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Mandamon

20190506 - Facets of the Nether Ch 13 - 3297 words - Sub 12

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Hello all!
Another Short-ish chapter this week. I'm looking for if the sense of wonder comes across well, along with the usual: 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. We drop in on M, who showed the new two-house recruits what's he'd been doing.
 

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Posted (edited)

On 5/6/2019 at 6:42 AM, Mandamon said:

I'm looking for if the sense of wonder comes across well

To a certain extent, it does. I got the impression of S walking through this place, gawking at all the newness, but I also felt like some of his reactions fall flat. The thing that stood out to me the most in this chapter was that the Ari are the only species that seems to exist in both facets, but S seems oblivious to the potential significance of that. This seems very different than his first walk through of the Nether ever, which is a sign of his growth and improved ability to cope with his anxiety, but based on earlier chapters, that doesn't fully feel earned. However, I think you are already working on addressing that.

The type of world you've built in this facet is fascinating. I love the detail with which you describe the new species as much as the very idea behind them. I think creating alien species is something you and @kais have knack for. 

A sense of wonder definitely came across, but there also seemed to be some missing beats about the significance about what S was seeing and how it colored his interaction with In.  When they talked, it was more about In's trauma, but I wanted more of S trying to engage In in the wonders of what he was seeing. 

As I read:

P. 1

"The crystal bent around..." Not sure you need the italics.

P. 2

"now his memories of the people who had raised him were gone." Is this the moment he realizes they were fully gone? Or did I miss him realizing they were 100% gone before? I thought last time he still remembered a little about the watch, but since the chapters are so spaced out, I could have just forgotten something. 

The house of time discussion is making me think S did cause the void that sent him to the Nether in the first place because he was in the Nether sending a void there. I'm guessing that is also connected to the memory loss. (You don't have to tell me if I am right or wrong about this)

"If you tried to change the course of currents as they swept by you, any effort you put into it would be immediately lost." Does this really need italics?

p. 5

"You and your Ari... will have to meet V... direc—what is it?” The Nether must have translated their surprise to Wor Wobniar." I had to read this a few times to get it. 

P. 7

"...shoulder in response and pulled him close..." you can probably delete in response, it's clear the action is in response to something. 

I liked how from the end of 7, onto 8, S and In are experiencing the wonder together. However, towards the end of that exchange,

“They didn't do that to you, did they?” he asked. “We should have come sooner. We tried so hard to find you! I'm so sorry.” Feels a forced and generic, where the rest of the conversation felt very authentic. 

P. 8

"W...W clicked xyr feet ahead of them. Xy had stopped and swiveled to fix them with xyr head flaps." I'm a little confused by this. Is Xy scolding them? Is this the equivalent of a human glaring at them? Is xy being insensitive or just doesn't want them talking about this in the open? Doesn't want them talking at all? 

"S.. gave In.. a quick hug" OK, now I'm being picky, but I want to know what that hug felt like. I feel like there is a lot of missed potential in telling that one as opposed to showing it. 

"What were S... stupid problems, compared to what In.. had been through?" Since you are in the habit of italicized internal thoughts with this chapter, I think this line would be better off as one of them. 

"Watch the crowds of people here.

S,, eyed the species here. It was a mark of how long he’d been in the Nether that seeing completely new aliens was not enough to distract him from In..’ problems."

The two "here"s so close together are bugging me, but more importantly, the new Nether does seem to be distracting S from I's problems, contrary to what he says.

 "braiding the ground beneath them" how does something braid ground? 

Page 9

“So wow.” This sounds too much like something out dystopian or near future american novel

"building a new residence" how do they know this because the nether told them? Or is it obvious? Are they walking through a residential area?

" en times...them" Them meaning Sam and I?

Page 10

“the Lu..., and the Ari...”

“You recognize the Ari... as a species?” In.. asked at the same time as S.. said “Who are the Lu....?”

“We do, and look up,” W.. W... said."

Here S is proving himself wrong, he is distracted, and I am actually surprised he isn't asking the same thing as In. To me, it seems really significant to know that the Aridori are, or at least were, present in more than one facet of the Nether, and S just ignores that. After, I was annoyed at the paragraphs about the L's because that seemed like usless information compared to the fact that the Ari... are in both facets. 

