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Sarah B

10.19.20- SarahB-PlagueShip-2,000words-Chapter1again

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After some heavy revisions, here is Chapter 1 again. I've cut it down to one scene and hopefully cleared up most of the issues from the last sub. 

All of the Alard characters are suposed to be they/them but were he/him in a previous draft. I think I've caught all the slips this time, but if I missed any please call them out. 

Thanks for reading and critiquing! 

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Ok, just opened it and I like the new font. Reminds me of an old typewriter

Still like the quote

Pg.1 Already way clearer!

Pg. 1 I like how we get description of the species a lot earlier

Pg. 2 “The worst think…” Probably meant “thing”

Pg. 2 Ok, so they’re a cyborg?

Pg.2 The dialogue is also easier to read, so that’s good

Pg.3 “You know, I wanted to…” this seems a bit non-sequitur to me. Also, further down they say “You S aren’t…” which makes me think D didn’t say the above quote? Did the S say that?

Pg. 3 “when the burning cold conduit brushed his…” pronoun slip

Pg. 4 I like the mention of the Z, which is kind of like a brief stakes moment since it implies it can melt the A.

Pg. 7 “D was old enough to remember…” this is in a weird spot in the sentence

Pg. 10 “D planted his feet…” another pronoun slip

Pg.11 I think it’s for the best to put the other scene in another chapter.

Overall, I think this chapter is much improved from the last draft. It’s a lot clearer and easier to read than the last draft, so congrats. Personally, I’d still want to know a little more about why PS is so bad, and maybe even a little more stakes stuff from the Z. Good stuff!

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I just want to start off by saying that this is a whole lot better than last time! It's much smoother and is a lot easier to read and understand.

pg. 1 - I would stay away from using the full first name in the first line of the book. I've read things from different writing advice sources that suggest against this, mostly because it's overused. It's not awful, just not very original. I also like that we get an introduction to what an Al looks like and the fact that Z exists.

pg. 2 - This scene makes a whole lot more sense than the last draft. I like the description about why the thing D is fixing is important! The dialogue is also way easier to understand here.

pg. 4 - Does "numb parts waking up" mean that D can turn their skin on and off or something? More explanation here would be nice.

pg. 4 - Ooh, so the Z thing makes Al fall apart?! Cool. I like this detail -- it really helps me understand Z better.

pg. 5 - On this page, D sounds like they don't know who messed with the containment wall, but then before they get a chance to really think it through or anything, they confront F about it.

pg. 7 - The information here about how D can't communicate telepathically is really helpful! I also appreciate the contrast between the Al and the S.

 pg. 8 - I'm still not solid on what the tanks are for or why Al need to be in them from time to time, or what it has to do with a quarantine, but maybe that will come later? This part is still a little confusing, though.

pg. 9 - I also don't know exactly why PS is dangerous or why F wants to wake them up, and I also don't get why F would want to make their entire kind go extinct. More explanation would be awesome.

Overall, this draft is a whole lot better than the last one, so great job! I don't feel the disconnect that I felt reading the last one. This draft gives me a better feel for the world and has a lot more stakes to it. However, I think it could still use a bit of explanation in the spots I mentioned. I also don't really understand Z very well, but I expect that this will come with time as well.

Edited by Silk
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This was certainly a lot easier to follow than the first time around. We have some better description about why the Z is dangerous to D's species, though I could use a little more description to up the danger.

I also appreciate that we get better explanation of why D thinks differently than the rest of their species. There could be a little more explanation of why the general is so suicidal to sink the hook fully at the end of the chapter, but it still makes me want to read on.

There were several pronoun slips at the beginning and a couple strange sentences here and there. I'm sure they'll get ironed out in later edits.


