National Novel Writing Month 2012 Page 39

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  • Salaman 4 Dec 2012 18:23:10 19,595 posts
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    MD:
    Thanks! Good insight into the controllers, thanks!
    Although I started off thinking "OK, so it's circuitry includes some human brains. It's still just a computer that works the elevator, turns on the lights, the heating, the TV and whatnot." =)
    So I'm presuming nobody (of the general populous) realises they at the same time record and log all conversations allowing the government or the corporations to spy on everyone like some massive invisible big brother. And the fact that they are still conscious of their situation to some extent makes it all the more freaky.
    Useful to know.


    He'd arrive half an hour early with the back of his car full of a variety of sizes of constable uniforms from the stores.
    arrived?

    Not onto tortured to death
    only?
  • TechnoHippy 4 Dec 2012 18:39:20 14,716 posts
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    @MetalDog

    Thanks for the feedback. I think I need to explain better how the match gets made. She's his ideal soulmate, but he's not hers.

    Onto Overtime One:

    Red Heppa sounds like fun.

    Interesting thought about the controllers suffering.

    The difference in the tech's apparent personality at his own and external speeds is a nice touch.

    And the investigation moves onward :-)

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

  • sunjumper 4 Dec 2012 18:45:25 3,248 posts
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    Great feedback as always.

    About the band thing. I am with one or two glaring exceptions trying to avoid naming any real musicians.
    As long as I keep it vague the reader will come up with own examples. At least that's what I hope the reader will do.

    The moment I start naming names I will open a giant can of worms. For that I'd need to know faaaar more about the history of music than I do risking to get lost in the details. Also I will invariably piss off the fans of a band wrongfully accused (?) of being shit, which again would detract from the central point.

    There is also a very stealthy allusion that one of the bands that kept doing strange new shit as time passed was Queen. But there are of course others.
    I might want to elaborate the point a bit further just to make clear what I mean with that. Like the band that is so trapped within its own genre that every attempt to go in another direction will result in a lynchmob of angry fans.


    Er... the duplicate paragraph may have happened during copy pasting the source text from Scrivener into Word... (so maybe not as 47k as I thought then...)
  • sunjumper 4 Dec 2012 19:37:30 3,248 posts
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    @Carbon_Altered

    Holy mother of the mothers of things that are holy!
    It looks like you have written a ton of new stuff while I was being distracted not making it over the finishing line in time. While I do feel terrible of not coming back to your story sooner (as I feel horrible for not having read some of the other stories at allÖ) I am glad to be back.
    I hope that being able to read longer passages at a time might provide you with another form of helpful feedback.

    So. Where was IÖ


    Chapter 5
    First things first: your style is immediately recognisable. Despite the beginning of this chapter only having Brook, grumpy, floating towards a shitty job early in the morning your pace, your humour, your general style is instantly recognisable. This is the third story I read written by you (what happened to the one with the Mars flight that exploded upon return? Did you finish that?). What I notice is that your descriptions are to the point but not dry because there is always your sense of humour hiding behind it. Right now I am starting to believe that you could write an instruction manual that would make me chuckle while reading it.

    What I like most about it is that you make light sarcasm and lingering irony work as a highlight and/or counterpoint to your main narrative. Usually people with a tendency for this kind of humour get carried away overdoing it turning all what they write either into a parody of itself or sound bitter and snarky. The way you do it there seems to me to always be a good humoured core to it. Besides whether you do this on purpose or not it is always only a finishing touch, never anything that dominates the scene. If anyone ever (especially if it is an editor) tells you to change this part of your writing. Nod smile. And ignore those fuck weasels!
    P.S. (kind of) when you actually do try to be openly funny that works too of course.


    Case in point pretty much all of chapter 5. There it is your trademark humour. Without it this would have been engineer goes to spot, repairs crap (which will probably become important later), exchanges venomous glances with Ďpilotí and returns home to find strange detour. Followed by more techno-babble about the override before vanishing into the unknown of the chapter break to create suspense.

    This is high risk of being boring material and I have read enough hard SF to know that many authors would have turned this in a giant snore fest.
    Yet here I got not only the technical bits and the plot bits, but also a fair bit of entertainment, character background and a dash of flavour for the world it is set in. Good work!


