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Mandamon

20190304 - Facets of the Nether Ch 3 - 4436 words - Sub 3

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Hello all,
    
Here's chapter 3--all new stuff! Let me know what you think. Reactions on anything/everything else is appreciated, from character reactions, to description needed, to grammar and phrasing.

Previously: E coaxed S out of his room after a strange chime went off. The maji are interested in S's new house. R got some information from a source, and M wants to restart the Society.

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Hello everyone,

I'm BAAAACK . . . .

I haven't read the previous chapters, but I figured I'd just jump right in.

- I liked the opening from Mandamon (Hey, I know that guy!) Feldo was a bit wondering, but I did like the sentiments.

- I really glad to be reading this series again. I just love the setting and the world.

- "She, Sam, Rey, and Majus Cyrysi were tucked away . . . " It might be better to write that she was tucked away with Sam, Rey and the Majus.

- Really liked Enos' reaction to Inas' absence and potential situation. It really builds suspense and emotional stakes.

- I also like Enos' reaction to Sam's anxiety.

- I love Majus Ayama cutting through all the tension with the line "We are trying to save your brother, last time I checked."

- "She'd—tentatively—given him some pointers, since they were spending more time together now." - I don't think the hyphens are necessary. 

- "Beside him, Rilan’s apprentice popped up as if her pants had caught fire." I just really liked this image.

Overall, I really liked this chapter. I've just jumped into this story, but I'm already invested in a number of subplots and I want to see what happens next - good job!

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3 hours ago, rdpulfer said:

Hello everyone,

I'm BAAAACK . . . .

Awesome! Glad to see you around again!

Thanks for the comments. Glad this is easy to get into even at the third chapter. There will be more coming!

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I have had a problem with one thing, other than that I enjoyed this piece. 

I loved the ending: “Maji and apprentices,” She gasped, “you are all required immediately at the Dome of the
Assembly. The leaders of the Life Coalition have appeared, and demanded a place in the Great
Assembly.”

"...that the Council was keeping a close watch on them." With the attack on the assembly wouldn't that cause the Council to worry and/or want to investigate the attack. SO wouldn't that give them access to resources that they didn't have, and help from them?

 

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Overall

A bit too much at the start of R's speech, but other than that I think it read well. The apprentice argument was well done and I was very excited for a moment to think they might just head out immediately to the rescue. Overall, a solid chapter.

 

As I go

- oooh, I do love that kicker!

- I find myself overwhelmed by the recap in the first page. It's a lot of information and names and I had to read it three times to sort it all out. I don't know if it needs changing, necessarily, but it is a bear

- interesting debate between the apprentices. Read smoothly

- pg 8: It's jarring for me to switch to R's POV when we could easily stay with the apprentices for a speech. I'm unsure if the POV switch was necessary

- pg 9: Aheh R and her hand love...

- pg 10: "The Life....main headquarters is on a moon...." I feel like this is where R's talking should start. This is the information we need to get the momentum of the chapter going. Everything before it read like filler that could maybe be sprinkled in later

- pg 12: Okay R needs to move on from V. He's holding her character back from evolving at this point

- that last page is excellent, and I really want to stay with E and open that portal, instead of dealing with the council!

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Overall: I found this section confusing, mostly from a "who's that talking to who else now?" standpoint. The gate attempt was nice and tension-filled, but I didn't understand why R felt she had to do it right then. 

 

As I go:

 I know this is partially WRS and partially that I haven't read the first one, but I'm having a hard time remembering who's who in this meeting scene. There's a lot of names going on here. I'm also having trouble figuring out how they're all seated/ who's looking where, and that's messing up my mind's eye "camera" during all this dialogue. 

I'm beginning to think R has a hand/finger fetish, the way she focuses on O's hands and then gets all hot'n'bothered just looking at him/them. It feels like an awfully specific reaction otherwise... 

"a month of research" so that's what they're calling torture now, is it?  This feels really ... mmm... hypocritical? disingenuous? off? when paired with the prison scene last chapter. Like, no, honey, call it what it is, if only to your self. Own up to your bad actions, don't pretend repeatedly beating a restrained prisoner after he had given you all his useful intel was something as antiseptic and objective as "research." Unless, I mean, it also makes her look to me a bit like a sociopath, if she can call a month of beatings mere "research," so if that kind of thing is what's intended, then run with it I guess. 

". to…er…tease it out of my source" yeah, definitely not liking all of this affected coyness over V. It would be odd without the scene, but with it, I'm just cringing.  

