Robinski

Robinski - 191230 - TCC Chapter 17 (23) - 3129 words (L)

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Hey all,
 
Another submission on a Monday!! It'll never last. Here is the twenty-third chapter. Many thanks for any comments--big or small--you have to spare for this :) 
 
Best, Robinski
 

Chapter Summary:

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 GX 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;
11 - Q calls E and leaves her a message, the Five-Star gets wrecked by a bear, DM is travelling back to YK and speaks with TOM;
12 - Q learns M about a local church, Q and M encounter a bear, Mor talks to TOM;
13 - Q and M reach Golden, learn of the election's status, call EM and then learn that people are dead in YK. Their plan will get them to YK this evening.
14 - EM is interviewed by the FBI and given an ultimatum. DM seems to be working with her, but springs an ambush, tries to kill her, but she escapes.
15 - WK continues north, speaks to his office, speaks to the RCMP, considers his moves.
16 - DM takes full control of things at GX, speaks to TOM, issues orders to increase the chaos.
17 - EM escapes YK, goes to a village to abandon her tech, then makes a choice about her future.
18 - In Canmore, the press of time is getting to Q. WK spies waiting for a train north, a chase on foot ends in a one-sided shoot out. QME escape by drone 'copter. 
19 - Journey to YK in drone chopper. Q and M learn how bad things are in YK. They and MC exchange views on a range of subjects. Q learns MC has been manipulating him for some time.
20 - Finally, after some prep in the chopper, Q and M arrive in YK. They meet E and a friend of her's who is helping her. They are attacked my a couple of Mts, then see a pair of VRs.
21 - Our heroes drive to BR's house, encounter a roadblock and pull a ruse on the National Guard there. At the house, they search until they are 'set upon' by more nasty T/F.
22 - After battling the Sparkles, the group is rescued by the National Guard, but taken to the YK sheriff and jailed. DM appears at the jail.
Edited by Robinski
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Ahhh...back to posting 5 minutes later... ;-)

Overall, I was a little confused at the start of the chapter, and the frustrated at the end. There are a lot of wheels spinning and I feel like we're at the point of the story where everything needs to go, but there are artificial constraints stopping them (see my last note, at the bottom). I'm really ready for the police to actually do something useful, now that everyone is clear that DM is a threat. MC is even more frustrating to me because they have all the information, and need to exchange it in order to escape (?) yet aren't doing so. They also display immense power to get into communication and security systems, but are somehow still trapped? I need some more explanation to keep my suspension of disbelief going.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 2: Had to look back at last submission to remember they were in cells and DM had just walked in, I think? It's WRS, but just making a note.

pg 2: "She saw no signs M was packing"
--I find this unlikely. Knowing DM's character, I would suspect he's always packing, especially when there are monsters still on the loose.

pg 3: "totally faced him through the bars."
--missing a word?

pg 3: "Now, where are they?”
--sorry, where are who? I'm confused by this conversation.

pg 3: "Us being partners means nothing now."
--I mean, yeah. They aren't partners. They haven't been since Q left.

pg 3: “…I have a code,” “In fact I’m out...Got TOM onside.” 
--this whole speech seems very disjointed. Also not sure what "onside" means. On site? 

pg 4: "It came from my father."
--nice sentiment, but makes things extra confusing. I was popped out of the story thinking TOM was Q's father for a moment, before remembering.

pg 4: hmm...I think this whole exchange needs a lot more buildup previous in the story to make it shine. Right now I'm not feeling the "triumph" moment.

pg 4-5: "a man dressed in black...whole place froze...everybody moved"
--what's happening? I thought the sheriffs knew DM? Why is everyone surprised to see him? M and Q act like this is something they would expect and I don't know why.

pg 5: "Her senses swan" -> "Her senses swam"

pg 5: hmmm...DM disappearing with a flash-bang is a bit cliche, but ok.

pg 6: "You will all want to know...that M is now my prime suspect in the disappearance of  T"
--I'm not sure I believe this. Everyone froze when they saw DM, though I don't know why. He did technically assault the police officers, but that had nothing to do with killing people. I guess I want a few more breadcrumbs to see how they got to this conclusion.
--Also, who is M.J.?

pg 9: “Use theirs names.” -> “Use their names.”

pg 10: "MC’s voice spouted from the pub’s speaker system"
--I'm starting to disbelieve that this person can get into every communication system ever...

pg 10: "I don’t think this line is secure."
--and the corollary to above. If MC can rejigger every communication system ever, I find it hard to believe they can't also secure the line fairly easily.

pg 10: "But you have to save those ladies first, I think. I bet Q won’t come here until they’re safe. So, be fast!”
--hmmm...also getting a bit frustrated with MC's "I have all the information but can't give it to you for some reason" act. Doesn't giving all the information they can increase the chances of Q&M getting to them and, I suppose, freeing them?

pg 10-11: "Well, you shut me out...It was a bad time.” 
--I'm not sure what they're referring to. Probably WRS?

pg 11: glad the MC finally is useful and gives some information, however, the situation is starting to get artificial like a CSI show. Someone has all the information, but won't give it because___. Oh, now we have the information, but won't go because___. We're on opposite sides, except we're really on the same side, except you're still under arrest/curfew because___. I don't have a lot of good reasons why the plot is still stalling, when everything is there in front of them. I think this can be explained, but currently the explanation is missing.

