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Mandamon

20200601 - Fall of the Imperium Ch 22 - 5848 words - Sub 33

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Getting to the end! I took about 200 words out of the first chapter, and over a thousand from the second, based on feedback I've gotten, so I'm hoping these work better.

SUB 33
Chapter 22. Back to S and WW. I changed a LOT of this one based on feedback from the last S chapter, so it might be a little rough. Now S finds an artifact with opens up and accepts the ring as a key. They open it up at the (changed) end of the last chapter. Just need to figure out what to do with it now. Let me know what you think.


Previously:
S/E/I arrive in the other facet with their news of the Elg. The Eff and court are there, E has problems with trust, and E/I learn about their folks. The Eff faints shortly thereafter. E battles the voices inside her as they travel to the Ari, and attacks S. In the Ari enclave, I struggles with his image, we learn of the Ari, and E and I use each other's houses for the first time.
M arrives with the society to the Imp and is attacked by Elg. People die and M finds himself with more and more responsibility as they attempt to figure out what's going on. They learn the Eff is also killed, and M makes clever use of a portal to save his life.
Ri and co arrive on HD's homeworld, gather themselves, then engage the Elg in the Imp. They barely escape, and find out where other refugees have gone.
S/E/I learn more about the Ari and find there's only one hammock in the bedroom. They all attempt to pass through the wall, but are stopped by the Elg. S devises a new plan and they try again, with disastrous results.
M leads his posse on a hunt, without success, and meets up with R and her posse. Many connections are made.
E lives as an Elg for a few days and learns how they work. She also wins over the voices inside. I, meanwhile, dons the diadem and learns the history of the Eff.
E/I appear in front of the rest of the cast and fill them in on everything. O gets some long overdue recognition and the whole crew starts planning to fight back.
Back with S, he learns about the HoT and what comes next. Then it's off to Re to see how he's working with/against the Ari.
M works with E/I on their connection, Talks to O, and E/I figure out their next steps. Then O talks with the hive and R with the Gr.

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Wow, fantastic visuals in this chalter. I especially liked the "bones and crystal" version.

All the details could have bogged down the pacing but the details and sensory really helped keep the story compelling.

My one catch was WW being called 'she' and 'her' in one paragraph about 2/3 through. The one starting, "It's like a model for all the other ones..."

Thanks for sharing

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Overall

Very interesting. Good pacing and mostly I was very engaged, though a few hang ups below. I profess that I have no idea what is actually happening (I'm not a music person), but I enjoy it well enough that it doesn't matter at all. I liked discovering the other aspects/houses, and that one of them did eventually matter. Really, this chapter was all about S's growth to me, and for that reason alone I adore it. 

 

As I go

- pg 9: He realized was directing the prophet <-- missing a 'he' I think

- pg 10: giving her orders <-- pronoun slip

- pg 13: broken ring! Plot twist!

- pg 14: You failed. <-- wow. Brutal

- pg 20: She clicked around the temple <-- pronoun slip

- pg 21: it feels very anticlimactic that the hidden versions didn't have anything important in them, and they just were back where they started. I think I'd have preferred finding bits of clues in each that then helped them in the 26th

- pg 27: oh good, one of the hidden ones does have a use

- pg 28: the hot tub analogy is perfect

- pg 30: It was one thing to follow an alien through a crystal wall to a place they said they lived. It was another thing to plunge headlong into an expansive crystal no one even knew existed for thousands of cycles. <-- Is it though? I'd be pretty terrified of both. This line made me chuckle though. S has grown so much!

 

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Hi Mandamon,

my name is Piper, I'm new to the writing group, and I don't want to accidentally offend you by not reading your writing.

The reason I'm not critiquing your work is because I've been told you're almost done with your novel; at this point, I doubt I'd be helpful to you. If I started now, I would be confused while reading, and then you'd be confused because I offered confusing advice because I was confused, and now we're both confused and having a very unproductive conversation.

Suffice it to say, I can't wait to read your work when I'm confident I can keep up with what's going on.

Best of luck,

 - Piper

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For this chapter, I liked that it was a training montage chapter. I have been annoyed by many books/tv shows/movies where a hero saves the day just because with no training.

