kais

05/20/19 - kais - Queen, Chapter 3 (resubmit), (3260 words) (L, V)

18 posts in this topic

Okay so I’ve reordered some things. This is the same chapter you all saw last week, but with edits to address comments. It is also now chapter 3, so it comes BEFORE we know E is alright. For clarity:

 
Ch 1: E waxes on about dead wife and finds a M with stuff that belonged to said dead wife out in the desert
Ch 2: E tangles with M. M shoots E
Ch3: (THIS SUB) N finds out her sister is missing and goes to look for her
Ch4: E wakes up near the equator and finds out T had a spaceship
 

I’ve tried to hit all the issues people pointed out. I’m hoping that where this occurs in the timeline will help, as will the fleshing out of the chapter as a whole. Same deal as before—buy in and characters are the most critical for feedback, followed by worldbuilding. I’m resubbing this chapter since N buy-in will be somewhat critical for later chapters.

 

Thank you all!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Okay, will post later. You can ignore the one I just made in last week's, I didn't realize this week was a resub of that one (I'd been trying to get to that all week)

Edited by Alderant
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Yep, it reads better. I think the equator/M camp/colonist relationship still needs a little more work, but I'm willing to wait another couple chapters to learn more. It still nags me a bit that Queen is the only place that would accept E? Especially if there's a planet literally just for old people to have fun on. If it's because of biology, I'd think there would be at least one other place with lower restrictions/prejudice.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 2: much better to bring up the nickname message at the beginning.

pg 4: good expansion on the colony layout.

pg 5: "N was certain the woman would mummify in her office before retiring"
--lol

pg 5: “There’s better ways to spend your anger.”
--Is this in reference to kicking the chair? With the extra text, it's not related as clearly.

pg 7: “Flyers can’t take the extreme temperatures that close to the equator."
--okay, this helps define why the M are camped out there.

pg 8: "had carved a penguin into the front of her door"
--Is there some significance to a penguin?

pg 9: "Panic, at the least, since botanists didn’t grow on trees."
--Ha. Also, I don't really get why this planet is so underfunded compared to others. Does Earth only send the outcasts here?

pg 10: "fleakers"
beaker-flasks?

pg 12: "body semantics were weird to talk about when you had only a second-hand frame of reference"
--this helps with potential reasons Dr. S is there. I assume he's trans?

pg 14: "Not without freezing the computer.”
--So it's freezing at the equator?

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STANDARD DISCLAIMER: For demographic information, keep in mind that I am a white male nearing his thirties, married, with two young children, and come from a background of being LDS, conservative, and with a long history of chronic depression, so these things may color what I say during review. I try to be as open-minded and unbiased as possible.

Overall, even though I just read last week's submission, this resub generally hits and fixes most of the problems I noticed. I do have a few things to add, though they're pretty minor:

Pg. 3 - "she goes by Apple" <<  made me laugh.

Pg. 4 - "a super antique" sounds very immature. Not sure if this is intentional, but considering N is an adult, it might be better to just say "an antique". I don't know any adults around their thirties, personally, who would say that.

Pg. 5 - WOW that's quite the name.

Pg. 6 - "N didn’t not have time for it" << "N did not have time" or "N didn't have time"

Pg. 6 - "sex with a penis" << Based on how you've presented her thus far, I'd have thought she'd say "sex with a dick". Seems more crass, and therefore more in character.

Pg. 7-8 - the conflict between the Director and N is much better. Thumbs up.

Pg. 8 - the internalogue gets a bit rambly. We finish one paragraph and the next one begins with an approximation of "And another thing" for several paragraphs. I like the characterization, though.

Pg. 8 - I feel like after trying to think through that name a few times, someone would just shorten it mentally to

Spoiler

Dr. Nark

. But that's just me.

Pg. 9 - I like the change from getting fired to wanting a raise. Seems more organic.

Pg. 9 - N's mental uses of 'and another thing'-esque continuations is getting a little tiring to read.

