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Election, Shifts comment question, NaNo - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Election, Shifts comment question, NaNo
Went to my neighborhood polling place at the opening and there was already a fifteen minute wait or so--not bad. But people were already beginning to back up, and by the time I got to work (which is a polling place for another ward), people were backed up for about a block outside the doors.

The new ballots are weird--no levers, you just fill in the oval affairs to be read by a machine at the door. I felt like I was taking my SATs rather than voting. And besides, now it doesn't work with the Schoolhouse Rock instructions...

Now we pull down
On the lever
Cast our ballots
And we endeavor
To improve our country
State, county, town, and school...


"Fill in the oval" just doesn't rhyme!

Anyway, I'm curious about the commenting in the last Shifts section. While I agree that Dora isn't hiding much about her little crush, I didn't intentionally write the scene as any more direct than usual, but the comments focused a lot on her feelings. I'm kind of curious as to what tipped that off and made it seem more obvious here than elsewhere.

Today's NaNo word from my lower brain: "You do realize this is overdone, clichéd crap, stupidly melodramatic, with cardboard characters and a senseless theory of magic. And, oh, FYI, your pacing sucks and the character-name sounds like she's from Hawai'i, not random fantasy land. And, er... random fantasy land? Could you get any more stereotypical?"

And this is why I'm doing NaNo. My lower brain says this every damned time I sit down to write anything that's not fanfic (and therefore existing in a "proven" universe). I'm hoping that what I'll have when I'm finished is a skeleton, and I can approach the second draft of it like I'm doing fanfic--exploring, seeking to understand motivations, looking in little corners I missed. I will never be the sort of writer who does shorter second drafts, even though that's the advice of my idol, Mr. King. My first drafts are, quite frankly, not much more than expanded outlines.


ETA: Pimping apocalypsos's present for voters. Vote, get a drabble of choice (and if you ask for one, you must also write one.)
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Comments
lyras From: lyras Date: November 2nd, 2004 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
While I agree that Dora isn't hiding much about her little crush, I didn't intentionally write the scene as any more direct than usual, but the comments focused a lot on her feelings. I'm kind of curious as to what tipped that off and made it seem more obvious here than elsewhere.

"Because you were my dear Mr. Lupin and you were paying attention to me," she said lightly.

In my case, it was because of this evocative, bittersweet line, which just made me go, POOR Dora - she's been nursing a crush on Remus ever since she was a kid!

I'm fairly sure she's told him this straight out earlier in the fic (forgive me if I'm wrong about this), but this time it's backed up by Remus's urge to kiss her fingers, which he dismisses as being due to the moon. So I think in this scene you have stepped up the sexual tension a bit, which may be why people reacted.

By the way, I've just noticed what may be a typo in the same scene, where Remus says "I'd forgot all about that." Shouldn't it be "forgotten"? Or is "forgot" acceptable in American English in this context?

Keep being strong about NaNoWriMo! I'm having the same problem with the voices - in fact, it took me far too long to write my first instalment, because I kept going back to change things when I decided they were rubbish. I need to be more hardheaded from now on.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2004 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
By the way, I've just noticed what may be a typo in the same scene, where Remus says "I'd forgot all about that." Shouldn't it be "forgotten"? Or is "forgot" acceptable in American English in this context?

Ah... I'd thought that the -ens were all dropped in British English. I guess the rule is more complicated!

Thanks!
lyras From: lyras Date: November 2nd, 2004 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
We'd say "I'd forgotten" or "I forgot", depending on the tense. Not sure what the rule is, though!

If you're thinking of the "gotten" thing in US English, that's the only "en" word I've ever noticed that we don't have in UK English - if that helps. We use forgotten, misbegotten and so on.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2004 06:47 am (UTC) (Link)
And on the rest...

I think it's mentioned earlier--during the scene in her car with Ted--that he knew she'd nursed a crush on him as a child, though I don't remember off the top of my head if she actually said it herself at any point. I'd guess like any teacher, he's dealt with student crushes along the way and has an automatic "Don't get too freaked out about this" reaction... which is, unfortunately, still kicking in when she's many years past being his student.

I didn't intend to step up the sexual tension that much, but I think it's just getting there in the way they are together, so I'm glad it's starting to just creep in without planning!
rabidsamfan From: rabidsamfan Date: November 2nd, 2004 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, at least with this kind of ballot if there is a problem they can still do a manual recount. *sigh*

I've got the day off, so I've been waiting till folks are at work to go vote. Didn't want to take the space of someone who doesn't really have time to wait. But now it's time to put on socks and shoes and find a book to take with me to the precinct...
chienar From: chienar Date: November 2nd, 2004 10:05 am (UTC) (Link)
As far as the new ballots go... yep feels like the 10102 forms we had to fill out in school with our #2 pencils to be scanned in... it didn't feel like the old voting with the pull down lever. Watching the form getting fed into the machine didn't give the same feeling of having finished voting.

And on to Remus and Dora - I think she should just bonk him over the head with the information and tell him to get over the age difference!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2004 11:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Watching the form getting fed into the machine didn't give the same feeling of having finished voting.

