[work in progress] Parallel Lives

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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby c_nordlander » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:58 pm

JustNibblin: type ["spoiler"] and ["/spoiler"] (without the quote marks) around the bit you want invisible.

Well, you've bounced some ideas off me already, so I probably won't have a lot to comment on. At least you know I like it. You already know most of my thoughts about it, so this'll be mostly suggestions for polishing (mainly typoes).

The opening has a bit more point to it now, with the reference of Leela's parents tying in well with the plot to come. It's actually quite poignant, in a very light-handed way.

I read it in a book from your time.
I think you've added this since last time. It's a lovely touch.

Typo: "Professor Farnsworth was all ready sat at the conference table" should be "already".

Another typo: "decided to joins us".

The book slapped shut. “Oh. Well, I’ll just wait here then... like I have a choice!”
I assume Bender is saying the last bit. In that case, I think it should be a separate paragraph, since the bit about the book is Hermes' action, so it gets a bit confusing.

pausing only to pick up the finger trap he’d discarded moments.
Something missing here (I assume "ago").

Yay, a grue joke!

Typo: "creathre"

I think Leela's and Fry's different ideas of what might be in the boxes (a bizarro Leela/a world where Leela is nice to him) come a bit too close. Maybe that was your intention. Personally, I think they'd have more of an impact if there were more space between them.

Bender's great in this scene. In fact, the whole scene is great, with the toaster and Evila and all.

Spelling issue: his name is spelt "Philip", not "Phillip".

drawing a surprised yell from her lips as she fired at the toaster.
I think "from her lips" is a bit overkill. Just "from her" would do it.

Typoes: "bxes", "the bottom of a the shelf", and "RFry"

“Okay... whoever you are...” the man – wearing what was obviously a security guard’s uniform – kept his gun trained on Leela.
"The" should be capitalised.

Typo: "appartment"

Well, I'll keep reading and commenting on this when time permits.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby c_nordlander » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:15 pm

Continuing my notes:

“What if she does it again?”
That made me laugh.

"Blue" is quite a nice name. Certainly beats "AltLeela".  :leela Having a real name makes her feel more defined as a character. Her backstory and situation are very well written. There's some angst here, but it's *good* angst. The bit where she tells about her parents almost made me tear up a bit.

Another thing you need to fix: Blue has dark bags under her eyes (plural).

Finding no table he simply set it on the floor next to Leela’s chair.
I'm not sure "simply" is needed.

Typo: "doubel"

“Stupid feminine want and needs,” he grumbled under his breath.
Another good line.

Typo: "lampost" should have two P's.

Everything about Fry's encounter with Evila is great.

there were still other Phillips to fry.
Should be "Philips", but hilarious.

To be continued. Very good stuff.
Last edited by Anonymous on Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Archonix » Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:47 pm

JustNibblin wrote:
(1) Why does Morgan make a deal with Blackie?  To try and show Phil that Leela is capable of insanity?  Why would she have any reason to be jealous/nervous about Leela, since she and Phil had never met? :leela
(2) Blackie's motivation for killing Morgan is not clear.  She gives a reason a few minutes afterward (that it hurts worse than death for Fry), but at the time, is it just an insane impulse?  Also, why doesn't she shoot Phil after she "draws a bead" on him?
(3) I'm also not sure how exactly Fry met Morgan, and how Leela ended up working for PE in this alternate universe.  If Fry escaped her in the tunnels, did she quit her job anyway, then happen to apply to PE (but never met Fry because he was working for Morgan in a different building)?

I admit I read this fairly quickly so may have missed some explanations.  Future readers will no doubt point that out.


Oh they surely will. It's always the little things that gather the most ire. :)

I've taken this on board, though, and some scenes do flow better now that I've tried to deal with the highlited issues. For example, the scene where Evila meks her deal with Morgan is a lot clearer (I hope?) and it does work better if I explicitly mention their motivations. I might tweak it again though, it feels a little obvious now. ;D

My understanding of the Morgan Proctor character is that she's very possessive and jealous of her position, and that would tend to be an expression of a generally possessive and jealous personality.

How Fry met Morgan isn't covered as such, but I've tried to put a few new hints into it so people can have a guess at how they might have met.

Most else of what you might be worried about is scattered throughout the story. I've cleared that up in a few places too.

I can see this will have many variations, and look forward to all the twists.  It may help to consistently describe the altLeelas as "Blue," "Evila" or "Blackie," etc.


I thought about that, but I'm working on the principle that when the characters from a particular universe are alone together they'd probably refer to each other - and themselves - by their own names. Phil made this easy. The various Leelas... less so, but I figure if I keep these portions well separated it should be manageable.

