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Mandamon

Facets of the Nether - 2235 words - Mandamon - Sub 1

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Hello all - after a several month break, I'm back into writing. This will be the sequel to the book I posted most on on here, a little more than a year ago. Some of you will be familiar with it.
In any case, I'm looking for any reactions, but especially since this is the opening, foremost if it pulls you in. Anything else is also appreciated, from character reactions, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing.
Thanks!

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I think I've read one or two things in this world. Maybe I read the last chapter of the book when I first joined? And I think you had posted one other piece of something in this world because the magic system around the melodies sounds familiar. 

Anyway, I love the magic system and the way it was explained, so that if someone is coming into this without having read the first book (like me) or if it has been along time since they read it, right away, there is a sense of how that works. The main character, S, was one I could relate to (anxious and sleep deprived). The arc  building up for S to leave the house also works for me. 

However, I think you could restructure the scene so it opens with a knock on the door, or at least so the knock comes on the first page not too long after the weird noise.They could hear the weird noise together and ask each other about it then. Because before E gets there, S isn't trying to leave the house. He is just staring out the window thinking about things and that takes too many pages. Some of what he thinks about can be worked into the scene with the other character talking E. Maybe make it a little harder for E to get S out of the house, and then when S finally does, whatever back story you have covered can come out when they leave?

One reason I suggest this is because I kept forgetting where S was. I had to go back and remind myself he was looking out a window and not walking around a street. Plus, as much as I like to write pages of internal stuff like this reminding the reader what happened before and why a certain character is in their current situation, as a reader, I don't really like it.

I do think the sentences could be tightened up. I didn't mark every single place as I read because I was focused on the story, but I noted a few:

"Extensive libraries in the..." the sentence this was part of felt like it had too many prepositional phrases in it, too many "in the" and "at the." It could be something else. I just got a little overwhelmed by it. 

"could see buildings vibrating" You don't need the see. Just write "buildings vibrated"

"...him, to drive away..." I don't think you need this comma

"by the noise now it was gone" should be "now that it was gone"

"washed out the colors, and leant" you don't need the comma because clause after the and can't stand on it's own. 

"He was sure of that, after..." No comma

"A knock came at the door to...." I got confused in this sentence but I can't pinpoint why

"Eyes roaming all over" Once someone in an in-person critique group said when they read phrases like this, they literally pictured disembodied eyes roaming all over someone and I have never been able to read these phrases the same again although sometimes they still slip into my writing. Plus, it is more efficient to just dive into describing her. This is close third so you don't need to remind the reader that S is seeing E.

"felt his brows draw down" Felt is unnecessary.  His brows drew down works fine. 

"My other best" slip into first person

"was increasing" increased 

 

I'm looking forward to reading more!

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Hoorah! Glad to be back in this world.

Overall

I'm not convinced that there was sufficient inciting incident here to get S to leave the apartment. The emotional buildup is great, and I'm well hooked there, but I thought this fell flat in the last two pages. I think a bigger event is needed, or some type of sneaky bribery, or something, to compel the reader to want to leave the apartment with S. 

Generally though, as a first draft I really enjoyed this! How are things with Ninestar going???

As I go

- a new house? Really? Hooked!

- so, I recently read SEEDS, and I don't remember the new house being revealed. Yet in this first chapter its fact. Did I miss something in the last book?

- pg 2: you've got a 'does' instead of 'did

- pg 2: I'd suggest expanding on the consequences of the Drain movement here. Dropping a line about killing his own parents would be a killer hook (harharhar)

- pg 2: well you're just going all out with the emotion hooks in this, aren't you? Lips on necks? You have my full attention

- 4: his anxiety has moved into self mutilation? He and Sorin should never hang out.

- "You aren't being helpful now, S." Oooh, burn

- 7: the sudden vision seems plot convenient. We haven't had any foreshadowing that A can do this as a species, right? It's very random. It might just need to be introduced earlier in the chapter before it actually happens

 

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Thanks @shatteredsmooth and @kais!

