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8/23/21 - RedBlue - Constance Wood Stove ch 23 (2546 words)

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your feedback so far! I thought that GM’s pivot away from burning everything might be too abrupt. Essentially, she’s realised that her behaviour was self-destructive and that she doesn’t actually want to do that. I’ll work on finding a way to make it more organic.

Chapter 23 this week, and next time, the epilogue!

Usual questions:

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

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


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I get to be first this time!

As I go:

pg 1. This is very competently written and I think I'll be more engaged with it once V's arc and betrayal (?) is fleshed out a bit more

pg 2-3. I'm glad they're packing plenty of food and water lol. This really makes me think that all of the planning they did a while back is unnecessary since they can just plan stuff out here. Plus it made me think we were going to be leaving a while back. 

-I do still wonder why the adults are... more or less resigned to the fact that the kids are leaving? There's been no real attempt to stop them other than just talking to them. 

pg 5. And there we go! I'm ready for a showdown. Though if the mayor is the main villain I do think we could have used a bit more background on him earlier. Maybe have the antagonism be split between him and G-M from the start? Will help us know him more and also won't create a narrative vacuum when G-M stops being threatening. 

-I like his appeal to the other kids. Good way of him to present as reasonable and sow discord. 

-That being said, the PoV feels weird. We're in the mayor's PoV, but it doesn't really feel like we are. 

pg 7. He's resorting to violence rather quickly. If E is listening to him, then why not target E with his words first?

pg 8. Okay that's funny

pg 9. While I know this story isn't about action and big showdowns, that seemed a little quick and easy.

12 hours ago, RedBlue said:

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

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

1. Nope!

2. Yeah everyone feels in character. Mostly I think that the mayor only getting to do evil stuff for a couple pages doesn't really do him justice.  


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Pg 1-4

Insert obligatory nit-picky concern about them boiling alive in the airplane overnight here.

Other than that, I really like these first pages as they’re getting ready to go.  It has a really great winding-down feel while also maintaining the ominous feeling that things are going too easily and something is going to stop them.

Pg 5

“If he swings it at C…” Oh. That seems a bit extreme.

Is this meant to be an omniscient pov? My first thought was that it was C’s pov, and that her assuming the mayor might try to kill her was a big jump for her to make.  Then I wondered if it’s the mayor’s, in which case, man. Chill out, dude. Then we jump to GM shouting, and I assume we’re omniscient?  This seems like the sort of thing that would bother me less if I wasn’t in critique-mode, but it's a little disorienting as it is.  I think an omniscient pov might work here as long as it's clear immediately at the scene change, but at the moment the pov feels jumpy. 

Pg 6

“We’re a commodity…”  I do appreciate GM’s willingness to tell it like it is.  

Pg 7:

“Bad guys…” Hah. Nice.

The sword hitting the mayor’s tire seems a little convenient. And probably unnecessary if they have a lead and would need to outrun him. 

Pg 9:

I'm glad MD made it back.  I was worried he was going to make a heroic sacrifice to stay behind and save them. 

16 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

pg 9. While I know this story isn't about action and big showdowns, that seemed a little quick and easy.

I had a similar thought.  I know some of the closing conflict has been about gathering all of the friends and taking care of last matters within the town, so maybe this would feel less rushed if I'd read the last few chapters in quicker succession leading into this, but this does go rather quickly.  Maybe a little more inner-conflict in the kids when the mayor is trying to persuade them to go? Or they have to outrun him in their car? not sure. But something to maintain the tension here a little longer would probably help a lot. 

I also agree with @Ace of Hearts that a last stand with the mayor would carry more weight if he was a bigger threat from the beginning. Or at least from the middle.  We know he's not a great guy, but other than him being the leader of the town, there hasn't really been that much to separate him from the other adults as being the one who should be desperate to make them stay. A little buildup earlier in that regard would go a long way in making their defeat/defiance of him more satisfying.

1. Nothing boring. The jumpy pov was a little confusing.  Not to a point that you couldn't tell what was going on, but distracting a bit. 

2. Thoughts and actions all seem to make sense :) 



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I think the other two covered the points I wanted to. I think this is really well written, and I think the cleaned-up version of this is going to be a great story! Setting up the mayor earlier to be the villain, or at least showing more of his manipulation of the town will seat this final showdown better. I actually really like the simplicity of his defeat here, showing T's can-do attitude still at work, through the fan. Moving GM more slowly from antagonist to part of the group will help her cooperating here not to seem so sudden.

Very much looking forward to the epilogue, and if the crew finds anything outside the town It certainly seems like others could have made an attempt before now, with all the ashen items around. I'm wondering whether they will find anything.

Eagerly waiting for next week!

Notes while reading:

pg 1: I'm wondering why they didn't just drive the plane away from the remains of the fire? Why leave it, now they have everyone together? Can't they pick E up on the way?

pg 2: That toolbox might be the most important ashen thing I've seen. I wonder what all it can fix?

pg 2: Wait, what happened to leaving in the airplane? I thought they were going to fly out of the town?

pg 4: "even through her lack of people skills"
--stating this seems a lot like "tell" instead of "show"

pg 4: "Then they see it."
--aha. I was waiting for something. Good tension building up to it.

pg 8: "Bad guys are defeated by hitting them really hard"
--best advice ever.

pg 9: Well! Interested to see what comes of this!


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