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Robinski - The Mathematical Bridge - Submission 15 - 4154 words (-)


Robinski

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Welcome, those still reading, to the penultimate submission of The Mathematical Bridge. All that remains is the epilogue, hopefully next week. I trust that it is worth sticking around for, but here Blacklake, having somehow defeated Tarquin, continues his frantic search for Judith who Sabine has abducted.

 

Comments very much appreciated.

 

Cheers, Robinski

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pg 1: "looking north along Trumpington Street. He could not bring himself to go that way"

--why?  I don't remember anything specifically about that street, but there have been a lot of street names mentioned.

 

pg 2: "‘Yes,’ he said, as if Rutland had correctly guessed some secret pass code:"

--I like this line.

 

pg 5: "I know you remember what happened to Clement"

--Does the reader know this?  Or am I just forgetting?

 

pg 6: "He itched to push his consciousness across the space between the bridges "

--is there more than one bridge?  Where is Blacklake standing?  Is he still 40 yards away?

 

pg 6: "It would mean going back on the promise that he had made himself,"

--This doesn't seem like a good reason anymore to me.  The love of his life is about to get killed, and he can just reach into her mind and stop it.  He's done it to Tarquin.  Why doesn't he?  The next paragraph covers this somewhat, but I'm still not convinced by him being afraid of how she sees him.  If he's so afraid of this, can't he affect Sabine instead of Judith?

 

pg 8: "she"

--should

 

pg 12: As with last time, a lot of the "mental" description is pretty vague.  There aren't any bounds set for how this works, so I don't know if what Blacklake is doing is remarkable or not.

 

pg 13: "She saw her end and her desperation turned to pleading"

You tell us this, but Sabine hasn't spoken since Blacklake made the net around her mind.

 

pg 14: Sabine's death is sort of anticlimactic.  It's easy for Blacklake, as he already has her caught.  This might actually be a point where you want to pause for a moment and analyze his thoughts before (or after) he ends another life.  He's known her a lot longer than Judith.  Does he feel relief?  Anger?

 

pg 16: "faded into darker and deeper shades of red and brown, always approaching black."

This is where I find the mental description confusing.  You're assigning colors to things, but I don't know what they are.

 

pg 16: The end is a little ambiguous.  I'm sure we'll find out more in the Epilogue, but so far it seems like there needs to be more to this chapter showing whether Judith is alive or not.

 

 

Overall:

  There was more action here again, which is good, but now I'm starting to have problems with the mental actions, since you are using them more.  I wrote a little above, but I think the problem I have is that you haven't put any rules on the system, so I can't be surprised or proud of what Blacklake does.  Basically you're falling afoul of Sanderson's first law of magic: "An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic."

  For example, disabling Tarquin seemed too easy compared to the fight with Sabine, but I can't say how.  Similarly, Blacklake does something to Judith, but I can't really tell what, or whether it's a revolutionary thing, or something Sabine or Tarquin could have easily done.

 I did enjoy this, and I'm looking forward to the conclusion to see what happens with Judith.  I think this can be a really solid piece with some touchups.

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- I would have liked to have seen more interaction with Mrs. Walker. She seemed pretty poised in Mr. Blacklake's brief interrogation. 

 

- Nice to see the title come to play.

 

- I also liked the line about Sabine saying she has to choose how Rutland loses her. It makes her feel very grounded, but also very desperate.

 

- I also liked the detail that Sabine might have made Judith appear afraid just to mess with Rutland.

 

- It's a little hard to follow some of the action, since so much of it happens within Rutland and Sabine's mind, it's tough to also keep track of what is happening outside of them.

 

- I do like that Rutland witnessing a man give Judith CPR reminds him of his father.

 

- All and all, a very good chapter - I can't wait to see what happens next 

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@Mandamon:

 

pg.1: It's a half-formed thought on my part, I need to clarify or drop. He's choosing which way to turn in his search. It's not that important, I suspect I'll delete rather than expand.

 

pg.5: This is a reference back to The Tontine Inn. Clement was the innkeeper who died in the river, drowned by Sabine (plot-spoiler!!).

 

pg.6: Yeah, there are two bridges. He is standing on the bridge on Silver Street - a proper road bridge on a reasonably main street. Sabine and Judith are standing on the Mathematical Bridge, which is a wooden footbridge. I've attached the cover that I made up for Nanowrimo. If you look past the pretension, and the Mathematical Bridge, you can see the Silver Street bridge in the background.

 

pg.6: noted

 

pg.8: noted. I don't want to go all technical about synapses and hippocampus, frontal lobe, etc. but I'll try and be clearer in these areas. Still, what I'm going for (clumsily, no doubt) is an impressionistic stream-of-consciousness approach.

 

pg.12: I will do my best to address this, but I'm not going to define rules. Blacklake doesn't understand it himself, it's all trial and error, but still, I accept that clarity is important.

 

pg.13: Lack of Sabine dialogue is a good point, that is certainly lacking, I will need to address that.

 

pg.14: Excellent point. I will figure out how to do that, although I don't think it's unreasonable that his first thought is for Judith. No doubt it's something he would return to in personal moments, but I agree it should appear for the reader somewhere.

 

pg.16: Close your eyes - that's basically what Blacklake has to work with - that and mental impressions. I'm probably just struggling to described it, but I'll work on it.

 

pg.16: Agree - like you, I'm not happy with the last line here. It has more work to do and it's not putting its back into it.

 

Overall: I do agree with your comments about the 'magic' system. It needs better foreshadowing / setting up at the start, and some semblance of structure. I accept it's an excellent example of how to break Sanderson's First Law!! I will not go as far as (implicit) rules, but accept I need to work on that.

 

Many thanks for your comments, Mandamon, very helpful and straight to the 'chase' as ever. Much appreciated.

post-6803-0-73826800-1437635829_thumb.jp

Edited by Robinski
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@RDPulfer:

 

Thank you for those comments. It's pleasing to hear your positives, and you've called me on clarity, as Mandamon did, and you are right of course. I can feel it myself when I'm reading those bits, and it will be my primary challenge when I come to the edit.

 

Interesting point on Mrs. Walker. At 62,000 words, this is not a long story. I don't see me adding another side character, but there may be scope for her to have a couple more lines, provided that they are serving a purpose, of course.

 

Thank you so much for your comments. Very helpful and encouraging.

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pg.5: This is a reference back to The Tontine Inn. Clement was the innkeeper who died in the river, drowned by Sabine (plot-spoiler!!).

 

pg.6: Yeah, there are two bridges. He is standing on the bridge on Silver Street - a proper road bridge on a reasonably main street. Sabine and Judith are standing on the Mathematical Bridge, which is a wooden footbridge. I've attached the cover that I made up for Nanowrimo. If you look past the pretension, and the Mathematical Bridge, you can see the Silver Street bridge in the background.

Ah yes, now I remember Clement.  Tricky subject depending on if these stories are meant to be read together, or as separate entries.  It's likely readers won't remember Clement and thus question the line.

 

Good visual.  That helps out a lot.  But seeing the shape of the bridge, and since it is the title, I would go into a lot more description of why it's a mathematical bridge--why it was named so and how the (I presume mathematically defined) trusses are shaped.

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Yes on the Clement thing. I'm still harbouring the idea that the six 'different stories' will be part of the same novel, which would remove that particular issue of course. I guess I could go heavier on the telling in relation to Clement. I mention Daphne Preston earlier in this story, who was also a victim from The Tontine Inn by the Shore.

 

Spot on in relation to the bridge as well - thanks.

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