"sing to the praised of" praise -- should not have the d

Little picky thing: Some of your quotes were facing the wrong way.

Overall, yes, lots of wonder, but there is also room for a little more In and S interaction. I want to know more about how the Ari..are the only species in both Facets. Why does Sam not care? 

Also, I'm assuming there are more than two facets and just saying both because only two are on page.

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Overall

Well I thought this was pretty much great. I'm so excited to explore this side of the Net, and get more Ari info. The pacing went well and I thought S's anxiety was believable but not too drug out, and I's reactions made sense from Sam's POV. I think it had a great sense of wonder, but I will want the next chapter to follow this one directly, though it could switch to I's POV without too much issue.

21 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Is this the moment he realizes they were fully gone? Or did I miss him realizing they were 100% gone before? I thought last time he still remembered a little about the watch, but since the chapters are so spaced out, I could have just forgotten something. 

I had this same question

So yes, more please and thank you.

As I go

- LOL @ it's touching my eyeballs. That would freak me out for sure. I'd give it an exclamation point even

- pg 5: I wish I would call S out on his obvious lying. I think it would add great tension

- neat that the Ari are know on this side of the crystal

- pg 7: COMB HIS HAIR BACK. DO IT

- pg 9: yessssss symbiosis! Though that is still technically two creatures

 

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Thanks @shatteredsmooth and @kais!

23 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The thing that stood out to me the most in this chapter was that the Ari are the only species that seems to exist in both facets, but S seems oblivious to the potential significance of that.

 

23 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

To me, it seems really significant to know that the Aridori are, or at least were, present in more than one facet of the Nether, and S just ignores that. After, I was annoyed at the paragraphs about the L's because that seemed like usless information compared to the fact that the Ari... are in both facets. 

Very good points. I think I skimped on this later on in the book too, so I may need to introduce a small side arc. I can probably tie it in with I's arc pretty easily.

23 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

When they talked, it was more about In's trauma, but I wanted more of S trying to engage In in the wonders of what he was seeing. 

Noted. I'll try to put more emotional reaction in there to what he's seeing.

23 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

"now his memories of the people who had raised him were gone." Is this the moment he realizes they were fully gone? Or did I miss him realizing they were 100% gone before? I thought last time he still remembered a little about the watch, but since the chapters are so spaced out, I could have just forgotten something. 

 

1 hour ago, kais said:

I had this same question

So yes, more please and thank you.

He knew it before, but I also think I've been inconsistent with this. Another thing to shore up.

 

23 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The house of time discussion is making me think S did cause the void that sent him to the Nether in the first place because he was in the Nether sending a void there. I'm guessing that is also connected to the memory loss. (You don't have to tell me if I am right or wrong about this)

Hehe. If you read very carefully through the climax of the last book, this is in there.

23 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Is xy being insensitive or just doesn't want them talking about this in the open? Doesn't want them talking at all? 

Just being insensitive. I'll clarify.

1 hour ago, kais said:

I think it had a great sense of wonder, but I will want the next chapter to follow this one directly, though it could switch to I's POV without too much issue.

Aheh. Um. Currently The next chapter is E, then the reaction from the bridge, and then back to S, mainly because they're all happening around the same time.. I'm certainly open to reordering, though.

1 hour ago, kais said:

I wish I would call S out on his obvious lying. I think it would add great tension

Good suggestion!

 

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Comments.

(Page 1)

- "rising up and exploding outward" - suggest for stress and impact.

- I'm enjoying the description of their passage through the N.

(Page 2)

- I don't quite buy the moment of panic when WW is out and S is 'drowning'. I'd like a bit more panic and punch there.

(Page 3)

- "This one was still made of stone too." - If S has never been here before, how can this bridge 'still' be made of stone?

- "the largest portion of which" - I'd say 'proportion' myself, but maybe I'm being over fussy (No such thing!!).

- I don't understand S gasping about being protected. We saw in his POV him notice the shield that WW put up.

- I like In's interjection. I like seeing some of that old affability. It's been missing, but this is the ideal time for it to reappear, after a 'trauma' like walking through the N.

- House of T - AWESOME!! Another new house, and such a cool one. I am so up for this :D 

(Page 4)

- "There was a pool of hurt still deep in I" - Word order. This is not impactful enough for me. 'Still there was a pool of deep hurt...' or 'a deep pool of hurt'? I don't know, somehow this feels like the weakest combination of these words. I like the image though. And the hand squeeze, very effective.

