Chat log for August 16, 2004

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Elizabeth: But I like that you tie his mother's voice into the hallucinations, and his love for Radar.
Channel: default
Elizabeth: Hello! How are you doing?
anneliese: Well, maybe 3 of us?
camidon: And then I"m promptly proven wrong!!
Elizabeth: lol!
anneliese: Yea, but it's good to be proven wrong with things like that.
camidon: Absolutely. Good to "see" you again, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Sorry I missed last week's chats. We got back from CA at 1 a.m. Monday.
Elizabeth: I pretty much took the day off, and stuff blew up at work Wednesday.
anneliese: A lot of traveling for you of late!
System: emptykube joined us. Cheers!
Elizabeth: hi Mike!
anneliese: Hi Mike!
emptykube: hello!
camidon: Hi Mike (the trio choruses
Elizabeth: so does that make us a geek chorus?
Elizabeth: :::ducks to avoid thrown objects:::
emptykube: I haven't read you're story, but I will, and I promise a critique shortly after this chat. I just couldn't let the time flow without attending
anneliese: You better duck pretty low!
camidon: oh my, oh my
Elizabeth: roflmao at CM's smiley!
emptykube: geek chorus
Elizabeth:
camidon: No big deal, Mike. I don't think too many in the group have either.
Elizabeth: I liked that I finally got an idea what the title meant.
anneliese: I read it, does that count for something?
emptykube: I do have it opened up in front of me, though, if that counts for anything
camidon: lol, Elizabeth
Elizabeth: Although I'm wondering just how our hero will become the weapon these characters are expecting.
camidon: Thank you, Anneliese.
Elizabeth: Or if he'll resist getting tangled up in their conflicts.
anneliese: You're welcome...now if I can just remember where I put my copy, hmmm.
camidon: And thank you all that are here tonight.
Elizabeth: You've raised the stakes in these chapters, which is a good thing.
anneliese: I was really impressed with this sub.
camidon: (Digging out my manuscript too)
Elizabeth: Wouldn't miss it, CM.
camidon: Just what exactly do you mean, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: About the punk, or raising the stakes?
camidon: Raising the stakes
System: anneliese left us (snif).
System: anneliese joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Well, sorry about that, I did a bad thing there.
Elizabeth: Well, it becomes clearer in these chapters that Damon's reached, as the sign in the volcano says, the "point of no return".
camidon: I've always worried that Chapter 10 is just a little too weird.
anneliese: OK, brb. have to reboot, I think.
System: anneliese left us (snif).
Elizabeth: It does get pretty surreal, CM.
Elizabeth: But I like that you tie his mother's voice into the hallucinations, and his love for Radar.
System: anneliese joined us. Cheers!
camidon: His mother and Radar are what ground him through this entire book/ ordeal
anneliese: I worried about the surreal part, but I think it is going to work in the end.
camidon: Any particular reason why you think it will work, Anneliese?
camidon: These few chapters, in my mind were the transitional ones. From Chapter 12 on, in my mind, the book just freight trains to the end.
Elizabeth: This seems to be the point where Damon starts to realize his own power, at least after Conrad points it out.
camidon: I would agree with that.
anneliese: I think it works because you are laying a lot of pipe (I presume) for future events.
Elizabeth: Where he might, just might, start to act in this world, instead of just reacting to all the weird stuff around him.
anneliese: I think your transition to the sequence is a bit abrupt, but that is my only problem with it.
Elizabeth: Up to now he's been too busy getting his bearings.
anneliese: <==agrees with Elizabeth
anneliese: This sequence, is very pivotal, I feel, which is why it works.
camidon: I think I know what you mean, A, but just to be sure, which transition do you mean?
emptykube: my apologies...I've been reading. I think the thing i like most is the depth of detail...the mythos is much deeper than anything else I've read of yours. Like you've put a lot of thought into this.
anneliese: Really, the ending paragraphs of ch9 to the beginning of ch10. I needed something to sense that this was Ray's storm, even if I didn';t understand it.
anneliese: Does that make sense?
camidon: I'm glad that comes through, Mike. I like to think I have. It9;s certainly the most in depth thing I've worked on yet.
Elizabeth: There's the whole bizarre dream/hallucination sequence, which seems to be Damon's initiation to a new level of this world.
Elizabeth: And he comes out of it, after his conversation with Conrad, starting to understand.
Elizabeth: I liked that, even as he's digesting all of this information, he's planning for the outside world--deciding he's going to start choosing his clothes, etc.
anneliese: Yes, I liked that also.