Or so I hope. ;D
Our choicest plans have fallen through, our airiest castles tumbled over, because of lines we neatly drew and later neatly stumbled over.
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby c_nordlander » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:05 am

Continuing:

I really like the bit where Fry hears Blue crying. In fact, I like the whole night scene. You get Fry's dimness and nervousness about Evila across so well.

Much as I love the word "lumpen", I don't think it can be used to describe a bullet. I looked it up in the dictionary, and it suggests either "belonging to the proletariat" or "mentally sluggish" (classists!). Maybe "lumpy" would be better.

and he stumbled, even though he hadn’t been walking,
I love this description.

and had to grab hold of the nearest support to stop himself falling which unfortunately out to be a small table just inside the door.
This sounds a bit odd. At least you should have a comma after "falling".

I really like the scene between Fry and Blue.

and saw her alternate self a short distance away down the street at a copy of Fry,
Something's dropped out here.

“Why am I standing in the doorway?” His voice shook a little as he spoke.
Excellent line.

They both looked down at Blue again to see how she was reacting, though Fry probably knew better than Leela herself; he could easily recognise the sort of closed look Leela had when she was about to chew him out for something
Excellent.

Spelling nitpick: "stationery" is the office materials. ("Stationary" is the adjective meaning "unmovable".)

I like the scene in the office as well. You build up Phil's character well. But then, I like the overwhelming majority of this story.

So. They were all together. Leela pushed a raven strand of hair from her eye
I like how that little reference to her hair colour economically shows *which* Leela we're dealing with here.

the needle-thin passenger terminal towers cast long, delicate silhouettes across the sky
The description is very good, but I'm not sure you can "cast" a silhouette. I don't really have another suggestion for a word, though.

Typo: "lets" should be "let's".

But now she saw them, up close, without the intervention of atmosphere and stone and metal to hide away.
I think this should be "to hide them away."

I love the bit about Mr Pannucci.

“So I... look, that that thing’s flashing again,” he said in a lame attempt to change the subject. It worked.
I like this too.

I like how you have Morgan reactivate Phil's access to the mainframe. It's seamless and prevents a lot of problems in the ending.

Well, I'll probably finish this look through it tomorrow.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby c_nordlander » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:58 pm

Continuing:

The climactic scene in the conference room is excellently dramatic, but you knew I think that.

followed by a quiet sob that cut right into his heart.
I think this is a bit clichéd and could probably be changed to a more novel image. The start of the sentence is great, though.

Typoes: "tor est" should be "to rest", and "Morgan's eye's" should be "Morgan's eyes".

He eyed the pistol strapped to Evila’s hip, the anachronistic mechanism a stark reminder that the world he inhabited was not quite his own, even now, even after all this time.
I love this bit.

Morgan’s eyes widened in surprise as Leela fingered her hair,
I think you need to clarify *whose* hair this is. From what comes afterwards I understand it's Evila's, but as it stands, it could belong to any of the female characters in the sentence.

She shook her head tightly, shaken off balance by Leela’s outburst and gently drew herself away from Evila’s hand.
I think one of the "shake"s could be changed to something else. You also probably need a comma after "outburst".

Morgan reached toward the form and laid her hand over it as if incanting a blessing,
Another perfect image.

Typo: "third draw" should be "third drawer".

Something that needs to go in spoilers:

Spoiler


Typo: "far exist" should be "exit".

"I did. Sometimes I wondered about how things might have been. This isn't really how I wanted to find out.”
Good line, because it resonates with the whole storyline of the fic.

"nasally voice" should be "nasal".

Typoes: "case" should be "gas", and "without joyous yell" should be "with a" etc. (Very suitable for Fry, though.)

I like the ending bits as well. Much in the style of the show.

Spoiler


So... not to gush too much, but this is really capital. The plot is dramatic in the best way possible, has the right amount of angst, and takes some unexpected turns. There are many good jokes, and the style is just beautiful. The alternate universe is a memorable place, the action scenes are edge-of-my-seat, and Blue's backstory is tragic.

Still, I think it's the characterisation that makes it shine. I didn't find anyone out of character. Fry and Leela are great, of course. Phil and Blue, particularly the latter, provide very well-written original characters (yes, that's how they feel to me). I felt a lot for them. Evila is a perfect Chaotic Evil bad guy (I'm looking forward to more about her), and alternate universe Morgan is unsympathetic without being completely despicable.

The only problem I have with this story (aside from the occasional stylistic tweak I've mentioned) is that it's really quite long. I can't really suggest for you to shorten it, though, because it seems to have exactly the right ratio of words to action.

