kais

3/08/2021 - Kais - Pruitcu - Chapter 5 (L) - 3550 words

11 posts in this topic

In contrast to the last chapter, this was one long chapter that got cut in half. I haven’t been through it as many times as I’d like but I think it’s fairly cohesive. This stage of the book is still in the ‘everything is going wrong’ area, but it’s also where we start the romance line. L for language, nothing else to tag I don’t think. Thanks!

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have much to say about this one! I read through pretty quickly and pictured everything clearly in my mind. Or was stuck and lost her ship, then got picked up by B, clear and simple. I’m looking forward to seeing Or and B interact more!

Pg 3

-"I need medical care" seems a little too coherent. If I was in pain like that, I would definitely say 'I need water," but idk if I would specifically ask for medical care. that's just me tho.

Pg 4

-“The mangled bioplastics screamed at her” not literally tho, right?

-“A murder of bird people?” isn’t murder only used specifically for crows?

-“Anyways” I know ‘anyways’ can be used as less formal compared to ‘anyway,’ just wasn’t sure if you meant to use it or not. 

-“They were bipedal, weirdly” why is that weird? Aren’t birds bipedal normally?

Pg 8

-“But im not from Pru!” does Or know what the diff planes are? Or what the void is? It makes sense to me that she would focus on convincing them that she isn’t from Pru rather than asking questions about the planes and the void, if she doesn’t know (i mean, she is injured and is possibly about to die, so yeah, i probably wouldn’t even register everything the birds said if i were in her position) but, as a reader, I am curious and look forward to an explanation. 

-I'm looking back on my comment above and reconsidering how i feel. (I guess this chapter does open up a ton of questions.) why does it matter that she isn't from Pru? who are these bird people? how can they travel between planes? were they hired to blow up Pru? would they treat Or any different if they believed that she was Ne-? If she is from Pru they can just take her ship and kill her, but if she is from the char syst then they would give her her stuff back and let her go? I don't expect you to answer all these right away, they're just my thoughts. edit: the line on page nine answers some of these questions, "if you pick wrong and my govt comes looking for me." tho, i think she is just saying this in desperation and as an empty threat, and it seems like not having to clean up the mess is what really saves rather than the threat of a govt coming for the birds.

-“Hero adventure” makes Or seem younger than I think she is

Pg 13

-“‘Hey,’ Or said… it came out sounding like a bad pick up line” made me think of this

Spoiler

tenor.gif.da334e0fb055bcf6789268a89bb422ed.gif

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A nice, tight chapter! Good progression, and I love the weird birds (having some experience in that area). Not really anything to comment on. I thought this was good. Maybe the only thing is that O didn't even acknowledge or ask about all the stuff with planes and transfers, since that's all new information. Of course, she was trying not to die at the same time, but even a quick sentence of indirect thought could tell the reader, "yes this is weird, hang on and you'll find out more."

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "turned cubic, cracked, brown chunks of lignin."
--is something missing in this sentence?

pg 4: "A murder of bird people"
--definitely.

pg 4: "like reems of loose skin"
--"reams"

pg 7: Ah, I was not clear what exactly the Apo's were, or that they were the bird people, until now.

pg 8: "We probably should have exploded"
--so THEY did it?

pg 9: “But the mess,”
--I feel like this is always a valuable arguing point.

pg 10: "where a uvula should have hung, was a tiny laser gun."
--okay, that's weird.

pg 12: "the black of space with swirls of faint pink that"
--ha.

pg 13: "There was no way to keep nail polish from chipping in space"
--double ha!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you were the last one I read last week, you are my first this week.

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, "skin dry and flaky." I don't think Species N is supposed to get all dry.

Pg 1, "Her right elbow bent in the wrong direction." Ugh. Broken bones make me squeamish. 

Pg 3, " its printed on" It is = it's

Did you ever read the short story Birds or watch the movie? Or did you think to yourself, "You know what, I'm going to make everyone hate birds now."

Pg 4, " lay in disassembled clumps across the bay." RIP. But, hey, at least the birds hadn't ejected her into space!

Pg 5, "I thought we were doing less killing?” *snort*

Pg 5, "little Pru-Pru?" Awww, is little Pru-Pru in pain? Does little Pru-Pru want a nappy?

Pg 6, " I think you’d make a very fine pet." I think this pet would bite.

Pg 7, " coiled back with a slapping sound as the beak closed." I dislike and admire how you can make the little things awful.

Pg 9, " I will eject your body into space" Should've done that from the beginning, but that's what curiosity gets you.

Pg 10, "was a tiny laser gun." Why, Kais, why

Do these birds, like, store things in their stomach like that weird guy who can screw bolts onto screws in his stomach?

