[work in progress] Parallel Lives

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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Archonix » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:48 pm

Yay, it's still not finished!
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by c_nordlander » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:53 pm

Continuing from where I left off:

I like Neena's selfishness regarding Yancy. It's well observed. And the plot proceeds excellently.

Writing is still good. No, great.

Fry's misunderstanding about Leela saying "he knows" (thinking she's talking about leaving him in the dimension) feels a bit too much like a stock sitcom misunderstanding to me. I mean, it makes sense, but it still feels a bit stock. (On the other hand, I'm fine with Fry asking Neena about it and Neena just not knowing about it. That makes sense.)

I love how Fry just assumes that Yancy and Neena had sex. Very in-character and classic.

he added with a  sarcastic roll of his eyes.
I think "sarcastic" could go.

Fry's little fight with Yancy, and the meeting with Neena, are excellent.

which lost it’s manic caste
"it's" should be "its", and "caste" should be "cast"

Oh she knew the logical response was to just treat him the way she’d treated Zapp... should have treated Zapp...
Perfect.

I still love Veklerov referring to Neena as "the star orphan". In fact, quite a few of Veklerov's lines make me giggle a bit.

Slightly amusing typo: "control yolk" should be "yoke".

Possible typo: on p. 94 (approximately?), "glanced" seems to have a space between the G and the L. Might just be a formatting thing, of course.

Typo: "pced" should be "paced".

Nice Gunther reference.

The quantum physics discussion isn't too long or dense, in my opinion. It works for me.

I like how Neena can tell that Fry's directions were wrong.

I like the coffee-style beverage. Also Amy's reaction to Leela.

There had been times when she’d done things for him too. Hadn’t there?
I love this bit, because it feels so true to life.

If Vek drank the foul gunk it might be worth telling him how it was made.
This bit made me snicker.

The mutants are great, with some excellent lines. I love "the sky watchers".

I like the classic scene of Fry being chased on the delivery. Plus, an action scene for Amy!

Spoiler


Well, I'd say this still looks as good as ever. It is getting a bit long, but I know you're near the end, and there's quite a bit of detail: I'm still not sure where you're going with some things (or whether you are), like Veklerov smoking. The Professor's quantum physics discussion, that I know you were worried about, is funny. I like Yancy's input in it. I was particularly drawn into the sewers plotline, mainly because I know what it's building up to, but really, everything here is good. Everyone's in character, the mutants' appearance is funny, and there are some snicker-worthy bits, even though it's not really a joke-heavy piece.

Hope this has been of any help.
Last edited by Anonymous on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Over and over;
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But a bad lover.


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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by missy_misery » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:07 am

As always, Graham, you're gonna recieve some unhelpful gush from me ;) .  Awed, as always - Amy's becoming my favorite.  Perfect blend of humor and action, with just the right hint of emotion.
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Archonix » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:06 am

Unhelpful gush, I like. It makes e feel better. ;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

Post by Officer 1BDI » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:21 am

*1BDI enters with her standard Wall-O-Text that she hopes is of some assistance*

Chris already brought up the Gunther shoutout, but I wanted to acknowledge the Calculon/"The Honking" callback as well.  It's such a small detail, but it's a sharp reminder that quite a few events never happened because of what's different in this universe.

I do agree about the "misunderstanding" of that line feeling cliche.  If you choose to change it, great; but I wasn't horribly bothered by it.  I saw it as one in a series of unfortunate misunderstandings that have been occurring through this entire episode; using stock to enhance a preexisting notion doesn't seem as grating as it would be if that line were the point where Fry first learned that Leela was "abandoning him."

Fry stared at the far door and grunted. “Now Neena knows as well.”

That "as well" sounds too formal to be coming out of Fry's mouth.  I think "too" is a little more in character.

I thought their argument was interesting, and it drove home the point that Philip completely overshadowed his brother in almost every possible aspect, even moreso than the "Mars conversation" that occurred earlier.  With everything that's been going on in this story I'd admit I'd disregarded Yancy feeling underwhelmed by his own accomplishments, and this was a strong reminder of that fact.

Neena’s hand relaxed, along with her face, which lost it's manic caste

"it's" shouldn't have an apostrophe.

I loved Neena's explosion at the end of that lounge; moreso because it terrified Yancy yet left Philip almost completely nonplussed.  I suppose he's just used to it by this point. :p

Vek.  I shouldn't be surprised by this anymore, but with every update I find more and more reasons to loathe him.

“I’m afraid Mr Fry won’t be available for work with you today,” Neena replied, her voice officious and loud. She flashed a small pile of paperwork in front of Veklerov’s face as she continued. “My duties require that I perform a more in-depth interview with Mr Fry at the Assignment centre, which will take up most of the day. I’ve already apprised Mr Conrad of the situation.”

