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Robinski

190527 - TMM - Chapter 1 +Synopsis - 3,538 words - LLLL

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Posted (edited)

Hey folks,

So, some of you might be fed up to the back teeth having seen this at least two or three times in the last three years, but here is the first chapter of Book 1 of my Space (Light) Opera series featuring your friendly, neighbourhood clothes horse and his potty-mouthed companion. Chapter 1 has had another edit or two since those who know it last saw it, and I'm indebted to @Hobbit for some excellent comments back in October after this got rejected by Angry Robot in January 2018.

I've been lazy and left the rest of the first three chapters in there, because this is the file I'll be sending to A/R. Please do not read them, unless you're enthralled of course, I can't stop you after all, but I don't expect anyone to read the whole file (about 10K words). Seriously, don't do it.

What I would appreciate eyes on, please, is the synopsis*, which I've included in the weekly word count. Oh, and I've tagged it LLLL, because Moth is a foul-mouthed wee s-h-i-t-e, but I love her anyway :).

Many thanks for your consideration.

Robinski

( * Perhaps after you've read the chapter?)

Edited by Robinski
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Oooh, it's going back? Cool! Good luck!!

Overall

Much smoother all around! I think you've got a few editing artifacts, which I've highlighted, and a bit of issue with the end cap tie ups, but otherwise it's very smooth. Nice work! I really hope this time the AR team picks it up!

 

As I go

- I think it should probably be 'THE fourteen-year old loudmouth (not all caps, obvs)

- lucrative Synapatic Mapping could from life: missing word. Transform maybe?

- 'learn that C does not seek...' I think you need at least one more specific in either this sentence or an additional new one, as it rolls from 'he wants vengeance' to Q ends up in a robot body. How did we get from point A to B? What was the triggering event?

- synopsis end: I think it might lack emotional tie up. Q wins and M is fine, but what does Q learn? A lot of your book is about his emotional journey, as well as M's emotional journey, and the end to those is what is missing here. Something like 'Q and M find they can harass life more easily together than apart' or something akin. Something to show how they have come together.

pg 3: the change between his awesome suit, then itching his crotch, remains highly amusing, though does serve to downplay his 'sexy' level

- same things happen in the next paragraph. We get suave and crass at the same time. It's different than our last Q for sure. Not necessarily bad or good, just pointing it out. I think I personally liked him when he was suave on the outside except with M, who made him lose him composure, but I'll see how this goes for sure

- pg 4: you have a font change on doing it

- the build up to the envelope drop seems much better built in this version

- pg 7: love the bit about the handmade clothing! It really brings me into the world

- pg 11: his interaction with the disinterested woman seems strange now, since the set up with the waitress made it seem like Q stayed away from women due to wife baggage. I think you may need to clean that a bit. One sentence would probably do it

- end bit leaves me a bit wanting. I do love the flirting, always have, but the chapter doesn't seem to wrap up with a full arc. It might just need a sentence like "We need to talk about those shoes." Q leaned over to take the lady's hand. Job well done.

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3 hours ago, kais said:

Oooh, it's going back? Cool! Good luck!!

Thank you so much :) 

3 hours ago, kais said:

Much smoother all around!

This is very heartening. I'd say this first chapter (which didn't used to be the first, of course) has been edited a goods 6 to 8 times. 

3 hours ago, kais said:

What was the triggering event?

Got it, and managed to get a short line in about Mary too.

3 hours ago, kais said:

Something to show how they have come together.

Now added. Excellent point.

3 hours ago, kais said:

does serve to downplay his 'sexy' level

I've toned this down slightly.

3 hours ago, kais said:

- same things happen in the next paragraph. We get suave and crass at the same time. It's different than our last Q for sure. Not necessarily bad or good, just pointing it out. I think I personally liked him when he was suave on the outside except with M, who made him lose him composure, but I'll see how this goes for sure

I'm not quite sure about this one. Where in the next paragraph?