I guess I'm missing a lot of her characterization from the first novel that would provide more context for her actions, but I feel like R is all over the place here. Sociopath, oddly aroused, dangerously reckless, cool administrator trying to control the group, all in this section. Plus, it feels weird that someone who'd spent years on the admin of a very rules-and-law-heavy institution would just so flippantly disregard all the rules and safeguards that seem to be place regarding the portal she's trying to open without preparation... 

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On 3/6/2019 at 8:53 PM, Atium said:

"...that the Council was keeping a close watch on them." With the attack on the assembly wouldn't that cause the Council to worry and/or want to investigate the attack. SO wouldn't that give them access to resources that they didn't have, and help from them?

Good point. I'll see if I can clear this up.

19 hours ago, kais said:

It's jarring for me to switch to R's POV when we could easily stay with the apprentices for a speech.

There's only a few Rilan POVs in the story. Mostly it's the apprentices. Now I'm wondering if I just need to take out Rilan's POV altogether.

19 hours ago, kais said:

"The Life....main headquarters is on a moon...." I feel like this is where R's talking should start. This is the information we need to get the momentum of the chapter going. Everything before it read like filler that could maybe be sprinkled in later

Good point, especially if I change the stuff with V. I may need to take all of that out.

19 hours ago, kais said:

Okay R needs to move on from V. He's holding her character back from evolving at this point

 

13 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I feel like R is all over the place here. Sociopath, oddly aroused, dangerously reckless, cool administrator trying to control the group, all in this section.

Hmm...I think something from the first book may not be getting across. In my mind, R got torn down a lot after the events in her home city. She got a lot more reckless after that point. Seems like it's not getting to the reader as I meant, so I'll need to do something with this. Or, if I take out R's POV, that would also fix it.

19 hours ago, kais said:

Aheh R and her hand love...

 

13 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I'm beginning to think R has a hand/finger fetish

You know, I think she might...

Thanks so much for the comments, @Atium, @kais, and @industrialistDragon

 

19 hours ago, kais said:

that last page is excellent, and I really want to stay with E and open that portal, instead of dealing with the council!

Aheh...we'll see how you like the next chapter.

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2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

.I think something from the first book may not be getting across. In my mind, R got torn down a lot after the events in her home city. She got a lot more reckless after that point.

I mean, I haven't read the book so, it's probably me just missing the context. But, omg, I would love to see, like, O remarking on/staging a low-key intervention for R after he notices she's being self-destructive after whatever happened in book 1, instead of all this V-stuff. ;) Like, R's in a downward spiral, S has gone all hikikomori again, and even his longstanding governmental rival The Man is in shambles... must be tough for O to be the only adult in the room right now. XD 

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There was some great tension E, S, and Re with the discussion about the LC and with S's near slip about E being Aridori.

The chapter went by really fast! The most memorable part was when Ri was thinking that if O was cautioning against her doing something, it must really be risky. Though I was a little surprised that with Ri on the brink of such a big break through, that she was thinking about O's "dexterity" from the "evening before." As much as I had been invested in their relationship in the previous book, the middle of that speech didn't quite seem like the right place to drop hints about it.

I loved the way the chapter ended -- with E about to reveal something and then someone else barging them into he room that big piece of news about the LC and the council. You left me really wanting to know what was going to happen next!

A couple little edits:

"...a greater number may life better lives" Life should be live

"flaring and swooping as if her were..." I think you could end the sentence at swooping -- just leave it with the image of what his crest is doing. 

 

Otherwise, I don't really have much to say right now. I thought it was a great chapter, and I am looking forward to the next one. I'll go look at the other comments and see if there is anything I can add to those. 

 

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On 3/8/2019 at 9:11 AM, Mandamon said:

Hmm...I think something from the first book may not be getting across. In my mind, R got torn down a lot after the events in her home city. She got a lot more reckless after that point. Seems like it's not getting to the reader as I meant, so I'll need to do something with this. Or, if I take out R's POV, that would also fix it.

On 3/7/2019 at 1:51 PM, kais said:

I was kind of getting this -- that Ri was still sort of spiraling with the fallout of book 1. As a reader, I'm looking forward to how it plays out, but right now, it is louder than the apprentices, who seemed like the more important characters in book 1. If you did cut Ri's POV, I think seeing her arc through O's eyes would be compelling too. But I like R, so I hesitant to encourage you to cut her POV. 

