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Robinski

Robinski - 200320 - TCC Chapter 1D (29) - 5321 words (LVG)

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Posted (edited)

I'm terribly sorry how late this is. Take as long as you like to comment upon it, and I totally appreciate this may run into next week or whatever. Very sorry :unsure: 

More commentary later. Rushing around again.

p.s. And it's long too!!!  :'O(

Edited by Robinski
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I was disappointed with this chapter. There was some beautiful writing, but something about it just isn't quite working for me. N talks a lot. Maybe too much. Mustache-twirling is a term I hadn't really  heard until I joined this group, and maybe it fits here. I also was really disappointed when the VelR's obeyed the programming. I had completely expected them to turn on N. There were definitely some places where Q's emotions were beautifully described, but I still didn't have the same level of buy-in and engagement that I did your other chapters.

I'm not quite sure what, but something is missing and off about this chapter. I'll think more about it, and come back if I can find a more concrete way to explain it or why I think it.

It is after midnight here. Maybe in the morning I'll think of something more specific. 

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4 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I was disappointed with this chapter. There was some beautiful writing, but something about it just isn't quite working for me. N talks a lot. Maybe too much. Mustache-twirling is a term I hadn't really  heard until I joined this group, and maybe it fits here. I also was really disappointed when the VelR's obeyed the programming. I had completely expected them to turn on N. There were definitely some places where Q's emotions were beautifully described, but I still didn't have the same level of buy-in and engagement that I did your other chapters.

I'm not quite sure what, but something is missing and off about this chapter. I'll think more about it, and come back if I can find a more concrete way to explain it or why I think it.

It is after midnight here. Maybe in the morning I'll think of something more specific. 

Right. I'll need to think on that too. Any cold-light-of-day comments you have would be very helpful, I'm sure :) Thanks for reading so quickly!!

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I've read this part and i feel like i'm not ina position to comment on it, a lo of it is carried by it being a payoff for a story that i haven't read, meaning that i can't realy judge on the validity of the payoff.

On the writing itself, it felt a bit slow. I feel liek i should be anxious and on the edge of my seat and i'm not, i'm ahving to wait for more tension too often i feel. 

You're starting a lot of sentences with subject, but a lot less then before and it doesn't bother me in this one so much because it isn't constant and it feels almost necessary.

I don't really have a lot of comments on the writing itself, except on page 18 "That’s may not be good." isn't a correct sentence.  

 I did like the fighting, it felt active and fast-paced and i really felt like Q was in danger so props on that.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

On 3/21/2020 at 5:18 AM, Robinski said:

Any cold-light-of-day comments you have would be very helpful, I'm sure

I haven't had a to chance to give it a second read yet, but I have given it a little more thought. 

Part of what I didn't like was that N did a lot villain talk. But I've also become very invested in the other characters who have been very prominent throughout the book and they were pushed to the side lines. I get Q is the mc, but the other characters have been very prominent, and Q alone with N and his thoughts wasn't the same as Q with M or Q with everyone else. 

D's death didn't quite land right either. He's probably the character I'm least attached to, so if someone has to die, I'm fine with it being him. However, something about it didn't have the right impact. It happened so quick and most of Q's reaction was swallowed by more of N's monologue. 

 N's monologue had some interesting concepts in it and Q 'sf deep, sad, feelings were poetic and beautifully written, but I found myself lacking buy-in.

But this all may just be a subjective thing. Maybe it's not what I was hoping was going to happen, so I'm getting grumpy about it. There have been countless numbers of times where I've bought a book, read it, loved 80% of it, and disliked the last few chapters.

I'll be curious to see what the others who have been following this from the begining seem to think. 

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Things are really wrapping up!

A few small things;

Around 20%: between "the thing rasped" and "a healthy" a parenthesis is missing.

N's appearance: it seems strange that he would show up to his finest hour naked, especially as someone who seems to hate his own appearance. For most people, being naked in public would be a vulnerable feeling. Even if he had no clothes as an experiment, it seems like if he wanted them he would take them off of anyone he chose, living or dead. The description of his body didn't quite connect for me on a visceral level. The visual of a malformed monster is clear but it feels like too many facts.