Notes while reading:
pg 2: "D was not a standard A. "
--except he is physically, right? He's just got a different personality from most of his species.

pg 2: "A thin white shirt and pants the only protection"
--"pants was their"

pg 2: "when he put it on." -> they

pg 3: "D twisted his neck" -> their

pg 3: "brushed his exposed left" -> their

pg 3: "warnings at him." -> them

pg 4: "D laid his left palm" -> their

pg 4: "Which saying wasn’t much." -> "Which wasn’t saying much."

pg 4: "Did it get in?”
--is the disease dangerous to non-A's?

pg 6: "bulk and claw tipped hands"
--bulky?

pg 6: "last surviving one"
--one what? political?

pg 7: "had nearly forgotten being"
--forgotten about being?

pg 10: "giving in the to impulse" -> "giving in to the impulse "
 

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Overall

Better! But it's still very light on description and blocking, and the through line/plot is not established. What is our MC's goal? How will he achieve it? What is the arc of this chapter, and how does it advance the book narrative? First chapters really need to grab us and invest us in the world/characters, and give us a solid idea where both are going. That's the part that's still really missing, I'd say. A clear through line.

 

As I go

- oh much better opening paragraph. I have some stakes!

- also really like the instant alien description

- pg 2: How do ships fly <-- this exposition seems unnecessary and just slows the narrative

- pg 3: I wanted to call these marvels of engineering <-- what thing is he talking about? Description please, and blocking. I don't know what our MC is looking at

- pg 3: I'm bouncing off the main character because they seem really harsh for the circumstances. It isn't a character that makes me want to keep reading. Something to consider when editing. Also the attitude makes me feel like there isn't, in fact, and real danger, which means there is no tension, which means I don't care about the characters or setting yet, either

- pg 4: more blocking on the guard and getting more emotions there would help a lot too

- pg 5: like figuring out who tried to break the containment wall <--okay here is our plot, but pg 5 is too late to get it. I'd rather our MC be thinking/talking about this from the start. Irritation over that wouldn't be so alienating and would add to the tension instead of distracting from it

- tense changes on pg 5

- pg 5: the speciesist behavior of our MC isn't helping my fondness for them, either

- pg 6: I still have no idea where we are. Spaceship? Space station? 

- pg 7: Ace had been a powerful leader <-- too many names and species in a short time. I can't keep them straight and we aren't getting detailed information on any except our MC. Introduce them slowly, with details, and let us get some buy-in before you introduce another

- pg 8: why are we going to talk to someone in quarantine? I thought he wanted to find the saboteur?

- pg 9: is the only way we are all getting out of here alive<-- huh? Why? Where are they? What is this new stake? I thought it was more 'contain the contaminant and find the saboteur?'

- pg 10: if they are searching for a plague cure and that's the plot, it needs to be on the first two-three pages

 

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Sooo, here we go :) 

(page 1)

- I like the title of the series, and the title of the book is very engaging. It conjures a very definite and particular image of what the story will be.

- Interesting to have quotes as an epigraph. I can't remember reading another example of that on RE in the time I've been here, although my memory isn't that good. Lots of other epigraphs, but not quotes (which I think maybe have fallen by the wayside in general publishing, but like any fashion, everything comes back around!).

- Specificity - picturing the scene or action: In the first sentence proper (a) leaning again the wall sounds casual, but the character is reaching (it turns out), so, I think it would be better if they were pressed against the wall, would evoke better than 'leaning' the sense of effort; (b) layers of what? I can't form a picture; (c) "spluttering coolant system" - a coolant system is going to be an expansive thing: a pump of some kind mounted somewhere; tubes running to different components, or a motor, or engine, i.e. whatever it is that the coolant system is intended to cool. My point being, TD cannot grab the whole coolant system, only a part of it. The lack of specificity makes the scene hard to picture.

- It's kind of weird that they built a wall to keep out a contagion, but maybe that depends on the form the contagion takes. In the present scenario IRL (which I admit I pictured), a wall would keep out infected people, but not an airborne contagion, unless the wall was airtight. Why does the wall need to be cooled? I find that disorienting. If it's just a wall, it doesn't need to be cooled, surely.

- Because of my disorientation, and not really having a clear picture of the scene, I'm not immediate engaged by the situation. The description of the Al ("...looked more like rope") is the first bit that really engages me.

(page 2)

- The description throws me off, because I didn't get that TD was an Al. I didn't think that was clear. So, I thought it was a description of another race, so I didn't understand that is was TD that was pressed against the opening.

Mood and tone - I'm not getting a great sense of tension or dread at the thought of this contagion breaking free. The description is quite matter-of-fact, describing details, but not reeling me into the emotional stakes. I feel that it's reading a bit like they're changing a tyre.

