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6/7/16 - krystalynn03 -Roamwald: C18 vs. C18


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Sorry for the delay. I had to get a wireless keyboard since I drizzled espresso all over my laptop keyboard like a boss.

This submission is totally UNPOLISHED. (I have not/will not fix typos, etc until I get the content confirmed--please forgive the working mess)

I mentioned last week in conversation on the thread about the difficulty I find having a scene with multiple people all tugging hard at the plot? This is that. I tried writing it from two different POV's, and so I'm throwing it to you guys to see which more people like. I'm leaning a certain way myself, but I thought it would be a fun shake-up in the kind of review/commentary we typically do on the board to submit it like this and see what different people think.
One's about 1k long and the other is about 1100, so they should be pretty quick to read and compare.

For This Update:
  • Which version works better for you and why?
  • Do the character interactions make sense? Is there anything illogical or overlooked while I'm shifting focuses around?
  • What worked for you?
  • What didn't work for you?


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Yay, you made it. I really feel for you. It's a horrible feeling. I once 'poured' half a glass of red wine over my previous laptop keyboard. After about an hour of ducking and poking, taking keys off, etc. I got it working, but those are some very uncomfortable minutes, you have my sympathy. Glad you are back up a running - I'm up for this challenge. More to follow.

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Okay, my preference is for Jennie's pov.


With Jennie, you can refer to each of the people by name, whereas in Roamwald's you have to describe them, which is more awkward. When you use a name, I either know the person already (Mama, Papa, Nate, Leon) or don't, but can assign 'random white bystander' characteristics to them, using any adjectives that you have included to tell me if they are nervous, angry, etc.


In Roamwald's pov, the description of people are longer and, although they are of different people, it's just a stream of physical characteristic which are hard to assign to individuals.


In terms of content, WE (I seem to recall) recommends writing from the pov of the person under greatest threat. That would seem to be Roamwald BUT, I think Jennie's pov is more compelling, because she is reacting more than Roamwald, and she is feeling more emotions, frustration, fear, anger (maybe, a bit), helplessness, which I think you convey well.


Furthermore, Jenny is better placed to interpret the emotional reactions of the people around her, whereas I think Roamwald is more likely to internalise and examine his own feelings (although still registering what others are doing, admittedly).


That is my two cents.


No, I do not want a cookie. Thank you.

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I agree with Robinski, I also prefer Jennie’s point of view because you can use the names rather than a vague identifiers based on physical features.


Also, while it is Roamwald that is being threatened I feel that Jennie’s point of view has more urgency and is thus more interesting, because Roamwald has resolved himself to surrender while Jennie is trying her hardest to get the people to leave him alone and to convince Roamwald to flee.  


What didn’t work so well for me in that it gave me pause when I read it, was Nate’s command to aim for Roamwald’s eyes. The head should be the smallest target, and the eyes doubly so. It would make more sense for the villagers to aim for the body.

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Uh oh. I guess I'll be the dissenting opinion! I preferred Romwald's POV, precisely for the reason Robinski gave, i.e. that he's the POV in the most pain/danger.

There were also a few lines added toward the end in Romawald's section and I liked the detail they added. Not that those couldn't be added to Jennie's POV.

I'll agree naming people makes for easier details, but I would say the challenge is to make those people known enough before now so that Romwald's descriptions give us some idea of who they are.

I actually thought the command to air for the eyes worked well. Yes, they're (comparatively) smaller, but with the places on Romwald that are likely to be permanently damaged by a human bullet, the eyes are the top of the list.

Oh, and also sorry about the keyboard! I've had to change to wireless mouse/headphones because of a cat who likes chewing on cords (grrr). Oddly, my keyboard is so old I don't think he can bite through the cable!

Just out of curiosity, which submission did people read first? I read Jennie, then Roamwald, and liked the second one better.

Edited by Mandamon
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Yay, you made it. I really feel for you. It's a horrible feeling. I once 'poured' half a glass of red wine over my previous laptop keyboard. After about an hour of ducking and poking, taking keys off, etc. I got it working, but those are some very uncomfortable minutes, you have my sympathy. Glad you are back up a running - I'm up for this challenge. More to follow.


Red wine, eh? Whatever gets the wordcount flowing...LOL :P

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I agree with...well, everyone so far. That's why I thought it made for an interesting exercise, because there's really some pros and cons to either version.


I wrote Roamwald first and recycle its content to write Jennie, plus content of her own that I revised into the text after changing it to fit her, so I think her version actually has more unique content than his version does.


I agree that Roamwald has a lot more to lose here, but Jennie is being more active (vocal, at least) in the scene, so it's an odd situation. I originally thought Jennie was stronger, but was really  surprised when my alpha reader (not <R>, another one) told me she preferred the Roamwald version because feeling what he had at stake was more meaningful to her.


