Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

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Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 23 Mar 2013 - 9:57

So the thing's been put on FF.net, because i can make chapters.

Anyway:



Summary wrote:In a world where the Eurozone Fiscal Crisis has caused Europe to tumble toward mass chaos, the Social Welfare Agency is one of the last bastions of defense to prevent total civil war in Italy. With costs on the rise, Director Lorenzo Pieri of Section Two authorizes production of the specialized, lower cost 2nd Generation Cyborgs as things begin a turn for the worse.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 23 Mar 2013 - 10:33

Welcome to the club. Smile

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 23 Mar 2013 - 10:37

@Kiskaloo wrote:Welcome to the club. Smile

Thanks!

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 0:20

Please note that chapters Two and Three, "Practice Makes Perfect" and "A Day's Work", have been uploaded! Woo!

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Thu 20 Jun 2013 - 23:26

Is it considered bad form to post messages without any convo? Well either way, Chapter 4, "An Evening of Light and Music", is up.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Comments : In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with me?’ -Horatius


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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Fri 28 Jun 2013 - 17:17

Chapter 5, A Series of Investments, has been posted. First time I broke 10,000 words! And lots of creepy coming from Caterina.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 0:47

Ok, so... review time.

Chapter01
I will admit, it took me a couple of goes to get past the initial info-dump. I realise you're setting the scene and essentially drawing the demarkation between your own AU and canon, but a lot of it also seems like things fans of GsG (who are presumeably those who will be looking for the fanfiction) should already be aware of. Trust me, I understand the urge to try and write such that people can come in cold as well, but I know for me at least it made it very difficult to not go "I already know this" and stop paying attention. I think you could almost have just had the first paragraph, then skipped directly to the dialogue: which marks where you start to diverge from the canon Gen2 programme. The rest, if you needed it, could be scattered throughout the chapter and story for readers to discover as they go along.


James blinked. "Ah. You'd have me assassinated then."


"You know too much," said Jean bluntly, not much caring how James reacted to his tone. "I hope you're not offended."


"Not at all," said James. "In fact, you've managed to convince me to accept. What do you have in mind for me?"
I was actually tempted to skip these first few sections since I had read through them before. I'm happy I did not now as you've changed some of it up. To be brutally honest I'm quite glad you toned back James's first conversation with Jean, putting the latter less on the back foot. Previously the conversation felt a little too much like the all too common "new handler must one-up Jean to prove how alpha he is/author hates Jean and therefore must portray him as a blithering incompetent", which frankly is one that pisses me off and a fast way to get me to stop reading.


"Is it too bright?" a voice asked. It was low and quiet and reminded her of safety and comfort. It was a voice that she immediately wanted to make proud.
Good line. I like this whole waking up sequence, the sort of hyper-awareness with Caterina being almost an outside observer to herself.


Caterina laughed. "I guess not. I'm really a grim child, aren't I?"


"That you are, Caterina."
I see her personality is asserting itself fairly quickly then. I like how you've handled the "downloaded knowledge" for the Gen02s as well.


"Moving along," continued Bianchi, "you may have noticed that there are ridges at the base of your ears. To open them, you have to push in and slide up. This will expose a USB port that you can use with a computer to transmit data to any system within range of a cellular tower.
Out of curiosity: how waterproof is she?

I see the Ultrasones made it through as well though Very Happy 


Good first chapter mate. There's not a whole lot I can comment regards the tech as it is not really my department, but you are building an interesting universe. To be honest here it has taken me a few false starts to get reading, but to apply something Taer and I discussed a little while back (him in relation to AtAC and me in relation to his Tiffy character and story): as soon as I stopped trying to read it as GsG (and AU aside) it became a lot easier and more enjoyable.

As stated earlier: I was tempted to skip the first chapter on the grounds it had been read and discussed previously. I'm now glad I didn't as you've added things and made changes which I think are for the better.

More to come when I get a free moment.

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 1:03

Well first of all, thanks for all the kind words! Glad to see I've not written something unpalatable, and the AU-ness has always worried me. I agree that the thing's quite top heavy, but I felt as if lumping everything together made it easier to skip ahead. It's always been very irritating to me when half a cutscene is just exposition, but then there's the one important detail at the end but I skipped past, so I tried to avoid that in this fic. I'm a big fan of skipping past exposition and referencing backwards, and this way if you're not interested you can move to the actual talking bits easily without risking missing something important in the middle.