I really liked Q making the leap of logic that N had some failsafes installed. The OM seems like the type who wouldn't give that kind of power to someone without being able to control them so this rings true.

The hero death felt a little hollow to me. Even a couple more sentences of reaction or acknowledgement might deepen the impact. Right now it just feels like he's been brushed aside. 

Feels like you're building towards a satisfying ending, I can't wait to see how it all works out. :-)

Thanks for sharing

 

 

 

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Generally agree with the others on this one. Overall, I think this chapter has a lot of potential, but right now it's choppy, and maybe things aren't revealed in the correct order? N's motivations are very unclear until the very last page, which makes it hard to empathize with Q and his responses. Q and J's relationship was also never very certain, and I don't know how much Q was actually an absent father and how much this whole thing was out of his hands.

I didn't note anything down on D's death while reading, though it did give me pause. Mainly that he was such a sort of random addition from the start I wasn't quite ever sure what to make of him.

Notes while reading:
pg 3: “It’s all your fault.”
--I get that N is distressed, but how did Q do any of this? Wasn't N taken from him, or he didn't know about him until later? He certainly didn't know about whatever genetic manipulation was performed. Blaming him rather than TOM seem inconsistent with how smart N is.

pg 3: "stood stalk still" -> stock

pg 3: “You say her name. Say it!” 
--again, Q doesn't have a problem saying J's name (as I remember) so this doesn't have the impact I want from it.

pg 3: "He had What the… thing want?"
--wanted?

pg 4: "Easier than breeding one illegally."
--I'm guessing human clones are illegal then, but with this level of genetic manipulation for all the creatures, I don't see why TOM would really care if it was illegal. Changing his own grandson is vile, and as easy as it would be to just make a clone of N (or several) and practice on that instead, I don't see why TOM would go to this effort...

pg 4: “And you can scare the father away,” 
--Didn't we learn in the last book that J had N through artificially insemination or something like that, or am I misremembering? I feel like we knew that Q literally had nothing to do with N being born.

pg 5: "as he continued to die"
--some more visceral emotion here (and yes, I know this is me saying this...)

pg 5: "to feel the electricity, to touch the digital world around me."
--ok, that's cool.

pg 5: "would leaking from his ears"
--leak

pg 6: "They brought him here,"
--and was he human then? Did E know about the manipulations? That's a big point in how guilty she is in all this.

pg 6: "How could I know I was knee deep"
--so she did know about the genetic manipulation?  If that's so, all my sympathy for E goes out the window. She's at fault, not Q.

pg 6: "both my creators"
--ehhh...still not completely on board with this.

pg 7: "the lovely T has not been entirely honest"
--I guess this means E didn't know. Also, ick.

pg 7: "its animal smell"
--at this point Q has waffled several times between it/he and N/monster. As he is, ahem, demonstrably male, I feel Q could settle on a pronoun.

pg 7: "I am my own code, the key to the future, the new paradigm.” 
--So...now i"m conflicted on N's motivations. He seems to be pretty proud of what he can do, and doesn't seem to be overly uncomfortable with his form. What exactly is he angry about? That his body was changed? That he was given powers? That he was locked up?

pg 8: "N had engineered..."
--This almost reads as an infodump, in that it's just a list of the things that happened. Can we have more of Q's reaction to them instead?

pg 8: “The simple truth is that you are going to die now.”
--annnnd now he's gone into mustache-twirling territory. He's been monologueing...

pg 9: "The disorientation was powerful"
--from what?

pg 11: "That’s all I really want...The silence, the darkness."
--Would be good to have some indication of this before, if this is his motivation.

pg 11: "but can I talk him down? That’s all I've got at this point, and it’s on me."
--I feel like this works against the tension. You've got a powerful enemy talking and waving his arms around, but not really acting on his power. I'm sure he could easily kill everyone in the room if he wanted (which is his stated intention), but he's just standing there talking.

pg 12: "I had hope until my parents tore themselves apart,” 
--I guess I'm misremembering? Q and J had a kid and then divorced?

