|Reviews for Protecting You|
| zippywings chapter 20 . 4/10
The first half is pretty good. In fact, I think it's one of the better sections of this part of the story.
What I like:
-The comment about the stickers on the ceiling, while an odd observation, does a great job grounding the reader back to the reality that in spite of all of the dystopian stuff going on in Tyler's life, he still has a link to normal teenage life, and that's a great detail to bring us back to level ground. It's like taking a breath before taking another deep-dive into a shark-infested pool.
-The interaction between Tyler and Charlie is a bit more natural and believable than it's been in previous chapters. I get the sense that they're getting used to being in each other's lives again. While perhaps not perfect, it still works.
-They're trying to watch a movie. So normal.
What I don't like:
-Tyler explaining his thoughts to the reader, especially when he starts talking about the warehouse. Some explanation is fine, and I think his thoughts about his dad and Kylie are important enough to include, but don't overdo it, and don't make it sound like he's apologizing for something that he probably doesn't realize he's doing. It's another forced exposition that ruins the mood of the scene, especially when he starts talking about his crimes. I'm fine with Charlie calling him out on it, but I'd like to have much less of his thoughts and reasons and justifications knocked over my head. I'd rather have something paraphrased like:
"As long as I don't do something stupid again. I'm sure the Superior would love that. I wouldn't."
In the second half, we're back to the melodrama. I'm not sure how I feel about Kylie immediately giving her reasons for turning him in, especially at the halfway point in the story. I'm willing to buy it, especially when she tells Tyler that she no longer cares what happens to him. I figure she's weighing the cost and deciding she has nothing to lose by telling him the truth. But I do wonder if she's too quick and too open with it, when teasing the reader with some suspense might be better.
I suppose that's the main drive here, and the reason all of this talking is weighing the story down. There's no room for suspense if every character spills out his or her thoughts at the snap of a finger. This isn't to say that every character should give Tyler the runaround. Certainly the lawyers, therapists, etc. should be more willing to share what they know, unless they're trying to "protect him" with silence. The people in his personal life might hedge their talking points a bit more carefully. But what none of them would do is carry on yet more expositional melodrama. I'd really like to see more nonverbal action than talk talk talk in these times of tension between characters, with the talking focused only on important things that help with the story's pacing while delivering on information we need to know in order to understand what's coming next. I hope that makes sense.
Once he leaves Kylie's room, the rest falls back into place, and I think it works, especially the ending. I think the trick to working this scene out is to consider how much talking they'd really do, and how much exposition they'd really include in that conversation. The only people who talk in exposition are characters who think the reader won't pick up on subtext, assuming their story is a book and not actually happening. It's better to craft them with more natural tendencies.
| zippywings chapter 19 . 4/10
First paragraph should say "My feet sank into the mud," not "sunk."
When Kylie says she wants to go home and Tyler shakes his head, I think the conversation should end there. Everything that follows is too talky and melodramatic. We don't have to know every reason Tyler has for doing what he does, and we certainly don't need it spoken to us through his mouth. Subtlety is perfectly fine as a character trait. I think the story should continue where Kylie disappears.
I feel the same way about his conversation with Harper. The conversation is fine until he protests, "Why not?" I think the conversation should've ended there. Gets too talky after that. Nothing wrong with ending on a rhetorical question.
Fourth paragraph from the bottom, did you mean "It just wasn't me"?
For the most part, I like the second half as it is. I'd just work on cutting down on some of the pointless dialogue. I'm mostly fine with Holmes's part of the conversation, but I find that Tyler speaks beyond his need, especially with lines like, "They were the ones who shoved me away." I know he's a teenager, but it's still hard to sympathize with a whiny teenager, which is what he sounds like when he says things like that.
Anyway, the rest seems fine. I like where it ends.
| MileyRowling chapter 39 . 11/7/2017
| MileyRowling chapter 38 . 11/1/2017
| Anon chapter 38 . 10/30/2017
Colour me hyped! Are we going to finally get Tyler ready for a life outside of prison and crime ? Fingers crossed!
| Anon chapter 37 . 10/24/2017
Well damn! It’s time too see if Tyler will be changed after all, or if he will escape the prison before the testing starts. I guess it would be best for him if he did stop wanting the rush of crime? But he’s resistant to that thought. Ah well, we shall see!
| zomblien89 chapter 37 . 10/20/2017
every chapter is captivating-i look forward to more!
| MileyRowling chapter 37 . 10/17/2017
Great update! I loved it!
| MileyRowling chapter 36 . 10/10/2017
| zippywings chapter 18 . 9/23/2017
In the first paragraph, you go through the extra trouble to tell us where everyone's sitting. You don't have to do that. We can find out who's at the table as you mention them, and we can find out where they're sitting as it becomes important. If we end up not needing to know any of this, then we can skip that part of the description.