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Overall

Excited to see a M chapter, and there were some awesome moments in there with her. I disliked the sitting around and generally want more action and movement from Q&M. E was surprisingly silent this chapter, and I think a bit more of her insisting about T might have been nice. She is in love, after all. And M would not let an opportunity to needle her about it go untested.

6 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Overall, I was a little confused at the start of the chapter, and the frustrated at the end

Same issues as @Mandamon.

 

As I go

- ooooh, M POV! SIGN ME UP

- pg 3: So he’s a <--- tense change weirdness

- pg 4: there isn't a lot of tension in these early pages. Since M is a bit worried, I'd like to see more of that on the page. Right now Mor feels like a cartoon villain

- pg 4: here.“I’ll give <-- missing a space

- pg 6: wait... so Mor sets of a....smoke bomb? And then they get questioned and released? Why? What? I don't understand

- pg 6: I love that M sticks her tongue out after being patronized. Excellent characterization there

- pg 6: that Mor is now my prime suspect in the disappearance of T <-- how? When? Why?

- pg 7: and yell at him for not loving her. <-- EMOTIONS! I love this! Could we get more of this in earlier chapters? SO GOOD

- pg 8: damnation, q, but <--- Q's name isn't capitalized here

- pg 7: , I can use it let you <-- typos in there

- ending: hmm. Well I liked getting more on Mystery Caller, but I disliked just sitting around and talking. I really really want Q&M to just go do something, and it feels like this chapter is kind of fluff in a way, whereas they could be having this conversation while being more active 

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Ooh. This is the first time we’ve had a M POV, isn’t it? I'm all for it, though it does seem a bit odd to be adding a new POV, even though she's not a new character, this late in the game.

Right near the top of p3. “totally faced him through the bars.” Missing word here, I think. Also, who is it that’s “dressed like a tramp,” Mor or M?

Mixed feelings about Q’s speech to Mor on p4. I get that he is both stalling and hates Mor’s guts, and I get the sentiment, but it feels a tad overwrought, in particular the “joy of epiphany” description.

I get why WK would immediately draw on Mor, but I don’t understand why K did too – it’s his station, wouldn’t he know Mor was down here since Mor has already said he was here to give a statement?

Also, the deputy pointing their gun at WK seems to be totally forgotten in the ensuing chaos. I assume this is meant to indicate that the deputy is actually under Mor's thumb, but it's not remarked on by any of the characters, either at the time or after, so we don't get any sort of confirmation.

P5: “Her senses swan...” Should be “swam,” I imagine.

Hmm… curious again about what kind of rights AIs have in this world. “Factory reset” seems like something that could wipe out an android’s personality, but if so M doesn’t seem worried. It also seems strange that this would be mandated before determining if the android was involved in a crime. The rest I get.

Maybe WRS, but I have no idea who MJ is.

Hmm, why are they shipping E off to Creston with the rest of the gang? She wasn’t actually involved in any of the stuff WK wants the crew for. Presumably the same would be true for D.

“Wine sucked armpits.” Thank goodness I’m not much of a wine drinker to begin with; that description might be enough to put me off the stuff forever.

P8, “D*, q, but she’s exhausting.” Q’s name should be capitalized here.

“That’s one of M’s job,” should be “jobs.”

“Q glanced at her. She” Capitalised S needed here too

Hmm, it’s going to be interesting to watch E interact with MC and possibly figure out who he is. Especially if E is aware of the familial connection.

Wouldn’t the voice coming out of the pub speaker’s system freak the rest of the pub out? Also, being able to hack both WK’s line and the pub speakers means that MC potentially has a lot more hacking power than we’ve previously been lead to believe; it’s one thing to have one line and keep it open, but to start hacking other lines on demand seems to be something else again.

“He let all the creatures out, in case you haven’t guessed. All but one.” Oh, very nicely done here.

If MC really wants the group to come to Gen and set him free, wouldn’t his best bet be to tell Q exactly who he is?

I am a little frustrated at this point that they’re all just going to abide by the curfew like good little boys and girls. Q and M getting to MR and TT has been coming for a long time and I’m very eager for them to just get to it, already.

I'm also still having a bit of trouble suspending my disbelief in terms of Mor not knowing where MR and TT are. Had he not been to MR's house yet, did he just not find the book, wouldn't them owning another house (it was implied that this was a vacation home) be something that Mor could have tracked down without finding the pictures anyway?

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

They also display immense power to get into communication and security systems, but are somehow still trapped?

This is a good point. If they can hack Gen's systems enough to get a secure line out (or formerly secure) without Mor's knowledge until, apparently, very recently, why can't they let themselves out? Presumably now they're especially motivated to do so, knowing that Mor's coming for them.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 2: "She saw no signs M was packing"
--I find this unlikely. Knowing DM's character, I would suspect he's always packing, especially when there are monsters still on the loose.

I was okay with this, because M seems to make the same assumption that Mor's packing even if she can't see the weapon.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Got TOM onside.