pg 12: "Hope leached out of him"
--again, more visceral. Does he sag? His feet feel heavy? He wants to just lay down?

pg 12: "to put an end to me"
--that's the opposite of "you are going to die now.” Which is it?

pg 12: "my birth in a vat"
--also confused now as to what the situation between Q and J was. How old is N?

pg 13: "who was stalk still"
--stock (x2 for this chapter)

pg 14: “Subdue me, huh?” "You failed the test, Father,"
--very confused as to what N actually wants.

pg 17: “don’t shoot!...It’s what he wants.”
--At this point, why not just shoot?

pg 18: Ok, I get N's motivation better now--evidently he's going to become digital somehow, but his flesh has to die to do that and TOM wouldn't let that happen. It was pretty confusing to get to this point, though.

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Better late than never!

Overall

Some dragging in the middle with the super maniacal Ni of DHOOM but other than that this read smoothly. Excellent tension, great M lines! E was a bit out of character but I flagged that below. Very excited for the conclusion, since the stakes just rose AGAIN!

On 3/22/2020 at 7:09 AM, shatteredsmooth said:

Part of what I didn't like was that N did a lot villain talk.

I 100% agree with this

9 hours ago, Mandamon said:

N's motivations are very unclear until the very last page, which makes it hard to empathize with Q and his responses. Q and J's relationship was also never very certain, and I don't know how much Q was actually an absent father and how much this whole thing was out of his hands.

Unsurprisingly, I agree with @Mandamon on these points as well. The motivation could use some tweaking.

 

As I go

- pg 2: ah I see we're starting out with penis imagery. Very well. Carry on.

- pg 3: . He had What the… thing want? It could not possibly be good. <-- is there a typo in here? I don't understand the sentence

- pg 6: before she threw herself at the <-- this seems very out of character for E. She's been emotionally reserved and self destructive this whole book. Here she's written more like T, barely able to contain her emotions

- pg 8: I continue to adore M

- pg 10: I giggled at E asking Q if he was naked

- pg 11: I feel like Q should have more guilt. I know its a moment of panic but... this is his son and he got turned into a... thing. Where's the why didn't I stay? Oh god, why didn't I stay??

- pg 12: okay the villain rant is going on a bit long now I feel like. N is starting to grate and I'm losing empathy

- pg 14: M shooting her new raptors friends is going to be ROUGH on her later. Oof

- pg 16: so why did the disrupter thing not fry Ni the first time? Is it a proximity thing?

- pg 16: She looked like the avenging angel of all guttersnipes. <-- I adore this line!

 

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21 hours ago, Mandamon said:

N's motivations are very unclear until the very last page, which makes it hard to empathize with Q and his responses. Q and J's relationship was also never very certain, and I don't know how much Q was actually an absent father and how much this whole thing was out of his hands.

I agree with this completely. 

12 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 14: M shooting her new raptors friends is going to be ROUGH on her later. Oof

 

Definitely. 

 

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Hey, KillerSquid, I really do appreciate you commenting in view of you jumping in here at this late stage. 

On 22/03/2020 at 0:48 PM, killersquid said:

I've read this part and i feel like i'm not ina position to comment on it, a lo of it is carried by it being a payoff for a story that i haven't read, meaning that i can't realy judge on the validity of the payoff.

Totally accepted, but I still value your comments as a piece of writing if nothing else.

On 22/03/2020 at 0:48 PM, killersquid said:

On the writing itself, it felt a bit slow. I feel liek i should be anxious and on the edge of my seat and i'm not, i'm ahving to wait for more tension too often i feel. 

I like this analysis of it, and I agree, I can see that as I think about it, recalling editing it. I like what you say about not being anxious and waiting for the tension. I think that's a good way of expressing the problems. Very helpful, thank you.

On 22/03/2020 at 0:48 PM, killersquid said:

You're starting a lot of sentences with subject, but a lot less then before and it doesn't bother me in this one so much because it isn't constant and it feels almost necessary.

Okay. I must admit it's not something I think about when I'm writing, not consciously or in those terms anyway. I'm glad the style works better for you hear, but I will not overlook this when I edit the previous chapter.