Pg. 10 - In the previous version, Dr. S's immediate agreement to help N was very contrived and weird to me. Having established that connection much earlier, and that he was a fairly close confidant of Em, his readiness to help is much more understandable. The one question I have, however, is how he knows? If N just found out from the Director, why is he so readily understanding and helpful? Even as a friend of Em, it seems like a risk. I feel like there needs to be some confirmation that yes, he actually already knows or N telling him.

Pg. 11 - I really feel like we need to rework these "and another thing" things more organically. It's starting to feel like they're tacked on.

Pg. 12 - "3-D printed, plastic chains" << I mentioned this one in the last post, and I think it's still applicable. 3D printing is pretty standard scifi fare. I don't think it needs to be specified, personally. What I do think needs some attention, however, is that you have a plexiglass door being lifted by plastic chains. Plastic has pretty weak tensile strength, which is the exact kind of force being applied here, and plexiglass can get pretty heavy, depending on how thick it is. I'd worry about those chainlinks bending out of shape the moment the winch is engaged to lift the door. Further, usually when doors are lifted up on a chain, it's usually so that they can be stowed in the ceiling above the hallway--which means they need to be able to bend (think garage doors). Plexiglass does not bend, it's pretty rigid. Again, there's a lot of factors at play here. I think your purpose is that you're trying to show how cheap the resources available to the Q people are--but I'm not entirely sure of the solution. Just something to keep in mind.

All in all, I feel like this was a solid revision. The biggest problem I noticed were those "and another thing" parts--besides, additionally, also, etc. Other than that, I feel like N's characterization is a strong addition to the existing cast and I love that she's so unabashedly crass--but be careful, because Em was a little crass as well, and we don't want to run into the problem of every character filling the same mold. :)

Nice job. Looking forward to next week.

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Posted (edited)

I like your prose, and most of that comes down to word choice. Though I think some of your grammar could use a double-check, as I found multiple instances where adding hyphens or commas would improve general sentence flow.

Your names are also interesting. You have obvious real-world names (N), a YA-novel name (E) and a fantasy name (T). As someone who's been guilty of mixing names like this myself, I'd say keep your naming conventions consistent, unless there are specific reasons for the disparity. 

Here be my notes:

pg. 1:

"She wasn’t necessarily bitter about it, she certainly understood the rationale behind the birth restrictions, but that didn’t make her heart hurt any less when she occasionally spotted a young girl amongst the crowds of women." I'd say her heart ached, because saying 'her heart hurt' sounds kinda cheesy. 

pg. 2:

"She flicked a finger at the plastic pages and briefly mulled how likely the presidium would be to green light new piping before slamming the book closed." If the presidium is a major governing body (in other words, a proper noun) it ought to be capitalized. Also, 'green light' should be one word, as that makes it a verb. Otherwise, it's a noun. 

"It would be N’s fault though, if the bi-yearly report she owed the presidium came late because she couldn’t finish gathering the data on their new irrigation project." I would replace bi-yearly with 'bi-annual.' I have seldom heard anyone say 'bi-yearly.'

"If N stormed up the data and the analysis, then she stormed the colonists, too, and she stormed her damnation sister, who she’d come to the chull-backwards planet to be with, even if she was a giant sand maggot sometimes." No issue, I'm just wondering if this is a Dune reference. 

"Two could play stupid nickname rhyming games." I would add an 'at' between 'play' and 'stupid.'

pg. 3:

"I’ve not heard from her since this morning when she sent me a photo of her." This feels like a stiff line to me. Something like, "She sent me a selfie this morning, that was the last I heard from her," would sound more organic. In my opinion, that is. If people say 'selfie' on Q. On that note, I find your regular prose has this loose, casual and slightly crass style to it, while the dialogue has a more formal kind of construction. Is that deliberate? 

"“Her envirosuit is more formal and so am I.”" Same issue. Would you be willing to rephrase this? 

pg. 4:

"N let her head roll back and stared at the painted yellow ceiling, random dreams of getting E and Dr. S smashed at the same time and making them ride a beetle slipping from her mind." This wording confuses me. Is she imagining that, or is she finishing imagining that?

"N pushed from her chair..." Add a 'herself' between 'pushed' and 'from'.

pg. 5:

"...a super antique loveseat..." In what context is it super? Is it super old, or is it a super seat? 

