kais

5/17/2021 - Kais - Pruitcu - Chapter 10 (L) - 2833 words

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Sorry it didn't get the usual cleaning pass. This weekend was super scheduled. Thanks for reading!

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This chapter didn’t hit very well for me.  I think the combination of being confused about Ori’s priorities (flirting vs. her world falling apart) and not having any idea what to make of B when she goes from being weirdly helpful to weirdly dismissive without us getting a sense of the reason for either of those things or the shift.  The only thing I am really sure of at all about her is that Ori thinks she’s attractive, but I’m not all that onboard with why that’s a more important thing than everything else she has going on at the moment.  I am usually predisposed to liking lady mechanic characters, and I’m quite jealous of B’s boots, but I think I need a better sense of who she is outside of Ori thinking she’s pretty to be more engaged with their conversation and relationship.

Pg 1:

The fact that Ori’s mind is present enough after her previous chapter to be noticing nail polish colors and clingy dresses seems off to me.

Pg 2:

“came all this way…” Oof. Poor Ori.

Pg 3:

B seems very helpful here, but do we know why yet?  I don’t remember if we’d seen a reason for it before beyond general niceness.  I don’t really have a good sense of her personality at this point.

Pg 4:

“nice to have someone with a bin…” I like this line, but it feels like it should be between people who know each other better and have a stronger tie than B and O do at this point.  Collecting broken pieces of people is no small task if you have your own responsibilities and pieces of self to keep in order.

“I don’t abandon family…”  is this just referring to them being related species?  There’s still an implied closeness that I don’t understand.  And it probably doesn’t help that both B and O seem to be far more motivated by cuteness than I can relate all that well to.

Pg 5:

I really like the cultural details around the st- connection possibility, misunderstanding, and refusal.

Pg 6:

“tiny metal pic” pick? Also, “favorite jack?”  Not sure what we’re saying here.

“What’s a ruined settee…?” this goes back to that priority disconnect I’m having.  She’s no longer in any way concerned about the ship that she’s lived on the past 6 years and represents a good deal of who she is, but she’s still extremely focused on the attractive lady in the room who she knows almost nothing about?

Pg 9:

B’s shift from going out of her way to be super helpful to “I’m going to go get some dinner and I leave soon” is really sudden.

Pg 10:

“Fine…” this seems really dismissive for someone who was going out of her way to be helpful a minute ago. I just don’t know what to make of B.

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I'm first? I'm first!

...Wait I'm like a few seconds too late. Sigh. 

As I go:

pg 2: I like how O's explanation conveys her confusion

pg 3: "jerky people" sounds a bit juvenile to me 

-if the medical bills are so easily wrapped up, I'm not sure if them constantly being pointed out in earlier chapters is necessary. It could even be something O doesn't really think about until they send it in. 

-Ard consumed her friend? Is this talking about At? What makes O think that? This is what I wanted a bit more of in O's last chapter. 

-not negotiable why? Because she needs At for a specific reason? Because she has nowhere else to go? The actions here are good but I need a bit more from O's character here

pg 4: thank goodness the sexual tension is finally out in the air that's been killing me 

-Also B's explanation makes sense and all but I'm still wanting something more. Something really special to tie these characters together. 

pg 7: So is her goal to see if At is happy? To make sure At is happy? And what does that mean for her larger worldview, the idea of an N living with and ruling over gods? This is what I want a bit more of earlier on, though of course the answers don't need to be neat and tidy

pg 8: hmm I'm curious why O is especially equipped for this job, since it seems like something with large ramifications based on how it's being talked about

pg 9: Wait so what Ard people do borders on sexual assault/rape, which is separate from the same metaphors used for what the planet itself does? As a new reader at least it feels like 1. I should have known about this before and 2. people should be making a bigger deal out of this

pg 10: I get that the job is being obscured so it's a surprise to us, but I don't understand from O's perspective why she isn't at least asking about it. 

-Hmm I assumed she was going to want to take the job out of pride. Instead it seems like she feels like she needs the money to have some connection to reality, which is surprising to me given the rest of her character

Overall:

I think the events presented here make sense, and it reads well overall. So no large structural changes needed overall imo.

