Mandamon

20200210 - Fall of the Imperium Ch8 pt 2 - 2914 words - Sub 9

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Part 2 of Chapter 8 of book 3. Hopefully this one has some forward momentum for the S/E/I plotline. I think I may end up combining this with chapters 1, 2, and 7 into a few chapters at the beginning and have the story up to here be the start of the book, then switch over to the other POVs. Still thinking it over.

Anyway, any comments are welcome!

Previously (separated by POV):
S/E/I: they arrive in the other facet with their news. The Ari leader is there, E has her problems, and E/I learn about their folks. The Eff faints shortly thereafter. They all take her to the Ari section, and S goes off with WW to try to pass through the wall.

M: comes to the Imperium with his new Society, to learn what happened after they tried to bring something through with his device (at the end of book 2). 

R: Ri and Co have escaped to HD's homeworld, at an installation of their art, where they regain their bearings. They go back to the Imp, where they engage some of the invaders, with great effort, and then go to a Speaker's estate, where she is collecting refugees.

Re: He and the assassins listen to the LC's plans, while the assassins start to interfere.

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Liked the the build up of pace in this section, both literally and figuratively :-)

A few things:

'This facet" and variations of this phrase are repeated frequently in places where the clarification doesn't seem nessicary.

The flying Ls; I'm picturing a bird like thing from the phrasing around them but I wouldn't mind a deeper description since we spend so much time with them this section. 

Around 30% S reflecting on how much better he is with E and I. Great paragraph, but the last "than it" weakens the sentence 'they made him...'

The movement descriptions were a bit disorienting towards the.end but I assume that's intentional for the situation. 

At this point, given that traveling is more difficult with I and E, it seems an odd decision to bring them, or that S's mentor wouldn't have resisted bringing them. E seems to be in danger of fulfilling a damsel roll with S continuing to reflect on her past captivity and her situation at the end of the section.

This section left me ready for the next chapter, thanks for sharing!

 

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Thanks @Sarah B!

Glad to hear this one is finally working a little better. Thanks for the clarification checks as well. I'll fix those the next go around.

8 hours ago, Sarah B said:

The flying Ls; I'm picturing a bird like thing from the phrasing around them but I wouldn't mind a deeper description since we spend so much time with them this section.

They got some description in the last book, and I need to replicate it here too!

8 hours ago, Sarah B said:

At this point, given that traveling is more difficult with I and E, it seems an odd decision to bring them, or that S's mentor wouldn't have resisted bringing them. E seems to be in danger of fulfilling a damsel roll with S continuing to reflect on her past captivity and her situation at the end of the section.

Yes, I think this whole dynamic is weakened by them waffling around for four chapters. I'm hoping by condensing and ramping up the tension, I can better justify the decision to bring them.

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Overall

It started strong, but I got confused around page seven. I'm not entirely certain what happened. It was thrilling, certainly, and the tension held, but I don't know really what S was doing. I think I might need a bit more around his separation from the group, and the how's and why's of what happens next. I think it has the potential to be a very strong chapter, and I do love S's POV. Just some cleaning in the last two pages would go a long way to helping me understand what is going on.

 

As I go

- pg 6: but it was like a sheet of ice, feet thick <-- wasn't it just like taffy? Contrasting imagery pulled me from an otherwise smooth narrative

- pg 7: I'm confused. The rest go back the way they came and S...got to the special space time place in the crystal? How?

- pages 7-9: I'm not clear at all what is happening in this section. He.... got to the space time pocket but still wasn't breathing so.... and then he.... ran farther into the crystal??

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This chapter is 8,000 words?!?! Wow.

(page 1)

- "supplied as a derogatory laugh" - LOL. Pshaw!

- "helped several others of my species help move" - extra/duplicated word.

- "capering" - really? I don't think of spiders capering. To me, the scurry very determinedly in whatever direction they decide to go.

(page 2)

- 'high-pitched', IMO.

- "The N translated" - Why would the nether translate communication between animals. These are animals, are they not? Even if these are not, I feel like bird 'talk' has been translated in earlier books.

