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Mandamon

20190408 - Facets of the Nether Ch 8&9 - 4578+ words - Sub 8

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Hello all,

given the problems in chapters 6 and 7, I'm skipping over most of chapter 8 for now. I think it can be combined in some way with the last two chapters to speed things up.
Feel free to read the M section of chapter 8 I've included, but that brings the submission to almost 6000 words, so no problem if you skip over it and just read chapter 9.
What you missed: E, with Re in tow, trades herself for I. He's in bad shape. Re helps I to meet up with S, who takes him and helps him get cleaned up. I is acting strange and makes random changes to his body, but perks up seeing S again. He says E wanted this to happen.
As always, let me know what you think. Reactions on anything/everything else is appreciated, from character notes, 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. R reveals the location of the Coalition's headquarters, but can't get there, and everyone is called to the Assembly, where the Coalition unveils an ancient being. E and R discuss the revelation, S visits the Eff in a private audience, and M continues recruiting. Re manages to meet with the coalition, learns E and I's true species, and confronts E. E trades herself for I and S takes I in.

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AHAHAHAHA FIRST!

Overall

A bit wobbly in spots but good forward momentum. I did really want S to go through the crystal, instead of something coming out. Generally I think this chapter would benefit from more emotional connection (I know I know, funny coming from me and my drafts), which is always something you can put in later after you get it streamlined.

 

As I go

- are the colors acceptable? Aww, love

- I'd be sad to lose this fun color conversation if you blend this into other chapters

- 'the mute species' suggest deleting this. I think it's apparent and kind of more fun if it's not said

- 'the species did not have the same concept of gender...' I'd like to consider myself fairly well versed in this world you've created. To this point, I thought it had been implied that there was no 'usual,' as you've been great about showcasing a number of sexualities and genders as just part of the world. This line, to me, calls that all into question. This is Mand ascribing his views, but its coming off as authorial view. I think it also limits your world. It would come off better as just starting with 'it was considered polite to ask...'

- Agender=not currently doing anything. Hmm. I get it, but maybe needs just a touch of something else. 'Agender, as they were not currently doing a gendered assignment' or something along those lines, maybe? Gender by task is amazing world building and I love it, but it takes a bit of tweaking, I think, to make sure its not reinforcing weird Earth biases

- Did Moor's name always have a 't' in it? Is my brain being weird?

- nonbinary pronoun confusion, pg 5: This Lob we are talking to is agender and using they. Lar uses zie. Different part of the nonbinary spectrum, or typo? It 100% makes sense to use different pronouns with different enby derivations, but just wanted to make sure that was what you intended.

- FOR THE DISSOLUTION yes please

- the epigraph seems redundant with previous chapters. we know all this already

- you know, I'm just going to come out with it. I want more on this R/O relationship. It's danced around in most of the books, and they have spats and such but I want like, an actual convo between them about their deal. Maybe a page. Maybe it ties into a beat with S and E and we just get Feelings for half a chapter. Either way, every time a line is dropped about R/O and there's no emotional tie, I get grumpy.

- uh.... I want to be there for this swap! I is back, E is gone, and I feel like a SUPER AWESOME MOMENT has been stolen from me

- I defending the trade very nonchalant seems counter to the yelling about torture a bit back. Right now it reads like I was in some sort of resort spa. He isn't upset at all

- pg 9: yes, definitely want more reactions from I about his experiences

- pg 12: I want you to know that right here, right now, I am yearning for a heartfelt S/I scene. They have so much in common and EMOTIONS

- this bridge.... WRS? What is it? Where is it? Why is it important?

- pg 16: YES PUT A HAND UNDER HIS CHIN, DARN IT!

- 18: S has had like zero agency thus far, and right now I just really want him to run into the crystal wall

 

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This was much much better than the last chapter!

I did read it all, though I don't have much to say about the M one other than that I really want to go read Society this summer when I have some free time. 

3 hours ago, kais said:

This is Mand ascribing his views, but its coming off as authorial view. I think it also limits your world. It would come off better as just starting with 'it was considered polite to ask...'

