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shatteredsmooth

Junk Junction Sub 6 (chapter 10) (4107 words) (V) Sept. 2 2019

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Content Warning: There is kid versus possessed mannequin fighting, so I put "V" for violence. 
 
Hi All,
 
So  my biggest concern about this one is the fight with the mannequins. I like writing fight scenes, but I am not good at writing fight scenes people can actually follow. 
 
Otherwise, any other feedback is welcome. As usual, don't worry about grammar and typos. I'll save that for when the content is solid. 
 
Thanks!
 
A couple side notes:
 I realize a few items from the vampire hunting kit (the one E took in Ch. 1) are used, though I realize said kit hasn't been mentioned since then. Their use probably seems to come out of nowhere in this chapter, so when I make up my mind, I will either go back and remove it completely or set it up better. 
 
One thing I may also need to clarify at some point is that the mannequins themselves are just mannequins. It's the ghosts possessing and controlling them that have power to make them move and to turn people into things. 
 
 
 
Last time:
Ch. 1-2: E's mom gets turned into a mannequin in an antique shop. A haunted doll helps E's and the shop dog escape the same fate. 
Ch. 3-4: E gathers supplies from Junk Junction and does research in a library. Then they venture out to find food and a psychic. They meet D, a 13-year-old psychic whose mom is missing. They think D's mom's disappears is related to E's mom and Mx.R getting turned into mannequins.  
Ch. 5-6: E & D do research in D's mom's office. D tells E more about the circumstances surrounding her mom's disappearance.  In the morning, the two kids return to the shop, only to find the mannequins gone and the phrase "come find me" spelled out with teacups. 
Ch. 7: E & D return to Junk Junction, only to find the mannequins missing along with an assortment of other items. They go to D's house, and find some of the missing items are there along with another message from M. 
Ch. 8-9: E & D get back to the office safe. A makes a mess throwing books around and finds an journal with some potentially useful information. E learns how to more clearly sense ghosts and their energy. The next morning, E, D, and A leave for the mill. On the way, they discover a river full of bones presumably stolen from their graves by M in an attempt to find A's bones. 
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On 9/2/2019 at 10:01 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

One thing I may also need to clarify at some point is that the mannequins themselves are just mannequins. It's the ghosts possessing and controlling them that have power to make them move and to turn people into things. 

Yes! And before this point. I have a lot of comments about how they move below.

Overall, I thought this chapter was good, but there's a lot of things that could be tidied up about the fight. I didn't have much trouble following the physical action, but this is where some of the worldbuilding starts to fall down because it hasn't been set up enough.

Mostly this chapter is very tense, and moves fast. I've marked some sections where it doesn't.

My two biggest concerns were 1) I don't know how mannequins move (do they have joints?) and 2) A's silence is disappointing. Now that we're into the supernatural part of things, I would expect A to play a much bigger part. Instead, they've been replaced by a sword.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "wishing A hadn’t expended so much of his energy earlier with the bones"
--Yeah, in retrospect, that does seem kind of dumb (or plot-ful) to have done that when you know you're on the way to fight a big evil spirit.

pg 1: "Perhaps they’d temporarily abandoned the work site because of the haunting and expected to get back to it any day."
--This gets back to the worldbuilding question of who many people believe in ghosts and how seriously.

pg 2: "The construction equipment was still, but I pictured it bursting to live any minute, controlled by ghosts I couldn’t see."
--Wait, are they at the mill or a construction site? Are they renovating the mill or something? Maybe you mentioned this before and it's WRS.

pg 2: There's a long aside here about religion and acceptance. It's a good discussion, but I'm not sure right here is the place for it.

pg 2: "large door at the bottom of the building"
--This is the mill, yes? Is it in the construction site? I'm confused by where they are.

pg 2: "the ghosts"
--This is plural now? I thought the one in the mannequin was the only one?

pg 3: "You have any input?”
--This sounds too old and analytical for E. Maybe "thoughts" or "ideas" instead.

