shatteredsmooth

April 4 2020_Book of Mel (Ch. 2 / Sub3) (4998 words) (L)

15 posts in this topic

Content Warning: L (some swears)
Hi Everyone,
 
This weeks submission is a little rougher than I'd like, but I'm stuck and I need help. I read it over and over. I know there is a loose or missing thread (or several of these), but I can't figure out what it is. There are sentences that just feel wrong, but the words won't arrange right in my mind. I can't tell if the bigger issues are content, at the sentence level, or both. I know what I want the chapter to do, but I'm not sure if it is doing it. 
 
I'm also uncertain about how the telepathy is working. When Mel is around wordy thinkers, it's easy because I just put the word-thoughts in italics. But that doesn't really work where Mike is a more abstract thinker and her narrative voice is interpreting the thoughts. 
 
Any kind of feedback will be helpful! Just don't get too carried away with grammar in case the content comments prompt to delete half (or all) of the chapter and rewrite it. 
 
Thank you!
 
Recap:
Ch. 1 (last time): Mel, Angel-Elf-Human hybrid is nervous about her first day of class, so she goes out for a jog and ends up saving some random guy from a Demon. The next day Mel's hung over from healing the guy. She meets a girl who is very into her and then realizes guy-she-saved is the TA for one of her classes. 
 
Ch. 2 (this time): Food trucks, suspicion, pizza, and flirting? 
 
Ch. 3 (next time): Two weeks later, Mel grows a conscience and feels guilty about reading Mike's mind. Tasha is in denial about a broken arm.  Ally (Mel's roomate) forgets to warn Mel about late night company. 
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Whoo! I'm actually first for once! There's no one else's comments to avoid!

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, "when her brain was more developed" Interesting...is it linked to one of her non-human bloodlines?

Pg 1, "Mi stopped in front of M." I feel like this was rather jerky, like he just instantly teleported to right in front of her. That might just be me, though. 

Pg 3, " campus, ___. And ___ diner" Ah, yes, my favorite places to eat at as well. Love your placeholders. Mine are usually "SOMETHING SOMETHING" 

Pg 3, "M’s front tooth sunk into her lower lip" Unless M is missing teeth, I'd change this to front teeth. You can't bite your bottom lip with one tooth...or at least I can't. I tried.

Pg 6, " tripped over a corgi" No!!! Not the corgi!!! 

Pg 7, "You had a very strong reaction. Why?" Too many monster movies would be a safe answer, but I doubt that's what M is going to go with.

Pg 8, "Not as good as bacon pizza, but edible." I am hungry now. My weakness.

Pg 9, " I’ll buy you a cake from that bakery" I vote a Twix-topped cake, in reference to C's sparkling outfit. 

Pg 9, " Star Wars inspired braid" Happy May 4th!

Pg 11, "< I keep changing the above paragraph and then putting it back to how it was.>" As you well know from my confusion last time with this paragraph, I unfortunately am not going to be the one who'll be able to offer up solid advice.

Pg 13, "feeling more human than she ever had before" Somehow, I doubt this is going to last...

I didn't correct any odd grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, or weird word choices except for the tooth one because that bothered me. 

Overall:

I feel like this chapter pushed forward the plot much further than the first draft did. I personally enjoyed going from an action-packed first scene in the first chapter, to slower, world-building for the second half of the first chapter, and all of this chapter. The plot was still moving, but the foundation was laid well. I don't feel like I have to scramble to pick up what is going on. I am thoroughly enjoying this story, and eager to get to know these characters better! 

 

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Hi

1) her father, one day - first comma throws me off

1) got hung over from healing someone - if this was shown, great! I can't remember if you did. Otherwise, it's still a cool detail, but probably should be shown.

1) intent gaze - intense gaze

2) M's didn't - it's unclear. perhaps M didn't?

5) flirty - flirtatious? (if I spelled that right)

6) you have any clue about the supernatural - I'm not sure a person would say that with such conviction - most people would try to phrase it as if they don't believe it so people don't thin that they're insane. This part sounds stilted.

9) like a frozen computer - that analogy doesn't fit how I picture M

9) small of it made her - ? what's that supposed to mean?

10) <> - first time I've ever seen that! : )

11) ships' - what's with the apostrophe

11) new friends - one day is awfully fast for making friends. unless the time span is longer?