I also loved how much S used his love for I and E to help him keep trying and training. It showed a difference, where in the previous chapter the twins wanted S to come in and save the day versus S who says "I want them, I miss them, BUT if they were here then this is how they would react."

@kais I felt "You failed" was really brutal too! I was like omg, thats terrible. Then I had to remember WW isnt human. So, he is stating facts and not being mean. BUT jeeves that was a stab to the heart.

 

 

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@PiedPeterPiper Absolutely no problem with you not critiquing. You're coming in on the last 5 chapters of the third book in a trilogy, so I would honestly be surprised if you weren't confused!

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Thanks, @Sarah B, @kais, and @CherishLarain!

On 6/1/2020 at 5:47 PM, Sarah B said:

My one catch was WW being called 'she' and 'her' in one paragraph about 2/3 through. The one starting, "It's like a model for all the other ones..."

 

On 6/1/2020 at 6:10 PM, kais said:

- pg 10: giving her orders <-- pronoun slip

 

On 6/1/2020 at 6:10 PM, kais said:

- pg 20: She clicked around the temple <-- pronoun slip

Arg. Thanks for catching these.

On 6/1/2020 at 5:47 PM, Sarah B said:

Wow, fantastic visuals in this chalter. I especially liked the "bones and crystal" version.

All the details could have bogged down the pacing but the details and sensory really helped keep the story compelling.

Glad this worked!

On 6/1/2020 at 6:10 PM, kais said:

I profess that I have no idea what is actually happening (I'm not a music person), but I enjoy it well enough that it doesn't matter at all.

Lol. I guess I'll take that as a win! Most of the 1000 words I chopped out of this was MORE theory and pondering, so...yeah.

On 6/1/2020 at 6:10 PM, kais said:

Really, this chapter was all about S's growth to me, and for that reason alone I adore it.

 

11 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

I also loved how much S used his love for I and E to help him keep trying and training. It showed a difference, where in the previous chapter the twins wanted S to come in and save the day versus S who says "I want them, I miss them, BUT if they were here then this is how they would react."

Cool. Glad I can finally hit some emotions on the first time through! Usually this is stuff I have to add on the next pass, but I think this close to the end, even I can see the emotions enough to add them in ;-)

On 6/1/2020 at 6:10 PM, kais said:

- pg 14: You failed. <-- wow. Brutal

 

11 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

@kais I felt "You failed" was really brutal too! I was like omg, thats terrible. Then I had to remember WW isnt human. So, he is stating facts and not being mean. BUT jeeves that was a stab to the heart.

Yeah, I went back to this a couple times and almost changed it to something less harsh, but ended up keeping it. I think it fits well with WW.

On 6/1/2020 at 6:10 PM, kais said:

- pg 21: it feels very anticlimactic that the hidden versions didn't have anything important in them, and they just were back where they started. I think I'd have preferred finding bits of clues in each that then helped them in the 26th

- pg 27: oh good, one of the hidden ones does have a use

So it sounds like this works. I was trying to avoid overload with all the new stuff and focus on that parts that mattered more. 

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Posted (edited)

I haven't read anyone else's comments. My thoughts are my own.

Thoughts as I go:

Introduction, "I feel more connection with these ancient, deceased prophets": Why does this not shock me in the least.

Pg 1, "How do we make it show another iteration?" Twist the ring? Man, if only it was so simple that it had buttons like a remote or an elevator.

Pg 2, 'But there are no buttons or knobs or controls on the box" This is literally the opposite of user-friendly, but I guess that is the point. You wouldn't want just anyone messing around with the temple/house.

Pg 3, "Unknown consequences." Maybe like Master Memory Wipe?

Pg 3, "do not suffer headaches" I am jealous.

Pg 5, “Be careful—” I don't think S knows the meaning of this, not during this apocalypse. 

Pg 5, "sap all his strength" Okay, so he is moving the notes from one key to another. My question is, is that if it takes notes to force a new iteration, will S be able to get his notes back?

Pg 6, "What he wanted to do was throw the artifact." Thanks for not doing that. 