On 10/9/2018 at 10:22 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

I love the magic system and the way it was explained, so that if someone is coming into this without having read the first book (like me) or if it has been along time since they read it, right away, there is a sense of how that works.

Glad this is still coming across for a new reader!

 

On 10/9/2018 at 10:22 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

I think you could restructure the scene so it opens with a knock on the door, or at least so the knock comes on the first page not too long after the weird noise.They could hear the weird noise together and ask each other about it then. Because before E gets there, S isn't trying to leave the house.

 

10 hours ago, kais said:

I'm not convinced that there was sufficient inciting incident here to get S to leave the apartment. The emotional buildup is great, and I'm well hooked there, but I thought this fell flat in the last two pages.

 

10 hours ago, kais said:

the sudden vision seems plot convenient.

I think there's some combination of these three statements that can help me get the inciting incident to work correctly. I was pretty sure there was too many "thinky bits" at the beginning, but wasn't sure what to do about it. I'll ponder on restructuring it a bit.

 

10 hours ago, kais said:

I'd suggest expanding on the consequences of the Drain movement here.

 

10 hours ago, kais said:

so, I recently read SEEDS, and I don't remember the new house being revealed.

I think these are also connected. I don't want to bog down the first chapter too much, but there probably needs to be more explanation. I'll have to check the actual text. I think I hinted at a new house, but didn't come out and say it.

 

Thanks, Shatteredsmooth for the general corrections! Those will be very helpful on the next pass.

 

10 hours ago, kais said:

How are things with Ninestar going???

Still pretty slow on that front. My editor said there are a few projects ahead of mine, so I likely won't hear anything until November. It'll give me time to get words down for most of this book, I hope. I'm already at around 25k--about a quarter of my projected length.

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6 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Still pretty slow on that front. My editor said there are a few projects ahead of mine, so I likely won't hear anything until November. It'll give me time to get words down for most of this book, I hope. I'm already at around 25k--about a quarter of my projected length.

Do you have a tentative release date yet?

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As I go.

  • I’m not a fan of starting books with quotes. 
  • Alien birds? What does that mean? What do they look like?
  • Character conflict is very on the nose. Not saying it needs to be changed, but it’s fairly direct. Not much subtlety here.
  • Your character is broken. I’m an ordinary stable person, it’s legitimately difficult to relate to him. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing either, but I think it is worth saying just so you’re aware of it. 
  • Very abrupt transition. Gong, birds, freaking out, and then suddenly another character has agency and is determining the plan. Last two pages are off. 

In general

  • god I love your world and magic. 
  • The characters are sound, but the way they interact is wack. 
  • You have a fancisinating power dynamic and political situation. Did that play into the past book?
  • did I mention how awesome your magic is?
  • gong needs to be resolved this chapter, or at least they need to address it. 
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It's good to see S back! Fun fact: I could've sworn he was like 12 throughout what I read of the entire last book. Boy-howdy is that not true with this one! XD 

Over all, I think it's just the usual things I"m having issues with -- namely, more emotion from the characters, more clarity, and a bit better integration of the "last time on S Breaks The Nether" sections.

Otherwise, as I go

The beginning is feeling kind of repetitive for me. Having two sentences within a paragraph of each other starting with "Hearing the symphony had gotten easier in the month" feels a bit superfluous to me. 

 I feel like there are a lot of rhetorical questions throughout this section as well.  A few I find are okay, but after a while they tend to bump me out of the story. When S is wondering about his past, those seemed to fit well, but I'm wondering if the rest couldn't be reworded. 

Things seem a little sluggish and muddled with the beginning trying to balance the recap with the noise, but once E shows up I think things started to get interesting.  

I think I might like more direct lampshading of S's mental issues. I sort of recall what-all they were, so I know why he's reacting the way he is, but it's unclear from the text. 

So, if he's amnesia'd, and has been for a while, hasn't anyone else talked to him about who he used to be/his past? I feel like surely somebody'd try to remind him of himself, but he appears to not have any knowledge at all and that confuses me... 