Elizabeth: There's a coming-of-age feel to these chapters.
anneliese: And a coming to terms with his mother's death.
camidon: Now that I found those pages, A, yes it does. It makes sense.
camidon: Ah yes, the central theme of the book.
anneliese: Damon, we want to be initially confused, but your reader should be able to figure it out just befor him.
anneliese: Since this is YA, you might need just a tad of something to signal this radical change.
Elizabeth: Just a hint.
anneliese: I absolutely love the imagery.
System: Elizabeth left us (snif).
emptykube: Agree...something that will help a young reader "guess" the direction.
anneliese: Maybe something aural, like a big 'pop'. What you have is very visual.
camidon: That's a good suggestion. Certainly noted.
anneliese: Are we all thinking very hard?
anneliese: Or did I just lose you all again?
emptykube: there's a flavor or C.S Lewis to this, CM...I think the imagery is good. This is certainly a turning point for Damon.
camidon: I'm still here.
System: Elizabeth joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: phew!
emptykube: of, not or
camidon: I'll take all the flavors I can kept. Anything to help this along its way!
emptykube: do you have the whole book worked out yet, or are you creating as you go along?
Elizabeth: I do like that you don't telegraph plot twists, character traits, etc. A lot of YA books do that, and I hated it as a kid. It's almost an insult.
camidon: It's all done, MIke. So is the first draft of the 2nd book, and 3/4 of the 3rd. I plan to finish #3 and #4 (the last book) htis winter,
emptykube: yes, elizabeth that's why so many books pale compared to the Hrry Potter books.
anneliese: So ambitious...I'm jealous!
emptykube: CM...that's why this feels so rich. You've got the story down...you're just fine tuning.
Elizabeth: Or maybe a whiff of something--engage all of the senses. A whiff of ozone, signaling the coming rain, or of sulfur (foreshadowing the volcano).
camidon: "I do like that you don't telegraph plot twist" It's nice to know this. It's certainly not something as a writer I actually ever thought about.
Elizabeth: I hate books where I can guess the next plot twist and be consistently right.
camidon: Mike, this is a pretty advanced draft, #3 of major revision, for this first book. That's got to help as well.
emptykube: especially if the twist is obvious, but the main character is blind!
camidon: I like that E, something sensory signaling what's to come. That chapter does just THUD at the end. Great idea.
Elizabeth: Yep. Nothing like making your protagonist look stupid.
emptykube: revision, revision, time for decision, should this stay, should that go? Revision, revision, why didn't i just forget it and instead watch television?
camidon: hehe
Elizabeth: You've engaged the visual, auditory and tactile senses very well in these chapters...go on, add smell.
Elizabeth: I loved your description of the "apples", BTW.
anneliese: Yes, but I wondered if they triggered the rain event somehow.
emptykube: oohhh smell...she's right...might as well use up all the senses.
emptykube: I liked the "apples, too, esp the cigarettes and battery kick., but you should be more specific then "applish fruit". That's kind of vague.
camidon: I'm glad the imagery is so vivid and clear to you so far. That's another main point of the book. If this is the land if Imagi, the imagery better be a major component! That was my argument anyway.
camidon: Point taken, Mike. Nothing like a specific imagery, then a vague one to ruin the effect.
anneliese: Is there anything you want to ask us about the sub, CM?
emptykube: CM...the imagery is important also because you're taking the reader on a trip to a land they've never seen. Its like the old "travelogue" stories where description of the country was more prevelant then the plot itself to give the reader an experiencce of some foriegn land.
camidon: True, true, Mike.
camidon: Let's see, A, I asked about Chap 10 and it's oddities... let's see. <thumbing through notes>
camidon: I take it by your respones that after these next three chapters, you're all still wanting to read more?
Elizabeth: Absolutely.
emptykube: certainly..
anneliese: Give me MORE MORE MORE!
camidon: I kind of guessed that, but I thought I'd make certain.
camidon: Here's one more question.
camidon: I'm always worried about Damon's voice. After these chapter, does he still seem like a 10 year old boy. In the handful of other folks I've had critique this, half have wanted Damon to be 12 in age. Now I know you're not children's authors, but any thoughts?
Elizabeth: He's a pretty precocious ten-year-old.
camidon: Is he a little too smart/thoughtful for a 10 year old, or should he start the stories out a little older?
anneliese: While lurking in another chat, I heard that YA books should have a protag. that is a couple of years older than the intended audience.
Elizabeth: Good point, Anneliese. 12 might be a better starting age for Damon.
anneliese: I could believe Damon as a 10 year old, but not that 10 year olds would be reading this story.
