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Robinski

Robinski - 190909 - TCC Chapter 09 - 3556 words (L)

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Hiya, hiya, hiya,
 
Well, you don't see that too often. Here is Chapter 09, submitted on the 9th day of the 9th month, 2019!!
 
You'll be glad to hear it is not 9,000 words long however, only a measly 3.5K. As usual, any and all comments will be grateful appreciate and dissected in reasonable detail in due course. I'm working on the Chapter 07 comments, but hope to be through the novel I'm critiquing on the side by Tues/Wed and therefore back in full swing in responding to all the great comments from past submissions.
 
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;
08 - E discovers T's disappearance, is suspended by DM then goes to see the YK sheriff. He takes her to a kill site, but it's only animals, not T
 
Cheers, Robinski
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7 hours ago, Robinski said:

You'll be glad to hear it is not 9,000 words long

Thank goodness!

In all, I thought this was a good chapter, if a little rough. We're back to Q&M's desperate bantering, which is always a plus. I though a few of the insults near the beginning were sort of generic, but other than that good. I'm mainly having a problem (somewhat continued from last chapter) with Q's motivations. There are more bits and pieces of his old life thrown in, but I'm still not completely clear on why he's so willing to risk everything in this. I think addressing some of the concerns in the last 2-3 Q&M chapters will help clear these up.

And I believe this is the first completely new chapter I've read this time, right? On to new words!

Notes while reading

pg 2: "Plane was only the quickest way to "
--the plane?

pg 3: "they will hang this on me"
--this what? escaping from the police? The murder? 

pg 4: "the dirty vial...it also represented proof"
--I vaguely remember this from the last chapter, but do we know what it is or why M planted it? What is it going to prove?

pg 4: "even without K being there to meet them"
--Would K have any way to get there faster than them? Why is this a concern?

pg 5: "You’ll crash us, you lunatic!"
--I thought they were already crashing?

pg 6: “Sometimes, it was just me and M.”
--Good detail. So Q knows him very well!

pg 6: "trying to scratch its own back"
--it's trying to go in loops?

pg 7: "Perhaps a suppressed desire to see J again?"
--but she's dead, yes?

pg 8: "blood rushing to his sense of the ridiculous."
--I don't think this joke quite (heh) landed...

pg 9: "Going up against completely unprepared"
--up against him?

pg 11: "The android straightened easily,"
--There wasn't anything about the android in the wreck. What happened to him?

pg 12: "whipping its head back and causing it to stagger"
--hmmm...how resistant are the androids? Can they be stunned? I would guess Q would just hurt his fist on the android's metal face.

pg 13: "As you know, a good punch can seriously injure a human.”"
--huh? But Q punched an android.

pg 13: "The Merrion and everything else"
--oh no! I'm surprised Q didn't swerve back to get it.

pg 13: "it was a symbol of his separation from a life that he was very determined to leave behind, but which had caught up with him at last"
--I'm not fully convinced on Q's change of heart yet. The suit was a big part of the last book and he went to great lengths to keep it safe. I haven't seen that big of a shift in his personality yet.

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Overall

As with the last several installments, I loved this. I think it's going at a good clip and I like seeing more of Q's backstory. I like the humor of the piece too, and I called out some of my favorite lines below.

Generally, I think this entire revision has put the essence of Q and M back into the narrative, that I remember from the first book. I still love their dynamic and how it is changing, and in many ways I think like this book more than book one. I'm interested as well in the B plot as well with the lesbians (go figure) and am just thoroughly engaged.

 

14 hours ago, Mandamon said:

but I'm still not completely clear on why he's so willing to risk everything in this.

This is a good point. He wants to see J again, right? Other than that is it just to tie up loose ends of his life?

14 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 13: "The Merrion and everything else"
--oh no! I'm surprised Q didn't swerve back to get it.

At this point I think I'm as attached to the Merrion as he is!

 

As I go

- pg 4: 

“Can you reconnect the guidance system, Ei?” Qu asked hopefully.

“Not having ejected it from the cabin window per your instruction, sir, no.”

I'm confused by this interplay. Since it didn't toss the thing out the window, couldn't it be reconnected?