Pg 6, “There is no telling whether the new one would appear again,” Or if flipping through them and forcing the change improperly will break the house, or lead to those unknown consequences.

Pg 7, " they ate a path to this facet?" Or other, unknown facets that may or may not exist? 

Pg 7, "Does time pass differently in the House?" Solid question. He's got two days before I mentally comes out of the diadem. 

Pg 7, "Water was available in every iteration" If everyone needs water...but what about dietary needs? What if that fruit was something Species N could eat, but not humans? O.C. likes to eat things alive, but what about Master C, the tree-like specie? Does that species eat only plants, or meat, or just need sunlight? 

Pg 8, "Maybe we can limp through the iterations." S says this sentence, so it needs quotation marks. That, or "we can" needs to be changed to "they could".

Pg 8, "He was losing notes each time he made a change." Uh oh! What if this means he'll be too weak to fight off the Elg later? I am concerned.

Pg 9, "He reached for another of the fruits" Rather than him plucking them off of a branch from a previous iteration, I am assuming that he's grabbing one from a previously picked pile.

Pg 10, " He realized he was directing the prophet."

Pg 10, " the end of everything as I know it" People rise to the challenge. Ironically, I realize as I copied and pasted this is that my brain skipped the words "as" and "it". So the first time I read this sentence as, "So all it takes is the end of everything I know to drag me." Just a weird Katie occurrence. I wonder how often I do that subconsciously?

Pg 10, "to accuse him of giving her xyr orders" Pronoun mishap.

Pg 11, " out in a gesture of helplessness." I don't know why, but this really hurt me. I've seen these characters go through so many trials, but knowing that WW is feeling helpless makes me incredibly sad. How did I once not like WW? 

Pg 14, "He heard notes in discord." Uh oh!

Pg 14, "split with a sound like breaking glass" Out of all the unknown consequences, I had not considered the unbreakable crystal...breaking. This is not good, not good at all.

Pg 14, "xyr hands going to xyr head." Not only was the ring the key, but it was ancient and the knowledge to make it completely lost. I can only imagine the pain and horror that WW, a scholar, must be going through.

Pg 14, "How can it even break?" Literally my question. 

Pg 15, “You failed,” WW always knows what not to say! I want to smack WW over the headflaps right now.

Pg 15, "You learn from your mistakes." Awwwwww. Man, maybe it's just because of everything going on right now, but I got all misty-eyed and had to grab a tissue. WW, that was exactly what needed to be said. My former comment can be revoked now. Hugs need to be given. 

Pg 15, " containing sadness, and hope, and pride all at once." And in one singular chapter, WW hops to the top of my favorite character list. 

Darn it, I'm pausing here and taking a break. Not sure why this chapter hit me like a freight train but, darn it, it did. 

I have returned. Apparently, WW's words were exactly what I needed to hear today. A good story is one that speaks to the reader personally, and this one felt like shouting in my ear today. 

Pg 15, "the end and the beginning" The end of the old S and the beginning of the new S as well. Same for I and E. 

Pg 16, " There has to be a simpler solution." K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid.

Pg 16, "won’t shut up about it." This got a snort out of me.

Pg 17, "There They were connected."

Pg 18, " a storm through a pane of glass" Missing "r"

Pg 19, "You have done it.” Success!

Pg 19, “I need to do it again,” To search every iteration for clues to defeating the Elg, right? My memory is fuzzy.

Pg 19, "Just let me catch my breath. " Missing quotation mark.

Pg 20, "gears meshed to strange organic collections of bone and crystal." Eeeew. At least there isn't any flesh, but I still recalled SCP-015, an abomination made up of bone, flesh, and pretty much everything else pipes should not be made of: http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-015

Pg 20, "an entire workshop manufacturing—what—time itself" I would like to know more, please. This sounds fascinating.

Pg 20, "there were flat panels with buttons, runes and crystal socket" You know what sounds like a terrible idea? Randomly hitting those buttons. 

Pg 21, "be a part of designing the Crystal?" As in, designing how the house is in the Wall, or the Crystal as a whole? Slightly confused.

