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Author Topic: EP351: 113 Feet  (Read 13907 times)

Devoted135

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Reply #25 on: July 10, 2012, 04:51:59 PM
For me, the difference is rather simple, but involves whether or not the story relies on an understandable, naturalistic (that is, non-supernatural) explanation for the goings-on in the story. I realize that things like "hyperdrive" are scientific voodoo, but the hand-waving does not involve "and a demon did it". SF is - or at least should be - concerned with things that might be possible. Fantasy more often uses things that are clearly not possible.

This is much closer to the definition that I use to sort SF and Fantasy in my head, but more specifically I ask if the characters consider themselves to be using technology or magic.

I was going to use Battlestar Galactica for my example: the quest to find Earth and all...  :D



ThomasTheAttoney

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Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 04:01:29 PM
Good story.  Physical descriptions were brief and characters emotions were mainly defined by their actions and dialogue.  Nobody was "yearning" or "smiling sardonically."  Some of the argument dialogue could have been reworked.  It sounded fakey.  Way too long on her figuring out the dad's secret notes.  We get it.  Don't belabor the point. 
Her anger when finding her dad was mercifully short.  She could have spent more time on the other side, but the story was long enough.  Destroying the letter was a cop out.  Should have given a summary or not mentioned it. 
It was an interesting idea.  Lost of dads abandon their families.  This guy had a reason.



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Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 10:59:15 PM

There's the other diving story here with a ribbon shark. That one was pretty awesome, too.


Thanks for the link!

That one was indeed pretty awesome, too :)



Fenrix

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Reply #28 on: July 12, 2012, 09:21:38 PM

There's the other diving story here with a ribbon shark. That one was pretty awesome, too.


Thanks for the link!

That one was indeed pretty awesome, too :)

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Reply #29 on: July 13, 2012, 02:05:00 PM
Destroying the letter was a cop out.  Should have given a summary or not mentioned it. 

I disagree.  Her destruction of the letter more clearly illustrated her character arc than anything else in the story.  She has changed as a result of finding her dad.  Before that last dive she would've given anything to get a letter from her dad, and apparently he could've given one to her at any point but he preferred her to think him dead.  As a result of that final rejection, she has made her choice, and she sticks with it.

If the story had not mentioned the letter, then it would've changed the tone of the conclusion to a great degree.  Sure she's mad, but she might still forgive him, and might be open to contact if he words it right, maybe.

If the story had given a summary of the letter, it would've changed  everything too.  It would've shown that she was willing to give him another chance. 

IMO, handling the letter sequence in any other way would've weakened the story.



El Barto

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Reply #30 on: July 13, 2012, 11:50:06 PM
I liked much of the story but found two parts quite unsatisfactory.  First, the dad never explained why she had to go back so quickly, and he never said or suggested that there was anything to stop her from coming back for another chat.  Why didn't she just come back another time and demand more details and answers?  I suppose we could say she was just so pissed off at him abandoning her that she decided to turn her back on him forever, but that seems hard to believe after 7 years of questing to find him.  I would imagine many people would just come back a few weeks or months later.

Also, it just didn't make sense to me that they would both give up so quickly on talking further when it seemed perfectly allowable in the world built by the author for the daughter to come back another time, bring four more oxygen tanks, and have the dad come through the portal to at least hang out with his daughter in her time, underwater.

Lastly, it often irritates me in stories like this when someone discovers some huge world changing technology or artifact and they don't even think about sharing the news.  There is no way anyone in this forum would be able to turn their back on a portal through time.  Am I right?








Balu

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Reply #31 on: July 14, 2012, 12:07:36 AM
Lastly, it often irritates me in stories like this when someone discovers some huge world changing technology or artifact and they don't even think about sharing the news.  There is no way anyone in this forum would be able to turn their back on a portal through time.  Am I right?

You know, that's a very good point.

