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kais

01/21/19 - kais - SANDS, ch2 (L) - 2652 words

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Chapter two of the short that has grown into probably a novel. No longer constrained by anthology limits so anything is game. Flow and buy-in comments specifically welcome. 

Edited by Silk
edited date in thread title
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I loved the opening about the leeches and the MC's initial confusion about where she (I think this is the right pronoun?) was.

However,  looking at the big picture it didn't exude the same level of emotion that the previous one did, so I wasn't as invested in it. In chapter 1, there was an almost crippling sense of grief and loss and avoidance. Here, when Dr. S did have proof that T was dead, I expected more of a reaction, but she almost seemed numb, too distracted by the impossibility of the place she was in. I think there is potential in this scene for the begining of healing, and I was thinking it was going to revolve around discovering what made this seemingly  impossible place possible, but then there is going to be a spaceship, and they're going to attempt to leave, and now I'm wondering if this blip of habitable land is even going to matter at all in the story. 

Here are few as I read notes:

"...headband cost five days. Less if you work faster..." I was a little confused by this. I thought I might be missing some context about the world that I needed to understand it. Is it common to trade labor? No one has even mentioned a specific kind of labor.

"Earther." Ponytail's ..." "Guilty"  The significance of this wasn't clear. I get that Dr. S is from Earth and that not all the people here lived on Earth or even remember it if they did, but I'm wondering, why is it used as an insult? What does it really mean in this context? Spending too much time thinking about it pulled me out of the story.

"We haven't read it. Much." This seemed at odds with the brevity of the letter.

"Her apology meant nothing...how did she die...dropped the plastic sheet..." I expected this scene to have a similar level of emotion as the one when Dr. S was kneeling in the dune and stumbling off after the conversation with the sister. But this felt more numb, there were little hints of reaction, but not enough. 

The gender discussion felt much more natural where you put. That is the kind of thing one would focus on when taking clothes off in front of a bunch of women. 

And the last line was a great point to leave off. It makes me want to read on, but also makes me wonder how relevant the equator zone will be. 

 

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@Silk I forgot to change the date on the heading of this thread. Could you update it for me? The forum won't let me edit once a reply has been made on a post. Thank you!

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I was sucked in while reading this, but then I love worldbuilding / exploration, although now I want to explore the world more rather than focusing on leaving it. I think because you've introduced a community who's figured out how to survive, when the epigraphs are showing how things died. It sets up a reader expectation that we're going to discover how to make the planet more habitable.

On looking back, though, I agree with @shatteredsmooth about needing more of a focus on E's emotional reaction to T being gone. This was a bit of a change of pace from the first chapter.

I didn't have as much of a problem with confusion, however, I think (ironically) because I grew up reading a lot of the old pulp sci-fi. This has a very similar feeling, even though it is obviously from a newer society.

16 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

"We haven't read it. Much." This seemed at odds with the brevity of the letter.

Second this.

16 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The gender discussion felt much more natural where you put.

Also agree.

 

Notes while reading
pg 14: I love the reveal of the impossible lake.

pg 15: "left you out there for it"
--not sure what this means.

pg 23: "“This is the equator on the sun side. It’s a strip, two miles wide, that stretches all the way across the planet."
--Cool. If I remember right, there's actually a planet in one of the old Foundation books that works on this principle.

pg 23: The last line is great.

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On 1/21/2019 at 3:20 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I think this is the right pronoun?) 

TBD so at the moment, she is just fine

On 1/21/2019 at 3:20 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

looking at the big picture it didn't exude the same level of emotion that the previous one did

Ahh, and this is because I think I'm going to take this in a different direction since it's not going into the anthology. But yes, she does need more emotion in this section, too.

On 1/21/2019 at 3:20 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

"We haven't read it. Much." This seemed at odds with the brevity of the letter.

Aheh, originally the letter was longer. Will edit

On 1/22/2019 at 8:21 AM, Mandamon said:

although now I want to explore the world more rather than focusing on leaving it.

You and @shatteredsmooth have both mentioned this. I'm actually not sure where I'm going (or where E is going) ATM. When it was a short, the end was going to be E agreeing to fly the ship off world after learning to work with the M. Now that it's going to be a novel I don't know if I want them leaving the planet in this book. Will need to think on this.

