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“My Amelia, I’ve missed you terribly. Tonight is worth, to me, any consequences that may come of it.” -- Espionage
For all of Miriam’s beauty and natural poise, her severity was unmatched. -- Glow
PEOPLE VS. OUR CREATOR "We create our gods, not the other way around." -- Clockwork Horrorshow's Unjust -Injustice for All-
"You're dead, Julia." -- Quarantine
“I almost forgot which one you were, girr.” -- The Mannequin Diaries

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 Chapter Ten (Breakdown)

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Clockwork Horrorshow
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PostSubject: Chapter Ten (Breakdown)   Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:16 am

tl;dr: Yes, Julia, you ARE dead. Overwhelmed Julia goes for a soda. Ben takes a mysterious phone call. Ominous flashback. Four worlds, Jules. Title of book explained.

Julia stared at her hands so hard she could almost see the blood pulsing through them. “What the hell are you talking about?” she questioned, anger swelling up inside her. She snapped her head up to glare into his eyes. “How could you look me in the face and lie to me like that? I thought I was supposed to trust you!”----Perfect example of what I meant earlier. Julia brings up the trust issue, not Ben for the billionth time lol. Keep. I like this bit.

{ “No! You stay away from me, Ben Lane!” Julia turned quickly, darting for the apartment door. Just as she reached it, so did he. She gripped the knob and threw the door open, but Ben closed it quickly, and, before she could react, pinned her against the door. He pushed his hip against the small of her back to hold her in place while pinning each of her wrists to either side of her. Her head was turned just enough for him to see a tear fall down her cheek as he pressed himself against her.

“Julie, you have to calm down,” he begged, catching a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “I’m not lying. I swear, I’m not lying.” }


----Keep. There's something about Ben getting physical with her. It feels right. Not creepy. Right.

The girl’s thoughts flashed to the man who had given her a cigarette. A tracheotomy gone bad. She thought of the lack of looks she got at the NYPL. Her picture was all over the news, ordinarily, someone would have taken a second glance. She thought of Ben’s yearbook… -------I honestly didn't think about her picture being all over the news, and the possibility of people recognizing her. I guess maybe because it's NYC, but at the same time, this makes a lot of sense. Keep. Keep. Keep.

{ Ben’s apartment phone rang sharply. Julia was startled into silence as Ben released her from his grasp. “One second,” he promised as he slowly stood, reluctant to leave Julia against the door unsupervised. Seeing she wasn’t going to move and counting the fourth ring, Ben turned from her and went to the phone. The caller ID read Unknown Caller.

“Make that two,” he joked solemnly, picking the phone up from the cradle without answering it. “I’m going to take this in the bedroom, okay?” }


----I really want you to keep this bit. I love how you break the tension with these hints of humor. Plus, this is beautifully written. Keep! But Julia going to get a soda after this, I don't know, seems off. The coke/pepsi thing is cute, but it seems too sudden. Ben is worried to leave her in front of the door to go answer the phone, and in the same breath, he allows her to go get a soda. I also feel like he told her there was soda in the fridge in an earlier chapter lol.

----I like the flashback. I like the way the two scenes coincide. If you were planning on keeping Julia's past dark like this, I think this is a believable flash back. And Ben tells her he has sodas after this. Razz I know he needed privacy, but still.

Julia laughed. Hard. “You're insane,” she managed, as Ben stared at her confusedly. “This is ridiculous. Ben. Stop it. I almost think you're serious.” He did not crack a smile. “Ben?” ---This doesn't feel like the right reaction. It seems too childish. I mean, she sat there an listened to everything else, noting how it made sense, and then she suddenly decides not to believe him after the last information dump? No, Julia, don't be a child. You can't be bipolar like that.

----You said you changed the way the whole Quarantine universe works. So, I won't go in depth about that. However, this entire chapter is like info overload. It's too much in one chapter, but good info. Again, another hard part. You got Julia and Ben together, now to just explain the world without info dumping. D:

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Scottie Elisabeth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Ten (Breakdown)   Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:20 pm

Forever Dead

Oh this chapter. So much and yet so little. Frustrating and useful and useless and dramatic. Ugh.

Dead
Salvageable. Julia & Ben.

There’s the “You’re dead, Julia!” About time.

“You must have died somewhere between your home and New York” — So what’s the plan with this? I don’t remember what I intended to do, other than make an excuse for them not to have a body. But in the end, Julia just retained her body, right? Because she didn’t die, she just crossed over? There’s got to be a better way to convey this.

“All dead” — Are they? We need a Quarantine brainstorm.

“That’s why she had just disappeared off the face of the Earth.” — Maybe go into how she’s not on CCTV?

Do the worlds really overlap? Inside separate, outside same? I’m not convinced. I remember this problem before though — do the worlds physically stay the same despite the people being in one or the other? Are they parallel? Can one build without the other? Perhaps “devil’s acres” and shit are where things are built in the World of the Dead, but not the World of the Living. Maybe that’s why it’s freaky to go in a half-abandoned building, because it’s active in the World of the Dead. But I need to touch on why Ben’s school was empty. Was it after hours? Dunno.

Also, Ben’s being a total whinebag about telling Julia she’s dead. In the prologue, the guy came right out with it. Ben’s totally ignoring it. Why? Is the buddy system a new thing? Ben, she NEEDS TO KNOW she’s dead. Everyone else gets told right away. WHAT IS GOING ON. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF SHE TRUSTS YOU.

Keep:

“But you are [dead]…or you wouldn’t see me…you wouldn’t be here with me.”

“The girl’s thoughts flashed to the man who had given her a cigarette. A tracheotomy gone bad. She thought of the lack of looks she got at the NYPL. Her picture was all over the news, ordinarily, someone would have taken a second glance. She thought of Ben’s yearbook…” — Good!

Flashback: Soda
Flashback. Julia.

If I do keep this, I need to make it vaguer. Make the reader uncomfortable without spelling it out for them or being intentionally shocking. Drama llama.

Soda Drama
Unnecessary. Julia & Ben.

But I do like that the tension carries over here. Unnecessary to be a separate scene from the next, though.

Back in the Apartment
Salvageable. Julia & Ben.

“Give me a ‘for instance.’” — Eh. Not in love with this. I feel like I knicked this terminology from somewhere, but god knows I didn’t cite my sources.

Ben’s 18, soz Quarantine 2.

Good note with the baby boomers, but no one suspects what doesn’t look suspicious. Influx of babies wouldn’t make people go “you know, I think someone’s making this happen.”

Keep:

Important info from “Not quite,” onward, but holy fuck, quit infodumping.

“No,” Julia forced a laugh, but simply scooted forward, closer to Ben. “No, I don’t understand.” — I mean, why would you?

“It’s not a foolproof system, but it’s the system.”
“System. Someone did this? Created the worlds?”
“Well, I’m sure.” Ben blinked, scooting closer to her. “I mean, someone had to.”
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