Zounds, can it be? Are we at the end of Abandonment Party? Continue reading
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! Continue reading
Mean and Parlay are still battling inside the floating cage, with the portal between worlds raging above them. Mean uses her gravity power to tilt the cage upside-down, escaping from Parlay’s grasp. The cage corrects itself. Seeing that vein alone won’t be enough to stop Mean, Parlay takes out another plant from his collection: the dream lily.
This plant covers the floor and emits toxic gas; Mean is disoriented and takes several hits from Parlay and his vein that is now fashioned into a scythe.
Mean rotates the cage around twice more, battering Parlay and killing the lily. She uses the last of her energy to drag Parlay across the floor before she crashes into the wall, unable to stop her own momentum.
Parlay gets up and realizes that his tooth just fell out: he no longer has the power to release the Slate virus from its dormant state. He moves in to kill Mean. He hesitates when he sees that she only has one heart, unlike the four smaller ones that all Jesians have.
But there is no time to ponder this: Three strange men appear in the cage. They are from Parlay’s past life, and the cage transforms into an arena surrounded by spectators. All of them panic and are vaporized out of their clothes, including the three men that were taunting Parlay.
Mean looks up to see that the hall has been encircled by a chain-like wreath. It was all a vision. Hellzoo has returned. Continue reading
Three chapters remain, plus the epilogue. Let’s do this.
Tecker and Hatchel see the hall in the sky that Error made. They call for the lord ley express jet so they can fly up and close the portal between worlds.
Mean and Parlay battle inside the cage as it flies away from Hardpan and towards the hall. Parlay reveals an amulet that houses vein, a magic-nullifying organism. The gelatinous substance reacts to his command: forming pillars, crossbows, and sharp projectiles. Mean busts out a hidden talent of her own and flies around the cage to dodge Parlay’s attacks. If she can damage him enough, his static magic will fail; but she can’t let him directly touch her or she’ll be at his mercy.
The chapter ends with Mean ensnared in a vein web and Parlay’s hand around her throat.
Will this be enough to impress Kim? I think you already know the answer to that…. Continue reading
Another solid chapter critique by Kim. However, she was a bit upset with me over last week’s post. You see, she felt that I left out TOO many of her hilarious margin edits because I spent all that blog space talking about Piccolo.
So this week I’ll make more room for Kim’s hilarious gags! I’ll just toss out this ‘Justification of Frieza’ essay. It took me five minutes to write. -_-
Summary: Mean and Dark reach the top floor of the Dhaston building. Dring comes running down from the roof. He tells them that Parlay is sending the city of Hardpan crashing into Jesice. Mean calms him down and tells him to escape with Dark.
After Dark and Dring leave through a hex door, Mean finds Parlay on the roof. She confronts him inside a large cage, and the entire thing blasts off from the roof toward the hall above.
Parlay explains how he’s going to saturate Jesice with magical energy. Then he will release the Slate virus, which will be programmed to inflict a ‘static’ effect. He will create a world of people that never change, never get hurt, and never die. And Hardpan city will fall on them, so they KNOW they’re saved.
Mean is reminded of the story of how Pinada saved Overland from a comet. She realizes that Parlay is trying to re-create the same favorable circumstances that made Pinada a hero. Continue reading
The finale begins, and Kim is fired up to maximum snark-ness! She was so snarky in fact, that I couldn’t squeeze in all her hilarious edits. I apologize. :'(
Dring meets Parlay on the roof of the Dhaston building. Tyle is critically injured. The model, Error, has been destroyed. But Parlay’s master plan is still in motion. He is going to connect the two planets with a permanent hex door: the hall! A massive hex door opens above Hardpan City!
Darrow and Vornis are outside the city of Hardpan now, and they witness the next phase of Parlay’s plan: the entire city, foundation and all, blasts out of the ground and starts to float toward the hall in the sky! Holy crap!
The lords ley on Jesice are worried as they see the city fly through the hall at them. Everyone else that lives on the cliff-side city is also upset and screaming from the rooftops.
Dring doesn’t know why any of this is happening either. It looks like Parlay is going to kill thousands of people for no reason. However, Parlay is ready to fulfill his promise to heal Dring’s throat damage. Once healed he can finally have the confidence to speak to Mean in person, and he can forget about Parlay and Jesice. Dring refuses and runs away, crying.
Kim’s big problem: Now before I start with the edits I must address a most pressing concern. Kim sent me an email. She told me that ‘hall’ is a dumb name. “Please rename it to something cooler” she said. “It just sounds so small and generic.”
Kim probably doesn’t know this, but I made a post on the hall’s name before. I talked about all the names people have used for spacial gateways in fiction. Portal. Wormhole. Or for you Witcher fans, “Conjunction of the Spheres.” I just wanted to build on the ‘hex door’ theme. A door opens and closes. A hall is always open.
But I don’t think something is cool just because you give it a cool name; I think something is cool because you MAKE it cool.
I’ll use a Dragon Ball example, since Kim has watched that. The character Piccolo. Without knowing anything about him, you might scoff. “What a wimpy name! That’s a kind of flute, isn’t it?” But he starts out as one of the strongest villains. A demon king, even! The hero Goku fights Piccolo and beats him at great risk to himself, but he allows Piccolo to live. Then Piccolo is forced to team up with Goku years later when a greater evil arrives. Piccolo even trains Goku’s son and teaches him how to fight after Goku dies. He learns to care about the boy, and realizes that humans aren’t so bad.