On 1/22/2019 at 8:21 AM, Mandamon said:

needing more of a focus on E's emotional reaction

Double check

On 1/22/2019 at 8:21 AM, Mandamon said:

This has a very similar feeling

YESSS! 100% rebuttal to Herland and other such mono gender BS of the time (and unfortunately somewhat recently as well). Because, darn it people, that's now how this works.

On 1/22/2019 at 8:21 AM, Mandamon said:

Cool. If I remember right, there's actually a planet in one of the old Foundation books that works on this principle.

It was part of a Nova special my kid watches on repeat, so in theory it could happen on a tidally locked world. Not that I think the actual science of it matters for a space opera, but you know, still cool.

Thanks much @Mandamon and @shatteredsmooth  This is getting a big overhaul over these next few weeks to transition to novel pacing. I won't be submitting any more of it until after I get the short through the forum, so hopefully when I come back with it it will be smoother.

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Hey, argh, sorry I'm so slow catching up. It's because of the all the writing I'm doing, 500 words a day since January 1st, my new mantra, but it hammers my critiquing. Apologies.

I'm completely sure which version of Chapter 1 I read, but anyway...

Page 14 - Can you click your molars? I'm not convinced that's possible, I think it's the front teeth that click (incisors, canines maybe). I realise people's mouths are different. I'm just not sure this is right. It's a good detail though. Also, the nightmarish vision of Earth is very effective, and hugely saddening!! (Plus rather frightening...) I don't follow what Q's blood orange is. I know what a blood orange is (the fruit), but what's Q got to do with it? Also, wouldn't the suit's system be operating constantly in order to control the interior environment? Waking it up felt off to me. 'wooden boat', for me.

Page 15 - "unconcernedly" - awkward word, kind of spoils the image. Oh yes, Q's the planet - WRS then. I like the description of the Mel, however in a way it's rather impersonal, as there is nothing about her face, so it almost comes over anonymous. I think now that I do that too, maybe <scribbles note to self>

Page 16 - I don't quite get the 'details limited' bit. Is this because the suit can't scan because it's damaged, or because the UV is masking its scan? "Another woman stepped into me" - so does this mean like bowled them over, as in physically stepped into them?

Page 17 - Because that's what it sounds like. Also, again there is description without anything about facial features. I'm not sure now whether I need this or not. Hmm. I would say 'vision defocused'. I believe unfocused is an adjective. 

Page 20 - "voice... on an injured puppy" - I'm not quite sure what this conveys. What kind of voice would you use on an injured puppy? "the crowd of women" - I don't know what number we're talking about. I thought it was a handful, but I would not call that a crowd.

Page 21 - "and quickly overheated" - something grammatically off here, I think. 

Page 22 - "...polite pronoun exchanges" - great line. What is "self survival" compared to just survival? I don't now why A wouldn't just say 'survival'.

Page 23 - Ba-boom. What a great last line. I certainly would keep reading.

Good work, but I expect no less from you. Intriguing set up, characters with depth, or at least the promise of it, an m/c with an interesting background placed in a difficult, potentially conflict-ridden situation. And now we have a goal. All good :) 

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On 21/01/2019 at 11:20 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Here, when Dr. S did have proof that T was dead, I expected more of a reaction, but she almost seemed numb, too distracted by the impossibility of the place she was in.

Good point, and I agree. I can identify this reaction in my when I was reading, but I did not feel this necessarily was out of whack, it felt consistent to me. Could lead on to a 'nice' breakdown scene in the next chapter as the realisation hits.

On 21/01/2019 at 11:20 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I was thinking it was going to revolve around discovering what made this seemingly  impossible place possible, but then there is going to be a spaceship, and they're going to attempt to leave, and now I'm wondering if this blip of habitable land is even going to matter at all in the story.

My reaction was that I did not think they would get away from the planet any time soon, if at all. The whole novel might be about their struggle to get away in the ship, and ultimate failure (or whatever). I had no sense that they might be leaving the planet; that seems too easy.

On 22/01/2019 at 4:21 PM, Mandamon said:

This has a very similar feeling

I agree... :) 

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