- "oblivious of to what was passing" - definitely 'oblivious to', imo.

- What a cool description of he usefulness or not of seeing time. Nicely done.

(Page 5)

- Why doesn't S tell In now? Not sure I understood the reason for deferring.

- Two nice reveals on this page. No assembly, and the Ari thing. I feel like there's a lot happening in this chapter in a quiet but no less satisfying way. It's a bit like the world is changing in front of me. I like that.

(Page 6)

- "waved him off" - I'd prefer In's question being waved away, rather than him. Neater, I think.

- "like it had been pressed into the ground from by a giant hand above" - 'from'? Never heard it used like that.

(Page 7)

- I like the feeling of the description of this city, but I don't get near enough actual description. I want more imagery. It sounds like an amazing place, but I want to see that in front of my eyes. More specificity. I mean, I like that you've described one building in detail: the old Dan Wells trick/technique of being very specific about one thing? That might work for a smaller set of things, but for a whole city, I feel like I need more.

- "itched to comb it back for him" - I really like the subtle hints at their relationship. I'm still not 100% sure what it is other than close and personal, but I enjoy it in this chapter. I don't feel it's always so well presented/recounted.

- "The air here was rich and heady" - You mentioned it being cold when they emerged. This feels somewhat contradictory to that.

(Page 8)

- "He felt himself shutting down, ready to curl into a ball" - Bah, it's not about you, S; at this point, it's about In.

- How do you braid the ground? Confused. Don't know what I'm trying to picture.

(Page 9)

- I do however like the strong otherness of these creatures, and their odd, differently flavoured dialogue, which you do very well to distinguish and add dimension and flavour to different species.

- "Another group of the beings were building a new residence, through though it was all open" - Think it needs 'another' to help it flow from the last paragraph. Also, a typo, I think.

- "weighing easily ten times as much as any of them" - Any of whom? S, In and WW? Unclear.

- Description of the less populous, lumbering things is rather sparse and repetitive (moved and moving, heads and head, front and back and front. This description had none of the sounds and colour of others. Again, I think the descriptions could work a bit harder, and smarter.

- Isn't a symbiotic partnership still two creatures? Otherwise, it's not symbiotic, or a partnership. Also, 'multi-jointed' I would think.

(Page 10)

- Whoa, whoa, whoa. The big stream of new names feels like an avalanche of info-dump. I'm not going to remember any of these, apart from Ar. I can see how WW might do this in direct response to the question, but I don't feel it works for the reader. Maybe S and In could call this out. 'Well, I'm never going to remember all that!'

- "mashed an entire box..."- Lol, great description.

- "sing the praised praises of their god"- typo. And LOL. Great description of this species. Just that one comment from WW sets the Luf head and shoulders above the other new species.

- "Ah, here we are" - comma.

(Page 11)

- 'building' is repeated very close together. And then there a third instance, and then there's a fourth. Too much, for me.

- The ending is a bit muted, I thought, but it's a clear indication of what's to come, so I'm happy enough with that.

OVERALL

For me, this was the most enjoyable S chapter I can remember in a while. The hints of his condition were still there, but he had curiosity, he asked interesting questions, his desire for knowledge getting the better of his timidity for once (will not only time, but it feels quite rare still). The subtle notes on the S and In relationship were very nicely done, I thought.

There was a bit of a deluge of new information, new species. I was okay with it expect I didn't think there was enough description to separate out five new species. The snakes worked well because WW described them actively, the others were described quite passively in narration and I didn't think the description got across entirely how marvellously different they are.

Good chapter though. Good length. Maybe a tad longer to make room for more colourful and engaging description, but introducing five(?) new races at the same time and have them all 'pop' is always going to be a big challenge, I think.

<R>

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This is mostly a RAEBNC from me this week. I agree I could use a lot more description, especially of the other new species, and of course I always want more S and In relationship interaction on screen. I got hung up on the "leg braiding" thing, too. I feel like there should be more interest from S but especially from In in the Ari and doubly if there are any walking around in the open. That's kind of a mega-big deal and they're both just kind of bland like "oh. isn't that nice? what about this building over here?"

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