I ended up covering most of my big points in the line edits. I think I need a bit more from the character motivation here. What we have isn't bad, but I don't feel in tune with O and B as much as some of the other characters. Why exactly does O want to go to Ard, and how does that interact with At (imo this should be clear even in O's last chapter)? What makes O special to B? Why does O feel like she needs to take this job without asking what it is? And if you don't want to play all your cards right now, I think it's fine to hang a lamppost on stuff that O doesn't know or refuses to think about. 

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As I read:

p1 - 'Please don't yell but it I can't cancel' - typo

p1&2 - I feel like there's a bit of a clash between Ori's 'B is very sexy' feelings and her 'very upset about Ard and Ata, also I'm stranded and help may not be coming' feelings. Maybe save the 'B is sexy' stuff until after Ori knows that the money has been transferred to her, so at least the immediate crisis has been resolved.

p4 - B is being weirdly helpful. From Ori's reaction, I assume this is supposed to come off as odd and possibly suspicious.

p4 - 'I really thought we'd start at the 'drunk in a bar' stage' - bold of Ori to flirt with the person she might be dependent on for passage.

p10 - 'I have no intention of losing you' - I think this is phrased too strongly for how well they know each other.

p10 - I'm vague on what B tried to warn Ori about. Sure, I get that B is offering passage to where Ori wants to go and isn't going to charge. I don't understand why B thinks that doing a job that takes a few hours is a bad idea for Ori. None of the characters have suggested that the job could be dangerous, which I would expect them to say out loud, if it were likely to be dangerous.

 

Overall, I thought this chapter did a good job of wrapping up Ori's messy feelings about contacting Ard for the first time, and establishing what she's going to do next. It makes sense for her character to try to gain back a sense of control by earning some money on a quick job, even if she doesn't technically need the money right now. I do wonder if establishing B as a safety net might suck the stakes out of the action going forward, though - but that's an issue that may or may not materialise depending on where this is going.

I did notice that E is (one assumes) en route to the J System. B said that the trip to Ard is 2 hours with FTL, so I assume that means that it would take E 2 hours to get to the J System? That means she could show up during this job that the doctor is giving Ori.

 

I agree with C Val and Ace about B's character not being strongly established and her relationship with Ori being way too close for how little they know each other.

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Similar thoughts to the others. I think this is a good chapter and gets us all caught up to where PLOT! will start to happen between all the characters. I also got the sense B was weirdly helpful, but then, she had been the whole time. I could chalk it up to just liking O, or looking out for her, but it is definitely making me pause to think.

Same thing with O insisting on taking the job at the end. I don't think the reasons are completely clear aside from her needing some space to think, but it comes across as moving the character to a certain place so shenanigans can happen.

 

Note while reading:

pg 2: "She spun around, bowed, then sat back on the bed"
--not sure why she's doing this?

pg 2: "I just…should I call them back? After they hung up?"
--ever the question...

pg 3: "bit into her lower lip"
--this sounds like she's drawing blood

pg 3: "didn’t have sheer"
--"didn’t have to shear?"

pg 4: “I don’t think I believe you. Why are you helping me?” 
--glad O is finally stating this out loud.

pg 5: "We’ve not worshipped..."
--I was trying to figure out what question O asked. It's not that clear.

pg 5: "materialized on the biobed"
--I really want this doctor to look like Robert Picardo...

pg 7: "You will arrive in one piece almost certainly"
--lol

pg 8: "You think the pull..."
-Aha, some juicy plot bits!

pg 8: "Maybe this was just the first try-fail cycle"
--meta...

pg 9: "One of these days she was going to have to get clarification on the ‘planes.’"
--Yeah, I'm wanting that too. Even with hanging a lantern on it here, it has been ten chapters.

pg 10: “I did try to warn you!”
--O gives some reasons for not wanting to immediately go with B, and I guess they are reasonable, but I still get the feeling this is all very plotful to keep her from getting to Ard before things happen.
 

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Thank you all for the feedback!

Sounds like the biggest issue is giving Bell more backstory and character, which I think I'm going to do in a few places, not just this chapter. I often do the romance line last, so it isn't well established yet in this draft (obviously it's a B/O ship). I've got notes and will hit it harder in the next full round of edits. Glad this wasn't too rough! The action should pick up from this point forward, once O crosses the void and all the things hit the fan.

Thank you again!

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