- pg 7: because no partner of any calibre liked a man with a hangnail.<-- dead from laughter

- pg 7: 'quite amazingly stupid plan' love it

- pg 13: True, but my analysis suggests that neither of my companion’s punches were good. The risk was minimal <--- OMG yes. The zingers keep coming

- strong ending!

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Like the others, the casual discarding of such an important piece of clothing as that suit didn't sit right with me. At the very least, i feel like I need more support for the decision. Likewise, I'm still unclear what is driving Q to pursue this, especially when it's been one disaster after another for him. M's motives seem to be sheer cussedness and a minor's inability to agree to binding contracts, and I'm fine with those. ;) Q, being the driving force of that section, I feel like needs a bit more than that.

 M & Q have a lot of action in their chapters, and it's good action, but I feel like not a lot really is going on in them, if that makes sense? They've done a very large amount of traveling and called each other a number of amusing names, but we're 9 chapters in and I'm really wondering what they're doing with the plot? It doesn't feel to me like they're very connected at all.  Maybe they only need to show up, Columbo-style, at the halfway point, so that the villains can have more uninterrupted chapter space to set the stage for them? I don't know. They're on-model in a way they weren't in previous versions, and that's a very large improvement that I've been noticing and appreciating. My problem now is, mostly, that they don't seem to be the protagonists, or part of the main plot of the novel. They just keep retreading things I-as-a-reader already know. 

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I stumbled over the start of this chapter, I think because it's not the problem I was expecting to come back to; the last Q&M chapter left off with E being disconnected from the net. I'm also surprised that the characters don't try to address the fact that E has been disconnected in this chapter at all. Have they already tried and failed? 

Does obliterating the registration number on the plane really buy the gang a lot of time? Surely it's not something that anybody would be able to see and check until they're already landed, and the circumstances of their landing are going to be highly suspicious no matter what. 
 
I don't have a ton to say about this chapter, honestly. On its own, I enjoyed it.  Overall, though, I'm getting anxious for Q and M to actually get to Yellowknife and start doing actual case work. Right now it feels like they are spending a whole lot of time getting to the main story. I wonder if perhaps some of these chapters could be condensed and combined? (The same might be true for the other POV chapters as well.) 
 
I'm also getting really anxious to see Q and M having the upper hand for once. They've spent the entire story at a disadvantage (to say the least) and I'd like to see what happens when things actually go well for them, too. 
 
A few little things: 
 
p.9 "Going up against completely prepared" should be "going up against him"

p.10 "...to contemplate his guilty feelings aboutu" extra vowel! Slay it !
 
p.12 "He had it to the passenger door..." should be "he made it," perhaps? 
 
p 12 "...the right blow could cause an live reset" should be "a" 
 
The ambulance android points out that our friend the android is not connected to the Net as if that somehow detracts from his credibility, but I don't really see the connection? 
 
P. 13 "...before someone who gives a **** arrive" should be arrives 
 
Edited by Silk
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So I actually read this one more than a week ago and haven't gotten around to typing up my feedback. Overall, I remember being very engaged and didn't make many notes while reading. The biggest thing I kept thinking about was the order the chapters were coming in regarding POV switches, though I'll refrain from saying much about that because it would probably be better handled by an alpha or beta reading the whole thing straight through. 

Days after reading, I was still thinking about it, but I was also starting to doubt the plausibility of Q's ambulance heist. Wouldn't he just run into the same problem with the ambulance that he has run into with any stolen vehicle? 

Here are the few notes I made while reading

".'..pokers' M grinned at her own joke." I didn't get the joke. But I admit, I almost wasn't going to post this comment because it is probably the kind of joke I wouldn't get in real life, and people would stare at me until someone finally explained it and made it seem really obvious. Or my neighbor tells a joke or says something sarcastic and finds it hilarious when I don't get it. Long story short, take anything about me not getting jokes or sarcasm with a grain of salt. 

"feelings aboutu wrecking" Extra letter. 

I loved the last sentence of this chapter! 

 

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On 9/10/2019 at 7:42 PM, industrialistDragon said:

My problem now is, mostly, that they don't seem to be the protagonists, or part of the main plot of the novel. They just keep retreading things I-as-a-reader already know. 

I more or less agree with this. Q & M are very entertaining, but I know so much they don't. The other POV characters seem to have a much more complicated plot line. 

On 9/10/2019 at 7:42 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Like the others, the casual discarding of such an important piece of clothing as that suit didn't sit right with me.