Now write more.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby missy_misery » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:34 pm

I'm still playing catch-up with this one, Graham, but what I've read so far is really incredible.  You've got quite an opus going on!
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Archonix » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:23 pm

Episode 2 work in progress. OpenDoc and word doc as always. Currently about 20 pages.

Spoiler
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby c_nordlander » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:10 pm

Comments! If I'm not criticising anything, just assume it's good.

The opening certainly pulls you in.

until, with a flood of relief she realised that they probably wouldn't be following her through.
Needs a comma after "relief".

Missed word-typo: "laughing was better thinking about the alternatives".

“You just rest there then...” she straightened up Fry's coat,
I think "she" should be capitalised. It's not really a dialogue tag, more of a separate sentence.

Another typo: "as he look Leela up and down" should be "looked".

eyes wider still as he looked into Fry's face, tears forming in his eyes.
It's a beautiful description, but the repetition of "eyes" jars a little bit. You might want to rephrase it slightly. Perhaps just: "tears forming in them."

and his mouth hanging permanently open as if he were permanently on the verge of mooing like a cow.
I think one "permanently" could go. Otherwise it's lovely.

I must admit, if I didn't know this already, I probably wouldn't figure out that Veklerov is the clerk from the previous universe. Maybe I'm just not remembering well, or you might want to make it clearer.

Nice little things, like Fry realising he's dead in this universe.

"Yanchovich"... *LOL* (Shouldn't he say "arse", though?) I love Veklerov's full name.

Typo: "scot" should be capitalised.

Typo: "turned her her back on Amy as the door opened." And there should be something, either "She" or "Leela", before "turned".

The Professor's appearance is great. (Is his last name still Farnsworth? You could do something with that.)

I also love the company name.

Typo: on page 11, "failing" should be capitalised because it's the start of a sentence.

Oh great, now Leela was staring at him again, better make with the conversation Fry.
I love it!

“Is that this isn’t our Siryevna?”
"is" shouldn't be capitalised.

Typo: "enrgy"

I like Leela's thoughts after they split up. She's fairly considerate and sweet to Fry.

Spoiler


Typo: "Fry" isn't punctuated at one point.

Typo: there's a meaningless / on page 17, after "locked."

Yancy's panic after coming back is a great way to show more of his character.

Typo: "Yanckovich" should be "Yanchovich", surely?

Typo: "slightlya s" should be "slightly as"

Ignoring the risk to his sight Yancy glared up at the
Is something missing at the end of this sentence?

“There’s something wrong, isn’t there.”
Needs a question mark (unless you mean to show that she says it more like  a statement).

I have little to comment on the later scene. It's well-written, tasteful and quite cute.

So far, this looks very good! Your writing is as good as ever, and characterisation is great. I'm particularly impressed by the interplay of Fry and Yancy (far from the teary-eyed reunion one might have expected), but Leela is good too. The plot seems good so far (I obviously love the idea)... I'm looking forward to more. I particularly want to find out what happens between Fry and Yancy. The humour is mostly low-key, but hits the spot.

Keep writing it.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Officer 1BDI » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:33 am

Chris hit on most of the typos I was going to comment on (and then some), but there were a few things I noticed:

He was out cold already so didn't notice her impact


I think you need a "he" between "so" and "didn't"; or "so" should be replaced with "and."

I love the Rachel Proctor quote; it's very fitting given the most recent title of the episode (the one you posted on PEEL).

Fry turned away from it and sought out Yancy, stood a few feet away along the side of the hangar with Leela.


I think there should be a "who" after that comma; otherwise the flow seems choppy to me.

I agree with Chris about Veklerov: I don't think I would have recognized him at all if Leela and Fry hadn't done it for me.  I'm not sure how you could change this, or if it really needs changing (his parallel in Blue's universe seems to have an entirely different persona, so for all I know this is intentional).  And "Yanchovich" had me rolling once I caught the reference. XD

Yancy turned to look at Fry again, the brief moment of compassion he’d shown in the storeroom a memory already, replaced with the familiar, distant and overbearing older brother Fry remembered from the old days.


Like the "eye" line from the first (...second) page, having "old" in the same line twice is a little distracting.

“Early?”
“For the weekly assessment,” Yancy said, rubbing the back of his head. He looked Leela up and down, frowning. “The one where you come along, watch me working for an hour and then tell me I’m still depressed and need more counselling but not depressed enough to justify giving me a new career chip.”


Congratulations: I now feel horrible for a character that I usually despise.  :P  Also, Firefox is insisting that "counselling" should only have one "l", but Microsoft Word disagrees.  I think it's correct but I thought I should mention it just in case.

