shatteredsmooth

May 25 2020_Book of Mel Ch. 5 Sub. 6_5000 words (LV)

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Posted (edited)

Content warnings: L, for some swearing. V because something tries to run someone over with a car near the end.
 
Hi Everyone,
 
I revised the earlier chapters so M shows more interest in T. My goal for this chapter was for her to seem more attracted to T and annoyed at Mi except for at the very begining and the end. Did I get that across? Does it seem more like a love-triangle now?
 
The mark I'm trying to hit with the whole book is that Mel likes them both for different reasons, but Tasha offers escape and what Mel thinks of as a normal, human relationship and Mike keeps dragging her back to the supernatural. 
 
I'm open to whatever feedback you have.
 
A few sections later in the chapter might seem rougher than the begining because of some last minute rewriting.
 
Thanks!
 
Sara
 
Ch. 1
The night before classes start, M saves a guy from a Demon. Next day, she meets a cute girl (T) in class and realizes guy-she-saved is the TA (Mi). 
 
Ch. 2 (revised)
 M follows Mi, chats with him, reads his mind to find out he doesn't recognize her and talks to him way more than she planed. Later, she goes to a LGBTQIA mixer with her roommate (A), and (T)
 
Ch. 3 (revision ongoing)
M meets Mi on a rooftop. Tasha has a skateboarding accident and breaks her arm. M and T almost kiss. M heals T's arm, but messes up and uses too much energy.  M flees to her room, but A has company. 
 
Ch. 4 (last time)
M missed the masquerade because Mi's ghost hunter friends went missing. Turns out they summoned some demons. Mel almost died fighting them. (revising so the connection to Mi is clearer, M thinks about T more, and enjoys the fight [expanded with improved blocking]  more before everyone gets hurt).
 
Ch. 5 (this time): Mi says the ghost hunters are alive. M really just wants to cuddle T and eat pizza, but she has to make sure Mi doesn't die. 
 
Ch. 6 (next time). Information, bacon ice cream, fuzzy feelings, and hurt feelings. 
Edited by shatteredsmooth
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Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, "calm dreams she was already forgetting" That's going to make it difficult for me to get the answers I want.

Pg 1, "knocking a handful of other books off of the table" I am going to guess we are either in a study lounge or the library. Probably not class or the dorm.

Pg 1, "a white button up with little spaceships and planets on it" That is so cute. I find that shirt attractive without even seeing it.

Pg 2, "I did hear from them." They're lucky they survived.

Pg 2, " the cafeteria" Not library or study lounge. My theory debunked.

Pg 2, " made some kind of bargain" This seems like a bad idea.

Pg 2, "some kind of battle between beings" Uh oh!

Pg 2, "The whole thing had been a set up." I'm changing my theory from his friends were lucky to his friends are dangerous. 

Pg 3, " What happened to your face?" Somebody must have been snuck back into the dorms late at night, or magicked there or something. 

Pg 3, "tried to cobble shields together" Smart, before she accidentally started to answer telepathy.

Pg 3, "Would he think of her like a science project?" My guess is that he would become a fanboy.

Pg 4, "I think I spent half the party sitting alone" Aaaaaall byyyy myyyyy seeeeeeelf. 

Pg 5, "he was up to illegal [stuff]" Had this been my college town, it would have been buying booze for underage kids. When I lived in the dorms, some high school students slashed the tires of all the cars down an entire block because one of the fraternities wouldn't let them into a party. 

Pg 5, "Did I ever tell you I was mostly homeschooled? And no social life until now?" Okay, this erks me even if I know it makes complete since for the story, considering her paranormal background. I was homeschooled for seven years and can verify with hard evidence that most homeschoolers are better socialized than their peers in the same grades. I will set my soap box aside and not rant, especially since in M's case, she's right. Her social life was probably mostly supernatural creatures or those who interact with them, and that wouldn't give her the same know-how to interact with essentially a different (normal, non-magical) society. 

Pg 6, "Is she some type of conservative?” I lied. Short rant. Having been homeschooled in an incredibly conservative town that would rather belong to the State of Jefferson, I was still plenty socialized, thank you very much. Were there the occasional crazy, Pokemon-are-demons, Obama-is-literally-the-Anti-Christ people completely incorrectly unschooling their kid? Absolutely. But I'd also like to point out that since I moved south I've met plenty of liberal nuts who are just as bad at unschooling their kid as the conservative crazies. Bad homeschooling can be found on all spectrums of politics.  

Also, sorry for bringing in politics. I mean no disrespect to anyone. I generally try to steer clear of that, but I'm very protective towards homeschooling. I wouldn't be the (amazing) person I am today if I had gone through the public school system. It's a strong bias.

