to support it so far.

pg 9: "Message R and tell him we’ll take the case, please"
--Wait, I though they already took the case?

pg 12: "That’s one you owe me, boss.”
--not sure what this means.

bottom of pg 14: missing question marks when Q is asking N about the crash.

pg 15: "But now there was a contract"
--eh, that's very convenient. It would be less suspicious if they had accepted the contract from the beginning. Unless it's supposed to be suspicious timing.

pg 16: "He’s called the Old Man because..."
--Finally, some background! This is great, as is the end of the chapter. I just felt like it took a while to get there.

pg 17: "She would have known that, after being fed not once..."
--this whole sentence is very convoluted and took me several tries to figure out.

pg 18: "the Old Man managed to take a swipe at his competitors"
--the same one as called Q, I suppose. Makes a good connection.

pg 18: Lots of explaining/telling for M. Maybe some can be shown instead?

pg 20: "Increasingly, M abandoned stealth. This was becoming a race."
--It doesn't feel like it. M hasn't seen anything of the beasts, and seems to be talking himself into beleving things are going badly.

Chapter 6: This felt confusing to me. There wasn't a lot of description of M's position, just a feeling of movement. He didn't actually spot the beasts, but somehow determined that T was not dead.
I finally remembered it was 4 days prior at the end, where things start to come together. But now we know that, I'm wondering if this chapter is even needed. If we find out R found T's body, then we can basically assume the rest.

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Oh yay, Q&M are back!

Overall

I think there is still some fat that could be trimmed but the first chapter is a lot better! Second chapter is...was this a half chapter? I'm unsure what the end of the arc is. But, good momentum. Keep at it! I think the M chapter was weaker and maybe too tell-y. I wouldn't mind a lot more Q&M before getting the villain perspective.

On 4/2/2018 at 9:50 AM, Asmodemon said:

Timing-wise this feels off to me.

I agree with @Asmodemon

On 4/2/2018 at 9:50 AM, Asmodemon said:

Chapter Six:

Also agree completely with this assessment of knowing the baddie too well. There isn't much mystery

 

As I go

- Who is the Old Man? WRS?

- haha love the LOLs

- page five: please tell me that cerulean blue thing is an X-files homage

- page 7: I really enjoyed the breakfast scene, but like last time I think, the drive is a bit long. I'm chomping at the bit for some action!

- page nine: LOL at the wiles interplay! The B reaction is a little harsh to my US ears, but I know it isn't as strong a word in the UK.

- page 17: the time hopping is still a little much, but I could get used to it I think

- page 18: oh yay! Lesbian #2 isn't dead!

- page 18: wait, now there is another Old Man? I'm confused. Also I don't think M needs to reiterate his motivations. They were pretty clear in the last chapter. You could cut this whole 'what he expected to happen' paragraph set

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey, Asmodemon, always a pleasure to read your comments. Thank you for reading again. Much appreciated.

On 02/04/2018 at 5:50 PM, Asmodemon said:

I like that we’re back in Q. and M.’s perspectives in chapter five. Still not quite sold on the other perspectives yet, since there are still so many in such a short time. You’ve made some changes since the previous submission of this chapter, and looking back I had three issues with the previous version.

I'm pleased that the fixes worked for you. I do try and make changes wherever someone raises a problem, because I figure that, even if I don't or didn't see a problem, doesn't mean it's not there :) Having said that, your points were all very much problem, so good to know those are reading better.

Quote

M. calling R.: Nice addition, it both helps cement Q.’s rationale for taking on the case despite the client crashing and it’s a great bit of dialogue for M.

Excellent. I felt that helped with more than one issue. Hopefully, the others will feel the same.

Quote

Timing crash and M.’s call to R.: the plane would still have been in the air, getting close to landing. Yet after those few seconds they see the fire of the crashed plane, but didn’t see the plane crash? And the police is already on route to the scene? That’s mighty quick for them... Timing-wise this feels off to me. 

Totally agree; excellent point. I'll need to fix this. I'll try and move the call rather than just inserting more text, unless I can think of something worthwhile for Q&M to talk about*.

Quote

Driver’s license: You’ve said that it’s unusual for Q. to drive himself...

