shatteredsmooth

Book of Mel_Chapter 13 (Sub 14) Sept 15 2020 (4992 Words) (L)

11 posts in this topic

Content Warning: Language
I did not tag this with V since there is no actual violence in the chapter, but it is somewhat focused on the aftermath of the previous chapters violence. 
 
Hi!
Sending this now because tomorrow is going to be super busy and I am afraid I'll forget. 
 
The last chapter was a big change, so the one that came after got rewritten. This chapter replaces the one you read as Ch. 9. Originally, M had gone home after the fight with the CD, and then drove back to school. But since she was responding to a threat against A and T, not her mom, there was no reason for her to go home. This chapter is the new version. There may be a few familiar sentences, but it is mostly new content. 
 
There are many intentional sentence fragments in the narrative voice and M's dialogue, especially in the first half of the chapter.
 
 Any kind of feedback is welcome, but I do have a couple questions. 
 
  1.  I see this chapter as M pulling away from Mi and gravitating towards A and T, being more positive towards them than him. If you see it differently, can you please let me know and point out specifics to help me understand the way you see it? 
  2. Is it clear that M is Not Okay and not quite thinking clearly a consequence of the psychic fight with the Demon? 
Thank you!!
 
Sara
Changes since last time:
-A and T are not mad at M when chapter 12 starts out, but they are going to a party, and M isn't. Everyone is okay with this because they like parties and doesn't usually drink.
-M half-explains why she's leaving as she rushes away from Mi in 12. Just long enough for him to glance at her phone before she runs away. 
-If we go way back, the chapter with M going home to get her costume is gone. Instead we see the masquerade, and M gets called away from there due to a dire family situation with demons and potentially fatal injuries.
 
Recap
Ch. 1: M saves a guy from a demon. 
Ch. 2: Healing on a school night was a bad idea. But it has some perks, like falling into the lap of a sweet girl named T. But the guy she saved is her TA, Mi. Oh no!
Ch. 3: M follows Mi and figures out he doesn't recognize her, but is a paranormal investigator with a fascinating mind. She goes out with T, and her roommate, A. There is laughter and cuddles and fandom. 
Ch. 4: Two weeks later, M is trying to figure out how much Mi knows about the paranormal, and learns he has more secrets than extracurricular ghost hunting. 
Ch. 5: M leaves Mi to check on T after a skateboarding incident. They almost kiss, but a broken bone compels M to heal it, and she almost passes out on T. The next morning, M makes plans to go to a masquerade, which is a month away. 
Ch. 6: A month later, Mel goes to a masquerade with A & T but is called away because of a family hunting emergency.
Ch. 7: Mel fights demons and heals people. She almost dies. 
Ch. 8: Back at school. Mi reveals his PI friends survived. M hears what she needs from him and finds A and T, who tell her all about what she missed at the masquerade. 
Ch. 9: Pizza and flirting with the girls is cut short by Mi putting himself in danger. Again.
Ch. 10: After almost getting hit by a car, M and Mi spend the night together, talking about the paranormal, gaming, and falling asleep. 
Ch. 11: M tries to earn A and T's forgiveness. Things get spicy. M's shields fail. Intimacy with no shields means there will be an exchange of energies which the girls haven't consented to, so M has to leave. (this whole chapter might change. It might not. Uncertain).
Ch. 12 (last time): A and T go to a party. She goes out with Mi, but ditches him when she thinks the girls are in danger. It's a trap! A demon is waiting for Mel. They have a telepathic battle and M gets hurt. 
Ch. 13 (This time): M isn't doing so good after the fight with the Crossroads Demon. 
 
Edited by shatteredsmooth
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1) I see this chapter as M pulling away from Mi and gravitating towards A and T, being more positive towards them than him. If you see it differently, can you please let me know and point out specifics to help me understand the way you see it? 

--I clarified some points below where I still don't think this is the case, but basically it comes down to that M's switch in affections comes at the same time as she's dealing with trauma, so it's doesn't read as genuine, so much so that T&A even recognize it and send her back to Mi. If they had recognized what was happening and offered to leave the party with M and take care of her, or if Mi wasn't so obviously protective, it might read differently.