All of the "Mr"s in this paragraph should be followed by a period.  Actually, all of the "Mr"s in the story seem to be lacking it.

“We’d better get out of here,” Neena said. She grabbed Yancy’s arm and backed away. “Thanks for, well, everything, I’d love to stay and chat but we’ve got... uh...”
“Plans,” Yancy finished. He fidgeted nervously and looked between Fry and Leela. “It’s not what you think. Whatever you think it is, it’s not, okay?”

Smooth, Yankovich.  XD

Veklerov muttered an agreement and stood to one side, waiting by the access ladder to the upper decks with a salacious grin.
She made him climb first.

I thought this was great.  "Salacious grin;" it's so creepy and fitting.

The altered ship controls were nice.  I knew Vek had screwed around with the ship and made "adjustments", but it hadn't occurred to me that Farnsworth would have come up with a completely different design for the controls.  It's only going to make it that much harder for Leela to one-up Vek; I thought it was a good curveball to throw at her.

“You have spirit,” he replied. “Lee- Neena has no spirit in her, she lives in her little blank apartment with her little blank life, goes to her blank little job and never does anything exciting with it all.”

I would switch the "blank little job" to "little blank job" since the first two nouns he rattles off are also preceded by "little blank."

Farnsworth and Yancy going back and forth about the science behind the parallel universes was hilarious.  The ending was completely worth the headache Farnsworth's explanations gave me (not your fault; it's late at night in my corner of the world :P ).
“So really what you’re saying is, you haven’t a damn clue what’s going on?”
“Precisely!”

;D

“I hate to sound petulant but are we done yet?"

At first I was going to say that "petulant" seems a bit too elegant a word choice, even for Yancy, but then I wondered if this was supposed to be a callback to his brother's unusually vast vocabulary?

He had a guitar slung over his back and a forehead that, to Yancy’s eye, looked like it could crush a small mammal. And two noses, which probably explained the permanently disgusted look on his face, Yancy thought.

I'd drop the last two words.  The audience already knows that we're seeing things from Yancy's perspective; saying that he's thinking these things seems redundant.

“You can imagine we don’t get out much,” the three-armed mutant said. He held out his hand for Yancy to take. “Richard

In the show his name is Raoul (I don't think it's ever actually said on the show at any point, but somehow that's the name that ended up in the transcripts).  I don't know if you meant to change it because this is a parallel universe or not.

Spoiler


Ariel Ponywether wrote:Awed, as always - Amy's becoming my favorite. 

Yeah; Amy's slowly becoming my favorite character from the show in no small part due to this episode.  The events of the movies have kind of pushed her into the spotlight of my mind, but I really like how you're portraying her in this story.  She doesn't get enough love on the show, IMO, so seeing her character get a bit more development is refreshing.

I can't believe this story isn't finished yet.  That isn't a complaint; when I told you "the more, the better," I really did mean that.  I'm just impressed by how much you're able to add between the major plot points you outlined ages ago.  The episode's breached 100 pages now, but reading through it doesn't feel like trudging through 100 pages of text; it's long, but it's so engrossing that you don't even notice the length.  I'm going to be sad when this episode ends (ignoring the obvious plot details that'll spark such a reaction)... at least until you start episode 3. ;)
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Archonix » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:48 am

Yay! Wall o'text!

A couple of things. Yes, I called Roul Richard by accident. He felt like Richard for some reason. Already changed that. :)

Honk honk...

And as for the "mr" issue. I know the rules, but the convention in the last 20 years over here has tended toward ignoring the period on abbreviations. Yay the english language!

Spoiler
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Officer 1BDI » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:02 am

Spoiler


Oh, and I meant to bring these up in the last post but I accidentally skipped them:

If the worst comes to the worst I’ll just break his arm. Now lets go!”

"Lets" should have an apostrophe.

The professor indicated the patch of floor immediately before him. Leela and Yancy stepped onto it with a little apprehension

"Leela" should be changed to "Neena."

Despite the pallid sckin and obvious bad hygiene it was roughly a man

"Sckin" should be "skin."
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Archonix » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:17 am

Spoiler
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

Post by Terry Y » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:35 am

As usual, Terry lags behind, heh!