Darn you and your ironclad logic!! I will need to fix this. You make and excellent point.

Quote

Chapter Six: Another jump back in time to Mor’s perspective. Not really a fan of being in this guy’s perspective. I think part of what’s bothering me about all the Y.Knife perspectives is that they take away the mystery of what’s going on with the case Q. and M. have taken on. We know the major players, we know the evil mastermind behind it all (O.M.), we know the chief henchman (Mor), we know the objective. We basically know everything. To me that’s less interesting than figuring out what’s going on along with Q. and M. 

Good points all. I'm trying to show things getting worse in YN. Also, there's another thing, but clearly I'm not or have not managed to plant it in the reader's mind, nor in Q and M's, so they can't even show the reader. I will reconsider this, because these YN POVs are not that popular, certainly M's.

Quote

OLED: I know that Mor wants to see what’s going on, and apparently infra-red sight is not enough to see with (really?) but for someone on a clandestine assignment shining a massive beam of light comes across as remarkably stupid. 

I will take another pass at this. This chapter has never been edited, which I usually do at least once before submitting. Having said that, I wrote it, so my bad.

Quote
  • Repaired: “The three compadres repaired to the”. I don’t think repaired is the right word here, or it’s slang I don’t know. - Now then. This is actually a correct use of repaired, but it is archaic, and so doesn't really fit, unless the reader can accept it as being sort of in Q's voice. 

           5ac634d49826c_ScreenShot2018-04-05at15_37_18.png.c8a0005edfc2b951d00d121b72c6e9e0.png

  • Donned his jacket on: The word ‘on’ is redundant in this sentence. - Failed edit, thanks. Fixed.
  • Never works with children and animals: Never work with children and animals? - Typo, thanks. Fixed.

Excellent comments. Thanks again. Really appreciate them :) 

<R>

 

* - So, as a registered scatterbrain, I need to keep track of what I'm going to change each week, as I don't always do it at the time of reading the fantastic comments on here. So, I'm going to start highlighting the things I'm going to follow up in blue, just in case anyone cared enough to wander what the heck I was playing at. Did I mention I was scatterbrained? Organisation beats scatterbrain 9 times out of 10!! :D 

Edited by Robinski
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I had some trouble with this section. I'd forgotten entirely that it had been through here before and was reading it like all of it was new material. In that respect, it unfortunately felt very slow and repetitive to me. I agree with @Asmodemon with regards to ch6 and the timing issues in ch5. I agree with @Mandamon regarding the pacing of ch5 and the driving scene. I found the scenes in the car very slow and overly specific to the point where I just gave up trying to follow anything. The repetitiveness comes from the feeling like we are being yet again introduced to the town, and to a lesser extent the characters. 

 

As I go.

I don't think the muscle soreness needs to be capitalized. The acronym gets capitalized because it's an acronym, but when it's spelled out, I think it's just all lower case, since it's not really a formal name of something, it's just a description of symptoms....

So... like... these first four pages really feel like they need to be in chapter 1, and I think it's more tone and focus than plot. There's a sentence about it being snowy in Canada, and it's not bad, but I feel like that was something to include in the introductions and not here when we're trying to get to the meat of the plot? 

I am also confused by "self-drive cars. " maybe something along the lines of "manual control" would be clearer? non-automatous?  

I also agree that the driving scenes are confusing and don't feel particularly necessary to the mystery or effective at establishing the character of the town. They also run on for quite a while.

I like the phone conversation because that's Mo taking initiative. It's also one of the few things in this chapter that isn't a description of a car ride of one sort or another.

I thought a couple chapters back Q turned down a missing person case specifically because he didn't empathize with missing person cases? And now he's saying he takes them because he empathizes? 

"“How would you know, Dad" I'm confused why this is so cutting? Weren't he and M bantering about "if I was your parent" at a diner scene earlier? 

Didn't they already take the case, like, twice, a couple chapters ago? I'm really confused.

"more in pictures than anything else" wasn't rather a lot of stuff burning or exploding by the end of the last book? Also, didn't the art-guy have a fireplace at the beginning of this one?

I've lost all semblance of the ability to keep any of these "x days earlier/later" headings straight. They just fill me with dismay at this point. 