On the one hand, something so traumatically mind-bendingly sf may well send the average joe off to a life of don't think about it, whistling past the graveyard denial.

The girl in this story though? No way. She's staunch.

Perhaps a 113 Feet 2 might be in order ?



Listener

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Reply #32 on: July 16, 2012, 06:25:51 PM
Hello. It is I, the author. My thanks to everyone who read and commented on this story. I'm very pleased and proud to have had it presented as an Escape Pod Original, especially since it was inspired by Steve's comments in Episode 147: "Pressure". I literally went from my car to my computer at work and started writing this story that very day. Don't tell my old boss that, though.

Like Elle, I was a scuba diver as a kid. It was something I could do with my dad on the weekends, and we dove together almost every Saturday for more than four years. A lot of the backstory on Elle becoming a diver is based upon those scenes. Also, like Elle's grandfather, my grandfather owned a boat (although we never did get around to diving off it, and I certainly never stole it). I hadn't dove in a while when I wrote this, though, so I went to my local dive shop and met with a Dive Master (also one of my county's coroners -- go figure) to workshop all the diving scenes.

This was the first genre story I attempted to sell professionally. I wrote the first draft in 2008 (about 12,000 words) and aimed really, really high, sending it to Asimov's. The editor rejected it, but gave me a full-page critique, which I really appreciated, along with an invitation to revise and re-submit. So I did, and got another full-page critique with my second rejection. From there, the story went through several metamorphoses; the version you heard (or read) is about the fifth draft, and is almost 5000 words shorter than the original. Several scenes were cut, including one where Elle breaks into Barry's house, and the finale on the other side of the portal was added.

Yes. You heard that right. In the first draft, I never actually revealed what happened to Elle -- because when I wrote the story, I didn't know. To me, that's one of the most fun kinds of stories to write: the kind where I don't actually know what's going to happen. That way, I can surprise myself along the way and I keep writing because I want to know what's coming next. Fortunately, the critiques I got put the kibosh on that right out of the gate.

So, thanks again to Mur and company for purchasing, producing, and publishing this piece. I'm glad to see that so many people enjoyed it.

Some posters have asked questions that I can't answer because I don't know the answers:
* What did the letter say?
* Why did she only have a short amount of time on the other side of the portal?

Who says "I'll never dive again" in the final scene? Elle.

How can you have a sunken wreck without some tentacle gods? At the time, my exposure to Cthulhu was woefully limited, and honestly that subgenre isn't really my favorite one.

Why did the storms happen? I believe I answered this in the text -- the energy from the transition through the portal has to go somewhere, and storms over water are generally safer than risking explosions and such over land.

Why was the stuff on the other side of the portal written in past-tense? Mostly because I'm a slave to format -- since that part technically didn't occur in the present (it happened a couple hundred years in the future), I didn't write it in present-tense. I'm surprisingly picky about stuff like that -- in a multi-POV novel I'm writing, I get weirded out when I reuse a character's POV in the same chapter because, in general, I don't do that through the rest of the book.

Will there be a sequel? Doubtful. I am rather curious what Elle is going to do with her life now that her great quest is over. Maybe she'll show up as a minor character in something else I write. I have a habit of reusing characters out of narrative convenience and some weird desire to make everything connect to everything else.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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Reply #33 on: July 17, 2012, 02:14:33 PM
Hello. It is I, the author. My thanks to everyone who read and commented on this story. I'm very pleased and proud to have had it presented as an Escape Pod Original, especially since it was inspired by Steve's comments in Episode 147: "Pressure". I literally went from my car to my computer at work and started writing this story that very day. Don't tell my old boss that, though.

I don't think I realized this was your story, Listener.  Congrats!  :)



Cutter McKay

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Reply #34 on: July 17, 2012, 11:28:38 PM
Hey, Congrats, Listener. That's great that EP picked up your story. It's cool to see a member of the forums here get to contribute on the other end. (Thank goodness I didn't rag on this one too hard, or make insults to the author's mother or anything, hehe.)