pg 3: "and rubbed her lips together like she was trying to even out the amount of gloss on them."
--that's a strange comparison, especially for a young-ish person.

pg 3: "wide like in most mills"
--how many mills has E been in?

pg 4: "We know that M is possessing a mannequin, and that she can turn other people into mannequins. We know that if we look in her eyes, we can get turned into mannequins."
--Except...they don't really know any of that, do they? They assume both, and I don't think there was ever a test of the eye thing.

pg 4: "old fashioned earplugs."
--They're not really old fashioned. They're still in general use. Maybe "simple earplugs" or "plain earplugs?"

pg 5: good tension so far, though. Searching through a creepy mill builds up the suspense a lot.

pg 5: "D’s Mom"
--or, you know, E's mom.

pg 6: "Maybe I need to actually wear this around my necks for it to work.”
--1) where did these come from? 2) necks -> neck, 3) why wasn't that the first thing she tried rather than keeping it in a pocket?

pg 7: "led us to another construction worker turned mannequin"
--Another??? was there a first one?

pg 8: "But the mannequin just stayed lifeless and still"
--I don't think anyone's identified M as the source of the song, though it makes sense. Also, we haven't yet seen the mannequins do anything BUT be lifeless and still. They're mannequins. Can they actually move at all?

pg 8: “You think I would let you trap me so easily?”
--ok, well I guess she speaks at least. That's more than we've known about M so far.

pg 8: "Plastic feet clanked on the floor."
--Ah, so they can move.

pg 8: "I almost screamed."
--Almost? I think I would have screamed and probably wet myself.

pg 8: "They inched towards"
--Details here! We don't know how mannequins move. Do their knees bend? Do they shuffle creepily? Does the plastic move, or do they shift at joints? There's a big chance for a creep factor here.

pg 9: "But A didn’t come out of the doll."
--This is starting to get annoying. Is there any hint of why? Did A just exert too much, or is there another reason?

pg 9: "Don’t look in their eyes or anywhere near their faces, and don’t stand too still. Keep moving, even if it just a little."
--I was going to ask if the eye applies to all mannequins, or just M. Is not standing still just so they don't freeze up, or for some other reason? 

pg 10: "Maybe I can cut through it with the blade.” 
--I'm assuming this is the sword of unknown powers?

pg 10: "would all the mannequins all rush me?"
--How close are they? I feel like they're pretty close for E to be able to swing at them, but standing that close and not doing anything lessens the tension. If they're that close, I would expect one of the kids to make a run for it. I mean, they're just mannequins, after all.

pg 11: "slashed it down across the stomach of the allegedly still alive construction worker"
--huh? I would assume they would target Dar. because it doesn't matter if that mannequin gets messed up.

pg 11: "Dar. broke the circle wobbled closer."
--missing a word. Also, "wobbled" is not very intimidating.

pg 11: "lurched me like a zombie"
--"at me," also, There's a lot of description of feet/legs moving, but not of hands. A person is going to react to reaching hands a lot more than shuffling feet.

pg 11: "hot plastic hand closed around my wrist"
--better, but this is the first time a mannequin's hand has been mentioned. Do the fingers bend? Does it have joints?

pg 12: "because my old dog "
--nope, don't need a flashback to another dog right now. We're tense and in a fight. This kills the tension.

pg 12: "White stream poured out"
--is this one of the "alive" ones, the "empty" ones, or the "ghost" ones? Important to know if E just killed a person, or released a ghost...

pg 12: "Her foot got stuck to it."
--like stuck to it's torso? This is a new and terrifying thing they can do. They don't need to use their hands then. They can just walk into E and D and stick to them. Why did they even try to weave a net?

pg 13: "but not the one that had her."
--redundant. Obviously not.

pg 13: "and ghost energy hissed out "
--so the ghosts do this? And the empty ones just lay there, I guess?

pg 13: "plastic mannequin I’d knocked down, which had been slowly crawling towards me."
--crawling is also very creepy.

pg 13: "I looked back at the one the ghost had one into "
--Something wrong with this sentence.

pg 13: "There was a crunchy pop and the mannequin’s arm came out of its socket"
--when did they grab on to a mannequin? I lost something in the blocking here.

pg 14: "as it turned to rotten flesh"
--the ghost mannequins do this? Ick, but they haven't before.

pg 14: "A may not have turned up to do his share of the fighting"
--this doesn't feel right. Their "magic power" of A fighting from a doll has been turned into a different "magic power" of the sword, which basically replaced it. It feels like a let-down that A didn't engage the mannequins (they? he?) told the others about.