I would like to say, considering T's background, especially the initial concern about pronouns and that she came from a small town, her concern is likely reasonable and within character. T, I am sure, has her own biases and opinions, and I respect that. 

Pg 6, "I have a sudden craving for bacon pizza" I would literally befriend this girl in real life just for her excellent taste.

Pg 6, "I don’t think I’ve ever had bacon on my pizza.” The HORROR. 

Pg 6, "Last month," I lost track of the timeline here and had to go, "Was it really so long?" before nodding to myself and remembering, yes, yes it had been.

Pg 6, "Cheese, beef, peppers, onions, mushrooms, sausage, and so much bacon, all piled on thick, crusty dough." This was not good to read before dinner.

Pg 6, "Are [you] trying to turn me on, or just really enjoying your food[?]” Won't lie, I've got to steal this line. My friend and I love trying out pick up lines on each other, completely over-the-top delivered with as straight as a face as possible. 

Pg 6, "Take as much as you want" That's dangerous to say to M.

Pg 7, "looking at the woman" Is the woman the curls or the purple haired?

Pg 7, "brown bottles the cashier handed" Wait, hold up, they sell beer at the cafeteria!? If they had done that at my college, even more kids would have shown up to class drunk! 

Pg 8, "We accidentally started a fire in the kitchen during a chemistry lesson." YES! THIS is homeschooling!!! My mother taught me genetics with horse colors because I didn't understand Mendel's peas. Science experiments gone totally wrong? I don't think Mom ever got any right, but we sure learned a lot from failure. Drawing out dinosaurs to learn about dinosaurs? Hell yes

This is a picture from my homeschooling days, when I was in fourth grade:

ACtC-3cDHAihWJEF-wMKC3mJ95OUBVH1VxuABTbnpuKdHoJ4uISnB6SOSMME6w7hzI1VZTEW5Kb_-k7FNqtrZEeJ0Sx97fcHPv1AmlwWjOCPg17m8fq36B-b65VlB20YKprYtDEgu5WaUsUU4E6p1NjKqGPmeQ=w1233-h926-no?authuser=0

What's a better way to learn basic chemistry than baking cookies? I'm the one with the curls, while my sister (so polite) is the one pretending to hit me with the rolling pin. 

Pg 8, "she hadn’t missed out on anything exciting by being homeschooled." Absolutely, incredibly correct. Thank you. Won't lie, you had me worried there for a moment. 

Pg 8, " his favorite pizza place" I am now assuming that this is one of those cafeterias that are more like mall food courts than a dorm cafeteria. My college campus had both.

Pg 9, "slice of bacon and egg pizza" I have never had egg on my pizza before...I must try this concoction. 

Pg 9, "Jealousy radiated off" Uh oh.

Pg 10, " put her shields up" Oh, poor T. I feel so bad for her. She deserves better.

Pg 10, " the idiots who summoned a demon this weekend" I do believe it was three demons.

Pg 10, " Same price" I love how all of the Pixies are desert motivated.

Pg 10, "with a shortened version of the message the pixie would be delivering" Have both delivered, in case one fails to arrive? I approve of backup plans.

Pg 12, " they were standing in an empty, dark room" I am on edge.

Pg 12, "like he expected someone to jump out of the shadows and murder him." Hey, me too. Reading my mind.

Pg 13, "using him as a puppet" Today Mi become road pizza.

Pg 13, "pursuing the possessed driver." Yes! Wait...that means no backup if anybody was left behind...

Pg 14, " It wasn’t the first time someone had tried to run him over." Yikes.

Pg 14, "wanted to capture him alive but wounded?" Oh man, but why? I am nervous.

Pg 14, "alluring  smell of french fries." And the Demon kills them with poison, the end. (kidding, sorry)

4 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Ch. 6 (next time). Information, bacon ice cream, fuzzy feelings, and hurt feelings.

You know how to speak my language. Although, admittedly, bourbon butter pecan is my favorite flavor. 

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I was homeschooled for seven years and can verify with hard evidence that most homeschoolers are better socialized than their peers in the same grades

I'm sorry! I did not mean to dis homeschool. Mel was trying to derail the conversation and assuming her friends would have certain misconceptions. 

Mel's lack of a social life has more to do with her telepathy, her being unable and later, just unwilling to control it. Her mother wouldn't let her spend too much time around too many humans if she was reading their minds all the time.

I'll think about how I can rework the conversation here so doesn't imply all home schoolers are isolated and not socialized.

 

11 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Bad homeschooling can be found on all spectrums of politics.  

Also, sorry for bringing in politics. I mean no disrespect to anyone. I generally try to steer clear of that, but I'm very protective towards homeschooling. I wouldn't be the (amazing) person I am today if I had gone through the public school system. It's a strong bias.