2) Is it clear that M is Not Okay and not quite thinking clearly a consequence of the psychic fight with the Demon?

--I think it might be overkill. M is blurred and not thinking clearly to the point where it's hard to understand parts of the chapter, and other characters tend to arrive as if by magic. I think maybe toning it down, or only showing where it specifically affects talking with people or navigating might make it less intrusive.

 

Notes while reading:
pg 2: "The trail titled until water was a wall on her right."
--titled -> tilted. Took me a moment to understand the sentence.

pg 2: "“It shouldn’t be this hard to heal me.”
--I'd say "to heal myself" or just "to heal."

pg 2: I don't remember the immediate aftereffects of the fight with the demon being as bad as what M is going through here. I looked back at last week and it sort of ends with her in pain, but not this close to being incapacitated. Might be partially WRS.

pg 3: Wait--where did Mi come from? Is M hallucinating?

pg 5: Now M's just ignoring Mi?

pg 5: “What did you just say?” 
--is this in reference to Blackout Protocol, or that a demon had a mind fight with her?
--edit: I guess both, from the next page?

pg 7: Lol. Mi drives a delorean?

pg 8: I know M isn't thinking straight, but a lot of this chapter seems disjointed. I'm not sure where Mi came from and we're suddenly finding out a lot more about him that we haven't learned in the first seven chapters.

pg 10: I think this is where you say M is pulling away from Mi, but I'm not really seeing it. She is concerned about T&A, but that seems natural based on what just happened. However Mi is still the one who comes to her aid and helps her. They share secrets. They have a lot more chemistry together than M with T&A.

pg 11: There's attraction shown between T and M here, and if there was more setup before now, I'd probably believe it. Right now it just reads as weird since M hasn't been doing stuff like this the whole book.

pg 12: “What happened to pizza?”
--not sure what this is referring to.

pg 13: “Are you high?”
--yeah, I'd probably be asking that too. M is NOT acting normally at all, which also undermines her wanting to be with T instead of Mi.

pg 17: "“Going to a party and getting drunk for the first time ever is not the thing to do after getting mugged at knife-point."
--Hard agree. I think this is the problem here. All of M's affections toward T&A feel like a product of her impaired mental ability right now, not like anything genuine.

Hmmm...and this end with M back with Mi. T&A recognize that her affections are also not real, and put her back where she should be.

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2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I think this is the problem here. All of M's affections toward T&A feel like a product of her impaired mental ability right now, not like anything genuine.

Hmmm...and this end with M back with Mi. T&A recognize that her affections are also not real, and put her back where she should be.

Ok, I think I get it. The state she is in and bad decision making essentially nullifies everything that happens there in terms of the relationship. 

2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

--I think it might be overkill. M is blurred and not thinking clearly to the point where it's hard to understand parts of the chapter, and other characters tend to arrive as if by magic. I think maybe toning it down, or only showing where it specifically affects talking with people or navigating might make it less intrusive.

 

OK. I will either tone it down or take 90% of it out. 

 

2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 8: I know M isn't thinking straight, but a lot of this chapter seems disjointed. I'm not sure where Mi came from and we're suddenly finding out a lot more about him that we haven't learned in the first seven chapters.

 

The things that weren't said in those moments were he avoids talking or thinking things. This was supposed to be a reveal but I get why it isn't working.

2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 7: Lol. Mi drives a delorean?

 

Yes. :-) This was actually in Power Surge. Though it has been further modified by then. 

 

Honestly, after reading the feedback, seeing that it probably hurts the WLW thread more than anything and all the other issues, it might be better to just start from scratch with this chapter instead of trying to fix it. 

I'll wait and see what other feedback comes in before I start rewriting, but your comments make a lot of sense and I expect everyone else will probably agree. 

Thank you! 

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Thoughts as I go:

I enjoyed the opening. Felt the grogginess and pain well.