- "The worst think about people, is that when they don’t understand something, they assume it’s easy" - (a) typo; (b) I don't think this is true as a general rule. Sure, it's probably sometimes true, but IMO just as often people would assume it really, really difficult. I don't understand Newtonian mechanics (not properly, I've never taken the time to read/think about it), but I certainly don't think it's easy. I don't understand Turkish, and it doesn't sound easy.

- Who is TD talking to?

- "you push a button" - Yeah, I bit that it would be a very small proportion of any population who would think spaceflight is 'easy'. Sure, they'll take it for granted, but I don't think it ever would occur to anyone in that mindset top think that the process that made it happen was easy, which is how I read the comment.

- What is a 'san'? Is it another race? We've had a description of TD, but not the 'sab'.

- "cp suit" - This name made me laugh, but then it's referred to as a hazard suit, which seems like a more likely name that 'precaution' suit.

(page 3)

- "jerked their head towards" - There are instances of he/his, which threw me off, as I think you said TD was non-binary?

- Why does the wall need to be so cold? How can he touch it? Okay, 'humanoid' parts would solidify and shatter at such temperatures, but I guess Al can tolerate that? But Sab cannot?

- "didn’t mind the cold, but this was a bit much" - So, they do suffer from cold.

- So, I guess the vapour is not poisonous to Al? Also, I presume the vapour as staying at floor level because it's heavier than air, but, is the guard not still going to be terrified and run off? I'm picturing a scene where I'm standing with poisonous gas swishing around my ankles. I am not hanging around there.

- "going to finish the Al extinction myself" - Why does the Sab guard care about the Al extinction, or doesn't he?

(page 4)

- "stabilizing one side" - They're tightening the conduit back up, right? Fastening it back to what it came loose from? 'Stabilizing ' does not seem like the right word to me, it seems vague for describing what is happening here.

- I struggle to believe that a properly engineered station would have conduits that could pull apart. What forces were acting on the sections of the conduits that were enough to separate by force? It cannot just have been (artificial) gravity, can't it? That would be some really shedding workmanship. And, TD was saying the they designed the station? I'm now thinking less of their abilities as an engineer, unless this was a workmanship problem. "not warped enough" - Again, I'm wondering how it became warped, what force warped a metal(?) spice/connector.

- Get in? I assumed they were on the outside, and that the wall contained the contagion. The phrase 'containment walls' implies this, I think. But, in fact, it's the Al that are contained? And the Sab with them?

- 'spacewalk' - one word, IMO.

- "I’m going to say no" - I'm finding TD's tone quite sarcastic and not especially likeable. That's fine. The book I'm reading has no likeable characters in it (okay, maybe one), but it's really good. It's Grimdark epic fantasy, so that's not entirely unexpected, although not mandatory. However, I'm not sure if that its the intention with this character. So far, they've basically been all sarky with a guard who clearly is their intellectual inferior, and doesn't know much about anything. That doesn't take a lot of talent.

(page 5)

- "especially Al" - Don't understand this bit. Especially by an Al?

- "how they all felt about it" - LOL.

CLANG: "figuring out who tried to break the containment wall" - I don't think it was implied anywhere previous that this was a deliberate act. I think there's some foreshadowing / clarity required in the early lines to show that it's an act of sabotage, which would greatly increase the stakes (which still need to be made clear).

- "had built it much too well to just fall apart like that" - But it didn't fall apart. I don't think the language is clear here. The bold section is phrased in a way that sounds like TD is accepting that it did fall apart, but that it not what the wider internal monologue it saying. I think if you delete 'like that', then we're back to where I think we're supposed to be, in that they are saying it didn't just fall apart, it couldn't.

- "short list" - of candidates, right?

- "would lock every Al in a separate chamber" - I've get no sense of setting or scale. I feel like I barely know that they are in space, on a space station. Are they orbiting a planet? How big is the station? How many are aboard it? How long have they been aboard? Why are they aboard? All of these question feed into the stakes which I noted are lacking, or at least unclear, IMO. How many Sab are there relating to the Al? I don't want a long explanation, but the hard task at the start of a story is to establish all this framing stuff with an absolutely minimum of world-building, OR to have an opening scene that does not relay on any of that stuff, so it can feed in gradually as needed.

