REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #54 - June 2008 [spoilers]

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Sat Jul 5 14:21:23 PDT 2008

On Jul 5, 4:12 pm, Saxon Brenton <saxonbren... at> wrote:
> On Friday 4 Jul 2008 Tom Russell replied:

> > Looking at it now, her little monologue would probably play better/
> > be more effective in a film or a play than in prose.
> Hmm. Yes, I think I can see how visuals would clarify the issue.

I was actually thinking more about tone of voice.  But that's hardly a
good source of meaning for fiction. :-)

> It also occurs to me that adding in one or two parenthetical
> comments that describe those visuals (the ones that immediately
> springs to mind are things like 'pain in the eyes' and 'tension in
> the body' - things that hint that it's not a pleasant, fetish-like
> recrimination she's going through, although some people do get
> off on extremes of pain). That said, those would need to be brief
> and ambiguus enough that Derek is still confused about whether
> she's serious or not.

True, and I can see where I dropped the ball there.  Ambiguity is
something I strive for-- creating that space where several different
and perhaps contradictory meanings can be present at once.

> {shrug} There are different levels of 'realistic'; of mimesis (imitation
> of reality in art). Mostly Jolt City looks like you're concerned with
> realistic reactions to events and situations, even if those events and
> situations are fantastic.

Very true.

> And then there's what your doing in Jolt City #14, where (as you say)
> you've done away with the most basic form of narrative by having
> something happen that's random and senseless and more like what
> happens in real life than you would expect in a story. Essentially,
> ignoring the consenusal reality of audience expectations about how
> a story 'should' read for the something that closer resembles an
> actual tragedy.

Thank you.

> Perhaps it is as the TV Tropes wiki webpage warns, and the more
> you read and think and write about these writerly concerns, the
> less you're able to simply sit back and enjoy a story. For my part
> #13 seemed at bit slow because of the early inclusion of so much
> of the apparently unrelated serial killer plot, but I assumed that it
> would resolve in the end. The pacing of the whole *arc* hasn't
> given me a problem however, because I groked that this is more
> of a character based story: so it's less 'man-vs-man' than
> 'man-vs-self' and most especially 'man-vs-nature'. There's a
> difference between slow pacing and leisurely pacing, and I think
> it may be a mistake to assume that because the 'classic' form of
> four-colour heroes has fast events and lots of fight scenes that that
> is the only way it can be done.

Well, I didn't so much mean that-- after all, my pacing's never been
exactly break-neck.  I have a love for leisurely pacing, whether in
prose (for example, Proust) or film (Once Upon a Time in the West,
Tarkovsky, Kubrick).  I guess my question isn't so much "is it okay to
do this?" but rather "am I doing it okay?", and your very kind and
generous feedback seems to lean towards the affirmative.

Thank you. :-)


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