On 22/03/2020 at 0:48 PM, killersquid said:

I don't really have a lot of comments on the writing itself, except on page 18 "That’s may not be good." isn't a correct sentence. 

Oops. Thanks!

On 22/03/2020 at 0:48 PM, killersquid said:

 I did like the fighting, it felt active and fast-paced and i really felt like Q was in danger so props on that.

This is good, because its an important part of the chapter, of course. Pacing, anxiety and tension I can work on.

Great comments, thank you so much, KS, much appreciated :) 

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On 22/03/2020 at 2:09 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

Part of what I didn't like was that N did a lot villain talk. But I've also become very invested in the other characters who have been very prominent throughout the book and they were pushed to the side lines. I get Q is the mc, but the other characters have been very prominent, and Q alone with N and his thoughts wasn't the same as Q with M or Q with everyone else.

Good points here, all noted. I'm scribbling furiously.

On 22/03/2020 at 2:09 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

D's death didn't quite land right either. He's probably the character I'm least attached to, so if someone has to die, I'm fine with it being him. However, something about it didn't have the right impact. It happened so quick and most of Q's reaction was swallowed by more of N's monologue.

Another good point.

On 22/03/2020 at 2:09 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

N's monologue had some interesting concepts in it and Q 'sf deep, sad, feelings were poetic and beautifully written, but I found myself lacking buy-in.

Right <scribble>. So, it's more the buy-in with Q's feelings/reaction?

On 22/03/2020 at 2:09 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

But this all may just be a subjective thing. Maybe it's not what I was hoping was going to happen, so I'm getting grumpy about it. There have been countless numbers of times where I've bought a book, read it, loved 80% of it, and disliked the last few chapters.

Hmm, okay. 

On 22/03/2020 at 2:09 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I'll be curious to see what the others who have been following this from the begining seem to think. 

Me too!

Thanks so much for this. Very helpful :) 

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Hey Sarah, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

On 23/03/2020 at 7:53 AM, Sarah B said:

N's appearance: it seems strange that he would show up to his finest hour naked, especially as someone who seems to hate his own appearance. For most people, being naked in public would be a vulnerable feeling. Even if he had no clothes as an experiment, it seems like if he wanted them he would take them off of anyone he chose, living or dead. The description of his body didn't quite connect for me on a visceral level. The visual of a malformed monster is clear but it feels like too many facts.

Yes, okay. I was going the the beast angle, and why would a beast wear clothes? But if it's jarring with the logic of the situation, or at least how it's expressed, I'll need to deal with that. On the other point: too many facts... in terms of too many descriptive details, I think? I'll need to re-read again, armed with everyone's comments, of course, this one included.

On 23/03/2020 at 7:53 AM, Sarah B said:

I really liked Q making the leap of logic that N had some failsafes installed. The OM seems like the type who wouldn't give that kind of power to someone without being able to control them so this rings true.

Cool :) 

On 23/03/2020 at 7:53 AM, Sarah B said:

The hero death felt a little hollow to me. Even a couple more sentences of reaction or acknowledgement might deepen the impact. Right now it just feels like he's been brushed aside. 

Hero death, do you mean D?

On 23/03/2020 at 7:53 AM, Sarah B said:

Feels like you're building towards a satisfying ending, I can't wait to see how it all works out. :-)

Yeah :unsure: I think there is more tuning to do at the end here than anywhere else, I haven't got on to the comments about the next chapter, of course, but I can already sense... I'm not sure what. I'm totally willing to accept that this is ending is not tuned correctly yet.

Really appreciate the comments, thanks Sarah. Very helpful :) 

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Hey @Mandamon, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I have been so grateful for your comments all the way through, and not sparing anything that needed to be said. I have complete faith that this chapter will be no different!

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

Generally agree with the others on this one. Overall, I think this chapter has a lot of potential, but right now it's choppy, and maybe things aren't revealed in the correct order?

Check. Again, like KillerSquid, I think you've hit an excellent way of expressing one of the major issues.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

N's motivations are very unclear until the very last page, which makes it hard to empathize with Q and his responses. Q and J's relationship was also never very certain, and I don't know how much Q was actually an absent father and how much this whole thing was out of his hands.