3 hours ago, kais said:

One sentence would probably do it.

I've added a couple of sentences here which I think really help to add nuance to his emotional state. Much obliged for the pointer.

3 hours ago, kais said:

- end bit leaves me a bit wanting. I do love the flirting, always have, but the chapter doesn't seem to wrap up with a full arc. It might just need a sentence like "We need to talk about those shoes." Q leaned over to take the lady's hand. Job well done.

I'm willing to give that a try :) 

Most excellent comments. Thank you so much!

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21 minutes ago, Robinski said:

I'm not quite sure about this one. Where in the next paragraph?

The part about winking I think at a guy, then having to fit his hips and balls into a tight airline seat. 

 

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Doing this from my phone in line at Disney World, so apologies for spelling mistakes and such! Sorry, don't have good page numbers as I'm on my phone...

 

Things I noted during the synopsis.

"potentially lucrative Synaptic Mapping could from life as a lab rat."

-- something missing in this line

 

"A has lost a prized asset in Lunaville"

-- is this referring to the android? Might need to clarify

 

"Between bickering they learn C does not seek escape at all, but vengeance"

--This is the first time M and Q are expressly connected to C's case

 

"Q is Mapped into Eight’s body, chasing C up the crater wall in a race to save two thousand lives including theirs while below, M guards Q’s body in HQ."

--I feel like this sentence could be drastically simplified or made into several. Also, don't need to say they're saving Q and M's life along with the 2000

 

If eight is broken, then how do C and Q fight over his body?

 

Overall, the opening chapter read smoothly. Just a couple notes below. As @kais said, the ending is a bit abrupt and I was looking for a little more. the changes you've discussed above help. 

 

"that loathsome flash of despair as he buckled his black leather belt."

-- sounds like he's deciding at his belt, which is probably not the case.

 

Arriving in the city reads as much tighter than what I remember, and Q is delightfully...quirky.

 

I think Q meeting the man is new? Anyway it works.

 

"Somehow, they always had meat."

-- lol

 

Glad to see Q is more bi than last time.

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9 hours ago, kais said:

The part about winking I think at a guy, then having to fit his hips and balls into a tight airline seat. 

Right. Thanks!

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Thanks so much for those comments, @Mandamon, much appreciate you being 'on the (yellow brick?) road' and all. (Oh, no wait, wrong franchise.) Enjoying the pics. Not been to the MK for about 15 years. You seem to be having a great time :) 

The comments are excellent, I've done a couple more tweaks that tighten things up some more. Really helpful.

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Posted (edited)

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.

Sorry for the late reply. Between having four submissions each week to get through, my own drafts, and a slew of other activities (including work), I'm really behind on critiques. Keep in mind that I haven't read the other's critiques for the sake of brevity and getting through these submissions.

Let's get started.

Well, okay then. My browser just freaked out, so I lost almost all of my notes. Great.

Cliff notes then:

First, I want to say that this prose reads so much easier and more fluidly than the last one I read. The tone is more consistent, and I feel like this character is well-grounded. I have a few notes, however.

The chapter heading

0554hrs sounds like it's been 554 hours since the clock started, rather than the time, 05:54, which might conflagrate with the date coming immediately after. Time is a pretty standard convention, and unless you're using a completely different method of time keeping, I'd recommend sticking to it. If you have a mission clock, then you would annotate it as T+05:54.

'dahling'

Generally speaking, you should avoid colloquealizing ways of speech and typing out pronunciations, because it's potentially offensive to the group being represented. If Q is making fun of rich, noble folks, it's fine, but if he's not, then simply use 'darling'.

multi-lingual dialogue

I mentioned this over in Oblivion as well, but if your characters are speaking in the same language, don't mix that language and English. It's confusing to the reader. For example, if I have two characters and they're speaking in Japanese (and one of them is the viewpoint character), then we can just write what they're saying in English and pretend they're speaking in Japanese. If they're speaking multi-lingually, however, then one of the languages should be differentiated so that the reader knows there are two languages being spoken. For example, this line in TMM:

Quote

“Certamente, signore.” The restaurant was quiet. She led him to a seat by the window and placed the menu before him. “Something to drink?”

would be a lot easier for the reader to understand if the line was simply changed like this:

Quote

Certamente, signore.” The restaurant was quiet. She led him to a seat by the window and placed the menu before him. “Something to drink?”

