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Robinski

Robinski - 270808 - AK Dead Horse - Part 10 - 3542 words (LV)

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Hey all,

Okay, here is what is either the penultimate or third-last part. I'm rapidly storing up some major issues to tackle in the edit. These will not all be perfectly dealt with and solutions assimilated into this latest part, so please bear with me as a I start to pre-think about how to tackle them. You might notice some groundwork here, but I know I still have much to do in this and preceding submissions.

Since there's been a week in between, a short recap. J and Ch are in Lord P's mansion carrying out the robbery. Pen and Kris are lurking around, and Gar has been sighted by J, who wonders what is going on there, and if they have been betrayed. Lord P has caught J and revealed the book to him, and that all the names are victims who he extracted power from by eating their marrow. Lord P believes he is fighting for good against a week king, to make Wen great again (ahem). He has tried to turn J against Ch, and attempted to demonise her and her people. J is conflicted since his bust up with Ch (which I need to develop better in previous parts). At the end of the last sub, Lord P sends J off to find and subdue Ch.

Oh, and I've changed Pen-ack's name to Per-ack, as it was even closer to Pen-nice before. Don't know if that's better or not, or if it was an issue before.

Best, Robinski

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Overall, this read well, but I think it could be streamlined a lot. I'm not sure why P disappears and leaves J alone, now that he's been caught, and I don't know why the guards don't engage or do anything by themselves. Again at the end, J and C don't actually engage, they just threaten. I think this whole section could be pumped up more by having additional "yes, but" moments to make things worse for J.


Notes while reading:
pg 96: Seems a little plot-ful to leave the study without the bones only for J to have to rush back in without supervision.

pg 97: "I turned away from the desk and moved back to the corridor. P and his light were gone"
--What now? Why would P leave him along at all? There's just a lot of in the room, out the room, and it could be streamlined better.

pg 97: "nearest and dearest"
--nearest and dearest what? possessions or family? Also, why didn't the guards interrupt him in the study?

pg 99: "At the edge of the landing I saw more below me"
--if there are that any guards, couldn't they search for C themselves? They could cover a lot more ground instead of following J.

pg 100: "met him with a heavy gut punch"
--Does tiger marrow no longer make him go nuts?

pg 100: "I pulled more marrow, but rejected the rage that came with it,"
--ah. Got it. I'd like to see J struggle with it more if that's the case. This is only the second time he's used it.

pg 101: "bloody tin whistle "
--what is this?

pg 101: The tiger marrow makes him violent, but this only comes across as J being more confident. He's always able to tamp down the anger. Seems like a missed opportunity for more tension.

pg 103: "Once again I pushed the violent rage away"
--still want to see more "yes, but"

pg 104/105: I think the confrontation here could be more tense. J and C don't actually act against each other, even though they've got heightened powers.

pg 106: "I hadn’t lost C; I never had her."
--this can be a good revelation with some more support earlier in the story.

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So I skimmed some of the changes to the preceding chapters, and while I can tell it's still a work in progress, I'm also not throwing all my flags on the play anymore, so good job and keep going!  :)

Over all, I agree with @Mandamon pretty completely. There was good action, but the revelation with Ch lacks the impact it could have, and the interactions with P and his guards seem like the whole lot of them are holding idiot balls for the chapter, without any good reason to be doing so. I enjoyed seeing J master the tiger, but I agree it could be made more intense by having him struggle a bit more for it. 

As I go:

I am still not sold on Ch being the linchpin for everything.  I mean, P's plan, ultimately, is to nom on a human who has consumed the super powerup tiger bones, right? It's the human-nomming part that makes animal-bone-powers permanent? Ch's non-human-nomming ability to keep her powers is mostly through training and is being used as a scare tactic, it feels like, because P isn't saying that he'll get the ability to keep all powers by nomming on Ch specifically, he's saying he wants the powerup from the tiger bones without the ragey side-effects or going to the effort of learning Another School of Magical Animal-Bone-Nomming. Yes? If so, then, really, all he needs is the tiger bones, and some schmuck to eat them. Eat the schmuck, get the power. Could be anyone. Could be J, if "high potential" is also conferred with the cannibalism along with the animal power.... So, I'm still having a hard time understanding why P is so obsessed with Ch, when he's holding the means to his ULTIMATE POWAH right in his hands (and monologuing at his "high potential" lunch). 

I agree that J just being left alone to do... whatever doesn't make much sense. Also, why is P just leaving the bones there? Aren't those important? As a back up plan if nothing else, because if Ch isn't forthcoming, then he still has the force-feed-schmuck/nom-schmuck plan to fall back on...

Did you know, for years I thought the song "man-eater" was saying "whoa-oh here she comes/ she's a mind-reader" instead? I thought it was an awesome song about a kick-butt telepath. I'm older, i know what it really is, and I'm singing it to myself whenever I see Ch's nickname now. :3 (I'll take earworms over cringing any day of the week! I like the combo nickname much more now)

"already too bloated with it to see anyone who unlike him" -- I think this is missing a/some part/s? 

