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Mandamon

20200608 - Fall of the Imperium Ch 23 - 4116 words - Sub 34

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We're into the end of things now! The first chapter is right about 4120 words, and the second is 7100...Of course this week I didn't take anything out.

SUB 34
Chapter 23. How is Re getting on with N? 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.
E/I visit Vae, still in her coma, and speak with the Ari leaders. S works out how the HoT works.

 

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Comments (really keen to get my grits in sharpish and do some actual writing this week!!).

(page 1)

- Great first line, really sets me up for the chapter, someone is striking back, thank goodness. Hurrah! Good first page too. I get a real sense of the hunt, and the 'strange' knife sounds well cool and mysterious. Did we hear about that before on the bridge?

(page 2)

- "much confusion when they left the fight" - Confused: when who left? What fight in particular?

- "catch one of the soldiers in the act" - What act? Unclear.

- "creepy crawlies" - excellent. So R.

- "the sight of the El" - do they have eyes?

(page 3)

- "argumentative old lump" - :lol::lol::lol::lol:

(page 4)

- "whatever that was" - yes, so not sight then, I guess. 

- "they were like sand..." - what were?

(page 7)

- "as soon as it was created" - Erm, but surely energy can be neither created nor destroyed, per the First Law of Thermodynamics. I know there is the appearance of the El consuming energy, but that's not really the same thing. So, surely R is not thinking about the creation of energy here, but releasing energy?

(page 9)

- "Was he seeing double?" - No, he's seeing x1.5! :lol: 

- "was that an Ar in a cloak?" - Has r seen an Ar before in its natural form?

(page 10)

- "When he glanced over again, the soldier was ordinary again, unassuming" - I feel the blocking here is clunky. My default is that all three can see each other, so, the Ar should be able to see the soldier. That doesn't mean "the Ar" (oh, yeah, I know, I know) can see the transformation in the face, might be blocked from that, but R looking back and forth is the clunky bit, I feel.

- "look like one of the assassins?" - But he doesn't. Would R really conflate all Ar with all assassins? Hmmmm, maybe?

- "as he lost consciousness" - Why? This feels a bit lame to me. Because he hurt his leg? Meh, feels kind of plot / narrative convenient, here at the end of the section.

(page 11)

- "must only have been out a few seconds" - Bah, this compounds my dissatisfaction. It feel like he only passes out to give a convenient reason for a section break. If he doesn't pass out, the POV is continuous and there's no break.

- "Thank yer two" - This feels like cheating. In 'proper' English, he would say 'Thank you, you two.' I don't think he gets to drop a whole word just because it's pigeon. Then again, would he not just say 'Thanks, yer two.'?

(page 14)

- "encircled the assassin" - What about the spikes and the wet sound? What just happened? Confused.

(page 16)

- "giving them a chance" - not entirely clear in what sense.

(page 17)

- "people he thought he had known, people he thought he could not know, and people he thought did not exist" - There are confusing things going on here. I'm not sure this works. My head gets fuzzy trying to work it out so I move on.

(page 20)

- "They should be used to it, what with them hanging around S all the time" - Oooh, meow!

- "feel the silk of scales" - I would not say silkiness was an innate quality of scales.

- "to their own form" - Confused. Wouldn't the El respond most quickly to their own form?

- "before they first caught on. Then we had to separate and disguise ourselves to keep them from sensing us" - No, I don't understand what they're saying. Caught on to what? Disguise themselves how? This goes back to the point above, and me not understanding the 'quickly' scale.

(page 21)

I don't understand the last line. I don't think it's clear.

OVERALL 

Good chapter. Action, a little fighting, and a coming together. Several, in fact. I think the tension could be ramped up. It starts well, and I get good flavour of hunting and tension and the chase in the first page, but, as pages go by, it ebbs away and ends up being people standing around talking. I'm interested in what they say, but the tension is gone some time before the end, IMO.

Still, that can quite easily be fixed, but this will remain a good solid, forces of light continuing to muster chapter. Nicely done. R's reaction to the twins was fell judged, I thought. Continues to be fun seeing through his eyes, and hearing his internal (and external) banter :) 

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Thanks @Robinski!

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

and the 'strange' knife sounds well cool and mysterious. Did we hear about that before on the bridge?

Yep, several times in book 2 and at least in one chapter in this book, maybe two. Probably WRS since it was spread out over so long.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

Confused: when who left? What fight in particular?

The last fight between the Elg and LC, in the last Re chapter. I'll clarify.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

"catch one of the soldiers in the act"

Of changing shape. Also can clarify.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "as soon as it was created" - Erm, but surely energy can be neither created nor destroyed, per the First Law of Thermodynamics. I know there is the appearance of the El consuming energy, but that's not really the same thing. So, surely R is not thinking about the creation of energy here, but releasing energy?

Yep--good catch. Wrong word.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

Has r seen an Ar before in its natural form?

Yep. It was the big reveal at the beginning of book 2, so a while ago.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "When he glanced over again, the soldier was ordinary again, unassuming" - I feel the blocking here is clunky. My default is that all three can see each other, so, the Ar should be able to see the soldier.