- "through his subconscious all night" - I think I'd like to see foreshadowing of his 'discovery' rather than only learning about it now.

- "so there will not be resistance from both of us changing the S" - awkward wording compared to 'So we will not obstruct each other in change the S'.

(page 3)

- "A family. That’s what we are." - See my comments from the previous sub. I just don't buy this. Also, we've had this line at least once, if not twice in this chapter already.

- "base notes" - Not 'bass' notes?

- "an oblong cylinder" - I think a cylinder is always oblong, by default.

- "hair flinging out" - I would say flinging is a deliberate action. A person flings something out consciously, I don't think it happens passively, like blowing or drifting.

- "He could tell they were moving much faster than before" - This is really passive. I want them to be running or jogging. A quick walk compared for a slow walk is not dramatically faster. I imagined that they were going to burst out of the wall, that's the point, isn't it? Take the El by surprise?

(page 4)

- "their random collections of teeth" - how are they random? I thought they were all the way around the underside of the creatures, which would not be random, surely. Maybe I misremember.

- "When where they" - typo.

- "There was no air to make sounds with inside the wall" - I tripped over this.

- "come forefront to his mind" - 'come to the forefront of his mind', surely.

- "a sort of music that trembled the ground" - trembling is the reaction of a medium to a vibration, the source causes the thing to tremble, but does not actively 'tremble' it. Sorry that I'm always harping on about detailed, but I honestly think these things matter, and that you don't see the stuff that I complain about in 'big' publisher, fully copyedited works.

- "so they can walk through the crystal" - tense, could.

- "There wouldn’t be time to catch" - lacks immediacy, IMO, compared to 'there wasn't time'.

(page 5)

- "trying to make the same change" - Hang on, I thought you couldn't make the same change in the same place / vicinity? Does he not have to make one change that affects the area they are all standing in, so that all the bodies within the area of that one change are affected?

- "They had one good chance to get out of the wall before the creatures caught on" - Kind of confused. I thought the idea was to go through quickly. This is not quick, so I don't really see what the advantage is from last time.

- "the whole the El" - Meh, this is supper convenient. I'm not a fan. My image is of El covering the whole wall. Why would they leave one gap? It's very much like this plot needs this random act of carelessness from the El.

- "As it hardened, it squeezed him" - this is excellent tension, albeit a bit repetitive of them being stymied before at this stage (was it the previous chapter?), and it's taken a while to get here in this chapter.

(page 6)

- "hadn’t spotted her yet" - Hmm, they seemed all over him before, blocking him. This seems... surprising.

- "creature’s ranks closed" - creatures' (multiple possessive).

- "and on to the bridge" - onto, surely?

(page 7)

- I really like the exchange, the fencing, between S and the voice, WW protecting I, it's all good stuff here at the end of the chapter.

- "back the way they had come" - Oh, no, please, not again.

- "no one else had access to in who knew how many" - kind of wordy and clunky in terms of flow, I thought.

- "C-shaped ring" - The what? When was this? Maybe WRS, but that was still a long time ago. Is it this book?

- "Was this helping him" - Well surely he'd be able to tell if it was influencing him, would he not?

(page 8)

- "the same rules of physics" - so, not the rules of physics then, the rules of something else.

- "If I am..." - this is a great line. S taking some kind of initiative, it should be a transformation, I hope he draws strength from this and backslides less in future into his anxiety. Not saying he'll never backslide, because I expect there will be a massive crisis somewhere near the end when he has to overcome his worst ever attack to succeed.

- "thousands of El" - I feel this supports my comments about the massive unlikeliness of there being one single gap. I can see there being hundreds or dozens of small gaps of which he might exploit, the closest, but one single gap among thousands of creatures?

- "dropping away..." - excellent description.

(page 9)

- "have to get to her" - yes, yes. This is all great. These last couple of pages.

- "but his goal approached ever slower" - bit unclear and wordy/clunky, IMO. How about 'goal never approached'?

