seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp
I talk about the dangers of metawriting and how this applied to Challenges of the Deeps!

Date: 2017-05-11 12:46 pm (UTC)
kjn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kjn
Interesting read. I haven't read the Smith books myself, but I've sure heard a lot about them (and not only from you). But what I think was more important for us beta readers was that we were far more involved in the story and familiar with its underpinnings simply due to our continued and ongoing discussion with you about it.

In a way, I think the problem in CotD comes down to tempo and pacing. You were forced to introduce too much in too short a time, and that made the book depend on metawriting. Using metawriting is a grand tradition, depending on it is a route to losing readers or literary myopia. But at least you your dependence on metawriting was due to external constraints; it was not a stylistic choice.

Date: 2017-05-15 02:31 pm (UTC)
ninjarat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ninjarat
I finished Spheres and started Challenges last last week (I haven't read the essay so as to avoid spoilers) but so far I have to agree with your opinion on tempo and pacing. Challenges does feel hurried compared to GCA and Spheres, and because of this it loses the feeling of Ryk savoring the prose he writes. I can see where this would lead some readers to feel that he phoned in the performance.
From: [personal profile] tamahori
I feel somewhat guilty for not noticing this at the time. I mean I feel like I should have, but I was entirely too caught up with 'Holy shit, he's finally cutting loose' so yeah.

Also I'm a huge Smith fan, so him pulling second stage mayhem out wasn't a big shock to me ... I was more distracted by The Monkey Mayhem, but that you really had built up so that it didn't come out of nowhere.

So yeah, I need to get better at trying to look at stuff from a more ... external perspective I guess.

I agree with Kjn, at least this was driven by external pressure and you're very aware of what went wrong.

While I know you've been doing some 'second version' releases of some books (which I have yet to read, but I have bought and downloaded to my phone) I'm guessing it wouldn't be practical if you ever get a chance to continue the series to do a director's cut of Challenges that moves the plot-items that could have been later to actually be later ... for one thing I get the impression that would mean moving the entire Molothos fight out to a different book.
Edited Date: 2017-05-13 11:07 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-05-14 04:58 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Honest, I did kinda like the lower key more tech/brains stuff from DuQuesne, who's already one of the most effective characters, and leave the high power to the other two. I knew Lensman but still really thought of DuQuesne in Skylark terms, where one has to invent their way up (though did end up with plenty of cool mental tricks).

But then when the high power fight kicked in, I did pretty much forget about my complaints and got caught up in the scene.

Also, it does feel like K's now caught in a 'Can't Keep Up' position, where she's a Hyperion too but since she's not from a super high powered fiction, well, she's not quite in as much of the DuQuesne peer position as she was in book 2.

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