."..and N was certain the woman would mummify in her office before retiring." I would replace mummify with 'fossilize.' Mummifying implies a whole process of brain-scooping, organ extraction, bandages galore.

pg. 6:

"The sides were splintery from too many colonists having too many conversations like the one that was about to come and N didn’t not have time for it..." Delete the bolded 'not.' 

pg. 7:

"She hadn’t left a husband, her parents, and hope of sex with a penis ever again, for giggles.This implies to me she's open to sleeping with people who are without penises. If that's what you intend to imply that, leave as is. If not, I'd delete 'with a penis'.

pg. 8:

"She probably got dragged out there by a feral beetle that took flight." Almighty, how big are these things? Also, have you read Terra Formars? I have a feeling you'd find it interesting. On that note, you generally want to keep the names of your fictional creatures lowercase, unless their name can be confused with something else. So I'd write Mel as just mel. 

"“I send a flyer out there and the pilot dies, Dr. O, well before they would likely even reach Dr. S." This phrasing comes across as awkward to me, for a part of a theoretical statement. She makes it sound so definitive. Could you rephrase? 

pg. 9:

"...and having wild bunny sex with a few younger employees to keep things running." I'd add a comma after 'sex', otherwise, it looks like this retirement planet is literally run via sexual intercourse between people of wildly disparate ages. 

"...she could stew anywhere, and somewhere with breakable glassware would be more cathartic." I'd delete 'breakable,' unless Q has unbreakable glassware. 

"She made a rude gesture—covertly, because raises were due to be reported any day now—and walked from the office when every cell in her body screamed to run." N just loudly swore at this woman. She can kiss the prospects of a raise adios. 

pg. 12:

"chloroform and formaldehyde-perfumed labs" Added a hyphen. 

pg. 13:

"...while he vomited some homemade vodka he’d made from his own still and really, if you weren’t friends after that, you were never going to be." As someone who has cleaned a friend's vomit off of said friend, I wholeheartedly agree. 

"...Dr. S's personality, and gender, and his delightful middle finger to the lab director’s dictate about paint waste." Delete bolded 'and.'

Edited by JWerner
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Most of my notes have already been covered, but I want to put special emphasis on the pacing of the chapter. There is a distinctive lack of forward momentum (or sense of progression as Brandon calls it). Every time I felt the story began to progress, it was halted by internal dialogue/exposition/descriptions/world building that didn't advance this particular chapter. If it hadn't been for this group I know reader me would've started skimming until I got to something I knew was important. Based on your technical skill, the fact that you're in this group and your comments here on this thread I have faith that it is all important at some point down the line, but if the reader loses focus early, down the line doesn't really matter. I kinda hate the adage show don't tell, but it does apply when it comes to your world building in this particular chapter.

The characters are there. The dialogue could be tightened but each character does have a unique voice and that's hard to do. Descriptions could be a bit more colorful considering N's colorful internal monologe (I think the word storm was used 10 times). I'd like to re-read this chapter without all the fluff.

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Posted (edited)

What the heck?!?! I just opened this comment then read shatteredsmooth's story and posted the comments here! Major senior moment, sorry about that :unsure: 

Edited by Robinski
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On 5/20/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mandamon said:

It still nags me a bit that Queen is the only place that would accept E? Especially if there's a planet literally just for old people to have fun on. If it's because of biology, I'd think there would be at least one other place with lower restrictions/prejudice.

Definitely understand. The full on explanation comes a few more chapters in. I can't give too much too early because neither of my POV characters have the backstory, so the reader will get it when they do. Thanks for reminding me it still really needs to be addressed.

On 5/20/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mandamon said:

Is this in reference to kicking the chair?

Oh, no. It was in reference to N yelling at the director. Will clarify.

On 5/20/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mandamon said:

Is there some significance to a penguin?

Maybe? It's a placeholder for right now because I want something a bit mean on there, but haven't decided what yet. I thought maybe penguin equated with 'frigid,' which would be pretty horrible, but maybe too subtle. Or maybe it should be something silly, like a penguin urinating or something.

On 5/20/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mandamon said:

Does Earth only send the outcasts here?

This is a correct assumption for this stage in the book.

