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!
- The high walls of the courtyard cast a shadow over a large, angular object at the bottom level.
- Kim – More specific? This is really hard to picture.
This is where my refusal to call engines ‘dodecahedrons’ is starting to catch up to me. I didn’t call it an engine, either. It may be a huge word but it’s better than saying something vague every time. Kim, you’re doing well so far!
- “Finally,” Trisk groaned, getting up as the flower-shirted guy barreled over.
- Kim – Groaned doesn’t feel like the right word here. Is she not happy to see Mean?
And here’s the ‘said-loving Kim’ we’ve come to adore!
This is the scene where Trisk is being annoyed to death by Darrow while waiting for Mean to arrive. She is a bit miffed that Mean took so long to relieve her and that’s why she groans. I can understand why my dear friend Kimberly would misunderstand because she has never been annoyed by me at all.
- Mean’s sandals scraped over rough tiles as she found a small bench to settle on.
- Kim – Does she drag her feet when she walks? She did this at the square too, but I thought it was because she didn’t want to go into the police station.
Wait, do sandals not scrape when you walk? I don’t wear them so I was just guessing.
But don’t worry! I just watched some videos on YouTube and it turns out I was thinking of flip flops. It’s a good thing there are plenty of close-up videos of women just walking around in sandals on the internet. Other writers must have this problem, I guess!
- “This better not be another one of your tricks, Darklord,” Darrow warned, as the voice continued to call.
Trisk sighed, “Darrow, how and why would he be doing that?”
Darklord chuckled. “Let’s just go check it out,” he said, leading the way down.
- Kim – Chuckling seems odd. A voice crying for help is funny?
Before this exchange you can hear Tome, the disembodied spirit, crying out for help. The joke here is that Darrow has known Darklord for five minutes and yet somehow thinks that he is ‘at it again.’ I suppose Trisk’s reaction is enough, though. Good job, Kim.
“Hey! Tome! Do you know what happened to everyone here? What wiped everything out?”
There was a pause and she added: “My name is Mean, by the way.”
- Kim – Is (sic) he’s been spying on them and knows Darrow’s name, can we just run with the idea Tome already knows their names?
Mean is just being polite, Kim! Yes, Tome can see their mind patterns and has been listening to their names. But this is also subtle foreshadowing that Mean is from this planet and is showing some additional respect to a fellow native. She might even hope that Tome recognizes her name.
- I was here, watching the patterns in the yard. The rories, the people: their minds were all calm––then a portion of them just vanished.
- Kim – No idea what this word is. Typo?
Rories are magical flying snails. You don’t know what they are and neither does Darrow or the rest of the group. Tome is just assuming it’s a word known to everyone. But since you’re so curious I’ll try to fit it in somewhere. I could even have Trisk ask since you inspired that character. 😉
- Trisk frowned. “That was you––“
- Kim – This dash is okay!
Putting this in here to prove that Kim is NOT always ragging on me. Positive reinforcement, ho!
- Say––do you have any magic on your world? Is it the Eye? That planet that shines in the sky at night?”
- Kim – So there’s only two planets in this system?
I talked to Kim about this earlier. The two planets in this story are actually binary: they orbit each other as they revolve around their sun. This particular fact would be common knowledge to everyone on both worlds so I’m not sure how to include it.
I guess I could have some joke where they argue about which planet orbits which?
- “Oh wow!” Mean cried, looking from one thing to another. The objects she looked at appeared blurred now, while stark, elaborate designs snapped into focus over the blurs.
- Kim – Maybe condense: looking around as stark, elaborate designs snapped into focus over every object in the room.
Here Mean is looking at normally invisible patterns through a special visor. Kim’s ideas about how to improve the descriptions of magical data are pretty good!
When I was reading Kim’s story Caged I noticed that she is very good at describing inanimate things and settings. This is one of my weaknesses. Or rather, something I don’t really look forward to doing. I prefer writing about action, personally, so I appreciate the help.
- “I’m looking, I’m looking!” Darrow wondered, leaning in closer with the visor and examining Trisk’s sweater.
- Kim – Gross.
This is something I’ve seen a real-life guy do when something was spilled on a girl’s shirt. She was like “look what you did!” and then he replied the way Darrow does. The girl laughed at the time, but that was back when I was a kid. Should I remove this? Would it offend women everywhere? And if it offended Kim that much then why did she bother to alter the line so that it would read better?
- “Well, should we get going?” Dark asked.
- Kim – Darklord. Nicknames should only be in dialogue.
I don’t know where Kim got this idea and I can’t find any rules about it anywhere. I thought it was fine to use characters’ nicknames in narration. I mean, it’s not like I’m writing a formal essay on interplanetary bodies here. Sheesh.
- “Alright,” the voice began,
- Kim – All right. Trust me, it’s a thing.
The usage of ‘alright’ can be traced back to Mark Twain. And if his episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation taught me anything it’s that the future is an adventure full of ‘alrights.’
“All right” would probably fit better in this case, though.
- “Didn’t you think there was a reason we didn’t build there!?” Tome shouted. Mean began to ask something, but stalled. She turned to Dark, who looked back with a nod.
- Kim – This is an odd reaction. He doesn’t mention Hellzoo yet, but Mean and Darklord act like the vague curse Tome talks about has anything to do with Kates. I would assume it had something to do with the Whiskers instead.
You’re right about this, Kim. Here Tome has only made mysterious remarks about the area where Hardpan City was built. This is probably an artifact from a previous draft where Hellzoo was mentioned. I’ll have to add something specific or just omit the lines. Good catch!
“Why don’t you just tell us what it is,” Trisk asked as Darrow stood frozen, clutching his shirt.
“Yes, I’m sorry,” Tome said. “I’ll tell you what I know.”
- Kim – Would actually omit these lines and just end on a cliffhanger of him saying never go back.
Whoa let’s not go wild omitting things! My way ends with the promise of an amazing tale in the next chapter.
“I’ll tell you what I know.” See? Riveting. If I end with the previous line of “you must never go back to that place!” then the reader might think that they really don’t go back.
Tell you what. If you can think of an even better line to end on I’ll consider it. Until next time!
After reading through the entire chapter again I decided to end on Kim’s line. It really DOES seem to be better for pacing. 😛