That would be the way to go, he thought, walking toward the steps, drawn by the only truly familiar thing in the entire building.


I love the line, but it makes me wonder how Leela A factors in.

Leela followed him up the stairs, though she seemed to be a little annoyed that someone else was flying ‘her’ ship, as if that was all that mattered. This time Fry knew for sure he was dead in this universe. *snip*


The transition from Leela grumbling about Vek flying "her" ship to Fry musing about being dead in this universe seemed really abrupt.  I think this would work better if the second sentence started a new paragraph.

Spoiler


Fry glanced over at Leela’s retreating form, then back at Amy with a strange, confused train of thought smashing through his head like a... a strange, confused train.


Typical Fry.  :P I think you're depiction of his thought process is very accurate.

He looked up at Leela and Fry’s bemused stares. “What? This doesn’t alter my point! Whatever it was!”


Very Farnsworth-esque; this sounds like it could have come directly from the show.

*snip* failing that, we’d have to find some way of navigating towards a universe more likely to hold a portal back to your own.”


"Failing" should be capitalized.

Farnsworth adjusted his glasses as he stared at Hermes. “Bender filled in a form?”


XD I was wondering where Bender and Zoidy had gone off to.  I kind of hope we get to see more of the robot this episode (I bet he and Yancy get along splendidly =P ), but there's all ready so much going on that bringing him in might be too distracting to the main plots. 

“All things bein equal they should be back in about two hours, which gives me just enough time to file this mornin’s accident reports.”


I was a little confused by this: is Hermes referring to Fry and Leela's entry into this world as the "accident" or did something else happen that morning?

Spoiler


“You’re telling me you like going up in that thing?”
Fry felt like he’d been punched. Yancy's disgust couldn’t be more obvious if he’d spat in Fry’s face.


I've been there with my own siblings: Fry's clearly not happy about how Yancy treats him, but he still wants to at least understand him (and vice-versa); watching him trying to muddle through this dilemma is heart wrenching in a way.

“Five years, a thousand, what difference does it make.


I think you mean "make."

Spoiler


Spoiler


Spoiler


I need to cut this short (CHORUS: Too late.); I'm really surprised by the direction you took this episode in, and at the same time I shouldn't be because it seems completely in character.  I was fully expecting Yancy to have "adapted" to the future by taking on his brother's persona because it was the only way he could handle it, and Fry throwing a fit in response because it's his worst fears from "Fryrish" being realized, but this seems a lot more likely a scenario (albeit a much more depressing one).  I'm very eager to see how the rest of the episode plays out.
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Archonix » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:46 am

It's trite to say it but, regarding headaches and so on, "all shall be revealed"... thanks you two for picking up all these errors. I'm cracking on very fast now. Which is nifty. :)

What's this about circles?
Our choicest plans have fallen through, our airiest castles tumbled over, because of lines we neatly drew and later neatly stumbled over.
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Officer 1BDI » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:12 am

During my first read-through, I could have sworn there were a couple of points where you said so-and-so was rubbing their temples in a circular motion (of course, when I went back I realized that you'd written nothing of the sort; silly brain o' mine), and then that bit about Yancy running his fingers in a circle so many times it left an imprint on it caught my eye and I thought it might have been significant somehow.  :-[
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Archonix » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:17 am

Ahhh, nothing to be ashamed of. ;) Actually I had thought of making something of Yancy's circular thing but I wasn't really sure what it could have been.
Our choicest plans have fallen through, our airiest castles tumbled over, because of lines we neatly drew and later neatly stumbled over.
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Archonix » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:14 pm

I don't think I've caught all the things you mentioned before but I'm forging ahead quite nicely. Nearly 40 pages now. I'll edit later. :)
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Officer 1BDI » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:14 am

Sorry it took me so long to get to this.

Leela turned her her back on Amy as the door opened. She started at the sight of Fry. “Oh... uh... Hi.”


One of those "her"s needs to be dropped.

“Well, we didn’t have much of a choice, lets put it that way.”

[...]

“So let’s not tell her!” She leaned toward him, drifting in a scent of perfume


I think "lets" should be "let's" (since it's short for "let us"), but I'm not certain about that.

Talking quietly to each other, Hermes an the Professor departed the conference area,


"An" should be "and".

He was like an uptight version of Fry. Kinda cute, in a way...
She put it down to the stress.


This seemed like an awkward transition to me; I like the new lines, but jumping from that train of thought to the stress line insinuates to me that she believes that she finds his brother cute because she's stressed out and isn't thinking clearly.