I would like to say, considering T's background, especially the initial concern about pronouns and that she came from a small town, her concern is likely reasonable and within character. T, I am sure, has her own biases and opinions, and I respect that. 

I agree that politics has nothing to do with good or bad homeschooling, and like you said, T has her own set of biases. 

Would it help if M had a stronger reaction T's comment? And to A's as well?

 

11 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Absolutely, incredibly correct. Thank you. Won't lie, you had me worried there for a moment. 

I had a close friend who was homeschooled, and I was very jealous. There were times when I wanted to be homeschooled. 

I have a colleague who pulled her kids out of public school for a year to homeschool them on a road trip across the country, which was probably one of the coolest home school experiences I've heard about. This semester, in the tutoring center, I met a kid who was starting college at 14 because he was homeschooled. 

I had never meant to imply homeschool was a bad thing. 

11 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 7, "brown bottles the cashier handed" Wait, hold up, they sell beer at the cafeteria!? If they had done that at my college, even more kids would have shown up to class drunk! 

 

They're off campus. I should make this clearer. 

 

Thank you very much for the feedback!

 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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11 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

This is a picture from my homeschooling days, when I was in fourth grade:

 

That's adorable! It looks like you were all having a ton of fun! 

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1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I'm sorry! I did not mean to dis homeschool. Mel was trying to derail the conversation and assuming her friends would have certain misconceptions. 

There's no hard feelings at all, let me emphasize that, over and over need be. I know you didn't mean to. I also know that I can come off as very opinionated and defensive when it comes to homeschooling, because I've been fighting misconceptions pretty much since the beginning of my homeschooling career. It was especially tough when I got my BA and teaching credential, because I felt I was constantly having to defend homeschooling to my college professors and to my fellow public school teachers and parents. There's a lot of false assumptions out there, and when one triggers me, I tend to blow up like a pufferfish. Sorry. 

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Would it help if M had a stronger reaction T's comment? And to A's as well?

I think that you should stay true to both your audience and your characters. Would M honestly have a stronger reaction? Also, think about your audience. How many are going to come from a conservative homeschool background? Just because I have a bias, doesn't mean you should change anything. I trust you, so you do what is best for your stories. And if that means changing nothing, that's okay. First rule of critiquing: you don't have to please everyone.

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I had a close friend who was homeschooled, and I was very jealous. There were times when I wanted to be homeschooled. 

I have a colleague who pulled her kids out of public school for a year to homeschool them on a road trip across the country, which was probably one of the coolest home school experiences I've heard about. This semester, in the tutoring center, I met a kid who was starting college at 14 because he was homeschooled. 

I had never meant to imply homeschool was a bad thing. 

I had three friends (triplets) who went on a road trip in their RV for three years. I always thought that was a little crazy, but I'm a massive homebody XD 

It's amazing how much GE you can knock out before college if you homeschool through high school, which I didn't. I've had multiple friends start and graduate early. My friend, who is the same age as me, just graduated with her Master's. 

And I know you never meant to imply homeschooling was a bad thing. You swooped it up and saved the day with M's own personal experiences. I can be oversensitive when it comes to homeschooling, too, and that's something I need to be more aware of. We all have our push button issues, and you just stumbled across one. 

As a last thought, I'm going to give you one of my own personal experiences, and maybe it would apply to M or even T. Might spark some inspiration, might not. I don't know M's background much, but if she didn't have much Internet access (living rural or something), then there's a good chance that she didn't have much access YouTube. I didn't have regular access to YouTube or Netflix, so my first semester of college, I spent catching up on memes and Vines, because all the references went over my head. I was getting this feeling with A and T catching her up on anime. If she never had access to Crunchy Roll or something similar, how could she have watched anime when she was younger? I mean, I don't remember any anime appearing on cable except for Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. 

And let me emphasize again. I didn't mean to worry you or anything. I was and am never mad or offended. Worried about misconceptions that could spread to others? Yes. But angry? Never. I am a lazy bugger who hates drama. I consider you a friend, and I'm sorry if I caused you any grief. It was never intended. 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Snakenaps said:

I consider you a friend, and I'm sorry if I caused you any grief. It was never intended. 

You did not cause me any grief or stress! I like it when people call me out on things when I miss up or potentially propagate some kind of misconception. 

1 hour ago, Snakenaps said:

I think that you should stay true to both your audience and your characters. Would M honestly have a stronger reaction?

I'll have to think about this. She wasn't entirely isolated, so she might have a stronger reaction. However, in the overwhelmed state she is during that one scene, maybe not. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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12 minutes ago, shatteredsmooth said:

You did not cause me any grief or stress! I like it when people call me out on things when I miss up or potentially propagate some kind of misconception. 