Pg 3, “You’re hurt. What happened.” Dude, understatement of the century. If I ran into my friend bleeding half dead at night in the middle of a park, I'd be like, "HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND GRACIOUS, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED, 911 MY FRIEND IS DYING." Mi makes it sound like she has a scabbed knee. 

Also, how did he find M??? Especially when boyo is afraid of crosswalks??? Isn't she halfway across the city??? Did the Demon tell him somehow? "Yo, you're friend left early because we had to beat her up in a park. Have a good day, xoxo"

Pg 3, “You need to go to the hospital.” --> "Oh my god, look at all that blood, I'm calling 911 pronto." Got to say, Mi in crisis situations is a little slow. Then again, he probably wouldn't panic as much as I might expect from his own past...maybe this brings up his own trauma. 

Pg 3, " she used her left to dial T’s number" Arguably, this is more unrealistic than magic. I think the only phone number I have memorized besides 911 is my mother's. 

Pg 4, “Can I come?” Girl, go home and sleep. You just got your butt whooped. Let the pixies do their job.

Pg 4, " you can’t even get up. How can you go to a party?” My thought exactly. Good job, Mi.

Pg 4, "Not drunk.” And this is where I would be thinking, "My girl got roofied or something"

Pg 4, “Can Mi stay with you until you get back to campus?” This says a lot about both Mi and T. That T trusts a "heavily intoxicated" M with Mi without him taking advantage of her. 

Pg 5, "The pixies are inside." With Mi sitting right there, you better hope he thinks you're referencing pixie sticks. There's no way he didn't overhear that.

Pg 6, "A demon who hacked your phone." M never mentioned any of this to Mi. Small plot hole.

Pg 6, " made it here without getting pulled over for speeding"

Pg 6, "Drive me to the party. Please." Girl, your hunter friends are watching them. Go heal yourself up. 

Pg 7, "Mi sighed and turned the knife, handing it to her, hilt first." He is accepting all of this a little too well. Everything seems disjointed, but at the same time, I think polished up, this could really work. 

Pg 8, “One that almost got me killed multiple times.” Which may be why he is handling this so well. He's not a newbie to violence. 

Pg 10, “They need me, in case the Demon comes back,” Girl, you are nothing but a liability right now. 

Pg 10, “It’s not that kind of head injury,” THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN FIGHT! My mother hen is 100% ready to strap that girl to a bed and force feed her pizza.

Pg 13, "they meant rocket powered grenade launcher. A favorite for busting trolls from a distance." I love this line. 10/10.

Pg 13, " She saw a bowl of chips and grabbed it." (Psst, she already has the bowl. You can delete this line ;) )

Pg 13, "Are you high?” I would have come to the same conclusion if my friend says she isn't drunk and yet is acting out of character. I'd be considering more than weed, too, or being crossfaded. 

Pg 14, "You’re not yourself tonight.” Good friends. Yes, notice, please!

Pg 17, “I’m trying to help" Yes! T&A for the win!

 

Overall:

I think this chapter is a little disjointed and needs some wrinkles ironed out. Sometimes it felt like the conversation with Mi and M were bouncing back and forth between topics too quick for me to wrap my head around everything. 

1. I see this chapter as M pulling away from Mi and gravitating towards A and T, being more positive towards them than him. If you see it differently, can you please let me know and point out specifics to help me understand the way you see it? 

I see Mi being too much for M, and she can't handle adding his problems on top of her own. A&T share a lot of the same interests with her, are safe, and, above else, are normal.  I agree with @Mandamon about this harming T&A's relationship with M more than helping it. It feels like she is running to the girls because they aren't involved, are a good distraction, rather than actually needing them for them. I liked the party where she confessed about the attack and bawled, but her flirting with them and downing shots made me as uncomfortable as it made T&A. 