Yeah, this was added in recently. I'll adjust this.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

Would R really conflate all Ar with all assassins? Hmmmm, maybe?

The only ones he knows of are the ones he's been living with while with the LC, and E/I, so I'd say probably yes.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "as he lost consciousness" - Why? This feels a bit lame to me. Because he hurt his leg? Meh, feels kind of plot / narrative convenient, here at the end of the section.

- "must only have been out a few seconds" - Bah, this compounds my dissatisfaction. It feel like he only passes out to give a convenient reason for a section break. If he doesn't pass out, the POV is continuous and there's no break.

Wasn't ever sure about this part. This was mostly from stories of friends who had a bone badly broken and passed out. I thought it was probably realistic, but not sure if it works in the narrative. Or might be able to keep it in but take out the section break.

(In fact, I think I might have been intending to switch to E/I POV here and didn't, in which case I can definitely take it out.)

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

"people he thought he had known, people he thought he could not know, and people he thought did not exist" - There are confusing things going on here. I'm not sure this works. My head gets fuzzy trying to work it out so I move on.

Heh...that's what happens when I try to be clever...

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "to their own form" - Confused. Wouldn't the El respond most quickly to their own form?

As in, not as something to attack. Can clarify.

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

I don't understand the last line. I don't think it's clear.

Hmm...what particularly is unclear? N is deciding to work with the others...

20 hours ago, Robinski said:

I think the tension could be ramped up. It starts well, and I get good flavour of hunting and tension and the chase in the first page, but, as pages go by, it ebbs away and ends up being people standing around talking.

Noted. Will try to ramp things up.

Thanks for the LBLs!

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3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Probably WRS since it was spread out over so long.

Agree. I really hope we get to find out what makes it 'otherworldly', and that it's not just forged from handwavium.

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Wasn't ever sure about this part. This was mostly from stories of friends who had a bone badly broken and passed out. I thought it was probably realistic, but not sure if it works in the narrative. Or might be able to keep it in but take out the section break.

(In fact, I think I might have been intending to switch to E/I POV here and didn't, in which case I can definitely take it out.)

Ah, interesting. As you might be able to tell, I have never broken a limb. I suspect I would roll over and be out for hours (lightweight!). So, it's all very glib for me to make this comment. I think it probably would read better without the break anyway.

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Heh...that's what happens when I try to be clever...

Nah, probably just needs some tweaking. I can sort of see where it's going, but then in my head it becomes like two mirrors facing each other and I the meaning is just on the edge of my understanding. I'm sure it will pop when it's 'done'.

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Hmm...what particularly is unclear? N is deciding to work with the others...

Heh, I think it might just be..."Us, we will speak with the Net maj" - I think I read it first almost like 'I speak for them' or 'I have been speaking with them'.

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Overall

I enjoyed this chapter a lot. I feel like we always get more emotion from R than we do a lot of the other characters. I imagine he's a lot more fun to write. The action and pacing were good and there were some very tense moments where I forgot to take notes entirely. Since we are nearing the end of the book, this is exactly the kind of pacing I'm looking for. 

 

On 6/8/2020 at 9:28 AM, Robinski said:

don't understand the last line. I don't think it's clear.

I had this same issue. It didn't make enough sense to land for me.

 

As I go

- pg 1: well I'm glad someone can take out those things!

- pg 3: there's great setting and action in these first three pages, but they're choppy and don't read smoothly. An editing pass would likely smooth things out

- pg 9: great tension through here. I enjoyed R running up the side of the wall, the falling, and the mystery throughout these pages

- pg 15: so wait...did the twins ingest that Ari? I know what the one person explained but I feel like it can't be an exception thing. Either it's okay to either your brethren or it isn't. 

- pg 16: okay so they're not supposed to do it, but the Ari didn't exactly stop them, either. So why bother chastising them?

- pg 20: so everyone can kill them now? I feel like I missed something, or maybe WRS?

 

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Thanks @kais!

8 hours ago, kais said:
On 6/8/2020 at 0:28 PM, Robinski said:

don't understand the last line. I don't think it's clear.

I had this same issue. It didn't make enough sense to land for me

Weird. It's completely clear to me, but then I wrote it. I'll look into how to rewrite it.

8 hours ago, kais said:

there were some very tense moments where I forgot to take notes entirely. Since we are nearing the end of the book, this is exactly the kind of pacing I'm looking for. 

Perfect!

8 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 15: so wait...did the twins ingest that Ari? I know what the one person explained but I feel like it can't be an exception thing. Either it's okay to either your brethren or it isn't. 

- pg 16: okay so they're not supposed to do it, but the Ari didn't exactly stop them, either. So why bother chastising them?

Hmm...Probably need to pop this out more and have more reaction from M on why it is/isn't ok.

8 hours ago, kais said:

- pg 20: so everyone can kill them now? I feel like I missed something, or maybe WRS?

Lol. There's some more explanation of this in the next two chapters, but everyone's getting better at it, I guess. Let me know if it makes sense going forward.

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Posted (edited)

Great fast paced chapter!