    Chapter 6

    SpyÖder? I donít know if to congratulate you on the horrible pun or seek you out to end your suffering.

    No idea what the slum-wars are but they sound horrifying.

    Again technical description with added pinch of humour making it that much more effective.

    Talking about night and day cycles. Strangely humans on their own without a sun to sync their internal clocks tend to live on a 25 hour day. There is a variation of people having personal hardwired days ranging from 20 hours up to 36 (!) hours for one subjective day. Maybe this is information you can use?

    ďAnd even if they did, no android would be built with hair that bad. A comb-over in zero g just didn't work.Ē :-D

    Poor Billington. I thought. For a seond. The you ruined it with a smile.
    And here I was contemplating if that strange man could not be used to the advantage of Brook.

    This is all going to get horribly messy, isnít it?


    Chapter 7

    "So? She's torn you so many new bumholes that you look like some horrifically faecal Swiss cheese"
    This should not be funny. Yet it isÖ

    Really good dialogue and a great scene. I remember having said it when I started reading your story in the halcyon days of early November but you do know how to work up a functional scene seting up stereotypes and then smacking the reader over the head with human touches.
    This bit here with Brook and Fuller is great.

    Shipping off the marine, not been boarded in decadesÖ This is going to turn into such a disaster.

    Your human interactions are great. No other way to put it.


    Chapter 8

    Good continuation of chapter 7.
    The plot thickens as it should.
    And why would Brook want to make an enemy out of psycho Sergeant?
    Who is probably innocent, but now that she mentions it, the psychopath marine (Mason?) is now a major suspect for me!


    Chapter 9

    Kel lives!
    Now thatís a bit of a plot twist. In hindsight I should have known but he looked like someone who got slaughtered to introduce Sargent Weasel Fucker and the wonderful world of AI controlled mega corporations.

    The sudden switch from Kelís to Gussís perspective is a bit jarring.

    I assume that those probes went to their destination, returned to our system and then sent the data. Right? Else there is a way to at least make faster than light communication possible. (e.g. through quantum entanglement or something). If FTL communication is possible you might want to stress that. (Or I forgot about it because I am a bit of an idiot)

    I have no idea why but the potato incident is incredibly funny to me.

    Nice observation how inside a loop you always walk up-hill.

    Oh this is set on Europa? How nostalgic. My very first pseudo NaNo was set there too. Only under rather different circumstances. It is amusing the see the parallels though.

    Companions? In space? Reminds of that one show about cows in space.

    Wow.
    Now that is some sage advice (see what I did there? Sage? Like in the plant?)

    Strange little chapter that. A bit depressing but also filled with a strange kind of hope.

    OK time for a break.
    All in all a great effort. I like this story a lot and I am rather pleased that there are sill many chapters to go before I catch up.

    Kel came pretty much out of nowhere and now I am wondering where this is all going to end.
    Oh yes and that seventh probe is also going to cause trouble isnít it?

    This story is littered with Chekhov guns. I wonder how much of these will be shot and how many will die in the process.
  • Carbon_Altered 4 Dec 2012 22:29:06 736 posts
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    Chapter 28

    I broke through 60k tonight, but with a sort of end in sight (although only to the first part; I think I'll need a rest before starting on the next section)
  • Carbon_Altered 4 Dec 2012 22:36:19 736 posts
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    @sunjumper - Thanks as always for your mega feedback. I did get a bit bogged down in some of the science around about where you are up to, which messed up some of the flow a bit I think. But break through that (necessary) plot development and I get back to more comfortable ground. I also experiment with flashbacks too, some of which work better than others, but it's all about developing as a writer, er, right?
  • Carbon_Altered 4 Dec 2012 22:37:43 736 posts
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    @TechnoHippy - forgot to say thanks for your feedback earlier, and good pick up on the pirates getting cut free. That was one awkward sentence, wasn't it?!
  • Salaman 4 Dec 2012 23:02:52 19,595 posts
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    Carbon_Altered wrote:
    Chapter 28

    I broke through 60k tonight, but with a sort of end in sight (although only to the first part; I think I'll need a rest before starting on the next section)
    Oh you utter bastard with the cliffhangers!
    and constantly dangling a possible revelation in front of me only to snatch it away at the last second!
    I think my jaw did a mini-drop at that last sentence.

