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Robinski

Robinski - 190902 - TCC Chapter 08 - 5124 words (LG)

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Hey everybody, I am eternally grateful for your help with and feedback on this thing. I present to you Chapter 8. Usual stuff. Have at it, if you're willing.
 
Chapter recap:
 
01 - In small town in British Columbia, Q and M close out the Not-All-That-Curious Case of the Stolen Art;
02 - Q and M decide on what to do next, all the options seem to have some issue or other. Q's ex-father calls;
03 - After some political machinations, we meet EM (the administrator) and TT (the scientist) who at Gen Ex Trick in Yellowknife, NWT;
04 - T is coerced by M into releasing the MTs. They are meant to kill her, but it does not go to plan for M. Now he has a problem
05 - Back with Q and M, they speak to R before going to meet him at the airport, but the plane crashes in 'unexpected' circumstances;
06 - Q and M are questioned at the sheriff's office then taken to the hospital to see R who they manage to speak to briefly before M appears and kills R;
07 - Q and M are in the frame for R's murder. M decides they should run. Car chase thru small town. They collect 80, 'borrow' N's plane and run;
 
Cheers, Robinski
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Overall

Not much to comment on here. I thought the tension and pacing were really good. It lagged just a bit with scenery descriptions, especially getting to the sheriff, but my empathy bar was high with our MC and I'm invested in her emotions, so I didn't mind at all. I thought this was a solid chapter that moved the plot, and really helped establish E's personality. I can feel how she feels about T, and I love that. I don't think it ever came across this well before. 

Thanks for a great read!

 

As I go

- pg 9: And I could have saved her, if I’d just been able to keep my pants on. <--- Wait, I don't follow the logic on this. Smooth reading up to this point

- pg 10: I deeply empathize with E in this rage pain

- pg 17: excellent tension through these pages. I'm hooked

 

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I'm not sure if it is WRS or revision, but E seems different, maybe more sympathetic, in this chapter than last one I remember seeing her in. This is a good thing, though it does shift the role I expect her to play in the narrative. In the other chapter, I had her pinned as someone who might be more of a rival or antagonist to Q, now I'm thinking they are going to be working together to find T before the book is over. 

(No need to confirm or deny my predictions).

There was a ton of tension in the chapter. I was squirming while I was reading the seen with DM because I, as the reader, have already seen him blackmail T and play his role in releasing the monsters, and I CANNOT WAIT for her to figure this out. 

Overall, this chapter was great, and can I have the next one please?

A few as I read notes:

"...hard eyes more lacking in human feeling than any android's." I love this line. 

"even though...frost heaves...again" What do frost heaves on the road have to do with architecture? 

"...she was being fitted for the fall..." I can't wait for her to move from thinking he is just trying to blame her to realizing it is actually his scheme. 

"She pulled on the warm, familiar mantle of corporate b...." Now, this line makes perfect sense and is awesome, but when I was reading it last night, I flagged it as confusing. This also comes back to my first comment (which may be WRS related, but even before E realized she was getting blamed, her corporate b vibes seemed toned down compared to her last chapter).

"...crew wound them then?" Found?  

I loved the ending and all the emotion in it. Looking forward to the next submission! 

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
hit post too soon
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9 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 9: And I could have saved her, if I’d just been able to keep my pants on. <--- Wait, I don't follow the logic on this. Smooth reading up to this point

 

I didn't follow this either. 

9 hours ago, kais said:

I thought this was a solid chapter that moved the plot, and really helped establish E's personality. I can feel how she feels about T, and I love that.

I agree. 

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I guess I'm in the minority that I had several problems with plotting and timing on this chapter.

First, I don't think it actually adds anything we don't know, and along with the strange changes in E, it makes things confusing for me.

Second, something's not right about the sequence with E and M "finding" what happened, but I'm not sure what. I think E should catch on that M has already done the work and is getting her to go over it again?

Third, this disbelief continues with E just sitting around for 3 days until actually doing something. Her type of personality wouldn't sit still until she'd found something. 

45 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

E seems different, maybe more sympathetic, in this chapter than last one I remember seeing her in.