12) it was less time than she - I'm having trouble following this sentence.

I have the time and energy to do a line edit here, but I don't usually do them so I hope this was helpful. Overall, I like the pacing of the two separate chapters more than before, but the party seemed glossed over and could have used more detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I didn't have much problem with the first half, save than M is pretty intrusive and violating about reading minds. I assume this will be a conflict later.

The second half felt...uninteresting. I think because there is obvious chemistry between M and Mi, but not really anything between M and either of the girls. In fact, they seem to be pairing up with each other. If this is supposed to be a love triangle, then we need a lot more on this leg. I don't have the feeling that M is interested in either of them, while she has a lot of the "don't think about" asides with Mi, and he generates strong emotion in her because she doesn't approve of his research.

Maybe if A or T had a hobby, or some shared like or hate with M, there would be more connection between them.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "She recalled it perfectly, but the second she opened her eyes, the memory of the map faded"
--that's weird. She can picture it perfectly, but can't actually use the information?

pg 1: "claimed it would, one day, when her brain was more developed."
--She's an adult, right? What other developing is she doing?

pg 1: "Mi stopped in front of M"
--wait, what? She's totally lost, off in some residential district outside of the college (which I'm still not certain how she would do, considering the difference in college buildings and houses) and not Mi just wanders up in front of her?

pg 1: “You remember my name?” 
--My first question would be "where did you come from?"

pg 1: "where he’d seen her before"
--I mean, wouldn't he just think he'd seen her in class?

pg 2: "However, it had been worth it if it meant he didn’t recognize her."
--I'd question this. The rest of the picture would match, as well as her build, gait, hairstyle, etc. I'd think he more question why this person who looked the same didn't have the same injuries.

pg 2: "No one else could see the Pixie that she was talking to."
--this should probably come earlier.

pg 3: "temporarily banished from Earth"
--did we know this from Power Surge? it seems a strange addendum, unless she's going to make an appearance later.

pg 3: "pressed her consciousness against his"
--this is getting a bit intrusive.

pg 4: "trying to make sense of a memory shrouded in shadow, one he was fervently pushing out of his conscious mind"
--yeah, this is not alright.

pg 6: "Without her telepathy, she had no clue what the contorted expression on his face meant."
--so is M actually unable to recognize facial expressions, or is this just because the telepathy isn't helping her do it?

pg 7: "She started walking, but grew light headed"
--this seems sudden. Was it from standing up?

pg 7: "Not as good as bacon pizza, but edible."
--I worry about her diet.

pg 9: "The boy found me"
--the boy has a name...

pg 10: "There was nothing too serious about their conversation"
--this sort of sums up their whole interchange so far.

pg 10: "I keep changing the above paragraph"
--I think it's fine.

pg 11: "wouldn’t make friends if she was always aimlessly drifting through random people’s minds"
--she didn't have a problem with it before.

pg 12: "A laughed at something Tasha had said. It was sweet music"
--the other two girls flirting with each other is more interesting than her own interests? She doesn't seem to be a factor in their relationship.

pg 12: "The laughter continued, but eventually, they conceded"
--so I guess they just told her about the show? 
 

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 3, " campus, ___. And ___ diner" Ah, yes, my favorite places to eat at as well. Love your placeholders. Mine are usually "SOMETHING SOMETHING" 

 

Somewhere in the manuscript, I think these places have names, but I couldn't remember and/or find them. :lol:

20 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I feel like this chapter pushed forward the plot much further than the first draft did. I personally enjoyed going from an action-packed first scene in the first chapter, to slower, world-building for the second half of the first chapter, and all of this chapter. The plot was still moving, but the foundation was laid well. I don't feel like I have to scramble to pick up what is going on. I am thoroughly enjoying this story, and eager to get to know these characters better! 

 

Very very happy to hear this! I loved your comments so much! :D

19 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

I have the time and energy to do a line edit here, but I don't usually do them so I hope this was helpful.

They were helpful! I'm also glad to hear that the pacing is working better. I will work on adding more detail to the party in the next revision.

Thank you very much. :)

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Maybe if A or T had a hobby, or some shared like or hate with M, there would be more connection between them.

 

I think this is one of the missing threads I couldn't get my finger on before, and maybe the root of why the interactions between M and T fall flat. I'll work on developing them more in these chapters.

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

save than M is pretty intrusive and violating about reading minds. I assume this will be a conflict later.