2. Is it clear that M is Not Okay and not quite thinking clearly a consequence of the psychic fight with the Demon? 

STOP TRYING TO GO TO THE DANG PARTY! YOU ARE A WOBBLY, BROKEN MESS WHO NEEDS AN MCU MARATHON AND PIZZA NOT A COLLEGE PARTY YOU DORK. 

Yes, frustratingly so. 

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Overall

The story flowed fairly well, and it's clear now that M has some actual attraction to the girls. That's good! However the narrative itself seems to be determined for her to not get time with them. M finds her after the battle and they have lots of good conversation. She hangs out with the girls and its just fragments and good emotion(!) but the narrative then sends M back to Mi. Why don't the girls take her home? If my friend showed up like that I wouldn't stay at the party, I'd Uber us all back to campus and get her some ice cream while she sobbed. Why are they just handing her off and berating Mi? It feels like the narrative won't allow M to have any time with them now.

 

Your Questions

I see this chapter as M pulling away from Mi and gravitating towards Al and Ta, being more positive towards them than him. If you see it differently, can you please let me know and point out specifics to help me understand the way you see it? 

I've detailed this above. M is clearly into it. The narrative does not want it to happen. She needs to have just as long of conversations with the girls, have the same types of connections, to give it equal footing.

Is it clear that Mel is Not Okay and not quite thinking clearly a consequence of the psychic fight with the Demon? 

Yes, this is very clear.

 

On 9/14/2020 at 11:20 AM, Mandamon said:

I think this is where you say M is pulling away from Mi, but I'm not really seeing it. She is concerned about T&A, but that seems natural based on what just happened. However Mi is still the one who comes to her aid and helps her. They share secrets. They have a lot more chemistry together than M with T&A.

This remains my issue as well

 

As I Go

- pg 5: oooh, hard T shut down!

- pg 10: he may not be the person she wants to be with tonight, but he's the person who gets all the interactions!

- pg 11: T was cold to her on the phone so not reacting to what looks like a drunk hug is kind of weird

 

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As I read:

I like the opening. This is a very evocative description of M's mental distress.

Wait, how did Mi manage to track M down?

Okay, a few pages later Mi says he looked at her phone before she ran off, but maybe WRS, when would he have had the chance to actually do that?

P7 I get that M is feeling pretty awful and why, and I think “slime” is an evocative description, but while the repetition was effective at first by p7 I’m definitely getting tired of seeing it.

Bottom of p8, “told someone named Maxwekk…” those should probably be lls? I know spellheck is gonna catch this, I really just wanted an excuse to write MAXWEKK 

As I read, it occurs to me that M’s father came to her once before after she was hurt. I realise this isn’t a physical injury, but still, she’s in enough distress that I’m starting to wonder why he doesn’t again.

Questions!

I think it’s pretty clear that M is Not Okay.

Not sure that I see this as pulling away from Mi though. For one thing she’s not really choosing Mi over A and T – he’s showed up to help her this time – and the chapter is still  bookended with M's interactions with Mi. I do think that this is one of the chapters where M’s actual attraction is clearest, but the fact that this comes after a major trauma and while M is so messed up also detracts from that. Which doesn’t mean the scene is bad, but I think given the context it’s not enough to support her attraction to A and T on its own. If we got this feeling sooner and more often I think I would read this scene differently. 

Plus, it seems pretty normal to be worried about A & T after the last chapter.

On 9/14/2020 at 11:20 AM, Mandamon said:

M is blurred and not thinking clearly to the point where it's hard to understand parts of the chapter, and other characters tend to arrive as if by magic

I didn't find the chapter difficult to understand, but it definitely felt like Mi (at the very least) appeared by magic. A and T a bit too but they were in a crowded setting already so it didn't stick out as much. 

On 9/14/2020 at 11:20 AM, Mandamon said:

pg 8: I know M isn't thinking straight, but a lot of this chapter seems disjointed. I'm not sure where Mi came from and we're suddenly finding out a lot more about him that we haven't learned in the first seven chapters.

M and Mi ARE pretty forthcoming with each other in this chapter and neither of them really question it (I know M's not thinking straight, but still). If they were a little more reluctant to share with each other, maybe that would create some tension between them that might also make the Love Rhombus (tm) a little more palatable? 

