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shatteredsmooth

Feb 18 2019_Intertidal Sub 2_1787 words (S)

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Content tags: I put an S in the subject line for sexual or suggestive content. There is some intense (?) making out, but no actual sex. If the characters do have sex later in the story, it will be a fade to black type thing. 
 
Hi All,
 
So last week, you were all waiting for something to actually happen in Chapter 3. So here is the rest of Chapter 3. Something happens -- kissing and some magical weirdness. Is that the right kind of something? 
 
I had been hoping to send more, but all week I was in panic mode about attending my first con, and while it was much less scary than I expected, it was still draining, and I didn't write much over the weekend, let alone edit.
 
You might be right about this not being a novel. I'm not sure what it is. Normally, I draft in a linear way, but with this, I have a begining, an end, and a collection of disconnected scenes in the middle that I wrote out of order. I'm going to try and string more together for next week. 
 
I'm open to whatever feedback you have to offer. 
 
Sorry this is a little late. 
 
Sara
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I didn't have any as I go comments. I think the make out scene did add some needed tension, and the magic reveal after it made sense. I still think this feels like a short, and would work very well as one, since now that the tension is building I expect A to harness their power (of love? aheh) and go get their property back. Like this could wrap up very nicely in another chapter or two and be a solid short, especially for the anthology.

If it were novel length-however, I think I would feel adrift, knowing that the tension wouldn't amp up fast enough and I'd be caught in a sort of middling tension the for hundreds of more pages. But as a short I would be very excited about it.

It remains one of your best written pieces to date!

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Once again, I agree with @kais. This continues to be very well written. Not many comments, as I thought it was well done, with good tension. I also second that this definitely has the energy for a short story or even a novelette, but might not be able to hold it for a novel.

The magic reveal after the makeout was well done, and flowed nicely. I did notice some minor sentence construction things in the makeout session, but those will probably get taken care of during editing.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "“Don’t you dare tell you don’t believe now,” he gasped, not making any effort to move."
--Not sure what this is referring to. Something from the first sub?

pg 3: "“No, A, this is real. Don’t you dare write this off as a symptom you don’t even have.”
--Is P hearing their thoughts, or figuring out A's feelings in some other way?

pg 5: I like the (quick) tarot reading. 

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9 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "“No, A, this is real. Don’t you dare write this off as a symptom you don’t even have.”
--Is P hearing their thoughts, or figuring out A's feelings in some other way?

Hearing thoughts. A figures it out in the next chapter, though I can try to make them notice sooner if you think that might help. 

3 hours ago, kais said:

Like this could wrap up very nicely in another chapter or two and be a solid short, especially for the anthology.

I'll see if I can wrap it up in next's weeks sub.

Thank you!

 

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Unfortunately, I can only comment about the tarot cards, because the rest of this submission is a bit above my rating. So I will. A lot.

Thoughts As I Go:

Pg.4 – The atmosphere here is great. Maybe it’s also because I love storms, but I very much enjoyed your description about it.

Pg. 5 – Three card reading isn’t so common, but it’s done. The rest is just a talk about Tarot Cards.

Tarot Cards- These are fun, especially since they fit nicely into Jungian archetypes. They supposedly have a basis in kabbalah and Egyptian mysticism (somehow? Those cultures didn’t get along) but they don’t really, having been invented in the 1800s, and used mostly for card games. That said, they form a great backbone to a lot of magic systems, hierarchies, or character profiles (cough Persona).

The Fool! It’s my favorite tarot – also, it’s not the card of spontaneity or faith (Wheel of Fortune and Priestess respectively, I believe). It is the card of new beginnings and is usually only drawn by people who have important things to do. A good starting card, but typically it’s only drawn by atypical people. So, good fit?

The Chariot – It does signify challenges, but also signifies very difficult decisions. This is also a fairly standard card for a protagonist to draw, as they have to be protagonists. It’s kind of a pity this wasn’t drawn inverted – that would have been interesting.

The Star – this is one of the one I don’t know a lot about. I do know it associates with hope, but not much more than that.

Tarot cards are nice to work with because of the motifs they represent, but I couldn’t help but feel you were a little too specific. A lot of scenarios where I see them used (again, cough Persona) is when it exists in a vague sense, such as the cards are drawn, but P would only give vague answer or what they could mean, rather what they do. Fortune telling, especially in novels, is kind of synonymous with foreshadowing, so I feel it should be kept towards the vague side.