But I have to echo the sentiments of those more studious than myself that this is a darned fine piece of fiction.  I just finished part One and it was a real page-turner.  I don't have much to add in the way of con-crit except for one little bitty thing:

Spoiler


That little quibble aside, an astounding story.  And a great segueway to the next episode to boot!  Can't wait to read the rest of it!
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Officer 1BDI » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:25 am

Sorry to bump the thread like this, but I was reading through your last update again and I caught some minor errors that I missed before:

“Your turn.” Neena leaned forward again as she slipped her hand from Fry’s shoulder. At this range Fry could see his face reflected in her pupil, bringing back a flash memory of the last time he’d been this close to Leela’s face. That time, she’d been holding a gun in his mouth. He quickly looked away to break the image and coughed, nervous and tense for no real reason.
“It’s kinda hard to describe it.”
Neena’s hand tightened on Fry’s shoulder. She leaned forward until her eye was almost touching his face. The intensity of that huge, focussed stare brought a sheen of sweat to Fry’s brow. “Draw a map.”


The bolded parts contradict each other, and "focused" is misspelled.

She was probably asleep. Sometimes she worked sohard she forgot to rest.

"sohard" should be two words.
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Archonix » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:15 am

Nurtz. Thanks for spotting that.
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

Post by Archonix » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:13 pm

It's finally finished... 86,340 words, 140 pages. It's a bleedin novel! Aaaaaa...

A few notes:

I'm not 100% satisfied with the epilogue, though it has a certain sort of appeal to it. I'm trying to think of ways to re-write it. I may just leave it.

There are a few spots where action descriptions seem to be rather sparse or disjointed, due to being written late at night. If you see anything that looks like it could be made more descriptive, please tell me.

Spoiler


So, yeah. Don't be gentle, I have enough praise over at t'other places. :)
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Officer 1BDI » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:08 am

Holy flurk, it's done.  I torn between excitement over seeing a completed draft and depression over... seeing a completed draft.  Inanely long critique with aimless comments and nitpicks ahead:

She tore her gaze from the female and her cigarette and focussed on the guitar player.

It probably doesn't matter, since my spell checker didn't pick it up, but I usually see it spelled "focused".... oh, I mentioned that in my last post.  Nevermind.

“Crap, I dropped my lighter in the lake!”
“I’ll get it,"

I think actually cried out, "NO!" when I read that the first time around.  :P

Roul pointed down the short street to a small house, one that wouldn’t have looked out of place in downstate New Jersey if it hadn’t been so clean

New Jersey never gets a break on this show, does it?  Also, throughout most of the sewer scenes Raoul's name is misspelled as "Roul."

She picked up the sign and tossed it tone one side before pressing her hand against the door.

"Tone" should be "to".

Oh, Blast,” Roul muttered.

I'm not sure "blast" needs to be capitalized; if you were trying to emphasize it I think bolding it would work just as well.

Sticking the Wormulon attack scene (among other revelations) between Neena's discovery and her (later) reaction jarred me initially, but I don't think there's any other place you can put it,
Spoiler
.  Also, the rocky transition from the sewers to the planet works on some level given the circumstances of both scenes.

“The wormulons attacked me, that’s why we’re back so... so early.”

[Later]

She pointed out of the window at two very small wormulons who were supporting a standard sized rifle between them.

Wormulons should be capitalized.

The hull resounded to the sound of laser bolts, and now plasma weapons hitting its outer skin.

I would put a comma between "weapons" and "hitting" (whether it's [i]actually [/i]needed or not may be another matter; I just think there should be a pause between those two words).

A line of baying, yelling Wormulons stared back at her, occasionally firing their weapons at the ship, or in the air, or even into the ground, but only rarely at the ship itself.

I would take out the first "at the ship" since you close the sentence with the revelation that they're hardly shooting at the ship at all.

A klaxon horn blared somewhere deep inside the ship and the panel before her lit up like a christmas tree

"Christmas" should be capitalized since it's a holiday name.

She strapped herself in and turned to look at Fry.
It had always surprised Leela how well the kid had taken to space. *snip*

I liked the insight into Leela's opinion of how Fry handles space, but it feels as though it's missing a transition.  I think it would work better to have her notice Fry's reaction to the situation and use that as a lead-in to the train of thought.

Spoiler


“I’d say right about... now.” Fry looked up at the silence then down at the screen again. He frowned. “No, wait-”

I love misleading tension jokes and I thought this one was set up well.  It vaguely reminds me of the countdown/missed button joke from "A Big Piece of Garbage."

“Ah-heh, been working out have you?”

I'm actually surprised that he didn't notice this during their earlier activities, but I love the implication that he had no idea what he was actually setting himself up for by egging her on until that moment.

You kept acting like I was in the way all the time and then when you were all over the scottish guy I sorta got mad

Scottish should be capitalized.

Leela’s voice disappeared in her throat. She could sense something, almost like a shockwave or a quake rushing toward her

It seems redundant to use "shockwave" and "quake"; I think the line has the same effect if you use only one of the words.

The crowd at the end of the street was growing, slowly, but surely as the rise of the sun that never made its presence felt in the deep tunnels.