Pg 11, "opened her eyes like she’d died in shock." Don't blink! 

Pg 11, " Her eyes were dry from holding the lids open," How did she do it for a count of 100? I blinked after ten.

 

More please! 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bird people were scary and I have this weird twisted image in my head of a combination of a turkey vulture and an evil K...n from @Mandamon's Dissolution 'verse. 

And I was getting really annoyed at them when they kept talking about O being sold or a pet and assuming she was from P, which was probably the point, but I didn't necessarily feel like O was quite as frustrated with them as I was.

When I think about the situation O was in, I feel like the chapter has all the makings of something tense, but I wasn't really feeling the tension. I don't know if it was just what you were going for, but O seemed more annoyed than in danger. Very in denial of the situation. Maybe choosing to pretend she isn't in danger? Something about the emotions and the arc felt a little off. I'm not 100% sure what the arc actually is.

As I read:

Epigram (graph?) was nice and seemed to connect back to the reaction the person on the phone that S talked to had in the previous chapter. 

"making...wet squekching souns" ick. Bird stuck? 

"Huckkk" So is the gun in it's mouth some kind of cybernetic modification? Why wasn't it firing? Was that bird person in on the rescue and letting her go? Or did he realize it didn't fire? Did she randomly manifest some Ard level talents and control it? 

"swirls of pink" I know what this is

"no way to keep nail polish from chipping in space, not even G G." The easter egg! 

So nail polish lady to the rescue is the one O talked to via ship comm? The one tried to tow her through hyperspace? I'm guessing she is also a love interest for O? That also didn't quite land how I hoped it would. Close, but some of the reaction seemed lacking. It was almost there though.

I have questions about her arrival and motives, but I suppose i'll get my answers I read on. And I am looking forward to reading more. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall:

17 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

When I think about the situation O was in, I feel like the chapter has all the makings of something tense, but I wasn't really feeling the tension. I don't know if it was just what you were going for, but O seemed more annoyed than in danger. Very in denial of the situation. Maybe choosing to pretend she isn't in danger? Something about the emotions and the arc felt a little off. I'm not 100% sure what the arc actually is.

This was my main reaction as well. The fact that she's in denial most of the time made it feel like the story was progressing around her rather than with her. I was engaged throughout but I think there needs to be a bit more before I'm at the point where I can't put the book down. 

Her being in denial also made it hard for me to see any sort of emotional arc this chapter had. It's fine for O to be out of her element and get rescued near the start of her story, but I want to feel like that's setting up for something and exposing weaknesses in her that she'll need to address later. Unless her being in denial is the weakness that's being exposed here, in which case I think we need signs that the story sees it as such. 

Still, I think most of this is solid and I'm looking forward to reading more. 

As I go:

pg 2

-Right now it doesn't seem like O is interacting with what's going on in the story much. This made me hesitate but it's also pretty believable that everything in her mind is consumed by wanting water so I'm not sure if this is a problem or not. 

-In general I don't like it when people are referred to as "it." Not that there's anything wrong with it from a craft standpoint but now I'm wondering if the story is going to keep making me feel weird like this 

pg 4

-The "without these I can't go home" speaks to me more than "I worked so hard to get these."

-"A murder of bird people?" Love the wordplay here

pg 7

-Different planes as in different dimensions/realities? that's pretty cool. Haven't seen something like that in space sci-fi before (not that I read a ton of it)

-I'm less interested by the existence of "there's a rule to stop you from doing this" and want to hear more about how this rule is held in place. Does O think they won't be able to get away with stealing her ship like this? 

-I like the way the bird is talking casually about stuff like blowing up planets

-So are O and the chartered systems in general unaware of these bird people? She seems really surprised by them. What about the different planes?

pg 9

-In my mind, this is the first time O is actually really interacting with what's going on instead of hollering resistance. This is more interesting to me. 

pg 10-11

-A little confused on a basic plot level what's happening. Did the gun stop working or did the bird get called back for something more important?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall:

I like this chapter, and other than the sense of concern or self-preservation that O seems to be lacking during parts of it and some confusion about the pros and cons of being mistaken for a Pru-, I don’t have too much to add.  Looking forward to seeing where we go from here.

Pg 3:

“…tingling continued…resuming its course”  I am not clear on what is happening here injury-wise. Some sort of pressure change, where blood flow had been restricted until now? I think the disorientation/pain/etc. description is good on 1-3, but this line threw me off.

Pg 4:

Even if the bird people have been compared to hawks instead of crows, I still like the “murder of bird people” line.