This tells the reader that the language at the beginning is different from the rest, and you're not just using the language to impress them (which, in turn, usually has the negative backlash of making the reader feel stupid. Which is bad.) This is a pretty common enough convention that I think it's worth considering, and it vastly improves readability for the readers who aren't familiar with other languages (which is a lot of Americans, by the way).

Periods.

One thing I've noticed in your prose is that you have a tendency, when speaking of the actions of the VP character, to repeatedly say what they're doing and punctuate it with a period (full-stop). This makes your prose difficult to read at times, because a period is an end to a thought. Sometimes you want to continue that thought. Especially when things are happening in quick succession. And everything is linked together. This can make the reading very disjunct.

This can be alleviated through several grammatical tools--parentheticals, dashes, and semi-colons. One particular place I noticed this was at the bottom of page 6:

Quote

He made a ‘So what?’ pout with his lips. He wanted to bring Blondie’s self-assuredness down a degree or two, but he couldn’t be certain he was one of Toni’s men.

As it is, it's "He did this. He did this." And it reads okay, but it's not as fluid as some of the rest of your prose. A simple edit, like this:

Quote

He made a ‘So what?’ pout with his lips; he wanted to bring Blondie’s self-assuredness down a degree or two, but he couldn’t be certain he was one of Toni’s men.

Improves the readability, especially since the second sentence continues the same thought from the previous one. A semi-colon is a softer punctuation, and when a reader sees a semi-colon, they unconsciously know the thought is going to continue; it isn't until they reach a period that they think a thought is ended, and so it's not as jarring once the thought picks up again.

This method works well, especially when you want a scene to be disjunct and jarring, but when that isn't the case, try to avoid quick succession of sentences with related thoughts and punctuated by a period.

Quote

It seemed to Q that scientists must have calculated the length of her skirt for maximum impact, balancing it delicately between madam and madame. (end of the first thought) And yet, he assumed that the disdainful line described by her lips successfully had repelled all attention. (no, wait, this is the end of the first thought) But she reckoned without the delicate attentions of Q, who couldn’t give a damnation for the disinterested prima donna façade. (Okay, this is the end of the first thought).

Hahahaha that's clever how you nicknamed him by using his initials. I didn't catch that until I was trying to condense down the names. Nice.

Back to my point, this passage is another place that suffers from repeated use of periods. It works much better by removing the period between 'madame' and 'And', and replacing it with a comma, and then separating this compound sentence from the third, which is kind of a second idea. Replace 'But' with 'however', and the result is much cleaner:

Quote

It seemed to Q that scientists must have calculated the length of her skirt for maximum impact, balancing it delicately between madam and madame, and yet, he assumed that the disdainful line described by her lips successfully had repelled all attention. (end of the first thought) She reckoned, however, without the delicate attentions of Q, who couldn’t give a damnation for the disinterested prima donna façade. (end of the second thought)

(By the way, this was also a huge problem in Oblivion.)

Finally, this line: "La donna; when in Milan after all." 'When in Milan' is a parenthetical clause, so separate it with a comma. And here, I actually would separate 'La donna' from the next thought with a period. Edit:

Quote

"La donna. When in Milan, after all."

 

All in all, I liked this. There isn't much of a buy-in for the world/universe yet, but with the nature of the narrative in the first chapter, I think that's actually okay. I'm sure we'll get the opportunity to explore space a little more later (I hope? You said it was a Space Opera.) I feel like your prose is much stronger in this one, your MC is more grounded and anchored into the story, and he has a distinct personality that I can identify with. There are a couple of technical problems, but overall it is a much cleaner and smoother read with a good level of polish. Well done.