 

3 hours ago, kais said:

Agender=not currently doing anything. Hmm. I get it, but maybe needs just a touch of something else. 'Agender, as they were not currently doing a gendered assignment' or something along those lines, maybe? Gender by task is amazing world building and I love it, but it takes a bit of tweaking, I think, to make sure its not reinforcing weird Earth biases

 

I second both of these.

..."correct. he jabbed a finger downward." capitalization. 

I know there had been some discussion of cutting R's chapters because of the rough ones earlier, but here, I was very happy to be back in her POV and am now second guessing suggesting to cut her POV entirely. Maybe it just needed to be refined in the early chapters because right now, it is a breath of fresh air.

However...

"you know what happened to me the last time I lost an apprentice?" This and a another instance where she thought something like this seemed out of character. Would she really be more concerned about herself than about E?

"The next several lightenings..." I feel we move into summary a little too quick. This is making it feel a little rushed. Although, something about the whole thing, more on a writing level, feels rushed too. I'm not sure why. I just feel like something is missing. Maybe sensory details? More emotional cues? Though those should be things you can fill in after once you do have all the structural and POV stuff ironed out. 

3 hours ago, kais said:

- you know, I'm just going to come out with it. I want more on this R/O relationship. It's danced around in most of the books, and they have spats and such but I want like, an actual convo between them about their deal. Maybe a page. Maybe it ties into a beat with S and E and we just get Feelings for half a chapter. Either way, every time a line is dropped about R/O and there's no emotional tie, I get grumpy.

So what I was saying about it feeling rushed. I think there is plenty of room to slow down and have a moment with O and R. 

I also miss O's POV.

"more wretched them him to drive away his anxiety" Yup. For me, this can be true. Not always, but I have found myself getting a handle on my anxiety when I need to help someone I really care about. Either that or I loose it completely, but I think the first thing happens more. 

But also, I want more reaction from I. And more moments between he and S before the next big thing happens. I want to see more of S trying to coax I into talking. I want to see more of I. He seemed a little too okay when he was talking.

"There is one time...in the columns, not the walls." I had to reread this sentence a couple times. 

"The column wall is thick enough that this, it doesn't matter." This sense also threw me a little. 

Overall, now I am back into the story. I liked R's POV with the one issue I pointed out, and Sam's POV was engaging again, but he does need to do something. 

3 hours ago, kais said:

- 18: S has had like zero agency thus far, and right now I just really want him to run into the crystal wall

 

This would be something, and I was thinking he was going to go,  but if something is coming out of the wall, then why would be go in? 

Hopefully he does make a choice and take an action on his own once this thing comes out of the wall.

Still, the chapter ended on a fantastic note and I very much looking forward to the next one. I think most of the issues this one has are relatively minor compared to the last one and will resolved with some fleshing out of scenes. 

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Thanks @kais and @shatteredsmooth

6 hours ago, kais said:

Generally I think this chapter would benefit from more emotional connection

 

7 hours ago, kais said:

I want you to know that right here, right now, I am yearning for a heartfelt S/I scene. They have so much in common and EMOTIONS

 

7 hours ago, kais said:

YES PUT A HAND UNDER HIS CHIN, DARN IT!

 

3 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

But also, I want more reaction from I. And more moments between he and S before the next big thing happens. I want to see more of S trying to coax I into talking. I want to see more of I. He seemed a little too okay when he was talking.

Haha. oh, I and S. I'm glad bits of this are hitting at least. I keep trying to add more with Inas, but it hasn't congealed yet. There are some more moments soon, and I will be adding more in as soon as I figure out what I's deal is...

6 hours ago, kais said:

I'd be sad to lose this fun color conversation if you blend this into other chapters

This section will probably stay. The M interludes seem to be self-sufficient on their own.

6 hours ago, kais said:

'the species did not have the same concept of gender...' I'd like to consider myself fairly well versed in this world you've created. To this point, I thought it had been implied that there was no 'usual,' as you've been great about showcasing a number of sexualities and genders as just part of the world. This line, to me, calls that all into question. This is Mand ascribing his views, but its coming off as authorial view. I think it also limits your world. It would come off better as just starting with 'it was considered polite to ask...'