Hm, maybe a regional thing again. Common enough expression in my neck of the woods to say you've got someone "onside" as in to agree with something.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 4: hmm...I think this whole exchange needs a lot more buildup previous in the story to make it shine. Right now I'm not feeling the "triumph" moment.

Seconded.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I don't have a lot of good reasons why the plot is still stalling, when everything is there in front of them. I think this can be explained, but currently the explanation is missing.

Yeah, I'm feeling this too. Like, we could just ignore the curfew (for example), or it could just be earlier in the day so the curfew's not a problem yet. (And then maybe they risk getting caught out after curfew, which might be a more effective way to use that particular threat.)

9 hours ago, kais said:

E was surprisingly silent this chapter, and I think a bit more of her insisting about T might have been nice. She is in love, after all. And M would not let an opportunity to needle her about it go untested.

Good call!

9 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 7: and yell at him for not loving her. <-- EMOTIONS! I love this! Could we get more of this in earlier chapters? SO GOOD

Seconded!

9 hours ago, kais said:

I really really want Q&M to just go do something, and it feels like this chapter is kind of fluff in a way, whereas they could be having this conversation while being more active 

Yeah, I mean, there's no reason this conversation couldn't have happened on the way to TT and MR, say. Although then we'd all be complaining about another travel chapter. :rolleyes:

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Also happy to see another M POV!

I agree with comments about the opening scene, conversation between Q and Mor seems a little overworked. This stands out because the majority of the dialogue in the chapter is so much stronger.

Details:

Double usage of 'stood' within three words of eachother between the 1st and 2nd paragraph.

4th paragraph: 'She fought not to look at the clock' this has an odd sing song quality to it that stands out.

"Do you think I'm going to kill you, Q, when you..." Just a preference, but you stated that Mor turned to face Q before he started speaking, it seems a bit forced that he breaks his sentence to name him after that.

Near the 70% mark: That’s one of M’s job, and she’s good at it,” said Q.” Silk already covered job/jobs and there's also an extra parentheses after Q

That's all I caught!  

The energetic heist feel of this story overall does seem to be slowing now. It feels like you're telling the reader, 'wait, it's not the end yet' when previously the story felt like it was ratcheting up stakes and tension for a conclusion. Depending on how much story is left this might be what you to meant to do.

It's been a while since we've seen Mor live up to his reputation. Most of his appearances have been threatening only. I would love to see more of what he's been doing this whole time and it would bring up his perceived threat level.

a fun read as always,

thanks for sharing!

 

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Hurray for a M POV! 

Pretty much just toss me in with the rest for the feeling frustrated part. I really want this to get moving, and everytime it seems to finally tell me "Yes, we're gonna go now," the action then turns around and stops. 

 

As I go:

 

I feel like Q's trust/I-will-never-be-like-you speech is a little awkward and could use a pass to make it more ... mmm Q-ish-ly erudite? 

I am a bit confused what Mor is asking them about, honestly. How does he, with all of the resources he can call on, lose a 3/4-dead, indoor housecat of a researcher, and what I have gathered from the text is a completely average housewife (or at least, not a super-secret secret super-spy of the caliber and paranoia necessary to elude someone with Mor's skills and resources on the fly pretending to be a housewife). At this point, I'd be more willing to believe he just came in to gloat and yank Q's chain a bit, maybe tease/torment Q about the proximity/sanity of Q's wife/son. 

Wait, why are the sheriffs double-K drawing on Mor? Also why are they doing so in a crowded jail area? Isn't he just wanted for questioning? I can't remember if they had anything other than Q&M's word that Mor was responsible for things...

So, why was Mor there at all? He wasn't gloating, and he had to know Q&M wouldn't tell him anything, out of general principle if nothing else, so all he ends up doing is aggravating the sheriffs K and using up a flash grenade.  I'm confused. 

I love M and M's POV, and I love the increased use of vernacular and idioms that comes with her sections (even if I don't always catch their meaning without google-san), but I"m left wondering at the point of this chapter. What moved forward, story-wise? Q&M are still stuck reacting, not acting. They escaped confinement and traveled the pub/diner (number four? five? So many pub/diners... ), had some character moments, and MC broke the rules of the world to whine about not-very-much. I enjoyed the character moments, they are good and I don't want to see them go! But I feel like I've seen this chapter before. A couple times at this point. I'm not sure the intimation that MC helped shelter the distressed-damsels and a town name is enough of a revelation to make up the meat of a whole chapter. :(

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On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

Ahhh...back to posting 5 minutes later... ;-)

I don't know how you do it, but thanks as always for doing it! :) 

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

Overall, I was a little confused at the start of the chapter, and the frustrated at the end. There are a lot of wheels spinning and I feel like we're at the point of the story where everything needs to go, but there are artificial constraints stopping them (see my last note, at the bottom). I'm really ready for the police to actually do something useful, now that everyone is clear that DM is a threat. MC is even more frustrating to me because they have all the information, and need to exchange it in order to escape (?) yet aren't doing so. They also display immense power to get into communication and security systems, but are somehow still trapped? I need some more explanation to keep my suspension of disbelief going.