On 5/20/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mandamon said:

beaker-flasks?

Also the greatest, GREATEST of lab ware that is no longer made.

On 5/20/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mandamon said:

I assume he's trans?

Yup! Glad that came across this time. 

On 5/20/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mandamon said:

So it's freezing at the equator?

On the snow side, yes. Does this need developed more?

Thank you for the feedback! I'm really glad the extra material helped the chapter along. Should be able to progress then for Monday.

 

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

even though I just read last week's submission

Thank you for going back to back!

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

I don't know any adults around their thirties, personally, who would say that.

T is in her 50s, to boot, although ages don't quite work the same due to the transport to get to the planet. A few people caught on it so looks like it's a snag point. Will delete.

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

WOW that's quite the name.

Thai last names are impressive, and that's a relatively short one!

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

Based on how you've presented her thus far, I'd have thought she'd say "sex with a dick". Seems more crass, and therefore more in character.

So this is an interesting debate to have. E is the more crass of the two, though since they grew up together they should share some, but obviously not all, of their speech patterns. N is a scientist though, so my thought was that penis was the technical term and N often defaults to technical terms, whereas E defaults to swearing and crass metaphor. Is 'penis' so out of character, or just slightly? It mean that I actually need to back N's crassness back, moreso than changing the word to slang.

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

We finish one paragraph and the next one begins with an approximation of "And another thing" for several paragraphs.

Argh, that's me not doing a clean read through. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll go clean it up.

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

someone would just shorten it

Thai people only use their full names in formal situations or with superiors. Most of the time they go by nicknames given to them in childhood that are based on their looks. This is why Apple is a name in the story. So yes, shortening! (my nickname was 'panda,' by the way, because the area under my eyes is fairly dark. It's not insulting if it's true, in Thailand!)

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

The one question I have, however, is how he knows? If N just found out from the Director, why is he so readily understanding and helpful? Even as a friend of Em, it seems like a risk. I feel like there needs to be some confirmation that yes, he actually already knows or N telling him.

Hmm. Okay, I'll try to think on how to draw this out more. It might get answered in the next N chapter, where there is a smidge more backstory, but I will revisit.

On 5/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, Alderant said:

I think your purpose is that you're trying to show how cheap the resources available to the Q people are--but I'm not entirely sure of the solution. Just something to keep in mind.

You are quite correct. Any suggestions on alternate materials welcome! Thank you, @Alderant, for the solid feedback!

 

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On 5/21/2019 at 9:20 PM, JWerner said:

Though I think some of your grammar could use a double-check, as I found multiple instances where adding hyphens or commas would improve general sentence flow.

For sure. When drafting I tend not to worry about it much. Editors are delightful people.

On 5/21/2019 at 9:20 PM, JWerner said:

I'd say keep your naming conventions consistent, unless there are specific reasons for the disparity. 

I'd never even thought of this. Will mull.

On 5/21/2019 at 9:20 PM, JWerner said:

No issue, I'm just wondering if this is a Dune reference. 

I have never read/seen Dune, so no. Too close to something in that series?

On 5/21/2019 at 9:20 PM, JWerner said:

This feels like a stiff line to me.

Excellent, because the Dr. is quite stiff!

On 5/21/2019 at 9:20 PM, JWerner said:

I find your regular prose has this loose, casual and slightly crass style to it, while the dialogue has a more formal kind of construction. Is that deliberate? 

Yup! I'm chuffed it was noticed. Thank you for all the comments!

 

17 hours ago, hawkedup said:

Every time I felt the story began to progress, it was halted by internal dialogue/exposition/descriptions/world building that didn't advance this particular chapter.

It's fairly rough to come into a story in progress, so kudos for diving right in. I'm making some stylistic choices early here in this book which may not be to everyone's tastes, but I think will make the book stronger for it. The original sub of this chapter had a lot less to it, but everyone agreed it didn't work. It needed rounding out and hopefully with the momentum of the previous chapters, this one slides in alright. Still, I appreciate you bringing it to my attention because I'll keep it in mind for future chapters. Thank you!

 

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1 minute ago, kais said:

I have never read/seen Dune, so no. Too close to something in that series?