Edited by aeromancer
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I really appreciate the comments on the Tarot cards as they aren't something I have a lot of experience with.  I wasn't sure how accurate the information I was reading about them was, so this helps a lot! 

Thank you!!

 

 

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This continues to be the best thing I've seen from you to date. There was real heat here! :) 

However momentous their explorations were to each other, this is not the sort of inciting incident that I feel would support a full novel. There's just not that much there, and this far into a novel, I sort of want to know the main shape of what I'm reading, and I don't feel like this is really there yet. For a novel.  It's still going great for something in the novella to short story range, though!  And I am definitely interested in reading more.  

I think the scene was done well, and honestly don't have a whole lot to say about it. Nothing tripped me up overmuch, and the reactions seemed reasonable and logical. 

 

I noticed above you said you didn't have much experience with tarot, and I used to do readings for spending money in college so I let myself go a bit (way) into the weeds here. Let me preface this by saying what you have there already written is absolutely fine and works for what it seems to me to be doing in the story and the average person won't notice the parts where it's not lining up quite right (especially for a short. I might expect more out of a novel, but not a short. I just had fun remembering all this stuff. ;) ).  

I was never super fond of 3-card spreads when I did tarot, since I didn't think they provided enough context like the larger spreads do, but for a snapshot or guidance on a quick decision they're great. A lot of people prefer 3- and 5-card spreads over larger ones because they can be easier to interpret and give more direct answers (especially when the question is more specific or yes/no).  What sort of result are you going for in the reading? That will affect which cards are best in which position. I am going to make a bunch of assumptions here, but if you were going for a quick reading to give hope and reassure that all will be well on the current path, then the spread and the card choices are pretty good. 

The first card in any reading is usually either the querent (the one who's asking the question of the cards), the querent's current situation or mental state, or the current situation in general, or the past events that led to the current situation. Though, with a 3-card spread you can get more variations that do specific things like answer yes/no questions or give direct advice.

I am assuming first of all a standard deck that doesn't deviate too much from Rider-Waite (which is the setup you'll find the most information about on the internet. Lots of others exist). I'm assuming next that this spread is a general one for "how things look if I don't change anything right now" and not a specific one for a specific question or something else. I am also assuming that P is only using the major arcana for this draw, just to avoid all the squishiness of having the minor set kicking around in there. It doesn't work that great (in my opinion) for a larger spread, but for a small spread like this, limiting the deck to the major arcana can force the cards to not be so wishy-washy and get more definitive answers.  (I'm also assuming that no card is going to represent a person, for simplicity, and because I haven't seen any indication yet that this story has a direct antagonist. Any card in a tarot deck can potentially represent a person, though.)

Thus, I'm assuming this first card is representing A and the events leading up to the start of the story. If this is the case, then I would probably replace the Fool with either the Hermit or Tower. A is no innocent just starting their journey, blind to the realities of the world and full of hope. They know the cliff is in front of them. In fact, from what I've seen of their backstory, they've pretty much just watched their entire life cave in. The Tower, with its solid walls and shaky foundation, is more the card of sudden upheavals or sharp changes, such as those that brought A back to this town in the first place. It can also represent a revelation, an idea or thought that crumbles your entire worldview -- like what just happened in this section here. There's no denying A has just had the ground shift under their feet (literally and metaphorically). Have they been living a lie their entire life? Realizing it in one fell swoop is all about the Tower. Sometimes the old needs to fall apart to make way for the new. 

The Hermit is a card of introspection. It represents withdrawing from those around you and seeking inner guidance. It's not a great fit for A prior to the the beginning of the story, but It's definitely a good fit for A's current state of introspection and connecting with childhood memories. It can be a "taking stock of your life" card, which also fits with A's mood at the beginning of the story.  It can also be a card representing a turning away from or dissatisfaction with consumerist or materialist culture, which also would fit A's state at the beginning of the story, I feel like.

Honorable mention for the Hierophant, which is a card of conformity and order, of toeing the corporate line and following conventions.  Inverted, it can mean stuck in a rut, following blindly without thinking, or being constricted by society's rules and norms and needing to break free. All of these are things which I feel like would describe A shortly before the start of the story. 

