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Graeme

Past Perfect by David Buffet

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God, what an interesting process! I'm delighted by the debate. My editor for CONTROL and KAOS had two other qualifications going for her, in addition to her absolute mastery of the language: she is a good friend, and she did it for free. So she had more latitude than others might give her... :icon_geek:

For no other reason than it's a good place to flame, the one that kills me is the all-too-common "that's a whole 'nother thing." I, who wanted to write "could of" and who argues for the living-evolving-entity view of language, still can't bring myself to write that (let alone say it!)

Chapter 2 is submitted. I expect it will be posted on Sunday.

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God, what an interesting process! I'm delighted by the debate. My editor for CONTROL and KAOS had two other qualifications going for her, in addition to her absolute mastery of the language: she is a good friend, and she did it for free. So she had more latitude than others might give her... :icon11:

For no other reason than it's a good place to flame, the one that kills me is the all-too-common "that's a whole 'nother thing." I, who wanted to write "could of" and who argues for the living-evolving-entity view of language, still can't bring myself to write that (let alone say it!)

Chapter 2 is submitted. I expect it will be posted on Sunday.

:icon_geek: To show my own inconsistency, I HATE "anyways" and will NEVER use it in a story. "Could of" = OK. "Anyways" = NO! Meh. :icon5:

Colin :icon6:

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Okay guys, I have to confess: after working my way through the 'front end' I'm finding the rest of the chapter, and the next chapter, quite enjoyable, although I find myself wanting to correct spelling on a regular basis. I will restrain myself. :icon_geek:

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Spelling? Grrr. My downfall. Mark Twain once said, "a good speller is the sign of a wasted childhood." I agree. Anyway, someone has, very kindly, offered to proof it. Corrections will be posted.

In talking with Mr. Dude, the consensus was that updated chapters will be numbered -- 1.1, 1.2, 1.25, 2.1. 2.2 etc. -- but they will replace (not supplant) previous versions. I'll indicate somewhere whether the changes are important or not -- some might ony be word choice and spelling, others more drastic. My expectation is that the drastic ones won't happen for a little while.

We've moved on to Barbados, where the resort's internet connection is far more tenuous. I'm home on July 17th. If I'm not heard from until then, blame it on the dropped connection, not disinterest.

David

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Seems to be rather widespread:

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda

By Shel Silverstein

All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas

Layin' in the sun,

Talkin' 'bout the things

They woulda coulda shoulda done...

But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas

All ran away and hid

From one little Did.

The more interesting (side) issue to have arisen, I think, concerns an editor's influence on matters of style. I'd have to say that if my editor (in the real world) staked out a position like David's did in Kaos, I'd move on in a hurry. I believe, and need, reasonable editorial oversight, and I want them to be thoroughly anal with their concerns, but my "voice" belongs to me and I won't be a bottom to their issues over that.

Merkin,

I couldn't have said it better! Or funnier!!

Colin :icon_geek:

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Oh, my Goodnes. After reading this new chapter, I believe I see what you're doing here. This is a very metaphysical chapter...very interesting.

If no one else has applied for position of editor, I'd be interested. The other story I habitually work on is on semi-hiatus, and I have the time and the inclination to work on this one. Please see the 'editing demonstration' under "The editor's desk" for a sample of my editing style and see if it would work for you, and/or send me a sample chapter for something more immediately applicable.

As for chapter ii, all I will say is that the last line is extremely telling, and that the new character's name is a very clever pun. Thanks for posting the chapter!

cheers!

aj

PS - Trab, I am with you on the quality of Control and Kaos...it's always been one of my favorite Buffet stories.

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Feedback on chapter two.... another tough ask.

The chapter was more confusing than the first one, but I could see that that was deliberate so I can't argue about it. Having the counselling session, recollections of the morning with Bo, and internal thoughts meandering, it was going to be difficult to follow -- but I felt it worked.

The statement that Todd was going to kill himself that day jarred with me. I didn't have that impression from the previous chapter, and there was no real reason given. The level of melancholy shown didn't seem to match that of someone ready to commit suicide. Yes, the opening of chapter one stated that he had made a recent decision, and not having anyone to talk to strengthened that decision (something I hadn't picked up on as important when I read the first chapter), BUT his behaviour doesn't seem to match that of someone who had decided to die. The closest I would come would be someone who had decided to consider killing themselves, but was looking for excuses not to.

I can see a potentially mystical direction for the story, with Bo and his talk of alchemy. I'm not sure if that will happen or if it is just talk, but it looks to me that the story is going to be borderline fantasy (as in not-normal reality). I'm not sure, though.

Morey is a mystery to me (aj seems to be able to see more clearly than me), but he does strike me as someone who needs therapy :icon_geek:

I think I need to read more to see the direction this story is heading.

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I may be completely misinterpreting what I'm reading, but I'm taking Morey to be the Angel of Death, and he is there to visit someone who has started thinking about him some time ago, namely, Todd. Bo, on the other hand, is another diety altogether, there to uplift people in general, and Todd specifically.

I actually found the second chapter a much easier read.

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I may be completely misinterpreting what I'm reading, but I'm taking Morey to be the Angel of Death, and he is there to visit someone who has started thinking about him some time ago, namely, Todd. Bo, on the other hand, is another diety altogether, there to uplift people in general, and Todd specifically.

I actually found the second chapter a much easier read.

Trab,

I agree with your assessment.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Back home to the northern climbs, and back to work. :icon_geek:

The kind of comment Trab made and Colinian echoed (I may be completely misinterpreting what I'm reading, but I'm taking Morey to be the Angel of Death, and he is there to visit someone who has started thinking about him some time ago, namely, Todd. Bo, on the other hand, is another diety altogether, there to uplift people in general, and Todd specifically) is exactly the kind of input I'm looking for. Tells me whether I'm doing my job in keeping readers on track or creatively misleading them. Very, very helpful. Thanks!