On 9/15/2020 at 11:04 AM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 3, “You need to go to the hospital.” -->

I was a bit miffed with Mi on this front as well, tbh. Like, if M freaked out  when he suggested it, maayyybe. Asking nicely  while also agreeing that she can hardly stand up? Not so much. 

On 9/15/2020 at 11:04 AM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 4, “Can Mi stay with you until you get back to campus?” This says a lot about both Mi and T. That T trusts a "heavily intoxicated" M with Mi without him taking advantage of her. 

It does, and I was a bit surprised to see it, never had the impression that T had much interaction or a particularly high opinion of Mi.

On 9/15/2020 at 11:04 AM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 13, "they meant rocket powered grenade launcher. A favorite for busting trolls from a distance." I love this line. 10/10.

Yes! I meant to mention this one! 

On 9/15/2020 at 1:09 PM, kais said:

M is clearly into it. The narrative does not want it to happen. She needs to have just as long of conversations with the girls, have the same types of connections, to give it equal footing.

Yes, very much this. 

Edit: If you want it to feel a bit more like M is choosing A and T over Mi, you could have A and T and Mi both insisting they'll take her home, and M deciding to go with A & T instead of Mi?

Edited by Silk
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First off, I'd cut down on the use of the word 'slime.' It shows up over 20 times in this chapter. I'm not sure it's wholly necessary to keep reminding the reader of it. The fragmented dialogue is enough to remind us of its presence and its effect on M. 

Also, I think the dialogue could use another pass. Reading how these characters talk, very little of it seems to me like how actual people would talk. It's somewhat stilted, and could use some more flavor and personality. I didn't see much difference, if any, in the way that A and T talked. I recommend looking to the real people in your life, listening to how they speak, and seeing if you can apply their patterns and vernacular to your characters. 

To answer your questions, yes, it's obvious that M's was affected by her fight. But I don't know why she's gravitating towards A and T. Neither of them seem all that particularly interesting. I'm not sensing any chemistry. At least Mi seems to have an interesting past. (Though bear in mind, this is only the second chapter of this story that I've read, so take that thought with a grain of salt.)

Notes below. Corrections in spelling and grammar are bolded. 

Pg. 2:

"The trail tilted until water..."

Pg. 3:

“You’re hurt. What happened?” 

She reached for his pocket.

Didn’t move to touch her shirt.—I'd personally leave out 'move to' 

Pg. 4

“M, you hate parties. That's why you didn't come to begin with."—I'd add that there's some kind of note of disbelief in his voice. Otherwise, dialogue's expository nature is noticeable. 

Pg. 5:

"Not really, but I'm safe. I think."—There are subtle changes in M's dialogue here and there where she becomes more articulate. Why? I'd note this at least once. Might be interesting. 

"What did you say?" Mi gasped, face turning pale, white-knuckled grip on M's phone.—I think this reaction needs to be toned down. It's a lot of tropes in sequence that comes across as overdramatic. 

Pg. 6:

"Dark energy your scanner picked up."—Your cell phone bill, the Jedi Council will cover. Mrm? No critique, just wanted to make a Yoda joke. 

"I walked to my car and somehow made it here without getting pulled over for speeding and running red lights."—Why is it important that he walked to his car? 

Pg. 8:

"People hurt me because of it. Broke me."—This is more telling than it is showing. Perhaps consider putting more emphasis into his body language? 

Pg. 10:

"...her body temperature ran a few degrees hotter."—If she doesn't want him to know that, why hasn't she pulled her hand away by now? 

Pg. 11:

"She tightened her sweater..."—What does that mean? How do you tighten a sweater? 

Maybe it wanted her to kill herself from trying to burn all its slime from her head. 

M glanced up, letting herself get lost in the depths of T' blue eyes.—I would heavily consider replacing or rewriting this. It comes across as cheesy instead of romantic. 