...does that make sense?

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 1:23

El Conservatore wrote:Well first of all, thanks for all the kind words! Glad to see I've not written something unpalatable, and the AU-ness has always worried me. I agree that the thing's quite top heavy, but I felt as if lumping everything together made it easier to skip ahead. It's always been very irritating to me when half a cutscene is just exposition, but then there's the one important detail at the end but I skipped past, so I tried to avoid that in this fic. I'm a big fan of skipping past exposition and referencing backwards, and this way if you're not interested you can move to the actual talking bits easily without risking missing something important in the middle.

...does that make sense?
I see what you're saying here, but take a step back for a minute and look at it from a reader perspective for whom the story and author are unknown quantities, rather than from a position of being familiar with what you have done.

Assume I'm a reader, familiar with the GsG universe, but coming in cold to your fic. I pick it up, start reading... one or two paragraphs in I realise I'm reading what I should already know, and I start thinking about skipping ahead. Problem is that I don't know where I am supposed to skip to, or for that matter, if in the middle of all the exposition is, as you said, some vital bit of information I should be getting and will miss if I skip it. I don't know you as an author, so I don't know how you structure things or your own personal tastes, so I keep reading, potentially gradually loosing interest.

Possibly more to the point though: even if I do skip ahead after one or two paragraphs, mentally you have already lost me. My mind is no-longer in the game and I'm thinking about what's for dinner or have flicked back to the ff.net page to try something else.

So yeah, I see what you are saying and understand the approach, but it also raises its own problems. My own stories tend to be slow starting as well, so that balance of a slow easing in vs. capturing the reader's attention is problematic and, frankly, only something I truly became aware of once people started reviewing to that effect.

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 1:26

I see your point. I think you mentioned something about moving the exposition down a bit? Any thoughts on where to move it to or how to incorporate it into the story more elegantly? My original attempts at combining exposition with dialogue ended up with characters getting named "Exposition Smith" or simply hobbling the flow of the dialogue and killing it.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 1:52

Honestly, I would be tempted to do away with the exposition entirely. Going back to one of the earlier points: 95% of your audience should be already familiar with the basics of the GsG universe and its mechanics. Instead, to hone the points of difference or importance, you could drop a line here or there through the dialogue.

So instead of, say:
Leading the fight was the Lega Nord per l'Indipendenza della Padania. Commonly shortened to just "Lega Nord", the group had risen to prominence for its vigorous promotion of such principals in parliament. Less well known were its more violent activities. Posturing in parliament could only get you so far, and the Lega Nord was determined to, in its view, save Italy from fiscal disaster. Their paramilitary arm, hidden from public view and financed very, very secretly with government funds, was known simply as "The Padania" and operated on a scale similar to the IRA.

If someone has been following the manga or anime with at least a resonable amount of attention, they already know who the Lega Nord and Padania are... or at the very least should be able to infer from what they know. To jog someone's memory though, you could perhaps add something into Abramo's line:
"The Coalizione isn't going to be able to justify our continued expenses in Parliament, and the Lega Nord trying to eat from the same trough isn't helping. We need to cut back expenses."

Then you can go and find somewhere else to drop another bit of information. Money troubles are the major thing people need to know about right now to get your AU, there's plenty of time to keep building after.

Another bit of info could possibly be dropped where we first see James:
He seemed completely off his guard and unaware of his surroundings, engrossed in the latest in Italian news.

You've just talked about the news, throw in a bit of detail. Take say, the information here:
The calm of the night contrasted sharply with the state of the Republic of Italy. With the onset of the Eurozone Crisis, and the associated inflation of the Euro, philosophical differences between the north and south, divided sharply across the peninsula from Rome to Pescara, had caused unrest that ranged from simple demonstrations and pamphlets to massive riots and terrorism.

We're reading from Jean's perspective, so tag it in:
He seemed completely off his guard and unaware of his surroundings, engrossed in the latest in Italian news: though anyone able to glean pleasure from those pages since the Eurozone fell into disarray would require a personality bordering on sadism.