As someone who hasn't read the whole first book, this didn't really stand out. Maybe it's WRS, I don't think the suit importance was really played up much. I feel the only reason I thought the suit had much significance was because of that one chapter I read of the first book. 

 

On 9/11/2019 at 10:59 AM, Silk said:

oes obliterating the registration number on the plane really buy the gang a lot of time? Surely it's not something that anybody would be able to see and check until they're already landed, and the circumstances of their landing are going to be highly suspicious no matter what. 

I was wondering about this.  

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Hey Mandamon, thanks very much for reading.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

I though a few of the insults near the beginning were sort of generic, but other than that good.

Noted, I'll see what I might do as I read through. (Going though it, I see your point. I've changed a couple up; definitely better.)

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

I'm mainly having a problem (somewhat continued from last chapter) with Q's motivations. There are more bits and pieces of his old life thrown in, but I'm still not completely clear on why he's so willing to risk everything in this. I think addressing some of the concerns in the last 2-3 Q&M chapters will help clear these up.

I've inserted half a page that I think will strengthen this aspect, hopefully considerably. It's a good call, and I think this is the right place for it, when they have a bit of down time to talk.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

And I believe this is the first completely new chapter I've read this time, right? On to new words!

I actually subbed this chapter and the following two in April/May last year before stopping, so these words have been through before.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 2: "Plane was only the quickest way to "
--the plane?

I changed it to 'aircraft'.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "they will hang this on me"
--this what? escaping from the police? The murder? 

The murder, have clarified.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4: "the dirty vial...it also represented proof"
--I vaguely remember this from the last chapter, but do we know what it is or why M planted it? What is it going to prove?

Someone noted the link between the yellowish residue in the vial and the yellow foam coming from one of the bodies. Maybe a smidge of WRS? Although there was another chapter in between. I'll consider the role of the vial in the story. It was discovery written and may not be necessary any more.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4: "even without K being there to meet them"
--Would K have any way to get there faster than them? Why is this a concern?

He wouldn't. Not well worded, not modified.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 5: "You’ll crash us, you lunatic!"
--I thought they were already crashing?

I guess she means 'crash us faster'. The are sort of being forced down, but I think it's clear Q has some control over the decent.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 6: “Sometimes, it was just me and M.”
--Good detail. So Q knows him very well!

Cool. There is more now, going to Q's motivations in going to YK.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 6: "trying to scratch its own back"
--it's trying to go in loops?

A fairly tortured metaphor about the plane fighting against his control.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 7: "Perhaps a suppressed desire to see J again?"
--but she's dead, yes?

No. There was a moment where Q revealed to M that the last he knew of her she had been institutionalised. M expressed shock that he did not know about her current situation.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 8: "blood rushing to his sense of the ridiculous."
--I don't think this joke quite (heh) landed...

Ouch! Yes, I'll reappraise this just now as I edit.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 9: "Going up against completely unprepared"
--up against him?

Yes, ta.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 11: "The android straightened easily,"
--There wasn't anything about the android in the wreck. What happened to him?

I think maybe I need to tag that 80 is loaded into the ambulance, but androids are considered a bit like props, equipment, personals possessions, almost.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 12: "whipping its head back and causing it to stagger"
--hmmm...how resistant are the androids? Can they be stunned? I would guess Q would just hurt his fist on the android's metal face.

True, and I'll flag his pain, but it's more of a balance thing for the android, action and reaction. I figure they still would need to regain balance.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 13: "As you know, a good punch can seriously injure a human.”"
--huh? But Q punched an android.

Oops, yes. The EMT was human before, then I switched them to android. This is a remnant.

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 13: "The Merrion and everything else"
--oh no! I'm surprised Q didn't swerve back to get it.

:lol: 

On 09/09/2019 at 2:50 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 13: "it was a symbol of his separation from a life that he was very determined to leave behind, but which had caught up with him at last"
--I'm not fully convinced on Q's change of heart yet. The suit was a big part of the last book and he went to great lengths to keep it safe. I haven't seen that big of a shift in his personality yet.

Fair enough. I wasn't really planning on shifting his personality that much, but I've added about 300 words to this chapter all aimed at playing up and clarifying his motivation. Thanks for calling this out!

Great comments as ever. Much appreciated.