Pg. 13:

"...they meant rocket-powered grenade launcher."

Pg. 14:

"M, I'm so sorry."—Considering what M just told her, this seems like a muted reaction. In this instance, you can totally afford to go big with your character's emotion.

"I don't like cops..."—This comes across as expository. I think something like, "I'm not calling any f'ing cops" would get the idea across without having to explicitly tell.

"They probably wouldn’t listen to me anyway, and arrest some innocent person."—Dialogue here feels somewhat mechanical. "Arrest somebody innocent" sounds more natural, in my mind. 

Pg. 15:

“But it might be good to make an appointment with one of the school therapists soon. Your body might be okay, but things like that are traumatic."—Dialogue seems mechanical here. 

T’s lips were pressed together and her eyes narrowed. “Something like this happened to you?” T nodded.—Looks like A got replaced by T by accident here. 

Pg. 16:

"Maybe there is more to reality than science can explain."—This comes across as mechanical. 

“After,” M muttered.—Unnecessary paragraph break after this line. 

Pg. 17:

She synched her breathing with A’s.

Let the beating and swooshing fill her head and soothe her. 

T held the phone to one ear and covered the other.

...it was like cotton laced with Novocain was stretched through her brain...

Pg. 18:

"If you take advantage of her, I will find out and you will find out how mean my uppercut is. Then I'll report you."—If she's honestly concerned he'll do that, then why is she letting M leave with him?

"...If you need a reminder of that, we can spar after breakfast.”

Edited by JWerner
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Woo hoo, almost caught up :) 

1)  Slime and thorns, excellent snapshot of pain and incapacity here at the start.

2)  "She lost, sort of." - But she also won, sort of.

3)  I don't remember who P and Y are, and didn't last time. WRS (or Interrupted Reading Syndrome, actually. No wait, no one wants IRS...) Yeah, I vaguely remember that P and Y are allies, but how did they know to got to T and A at the party?

4)  Wait, what? How they heck did Mi get there? How in holy heck?

5)  "Can I come?" - Eh? In the condition she's in? I find this hard to believe. I get that she would want to go, to make up with T and A, check on them, whatever, but she's in no kind of condition, and surely even she can see that. But "That’s why you didn’t come to begin with" - wait, what? I thought they had a big bust up, and were not speaking to each other? This line seems to deny that situation completely. "Now. Please. Address." - (a) Me's clipped dialogue it annoying. I suppose it's because of how injured she is. (b) Oh, so she only wants to go to the party because, actually, she doesn't want to go to the party, just wants to get the address? I think that could be clearer, would be clearer if we got some internal monologue earlier.

6)  "We’ll see you tomorrow at that brunch" - Wait. I thought there had been a big break up and they weren't talking to each other. Going back to check last chapter...Yup, (i) excluded from cuddling; (ii) T and A were furious; (iii) made plans without her. This reads like a big spat to me, and I don't see what they would be quite friendly here, at least not without it being called out.

7)  "Questions she should’ve asked right away" - I think it's fine she's asking them now. Glad she is. It's always nice what the character mirror the reader's own questions. I think the timing is fine, given her incapacity.

8)  "Did you hit your head?" - But he knows now that she was fighting a demon. This question doesn't sit right. Surely he would also ask 'Was it the fight?'

9)  This first scene was a good aftermath / fight sequel scene. There are some notes that sound off to me, as commented above, but the dynamics of the scene felt right, and I'm so glad that we FINALLY have a reveal between Mi and Me as to her true activities. That played fairly well, although I think his emotion / confusion could be dialled up in a few more places, There are some good hints like ramming the knife into the boot, and him pressing her for details, but just a couple more facial expressions, sounds of his voice, etc. would be good, IMO.

10)  Me's weird, clipped dialogue. It's not adding anything; it's not creating the effective that she's disoriented, it just sounds to me like this bit has been written in note form, for polishing later.

11)  If his lip is punctured and bleeding, she can't just brush the blood off. There are parts of the body that bleed more heavily that others, and I think the lip might be one of them. I feel like there is a lot of blood in and around the lips (just from their appearance).