- Agender=not currently doing anything. Hmm. I get it, but maybe needs just a touch of something else. 'Agender, as they were not currently doing a gendered assignment' or something along those lines, maybe? Gender by task is amazing world building and I love it, but it takes a bit of tweaking, I think, to make sure its not reinforcing weird Earth biases

Thanks very much for the feedback on this! I try to get this right, but still fall in holes here and there.There will be more of this later, so I'm certain I'll probably mess up again. On the agender note, that's a really good point. "doing a gendered assignment" is a much better way to put it.

6 hours ago, kais said:

nonbinary pronoun confusion, pg 5: This Lob we are talking to is agender and using they. Lar uses zie. Different part of the nonbinary spectrum, or typo? It 100% makes sense to use different pronouns with different enby derivations, but just wanted to make sure that was what you intended.

This is connected to the last point. Yes, they are different nonbinary labels! I use "they" as agender and "zie" as a third gender here. There will be, er, more of this very soon. I'd love for you to see if it gets too confusing with more genders. I've been having fun discovering new gender names!

6 hours ago, kais said:

Did Moor's name always have a 't' in it?

Yep!

6 hours ago, kais said:

I want more on this R/O relationship. It's danced around in most of the books, and they have spats and such but I want like, an actual convo between them about their deal. Maybe a page. Maybe it ties into a beat with S and E and we just get Feelings for half a chapter. Either way, every time a line is dropped about R/O and there's no emotional tie, I get grumpy.

 

3 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

So what I was saying about it feeling rushed. I think there is plenty of room to slow down and have a moment with O and R. 

I also miss O's POV.

Cool. I'd love to put more of this in there. This may be a good point, or I can elaborate on it elsewhere. It will give the R POVs a little more heft.  I really miss O's POV here too, but had to cut it when I started. There were just too many, and R and O would just cover the same perspective most of the time.

7 hours ago, kais said:

uh.... I want to be there for this swap! I is back, E is gone, and I feel like a SUPER AWESOME MOMENT has been stolen from me

Yeah, this was part of what I skipped submitting. It's in there, but like Ch 6 and 7, it wasn't working yet, but it does exist!

3 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I know there had been some discussion of cutting R's chapters because of the rough ones earlier, but here, I was very happy to be back in her POV and am now second guessing suggesting to cut her POV entirely. Maybe it just needed to be refined in the early chapters because right now, it is a breath of fresh air.

Cool. I'd love to keep it in, if it has a chance of working.

3 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

"The next several lightenings..." I feel we move into summary a little too quick. This is making it feel a little rushed.

It felt rushed to me too, but I couldn't put a finger on what it was.

3 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

"more wretched them him to drive away his anxiety" Yup. For me, this can be true. Not always, but I have found myself getting a handle on my anxiety when I need to help someone I really care about. Either that or I loose it completely, but I think the first thing happens more. 

Great comments. As always, if you see parts where the anxiety is off, let me know. There is something like this is a couple chapters, but I can add it here as well.

3 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:
7 hours ago, kais said:

- 18: S has had like zero agency thus far, and right now I just really want him to run into the crystal wall

 

This would be something, and I was thinking he was going to go,  but if something is coming out of the wall, then why would be go in? 

Hmmm...I'm wondering if the next chapter will address this enough.

Awesome comments, and they will help a bunch!

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1 hour ago, Mandamon said:

This is connected to the last point. Yes, they are different nonbinary labels! I use "they" as agender and "zie" as a third gender here. There will be, er, more of this very soon. I'd love for you to see if it gets too confusing with more genders. I've been having fun discovering new gender names!

100% here for multiple neopronouns in a book. I think Ard tapped out at... four(?) by the end. I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO BETTER.

You will have to define them at some point, though, because there's no universal use of them yet. A one sentence drop for each would probably be fine.

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9 hours ago, kais said:

I think Ard tapped out at... four(?) by the end. I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO BETTER.

*Rubs hands*

Just wait....