I wanted to make sure that it felt like she was doing something to move the b-plot forward, which involves figuring out what he is involved in, but it sounds like I took it too far. I can it tone down.

In the next chapter, she does realize she got carried away, feels very guilty and doesn't do it nearly as much.  

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

--wait, what? She's totally lost, off in some residential district outside of the college (which I'm still not certain how she would do, considering the difference in college buildings and houses) and not Mi just wanders up in front of her?

 

Ok, point taken. I'll change this. 

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

--I worry about her diet.

 

LOL So do a lot of the other characters. 

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

--so is M actually unable to recognize facial expressions, or is this just because the telepathy isn't helping her do it?

 

A little in between. She does recognize some facial expressions, but has some trouble reading certain ones them when she isn't using her telepathy. I'm not entirely sure if that makes sense. But I was thinking that because when she was younger, she couldn't turn the telepathy off, she relied on it too much and now has trouble reading people without it. 

Thank you for the comments, @Mandamon. This gives me a better idea of what's not working and how I can tighten it up. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Comments. I will also send an LBLs file, but it won't have a bunch of minute stuff in it, just some tracked comments they are minor enough they're not worth putting on the thread here.

(page 1)

- It seems a bit repetitive that she is again lost at the beginning of the chapter. Once is fair enough, twice is just careless.

- "so hungry she was getting dizzy" - Meh. I don't believe this. I'm presuming she had a proper breakfast, and it's still late lunchtime?

- But "hung over from healing someone" - I keep forgetting about this, so, special circumstances, I guess but is that not all the more reason for her to know to pay closer attention to where the food is?

(page 2)

- "why her presence made him suspicious" - Maybe WRS for me, but wasn't she scared last time that he would recognise her? In that case, she knows why he's suspicious, surely.

- "She had a cut on her cheek" - The reading of thoughts is a nice counterpoint in the discussion, and it's worked well in the chatting up with the girl in class too.

- "I’d like that" - she agrees very quickly. I thought she was trying to get away from him. If she's more comfortable because she's 'read' that he has dismissed her as the woman last night, then I think we need her to knowledge that slightly more strongly, maybe? Okay, she kind of does that.

(page 3)

- "he seemed to have decided they hadn’t met last night" - Okay, I'm back on this. So, she quickly accepted his invitation even thought she was still uncertain whether he might recognise her? This seems to totally contradict her previous position in the scene.

- "making sure Demons didn’t eat any tourists" - LOL, awesome.

- "trying to glean any information she could about his background" - But she just asked him this question? Seems a little pointless, unless she feels he's not forthcoming.

(page 4)

- All the spy talk seemed melodramatic to me. Are there a lot of spies around these parts?

- "a t-shirt, no matter how hot it was" - I having fleshy exposed to the bright sun a good option for cooling down? I wouldn't have thought so. Loose clothing, I thought, is supposed to be better for keeping cool (not necessarily good, just better).

(page 5)

- "like you pulled it out of a manual" - nice line.

- "sunk his front teeth into his lower lip" - This happened once in the chapter already, and I wasn't mad keen on it then. It sound like they are puncturing their (respective) lips, and there should be blood everywhere.

- "regretting the words as soon as they were out of her mouth" - she just made a slip in the second last thing she said, seconds before. I can't believe she goes almost straight into a second mistake just having mispoke.

- "tripped over a corgi" - the thing is, it's kind of too randomly ridiculous--I feel--since there is not indication that there is anyone near them.

- "burst out into a fit of laughter" - When did C come back? This episode isn't working for me, because it's farcical, but also not blocked out. 

- Nice detail on the feel of the wound.

(page 6)

- "the wound became more like" - nice metaphor.

- The narrative around here is kind of awkward, I think. Their conversation about the paranormal too. It's not nearly as slick or tense as it needs to be. It feels stumbling, but not in the right way, I think. And it's not just the typos, IMO.

(page 7)

- "things he wanted to know..." - good line, like it.

- "that didn’t have flame" - Huh?

(page 9)

- "but the small of it made her feel like she couldn’t breathe" - Same! I can't go anywhere near a spray zone for ages.

(page 10)

- I'm largely skimming this stuff about preparing for the mixer. It doesn't tell me anything I don't know, really, nothing significant anyway. It's fine, pretty vanilla party preparation schtick. Nothing to make it pop, IMO.