Edited by Alderant
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Hi Alderant, really pleased to have your comments.

12 hours ago, Alderant said:

Sorry for the late reply.

Please don't worry about the timing. Often, I get to the next weekend before I get through my crits.

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

this prose reads so much easier and more fluidly than the last one I read

Than my other submission, NEU? That's cool. This one's had more work overs, but also is closer to my heart, it's fair to say.

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

The chapter heading

Yeah, I've changed this. It's never really sat comfortably, but you've prompted me to follow up on your comments and look into that. Dropped the 'hrs' and introduced the colon.

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

'dahling'

He's making fun of the fashionista set. 'darling' would do pretty much as well. I'll think on it some more.

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

multi-lingual dialogue

So, if I understand your point correctly, simply put the different language into italics? I'm happy enough with that. The language is there for local colour, and in attempt to put the reader in the setting. I tried to use phrases that I felt were either not important to understand, or understandable by educated guess-ery. I accept it's a calculated risk in relation to some readers, but I've seen it done in other books, from time to time.

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

Periods.

I love being pulled up on grammar; it doesn't happen all that often, so I'm very pleased to debate it. I like this comment about semi-colons. I'm going to end up with some really long sentences is my only concern; but I'll definitely look to use there more often.

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

nicknamed him by using his initials

:) 

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

La donna.

Yup. I'll take that. Prefer your version.

13 hours ago, Alderant said:

Well done.

I'm pleased that you like it, and that generally it reads well. I'm certainly conscious that it's not action from the first beat, and some say that's the way to engage the reader and carry them forward. I'm banking on them being engaged by the character, because that's where my passion is in this story. It does lead to me being hauled up about action, but there is more in it more quickly than there used to be! 

In my cover letter I described it as Space (Light) Opera. There are no space battles (for example), so that terminology might get my into trouble. We shall see.

I really appreciate your comments, and they are bang on time as I'm going to submit it today. Thank you!

(I'll get to NEU in due course, and it doesn't surprise me to hear you flag greater issues there.)

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6 hours ago, Robinski said:

So, if I understand your point correctly, simply put the different language into italics? I'm happy enough with that. The language is there for local colour, and in attempt to put the reader in the setting. I tried to use phrases that I felt were either not important to understand, or understandable by educated guess-ery. I accept it's a calculated risk in relation to some readers, but I've seen it done in other books, from time to time.

To be clear, I don't think the inclusion of other languages--especially for local color, as you put it--is wrong. I just think there needs to be some differentiation, so yes. I'm really only saying you need to italicize.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

I'm certainly conscious that it's not action from the first beat, and some say that's the way to engage the reader and carry them forward. I'm banking on them being engaged by the character, because that's where my passion is in this story. It does lead to me being hauled up about action, but there is more in it more quickly than there used to be!

In stories with a more epic scope, I think starting slow is better than starting fast. Starting with action works in some settings--especially those that rely more heavily on the world and the plot, because the characters are less developed--but in character-based fiction, I've found that most of the time, getting us into their head is far more engaging than action scenes at the beginning.

6 hours ago, Robinski said:

In my cover letter I described it as Space (Light) Opera. There are no space battles (for example), so that terminology might get my into trouble. We shall see.

I don't think a Space Opera necessarily needs space battles, but rather that it needs a scope of exploration and adventure within the context of the void of space, rather than being limited to a planet or space station. The "Space Opera" kind of denotes a grander scale than standard Sci-Fi fare, kind of like Epic Fantasy vs. Fantasy--but just like in Epic Fantasy, whether or not their are large battles is kind of determined by the plot. If your plot is a political creature, then battles may be traded off for political rivalries and subterfuge.