Other than the last chapter, I don't remember mention of "The Superior." Is this some kind of main villain, or just somebody mentioned for world-building purposes? The introduction of the Superior at the time when Tyler comes home reinforces my thinking that Chapter 17 should be the first chapter in a second book. Seems like a new global conflict could be brewing here.
For the most part, the scene at dinner is fine. I think the conversation runs a tad long, and the exchange of words is a little too perfect-sounding for me to trust it, but it's still pretty good. The struggle that Tyler has with his dad keeps the tension alive, even if it comes across a bit cliche. I suppose if he has to fight with someone...
Oh, okay, the state of the room is better explained here. I find it weird that his mom would remember exactly how the room looked prior to the police ransacking it (to the point that Tyler would also recognize it as unchanged...and how would he remember the exact details after two years?). I'm glad you explained it. I still don't buy it. ;) Do they have photographic memory? Did someone take pictures before and after the police ransacking? Some explanations seem like they're in place as afterthoughts-something I'm guilty of in my own writing. These are the kinds of fixes we can reintegrate more naturally, once we learn what actually happens.
Tyler says things "coolly" too much.
Regarding Tyler's conversation with Charlie, it's got tension in it, which is good, but the revelation that she was seeing someone else has a mixed impression on me.
On the positive, it's believable that he would be upset over her not telling him...
On the negative, it's pretty lame of him to assume she'd stick around when he had a life sentence.
Was she really cheating on him?
Honestly, these questions don't matter. What matters is that this revelation should've come later, when things between them are better. Right now it feels like just one more thing to throw at him. It's impact isn't what you probably want it to be. Give them a season of happiness, and then throw the revelation at him. That'll hurt more, and cause his grief to be justified.
At any rate, this chapter is pretty good. I like the relational dynamics here.
| zippywings chapter 17 . 9/23/2017
Scene 1: I like how this section begins, with Tyler reentering his room for the first time and taking it in with wonder and/or skepticism. I was a little confused by the list of clients in his pants. Are these pants hanging in his room? Have the pockets seriously not been searched in the entire time he was away? I'd think his mom would've searched them prior to doing his laundry (if she does his laundry, though that's not evident, but there's no reason not to believe it, either), and based on his dad's reaction in earlier chapters, I wouldn't be surprised if HE didn't search the room for incriminating artifacts. And even if the parents would do no such thing, I'm sure the police probably would, unless the world in "Protecting You" is so far in the future that police no longer take out search warrants (except, I seem to recall that they did have a search warrant for the cave, or some other location, so...)
Anyway, I got off-topic, but the point is that I like the idea that he's having to reassimilate into a world that he probably feels disconnected from. I'd like to see more of that disconnect play out in all of his actions as he moves from his room down to the table across from his mom. What I would like to see a lot less of is casual conversation between him and his mom. A few lines of dialogue are okay, but the dialogue in this section is either too breezy or too tense, but not spoken at the right tenor for the situation. He should be feeling awkward being home again after nearly being transformed into an Aitu.
I do like how the section ends, though. That's the kind of awkwardness I'm talking about.
Scene 2: Honestly, I don't know what the point of this scene is. There's no movement here. Just two people talking to each other, and I'm not even sure what the end goal is for the scene. It's informative, sure, but what do I need to get from it to understand the story better? Scenes should convert from positive to negative, or negative to positive, or positive to really positive, or negative to really positive, or deliver an important piece of information that the story can't live without. Basically, the story needs to keep a momentum going, and this scene stalls it. We either need more, or it should be skipped.
Overall: I still like the idea that Tyler comes home and tries to reintegrate into society. I hope he learns something from his past bad choices! ...
| MileyRowling chapter 35 . 9/18/2017
Great update! I loved it!
| MileyRowling chapter 34 . 9/11/2017
| MileyRowling chapter 33 . 9/5/2017
| zomblien89 chapter 33 . 9/4/2017
wow...maybe Chris has a heart