If the Fool is still desired, I'd probably go with it inverted, which, while it can mean undue risk-taking, the inversion can also mean a delay in time or a stymieing of the regular aspects of the card. So, this would be the deck being relentlessly hopeful: A has a fresh new beginning full of possibilities ahead of them, but it's far away in time and/or possibly something within themselves (or without, depending on the rest of the spread) is holding it back. 

 

The second card in a 3-card spread is usually the challenges that the querent faces, forces opposed to the desired outcome, the querent's weaknesses that affect the outcome, or the present situation. This is a decent place for some foreshadowing, since this most often represents a person or force opposed to the querent's goals.  I don't have an alternative suggestion here, because I'm not sure where the story is going. Any card, even the generally "good" ones, could fit here.

I am assuming this card would be representing what's going on with A right now, so any of the cards I recommended for the first position would also work here, where they would most likely be talking about the mental or emotional states holding A back. 

The Chariot in this position is not an obvious choice, but I believe it can work from what I've seen of the story so far. In this position could mean that determination, courageousness and staying the course in the face of coming adversity is what's required to overcome some of the obstacles in the past, or it could show that A has made up their mind and has started on the path to victory. It's a card of taking action and accomplishing goals. If the Hermit is the card used in the first position, then this is the deck being a little bit admonishing: the time for being quiet and introspective is over, the time for being bold and taking action is now. 

 

The third card in a 3-card spread is usually the future, querent's the desired outcome, advice, the solution to the querent's problem, the querent's potential, or the outcome if nothing in the previous two cards is changed (and tarot cards are all about being hopeful and changing your current situation. Runes'll straight-up tell you you're being a dingbat, but tarot will be like "if you keep following this path you might not get everything you want but the power is always within you at every step to change the outcome for the better :) " probably with the smiley face).

The Star is a really good card to include in this position and I agree with the interpretation P provides for it. I would also say, if he wanted to poke A a little bit, that the Star is also about having the spiritual/magical and practical/real world sides of oneself working in harmony, and the way for them to harmonize, according to the Star, is though both halves accepting and relying on/believing in the other. With the Tower in the spread, it would just emphasize the Star's meaning and importance, since the Star directly follows the Tower in the order of the cards. Out of the rubble of the old way of being, a new way emerges, growing from the nourishment of hope and faith (and magic). With the inverted Fool, the Star represents what the Fool promised at the beginning: through action and bravery (the Chariot) along with faith in the future and in their magic (the Star), A can overcome what's holding them back to reach the new (magical) possibilities that are waiting for them. 

 

 

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Very glad to be back with this story.

Page 1 - Haha, there's the 'S' rating. Well done, I thought this was a very affecting scene. I really felt the emotion. I would say that my reaction to the word 'charged' was meh. That word feel tame now, I think it's overused. Are they standing up or lying down. It was the line "collapsed onto him" that made me thinking lying down, but then A steps away. 

Page 3 - It seems with all this talk of trust they're talking about sex...

Page 4 - Then suddenly they're playing cards... huh?! That's a really jarring transition right at the end of the section. Oh, he's doing a reading. I didn't get that. I think I need to know it's tarot cards he's shuffling. Like the description of the storm. Honestly, I'm still harking back at this point to how jarring the transition was between sex and this mysticism. The two of them were really into the physical and then it just stopped. I was finding it more interesting and stimulating than this kind of disjointed mystical stuff. They've gone so suddenly from intense physical stimulation to obscure mystical analysis.

Page 5 - Wait, what? Now they're standing up and not even doing the reading? I thought they sat down to do the reading. Why did A sit down then? Really finding this bit (post make out) very disjointed. The last line sounds more like P's POV, which makes it sound out of place, especially as a chapter-ending line.

I enjoyed the start of this submission, but then it went off the rails for me. Not saying there's anything wrong with the chain of events, but I don't think the writing delivered them convincingly and clearly. And the typos, dear God, the typos :) 

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On 19/02/2019 at 2:54 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

You might be right about this not being a novel. I'm not sure what it is.

Really? For me the pacing is exactly right for a novel. It's a slower build with detailed character introductions and explanation of setting and circumstances. How is it not a novel opening?