M feels like a cartoon villain, complete with shadowy overboss, and i'm completely uninterested in him or his actions, nor am I interested in the apparently immanent collapse of the company they work for. 

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On 03/04/2018 at 4:05 PM, Mandamon said:

Generally agree with @Asmodemon that this is reading better, though I think ch 5 could be cut down significantly to increase the pace/tension. I'm also not a big fan of M's POV in ch 6. I have some notes at the bottom, but basically, with what we find out this whole chapter could be summarized fairly easily by R telling Q this information (unless R is dead). 

Hey, thanks for reading, Man. Note what you say here. I will read over this again with trimming in mind.

On 03/04/2018 at 4:05 PM, Mandamon said:

I also like the new info on The Old Man, but I want more! Hopefully we will find out some more tidbits soon. 

Excellent. Glad this is working. More details to come.

On 03/04/2018 at 4:05 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "And there were plenty, now and then"--this took me a second read to figure out. Doesn't follow well from the last sentence. --FIXED

pg 3: Long intro to this chapter. I think the first couple pages could be cut down to get to the dialogue quicker. --I've taken the trimmers to it.

pg 5: "Feeling that, once again, he’d been bested by a 14-year-old"--lot of text to not give the reader any background about either character --Edited. Good call. I think it's better now.

pg 5: "still had self-drive cars"--I read this as "cars that drive themselves" first, and got confused. --change to 'U-drive'.

pg 6-7: lots of stuff in here about roads and local elections that don't seem to have much to do with the plot. --I've trimmed a bit. Hopefully better.

pg 8: "beamed at him"--probably need a name here so we know it's Q and not a video call with R. --FIXED

pg 9: "she knew how to hurt someone"--How? By calling him "dad?" Isn't Q old enough to be her father, and her ward to boot? --This is to do with Q's family issues, but not clear, obvs. Edited.

pg 9: "Q reckoned it was because, often, he felt like a missing person himself,"--this is a new angle, but I don't know if there's story to support it so far. --Agreed. I liked the line, but it's not consistent. I'm going to make this about the son he doesn't know.

pg 9: "Message R and tell him we’ll take the case, please"--Wait, I though they already took the case? --I'll need to flag this for the first full edit, as I've lost track myself with all the submission. WRS for my own story!! :unsure: 

pg 12: "That’s one you owe me, boss.”--not sure what this means. --Have edited. She meant that's some background/personal info that he owes her based on their quid pro quo.

bottom of pg 14: missing question marks when Q is asking N about the crash. --FIXED

pg 15: "But now there was a contract" --eh, that's very convenient. It would be less suspicious if they had accepted the contract from the beginning. --Nah. It's all mixed up now. One for the edit.

pg 16: "He’s called the Old Man because..."--Finally, some background! This is great, as is the end of the chapter. I just felt like it took a while to get there. --Cool. I've trimmed the narrative, and will seek to trim it some more in the edit.

pg 17: "She would have known that, after being fed not once..." --this whole sentence is very convoluted and took me several tries to figure out.  --Hah, and this is the shorter version.

pg 18: "the Old Man managed to take a swipe at his competitors" --the same one as called by(?) Q, I suppose. Makes a good connection. --Cool.

pg 18: Lots of explaining/telling for M. Maybe some can be shown instead? --I've sought to tone that done.

pg 20: "Increasingly, M abandoned stealth. This was becoming a race." --It doesn't feel like it. M hasn't seen anything of the beasts, and seems to be talking himself into beleving things are going badly. --Yes. I agree this chapter will benefit from a do-over, if it stays. I've sought to fix 

Chapter 6: This felt confusing to me. He didn't actually spot the beasts, but somehow determined that T was not dead. I finally remembered it was 4 days prior at the end, where things start to come together. But now we know that, I'm wondering if this chapter is even needed. If we find out R found T's body, then we can basically assume the rest. --I'll bear this in mind and see how you guys take the next submission.

Thank you so much. Great comments, very much appreciated. There's plenty to challenge me there, but I think things are improved. It'll still need tidying up in the edit though. I've gone back over enough times that things are getting muddied.

:) 

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Many thanks for these comments, Kais. Most welcome.