- "carbon-based life" - not the first instance, but compound adjectives like this need to be hyphenated.

- "It was the rare silicone based kinds, kind, that was in trouble" - Why the faltering here? I don't think it adds anything, and in fact, is it not 'kinds' plural? TD has referred to Sab-kind, separating them from Al-kind, but then they said that more than one race was in danger. So, there are at least two silicone-based 'kinds', are there not?

(page 6/7)

- There is a lot of new world-building information around here, introducing races and characters and concepts. The problem I have is that, because I don't really have a strong sense of the stakes, or of personal character stakes, I don't really care about any of these people or races. So, I've got too many questions

- "had nearly forgotten being a null mind" - I'm not clear on what this is, from this context.

- Why would a lowly attendant know where the general was? Why would they expect that the general was going to remain there for any length of time?

- "hideous consideration from the Sab in attempts to make the space livable" - Confused: how is a winged statue a slight on the Al?

- "3R" - Again, TD is shown to be superior to those around them, since they are 'clever' enough to know the exact location, which the It does not. It makes them look inferior, which plays on my dislike of TD's superior attitude. I guess that it's maybe intended to show TD's competence, and it's a good way of doing that, but add to that their attitude towards others, and it produced the problem I'm having.

(page 8)

- "was likely already talking to the General" - Oh, is that how the It knew where the General was? I didn't pick up on that.

- "It felt obscene" - Ahhh, now this is good. Here is an emotion other than intellectual superiority and scorn. This feels more involving, IMO. "a mouth unused to the effort" - This too, very good world-building in very few words.

(page 9)

- "rested a hand on the take" - typo.

- I feel like the narrative here is much more intriguing and involving than the first four or five pages around the incident with the wall fault. I struggled with clarity there, but here, with the description around the tanks, I am learning so much more of interest about the Al, their set up, their situation, than I did at the start. The narrative feels more natural, more comfortable around here. 

- "We need to leave" - Really good dialogue leading up to this point. Great showing instead of telling. I'm much more on board now. I wonder if the difference is that we are learning things through dialogue in the second half of the chapter, and it feels more natural than the more telling early part, which wanted for clarity, IMO. 

(page 10)

- "No" - No what? "I haven’t asked yet" - Haven't been asked what? I'm confused by these lines.

- "giving in the to impulse to escape" - typo.

(page 11)

- "It was time to find Ar" - This ending does not pack a huge punch, BUT, it's enough of a promise that we are moving on, taking direct action, for me to be happy with it, and to read on.

Overall 

I think clarity is my main issue with this draft. It took a while before I understood what was going on, and there were various instances where I was struggling to picture the scene, or parse the events taking place.

Another difficulty for me was the lack of investment in the stakes. TD (and the guard) are in a really tense and dangerous situation, but it never really felt like that to me. I think the reasons for that were TD's blasé attitude to the situation, and their grouchy dialogue, which distracts from the 'action' and dissipates any tension.

You mentioned that you like Hard SF, but were not going to write it, but, we then dive straight into a fairly specific engineering/mechanical process. One possible approach would be to have less specific description in problematic places (e.g. where I had a problem with the conduit 'pulling apart', if you said that the conduit joint 'failed', it wouldn't matter so much how it failed (although, I might still be curious).

For me, I want much more character involvement at the the start of the story, to be gripped by personal stakes, and given a strong , relatable personality before getting much of any world-building to have any chance of caring about the fate of whole races. I can't help feeling the story is rushing into the world-building before establishing the character and the innate tension of the underlying situation at a basic level. How does TD feel about the extinction of their own and other races? What family do they have to lose? What will the impact be on the people, but also the planet / solar system / galaxy? Why should I care about any of this?

In short, I think there are significant issues with the first part of the chapter, whereas the second part is much stronger. I understand why the first part is there, but I think if anything the narrative could be simpler, more straightforward. Give the reader a chance to get their head round the world. What are the top three most important elements for the reader to understand, and maybe concentrate on delivering this simply and clearly?

Interesting story though, and I am intrigued by this 'alien' race, which has some really interesting characteristics.