A good way to summarize (in terms of Epic Fantasy) is Sabaa Tahir's Ember quartet. It's a very focused, character-driven series, but it has a grand scope and heavy political climate, with lots of threads and moving pieces in the plot, vs. Weis & Hickman's Dragonlance fantasy, which focuses on a much smaller scope and a much smaller story, with less moving pieces. Make sense?

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All noted, thanks @Alderant.

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I've noticed we have some really great people critiquing and since I'm still getting my feet wet here I've decided the best thing I can contribute are my thoughts as a reader as I go. Hopefully you find something useful here:

I had to open this on Google Docs and it reformatted to 1” margins so the page numbers might be slightly off from the original document, but hopefully not by much.

Dry Run:

1 - 2

I had to read the first paragraph a couple times.

The first sub-chapter reads as very jumbled. I don’t necessarily need everything streamlined but I’m having a real hard time picturing exactly what is happening and when. I hate to say it but this wouldn’t pass my One Page Test.

3

Not sure why we need the opening sub-chapter since the next one starts with a week long time jump.

Okay this is reading much smoother. More streamlined. This would pass my One Page Test.

Quirk is gay or at least attracted to men.

“a part of him loathed it deeply, but he and that part of him didn’t speak much anymore.” - I love this.

4

I like the picture you are painting. It’s a little heavy on the info dumping but you do a good job showing us that yes, this is Earth, but an Earth from our future. Q seems like a man who knows many things and I hope this comes into play as the story goes on.

5

20 steps seems like a really long time to walk in tandem with someone without looking over.

I don’t know how old Q is so this mystery man being slightly younger means almost nothing.

6

Why are they speaking English?

Considering the cLife I’m surprised there’s no mention of recording and/or not recording every conversation. Seems like an employer might insist on such a thing if it was readily available.

I’m as confused as Q as to B’s motivations here. I was about to point it out but Q hangs a nice little lantern on it so I’m good for the ride for now.

7

I like that he has to fight the urge to pickpocket. Before this moment he seemed a bit too worldly, the high crime type of person. But this shows his humble beginnings as it were.

Really wondering where that McD’s meat comes from.

At this point, with the paragraph about the state of retail, I’m wondering if there isn’t a bit too much world building going on.

8

So I had to look up McD’s to make sure it was the same McD’s I was thinking of. I love that it’s a high class establishment. I don’t like that he only orders water, though. This is more me just being curious about what kind of plates they might serve than anything.

Attack of cynicism? I hope this is an actual ailment of some sort in the future.

9

What do you mean by deployed his glasses?

Q likes girls, too.

“…scientists must have calculated the length of her skirt for maximum impact, balancing it delicately between madam and madame.” - I love this.

10

The interaction with LD is good. These two are definitely cut of the same cloth. Feels kinda weird tacked onto the end of a chapter, though. Might work better with a break and treated like a sub-chapter?

 

There’s some passive tense throughout that should be addressed.

 

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Hey, thanks so much for the comments.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

Hopefully you find something useful here:

yes, always :) 

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

I had to read the first paragraph a couple times.

I’m having a real hard time picturing exactly what is happening

Yeah, I accept this. It works for a lot of people, but for some not. It's still rather wordy. I'll see what I can do in the next edit. Which will be post any kind of non-response from Angry Robot.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

Okay this is reading much smoother. More streamlined. This would pass my One Page Test.

Cool beans :) 

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

20 steps seems like a really long time to walk in tandem with someone without looking over.

Yeah, I caught this when listening to my 'robot' read me the first three chapters. I changed it to six steps.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

nice little lantern on it so I’m good for the ride for now.

Phew.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

I like that he has to fight the urge to pickpocket. Before this moment he seemed a bit too worldly, the high crime type of person. But this shows his humble beginnings as it were.