On 05/04/2018 at 4:53 AM, kais said:

I think there is still some fat that could be trimmed but the first chapter is a lot better! Second chapter is...was this a half chapter? I'm unsure what the end of the arc is. But, good momentum. Keep at it! I think the M chapter was weaker and maybe too tell-y. I wouldn't mind a lot more Q&M before getting the villain perspective. I agree with @Asmodemon. Also agree completely with this assessment of knowing the baddie too well. There isn't much mystery.

Yup. Fair comment. To some extent I'm going to can-of-worms the M chapter, but there is a potentially larger issue. Which I think I will try and solve by extending the M chapter, You see, perhaps it's too obvious. Perhaps DM isn't the baddy after all.

On 05/04/2018 at 4:53 AM, kais said:

- Who is the Old Man? WRS?--Hopefully so, but I've sort of lost track of the submissions myself!! So, I'm going to power through and save any continuity issues for the edit.

- page five: please tell me that cerulean blue thing is an X-files homage.--But of course it is! :D 

- page 7: I really enjoyed the breakfast scene, but like last time I think, the drive is a bit long.--Trimmed a bit more. I'll keep clipping it each time it gets a mention.

- page nine: LOL at the wiles interplay! The B reaction is a little harsh to my US ears, but I know it isn't as strong a word in the UK.--Hmm, okay. I hear you. 

- page 17: the time hopping is still a little much, but I could get used to it I think.--Again, can-of-worms to the first beta (alpha?) read.

- page 18: oh yay! Lesbian #2 isn't dead!--Yeah, have a little faith ;) 

- page 18: wait, now there is another Old Man? I'm confused. Also I don't think M needs to reiterate his motivations. They were pretty clear in the last chapter. You could cut this whole 'what he expected to happen' paragraph set.--Same Old Man; same can of continuity worms.

Great comments, as always. Thanks, Kais. Much appreciated. :) 

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Hey ID, thanks so much for reading. Really appreciate it.

On 05/04/2018 at 10:55 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I found the scenes in the car very slow and overly specific to the point where I just gave up trying to follow anything. The repetitiveness comes from the feeling like we are being yet again introduced to the town, and to a lesser extent the characters. 

Yep. Fair enough. I'm going to take mum own advice and not go around again on these chapters, but get on with the story. There will be a big fat edit at the end of 30-odd chapters, when I can see the whole story in the round, and know where I'm going with it.

On 05/04/2018 at 10:55 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I like the phone conversation because that's Mo taking initiative. It's also one of the few things in this chapter that isn't a description of a car ride of one sort or another.

Yup. Okay, hearing this loud and clear :) 

On 05/04/2018 at 10:55 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I thought a couple chapters back Q turned down a missing person case specifically because he didn't empathize with missing person cases? And now he's saying he takes them because he empathizes?

Good catch. I'll need to fix that.

On 05/04/2018 at 10:55 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Didn't they already take the case, like, twice, a couple chapters ago? I'm really confused.

Yeah, I'm really confused about this too. #edit

On 05/04/2018 at 10:55 PM, industrialistDragon said:

"more in pictures than anything else" wasn't rather a lot of stuff burning or exploding by the end of the last book? Also, didn't the art-guy have a fireplace at the beginning of this one?

Not so much with the burning at the end of TMM, but I take your point. I will edit this.

On 05/04/2018 at 10:55 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I've lost all semblance of the ability to keep any of these "x days earlier/later" headings straight. They just fill me with dismay at this point. 

Hmm, clearly this is not what I was going for :unsure:. I shall have to consider this carefully.

On 05/04/2018 at 10:55 PM, industrialistDragon said:

M feels like a cartoon villain, complete with shadowy overboss, and i'm completely uninterested in him or his actions, nor am I interested in the apparently immanent collapse of the company they work for.

Yeah, I need to sell the whole plot better. I've got two more subs to the end of Part 1 (although there are no formal parts). Let me get to that point and I will retcon the whole thing. I might put up a précis of what the first 8 chapters should have conveyed, just to allow me to move forward without going back to the beginning again, which I'm just not going to do.

Great comments as usually. Many thanks, ID.

:) 

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