- "perfect type of night to go to the beach and swim in the moonlight" - mildly diverting thought that could so easily end in a disastrous, demonic encounter?

- I guess there's no point in me asking 'What do you think is wrong with the paragraph. I couldn't see anything wrong with it. It tells me a lot about M, not in a specific way, but it gives me practical information in terms of how she considers herself, but also maybe her attitude to how people might perceive here. And it tells me about A, which is also likely to be useful. It's not over-complicated. It's simple, and it's direct. I like that about a scene!! If you keep putting it back, and can't put your finger on what you don't like about it, that suggests to me that your subconscious maybe is saying that it's actually fine.

- "I know I’m a queer but I have no clue what kind of queer" - This is a very helpful line (as is the next one from T), for someone like me, who--thanks to the patience and experience of all my friends on here--has learned so much over the last seven years. The more I learn, and seek out, and attempt to write in areas of varying gender and sexuality, the more awareness I have, it seems that the number of groups, and orientations and--in a non-pejorative sense--labels there seem to be. It gets pretty bewildering sometimes. The most recent 'expansion' of my horizons was in listening to the WE episode two or three weeks back on ACE, and the various variations of ACE that there are. I DO NOT MEAN, that it's nice to hear someone not put a label on themselves, but it's useful, I think, to read a character not being assertive / prescriptive about a particular label or space on the spectrum, but reflecting the existence of fluidity or uncertainty, or just the actual choice to not to step into a particular bracket, in a particular moment. I hope that makes some kind of sense. I hope it doesn't come off as a rant, it's no meant to.

(page 11)

- "her knee was just touching M's" - THE SCANDAL! Nice moment.

- "at least eight slices" - What proportion of the pizza is that? What size? This is important information in scene setting. Our local DMNOS does 10 slices for a 12". I need a reference point here.

- I really did wonder who Charles was for a moment.

(page 12)

- "You were barely indoors long enough" - That seems to support M's point. Is A supposed to be arguing?

- 'tried not to laugh', surely?

- Aw, really nice, warm emotions at the end of the chapter here. I like that. We can hang off cliffs another time.

OVERALL 

I really quite enjoyed this chapter. All my issues are up above. It was the discussion with Mi that caused most of my problems, I think, due to flow and awkwardness (not the good kind) and a loss of clarity in the through line (for me). It felt overlong, and I think there was a degree of repetition in the emotions and the dialogue. The endings scenes were really quite sweet and I enjoyed that around this point. Nice set up of a group friendship. Now we can get down to things going wrong!! :D 

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 3: "temporarily banished from Earth"
--did we know this from Power Surge? it seems a strange addendum, unless she's going to make an appearance later.

I meant to answer this question too.

This does come up in Power Surge. N isn't allowed on Earth until E "discovers" the supernatural themself. I forget exactly how it's worded.

I added it here because I'm considering adding a scene or two with her in act 3. If I don't add that, I'll take it out. 

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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1 hour ago, Robinski said:

I really quite enjoyed this chapter.

Hooray!!

1 hour ago, Robinski said:

All my issues are up above. It was the discussion with Mi that caused most of my problems, I think, due to flow and awkwardness (not the good kind)

I really appreciate how you broke it all down. That gives something really concrete to work off of as I revise. 

 

1 hour ago, Robinski said:

character not being assertive / prescriptive about a particular label or space on the spectrum, but reflecting the existence of fluidity or uncertainty, or just the actual choice to not to step into a particular bracket, in a particular moment.

Not everyone fits into neat little boxes all the time. I feel like this is kind of representation is just as important as representing any identity. A couple weeks ago, I read a book where a character had a similar moment, and it really spoke to me. 

Thank you! 

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Overall

For a romance book, the chapter's arc was fine, however there was no real chemistry for me to latch onto. It felt more like worldbuilding for a straight up fantasy, as M drifts through human interactions in an intrusive, listless fashion. In the first chapter I felt her tension with the girl and the boy. In this one she seemed frustrated by people looking at her, treated the boy like a mystery she wanted solved, and ignored the girl almost completely. 

For this to really work, she needs to be interested in both of them, and show it with her actions and emotions. Have her slide her hand onto the girl's during the introductions. Have her wipe ketchup from the boy's cheek. Giggle. Tell a joke. Get really into talking about Star Wars. It doesn't have to be sexual but we need to see an emotional connection between M and the two potential love interests.