<R>

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On 10/09/2019 at 4:57 AM, kais said:

As with the last several installments, I loved this. I think it's going at a good clip and I like seeing more of Q's backstory. I like the humor of the piece too, and I called out some of my favorite lines below.

Generally, I think this entire revision has put the essence of Q and M back into the narrative, that I remember from the first book. I still love their dynamic and how it is changing, and in many ways I think like this book more than book one. I'm interested as well in the B plot as well with the lesbians (go figure) and am just thoroughly engaged.

This is just... the best, and is pretty much exactly what I was going for in this story. I'm soooo pleased. I know it's not working for all, and there is more in this chapter now on `q's motivation, which I hope makes it stronger still for those not quite engaged with the direction of the plot. I'm so completely relieved and delighted that you're feeling the M and Q dynamic is back after that first edit. That was a big concern for me. I'm so excited for the reaction to future chapters as it develops.

On 10/09/2019 at 4:57 AM, kais said:

This is a good point. He wants to see J again, right? Other than that is it just to tie up loose ends of his life?

As noted in response to Mandamon, I've added a page of stuff going towards Q's motivation. It is about guilt over how he left J, and recognising Q's role in J's downfall, but also that M and TOM had roles in that downfall too.

On 10/09/2019 at 4:57 AM, kais said:

At this point I think I'm as attached to the Merrion as he is!

:lol:  Canada in Winter, I just couldn't swing it for this story, the damage would have been irrevocable. He does have a wardrobe change coming up though. Maybe you remember, maybe you don't.

On 10/09/2019 at 4:57 AM, kais said:

“Not having ejected it from the cabin window per your instruction, sir, no.”

I'm confused by this interplay. Since it didn't toss the thing out the window, couldn't it be reconnected?

There was a bit of a skip ahead. It went out the window in the break between the chapters, it doesn't go out the window 'on the page'. I'll tidy that up.

Great comments. Thank you so much for reading, Kais!! Plenty more zingers to come, I trust. :D 

Edited by Robinski
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On 11/09/2019 at 0:42 AM, industrialistDragon said:

Like the others, the casual discarding of such an important piece of clothing as that suit didn't sit right with me. At the very least, i feel like I need more support for the decision. Likewise, I'm still unclear what is driving Q to pursue this, especially when it's been one disaster after another for him. M's motives seem to be sheer cussedness and a minor's inability to agree to binding contracts, and I'm fine with those. ;) Q, being the driving force of that section, I feel like needs a bit more than that.

Thanks so much for reading, ID,

I've added a fair bit about Q's motivation, so hopefully that helps address this issue. In relation to the suit, well, he doesn't really have much choice in the matter. I called out its symbolic importance more, but I don't think I can have him going back for it.

On 11/09/2019 at 0:42 AM, industrialistDragon said:

but I feel like not a lot really is going on in them, if that makes sense?

Sure. I think it does, and there is more of an exchange now in the plane, and more exchange going forward, so hopefully this will be better.

On 11/09/2019 at 0:42 AM, industrialistDragon said:

They're on-model in a way they weren't in previous versions, and that's a very large improvement that I've been noticing and appreciating.

Phew. I'm repaved to hear that :) 

On 11/09/2019 at 0:42 AM, industrialistDragon said:

My problem now is, mostly, that they don't seem to be the protagonists, or part of the main plot of the novel. They just keep retreading things I-as-a-reader already know.

I hear you, and that it a danger with the format, I suppose. I hope there is a bit more portaging coming (fairly) soon!

Thank you for reading. Very much appreciate your comments :) 

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Hey, Silk - really appreciate you reading. I'm bracing myself... let's go!

On 11/09/2019 at 3:59 PM, Silk said:

I stumbled over the start of this chapter, I think because it's not the problem I was expecting to come back to; the last Q&M chapter left off with E being disconnected from the net. I'm also surprised that the characters don't try to address the fact that E has been disconnected in this chapter at all. Have they already tried and failed? 

Good point. I've called that out a bit more.

On 11/09/2019 at 3:59 PM, Silk said:

Does obliterating the registration number on the plane really buy the gang a lot of time? Surely it's not something that anybody would be able to see and check until they're already landed, and the circumstances of their landing are going to be highly suspicious no matter what.