23 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I mean, I haven't read the book so, it's probably me just missing the context. But, omg, I would love to see, like, O remarking on/staging a low-key intervention for R after he notices she's being self-destructive after whatever happened in book 1, instead of all this V-stuff. ;) Like, R's in a downward spiral, S has gone all hikikomori again, and even his longstanding governmental rival The Man is in shambles... must be tough for O to be the only adult in the room right now. XD

But this --I think @industrialistDragon is onto something good here! 

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6 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Though I was a little surprised that with Ri on the brink of such a big break through, that she was thinking about O's "dexterity" from the "evening before."

 

Good point. This may be something better to put in a conversation between O and R if I take @industrialistDragon's suggestion. 

6 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I was kind of getting this -- that Ri was still sort of spiraling with the fallout of book 1.

Ok, glad this is getting through at least somewhat. I'll have to work on this to bring it out while taking V out of the equation. I really like R's POV too, so I don't really want to take it out.

That's a second good reaction to the end of the chapter! I'm excited to see what you all think of the next one...

Thanks @shatteredsmooth!

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On 06/03/2019 at 10:10 PM, rdpulfer said:

I'm BAAAACK . . . .

Huzzah! I hope you're going to be submitting :) 

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Chapter 3 

- (pg.1) - Weakest chapter title to date, imo.

- (pg.1) - "fade from of memory of the GAoS" - 'the'

- (pg.1) - "a greater number may life better lives" - 'live'

- (pg.1) - Epigraph follows on nicely from the last chapter.

- (pg.1) - "to her left at Ray" - 'R e y'

- (pg.1) - Straight away I'm sceptical about being in E's POV. Do we really need another? I'm asking myself why we're not just in S's.

- (pg.2) - "then moved it to smooth her pant leg" - Sounds like she moves S's hand to do the smoothing.

- (pg.2) - "from the brother" - 'her', presumably.

- (pg.2) - "think they've got the right"- I read this as meaning R's people, not the LC.

- (pg.2) - "But then, a Drain hadn’t occurred" - Positive phrasing awkward. Suggest 'But then no drain had occurred...'

- (pg.3) - "fuss that covered the rest" - 'fuzz'?

- (pg.3) - "to cover the slip" - Suggest 'his slip', makes it more personal and direct.

- (pg.3) - "only to ground her teeth"- 'grind'.

- (pg.4) - I like seeing E's antipathy towards R. It's good that it's not all sweetness and light between the friends. The xenophobe comment sounds a bit repetitious after hearing it on the last page.

- (pg.4) - "LC's army" - Is this common parlance in the N? If so, R would seem to be pushing against popular opinion.

- (pg.4) - "but yer've got to look" - Gah. I'm okay with the use of 'yer', even though sometimes I don't think it sits right in the context, but this is too far for me. Coming from a culture (Scots) that uses 'yer', we would never say this, but instead more like 'yee've'.

- (pg.4) - "the LC had some" - 'have', surely, as they're a live threat.

- (pg.4) - "Still, he fell silent at her touch" - Nice, subtle note.

- (pg.5) - "moved from the A" - Suggest 'moved off' or 'moved on from'.

- (pg.5) - "see him breathing in and out too fast" - Suggest this is redundant. That's what breathing is.

- (pg.5) - "'Shaking things up' is not the same as attempting to assassinate" - I think this phrasing works better with the elements the other way around. Usually, it's the extreme element that comes first.

- (pg.5) - "roller coaster" - One word.

- (pg.6) - It's good that R sounds a bit like he's making sense. Good for a convincing debate.

- (pg.6) - "MA directed at them" - Awkward, compared to something like 'snapped'.

- (pg.7) - I'm pretty relaxed about POV changes, as you know. Reflecting back to my earlier comment, I can see why we were in E's there, and I'm fine with it.

- (pg.7) - "to round them all up" - Hmm, they don't have the equivalent of a phone system, do they?

- (pg.7) - "running this this meeting"

- (pg.7) - "she did need to him to explain"

- (pg.7) - "like ducklings unsure where the crocodile was" - Lol, awesome phrase.

- (pg.7) - "the LC was a small percentage of the S" - Phrasing. I think it's confusing the original way. Better still to rephrase: 'S made up only a small percentage of the LC's membership.' Even then, the important thing, surely, is if the membership of the LC is disproportionately S.

- (pg.7) - "Though from their argument" - Seems to me this is a fragment that belongs on the last sentence.

