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Rutabaga

The Boy on the Plane by Cole Parker

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Oooh, another good one today: the deepening friendship between Robin and Terry, and another character introduced, with hints of something interesting to come.

From a technical point of view, I think the multiple first-person narration is working well. The present-tense Robin vs. past-tense Daniel helps give a sense of the teenager living in the moment and the adult looking back (and forwards) more. Also the viewpoint switches are infrequent, and each section advances the story - in contrast with one I read years ago, also with two first-person points of view, but much shorter sections, and very often entirely overlapping story progress or even dialogue.

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That's exactly what I was trying for: lots of forward motion with Robin, a more reflective view coming from Daniel.  It seemed to me to have worked pretty well, and I think it should have: that there's more drama and intensity for teens and a more even-tempered, moderate pace for grownups.  

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Until the next chapter, for which I am now waiting with bated breath. Good to see things developing for Daniel, and impressed by the maturity that Rob and Terry are showing in their friendship.

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3 hours ago, Rutabaga said:

Since we're busy cooking a turkey, I should mention that on various occasions I have added chopped up apples, toasted hazelnuts, and dried cranberries to the stuffing.  Good stuff!

R

All that sounds acceptable.  As you didn't mention oysters, I'll let it ride.

 

4 hours ago, Wandering Pom said:

Until the next chapter, for which I am now waiting with bated breath. Good to see things developing for Daniel, and impressed by the maturity that Rob and Terry are showing in their friendship.

I don't know how realistic that relationship is, but they're young, and I can dream, can't I?

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1 hour ago, Cole Parker said:

All that sounds acceptable.  As you didn't mention oysters, I'll let it ride.

Oysters never would have crossed my mind.  I don't see much of a fit there.  

R

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Interesting.  He says it's not bad, but not something he looks forward to eating.  He tasted it with no look of bliss on his face thereafter.  Lukewarm approval is what I saw.  

Everyone looks forward to traditional sage-based dressing.  It smells and tastes heavenly.   I always have to make two batches, one to stuff the turkey with, and one for second helpings.

As an aside, I've never seen anyone chop and dice veggies with a paring knife!  I winced, watching that.  It's so easy to do that using a large French knife.  Takes half the time and is much, much safer.  I do not recommend anyone doing it as he did.  Especially if you're something of a klutz. 

 

C  

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I’m confuzzed.

Were chapters thirteen and fourteen  posted in the wrong order?

I’m sure I read what is now ch14 on Wednesday and wondered at the time about the references to Foster intervening with Barry the Bully. I only found the new to me ch13 because these days I need to refresh my memory of what happened last time before reading a new instalment.

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Ah’s thinkin’ we should have a new forum section here

Cole's Classic Cookery Classes

I will confess to using a 7” cooks knife for dicing onions for the dexterity when doing the horizontal cuts. My big 10”s comes out for things like root veg and grating cabbage for coleslaw. Whatever knife you use it must be sharp.

 

Oysters in stuffing? My first thought was yuck, but it’s not really any different to oyster sauce in chinese cuisine. It’s a way of adding umami. I think I’ll stick with sage and onion with maybe a forcemeat based on pork sausage on extra special occasions. Some people like to do a chestnut stuffing.

 

I normally bone out turkeys. It substantially reduces the cooking time - to under two hours depending on size - so you don’t have to get up at silly o’clock to put it in the oven and it stays moist. It also makes carving a doddle. You do lose the theatre pf bringing the whole bird to table. Turkeys are actually easier to bone than chickens because the bits are big enough to get hold of. Just do not try it with one of those ready basted horrors unless you like oil-wrestling and have an assistant with a catcher’s mitt for when you lose your grip and it slides off along your worktop.

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6 hours ago, Pedro said:

I’m confuzzed.

Were chapters thirteen and fourteen  posted in the wrong order?

I’m sure I read what is now ch14 on Wednesday and wondered at the time about the references to Foster intervening with Barry the Bully. I only found the new to me ch13 because these days I need to refresh my memory of what happened last time before reading a new instalment.

I too was 'confuzzed' when I read chapter 13 as posted on Wednesday. Things were referenced that I couldn't recall happening. I had to go back and read the two previous chapters, just to figure out who Foster was, but why was he so important as to be invited for Thanksgiving?

Then I started to read chapter 14 and my first though was, 'Haven't I read this before?' So I went back and reread chapter 13 and it was totally new, and it explained the things that hadn't made sense.

It's obvious that chapter 14 was posted by mistake in place of chapter 13, and then later the correct chapter 13 was posted, with chapter 14 in its proper place. I'm not sure if it was Cole that submitted the wrong chapter, or Mike who posted the wrong one on Wednesday, or maybe it was John. It's not important. People make mistakes. However, only Donald Trump can get away with pretending the mistakes never occurred in the first place. Had I not gone back to reread it, I could have easily missed reading chapter 13 entirely.