Pg 21, " iteration was entirely made of crystal" If the iterations aren't in any specific order, maybe this one was the first, the base model? Or the numbering system is based off of their creation order, in which case, I am wrong.

Pg 21, "It’s like it’s a model for all the other ones" Looks like I'm wrong.

Pg 22, "She Xy clicked around the temple, the echoes of her xyr claws" Pronoun mishap.

Pg 22, "if S converted from what his pocketwatch told him" Converted confused me until I remember that lightenings do not equal our hours. Then the next sentence erased any confusion.

Pg 22, "Nothing here," $5 says if these extra rooms don't play any part in this book, they will end up coming to use sometime in the future. 

Pg 22, "waggled her xyr head flaps in agreement" I'm getting my pronoun practice in today.

Pg 23, "dug to the side of the temple" Does that mean on the other side of the temple there is a latrine pit dug out? Does WW poop? Hmmm... I have unnecessary questions.

Pg 24, "relied heavily on his old job in technical support" Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about this. Now I'm recalling his room full of boxes. Now I want to go reread Seeds.

Pg 24, "in several ten-days" Understandable, considering the apocalypse is here. That and poor Auntie was kind of forgotten about due to stolen memories there for a hot sec.

Pg 25, "an alien device probably thousands of years old" This makes me wonder...are there facets that are extremely technologically advanced? Or were they all wiped out/jumbled about when the last Apocalypse occurred?

Pg 27, "and this used a similar processes." A vs plural noun.

Pg 28, " one had a strange tendril dangling beneath it" I am betting it is the crystal one, and the dangle is how it is connected to the Crystal? Like a power generator? I dunno, the only other thing with tendrils I can think of is the diadem, which is also made out of crystal.

Pg 28, "made entirely of crystal." Woot woot! I guessed correctly on which room! Now let's see if my tendril theory is correct.

Pg 29, "xyr lights indicating interest. Random extra quotation mark.

Pg 29, "Or somewhen else?" Well, that's a creepy feeling. Could they potentially travel to the time before the last Apocalypse? Or into the future? My guess is past. Or maybe this room is just outside of the time stream completely?

Pg 30, "someone had decided to install a hot tub, but never got around to filling it." What a waste. Hot tubs are awesome. Although I've never owned one. Are they a pain in the butt to clean? 

Pg 30, "the tail we saw trailing down from the temple" So...S and WW can travel through the Crystal. Does this mean this is...a slide, or an elevator? I'm thinking my idea of a power source is wrong.

Pg 31, "he would have been a wet streak on one of the streets" Ooof, that's a visual.

Pg 31, "Using another claw" vs On the other hand....I love it.

Pg 32, "the diagram show what was on the other end?"

Pg 32, " as it is  has been beneath"

Pg 33, "S and WW slipped beneath the House" Still hoping for a slide, thinking it's an elevator. 

Well, this has been an unexpectedly hard-hitting chapter. I see that as a strong sign of success, at least in regards to this one reader. 

Edited by Snakenaps
Came back to finish.
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Thanks @Snakenaps!

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 5, "sap all his strength" Okay, so he is moving the notes from one key to another. My question is, is that if it takes notes to force a new iteration, will S be able to get his notes back?

Something I don't think I've show well this book is that S keeps making permanent changes...

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 7, "Water was available in every iteration" If everyone needs water...but what about dietary needs? What if that fruit was something Species N could eat, but not humans? O.C. likes to eat things alive, but what about Master C, the tree-like specie? Does that species eat only plants, or meat, or just need sunlight? 

I'm assuming the Nether knows what to provide...

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 11, " out in a gesture of helplessness." I don't know why, but this really hurt me. I've seen these characters go through so many trials, but knowing that WW is feeling helpless makes me incredibly sad. How did I once not like WW? 

Huh. Cool (says my writer brain). Also, sorry!

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 15, “You failed,” WW always knows what not to say! I want to smack WW over the headflaps right now.

Lol. I'm liking this line more and more.

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 15, "You learn from your mistakes." Awwwwww. Man, maybe it's just because of everything going on right now, but I got all misty-eyed and had to grab a tissue. WW, that was exactly what needed to be said. My former comment can be revoked now. Hugs need to be given. 