    Well done!


    A typo or two for your log:
    he gaze came to rest on the drifting, unconscious form of the Sergeant
    his

    Brook was also away of the others staring at her
    aware?
  • sunjumper 4 Dec 2012 23:45:32 3,248 posts
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    Carbon_Altered wrote:
    @sunjumper - Thanks as always for your mega feedback. I did get a bit bogged down in some of the science around about where you are up to, which messed up some of the flow a bit I think. But break through that (necessary) plot development and I get back to more comfortable ground. I also experiment with flashbacks too, some of which work better than others, but it's all about developing as a writer, er, right?

    Don't worry the sciencey bits work well. They are pretty short and to the point. Partially the are part of the falvour and as I mentioned always kept afloat by the humour.

    Edited by sunjumper at 02:40:36 05-12-2012

    ARRRGH! 172 words short of 50k

    Well the next part is ready.

    Here is a bit where I am not sure whether it is somewhat clever or namelessly stupid.

    Have a look.

    Edited by sunjumper at 02:41:56 05-12-2012
  • TechnoHippy 5 Dec 2012 12:12:10 14,716 posts
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    @Carbon_Altered

    Chapter 28:

    "These things are illegal in three of the eight nations" - is an interesting comment. Only 8 nations?

    You always know how to end a chapter :-) Good stuff.

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  • Carbon_Altered 5 Dec 2012 13:08:29 736 posts
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    @TechnoHippy - thanks Techno. I want to allude to some of the goings on back on Earth without going into detail explaining it (eg I've mentioned the slum wars a couple of times). Lay a few foundations for some of the stuff that happens later on in the book.

    I think in the edit I might make a few more mentions earlier though.
  • TechnoHippy 5 Dec 2012 13:17:52 14,716 posts
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    I think a bit more info spread out through the story so far would be good. It doesn't need too much though.

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  • MetalDog 5 Dec 2012 13:20:52 23,920 posts
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    It's generally easier to add info than to try and sieve it out of first draft - for my money anyway.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • sunjumper 5 Dec 2012 13:26:06 3,248 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    It's generally easier to add info than to try and sieve it out of first draft - for my money anyway.
    I agree. Not only is it easier to implement by the time your first draft is done you will actually know what bits of information are actually relevant to the story.

    You should not feel afraid to add details about your setting either though. As long as you don't go overboard (or it is deeply interesting every time you do so) it won't harm the story.
  • Carbon_Altered 5 Dec 2012 13:43:50 736 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    You should not feel afraid to add details about your setting either though. As long as you don't go overboard (or it is deeply interesting every time you do so) it won't harm the story.
    This very much applies to me - as, I think, Techno pointed out, I hadn't actually described what the main ship actually looks like in mine. Will add that later. I do find description much harder than, for example, conversation. It's like I don't have enough vocabulary - makes me feel a bit thick sometimes!!
  • MetalDog 5 Dec 2012 14:43:44 23,920 posts
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    @Carbon_Altered
    Maybe you're like me? Unlike Sunjumper, my brain is not very visual at all - I have to actively think, 'what would they see?' instead of getting those pictures on the minds eyes, like I do with smell, sound and touch. Vision is always an afterthought for me and perhaps for you too. Nothing wrong with your vocabulary that I've noticed.

    @Sunjumper
    Cheers for the feedback, I thought I'd already said thanks, but apparently I just thought about saying it and thought I had.
    I don't know what I'm going to do with Diggs and Hostettler, I'll think about later =)
    I can see the resemblance with Louis, now you mention it!
    Random bonus trivia for you - the original company name was created with 'life imprisonment' in mind. They started in prisoner management and grew from there.

    RE: your descriptions, I think it's as much your observation skills as anything else that makes them shine. The bit Techno quoted about the bar was a prime example - you notice things that are true, but not necessarily talked about.

    @Salaman
    Thanks to you too! Glad that cleared a few things up for you and yes, you presume correctly.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • sunjumper 6 Dec 2012 01:01:40 3,248 posts
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    This thread has gone rather quiet... where are you people?