David

P.S. AJ - A very generous offer. Thanks! Could you email me at tightserve@hotmail.com and we'll talk about logistics?

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For me, it worked. He was also drunk at the time and mixing up words is common when drunk -- that's what I took it to be....I think it is clear what Todd thinks Bo's work is, but as I said in an earlier thread, the use of the phrase "work to be done" sounds like an obligation to do the work, which is not what I would think a hustler would think.

Most interesting premise of a story for this exercise. I like the way Todd's thoughts about his earlier moments with Bo were played out in Chapter 2.0. My confusion came from dialogue and emotional expressions where two characters shared one paragraph.

I was also puzzled by a point in Ch. 1.0 where it appears that Todd is 60 y.o. and is dying. I don't think that was what was meant to be implied...but this is what I got from it.

Look forward to more. I begrudgingly am making comments because earlier emails of last year were never answered.

Jack

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It is also interesting to note that the german word for death is, in fact...you guessed it, Tod. I believe that the new character's name comes from the phrase 'memento mori'...

cheers!

aj

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It is also interesting to note that the german word for death is, in fact...you guessed it, Tod. I believe that the new character's name comes from the phrase 'memento mori'...
AJ gets a star! Now the only thing left to figure out is what Bo means! :icon_geek: Boy, you guys are a tough crowd! Can't get anything by you!
I was also puzzled by a point in Ch. 1.0 where it appears that Todd is 60 y.o. and is dying. I don't think that was what was meant to be implied...but this is what I got from it.

Look forward to more. I begrudgingly am making comments because earlier emails of last year were never answered.

What point was that in chapter 1.0? That was not meant to be implied. He was considering suicide. If that was not clear, please tell.

Earlier emails of last year never answered? Emails to me? I answer every email I get. If you didn't get a reply, it was because I never received the email. My apologies, if this is the case.

David

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Wouldn't Bo be a mangled form of Beau? This is, Beauty?

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What point was that in chapter 1.0? That was not meant to be implied. He was considering suicide. If that was not clear, please tell.

I understood the melancholy of Todd as he tossed down a few. I assume that the following is a clue to the thoughts about suicide: But the gin was loosening him up, and the fact that he had no one better to talk to only strengthened the resolve of his recent decision. Went right over my head. Even with the mention later in the chapter of 30 Percocen tablets , I didn't consider that Todd was suicidal.

Jack

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I understood the melancholy of Todd as he tossed down a few. I assume that the following is a clue to the thoughts about suicide: But the gin was loosening him up, and the fact that he had no one better to talk to only strengthened the resolve of his recent decision. Went right over my head. Even with the mention later in the chapter of 30 Percocen tablets , I didn't consider that Todd was suicidal.

Ah. Good feedback. I'll consider that in the rewrite.

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I also didn't realise Todd was considering suicide until chapter two. It was then stated explicitly, and I found the hints in chapter one, but if you wanted it to be clear in chapter one, you need to make changes. Something simple is all that's required. In the opening section, just add a comment that Todd is expecting it to be his last night....

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Past Perfect creates a tense situation!

The past perfect tense is used in narrative to establish that an event has already occurred in past time. Other happenings, written in the past tense, then occur afterward.

Perhaps the events of our story have already taken place. Maybe our storyline inhabits some frozen moment of time, and the outcome is already ordained.

I'm reminded of An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, that delicious sleight-of-hand by Ambrose Bierce, so brilliantly filmed by Robert Enrico.

Are we, too, poised between noose and neck here?

James Merkin

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I really don't have anything to add to the discussion. I just want to congratulate David on a creatively written piece. If I'm not mistaken, it's called an allegory (correct me please if I'm wrong). I really know nothing about writing. Congrats again! Hope to see more chapters. Hehe

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3.0

The cleverness of Bo and references to his magic are very intrigung. Did he arrive in Todd's life on purpose to prevent a suicide attempt? Is ESP involved? Is Bo some sort of representative from a higher force? Looking into Bo's eyes, Todd sees flecks of gold amongst a field of green...or something like that. Is that just a reflection or does this portray a deeper meaning of Bo's magic?

I was surprised to find out Todd is merely 29 years old. I think the description of the mythical town in Chapter One and the mention of 60 years made me originally think of Todd as much older.

Nice pace.

Jack

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I googled that date, Jack. Very amusing. Good luck with that.

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Sorry I'm a bit late, but things have been busy....

I really enjoyed chapter 3. We get to see Bo's view on things, without having too much revealed. There's a definitely mystical level below the surface in this story, but it's beyond my capabilities to discern much about it.

This chapter reinforces my view about Bo from chapter one -- where he commented about work to be done. He has a job to do that appears to involve Todd getting something out of the universe, but we still don't know why (or how) Bo gets this job.

Bo is not omniscient -- he said he was surprised by the direction of the conversation the night before. He also seemed puzzled (as was I) by the four, then six year mention as the length of Todd's previous relationship. There is something interesting going on there, but we're still waiting to find out what.

This is beginning to feel like a psychological mystery -- as we try to unravel what is going on. I have to say that I think it's working -- I want to read more about these characters. I want to KNOW! :icon_geek:

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I have just read this story (at least the first three chapters). I'm enjoying it, especially the echoes of good versus evil which I read into two of the characters == the light angel and the dark devil. It seems to me as if we are going to read a variant of the struggle for a person's soul. Kind of intriguing to see that beind done today. I look forward to more chapers. Nicely written.

MontrealOrmolu

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