Only a couple chapters left! I tell ya, Kim’s no-holds-barred critiques are taking my writing to a whole new level!
But before we move on I’d like to revisit my little discussion about plans from the previous post. Specifically, how much fun it is to have the hero with no plan defeat the villain who has an elaborate one. In fact, I found a discussion on reddit the other day where people were celebrating this very thing:
It was in the One Piece forum, where people were discussing chapter 974. Yes, there are that many chapters. And in this chapter the protagonist, Luffy, shows up to ruin the villains’ plan. But Luffy never has a plan. He just runs ahead and starts wrecking things. And I love it. It happened like this in Dragon Ball, too. That’s probably why I don’t give my protagonists plans; I think it’s hilarious when the meticulous villain is dumbfounded by some schmuck that shows up with a bunch of improvised nonsense.
And I’m glad that other people love that way of storytelling, too. Why, just look at these wise quotes from the thread:
- “Everyone has a plan until Luffy punches them in the face.”
- “Ki-woo, you know what kind of plan never fails? No plan at all. No plan. You know why? If you make a plan, life never works out that way.”
This right here is how I live my life.
- “The enemy can’t know what I am doing if I don’t know what I’m doing.”
- “He didn’t follow Snart’s 4 rules of making a plan: Make the plan; execute the plan; expect the plan to go of the rails; throw away the plan.”
This line is spoken by Captain Cold from The Flash, and I love quoting it. I usually get the last line wrong, though.
- “Do you think Cairbou has the rest of the prisoners hiding in his body?”
Uh, whoops, not sure what that one means. But enough fooling around! On to Kim’s edits!
Tecker and Hatchel fly toward the hall in the Lord Ley express plane. On the way, Hatchel tells the story of how he encountered Hellzoo twenty years ago.
Hellzoo, with the hall as its new avatar, attacks Jesice and the cliff-side city with thousands of chain-like tentacles. They pull on the buildings in an attempt to draw them into the hall along with the occupants. Before any structures can break loose from the cliff, Hatchel and Tecker sever the gateway between worlds by flying through the hall and into Overland.
They see Parlay’s cage, and Tecker lands the plane on top of it. He and Hatchel crawl inside to meet up with Mean. Hellzoo’s avatar is weakened, but it is able to form new chains around the diminished ring body. It knocks the plane off the cage and attacks.
Hellzoo begins to open the hall’s portal again, but this time the destination is being re-programmed to a place called Arsiling. This is where Hellzoo’s real body is, and it wants to trap Mean and the others with it.
Hatchel runs toward one of the chain tentacles with the intention of destroying the hall and finishing Hellzoo off for good. Mean and Parlay intervene, teaming up to send the cage into a spin and holding Hellzoo to the cage with vein.
Parlay uses the last of his power to keep Mean, Tecker, and Hatchel safe as the cage crashes into Hardpan, which is now falling. Hellzoo’s avatar is destroyed, but the cage slides off the edge of the city and plummets to the ground.
Hatchel tells Tecker the story of his past meeting with Hellzoo.
- “But I was there the last time it appeared, and I was there as it killed the squad sent to stop it––my squad.”
- Kim – How does he know it hasn’t appeared since then? Didn’t it appear to Mean and Trisk? Or does he mean the last time he saw it, the being killed his squad?
Yep, this needs clearing up. ‘Last time it appeared’ could be interpreted by the reader as the ‘final time’ or ‘previous time’ that Hellzoo appeared. I’ll just have Hatchel tell Tecker the exact time Hellzoo killed the squad, which was twenty years ago.
On Mean’s side of the hall, Hellzoo’s body has manifested. ‘Many chain arms’ hang from it.
- The many chain arms that hung from the ring were drawing inward, sweeping over the expanse of sky toward the cage.
- Kim – Re-word? Like the (number? Dozens? Hundreds?) of chains hanging from the ring drew inward?
You know, Kim has really taught me that there is a time and place to be vague. I love letting the reader use their imagination, but sometimes they do want to know things! Exact things. So there are four thousand, two hundred, and sixty-seven chain tentacles.
(I do say ‘thousands’ in the narrative later. I just need to move it a few paragraphs up.)
Mean is quite concerned that many thousands of chain tentacles are this close to her.
- “Parlay, we can’t stay here;” Mean pleaded, “you need to make this thing move. Are you listening? Parlay?”
- Kim – Wait, isn’t that the one thing she knows how to do? Make things fly? Why can’t she do it? Isn’t Parlay out of magic?
Mean and Parlay are both unable to use magic right now. However, I’ll need to make it clear to the reader that they both recover enough magic power so that they can use the combo spell that finishes the chapter. There’s still a lot of energy flowing through the hall, so that’s what helps push them back into the fight. I just need to mention it! ::thumbs up::
Hellzoo’s chain tentacles reach through the hall and explode out into the city on the other side.
- “What are you doing––waiting to die!?” Hellzoo shrieked at the people on the buildings below.
- Kim – On the buildings or in the buildings? Or on the rooftops? Are there still people on rooftops? Why hasn’t anyone tried to run away yet? Kind of agree with Hellzoo here.
Ha,ha. Again, Kim agrees with the bad guy. I still like to stick to the theory that people in groups react to danger like this. I mean, I’ve seen stuff like 9/11 live on TV when it happened. And whenever a disaster like that strikes in the real world, so many people just standing in streets and on rooftops watching. And those people don’t move unless they believe their lives are in immediate danger.