Thanks for sharing :) 

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“...D was not a standard A.” Oh, this line is so much more effective with the additional description.

P3: “… when the conduit brushed his exposed left arm…” Pronoun slip here – both pronouns in this sentence.

And another near the top of p4: “D laid his left palm…”

Also p4 “Which saying wasn’t much” – “wasn’t saying much,” I suspect.

“What about the Z? Did it get in?” If it’s that dangerous, surely they would have some way to visually or technologically monitor the environment for whatever contaminant was causing the concern? And, especially if the answer to the above is no, I still don’t know why D does not appear to be wearing any PPE whatsoever, against either the superchilled fluids they’re working with OR dangerous biological agents. There’s definitely a greater sense of urgency than there was in the previous draft, but it still doesn’t read as too far out of the ordinary, and definitely not the kind of immediate emergency that would suggest that it’s appropriate to disregard stuff like PPE.

To be fair, I do get the sense that D maybe has some implants that protect them against the cold to some degree? Not so much the plague, though.

Also, immediately following the above on the bottom of pg4, pronouns again: “D checked over his hands…”

p5, “Protocol requires full hazard gear…” The time to be raising this would have been before D entered the facility.

Also surprised that there doesn’t seem to be any decontamination process as D leaves the area.

Overall: this draft was a big improvement over the last! It felt like it started at the right time this time, and I had a more solid footing in terms of the worldbuilding, the description of the various characters, and so forth.

The encounter between D and F also felt much more like an altercation than straight setup (my current understanding is that the general needs D to action their plan, which is why the plan hasn’t, in fact, been actioned yet). We still haven’t seen what I’d call an inciting incident yet, since things still don’t seem to have changed (the general’s sabotage does not actually seem to be news to D or increase their sense of urgency) but this feels like a much stronger opening.

I’m still shaky on the direction of the actual plot, especially on the connection between the A tanks and why PS is needed to lead the A out of this plague, why the general thinks sabotaging their way out of a plague is a feasible solution, why PS is being framed as a big bad. I think I understand some of D’s reticence in that the activation of the PS would wipe out independent thought among the A (D being a possible exception?) but it feels like there is more to it than that. Of course I don’t expect to know everything in the first chapter, but PS seems to be like the node that’s drawing the rest of these disparate threads (the plague, the cure, the A, the sabotage) together and it’s the plot thread I understand the least.

As far as description of the space itself goes, the description of D’s immediate surroundings was much better, but the space as a whole is still mostly a blank slate. I have no idea what kind of facility we’re in or what the scale of it is.

Finally: I’d also second the comments that we know basically nothing about D themselves, as far as goals/desires/what actually drives them, which if anything is even more important with a character who is not particularly likeable.

Also, quick note for  @ima willshaper: There was one reference where you forgot to edit out a full name in your post so I made a quick edit to abbreviate it.

Edited by Silk
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@Silk Ahh thank you! I'm really sorry for making that mistake.

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5 hours ago, ima willshaper said:

@Silk Ahh thank you! I'm really sorry for making that mistake.

No worries, it happens! Pretty sure I've done it myself.

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On 10/20/2020 at 11:46 AM, ginger_reckoning said:

 

Overall, I think this chapter is much improved from the last draft. It’s a lot clearer and easier to read than the last draft, so congrats. Personally, I’d still want to know a little more about why PS is so bad, and maybe even a little more stakes stuff from the Z. Good stuff!

Thank you! Yes, much more about PS coming later. It's hard to explain why PS is dangerous without going way deeper into the world building so my plan was to hold off until later. The font change is courtesy of me struggling with scrivner :-) but it is growing on me. Good thing, because that's how every scene showed up when I copied them over.  

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On 10/20/2020 at 6:36 PM, ima willshaper said:

 

pg. 9 - I also don't know exactly why PS is dangerous or why F wants to wake them up, and I also don't get why F would want to make their entire kind go extinct. More explanation would be awesome.

Overall, this draft is a whole lot better than the last one, so great job! I don't feel the disconnect that I felt reading the last one. This draft gives me a better feel for the world and has a lot more stakes to it. However, I think it could still use a bit of explanation in the spots I mentioned. I also don't really understand Z very well, but I expect that this will come with time as well.