 

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So, over all, I agree with @kais and @shatteredsmooth for the most part. Definitely count me as thirding what @kais pointed out re:gender in the first part. I pinged on it too, but she's put it better than I would. 

So other than the gender stuff, what got me about the first part with M was the similarity between all these different sentient creatures. Job-as-gender is a really cool idea!  But I got knocked off the rails HARD in this section with M because the whole interaction plays out like there were three humans from roughly the same background chatting with each other. It feels a lot like the criticisms that get thrown at a lot of Star-trek aliens -- the alienness, the non-human point of reference, it's just superficial like a funny forehead prosthetic. How different from us does a society have to be that ends up at job-as-gender? To me, it'd have to be pretty dang different, and that would color the entire interaction. There are a lot of differences even between our plain old human cultures, and, as all those books about business etiquette in other countries can attest to, having different frames of reference interacting with each other requires a decent amount of knowledge and work-arounds from both sides. I'm not getting that here. The bit about the colors is really nice and goes towards this, but there's not much after that.  It goes back to the issues I was having with En last chapter too, I think. I want the aliens to have different, alien frames of reference, but everyone acts like they have the same frame of reference, just, like, different accents.  

I still don't like Re. I'm also cranky he mostly gets away with no repercussions for willingly and knowingly handing his supposed friend over to overt torturers. I get that he's like unconsciously gay for In, but that doesn't give a person a free pass to be legitimately inhumane, grumble grumble. He's not even punished for it! Not even grounded, not even a little bit. He's just demonstrated dangerous levels of uncontrolablility, callousness and self-interest, and they just, like, glare at him. It sort of makes me think that nobody feels like En is worth as much as a person as In. They're all like "darn, it's too bad we had to give another person to evil hostage-taking terrorists and proven torturers, but at least it was just En. And we got In back though, so good deal! I'm sure she'll be fine." 

I really wish S got to at least be the one to spot the cool thing at the end. It's a really cool thing! And even I'm starting to notice the fact that he hasn't really done much this book. I really like the bits about him being able to get over his issues to take care of In, and I'd really liked to have seen more of that, instead of just getting it in summaries and self-recriminations. 

It really feels like there are a lot of meetings and summaries in this book.

DEFINITELY thirding the request for more on-the-page Ri/O! 

I'm fairly confused about Ri, to be honest. Am I remembering right that she was supposed to be having some kind of breakdown? I can't tell from her actions. She seems to be keeping it together pretty well now that we're away from the prison scenes, so i'm unclear as to her state of mind through all this. I'm sort of missing a unifying mindset or train of thought to go with her actions, I guess. 

At this point, I think I'd rather just not have Ri's POV at all, and simply see her through O. Their POVs overlap a lot, so I don't think I need both of them, and I feel like I don't need to be inside her breakdown, and I'd get more emotion out of watching her disintegrate (if she is falling apart at all) from the POV of someone who knows her intimately and can see all the little tics and mannerisms that're going awry. Like, O's not dumb, so why's he still hooking up with Ri when it's clear she's not really in a good state of mind and this can't possibly be a healthy relationship? Is he trying to keep her safe from herself? Is he trying to put her back together? Does he just want the hookup? how many different ways has he tried to stage interventions for her at this point? I guess I'm just not that interested in Ri this time around. 

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@industrialistDragon--Awesome comments!

21 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

But I got knocked off the rails HARD in this section with M because the whole interaction plays out like there were three humans from roughly the same background chatting with each other. It feels a lot like the criticisms that get thrown at a lot of Star-trek aliens -- the alienness, the non-human point of reference, it's just superficial like a funny forehead prosthetic.

I was just thinking about the who Star Trek aliens thing today while writing. There is a section coming up which addresses this a little, but I do want to put a little more color into the different cultures. It keeps getting pushed aside by the larger plot threads, but I'm going to try to squeeze it in there in the next draft.

21 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I still don't like Re. I'm also cranky he mostly gets away with no repercussions for willingly and knowingly handing his supposed friend over to overt torturers.

Sigh. Yes, this is a definite problem with Re. I'm wondering what your reactions will be further on. This is something else I need to squeeze into the next draft.