“…shapes and contours…” I would have expected the beak shape to be a significant part of the hawk comparison, but if they vary, would that association fit all of them? Or is it just talking about the first one she’d seen?

Pg 5:

“less killing.”  O- seems less concerned about this conversation than I feel like she should be. Even if she is still disoriented.  Possibly even because she’s still disoriented.  The disorientation does provide reason for her mind to skip over the discussion of beta planes and such, but the fact that she doesn’t acknowledge at all makes it hard to tell if it’s a strange thing to her or if it’s just normal conversation.

Pg 6:

Recalcitrant is a good word.

“I’d prefer you were from Pru-“ this and the following conversation through page 9 gets a little confusing.  I lost track of where it’s “safer” for her to be from, and a sense of why until I went back and read it more slowly.

Pg 8:

“cost too much to feed” feeding one person enough to keep them alive for three days seems like it would be relatively inexpensive. (edit: especially if laser gun charge is also a valuable resource)

“…sending thin shards of bioplastic across the floor.”   sad ship.

Pg 10:

“a pleased sort of quack” hah.

“eyes dry from holding the lids open” I mean. She could probably risk a blink or two if there’s no one obviously even in the room. Right?

Pg 12:

If I could get my hands on some invincible nail polish, I might even bother to paint my nails.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall: I had a number of minor logistical quibbles, as you’ll see below, but beyond that I really don’t have much intelligent to add here. This chapter went a long way towards grounding Ori’s perspective in the overall timeline for me, which was definitely much-needed after her previous perspective (that I otherwise much enjoyed). I am having a hard time deciding whether the Angry Toucan Sams (this is the image my brain gave me and I cannot unsee it, now I am giving it to you, you’re welcome) gave her up/let her go a little too easily. Maybe some earlier hint that Sw is a bit more sympathetic than the other bird aliens would help here. And either a bit more reasoning on why they decided not to try and sell her, or more clarity that this wasn't something they were going to seriously pursue, as I had initially thought we were gearing up for a more extended escape plotline. 

As I read:

Your descriptions of how spaceports smell are always horrifically visceral.  

ANGRY BIRDSONG

“It’s awake.” Well that’s not promising.

 So were the angry Toucan Sams restraining her or?

Oh no, I was guessing this was not going to end well for her settee, but

Given how common and varied aliens are (beach balls!) I’m surprised that Ori is this weirded out by bird aliens. I suppose this could be a sheltered Ne- thing? But then she seemed to do okay visiting other aliens from around the J system.

“Ard religious propaganda…” So was Priutcu as insular as Ne was about that sort of thing? Interesting. (I’m guessing they’re not referring to sending Ori back to Ne, since that planet is … as far as we know… not in pieces.)

Actually, if they have access to all of Ori’s files—and presumably the tech on her ship is very different than the tech available on Priutcu—why are they assuming that Ori is from Priutcu?

…so this is all leading up to a moment where Ori gets to give them some kind of severe beatdown, right? Please?

“The Prus of the B Plane…” So does Pruitcu exist on more than one plane?

P6 “we can make a month quote” quota?

Ah, yep, there’s the multiplanar thing.

Okay, I like how this encounter with the angry Toucan Sams turned out, but I have questions. Shouldn’t the laser have made a sound? If they have to account for laser charges, won’t Toucan Sam Sw- have to explain later why they didn’t fire the gun?

“…and considered her options. Screaming seemed juvenile.” Mmmyep. I have this problem more often than I’d like to admit, Ori…

Okay, in walks the Ke (I am assuming this is the same Ke we met before given the way she’s described) and I have more questions again. The Toucan Sams were just casually interrogating her before killing her and someone else could have just casually walked into the room at any point and seen this go down?

…now I want invisible pockets…

GG nail polish aww yeah!

On 3/8/2021 at 10:30 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 5, "little Pru-Pru?" Awww, is little Pru-Pru in pain? Does little Pru-Pru want a nappy?

You're making me want to murder them again and I didn't get to see them murdered, stoppit. 

On 3/8/2021 at 10:30 PM, Snakenaps said:

Pg 11, " Her eyes were dry from holding the lids open," How did she do it for a count of 100? I blinked after ten.

I mean this WAS rather impressive.

On 3/9/2021 at 9:47 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I don't know if it was just what you were going for, but O seemed more annoyed than in danger.

This is a fair point! 

On 3/10/2021 at 3:31 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

It's fine for O to be out of her element and get rescued near the start of her story, but I want to feel like that's setting up for something and exposing weaknesses in her that she'll need to address later

Oooh, yeah. Given what we've seen of her and the weight she puts on being a hero, I think playing this up more makes a lot of sense.

9 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

If I could get my hands on some invincible nail polish, I might even bother to paint my nails.

