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6/07/2021 - Kais - Pruitcu - Chapter 12 (L) - 6354 words

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It’s longer than I’d like for a chapter, so if you have thoughts on what could be cut, or where/if it should be broken into two chapters, I’m all ears. There is a LOT of plot movement in this, as we are hitting the ramping up section of the book. Thanks again for reading!

 

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As I read:

p2 - So what I'm getting here is that Dr Y wants Ori to go through the weird place and use this tech to log data, and this needs to be sneaky. I'm not sure why this needs to be sneaky.

p3 - I can't tell if Dr Y is intentionally withholding important information or if he's just bad at communicating. If we're supposed to be unclear on what his deal is, it's working.

p4 - Okay, so this was a spy mission all along. That makes sense.

p5 - If you're looking to trim, I think a lot of page 5 can go. We don't need this much description of her walking through the space station, and we don't need the rehash of her plans.

p5-6 - Ori's tourist impression felt a bit off to me. So far, she hasn't struck me as the sort of person who can easily slip into a role like that. And it feels weird, given that this is supposed to be sneaky, that she's pretending to be the most annoying and attention-grabbing kind of tourist rather than a boring, unmemorable tourist.

p8 - Ori wrangling with unhelpful AI goes on a bit long, especially after the much more interesting unhelpful AI from last chapter.

p8 - I'm unclear on why Ori just decided to throw her lot in with B and deal with her issues.

p14 - This back-and-forth between the two people Ori is spying on telepathically feels like it goes on too long for the amount of information being conveyed. Also, I think tightening it will make it clearer what they're arguing about - I think they're debating destroying Ard?

p15 - Mirror universe Ata and Ori are a couple, aren't they. This should make things interesting!

p17 - This is juicy stuff!

p22 - Engagement dropping a bit here. It feels like the climax of the chapter is over, and her getting through the tourist trap back to Dr Y's office and B reads like busy work.

 

Generally - good chapter. I liked the meeting with alternate Ata.

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Overall:

I like the adventure in the other plane and what Ori learns there.  Meeting the other At- and learning a little about how the planes exist next to each other was really fascinating (I like delving into the ideas surrounding different planes of existence, so that whole aspect is right up my alley) , and I'm looking forward to seeing how things continue to go forward from there.  I do agree with @RedBlue's thoughts that the last section after she gets back to this plane feels a little out of place.  I get why it ends with Em- showing up, since that’s way things don't go like they were supposed to. But I’m not sure what to make of the stretch that comes in between when she gets back and when B tells her the news.  

Pg 2:

“N very rarely get to be in control.” Oof.

“horrible, curled tickling” Blech.  Also, it seems like curled is either a typo or a wrong word? Not sure what’s supposed to be there.

“DISSLV?” Hah. But also. Blech. 

Pg 3:

What’s going on here is a little hard to follow.  I get the rough idea of the fungi adjusting things and her telepathy abilities shifting, but the actual details of noticing sound changes and hearing other conversations and trying to talk to Y are all a little confusing.

Pg 5:

“More as an emotional touchstone…” I don’t think the word “more” is needed here. Or maybe even “more as”. At the moment, it’s making me expect a “than”  to complete the thought, which is messing up my perception of sentence/thought breaks.

“Then she’d face her demons…friend-now-god” All in a day’s work. 

Her dialogue here certainly fits the excitable tourist stereotype, but for some reason I find it hard to see Or being convincingly bubbly.  Maybe just because most of the time we’ve seen her she’s either been in pretty dire circumstances or struggling to process her world falling apart. Suddenly being forced to act a part that doesn’t really meld with her personality (or what we’ve seen of it) seems like it wouldn’t go that smoothly. 

I do like the “best ‘meeting the High Priest’ smile” line a lot, though.

Pg 6:

“lead to curtained doors” -> led

So we’re in the “lobby” now? I think it might be helpful to have that noted since we don't have a clear understanding of how this portal hopping goes at this point.

Pg 7:

On one hand, I really like the room being double booked. Specifically for a hatching party. It made me chuckle. But it makes me wonder what exactly this lobby is for and why our mystery meeting (did we get any information on what it’s about? Or did Y neglect to mention that?) would end up being held in the same facility as a hatching party.  Is it just a sort of mid-plane meeting center to keep people from having to cross planes entirely to get together for discussions/parties/meetings?