I'll have to think about this. She wasn't entirely isolated, so she might have a stronger reaction. However, in the overwhelmed state she is during that one scene, maybe not. 

I'm glad this all works out! It's so easy to read between the lines with emotionless text that I get worried. Please call me out on anything if you ever notice I have misconceptions. I won't get offended or stressed either. 

As to M, I think it is a sign of a good character when you don't know exactly how she would react immediately sometimes. She has depth and many layers, and sometimes characters can be just as hard to predict as real people. Crazy events, like almost getting killed by demons, can definitely cause us to react differently than we might normally. I love ranting about horses, but I can't imagine doing it when completely zonked, let alone having just "fallen down the stairs."

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Overall

It was a good chapter, and moved the plot along. I am still not convinced M feels anything really for the girls, as noted below. She is clearly very into Mi, but doesn't seem to want to put any real work or even thought into T. Mi gets all her attention, all her feelings. She reacts to him. T she just seems to tolerate, with an occasional 'oh, you're there. Yes, I could be into this.' Then it's all Mi again.

 

As I go

- pg 1: wait, why is M there when she wakes up? Are they already sleeping together? Did we miss something?

- pg 2: is he at all weirded out that she is all bruised and apparently passed out on books, but just wants to know about the paranormal? That would set of major alarm bells for me

- pg 2: a blur of white that seemed  <-- wait is she seeing all of these memories through him? They are very specific. I'd also rather hear him give the details in his own voice. This seems too easy, like cheating

- pg 3: A asks about the face, and M doesn't follow up????

- pg 4: where is M's reaction to the 'falling down the stairs'? That's such code for 'I'm lying'. I'd think he'd at least be suspicious

- pg 5: She wanted to protect me from the patriarchy <-- ah yes, the other side of homeschooling, the far left!

- pg 6: M is very, very passive in this flirting game. She isn't actively turning down advances, but neither is she showing any reaction. If I was flirting with someone this way and they didn't respond, I'd stop cold.

- pg 6: licking sauce off of her fingers. <-- I feel like this is a lost opportunity to do some seductive finger licking

- pg 7: the winking comes out of nowhere. M didn't flirt at all during the eating and is now flirting??

- pg 7: the almost flirting is dashed by homeschool talk. No build up. :)

- pg 8: I don't understand why M wants to get back to the girls. They finished food, and Mi is more interesting at this stage. Did the girls have food on their plates M wants to eat? Does she want to wink more??

- pg 8: here, M invites herself with Mi, which is so much more than M has ever done with the girls. She has a genuine interest in Mi. I feel like M just tolerates the girls

- pg: and she recognizes that running off with Mi will hurt T. Yet she pursues it anyway

- pg 9: yeah, skipping movie night just really cements that M has no real interest in T

- pg 9: were mad, but they’d still be there tomorrow. Mi might not be if she let him go alone. <-- I understand the practicality of this, but she treats the girls as disposable, basically. She takes them for granted. Their feelings aren't important. I'd prefer she really understand what this could do to T's feelings for her. Understand what she is giving up. Maybe even feel resentment to Mi for forcing her to miss movie night

- pg 11: T is really hurt but M doesn't really try to help with that so much via the texts

- pg 11: wait, she didn't go in to check the place? Just took his word for it? I know she scanned but still. I was waiting for a SURPRISE!

- pg 12: the attraction thought seems very out of place for having almost been run over. Also, I'm not convinced she's really all that attracted to T

- pg 13: here, when she is talking about hearing his heart and being held, this is clear attraction. Very convincing!

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I think the bones of this chapter are good, but I definitely agree with @Snakenaps and @kais that certain sections are very bumpy.

On 5/25/2020 at 10:25 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 5, "Did I ever tell you I was mostly homeschooled? And no social life until now?" Okay, this erks me even if I know it makes complete since for the story, considering her paranormal background.

Hard agree with this. I was also homeschooled from 6th to 10th grade, went to a community college for 11th, and started college a year early. Still had lots of friends and got to do some really cool stuff. I feel like I have a better handle on "how to learn" than most. Anyway, I read through all the conversation, so I'll just agree that this needs some rework.

16 hours ago, kais said:

I am still not convinced M feels anything really for the girls, as noted below. She is clearly very into Mi, but doesn't seem to want to put any real work or even thought into T. Mi gets all her attention, all her feelings. She reacts to him. T she just seems to tolerate, with an occasional 'oh, you're there. Yes, I could be into this.' Then it's all Mi again.

I couldn't figure out how exactly to express this, but thankfully @kais did it for me! I thought the romance angle was a lot better in this chapter, but then M would just switch off or go to the other person again without a lot of reaction. I noted below, but some of her questions are so basic I'm more wondering if she has trouble understanding others, not that she might be ace. 