Once the fire starts, the action is good, and enjoyable, but I'm still not clear on why anything is happening with J, and why P just left him alone? Also, I'm still confused about where my heist story went. This action adventure sequence is good and fun, but it's still not lining up with the first part of the story, and it feels a bit off to me for the political thriller chapter we just left. It's like the narrative is having the same identity crisis J is... 

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Overall
Generally, I liked it! The pacing was a bit off and I think it could be streamlined, but it flowed well otherwise and had reasonable tension. I'm looking forward to the conclusion now, although I'm still confused about the book and what having one's name in it means or doesn't mean. WRS?

On 8/28/2018 at 8:21 AM, Mandamon said:

this can be a good revelation with some more support earlier in the story.

Agree!

On 8/30/2018 at 5:56 PM, industrialistDragon said:

P and his guards seem like the whole lot of them are holding idiot balls for the chapter, without any good reason to be doing so.

Also agree. Their sudden lack of agency and doing anything was weird.

 

As I go

- page 98: I do really love 'corpse witch'

Certainly, we’d have no time for calm discourse towards a logical conclusion. This is the most in-character line in the whole book, I feel like. It wraps your MC up perfectly

- page 100: I think I would have liked a bit more of the plan go through his head before it went into action. It seems too abrupt as it is.

- page 103: all the in the head business is slowing down the action. 

- solid ending!

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Many thanks for reading, Man.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

but I think it could be streamlined a lot

Yeah, first draft.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

I'm not sure why P disappears and leaves J alone, now that he's been caught, and I don't know why the guards don't engage or do anything by themselves.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

Seems a little plot-ful to leave the study without the bones only for J to have to rush back in without supervision

Yeah, I'll need to tidy this up. I've cut the double-take.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

I don't know why the guards don't engage or do anything by themselves

Clarified a bit. They're expecting J to lead them to Ch.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

Again at the end, J and C don't actually engage, they just threaten.

Okay, I've worked on that, and added a little more dialogue.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

Why would P leave him along at all?

Clarified.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

why didn't the guards interrupt him in the study?

I was hoping it was implicit that J was being left to the task that Per had appointed him to. Perhaps not! I've tried to imply that more heavily.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

if there are that many guards, couldn't they search for C themselves?

I've sought to clarify the notion that Per doubts they can do it unaided (by J) - due to the evidence of the ship.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

I'd like to see J struggle with it more if that's the case.

Agree. Done!

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 101: "bloody tin whistle "
--what is this?

I've change it to 'darned' (but not that, the other 'd' word). He's cursing having to lug the mandolin case around and wishing he played a smaller instrument.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

The tiger marrow makes him violent, but this only comes across as J being more confident. He's always able to tamp down the anger. Seems like a missed opportunity for more tension.

Good point. I'll see what I can do about that... I think it's better now with some tweaks.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

still want to see more "yes, but"

I've sought to do more of this. This is perhaps the biggest take-away for me. There isn't enough change in J's attitude, and behaviour under the influence of 'm'. Spot on.

On 28/08/2018 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

this can be a good revelation with some more support earlier in the story.

I think so too.  #edit

Great comments. Thanks so much. Definitely better now with more to come! :) 

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On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

So I skimmed some of the changes to the preceding chapters, and while I can tell it's still a work in progress, I'm also not throwing all my flags on the play anymore, so good job and keep going!

Awesome, above and beyond! I really appreciate that, thank you.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

Over all, I agree with @Mandamon pretty completely. There was good action, but the revelation with Ch lacks the impact it could have, and the interactions with P and his guards seem like the whole lot of them are holding idiot balls for the chapter, without any good reason to be doing so. I enjoyed seeing J master the tiger, but I agree it could be made more intense by having him struggle a bit more for it.

I've had a pass at these things already, and yes, I accept these various points.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

.... So, I'm still having a hard time understanding why P is so obsessed with Ch, when he's holding the means to his ULTIMATE POWAH right in his hands (and monologuing at his "high potential" lunch).

Yeah, this is one of my weaknesses: plot divergence by discovery writing, ending up somewhere that doesn't hang together because it's not been thought through sufficiently..., yet! I need a better hook for why it has to be Ch.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

agree that J just being left alone to do... whatever doesn't make much sense.

Somewhat more explanation for this, but it won't really hang together until that thread is rewritten in the edit.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

"whoa-oh here she comes/ she's a mind-reader" instead? I thought it was an awesome song about a kick-butt telepath.

:lol: That's awesome. Poor enunciation has given us some classic fake lyrics over the years.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

I like the combo nickname much more now

I feel like it's still in flux, there are such good alternatives.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

I think this is missing a/some part/s?