Not having an idea of what Or thinks she’s trying to do is making it hard to get oriented here, and I think we could use a few more cues as we go along to absorb things more easily.

Pg 8:

As a general note, I really enjoy how often your characters are thrown into frustrations with technology.  I feel like my (admittedly limited) perception of sci-fi is lots of fancy futuristic tech that is intuitive and always works smoothly.  Answering machine holograms misunderstanding directions and user interfaces that refuse to cooperate generally feel far more feasible to me. 

That being said, after Or tries to get out of there, it takes a full page of fighting with the computer to actually do so. It might be possible to trim some of that back without losing too much of the computer-frustration humor.

Pg 9:

“Smell of campfire” I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean.

The use of “Step one”, “Step two”, and so on really confused me because I immediately assumed we were back on-plan and doing whatever it is she was supposed to do somehow.  It wasn’t until the next page that I did a double-take and had to go back to read it properly.  Once I’d gotten my brain aimed in the right direction, I really liked the transition from lobby room to N, though.  Especially getting to “Step five. Nothing changed.” As an ominous “well. Looks like we’re stuck here now”

Pg 13:

“the wrench you dropped yesterday.” This sentence strikes as too specific to feel like natural conversation. What was she doing with a wrench out…wherever she is?

Pg 14:

We spend a lot of this page following her spying on the birds. Does she know that this is the sort of information Y has her looking for? 

Pg 15:

“I went through the wrong door.” You could say that again.

Pg 16:

“Gave up your lead position on the Guard to for a stay of execution” something in the wording there is off, but I’m not sure what it’s supposed to say.

“…promised me you would never...” Ouch.

Still more time spent listening in on the birds than seems necessary. Especially when the conversation with At is pretty intense and she should probably be paying attention to her.

Pg 20:

Question about naming conventions: On page 18, At asks “Does your At- believe in Ard-“ so she refers to herself that way as if she expects it to be normal for Ori.  She refers to Ori as “Four”.  She obviously doesn’t want to be referred to as “Exile”, but seems to get angry on page 20 when Ori mentions “My At-…” and asks if At- let her call her by her child name.  I’m not entirely sure what is going on here. What is normal by N naming standards and what would be more like a pet name (since At calls her “Four” and not “Ori” when she’s running over).  If Ori is referring to At as “My At-“ wouldn’t that be proof enough that she’s used to calling her that?  Is there some third name that this At- would expect Ori to use to refer to At-?

“And- trees like the N…” isn’t this something we know already?  Not about the fungi, but the first sentence? 

Pg 21-24:

The shift from At shouting at her to being told she has a discount at all of the gift shops is a weird, sudden shift.  Especially when she doesn’t really process any of what just happened.

She mentions that Y would be thrilled but that she no longer cares.  But how much did she care in the first place other than what revolved around it being a paying job. There’s a vague feeling that she’s exhausted and overwhelmed, but it’s hard to say what exactly is the main source of that. The birds’ plotting? The experience of going plane jumping in general? The fact that she and At have counterparts on the other plane? The fact that they’re married there? The way the timelines worked out differently? The fact that At was angry at her for replacing the Ori that existed there for however long? I don’t have a good concept of what thoughts or emotions she’s pulling away from the experience except that she’s tired and wants to leave with B-.  And if that’s all she cares about, it feels like she’s ignoring or running away from a lot of things.

I feel like it's not supposed to come across as “A bunch of stuff happened. I’m tired. Lets get out of here.” But I don’t have a better sense of what aspects of the experience are sticking with her.

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I had a lot of confusion through this chapter, I think because some of the terms haven't really been defined yet. I think you could definitely cut a lot of this and get the meaning across clearer. The wrangling with O and the doctor can be cut down to essentials to get to the rest of the chapter. I also don't really know what's happening between pages 7 and 12, with activating the mirror. Things get really trippy, but I thought going through the void was switching planes, not the mirror, so I got confused. The interaction between A and O could also be cut down. It's a great "what if," but I think exiting the scene sooner will help it be more poignant and get across just the plot information you need to.

Overall, at this point in the story I'm unclear on:

1) plane vs. void vs mirror.

