Reviewed [Oc/Oc] Week 184: Business Dinner - Feedback

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swaswj

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 18, 2008
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#2
I like seeing what is essentially the aftermath of where the story usually stops. Even if it's leading into something new, this is a part of the recovery that often gets glossed over, finding out how the oppressed bounce back after their oppressors are dealt with. The different outlooks by Amanita and Diamantus, based in their different backgrounds, add an air of authenticity to the affair, as well. I am, however, surprised by how easily Diamantus lets her guard down and agrees to meet with Arrento in his home.

As a person who is frequently hunted for interfering in the affairs of businessmen (legal or otherwise), Diamantus was wise to stage the initial meeting with Arrento publicly. Agreeing to meet him more privately feels like a mistake. If that was intentional, it could actually do with some foreshadowing notes to heighten the tension (even if it's a fakeout), but if it's not intentional, highlighting her trust in Arrento could be a good step, or perhaps her trust in Amanita to keep things safe.

Finally, I wanted to add this note at the bottom since it was a clear-cut example, but not necessarily a big detriment to the collab. I've said a few times before and still stand by the idea you should re-read your dialogue turns and sometimes re-cut turns to flow better. It doesn't happen as much in this collab, but an early instance here:

"Hmm, this is a charming place," Amanita said. She looked around, appraising the venue. Not wanting to go home, she was dressed the same as from the party.

Amanita wasn't afraid to admit that she had fun at the little celebration thrown by the people of the Lantium District. It wasn't in her usual choice of entertainment, but she didn't regret going. They were doing well after Amanita and Diamantus had taken cared of a small-time crime boss.

She joined the table Diamantus was sitting at. "So what are we doing here, then?" Being still quite full from the party, perhaps she would have a light dinner. She glanced through the menu.



The velen grinned brightly at Amanita. “Isn’t it just? I recommend any of the fish selections here. They’ve got one of the best fish chefs in Terminus at this place.”

Diamantus was also dressed in the same outfit as the party. It made her feel a little out of place but it didn’t matter, it was relatively comfortable and she had decided it was too much of a waste of time to go home and change.

As Amanita questioned her, she tried to get down to business and quit thinking about food. “We’re meeting Arrento here in twenty minutes. I want to talk to him about the neighbourhood improvements and what he thinks should be done. I also want to see if he’ll deal with Mathus at all or if there’s no hope of salvaging that connection.”
Would read better like this:

"Hmm, this is a charming place," Amanita said. She looked around, appraising the venue. Not wanting to go home, she was dressed the same as from the party.

Amanita wasn't afraid to admit that she had fun at the little celebration thrown by the people of the Lantium District. It wasn't in her usual choice of entertainment, but she didn't regret going. They were doing well after Amanita and Diamantus had taken cared of a small-time crime boss.


The velen grinned brightly at Amanita. “Isn’t it just? I recommend any of the fish selections here. They’ve got one of the best fish chefs in Terminus at this place.”

Diamantus was also dressed in the same outfit as the party. It made her feel a little out of place but it didn’t matter, it was relatively comfortable and she had decided it was too much of a waste of time to go home and change.


She joined the table Diamantus was sitting at. "So what are we doing here, then?" Being still quite full from the party, perhaps she would have a light dinner. She glanced through the menu.

As Amanita questioned her, she tried to get down to business and quit thinking about food. “We’re meeting Arrento here in twenty minutes. I want to talk to him about the neighbourhood improvements and what he thinks should be done. I also want to see if he’ll deal with Mathus at all or if there’s no hope of salvaging that connection.”
If you strip out the surrounding descriptions and actions, the dialogue is intended to flow like this, correct?