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Comments! From me!!! On a Wednesday morning!!!!

(page 1)

- "was like a cloud of angry, needle like icicles behind me, and ahead" - I read 'cloud of angry' and thought that was good, that I got completely confused. 'needle-like' needs a hyphen, wouldn't have read it three times trying to understand the context. Honestly, I'd drop the rest, 'cloud of angry' sounds great!

- "which fit in bag even less well than the doll"

- "knew it was about to be used and was excited" - Stormbringer, the Black Blade!!! :o Run for your lives!!!

(page 2)

- "Holding on to the pole post it ended at" - IMO.

- The "believe in me" line is great. The grammar of the sentence about how true the faiths, is messy, IMO.

- "large door at the bottom of the building" - This sounds like it's on a different level from them, but I guess this just means ground floor? It's a bit disorienting.

- "At least that meant the door wasn’t going to slam shut behind us" - How's that? Because they can crawl underneath without opening it?

(page 4)

- "so much better if we had an experienced adult with us" - I appreciate the sentiment, but it's expressed in a very formal and rather stilted way. Like the way an adult would say it in that situation. I think it could be more in voice / on tone, expressed in a more childlike way... > Ah, it's a set up line. Okay, the pay off from E is good, but D's line still sounds a bit clunky to me.

- "burrowing into my ears" - bleeeeeuuuchh! :( 

- "though I would not have minded old fashioned earplugs" - not quite sure of the point of this bit.

(page 6)

- "bone crushing grip" - I didn't get this sense when they held hands (which was a nicely done moment).

- "salt water" - why salt water" I don't remember this.

- There's something wrong with the light holding: who's holding who's light? Who says 'hold my light'?

(page 7)

- "Where the smoke touched" - because it's warm, the smoke probably will go straight up to the ceiling, rather than out. Try lighting a taper and see.

- D could take her flashlight back. Seems weird that E has two flashlights and a dog and D has a free hand, presumably.

- "shone the light" - E has two lights, but there's only reference to one in the last page, I think.

- "another construction worker turned" - another? Is it WRS? I don't remember the first one.

- What are these mannequins doing, just standing around? They're not very scary. I feel there should be more threat, that the kids should be feeling more feet. I want more tension at this point. e.g. E imagined turning the torch on at first and seeing a bunch of faces looking back: that was scarier than encountering these mannequins.

- "started out targeting" - What does M get out of it? I'm not sure about motivation.

- "didn’t have people to miss them" - How would M know that?

(page 8)

- "thorny vines of fear" - you say this, but I've not been feeling the fear as they encounter the mannequins, and this is kind of telling me to be afraid.

- "incense cutting through the abnormal darkness" - I don't buy this I'm afraid, for reasons stated previously. The length of time required for the intense to fill that kind of space laterally to produce the effect, I think would be far longer than the stick of intense would last, or smoke it could produce.

- "We were surrounded" - How could they not see that with torches? Oh, the abnormal darkness? Meh, I'm really not sold not he intense/darkness thing yet.

(page 9)

- "like an actual gremlin" Umm, expect gremlins ain't real.

- "Don’t look in their eyes" I think this line should come sooner.

(page 10)

- "watch" - I feel the threat level is confused. 'watch' is not an urgent thing. I think it needs to be clearer that there is a standoff (I presume?) and that as long as they don't look in the eyes (of all the mannequins, or just M?) they can't be harmed by them. Is that right, that the mannequins can't strangle them (for example)?

