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Sept. 26 - Reading Excuses - Recovering Cynic - Fallen Haven - Chapter 2


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Chapter 1

Jimbo Casey is an ex-convict going in for drug testing, he fails the test and begins fleeing from the police. Kyle Endrasko is the sheriff and Jimbo's cousin. He pursues Jimbo who has driven into the back roads in rural Oklahoma. Akari is not human, but she works for an organization on earth that protects earth from outsiders. Akari and her squad of soldiers, who are human "replicants", detect an outsider about to break through from another realm. They get on a jet to intercept the breakthrough, but don't get there in time. Jimbo and Kyle's chase ends up at the breakthrough site. The monster that has broken through is killed by Akari and Co., but not before it tosses Jimbo through the breach into the realm it came from. Kyle confronts Akari and accidentally touches her unearthly sword, which renders him unconscious.

Chapter 2

What you are reading now.

Again, I am just looking for major suggestions, complaints, or things that you liked. This is a first draft and likely will be modified significantly before the story is done, so no line-level changes or nit-picky stuff please.

Thanks in advance.

Recovering Cynic,

AKA Sean

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Another good start with the excerpt, I’m getting interested in learning more about this second world and the person who wrote the excerpts. At first I thought it must be Jimbo, since he’s just fallen into this second world, but the language doesn’t seem consistent with him so now I’m not so sure.

The rest of the chapter is short and focuses entirely on Jimbo, which should have been a good thing as we have a chance to get to know him better. This didn’t really come to pass as the first part of the chapter is about him falling and seeing strange things while he does. From the start his feelings on the matter are that he’s having a bad trip so he doesn’t feel as involved with his plight as he should. When he does it’s so brief it doesn’t leave an impact. He also takes really long in falling (three pages), which kind of ruins the tension of the scene because it takes so long. In a way it becomes almost tedious, which changes the question from “what’s going to happen to Jimbo?” into “when is he finally going to land?”

What he sees is interesting though, it’s more a question of timing – to me free-fall isn’t the moment to expound so much about his surroundings if you want to keep the tension of his fall going. But that might just be me.

What I thought had a lot of potential during the fall though is when Jimbo looked at himself from the outside – two of himself falling through madness – but which you ultimately didn’t really do anything with. At one point he’s on fire, but it doesn’t hurt. It might be cool if he saw himself (his double) being burned out of his clothes and writhing in pain and then he notices that he’s on fire too before he falls through the light. Just a thought.

I perked up when Jimbo woke up and saw the strange cart coming his way. This was the most interesting part of the chapter and just as I’m getting into it the chapter ends. For my part I’d like to read more about Jimbo while he’s on the ground and less about when he’s in free fall. Also a thing to consider is that all though this chapter is about Jimbo I still don’t feel more connected to him than I did in chapter one.

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Hmm, well I just finished reading this second part. A part of me lost interest in reading this chapter. I believe a part of it was the long decent, but I accept that as he was falling into a new "dimension" or however it is going to be explained. It was a way for the description to come through. My problem with this was that the narrator couldn't tell what things looked like. There is a lot of "seems like" "looks like" and a bunch of "something"s going on. The picture being painted for me is essentially giving me shapes or colors and letting me do the rest. That makes my mental image of everything fall on it's face.

I also noticed that there was a confusion in tense in a few points. Below is a quote from there as this sentence does not sit right with me.

"He had felt himself ceasing to exist, and a part of him—the very thing that made him him—had to sit by and watch."

I think this should be read more like "He felt himself cease to exist, and the part of him-the thing that made him who he was-had to sit by and watch."

(I took out the second "him" because if you have the same word listed twice it doesn't feel right to me. I feel that I could change the wording to get my point across better. This could just be me.)

For this chapter my main issue is with it leaving so early. We just landed and get such a short understanding of what is going on that I am left frustrated at the closing. The other issue is that the whole chapter revolves around him, basically, having a bad trip. Jimbo even says it a couple of times in the chapter. I am not certain if this is intentional or not, but I tried to take it as a connection point with Jimbo. I just couldn't do it because I was having to enforce the connection and not innately having the connection through reading.

Sorry if I tore this to shreds. I don't mean harm. I mean well!!!

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I agree that the long fall is a downer after the last chapter. Here, in no particular order, are some thoughts on the chapter in general:

In Plot (I think), Ansen Dibell suggests that the second scene with a given character should introduce a new, likely contrasting element of that character. This is really our second "scene" with Jimbo, but we continue to see the same character from before; concerned about drugs. What does him thinking he's dying do to him? What else could be shown by these scenes?

I've often heard that delusions from drugs appear more real and more valid than our own. That doesn't seem to fit with Jimbo; of course, I don't think it's a delusion either. Still, I would think he'd be more worried than he is. I also wonder that, no matter what the superficial similarity between the man on the cart and Jimbo, that he'd run out from his hiding place in all that oddness.

Finally, I'm assuming the fact that he fell into a second rift is important somehow, otherwise I'd suggest trimming the first or combining them.

The prescript still has me interested, though.

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I'll echo the comments above – your epigraphs are interesting, and it makes me curious to find out who wrote them, because the voice is so off of jimbo and kyle's. The fall is too long and there are too many "I'm going to die ... huh, that didn't hurt at all."

The world is interesting and the fauna appropriately bizarre. My only beef, and this could be a personal issue, is the reoccurring "i must be on drugs" bit. It's funny, and the parallels of the cage and prison are interesting. But we the readers understand this is a SFF story, and that Jimbo did, in fact, fall into the pit. We know Jimbo's wrong, and we're waiting for him to figure it out and start interacting with the world he's now stuck in. Thinking he's on drugs does make sense, given his character, but it probably shouldn't last much longer or you'll start to frustrate readers.


As as side note, isn't replicant a MegaMan term?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll echo everyone here : great epigraph, but the fall went for too long.

Now, I was a little surprised to see a Jimbo chapter here. I figured the story would center on Kyle, somewhat.

My main issue with the piece (aside from the total description of two instances of the character falling) is that I think you lost Jimbo's voice here. His voice was great in the previous chapter, and here, I only see a glimpse of the same character near the end. It's almost like the voice only comes into play when he's speaking, but not when he is thinking.

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