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Mandamon

20190429 - Facets of the Nether Ch 12 - 2704 words - Sub 11

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Hello folks!
Short chapter this week, and not too much to say about it. See 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.
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. Back to S and Co at the wall, who finally find out what the chime was all about.

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Overall

I think there was a fair amount of wandering in this chapter, and I'm not convinced the same information couldn't be conveyed in a well done epigraph, so as to keep the plot moving along. Have you considered making Mand be the epigraphs almost entirely, so the apprentices can take the POV roles? I think Mand is good to have, as he seems to be what keeps the plot moving forward, but he also does a lot of wandering and redundancy. 

It's not that I don't like the chapter. I do! It's more that I think it needs to be trimmed way down so it snaps along better. Good for a draft though, for sure!

 

As I go

- I want to know more about big game hunting in the Neth

- of the first page, I think only the first paragraph and the last are necessary. The rest feels like meandering, and this far into the novel I want meat!

- pg 5: I think the chapter actually starts on this page, at the start. The rest feels more like warm up and wandering. 

- pg 6: how is summoning a three house individual like slavery? I don't understand this logic leap

- pg 6: as I think we're about to head hop, just a quick summary. I think this section does serve an interesting purpose, but really only needs a page, maybe two. The council meeting here just slows down the momentum, when I am ready for action!

- pg 9: I was expecting them to find something in this search. There isn't as much to this second section, either. Maybe break both sections down to their most important components, and combine them?

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Let's go...

Page 1 

- "M levered himself down..." - I think he would lever himself up, but lower himself down.

Page 3

- I like the little notes about Man's age, although I don't like to think about him potentially not being around for the third in the trilogy. (Any chance there might ever be another Society style spin-off short/novella/novelette?)

- "It was one of several hundred items..." - I can't get the meaning of this whole sentence. Feels like there's a word missing, or phrasing is unclear.

Page 4 

- "G frowned down at the contraption that moved her around" - You have G as female here, but male on Page 2, by the night tale comment.

- "we could build a defense against the D easily" - Really? I'd be cautious about saying there's any kind of easy solution. We want to think things are hard, possibly hopeless, and it will take every effort that they can muster, not just find a gee-gaw and everything will be simple.

- "Best not to scrap the new Society before it even started" - I think something needs to be started before it can be scrapped, so this doesn't scan for me, logically.

Page 5 

- "you must know that the more aspects of the S" - Awkward phrasing. 'the more' sounds weird to me.

- Recounting of the encounter is awkward.

- "Perhaps not so imaginatively" - not keen on this word. Sounds to me like he means 'fancifully'?

Page 6 

- "was laying it on a bit thick" - I like this sentence, his acknowledgement of acting up out of necessity to make an impression. Good character moment.

- "and from more esoteric places" - sources?

- "Now you’re asking the right questions" - I think 'question' singular would have more impact here.

- "On a piece of paper, he wrote down the name of an intersection" - He can't right down the actual interchange. Also, wrote it where? Paper? Blackboard?

Page 7 

- "mansion was, before it was demolished" - The second clause here is a bit tell-y for me, compared to 'where the old mansion used to stand'. Still implies it's gone, but not why/how, I accept.

- "the rest of the group could hear as well" - redundant.

- "made him male today" - Wow, cool and very alien.

- "The old house was similar to the last few times he was here" - grammar / tense. I would restructure, maybe 'The old house looked exactly as it had on his last time here.'

- When M paid him a surprise visit - suggested to directness / clarity, etc.

- "least change possible to the original materials" - imo.

- "planks of fallen wood" - So, the planks fell of something, or were cut from fallen trees?

- "from the last time" - There's an awful lot of this time, last time, all the times, etc. on this one page.

- Grammar / phrasing around the dust and the floorboards.

Page 8 

- "He no longer had any to waste" - This is more powerful than 'many', imo.

- "that couple was too holier-than-thou" - So, a little holier-than-thou is okay? Struck my ear as odd, this.

- "There were few not a lot of large stones..." - super wordy.

- "generated a surprising amount of compacted earth" - We've been told this in the epigraph. This feels like repetition.

- Pieces of what? Confused.

- "They did," - Society is singular, therefore 'It did,'.

Page 9 

- I'm confused. Did they go down into the tunnels? Have I skipped over a paragraph? Ah, checking back I see there is a skip to 'Down below," such a slight reference I glossed over the action/movement of the group.