 

45 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

her corporate b vibes seemed toned down compared to her last chapter

This exactly. Unless there's been a change in the first few chapters, this is a big emotional shi

 

Notes while reading:
pg 3: "had no interest in how his health was."
--what does this have to do with the opacity of the windows?

pg 3: "Usually, he liked nothing better than to pick at any difficulty"
--he sort of did anyway...

pg 4: “Who reports to you.”
--Agree, this is a bit of a stretch. Glad E calls him on it.
--also, M seems to be a very good actor.

pg 6: "It was the end of T at Gen., but it didn’t have to be E’s swansong, unless M wanted it so."
--It doesn't really have to be E's either does it? She already stated she and M had equal blame (from her POV, of course)

pg 7: "she could not access the security footage in the service areas without a second senior sign-in" -> "M brought up a paused view of the loading area from a high vantage"
--so E needs another sign in, but M doesn't? Also, she seems unsurprised that M already knows this much when he sent her off to find out on her own. 

pg 7: “Wait. You need to see the rest.” 
--yeah, so M's already got all this queued up and ready, but acts like he doesn't know what's going on when she comes in. 

pg 8: "How about explaining why you didn’t call me the instant you found this?"
--finally, she starts questioning.

pg 8: "There was nothing. He had her."
--no, she's already stated that he's at fault too. If she's cornered and fighting, I expect her to bring that up, even if it's not going to work. She just gives up. I don't believe she'd do this.

pg 9: "What followed was an evening of handwringing..."
--again, I just don't believe this. If nothing else, she should be searching to find the accomplice. I'd expect her to stay at work until M removed her kicking and screaming.

pg 9: "The day after her suspension..."
--all this too. E has something on M, even if it's slight. She knows he at least is at partially at fault for negligence, if not what really happened. I'd expect there to be a lot more negotiating, especially for someone in her position.

pg 10: "drank a little, cried a little, railed at her screen"
--E has gone from being a stone-cold b**** to wailing and crying over her dead girlfriend. What happened to getting to the top by any means possible?

pg 10: "Waking late brought E headaches and realisation."
--a lot of this reads as a vehicle to get E to a certain time in the plot. She basically does nothing for several days.

pg 11: "What if she’d sent T away on the spot?"
--sent her away when?

pg 14: "Sunday evening"
--hmmm...and this is Wednesday. I really don't believe E would just sit around that long.

pg 15: "Let’s not pretend they aren’t killers."
--If he's this knowledgeable about them, and so concerned about people getting hurt, why aren't the police out in force ready to defend YK?

pg 16: "smiled a leathery smile "
--he's far too calm.

pg 16: "she would not let a scumbag like M take it away from her"
--except she basically did.

pg 18: "why hadn’t an S&R crew wound them then"
--wound them? Missing a word? Wounded? Also, I'm wondering this too. The police managed to find this scene, but not the company personnel actively searching for them? Or is this something else M isn't actually doing?

pg 18: "Mostly deer, she guessed"
--this is a looooong way to go before saying the MTs haven't killed anyone. We learned about the "kill site" three pages ago and I can't believe in all the time to get there, the police wouldn't say that it wasn't a human. Even if they were playing coy, E should be able to see in their reactions that they weren't going to "go national,"  in the sheriff's words.

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Well, color me disappointed. I really wanted a continuation of the action from 7 and I definitely feel stymied by this switch to office thriller. It feels a bit like filler, even though I know it's not.. 

Something feels a little disingenuous to me to have E and M acting so credulous and serious about "discovering" T's "crime." Could M really resist gloating that well? Is E really that blinded to M's methods of operation that she doesn't suspect ANYTHING is amiss? Also, haven't we already gone over this info, from the "proper" perspective? I am unsure what reviewing it in deception mode is doing for me-the-reader. 

 I admit to skimming E's descent to rock bottom. Not that it's not realistic, but the story just seems to wallow in it.

When it gets to E going to see the sheriff I'm interested again. I like seeing the kill from another perspective and getting new information. I'm not terribly interested in M's snow job on E and generally being a mustache-twirling villain. 

Unfortunately, I started skimming on the drive out to the site again. It's not bad on its own, but the accretion of multiple, highly-detailed travel scenes is starting to wear on me. 

The stuff with E and T is good, but with so much detail and plot happening in their POVS and switching back and forth so much, it really makes me wonder who the protagonist actually is in this series. Q and M are on the title, but they've done very little so far, and almost seem more like comedic interludes to this, the real plot. 