Right. Fair comment. I accept I need to ramp things up here (and in the next chapter, as you will discover), and I think what I shall do is drop a more significant reveal--that will not surprise some (any?). I think I need to reveal here who MC is, which should up the stakes and push events more than they are being pushed at the moment.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 2: Had to look back at last submission to remember they were in cells and DM had just walked in, I think? It's WRS, but just making a note.

Yeah. Thanks for noting.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 2: "She saw no signs M was packing"
--I find this unlikely. Knowing DM's character, I would suspect he's always packing, especially when there are monsters still on the loose.

Good point. I will revise this to introduce a weapon and a way to deal with it in terms of circumventing jail security systems, which is why he didn't have one to start with.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "totally faced him through the bars."
--missing a word?

Yup, thanks.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "Now, where are they?”
--sorry, where are who? I'm confused by this conversation.

TT and MR. Not clear. Reworded.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "Us being partners means nothing now."
--I mean, yeah. They aren't partners. They haven't been since Q left.

Reworded. I meant in their history means nothing, but that wasn't clear.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: “…I have a code,” “In fact I’m out...Got TOM onside.” 
--this whole speech seems very disjointed. Also not sure what "onside" means. On site?

Accepted. Yes, it's jumping around without clarity, I can see that, and I need to revise / upgrade the conversation between Q and DM. Thanks for flagging.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4: "It came from my father."
--nice sentiment, but makes things extra confusing. I was popped out of the story thinking TOM was Q's father for a moment, before remembering.

Right. I'll hope this is WRS and that a refresh of all the TOM entries through the story will help clarify this.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4: hmm...I think this whole exchange needs a lot more buildup previous in the story to make it shine. Right now I'm not feeling the "triumph" moment.

Hmm. I think what I'll do (which will play nicely against Book 3, I think), is have DM trying at each encounter to coerce/persuade Q into coming back in to the E-C fold.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4-5: "a man dressed in black...whole place froze...everybody moved"
--what's happening? I thought the sheriffs knew DM? Why is everyone surprised to see him? M and Q act like this is something they would expect and I don't know why.

It was meant to be in terms of Sheriff Kr never having seen DM, but now believing Q in relation to a man in black in the hospital. Sheriff Ko does know DM. I've changed this so that Kr draws on DM, but Ko and the deputy draw on Kr, aiming for more of a confusing stand off. Good flag.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 5: hmmm...DM disappearing with a flash-bang is a bit cliche, but ok.

Noted. I'll leave it for the next read through.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 6: "You will all want to know...that M is now my prime suspect in the disappearance of  T"
--I'm not sure I believe this. Everyone froze when they saw DM, though I don't know why. He did technically assault the police officers, but that had nothing to do with killing people. I guess I want a few more breadcrumbs to see how they got to this conclusion.

Okay. I've done a bit more work on this. Thanks for flagging.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

--Also, who is M.J.?

The third passenger on the plane that crashed in Cr. I feel I have to use the name, because Kr would. I'll hope that it scans better without the WRS.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 10: "MC’s voice spouted from the pub’s speaker system"
--I'm starting to disbelieve that this person can get into every communication system ever...

Okay. If I can ask a supplementary, Is there something in particular that makes you disbelieve it?

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 10: "I don’t think this line is secure."
--and the corollary to above. If MC can rejigger every communication system ever, I find it hard to believe they can't also secure the line fairly easily.

Yeah, good point. I've cut the line.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 10: "But you have to save those ladies first, I think. I bet Q won’t come here until they’re safe. So, be fast!”
--hmmm...also getting a bit frustrated with MC's "I have all the information but can't give it to you for some reason" act. Doesn't giving all the information they can increase the chances of Q&M getting to them and, I suppose, freeing them?

I'll see how this plays with the group. To some extent, MC is releasing just enough to keep them going.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 10-11: "Well, you shut me out...It was a bad time.” 
--I'm not sure what they're referring to. Probably WRS?

Q managed to have 80 close down the connection (when in the drone 'copter). Not a big deal, I think/hope.

On 30/12/2019 at 3:10 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 11: glad the MC finally is useful and gives some information, however, the situation is starting to get artificial like a CSI show. Someone has all the information, but won't give it because___. Oh, now we have the information, but won't go because___. We're on opposite sides, except we're really on the same side, except you're still under arrest/curfew because___. I don't have a lot of good reasons why the plot is still stalling, when everything is there in front of them. I think this can be explained, but currently the explanation is missing.

Yeah, I can accept that. The whole thing was morphing as I was completing the original draft. It's tidied up to some extent in this edit, but still rough, and still needing rationalisation. This edit is distilling it, but it will take another (continuous) edit (without weekly submissions), to start to tighten it up properly, I feel. Naturally all comment are invaluable for this!!

Great feedback, thank you so much for your continued patience!

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Hey, kais, thanks for reading. Comments greatly appreciated, as always!

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

Excited to see a M chapter, and there were some awesome moments in there with her. I disliked the sitting around and generally want more action and movement from Q&M. E was surprisingly silent this chapter, and I think a bit more of her insisting about T might have been nice. She is in love, after all. And M would not let an opportunity to needle her about it go untested.

Yeah, sitting around. Interesting on E. Yes, I've dialled up her input a bit. When you say M would needle E, you mean DM, right? I thought you meant Mo, on first read, and could not figure that.