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15 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Do you have a tentative release date yet?

@shatteredsmooth: Supposed to be middle of next year. Nothing more definite yet...

Edited by Mandamon
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Thanks @mrwizard70 and @industrialistDragon!

13 hours ago, mrwizard70 said:

Alien birds? What does that mean? What do they look like?

They're described a couple pages in, but I can move it up.

13 hours ago, mrwizard70 said:

Your character is broken. I’m an ordinary stable person, it’s legitimately difficult to relate to him. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing either, but I think it is worth saying just so you’re aware of it. 

That's very purposeful. I've had a lot of people say they're glad to see a main character portrayed with mental illness. It's helped me a lot to understand it because of my research while writing.

13 hours ago, mrwizard70 said:

You have a fancisinating power dynamic and political situation. Did that play into the past book?

Absolutely!

13 hours ago, mrwizard70 said:

gong needs to be resolved this chapter, or at least they need to address it. 

Lol. This won't be resolved until about 30k words in, but it does come up a lot more. I can add some more attention to it in this chapter, though.

Interesting to see your responses coming straight into the second book. Next submission (or two) will be a completely different character and situation, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you think!

 

11 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I could've sworn he was like 12 throughout what I read of the entire last book. Boy-howdy is that not true with this one! XD

Yep. I think that's one of my biggest failings with the last one. I've read that people with this sort of mental illness often present as younger, but I think I went a little too far. This book will definitely address that...

11 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

namely, more emotion from the characters, more clarity, and a bit better integration of the "last time on S Breaks The Nether" sections.

 

11 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

The beginning is feeling kind of repetitive for me. Having two sentences within a paragraph of each other starting with "Hearing the symphony had gotten easier in the month" feels a bit superfluous to me. 

 I feel like there are a lot of rhetorical questions throughout this section as well.  A few I find are okay, but after a while they tend to bump me out of the story. When S is wondering about his past, those seemed to fit well, but I'm wondering if the rest couldn't be reworded. 

Things seem a little sluggish and muddled with the beginning trying to balance the recap with the noise, but once E shows up I think things started to get interesting.  

Yep. That's already earmarked for edits. I could tell this section is too thinky as I wrote it, but wasn't sure which way to correct it. Your comment help!

11 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I think I might like more direct lampshading of S's mental issues.

Good catch. I'll do this.

11 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

So, if he's amnesia'd, and has been for a while, hasn't anyone else talked to him about who he used to be/his past? I

I'll bring this out more. Basically he's been hiding out, afraid to tell anyone, so it's not yet apparent to many people.

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Okay, the dust has settled and I've found a quiet hour to read, absorb and critique this. Because it's not a small matter, to be undertaken 'on the hoof', between meetings or hurriedly over corn flakes (other breakfast brands are available). It feels like the start of another leg of an epic journey that started X years ago, where X=4, I think.

Page 1

- The title, to me, sounds like a travel guide book. It doesn't will me with wonder, anticipation and questions.

- Wah!!!!! What, where, how? A new house, Mother of Gosh!!! I'm hooked. Bam. That's a sucker punch of a hooks for all your existing readers. Top marks. Plus, straight from the gate, you've allayed any fears that our favourite Kir'n might not be in this one.

- "not that he had even ever been particularly good at teaching" - I think?

- "expressed into some corner of existence. They were also scattered" - These sound like the same things, since the corners of existence must be far apart, surely.

- "buildings vibrating with the resonance of the sound" - surely the resonance belongs to the buildings, and not the sound, which causes the resonance in the buildings? (Sorry, I'm going all LBL, but you know by now with me it tends to be all or nothing. And, as usual, the quality of your prose is high enough that it tends to be little details that stand out).

- "His anxiety had been worse lately. He knew it wasn't him, wasn't his fault that the m. wasn't teaching him, but the thoughts still nagged." - This is the first bit of confusion for me. For me, this is too vague. What is the anxiety baseline we're measuring against? Previous readers will remember the height of S's anxiety in the first days, surely we're not still talking about the those levels? I would think a small addition, explain the baseline, like "after many months of calm after conquering his initial panic..." etc.