- "felt like a closet" - very odd analogy, I thought. 'Cupboard was bare' does spring to mind, but the introduction of clothes is so specific and random, especially for Sm who is not a fashion- or image-conscious person at all, to my understanding.

- "it until he had to be was flying forward, even with the lack of any stimulus to tell him so" - (1) it's more compelling if there is certainty here: doubt is less engaging; (2) to men, 'stimulus' is something that causes an effect, it's not something that feedback afterwards.

- Yes. Nailed the ending. I was hoping this would be the last line, and this is exactly where/how I wanted the chapter to end.

Overall 

I like the conclusion very much, the action that led to it, the crisis with one sibling through and one not, and S stuck in the middle. All great. The chapter is just too longer before that, IMO. Too much repetition of beats and emotion that we have felt before more than once in trying to get through the wall. I really feel it can be cut down quite severely. 8,000 words is a big, big chapter. I think reader attention and engagement will suffer, personally, at a time when we want the pace and the stakes to be picking up, not dragged back by long introspection, and one (or two?) flip-flops too many, IMO.

There's a fantastic chapter in here though, and I know it will emerge. Nice work.

<R>

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5 hours ago, kais said:

but I don't know really what S was doing

Huh, weird. I thought it was crystal clear.

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Thanks @kais and @Robinski!

4 hours ago, Robinski said:
10 hours ago, kais said:

but I don't know really what S was doing

Huh, weird. I thought it was crystal clear

Hmmm...Will look into this to find the confusion.

10 hours ago, kais said:

- pages 7-9: I'm not clear at all what is happening in this section. He.... got to the space time pocket but still wasn't breathing so.... and then he.... ran farther into the crystal?

 

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "but his goal approached ever slower" - bit unclear and wordy/clunky, IMO. How about 'goal never approached'?

- "felt like a closet" - very odd analogy, I thought. 'Cupboard was bare' does spring to mind, but the introduction of clothes is so specific and random, especially for Sm who is not a fashion- or image-conscious person at all, to my understanding.

I'm not sold on a lot of the description here. I'll wordsmith it on the next go round. I think that may be the source of some of the confusion.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

This chapter is 8,000 words?!?! Wow.

Um, yes. The next one is even longer, but these will probably get split up into separate chapters on the next edit.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

These are animals, are they not? Even if these are not, I feel like bird 'talk' has been translated in earlier books.

Nope--these are one of the sentients of this facet.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "A family. That’s what we are." - See my comments from the previous sub. I just don't buy this

Agree. I remember this as a bit of shorthand while writing, telling me I need to flesh this out.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "their random collections of teeth" - how are they random? I thought they were all the way around the underside of the creatures, which would not be random, surely. Maybe I misremember.

Maybe a bad way to put it. Arranged with no discernible order, more like cancers than jaws.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "trying to make the same change" - Hang on, I thought you couldn't make the same change in the same place / vicinity

Bad wording. More that he was extending the change to include others.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "the whole the El" - Meh, this is supper convenient. I'm not a fan. My image is of El covering the whole wall. Why would they leave one gap? It's very much like this plot needs this random act of carelessness from the E

Also agree. I need to buildup a "baiting" situation better so move the El away from one point.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "back the way they had come" - Oh, no, please, not again

This time It's different, I promise!

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "C-shaped ring" - The what? When was this? Maybe WRS, but that was still a long time ago. Is it this book?

This is my bad. It was introduced in the last book, and then I realized I hadn't put anything in about it in this book. It will be important later.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

I hope he draws strength from this and backslides less in future into his anxiety.

Hoping this pans out through the book...

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

Yes. Nailed the ending. I was hoping this would be the last line, and this is exactly where/how I wanted the chapter to end

Cool.

4 hours ago, Robinski said:

I like the conclusion very much, the action that led to it, the crisis with one sibling through and one not, and S stuck in the middle. All great. The chapter is just too longer before that, IMO.

Hopefully with the shakeup/edit/smash with the previous chapters, I can regulate the length a little better.

Very helpful as always!