21 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I really wish S got to at least be the one to spot the cool thing at the end. It's a really cool thing! And even I'm starting to notice the fact that he hasn't really done much this book.

He does get some cool parts, I promise! But I also take your point.

21 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

DEFINITELY thirding the request for more on-the-page Ri/O! 

I'm fairly confused about Ri, to be honest. Am I remembering right that she was supposed to be having some kind of breakdown?

 

21 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

At this point, I think I'd rather just not have Ri's POV at all, and simply see her through O.

Yep. I think I can put more in with this at the beginning, by taking out the part with V. Interesting perspective to replace R's POV with O. I hadn't considered that. I'll have to see what the consensus is later in the book.

Thanks as always! You never fail to have great insight to what I need to work on. These comments will definitely drive a better book.

 

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Sorry, took a while to get here.

Chapter 8 

(page 1)

- "honored to study along such notable maji" - 'among', I think.

- This opening epigraph is a wee bit underwhelming for me.

- Ah, but then I see it flows directly into the chapter, so fair enough.

- "chair-high cylinder" - Super awkward. If you just say 'cylinder he sat on' it's directly implied that it is chair-height. Oh wait, it's way more complicated.

- "The colors acceptable?" - Lol. Like that. - Confused how they communicate though. I thought the universal translator only worked in the N?

- "Neither G nor I am familiar" - are.

(page 2)

- Hmm, this variation in how the N affects beings in terms of translation seems very plot convenient. Seems a bit arbitrary.

- I don't really see why there's a stutter. If the sign language is being interpreted by the N, why would it leave the stutter in? Also, If the tapping is a required part of the 'speech' mechanism, why would it come across as an impediment?

(page 3)

- "the same concept of gender" - I'm not sure 'concept' is the word. Male and female are not concepts, neither is non-binary, they are real, physical things, proven in practice (as it were).

- "innervator" - Did you mean 'innovator'? Innervate doesn't seem to fit.

- "the head at the time," - Suggest deleting. They all know this so it's very maid-and-butler. The fact that M tasked TD with something implies M was the leader, I think.

- "communal organization" - Is there another kind?

- "after the Lobhl was finished" - Suggest deletion, more direct, in the moment.

(page 4)

- "with picked recordings" - Selected, surely?

- "He glanced over the L" - This sounds quite rude.

- "The point M is dancing around" - Deliciously pointed banter. Love it.

- "gripped the paper in both hands, keeping his hands still" - Repetition.

(page 5)

- "Society closed" - 'disbanded' seems more suited.

- "our search for the edges of knowledge" - Yeah, I've kind of lost track of what they're looking for.

- "For the D" - Ah, now it might be WRS, but I feel like I've lost track a bit of what's at stake. Also, you might remember I was a bit 'meh' about the title 'F of the N'. I think it's because it sounds rather like a guide book, a travel guide.

Chapter 9 

(page 5)

- "you been up?” She asked" - 'she', as a dialogue tag.

(page 6)

- "the base chime" - bass?

- "vibrating like a bell" - I don't think a bell vibrates, although things hits by the sounds waves from the bell might vibrate. Then again, they might resonate, or reverberate.

- "R looked to the few displays on her walls, making sure they didn't fall" - This seems like a very passive sentence. You always seem to say looking to, not at, which is more direct (I think). Also, how does looking at the shelves prevent them from falling? (It doesn't.) I suspect she more is hoping they don't fall. It's a very dispassionate and distancing account of an effective earthquake / series of tremors. She encountered it? Sounds like passing a friend in the street. I'd have a much scarier description here of nik-naks rattling on shelves, our fear. Why can't some porcelain thing fall and break? I want to be scared here.

- "is correct.” he..." - typo.

- Repetition of 'jabbed / jabbing'.

(page 7)

- "without thinking what it would do to the status quo" - This is harsh. Knowing the answer does not necessarily do anything to the SQ, but it allows one to react/respond.

- "It was to be the subject of a conference" - Unclear. Is this the right interpretation?

- "S and R spilled in" - Excellent. I'm really pleased that you did this off screen. It would have been reasonable to play through that scene. It might have been very exciting, but it's a nice surprise to cut it out and plunge the reader into the aftermath. Well done.