- "The cord connects to the life" - Hmm, where does this come from? How does D know that?

- Who is Dar? I don't remember him.

(page 11)

- E was going to feel the net, but D is the one calling the ghost energy. That's kind of confusing. So the net is different, not formed from ghost energy. Also, I've not got any sense of this spectral net: what is it supposed to do? There is a much more real and present physical 'web' of actual mannequins in front of them, but it doesn't seem to be much threat at all. I'm not really feeling enough of a specific threat, and therefore my focus is kind of split and confused.

- Good action and 'fencing'/combat on this page. My only issue is I'm not sure how E can make these attacks that sound like they are flat to the target, which would require the wrist to be at a very awkward attacking angle. In this situation, facing a target, attacks normally would be thrusting with the point, or slashing with the tip or edge of the sword, depending on the type of sword (which I'm not sure has been set up).

(page 12)

- The sentence with the hiss and the 'thank you' (two words, obvs), is kind of confused.

- More good fight action on this page, unexpected things happening, and following pretty logically from the action before. I'm liking the fight. Tidying it up will make it stronger and tighter still.

(page 13)

- "ceased moving" - This is out of character voice, for me.

- "one of the animals" - Huh? I thought it was just G? What is the other animal?

- "came out of its socket" - LOL, but also kind of eww. That's good! :) 

(page 14)

- "stabbed the sword down into the mannequins gut" - So, isn't this going to harm the person inside when they change back? If the answer is because E knows that is not a 'person' mannequin, then I have to say I'm completely confused over which one is which. Maybe E and D know, but I don't.

- "laughing or hyperventilating" - good, I think we need more of this little emotional stress flags, certainly earlier on as they are making their way through the basement/building, to ramp up the tension.

- "that had ghost energy in them" - this sounds like they still do, but I presume they don't now.

Overall 

The fight is good, lots of good elements and quite nasty and icky details. I liked that a good deal, but I think it needs tidied up (not just in the grammar, missing words, typos, etc.- remember: proofreading services on offer. I want to read this whole thing again.)

Where I felt this chapter lacked was in the tension department. The lead up going through the basement lacked the tension that I wanted. Then there was the issue with the smoke from an incense stick, which is never going to fill that volume of space. Finally, a big issue for me was the M had drawn them into the ambush, but seemed to play no part in it, and at the end, where is M? Just standing in the corner, or gone? I think you need to flag that M has left on seeing that the attack has not been successful. 

Another thing, when the fight is ongoing, there's nothing about not liking in the eyes of the mannequins. I think that needs to be a constant threat and they need to keep reminding each other, and maybe almost looking in the eyes, but managing to shut there's or look away just in time. Maybe E glances at the eyes of one mannequin and starts to feel weird, but D pushes E to the side and breaks the stare. I just think we need to see the threats that you have already set up (M and the stare) playing some part in the fight.

Good job though, a good chapter, which I would have ripped through really quickly if not stopping to make comments. I'm still invested in what's going to happen but would be even more so if the above points are addressed.

Thanks for sharing :) 

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Okay, so this is the first sub I'm commenting on, but I have read the earlier chapters in the last couple of weeks. Same caution I've given everyone else so far: My experience of the pacing, etc. is going to be coloured by the fact that I've read these chapters in quick succession rather than on a weekly basis.

If detailed critiques of the earlier chapters are still useful for you, let me know and I'll get to them when I can. For now I'm going to focus on the current sub and keep my comments about the early chapters very general:
 
I would very much like to get a sense of the place magic holds in this world. Is this a typical urban fantasy, where magic exists more or less at the margins and the only people who know about it are the people involved in it? The later chapters in particular suggest that maybe this is the case, but E is so surrounded by people who know magic and know about magic that it's hard to tell (and also hard to tell where E themself falls on the belief spectrum, as they seem to accept magic and the things that are happening to them quite readily). The early chapters escalated from "kid being scared of mannequins" to "people turned into mannequins" quite quickly, but I don't think I would have a problem with this if I knew that this was a world where magic was more prominent/accepted by the people living in it. 
 