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3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Nope--these are one of the sentients of this facet.

Oops. My bad.

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Arranged with no discernible order, more like cancers than jaws.

Oh, I did not get that before, back in Man's chapter (I think).

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Very helpful as always!

:D Always a pleasure to help.

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2 hours ago, Robinski said:
5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Arranged with no discernible order, more like cancers than jaws.

Oh, I did not get that before, back in Man's chapter (I think).

Good to know. I'll clarify.

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Overall, was initially a little stumped by this chapter in terms of how I wanted to critique it. I liked it, for the most part. I was engaged. It started off calm and tension gradually built. I liked how confident S was. It ended on a note that certainly has me wanting to read on. Yet, something felt missing. I'm wondering if I would feel differently about this chapter if I was reading the whole thing straight through or if this is more of a WRS thing. I kept thinking it felt fragmented, like it wasn't a whole chapter, but then I realize that isn't a whole chapter, at least not according to the title. 

 

On 2/11/2020 at 10:49 PM, kais said:

It was thrilling, certainly, and the tension held, but I don't know really what S was doing. I think I might need a bit more around his separation from the group, and the how's and why's of what happens next

I agree with this. I also was a little confused here. Not so much that it  completely pulled me out of the narrative, but enough that I wasn't quite sure if I was picturing it right. 

 

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12 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I kept thinking it felt fragmented, like it wasn't a whole chapter, but then I realize that isn't a whole chapter, at least not according to the title. 

Thanks for reading through, @shatteredsmooth! Yes, this one's a bit of a mess,and follows through what started last week.

I'm just finishing edits on book 2, so I hope to work on the S/E/I sections of this book and have something more coherent in a week or two to resub.

 

12 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:
On 2/11/2020 at 10:49 PM, kais said:

It was thrilling, certainly, and the tension held, but I don't know really what S was doing. I think I might need a bit more around his separation from the group, and the how's and why's of what happens next

I agree with this. I also was a little confused here. Not so much that it  completely pulled me out of the narrative, but enough that I wasn't quite sure if I was picturing it right. 

Okay, one vote that it was clear, two that it was confused. Will adjust.

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Overall: This felt like yet a third chapter inside this one long chapter from last week. I found the beginning a little slow, but the end was quite tense. I wasn't really confused by what was happening, but I also think that a little clarification wouldn't hurt it in the slightest. 

As I go:

The tone is striking me a bit oddly in the beginning here. It's... It's feeling like the descriptions of the other people in this facet aren't really treating them like people. It feels to me like SE&I are out on a nature walk and pointing out weird animals to each other. It's hard to define really well or point to any one part and say "this is the problem" but the way the other people are being described is kind of making me go :unsure:  
 
"same sense of vertigo" -- Did he have vertigo at the wall earlier? I can't recall. 
 
I stumbled over that family line same as @Robinski . The next lines made me feel worried about S. I don't know that I'd exactly call what he's outlining here all that healthy...
 
"clearly see the shade" -- Couldn't he clearly see the shade the other two or three times he noticed this and called it out?  
 
The last part with the run was very intense, but the walks to and through the crystal were harder for me to get through. 

 

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1 hour ago, industrialistDragon said:

I found the beginning a little slow, but the end was quite tense. I wasn't really confused by what was happening, but I also think that a little clarification wouldn't hurt it in the slightest. 

Sounds like it's getting there...

1 hour ago, industrialistDragon said:

The tone is striking me a bit oddly in the beginning here. It's... It's feeling like the descriptions of the other people in this facet aren't really treating them like people. It feels to me like SE&I are out on a nature walk and pointing out weird animals to each other

I think I know what you mean here. I wasn't putting in all the description I needed for the other inhabitants, and that probably makes them appear like cardboard cutouts.

1 hour ago, industrialistDragon said:

I stumbled over that family line same as @Robinski . The next lines made me feel worried about S. I don't know that I'd exactly call what he's outlining here all that healthy...

Yes, definitely need to prop this up.

Thanks @industrialistDragon!

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