    I probably won't get to update today. But I will be writing later. Which probably means that I will pass the 50k with five days overtime which all things considered is actually pretty OK. That would mean I'm writing 10k a week right now which is not too shabby.

    But before I write it is time for a midnight snack and some feedback.

    @Carbon_Altered

    Chapter 10
    Very good point about the role of the companions.

    If I had been in Chenís place people would have died.

    How did Delilah get rid of the gangsters?

    The conversation between Kel and Delilah is hilarious.

    You say that your descriptions arenít any good but as I keep on reading my internal picture of the space station become more and more clear. Iíd like to say vivid but it is really more of a derelict kept going by its minimal crew.
    Whatever you may think the atmosphere in this story is very good.

    UV sulphate???

    "On whether you take a bite of this cucumber for me, in the name of science"
    What a great last line. (I envy you for your elegant chapter exits)

    If Chen really is trying to blow up the factory that was prioritised over alien life I would totally help him. Really. VFM thatÖ


    Chapter 11
    Iím not sure that Kel is that dim. The plan of Chenís looks rather obvious to me.

    You know. I did not think anything Kel could ever say was going to change my mind.
    It did.


    Chapter 12
    Is this what I think it is?

    I like the short handled spade. :-)

    Like the tech bit. Plausible and clever. I know I am a bit late for the party but in general virtually all value for money calculations made in the present are incredibly heavy weighted towards the short term, with mid-term effects (a few years) coming a very distant second.
    This leads often to plans that have potentially great to catastrophic disadvantages in the long term that are invisible to the system. An AI programed accordingly would never see such things coming and when they did happen would have no capacity at all to understand why it happened. (Human intelligence has also difficulties with this when using flawed models) This is something that a clever human (e.g. the space pirates) can use to their great advantage.

    Not quite what I expected (I thought they might have broken into the ship containing our other protagonists to steal from them) but a very cool chapter.

    I wonder though how they are ever going to get out of there at 2.7g. I would have expected to reduce the acceleration of the ship at least for some time until they get out.

    Another very tiny nit-pick. From you description of spyders I assume that finding one is really bad news yet because they have just hacked the ship AI I am not quite sure if this is the case. You may add another line later on to make it clear whether they are in deep shit (as I expect) or if they have hit an unexpected jackpot in form of their very own tame spyder.

    Iíd love to go on reading but I have writing to do and it is getting worryingly late.
  • RobTheBuilder 6 Dec 2012 01:30:25 6,521 posts
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    @sunjumper Working on it, just gradually! Aiming for a chapter every couple of days! Added one a day or so ago :)
  • TechnoHippy 6 Dec 2012 10:31:20 14,716 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    This thread has gone rather quiet... where are you people?
    I'm here and up to date - I need new chapters to read :-)

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

  • MetalDog 6 Dec 2012 10:53:56 23,920 posts
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    @sunjumper
    I suspect everyone's suffering from a combination of tired and catching up on all the stuff they didn't do during NaNo. I know I could happily hibernate for a week.

    I started writing this at 09:40 grr work

    Spent last night kindling up a bunch of stuff. Read your update 5, the Critic on the way in. Will read Techno on the way home and once I run out of one or the other of you I'll swap you out with carbon altered then Blerk.

    Your update:
    'The colour out of space' made me laugh. A lot of people will miss the reference, but fuck them, keep that in =D

    The 'summoning circle of speakers' line really evocative.

    The Critic seems to have a very strong European accent going by his sentence structure and word choice - I read some of his lines, particularly the 'don't hate' speeches in a Norwegian accent =D Was this intentional?

    The fact that Turner hates Country, Rap, RnB and Hip Hop seems to clash with his love of music and the way he gives the music the Critic was listening to a chance. Those genres are huge and while I broadly don't much care for them myself, I can name several songs in all of them (bar RnB, so far) that I think are absolutely fantastic. I'm sure one day I'll hear an RnB song I like too - there's always gems, no matter the genre, I think. Even Modern Jazz occasionaly throws out something that doesn't make me want to push the makers off a cliff =D

    So for a major lover of music, like Turner, it seems strange that he would dismiss whole genres, rather than individual artists.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • sunjumper 6 Dec 2012 13:22:11 3,248 posts
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    TechnoHippy wrote:
    sunjumper wrote:
    This thread has gone rather quiet... where are you people?
    I'm here and up to date - I need new chapters to read :-)
    You read my last up-date?
    Also my questio was directed at practically everyone else because you are still the inhuman machine!