On 19/02/2019 at 4:42 PM, kais said:

If it were novel length-however, I think I would feel adrift, knowing that the tension wouldn't amp up fast enough

I still don't really subscribe to the tension from the first page thing, not fully. Anyway, I think there is a lot of personal tension, and character tension. If it's a novel, I think the very next thing we need in Chapter 5 is to meet the antagonist, and see what huge obstacles are between A and getting what they want, but I still think it works at this point, personally.

On 19/02/2019 at 4:42 PM, kais said:

It remains one of your best written pieces to date!

Agreed. I think the best.

On 21/02/2019 at 3:21 AM, aeromancer said:

but typically it’s only drawn by atypical people

Hmm, I would imagine it's drawn exactly the number of times that random probability would expect it to be drawn ;) 

7 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

There was real heat here!

Agreed :blush:

7 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

the inversion can also mean a delay in time or a stymieing of the regular aspects of the card

So, inverted basically means a negative interpretation of the general character of the card, I guess.

7 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

A can overcome what's holding them back to reach the new (magical) possibilities that are waiting for them.

I really enjoyed your post, @industrialistDragon, thank you :) 

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6 hours ago, Robinski said:

So, inverted basically means a negative interpretation of the general character of the card, I guess.

Ehhh.... kind of? Sort of? Like everything else in tarot, it really depends -- on what deck you're using and what the deckbuilder intended for it, on what theories or history the deck is based on, on the spread you're using, on the card's position in the spread, the card itself, whether it's major or minor arcana, on the rest of the cards in the spread, etc etc. You want something that'll get you more solid answers, that's runes. lol. My friend who was into runes and I would ask runes and cards the same question then compare the answers and it was really funny the way the cards would be all "Well... you know, this isn't really the best course for you," while the runes were like "Yer bein' an idiot. Cut it out ya moron!" 

But anyway, in general an inverted or reversed card is not necessarily "bad" or "negative" but can represent more unhealthy aspects of what the card embodies, or the aspects of the card taken "too far" (and knowing you have a problem is the first step in finding a solution, after all). For the Fool, for instance, which is (partially) about taking that first step into the unknown, inverted can be about both a fear of the unknown, and/or an unhealthy amount risk-taking. It could also be a person with the qualities of the card who is (again, not necessarily "bad" but) acting against the health or in opposition to the best result for the querent. An inverted card can also be the upright aspects of the card, just unduly delayed or somehow blocked from happening. I'm probably forgetting something else, too. The major arcana tend to have more well defined inverted/reversed/blocked meanings than the minor arcana (and are considered a little "stronger" or "more potent" than the minor arcana in general (when you're using the minor arcana. (It depends. (Argh.)))), but which aspects of a card come into play in any given reading depends on the rest of everything in the reading. 

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@industrialistDragon Thank you for the detailed Tarot explanation! That is very very helpful. I will spend some time thinking about it and how best to implement your suggestions. I like your idea of starting with the Tower or the Fool upside down. I have two paths outlined for this story, so which I choose will have some bearing on what I do with this scene. Thanks again. :-) 

My logic for the three cards was P thinking "If I ask A for any more, they'll say no."

 

 

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

Page 5 - Wait, what? Now they're standing up and not even doing the reading? I thought they sat down to do the reading. Why did A sit down then? Really finding this bit (post make out) very disjointed. The last line sounds more like P's POV, which makes it sound out of place, especially as a chapter-ending line.

I'll clarify what is going on here. 

 

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

And the typos, dear God, the typos

LOL yeah, this scene was rather freshly written. 

 

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

Really? For me the pacing is exactly right for a novel. It's a slower build with detailed character introductions and explanation of setting and circumstances. How is it not a novel opening?

On 2/19/2019 at 11:42 AM, kais said:

Interesting.

Hmm Currently, I have a novel track and shorter track planned for this thing. I think I might be able to come to an "end" on the shorter track in this coming Monday's submission, but I'm worrying it is going too feel to contrived. We'll see...

 

Thank you @Robinski for your insight and comments. And for reminding me about the typos. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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16 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

My logic for the three cards was P thinking "If I ask A for any more, they'll say no."

Also fair and entirely valid!  :) 

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On 22/02/2019 at 3:06 PM, industrialistDragon said:

My friend who was into runes and I would ask runes and cards the same question then compare the answers and it was really funny the way the cards would be all "Well... you know, this isn't really the best course for you," while the runes were like "Yer bein' an idiot. Cut it out ya moron!"

:lol: 

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