Thank you! Yes, I definitely will continue to work on my exposition. I'm afraid of putting too much in so I've gone the other way :-) 

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On 10/21/2020 at 2:12 PM, kais said:

That's the part that's still really missing, I'd say. A clear through line.

- pg 3: I'm bouncing off the main character because they seem really harsh for the circumstances. It isn't a character that makes me want to keep reading. Something to consider when editing. Also the attitude makes me feel like there isn't, in fact, and real danger, which means there is no tension, which means I don't care about the characters or setting yet, either

- pg 5: the speciesist behavior of our MC isn't helping my fondness for them, either

- pg 10: if they are searching for a plague cure and that's the plot, it needs to be on the first two-three pages

 

I'm getting a lot of D not being likable, which is fair. D has good qualities, I think I need to push them harder. 

That's an interesting point about D being Speciesist, I hadn't considered that. I generally try write D as being annoyed by everyone, equal opportunity grumpy, but since a Sa is the first character D interacts with I can see how that would look. I think, if anything, D prefers Sa to his own species because Sa aren't telepaths. D just isn't very good at showing it :-) 

Thank you for the input! 

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On 10/23/2020 at 2:53 AM, Robinski said:

 

 

You mentioned that you like Hard SF, but were not going to write it, but, we then dive straight into a fairly specific engineering/mechanical process. One possible approach would be to have less specific description in problematic places (e.g. where I had a problem with the conduit 'pulling apart', if you said that the conduit joint 'failed', it wouldn't matter so much how it failed (although, I might still be curious).

For me, I want much more character involvement at the the start of the story, to be gripped by personal stakes, and given a strong , relatable personality before getting much of any world-building to have any chance of caring about the fate of whole races. I can't help feeling the story is rushing into the world-building before establishing the character and the innate tension of the underlying situation at a basic level. How does TD feel about the extinction of their own and other races? What family do they have to lose? What will the impact be on the people, but also the planet / solar system / galaxy? Why should I care about any of this?

In short, I think there are significant issues with the first part of the chapter, whereas the second part is much stronger. I understand why the first part is there, but I think if anything the narrative could be simpler, more straightforward. Give the reader a chance to get their head round the world. What are the top three most important elements for the reader to understand, and maybe concentrate on delivering this simply and clearly?

 

Thank you. Yes, I will probably be needing a lot of input on how any technical parts read. I actually demoted D down from Engineer to Mechanic when I realized that I wouldn't be able to write an engineer with any authority (Especially compared to you and @Mandamon) :-)

For the technical parts, my thought was to go into some detail to start, and then not mess with it again. I have some experience with installing copper water pipes and a pre-charged freezer plate so I was leaning on that pretty hard for the intro. It was actually much longer in the first draft but it looks like I have more cutting to do!

The first chapter definitely needs more work. I can see where D needs clearer motivation and a better introduction to their character. 

Its funny because D was not my first choice for the Main character, but every time I tried to write it from someone else's viewpoint and the story stalled out by chapter 5. Then I started again with D's perspective and everything broke loose. My first two choices were much more likable, but just couldn't get the job done I guess. :-) 

Thank again!

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On 10/24/2020 at 11:06 PM, Silk said:

 

“What about the Z? Did it get in?” If it’s that dangerous, surely they would have some way to visually or technologically monitor the environment for whatever contaminant was causing the concern? And, especially if the answer to the above is no, I still don’t know why D does not appear to be wearing any PPE whatsoever, against either the superchilled fluids they’re working with OR dangerous biological agents. There’s definitely a greater sense of urgency than there was in the previous draft, but it still doesn’t read as too far out of the ordinary, and definitely not the kind of immediate emergency that would suggest that it’s appropriate to disregard stuff like PPE.

 

I’m still shaky on the direction of the actual plot, especially on the connection between the A tanks and why PS is needed to lead the A out of this plague, why the general thinks sabotaging their way out of a plague is a feasible solution, why PS is being framed as a big bad. I think I understand some of D’s reticence in that the activation of the PS would wipe out independent thought among the A (D being a possible exception?) but it feels like there is more to it than that. Of course I don’t expect to know everything in the first chapter, but PS seems to be like the node that’s drawing the rest of these disparate threads (the plague, the cure, the A, the sabotage) together and it’s the plot thread I understand the least.