Ha-ha. Glad you liked that. If I'm honest, I actually tripped up on it myself as I went through. I finished Book 2 in April and Q's early background has never been revisited. If I ever do visit it, I will not have him as a street urchin, because that is the new farm boy of SFF. Seems like every second protagonist starts as a starving street urchin pickpocket.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

I’m wondering if there isn’t a bit too much world building going on.

Noted. I'll bear that in mind.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

So I had to look up McD’s to make sure it was the same McD’s I was thinking of.

Yes, I imagine I'd get sued if I used the full name (Strangely, I've been in court with McD's before... long story.) Anyway, I might consider a different abbreviation, although I think most people get it, so maybe I won't.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

What do you mean by deployed his glasses?

He put them on. You'll have noticed by now that he has a very grandiose sense of his own persona.

15 hours ago, hawkedup said:

There’s some passive tense throughout that should be addressed.

Ha. This used to be the biggest thing in my life, but it rarely seems to come up anymore, so thanks for that. I guess these are remnants from the Great Passivity Purge of 2017. Thank you, I shall be on the look out next edit.

Thanks so much for reading, @hawkedup. Much appreciated. Some good things to think about there.

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Disclaimer: I don't read sci-fi prose literature anymore. Any sci-fi reading I do nowadays will be comic books (i.e. TransmetropolitanCrowded, Inuyashiki). So take my opinions with a grain of salt, as I'm not your target audience. 

Mechanics-wise, I didn't find much in the way of issues, and whatever I did find has already been pointed out. Your prose is wonderfully descriptive without edging into purple prose. Though for me, the abundance of description did bog down the pacing. Story-wise, there wasn't all that much to hook me. I read the story once and then scanned it a second time, and I am not sure what Q's goals are; I don't know what's driving him in this story. I also think that his conversation with the mysterious man, the dramatic focal point of this chapter, would be a better point to end on than his encounter with the woman with the precise skirt. 

I also only knew Q was a PI because I read your synopsis; maybe I missed something, but I left this chapter off thinking he was a criminal. I am also not sure about the nickname of Q***k, just because (to me at least) not only does that sound really on-the-nose, it also seems like something that would fit better on a YA novel protagonist. But I think the fact that he is fashion-conscious is a fabulous character trait; it suggests a man who is fussy and vain, very focused on maintaining his appearance. Which seems very out-of-place for a PI, considering that in their line of work, they probably don't want to be noticed. So that has me interested. 

In short, you write beautifully, Q is interesting, and I think that there needs to be a stronger hook somewhere in this chapter. Something to increase the stakes and drama. 

 

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Great stuff. Thanks so much for those comments, JW. They are helpful. I'll want to get something in about the P.I. bit for sure, because it's not helpful not to know.

Stronger hook is something I can work with too.

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On 5/31/2019 at 8:42 AM, Robinski said:

Yeah, I accept this. It works for a lot of people, but for some not. It's still rather wordy. I'll see what I can do in the next edit.

It’s not the wordiness so much as the lack of a cohesive perspective. Point A to B to C. I’m looking outside at a space lift then in a transport with no ball room to a shower without ever really feeling like I’m any of those places long enough for them to be pertinent. It feels like it’s just there to say “Dear Reader, this is SF” which is fine and if it works for a lot of people then maybe I’m off base, but I think you’re missing the chance to hook with one really cool SF thing by giving us three kinda mundane things.

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45 minutes ago, hawkedup said:

I think you’re missing the chance to hook with one really cool SF thing by giving us three kinda mundane things.

Cool. Thanks. This is helpful :) 

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Getting caught up on the backlog. Mostly just saying I read this, since @kais and @Mandamon have covered most of it.

For the synopsis, I did notice that there were a couple lines of extraneous background info, and that the lines I was snagging on were also the ones that weren't totally in present tense. Like, for Q -- the sentence with his marriage, from what I'm recalling, it's not super vital to this story? Like the actual details of what happened? iirc, it comes up more in the next one, so maybe here, it can be smooshed down to a couple words and added in where the emotions it brings up are vital to this story? Sort of "Q hates the idea of taking care of M, due to a bad marriage 5 years ago, but..." or something, maybe?  Sort of refocuses it on the emotion of the characters, rather than on the facts? Synopses are so tough!