I also think that E's developing romantic interest in D is really well-handled, which continues into the current chapter.
 
My other general comment is that I believe the text mentions that E is 12, but the voice often reads to me as older than that. This is improving in the later chapters, but still noticeable.
 
On to this week's sub: 
 
"If I were a giant, I'd be very tempted to give it a good shove..." Hah! I like this line. Actually, I'm really enjoying the first paragraph overall. Some very evocative description here. 
 
E has been fairly fastidious about using "they/them" pronouns for A, but here (and in the previous sub too, I noticed) shifts back to he/him. 
 
"I wanted to believe, but I also wanted the church to believe in me." Nice character moment here. However, the much more practical comment about "maybe whoever blessed it had enough faith that its power..." took me out of it somewhat.
 
I was surprised when they were suddenly surrounded by mannequins. They had flashlights, didn't they? Were the mannequins always there, or did they move in? There could be an opportunity to both explain the mannequins' approach (if they did indeed approach) and increase the creep factor here, i.e. with spooky noises.
 
The atmosphere is nicely done throughout, including the fight scene with the mannequins, but I'm having a bit of trouble with the blocking, for example P12: "D was standing over an unconscious man." Where did he come from? Is this one of the formerly-mannequins or new information? Same paragraph, D swiping at a bunch of mannequins, and gets stuck to one, which is apparently the same one G is chewing on. And then there's this line: "...without hitting her or one of the animals." I thought there was only the one dog? 
 
That's really the extent of my comments. I'm enjoying the atmosphere and the action of this chapter, but am having some trouble following who's where, doing what.
 
On 9/3/2019 at 7:55 AM, Mandamon said:

this is where some of the worldbuilding starts to fall down because it hasn't been set up enough.

I think @Mandamon is spot on here. We have a bunch of things happening in terms of what's happening with the various different mannequins: some are people, some are ghosts, some are presumably being controlled by M. Maybe all of them? Because we don't entirely know what's going on, and/or are learning some of this for the first time, it makes the characters figuring out how to combat them feel somewhat less meaningful.

That being said, I have been operating under the assumptions that the ghosts have been possessing the mannequins.

I was also somewhat disappointed that A didn't crop up in this chapter but I assume it's because they're saving themself for something more plot significant down the line.

On 9/3/2019 at 7:55 AM, Mandamon said:

--Details here! We don't know how mannequins move. Do their knees bend? Do they shuffle creepily? Does the plastic move, or do they shift at joints? There's a big chance for a creep factor here.

Hard agree. Would love to see more of this, especially since the initial description of the place is so evocative.

On 9/3/2019 at 7:55 AM, Mandamon said:

--like stuck to it's torso? This is a new and terrifying thing they can do. They don't need to use their hands then. They can just walk into E and D and stick to them. Why did they even try to weave a net?

I noticed this as well! if it's a thing they do, it seems like this ability should be made more of just in general.

On 9/4/2019 at 0:00 AM, Robinski said:

- "another construction worker turned" - another? Is it WRS? I don't remember the first one.

I had the same stumbling block.

I will also note that I am also wondering about M's motivation, but have assumed that it will come up during the showdown between M and (I hope?) A.

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So the others did a really good job of covering most everything I had in my line by line, so I'm going to indulge a bit in some prescription and focus a bit on WHY I think certain aspects aren't working, specifically the tension in this chapter and the lead up to it.

(Keep in mind I, like most Sanderson readers, am big on harder magic systems, and this critique is influenced by that.)

I covered last time how I felt like we kept covering the same ground. Up until this point we've been kinda grasping at straws about what's going on. Lots and lots of speculation and different theories, trying to figure out what is going on. Which is fine for a while. That can work and it does during multiple parts of the story (though I still hold that some of these scenes can be combined so you don't have to keep returning to the same places etc).

