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Mandamon

20190422 - Facets of the Nether Ch 11 - 4299 words - Sub 10

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Hello all!

We're at the halfway point of the book, back to S, and things are going to start coming together from now on. Please let me know if you come across any promises I didn't keep. 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.
The rest of the cast gathers at the wall, and meet the Eff. They learn some new things, then the chime stops as something comes through the wall. We go back to E, who discovers the Coalition's headquarters, and meets some new, strange friends.

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Overall

I like how there is more movement now, of the characters, and S is showing more agency. I did suggest some cuts since you had a good flow going and then there was a bit too much introspection.

In terms of promises, I think the one big one is the one from book 1. That promise was S. We got to know him, he proved he had all this potential and we were left with a mystery. Unfortunately this book has only just started giving us those answers. I'd really like to see more Sam in book two, and Sam with a touch of agency, and maybe a POV from both the Ard characters. They were really the heart of book one, those three, and I'd be nice to stay with them throughout. 

Otherwise though, I do love this gold power!

 

As I go

- I will never be able to see the word 'emissary' without hearing it in the voice of that older Bajorin woman from DS9 who thought Sisko (Cisko?) was the emissary

- the epigraph person seems to having very plot-convenient remeberences 

A fact I have recalled only in the past few minutes I think I'd rather see this built in and revealed than dumped. As above, it's very convenient

- page 3: +10 for new neopronouns. 

- pg 5: I appreciate S having some agency here

- pg 7: LOL @ 'And S.'

- The three paragraphs, however, I think could be cut  entirety. It slows the great tension building and tells us nothing we don't already know

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Posted (edited)

On 4/22/2019 at 1:56 PM, kais said:

I will never be able to see the word 'emissary' without hearing it in the voice of that older Bajorin woman from DS9 who thought Sisko (Cisko?) was the emissary

Ha! Yeah, I thought about that too.

On 4/22/2019 at 1:56 PM, kais said:

The three paragraphs, however, I think could be cut  entirety.

Which three are these?

On 4/22/2019 at 1:56 PM, kais said:

In terms of promises, I think the one big one is the one from book 1. That promise was S. We got to know him, he proved he had all this potential and we were left with a mystery.

Soooo...what would you think if I said book 2 and 3 are going to be basically two halves of part two, and then books 4 and 5 will be two halves of part three? I think some of the slowness here comes from me building things up. I'd be interested to see what you think at the end of this book.

I'm planning to also write book 3 this year.

Thanks @kais!

Edited by Mandamon
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Can we just skip that whole last chapter and just have this one? ;)

I mean, even if these two bridge parts were smooshed together, or back-to-back as separate chapters, that would be so great for the tension! This is really cool stuff but having the buildup and the payoff interrupted by a "and now for something completely different" chapter really kills both the cool factor and the tension for me. I feel like it also gives E's interlude short shrift as well. 

I don't have a whole lot to say about this one, to be honest. It moves along at a good clip and everyone is more-or-less in character. For promises... I like that S is doing things finally, though I'm getting a little, tiny bit annoyed by his repeated incredulity that he can do... anything at all. It's straining my credulity that he is constantly so incredulous.

 I am feeling a little cheated by the bell. it's been built up for so long and then it just... fizzles out. somebody coming through the wall of the known universe is really cool and momentous, but it's not tied specifically to the noise. The sound is just, like, this gigantic pager or alarm clock and it kind of feels like it either stopped on its own (which, then, why did anyone bother investigating it in the first place?), or its criteria for success is so vague that, like, anyone could be standing on that bridge and it would be satisfied. I feel like three cats and a dead bird could sit on that bridge and the bell would be like, "Mission: complete." 

Otherwise, I just have a couple typos around the visitor, maybe

"They scuttled a few steps" -- xy? 

"waved all three of her claw-like hand" -- xyr, hands?

 

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34 minutes ago, industrialistDragon said:

Can we just skip that whole last chapter and just have this one? ;)

Lol. This was originally one big chapter with chapter 9, soooo...maybe I need to go back to that and edit it down.

