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a fine man

Mindlocked beta 1

Posted by hardlyfatal on 2005.02.04 at 02:43
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: "Perfect Blue Sky" by Junkie XL
Hi, girls! Sorry it's taken so long, I've had about a dozen contest entries and job interviews and doctor appts. and... [heaves a breath]

This chapter was schweet-- exciting to read, well-paced, with snappy dialogue and excellent handling of tension. Mechanics were flawless, literally, with the (very minor) exception of breaking up a few longer paragraphs as you'll see I've done. Such a joy to beta! [huggles you] I feel like I'm getting sneak previews of episodes, betaing this fic for you guys.

The thing I'd like to see punched up is to do more with setting and gesture. There's hardly anything to tell us about blocking (what the characters are physically doing during a scene) and almost literally nothing to set the scene itself. The result is that it feels like a very clean and professionally-done transcript of an episode.

But clean doesn't evoke any feelings for us. It's like listening to a radio programme with nothing but dialogue: no sound effects, nothing to see or hear or smell or taste. There's nothing visceral about it to draw us in. Make us experience what the characters are; draw us in.

I recommend you go through the entire chapter and revamp it in this way: the dialogue parts are in thunder need of blocking and the narration/internal monologues have a similar dire need of description of setting.

Scene changes-- you've gone hog-wild with them in this chapter! I know it's long, at almost 8k words, but it feels jarring to have scene breaks all over. You really only need to give a hard break when changing POV or there's a significant length of time-- 2 hours doesn't qualify.

The majority of the time, a brief paragraph mentioning passage of time, or summary of activities in the interim between one bit and the next, will suffice and feel far smoother. You'll see where I've cut them, and my suggestions for how to handle the cuts.

But basically, great job! Can't wait for more! And believe me, after some of the travesties I've betaed before, it's a rare and most welcome sentiment :)

Comments:


Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Muse
joyfulfeather at 2005-03-04 02:51 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I didn't mean for a month to go by before I replied to this... Eep. Thank you for your marvelous comments! I'm finally going through and making the changes -- setting is the thing I'm worst at, but I'm working on it. I've been consciously adding it into the new things I'm writing, so maybe there's hope! *grin*
Piffle, yes, but superior piffle.
hardlyfatal at 2005-03-04 03:55 (UTC) (Link)
S'ok, life gets away from us all.

There's always hope! You're doing a faboo job, just need to work a bit on this bit. That's what a beta is for, yes?
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