But by the time this chapter begins, I think time for speculation has past. We and the characters should have a clear grasp on the important aspects of the situation. We should understand the M's motivations. Understand how possession works. Understand how the mannequins move. Understand WHY mannequins (human shaped things are easier to possess maybe). They should also have a clear plan as to how to exorcise these ghosts. 

Now, this isn't to say that all of this information has to be correct. In fact, at this point in the book I'd fully expect some of this information to be flat out wrong (especially bad guy motivation). But learning that they are wrong about something is a scene in and of itself. The tension of this chapter would be much higher if the characters came across as more proactive, with a clear cut plan and understanding of their situation. Especially writing toward middle readers. In my experience, children who read a lot like it when they have a good grasp of what is going on from page to page. The tension leading up to the encounter with the mannequins is good, especially the song and when the song stops that's a great moment, but it's often interrupted by narrative questions that should have been answered previously. 

This also presents an opportunity for you. Right now most of the story feels like one thing going wrong after another so when something does go wrong it doesn't have much impact. This way, when something goes wrong, it can be a major tension building plot point.

I agree with the others about A. He should have a clear role in the group by now. I don't understand why he keeps getting arbitrarily pushed to the background.

I like the budding romantic interest. The actual fight scene is well placed and with a little tightening can be good. I think the narrator's voice is really coming together. They have some good lines and good emotion. I do, however, think they need more personality traits than "non-binary". Even something like, they might not be as experienced as their mom, but they know everything there is to know about... I don't know... baseball cards, or something. Does that make sense? It doesn't even have to be related to antiquing. Just some small things that can help round out the character and give us something to relate to.

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2 hours ago, hawkedup said:

Does that make sense? It doesn't even have to be related to antiquing. Just some small things that can help round out the character and give us something to relate to.

It does! I actually had intended to make E an animal behavior and training nerd, but that kind of got lost as I tried to figure out other things, and resulted in people wondering why there was so much focus on the dog. However, I think in addition to maybe working on that aspect of E's personality, having something that is antique related (I know you said it doesn't have to be) would also work. 

4 hours ago, Silk said:
E has been fairly fastidious about using "they/them" pronouns for A, but here (and in the previous sub too, I noticed) shifts back to he/him. 
 

Yes -- that is because I changed a few bits of backstory and am now using he/him for A throughout the whole narrative, though knowing me I'll probably miss half the they's I need to change on the way through. 

4 hours ago, Silk said:
If detailed critiques of the earlier chapters are still useful for you, let me know and I'll get to them when I can. For now I'm going to focus on the current sub and keep my comments about the early chapters very general:
 

I've made some significant changes to many of the earlier chapters, so don't worry about detailed critiques of them. The general comments you made were very helpful. Thanks you! 

 

Thank you everyone for reading! 

I didn't reply to much yet because I just skimmed the comments tonight and need to read more carefully and digest them before I respond to anything else. :-)

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Things are getting spooky! I like it. 
 
I approve of the !notsage incense. ;) (It might help to play up some of the magical properties of it -- like the smoke not behaving in normal-smoke ways but instead doing magic-smoke things -- to show more that it's having a real effect) 
 
I am not sure if the reminiscing about another dog is really the best thing for the middle of an intense fight scene. It felt a bit out-of-place. 
 
For the fight scene, it's clearer than any other action sequences I've seen you write. I had a decent idea of what was going on, right up until the end, when D goes down. I got confused there. there also seemed to be a reference to more animals being present than just the one dog, which was very confusing. I'm not sure how the kids managed to break the mannequins, either. They were fighting, D went down, something something, everything is fine, is what I got out of the end. 
 
I think @Mandamon has pretty well nailed it with the worldbuilding comment. This is the mannequin's big scene, where it all comes together, so I feel like we really need more description here-and-now and support from the prior chapters. 
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Overall

I'd say in general, strong start, somewhat confusing finish. The build to the battle was appropriately creepy and I loved the walk in. The actual battle I think needs more description, more blocking, and the elements need to be backseeded more thoroughly in the earlier chapters. Looking up, it seems like several other people have mentioned that as well, so I won't belabor it.