If you needed more you could even have Jean read the headline off the paper and run it on something to do with the North/South split, or politics, or whatever you want to elaborate on. Just a sentence or two.

That's how I would probably try to tackle it at least. That said: I tend to like to try and make people work for their story, hiding snippets of information around the place which may be important later or help people build the world in their heads. It's an approach which also may not suit everyone, particularly more casual readers.

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 2:06

Ooh... that could be a rather major endeavor for chapter one. I'll keep this in mind for the future though, because it seems like it'll help the writing be less clunky. Thanks for the help Alfisti.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 4:08

El Conservatore wrote:Ooh... that could be a rather major endeavor for chapter one. I'll keep this in mind for the future though, because it seems like it'll help the writing be less clunky. Thanks for the help Alfisti.
I honestly would not bother trying to make changes now. What's done is done, it's all a learning experience. Besides, saying that you should would make me (more of) a hypocrite as this is the same approach I take with my own writing: take it onboard and try to remember for next time.

Anyway, onto Chapter02
"Is she not wonderful?" whispered Olga, standing nearby. "See how she arches her back! Ah, if only all the girls had this grace."
So, Olga finally got her wish and was allowed to turn one of them into a ballerina Razz


"Today I'm going to teach you something very important," said James. "I'm going to teach you how to run away."
I'm glad some things are turning out to be difficult for her. Between the dance and mention of hacking earlier in the chapter I was starting to worry this was going to be all smooth sailing. I like how you ran the dance back to back with the sparring practice though, it's a good way of contrasting what is coming more naturally to her and what is requiring work.


"Triela got seven," continued Caterina morosely. "And I think Rico got eight. I can't do this right! Why can't I do this right?"
Well, no matter how good Triela is she's never going to get more than seven... she runs out of ammunition after that.

I did enjoy the CEE section, those little performance checks and beureaucratic contrivences serve to maket he world more real. One thought though: might be worth taking that name and running it through a translation into Italian before turning it into an acronym.


"It's been evasion, mostly, and some grappling. That's on top of her training for house-breaking, gymnastics, and such, of course, but I feel like she'll be good enough to pass the test. Anyone up for poker?"
See this section here? This is a good example of how to break up your exposition... weave it in through another activity. I don't know how much of AtAC you've read, but much of J+M's planning and exposition happens over meals, which gives me a chance to break up their words with actions and prevents them becoming talking heads.


"I take it you like it?" asked James, hands in his pockets as he looked on. The fratello was standing in a shop in Rome, a small pile of clothes stacked up nearby beside a cheerful looking sales clerk. Taking a brief mental tally, James realized his bill was going to reach into the several hundreds of euros, possibly even breaking the one thousand barrier.
Which is why the clerk was so happy. Though, I guess in some stores, a thousand euro would not even buy one garment so it's all relative Razz


Another good chapter mate. This one feels more... together... than the last did, and not a bad job of getting through the training slog without allowing it to bog down. In terms of story pace some improvements for Caterina (hand-to-hand particularly between her initial training and the evaluation) felt a little fast, but the timeframe you set out "in story" seems resonable enough. I get the feeling though the buildup through training, and the trials and tribulations thereof, are not intended as your focus for the story Very Happy

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 4:14

@Alfisti wrote:In terms of story pace some improvements for Caterina (hand-to-hand particularly between her initial training and the evaluation) felt a little fast, but the timeframe you set out "in story" seems resonable enough. I get the feeling though the buildup through training, and the trials and tribulations thereof, are not intended as your focus for the story

You've bungled me sir. I'm literally trying to zip through this as quickly as possible to try and get to some proper action. Very Happy

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Il Direttore

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 7:20

El Conservatore wrote:You've bungled me sir. I'm literally trying to zip through this as quickly as possible to try and get to some proper action.
I can relate to that... why do you think J+M's story started a good year and a half into their tenure? Razz


Ok, on with Chapter03
The Pisano Reforms, as they are known, more heavily tax the wealthy and relieve taxes on lower income brackets, while also providing unemployment and medical benefits to a wide range of qualifying individuals.
Wide range? Or wider range... seeing as how Italy has had public healthcare since at least the late 1970s and unemployment benefits since the late 1940s?