Glad this got a good reaction!

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I have returned. Apparently, WW's words were exactly what I needed to hear today. A good story is one that speaks to the reader personally, and this one felt like shouting in my ear today.

Nice...glad I can help!

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 19, “I need to do it again,” To search every iteration for clues to defeating the Elg, right? My memory is fuzzy.

Hm. Yes. Will reiterate the objective.

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 20, "gears meshed to strange organic collections of bone and crystal." Eeeew. At least there isn't any flesh, but I still recalled SCP-015, an abomination made up of bone, flesh, and pretty much everything else pipes should not be made of: http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-015

Ha! One of my friends used that as a plot device in an RPG we were playing once! Maybe that's where the idea came from.

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 20, "there were flat panels with buttons, runes and crystal socket" You know what sounds like a terrible idea? Randomly hitting those buttons. 

Definitely.

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 21, "be a part of designing the Crystal?" As in, designing how the house is in the Wall, or the Crystal as a whole? Slightly confused

I'll look back at this to clear it up.

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 23, "dug to the side of the temple" Does that mean on the other side of the temple there is a latrine pit dug out? Does WW poop? Hmmm... I have unnecessary questions.

Lol. Everyone poops!

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 24, "relied heavily on his old job in technical support" Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about this. Now I'm recalling his room full of boxes. Now I want to go reread Seeds.

I figured this was a good time for a callback to the first book, since things are wrapping up...

3 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Pg 33, "S and WW slipped beneath the House" Still hoping for a slide, thinking it's an elevator. 

Well, this has been an unexpectedly hard-hitting chapter. I see that as a strong sign of success, at least in regards to this one reader. 

Cool. Glad this one is working. Your comments are a delight as always. Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

On 6/1/2020 at 6:10 PM, kais said:

I profess that I have no idea what is actually happening (I'm not a music person), but I enjoy it well enough that it doesn't matter at all.

Ha ha yes. I kind of feel this way too. A lot of the stuff with the notes goes over my head, but I am completely okay with that. 

I really enjoyed this chapter. The trial and error and mastering of the anxiety was great. I loved WW's confidence in S. And the HoT is fascinating. Have you ever considered a novella set fully in the HoT? If you came up with the right plot, if could be fascinating, exploring all the different iterations and solving some kind of puzzle while in it. 

There were some great little details too, like how WW's species doesn't get headaches.

The references back to Earth were great. Like S, I'd hardly remebered his time on Earth, so having that moment where he did remember things and used knowledge from his old job to actually to so something in the HoT was cool. I'm also sucker for ancient tech. 

The last line left me dying to know more. 

If you have the rest ready, I'd be happy to just read it all next week (or maybe this weekend) even if it doesn't all officially go through the group that week. I want to know how it ends.

I guess I mostly just said what I liked and didn't really critique. But ah, it was a good chapter. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Ha ha yes. I kind of feel this way too. A lot of the stuff with the notes goes over my head, but I am completely okay with that

Heh, well, as long as you're enjoying it!

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Have you ever considered a novella set fully in the HoT? If you came up with the right plot, if could be fascinating, exploring all the different iterations and solving some kind of puzzle while in it. 

I haven't, but that's an interesting idea. Although that might be something to explore in later books, too.

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

There were some great little details too, like how WW's species doesn't get headaches.

I think this came from some Star Trek episode where the doctor says they still haven't cured headaches.

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The references back to Earth were great. Like S, I'd hardly remebered his time on Earth,

Cool. I thought this was a good wrap up for getting to the end of the trilogy.

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The last line left me dying to know more. 

If you have the rest ready, I'd be happy to just read it all next week (or maybe this weekend) even if it doesn't all officially go through the group that week. I want to know how it ends.

Cool! Let me get the changes in for next week and I can send it to you.

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I guess I mostly just said what I liked and didn't really critique. But ah, it was a good chapter. 

That's good! I'm glad people seem to be enjoying the ending.

