Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
shatteredsmooth

Feb 25 2019_Intertidal Sub 3_2416 words (L)

8 posts in this topic

Hi All,
Here is the next piece of Intertidal. I did not reach the end. This was another bad week for writing. This section is a bit messier than the others and I keep reading it over and over not quite seeing what I need to. Help! 
 
What parts don't make sense? What can I do to make them make sense? 
 
Any other feedback and suggestions are welcome. 
 
Thanks!
 
Sara
 
P.S. As far as content goes, I put the L for the two swear words. There is no sex or kissy stuff in this chapter, though there probably will be in the next submission. There is a boating accident, but otherwise, no gore or violence or anything. 
 
If you need a recap of what happened so far:
Ainslie went to their former childhood summer home and snuck onto the property to spread their dead dogs ashes and plotted to get it back. Then they ran into their friend Pete who that hadn't seen in a long time. Pete and Ainslie spent the night at the cottage that doesn't belong to them and some steamy magical kissing stuff happened. 
Edited by shatteredsmooth
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't have a lot of comments about the content. Despite needing another editing pass, the prose itself is pretty good. I just don't know if it fits with the rest of the story. If this is going to be a novel, I can understand taking a tangent for a while to explore the world, but if this is going to be a shorter work, then I think this is taking words away from the main story. After last week, I was looking forward to seeing a lot more of how P and A work together, and instead there's a strange road trip to nowhere, and then A saves some random people.

So to your question as to what to do with it:
First off, I'm not sure where they're driving to. Might be WRS.
Second, if this is a shorter work, I'm not sure there's time for A to go off on a side quest to save people in the ocean. Or at least, it needs a better explanation for why this happened.

I could be off-base here. I'm interested to see what the others say.


pg 2: “Don’t use that metaphor on me, please,” 
--this is almost breaking the fourth wall, not reading minds. I read the previous sentence as the narrator voice, which Pete shouldn't be able to hear...

pg 4: I understand A has anxiety, but I'm not sure why they got upset over not going into carpentry. Was it that they felt they wasted part of their life, or was it because P started talking about auras?


 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Second, if this is a shorter work, I'm not sure there's time for A to go off on a side quest to save people in the ocean. Or at least, it needs a better explanation for why this happened.

So if I told you that the person that A saved was the current owner of the cottage, would that change your opinion on this section?

I was thinking it was going to come back later as a "hey, remember that random guy you saved? Well...." But maybe it needs to be set up in a much more deliberate way because it is an integral piece of the story. 

Speaking of deliberate...

2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 4: I understand A has anxiety, but I'm not sure why they got upset over not going into carpentry. Was it that they felt they wasted part of their life, or was it because P started talking about auras?

Both and neither. I just reread that page after reading your comments and I think there was something that never made it out of my head onto the page.

In ch. 1, P talks about how A used to "intuit" when something bad was going to happen. This is what is happening here even if A isn't quite aware of it and misunderstood what it was. But maybe A and P should both be aware of what is happening here? Maybe making it a choice to investigate or follow it will help too? 

 

Thank you very much! 

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Overall

The usual editorial stuff is needed. Aside from that, I'm not sure what this chapter adds to the story? The make out scene signaled, for me, a ramping up of action/tension. This brings it all back down, like we are back in a chapter two. It doesn't seem to add anything to the story and significantly detracts from the through line of our characters. It reads like filler, when the story was progressing at a nice pace (assuming novella or short). 

I know I've said it before, but this piece really would work wonderfully as a short. But to do that, this chapter would need to be meat tension/action, really driving the plot. There isn't enough in the first few chapters for this to work as a novel, so if you want to string it out with interludes like this I suggest going back and plumping up the first few chapters. 

Other than that, it read fairly smooth. I just want things to go now. LOL.

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

After last week, I was looking forward to seeing a lot more of how P and A work together, and instead there's a strange road trip to nowhere, and then A saves some random people.

Ahh, I agree with @Mandamon

20 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

What parts don't make sense? What can I do to make them make sense? 

None of it really makes sense to me because it reads as filler. I'd cut the whole chapter and move us towards the plot!

 

 

As I go

- pretty certain it should be 'brackish' water, not 'bracken' water. Bracken sounds like 'bracken fern.'

- there are some pretty heavy typos in those first few pages

- pg five: it's hard not to skim because I'm waiting for the tension to amp. With the make out scene previously, that signaled the beginning of the tension amp. Yet here we are with more brooding mood stuff, which is the opposite direction I was expecting. It makes me antsy and makes it hard to focus because I want something to happen, not more introspection. We've already had a ton of that

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

So if I told you that the person that A saved was the current owner of the cottage, would that change your opinion on this section?