Right, this is great stuff, very, very helpful. I can certainly go back and better define Q and J's relationship in earlier chapters.

In relation to N's motivations, I was trying to reveal them subtly <cough> through the chapter to have the reader work out what was going on, but maybe that is not working, or maybe I just need to pull forward the reveal. The potential problem with that is it sours what I hope was a kind of crisis moment when M shoots N, which I thought should come close to the understanding of N's purpose. I don't know. I think I'm going to have a lot to puzzle over with this chapter. It is the critical one where everything comes to a head, as it were, and I totally accept it needs to be better, stronger, tighter, etc.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

I didn't note anything down on D's death while reading, though it did give me pause. Mainly that he was such a sort of random addition from the start I wasn't quite ever sure what to make of him.

Right. Hmm. I've certainly had that comment before, and I think I added a reference to him much earlier in one of E's POVs, although it's really only an aside. I could add more of him earlier.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: “It’s all your fault.”
--I get that N is distressed, but how did Q do any of this? Wasn't N taken from him, or he didn't know about him until later? He certainly didn't know about whatever genetic manipulation was performed. Blaming him rather than TOM seem inconsistent with how smart N is.

Okay, I might need to tune that, but it may not be inconsistent with how emotional N is, how spiteful? I'll think on it.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 3: “You say her name. Say it!” 
--again, Q doesn't have a problem saying J's name (as I remember) so this doesn't have the impact I want from it.

I've tweaked it to make N less hysterical here.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4: "Easier than breeding one illegally."
--I'm guessing human clones are illegal then, but with this level of genetic manipulation for all the creatures, I don't see why TOM would really care if it was illegal. Changing his own grandson is vile, and as easy as it would be to just make a clone of N (or several) and practice on that instead, I don't see why TOM would go to this effort...

Interesting point. Maybe I need to go do some genetic research to try and justify why that wouldn't work, but I'll see how many people latch onto it first, I think.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 4: “And you can scare the father away,” 
--Didn't we learn in the last book that J had N through artificially insemination or something like that, or am I misremembering? I feel like we knew that Q literally had nothing to do with N being born.

I mean, I could say that Q is father more in an emotional sense. Certainly both N and he have accepted that. J and Q had a healthy relationship before, so there was certainly enough of Q's genetic material around for her to obtain some for the purpose of insemination.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 5: "as he continued to die"
--some more visceral emotion here (and yes, I know this is me saying this...)

I've tried to dial that up a bit.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 5: "to feel the electricity, to touch the digital world around me."
--ok, that's cool.

Excellent! :) 

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 6: "They brought him here,"
--and was he human then? Did E know about the manipulations? That's a big point in how guilty she is in all this.

Clarified. She didn't ever see him. No cameras, just rumours and warnings, and the protocol.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 6: "How could I know I was knee deep"
--so she did know about the genetic manipulation?  If that's so, all my sympathy for E goes out the window. She's at fault, not Q.

She didn't.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 6: "both my creators"
--ehhh...still not completely on board with this.

I've softened this a bit.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 7: "the lovely T has not been entirely honest"
--I guess this means E didn't know. Also, ick.

Ick is good. I need to do some rewriting of the next chapter as it is not picking up all that it should of the fallout from this one.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 7: "its animal smell"
--at this point Q has waffled several times between it/he and N/monster. As he is, ahem, demonstrably male, I feel Q could settle on a pronoun.

Right. I have watered way down (to one, I think) the stuttering, halting juxtaposition references to 'N... no, it... no, N' kind of thing, which I hope will make it easier. I've kept the N/M thing thought, and there are still instances of both he and it. I'll pick it up again in the next edit.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 7: "I am my own code, the key to the future, the new paradigm.” 
--So...now i"m conflicted on N's motivations. He seems to be pretty proud of what he can do, and doesn't seem to be overly uncomfortable with his form. What exactly is he angry about? That his body was changed? That he was given powers? That he was locked up?