I admire anyone who is willing to throw themselves to the mercies of these forumers, especially since we tend to be a little more critical than complimentary. Someday I hope to be the one putting myself up here for critique. Currently all my writing is focused on winning Writers of the Future, but I think I'm going to start sending the rejects Mur's way.

Now that we have the author's ear, so to speak, I would like to ask you directly, as I mentioned in my earlier post, why you didn't stick to your format of past tense for "yesterday's" events and present tense for "today's" events. I mean, I really enjoyed that format and was thrown off a bit when the scene between Elle and her father was in past tense even though it was part of "today's" story. Was this a conscious decision, or did you simply not want to throw off the pattern of Present, Past, Present, Past, etc?

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Listener

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Reply #35 on: July 18, 2012, 01:15:05 AM
I admire anyone who is willing to throw themselves to the mercies of these forumers, especially since we tend to be a little more critical than complimentary.

Compared to my high school journalism teacher, you guys aren't so bad.

Now that we have the author's ear, so to speak, I would like to ask you directly, as I mentioned in my earlier post, why you didn't stick to your format of past tense for "yesterday's" events and present tense for "today's" events. I mean, I really enjoyed that format and was thrown off a bit when the scene between Elle and her father was in past tense even though it was part of "today's" story. Was this a conscious decision, or did you simply not want to throw off the pattern of Present, Past, Present, Past, etc?

Mainly this:

Why was the stuff on the other side of the portal written in past-tense? Mostly because I'm a slave to format -- since that part technically didn't occur in the present (it happened a couple hundred years in the future), I didn't write it in present-tense. I'm surprisingly picky about stuff like that -- in a multi-POV novel I'm writing, I get weirded out when I reuse a character's POV in the same chapter because, in general, I don't do that through the rest of the book.

So, it was both a conscious decision and me not wanting to lose the pattern.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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Cutter McKay

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Reply #36 on: July 18, 2012, 02:06:39 AM
Mainly this:
Why was the stuff on the other side of the portal written in past-tense? Mostly because I'm a slave to format -- since that part technically didn't occur in the present (it happened a couple hundred years in the future), I didn't write it in present-tense. I'm surprisingly picky about stuff like that -- in a multi-POV novel I'm writing, I get weirded out when I reuse a character's POV in the same chapter because, in general, I don't do that through the rest of the book.

Now I feel dumb for having missed this explanation initially. I did read this and just must have misunderstood what you were saying. Thanks for re-clarifying without mockery, hehe.

And I get being a slave to format. Also, I think the line "I was twenty-two when I found my father." is much better and stronger in past tense. So it works. In all, a good story. I hope to see/hear more from you here in the future.

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Listener

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Reply #37 on: July 18, 2012, 02:12:16 AM
I hope to see/hear more from you here in the future.

Well, EP hasn't bought any more of my stories yet, but I have two forthcoming on another podcast -- not sure when, but... soon? I hope? Your guess is as good as mine.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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childoftyranny

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Reply #38 on: July 18, 2012, 11:53:21 PM
Hmm I don't particularly have much to add, but I'm getting very stubborn on commenting on everything I listed to here, so matter how inane my comments might have to be, so there. I enjoyed the story and admit, that I didn't catch the grammar changes direction, but I think that means it worked well for me. One only tends to notice grammar when it clashes or is unusual, I find.

And congratulations Listerner!




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Reply #39 on: July 19, 2012, 02:02:51 PM
I hope to see/hear more from you here in the future.

Well, EP hasn't bought any more of my stories yet, but I have two forthcoming on another podcast -- not sure when, but... soon? I hope? Your guess is as good as mine.

What other podcast?  Can you divulge?

I'm looking forward to having my first EP story in the nearish future.  :)



Listener

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Reply #40 on: July 19, 2012, 02:09:26 PM
I hope to see/hear more from you here in the future.