- Lot's of parameters set (1) enticing mystery sound [Promise #1]; (2) two of three main characters present; (3) the mouthwatering prospect of another House [Promise #2]. It's all good so far.

Page 2

- "Am I not worthy anymore? What does my new house mean?" - it's not just his new house though, is it? I find his questions rather shallow. Does he not see that there must be repercussions for everyone, not just him? Is he the first? Are there other misfits and outcasts from houses? What are the limits, the characteristics, the facets (ha, yes I'm paying attention) of this new house?

- I have to admit, my memory being what it is, I don't remember too clearly what happened at the end of SoD. Clearly that is what this section is covering, and it's the ideal place for a retrospective. I think this bit could do with tidying up for clarity. "was it a defeat?" is a bit vague for me. Defeat of what/who? I just mean the retrospective could be tighter, clearer, I think.

Page 3

- "looking for bugs to catch" - redundant, imo.

- "washed out the colors" - colours of what?

- "What am I doing?" - Should his internal monologue not be italicised, to distinguish it from narrative?

- "the new music he heard" - but the music's not new, surely, just the fact of someone being able to hear it for the first time.

Page 4

- "my parent's parents' faces"

- "a spike went through him Sam" - suggest, since the last name mentioned is M. C.

- Good time to have another character, and some dialogue. Internal conjecture can get old fairly quickly. I thought this was enough to get the big questions out there and set the scene.

Page 5

- "Then why would she think I would know?" - yeah, the lack of italics mean I set off reading each of these internal thoughts as narrative, and then get a smack in the face when it's S's internal voice.

- "Her entire family had died..." - phrasing here, because of course In didn't die then, so the wording is a bit of a trick. I'd prefer it without 'entire', which is dramatic, but inaccurate.

- "He was always thinking only of himself." - good character flaw, real or imagined, and good way to call it out.

Page 6

- "M. A. visited him on a regular basis" - this is not the first tag that has seemed rather inaccurate. The last name given before this line is the Arid prisoner, so it sounds a bit like that is who M. A. is visiting.

- "trying to fish out more" - or 'fish for', I really don't think the expression works as just 'fish'.

- "S's feet dug into the rug" (paraphrase) - this is passive wording. S. dug his feet in, surely.

- I was going to mention this earlier, but here seems like the best place. The prospect of a new house is, comfortably and by some distance, the most exciting thing mentioned so far, and it's mentioned in the freakin' epigraph. Since then, I've been feeling increasingly put out at the scant mention of it since. S think about it, but he doesn't give much information at all.

So, firstly, I'm probably being harsh, because you have told us roughly what it feels like, and what it affects, and that he has shared the knowledge (sparse as it seems to be) with Or. BUT, what we don't know is (a) who else knows? (b) does R. know? (c) do the Council know? (d) is research being undertaken? I'm guessing (d) is 'No', otherwise there would be more of a furore. I appreciate that S has been living with this for several weeks(?), but I'd like to know just a little more about the context so that I know how to react in certain situations. Does En. know, for example? If I don't know, I'm not sure quite how to take this scene.

Also, how does Or. know it's a new house, and not some other kind of phenomenon? I feel like the epigraph promises that the understanding of this 'thing' that S. can perceive is more advanced that it actually is.

- "Then he took in her messy hair again" - missing word?

- "felt her chewed nails, in their" - delete comma, I think.

- "her dark hair washing over her shoulders" - not sure about 'washing' if her hair is unkempt and unwashed. 'washing', to me implies all silky smooth, like in this shampoo ads.

- "What's wrong?" - capital.

- "He checked her pulse, but it was still strong" - full stop, but more importantly, I don't think 'but' fits. The pulse being strong is not contrary to checking the pulse. I know there's an implication that he thinks her pulse might be weak, but I don't think that's entirely clear and makes the working sound awkward, to me at least.