I'm mulling over the feedback I've gotten so far and considering how to play to the strengths presented and how to preserve some of what's lost in the other POV that I end up going with--if that makes sense at all. :)

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I'm gonna say that honestly, I could go either way on these. It's clear enough to follow what's going on either way, I think. Either of them is in a point of enough tension that they can be used, so it really depends on what you want to convey to the reader here, and there's one key point of divergence on that. To wit, Jennie doesn't know why Roamwald is opting to not run away, when Roamwald (obviously) does; if you want that to be clear to the reader, then, well, it's Roamwald's head for that.


Other than that I think the actual dialogue on the argument flows well and people come off distinctly, but the <adverb> <said-bookism> construction is still really hurting things, especially in a scene like this where it really sort of benefits the reader to have a bit more to bite into as to who's doing what. "nervously called", eg, is at once a failure in the part of both the dialogue and the narration if neither are apparent based on the strength of the words and what the character is doing. Used well, it's not gonna hurt anything to do it but you avoid said a lot to the point that it's not helping at all.

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I enjoyed both POV's but i liked Roamwald more on a straight up comparison as i felt the conflict came though better as he was the one in danger.


That said for your story on a whole i think there is a more important question to ask.Is this the only Roamwald POV or will there be more? 

I am bias to stories with only one POV, and it feels late to be bringing in a second POV big picture wise.


So in conclusion i liked the Roamwald scene better but think the Jennie POV will be better for the story. (Yes i am no help)


Other note in the Roamwald POV: "They were the last"...that's an ominous but awesome line.

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Hey Kammererite,


Good to hear your opinion, too, even though you could see both ways. :D


Do you remember my very first submission? The one I wasn't sure whether it helped or hurt the narrative more? That was from Roamwald (although unnamed) POV, and one of my rationales for wanting to have it was that it set up a precedent for this very moment 2/3 through the book later, so I do have that difficulty still burdening my shoulders.


Not to blow spoilers around, but some of the stuff coming up (a couple sequences) takes Jennie out of the plot since I've exhausted her literally and figuratively. There's some stuff that I ant to happen between Roamwald and other characters that Jennie doesn't need to be there for, and any child that has been up this long through the night has to pass out sooner or later.


In other drafts of this book, I've had the narrator shift to a kind of omniscient thing, but I've always hated it, which is why on this version I wanted to get Roamwald's POV for 3 or 4 chapters after he becomes a character. One benefit to going the Jennie POV route means that I play by a sort of internal rule I've set more myself for all the books in this series as far as POV is concerned--the most dominant character to the plot takes the POV unless they're absent and I still need to show the reader something in live time. This hasn't been an issue in Roamawld because the title character has been on screen too much until this arc of the book. In later books where Jennie and Roamwald are doing things and I've introduced other characters Jennie or Roamwald always takes the POV unless they're absent and I'm forced to (2nd/4th book) Chadwick or by the six book Felix.


I'm blathering.


Long story short: you're right and I'm not sure what to do. :)


When I wrote this I thought Jennie's was better, so I was surprised when my alpha (not Robinski) thought the Roamwald bit was better. Seeing how the cookie crumbles has been a really fun exercise here! Thanks so much for weighing in!

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- Roamwald's perspective doesn't work as much for me because it still feels a lot like Jeanne's perspective, since she's still in the forefront so much. Besides, I can't remember seeing much of Roamwald's POV save for the prologue. 


- I know it's part of the theme, but Nate seems downright idiotic. Trick-talking? Is this like the Jedi mind trick? Regardless, it doesn't appear very effective, and Nate feels more hateful than afraid. Jeannie's father feels more like a realistic character.


- I like the ending of the chapter. I'm definitely curious to see where this is going. 


- I do feel Jeannie's POV works better than Roamwald's. I think Jeanne wondering why Roamwald surrenders characterizes him as more noble and compelling rather than reading Roamwald's reasoning for doing so beforehand. 

Edited by rdpulfer
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Hey rdpulfer,

Forgive me--responding on cell so my formatting might be odd.

Those are some really interesting responses, so I'd like to poke you a little for more specifics. :)

You're right about the first chapter being the only other place where we see Roamwald POV so far. Ive since considered everyone's input and made some revisions with plans to submit tomorrow so I definitely want to know if you still see those same problems of Jennie present.

Thank you for commenting on Nate. I've been waiting for someone to hit on that because I've always felt a little odd about whether I was overdoing him. I know the tricktalk phrase is odd, but do you remember he had a scene explaining that a couple months ago when we were at the beginning of book. I don't know if weekly reader syndrome is bothering your interpration, or not. It means I need to examine different things...depending on what the source issue is.

Thanks as always! You've got me thinking in new ways!

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