 

35 minutes ago, industrialistDragon said:

I feel like it also gives E's interlude short shrift as well. 

I could probably put her two chapters together as well.

36 minutes ago, industrialistDragon said:

I like that S is doing things finally, though I'm getting a little, tiny bit annoyed by his repeated incredulity that he can do... anything at all. It's straining my credulity that he is constantly so incredulous.

Good point. I think I need to speed his arc up in the book and raise either the "proactive" or the "competent" slider.

37 minutes ago, industrialistDragon said:

somebody coming through the wall of the known universe is really cool and momentous, but it's not tied specifically to the noise.

Interesting. I'll see how I can tie this together better, or give more meaning to it.

Thanks for the pronoun catches.

Thanks @industrialistDragon!

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Overall, I really liked this chapter. It went by really quick and when it ended, I just wanted to keep reading. S finally makes a decision on his own and is about to DO SOMETHING. Something about him finally feels present and awake, and what he is about to do is really a big deal for him. With that last bit in mind, I'm almost surprised because for much of this book, really up until I came in, he had regressed. However, if you keep it that way, I think drawing out and showing more of the effect I's return had would work fine to make a stronger set up for this. 

I did, at times, get so absorbed in the description of the alien, and of O's head feathers, that I almost was lost in it and not fully grasping the significance of what was happening. This might be okay though, because that might be how Sam is processing it all. 

The pronouns were cool! 

I noticed one typo:

"...shorter that a Lo..." I think "that" should be "than"

Going to look at what the others had to say now. 

On 4/22/2019 at 1:56 PM, kais said:

A fact I have recalled only in the past few minutes I think I'd rather see this built in and revealed than dumped. As above, it's very convenient

 

I second this. 

 

On 4/25/2019 at 9:00 PM, industrialistDragon said:

even if these two bridge parts were smooshed together, or back-to-back as separate chapters, that would be so great for the tension! This is really cool stuff but having the buildup and the payoff interrupted by a "and now for something completely different" chapter really kills both the cool factor and the tension for me

I think I'd rather have the two bridge chapters together and not interrupted. 

 

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Thanks @shatteredsmooth!

Glad S is working more for you. I think you have a good idea about I bringing him out. I just need to make sure I'm not turning the reader off before that point.

Sounds like the two bridge chapters are going back together!

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Straight in then.

Page 1 

- "likely as aspect" - 'an' aspect?

- "if it continued through the wall" - I thought it did.

- "shorter that a L" - than.

- "or had on a flaring dress" - wore?

Page 2

- "How ever could I have forgotten" - however.

- "It looked younger than usual" - ?!?!

- "of the next facet of the N" - this is possibly the most momentous reveal I can remember in your stories, other than the existence of the world and the races themselves, and yet I'm not feeling the impact of it from the assembled people. The questions are incredible. Are there a group of completely different races in that facet? How many facets are there? Do they have the symphony or something else? Maybe they have a different symphony. How do we call them (assuming they called us)? If they didn't who made the call, who decided it was time for a pow-wow? I could go on. My point is I'm feeling a bit cheated that there are people falling to their knees, wailing, gnashing of teeth, etc. etc.

Page 3 

- I like the description of this new creature/race, but it's not entirely clear to me. I get the gist, but some of the phrasing confuses the picture I'm trying to form. "The arms were opened to each side" - Not sure what this means / looks like.

- "no, xyr" - Good, I like this.

Page 4 

- "in four district sections" - distinct.

- "Like when talking with" - Arggl. 'As when talking...", I think.

- "between a mortarboard and a habit" - In my understanding, the habit is the robe. Do you mean like a nun's headgear? I think that's a wimple, isn't it?

- "facet of the N" - Okay, the title of the book has impact now, but I think most people on picking it up would think it mean facet as in characteristics of the N, which is why I thought the title of the novel sounded like a guide book.

Page 5

- "in this crowd" - I wouldn't class what ten(?) people as a crowd, maybe group?

Page 7

- "as in real life" - bit simplistic. How about 'reality'?