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Overall:

I agree with everyone who's commented that E seems very different from when we've seen her in previous chapters. It does make her a bit more sympathetic, but it also feels very abrupt. The story does also seem to wallow tad too long in her misery towards the middle of the chapter before she makes the decision to head out to the sheriff's office, and I think seeing some of that corporate toughness reassert itself a little sooner might help drive things forward a bit quicker.

There were two things I had trouble swallowing. The first was the apparent lack of police involvement right up until E goes to the sheriff's office. It's one thing for the company to be conducting its own internal investigation--that makes perfect sense. But it's extremely difficult to imagine that corporate espionage at this level, which includes an ongoing threat to the general populace, wouldn't trigger a police investigation, especially considering T.'s status as "presumed dead or missing." I think the time jump is muddying the waters to an extent here, since we already know that she will later be recovered and that the police know where she is, but even E. thinks of T. as "missing, presumed dead." I didn't realise until E. got to the sheriff's office that T. had not been reported as either of those things.

That leads me into the second thing I had trouble with, which is a bit more nebulous, so hopefully I can articulate it adequately here: I'm really kind of lost on what's a normal level of corporate politicking in this world. By this point, I expect larger-than-life shenanigans from Mor, so I'm not surprised that he would hide the security tapes from police (though I would expect that the police would have asked for them, or that they will soon). E jumps from realizing that she might be in some hot water over the login  to assuming she's being scapegoated, but is still willing to withhold information from the police on behalf of that company for some reason. It just feels like a lot of characters are willing to go to extreme lengths to climb the corporate ladder. Maybe the setting is just more dystopian than I thought?

I too am eager for E to make the leap to realizing that Mor may be the accomplice himself, and I do think there's lots of opportunity for tension and stakes-raising here. The chapter just didn't quite do it for me as is.

As I read:

Again we start with a "three days earlier..." time jump. My first thought when we encounter these--especially when there's more than one of them, and with recurring to characters--is always to wonder why the chapters couldn't have just been written in sequential order.

More to the point, I found myself nodding along with @Mandamon's comment that this isn't really adding anything we didn't already know, and I think that's one of the reasons I'm having trouble with the POV-and-time-shifts. The shifts between POVs before have basically given us different perspectives on the same events rather than moving the story forward.

It seems to me that T's disappearance for a few days might have been overlooked, but I'm seriously wondering how the security breach and the MTs getting loose, and possibly their mauling of T (since we know there were witnesses) did not end up in local media. For that matter, even if it wasn't in the local media, E seems relatively high up the food chain at this organization. Shouldn't she have been called in for this kind of emergency?

Ah, E wonders the same thing herself. Glad it was brought up in the text. Though it still begs the question of why Mor didn't suspend her sooner, especially if he is looking to cover this up.

Top of p6, "The human prick..." I really stumbled over this one, since everyone (except the sy, I suppose) is human in this story. Isn't "prick" more common? Or is this a regional thing?

p7 "T was missing presumed dead" you need a comma between "missing" and "presumed"

E. goes to visit the sheriff's office (which probably should be a police detachment?) and it occurs to me that we've seen no police activity on this so far. Of course the company would be doing its own internal investigation, but given that the security breach has lead to at least one person missing/presumed dead and the ongoing threat from the MTs, surely there should be an active police investigation going on. Could give you some opportunities to increase the tension, too. E being hammered by investigators while she's at her worst might be a fun scene.

Okay, the office politicking is really starting to lose me at this point. I get E being concerned that this might end her career, and even thinking that she might be being set up as a scapegoat within the company, but she's willing to mislead the sheriff/police about T being missing? Is Mor just hoping E won't say anything to the police about T having been mauled by MTs, even though he's the one who showed E the tapes? Is he hoping she will say something for some reason? And why on earth does E keep her mouth shut here?

Another thing that raised my eyebrows: the sheriff is willing to bring E to the site of what is presumably about to be an active investigation.

Bottom of P15, "...pull her zip tight" probably you meant zipper.

On 9/5/2019 at 7:11 AM, Mandamon said:

I think E should catch on that M has already done the work and is getting her to go over it again?

I agree. That would help make the eventual shift to E realizing that Mor's actually involved in all this.

On 9/5/2019 at 7:11 AM, Mandamon said:

pg 18: "Mostly deer, she guessed"
--this is a looooong way to go before saying the MTs haven't killed anyone.

