The Writer, by MutantMushroom

I will now turn the great flamethrower upon myself and become critic, as well as writer

Down to Earth starts well. It fulfills the ‘noir’ attitude I wanted to engender. I think that, for most of the book, I stay in character and other characters are well-defined. I think the world-building is strong, I present a great many ideas and they don’t bother each other.

Chapter 3 is where it starts to go down hill a bit. Kaliban’s rants are not dangerous in and of themselves, but the chapter, and all chapters after it, lack the descriptive qualities that make the last 3/5 noir. It degenerates into some sort of action thriller. I should have described the diner, the smells and all the sundry details. I should have described the tick in Kaliban’s eyes or the diners who are in fear of Verlin Kimaris. I should have said something like “I saw a few of my students from the gendarme academy. I nodded at one and he nodded back. His eyes had that ‘don’t call on me, teacher’ quality. I had ruined his date.” Not like that, but still try something. The warehouse scene could have been better written as well, but all in all, solid.

Chapter 4 is poorly written and needed to have a different tone. I suppose that the best way to go about it would be to have Timer have a contest of wills with Officer Kimaris. Maybe they would joust words with each other. Elvira should have been Kimaris’ mouthpiece. Timer, in response, would ignore her and focus on Kimaris. Baruk would stay the same, but I debate the usefulness of Sovey as an active character in this scene. I also think that the ‘buckling on armor’ scene was fairly useless and all Kimaris really should have done is put on a helmet. His instructions, I think, will do okay.

Chapter 5 is poorly written and too short for a proper noir. I think a better way for me to have written it would have been for Elvira to run off with Laura and Kulka to escape. I would then add a Chapter 6, where Kulka would assault the hospital, recapture Laura but Kimaris interferes. Kulka does the golem thing and Timer kills him. Really, I think that the fight should be very short and fast, a quick exchange, rather than a slug fest.

All in all, I think that the story was just ‘ok’. The ideas are strong and alright but poorly executed. I didn’t stay true to my noir style. I’m currently considering this a ‘concept writing’. I wrote this to relax from my work on the novel, a sort of brain relaxant. Someday, you will see Kimaris again, but not for a long time. I am shelving the guy for now. Hopefully, after the novel, I’ll actually produce something worth reading.

Until then!