kais

02/07/2022 - Kais - MM - Chapter 2 (V)(S)(L) - 4679 words

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Chapter 2, and the last chapter I’ll submit before this heads to my agent to see if he wants to green light the rest or not. Any and all comments welcome, even if lesbian dildo detectives isn’t your genre.

V for implied violence (this is a PI who solves sex crimes)
L not so much for cursing, but because I use the anatomically correct names for genitals
S because sex is talked about pretty constantly 

My goal is a noir feel clearly updated for modern times, with lesbian thematic elements. Also hard wood science. You’re going to learn something while we talk about sex toys. Mostly, I hope it will make you laugh.

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Well apologies in advance for writing something well enough I really don't have any critiques! A few typos here and there, but I love the arc, Y is an amazing character, and also I need to read the next chapter now. You can see my slow love of Y building through my notes. (Also if your agent doesn't green light it, you know what to do...)

For a sexcapade book, there's a surprising amount of cool information in this! It really keeps it grounded (somehow) against all the absolute ridiculousness. I'm am fully on board for the investigation.

Notes while reading:

pg 1: D's methods of dealing with Y are hilarious.

pg 1: "She may never be able to be around true African mahogany again"
--I feel like, in the grand scheme of things, this destiny is not as bad as some.

pg 2: "the grandmother knew the wood was toxic"
--okay, that's amazing.

pg 3: "Former roommates turned potential stalker did have a few benefits, maybe."
--this is a great way of making Y tolerable. Turn the "proactive" and "competent" sliders way up even though the "empathic" one is at 0.

pg 4: "wore for her job at Jiffy Lube"
--well, with some prior knowledge, this is an unnerving piece of foreshadowing...

pg 4: "Thanks for letting me tag along. I needed a pickup. House number?”
--stop making me care about Y!

pg 5: “Onward dildo soldiers!”
--LOL

pg 6: "“New. I have been forgetting to cancel my subscription."
--*blinks*

pg 8: "luxurious feel and unexpectedly pleasant alopathic effects"
--errr...

pg 9: "thought her very gay grandson could do with a more masculine partner"
--oh, well that's nasty.

pg 10: “What’s in Peoria?”
--from experience, Caterpillar and absolutely nothing.

pg 11: “You’re very defensive for someone who didn’t blow up a quick lube facility,” 
--wonderful.

pg 14: "and pretended to write on what D assumed to be pretend paper."
--*blinks* (you got two this chapter...don't push it...)

pg 16: “And that’s why I now follow every case and every person you work with. You’re welcome.” 
--okay, so I now think Y is actually necessary for D.

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I wasn't as immediately drawn into this one as the other. The pastel coffee was a bit distracting. But once things got moving, I was engaged and chuckling. 

I couldn't tell if D had genuinely forgot the laptop or if she forgot it because Y had taken it. The forgetful part is very relatable if that is the case. 

The grandma was terrifying. Hostile gift giving comes to mind. 

I was snickering every time the word lube came up. 

Y was hysterical when being evasive about the JL being on fire.  

And the old guy with the invisible pen...so sketchy. 

Can PIs get warrants? 

One general questions / point of confusion. So when I think of noir detective, I think of murders or missing people. Figuring out whodunit. But it seems like they already know who the culprit is in these cases and D is more of a consultant / let's prove why this dildo was deadly type thing? Am I getting the right picture?

I guess this isn't much of a critique...but it's hilarious and fun to read. 

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As I read:

Love the chapter title.

“her equally pastel beverage…” this is the first time pastel has appeared in this sentence. Maybe the beverage is horrid? (I mean, I assume it is… yikes.)

Oh, so THIS is where the “oh god why” starts. I … I take it G’s grandma did not like G’s partner.

P4 “You parent is old” should be “your”

Where they expecting the grandmother to be here? It seems weird to me that the grandmother is here.

“and G wedge in” I’LL BET HE DID.

I mean, uh, that should be “wedged.”

(I’ll just show myself out)

p7 “Incorrectly labeled…” Is it incorrectly labeled because the wood actually isn’t teak? Otherwise I don’t think I follow.

I do not associate “sleek unfinished” with luxury, I associate it with splinters. :P

p8 “I try to be mindful of chemicals…” I cannot for the life of me figure out what this grandmother\’s deal is. She’s trying to be mindful of chemicals but still poisoned her child-in-law with a dildo…?

“The allergy was unfortunate…” Okay, I guess it was not an entirely deliberate poisoning.