Elizabeth: Especially if this is a coming-of-age story--12 is close enough to puberty that the theme resonates.
anneliese: He could even be 13 and the story works.
emptykube: As the parent of an eight year old who interacts better with adults then kids her own age, and who uses words her friends don't dream of understanding, I don't see an issue. What's a two year differnce between ages? But I can't honestly say if it makes a difference or not. I would worry more about your own adult voice coming out in guise of Damon's thoughts.
camidon: Having said this. Each of the next book occurs later in Damon's life. B2: 11 years old B3: 12 B4: 13. If I adjust this scale to 12-15, do you envision any major problems? (I know this is a tough question)
anneliese: As one of those kids, Damon could have been 9, and I would have believe it.
Elizabeth: You've got his voice down.
anneliese: Keep him 10.
anneliese: Harry Potter starts at 11. But that fits in with the school system.
camidon: Whenever I get the last few chapters to you, and B1 concludes, I'll probably ask this again.
emptykube: just be carefull your age breakdown doesn't get you unwanted comaprisons to JKR's Potter semesters.
Elizabeth: At 14-15 he's going to start noticing girls, etc. Don't know how that would affect your storyline.
camidon: Yah, Mike, that may be inevitable, but this really doesn't take place much in the real world, around school, which I think helps.
emptykube: good point elizabeth...as a precosous ten year old, he may behave older, but his personality isn't controlled by hormones either!
camidon: By book 3, those overtones are certainly starting to show.
anneliese: at age 12?
anneliese: I have a nephew that was all about sex at that age, but I like to hope that he was an exception.
Elizabeth: At 12, he might still be in the avoid-girls mode, or if he has girl friends, he treats them just like his guy friends.
emptykube: LOL!! well. so was I ...but ...
Elizabeth: Although 12's not too young for a crush.
anneliese: A crush is a different sort of thing, though.
camidon: Nothing serious, A, but strange, awkward moments occur between a female friend Damon meets in B2,
emptykube: see... I have no teens yet, so like this is not my expertise either...I'm just trying to keep the eight year old an eight year old
anneliese: Really hard to do, Mike, in this day and age.
emptykube: so true!!
camidon: lol, Mike!
anneliese: lol
Elizabeth: That makes sense for a 12-year-old. Weird awkward moments, but little or no idea what they're about or how to proceed.
Elizabeth: Of course, that also described some relationships I had in my 20s. :toilet:
emptykube: LOL!!
emptykube: describes my first marrage to a tee.. especially the toilet
camidon: By golly, we having some funny moments here I think this is why children's little is such a rich genre...
camidon: we can reflect on our younger days with such witty leverage!
Elizabeth: and also because most of us never really grow up.
emptykube: speak for yourself!
camidon: ain't that the truth!
Elizabeth: lol!
camidon: That's all I have tonight. Any other thoughts or questions or comments. Have to run soon.
emptykube: I love these emoticons, btw
Elizabeth: Keep writing and give us more! I want to know what comes next!
anneliese: Send us more! I love to see where you are going with this.
camidon: BY golly, this is fun!
emptykube: more...more...more...can I have some more, please?
camidon: Well, then I'll sign up for another crit slot sometime soon, and send the next batch of chapters along.
Elizabeth: Yay!
anneliese: We're holding our breath!
Elizabeth: look, I'm turning blue!
emptykube: since there seems to be a shortage of submissions, why not ask for the next six months, and get this over with???
camidon: Sign me up, A, for the next available slot then (I'll also email you if I don't forget)
anneliese: Will do. And thanks for the reminder email. The old brain aint what it used to be.
emptykube: ooohhh I like the breath holding thingy!! it makes me feel loopy! :dreh:
camidon: I think I could get the rest of the book out in two submission.
anneliese: That will be the 2nd or 3rd week of Sept. I think.
Elizabeth: I can relate to that, Anneliese. I think I've lost most of my short-term memory.
camidon: So, A. Sign me up for two. One in Sept, and one a few weeks later (again I'll email you, if i don't forget)
emptykube:
anneliese: Will do. LOL, Mike!
Elizabeth: These smileys are almost too much fun.
Elizabeth: Great chat, everybody!
camidon: Thanks for reading, and for coming tonight. Very fun, and very useful.
anneliese: I wish they carried through to the message board chat log.
emptykube: yes...too much of a distraction...
anneliese: Thanks for the sub.
Elizabeth: Glad I could make it, CM!
camidon: Good night all. All the best.
emptykube: CM...my critique should be along shortly. Not bad for a speed read..
Elizabeth: 'night everybody!
anneliese: Niters. Great chat.
emptykube: nighters, all...