Asmodemon

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Asmodemon last won the day on December 28 2012

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  1. It is. One year I had to do close to 20K in the last day and I actually managed it. That was a grueling day though,
  2. Do it I am doing NaNoWriMo this year, but instead of starting a new story I decided to try and finish the one I'm already working on. Got 3800 words done so far, and having a blast with it.
  3. Nice action packed chapter. Like Shatteredsmooth I didn’t notice that it was longer than previous submissions, it read very quickly. I liked the whole chase scene. Most of my comments are from the start of the chapter. Tranquilizer: Since Q. and M. were knocked out I don’t know how long they were unconscious, but they did wake up at a narratively convenient time. Out long enough for Mor. to make his escape, and short enough to be awake again when the police barged in to make for two convenient suspects. It’s also convenient that Mor. was carrying both lethal rounds and tranquilizers, but he’s been pretty much on point for most of the story so I’ll accept he had both on him even though he was there to kill someone. Hiding: At the end of the previous chapter I thought Mor. was the second passenger, hiding underneath the covers for an opportune moment to strike. But this chapter shows that there was a second body in the bed with Mor.. So, if the second body was the second passenger, how did Mor. get into the room unseen in the first place? There’s police outside, R. was awake in the bed…so how did Mor. get in? For that matter, how did he get out? Did all the police officers leave at the same time to give him the opportunity? Framing: I assume Mor. was planning to frame the first doctor or nurse who’d be in there alone, just as soon as he got the info he needed from R.. Nice for him that it was Q. he could frame. Not so good that he showed his face to Q. and let him live – that’s a pretty big loose end. I wonder then if it hadn’t been better for Mor. to just kill Q., maybe frame the thing on M. or just accept that the police are going to look for a mystery killer (who nobody can link to him), rather than let the man who saw his face live. There’s always the chance that the police might have believed Q. and though he succeeded in his mission his identity is now out. That means there are now a lot more people to kill.
  4. Looking forward to it That's probably true. With two chapters not on Q&M, that's easily two weeks where they don't appear, which makes it feel longer than it actually is. Do you mind if I ask how you feel about that? It seems to be dividing people a bit. I am not opposed to timeskips, or looking back on something happening in a flashback. It can be quite effective to hide something in the narrative and then pop it out as a big reveal. But in this case the timeskip is five minutes and the following narrative dives right into the very thing we just skipped out on. Seeing T.'s distress is quite powerful and I am interested in seeing how she got in that state (so in that regard, good job), but I'd be equally (and maybe more so) interested in reading along as the events unfurl that sweep the legs out from underneath her. I think it could also be emotionally powerful to just be in those five minutes and seeing T. crumble as M. lays out what he knows. Sounds good to me
  5. Overall: There was some good stuff in this chapter. I liked T.’s emotional rollercoaster, as well as seeing the disaster unfold through T.'s perspective (it was pretty exciting), but I was concerned about having yet another POV character as well as knowing all the information of the mystery I presume Q&M are going to have to solve. POVs: I think I had this same concern the last time I read these submissions, but so far there have been a lot of point-of-view characters, without a real focus on any of them, or why the reader should care – something is happening in the facility and we’re getting to see it from several perspectives. I feel this would work better in a visual medium as a sort of montage, rather than in a book. The titular main characters haven’t had much time to shine in this so far and personally I’d rather figure out what was going on along with them rather than having it all shown beforehand. But maybe that’s just me Forward and back: I had to pause a bit at the five minute later part, where we start with the fallout of what M. had to say to T. and then double back to what has just happened. At first read it felt like we were skipping over the interesting part, where M. tells T. what he knows and wants from her and then seeing her reaction along with that. Instead we skip to the end and have T. brood on it. Emotional: I liked the emotions the scene with M. and T. invoked. Powerful stuff, and it helps in quickly getting us invested in T.. Blackmail: I can sort of get why she’d go along with something to prevent her affair from coming out, but looking at it objectively it doesn’t feel a compelling enough reason to go along with M.’s plan – the cost to the affair coming out versus to cost of getting caught, or even succeeding in what she’s going to do, feels disproportionate. Convoluted plan: M’s plan in this feels overcomplicated, and hinges from the very start on everything going his way. If T. had refused at any point, and just accepted what he had on her and faced the music, it wouldn’t have worked. For a man who has the kind of security access to scrub security feeds, wouldn’t it be easier to get T.’s credentials from the system or from her, do the work himself, use an android to open the gates, leave T.’s body for food for the creatures, and then scrub every security feed with him on it? Additionally, the contact for M. at the end (the Old Man?) knew the plan was most likely going to fail because it was too convoluted – then why let M. go through with it?