 

10 hours ago, Mandamon said:

save than M is pretty intrusive and violating about reading minds.

This bothered me as well

 

As I go

- pg 2: does she not have mind reading boundaries??

- pg 2: if he suspects her, why go to lunch with him???

- pg 3: I'm confused as to what role the pixie plays. Every time it shows up it just confuses me and I'm not sure how its moving the narrative

- pg 3: ah I see the placeholder for throwaway names is still here

- pg 3: forest of pine and maple--this would be a very strange forest. Mixed and transitional stands wouldn't have pine and maple. That might have fir and maple, though

- pg 4: she doesn't like people staring at her breasts? I thought it was fine when the girl did it? I don't remember her reacting poorly. In fact I thought I remembered her being enthusiastic? 

- pg 5: She gave him what she hoped passed as a flirty smile <--- Does she like him though? I've not seen any real indication of it, and she just said she was going to wear a t-shirt tomorrow when he checked her out. I'm not being shown any attraction on M's part here

- pg 5: but she’d spent too much time in his head today <-- which has to be a consent violation of some form

- pg 7: why is she hanging out with this guy? Is it just sheer curiosity? It feels like she's curious, looking at him more as a science project or a puzzle. He's clearly interested in her, but she just...doesn't seem to be into it outside of rifling through his mind without his consent

- pg 8: this paragraph about his secrets is exactly what I was thinking. She states she thinks he is cute and weird, but that is being told, not shown. What is shown is her sort of stalker level fascination with his secrets.

- pg 9: Maybe I should put a different shirt on <-- okay. Question. If she dislikes being looked at on her upper torso, why does she wear clothes that show it off? 

- pg 10: I thought the pin table worked fine. Lots of younger queer people I know like the ? pin because they haven't sussed out their micro identities yet

- pg 12: she had a date with the girl, and didn't interact with her?? Sounds like her roommate got all the action

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Oh no. My review is completely different from almost everyone elses. :unsure:

M's character bugged me a bit in this chapter. I think it started with page 1. She has a short inner monologue where she considers THROWING AWAY her desire/plans to be at Uni because she cant find food. I get that food is important to her health and her supernatural abilities, but if she is going to be this dramatic then I kind of want to either A. To see more of it (to make it a character trait and that M gets whiney or upset like Sailor Moon when she doesnt eat) or B. Not see it.

 

I also questioned Ms ability to understand people. For me, I was confused on whether she had any people skills and if she didnt, didnt she say she used to work with fighting demons? Then wouldnt she have some persuasive skills or interrogation skills that she could use on Mi? I also didnt like that Mi controlled the entire conversation. If he didnt want to talk about something- they didnt talk about it. But he did not return that same curtesy to M, when she did not want to talk about her feelings.

 

And then the main thing that bugged me was M's thoughts on WHY she liked Mi on page 9. Shes a female Edward Cullen (who is a rip off of Latimer from The Lifted Veil)! She only likes him because she can't read his mind! 

Sorry...

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49 minutes ago, CherishLarain said:

Oh no. My review is completely different from almost everyone elses. :unsure:

 

That's okay! Not everyone needs to have the same reaction to a chapter. 

57 minutes ago, CherishLarain said:

She has a short inner monologue where she considers THROWING AWAY her desire/plans to be at Uni because she cant find food.

Good point. I will most likely take that part out. 

56 minutes ago, CherishLarain said:

To see more of it (to make it a character trait and that M gets whiney or upset like Sailor Moon when she doesnt eat) or B. Not see it.

good idea!

1 hour ago, CherishLarain said:

I also didnt like that Mi controlled the entire conversation. If he didnt want to talk about something- they didnt talk about it.

I hadn't fully realized I did this when I wrote it. It's not really how I want to the conversation to come across. I will definitely change it. 

 

Some of the others pointed out some big problems with the interaction between M and Mi as well. That scene definitely needs work. Thank you for the feedback. 

 

10 hours ago, kais said:

It doesn't have to be sexual but we need to see an emotional connection between M and the two potential love interests.

 

Fair enough. I will work on this as revise the scene. 

10 hours ago, kais said:
21 hours ago, Mandamon said:

save than M is pretty intrusive and violating about reading minds.

