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Robinski

Robinski - 190924 - TCC Chapter 0B (11) - 3313 words (L)

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Hello,
 
Well, I'm STILL way behind responding to comments, so sorry about that. I thought things would improve last week, but...
 
Any and all comments very much appreciated on this tenth submission.
 
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;
09 - After some chat about the past and Mor, Q dumps N's plane on the tarmac, QME are recovered by EMS and taken to hospital, where they escape;
10 - E runs the gauntlet of the press then releases the Vuls. Q and M progress to YK. Q gets a mystery call. K is on Q's trail and intends to make him pay
 
Cheers, Robinski
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I think this chapter was shaky, for a couple reasons. First, I was about to note that I was starting to skim at the beginning. Q&M are once again going somewhere, but not getting there yet. Then, things started to pick up, and the deer made me think they were going to get into a tangle with the MTs, which would be awesome. But it was just a bear, that attacks for no reason I can see (Q&M didn't approach or threaten). While the section is tense, it reads as a sort of "gotcha" bait and switch from the real scary monsters. Again, I'm not sure what this chapter does to further the story. At this point we have all the pieces in play and need to start seeing interaction between Q&M and the party up in YK. Having another chapter of traveling feels like stretching things out for no reason.
Sorry to be such a downer. I thought it was very well written and there were some very cool moments, just not as useful in this location in the story.

Notes while reading:
pg 4: "Androids were suckers for politeness,"
--that's a cool workaround. I like the message/explanation as well.

pg 5: "you have much to learn about boxer shorts."
--lol

pg 6: "wildlife, you moron"
--ooooo...I have a bad feeling about this.
--Also, why would Q get out of the car at this point? They just stopped for deer crossing the road.

pg 7: "A massive, dark brown shadow..."
--I was not really expecting a threat from a bear, or rather I am expecting something else as well...

pg 9: “Close call, eh!”
--Hmm...So I sort of have a problem with this whole section, as tense as it was. I was fully expecting a MT to come out of the woods, but more than that, why did the bear attack? They were a ways off, from what I can tell, and the bear was, I assume, hunting deer with her cubs. Why would she divert from that to threaten humans? I'll admit I'm not a bear expert, but I would think the bear would know something of the road and know humans use it.

pg 9: "There’s much worse running around in the woods up there, I hear."
--Yeah, still disgruntled by this. I was expecting Q&M to get a glimpse of the monsters.

pg 10: "Priceless Princess?!"
--that's awesome.

pg 11: "The queer clotheshorse"
--great appellation.

pg 13: I'm not sure what the introspection from DM does for the chapter. Again, we pretty much know all of this already. We get a little bit of his history, but nothing we couldn't interpolate. T.O.M. is sort of becoming an empty threat because he keeps being threatening, but nothing so far has happened to Q&M by his making. Their troubles with the police were all pretty much by their own hand.

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Pretty much everything @Mandamon said is the same for me, including where I started to skim. I'm not sure I buy that things are getting out of hand from Mor's perspective. It's seemed like so far everything's gone just about the way he wanted it, with the exception of T (maybe) still being alive (maybe). 

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For some reason I can't find the thread for Chapter 10, so I'm just going to put my comments for both chapters here. 

Something about the voice seemed a little off in both. E's voice felt rushed. Her whole part of the chapter seemed a little rushed. I also felt like the gaps between here and when we last read from her POV were big. I kept feeling like I was missing information about her standing with the sheriff and her finding out M over exaggerated his authority to suspend her. 

"But that was not going to happen. She could retrieve this." Retrieve what? 

Q saying M was griping about being on the move right before M gripes with very similar wording to what Q used felt a little repetitive. 

The strange message raises a lot of questions and makes me think that there is someone else playing that we haven't met. I'm almost wondering if this is the  person or thing that is in the mystery room T and E had been near in one chapter. Granted, it's been a while since I read that so I could be remembering it wrong. 

I did like getting the little snippet from K's point of view. It made me curious to see what his involvement will look like in the end. 