My only hang up was that the fight between I and E and the assassin seemed rushed over. I didn't really get a chance to be concerned for them or really picture what was going on before it was over. Maybe this wasn't an essential part but it felt like the fight was the pinch to Re's plot line. 

N and Re had some great dialogue together, I really liked their interactions. 

Great chapter overall!

Edited by Sarah B
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Thanks @Sarah B!

2 hours ago, Sarah B said:

My only hang up was that the fight between I and E and the assassin seemed rushed over. I didn't really get a chance to be concerned for them or really picture what was going on before it was over. Maybe this wasn't an essential part but it felt like the fight was the pinch to Re's plot line.

Good point. This was a late addition, so I probably need to flesh it out a bit. I'll work on that.

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Overall, I thought this was a solid chapter! Re's voice was great and there was plenty to move the plot forward. At the very end of the fight, right before I and E showed up, I was having a hard time following what was going. The part that was hard to follow was after they talked about how they were masking their presence until they were running up the wall. There was a part when Re commented on N using something that wasn't the House of Grace. Was it Matter? 

I liked the way Re processed I's new appearance, and how it ended in acceptance. 

On 6/8/2020 at 0:28 PM, Robinski said:

it ebbs away and ends up being people standing around talking. I'm interested in what they say, but the tension is gone some time before the end, IMO.

This is true. Maybe a little more of a feeling that they are being watched or the E could close in soon? I know the twins did something to prevent that, but if it was a little less secure it might be more tense? Or maybe if there seemed to be a little more threat for N before he decided to help? I'm just throwing random ideas out. Not sure if they're really good ones or not. 

On 6/10/2020 at 0:33 AM, kais said:

The action and pacing were good and there were some very tense moments where I forgot to take notes entirely. Since we are nearing the end of the book, this is exactly the kind of pacing I'm looking for. 

Agree.

On 6/10/2020 at 0:33 AM, kais said:
On 6/8/2020 at 0:28 PM, Robinski said:

don't understand the last line. I don't think it's clear.

I had this same issue. It didn't make enough sense to land for me.

I got that N is agreeing to help out, but is it really the most important thing? I don't think it really closes the chapter that well. It didn't have the same impact that some of the other endings did.  

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Thanks @shatteredsmooth!

2 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The part that was hard to follow was after they talked about how they were masking their presence until they were running up the wall. There was a part when Re commented on N using something that wasn't the House of Grace. Was it Matter? 

Yep, I think the blocking might be a bit off here. I'll look back over it. N is only using House of Grace, so that probably something that's not clear.

2 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

Maybe a little more of a feeling that they are being watched or the E could close in soon? I know the twins did something to prevent that, but if it was a little less secure it might be more tense? Or maybe if there seemed to be a little more threat for N before he decided to help?

Good ideas! I'll spruce this up a bit.

2 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:
On 6/10/2020 at 0:33 AM, kais said:
On 6/8/2020 at 0:28 PM, Robinski said:

don't understand the last line. I don't think it's clear.

I had this same issue. It didn't make enough sense to land for me.

I got that N is agreeing to help out, but is it really the most important thing? I don't think it really closes the chapter that well. It didn't have the same impact that some of the other endings did

Yeah, I'm going to take a close look at it. I was thinking N agreeing to help was the most important thing since he's been an adversary for three books, but I wonder if I shoudl focus on Re instead?

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3 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

Yeah, I'm going to take a close look at it. I was thinking N agreeing to help was the most important thing since he's been an adversary for three books, but I wonder if I shoudl focus on Re instead?

Yeah. Him agreeing to help is important, but I think ending with something more focused in Re would complete the arc better. 

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Just now, shatteredsmooth said:

I think ending with something more focused in Re would complete the arc better. 

That sounds better the more I think of it.

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8 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:
8 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Yeah, I'm going to take a close look at it. I was thinking N agreeing to help was the most important thing since he's been an adversary for three books, but I wonder if I shoudl focus on Re instead?

Yeah. Him agreeing to help is important, but I think ending with something more focused in Re would complete the arc better. 

I think the N helping thing really lands when Ri is confronted with him when he arrived in the Imp with the others. I would not mind if that scene was played up more. I feel like in a movie Ri would be up in his face with her knife out. I know it's not a movie, just saying the reaction, the threat/conflict in that scene probably could be higher.

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Sorry for the late review!

I got to the end of page two before I remembered who R was. I am glad he came back and had a nice chance to shine in this chapter. I do wonder if R should be more suspicious of I's (E's?) new look, considering that he watched some of his captors shape shift to look like some people he knew. But, I think that since the book is coming to an end, it should be ok not adding more drama.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @CherishLarain!

I think you missed the first Re chapter, so that's understandable. Glad you liked the chapter though.

23 hours ago, CherishLarain said:

I do wonder if R should be more suspicious of I's (E's?) new look, considering that he watched some of his captors shape shift to look like some people he knew. But, I think that since the book is coming to an end, it should be ok not adding more drama.

That's a good point, He's got a bit more toward the end, so let me know if that wraps things up for you. I could see adding a couple lines here or there, but as you say, not a lot more drama.

Edited by Mandamon
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