The main planet (Arrakis) has pests in the form of giant carnivorous sand-worms. 

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Just now, JWerner said:

The main planet (Arrakis) has pests in the form of giant carnivorous sand-worms. 

That is incredibly cool.

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2 minutes ago, kais said:

It's fairly rough to come into a story in progress, so kudos for diving right in. I'm making some stylistic choices early here in this book which may not be to everyone's tastes, but I think will make the book stronger for it. The original sub of this chapter had a lot less to it, but everyone agreed it didn't work. It needed rounding out and hopefully with the momentum of the previous chapters, this one slides in alright. Still, I appreciate you bringing it to my attention because I'll keep it in mind for future chapters. Thank you!

Thanks for bearing with me! I know my input can't be very comprehensive because I am coming in the middle. I never got the feeling you were giving me useless information or anything like that. Just didn't feel immediately useful if that makes sense.

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8 hours ago, kais said:

I have never read/seen Dune, so no. Too close to something in that series?

:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o

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Comments:

(page 1)

- Epigraph even grimmer, I think. Yes, good work.

- Good, you've given O a name. Less good, it sounds very much like N, the last three letters making much the same sound.

- The whole thing with the centrifuge and the broken glass seems kind of irrelevant.

(page 2)

- Second sentence, the clause order feels wrong; clunky.

- "She shouldn’t have been so angry" - suggest 'be so angry'. Putting in the past distances the reader from the emotion.

- Five months is an odd period; neither six nor three. In my experience, accountancy likes to use divisors.

- "If N stormed up the data and the analysis" - How about 'or' instead of and? She only needs to storm up one of them, and the other is automatically stormed too.

- "who she’d come to the chull-backwards planet" - suggest 'this a/b planet', which makes it more immediate and specific.

- "to expand, however, what with..." - awkward wordiness here. I tripped over this sentence.

(page 3)

- The characterisation of Dr.S remains excellent. In fact, I think it is even stronger now. Associating the POV characters with him strengthens their character too.

- "Her envirosuit is more formal" - I don't understand. Em's suit? Thik's suit?

- Can it be predation if the beetles are attacking pipes? Do they eat the pipes? Let's ask the Internet! The Internet says...

noun: predation; plural noun: predations
  1. the preying of one animal on others.
    "an effective defence against predation"
  2. the action of attacking or plundering.
    "the old story of male predation and female vulnerability"
 

I suppose it could be the second one, in the attacking sense. It just seemed an odd word to use, to me.

(page 4)

-  "pushed from her chair, rolled her notebook," - The wording confused me. I'd prefer 'pushed up from her chair'. I conflated the pushing with the rolling, my first thought being that N was rolling (i.e. tuck, duck and roll sort of thing).

- "how was Q supposed to grow as a colony" - But you said the size of the colony was limited. I thought population was strictly controlled.

- "though in their defense, O l I v e" - Comma needed here. Also, now she's called O----? Good, that's better than O--via.

- Seriously though, good line as it is, it doesn't answer the question 'What if you wanted to play soccer?'

(page 5)

- "N kicked the leg of an old wooden chair..." - I passed out reading this sentence from lack of O2: currently being fanned back to consciousness by three slave-persons (that might by my imagination). Oh, but I did like this. You tanks have a habit of saying 'wood' instead of 'wooden' so this heartens me greatly.

- Now then. I feel like you used this name for the director just to spite me, after I compiled the last time. I love these Sri Lankan, Thai, etc. name forms, but they are a bit of a challenge to read for us lazy Westerners. I can do it, indeed I did, and I enjoyed it, but it took me a good minute to work it out then read it back three or four times--enjoying myself all the while--but that is time spent not reading your story. Just saying.

- "factory-installed labia" - :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: OMG, OMG, OMG, my ribs are coming apart. Soooo funny. That's the name of my new punk band, right there. In fact, I can picture a certain diminutive Italian character of mine wearing the T-shirt.

-  "the director said" - Ha, caught you!! You've given her a name, but it's so complex you're not going to use it again? :angry: Seriously though, I'd like the name to recur now she's got one, like 'Director Nark', for example, or 'Dr. Suree' (although that seems a bit too chummy for N's purposes).