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

- pg 3: So he’s a <--- tense change weirdness

Yeah, really. Typo, I guess. Changed, thanks.

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

- pg 4: there isn't a lot of tension in these early pages. Since M is a bit worried, I'd like to see more of that on the page. Right now Mor feels like a cartoon villain

Yeah, I think I'm going to COMPLETELY REWRITE THIS CHAPTER. There's no need for it to play out 'politely' and 'by the book'. More exciting to have fight and for them to escape custody and therefore be on the run, and hide out at the bar, probably through D. Thanks for this. Good call. This approach (a fire fight), will put DM square in the 'bad person' category for the authorities as well.

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

- pg 6: wait... so Mor sets of a....smoke bomb? And then they get questioned and released? Why? What? I don't understand

Yeah, see above.

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

- pg 6: I love that M sticks her tongue out after being patronized. Excellent characterization there

:) 

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

- pg 6: that Mor is now my prime suspect in the disappearance of T <-- how? When? Why?

I've embellished a bit, BUT... now see above: complete rewrite initiated :) 

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

- pg 7: and yell at him for not loving her. <-- EMOTIONS! I love this! Could we get more of this in earlier chapters? SO GOOD

Yeah, I do think I need another M POVs chapter (at least one). I've flagged a couple of previous Q POVs to try switching to Mo.

On 30/12/2019 at 9:56 PM, kais said:

- ending: hmm. Well I liked getting more on Mystery Caller, but I disliked just sitting around and talking. I really really want Q&M to just go do something, and it feels like this chapter is kind of fluff in a way, whereas they could be having this conversation while being more active 

Well, we are heading towards stuff being done, but I appreciate this is quick-slow, and the next chapter is more slow. See above: I'm going to totally revamp the hail scene.

Thanks for the great comments. Have really helped me focus on changing this chapter radically.

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5 hours ago, Robinski said:
Quote

pg 10: "MC’s voice spouted from the pub’s speaker system"
--I'm starting to disbelieve that this person can get into every communication system ever...

Okay. If I can ask a supplementary, Is there something in particular that makes you disbelieve it?

Quote

pg 10: "I don’t think this line is secure."
--and the corollary to above. If MC can rejigger every communication system ever, I find it hard to believe they can't also secure the line fairly easily.

Yeah, good point. I've cut the line.

Mainly that these two things are connected. The MC can get into everything, but can't make the line secure. Also, the MC can get into everything but still isn't revealing information when it's beneficial to all.

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Hey Silk, thank you so much for reading. Much appreciated.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Ooh. This is the first time we’ve had a M POV, isn’t it? I'm all for it, though it does seem a bit odd to be adding a new POV, even though she's not a new character, this late in the game.

Actually, there's Mo POV in Chapters 1, 6, 13 and here in 17. I'm thinking of converting one, maybe two Q POVs to Mo, as she has such a fun and entertaining (I think) voice.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Right near the top of p3. “totally faced him through the bars.” Missing word here, I think. Also, who is it that’s “dressed like a tramp,” Mor or M?

Got the reword, thanks. And it's Q dressed like a tramp. There has been some reference to the 'dirty' clothes they stole quite a time back.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Mixed feelings about Q’s speech to Mor on p4. I get that he is both stalling and hates Mor’s guts, and I get the sentiment, but it feels a tad overwrought, in particular the “joy of epiphany” description.

Yeah, that's not Mo's voice. Changed. Note what you say

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

I get why WK would immediately draw on Mor, but I don’t understand why K did too – it’s his station, wouldn’t he know Mor was down here since Mor has already said he was here to give a statement?

You're right, and have changed this already in response to comment from Mandamon. HOWEVER, I'm now going to rewrite the chapter. See reply to Kais, above.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Also, the deputy pointing their gun at WK seems to be totally forgotten in the ensuing chaos. I assume this is meant to indicate that the deputy is actually under Mor's thumb, but it's not remarked on by any of the characters, either at the time or after, so we don't get any sort of confirmation.

Yeah, lack of clarity in description and intention. Whole chapter rewrite will deal with this.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Hmm… curious again about what kind of rights AIs have in this world. “Factory reset” seems like something that could wipe out an android’s personality, but if so M doesn’t seem worried. It also seems strange that this would be mandated before determining if the android was involved in a crime. The rest I get.

Fair point. I've ramped up Mo's reaction, although the rewrite is likely to negate this line, or change substantially.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Maybe WRS, but I have no idea who MJ is.

Yeah. It's a problem. He was the 3rd passenger in the plane that crashed. The other patient killed by DM in the hospital.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Hmm, why are they shipping E off to Creston with the rest of the gang? She wasn’t actually involved in any of the stuff WK wants the crew for. Presumably the same would be true for D.

Yeah, that was not the intention. I tried to flag that she was not going to C, but it come a bit later.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

“Wine sucked armpits.” Thank goodness I’m not much of a wine drinker to begin with; that description might be enough to put me off the stuff forever.

Oops. I love wine. This was not my intention :lol: 

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

“That’s one of M’s job,” should be “jobs.”