- "unchangeable from the rest" - this doesn't make grammatical sense to me.

Page 8 

- "with a little difference in the key" - slight?

- "the replicated with the beat" - they?

- "the stone shifted materials" - this sounds underwhelming to me. I feel like we need the word 'transformed' here.

Page 9 

- "this occurrence in the V" - the what now?

- "I have found my new apprentice" - YES!! Massive payoff line right there. That's a 'BOOOOM' moment. Love it.

Page 10 

- "Or rather, two houses" - Huh? Confused here. To me, this implies TWO new houses, but I think maybe they mean that S is a two house maj? Unclear. But I would have thought being a two house maj is not so unusual, or worthy of remark in this way.

Page 11

- "They cannot. You must come with me" - very compelling reason to go. This is strong plot. I like it.

- "Multiple thought" - typo.

- "none of you do" - 'does', part of the S being singular.

- "yet this one do not speak" - does, again, this one = singular.

- "I promise I'll come back" - after moaning about it for months, S's sudden readiness to go does not wholly convince me. Seems a bit too easy compared to some of his terrified cowering about going outside.

Page 12

- "Those ain't the same house" - Yeah, bit confused here. Did I read that S had silver and gold? I think I did, he thought it, didn't he? But we did not see evidence of it just now, right?

- "help him through what he was going through" - Awkward phrasing, sounds clumsy.

- "had experience with the mountain pressing on his back" - don't know what this means.

Page 13 

- "I think I would like to come" - 'go', surely?

- "taking In if necessary" - I don't really believe this. The guy has just been through trauma. It's selfish of S to expect him to go. Doesn't show much empathy for what his friend has been through, it seems to me. Also, I can't see how they even can contemplate it when In doesn't have the ability. I feel a magic bubble coming on (hmph).

- "If it is to be helping you" - Where's Car gone all of a sudden? Are they just going to roll over and accept this after sounding so angry?

Page 14 

- Great point to end on. through the Net glass, if you will.

Overall

Very effective chapter with lots of reveal, discovery and not a little wonder. Well done. The only thing that really bothered my was disbelief at In going too. I feel the hand of the author strongly in that. S was not at all crippled by the though of going with the newcomer. He doesn't show any compelling need for In to go. That's good, I liked his agency, but it seems to come quite easily after all this time. I don't mind that overly, it's the pretext for taking In that I think is really flimsy, and not convincing.

<R>

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Thanks @Robinski!

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

My point is I'm feeling a bit cheated that there are people falling to their knees, wailing, gnashing of teeth, etc. etc.

Good point. I can ramp this up.

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

Okay, the title of the book has impact now, but I think most people on picking it up would think it mean facet as in characteristics of the N, which is why I thought the title of the novel sounded like a guide book.

Glad it's clearer...I'll keep thinking on this

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

In my understanding, the habit is the robe. Do you mean like a nun's headgear? I think that's a wimple, isn't it?

Thanks for the catch! I'll make sure I get this right.

 

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

To me, this implies TWO new houses, but I think maybe they mean that S is a two house maj? Unclear. But I would have thought being a two house maj is not so unusual, or worthy of remark in this way.

Referring to what WW was doing. I'll see if I can clear this up.

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

after moaning about it for months, S's sudden readiness to go does not wholly convince me. Seems a bit too easy compared to some of his terrified cowering about going outside.

Yep, I was thinking this was too sudden. I think I need to bring S up to speed faster of give him more of an inciting incident.

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

The guy has just been through trauma. It's selfish of S to expect him to go.

Hmm...I was thinking In would want to go because S is his only real point of stability. I need to pump this up some more.

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

Where's Car gone all of a sudden?

Noted. I'll bring this out more.

 

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

he only thing that really bothered my was disbelief at In going too. I feel the hand of the author strongly in that. S was not at all crippled by the though of going with the newcomer. He doesn't show any compelling need for In to go.

Great comments as usual! There's definitely some emotion lacking in In's and S's arc. I'm planning on focusing on that a lot more in the next draft.

 

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