Maybe. Q does cal out previously that there is tracking on them, it's just supposed to buy them a minute or two. I take you point. A thing that occurred to me was if there's an APB out on Nat's plane, they'll still be able to see the colour, etc. It's a bit hand-wavy, I'll admit.

On 11/09/2019 at 3:59 PM, Silk said:

On its own, I enjoyed it.  Overall, though, I'm getting anxious for Q and M to actually get to Yellowknife and start doing actual case work. Right now it feels like they are spending a whole lot of time getting to the main story. I wonder if perhaps some of these chapters could be condensed and combined? (The same might be true for the other POV chapters as well.)

Yeah, it's my overriding concern in all of this. There are more road scenes to come and I'm looking at what to cut.

On 11/09/2019 at 3:59 PM, Silk said:

I'm also getting really anxious to see Q and M having the upper hand for once. They've spent the entire story at a disadvantage (to say the least) and I'd like to see what happens when things actually go well for them, too.

This is very interesting. I think there was a comment before about things being too easy, so actually, I'm pretty pleased to hear this :) 

On 11/09/2019 at 3:59 PM, Silk said:

The ambulance android points out that our friend the android is not connected to the Net as if that somehow detracts from his credibility, but I don't really see the connection?

I was going for the implication that only 'bad' androids get disconnected, so yes, it does go to credibility. Kind of supposed to be funny, but maybe not.

Really appreciate your comments, Silk. Thank so much for reading :) 

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Hi SSmooth, always glad to have your comments :) 

On 23/09/2019 at 1:30 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

Overall, I remember being very engaged and didn't make many notes while reading.

Cool, I'll take that as a starting point ;) 

On 23/09/2019 at 1:30 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

The biggest thing I kept thinking about was the order the chapters were coming in regarding POV switches, though I'll refrain from saying much about that because it would probably be better handled by an alpha or beta reading the whole thing straight through.

I like this perspective, and do agree that alpha/beta would be a better perspective to assess it. It must be weird doing it on a weekly basis.

On 23/09/2019 at 1:30 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

Days after reading, I was still thinking about it, but I was also starting to doubt the plausibility of Q's ambulance heist. Wouldn't he just run into the same problem with the ambulance that he has run into with any stolen vehicle?

Ha, ahem. This is a darn good point. The whole vehicle thing is massively inconvenient, actually. So, for ambulances, I'm thinking that they cannot so easily be disabled. They might need to be driven fast (most likely by android), and therefore making them shut down for erratic driving might be contra responding to an emergency. As to remote immobilisation, I kind of think the same issues might apply. Maybe the sheriff needs some kind of court order, which makes it a bit impractical.

On 23/09/2019 at 1:30 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

I didn't get the joke. But I admit, I almost wasn't going to post this comment because it is probably the kind of joke I wouldn't get in real life, and people would stare at me until someone finally explained it and made it seem really obvious. Or my neighbor tells a joke or says something sarcastic and finds it hilarious when I don't get it. Long story short, take anything about me not getting jokes or sarcasm with a grain of salt.

It's a torture joke, red hot pokers being flowers, but also things used historically for purposes of torture (I gather). In terms of what Nat will do to Q with the flowers he does or does not take her.

On 23/09/2019 at 1:30 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

I loved the last sentence of this chapter! 

Cool. I haven't changed it :) 

On 23/09/2019 at 1:35 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

I more or less agree with this. Q & M are very entertaining, but I know so much they don't. The other POV characters seem to have a much more complicated plot line. 

Yeah, this is it in a nutshell: it's kind of the style of the stories, but also the risk of playing the two timelines. I feel that I'm stuck with it, but no doubt we'll come back to this if 'we' get to the end, and know  how it all plays out.

On 23/09/2019 at 1:35 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

As someone who hasn't read the whole first book, this didn't really stand out. Maybe it's WRS, I don't think the suit importance was really played up much. I feel the only reason I thought the suit had much significance was because of that one chapter I read of the first book.

Yeah. I've called it out a bit more, but in essence, the suit's important is supposed to be in the background here. As I noted, he's not going to go back for it and end up getting them caught.

On 23/09/2019 at 1:35 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

I was wondering about this.

Hand-wave, hand-wave, "This is not the plane you're looking for."

Thanks for reading, and many thanks for the comments! Most helpful :) 

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