Right?!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2021 at 9:00 AM, karamel said:

‘Hey,’ Or said… it came out sounding like a bad pick up line” made me think of this

That is 100% what I was thinking of when I wrote it!

 

Edits! Everyone brought up much the same thing, that Ori really doesn't ask much about the planes and stuff and focuses on not being shot. I don't want to change that too much but I did hang a lantern on her hyper focus:

Spoiler

“But I’m not from Pru!” Also, how could there be more than one? What was a plane? Did she have a massive concussion? Is that why nothing made sense? She decided to focus on things she might actually be able to affect—like saving her own life.

 

On 3/8/2021 at 10:30 PM, Snakenaps said:

Did you ever read the short story Birds or watch the movie? Or did you think to yourself, "You know what, I'm going to make everyone hate birds now."

Never have. Sorry! I just like aliens and creepiness

On 3/8/2021 at 10:30 PM, Snakenaps said:

Why, Kais, why

Because....me?

On 3/9/2021 at 9:47 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

When I think about the situation O was in, I feel like the chapter has all the makings of something tense, but I wasn't really feeling the tension. I don't know if it was just what you were going for, but O seemed more annoyed than in danger. Very in denial of the situation. Maybe choosing to pretend she isn't in danger? Something about the emotions and the arc felt a little off. I'm not 100% sure what the arc actually is.

This is 100% what I wanted, because she's from the CS, where danger and death just don't happen, so she isn't going to take it seriously. However how to hang a lantern on that so the readers know why is a whole different thing. I added this early on:

Spoiler

She should have been afraid. She should have been more afraid. And she was afraid, but a lifetime in the absolute peace of the CS buffered those emotions down to nubbins. Her brain kept repeating, in her grandmother’s voice, You’re scared over nothing. The Ris-s got rid of crime. No one murders, or steals, or curses. Now close your eyes and go to sleep.

 

On 3/10/2021 at 3:31 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

Her being in denial also made it hard for me to see any sort of emotional arc this chapter had.

Yup. Along with the above, I've added in her slow realization that she is in real danger, through lines like:

Spoiler

They’d stolen her ship. Broken her ship. Broken her. This…these things didn’t happen.

 

On 3/10/2021 at 3:31 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

In general I don't like it when people are referred to as "it." Not that there's anything wrong with it from a craft standpoint but now I'm wondering if the story is going to keep making me feel weird like this 

This is an interesting line to walk. I have three different sets of nonbinary pronouns in this series, but 'it' has a very important role in terms of how Ori sees aliens that are not like her (and how the birds see the people from Pru as also not really worthy of being sentients). So, it's used very purposefully, if that helps any. 

On 3/11/2021 at 6:21 AM, C_Vallion said:

f I could get my hands on some invincible nail polish, I might even bother to paint my nails.

Ori's POV chapters from here on out are at least 25% nail polish jokes

On 3/11/2021 at 4:00 PM, Silk said:

Given how common and varied aliens are (beach balls!) I’m surprised that Ori is this weirded out by bird aliens. I suppose this could be a sheltered Ne- thing? But then she seemed to do okay visiting other aliens from around the J system.

Ah, but she's never met the beach balls! She was out of the Systems before they came in. So she's been limited to a few spaceports and then just the bipeds of the CS. But this would take sooooo much backstory to get to that I figured I let it ride, unless it's a major stumbling block?

 

Thank you all! Good edits, and hopefully they will strengthen the second half of this encounter which is the upcoming week's sub!

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, kais said:

This is an interesting line to walk. I have three different sets of nonbinary pronouns in this series, but 'it' has a very important role in terms of how Ori sees aliens that are not like her (and how the birds see the people from Pru as also not really worthy of being sentients). So, it's used very purposefully, if that helps any. 

I figured this was the case. Knowing you and your writing I'm not too concerned but if I were a blind reader this would make me pause, albeit not much more than that. I don't think it's a problem in isolation but if there's too much more viewing people as little more than chattel/objects (especially from people we're supposed to root for like O) it might be a bigger issue for me. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2021 at 1:01 PM, kais said:

Ah, but she's never met the beach balls! She was out of the Systems before they came in. So she's been limited to a few spaceports and then just the bipeds of the CS. But this would take sooooo much backstory to get to that I figured I let it ride, unless it's a major stumbling block?

ah, okay! I didn't realize that the beach balls were that new to the Systems (WRS maybe?) I'd agree, not a major stumbling block, no need to get through a bunch of backstory to try and explain it. But perhaps a throwaway line about how this was the first time she'd encountered aliens that didn't remind her of the aliens from home, or something to that effect? 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.