I know. It also felt kind of retro, even though it's newer technology. Isn't that weird?
michelle_ravel From: michelle_ravel Date: November 2nd, 2004 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Anyway, I'm curious about the commenting in the last Shifts section. While I agree that Dora isn't hiding much about her little crush, I didn't intentionally write the scene as any more direct than usual, but the comments focused a lot on her feelings. I'm kind of curious as to what tipped that off and made it seem more obvious here than elsewhere.

I'm not sure if it was. I just commented about that because someone else had, and I was responding.

But, now that I think of it, I could definitely feel the tension in that scene--and I think the previously mentioned line had something to do with it. It showed how much she's thought about him all these years, I guess.
sreya From: sreya Date: November 2nd, 2004 11:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Fill in the oval

I've never voted in an official polling place - every single election since I turned 18 I've voted absentee. So in my case, it's "fill in the ovals, stuff it in an envelope and make sure it's safely mailed!" Which, yeah, isn't very exciting. Though it's fun to tell people a week before the election that I've already voted.

Oh, and your NaNo brain sounds a lot like my LegalBrief brain right now. "You're trying to make an argument out of that? Pathetic, anyone with common sense would laugh you out of the courtroom. And you really haven't explained that case at all, how can anyone know what you're talking about?"

Must be a generic gremlin that attacks writers.
mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: November 2nd, 2004 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
While I agree that Dora isn't hiding much about her little crush, I didn't intentionally write the scene as any more direct than usual, but the comments focused a lot on her feelings. I'm kind of curious as to what tipped that off and made it seem more obvious here than elsewhere.

"Hmph. You should have drawn me going after that Healer with her own needle," Dora said, grinning.

"Because you were my dear Mr. Lupin and you were paying attention to me," she said lightly. She leaned over and kissed his nose.

Dora, who had stood up to start re-packing her picnic basket, ruffled his hair with one hand.

Her hand trailed lightly across his temple, and he stifled a mad, moon-driven urge to kiss her fingers.

She didn't hug and kiss him on her way out as she normally did--she was apparently becoming accustomed to the rhythms of his behavior--but she gave him one last cheerful smile and wave when she looked up at the window from the car park. He waved back.


These quotes were fairly close together, and we see throughout this well written scene Tonks being teasingly jealous about the scantily clad nurse, kissing Remus on the nose, ruffling his hair, lingering over his temple, and being in tune enough to pick on the fact that she probably shouldn't be too affectionate this close to the full moon. Do you see the gradual (obviously unintentional) change from playful to gentle caring?

Tonks has become very comfortable in her role as Lupin's partner. She's never been shy, but she *has* been reserved in showing feelings other than friendship for Remus. She has the feelings, yes, but she's certainly held them back. Over the past few chapters, though, the "feel" of their relationship has changed. It's as though she's spent so much time as Dora Lewis, that she's beginning to feel a bit Dora Lupin-y. (To use a Tonksism.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2004 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now that you point it out, it's glaringly obvious! At the time I was writing, it was just Tonks being Tonks. And I think you're right--she's definitley starting to feel Dora Lupin-y.
arclevel From: arclevel Date: November 2nd, 2004 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I've only voted in any sort of lever machine once, during a primary for various local offices that I didn't care much about. Otherwise it's always been absentee, with ovals to be physically punched out (but you can check they're done completely before you mail it) or a similar system to yours, except that you have to complete an arrow rather than fill in an oval.

I was surprised that I got in and out in about 25 minutes, but that's probably because I was there at 10:30 AM.
narnian_dreamer From: narnian_dreamer Date: November 2nd, 2004 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
During the craziness immediately following the 2000 election with the recounting and the Supreme Court and the "pregnant chad" controversy, I overheard two of my science teachers talking about how we can fix the voting process while I was packing up to leave the class.

Chem teacher: "The most error-proof method seems to be the electronic, computerized booths they have in certain districts, where you push the big red button."

Bio teacher: *stacking just-handed-in scantron tests* "Yeah, but not all districts can afford enough of them."

Bio teacher: *gets look of sudden inspiration and holds up tests* "Scantron!"

Chem teacher: "No! That would be even worse. Can you imagine the 'it's too light for the computer to pick up, did he really fill it in.' And the half-filled ovals, and the out of the line marks that get picked up as voting for two people. Or what if someone uses the wrong type of pencil, and God forbid they have to erase!"

Bio teacher: *chuckling* "Yeah, it would be chaos, wouldn't it?"

Obviously, the people in charge of voting have never taught high school. No matter that we take at least three of those things a year, or that the answering method is explained before every single one, there's always that one kid in the back of the class who draws a big "X" over the circle instead of filling it in.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Icon squee! 1776! And from my favorite song in it, too.

Ahem.

Well, they issued us markers instead of #2 pencils, so hopefully the "too-light" problem was solved, but yes... it's fairly obvious that they didn't talk to high school teachers about this.
tea_and_snark From: tea_and_snark Date: November 2nd, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Re: the Shifts question:
I haven't commented much, but I felt very sensitive to Dora's crush in the most recent installment mostly because the tension is just killing me. You have a great dynamic going on between them, and your characterizations are very canon, the result being that I'm just falling off my seat in anticipation of one or both of them admitting/noticing something unambiguously romantic between them. You might not have intended to make Dora's crush more pronounced, but to the reader it is, nonetheless, because it's been there so long it's maddening to watch them be together and not snog.

More, please!
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