Page 7

- "He told himself he had to learn everything about them. Then I'll know if something is wrong between us." - I've mentioned this italics issue before, but this example is particularly jarring, one sentence in one mode, immediately followed by another in a different mode.

- "There was no question who she was talking about. "We don't know where he is—that's the whole problem," he said." - there are two different 'he's in this sentence.

- The whole paragraph about being three instead of two, I find it rather vague and 'underwritten'. There's potential for real impact there, but it's not landed; it's vague. 'bigger' is a vague word, and 'spill out' doesn't really mean anything. I think I like the idea behind it, but I'm not quite sure what that idea is. More emotional punch required.

- "He leaned down and rested his forehead on hers." - This is weird. Can he not help her up? Touching forehead with someone sitting on the ground while standing up: either I'm not getting the blocking or it's rather peculiar.

- "E gently pushed him up and away, then brushed a hand down his cheek" - again, physically awkward. she's pushed him away, but can still reach him.

- "It was cold" - that's her POV surely, unless it's her fingers that are cold?

- "Up. Come on." - Okay, did not get that S was (still) on the ground.

Page 8 

- "S pushed to his feet and looked down at E" - confusing because of all the falling over and standing up they've been doing. I know this is because she's shorter than him, but do your new readers?

- "He just had to look for landmarks, build up his knowledge of the grounds" - I don't buy this. This is all the stuff he was doing before, all the coping strategies that he was using to become more confident. I would like S to have moved on a bit. I know it's only a month, but I think what he's been through, and I'm sure I can remember him being more confident  by the end of the last book. I also remember it getting tiresome, all the hair pulling over going outside. I don't mean to belittle the very serious plight real people, but we read to see characters progress, and I would rather see him being better at coping, but still see the cost of that, and the techniques and the effort, but him managed to get some control. If e're going to be going through this in every chapter (again) just to get S to go from A to B, I think it's going to feel like we're back in Book 1, plus it's going to start deflecting attention from external conflict, which I'd rather be focusing on.

Summary 

I've happy to be back, but S was never my favourite character. In all honesty, I think readers (maybe it's just me) like to identify with strong characters, even if they are flawed. In other words, I hope to see Or. featuring. My fear is that S, with his lack of agency, an d his nail-pulling reluctance to even go out of the door, has not moved on since the last story, will be the main focus of this novel (to be expected), but has not shown any progress from Book 1.

<R>

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On 11/10/2018 at 1:52 PM, Mandamon said:
On 11/10/2018 at 2:01 AM, industrialistDragon said:

I could've sworn he was like 12 throughout what I read of the entire last book. Boy-howdy is that not true with this one! XD

Yep. I think that's one of my biggest failings with the last one. I've read that people with this sort of mental illness often present as younger, but I think I went a little too far. This book will definitely address that...

And I hope it will present him older (i.e. more confident, but not completely confident), and with more agency and some more control of his fears, so we can get on thee with the story, and not always be what sometimes verges on bogged down in S's condition. It has to be there, I just want some character progress in how he relates to it and manages it.

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10 hours ago, Robinski said:

Because it's not a small matter, to be undertaken 'on the hoof', between meetings or hurriedly over corn flakes (other breakfast brands are available). It feels like the start of another leg of an epic journey that started X years ago, where X=4, I think.

Thanks as always for the attention to devote to the critiques! It's helped a lot in getting the bugs out!

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

The title, to me, sounds like a travel guide book. It doesn't will me with wonder, anticipation and questions.

Noted. Do you mean the book title, or the chapter title?

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

Wah!!!!! What, where, how? A new house, Mother of Gosh!!! I'm hooked.

Hmm...okay, I don't think I telegraphed this as much as I thought at the end of the last book. Still, glad that it's working here.

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

surely the resonance belongs to the buildings, and not the sound, which causes the resonance in the buildings?

