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RedBlue

8/16/21 - RedBlue - Constance Wood Stove ch 22 (3246 words)

4 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your feedback last week. I’ll have a look at tweaking the logistics so that GM’s situation feels a bit more natural, and to make her motives super clear (she’s essentially lashing out at the unfairness of her life, but has given up on making things better for herself, so she’s settled for causing as much destruction as possible).

After this chapter, there are only two more to go!

Usual questions, plus bonus:

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

2) Do the characters’ thoughts and actions make sense?

3) Do any of the characters’ solutions for problems feel deus-ex-machina?

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I thought this must be close to the end!

It's not boring, and it's nice to see things coming together. Using the ashen items helps them move around a lot. It might be better to at least sprinkle a few references to them nearer the beginning of the book so that using them doesn't feel quite so sudden.

I was a little confused on why GM was being nice near the end. Just because she's given up? There's even a callout to how strange she's acting, so I'm wondering if there's another reason for it.

I really loved all the items working together at the beginning, but it might need a little more description to place the TV and game console so they don't come out of nowhere.

Looking forward to the ending!

 

Notes while reading:
pg 1: "Her gaze lands on the games console lying underneath the television"
--I like how this is set up, but there might need to be more blocking on the game console suddenly being in the cockpit. It's a bit deus ex.

pg 2: "T doesn’t care about any of that."
--I'd argue T creating this way to control the plane requires the insight she gave up, but I'm willing to read along and see what happens.

pg 3: "He’s so very, very glad he managed to get this all straightened out in his head"
--Is it straightened out?

 He's just saying what's wrong with the town.

pg 5: “Do you still have that old mini-van?”
--interesting...

 

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Pg 1:

The plane! Excellent! My concerns about the solution to the fire problem were unfounded. The fact that the plane has played a reasonably significant part in the setting thus far definitely removes the deus ex machina issue I was concerned about. Now I just need to be convinced that GM could have actually gotten trapped in the ring of fire :) 

Pg 2:

The troublesome part of me has questions about plane fuel sources.  Especially since it was described before as being pretty big.  That’s going to take a good deal of power to get into the air.  Though I’ll admit that the other half of me doesn’t care and just wants that half to be quiet and watch us fly the plane through the wall of the barn, whether it makes sense or not.  I think just saying that it’s ashen and therefore, somehow able to run off of whatever hopes and dreams were fed into it (or something) when it was made might be enough. 

Pg 3:

“not as though three less  fewer children…”

Pg 9:

The inside of the plane being cool feels off to me. Since even if the plane can’t burn, it’s not going to be a perfect insulator against heat. It might not be broiling hot yet, but “comfortably” cool might be a stretch.  Might be worthwhile to mention them moving the plane away from the flames for good measure on that front as well.  Because the longer it’s staying close to the fire, the hotter it’s going to get inside.  There can be a little bit of ashen hand-waving here, but I’ve probably taken too many heat transfer classes to entirely suspend disbelief.

Pg 10:

This seems like a pretty sudden change from GM.  When she ran off from the barn a few chapters ago, she was determined to go burn the town down, then she proceeded to try to do that in a sort of vengeance spree. That went badly and left opportunities for her to have learned from her mistakes, but I’d expect it to take a little more time to make that shift.   Or to go in smaller steps.  Maybe wanting to get out of there first, then later accepting that C was right.  The response here seems a little too humble and gracious for the GM we’ve seen. Even if she’s a bit shaken after her experience.

Would also mention some warning about low fuel when T first gets the plane functioning so that it running out here doesn’t seem quite so plot convenient.

GM’s sass about plane refueling is a better fit for what I’d still expect from her.

Pg 11-12

Really, I think that without the initial admitting that C was right, GM works fine through here.  The quiet, processing with some snapping at T and C makes far more sense, and will still seem odd enough to them.  I think the “clumsy attempt to be less awful” at the end is more reasonable pacing for GM’s character shift.  I think it would take a little longer to work up the humility to admit that C was right.

1) Nothing specific

2) My thoughts about GM are addressed above, which were the only character actions that seemed a little iffy.

3) I think the main thing here that risks that is the tv and game controller.  Partly because we haven’t gotten a clear description of the plane layout before. So having the problem of “There’s no cockpit, so how do I move the thing?” followed almost immediately by the solution of “Look at the convenient TV” is pretty sudden.  Is there a reason she can’t just stick the autopilot thing on some lever or steering apparatus (mind is blanking on a name for what that might be) in the cockpit to prevent the tv and controller from becoming a sticking point?

 

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As I go:

pg 1. This is the first time in the story I really feel like everything's coming together and we might be wrapping up soon. If you asked me last chapter I would have guessed we still had a good third of the story left. 

pg 4. Okay why does E feel okay being this direct? Is it trust? Desperation?

pg 6. I think E finding a solution to making sure A is safe and cared for is pulled off well and I did enjoy it but a couple things are nagging at me. First, this never felt like a problem he was supposed to solve, since it was C's thing. This could even be played up if necessary, like C doesn't think E is capable of finding a good solution and then he does. Second, he did kinda just come up with it on the spot. 

On 8/19/2021 at 10:22 AM, C_Vallion said:

Pg 11-12

Really, I think that without the initial admitting that C was right, GM works fine through here.  The quiet, processing with some snapping at T and C makes far more sense, and will still seem odd enough to them.  I think the “clumsy attempt to be less awful” at the end is more reasonable pacing for GM’s character shift.  I think it would take a little longer to work up the humility to admit that C was right.

Agreed on this.

Overall:

On 8/16/2021 at 11:12 AM, RedBlue said:

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

2) Do the characters’ thoughts and actions make sense?

3) Do any of the characters’ solutions for problems feel deus-ex-machina?

1. Nope!

2. Yep. E is better here and I do like G-M overall. I do think there could be more emphasis on T overcoming her lack of insight but that's a nitpick. 

3. E's a bit. T is fine because the revelations about the keys came recently enough they couldn't reasonably have thought about it beforehand. But with E, I think I need a bit more about how he came to that conclusion. Why is he the one who comes up with the answer, and why can he only do it now and not before?

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