Thanks for all the typos. For this one, I cut 'one of'.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

Wouldn’t the voice coming out of the pub speaker’s system freak the rest of the pub out? Also, being able to hack both WK’s line and the pub speakers means that MC potentially has a lot more hacking power than we’ve previously been lead to believe; it’s one thing to have one line and keep it open, but to start hacking other lines on demand seems to be something else again.

I've given the patrons a reaction: good call. 

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

“He let all the creatures out, in case you haven’t guessed. All but one.” Oh, very nicely done here.

I'm always worried about whether something like this is too blatant, or too buried to carry the right effect, so, I am smiling now :) 

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

If MC really wants the group to come to Gen and set him free, wouldn’t his best bet be to tell Q exactly who he is?

Maybe, but that I really hear when I read your question is 'Why hasn't Q asked himself this question?' Which is EXACTLY the right question for him to ask. Awesome. I'm totally using the personal stakes for Q in this chapter. He's now fighting against this penny that's trying to drop, but his entire being is willing against gravity to make it go back up!

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

I am a little frustrated at this point that they’re all just going to abide by the curfew like good little boys and girls. Q and M getting to MR and TT has been coming for a long time and I’m very eager for them to just get to it, already.

Yeah. I feel this, and I think, as Mandamon and Kais and... everyone, has noted, the problems are entrenched in the previous chapter when DM comes to the jail. I'm going to rewrite Chapter 17 to put our group and more importantly WK in conflict with the authorities and local law enforcement. I think that will work way better.

On 31/12/2019 at 7:38 AM, Silk said:

I'm also still having a bit of trouble suspending my disbelief in terms of Mor not knowing where MR and TT are. Had he not been to MR's house yet, did he just not find the book, wouldn't them owning another house (it was implied that this was a vacation home) be something that Mor could have tracked down without finding the pictures anyway?

Didn't find the book, and the problem with that is I cut a lot from that chapter, including how Mo found the book. But tracking them down, maybe. It's not supposed to be a vacation home, but how would you know that, right? I need to go back and leave a flag in the Book that Mo found that shows it's not just a vacation home registered in their name.

Awesome comments, @Silk. Thanks so much :) 

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Hey Sarah, thank you so much for reading.

On 01/01/2020 at 9:47 AM, Sarah B said:

Also happy to see another M POV!

I agree with comments about the opening scene, conversation between Q and Mor seems a little overworked. This stands out because the majority of the dialogue in the chapter is so much stronger.

Cool. Yes, I'm going for a couple more Mo POVs certainly. She has more in Book 1. Also agree with your comment here, and I'm now going to rewrite the chapter substantially to take the outcome in a less law-abiding direction. I'm glad all the comments are pointing at this: it feels right :) 

On 01/01/2020 at 9:47 AM, Sarah B said:

Double usage of 'stood' within three words of eachother between the 1st and 2nd paragraph.

Thanks, fixed.

On 01/01/2020 at 9:47 AM, Sarah B said:

4th paragraph: 'She fought not to look at the clock' this has an odd sing song quality to it that stands out.

It is, isn't it, and I can't remember why she's not looking at the clock. I think I'll just cut it.

On 01/01/2020 at 9:47 AM, Sarah B said:

"Do you think I'm going to kill you, Q, when you..." Just a preference, but you stated that Mor turned to face Q before he started speaking, it seems a bit forced that he breaks his sentence to name him after that.

Nice point, subtle. I like it. It might get lost in the rewrite, but thank you. Well spotted.

On 01/01/2020 at 9:47 AM, Sarah B said:

The energetic heist feel of this story overall does seem to be slowing now. It feels like you're telling the reader, 'wait, it's not the end yet' when previously the story felt like it was ratcheting up stakes and tension for a conclusion. Depending on how much story is left this might be what you to meant to do.

I'm delighted it took till now for you to get this feeling! I accept the charge that things should be faster around here. This leads me to rewriting the jail scene, which I think will improve the pacing around here.

On 01/01/2020 at 9:47 AM, Sarah B said:

It's been a while since we've seen Mor live up to his reputation. Most of his appearances have been threatening only. I would love to see more of what he's been doing this whole time and it would bring up his perceived threat level.

Yes, good point. I think the rewrite will give me a chance to show DM at his worst. Thanks for flagging this. Good point.

On 01/01/2020 at 9:47 AM, Sarah B said:

a fun read as always,

:D excellent. Thank you so much for your comments.

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On 03/01/2020 at 10:50 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Hurray for a M POV! 

:D Thanks so much for your comments, ID.

On 03/01/2020 at 10:50 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Pretty much just toss me in with the rest for the feeling frustrated part. I really want this to get moving, and everytime it seems to finally tell me "Yes, we're gonna go now," the action then turns around and stops.

Yeah, yeah. You've got me. I'll get right onto this rewrite thing.

On 03/01/2020 at 10:50 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I feel like Q's trust/I-will-never-be-like-you speech is a little awkward and could use a pass to make it more ... mmm Q-ish-ly erudite? 

Yes: this exactly. My rewrite/reshaping of the scene will be from (and including) the firefight, so I'll get the chance to work on the Q / DM confrontation again (and again, and again).