- "all of them they were settled" - I know, I know, it's first draft, but I'm finding the narrative fairly wordy and meandering, sometimes.

(Page 8)

- "Do you know what happened to me" - Ooh, selfish much?

(Page 9)

- "obvious cleaning S had administered" - I does not seem so bad that he could not clean himself, which would be more usual. This sounded odd to me.

- "younger man's" - I didn't know I was younger than S. How much? Also, I isn't a man, surely. And is R not aware of that?

- "She looked the question" - This grammar's awkward. Just the wrong word. 'directed' would be more appropriate, I think.

(Page 10)

- "how much effort the A was putting forth" - Putting into what? I can guess, but not really clear.

(Page 11)

- "were very limited" - I'd suggest 'are'. He still had the impressions, and it sounds more immediate, I think.

- I found the end of this section quite abrupt. Not in the place it was left, but in the way if was left. It doesn't really feel like the end of the discussion, or leave a clear, agreed course of action.

(page 12)

- "After I returned..." - Seems to me there's a strong implication here that it's because I returned.

- "the other man" - I don't think of them as men. Maybe young men.

- "sliver of pleasure" - I don't feel 'pleasure' is the right word. Surely, S and R used to be pals. I feel like it's more like 'satisfaction'.

- "he chastised himself to be bigger than that" - Grammar: this feels mixed up to me. Wouldn't he chastise himself for not being bigger than that? I've never heard of someone chastising to... something.

- "he wanted I all to himself" - I'm not feeling this sudden selfish streak in S. I know it's an emotive topic, and R has let the team down to some degree, but still.

- "S sighed, but watched him go" - Why 'but'? the sighing and watching him go are not contrary. I think it should be 'and'.

- "which S wasn't going to argue with" - I would say you argue with a person, but you argue against an idea.

I'm really struggling with the prose in this section. It feels very rushed. I know you don't wordsmith till further down the line, but that doesn't help me at this point ;) 

(Page 13)

- "Every time he tried to touch I, he shied away as if S would hit him" - (1) I can't remember the stage of their relationship. I gather it's intimate, but I think this is the first reminder/clue to that. Maybe WRS certainly, but I think maybe a stronger representation of this in S's thoughts while I is missing would help deliver the emotional resonance in this section. (2) I find the phrasing awkward with the 'he's' and the names.

- "shouted over the constant noise" - He said the chime had rung four times, so there must be periods of silence. I would not characterise a bell (or whatever) tolling and stopping as being constant noise.

- "of S a m leaving the apartment of his own volition" - Having the name makes it sound out of S's POV.

- "Especially since he had..." - Not convinced about starting a sentence with 'especially'. I'll stop commenting on grammar and word choice now. it's really slowing me down.

- "a gong living inside his head" - I find this analogy rather weak. it has the ring of cliche (pun intended).

(Page 14)

- This bit about S bringing all the people together and then they all get a description and where they've come from, it's really hammering the tension and the pace of this section. I'm skipping now. I don't want or need to know any of this. Get me to the bridge! Brandon, I think, (or Mary)... someone from WE said stay with the character with the most at stake. That's Ori. He is where the action and tension and mystery are right now.

- "The bridge has some tenuous connection in the old texts he’s found" - This repeating the brief exchange between S and O. While they all stand around talking, I'm going to the bridge to find Ori.

- "How did you get here?" - For a smart lady, this is a really pointless and irrelevant question. Couldn't someone other than R ask it it it has to be asked at all?

- "A hadn't seen M-A taken aback like that before" - I would argue that he has several times, most recently when I returned, but surely other times like when the LC showed up, in the prison when they discovered the Ar, etc.

- You referred to A and I as men, but here they are tittering like schoolboys which just underlines my current impression of them. Also, their laughter feels totally off tone with the events unfolding, and our of character too.

(Page 15)

- "vanishing into the distance above" - I read this like it was referring to the bridge before I realised it was the wall. The bridge is the focus of our attention.