- "very specific, and traceable, fuel" - Huh?

- "M privately agreed" - I've long since given up on trying to defend against splitting the infinitive. I sometimes even do it myself, but even so often one smacks me in the face as sounding so awkward I need to wave a flag. I feel that 'Privately, M agree...', or 'M agreed, privately, ...' would both read way smoother than the split infinitive version. I guess it's because there are only three words in the whole sentence.

- "It had evidently transformed, or revealed its real purpose" - Sorry, I know I'm going full LBL on a first draft (first, right?), but I feel that this would be more impactful if he considered the LC 'had been transformed', i.e. by a malignant influence. Also, 'revealed its real' strikes me as awkward, compared to 'revealed its true purpose', which allows my to concentrate on the statement without the alteration.

- "and if he had not been working to keep F from her latest power play" - I don't think you can keep someone from their power play. I think you would defeat a power play, or similar to defeat. Thwart, something like that.

Overall 

Yes, loved this section. I think it could be punched up in terms of the impact of Man's reveals, and seeing a bit more shock and awe, especially among the youngsters, but this is a great interlude and I love seeing M getting the band back together. Great fun. Thank you!

<R>

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On 01/05/2019 at 11:34 PM, kais said:

Have you considered making Mand be the epigraphs almost entirely,

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! :o 

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3 hours ago, Robinski said:
On 5/1/2019 at 6:34 PM, kais said:

Have you considered making Mand be the epigraphs almost entirely,

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! :o 

Heh, I guess I'll look at punching up the chapter first so @Robinski doesn't explode...

On 5/1/2019 at 6:34 PM, kais said:

how is summoning a three house individual like slavery? I don't understand this logic leap

I think I need to elaborate on what they would do them afterward...

On 5/1/2019 at 6:34 PM, kais said:

I was expecting them to find something in this search. There isn't as much to this second section, either. Maybe break both sections down to their most important components, and combine them?

 

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

I think it could be punched up in terms of the impact of Man's reveals, and seeing a bit more shock and awe, especially among the youngsters,

I agree, I think I can reduce this some and expand with more interesting content.

 

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

(Any chance there might ever be another Society style spin-off short/novella/novelette?)

Who knows! He's been in the background of a lot of events...

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

You have G as female here, but male on Page 2, by the night tale comment.

Oops! Thanks for the catch.

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

"we could build a defense against the D easily" - Really? I'd be cautious about saying there's any kind of easy solution. We want to think things are hard, possibly hopeless, and it will take every effort that they can muster, not just find a gee-gaw and everything will be simple.

This might be a good hook to help punch up the chapter.

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

I've long since given up on trying to defend against splitting the infinitive.

Lol. I think you should still boldly continue! 

Thanks, @kais and @Robinski!

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10 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

so @Robinski doesn't explode...

This is not a laughing matter... :lol:

10 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

I think you should still boldly continue!

Be careful what you wish for ;) 

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Posted (edited)

If this gets posted incomplete or with any weird extra letters, it is because a fluffy cat won't stop walking across the table.

So, overall, this felt like a quiet interlude and fun continuation of the M thread. I like how that thread is building, however, this one felt a tad too internal. I had trouble picturing the group and their reactions to M. I was a little too immersed and lost in his thoughts and wanted to be grounded a little more. I wanted a better sense of this group and what they are doing. 

This chapter gave me a little more information on what the dissolution is, but at this point, in order to understand what is at stake, I'm starting to what a more concrete answer as to what it is.

I am a little concerned about it's placement. The last few sections had been a little choppy with progress and stopping to switch. I think if that gets ironed out, this will be a good place for it, but because of the bumpy pacing of the past few installments, I'm not confident about that. 

As I read:

"against incursions ordinary people" A word might be missing. 

"M...had all but forgotten it..." This mention of the LC kind of fell flat to me. 

 

On 5/1/2019 at 6:34 PM, kais said:

There isn't as much to this second section, either. Maybe break both sections down to their most important components, and combine them?

Yes.

This chapter could probably be shorter and tighter. 

On 5/3/2019 at 9:00 AM, Robinski said:

- "Perhaps not so imaginatively" - not keen on this word. Sounds to me like he means 'fancifully'?