So when Vegeta and Nappa show up and murder all the other characters, and Goku’s son is about to be blasted into pieces, what are you thinking when Piccolo jumps in front of the oncoming beam to save his sworn enemy’s child?
You’re thinking “Piccolo is the coolest name in the universe.”
So I’m not changing the name. 😛 Continue reading
It’s that time of the year again! Christmas! Time for me to go to Kansas to visit my extended family.
Like always, I took my laptop and INTENDED to work on my book and blog, but something distracted me again. Is it because I have so much fun visiting my relatives and playing games? Or is it because they stick me in an unfinished basement to sleep in, right next to a furnace that rumbles like a freight train? And then an actual freight train blasts its whistle outside, carrying over the plains of Kansas and right through grandma’s windows?
Yeah, it’s because I spend too much time playing video games, ha,ha.
Trisk has destroyed Tyle’s artificial arm and leg, but the art swap has left her unconscious. Tyle crawls over to the hex door and warps in some new limbs. As Darrow stands in one place, Vornis arrives. Tyle warps in a Staccato rifle and blasts him through a wall.
Under Hardpan, Mean and Dark are still in Dring’s tunnel trap. Dark’s momentum alone isn’t enough to wear down the hex doors, so Mean flies alongside him. They drain the door’s power, escape, and head up to Hardpan’s ground level.
On Jesice, Tecker and Hatchel requisition a fruit harvester so that they can approach Error unmolested. Hatchel jumps onto Error and destroys its A.I. Dring activates the remote override and counterattacks. Hatchel is wounded, but Tecker is able to smash Error against a tree. Despite their efforts, ‘Program Zero’ is launched toward St. Tra City.
Tyle sees all this happen from the monitors in Hardpan. He goes to collect Vornis’ corpse to help convince the Jesians that magic is evil. But Vornis is still alive, and he fights back. The two are both taken over by instinctual programming, and Tyle’s own automatic reflexes end up dooming him.
Whew! That’s quite a long chapter. Let’s get started; Kim has been bugging me to finish this. I mean, holding me accountable. 😉 Continue reading
It’s party time! Kim has completed her critique of the entire book! She started out slow, but I just knew the pure wonder and fast-paced plotting of Abandonment Party would spur her onward to the end!
As she read through the finale, I could feel her excitement coming through her late night Facebook messages:
Two A.M.? She miiiiight have been a bit delirious from reading at such an hour. I’m sure those chapters are fine, heh heh. But we’ll talk about those parts later. It is now time for chapter 19: Disillusion!
Summary: A flashback reveals that Tyle gave up his crippled limbs willingly for the good of the company.
In the present, Trisk and Tyle fight. Tyle grabs Trisk and holds her against a support pillar.
Mean and Dark are still trapped inside the tunnel, with a hex door at each end that sends them back into the middle of the tunnel. Mean comes up with a cunning plan to overload the battery by tossing Dark into the hex door repeatedly.
On Jesice, Tecker meets up with Hatchel and learns his secret: ALIENS! Tecker’s an alien. But he knows magic, and he has enough power to stop Error. (The bronze machine.)
Trisk is still being held in place on that pillar. She switches out of her static art to her ‘tearing’ art. She rips apart Tyle’s mechanical limbs, but switching arts drains her magic and causes her to faint.
Kim is still a couple of chapters ahead of me with her edits. She seemed to think she was starting to get ‘too snarky’ with her latest edits, so I’d better hurry up so I can see how much she’s learned from me, the master of snarks.
Summary: In this chapter Mean, Vornis, Trisk, Darrow, and Tome drive to Hardpan City to find out what Parlay is up to.
After reaching Hardpan, Mean and Dark split off from the group to explore a strange pit dug up on the side of the city. It leads to a tunnel, where the two become trapped. Dring has rigged hex doors at the each end of the passage, that, when triggered, puts the victim into the middle of the tunnel again.
Trisk goes to the Dhaston building, where Vornis sensed Parlay and Tyle. Tyle meets Trisk at the ground floor. He’s guarding the hex door that leads to Jesice. It’s time to finish this! Continue reading
In this chapter, titled Error, Parlay sends a magical robot through the hex door to Jesice. This nameless machine moves toward the cliff-side city on a secret mission. The police and military attempt to stop it, yet they are powerless against the bizarre technology it commands. Guns can’t stop it. Rocket launchers only make it angrier. And fighter jets have their energy cannons’ blasts redirected at their allies.
Now, this is the kind of stuff I love. Wanton destruction! Chaos from an attacking alien force!
However, Kim has sensed a problem with my explosion-fest:
Either add some kind of stakes so we care about the officers winning against the machine (but it you want to keep the machine’s purpose a surprise, might not work), or add more character to the scene so the reader cares about the characters involved. Doesn’t have to be a lot, just little bits of development to get the reader attached to them. Otherwise, there’s a lot of shooting and explosions, but it doesn’t feel like anything really happened. Or maybe just condense the whole scene to a few pages.
Now, she has a point. None of these cops have a large role in the story beyond this chapter. But I don’t want to shorten the scenes that much, since I DO think it’s important to show how the Jesian forces fail against Parlay’s robot. Because when Hatchel and Tecker come to the rescue later, I need the reader to believe that those two rapscallions are the only hope of stopping it.
Maybe I’ll come up with something as I go through Kim’s margin notes. Continue reading