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Hah, ha ha!! So, if I read your subs late this week (here I am on Sunday afternoon... :rolleyes: ), I get to read four chapters pretty much right through as I get two more tomorrow!! I trust :D 

(page 1)

- "with a notch which held his C-shaped ring" - Don't understand: is the ring not on his finger?

- "to this iteration" - Which one are they in now?

- "I have as much experience with this as you" - LOL. You just can't beat having a straight man...err, being. And that's straight in a comedic sense, of course.

(page 3)

- "That way lies unknown consequences" - I'm enjoying this chapter a good deal already. Straight away there is danger, the unknown, playing with forces they don't understand while the Dis approaches. Excellent :D 

- "to change T and M at once" - but he's not supposed to be doing that, changing T, surely?

- "As he altered the music of T" - I thought they agreed he washy supposed to do that?

(page 4)

- "The crystal" - What crystal? Is this the ring?

- "It’s like the N" - What is?

- "Be careful" - But before WW was talking about S changing both.

(page 5)

- "Tell me if I’m changing too much" - I don't see how that is in any way possible, because once the change is made, it will be took late, surely?

- "raised two of xyr hands in caution" - This easily could mean 'stop'. How does S know that it doesn't?

(page 6)

- I feel there would be much more tension is the timescales were counting down. Also, Rule of Three. So, would 'Cycles, months...tendays?' work?

(page 7)

- "Was it all just a waste of time?" - Good. I like that he's having doubts here.

(page 8)

- "like fingers on a chalkboard" - Gaaaaaaah! Very effective.

(page 9)

- I enjoy seeing S getting more confident. It's been a long time coming, LOL, but he is, and we've seen it evolve a long way from his first arrival in the Net all those pages ago. I think this has been very well judged across the books, frustrating as it was in the first drafts.

(page 10)

- "giving her orders" - pronoun slippage.

- "would have told him to stop whining" - Really? I never sensed that her tone was so harsh towards him, as a general rule.

- There is something poetic about his thought towards In, and his taste. Well done. Also, for a straight chap like moi, the suggesting of something 'sharp' and different about kissing someone of the same gender resonates very effectively as a general concept. 

(page 11)

- "a brown strata" - strata is plural so this rang odd to me, like 'a brown bands'.

(page 12)

- "imagining the invading creatures" - Good good: stakes!

(page 13)

- "The lines...bent around him" - Excellent, I really feel like I'm witnessing him deep in the process, committed to it.

(page 14)

- "I’m a failure" - For me, this thought it very cold and analytical, where I'm expecting his thoughts to be wild and panicked. I think this is the thought he has an hour later, when the hot emotion has ebbed away into cold failure. Here, it's almost still happening. I think he's too controlled in this moment.

(page 16)

- Oh, very well done. Surprising yet inevitable, I was not even thinking of WW's ring. Nice emotions here, S reluctance, WW's faith.

(page 17)

- "The music climbed and grew" - I don't know what this means. Climbed what? Grew how?

(page 19)

- "split, and tumble" - Again, I don't know what this is. I'm stumbling over these descriptions of what he is actually doing to the music. Also, "generate a new iteration", this sounds like he's creating a 29th iteration, or a 30th, if he did the same the last time. It doesn't feel like they are moving from iteration to iteration, but that they are creating new ones, which seems wrong.

- "The manipulations of the N" - Oh, wow. The description of this iteration has a real impact, on numerous senses. Nicely done.

- "iteration looked more promising" - I can't remember what they're searching for. Why is this one more promising?

(page 20)

- "at the other two iterations" - Super confused. There are another 25 iterations, surely? Why two? And which two? Can they only access another two? Like I said, this is confusing, IMO.

(page 21)

- "the echoes of her claws" - pronoun slippage.

- "waggled her head flaps" - and again.

(page 22)

- "could see white roots within the transparent material" - Awesome. Gardening brain is engaged here :) 

- "consistency of a slab of steak" - wow!

(page 23)

- "thought of AM in several days" - I always struggle with the timescale being as short as it actually is. It feels like a year to me, not a few weeks, just from the progress the S has made psychologically if nothing else. I think 'hadn't thought of AM in a long time' would give the reader some flexibility in that regard, however, I appreciate that might not be something you want to do.