P9 “...covers the medical bill,” need a closing quotation

“No one was permanently injured.” I mean, if someone required a vaginoplasty I feel like that’s kind of permanent.

“C needs to chill” C HAD TO HAVE A VAGINOPLASTY WHY DOES NOBODY SEEM TO THINK THIS IS A PROBLEM

Did Y get fired from her job? If so, I’m sure it was spectacular.

CALLED IT

p11 “You’re very defensive for someone who didn’t…” Hahahah YES

“How are things with your ex, P?” At first I thought Y was addressing D as if she were P. I’d just leave as “How are things with your ex?”

“tossed square at D’s face” missing an “it”

Alas poor Jiffy Lube, we hardly knew ye

D did not make a “while Rome/Jiffy Lube burns” comment in response to Y’s “occasional fiddler” comment. D is a better person than I am.

P15 “Am Ha is very close to Am Hi…” Really? From a PI? I thought she’d be more savvy than this.

Wait, if her timeline was that tight why did she drive all the way out to the dildo factory today to begin with?

Overall: I wasn’t sure what to make of the G-C-Grandma scene, and I’m struggling to put my finger on what wasn’t landing for me. I think it’s partially that I didn’t totally understand the purpose of it – D says she follows up with everybody at six months, but surely she does it with some sort of purpose in mind? And it had this weird family therapy dynamic, though it's probably supposed to be weird. Sorry, I wish I had something more specific than “I had a hard time with this scene,” but I definitely did.

Thinking about it a bit more, maybe hanging a lantern on the fact that Grandma is there when she shouldn’t be (D doesn’t react to this at all – come to think of it, the other party doesn’t really react to Y showing up unexpected either) would help like this.

And… people are weirdly cavalier about the fact that somebody needed surgery. That doesn’t strike me as a “no harm done” kind of result.

Y worked better for me this time—in fact by now I’m quite taken by her—but it took me a few more pages to warm up to her. I think because that’s how long it took for us to seeing something from D other than “NOPE.” It’d be helpful to see a tiny bit of her redeeming qualities – some reason D keeps her around, basically. She can still be a disaster! Just a very slightly mitigated disaster.

I’m still really enjoying this! Looking forward to the next chapter.

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Pg 1:

I wouldn’t necessarily consider rainbow-swirled to be in the pastel category, so the “equally pastel” comes across funny.

The paragraph introducing G’s situation feels a little maid/butler.  Especially the “…gift from G’s grandma” sentence. I think the “How could I forget…?” sentence might get the point of the previous sentence across on its own.

“sugar film” ugh.

Six-month ? I feel like that’s supposed to be hyphenated.

“it’s not unusual to have lingering symptoms”   This line plus the following sentence seems a little repetitive.

“knocked over D’s cup…” Gah. Why does no one react to this happening?

Pg 2:

“…they have people for that.” Ways to make me dislike a person in five words, number 1.  Though it also bothers me that D isn’t all that concerned either.

“From her…backpack, Y pulled D’s laptop”  Is there a specific reason this is in this order and not swapped? The wording feels awkward.

Pg 3:

There are a lot of “did”s  in the second paragraph. The “had in fact” and the “did indeed” in the same sentence feels repetitive.

“hooked her arm into D’s” I think Y would stress me out to no end if I interacted with her in real life. Give me my personal space bubble!

“counter-culture”? another thing my brain wants to add a hyphen to.

“act of god” God should be capitalized here. Unless you're shifting the phrasing to refer to some non-specific god, in which case it should be adjusted to fit.

“she fumbled” I know I overuse em-dashes, but it seems like that or an ellipses would fit better after “it’s”  The line is definitely a broken-off thought, and “she fumbled for the right word” isn’t really a saidism

Pg 4:

“went uncharacteristically silent.” For some reason, I read this as the car just turning itself off (no engine noise). Maybe consider rewording?

A good portion of a page full of a whole bunch of street names seems like a lot.  In general 6-7 street/development names on one page seems like a lot. And I like odd street names.

Pg 5:

“were C, and G’s grandmother” shouldn’t need the comment after C.

C’s pronouns seem to shift back and forth from she to they throughout.

Pg 7:

“Right-side page” “three-sentence description” missing hyphens

Pg 9:

“No one was permanently injured” …but they did have to go through surgery and extensive medical care and related trauma. That’s not a concern?

“Wow there” -> ”Woah, there”?