16 hours ago, kais said:

- pg: and she recognizes that running off with Mi will hurt T. Yet she pursues it anyway

- pg 9: yeah, skipping movie night just really cements that M has no real interest in T

- pg 9: were mad, but they’d still be there tomorrow. Mi might not be if she let him go alone. <-- I understand the practicality of this, but she treats the girls as disposable, basically. She takes them for granted. Their feelings aren't important. I'd prefer she really understand what this could do to T's feelings for her. Understand what she is giving up. Maybe even feel resentment to Mi for forcing her to miss movie night

- pg 11: T is really hurt but M doesn't really try to help with that so much via the texts

Yeah, all this especially.

Glad to start learning more of the story with the demons, but I think we need some better relationship development before this point.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "Worry washed over her. She wasn’t worried"
--eh?

pg 1: "when she realized she hadn’t done any homework had brought her here"
--something off in this sentence.

pg 2: "not something he talked about in the cafeteria where people might hear him."
--but they're not in the cafeteria, are they?

pg 2: "The whole thing had been a set up."
--ah, interesting

pg 2: "A strode over to the table with a tray"
--wait, they are in a cafeteria? There were books a moment ago.

pg 3: "What would happen if he ever realized she wasn’t entirely human?"
--this sort of comes out of nowhere. It makes sense in context, but maybe needs another sentence in there to set the tone.

pg 3: "I hope that’s all it was. I hope nobody hurt you"
--stomach virus or fell down? Which one was the cover story?

pg 4: "She wanted more masquerade memories"
--this section is a lot better than the last one to set up the triangle between M, Mi, and T (and A?).

pg 5: "did some stuff and talked some more. You spend too much time with him, so I wanted to know more about him and asked her.”
--A seems all over the place with motivation. Was she just trying to find out about Mi, or did she actually like P. Also, have we met P yet?

pg 5: "At the same time. Would you ever do that?"
--I'm not sure if these thoughts are working. They're more like direct questions to M, and I don't think someone would think like this normally...

pg 6: "Last month, when T tried to kiss her,"
--I can't remember how much time has passed so far.

pg 6: "looking at the woman"
--which one is the woman? It could have been either of the two described.

pg 7: "dad materialized the living room with a far away look in his eyes, and started drawing with her while telling her what the dinosaurs had actually looked like."
--I feel like we need some more background about dad. He's just sort of dropped like a nuclear explosion into the story every so often.


pg 8: "He tried to start a conversation about cosplay, but M wanted to get back to A and T. 
After a few minutes of conversation..."
--There's a weird space in here that feels like a conversation got cut out.

pg 9: "Mi stood, caught off guard by his own jealousy"
--you were talking about T being jelous, not Mi. Not that they can't both be, but it caught me off guard.

pg 11: "They do look delicious"
--how is she seeing the cupcakes?

pg 12: the action scene with the car is sort of choppy. I don't think everything's introduced in the right order, and there's not a lot of emotional reaction from M.

pg 12: "her body seemed to buzz, and she wanted to pull his face down to hers and kiss him"
"Could she be attracted to multiple people at once"
--I understand M's growing in how she views relationships, but these seem like obvious things. Like things that would be assumed in any romance.

pg 12: "was spent when her brain auto healed"
--I didn't catch this was happening. There's been several of those points in this chapter, when the story jumps over an explanation.

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4 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

Hard agree with this. I was also homeschooled from 6th to 10th grade, went to a community college for 11th, and started college a year early. Still had lots of friends and got to do some really cool stuff. I feel like I have a better handle on "how to learn" than most. Anyway, I read through all the conversation, so I'll just agree that this needs some rework.

I'm not the only homeschooled one! Yay!!! 

I was homeschooled 2nd-8th grade. Jumped straight into a small university preparatory public charter school. My entire high school graduating class was 92 kids. 

I have to wonder though, is homeschooling the reason why I get along better with people older than me than people my age? Because, frankly, college kids and recent post-graduates are morons. Voltaire's "Common sense is not so common" needs to be changed to "Common sense no longer exists." 

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1 hour ago, Snakenaps said:

I have to wonder though, is homeschooling the reason why I get along better with people older than me than people my age? Because, frankly, college kids and recent post-graduates are morons. Voltaire's "Common sense is not so common" needs to be changed to "Common sense no longer exists." 

Lol. I'm pretty convinced that most of pre-college schooling is not particularly useful, and could be replaced with a lot more real-life applications and experiences. 

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33 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

Lol. I'm pretty convinced that most of pre-college schooling is not particularly useful, and could be replaced with a lot more real-life applications and experiences. 

Oh my gosh, yes. I wasted an entire year on GE's that I would have loved to swap for something more practical. 

