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.
But Egads! Have I done the same thing!? Am I a giant hypocrite!?
Tecker starts his journey underground.
- Lord Ley Tecker, dressed in his grey suit jacket, marched along with the crowd in the depths of conglomerate factory NeatTea/Bar7.
- Kim – What does a conglomerate factory make? Everything?
Wow! See, Kim, your imagination is aroused already! But if you must know it’s two separate businesses that rent out the same factory space. I want the impression of Jesice to be crowded and confusing. So it actually HELPS to have no explanation in-book! Right? Right?
- “Lord Ley Lickwolf,” Tecker said. He put his back to one of the three windows.
- Kim – There’s only three windows in the lift? Not quite picturing that. Are there only three sides? Or are all the windows on just one side?
Kim is left wondering where these windows are for the ENTIRE elevator ride. Where could they be!? The ceiling? Are they all on the floor? Are they compartmentalizing the inner area of the car!?
And all I need to do is write something like: “The car had four sides. One with the door and the other three sported one large window each.” Sheesh.
- “I think he’s right,” a man with an arrow-themed T-shirt said.
- Kim – Like DC Arrow or bow and arrow? Or is the arrow some kind of symbol for something?
Ha. I can see why you’d be confused since I speak of nothing but Green Arrow fanfiction where he sweeps in on a zip line and chastises Lord Ley Tecker that he has FAILED THIS CITY.
I’ll make it clear that it’s an arrow from a bow.
- A girl with ‘IMPORT’ written across her cap shouted “No way!”
- Kim – No idea what this means. Is it a company? Brand? Band? Show? Political statement?
Kim, we both read manga, where characters have all sorts of nonsensical things written on their clothing. Do you seriously stop to question each one?
Sigh. You probably do. I’ll bet they have 500-post threads on reddit every week just for One Piece. -_-
- Tecker nodded at her, meandering out with the crowd as they pushed into the walkway beyond.
- Kim – Still not sure who these people are or where they’re going. Random citizens? His Lord Ley coworkers?
Now you see why every other chapter has no crowds of people. I’ll just say they’re ‘random citizens.’ I think the IMPORT gal is an illegal alien though. 😉
- An arched, glass ceiling displayed the sky and more buildings: tall, vertical structures running parallel to the cliff. These buildings’ sides were sleek; they did not touch the cliff face: instead joined to the rock by thick girders, cable, and networks of bridges.
- Kim – So they went through a shaft but now can see buildings above them? Did the shaft go through a building or through the cliff? And are they on the top of the cliff now? Or do the buildings hang off the side of the cliff? If so, why are they so high up? Why the space between the city below and the cliff city? And then what’s at the top of the cliff?
You know what? Maybe I DON’T need this chapter after all! Let’s swap POV back to the other planet where hex doors just instantaneously warp everyone around and there are no cliffs, elevators, windows, shirts, or crowds.
Ha,ha, no, I’ll describe it all! ALL OF IT, YOU’LL SEE!
Tecker finally arrives at Ley Ledge, the seat of Jesian government. I neglected to describe what this building looks like from below, so at Kim’s request I’ll get right on it!
(I also confused her when Tecker bought a can of his favorite soda, ‘Metabolic Shotgun.’ Kim thought he was taking a quick stop at the mall’s arms dealer.)
So, after the Lords Ley vote to open communications with Overland again, they contact a spy and watch footage of Parlay, Mean, and Dark. Kim once again displays her feminine skills by telling me that she has a problem with Parlay’s shirt:
- He was wearing a tight vest over a long-sleeved loose shirt.
- Kim – A tight vest over a loose shirt? Usually the under layer is more form-fitting than the top layer to prevent fabric bunching up.
Curses! I knew I should have tried on actual vests and shirts! But Dillards was getting suspicious when I wouldn’t buy anything. Okay, how about I just make the sleeves loose? I’ll just… go back and alter every single description in the book. -_-
- “Hee-hee!” Vail laughed. He folded his hands on his desk.
- Kim – Omit. Don’t need to spell out his laughter.
Okay, Kim, I’m not joking this time. The character Vail is a loving tribute to Mr. Lail, my old science teacher at Lutheran High. He was the only one that made any sort of connection with me. We would discuss what happened on Star Trek Voyager. We’d even exchange VHS tapes of the episodes if one of us missed a week.
And Lail had a laugh with two distinct syllables: hee-hee. Some kids mocked him for that but I will not. I will honor his kindness and friendship forever by typing out ‘hee-hee’ in my book. Even if it makes no sense for the character to laugh. Rest in peace, dear Mr. Lail!
I also need the laugh so that you can recognize who he is later when a certain character tells a story.
Let’s end the margin critiques there and get back to Kim’s main problem: Does the chapter need more stakes? How can I add some? I’ve thought of a few solutions:
- When Tecker meets his fellow Lord Ley, Lickwolf, in the elevator, Lickwolf threatens to propose a bill that would bomb the other planet. To wipe out the viral infection. But ONLY if the vote to open communications doesn’t pass. This would be a bluff, since Lickwolf DOES want the communications vote to pass.
- Tecker’s soda, metabolic shotgun, is poisoned! He must follow a series of clues up to Ley Ledge for the antidote.
- Tecker’s unwanted ex, Shauntae, is looking to hook up with him again! Uh oh! Quick, hide among all the plastic tubes, elevator shafts, and parts of the city that Brad forgot to describe!
- Tecker and Mean’s Dad, Hatchel, are jogging for charity. Join us and the cast of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy as we help spread awareness for how authors should describe shirts and vests.
Okay, so the first one is the only serious option. But if you’ve got something better the comment section is RIGHT THERE. Use it or nothing can change!
So long! 😉