Well, EP hasn't bought any more of my stories yet, but I have two forthcoming on another podcast -- not sure when, but... soon? I hope? Your guess is as good as mine.

What other podcast?  Can you divulge?

I'm looking forward to having my first EP story in the nearish future.  :)

The Dunesteef. I've signed the contracts, so they'll appear when they do. I can haz patience.

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Reply #41 on: July 19, 2012, 04:40:13 PM
I hope to see/hear more from you here in the future.

Well, EP hasn't bought any more of my stories yet, but I have two forthcoming on another podcast -- not sure when, but... soon? I hope? Your guess is as good as mine.

What other podcast?  Can you divulge?

I'm looking forward to having my first EP story in the nearish future.  :)

The Dunesteef. I've signed the contracts, so they'll appear when they do. I can haz patience.

Ah, the Dunesteef.  I love their work.  They're one of the podcasts I listen to so I'll hear yours there too.  :)



Gamercow

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Reply #42 on: July 24, 2012, 01:47:58 PM
I liked this one, and I'm SO glad that you decided to add in the epilogue.  It completely changed my mind about the father, or rather brought to light the truth about him.  He was a dick.  He abandoned his family, with no explanation, to live in this other place.  Granted, it is the future, and that's neat, but if he really wanted to, he COULD have found a way to come back and explain to his family what happened.  He could have come back with an EPIRB, he could have sent back word with one of the other time travelers, he could have used some future technology to get a message back, or something else I can't think of.

But he didn't.  He stayed in the future, and let his family think he was dead.  As it was, looking back at the story, he had been spending more and more time apart from the family, I assume in search of the portals, he NEVER told his daughter he dove, never shared time with her doing the thing she loved the most, and more I look at it, the more I think "Yeah, this guy was an absentee dad/husband."  Eleanora did a good job closing that part of her life and moving on.  She deserved better, and I feel bad that she wasted 7 years of her life trying to reconnect. 

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CryptoMe

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Reply #43 on: July 27, 2012, 03:58:06 PM
I enjoyed this story, but everyone has already said everything I wanted to say...
  - finding the father was absolutely necessary to the story
  - I'm curious about the letter, but agree the story needs it to be unopened
  - I didn't notice the grammar changes at all, so it must have been well done
and most importantly of all
  - congratulations Listener!!



LaShawn

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Reply #44 on: August 06, 2012, 07:42:26 PM
Good job, Listener.

For me, this story reminded me of the one over at Podcastle, the one where the wife ditches her husband to live in Fairyland. At least in that story, she sort of warned her husband she was leaving, even though it was after the fact. But she didn't make him think she was dead that entire time.

I am glad that the MC was able to move on. I think I found that more distressing than what the father did, that she wasted all this time searching for her father when she could have been doing other things. And at the same time, I can see how she *needed* that closure. Glad she got it.

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Swamp

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Reply #45 on: August 06, 2012, 08:12:46 PM
I'm glad LaShawn posted about this story because it has promted me to do so as well. I am trying to catch up on my podcast backlog, and haven't had time to comment.

I really liked this story on many levels.  I loved the MC's emotional commitment, and her reaction to the outcome of her journey.  I also enjoyed the underwater diving aspect.  It truly is a compelling and exotic setting for a story!  Josh mixed it well with all of the other element of the story.

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hardware

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Reply #46 on: September 19, 2012, 07:34:34 AM
I liked this one OK, it was mostly the diving parts and the ending that makes it stand out from the rest. The theme of the absent father is well handled and it was certainly a relief not to get the sugarsweet ending of it. I certainly understand her rage against her father, even if she might regret destroying that letter in the future. Beside from that the characters are a bit sketchy, but not too cliche. My main problem with the story was that once the 't' word was out (transdimensionality, obviously) the journey to the moment where she would go through the portal became a bit predictable.  Nevertheless, well done Listener (time for a name change?)