My roommate, a college graduate, who I have been living with for three years in this same apartment, didn't even know what bills she was paying until last week. She thought that rent was $300 more than it was, which made NO logical sense. She also thought we paid for water (hint, we don't). 

My poor friend, who is about to move into her very first apartment, called me up because she didn't know how to set up PG&E or Internet.

I had to sit down and give another friend the "credit cards aren't free money and what do you mean you don't know what interest is" talk. 

My sister's boyfriend didn't know how to use an iron until senior year of high school.

My college has voluntary "Adulting" classes. I am under the opinion those need to be a required GE course. Every day I feel like I'm calling up my parents going, "Thanks for teaching me this when I was a kid. You saved me a lot of grief."

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6 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

I had to sit down and give another friend the "credit cards aren't free money and what do you mean you don't know what interest is" talk. 

I would say I'm surprised by this, but my wife and I had to have the same talk with a friend of hers.

But we're hijacking @shatteredsmooth's thread...

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3 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

But we're hijacking @shatteredsmooth's thread...

LOL that's okay. 

Interesting thing is that in public high school, in "Health" class, we learned about rent, bills, credit cards and other adulting things. 

And still, there are some adult things I've never done, like set up the internet...because at least at the time, it required a phone call... I get ridiculous anxiety about phone calls. 

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Hi,

1) murmured to M. Also, where did M come from. Wasn't she just with her dad? or am I forgetting something?

2) I still think that their collective conversations, while make sense, still don't make sense in how the topic came up. 

3) wow, T's forward. I suppose after earlier, it's not that much though.

4) Well, A flirted - how would she know who is who? photographic memory? or just asked everyone she met?

4) like the smell of sharp cheddar - well that's a sharp description of an image.

4) I'm liking the telepathy more and more. It lets you really understand the other characters, like a reasonable 3rd omni POV, and acts as excellent beats.

5) HOMESCHOOL! I spent most of my elementary and middle school years begging my parent's to let me homeschool.

6) or just really enjoying your food - how is that supposed to be attractive?

6) wait, so what genders are those two people?

7) realised just how ancient. - so how did M's parent's get together?

7) space opera and dystopias - so actually interesting english classes.

8) I like the tension of movie night v. interacting w/ demon summoners.

9) same price but hershey bars - LOL

11) how are some people "shadowhunters" and other's not? non-human bloodlines? Training? what are these hunters called?

11) this tension has me. Now I'm nervous. This has really good setup in both previous chapters and here.

13) she eats a ton. (I'm writing my own story where the magic is tentatively by calories. Similar idea. I'm pretty sure I didn't appropriate it from you, though.)

 

This reads a bit like a cross between Shadowhunters and Ninth house. Otherwise, this chapter is one of the best so far, with decent character building and tension.

 

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Posted (edited)

On 26/05/2020 at 3:25 AM, Snakenaps said:

This is a picture from my homeschooling days, when I was in fourth grade

That is adorable. Far too much hilarity though. Surely we can all agree that school is supposed to be a completely miserable experience, occasionally punctuated by Summer? :lol: 

No? Just me?

Edited by Robinski
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Anyway, comments!

(page 1)

- "handful of books" - This is completely clear, but my brain rebels against it, because you can't really hold more than a couple of books--maybe three--in one hand.

- I like the opening. I like the dreamy effect of Me emerging from her dwam (Scots word - state of semi-conscious reverie). It's a really nice way of recapping how she got here without it seeming like exposition. Nicely done. I am slightly curious how and why Mi is in her room, but I presume I'm going to find that out.

- After our chat 'offline' (or in a different online dimension?), I'm on high alert for Ta, and how she features in this chapter ;) 

- "You can touch my face" - Whoa!!!! The romantic tension here is off the scale. Boom!

- "Me focused on his thoughts" - Oh, I thought she had stopped doing this?

(page 2)

- "Not here" - Why not there? Are they not in Me's room? It can't get much more private than that, surely? Although she does share it, I suppose.

(page 3)

- "just lean her head on A’s soft shoulder" - Sometimes, it almost seems more like Me has a thing for A than Ta.

- "She wasn’t as soft as A" - See? This is what I'm talking about.

- "Her fingers lingered on M’s chin" - It's getting just a bit weird in this scene now. Everyone is touching her, or thinking about touching her, or she is thinking about them touching her.

(page 4)

- "L and Z" - I don't know who that is.

"M asked about you" - He was just here though. A saw him, surely?

(page 6)

- "gooey cheese" - I think this chapter needs an 'S' warning. This is just food porn now :lol: 

(page 9)

- "drape an arm over M" - There is a lot of repetition of this gesture. It comes across as very possessive. That doesn't make it wrong, and it fits with the jealous vibe coming off Ta, but the possessive thing feels, awkward, tending toward unlikeable.