I was thinking it was going to come back later as a "hey, remember that random guy you saved? Well...." But maybe it needs to be set up in a much more deliberate way because it is an integral piece of the story. 

Well that would tie in more directly with the story, but yes it would need to be set up more deliberately. Right now A stumbling on the owner detracts from them "protagging" and makes them less competent. If A and P were actively searching out the owner and A manages to save him, that would give them more agency.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of what @Mandamon and @kais have said here, especially regarding the tangential nature of this section.  I didn't feel like this added much, either for character development or plot, and while it continues to be well-written (early draft spelling and grammar aside), I think this is the weakest of these chapters that I've seen so far. 

Like Kais, I also thought the revelations of the previous chapter signaled a ramping up of the plot. Up to this point, A has been largely reactive to the things that are happening around them, and it felt to me like A was getting ready to finally start making some decisions themselves when the things happened last time. But this chapter still has A reacting and running. Things just happen to them and then they panic and more things just happen to them and they just keep getting carried along, largely passively. The water rescue is action, but the way it's described makes me feel like it happens to A, A doesn't really choose to do a thing besides calling 911. So, I also agree with Mandamon that A needs to do more "protagging" and if the rescue is significant, I feel like it should be set up more. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/26/2019 at 1:36 PM, kais said:

- there are some pretty heavy typos in those first few pages

 

After reading the comments, I think  I think those first few pages are going away. 

 

2 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

and if the rescue is significant, I feel like it should be set up more. 

The rescue is significant and staying, but I am going to set up for it in a completely different way so it is the result of A taking action not A reacting to something they stumbled upon.

I was thinking about all the comments while driving to my evening class and completely reimagined the scene. OF course, I wrote nothing down and forget half of it while I was teaching...but I know it involved A waking up in a completely different mode, experimenting with magic, and intentionally trying to seek out people in trouble that needed rescuing. 

 

Thank you @kais @industrialistDragon and @Mandamon 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to be back reading this.

Page 1 

- "and the bracken water " - 'brackish', I think?

- "just feed the invasive" - invasive what?

Page 2 

- "snarled P." - Just occasionally, the tone of the conversation is a bit odd for me. Why does he snarl?

- "drew out the wild pieces of A" - 'parts'?

Page 3 

- I don't know what a 'popover' is.

Page 4 

- Usual parade of typos :) 

- "I swear the levels had it out for me" - What are 'the levels' in this context?

- "Jet skis zoomed around, rising up in the air" - 'rising' sounds gradual to me. I think 'skipping', 'jumping', 'bouncing' or something like that would be more accurate.

- "quite a ways down the short to the left and right" - The short what?

Page 5 

- "A dialled 911." - Uh, how?

- "floated face down and unconscious" - We don't know this. Could be dead, which I don't think would be classified as unconscious, surely. This sounds beyond POV.

- "A dropped the phone and dove into the warm" - Hmm. I thought they had waded further out than that. If they're in "water up to their knees", they would need to throw the phone back to dry land, surely?

- You've had jet ski and Jet Ski several times each. I'm not sure why it would be capitalised.

- "thankfully still attached"- <shudder>

- "He was wearing an inflatable life vest that had not inflated" - The word 'inflat(e)' appears 5 times on this page, as does the word 'vest'. The result is that the narrative feels repetitive.

Page 6

- "down below the ship" - I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to call a boat 'ship'. Different thing, I'm assured.

- "from J’s wife" - Another POV issue. We don't know this. Could be his sister, ex-wife, cousin, friend, etc.

- "...wouldn’t be able to answer." - Big old wordy sentence, with word repetition, etc.

Page 7 

- "Salt water clung to skin like a lover not willing to let go as the sun leached moister from it, leaving on the salt behind." - I don't have enough bandwidth to comment on this sentence. I think there's a UN directive on torture that probably could have saved this simile if it had been applied :P 

- "They just laid lay there"

- The last line is really limp. It doesn't sound like a last line at all. No punch, spark, bite, snap, etc. Is it s a last line in fact? Does the chapter continue?

Summary 

I'm still enjoying this story, and trying to imagine how much better it would be with a couple of line edits (i.e. two passes, at least). We were due another magical episode and that appeared bang on time. I think it could have had more punch, more depth. I know A was in the middle of a crisis, but another sentence of two to get the sense of wonder across that this magic nonsense actually worked would have been good.

I'm looking forward to the next bit. I have a suspicion about who A just pulled out from under. I thought the hint was pretty clear, but not unsubtle.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.