- This bridge has been a dead end for hundreds(?) of years and no one has ever done more to investigate why or where it might have gone? Seems odd. Feels about like author ex machina.

(Page 16)

- Repetition of 'trailing', which I'm not keen on anyway compared to following. and it's sitting close to uses of the word 'railing' too, which doesn't help.

- "like someone was pulling a practical joke on him" - I feel like that too. Has this ever been mentioned before? It feels like the old Agatha Christie trick of the 'smart' detective pulling out a bunch of facts that nobody new but him/her and were not present in the story before. I've been experiencing wonder at the bridge going into the N and they were standing around knowing the answer all the time.

(Page 17)

- Bah. It's ringing a bell with me now that R mentions it, but did S not know this already? Surprised it didn't come up in conversation.

- Yeah, the pace really picks up once they're at the bridge. I think more glossing over of the walking about would be good.

(Page 19)

- "You recall when I asked you to find the a connection between the strange occurrences since you arrived in the N?" - I think 'when' is redundant, and there could be more than one connection. I feel like the Ef would not be so narrow and presumptuous in pre-assuming there was only one.

- "That was when the incessant chime finally stopped" - I don't think 'finally' is doing anything here. I've been reading about the chime for weeks, so I don't need a reminder it's being going on (and off) for ages. I think the line has more punch without 'finally'.

Summary

I enjoyed the ending of the submission. It's a very dramatic moment and I'm bursting to read this week's submission now. There are lot of stuff before that that feels unnecessary and a bit frustrating, I thought. I enjoyed Chapter 8, but it did not zing with nostalgia quite as much as I would have liked. Chapter 9 had several issues for me. Them waiting around for the group to assemble felt very unlikely to me. Why would they? Are they not adults? Meet at the bridge, not in some public place so they can all go together. That did not work for me.

Overall though, progression of the story was good and the last few pages rattled along.

<R>

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On 08/04/2019 at 7:34 PM, kais said:

S has had like zero agency thus far, and right now I just really want him to run into the crystal wall

Lol, faceplant!! But yes, S is a character who runs away from agency (which must be an oxymoron, but you know what I mean). It makes it really hard to like him, which I don't. I don't like him. I'm acquainted with him. He's in the story. This leads me to think about character change, arcs, etc. Who in the D-verse has an arc and changes from the beginning to the end of book. I don't see O changing (thank goodness! He's the super-best NPC in the whole world), or R. Man isn't really in enough, but in Society (my favourite story still) he does exhibit change, I think, growth. S's growth has been very limited, in my view. I feel like all we've really seen is him go from being unable to go outside, to being able to go outside with some encouragement. His growth feels geologically slow, and I would like to see more in this book, and more over the first part of the book.

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Great comments as always, @Robinski!

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

. I thought the universal translator only worked in the N?

It works majus to majus as well. I think this has been consistent since TTS, so might be WRS. (LOL at all the TLA!)

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

"S and R spilled in" - Excellent. I'm really pleased that you did this off screen. It would have been reasonable to play through that scene. It might have been very exciting, but it's a nice surprise to cut it out and plunge the reader into the aftermath. Well done.

So this was one of the scenes I wrote, but didn't post because I know it needs too much work. I have one vote from @kais to see it, and one here not to! I'll ponder...

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

"the other man" - I don't think of them as men. Maybe young men.

Yeah, I always have problems with this. Need to find a good way to refer to them.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

"he wanted I all to himself" - I'm not feeling this sudden selfish streak in S. I know it's an emotive topic

 

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

I think, growth. S's growth has been very limited, in my view.

I'm trying to make part of the growth in this book S reaching out and protecting his friends, rather than the other way around, but it's not there yet...

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

This bridge has been a dead end for hundreds(?) of years and no one has ever done more to investigate why or where it might have gone? Seems odd. Feels about like author ex machina.

I'll have to put in some more detail. It's mentioned once in passing in the first book, but it's one of those things that's like "It's been there for ever, no one knows what it's for..."

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

Yeah, the pace really picks up once they're at the bridge. I think more glossing over of the walking about would be good.

Yep, I'm going to have to cut a lot of the "walking and talking."

 

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