Vek stuffed the goggles was carrying into the locker and pulled out a coat, which he slung over one shoulder. “Yanchovich, go secure the primary buffer panel before you run off home


I think there's a "he" missing between "goggles" and "was".  Also, "run off home" sounds kind of choppy to me, though I'm not really sure why (maybe if you dropped one of the two last words...?).

He wandered back out into the hangar to find Yancy, stood hear the ship’s port wing,


"Hear" should be "near."

“Five years, a thousand, what difference does it make? You screwed up my entire life, Fry


I caught this in the first draft and thought you might have done it intentionally, so I didn't bring it up, but now that I see it again with all of these added scenes it seems even more out of place.  I know he was called "Fry" by his friends when they were younger ("Fryrish"), but I can't picture Yancy falling back on that name, no matter how pissed off he is at him.  This is also the only point in the story (that I can find) where he calls him by this name.  If it was intentional, I think the name choice still works, but every time I see this line I wonder if you meant to type "Philip" instead.

“What’s the matter, red?”


Since she's using "red" as a nickname, I think it should be capitalized.

He let go of Amy right about the time the elevator began to slow it's descent. Fry wasn’t good at judging how far or fast elevators moved but even he could figure out that the were a long, long way below the lava pit....

[...]

It looked like a near-perfect miniature replica of the earth with a huge crater blown in it's surface.


"It's" shouldn't have an apostrophe, and "that the" in the first line should be "that they".

Spoiler


Spoiler


Spoiler


Spoiler


Fry put his hands behind his bead and grinned. Not bad for a ‘loser’.


"Bead" should be "head".

Spoiler


Spoiler


I love how you write Farnsworth.  I think I've told you this before, but there's a fine line between scientific genius and senile old coot that you manage to stay on beautifully.  I loved his mental argument over why he shouldn't feel bad for lying to Fry ("In theory he should be guilt-free!") and... well, pretty much all of his lines are gold.

the air felt terribly still


"The" should be capitalized.

I was giggling through the entire "drunk" scene.  The interactions between those three characters were lovely (especially Fry and Amy... >_>), and... Fry's right.  It's really nice to see his brother loosen up a bit.

“I dunno... I should really see Yancy gets home.”


I think you're missing a word after "see".

“Why don’t you save it for... oh. I guess he’s asleep.” This to Amy


I think you're missing a few words after the spoken portion ("Fry said this to Amy"?).

I LOVED the abrupt transition from the transportation tubes to the sewer tunnels; interesting but fitting visual.  And the dream... that entire segment of the story was wonderful in a very creepy and disturbing way.

Overall, another great addition.  A lot of the details that I was confused about before are slowly starting to come together in my head, and I can't wait to see what you've still got up your sleeve for this episode.

ETA: I just remembered something I wanted to ask you.  I noticed in your promo picture that Yancy's wearing a suit, which made sense to me since this universe's PE seems a lot more... professional.  But it sounds like Hermes, Amy, and the Professor don't seem to look any different clothes-wise (save for different colors, perhaps), and I was wondering if there was a reason for this?
Last edited by Officer 1BDI on Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I was God once."
"Yes, I saw. You were doing well until everyone died."
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Archonix
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Postby Archonix » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:22 am

I caught this in the first draft and thought you might have done it intentionally, so I didn't bring it up, but now that I see it again with all of these added scenes it seems even more out of place.


Yeah, I caught that one myself right after I uploaded it, but I was too busy writing to upload a new copy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! In fact I've made that mistake in other places too. It's like Eye vs Eyes. ;D

would you mind if I attempted to draw that?


Be my guest!

I think you're missing a word after "see".


It's the way we talk over 'ere. I seem to slip a lot of Britishisms into my writing without realising it. I'll try and keep it more international. :)

Spoiler


Something I'm toying with now... it's only strictly a spoiler if I actually do it but, even so...

Spoiler


ETA: I just remembered something I wanted to ask you.  I noticed in your promo picture that Yancy's wearing a suit, which made sense to me since this universe's PE seems a lot more... professional.  But it sounds like Hermes, Amy, and the Professor don't seem to look any different clothes-wise (save for different colors, perhaps), and I was wondering if there was a reason for this?


Lingering self-respect.

All right it's a little more than that. Yancy wants to be more important than a delivery boy and he's trying to feel more important by dressing up nicely and clinging to the idea that presentation will help him advance, even though he knows that he's got to do what the chip says he's got to do.
Last edited by Archonix on Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Our choicest plans have fallen through, our airiest castles tumbled over, because of lines we neatly drew and later neatly stumbled over.
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