- "she was skipping movie night" - Lots of good romantic tension in this scene. Very triangular, BUT. The thing is, its becoming a love square, because it seems that Al is very much a part of it.

- Who are P and Y? I don't believe they've been mentioned in the story so far, have they?

(page 12)

- "The car was a yard away" - I'm not going to do the mechanics, but I think that's too close. Why would she wait until the car got that close, when she has all this time that she has created?

(page 13)

- "they would’ve used a truck or an SUV" - I don't buy this logic. He very easily could have been killed by a small car. There is an argument to say there was a smaller chance, but small cars very much can kill a person too.

- "wanted to capture him alive" - I do like this idea though. I like her logic, I just don't think it follows automatically from the size of the vehicle. Maybe it could be expressed in terms of 'if they wanted to be sure of killing him' or 'guarantee killing him'? Maybe the way the car came at them it was clear that it was only trying to wing him, not hit him head-on.

- LOL, this chapter is food porn, I knew it? Ice cream, French fries? Oh, man. I'm so hungry now. Me want bacon.

OVERALL 

I think you really nailed your objective of playing up the triangle, although I do think it is now a square. I still think you are right, however, that more background, more feeling for Ta as a character is required for the reader to invest in the triangle/square. At the moment, Al has more about her character than Ta does.

I enjoyed this chapter though. There was backloads of angst, there was tension, and there was action. Plenty of emotion to heap on the raw wounds of demon hunting. All-in-all, I was really quite pleased with it. Good job, IMO.

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On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

- pg 1: wait, why is M there when she wakes up? Are they already sleeping together? Did we miss something?

 

 

On 5/28/2020 at 11:51 AM, Robinski said:

I am slightly curious how and why Mi is in her room, but I presume I'm going to find that out.

 

 

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 2: "A strode over to the table with a tray"
--wait, they are in a cafeteria? There were books a moment ago.

She is in the cafeteria. She got up, went there to work on homework and eat, then fell asleep in her books. I added a few sentences to clarify this. 

Mel tends to do homework there instead of the library so she can eat while she studies. 

 

Thank you all for the comments! They were incredibly helpful and I like the chapter much better now that I've revised. 

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

- pg 2: a blur of white that seemed  <-- wait is she seeing all of these memories through him? They are very specific. I'd also rather hear him give the details in his own voice. This seems too easy, like cheating

 

Changed this so he tells her some of it, but not all since it is shown in the next chapter. 

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

- pg 3: A asks about the face, and M doesn't follow up????

 

 

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

- pg 2: is he at all weirded out that she is all bruised and apparently passed out on books, but just wants to know about the paranormal? That would set of major alarm bells for me

 

So in the earliest draft, he was very concerned, and somehow, I edited that out before submitting. After reading your comments, I went back and added more so he is more concerned, and is trying to get her to talk about what happened before giving up and answering her questions about the paranormal.

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

pg 6: M is very, very passive in this flirting game. She isn't actively turning down advances, but neither is she showing any reaction. If I was flirting with someone this way and they didn't respond, I'd stop cold.

- pg 6: licking sauce off of her fingers. <-- I feel like this is a lost opportunity to do some seductive finger licking

I have made M more involved in the flirting, and added more seductive finger licking. 

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

- pg 7: the almost flirting is dashed by homeschool talk. No build up. :)

 

Homeschool talk is moved to the earlier part of the chapter where homeschool first came up.

 

Speaking of homeschool, @Snakenaps and @Mandamon, I did make some adjustments to the convo to clarify the lack of a social life was not specifically because she was homeschooled. I also think adding the whole convo about it there helped address the issue too. 

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

pg 8: I don't understand why M wants to get back to the girls. They finished food, and Mi is more interesting at this stage. Did the girls have food on their plates M wants to eat? Does she want to wink more??

- pg 8: here, M invites herself with Mi, which is so much more than M has ever done with the girls. She has a genuine interest in Mi. I feel like M just tolerates the girls

I just completely rewrote this whole exchange so M is doing a lot more of the flirting, and M shows up and almost begs her to come with him. 

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

I'd prefer she really understand what this could do to T's feelings for her. Understand what she is giving up. Maybe even feel resentment to Mi for forcing her to miss movie night

This is what I had tried to do initially, but it didn't come across right, but I think I understand where I messed it up. Hopefully my revisions show more respect and understanding for T, and more sadness and guilt on M's part, a sense of loss, that she is risking losing a chance with T. In the new version, when she leaves with Mi, she is not happy about it. And he notices. 

On 5/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, kais said:

- pg 11: T is really hurt but M doesn't really try to help with that so much via the texts

 

changed the texts. 

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

--this section is a lot better than the last one to set up the triangle between M, Mi, and T (and A?).

