sf04 comes in from the rain

24 10 2011

Two updates in less than a week’s time. If I can keep this up, I might actually be done by New Year’s.

Not that this is a promise to be done by New Years. Or that I’ll have another in less than a week. Just, y’know, w00t and all.

As of late, this story’s been bottling and boiling away inside me, wanting to get out. It takes a lot of hours just letting the plot issues detangle themselves in the back of my mind, letting the nuts and bolts figure out which goes where… and in the end, the story happens. It is a mystery. Ancient Chinese secret, huh. Etc.

Carrie Lane stories come pretty easily, I find, aside from basic mechanics of “Well, so why doesn’t this happen?” or “Why can’t that be solved that way?” But those are comic book plottery problems. Those can be dealt with.

So, here’s more scenes, and in an extremely tiny manner. Feedback welcome. Holla if you’re out there, folks. Kinda hoping I’m not throwing pages in the wind.

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8 responses

24 10 2011
Jen Gagne, Psycho Happy artist

— “weed guy” — Ohhhh VAN and his usual choice in friends!
— “the length of the English Channel.” — I like that, much longer than the mere WIDTH thereof. ;)
— Interesting summary of the increasing awkwardness of their relationship. Glad to hear Van… er, Ivan… started making something of himself, too.
— “kid cousin” — ooch. Cue air-sucking-through-teeth awkwaaaard. I guess she really does look entirely 15 eh, no chance to pass for older.
— SINGH’S THERMONUCLEAR CURRY INFERNO — oh I wish a place with this name existed already…
— “Kahn Singh” — nice homage. But presumably his name is “Khan”? Or KHAAAAAAN
— “get ‘er done!” — *cringe*
— Hmmm, “inside line”? What ARE you up to Ivan?
— Ivan’s in an understandably tight spot here. He wants to encourage her to step outside her centuries-old box here, but still seems uncertain about actually, yanno, having her around.
— The farm! Nuuuuuuuuuu~!

Typos: openered, door answering (hyphen, I think?), a O’Dare (an), college age (hyphen?), casette (throughout)

24 10 2011
Lirazel

Hey stoopid! Press the button on Teddy Ruxpin, already, wouldja?

But I do like this. The idea that something in the teen brain prevents being an adult is… questionable, at best. Carrie’s nervous system may always be in a teen state of flux, but there are hordes (well, hordlettes) of kids taking college classes full and part time around these parts who do quite well.

If they have stability at home. If Van can do that for her, then bully for him.

I do have a question, though, on a previous bit. Was it etiquette that allowed Carrie to hear the heartbeats of the people in the basement at the farm but not what they were saying? If so, you might want to point that out.

24 10 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

It’s hard to describe a Teddy Ruxpin without trademark infringement, but hey! Glad I managed it.

The “clearly she can’t mature, her brain is toothpaste” explanation is PROBABLY bunk. Hormonal levels are one thing but in a way… her mother was keeping her in check. Perhaps not as brutally as her father wanted her in check, but certainly not letting her spread her wings. Now it’s time to see how far she can go.

As for listening… essentially, yeah. She COULD have listened in, but declined to let Barbara keep her privacy (as she said). Carrie doesn’t constantly tune in to every conversation around her, she focuses (or accidentally hears) which is why in her SA chapter, Nel warns her to stop listening in and she’s able to knock it off. Still, I’ll make it more obvious in revisions.

25 10 2011
Jen Gagne, Psycho Happy artist

Well, as Lira said, she’d need stability at home.

She most certainly didn’t have that before, not while she was busy fighting her own father alongside her mother back on her home Earth. Plus she may have had some continual residual effects from her Dad’s “you’re MY little girl” mental attempts.

Hawaii… well… yeah. But she’s had a good handful of years since then for things to kinda normalize. If nothing else I’m sure that’s why her fear of relapsing is affecting her more than the actual RISK of relapsing.

Now, if she let herself fully focus on school and just kept the heroing to hobbyist levels? She’d probably do all right. … if Una and Nel were around and everything was normal, which doesn’t seem likely to happen again before the end of the book!

26 10 2011
LoopyChew

I think one significant issue with long-running book series is that, particularly those in which each book is one chapter in a long-running arc, people feel like it’s more difficult to “get into it.” It’s not like a webcomic, in which years and years of archives are zipped through in four-panel morsels; the only way you get drip-fed is if you’re actively following from the start; otherwise, people feel like they need to finish an entire chapter, rather than scene-by-scene.

Between that and potential reader fatigue, you have people dropping off and people reluctant to start up. (Admittedly, had I not bought a Kindle, I probably never would’ve gotten started with the series–and I did so because I already knew of its existence.) Of those people, it’s a bit of a die roll as to whether they’re the kind to vocalize their enthusiasm or leave feedback, particularly if it’s about drafting and someone else has covered all the issues they’d caught.

SF has been extremely rewarding up until now in terms of giving us payoff to all the different characters throughout the saga; the thing is, being the climax of the saga, it more than any of the other books requires having read everything that went before it. This chapter in particular is centered around a gaiden character who will, in print, will only have been featured in offhand mentions in a bonus chapter and a minor note in the prelude (unless the Witching Academy and Yew/Tillman are going to be introduced, and even only marginally more focus will have been devoted to them). This chapter more than any will be tricky to get feedback on.

Basically, just throwing ideas as to why fresh blood isn’t feeding back too much. I’m still reading, even if I’m not contributing as much to the proofing as I’d normally like (also, Jen’s got most of what I’m looking at covered). Hang in there, you’re almost done!

26 10 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

That was a worry of mine, that a saga chapter based on a side story character would be skipped over.

Originally this was going to be a roaming perspective chapter, showing rebel groups all over the world, and preparation of the weapon. However, I realized if I did that, I’d have almost nothing for sf05 other than the final attack, which wasn’t enough to base a whole chapter on.

So, this one’s shifted to being an outsider’s perspective on events as they reach the tipping point. Then, in sf05, we’ll have the roaming perspective chapter and big brawl at the end.

Maybe it was a mistake, I dunno. Just feels right for the story that needs to be told. But, one way or another, we’ll be done in… hmmm… 1.33 chapters time. And then vacation. And then another project, which I may deliberately make shorter.

27 10 2011
LoopyChew

I think it’s a good call to keep the spotlight focused instead of roaming, and I’m not going to say that the chapter will be skipped over, per se; simply that people may feel less invested. Sort of like how people who read sf01 without having read sa08 will be like, “oh, no, Ono and Esrever!” whereas those who have are also going, “Not Kas! THOSE BASTARDS!”

Now that you mention that you’ll probably be incorporating the world-wide rebellion in sf05 as opposed to devoting sf04 to the personae we met in the sa stories, I’d like to ask if we get to see an older Melvin Tinker and/or Polly Pensworth. Obviously we’ll get more of the sa cast that’s part of Team Starbucks, and I think it’s natural that we’ll be seeing more of Yew and Tillman, but what of the other academy graduates and elementals from sa03?

27 10 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Since this is the Last Huzzah, I’ll be rolling out as many characters as I can. There may be a glut of them around New Orleans, though, as most are involved with the Faerie Court, so some may be held back just because there’s no room.

If I don’t get to Melvin and Polly, I believe Melvin and Sarah are teaching at the academy now, and Polly’s either there with him or she went back to help her family’s company. Sandy’s off being secretive and agent-y. Ophelia… sadly likely died in the attack on Atlantis, as she sort of switched sides after deciding she’d grown tired of the surface world.

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