I was shooting for a clear revenge lust against the old man. I've added something to make that clear.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 8: "N had engineered..."
--This almost reads as an infodump, in that it's just a list of the things that happened. Can we have more of Q's reaction to them instead?

I hope I've improved this by adding more Q feels.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 8: “The simple truth is that you are going to die now.”
--annnnd now he's gone into mustache-twirling territory. He's been monologueing...

I've tried to de-ham this, but leave the portent and threat. Not sure. I'll need to read it back a few more times,

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 9: "The disorientation was powerful"
--from what?

The sudden darkness. I've reworded.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 11: "That’s all I really want...The silence, the darkness."
--Would be good to have some indication of this before, if this is his motivation.

Not exactly.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 11: "but can I talk him down? That’s all I've got at this point, and it’s on me."
--I feel like this works against the tension. You've got a powerful enemy talking and waving his arms around, but not really acting on his power. I'm sure he could easily kill everyone in the room if he wanted (which is his stated intention), but he's just standing there talking.

Right. I'll look to reword the 'talk down' speech once I've rounded up the other reactions.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 12: "I had hope until my parents tore themselves apart,” 
--I guess I'm misremembering? Q and J had a kid and then divorced?

Well, more like she presented him with N and he left. The details thereafter are a little vague, although there is reference in TMM to divorce, from memory.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 12: "Hope leached out of him"
--again, more visceral. Does he sag? His feet feel heavy? He wants to just lay down?

Good, good. I'll do this.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 12: "to put an end to me"
--that's the opposite of "you are going to die now.” Which is it?

Yes, this has always been confused on the page. I've got numerous flags out to go all through the draft and tighten up N's motivation, but here more than anywhere. I have tweaked this particular line though, for consistency.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 12: "my birth in a vat"
--also confused now as to what the situation between Q and J was. How old is N?

Ah, artificially aged in the vat, and it's mentioned earlier that there are grow boosting processes available (no doubt extremely unpleasant).

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 13: "who was stalk still"
--stock (x2 for this chapter)

Oops. That's no good. Changed.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 14: “Subdue me, huh?” "You failed the test, Father,"
--very confused as to what N actually wants.

Yeah, I will tidy the whole through line of the chapter up.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 17: “don’t shoot!...It’s what he wants.”
--At this point, why not just shoot?

I need to better show that Q has worked out what N wants, and what that is.

On 23/03/2020 at 4:26 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 18: Ok, I get N's motivation better now--evidently he's going to become digital somehow, but his flesh has to die to do that and TOM wouldn't let that happen. It was pretty confusing to get to this point, though.

Accepted. I need to retread the whole chapter in this respect.

Fantastic comments, thank you so much for reading, @Mandamon!! Much appreciated :) 

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On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

Better late than never!

Always, @kais, always.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

Some dragging in the middle with the super maniacal Ni of DHOOM but other than that this read smoothly. Excellent tension, great M lines! E was a bit out of character but I flagged that below. Very excited for the conclusion, since the stakes just rose AGAIN!

Excellent. I'm glad to hear this. Although, heh, well... :unsure:  I'll be going on to the next set of comment tomorrow, and my trepidation is through the roof, because I know there are things not right about it, several, numerous. The ending chapters need the most editing, easily another three or four goes, I'm sure.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

I 100% agree with this

Yeah, as in my responses to Mandamon, I need to retread the whole N through line for consistency, although I hope not to lose his maniacal mindset, I think there is too much inconsistency and it's just plain confusing in places. 

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

The motivation could use some tweaking.

Hard agree.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 2: ah I see we're starting out with penis imagery. Very well. Carry on.

*** Warning: response contains adult humour. Click away now if you are easily offended ***

Spoiler

Honestly, officer, it just sort of popped up as I was writing.

I dunno. I seemed like a good idea at the time. I might cut it.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 3: . He had What the… thing want? It could not possibly be good. <-- is there a typo in here? I don't understand the sentence

Yeah, me neither. Probably a good two or three typos there.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 6: before she threw herself at the <-- this seems very out of character for E. She's been emotionally reserved and self destructive this whole book. Here she's written more like T, barely able to contain her emotions

Okay. 