This bothered me as well

Definitely planning to tone this down / take a lot of it out. 

10 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 4: she doesn't like people staring at her breasts? I thought it was fine when the girl did it? I don't remember her reacting poorly. In fact I thought I remembered her being enthusiastic? 

 

She was.  I'll probably take this line out. 

11 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 9: Maybe I should put a different shirt on <-- okay. Question. If she dislikes being looked at on her upper torso, why does she wear clothes that show it off? 

 

Err yeah that line's also going to go. 

11 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 10: I thought the pin table worked fine. Lots of younger queer people I know like the ? pin because they haven't sussed out their micro identities yet

 

Yay!

11 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 12: she had a date with the girl, and didn't interact with her?? Sounds like her roommate got all the action

Her roommate always gets all the action snicker snicker. 

But yeah, that is a problem in this scene. I will revise accordingly. 

Thank you very much! 

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I see this chapter brings the much-vaunted bacon pizza that was discussed in the last submission! And… now I’m hungry. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the way M’s telepathy manifested in this chapter. It felt like it was being used to its full narrative potential here, which wasn’t always the case in chapter one.

As I read:

P2 “He wasn’t sure she had knocked him out or” should be “if she had knocked him out”

p4 “Not a single snippet of memory…” That seems unlikely, since he’s actively thinking about it. Could just be something innocuous.

I’m halfway getting the impression he knows she’s eavesdropping on his thoughts, which would be interesting.

Ooh, I like the conversation about wanting to be like everybody else.

I’m having a little bit of trouble with the verisimilitude of the dialogue between the two of them. There are points where works really well, and points where it feels somewhat stilted for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. Halfway down page 6 was one of those moments. “You had a very strong reaction.” The other spots I had a bit of trouble with were right near the beginning of the conversation: “I memorized everyone’s name…” for example jumped out at me as being an odd thing to say.

“Does tomato sauce count as a vegetable?” Hah.

Bottom p8 “to comfortable manager her shields” should be “comfortably.”

“...to float in salt and moonlight.” Nice sentence here.

The description of the mixer worked okay for me (keep in mind, I didn’t read the very first version that was submitted) but I think the description could be a bit tighter. Really the significant bits are M revealing to the reader that she’s questioning, and the reminders that she is different from everyone else.

How big is this town and campus? Mi’s just popping up everywhere.

On 5/4/2020 at 5:39 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 1, "Mi stopped in front of M." I feel like this was rather jerky, like he just instantly teleported to right in front of her. That might just be me, though. 

It was not just you.

On 5/4/2020 at 5:39 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 3, " campus, ___. And ___ diner" Ah, yes, my favorite places to eat at as well.

They're also very popular in every D&D campaign I've ever played in. 

On 5/5/2020 at 9:12 AM, Mandamon said:

I don't have the feeling that M is interested in either of them,

Concur.

On 5/5/2020 at 9:12 AM, Mandamon said:

pg 7: "She started walking, but grew light headed"
--this seems sudden. Was it from standing up?

It was mentioned at the beginning of the scene, but did conveniently go away for quite a while while the two of them were having that conversation.

On 5/5/2020 at 2:20 PM, Robinski said:

- "making sure Demons didn’t eat any tourists" - LOL, awesome.

Even the obnoxious ones?

On 5/5/2020 at 2:20 PM, Robinski said:

All the spy talk seemed melodramatic to me. Are there a lot of spies around these parts?

Yeah, I found the "spy thriller" a bit much here, especially I think because it was also used in the last chapter. Plus M, who is herself mixed up in something weird, can probably find a better, more fitting analogy than "spy thriller," which  incidentally sounds like someone who doesn't actually read spy thrillers.

On 5/5/2020 at 7:56 PM, kais said:

This bothered me as well

I think I mentioned this in the first chapter as well, but at risk of sounding like a broken record, yeah, she's doing a LOT of that here. Actually, I was almost more okay with it here than in the previous chapters because she's potentially protecting herself (trying to make sure she doesn't get discovered). Doesn't make it less wrong,  of course, but  gives her a more powerful motivation than sheer curiosity. Although, in fairness,  I think I may have been projecting more of that onto the page than is actually there, since definitely what's explicit is the bit where she wants to solve this man like a puzzle. If you were reluctant to take all of this out, maybe making the self-interest a little more apparent is part of the solution?

