In this chapter the point of view changes. Everything before this has been set on the planet “Overland” with Mean and her friends. Now the setting switches to Lord Ley Tecker’s perspective on the planet “The Eye.” The narrative follows him from his home underground all the way to his place of work on the top of a cliff citadel.
Tecker is going to vote, much like a senator does, on a bill. It will re-establish communications between the two planets.
This is also the first chapter where Kim’s email complains about the story itself. She tells me ‘nothing happens until the end.’ Kim says there are no stakes and Tecker’s goal to ‘go vote’ is super lame.
I thought she was wrong at first. I argued that if the vote passes, then Mean would know for sure that Dark is NOT Tecker and from there the stakes are set.
But then I realized something. I used to complain about this situation ALL the time on the ‘Mark Reads’ blog. On his site, when we were reading the Harry Potter books, there was a chapter called The Ministry of Magic. In it, Harry picks up a letter from the title location. That’s it. I remember typing a comment that the entire chapter was just people walking through a massive office building for pages and pages. “Ooh! Look at the magic airplanes deliver messages to cubicle workers!” Boring.
Well guys I have great news: The cover for Abandonment Party is complete! Now all I have to do is wait ten more years for Kim to finish critiquing my chapters! Zounds! I’d better get the blog entry started!
First off, I have to admit something to Kim: You told me that using ‘less -ing words’ would help my writing and it did. So instead of “She entered the room, kicking the dog aside,” I’ve been putting “She entered the room and kicked the dog aside.”
Zounds! No more mixing tenses! I’ve SEEN the LIGHT!
In this chapter Tome reveals the horrible truth about Droldragia and the wicked monster that was sealed within. Only one man can venture back into the zone to face the beast! That’s right! It’s Darklord! And just to make sure I know it, Kim has written his name in the margin of her critique countless times!
Yes, every time I call him “Dark” in the narration Kim reprimands me with a note that reads “Darklord.” I still don’t see a problem with calling characters by their nicknames but Kim got this idea somewhere and she is NOT letting me forget it.
But let me get to the critique highlights. Kim hasn’t sent me a new chapter in a while and I don’t want her to get scared off by my endless whining. Continue reading →
As we reach chapter three I see that Kim seems to have little problem with Tome and his long monologues of exposition. He explains everything about how magic works and Kim doesn’t get furious with me at all! Of course I’d like to attribute it to the fact that I saved the information until after the reader was hungry enough to digest it.
But we aren’t here to discuss what I did right now are we? Let the literary spankings begin! Continue reading →
In this chapter Mean and Dark meet Mackaba. He’s an enraged police officer that has something in common with my friend Kim: They both start off calm, but if something sets them off–watch out!
Ha,ha, I may joke around about Kim’s harshness, but let it be known that I’m the one that invited it upon myself. It’s just like those anime shows where the friendly rivals duel. They’re always saying “I won’t accept anything less than your best!” And I know that in order for my writing to improve it must be forged in the flame of a thousand blazing Ka-me-ha-me-has!
As Kim continues to critique my book, you may be wondering: Why would Brad ask for her help? Does she even know how to write?
The answer is yes! Kim wrote a book and I’ve read it. And she’s working on, like, twenty others. But as I read her novel Caged I noticed that her style differs from mine. Her main character’s thoughts are often expressed in italics every once in while. This helps clue the reader in on the protagonist’s thought processes and motivations.
And while it fits my friend Kim, I do not like to do this. I want the reader to wonder about characters’ motivations and come to their own conclusions. I also want to try to create a moment of Fridge Brilliance. That is, something that appears as a mistake at first. But, upon further reading or during a ponderous trip to the can, turns out to be justified after all.
So let’s find out: will Kim be fooled by my tricks? Or will the mistakes be legitimate? (I’ll probably have examples of both.) Continue reading →
As you can no doubt tell from the graphic, my friend Kim took me up on my offer to critique my books. And she’s pulling no punches. Her daughter drew this picture to embody the furious judgment her mother is administering to my unworthy tomes.
I wish you could see it. There are words stricken through, punctuation highlighted with fierce disapproval, and comments in the margin as far as the eye can see. These comments shed some light into her critiques, so I’ll put the best ones below along with my responses. Will Kim’s critiques be acknowledged? Or will they fall on deaf ears? The roasting begins! Continue reading →