2) what the birds actually control (planes? planes and time?) and which universe they're from.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: oh, that's much better than a tadpole...

pg 4: "You’re just going to loiter in the lobby."
--I love the interchange between the two, but I'm starting to get a little lost on what's happening. Because the doctor is feeding little bits of information at a time, I can't really understand the whole picture. O was going to the void, but then isn't actually going through. Won't that be suspicious?

pg 5: "Loitering can get a being shot"
--didn't they specifically say TO loiter in the lobby?

pg 5: "Maybe she’d linger just a little"
--I thought she wasn't going through? Confused.

pg 6: okay, so O went through the void. Was she in this plane or the new one to start with? I feel like she was in the original plane is going through to the place where S and co ended up.

pg 7: "Activate mirror? the words read."
--also not sure what the mirror is. She went through a portal between planes, right? So what does the mirror do?

pg 9: "Step three."
--okay, very very confused as to what's happening and where O went.

pg 10: "Voids. Mirrors. She must have entered by mistake"
--still not sure what happened and what the difference is. Is she dreaming?

pg 11: I love the names for the birds. Please keep them.

pg 11: "incase"
--not sure what this means. Encase? With what?

pg 12: I'm not sure how she overheard the birds? Nor am I sure where she is.

pg 12 : "There had to be rules about interacting with someone in a mirror plane."
--but where is she?

pg 14: "opting to look back at the birds above"
--wait, the birds are above her? On the planet? Very confused.

pg 14: "just reported a temporal breach."
--now we're throwing time travel in with a mirror and a void?

pg 16: Still love the bird names.

pg 17: "I don’t have a brother."
--huh, that's weird. But also explains why she's here!

pg 19: "it puked half of it back out and destroyed most of the system"
--seems like they should have run a few more analyses first.

pg 22: "At least her neck had stopped itching when the timer ran out."
--I guess that's part of the transfer?

pg 22: "Scratched the back of her neck for good measure,"
--okay, what IS going on with that?

pg 24: good ending!

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Overall

definitely a lot of confusion, but once you trim this chapter down and clear some things up, it'll be a great chapter! I really loved the ending when B told Or that E was looking for her. I also liked that Or got to see alt At, but that part could probably be trimmed as well. I was a bit unclear on the stakes when Y had said Or would get shot if she loitered because when it seemed like Or was in a place she wasn't supposed to be, the people at the end were like "oh no, you saw too much, huh? we'll give you a refund and discount at the shop! :)"

as i go:

pg 3

-i read through these first pages really quickly. Good light humor!

“that she could feel in her throat but hearnot hear?

“Should i go over there? Buy her something?” i was a bit confused about some of what Y was saying. I assume this is supposed to be humorous but it fell a little flat for me

“Excellent. now, i cant hear you” she didn’t give Y any response tho. Why’d they say “excellent”? Edit: oh was it something on the readouts that Y took as an indication that Or could hear?

pg 4

“This is a touch less terrifying” more terrifying than something called the void/mirror universe?? She must really be afraid of Ard lol

pg 5

“Loitering can get a being shot” didnt Y just say that Or would be loitering in the lobby? I guess… loitering in the wrong place would get you shot?

pg 6

“Something wiggled and itched” eeeeee

pg 7

“Upper-level bird meeting” you dont hear that everyday

pg 8/9

-you could probably trim some stuff on these pages, with the door not opening and whatnot

-also im not quite sure what her goal is here. The doc wasn't too clear on that. I feel like if i was in Or’s shoes, i would be confused as hell. 

-maybe mention the map more, i actually forgot that she was following a map. wait, she is right? the one on her palm?

-confused about the steps on page 9

“That meant time to go” but i feel like she didnt do anything… maybe she didnt need to tho. Y only wanted her to visit for like samples orrr information? I cant remember >.<

“The dome melted” wait like the ceiling??

pg 10

-im confused where she is at now, is she viewing all this in a mirror or is it actually happening?

“Voids. Mirror.” ohh it is a mirror... i think

pg 11

“Or ran into the young forest” confused about whats real and whats not, very trippy

pg 12

“Y should have given her some cliff notes” yeah, they really shouldve

“At” oooo juicy

pg 16

“I dont know dave” lmao the sass

“No one is willingly going to swallow fungi, dave” yeah, dave, jesus :lol:

-i love the bird names

pg 20

“Like the N people” doesnt Or know this? Since she is N…

pg 24

Awesome ending with E!

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