- Thought: N's voice is quite similar to Em's. That's okay; they're sisters. BUT, I think I enjoy N's more :unsure: 

(page 6)

- The narrative where N becomes fearful didn't convince me. Partly, I feel it's wordy and doesn't flow well, grammar-wise. Also, N was so ballsy and belligerent before, I just didn't buy it.

- Furthermore, I was confused about someone making a mistake sending Em. Wasn't it N who called her a sent her after the M?

(page 7)

- "billions of families" - billions, really? If Earth's population were 12 billion, that might equate to what, 3 or 4 billion families? So, for colonisation to break up billions of families, that would need to be at least two billion. So, half the families on Earth were broken up? I don't but that, even at 33% or even 25%. Hundreds of millions of families maybe, but billions. Seems unlikely to me.

(page 8)

- I don't understand the penguin thing. Because of that, I'm unsure who's door was carved. The director's? N's?

- "should have been enough to make the climate manageable for a flyer" - I don't understand.

- "wild bunny sex, with a few younger employees" - Should there should be a comma here, or maybe not...

(page 9)

- "since botanists didn’t grow on trees" - :lol: 

- "If everyone else could waste resources then she could" - Need to exclude N from the first group before you can then include her in it.

- What is a "stunted" laboratory?

(page 10)

- What on Earth is a 'fleaker'?

- "had nothing on the bare white cinderblock walls made of cinderblock" - Odd phrasing. Oh, okay. Still, this whole part about the walls is awkwardly phrased, for me.

- "a planet full of the stuff" - But the thing is, you need cement to make cinderblocks. Does Q have a plentiful supply of lime, aluminium, iron? Oh, and you need water to mix to make with the cement. I guess they have water in the form of the ice. Are they able to harvest that at the edge of the cold zone?

- "value difference" - There has to be a correct retail term for this: profit margin, price uplift, something other than 'value difference'.

(page 11)

- "Let's go." - Yay for Dr. S. I like Dr. S. Dr. S. owns the Best Supporting Sidekick award in this story.

- "Dr. S and Em were friends" - You've told us this already: unnecessary repetition. I say for straight to the next line.

(page 12)

- I don't understand the bit about favours and how N got the street cred.

- "while he vomited some homemade vodka he’d made from his own still and really" - awkward wording. I think 'while he vomited his own homemade vodka' is a lot clearer.

- "down the hall, towards the flyer bay" - delete comma.

- All this Dr. S. repeated again and again is awkward. Why does he not get a first name? The director got a first name and she's a major slontze, he is a friend.

(page 13)

- Big, fat run-on sentence bridging this page and the last, describing the flyer, imo.

(page 14)

- "any father than" - typo.

- I've got a problem with the logic here. What's the point of them going if he's telling her they are not going to get there? What's the point of getting there is she can't get out? Because he can? That hasn't been acknowledged. This nagged at me last time, but I don't think I said anything. It's really bothering me now. I suspect what's going to happen is that they will miraculously discover the unknown temperate zone and be able to get out without difficulty. But they had no way of knowing that, so it feels like author squishing events to suit the story.

(page 15)

- The thought about dying, for me, is too flippant. I just don't see a scientist doing something when, as described, there is no hope of success. This let's try anyway, even though all the technical specs and science and engineering data says this can't possibly work, and is hopeless really bothers me. Slight chance of success: fine. No chance of success (as has been presented): not a believable approach from N.

Overall 

Good. Definitely improved, and I like N's POV, and I like Dr.S. best of the NPCs.

Problem with my buy-in to the mission though, which stands our more prominently this time, apparently. Eager to see what happens though. Let's press on :) 

<R>

 
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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, kais said:

Thai people only use their full names in formal situations or with superiors. Most of the time they go by nicknames given to them in childhood that are based on their looks. This is why Apple is a name in the story. So yes, shortening! (my nickname was 'panda,' by the way, because the area under my eyes is fairly dark. It's not insulting if it's true, in Thailand!)

Ohhh theyre Thai! That makes a lot more sense. My dad lived in Thailand for two years, doing missionary work, so Ive heard a lot of stories about the culture.