Yep. Might help with the "wait why are they bringing her to a crime scene?!" reaction I had too.

On 9/8/2019 at 8:53 AM, industrialistDragon said:

Could M really resist gloating that well? Is E really that blinded to M's methods of operation that she doesn't suspect ANYTHING is amiss?

I actually thought this worked. Even E notes that Mor is quite stressed out, and as readers we already know that things haven't gone to plan, so I don't have a problem with him not gloating. Similarly, E is getting her own shock here, so I don't think she needs to cotton on that something's up right away. I am hoping/expecting that she'll catch on sooner rather than later though, especially now that she knows that Mor didn't report T's mauling to the police.

On 9/8/2019 at 8:53 AM, industrialistDragon said:

The stuff with E and T is good, but with so much detail and plot happening in their POVS and switching back and forth so much, it really makes me wonder who the protagonist actually is in this series.

Yeah, I'm feeling this a little too. I do feel that the Q&M chapters are starting to carry a little more weight, but if not for the title I wouldn't consider them protagonists any more than E and her crew.

Edited by Silk
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Yay, back to being three weeks behind...

On 05/09/2019 at 4:53 AM, kais said:

I thought the tension and pacing were really good. It lagged just a bit with scenery descriptions, especially getting to the sheriff, but my empathy bar was high with our MC and I'm invested in her emotions, so I didn't mind at all. I thought this was a solid chapter that moved the plot, and really helped establish E's personality. I can feel how she feels about T, and I love that. I don't think it ever came across this well before. 

Thanks for a great read!

Awesome! That's got to be near the ultimate compliment :D  <3

On the scenery, I'm conscious of that too. This was the first chapter where I really got into St-view for describing YK. I think we can expect that scenery to be fairly heavily pruned.

On 05/09/2019 at 4:53 AM, kais said:

- pg 9: And I could have saved her, if I’d just been able to keep my pants on. <--- Wait, I don't follow the logic on this. Smooth reading up to this point

Might have been a remnant of an idea that I can't now remember, or it might be mis-wording. I think I meant that if E hadn't kept her pants on that one night, she would have been with T and therefore could have saved her. Now corrected. Thanks.

On 05/09/2019 at 4:53 AM, kais said:

- pg 10: I deeply empathize with E in this rage pain

Awesome. There's even whisky.

On 05/09/2019 at 4:53 AM, kais said:

- pg 17: excellent tension through these pages. I'm hooked

Perfect! <punches air>

Thanks so much for reading.

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1 hour ago, Robinski said:

Awesome. There's even whisky.

Aheh....the kryptonite of many a lesbian...

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On 05/09/2019 at 2:23 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I'm not sure if it is WRS or revision, but E seems different, maybe more sympathetic, in this chapter than last one I remember seeing her in. This is a good thing, though it does shift the role I expect her to play in the narrative. In the other chapter, I had her pinned as someone who might be more of a rival or antagonist to Q, now I'm thinking they are going to be working together to find T before the book is over. 

I totally acknowledge this, and I'm glad you think it's good. I hope it's not too much of the hard shift, it needs to be believable, of course. I will decline to confirm or deny your postulation.

On 05/09/2019 at 2:23 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

There was a ton of tension in the chapter. I was squirming while I was reading the seen with DM because I, as the reader, have already seen him blackmail T and play his role in releasing the monsters, and I CANNOT WAIT for her to figure this out. 

:D I loooove the scene where she does, if I say so myself.

On 05/09/2019 at 2:23 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Overall, this chapter was great, and can I have the next one please?

Grinning like a Cheshire Cat right now!

On 05/09/2019 at 2:23 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

"even though...frost heaves...again" What do frost heaves on the road have to do with architecture? 

It was a thinking about how they built a great building, but don't give a sh1t about the access road, which tends to ruin the whole effect. It's the worst kind of traffic engineer polemic and will almost certainly get cut.

On 05/09/2019 at 2:23 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

"She pulled on the warm, familiar mantle of corporate b...." Now, this line makes perfect sense and is awesome, but when I was reading it last night, I flagged it as confusing. This also comes back to my first comment (which may be WRS related, but even before E realized she was getting blamed, her corporate b vibes seemed toned down compared to her last chapter).