  6. Likewise
  7. Sounds good I'm not participating in any panels. This is also my first WC, so I'm looking forward to see what it's like.
  8. First of all, it’s nice reading about Q. and M. again. Despite the flaws I really enjoyed the previous submissions. For this chapter I have to agree with Mandamon. The banter between Q. and M. is good, but most of the chapter is them not doing anything. And when it comes to them going through the available jobs every other job sounds more interesting than the one they are going to take. R job: Doesn’t sound to interesting for the reader, or for Q. and M., and they say so themselves. Knowing what I know from the previous times I read your submissions I know there’s more to the job than R. is letting on, but maybe a bit more of that should show through the request rather than it being a standard ‘fetch quest’. Or have it make more sense for them to take an easy task as a sort of holiday. Library job: I like that Q. accepts the library job, because he doesn’t think the R. job will take a lot of time and it makes sense to take that job instead. I don’t think that was in the last submission I read and I really like this addition. Maybe the library job can actually help sell the R. job as well. So, if they accept the library job, and that jobs requires them to be in Europe in 10 days, then they have some time to kill (maybe the timeframe can be a bit larger?). I can imagine that after the last book they would have had to take some time to recover, so taking another break would not be good for business. That could prompt them to take the R. job to kill time and make some easy money locally, not knowing it’s going to lead them into trouble. Father-in-law (1): One the one hand the ending of the chapter is a zinger to get us interested in an otherwise easy sounding job Q. and M. and have just taken, but personally it doesn’t work for me. It reads a lot like a PI novel where the main character is stuck on a case, but the bad guys make a move to take the PI out, thus revealing something to the PI that helps move the plot along. In this case, if the father-in-law hadn’t called, Q.’s interest wouldn’t have been piqued, and if something were to happen to R. it’s likely Q. would have just dropped the case. Instead, because of that phone call, Q. is committed to it. It’s like you’re trying to force Q. and M. to take the case, and stick to the case, because the plot requires it even though it doesn’t make sense for them to do so. Father-in-law(2): The fact that the father-in-law knows Q. accepted the job so quickly shows that the man has power and connections, but it feels a little convenient that not five minutes after Q. spoke to R. he already knows and calls personally.
  9. Yeah, I am, looking forward to it too
  10. I also think changing it from a few years to a few months would work better. Rather than having accepted that T is gone forever, as the three year difference has done, E would still be in the middle of mourning her wife as well as holding out hope that she isn’t gone, that she’s out there somewhere. It would explain why a successful doctor, who could get her own type of tree to grow on that planet, would be out there serving as a sentry. If it was just about avoiding her family E could have locked herself away in a lab and focus solely on work. This way her motivation for being out there could be that the rational part of her is looking for T’s body, but another part is hoping to see T alive, just over the next dune. That would be a good motivation for E to break cover and get close to the M when she sees the headband.