So I have a request - more like a plea. When a mistake is made in posting the wrong chapter, even if only for a few hours, the person responsible needs to post a correction on the story homepage (would it be too much to ask for an apology too?). For example, the following note, posted on the homepage and at the top of chapter 14 would have been immensely helpful:

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Note: Chapter 14 was originally posted as Chapter 13 by mistake. Readers should check to make sure they have read the revised Chapter 13 before proceeding to read Chapter 14. We apologize for any confusion.

Never assume that a post wasn't up long enough for someone to have read it. I start checking for new posts at around 11 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday and Friday nights.

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I apologize for the error, but only learned of it today when my inbox was loaded down with WTF messages.   I went and looked and everything was hunky-dory, but I don't follow along with a story as it's being posted so I had no idea.  That it's all been corrected is what counts, and I suppose that was done after admin was notified something was amiss.

Glad you're all enjoying the story.  You know, I've seen literature where the chapters are shuffled and published that way, mixed up and out of order.  Catch 22 comes to mind, and there were others.  So look at this as an avant garde experience, brought to you by your friendly AD team.

C

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9 hours ago, Pedro said:

I’m confuzzed.

Were chapters thirteen and fourteen  posted in the wrong order?

I’m sure I read what is now ch14 on Wednesday and wondered at the time about the references to Foster intervening with Barry the Bully. I only found the new to me ch13 because these days I need to refresh my memory of what happened last time before reading a new instalment.

I had the same confusion. Something is messed up. 

R

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OK — now I’ve gone back and read the real chapter 13. I would not have thought to do that — all I knew was that the “chapter” today was the same one I had just read. My fault for not waiting for the entire story to be posted before starting it. 

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14 hours ago, Rutabaga said:

OK — now I’ve gone back and read the real chapter 13. I would not have thought to do that — all I knew was that the “chapter” today was the same one I had just read. My fault for not waiting for the entire story to be posted before starting it. 

That’s my point exactly. For every reader who checks this forum, there must be at least ten who don’t. That’s why there’s a need for a note similar to the one in my post. It’s great that the error has been fixed but there are undoubtedly still some readers who haven’t read this post and are still scratching their heads, having missed reading chapter 13. I can make the suggestion to Mike, but it would be better coming from the author, I think.

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Just how am I supposed to do that?  How is Mike supposed to do that?  As you say, they don't come to the forum.  Putting a message at the beginning of Ch. 15 would be hokey and disruptive.

No, I'm not going to mess with it.  I've had a couple people write telling me that reading Ch 13 really isn't necessary to the flow of or understanding the story.  I think it's important, but if in their opinion it isn't, then the need for an explanation is probably not vital.

C

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Altemexis may have a valid point in normal circumstances. However, this story is being written from two points of view and it so happened that Chapter 13 was Daniel's and Chapter 14 Robin's. Consequently, unlike a normal story where missing a chapter would cause considerable head scratching for readers, in this instance it didn't cause that much of a problem.

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Cole, it’s your story and I’m not going to tell you what to do. However, it’s highly likely that there are readers who will never read chapter thirteen and won’t understand what happened, because thirteen was pivotal to the story. I know from past discussions that you don’t like to make changes once a story has been posted. However, this wasn’t your fault. If it were me, I’d add an asterisk to the chapter list and a note at the bottom to alert readers that there was a missing chapter. The effort to do that would be trivial. You can always remove the note in a couple of weeks. I think that it’s unacceptable for even one reader to miss a chapter through no fault of their own.

Here’s a real-world analogy. Over the course of several years, I replaced several oxygen sensors in my car because a firmware bug triggered the check engine light. I spent hundreds of dollars before realizing there was no way sensors should wear out so quickly. Finally, I asked my mechanic if the problem could be a bug in the car’s computer  it turned out that it was and Honda had fixed it, but it was deemed non-critical and affected only a handful of cars, so a recall was never issued. To add insult to injury, I had to pay hundreds of dollars to have the firmware updated. I was steamed. Honda lost at least one customer for life.

I’m not suggesting you’re in danger of losing readers because they think your story didn’t make sense, but what’s wrong with letting the readers know there was a firmware bug that was fixed?

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14 hours ago, Ivor Slipper said:

Altemexis may have a valid point in normal circumstances. However, this story is being written from two points of view and it so happened that Chapter 13 was Daniel's and Chapter 14 Robin's. Consequently, unlike a normal story where missing a chapter would cause considerable head scratching for readers, in this instance it didn't cause that much of a problem.

I was left scratching my head. Rutabaga was left scratching his head. How many others with itchy heads are out there?

Okay, I’ll get down from my soapbox now.  

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