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 Chapter Eight (Breakdown)

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Clockwork Horrorshow
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Location : Magnolia, Arkansas

PostSubject: Chapter Eight (Breakdown)   Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:04 am

tl;dr: Ben returns from work. Julia fails to ask about the yearbook, and instead cries about the news. They agree she can't go home. Hamburger Helper. Serious conversation. Ben doesn't want to talk about family, but shows Julia a picture of he and his mom. Ben and Julia share a bed. No sex. Julia has nightmare which includes Ben's mom and Ben.

“Your situation is strange,” Ben reminded her, recalling the news report he had heard on the radio earlier in the week. ‘Valedictorian Disappears Without a Trace, Foul Play Suspected.’ “When good, middle-class girls are threatened, the government likes to point it out. It’s the ‘pretty missing white girl syndrome’. Make a big deal out of the good-girl-gone-missing, and parents will look at their daughters and think ‘it could be her, we have to help’. You were at the top of your class. You had tons of scholarship offers rolling in. You had a perfect record. To just run away and throw out everything you had worked so incredibly hard for?”---The reader really needed this validation. It's almost telling the reader why they should care about Julia's story. Keep. Ben says it perfectly with this little bit of dialogue than it could have ever been said it otherwise.

“Regardless, your town has never seen something like this. No murders, no runaways, no kidnappings. It probably scared the shit out of everyone. The valedictorian, the town hopeful, just suddenly gone? No trace? No goodbyes for her friends or a blame-filled note for her parents? That doesn’t happen, Jule. Someone always knows. That’s why your case is so crazy. That’s why everyone wants in on it,” he gestured mindlessly towards the TV. “So, you get news coverage.”----Same applies here. Keep.

----Def keep the Hamburger Helper bit. It was a nice transition from tense to lighthearted.

{ Ben sighed. “I’ll leave you money for a taxi tomorrow, alright? Give yourself plenty of time. You’ll be amazed when you see this joint.”

The two ate hamburger helper on the couch, in quiet exhaustion. Neither was willing to talk, and both stared at the television while Julia’s best friend, Kaylie Matthews, made her plea to Julia’s ‘kidnapper’. Bring her home. Christ, just bring her home! Julia teared. “I need to call her.” }


----I have two issues with this bit. I know it's the library, but Ben was so adamant before about not letting her go out alone. He's very accepting of her going to the library. It really isn't a huge deal, considering she's going to the library, but hey, he wouldn't even let her roam her hotel. I think the CNN and Kaylie bit needs to be moved up to before they agree to eat. Maybe when she's telling Ben about her Mom on the tv, then she sees Kaylie. Because here, it feels like they've moved past it. Why would they still have CNN on? They seem over it with the transition to supper, yet they subject themselves to the newscast while they eat? It seems off kilter.

Ben swallowed hard, staring at his plate a long time before answering. “Everyone has a family, Julia.” -----I absolutely love this line and demand you keep it. It is perfect for the atmosphere in which it was said. I imagine him looking down at his plate, forking his food, not looking at Julia as he answers. It's perfect. It makes the scene turn suddenly cold, appropriately if I imagine the eating scene starting lightheartedly like the cooking scene was. Keep.

Ben appeared next, in the window Julia was standing next to. His eyes met his mother’s, and his face went solemn. “You couldn’t just leave it alone,” he whispered, grabbing Julia’s wrist. “It’s called death, are you happy? You figured it out.” Ben tugged Julia’s arm, pulling her off balance, and let go. ----This is a keeper. Very haunting and beautiful. The whole nightmare sequence is really good, but it needs a little fleshing as I couldn't really get the physical scene in my head. I was confused about where his mom was and where Ben was. I thought Julia was standing on the ledge. Clarify that, and the scene is a keeper for sure.

----The chapters are getting much better. The detail is getting better, the characters are flourishing. The further you get, the better it gets. One more thing in addition to the suggestions above, it seems out of place for Julia to sleep in Ben's bed if they didn't do anything prior. I know that's forward, but in my head it makes sense. Casually sleeping in the same bed seems illogical, sweet, and cute, but illogical. If that is what you're implying, that they slept in the same bed. Maybe they didn't, maybe I'm assuming. These are my only suggestions for this chapter.

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Scottie Elisabeth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Eight (Breakdown)   Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:54 pm

Ghost

In general, this chapter is salvageable. LOTS of stuff going on here. I just need to write it better.

Family
Salvageable. Julia & Ben.

Ben gets home and she’s whining about CNN still? Would she really just sit on the yearbook? I don’t know. I’m not buying it.

“No valedictorian” — Unless I set this on the night of graduation. Doesn’t make much sense for her to run away before if it’s so close and this is a calculated runaway. Is it a runaway if she’s graduated from high school though? Idk. Ughhhh.

Be consistent—are we capitalizing Hamburger Helper or not? It’s such garbage, but I miss it so much in England. Sad

WHY ARE THEY STILL WATCHING CNN?!?!!? JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

Keep:

From “Regardless, your town…” to “…get news coverage.” Good explanation as to WHY she’s all over CNN. This happens all the time—Madeline McCain, Holly Bobo, Elizabeth Smart. This could have gone ROOM real quick.

“She sighed, “What’s the NYPL?”” — Lol she’s not amused.

“Julia pondered the question, but decided against asking it.” — Really though, what was she even asking? Either way, decent line.

The whole Ben & picture frame scene. Good reveal with also a decent reason. From “Ben rifled…” to “Sweet dreams.”

Nightmare
Salvageable. Julia & Ben.

All salvageable. Conveys exactly what I want it to. Hits on Julia’s suspicions while letting Ben get some fucking revenge for her being such a whiney stupid. Scary mom. I remember this scene being modeled after a dream I had re: Quarantine.

I'm Fine
Unnecessary. Julia & Ben.

Tiny scene. Just revealing that the above was indeed a nightmare. But it’s small and forced and unnecessary.
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