 

Happy to hear this!

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

pg 5: "did some stuff and talked some more. You spend too much time with him, so I wanted to know more about him and asked her.”
--A seems all over the place with motivation. Was she just trying to find out about Mi, or did she actually like P. Also, have we met P yet?

Revised this-- she liked  P, but then as a bonus, got some info about Mi. 

We have not met her.

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

--I feel like we need some more background about dad. He's just sort of dropped like a nuclear explosion into the story every so often.

 

I'll try to work more in. 

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

--There's a weird space in here that feels like a conversation got cut out.

 

Probably because there had been a conversation there and I deleted it before I sent the chapter. LOL  

I thought about putting it back, but I ended up restructuring this scene so M never actually talked to these two.

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

--how is she seeing the cupcakes?

 

meant to say A sent a picture

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

--I understand M's growing in how she views relationships, but these seem like obvious things. Like things that would be assumed in any romance.

 

Fair enough. Took those out. 

On 5/27/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mandamon said:

--I didn't catch this was happening. There's been several of those points in this chapter, when the story jumps over an explanation.

I added a little more detail in that moment.  

On 5/28/2020 at 11:51 AM, Robinski said:

- "She wasn’t as soft as A" - See? This is what I'm talking about.

 

Took this line out.

But you do have a point. Like you mention later, it is more of a square than a triangle. 

On 5/28/2020 at 11:51 AM, Robinski said:

- "drape an arm over M" - There is a lot of repetition of this gesture. It comes across as very possessive. That doesn't make it wrong, and it fits with the jealous vibe coming off Ta, but the possessive thing feels, awkward, tending toward unlikeable.

 

Took out the possessiveness. As I mentioned in my replies to the others, I restructured this whole scene. It worked out that the possessiveness went away. 

On 5/28/2020 at 11:51 AM, Robinski said:

- "they would’ve used a truck or an SUV" - I don't buy this logic. He very easily could have been killed by a small car. There is an argument to say there was a smaller chance, but small cars very much can kill a person too.

- "wanted to capture him alive" - I do like this idea though. I like her logic, I just don't think it follows automatically from the size of the vehicle. Maybe it could be expressed in terms of 'if they wanted to be sure of killing him' or 'guarantee killing him'? Maybe the way the car came at them it was clear that it was only trying to wing him, not hit him head-on.

I've reworded it based on this suggestion. :-)

On 5/28/2020 at 11:51 AM, Robinski said:

- LOL, this chapter is food porn, I knew it? Ice cream, French fries? Oh, man. I'm so hungry now. Me want bacon.

 

There is plenty more of it in this book. :lol:

On 5/27/2020 at 5:37 PM, Turin Turambar said:

1) murmured to M. Also, where did M come from. Wasn't she just with her dad? or am I forgetting something?

 

I skipped ahead a couple days. It seemed unanimous that the opening was a little confusing, so I've revised to clarify she is back at school, in the dining hall. 

On 5/27/2020 at 5:37 PM, Turin Turambar said:

7) realised just how ancient. - so how did M's parent's get together?

 

I am tempted to just answer this, but it would turn into a rant, and I think it actually gets addressed in a later chapter. 

@Mandamon pointed out some issues with how I'm incorporating her dad, so I might be making some adjustments with it. 

On 5/27/2020 at 5:37 PM, Turin Turambar said:

non-human bloodlines? Training? what are these hunters called?

Both of these things. They're just hunters. No fancy name. I can work a little more detail about it in. 

On 5/27/2020 at 5:37 PM, Turin Turambar said:

11) this tension has me. Now I'm nervous. This has really good setup in both previous chapters and here.

 

Glad to hear it!

On 5/27/2020 at 5:37 PM, Turin Turambar said:

This reads a bit like a cross between Shadowhunters and Ninth house. Otherwise, this chapter is one of the best so far, with decent character building and tension.

 

Yay! 

On 5/25/2020 at 10:25 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 13, "using him as a puppet" Today Mi become road pizza.

 

 

On 5/25/2020 at 10:25 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 14, "alluring  smell of french fries." And the Demon kills them with poison, the end. (kidding, sorry)

On 5/25/2020 at 4:10 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

These comments had me laughing out loud. 

On 5/25/2020 at 10:25 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 6, "Last month," I lost track of the timeline here and had to go, "Was it really so long?" before nodding to myself and remembering, yes, yes it had been.

 

I skip quite a few big chunks of time in this book and stretch out from the first week of Sept.  to Thanksgiving. @Mandamon got a little disoriented with the time jump too. When I revised Ch. 4, I made it clearer that  a month had passed between Ch. 3 and Ch. 4, so hopefully, it will work better for future readers. 

 

 

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