  11. Yeah, that's probably better done in a longer piece, rather than a short story like this was supposed to be, where the through line is about something else entirely. In this submission the addition of the paragraph stating E.'s gender nonconformity feels a little tacked on and its additional or removal wouldn't actually affect the story in any meaningful way. It does I don't traumatize easily
  12. This reads a lot better than the first iteration. There’s a little more urgency in what’s going on without the extraneous moping, but it’s still a slow start. The fact that the M. are looking for E. helps with hooking me in, but like Mandamon I feel like there’s something missing. Beetles and flyers: The visual is confusing to me. The M. are riding flyers (e.g. machines that fly, just like the one N. used) but they are also riding the beetles. Are the flyers mounted on the beetles? If so, are the flyers creating the movement (if so, why need beetles?) or the beetles (if so, why the need for flyers with engines that create dust clouds?)? We need to talk – I mean stab: This came very much out of the blue in this version. The M. know E.’s name and title and they couldn’t just have guessed this from E.’s appearance alone – the gear would hide most of it. So they were indeed looking specifically for E., which I take to mean that the M. wasn’t just trying to distract E. and gain the upper hand in a struggle. So why stab E. with a sharp implement? I could understand some kind of taser, because though E. appeared to want to listen, if I was in the M.’s shoes I wouldn’t just take it on good faith that E. would stay to listen to the end and/or come along. But this wasn’t a taser. This was a very sharp implement in a place where medical attention could be a big problem. Some of my points from the last version: Planet’s worth: The previous version really had me wonder why this planet was colonized if it was so horrible. While I’m still wondering what the worth of the planet is, now that there’s less introspection by E. about how horrible everything is the question about the planet’s value is no longer a burning concern, now it’s just a question I’d like answered along the way. Female planet: This works better, leaving it as a mystery what the original reasons were for making an all-female planet, but do making clear that there was a reason to do it, even though E. doesn’t know what that reason was. The addition of the technology for reproduction also helps. It’s still a risk to do colonization that way, for should the technology fail and none of the other colony ships make it, the human species would still be doomed, but the mention that there was a rationale for this decision makes me less bothered about the risks of doing colonization that way. E's likeability: E's character is also helped by being less moody and introspective. It sets E. apart from So., the previous main character who came to mind. It makes sense that E. would drift away from the people she loved after losing T., rather than E. being an introverted lonewolf type character like So. was.
  13. It’s been a while since I did this, and that seems to be a recurring trend as well. So, here we go Info dump: There is a lot of information in these first pages. Some of it was a bit redundant, I think you explain what the sun side and the cold side of a tidally-locked planet mean at least two times in the first couple pages. Most of it though is E. remembering what life used to be on Earth with seemingly equal parts longing and hate, and each time E. remembers it slows down the pace of the chapter. Likability of E: Seems fine to me so far. E. is a tough character with a bitter history and that shines through – for the most part it’s understandable, like losing her wife, being stuck on a shithole of a planet. What I don’t like so much is the constant reminiscing of Earth and lamenting her lot in life. Also, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, but E. does remind me of a certain other main character from another book you wrote, and I wonder if you’re not rethreading the same ground here. Inciting incident: I’m not really feeling an inciting incident here. As far as I can tell there are three things going on: E. hates her life on Q., and people who care about E. want E. to stop moping and get on with her life. E. however does not want this, and makes no move to do so, so there isn’t really an inciting incident there. Then there’s the M., but I’m not really feeling the threat here, since E. has already made it clear that they are dying out anyway and it seems this small incursion was stopped rather easily. There’s the question of what happened to T. out in the dunes, and if she encountered the M., but at its heart T. is still (most likely) dead due to terminal cancer (if not the environment), so where the body is and what happened to it is not all that compelling to me. And it’s not really all that compelling to E. either because, as E. says in the beginning, she had three years to look for T. and didn’t. Given the above the first chapter so far is a character hating their lot in life on a horrible planet. Hologram: This confused me. When N. first appeared you describe a sand tornado and then N. wiping the dust from herself. I thought she was actually there and had stepped through a dust storm to get to E., but nowhere in there did I ever think she was a hologram. Earth’s shadow: Not sure what you mean by Earth’s oppression of the colony world, since you just described how Earth is gone and therefore there is nothing to oppress. The planet itself still gets some help and colonists from the outside galaxy, but for the most part the planet is left to fend for itself – not really seeing the oppression. Tidally-locked planet: I like this, it’s interesting to see what you’re going to do with this. All female planet: Seems like an odd thing to do, create a colony full of people who – without artificial or outside help – can’t naturally reproduce. If anything goes wrong with their technology and/or their off-planet sperm supply the colony can do nothing except slowly die out. Seems like a bad investment, considering the cost of colonizing a planet and the fact that the planet that started the whole colonization process was on the verge of being destroyed and now actually is. Planet’s worth: E. wants to get off the planet, so there are other colonized planets out there apparently and an Earth II as well, so it’s not like there’s a need to stay on such a horrible planet when there are better planets out there. So if Q. is so horrible, what’s the worth of the planet that would have: Drawn colonists there in the first place. Keeps them there when there are, potentially, more hospitable worlds out there. M.: I thought these had to be aliens, but they seem to be human? Is that correct? E. converses with one of them but I’m still not sure what they actually are. Rough start: I do want to see where you’re going with this, since you’ve written cool stuff before, but I agree with you that this is a rough start and I’m not really hooked by it yet.