    @MetalDog

    The colour out of space refrence in there for the fans, all others will have to live with it.

    When writing the critic I wanted him to sound strange, although I guess Norwegian works. The guy is a bit to obsessed for his own good.
    The 'don't hate' speech by the way is hal stolen and repurposed speech Quentin Tarantino one gave to a film critic talking to him about movies. For Tarantino it was essential never to hate a moive. So I took that and reworked it for film.


    Turner's love for music is obviously not universal. He thinks he loves music but like many other people his love is coupled to a few conditions. Which is why The Critic starts ranting at him. Turner has still a way to go.
  • Blerk Moderator 6 Dec 2012 13:42:06 48,225 posts
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    I accidentally had a birthday which turned into a four day 'doing nothing' spree. I blame November.

    Really need to get back on the bike tonight before it all goes to pot! /o\
  • Carbon_Altered 6 Dec 2012 13:57:56 736 posts
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    @sunjumper - more excellent feedback, I like your point about them reducing the acceleration as 2.7g is a bit OTT you're right.

    Hopefully the spyder stuff will make more sense in the next chapter, but maybe I do need to explain it better there.
  • sunjumper 6 Dec 2012 13:58:36 3,248 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    I accidentally had a birthday which turned into a four day 'doing nothing' spree. I blame November.

    Really need to get back on the bike tonight before it all goes to pot! /o\
    You really need to put some of your work up on your blog so that we get to read it! (Not that I'm a greedy bastard, oh no...)

    Except of course you did update your blog and I did not notice. (Then I would be a greedy idiot...)
  • Blerk Moderator 6 Dec 2012 13:59:29 48,225 posts
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    I've got loads of stuff that's not up on the blog yet, I'll try to sort that out tonight too.
  • Salaman 6 Dec 2012 14:02:02 19,595 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    I've got loads of stuff that's not up on the blog yet, I'll try to sort that out tonight too.
    Yes please!
  • sunjumper 6 Dec 2012 14:05:47 3,248 posts
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    @Carbon_Altered
    The massive acceleration is fine as it gives them a bone crushing reason to act.
    What I thought they (the characters) should be doing, is using the interface they hacked in to reduce the acceleration of the freighter they are robbing.
    I think you could also use that to your advantage because that way you can bring them into a situation that is without hope, while the g-forces start to decrease slwoly again to more tolerable levels. Thus they may have a chance at escaping (even if they are to die you get to give them hope and thus more tension for the reader) while maintaining a high levelm of tension.

    You might want to have a look at how much g's fighter pilots can take. I think it is 10 before passing out (if they are small and girls they can withstand up to 12 g).
    You can use that as a starting point.
    So if these people are extremely fit, which they must be to climbe through holes at 2g, they should be able to crawl at 3g and manipulate stuff using their internal interfaces when they are pancaked to the floor at 4 g.
    I think there is a lot of potential to play around with.



    Blerk wrote:
    I've got loads of stuff that's not up on the blog yet, I'll try to sort that out tonight too.
    Dude! Why do you hide your precious words from us?

    Edited by sunjumper at 14:06:17 06-12-2012

    Edited by sunjumper at 14:07:26 06-12-2012
  • TechnoHippy 6 Dec 2012 14:22:11 14,716 posts
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    Salaman wrote:
    Blerk wrote:
    I've got loads of stuff that's not up on the blog yet, I'll try to sort that out tonight too.
    Yes please!
    Agreed.

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

  • Blerk Moderator 6 Dec 2012 14:23:39 48,225 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    Dude! Why do you hide your precious words from us?
    Pure, unadulterated lethargy. :D
  • Salaman 6 Dec 2012 14:38:13 19,595 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    sunjumper wrote:
    Dude! Why do you hide your precious words from us?
    Pure, unadulterated lethargy. :D
    Blerk the last 4 days:

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