Yeah, I think you're right. I haven't really gone through with an engineering-grade fine-tooth comb ;-)

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

I find his questions rather shallow. Does he not see that there must be repercussions for everyone, not just him? Is he the first?

In part, they're meant to be, showing off that he's caring more about himself that others, but I think you're right that I need to do a little more recap.

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

he lack of italics mean I set off reading each of these internal thoughts as narrative

I've been using 4thewords lately to make sure I push out the words for this first draft. It doesn't copy over italics to Word, so I tend to miss them, which is frustrating...

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

Since then, I've been feeling increasingly put out at the scant mention of it since. S think about it, but he doesn't give much information at all.

So, firstly, I'm probably being harsh, because you have told us roughly what it feels like, and what it affects, and that he has shared the knowledge (sparse as it seems to be) with Or. BUT, what we don't know is (a) who else knows? (b) does R. know? (c) do the Council know? (d) is research being undertaken?

The mystery for this part was supposed to be the chiming sound, but I realized I needed to address the new house, which it why this is disjointed. Very good questions here, which will help out with edits.

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

The whole paragraph about being three instead of two, I find it rather vague and 'underwritten'. There's potential for real impact there, but it's not landed; it's vague.

Good catch.

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

"He leaned down and rested his forehead on hers." - This is weird. Can he not help her up? Touching forehead with someone sitting on the ground while standing up: either I'm not getting the blocking or it's rather peculiar.

I think the blocking is off here. I can edit.

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

"He just had to look for landmarks, build up his knowledge of the grounds" - I don't buy this. This is all the stuff he was doing before, all the coping strategies that he was using to become more confident. I would like S to have moved on a bit. I know it's only a month, but I think what he's been through, and I'm sure I can remember him being more confident  by the end of the last book. I also remember it getting tiresome, all the hair pulling over going outside. I don't mean to belittle the very serious plight real people, but we read to see characters progress, and I would rather see him being better at coping, but still see the cost of that, and the techniques and the effort, but him managed to get some control. If e're going to be going through this in every chapter (again) just to get S to go from A to B, I think it's going to feel like we're back in Book 1, plus it's going to start deflecting attention from external conflict, which I'd rather be focusing on.

Great response, and something I was hoping to get feedback on. This partially ties in with the memory loss, because it's made him regress, and because I don't want this problem to get "solved" for S, as anxiety doesn't work like that. I can definitely adjust, and I'm also looking forward to what you think of the next section. I think this book will have less POV from S, and more from other characters, so that may help as well... We'll see.

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

I've happy to be back, but S was never my favourite character. In all honesty, I think readers (maybe it's just me) like to identify with strong characters, even if they are flawed. In other words, I hope to see Or. featuring.

 

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

And I hope it will present him older (i.e. more confident, but not completely confident), and with more agency and some more control of his fears, so we can get on thee with the story,

Yep, I find myself mentally yelling at him while I'm writing him! He will definitely have some interesting progression in this book, and get pushed out on his own. This is excellent feedback to tell when I've gone too far one way!

Thanks as always for the very helpful feedback, @Robinski! I'm about a quarter of the way in the first draft, and just about to get into the bizzaro stuff...should be fun!

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11 hours ago, Mandamon said:
22 hours ago, Robinski said:

The title, to me, sounds like a travel guide book. It doesn't will me with wonder, anticipation and questions.

Noted. Do you mean the book title, or the chapter title?

The title. SoD asks question like 'What is diss., it doesn't sound nice?', 'Why is diss. happening?', 'Who cast the seeds, and why?' FotN sounds to my like things to watch out for when you're on holiday in the N. I feel like it promises description, not action and intrigue.

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Hmm...okay, I don't think I telegraphed this as much as I thought at the end of the last book. Still, glad that it's working here.

You might wish to note that I have a notoriously bad memory for details in things I've read. Thinking of SoD, I remember S's arrival, because I read that bit more than any other, I suppose. I remember some of the investigation, some of the council scenes, and En and S being captured. I remember details about the four friends that I could be conflating from other D-verse stories. I don't have a good memory at all for things like this, that aren't big banner events. Just saying that others may remember better.