I guess the question is, is it unrealistic, or unbelievable. I will review right now... I've had a look, made a couple of tweaks. I think it's better.

On 05/09/2019 at 2:23 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

"...crew wound them then?" Found?  

Yup, thanks.

On 05/09/2019 at 2:23 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I loved the ending and all the emotion in it. Looking forward to the next submission!

:D Awesome! Thanks so much for reading.

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On 05/09/2019 at 2:38 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I didn't follow this either. 

It's already gone <cue for a song>, as per response to Kais.

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21 hours ago, Robinski said:

It was a thinking about how they built a great building, but don't give a sh1t about the access road, which tends to ruin the whole effect. It's the worst kind of traffic engineer polemic and will almost certainly get cut.

Quote

LOL but it's winter in Canada. I guess I was wondering how preventable the frost heaves, actually were. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Hey, thanks for reading, Mandamon

On 05/09/2019 at 3:11 PM, Mandamon said:

First, I don't think it actually adds anything we don't know, and along with the strange changes in E, it makes things confusing for me.

I'll need to need to re-examine these changes.

On 05/09/2019 at 3:11 PM, Mandamon said:

Second, something's not right about the sequence with E and M "finding" what happened, but I'm not sure what. I think E should catch on that M has already done the work and is getting her to go over it again?

Yeah, there's something amiss with their discussion. I see it now, thanks. There is something wrong with his presentation of the situation. I've done some rewording, which I think improves it, good catch. Also, I've tried to balance E's b-ness with her showing more vulnerability. I've tweaked here and their to retain reminders of how she was in previous chapters.

On 05/09/2019 at 3:11 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "had no interest in how his health was."
--what does this have to do with the opacity of the windows?

Nothing. I've smoothed the transition. It ties in directly to her first statement now.

On 05/09/2019 at 3:11 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4: “Who reports to you.”
--Agree, this is a bit of a stretch. Glad E calls him on it.
--also, M seems to be a very good actor.

He does have experience of covert operations.

On 05/09/2019 at 3:11 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 6: "It was the end of T at Gen., but it didn’t have to be E’s swansong, unless M wanted it so."
--It doesn't really have to be E's either does it? She already stated she and M had equal blame (from her POV, of course)

E has something of a defensive mindset in any case, certainly when it comes to M. I think you may well be right that she has a descent chance keeping her job, but she'll know she's up against M.

Quote

pg 7: "she could not access the security footage in the service areas without a second senior sign-in" -> "M brought up a paused view of the loading area from a high vantage"
--so E needs another sign in, but M doesn't? Also, she seems unsurprised that M already knows this much when he sent her off to find out on her own.

Well, she did storm out of his office. The second sign in's a bit lame though. I've tried to address that without changing it completely. It's a security thing.

Quote

pg 7: “Wait. You need to see the rest.” 
--yeah, so M's already got all this queued up and ready, but acts like he doesn't know what's going on when she comes in. 

I've tweaked this.

Quote

pg 8: "How about explaining why you didn’t call me the instant you found this?"
--finally, she starts questioning.

I've expanded this argument a bit. I think it plays better from the point of view of E showing more resistance, and M defending his position more. I think it's better, thanks!

Quote

pg 8: "There was nothing. He had her."
--no, she's already stated that he's at fault too. If she's cornered and fighting, I expect her to bring that up, even if it's not going to work. She just gives up. I don't believe she'd do this.

(As per previous answer.)

Quote

pg 9: "What followed was an evening of handwringing..."
--again, I just don't believe this. If nothing else, she should be searching to find the accomplice. I'd expect her to stay at work until M removed her kicking and screaming.

For one, I've removed handwringing: you're right, that's not E. Also, I've hung a lantern on her not staying to be dragged out physically, due to the instant loss of any credibility. Another good catch :) 

Quote

pg 9: "The day after her suspension..."
--all this too. E has something on M, even if it's slight. She knows he at least is at partially at fault for negligence, if not what really happened. I'd expect there to be a lot more negotiating, especially for someone in her position.

pg 10: "drank a little, cried a little, railed at her screen"
--E has gone from being a stone-cold b**** to wailing and crying over her dead girlfriend. What happened to getting to the top by any means possible?

pg 10: "Waking late brought E headaches and realisation."
--a lot of this reads as a vehicle to get E to a certain time in the plot. She basically does nothing for several days.