"Why not? It'd really work pretty well, if you think about it," said Caterina, holding open the door to the dining hall for the two adults. "I mean seriously, why not just grab some girls and convert them, then train them in class groups?"


"Because we're not in a nation where this would be received quietly,"
Not to mention cost, or the loss of any chance at incremental development Razz 


"Yeah, well, doesn't mean that it's not boring beyond all possible belief. Besides, there's nothing on this time of day except crappy soap operas."
Welcome to the tedium of intelligence work...


"Yes, it's pretty routine by now," said Henrietta
I don't know if it's just me, but I have generally pictured 'Etta's speech as being more proper and... I don't want to use the word "elegant".... "lady-like", maybe? Or at least a child's imitation of lady like? Her speech patterns here felt quite casual through this section.

Could just be personal interpretations of the character as well.


"All units..."

It was time to make someone's day a lot messier.

"...move out."
Nice lead into the next chapter, I take it it may not just be the terrorists whose day is going to get messier?


Not a whole lot to say this time around I'm afraid, but another good chapter. I assume we are now at that point of reaching some proper action you were aiming for. Razz 

Anyway, F1 telecast is goingn to start shortly, hopefully I will be able to take a look at Chapter04 from Phosphate.

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 11:08

Gah, Henrietta's dialogue. I had the exact same issue you had with it, but I ended up stuck somewhere between "casual, if slightly stilted and careful", "obscenely British" and "way to damn old". Very irritating. Thoughts?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Il Direttore

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Comments : In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with me?’ -Horatius


Registration date : 2012-07-03

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 2:47

El Conservatore wrote:Gah, Henrietta's dialogue. I had the exact same issue you had with it, but I ended up stuck somewhere between "casual, if slightly stilted and careful", "obscenely British" and "way to damn old". Very irritating. Thoughts?

Well, I guess I always tend to view 'Etta as having a bit of a one-track mind, and being a little air headed. Normally when writing her I try to keep her language very proper (so no slang, easy on the abbreviations, fairly text-book) but also try avoid making her particularly eloquent... so no "big words", if that makes sense, and I will often repeat the same word rather than finding another way to describe something when writing from her perspective to simplify the vocabulary associated with her.

It doesn't hurt to throw the occasional "Jose..." out occasionally either.

That's my approach at least, your mileage may vary.

Anyway, onwards:

Chapter04
While Director Lorenzo's plan was sound, it had to be admitted that such a plan was generic at best and prone to implosion at worst. Nobody really had any idea what they were getting into.
Would it be Lorenzo's job to plan this? Or more Jean's department as field commander?


"Beginning triangulation ," announced Caterina, gray blips appearing rapidly on her map as every signal, radio, cellular, and otherwise, within range of her implants was located.
I assume this bounces of mobile phone towers or something? Can't triangulate with only one reciever.


"Sierra Team, ten four."
I always pictured Jean as being somewhat more... by the book.


Good action run mate. A couple of broader comments though:

Watch repeated words too close together. There was one paragraph in there I think you used the word "terrorist" four times in the same number of lines. It's a nitpick, but can be offputting and break up the flow... at least it does for this particular reader. Sometimes it is unavoidable, and sometimes you just miss it, but it is something to watch.

The other is more in terms of keeping the action making sense in the reader's head, not something I can claim to be an expert on, but I found myself having trouble tracking what was happening where. Example: I didn't realise Triela and co were entering a courtyard, or where that was in relation to the PM's offices. It might help to give a quick overview of the building layout. It doesn't need to be precise, but broad strokes enough to get a general idea... One option may have been to have Caterina glance over the building drawings, say (and I don't know what the layout is) "a rough rectangle around a central courtyard, with the prime minister's offices situated..."

Just a thought.

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 6:48

Alright... Chapter05
It would be pleasant, at this point, to say that life continued despite these changes, and that the cycle of deployment and training ground forever on. Such would imply that all was well and that Public Security, the GIS, and the SWA had a good hold on the internal security of Italy. It would imply that while yes, organized crime controlled a good chunk of the economy and there was much infighting regarding the status of the Italian Republic, such sentiments were a passing thing at best and would be crushed at worst. But to say as such would be to fabricate an illusion of the highest order, something no member of the intelligence community could possibly afford.
"Ford, why do I have this fish in my ear?"