12)  Card? I forget who that is.

13)  "Regretted not coming" - I thought Me wasn't invited, that A and T had planned to go without her.

14)  Costume party: confused. This different from the masquerade, right? 

15)  "A favorite for busting trolls" - Aw, cool. So, it's nickname is troll-buster, obviously :D 

16)  Repetition of grabbing the bowl of chips.

17)  "But it is too bad it escaped" - The others don't notice this slip from Me, referring to 'it' not he. That's okay with me. Here's a thing though.

18)  "Her phone rested on his lap." - I think the end of the chapter should be here. The explanation of what is on the screen is clunky, and does not leave the reader with the dread of imminent discovery, which I think is the better emotional hit at the end of the chapter.

Overall 

Good chapter, I enjoyed this. Lots of emotional baggage and fallout from not just the attack, but all the person al stuff that came before. I did feel a bit misled over the situation between Me and T+A, which I thought was less friendly, from the description previous. Usually missing words, grammar issues, typos, and some logic holes and glitches, reference above, but good stuff.

I tend to feel that we are about to lapse back into relationship navel gazing, which would be a shame with the plot momentum having been built up, but I have the promise of a difficult conversation between Me and Mi in the next chapter, so I am totally keen to keep reading. I hope that the plot momentum is maintained in the next chapter, and we get lots of good reveals about Me's abilities, and the nature of BP. Also want Me to get closer to T and A.

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Oh, forgot the questions.

  1. I see this chapter as M pulling away from Mi and gravitating towards A and T, being more positive towards them than him. If you see it differently, can you please let me know and point out specifics to help me understand the way you see it? - I do sense her desire to be closer to A and T, and there is plenty of touching, but it's consolatory on their part, and Me is disoriented, so not sure she can read with accuracy the signs that they are sending. I don't get much sense of her pulling away from Mi, just trying (through disoriented haze) to move towards A&T, but I'm not sure how I trust  her thoughts, because of her condition.
  2. Is it clear that M is Not Okay and not quite thinking clearly a consequence of the psychic fight with the Demon? - Yes, totally clear, IMO. And then more so when she starts drinking. Noting however that her clipped dialogue got annoying after a time.
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On 15/09/2020 at 7:04 PM, Snakenaps said:

Mi makes it sound like she has a scabbed knee. 

He does play it down, but he has seen some weird sht of his own. Maybe he could be more wound up, but I personally wouldn't go too far the other way.

On 15/09/2020 at 7:04 PM, Snakenaps said:

Also, how did he find M?

Yes, totally agree. This confused me.

On 15/09/2020 at 7:04 PM, Snakenaps said:

It feels like she is running to the girls because they aren't involved, are a good distraction, rather than actually needing them for them.

Interesting. I read it as her insisting on going to the party because she needed to see that A&T were okay, and see for herself. Maybe there was an element of selfishness, but I don't see that it did A&T any harm. Sometimes I wish character were a little more selfish and put their own happiness higher up their priority list.

On 15/09/2020 at 9:09 PM, kais said:

However the narrative itself seems to be determined for her to not get time with them.

Yes, and I'm frustrated by that somewhat. Okay, she was with them before and things were getting hot-and-heavy, and Me got scared and ran away, fair enough, but the more they come together and almost get to be happy (for an hour or so), the story pulls them apart--actually, more specifically, one of the characters pushes the other(s) away--and that gets frustrating the second or third time.

On 15/09/2020 at 9:09 PM, kais said:

Why don't the girls take her home? If my friend showed up like that I wouldn't stay at the party, I'd Uber us all back to campus and get her some ice cream while she sobbed. Why are they just handing her off and berating Mi? It feels like the narrative won't allow M to have any time with them now.

Yeah. Okay, I could buy this because I thought that A&T were PO'd with Me, but in the encounter everyone was cheery, so I interpreted the start of the previous chapter incorrectly. I think that bit about them excluding her is powerful sign that they are mad at her, but there's not sign of that in this encounter, which confused me.