Did you live in Thailand for a while, then? I know theyre a very polite people.

I do agree with @Robinski, though, that these names are hard for a westerner to read--not tjat you cant or shouldnt include them! I think its great that theyre there. But consider using them lightly, for the lay readers sake. For example, Brandon uses a very polynesian name in SA, but he uses it sparingly, more often referring to a character by a shorter, easier to remember name. Just a thought.

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You are quite correct. Any suggestions on alternate materials welcome! Thank you, @Alderant, for the solid feedback!

Ill have to get back to you. My first thought was aluminum, but Ill think on it.

Edited by Alderant
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@Robinski ahhh, great comments, as always. I've done some name editing, fixed some of the logic fallacies with the mission (now there is a slim chance of success and she can be outside the flyer for just a few minutes), and cleaned the noted grammar. I haven't decided if I'll revert to the sidekick's first name earlier or not. I'd like your opinion after you read the next N section, since she does revert to it in that one. Thank you, as always, for the very thorough comments!

 

12 hours ago, Alderant said:

Did you live in Thailand for a while, then? I know theyre a very polite people.

I did! Absolutely stole my heart and I try and get back as often as I can. 

12 hours ago, Alderant said:

But consider using them lightly

For the ones that occur frequently, they'll be friends so will just have nicknames, so that should help.

 

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Posted (edited)

I was less engaged this time around. Last time, I read right through without making many comments, enjoyed N's voice, and was not confused much. This time felt clunkier, like there was a disconnect between the world building that came from the internal thought and what was actually going on. I made a lot of notes as I read, but now that I'm going back, I'm seeing things I had not problem with the first time I read are bogging me down now. I'm not sure if it is because I am focusing on different things since I know what happens, or if it because of whatever level of tired I was then versus now (frantically grading finals tired vs spent the day hiking tired).

For example, last time, I was fine with the pregnancy train of thought in the begining. This time, I felt like it was slowing me down. 

You do develop Dr. S more in the first interaction with him, which does set up better for him helping, but I got bogged down in some of the details. There might not have been enough last time, but I think you have too much now.

P. 4 "They had barracks, a science building, a community mess hall... would give them half a chance." I liked this addition. It gave me a better picture of the colony and felt like it came up naturally. 

"Broken glass, just another wasted resource..." They are on a planet full of sand. I'm surprised they're not making glass there. 

 

P. 5

Last time, I had no issue with the conversation with the director. This time, I was having trouble following the logic of how one part of the conversation progressed to the next. Either it was because I was thinking about it more, or because I got distracted by the stuff you added while N was waiting for the director to acknowledge her. The details about E's "club" are interesting, but they slowed down the scene and were more distracting than anything else. 

"...though some part of her still did want to just flat out ask who had come with factory-installed labia and who hadn’t..." First I was confused by this line, then it kind of made me cringe. 

 

P. 9

The details about the parents didn't bother me last time, but this time, they are distracting me even though you didn't really change much about the paragraph. I think it is more because now there are too many places where random bits of back story pop up like that.

"Panic, at the least, since botanists didn’t grow on trees." I love this! 

P. 12

"...Dr. S around the dome for an entire night once while he vomited..." I don't think I really need to know this and it is slowing things down.

"Red racing stripes blared down ...his delightful middle finger to the lab director’s dictate about paint waste. " I like the idea here but there is something missing from this sentence. 

Random: You mention plastic pages and 3-d printed chains. You spend so much time talking about other resources, like sand/cinderblocks, that I am curious about what kind of plastic they have or what kind of material their plastic is made from.

 

Overall: While you added some interesting world-building and character backstory, I think it is loaded in too heavily and it makes the chapter feel a little clunky. 

I'm still interested in the story and looking forward to the next chapter. 

 

 

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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On 5/25/2019 at 1:52 AM, hawkedup said:

There is a distinctive lack of forward momentum (or sense of progression as Brandon calls it). Every time I felt the story began to progress, it was halted by internal dialogue/exposition/descriptions/world building that didn't advance this particular chapter.

This pretty accurately sums up how I feel about this chapter now while they the previous version of it did not have the same problem. 

 

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