I actually really like this passage. The writing flows, its eloquent... but it is also out of tone with what else you have written. Instead of running the story before the eyes of the audience, the narrator is talking directly to them. Suddenly I'm no longer watching the events unfold before me, but rather am hearing them in a plummy British accent, introing me to the latest BBC radio play... or possibly the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

"It would be pleasant, at this point, to say that life continued despite these changes for our heroes. Continued on a night out. A night out they would remember for a very long time..."

Which would be fine, and I love that sort of thing... but as before, it is something of a jarring change of pace, tense and style from the paragraphs prior.


"I'm starting a company," said James, passing over a business plan. "I'd like you to be one of our angel investors, if everything goes to plan."

"Have you spoken to any of these people?" asked Michele, flipping through the business plan. It looked very legitimate.
Interesting take on an AU Michele, and I like how you worked (one of) Kisk's backstory(s) into this. I'll leave it to him to comment on the veracity of Michele's approach the programme sans-Kara, but it was a cool way of slotting an OC in whom, I assume, will not fit into the SWA as you are writing it.


One bottle of Coteaux de Pierrevert
I shall have to find a bottle and try it.


"Ah, yes, Monsieur Iskios and niece,"
Always a usefully ambiguous cover or an elder man and younger girl...


We start with full glass of wine and pass around until everyone have one drink. Then, we top glass off with rakija! Of course, we first make sure wine goes well with rakija, but point is we start betting on who can drink more in one pass.
This sounds like a slightly more civilised version of Goon-of-Fortune... which is mildly similar but involves a goon cask and Hills Hoist clothesline.


Well... I guess someone will be kept a little more careful of the booze from now on...

I see why you decided to flag it as AU as well, the divergence from the canon with Italy's breakdown is quite distinct. I think we have had the discussion elsewhere about my views on hitting the "war" button, and this is so close to civil war that it for all intents and purposes has (at least from where I am sitting). That said, it is AU, so my ability to accept that is a little higher. I shall be watching to see how you handle it.

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 9:44

Regards Ch. 04 Commentary:

Ah, we might have different ideas of Henrietta. I've sort of thought of her as the "proper" cyborg. Don't make a fuss, don't speak inappropriately, be polite, and kill anything that threatens your handler. Henrietta always felt like she was trying very hard to match up to some idea of what a nobleman's daughter ought to be like, probably because Giuseppe comes from a fairly moneyed family and is projecting these ideas onto Henrietta.

The way I remember laying out Caterina's implants involved having four to six transceivers laid out on opposite sides of the head. Conceivably, with Science, you could ping each of those individually and record the time it takes for a signal to be located, then draw a sphere with that radius. Repeat for all transceivers, and the intersection point is the triangulated location.

Thanks for the advice on action sequences. I'm still rather new, as you can tell, and I'll try to work it better in the future.

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Regards Ch. 05 Commentary:

I was told the same by my pre-reader. I'm not sure what to do about it, to be honest. Part of me thinks that the change in tone is a negative business and I should try and shift back later, but another part of me feels like the shift of tone is better because it indicates a shift in the situation. IDK.

Well, there's the possibility of Gen. 03 being a thing very very VERY far down the line. If I ever get there, Michele might have a role.

Coteaux de Pierrevert is apparently a notable wine of the Provence region. *shrugs* I found a database of French wines: http://www.frenchwinesfood.com/default.aspx

Yes, Caterina will be kept on a tight leash around wine in the future. Also, she'd like you to know that she's normally not that crazy and please don't let this effect your perception of her as an operative.

I struggled with the possibility of Vladimir being unnecessarily characterized. Do you feel like I could have shunted the whole "James goes and makes friends" sequence into a few paragraphs? Also, what did you think about the scene with Draghi?