Definitely:   already too bloated with it to truly see anyone who was unlike him.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

but I'm still not clear on why anything is happening with J, and why P just left him alone?

Agree, needs works. Patched up for now, but I'm eager to get finished Draft 1 and into the edit. ( :unsure: except I'm also eager to get back to Q & M...)

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

Also, I'm still confused about where my heist story went.

I'm hoping that aspect will improve by my intended strengthening of the family aspect of the early plot.

On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

This action adventure sequence is good and fun, but it's still not lining up with the first part of the story, and it feels a bit off to me for the political thriller chapter we just left. It's like the narrative is having the same identity crisis J is...

Hmm, yes. I seem to continually shy away from 'simple', which I mean in the sense of clear, concise and direct.

Excellent comments, ID, thank you so much. Lots to think about (as usual!!!) :) 

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Hey, thanks for reading, Kais.

On 01/09/2018 at 4:16 AM, kais said:

Generally, I liked it! The pacing was a bit off and I think it could be streamlined, but it flowed well otherwise and had reasonable tension. I'm looking forward to the conclusion now, although I'm still confused about the book and what having one's name in it means or doesn't mean. WRS?

Cool. I the pacing is modified a bit not, hopefully better. Name in the book, essentially means an apprentice of Lord P, those names scored out since consumed.

On 01/09/2018 at 4:16 AM, kais said:
On 31/08/2018 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

P and his guards seem like the whole lot of them are holding idiot balls for the chapter, without any good reason to be doing so.

Also agree. Their sudden lack of agency and doing anything was weird.

I've tried to hang a lantern on this, and have removed J's back and forth for the bones and pages.

On 01/09/2018 at 4:16 AM, kais said:

I do really love 'corpse witch'

Noted :) 

On 01/09/2018 at 4:16 AM, kais said:

This is the most in-character line in the whole book, I feel like. It wraps your MC up perfectly

Well, it's good there is a line that does that! I must admit, I started out trying to avoid 'long words' and tried to make him seem more grounded and less 'intellectual' in his word choice. The trouble is, that sort of puts a damper on my ability to be more expressive with the language.

Question: would it be a disconnect to keep J's dialogue 'common', but use more erudite language for his internal dialogue?

On 01/09/2018 at 4:16 AM, kais said:

I think I would have liked a bit more of the plan go through his head before it went into action. It seems too abrupt as it is.

I've added something...

On 01/09/2018 at 4:16 AM, kais said:

all the in the head business is slowing down the action.

...but it's more 'head business' :lol:  I'll need to try and streamline that in the edit.

Great comments. Thank you so much!

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I'm a little late to the party here. I had edits to make and a deadline to meet, but I finally got to read this. 

Honestly, I don't have a lot to say. It's a short excerpt that moved along pretty quickly and ended with a hook that made me want to read on, unsure if Chari died, got injured, or conjured the flame on purpose to cover her escape. I think it's the later. 

Otherwise, I believed the decisions he made, and that he would have a little more control over the tiger now that he knows what to expect. However, I was surprised at how much control he had. Part of me thinks he might have struggled more with it. 

The end scene with Chari was interesting, along with his reaction to it. As she told him she didn't care, she spent time convincing him to leave, and waited to the last minute to user her power to get away from him, proving she isn't as cold as he had convinced himself, and that whether it is romantic or platonic, she does care about him a little. She could have broke away from right away, jumped out the window and left him to die. She could've killed him. And this scene does show he isn't completely in control of the marrow because he is being irrational.

OK, maybe I had more to say than I thought, but I did really enjoy the section. Here are a couple notes I made as I read.

"No point in not" I read this wrong at first and after I got a couple paragraphs past, I had to go back and reread. It makes sense and is probably okay to leave, but someone reading too quickly might  get tripped up by the intentional double negative. 

"Corpse Witch" works better I think, than black witch. It keeps race out of it and seems more relevant because she is pretty good at making corpses. 

"...who unlike him..." something felt off there

..."away from hari..." I think you are missing a letter. 

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10 hours ago, Robinski said:

would it be a disconnect to keep J's dialogue 'common', but use more erudite language for his internal dialogue?

Hmm. I guess it would depend. If you set up his character as trying to downplay his intelligence in certain situations, then it would work. If you don't give an explanation for it though, could be two different voices for the same character, and that would be jarring.

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6 minutes ago, kais said:

Hmm. I guess it would depend. If you set up his character as trying to downplay his intelligence in certain situations, then it would work. If you don't give an explanation for it though, could be two different voices for the same character, and that would be jarring.

Yeah, that's what I thought. I set out with the intention to trying to write a different voice, especially since I'm writing in first person (most unusually for me). However, it ain't worked, and I've lapsed back into my default tense, pompous pejorative.

Edited by Robinski
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