As far as description of the space itself goes, the description of D’s immediate surroundings was much better, but the space as a whole is still mostly a blank slate. I have no idea what kind of facility we’re in or what the scale of it is.

Finally: I’d also second the comments that we know basically nothing about D themselves, as far as goals/desires/what actually drives them, which if anything is even more important with a character who is not particularly likeable.

 

yes, much more work to be done. Thank you for catching all those slips! Its funny, because I had to reread both to find the problem even after you pointed them out. 

I'm going to look hard into draft three with this advice in mind, especially your point about D needing a clear direction to make up for a gruff personality. 

Thank you!

 

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11 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Thank you. Yes, I will probably be needing a lot of input on how any technical parts read. I actually demoted D down from Engineer to Mechanic when I realized that I wouldn't be able to write an engineer with any authority (Especially compared to you and @Mandamon) :-)

I thought the grumpy engineer was actually pretty spot on. Often just saying someone is doing something technical is a good way to convey that. More detail just means there's more for people to pick apart, so sometimes, less is more.

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16 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Thank you. Yes, I will probably be needing a lot of input on how any technical parts read. I actually demoted D down from Engineer to Mechanic when I realized that I wouldn't be able to write an engineer with any authority (Especially compared to you and @Mandamon) :-)

I hope for your sake there are no 'mechanics' listening :lol: 

4 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I thought the grumpy engineer was actually pretty spot on. Often just saying someone is doing something technical is a good way to convey that. More detail just means there's more for people to pick apart, so sometimes, less is more.

Yes, this. #iagreewithmandamon. I thought their attitude was spot on. I think with the technical stuff, you either go full-on, no-holds-barred technobabble with a side-order of handwavium, or you do what Mandamon said, and keep it real general, like 'The pipework was shot, close to useless. It took all of A's massive engineering skill and, unparalleled mechanical nouse to save the entire space-station from destruction, again!'

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14 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I thought the grumpy engineer was actually pretty spot on. Often just saying someone is doing something technical is a good way to convey that. More detail just means there's more for people to pick apart, so sometimes, less is more.

 

10 hours ago, Robinski said:

 

Yes, this. #iagreewithmandamon. I thought their attitude was spot on. I think with the technical stuff, you either go full-on, no-holds-barred technobabble with a side-order of handwavium, or you do what Mandamon said, and keep it real general, like 'The pipework was shot, close to useless. It took all of A's massive engineering skill and, unparalleled mechanical nouse to save the entire space-station from destruction, again!'

Well, if I have two engineer's endorsements, maybe D can have their old job back :-) 

Vague and technical makes sense. As a fan of Star Trek and Doctor Who, I love handwavium :-)

I have to ask, what is 'nouse'? I looked it up and mainly got the definition of a mouse controled by head movements for quardraplegic people. Deeply curious what it means in this context :-)

 

Thanks again!

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4 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I have to ask, what is 'nouse'?

Apart from anything else, it's a spelling mistake. I meant 'nous', dang it :rolleyes: 

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nous

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1 hour ago, Robinski said:

Apart from anything else, it's a spelling mistake. I meant 'nous', dang it :rolleyes: 

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nous

Oooh, good word! I'm going to have to start using it. 

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So I haven't had a chance to get to your sub until today, but I am at work, so I will have to keep my critique a little short today. 

I like D A LOT better in this version. their mannerisms really capture the "grumpy mechanic" really well and I feel like they have more personality

This version is also much easier to follow for me. The sci/fi terms are easier for me to digest when they are spread out a little more with some more context. I usually try to not look up new words and instead learn them through context (which is probably not a good thing), and I felt that it was a lot easier this time around.

Cutting the second scene seems to be working for this chapter. I think that, while the second scene was cool, it took away from D's story. It is hard for me to wrap my head around a bunch of new characters and having their intro chapters separate really helps me with this. That is, of course, just my opinion and it is something I am bad at doing in my own work.

Overall, I really like the changes you have made and I really want to see where this is going. I like D more and more and I hope the rest of the characters are as well fleshed out as them. Great job. I look forward to the next chapter.

Edited by sniperfrog
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