Regarding Chapter 11, I was thinking the same thing as @Mandamon and @industrialistDragon. Q & M are very passive. They are driving, around, sleeping, and reacting to things. I am guessing the unusual animal behavior is because of the MTs, but even with that, it still just seemed a little random, like an unnecessary obstacle that is keeping them from getting to the good stuff. 

I was also trying and failing to figure out how the history lesson played into the plot and why it was important. 

M's POV was interesting. Talking about wanting "out" seemed a little out of nowhere though it definitely added some depth to his character. However, I'm having a hard time with how he seems to think everything is going wrong. He says it is, but the narrative seems to be showing things going more or less in his favor. 

Even though these chapters stumbled a little, I still invested in the story and am looking forward to reading more. 

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As I go

I don't have a lot of detailed comments, but I'm left wondering what the arc and purpose was of this chapter. Q and M are still traveling and got attacked by a bear, not a loose GMO critter. The Mor internal dialogue doesn't appear to move the narrative forward and I'm still unclear as to his connection with Q. It looks like everyone else is in agreement on this so I won't belabor it. The writing was strong, but the momentum lacking.

 

As I go

winding up her middle finger with a tiny imaginary crank handle. <-- BAHAHA

- pg 5: You have a lot to learn about that too <-- this is super patronizing so I'm surprised M didn't react

- pg 7: the 'huge bear' is the GMO creature, right? I'm a bit confused through here. There were deer, and some bear cubs, then a big bear?

- pg 9: oh, so it was the mother. That's a bit disappointing. I thought for sure they were about to meet one of the GMOs

- pg 10 on, you have italics for spoken sentences... oh wait, I see it's for subvocalization 

 

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Hey Mandamon, many thanks for reading.

On 25/09/2019 at 4:45 PM, Mandamon said:

First, I was about to note that I was starting to skim at the beginning. Q&M are once again going somewhere, but not getting there yet.

Yeah, it's always been the issue with this chapter. I'll sum up at the end.

On 25/09/2019 at 4:45 PM, Mandamon said:

Then, things started to pick up, and the deer made me think they were going to get into a tangle with the MTs, which would be awesome. But it was just a bear, that attacks for no reason I can see (Q&M didn't approach or threaten). While the section is tense, it reads as a sort of "gotcha" bait and switch from the real scary monsters.

Okay. Geographically speaking, they are a long way from YK. It's the issue with using a real setting and real tech, I suppose. Mor is on a train, which is much faster. In the original outline, Q and M were going to be on the train with Mor in a kind Hitchcock-ian standoff, but I though there was more chance for them to get into scrapes on the road. Each time I edit this chapter it gets shorter, and it's shorter again. As to the bait-and-switch, for one thing they are just too far away to encounter an MT, for another, I feel like I've read--or certainly watched--such set ups many, many times. That wasn't the intention, but it was the intention put them in contact with real nature first.

I read out on bear attacks fo the purpose of this scene. They are 15m away from the bear, Actually, I'll cut that to 10m, but still, that feels close enough for me that the bear would want to make a point. Again, I'll come back to the overarching issue with the chapter at the end.

On 25/09/2019 at 4:45 PM, Mandamon said:

Again, I'm not sure what this chapter does to further the story. At this point we have all the pieces in play and need to start seeing interaction between Q&M and the party up in YK. Having another chapter of traveling feels like stretching things out for no reason.
Sorry to be such a downer. I thought it was very well written and there were some very cool moments, just not as useful in this location in the story.

And this is my problem to a large extent, I think. Wanting to be true to the geography of the place (having picked the setting), wanting to show them getting in scrapes on the road (which I thought I could do by having E knee deep in the problem itself). So, stretching things out--I don't disagree that it does, but there is a reason, not that that's much consolation.

Please, do not feel any guilt at calling these things. Honesty is paramount, and it's the strength of this group. I won't say its uplifting ( :lol: ), but it's heartwarming to know that I can count of this group for such constructive honesty :) "A wonderfully brutal writing group..."