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 8: I continue to adore M

:D 

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 10: I giggled at E asking Q if he was naked

Correct response, carry on.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 11: I feel like Q should have more guilt. I know its a moment of panic but... this is his son and he got turned into a... thing. Where's the why didn't I stay? Oh god, why didn't I stay??

Yes. 

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 12: okay the villain rant is going on a bit long now I feel like. N is starting to grate and I'm losing empathy

I've trimmed it slightly, but the whole thing needs tidied up in another complete go through.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 14: M shooting her new raptors friends is going to be ROUGH on her later. Oof

<nods  head>

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 16: so why did the disrupter thing not fry Ni the first time? Is it a proximity thing?

It did rattle his teeth, but maybe this did not come across clearly enough.

On 24/03/2020 at 2:15 AM, kais said:

- pg 16: She looked like the avenging angel of all guttersnipes. <-- I adore this line!

:D   Isn't she just so much fun? I feel like I could write her forever.

Super comments. Thank you very much. Extremely useful, much appreciated :) 

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Pretty much what others have said. I don't mind a bit scenery-chewing in a villain, especially one as demonstrably melodramatic and diva-ish as N, but it is feeling a little bit much to me right now, especially in the middle. 

I also agree that D's quick and ignominious end did not land quite right for me.  "Oh, well of course. Have to keep the cast small," was my main thought as it happened. 

The only other thing was, like the last section, I had trouble placing everything in space -- architectural elements, people. I remember the individual parts, and I know all the people, but how they fit together is still a little jumbled for me. 

 

As I go: 

 

I'm pretty sure it's "stock-still" not stalk. 

"her stand taught" -- stance? taut? 

“Convent rat” -- this sort of diminishes the moment coming from Q, I feel. I could see M saying it about herself, though. 

I appreciate that M has held onto that device for the entire road trip

Every time I see "N/monster" written in the text, I get Avenue Q flashbacks. Nothing bad about that. it's just a me thing. 

I appreciate the Ozymandias reference. 

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Posted (edited)

Hey, ID, many thanks for these comments.

On 30/03/2020 at 8:38 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I don't mind a bit scenery-chewing in a villain, especially one as demonstrably melodramatic and diva-ish as N, but it is feeling a little bit much to me right now, especially in the middle.

Yup. I've watered it down a bit, but will be closely reviewing the whole N thread all the way through in the next edit.

On 30/03/2020 at 8:38 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I also agree that D's quick and ignominious end did not land quite right for me.  "Oh, well of course. Have to keep the cast small," was my main thought as it happened.

Yeah. It's a bit 'red shirt', I accept that. I've gone back a lot of chapters to try and layer D in a bit more from the start, and I've given him another line or two in this chapter to try and build up his demise, but someone's gotta buy the farm in this chapter, and I need K for later (I think, unless...).

On 30/03/2020 at 8:38 PM, industrialistDragon said:

The only other thing was, like the last section, I had trouble placing everything in space -- architectural elements, people. I remember the individual parts, and I know all the people, but how they fit together is still a little jumbled for me.

Yup. I've got a big note to go back and work on all the blocking through this chapter.

On 30/03/2020 at 8:38 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I'm pretty sure it's "stock-still" not stalk. 

Check.

Quote

"her stand taught" -- stance? taut? 

Good catch. Yes on both counts.

Quote

“Convent rat” -- this sort of diminishes the moment coming from Q, I feel. I could see M saying it about herself, though. 

Hmm. Good point. Edited.

Quote

I appreciate that M has held onto that device for the entire road trip

:D 

Quote

Every time I see "N/monster" written in the text, I get Avenue Q flashbacks. Nothing bad about that. it's just a me thing. 

Okay...

Quote

I appreciate the Ozymandias reference.

Excellent. I worried it was heavy-handed, but it seems to be going down well. It's such a great piece.

Thanks so much for reading, and for the comments.

Edited by Robinski
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I’m a bit conflicted about this chapter – I like the reveal of N., and that he’s been behind everything from the start, but in terms of the ‘final boss fight’ it feels drawn out with dialogue and a little anti-climactic. I’m also trying to wrap my head around the reveals, but I have more questions now than answers.

