Tarq mitchell_crouch at caladrius.com.au
Wed Jan 31 12:19:58 PST 2007

On Jan 31, 1:23 pm, "Tom Russell" <milos_par... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Young Mitchell Crouch, who is exceedingly talented (especially for
> someone just starting out!), has written a fair number of stories in
> this vein.  The first Sea Monkeys story, I think, worked rather well.  
> It had a lot of charm to spare and was very amusing.  I'm not sure if
> this second one works so well-- as a whole.
I whole-heartedly agree -- for reasons I plan to go more in-depth into
later on.

> Because there's two kinds of randomness, of spontaneity.  To
> illustrate the difference between the two, imagine that you are
> present at a children's birthday party.  The clown is late, and may
> not make it all.  The mother of the child asks you to try and
> entertain the children.
(Let's just take the remainder of the metaphor as read)
I agree there, too. That's the one problem I've had with de Bono's
Laugh Theory.

> I feel that much of the second Sea Monkeys is less about Mitchell
> writing by the seat of his pants and taking us a voyage of discovery,
> to see what's next, and more about Mitchell not quite knowing where
> he's going with it.  
Oh, I knew where I was going, it just occurred to me it was no where
near as far away as I thought it was. This, I feel, was the uncoming
of Sea Monkeys II. I had, as I believe I had stated, originally
intended to have Sea Monkeys all as one story. But then impatience got
the better of me, and I posted the first part without having finished
the second part. And then I wrote the second part and realised, hey --
I have no where near as much material as I thought I did. And so I
fleshed out parts that I could, resulting in Coco and Ape growing
wings and bringing back Mei Houwang (I believe I spent roughly one and
a half hours with fingers poised over the keyboard wondering whether I
really wanted to do that).

> And then he kills off his characters, a sure sign
> that the story has overstayed its welcome in its author's eyes.
Indeed it had. And that was my tragic flaw, my impatience rearing it's
butt-ugly head once more. That rhymed. Anyway, so I fleshed out the
story a bit more, and then thought, "Hang on a second. Now what?" At
the very core of my reasoning was that I did not want the monkeys to
keep flying around with wings. How to take them away? Bring back the
monkey god. It was the first thing that came to mind, and obviously
not the best. I very desperately did not want anything more than a
reference to Houwang at the beginning that could neither be confirmed
nor denied, but at the same time, I didn't want flying monkeys.

> There were a couple moments that were pretty terrific; the origin of
> Marvin the Kid Macaw is absolutely _wonderful_, very cleverly
> executed, and completely good random and LNHy.
But I _did_ want to keep Marvin the Kid Macaw. More than anything, I
wanted to keep Marvin the Kid Macaw, who is now my third favourite
character I've ever created, ever, and it provided an entertaining
escape for the monkeys.
That's great, Tarqqy boy. Now what the hell are you gunna do?

>And the sprouting of
> wings by the two apes is equally amusing.
It was another fairly vain way of referencing Marvin. In hindsight, I
think I would change that, but I loved writing that "coke-to-macaw"
scene so much that I just had to reference it. I'll just assume I'll
grow out of that with time. Yee-haw!

> But by the time they start
> falling, I got the feeling that Mitchell was growing tired of it.
Mostly by my own bad choices, really. But I much prefer letter keys to
backspace, another bad habit of mine.

> I
> think on a whole the ending was unsatisfactory.
Thus the post post credits epilogue notes. But I agree, they didn't
really resolve anything.

> And, for me, the end of this story, and much of the story as a whole,
> wasn't very "up" or as funny.
Agreed. I was actually considering writing an alternative ending.
Maybe next Ape Month. Maybe not at all. Probably the latter.
Hey, anyone who wants to, feel free to rewrite the ending from Marvin
flying away. That would be awesome to have it sprout off.

> Sorry, Mitchell.  That's just my opinion, and take it for what it's
> worth.
And I thank you for your comments. =)

> ==Tom

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