On 17/09/2020 at 11:00 PM, Silk said:

Okay, a few pages later Mi says he looked at her phone before she ran off, but maybe WRS, when would he have had the chance to actually do that?

Oh, I did not register that bit, but that feels really forced to try and make the plot work.

On 17/09/2020 at 11:00 PM, Silk said:

you could have A and T and Mi both insisting they'll take her home, and M deciding to go with A & T instead of Mi?

YES!! This, this exactly. It's completely classic, the moment of choice, having to pick between one love interest and another. Maybe classically is comes at the end of the story, but it would be very dramatic here, and would allow for a big argument between the four of them, Mi having a got at A&T, them yelling at him and Me--being torn, yes, because she likes Mi--, but finally coming to the realisation of what she wants. Maybe it's too soon in the story for this to happen depending on what you want, but it would be an excellent moment for this to happen, when the plot has--very naturally--brought the four of them together. Having a big argument at our outside a noisy party would be very dramatic as well: music pumping, people yelling, having fun, as a background.

On 20/09/2020 at 6:17 AM, JWerner said:

First off, I'd cut down on the use of the word 'slime.'

It didn't bug me enough to comment, but I certainly think you could lose 1/3 of the slime references and still have plenty.

On 20/09/2020 at 6:17 AM, JWerner said:

Also, I think the dialogue could use another pass. Reading how these characters talk, very little of it seems to me like how actual people would talk. It's somewhat stilted, and could use some more flavor and personality.

Agree. I said something about stock phrases (maybe that was the last chapter), but I think most of it is very 'straight'/normal/conventional in terms phrasing. This does tend to have the effect of making the characters sound the same, whereas characters speaking differently can do a lot to convey character, and make the dialogue more energetic and entertaining, more memorable and dramatic.

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On 9/21/2020 at 11:56 AM, Robinski said:

I did feel a bit misled over the situation between Me and T+A, which I thought was less friendly, from the description previous.

That's because I had revised that chapter between submissions. Confusion is understandable. 

 

On 9/20/2020 at 1:17 AM, JWerner said:

First off, I'd cut down on the use of the word 'slime.' It shows up over 20 times in this chapter.

Will take some of it out. 

On 9/15/2020 at 4:09 PM, kais said:

but the narrative then sends M back to Mi

This is now changing. She is going to leave with Ally and Tasha. 

 

On 9/17/2020 at 6:00 PM, Silk said:

Wait, how did Mi manage to track M down?

 

I have now rewritten the previous chapter so he sees all the messages as Mel is reading. 

On 9/17/2020 at 6:00 PM, Silk said:

Bottom of p8, “told someone named Maxwekk…” those should probably be lls? I know spellheck is gonna catch this, I really just wanted an excuse to write MAXWEKK 

 

LOL

On 9/15/2020 at 2:04 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 3, “You’re hurt. What happened.” Dude, understatement of the century. If I ran into my friend bleeding half dead at night in the middle of a park, I'd be like, "HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND GRACIOUS, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED, 911 MY FRIEND IS DYING." Mi makes it sound like she has a scabbed knee. 

 

OK, good point. I was thinking he hadn't really seen the blood yet. I def need to reowork this a bit.

 

On 9/17/2020 at 6:00 PM, Silk said:

As I read, it occurs to me that M’s father came to her once before after she was hurt. I realise this isn’t a physical injury, but still, she’s in enough distress that I’m starting to wonder why he doesn’t again.

 

He hadn't because she attacked first, but I changed up that fight scene a bit, so she doesn't attack first, and now her father shows up in the begining of the chapter. 

 

Thank you everyone for reading! This chapter is getting a bit of an overhaul. Planned revision include Mel being a little more coherent, seeking comfort in A&T more than a distraction, and leaving the party with them, which will lead into me writing new stuff that does not exist yet in my current draft, something I seem to do every time I get to this point in a rewrite. The drinking part is also going away. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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