Generally though, I thought was one of the strongest chapters of this book you've yet submitted!

As I go

- pg 3: I jumped when A’s doll’s head twitched. Excellent creep here

- pg 6: yes, definitely solid tension through here. Like the part with the rat as well

- pg 10: wait, who is D-A-R-I-N?

- the logic with the sword confuses me. I think I need the cord of energy that connects given as information earlier. It seems plot convenient now

- pg 12: wait. So if the mannequins might still be people, why is the MC okay with the dog tearing one apart?

- pg 13: blocking is off on this page. I'm very confused as to what is going on. Why are arms being torn off? D came flying out of what now?

 

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On 9/3/2019 at 10:55 AM, Mandamon said:

pg 8: “You think I would let you trap me so easily?”
--ok, well I guess she speaks at least. That's more than we've known about M so far.

For some reason my villains are often the last thing I flesh out. M is just starting to come together in my head, so hopefully I can give her more depth on the page as I revise. 

On 9/3/2019 at 10:55 AM, Mandamon said:

pg 7: "led us to another construction worker turned mannequin"
--Another??? was there a first one?

 

On 9/4/2019 at 3:00 AM, Robinski said:

- "another construction worker turned" - another? Is it WRS? I don't remember the first one.

 

 

On 9/7/2019 at 3:46 PM, Silk said:

I had the same stumbling block.

 

I think everyone got tripped  up on this and it was because of a few missing sentences. Ok, maybe a missing a paragraph. The one described was the first one. And then they found a second, and the lines between the two seem to have disappeared...or only ever existed in my head... I went back and added more detail, blocking, and reaction to this bit. 

On 9/3/2019 at 10:55 AM, Mandamon said:

A's silence is disappointing. Now that we're into the supernatural part of things, I would expect A to play a much bigger part. Instead, they've been replaced by a sword.

 

On 9/7/2019 at 6:12 PM, hawkedup said:

I agree with the others about A. He should have a clear role in the group by now. I don't understand why he keeps getting arbitrarily pushed to the background.

Today, after considering this feedback and comments on the next section, I rewrote this part so that A is with them when they go into the mill. He confirms the top floors are empty, and that they need to search the basement. Right around when the song starts, he disappears, and there is uncertainty about whether he deserted them or if something bad happened to him. 

On 9/4/2019 at 3:00 AM, Robinski said:

- "like an actual gremlin" Umm, expect gremlins ain't real.

 

Reworded to something like "the gremlins from that creepy old movie my mom loves" 

 

On 9/4/2019 at 3:00 AM, Robinski said:

- "one of the animals" - Huh? I thought it was just G? What is the other animal?

 

 

On 9/7/2019 at 3:46 PM, Silk said:

And then there's this line: "...without hitting her or one of the animals." I thought there was only the one dog? 

 

On 9/8/2019 at 0:05 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I got confused there. there also seemed to be a reference to more animals being present than just the one dog, which was very confusing

 

Some of you are probably going to laugh at me or cringe or both, but in the very first draft, in addition to G, there was also a cat. The cat got deleted before anyone read the ms...this appears to be the first reference to him that I missed. 

On 9/8/2019 at 0:05 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I approve of the !notsage incense. ;) (It might help to play up some of the magical properties of it -- like the smoke not behaving in normal-smoke ways but instead doing magic-smoke things -- to show more that it's having a real effect)

Yay! I took your advice about playing up the magical properties, though I don't think @Robinski will like it. :lol:

On 9/8/2019 at 7:52 PM, kais said:

Generally though, I thought was one of the strongest chapters of this book you've yet submitted!

 

Yay! Thank you!

@hawkedup Your big picture suggestions were great. Thanks! 

Thank you again to all of you! I did a lot of revision and editing today and think the chapter is shaping up. 

 

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2 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Yay! I took your advice about playing up the magical properties, though I don't think @Robinski will like it. :lol:

No, that's fine, magic explains everything.

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