On 03/01/2020 at 10:50 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I am a bit confused what Mor is asking them about, honestly. How does he, with all of the resources he can call on, lose a 3/4-dead, indoor housecat of a researcher, and what I have gathered from the text is a completely average housewife (or at least, not a super-secret secret super-spy of the caliber and paranoia necessary to elude someone with Mor's skills and resources on the fly pretending to be a housewife). At this point, I'd be more willing to believe he just came in to gloat and yank Q's chain a bit, maybe tease/torment Q about the proximity/sanity of Q's wife/son.

Hmm. I like the idea of the second part, but still feel I need to address the concern of the first part. DM having time to swan around being spiteful to no great purpose, it seems to me, will tend to undermine his arc, although in the next breath, I do need to tidy up his whole thread, so who knows? I will consider introducing this gloating option.

On 03/01/2020 at 10:50 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Wait, why are the sheriffs double-K drawing on Mor? Also why are they doing so in a crowded jail area? Isn't he just wanted for questioning? I can't remember if they had anything other than Q&M's word that Mor was responsible for things...

Yeah. Confused, and although I've changed this already in the space of editing here, I will take another run at it. The rewritten firefight will address it, I'm certain.

On 03/01/2020 at 10:50 PM, industrialistDragon said:

So, why was Mor there at all? He wasn't gloating, and he had to know Q&M wouldn't tell him anything, out of general principle if nothing else, so all he ends up doing is aggravating the sheriffs K and using up a flash grenade.  I'm confused.

I will fix it!! Promise.

On 03/01/2020 at 10:50 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I love M and M's POV, and I love the increased use of vernacular and idioms that comes with her sections (even if I don't always catch their meaning without google-san), but I"m left wondering at the point of this chapter. What moved forward, story-wise? Q&M are still stuck reacting, not acting. They escaped confinement and traveled the pub/diner (number four? five? So many pub/diners... ), had some character moments, and MC broke the rules of the world to whine about not-very-much. I enjoyed the character moments, they are good and I don't want to see them go! But I feel like I've seen this chapter before. A couple times at this point. I'm not sure the intimation that MC helped shelter the distressed-damsels and a town name is enough of a revelation to make up the meat of a whole chapter. :(

Fair comment, and I'm completely sold on the idea I need to revise this chapter substantially. The outcome of that will be to leave them on the wrong side of the law (again). All of them, including Shef WK.

Great comments. Thank you so much for reading! :) 

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7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Mainly that these two things are connected. The MC can get into everything, but can't make the line secure. Also, the MC can get into everything but still isn't revealing information when it's beneficial to all.

Thanks, much appreciated. I will find it easier, I think, to address this when I do the next full edit continuously (i.e. not week by week). Cheers!

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19 hours ago, Robinski said:

When you say M would needle E, you mean DM, right? I thought you meant Mo, on first read, and could not figure that.

I was thinking M-o-t would needle E a bit, just generally, about love and such. Since it seems like she is warming to E, and with warming comes ribbing, Mo style.

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 10:10 AM, Mandamon said:

Overall, I was a little confused at the start of the chapter, and the frustrated at the end. There are a lot of wheels spinning and I feel like we're at the point of the story where everything needs to go, but there areartificial constraints stopping them (see my last note, at the bottom). I'm really ready for the police to actually do something useful, now that everyone is clear that DM is a threat. MC is even more frustrating to me because they have all the information, and need to exchange it in order to escape (?) yet aren't doing so. They also display immense power to get into communication and security systems, but are somehow still trapped? I need some more explanation to keep my suspension of disbelief going.

To an extent, I agree with this, but also was forgiving of a lot of it while I read because all of a sudden we were in M's POV which completely distracted me from all of these problems. As much I did enjoy seeing this play out from M's POV, I'm not sure that is enough to redeem it in the big picture, especially since they don't just spring to action chasing DM, but go to a bar to drink and plan.

On another note, I wish we had a little more of M's POV throughout! 

 

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3 hours ago, kais said:

I was thinking M-o-t would needle E a bit, just generally, about love and such. Since it seems like she is warming to E, and with warming comes ribbing, Mo style.

Yes, this very thing! Thank you. I wasn't grasping it, but see EXACTLY what you mean and I want that in this chapter now.

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1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

To an extent, I agree with this, but also was forgiving of a lot of it while I read because all of a sudden we were in M's POV which completely distracted me from all of these problems. As much I did enjoy seeing this play out from M's POV, I'm not sure that is enough to redeem it in the big picture, especially since they don't just spring to action chasing DM, but go to a bar to drink and plan.

On another note, I wish we had a little more of M's POV throughout!

Hey SSmooth, thanks so much for reading.

Yes, thank you for this. Each time someone expresses the problem in a slightly different way it becomes that much clearer. I'm going to rewrite this chapter, and it will play out differently. They will end up in a similar place, but by a different. more exciting and I hope ratifying route.

I am going to convert one or two of the earliest chapters to Mo's POV :) 

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So, quick FYI to those reading TCC. I've rewritten Chp.17 (23) fairly substantially and there is now a gunfight in the jail. DM shoots the deputy and Sher Ko, then escapes. Sher Kr then takes them out of the jail on the basis he's not convinced about their safety there. The rest of the chapter plays out largely as before, except they are now sort of on the run again, albeit under Kr's custody (sort of).