Overall - yes, I suspect I'm going to get similar comments from the others. I haven't read them yet, but I recognise the veracity in what you say. I'll look again at the Mor scene, I was showing his motivation, but there's a sense of it elsewhere, and this bit is really just background colour in terms of how E-C and Gen fit into society. I think I'm close to the point where I could combine this chapter and the next one by cutting Mor, and another 500 / 750 words.

Many thanks, Mandamon. Invaluable comments, as ever, and no punches pulled. Respect.

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On 25/09/2019 at 11:31 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Pretty much everything @Mandamon said is the same for me, including where I started to skim. I'm not sure I buy that things are getting out of hand from Mor's perspective. It's seemed like so far everything's gone just about the way he wanted it, with the exception of T (maybe) still being alive (maybe). 

Hey, ID, thank you so much for reading, very much appreciated.

Yeah, see above, I guess, for my response. You guys have consistently told me there was an issue here and I've cut and cut and cut each time I go through it. Still, the issue does not go away. I do want to create the feeling of them being on the road, and I think that can work, but it's difficult when there is no direct interaction with the plot.

In relation to Mor, I'm tending towards just cutting his scene entirely, but considering the MTs were supposed to kill T and the rest would play out from there, he's had a lot of additional aggravation. I could hang a lantern on that, perhaps, if I keep his scene, which is unlikely.

Thanks again for reading. Always helpful :) 

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Hey, many thanks for reading, SSmooth. Always glad to have your comments. Possible that fact that it's Chapter 0 A is not helping you find it!! (Apologies for my affectations.) ;) 

Chapter 10

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Something about the voice seemed a little off in both. E's voice felt rushed. Her whole part of the chapter seemed a little rushed. I also felt like the gaps between here and when we last read from her POV were big. I kept feeling like I was missing information about her standing with the sheriff and her finding out M over exaggerated his authority to suspend her. 

"But that was not going to happen. She could retrieve this." Retrieve what?

Right. I think I've tidied up E's chapter (10) a fair bit, but I thank you for calling it out. I think it's better / more consistent, and I think that will aid the continuity of her POV, but we'll see the test in a complete alpha read, which will be the next step when I get through subbing here, which will be about January/February, I think ( :o ), without actually calculating.

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Q saying M was griping about being on the move right before M gripes with very similar wording to what Q used felt a little repetitive.

It's a gag that probably only works in the setting of dramatic performance, and is entirely reliant on timing, which it's pretty much impossible to guarantee on the page. So, maybe I'll cut it, although I think yours is on the only gripe about it, so far. If I ever have an editor (hah!), for this (HAH!), I'll let them call it.

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

The strange message raises a lot of questions and makes me think that there is someone else playing that we haven't met.

Good! :) 

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I'm almost wondering if this is the  person or thing that is in the mystery room T and E had been near in one chapter. Granted, it's been a while since I read that so I could be remembering it wrong. 

:ph34r: 

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I did like getting the little snippet from K's point of view. It made me curious to see what his involvement will look like in the end.

:D  I'm absolutely delighted, as this is pretty much exactly what that scene is there to do. It's a little bit shorter than it was before, but I'll certainly leave it in.

Chapter 11 

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Q & M are very passive. They are driving, around, sleeping, and reacting to things. I am guessing the unusual animal behavior is because of the MTs, but even with that, it still just seemed a little random, like an unnecessary obstacle that is keeping them from getting to the good stuff.

Yeah, see my response to Mandamon. But, yeah, I need to ponder this in a quiet room. I feel that I can't 'jump' them straight to YK. Well, I could, but I would lose the development of the situation in YK. There's no real difference in feel between Crest and YK, so that would become an issue. On the plus side, I continue to cut, cut, cut from these travel chapters, so this middle section will continue to get shorter and shorter.

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I was also trying and failing to figure out how the history lesson played into the plot and why it was important.

None at all. It's colour and it can go at some point, but it is now basically two paragraphs.