- (pg.8) - Regarding V, is some know it's him, but most don't know he's in GL, this implies to my that there are some who assume he is at large. That can't be right, can it?

- (pg.8) - "some of which had helped her gain" - This is in the past, and I think reads better if that's stated.

- (pg.8) - "or what remains of it" - Eh? I'm not aware that any of the houses is unrepresented on the Council!!

- (pg.8) - "making a joke" - Lol.

- (pg.8) - "backdated their support" - LOL. How very morally accommodating of them.

- (pg.8) - "she only hoped to have" - Don't understand this. In the sense 'could only hope to have' (Which I think is better, more accepted phrasing)? Or does she actually hope to have it? In which case, how could she, when she doesn't have that house?

- (pg.8) - "The problem is not that the"

- (pg.9) - "by which they create the Ds" - Present tense would be more threatening. Presumably they still can create Ds?

- (pg.9) - "He'd been busy with research on the phenomena. Perhaps to the detriment of training his apprentice" - Again, I feel like this is one sentence.

- (pg.9) - "ramble off on a side tangent"- Is there another kind?

- (pg.9) - "at memories of his dexterity" - Again? Phew. She's got a bad case if Ori-ginal Sin at the moment ;) 

- (pg.9) - "that had reduced the workload in the N" - Hmm, seems to me the workload is the same, but the SBs have taken up a significant share of it, thus reducing the workload of the species.

- (pg.9) - "cut travel times by a factor of ten" - Haha, I don't often get travel elements to comment on. I doubt very much that SBs are ten times faster than a humanoid over a short distance. Even long journeys, while they would be faster because SBs don't need to rest, surely would be more likely made by portal anyway. Human walking speed is about 3mph. Cheetah can sprint at 70mph, factor of 20, but the cheetah doesn't maintain that speed for any time. The streets of the N would be chaos with SBs tootling around at 30mph, would they not. Oh wait, so are you saying basically that the N has cars now? If so, why, given the presence of portals?

- (pg.9) - "Any house could keep a change going nigh indefinitely" - 'nigh on' is the usual phrase, is it not? This sounded weird to me.

- (pg.9) - "She jumped into the silence" - Otherwise, it means something different.

- (pg.10) - "our focus now is to find the leaders" - But she said they had permission to find the supply bases.

- (pg.10) - "had taken her an hour" - Hmm. I'm trying it decide if this sounds impressive or not.

- (pg.10) - "hadn't totally been his fault" - How was it his fault in any way? That's not how I remember it. O saved lives!!

- (pg.10) - Ouch. This hint (dollop?) of prejudice in R certainly adds a spark to proceedings. It's good that she is not perfect. I like this aspect.

- (pg.11) - "particularly fundamental" - fundamentalist, I think. Fundamental only gives the base meaning.

- (pg.12) - "would certain make" - 'certainly'?

- (pg.12) - "put in. “One..."- Period.

- (pg.13) - "right now" - This does feel rash, and therefore rather unlike R, although I can accept she has changed, and is under huge pressure over this. Even if she is ready (which I kind of doubt), the others are unprepared, possibly unarmed. There's been no discussion of tactics.

- (pg.13) - "A secret one person holds is no matter." - I don't follow.

- (pg.13) - "though whatever means" - 'through', I think.

- (pg.13) - Why is E calling? Is everyone still shouting? I can't 'hear' that.

- (pg.14) - "apprentices,” She gasped" - CAPS off.

- (pg.14) - Boom! What a great last line. That's a real zinger, surprising yet inevitable. Nicely done.

Overall 

Another good, solid chapter; progress and momentum and tension, etc. maintained. I like the pacing. Does not feel in any way forced, but rather completely natural, I thought.

<R>

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13 hours ago, Robinski said:

Straight away I'm sceptical about being in E's POV. Do we really need another? I'm asking myself why we're not just in S's.

This should become clear around chapter 8!

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

we would never say this, but instead more like 'yee've'.

Thanks! I'll see if I can work that in.

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

She's got a bad case if Ori-ginal Sin at the moment

Lol!

13 hours ago, Robinski said:

Oh wait, so are you saying basically that the N has cars now? If so, why, given the presence of portals?

Basically they have high-speed transit. Portals only work at distances of about half a planet's circumference, so they're only good for long and interstellar distances.

Thanks again, @Robinski!

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6 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Basically they have high-speed transit. Portals only work at distances of about half a planet's circumference, so they're only good for long and interstellar distances.

Ah, okay. Seems reasonable.

Edited by Robinski
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