To contrast this behavior, there is another disaster going on in the world as I write this. There is a pandemic that has people locked away in their homes. They are in a panic. Stores are running out of toilet paper and other goods. And yet these people can not see the virus. Most of them don’t even know anyone that HAS the virus. But I believe it is the unknown factors of the situation that frightens these people.
Several characters in Abandonment Party 2 actually touch on this. If a danger is visible and known, it isn’t quite so scary.
But does this apply if that danger is a portal in the sky with a city falling through it? Hm. Maybe I’ll add some evacuation helicopters.
Tecker and Hatchel rush up to the hall on the express plane.
- As a mother and child were brought to their knees by a large window, they saw a singular craft zoom up at a near-vertical climb.
- Kim – Random people? Maybe one of the known characters could be here?
Who, Kim? The only other named characters in Jesice are adults. In the Error chapters you told me to use the ‘fallen child’s toy’ story device. I’m using it here, but I just wanted to use a real child. Be glad she’s not actually falling off a building or something.
- Kim – Re-word? Sounds like the large window knocked them to their knees.
Hatchel and Tecker destroy the hall and arrive at Parlay’s cage.
- “Mean!” Hatchel called, tearing across the leafy floor. The girl jerked back as he stumbled over to her, and only when he fell and embraced her did her wary face come alive.
- Kim – Noticing a lot of “jerked.” There’s 7 in this chapter. And not sure why she would recoil at the sight of her father?
Announcer: Seven Jerked Combo! Brad’s on a verbing streak! SOMEONE STOP HIM!
::Kim snipes Brad with her nailgun::
Okay, I get it, I’ll take some jerks out. And Mean thought her father was another Hellzoo illusion, since she wasn’t expecting him to show up in the cage. I’m sure you figured that out after reading the following dialog.
Hellzoo re-forms and attacks.
- The other arms descended tips-first and clamped at the cage’s four sides.
- Kim – Four? Not six including the top and bottom?
Okay, you’re right: a side is one of the surfaces forming the outside of a geometric shape. I wouldn’t want the math geeks to SLAM the book shut in disgust.
Hellzoo taunts Parlay about how he could have stopped the genocide of his people.
- “He killed them while you played your game. The one you trusted. Your enemies are the ones that are closest––I don’t need my magic to tell me that.“
- Kim – No idea what he’s talking about here. Rather vague.
I’ll try to clean this up. But Hellzoo is talking about past events that involve characters you haven’t heard of yet. So even if I wasn’t vague, you’d still be confused. Don’t worry, though; I’ll think of a way!
Hellzoo begins to reinstate the hall’s pattern.
- “It fixing the hall’s pattern I broke,” Hatchel answered, putting his hands on Mean’s shoulders.
- Kim – Re-name?
Four chapters later, Kim is STILL telling me to re-name the hall. Yes, EVERY time the ‘hall’ is mentioned in the story.
Wait. Kim missed an error at the start of that sentence. “It fixing” isn’t right.
Kim! Your obsession with halls is affecting your work! Give it a rest! It’s taking a toll on your perception!
Hellzoo opens a portal to Arsiling.
- The light shone down on the roof of the cage, and the woman’s voice chuckled as one of the arms snaked down to the hole that Hatchel had made.
- Kim – Could omit. Doesn’t really have a roof, just a top.
Are we going to keep arguing semantics with the cage’s sides. -_-
And I’m a bit surprised that Kim isn’t telling me to name the woman whose voice is coming out of the hall. It is Hellzoo, but it’s her real self talking through the hall.
Hellzoo reaches into the cage with her tentacles to take everyone to Arsiling.
- “No one will ever find you in Arsaling,” she said. “No one that you want to find you, anyway.“
- Kim – Re-word? Bit awkward.
How about “No one that you’d want to be found by, anyway.”
And it’s supposed to be spelled “Arsiling.” Why did I spell it wrong here? Did I think it looked better? Hm, What do you think? Which way looks better, hm?
Hatchel purposely gets caught by the tentacle so he can close the hall after he’s pulled through. Mean objects.
- “Goodbye!?” she called out, seeing the arm whip toward him and curl around his waist. He did not fight back as it hoisted him up.
- Kim – Seems like she needs an action here, like she tries to follow him, but falls down or something.
Ha,ha, you want Mean to trip on some of those squeaky leaves? Maybe Parlay holds her back? “Don’t look away! Honor his bravery!”
Hellzoo rocks the cage backwards two paragraphs later and causes Mean to fall anyway; I guess Mean can try to chase Hatchel until the cage tilts her back.
Mean and Parlay pull off a thrilling combo move that ties Hellzoo to the cage and slams it against Hardpan city’s streets. The city begins to tilt and fall. The cage starts to slide toward the edge.
- “We’re sliding––we’re not stopping,” Mean gasped, flipping hair from her eyes.
- Kim – Not sure this is the best action for her in this situation.
Mean needs to watch where they’re going! This is dangerous!
By the way, where should I put in the scene where Dark and Dring cause the city to fall? Somewhere in this chapter? Ooh! I can make it a flashback in the NEXT chapter! Yeah!
I’ll see you next time!