For the rest of it, the first couple pages feel a little jittery to me -- not quite enough description and a little too much in medias res, I think, maybe -- but it settles down nicely with the description of the suit. I do like that description of him getting dressed! But I did get confused by that line about the belt, same as kais did. It got a bit jittery again for me around the walk through the piazza, but settled at the McDs. The flirting with the lady is, of course, a delight. 

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Hey, ID, thanks for much for reading this, much appreciated.

On 06/06/2019 at 10:01 PM, industrialistDragon said:

the sentence with his marriage, from what I'm recalling, it's not super vital to this story?

True. I like your suggestion here. Thanks :) 

On 06/06/2019 at 10:01 PM, industrialistDragon said:

not quite enough description and a little too much in medias res, I think, maybe

On 06/06/2019 at 10:01 PM, industrialistDragon said:

But I did get confused by that line about the belt

On 06/06/2019 at 10:01 PM, industrialistDragon said:

It got a bit jittery again for me around the walk through the piazza

All good stuff. Nothing here is sacred. I will tackle all of this the next time I edit the story, which will be a wee while away, I think. Unless Irate Android take the story of course :lol::lol::lol::lol: !!!!

Many thanks for the comments.

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Overall, I enjoyed this. The mc was interesting and the voice was leaping off the page. I liked the way the world was introduced and how it was so meticulously filtered through the narrators POV. 

I'm not sure how I feel about the chapter's ending spot. I suppose I could comment better if I read on. As it is, I felt like it sort of ended at the drop, and then Q decides not to take on another job just yet and go to the cafe where random flirting ensues. Regarding the flirting, I'm not sure if I should be reading it as just flirting or if this is actually more spy / PI stuff. It's not enough to stop me from going on to the next chapter, but it does pull me out of the story a little. 

Notes on the synopsis:

"Q married the boss’s daughter" This threw me because in Ch. 1, he wasn't behaving like he was married. OK, maybe married people flirt with other people still, but he didn't think about a spouse or anyone but himself really. Or is the woman he was flirting with the Boss' daughter, and he is still a shill in ch. 1, not a PI? 

"could from life as a lab rat" I think there is a missing word.

Like @kais mentioned, Q's arc isn't really clear from the synopsis. 

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14 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

"could from life as a lab rat" I think there is a missing word.

Like @kais mentioned, Q's arc isn't really clear from the synopsis.

Hey, many thanks for reading, SSmooth.

Q's marriage is on the rocks. But of course the reader doesn't get to read the synopsis, so presumably wouldn't encounter that issue, still, good point!

I also take your point about the arc thing. It's always been an issue with this first bit. I think I need to extent it and have him consider what new case to take, or something like that.

Thanks again :) 

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7 hours ago, Robinski said:

But of course the reader doesn't get to read the synopsis, so presumably wouldn't encounter that issue, still, good point!

My concern with that wasn't so much the average reader but an editor who would read both the first chapter and the synopsis, especially if that editor read the synopsis first. 

It was just because reading the chapter, I thought for sure he was single, and then when I got to the synopsis, I was like "Wait, this guy is married?"

But yeah -- for someone picking the book up off the shelf, it wouldn't be an issue at all. 

 

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4 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

My concern with that wasn't so much the average reader but an editor who would read both the first chapter and the synopsis, especially if that editor read the synopsis first. 

It was just because reading the chapter, I thought for sure he was single, and then when I got to the synopsis, I was like "Wait, this guy is married?"

But yeah -- for someone picking the book up off the shelf, it wouldn't be an issue at all. 

The correct answer is though, that I am going to fix it! (That should have been my first answer :unsure: ).

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