 

N. reveal: I like that we finally get to see N. and what’s in the enclosure. And boy is it a chimeric piece of work. I do have to wonder though what the goal of the experiments was, because there seem to be a lot – create a humanoid monster from a human, as well as create some kind of lawnmower man. Seems weird to do both things, which are so different, to one being.

Not bothered that he’s not wearing clothes – what would he be able to wear anyway?

 

TOM’s plan: From N.’s perspective, which may be flawed, it really seems like TOM meant for his daughter to create a clone so he didn’t have to, which seems both unnecessarily cruel to his daughter, and more trouble than it’s worth. I mean, the experiments are illegal anyway, so would adding the additional step of creating a clone, so he wouldn’t have to put his own daughter in an asylum, be that much of a hassle?

Alternatively, as TOM is not above having people killed, why even use a clone, why not a disgruntled employee or an enemy, or some homeless people that no one is going to miss? The researchers might have more of a problem working on a person than on cloned meat, but still, all he’d need are some sociopathic researchers and he’d be all set.

The experiments also seem quite complex, so getting things right (depending on how you look at it) the very first time would be quite unlikely. Yet that’s what seems to have happened. There was one clone, and the experiments were only done on that one clone. I would expect there to have been more to experiment on, and if that’s the case, why use his ‘grandson’ at all? Or maybe he did create more, and they all think they're TOM's grandson...

 

Metaphors have rights: Maybe it’s just me, but the joke felt a little out of place in the face of N.. Feels like something M. might say though.

 

D. Dies: And just like that D. dies. I’m still not fully sold on his character, the way he showed up with E. way back when never felt right – it felt like a character with too many useful skills and connections to just show up. And now he’s dead, and I don’t really feel anything one way or the other that he’s gone.


Exposition: N. really wants to explain everything, but his motivations are a bit confusing to read, and that’s partly because he’s trying misdirection to manipulate Q.. Every reveal seemed to contradict the one that came before.

On the one hand he hates his father for leaving him and his mother, and wants his father to suffer before he kills him. But he also wants to be killed by his father so he can become something more powerful.

He hates the ones responsible for making him a monster, but he also seems to relish his monstrous form and the powers he has. Speaking of those powers, he’s suffering because he can’t turn off the digital signals, but he wants to become digital too, so how would things be silent then?

 

Pacing: Pacing started off as slow, because of all the back and forth between N. and Q. and E.. I don’t mind it all that much, because we finally get to the reason why all this is happening, if the reasons weren’t so confusing. It did feel like everyone was just standing around, chatting with the monstrous villain, as if N. wasn’t some genetic monstrosity – I remember how uncomfortable E. was in the early chapters even thinking about what was in the last enclosure, but there seems to be none of that now.

 

Dancing to monster’s tune for months: Q. thinks that he’s been dancing to the monster’s tune for months, but the events taking place in the book are spread over a couple of days, not months. I also don’t remember anything that would make me think that the previous job that got them to Canada in the first place, with the art thief, was instigated by N..

 

We smell like poop: Wasn’t it only M. who went into the sewer and got covered in excrement, and that only in the coveralls she’d been wearing – which she also discarded right? So why would the others smell so much like rust that the V. wouldn’t notice them all smelling like humans?

 

Darkness: While the lights were out I didn’t have a good sense of everyone’s positioning, which on the one hand makes sense, since it’s full darkness, but I’d like to have a sense of N.’s proximity to Q.. Q. seems to want to get some distance from N., and I had the feeling that N. would want to stalk closer to Q. instead. But in the darkness it all reads like talking heads.  

 

Failed the test: Not really sure what the test was, to be honest. N’s motivations seem to be all over the place so it’s hard to make sense of it.

 

NEMP: Felt convenient that they still had one around that they could use to disable the droids and N., and use it twice.

 

Confrontation: Even though Q. got thrown around a little, and D. got shot, it didn’t feel like N. was that much of a threat. He went down relatively easy, getting what he wanted all along. It was a little anti-climactic.

 

Edited by Asmodemon
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