Well, M suspended her on the 16th, she didn't go out on the 17th, and afternoon of the 18th she's going to see the sheriff, but yes, you're right to a degree. This part was intended to show E being laid low and then starting to fight back, BUT, it was also to bridge the gap in the time lines. I think doing both is possible, provided that E's scenes are compelling/involving enough. Clearly you are not finding them so! It's worked for others though. So, I'm looking to introduce more fight in E, more activity, reducing the moping time. I think it's better now, and am obliged to you for calling it.

Quote

pg 11: "What if she’d sent T away on the spot?"
--sent her away when?

After they did the inspection on Saturday (14th), 4 days ago. I have clarified the wording here.

Quote

pg 14: "Sunday evening"
--hmmm...and this is Wednesday. I really don't believe E would just sit around that long.

I've tried to draw out a bit better that E only 'missed' T on Monday morning; okay, she lost Tuesday, although I've tried to draw out that she still was active online trying to source information, keep abreast of events (admittedly without actually learning anything).

Quote

pg 15: "Let’s not pretend they aren’t killers."
--If he's this knowledgeable about them, and so concerned about people getting hurt, why aren't the police out in force ready to defend YK?

There is mention of officers and equipment being deployed, just not in an active search capacity, but I've tried to pull that out a little more.

Quote

pg 16: "smiled a leathery smile "
--he's far too calm.

I like to think he's in control of himself, rather than calm, but I've looked to add a couple of hints that he's tense.

Quote

pg 16: "she would not let a scumbag like M take it away from her"
--except she basically did.

I've tried to highlight that, with respect to M, E has no authority, hence his power in this situation, as a man from parent company HQ.

Quote

pg 18: "why hadn’t an S&R crew wound them then"
--wound them? Missing a word? Wounded? Also, I'm wondering this too. The police managed to find this scene, but not the company personnel actively searching for them? Or is this something else M isn't actually doing?

Should be 'found'. 

Quote

pg 18: "Mostly deer, she guessed"
--this is a looooong way to go before saying the MTs haven't killed anyone. We learned about the "kill site" three pages ago and I can't believe in all the time to get there, the police wouldn't say that it wasn't a human. Even if they were playing coy, E should be able to see in their reactions that they weren't going to "go national,"  in the sheriff's words.

Okay, I'll consider this point. It's not that long a drive, and I'm trying to portray Not as hard, but fair, trying to flush out a reaction from a corporate body that he does not trust, but his hands are tied, to large degree. I've introduced an order to Kot from the mayor in relation to the investigation, and permitting Gen the chance to do their job in an area they specialise in.

Really great, testing, comments--thank you Mandamon. I can always trust you not to let me off with anything!

<R>

Edited by Robinski
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On 20/09/2019 at 2:34 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

LOL but it's winter in Canada. I guess I was wondering how preventable the frost heaves, actually were. 

Not very, and in BC and AB at least (where I have some knowledge) they seem to be good at getting right on it and repairing them.

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Hey ID, thank you for reading :) 

On 08/09/2019 at 4:53 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Well, color me disappointed. I really wanted a continuation of the action from 7 and I definitely feel stymied by this switch to office thriller. It feels a bit like filler, even though I know it's not.

Okay, I'll take that under advisement. I've cut 5% out of this chapter, and we do go back to the dynamic duo in the next chapter. I'm hoping there's enough to pull the reader through this chapter to the next one. The reaction here seems mixed.

On 08/09/2019 at 4:53 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Something feels a little disingenuous to me to have E and M acting so credulous and serious about "discovering" T's "crime." Could M really resist gloating that well? Is E really that blinded to M's methods of operation that she doesn't suspect ANYTHING is amiss? Also, haven't we already gone over this info, from the "proper" perspective? I am unsure what reviewing it in deception mode is doing for me-the-reader.

Not sure about E being credulous, it is right near the start of her world being upturned after all. The reader does need to believe in M's self-control. I'm hoping some of Q's background on him added to earlier chapters will make that easier to believe. 

On 08/09/2019 at 4:53 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I admit to skimming E's descent to rock bottom. Not that it's not realistic, but the story just seems to wallow in it.

I've made some changes with the aim of softening that a bit, leaving a couple of morsels of her corp-btch persona. I'm trying to make it just a bit less wallow-y, while retaining the general principle. 