(page 25)

- "dragging the entire knot of the D toward them" - this is a great analogy.

(page 26)

- "thrown back to the star projector" - this is very satisfying for someone who has read Book 1.

(page 28)

- "I wasn’t able to do that before." - he is really stating the obvious here. I guess for readers who don't remember, but it really not worth saying 'out loud' in internal monologue, IMO.

- "He would have to talk about it with En and In. Which meant he would need to leave this place soon" - To me, this is way out of pace with the stakes, IMO. His anxiety is totally subservient to tackling the Dis. There is no way he's going to leave this unfinished to go and talk to his friends. I think the emphasis is off here. I can't believe he thinks this 'Oh, I need to stop saving the world and go talk to In and En about my anxiety.' That's what I'm hearing here.

OVERALL 

Good strong chapter at this point. So much more of the stakes that I was missing in earlier chapters, so much more recognition of the impending disaster. That aspect was good, and raised the stakes for everything that happened. The exploration of the two in the HoT was much more dramatic because of the restatement of those stakes at several instances, IMO. There were some really nice character moment for S, and some knock-out phrases and sentences that really chimed for me (pun intended!).

I think this is another strong building block as we ramp up to the end of the story. One difficulty, I think, is that we've been away from the El and the Imp, and so we are not seeing the destruction, seeing the stakes in the raw, but I trust that that is coming, and kind of hope that is where we are going next. Even though S is at a critical point, I still think we can spend a chapter away from him after that quite long one.

Nice work. Looking forward to tomorrow :D 

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Thanks @Robinski!

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

Hah, ha ha!! So, if I read your subs late this week (here I am on Sunday afternoon... :rolleyes: ), I get to read four chapters pretty much right through as I get two more tomorrow!! I trust :D 

Cool! Yep two for tomorrow and then the big finish the week after that!

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "with a notch which held his C-shaped ring" - Don't understand: is the ring not on his finger?

- "to this iteration" - Which one are they in now?

- "to change T and M at once" - but he's not supposed to be doing that, changing T, surely?

- "As he altered the music of T" - I thought they agreed he washy supposed to do that?

- "The crystal" - What crystal? Is this the ring?

A lot of this got adjusted in the last chapter. The ring is not in the artifact control box they found, and he played around with HoT. I may run the revised versions by you offline just to make sure everything makes sense...

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

LOL. You just can't beat having a straight man...err, being. And that's straight in a comedic sense, of course.

Ha!

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "Tell me if I’m changing too much" - I don't see how that is in any way possible, because once the change is made, it will be took late, surely?

Yeah, I think this section needs some fiddling.

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

- I enjoy seeing S getting more confident. It's been a long time coming, LOL, but he is, and we've seen it evolve a long way from his first arrival in the Net all those pages ago. I think this has been very well judged across the books, frustrating as it was in the first drafts.

Cool! Playing the long game...

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "I’m a failure" - For me, this thought it very cold and analytical, where I'm expecting his thoughts to be wild and panicked. I think this is the thought he has an hour later, when the hot emotion has ebbed away into cold failure. Here, it's almost still happening. I think he's too controlled in this moment.

Interesting. I'll go back and look at this.

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

Well done. Also, for a straight chap like moi, the suggesting of something 'sharp' and different about kissing someone of the same gender resonates very effectively as a general concept. 

Glad this works!

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

'm stumbling over these descriptions of what he is actually doing to the music.

Some others were as well. I was trying to use more creative license than actual terms, but go back to tighten it up.

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "at the other two iterations"

The other two WW didn't know about. I'll adjust.

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

To me, this is way out of pace with the stakes, IMO. His anxiety is totally subservient to tackling the Dis. There is no way he's going to leave this unfinished to go and talk to his friends.

Yeah, I don't think this fits, looking back.

3 hours ago, Robinski said:

One difficulty, I think, is that we've been away from the El and the Imp, and so we are not seeing the destruction, seeing the stakes in the raw, but I trust that that is coming, and kind of hope that is where we are going next. Even though S is at a critical point, I still think we can spend a chapter away from him after that quite long one.

Yep--that's all next week!

Thanks again!

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