 

I didn't think about this while reading, but out of content, this comment is making me think how I hate that word "imaginatively" mostly because I think it is the word people use when they don't want to tell me either my creation is too far fetched or is confusing, so when I see a character use it for another character's idea, I think of it as an insult. 

 

I'm looking forward to reading more. The semester is winding down soon, so after this coming week, I'll be less last minute about getting my feedback in. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Thanks @shatteredsmooth! Another point in favor of reducing/combining this chapter, so I'm thinking it will go that way.

I'm going to start compiling notes and start on the next draft today, so this is just in time!

10 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I didn't think about this while reading, but out of content, this comment is making me think how I hate that word "imaginatively" mostly because I think it is the word people use when they don't want to tell me either my creation is too far fetched or is confusing, so when I see a character use it for another character's idea, I think of it as an insult. 

Hm... yeah, this was sort of in a condescending/joking tone, but it might not be going over well. I'l edit.

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Ah finals week, when everyone goes crazy. No one's pooped in the study rooms this year, so overall it's an improvement. But it's been busy around here!

I think this is the first M chapter I didn't really care for. It just doesn't seem to go anywhere, and after all the revelations of the S parts, it really puts the brakes on things for me.
 
I feel like the whole first half of this chapter could be cut, everything before the old house with the secret basement. It doesn't seem to be doing much, to me. M mentions the Diss, then is cagey. People we've already met get described again. M mentions he's old a bunch while thinking about being more cagey. Everyone is told, basically, this meeting is just to give out the coords for the NEXT meeting, and I'm honestly wondering why more people didn't just walk out then and there.  M gives a mission statement, which G had the right of to my mind: it doesn't seem very useful or descriptive or informative to me. I'm left wondering if a missions statement was really worth calling an entire meeting just to announce... 
 
The main thing that stood out for me was M's Three House speech -- M's trolling these people, right? Because this seems way out of character from him. Way, WAY out of character. Use a thinking human like a piece of equipment just because they exist and have mental problems? Yikes. Is M maybe accidentally channeling a bit of the ol' ultraviolence from grimdark Fruits? I really didn't think he was into the whole "People with mental issues aren't really people so it's okay if we mess with them" mindset, y'know? Even for the FATE OF HUMANITY IN THE BALANCE or whatever. Isn't stuff like that what he was criticizing Moor for in the short this section is referencing so heavily? Lampshade or no, I feel instantly against whatever M's trying to do here with this. It really doesn't feel like him. And... I don't think it's doing what M intends it to? There's a line at the bottom of this scene about watching how the newbies work together, but the slavery problem doesn't actually get anyone working together. A couple people raise individual objections, which M quashes with rhetoric and then it's just dropped immediately after. I feel like any test of teamwork would be better examined in the junk basement, where the newbies could actually work together on something -- like putting a device back together or figuring out how a mysterious one works, or doing some multihouse magic to investigate why the LC hasn't come back for the place or safeguarding the collection against a possible LC return, or something. Was he trying to test for dissenters so he could throw them out? 
 
Not too much happens in the secret basement right now, but I like it as a setting better. I feel like there's a lot more potential there to have character interactions and reveal things, than there is in the first part at Yet Another Meeting in an Undisclosed Location (I should have been counting. This feels like the Book of Meetings to me.)
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Thanks @industrialistDragon!

Yep, I'm going to have to do something this this chapter. You have some good suggestions.

3 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

Even for the FATE OF HUMANITY IN THE BALANCE or whatever. Isn't stuff like that what he was criticizing Moor for in the short this section is referencing so heavily? Lampshade or no, I feel instantly against whatever M's trying to do here with this. It really doesn't feel like him.

Yep, good point. I think I need to come at this from another angle.

3 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I feel like any test of teamwork would be better examined in the junk basement, where the newbies could actually work together on something -- like putting a device back together or figuring out how a mysterious one works, or doing some multihouse magic to investigate why the LC hasn't come back for the place or safeguarding the collection against a possible LC return, or something.

This is a much better suggestion than what I have. I'll try to switch it around to something like this.

3 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

the first part at Yet Another Meeting in an Undisclosed Location (I should have been counting. This feels like the Book of Meetings to me.)

Lol! I'm working on putting all the comments together. I'll have to keep track.

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12 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

No one's pooped in the study rooms this year

:blink: 

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