On 08/09/2019 at 4:53 PM, industrialistDragon said:

When it gets to E going to see the sheriff I'm interested again. I like seeing the kill from another perspective and getting new information. I'm not terribly interested in M's snow job on E and generally being a mustache-twirling villain. 

I'm glad there's something to bring you back into the chapter. Note what you say about villain. I do need a villain, but there's been quite a lot of chat about him being played up to be sooo bad. Perhaps I will need to adjust that. Will see as things develop, I hope.

On 08/09/2019 at 4:53 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Unfortunately, I started skimming on the drive out to the site again. It's not bad on its own, but the accretion of multiple, highly-detailed travel scenes is starting to wear on me.

That's fair enough. As I say, I have trimmed this down. I do want some travel to build the tension for the 'reveal'. Hopefully there is less to skim now :lol: 

On 08/09/2019 at 4:53 PM, industrialistDragon said:

The stuff with E and T is good, but with so much detail and plot happening in their POVS and switching back and forth so much, it really makes me wonder who the protagonist actually is in this series. Q and M are on the title, but they've done very little so far, and almost seem more like comedic interludes to this, the real plot.

Hmm, yeah, okay. I accept there is a lighter vibe to their sections, and I think it just comes from their dynamic, of course. E is the one with the immediate problem. It is quite a bit darker, but I think that helps the contrast between the sections. I hope it highlights that Q/and/M are heading for a dark place.

Really appreciate your comments, as always, thanks so much for reading. Lots to think about!! :) 

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Hey, Silk, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

I agree with everyone who's commented that E seems very different from when we've seen her in previous chapters. It does make her a bit more sympathetic, but it also feels very abrupt. The story does also seem to wallow tad too long in her misery towards the middle of the chapter before she makes the decision to head out to the sheriff's office, and I think seeing some of that corporate toughness reassert itself a little sooner might help drive things forward a bit quicker.

Yeah, I hope I've addressed this through the various comments on this chapter. I have upped her corporate personality slightly, and hope the anger comes through as much as the self-pity. Plus, there are fewer words, which I trust adds to make it improved in these areas.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

But it's extremely difficult to imagine that corporate espionage at this level, which includes an ongoing threat to the general populace, wouldn't trigger a police investigation, especially considering T.'s status as "presumed dead or missing."

Yup, there's some handwavium going on here, relying on the reader belief that M is pulling various strings. I have introduced a mayoral edict to Sh'f. Kotk to allow Gen latitude. I hope it's implied that the mayor of YK didn't do that without some encouragement from on high somewhere.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

E jumps from realizing that she might be in some hot water over the login  to assuming she's being scapegoated, but is still willing to withhold information from the police on behalf of that company for some reason. It just feels like a lot of characters are willing to go to extreme lengths to climb the corporate ladder. Maybe the setting is just more dystopian than I thought?

Err, okay. I have tweaked E's mindset a but, in that she thinks she can retrieve her situation, rescue T and her career. Another part of my response might well be Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, etc.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

too am eager for E to make the leap to realizing that Mor may be the accomplice himself, and I do think there's lots of opportunity for tension and stakes-raising here. The chapter just didn't quite do it for me as is.

Noted.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

Again we start with a "three days earlier..." time jump. My first thought when we encounter these--especially when there's more than one of them, and with recurring to characters--is always to wonder why the chapters couldn't have just been written in sequential order.

I hear you. That would have meant a huge slug of E and M POV and a massive gap to QM POVs.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

More to the point, I found myself nodding along with @Mandamon's comment that this isn't really adding anything we didn't already know, and I think that's one of the reasons I'm having trouble with the POV-and-time-shifts. The shifts between POVs before have basically given us different perspectives on the same events rather than moving the story forward.

I'll need to think on this as the reaction seems to be mixed.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

It seems to me that T's disappearance for a few days might have been overlooked, but I'm seriously wondering how the security breach and the MTs getting loose, and possibly their mauling of T (since we know there were witnesses) did not end up in local media. For that matter, even if it wasn't in the local media, E seems relatively high up the food chain at this organization. Shouldn't she have been called in for this kind of emergency?