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Alfisti on Tue 2 Jul 2013 - 6:10

Ah, we might have different ideas of Henrietta. I've sort of thought of her as the "proper" cyborg. Don't make a fuss, don't speak inappropriately, be polite, and kill anything that threatens your handler. Henrietta always felt like she was trying very hard to match up to some idea of what a nobleman's daughter ought to be like, probably because Giuseppe comes from a fairly moneyed family and is projecting these ideas onto Henrietta.
No, I think we're holding similar views on Henrietta... I think what I was trying to get at was that, though her countenance is that of being the "proper" cyborg and aristocratic daughter/little sister, the toolbox she has in order to achieve those goals is limited. So while he speech is very proper, she lacks the range of vocabulary to make that fully work for her etc. Whether Jose is intentionally projecting that aristocratic vibe onto her conciously or not, or whether she's responding conciously or not I don't know... I'm going to lift a line from TSM's writings though (possibly incorrectly), that the cyborgs are whatever their handlers want them to be.


The way I remember laying out Caterina's implants involved having four to six transceivers laid out on opposite sides of the head. Conceivably, with Science, you could ping each of those individually and record the time it takes for a signal to be located, then draw a sphere with that radius. Repeat for all transceivers, and the intersection point is the triangulated location.
I don't know if those would be wide enough apart to get an accurate read (a child's skull is only, what, fifteen or so centimetres wide?). But hey, there is a certain amount of scifi goes on in GsG anyway, and your AU of it tends to be a bit more gadget-driven than what I tend to work with... so, for this particular case, when I ask why?
Spoiler:
I can accept that answer.


I was told the same by my pre-reader. I'm not sure what to do about it, to be honest. Part of me thinks that the change in tone is a negative business and I should try and shift back later, but another part of me feels like the shift of tone is better because it indicates a shift in the situation. IDK.
One way or the other, as a reader it is offputting... and you can shift tone without needing to shift style or addressing the reader directly.

This time around I would leave it (see previous conversation), it is what it is, but keep it in mind for next time.


I struggled with the possibility of Vladimir being unnecessarily characterized. Do you feel like I could have shunted the whole "James goes and makes friends" sequence into a few paragraphs? Also, what did you think about the scene with Draghi?
By "unnecissarily characterised" do you mean "over the top", or just "taking up too much story time"?

Personally I think you're right with Vladimir's segment as is, though I'm also probably not the person to ask as I tend to enjoy writing the occasional "larger than life" character as well. As to the whole "making friends" sequence, I also don't think it needed to be shortened: it slows the story down after the action of the last two chapter and gives some breathing space, trying to shorten it up I think would have made it feel rushed... ditto the final sectoini at Vladimir's villa: going straight to drunk Caterina would have not worked.

As to Draghi's bit, it did give a good grounding for the reader regards the relationship between Sec01 and Sec02, as well as the financial situation. However, if I'm brutally honest... it felt a little much "here comes James, swooping in to save the day, unite the SWA by His own hand, heal the divide between sections and solve all its problems!".

I know you're going more toward action, and I tend to write slower-paced stories, but it my mind this could probably have used some breaking up: maybe have James go in there, get rejected out of hand, go back to have a think, maybe kick some ideas around with some of the more moderate handlers (Hilshire comes to mind), make sure he has at least some support on the Sec02 side, go off to lay some ground work and then either come back and start chipping away again at Sec01.

*shrugs*

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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Tue 2 Jul 2013 - 10:19

Ah, the power of brainstorming (or is this considered editing? Eh.)....

In the end, it seems that I've done a fairly good job but stumbled a bit with figuring out how to keep a good mix of action and exposition whilst preventing character explosion/implosion. I'd hoped to avoid the GaryStu Pit entirely, but apparently I've tripped over it too. This is why writing is difficult, I suppose.

In any case, thanks a lot for all the help, Alfisti. Seems I didn't punch your sensibilities in the gentlemen vegetables to much, so I'll take this as a good first start. Hope you stick around for the remainder (which will hopefully improve)!

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

Post by Il Direttore on Tue 16 Jul 2013 - 22:50

Hallo again. 

TWO new chapters up, ladies and gentlemen! Hooray for not-doing-homework-or-that-sort-of-thing! 

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9125446/6/The-Department-of-Work-and-Labor

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Il Direttore

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Location : Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Original Characters : Lieutenant James Spettro/Caterina

Comments : In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with me?’ -Horatius


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Re: Gunslinger Girl: The Department of Work and Labor

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