  14. I agree with Mandamon and ICanDream, that there is way to much exposition at the start of the chapter. The latter parts of the chapter were better, as R. is finally doing something and the amount of exposition goes down a little. I get that you tried to make the info-dumps as interesting as you could, but in my opinion you’re better off cutting most of it, focus on the character instead and sprinkle in the information later when we’re more involved with the characters. At the end of the day an info-dump is still an info-dump. Setting: I like the setting and want to see more of it. I don’t like how it’s basically being told to me rather than being shown through the character’s thoughts and actions. Disconnected sections: There doesn’t seem to be a lot of connection between the sections of this chapter, especially in the beginning. There’s exposition on one subject, then exposition on another, then the character briefly does something, then several more sections of exposition, and then when we get back to the character doing something else I’ve already forgotten what he was doing in the first place. Very jarring. Name: Getting to know the main character’s name on page three, after two pages of exposition, is a bit late for me. Scrap hunt: After all the exposition I was really hoping for something interesting to make all of it worthwhile, but to me the scrap hunt was a little anti-climactic and the other characters involved in it, T. and W., read very much like caricatures to me. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but so far this chapter has way to much exposition, a main character that is hardly present because of it, and the antagonists are more comic relief than a threat. I mean, W. is even literally rolling on the ground, laughing. Who does that? Especially in a junkyard with sharp objects all around? Setting the scene: There’s a lot of exposition, and maybe that caused me to skim read parts, but while there is a lot of background information on the setting there isn’t much setting the scenes of where R. actually is. For instance, up until R. suddenly mentioning there’s a ground manager I had no idea there were other people around other than R., T. and W.. I wouldn’t mind a little more time spent on painting the scene.
  15. It's the clothing thing. Granted it's a bit weird to find someone you're looking for in a random forest in the middle of nowhere, but you did establish that this is what A. does. But A. is a professional, she wouldn't be wandering the forest in those weather conditions in those clothes. And I feel that S. should have picked up on it sooner. Ah, I did not have the impression that M. snuck out to do this. In that regard it makes sense that there are no guards around now. From what I read before I got the impression that M. had a temporary headquarters in a tavern, which was known to the guards and other officials, and that she was basically operating closer to the people rather than from afar from the palace. Which is probably what she wants S. to believe. I do think that keeping the number of irrelevant characters low is a good idea. Even in epic adult fantasy this is probably a good idea. Suggestion: Introducing a guard detail early on in the chapter, then having the guards move with M. against the bandits wouldn't have to take a lot of words. Especially since we're in S.'s perspective, who at that time is focussing more on being reunited with M. as well as riding a horse to pay much mind to an escort. We don't even need any names for them and we don't need to see any fighting, since S. goes into the forest early in the encounter. Then rather than M. having chased off the bandits (which felt odd anyway and lessens their impact), she could stumble on S. while fleeing, while the guards form a perimeter to give M. time to flee. Other suggestion: Have M. avoid guards more when they're in the city, so the reader can get a feeling about what's going on. Like I mentioned above, the behaviour of the bandits (attacking, then running away) feels weird and lessens the threat posed against M. and S.. The feeling I got was that it was a band of bandits, meaning M. is heavily outnumbered. Running in that scenario is strange. Now if it's just one or two bandits, amateur, country folk, and they get confronted by M. charging at them, that might surprise them enough that fleeing would make sense. But like I said, in my mind there were more, at least five to ten bandits.