I've included a bit at the start of this chapter where E does more the challenge M on why she was not informed. Also, there is more evidence of higher level interference with what might be called the news flow.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

Ah, E wonders the same thing herself. Glad it was brought up in the text. Though it still begs the question of why Mor didn't suspend her sooner, especially if he is looking to cover this up.

The answer to this now is that it ties in with the alibi he's constructed for himself

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

Top of p6, "The human prick..." I really stumbled over this one, since everyone (except the Sy, I suppose) is human in this story. Isn't "prick" more common? Or is this a regional thing?

Nah, it was just supposed to sound funny. Oh and @Silk, can I ask you abbreviate s-y-r-e-n, please, in your original post?

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

p7 "T was missing presumed dead" you need a comma between "missing" and "presumed"

Thank you :) 

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

E. goes to visit the sheriff's office (which probably should be a police detachment?) and it occurs to me that we've seen no police activity on this so far. Of course the company would be doing its own internal investigation, but given that the security breach has lead to at least one person missing/presumed dead and the ongoing threat from the MTs, surely there should be an active police investigation going on. Could give you some opportunities to increase the tension, too. E being hammered by investigators while she's at her worst might be a fun scene.

Because the story takes place in the North American Fed, I'm assuming the US system has been applied to Canada in this future. I'm hoping the level of police activity is better explained now with some additions. Basically, there has been some political interference.  

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

Okay, the office politicking is really starting to lose me at this point. I get E being concerned that this might end her career, and even thinking that she might be being set up as a scapegoat within the company, but she's willing to mislead the sheriff/police about T being missing? Is Mor just hoping E won't say anything to the police about T having been mauled by MTs, even though he's the one who showed E the tapes? Is he hoping she will say something for some reason? And why on earth does E keep her mouth shut here?

I think I've cleaned up some of these loose ends thanks to all the various. Mor always had informed the sheriff, as Ktk tells E. One of the issues, I think, is that the reader knows so clearly that Mor did it, but E doesn't. I've added a line where M confirms to E that he's informed Ktk that T is missing.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

Another thing that raised my eyebrows: the sheriff is willing to bring E to the site of what is presumably about to be an active investigation.

Apparently so... :unsure: 

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

Bottom of P15, "...pull her zip tight" probably you meant zipper.

I think it's a UK/CAN thing. We call a zipper a zip.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:
On 05/09/2019 at 3:11 PM, Mandamon said:

I think E should catch on that M has already done the work and is getting her to go over it again?

I agree. That would help make the eventual shift to E realizing that Mor's actually involved in all this.

I think this is clearer now.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:
On 05/09/2019 at 3:11 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 18: "Mostly deer, she guessed"
--this is a looooong way to go before saying the MTs haven't killed anyone.

Yep. Might help with the "wait why are they bringing her to a crime scene?!" reaction I had too.

Right, there's more certainty here now. They are definitely animals, and no humans corpses. That was the case before, it just wasn't clear, I think.

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

I actually thought this worked. Even E notes that Mor is quite stressed out, and as readers we already know that things haven't gone to plan, so I don't have a problem with him not gloating.

Hurrah!

On 09/09/2019 at 4:11 AM, Silk said:

Yeah, I'm feeling this a little too. I do feel that the Q&M chapters are starting to carry a little more weight, but if not for the title I wouldn't consider them protagonists any more than E and her crew.

Well, E is an important character. GC in Book 1 got a fair amount of POV, but he clearly was the antagonist, so I guess that felt different. I'm hoping that WRS is playing a part in this, but I guess only a complete alpha read will get to the bottom of it.

Thanks so much for reading, Silk. I'm exhausted now! Responding can be hard work :lol: 

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1 hour ago, Robinski said:

Nah, it was just supposed to sound funny. Oh and @Silk, can I ask you abbreviate s-y-r-e-n, please, in your original post?

Well, it DID sound funny, so mission accomplished.

Post is abbreviated now, sorry that one slipped by me.

1 hour ago, Robinski said:

Thanks so much for reading, Silk. I'm exhausted now! Responding can be hard work :lol: 

Can't make it too easy for you! ;)

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4 hours ago, Robinski said:

so I guess that felt different

I distinctly remember giving that exact same critique during that book too. :P :lol:

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11 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I distinctly remember giving that exact same critique during that book too. :P :lol:

:lol:  Well, you've got me there... As noted, I will sweep the issue under the carpet for now. :D  

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