"Hmm, this is a charming place."​
"Isn't it just? I recommend any of the fish selections here. They've got one of the best fish chefs in Terminus at this place."​
"So what are we doing here, then?"​
"We’re meeting Arrento here in twenty minutes. I want to talk to him about the neighbourhood improvements and what he thinks should be done. I also want to see if he’ll deal with Mathus at all or if there’s no hope of salvaging that connection."​

That's how the reader should receive it. Instead, because of the awkward placing of the dialogue, they get it muddled up like this:

"Hmm, this is a charming place. So what are we doing here, then?"​
"Isn't it just? I recommend any of the fish selections here. They've got one of the best fish chefs in Terminus at this place. We’re meeting Arrento here in twenty minutes. I want to talk to him about the neighbourhood improvements and what he thinks should be done. I also want to see if he’ll deal with Mathus at all or if there’s no hope of salvaging that connection."​

Conversation doesn't typically go this way, or at least when it does, it's usually because the person speaking is easily distracted, flitting from subject to subject. This is the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a post-by-post collab, where the previous turn is already visible and finalized (although I would argue you can still have the other person edit if needed). When you collaborate behind the scenes, you can rearrange as much as you want to create a more cohesive final product.
 

Mystydjinn

[Insert rimshot]
Jul 29, 2013
1,476
3
38
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Flint, MI
#3
I don't really have much to say here that Will didn't already say, but feedback's lookin' kind of bare so I'll drop an unnecessary quarter in here.

To start off, I really enjoyed seeing a piece about domestic things happening here in Terminus. I'm a bit of an action junkie and I typically prefer reading things with lots of action or high stakes going on, but in order for those to exist there has to be a calm background or foundation for it to sit on. Plus, being able to see things like urban development meetings going on in Areavis and Terminus (I don't know when this collab takes place, is it before or after The Black Portal events? I'm just assuming before here.) before city is ravaged by Infernalis makes the city and world feel more alive. The irony proposed by these peaceful meetings going on in the background of evil organizations pulling strings and right before the devastation that The Black Portal caused makes the sense of destruction wrought by the event heavier and more realistic. It makes the problems caused by the PMs seem more important instead of just a stand-alone story and makes the whole world more cohesive. So good job. :)

Plus, its also just nice to see people behaving with civility towards one another for a change. More or less anyway. I'm probably the worst "offender" but everybody in Areavis is so mean.

That said, it's time to get to the point. Like Will said, you've got some problems in this collab with dialogue and overall flow. I've been told the same thing so I suppose I recognize it better now, but you two would benefit from editing your turns "into" one another's. When people respond to each other in real life the conversation is either filled with a bunch of awkward pauses or rapid-fire back and forth conversation. Unless you're going for the awkward pause kind of conversation then dialogue should be shown the same way. Throughout the collab, character dialogue keeps getting split up unnecessarily and it breaks the flow of what looks like its supposed to be a verbal game of chess.

I often see the two of you hashing out soft details for turns in chat's various rooms so I don't think communication is the problem here, it's just your way of thinking that needs to change.

I don't know what you do personally to draw up a collab, but if you don't already, it might be easier to implement smoother flow between your turns by outlining each part of the collab ahead of time so you both know exactly where you're heading with the story and can focus on designing your turns to flow around and with your partner's more easily.

Besides that, the collab was great for the reasons I mentioned in the first full paragraph, so don't stop! I noticed a couple of punctuation and spelling "autocorrect" mistakes here and there-
Diamantus despised the situations into which her moral compass plunged her.
(I think that's supposed to be plagued there)
- but they're spread out and few so it doesn't break up the story too much.

So keep going guys, I'm curious to see what has become of the plans for Latium district in the wake of the Black Portal's events. Was the district affected by the devastation? Did citizens flock to the city because it was unaffected by the invasion, or was it hit so hard that it became a ghost town? Will TorBru rear its ugly head somewhere, or is this sector relatively safe from their influence? Does the waiter get a good tip? Will I stop typing and go to bed?

I know the answer to only one of those questions, but I am eager to learn the rest. Till then.
 
Last edited:

Dysney

Staff Member
Dec 30, 2012
2,115
5
38
Murica
#4
I promised I would give feedback, sorry it's so late ^^;

I enjoyed the collab, though some of the dialogue does flow awkwardly (Will already explained this so I won't go into detail there). Don't be afraid to splice turns.

I like how you emphasize what kind of person Arrento is through his mannerisms and dismissive attitude. You don't have to tell us he's a schmooze, we already don't like him. The contrast between Diamantus and Amanita's reactions to him is equally telling. This tension was present last collab, when they were at the gala, and its presence in this one lends to the continuity of the story. I'm hoping their differences don't get swept under the rug and that this develops a little more; it's an absolute gem.
 

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