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

M's POV was interesting. Talking about wanting "out" seemed a little out of nowhere though it definitely added some depth to his character. However, I'm having a hard time with how he seems to think everything is going wrong. He says it is, but the narrative seems to be showing things going more or less in his favor.

Well, okay. As noted above. T was supposed to die at the jaws of the MT, so he has travelled thousands of miles and killed two people and that was never a part of the plan. He's in control, but the plan is not going as envisaged. I might have to clarify that in his POV, but I'm glad that it added something for you. It does seem that maybe there is a split decision on his POV here.

On 27/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Even though these chapters stumbled a little, I still invested in the story and am looking forward to reading more.

That's great. As I say, there's more cutting to come, which will sharpen things up more, I'm just not sure I can lose them completely. Or I'm not ready to yet.

Thanks so much for reading. Really appreciate the comments. Very helpful. :) 

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Hey kais, many thanks for reading. Much appreciated.

On 30/09/2019 at 3:36 AM, kais said:

I don't have a lot of detailed comments, but I'm left wondering what the arc and purpose was of this chapter. Q and M are still traveling and got attacked by a bear, not a loose GMO critter.

Yeah, see responses above. I'm going to have a long, hard think about it, but there is more cutting to come.

On 30/09/2019 at 3:36 AM, kais said:

The Mor internal dialogue doesn't appear to move the narrative forward and I'm still unclear as to his connection with Q.

Hmm, that's a bit different. I thought I'd tagged that by now, maybe it's in the revisions I've made editing, but I thought it was clear that worked together, and M's role in taking Q's son away from his then wife.

On 30/09/2019 at 3:36 AM, kais said:

It looks like everyone else is in agreement on this so I won't belabor it. The writing was strong, but the momentum lacking.

I mean, I think this pretty much sums up the whole middle section, and the major difficult I have presently in my writing. (Not that I've got everything else cracked, but I think it's the plotting that is my greatest weakness.) I think part of the issue is that I like slow scenes, I like quiet sequels with personal interaction and no plot, so I tend to write them, include them, at the expense of plot and momentum. As I say above, I'm going to have a long, hard think about it here, but more cutting will happen.

On 30/09/2019 at 3:36 AM, kais said:

- pg 5: You have a lot to learn about that too <-- this is super patronizing so I'm surprised M didn't react

Check. I've ramped up her reaction a bit.

On 30/09/2019 at 3:36 AM, kais said:

- pg 7: the 'huge bear' is the GMO creature, right? I'm a bit confused through here. There were deer, and some bear cubs, then a big bear?

- pg 9: oh, so it was the mother. That's a bit disappointing. I thought for sure they were about to meet one of the GMOs

As noted in response to Mandamon above they are too far away still from YK for it to be an MT. Also, I'm pretty sure I see this sort of thing in just about every second monster film I see, but, I will be having a heart-to-heart with myself over this chapter.

On 30/09/2019 at 3:36 AM, kais said:

- pg 10 on, you have italics for spoken sentences... oh wait, I see it's for subvocalization

I've tagged this upfront now.

Really appreciate that comments, thank you. Invaluable, as ever. :) 

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5 hours ago, Robinski said:

I suppose. Mor is on a train, which is much faster. In the original outline, Q and M were going to be on the train with Mor in a kind Hitchcock-ian standoff,

I like this premise a lot better!

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I like this premise a lot better!

Gosh darn it!

Coincidently, Mrs. Robinski and I watched North by Northwest last night, which is probably still my favourite Hitchcock, and involves a train. The issues between Hitchcock and certain of his female leads have come under scrutiny, of course, but I don't think anyone can deny the chap made some great films, many involving trains. You'll be pleased to hear, @kais, that I cringed at the gender politics in various places. Ooft, 60 years ago and it shows now.

Edited by Robinski
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On 10/8/2019 at 10:47 AM, Robinski said:

You'll be pleased to hear, @kais, that I cringed at the gender politics in various places.

My work here is clearly done. :P

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