On 5/5/2020 at 7:56 PM, kais said:

- pg 12: she had a date with the girl, and didn't interact with her?? Sounds like her roommate got all the action

I mean, WAS it a date though? I didn't have that impression from the first chapter, which, maybe that's a "me" thing, but I think it's at least partially because M didn't seem interested in T romantically in the first chapter either. T was definitely interested in her, and M was willing to be friends, but I didn't get "date" vibes. Or at least,  they were one-sided date vibes. In which case, yeah,  T should probably be more miffed that M didn't pay attention to her (and possibly miffed that she brought A along to begin with?)

On 5/6/2020 at 5:39 AM, CherishLarain said:

Oh no. My review is completely different from almost everyone elses.

It's okay! This is actually one of the really valuable things about a group like this - seeing what lands differently for different people.

 

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24 minutes ago, Silk said:

see this chapter brings the much-vaunted bacon pizza that was discussed in the last submission! And… now I’m hungry.

LOL. I myself am counting the days until Two for Tuesday.

25 minutes ago, Silk said:
On 05/05/2020 at 10:20 PM, Robinski said:

- "making sure Demons didn’t eat any tourists" - LOL, awesome.

Even the obnoxious ones?

I wasn't really thinking of the tourist. By all means let the demons eat the obnoxious ones. I just liked the line ;) 

26 minutes ago, Silk said:
On 06/05/2020 at 1:39 PM, CherishLarain said:

Oh no. My review is completely different from almost everyone elses.

It's okay! This is actually one of the really valuable things about a group like this - seeing what lands differently for different people.

Exactly this. Never feel bad about going against the majority.

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Posted (edited)

55 minutes ago, Silk said:

I think I may have been projecting more of that onto the page than is actually there, since definitely what's explicit is the bit where she wants to solve this man like a puzzle. If you were reluctant to take all of this out, maybe making the self-interest a little more apparent is part of the solution?

I started gutting this chapter this morning. I reworked the scene so she is having trouble keeping her telepathy off-- something that tends to happen to her for a couple days after she's healed people. But then she catches something concerning in his mind and pays more attention, or he starts thinking about something that bothers him and she shields for a few minutes to give him some privacy. 

I like your suggestion about making the self-interest more apparent, so I will try to work that more into the parts where she is intentionally mind reading. 

55 minutes ago, Silk said:

How big is this town and campus? Mi’s just popping up everywhere.

On 5/4/2020 at 8:39 PM, Snakenaps said:

Another thing I changed this morning. Since less of the mind reading is intentional, her running into him is no longer accidental. She accidentally hears him thinking of the food trucks so she decides to go eat there too, and try to keep him engaged in conversation / read his mind just long enough to figure out of he recognizes her, then ends up talking longer. I'm trying to find a balance where she is clearing using her ability to protect herself, but not being overly invasive beyond that. 

I left off reworking the conversation. I'd already taken out one of the part you flagged (about the name memorizing) and it looks like the "strong reaction" bit is going too. 

55 minutes ago, Silk said:

Ooh, I like the conversation about wanting to be like everybody else.

 

This has disappeared, but now I  think I am going to put it back because I think it carries a little more weight than Star Trek & Star Wars convo that replaced it. 

55 minutes ago, Silk said:

I mean, WAS it a date though?

I wasn't thinking it was date so much as a "We're both already going anyway so lets talk while we're there" . 

Yesterday, I did make some changes to the first chapter so there is a little more connection between M and T in ch. 1. I haven't made any big changes to the mixer since I submitted the first time, just little things. I haven't fully decided what I'm doing with it this time. This morning I left off at M and Mi ordering from the food truck. 

I like your suggestion about T being a little miffed that A is there. 

Thank you!! 

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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2 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I started gutting this chapter this morning. I reworked the scene so she is having trouble keeping her telepathy off-- something that tends to happen to her for a couple days after she's healed people. But then she catches something concerning in his mind and pays more attention, or he starts thinking about something that bothers him and she shields for a few minutes to give him some privacy. 

This makes much more sense all around.

2 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I'm trying to find a balance where she is clearing using her ability to protect herself, but not being overly invasive beyond that. 

Gotcha. I mean, she COULD be overly invasive with it, but it would certainly colour our opinions of the character. And, probably much less so with the edits with you've described, but the way it's been set up so far had me expecting that the telepathy thing would become a conflict.

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