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On 1/7/2020 at 11:16 AM, Robinski said:

Actually, there's Mo POV in Chapters 1, 6, 13 and here in 17.

...well, shows you how much attention I've been paying,yikes! Take everything I've said with majority shares in a salt mine, apparently. Or just blame WRS and let's move along, nothing to see here ;)

On 1/7/2020 at 11:16 AM, Robinski said:

Fair point. I've ramped up Mo's reaction, although the rewrite is likely to negate this line, or change substantially.

Fair enough, though it'd be a great piece of worldbuilding if you could find a way to leave it in there. It's something I've been low-key wondering about for a while.

On 1/7/2020 at 11:16 AM, Robinski said:

Thanks for all the typos. For this one, I cut 'one of'.

That makes more sense, tbh!

On 1/7/2020 at 11:16 AM, Robinski said:

I'm always worried about whether something like this is too blatant, or too buried to carry the right effect, so, I am smiling now

Nope, it was about time for a little reminder, I think; this particular aspect of things has been fairly low-key until now. It's certainly somewhat melodramatic, but that seems to be entirely in keeping with MC's character so far, so no concerns from me!

On 1/7/2020 at 11:16 AM, Robinski said:

'Why hasn't Q asked himself this question?' Which is EXACTLY the right question for him to ask. Awesome. I'm totally using the personal stakes for Q in this chapter. He's now fighting against this penny that's trying to drop, but his entire being is willing against gravity to make it go back up!

Love it.

On 1/7/2020 at 11:16 AM, Robinski said:

Didn't find the book ... It's not supposed to be a vacation home, but how would you know that, right? I need to go back and leave a flag in the Book that Mo found that shows it's not just a vacation home registered in their name.

Exactly, yeah. Right now the issue is that I don't understand what the book tells Q&M that Mor couldn't find out otherwise.

On 1/7/2020 at 0:57 PM, Robinski said:

All of them, including Shef WK.

I shall henceforth refer to him as Chef WK. Or maybe just the Chef. ;)

On 1/10/2020 at 2:51 PM, Robinski said:

I've rewritten Chp.17 (23) fairly substantially and there is now a gunfight in the jail. DM shoots the deputy and Sher Ko, then escapes. Sher Kr then takes them out of the jail on the basis he's not convinced about their safety there.

On a micro level, I think this will definitely help with some of the issues people have expressed with that scene, and will probably make some things in the next chapter go down a bit easier as well. On a macro level, I think it's worth pointing out that this could end up being a bit of smoke an mirrors; it's now a gunfight instead of people talking, so it feels more active, but it's still going to serve the same function as the version of the chapter we just read, which is to keep Q&M from getting to a goal that readers are very eager to see them arrive at. Even knowing that you've done some pretty significant trimming of the earlier chapters, if the current structure remains mostly unscathed, I think this will still be an issue to some extent.

So, I wonder: maybe you've taken care of this already, but could something happen to make us feel like the plot is actually moving forward in some way? Mor could reveal something, deliberately or inadvertently (heck, this chapter is from Mo's point of view; it could even be MC's identity, since I could easily see Mo cottoning on before Q does), or our heroes could inflict some kind of setback on him for a chance; he could be injured, or they could feed him information that actually sends him in the wrong direction (which I I like better, but I am of course just throwing suggestions at the wall here).

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5 hours ago, Silk said:

Or just blame WRS and let's move along, nothing to see here ;)

Yes, entirely fair. No blame at all!!

6 hours ago, Silk said:

Fair enough, though it'd be a great piece of worldbuilding if you could find a way to leave it in there. It's something I've been low-key wondering about for a while.

Hurrah!! The line did in fact survive the rewrite.

6 hours ago, Silk said:

Exactly, yeah. Right now the issue is that I don't understand what the book tells Q&M that Mor couldn't find out otherwise.

Yes. My first run at the un-G**gleable clue has not quite landed.

6 hours ago, Silk said:

I shall henceforth refer to him as Chef WK. Or maybe just the Chef. ;)

:lol: 

6 hours ago, Silk said:

On a macro level, I think it's worth pointing out that this could end up being a bit of smoke an mirrors; it's now a gunfight instead of people talking, so it feels more active, but it's still going to serve the same function as the version of the chapter we just read, which is to keep Q&M from getting to a goal that readers are very eager to see them arrive at. Even knowing that you've done some pretty significant trimming of the earlier chapters, if the current structure remains mostly unscathed, I think this will still be an issue to some extent.

That is fair. The major incidents are still there, and even if I took out a town or a stop between Cr and YK, there would still be a bunch of stops of the way, travelling and talking.

6 hours ago, Silk said:

So, I wonder: maybe you've taken care of this already, but could something happen to make us feel like the plot is actually moving forward in some way? Mor could reveal something, deliberately or inadvertently (heck, this chapter is from Mo's point of view; it could even be MC's identity, since I could easily see Mo cottoning on before Q does), or our heroes could inflict some kind of setback on him for a chance; he could be injured, or they could feed him information that actually sends him in the wrong direction (which I I like better, but I am of course just throwing suggestions at the wall here).

I like this idea, and yes, even though they are under attack as it were, this could still be a thing. Good suggestion. Thanks! :) 

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