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I haven't really gone through with an engineering-grade fine-tooth comb ;-)

Yeah, first draft, and I'm coming at you with LBL detail. I hate to leave it for later, because there's just no way I'll remember.

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

In part, they're meant to be, showing off that he's caring more about himself that others, but I think you're right that I need to do a little more recap.

And you do pull that thought out from him, which is good. Nice character building.

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I've been using 4thewords lately to make sure I push out the words for this first draft. It doesn't copy over italics to Word, so I tend to miss them, which is frustrating...

That's cool. Knowing that I can just ignore the absence of italics as a simple drafting thing. No need to go fiddling with formatting on my account.

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

This partially ties in with the memory loss, because it's made him regress, and because I don't want this problem to get "solved" for S, as anxiety doesn't work like that.

Ah, okay; I didn't put those two things together, but they easily could be tied together (of course) with a single line about how he knows remembers ranging over the city, but can't remember how he did it.

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I think this book will have less POV from S, and more from other characters, so that may help as well...

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Yep, I find myself mentally yelling at him while I'm writing him! He will definitely have some interesting progression in this book, and get pushed out on his own. This is excellent feedback to tell when I've gone too far one way!

LOL - that's good. S is a good character, well put together, but it is that frustration that gets in the way of me embracing him. So, if he's going to get a kick in the pants, that's good. I can get on board with that :) 

11 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'm about a quarter of the way in the first draft, and just about to get into the bizzaro stuff

Excellent! Well done. It doesn't seem that long since you started, so that sounds like good progress. I look forward to reading on.

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15 hours ago, Robinski said:

LOL - that's good. S is a good character, well put together, but it is that frustration that gets in the way of me embracing him

I'm the opposite. I love Sam and would love a whole book in his POV. I think he's a very compelling character.

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9 hours ago, kais said:

I'm the opposite. I love Sam and would love a whole book in his POV. I think he's a very compelling character.

I'm compelled and frustrated; I'm comprated. I do like S, I just want to see signs of his progression, which were there during SoD, but I just felt some dismay that it seems he has regressed by the start of this book. It could be ARS (Annual Reader Syndrome), I suppose.

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14 hours ago, kais said:
On 10/14/2018 at 2:39 AM, Robinski said:

LOL - that's good. S is a good character, well put together, but it is that frustration that gets in the way of me embracing him

I'm the opposite. I love Sam and would love a whole book in his POV. I think he's a very compelling character.

 

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

I'm compelled and frustrated; I'm comprated. I do like S, I just want to see signs of his progression, which were there during SoD, but I just felt some dismay that it seems he has regressed by the start of this book. It could be ARS (Annual Reader Syndrome), I suppose.

I've had several people express both these sentiments--hopefully that's the mark of a good character?

At any rate, I'm not planning on making S  "get better" any time soon, but the beginning of this book is definitely a regression, caused by anxiety over memory loss. I'm definitely looking for reaction on whether that's working or not, or whether I should tone it down. However, S is also going to be forced into some new stuff where he has to adapt. I'm just about to start writing that part, and I'm looking forward to it!

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6 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I'm not planning on making S  "get better" any time soon, but the beginning of this book is definitely a regression, caused by anxiety over memory loss. I'm definitely looking for reaction on whether that's working or not, or whether I should tone it down. However, S is also going to be forced into some new stuff where he has to adapt.

I certainly wouldn't want him to 'get better'. I think it would be good if maybe the memory loss 'trauma' felt different from the 'old, familiar' anxiety. I'm not sure it's about toning down, I'd like another dimension to the anxiety, something to mark it as different or more than the first book. Glad to hear he's going to be forced to adapt.

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19 minutes ago, Robinski said:

I think it would be good if maybe the memory loss 'trauma' felt different from the 'old, familiar' anxiety. I'm not sure it's about toning down, I'd like another dimension to the anxiety, something to mark it as different or more than the first book.

Got it. I can work on this.

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