I think this is an incomplete sentence, or I'm interpreting it wrong; "The crowd [...] was growing, slowly, but surely as the rise of the sun[...]," and then the sentence ends and I'm not sure if the sun is supposed to be doing something after that.

Unless you meant that the sun was being felt in the tunnels, in which case there should be a "was" between "felt" and "in the".

“Neena...” what would he say, in the face of something like that?

I think you should switch "would" with "could," though both technically work.

Spoiler


Fry gave up and stared at his feet.

Wrong Fry. ;)

“I have a a gun!”

There should only be one "a".

Her had was almost completely numb.

"Had" should be "hand."

A shadow detached from an alcove in the far wall and stepped out into the dim light emanating from the downflow pipes and grates in the tunnel walls and roof.

The sentence seems overly complicated; if you drop the "in the tunnel walls and roof" I think the visual still gets across.

Leela took a final drag from her cigarette and and tossed it aside.

One of the "and"s should be removed.

Amy was... he glanced over at the intern and half-smiled, frowning at the same time.

I'm having a hard time imaging this expression; the closest I can come is a bastardization of the act closure from "Amazon Women" where Fry was rapidly switching expressions from sheer glee to sheer horror.  If he's only half-smiling, I think that's enough of an implication that his heart isn't really into it and the "frowning" quip can be removed.

Leela’s voice froze Fry’s mind for a brief moment, long enough to realise that he wasn’t in hell.

Since it's being referred to as a location here, I think "hell" should be capitalized.

Leela nodded, making he way over to the cabin’s environmental control

"He" should be "her".

A moment later he heard the quiet hiss of his secret elevator as it disappeared into the ground, leaving an annoying hole where he had hoped to tread on his way to top up his bugallo cheese sample jar

"Bugallo" should be "buggalo".

Farnsworth was just trying to remember why he felt he should be doing something about the Janitor when the elevator arrived

"Janitor" shouldn't be capitalized.

I'd just like to throw out for the dozenth time that I absolutely love how you write Farnsworth and that I found his whole reaction to Neena hilarious.

Spoiler


Spoiler


She had her arms wrapped around her body against the chilly air in he hangar and shivered,

"He" should be "the".

A frustrated yell escaped her lips and she turned away from him him.

There should only be one "him".

Spoiler


“Yeah, but...” Fry stared at the Paraleela

[later]

They looked down at the unconscious Paraleela,

"Paraleela" should be "ParaLeela".

Spoiler


Then she leaped and spun, aiming a swift kick at Neena’s head but the other cyclops rallied faster

I would place a comma between "head" and "but".

Spoiler


Spoiler


To Leela it had felt as if some remotely familiar part of herself disappearing down a long and distant tunnel.

"Disappearing" should be "had disappeared".

Outside, and Leela lingered in the tube station, trying to work out what she wanted to do

There shouldn't be an "and".

Spoiler


He jaw clamped shut and he turned away again. Leela could see the question he wanted to ask. Was it fear?

"He" should be "his".

He was examining a trail of footprints that trailed from a shallow puddle on the road – some osrt of leak in the cavern roof.

Having two "trails" so close together seems redundant; and "osrt" should be "sort".

Spoiler


Spoiler


...So, according to Word I just wrote over 11 pages.  :P 

There are a lot of things I can say about this story, and lot of things have already been said by other people who are able to phrase these sorts of praises more eloquently than myself.  I don't think it's of any use to repeat those things here because you're well aware of them by this point.  I do want to say this, though:

I don't know how established my animosity for Yancy Fry is in the community (it's probably been well implied over here by now), but I really did hate the guy.  I won't go into the specifics of my logic; they're complicated and generally nonsensical when it comes down to it.

But I can't hate him anymore, because you managed to make him human.  You took a character that is severely underdeveloped on the show and largely (not always, but largely) utilized by the fandom as little more than a plot device, or fleeting reference, and turned him into something relatable.  You took a character I once could hardly stand and made him likable.  I don't think any other fan author has paid as much attention to his character as you have here, and I think the character's much better for the treatment you gave him.  I never would have imagined that you'd get 140 pages of material from this universe, but now that we've left it all I can think of is the untapped potential abandoned for necessity's sake.  I actually want to see more from this universe; I never thought I'd say that about a story that focused on Fry's brother, of all characters.

It's far too late where I am; so I'll just close the post: if this is how episode 2 played out, I can't wait to start episode 3.
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by Archonix » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:59 pm

Just for everyone's notice, there's a re-write in progress now... and I thought I'd finished!  :'(
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Re: [work in progress] Parallel Lives

Post by missy_misery » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:12 pm

Graham - as always, the story slays me.  I keep repeating myself, but damn do I like it and have problems finding flaws.  I back up Of. 1BDI on how much you've done with Yancy - quite envious of how well you've fleshed him out.
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