Pg 12:

“She led Y to a three-story…” typo and missing hyphen

Pg 16:

“Ignoring the fact that D was no longer responsible…” the phrasing of this makes it seem like D isn’t the one doing the ignoring. Maybe switch her name with the “she” in the next phrase?


Overall:

Dialogue, general text flow, etc. are all excellent as usual.  The characters are also excellent for what they are, but Y just grates on me. I'm in the minority on that, and she does her job well.  I just can't help being a bit overwhelmed by her.  But, again. It's hard to say how much of that is due to reading at the end of a long, too-social week. 

I'm not entirely clear about the purpose of the meeting with G and C except to hand over the information about the warehouse.  I'm not clear on what it would involve for her to be checking in on under "normal" circumstances. 

 

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I’m conflicted about this chapter. There were some things I liked, but on the whole I didn’t care as much about this one as I did the first one.

Awesome:

  • Two of the things I liked are the fire that hints that Y is indeed a psychopath as well as the creepy warehouse and the creepy warehouse guy. Something felt like it was happening there. These are also two things I’m confused about, in the sense that I don’t understand why they’re in this chapter in the first place (more on that later).

Boring:

  • Like the previous chapter I wasn’t really interested in the first 2.5 pages of this chapter. It felt like a maid-butler conversation, as they both D and Y know the details of the previous case.
  • Knowing the details about the previous case, the part at the house with the granny lacked any mystery to it and with it tension. Didn’t really care about the two partners or the granny, as I expect that these characters won’t be showing up anytime soon anyway.

Confusing:

  • Feels odd that someone who so easily forgets her stuff is a PI.
  • Why is D. going after the dildo business herself? The case is done, the clients won’t pay her for this and isn’t this more of a police matter (they’re selling poisonous stuff) or some other government or consumer agency? Later on an explanation is given, but it’s pretty late in the chapter and the explanation is settlement money. I’m not really versed in US law about this, but why would D. be eligible for settlement money? She’s not a victim in any of this.  
  • My confusion about the interaction between Y and D from the previous chapter remains and I’m getting more confused. Y is not just a stalker, but might be a psychopath who set her old place of work on fire. And this doesn’t seem to bother D. at all. The mixed signals are still there as well, D internally knows she shouldn’t keep Y close, but the first words out of her mouth following those thoughts are always invitations to Y to come along and do stuff together. This is a weird relationship.
  • Why go for a six month follow-up of a case that’s already solved? There’s no more money in it, in fact going to the victims only costs money. The cases are embarrassing enough as they are, why would they want the PI to come visit them? I can understand it if D somehow feels emotionally involved with the victims, like she helped on a years long case to figure out the murder of their child or something. But this is a simple case of wood-poisoning where the culprit quickly confessed. D also doesn’t seem to particularly care about these people either.
  • Why did Y drive past her old place of work if she knows it has just burned down (because she set it on fire?). Is the town really that small that she had no way of avoiding it? Even saying something as simple as that she doesn’t want to be seen near it because she fears she’ll get dragged into working a shift would have made sense – and you could foreshadow that the place burned down by the news on the radio maybe?
  • Why even go to the warehouse if they don’t have an appointment and only have 15 minutes before they have to go back? That’s not enough time to do anything or really talk to anyone. One traffic jam or something and they wouldn’t have had any time at all. What is the point of the trip, other than show the fire at Y’s workplace and the weird warehouse to the reader?
  • So Y’s stalking saved D from falling for a money transfer scam. So we have a PI in a field where there are virtually no cases, who forgets her important belongings, who gets pushed around by a psycho-stalker ex. What is D doing with her life? It doesn’t really make sense to me.

Don’t believe:

  • I don’t believe it when Y. says D. is assertive (“verbally flagellate a sixteen year old”) at all. This is very much tell, not show, because from the first two chapters, especially the interaction between Y. and D. I would say D. is a pushover.  

Miscellaneous Stuff

  • D’s name: Am I the only one whose brain is constantly trying to change D’s name to Delilah?
  • Small mistakes:
    • Page 4: “You parent is old”à “Your parent is old”, missing r
    • Page 9: the medical bill, à the medical bill,” missing quotation
    • Page 13: desk wasthe oldest à desk was the oldest, missing space
    • Page 13: appearance not helped à appearance wasn’t helped
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4 hours ago, Asmodemon said:

D’s name: Am I the only one whose brain is constantly trying to change D’s name to Delilah?

I keep seeing it as Delia.  Which may be how it's pronounced, but the h at the end makes me want to give the iah the same pronunciation as Jeremiah. 

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