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Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? (1 Viewer)

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moderan

WF Veterans
"Carrie" does outwardly conform to the YA stereotype in that it follows what I think of as the "X-Men" convention. The character is "special" because she has "powers", and she is "misunderstood". Pretty time-honored hook there.
She doesn't have a faux-twonky, didn't uncover a mimzy, she just has POWERS. King has his gift for personalization...otherwise there's nothing unusual or arresting about the narrative. Firestarter is a less-good rewrite.
Complete wish-fulfillment, totally Mary-Sue-territory character. A literary conceit, if you will. The same kind of conceit that I see here.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
dolphinlee,


Taking a momentary break from the book, I noticed a red fox walking along the pond's edge. It disappeared behind the little patch of woods which dad let growwild like most of the neighbors. This was very rare. Red foxes were never seen in broad daylight during the summer months. It didn't happen.
Where I live whenever I go for a walk I see foxes out in the daytime.



I've lived next to a river for thirty years. Across the street is a large, undeveloped wooded area, many hundreds of acres.
I've seen a moose, an American bald eagle, a vulture, and a martin or ferret, in the daytime, but never a fox in daytime during the summer months. I saw a fox in daylight in winter, with the ground covered with snow and food extremely hard to find, but that was the only time.

I've seen fox and coyotes many times at night.
Recently, there has been a family of coyotes in the heart of the city ( say, what!!!!!!!!!!!!:uncomfortableness: ) that people have seen wandering around residential streets in the daytime. My sister saw one. This is very unusual. ( People no longer let the dogs run loose like they did years ago. That might have something to do with it. )

Perhaps where you live, fox have gotten used to people in residential areas, like that family of coyotes we have here, but fox still restrict their movements to the dark hours.

I merely explained this to show that I am describing a real scenario, and if things are different elsewhere, oh well!

Why a fox? Or any animal? That is explained in chapter 7. I can't give everything in the first two pages. I think the average teenager will focus on the idea of a strange entity jumping into Theresa, and won't care a lick about the fox.

As for your statement that my opening has too many ideas you disagree with,
I hated page two of To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee goes into Old South history, giving information about people and events of long ago. Who cares! I sure didn't, and even after two readings I don't see the relevance. It could have been left out with no loss.
But I didn't stop reading the book because of that.
There is no book in the world that doesn't contain something that you won't like or feel is useless. It's the whole package that matters.
 
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Jeko

WF Veterans
I hated page two of To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee goes into Old South history, giving information about people and events of long ago. Who cares!

...most of the people on this forum.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
I was home alone at age ten while my parents worked but I was safe. Mom and dad installed one of those new child safety alert systems. All I had to do was quickly squeeze two buttons on my bracelet three times and the whole street would be blasted with a siren’s earsplitting wail. Neighbors were always around and the security company woulda lert the police.

I’m not sure I am comfortable with the idea of a 10 year old being left alone to fend for herself. Although she is self-assured no child this young should be left without adult supervision. In my country this would be classified as neglect.

When I wrote that paragraph, I was thinking about the Polly Klaas case:
Murder of Polly Klaas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The wikipedia article left out a few details:
12 year old Polly Klaas and her two friends were in a second story bedroom, and her parents were home.
Yes, you read that right!

( I remember the sentencing hearing. The criminal Davis read a statement. He quoted Polly as telling him, "Please don't do me like my father does."
An obvious lie. It caused bedlam in the courtroom. Davis's lawyers later came up to Polly's father and apologized: "We didn't know he'd say that."
Davis was a fine piece of work, hunh? )

If Theresa had a babysitter, how safe is that? The babysitter could be overwhelmed too and neighbors would be unaware.

The system I described wouldn't work in an isolated house out in the woods, or an inner city ghetto where everybody keeps their doors locked and mind their own business,
but Theresa's house is on a quiet street with thirty homes occupied mostly by young families who know each other well.

UPDATE !!!

The system can be improved. :-D

Besides the siren, each neighbor's home has a similar system. Everybody has a device that flashes the child's name and exact location. So all the children on the street are constantly protected. Shut-ins and old people living alone can also be included in the system.

The whole neighborhood is on guard for emergencies.
It would work in a neighborhood like Theresa's.

We're on to something!

Why didn't somebody think of this before?

***************************************

"Someone who wants to do God’s will has an unconquerable ally. Theresa can’t be defeated. I have hope she succeeds. I have hope she is a benevolent power. I hope.”
-- Theresa's priest, Father Donoughty
 
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Nemesis

The Black Goat
WF Veterans
Yes, because everybody want their neighbors to know exatly where their kid is at all times, even pedophile bob just down the street.
 

moderan

WF Veterans
Wowzer. Do the goalposts move every other post, or what?
0511-1105-2517-1646_Cartoon_of_a_Family_Eating_Popcorn_at_the_Theater_clipart_image.jpg
 

moderan

WF Veterans
This is easily the silliest thread this year. We should see if the awards committee can work something up.
 

alanmt

WF Veterans
The fact is, no one here has seen enough of Empress Theresa in its current form to be able to state whether it is publishable, or not.

While this is correct, of course, if one were to extrapolate from the excerpt in the original post, it would be my opinion that the writing itself is not of publishable quality. (As opposed to the plot, discussion of which seems to have consumed much of the many pages of this thread). There were several detailed critiques and bits of good advice with respect to the writing itself in the first few pages of the thread. The initial chapter is one of the hardest to write, and is critical to publishing. This one needs substantial reworking. Some issues I see:

1. First paragraph is weak, doesn't grab the reader.
2. The voice is neither young nor contemporary.
3. The affect is flat.
4. The pacing is too uniform.
5. The narrative is too shallow - more description is necessary for key passages.
6. Obvious human reactions seem to be missing.

It is certainly salvageable, but only with
1. a lot of work; and
2. a willingness to objectively listen to criticism and act on it.

ET, you've written the book! Yay! Now, you need to edit it. Which, in your case, may mean rewriting every chapter, every page. Good luck!

MOT: I will assume the world in your book has changed a bit from the state of affairs of the last 65 years, when Israel repeatedly proved itself quite up to the task of defeating any number of invading armies of its neighbors, with its modern army and American equipment, without much help from all-powerful teenage girls with magic white balls of fox excretion in their upper reproductive organ area. :) Of course, if Israel continues on its current path, one wonders if it will have any friends left in another couple decades.
 
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Jamie

Senior Member
This is easily the silliest thread this year. We should see if the awards committee can work something up.

Just read through a lot of it and I must say some people have the patience of a saint. Cadence in particular.

It became a lost cause a long time ago and is still one now. God only knows how this novel isn't a best seller.
 

moderan

WF Veterans
Just read through a lot of it and I must say some people have the patience of a saint. Cadence in particular.

It became a lost cause a long time ago and is still one now. God only knows how this novel isn't a best seller.
It was never a found cause. An attempt at the ultimate "gifted child" tale, but without the charm of say, "More Than Human", the cleverness of Henry Kuttner's several efforts, the sheer scary of Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life", or the subtlety of "Gomez". I would be not at all surprised to find this thread, almost identical in rancor and misunderstanding, at another site just as soon as it finally winds down here.
Likely it'll end soon now that the observers have started to get all Heisenbergian on it.
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
It was never a found cause. An attempt at the ultimate "gifted child" tale, but without the charm of say, "More Than Human", the cleverness of Henry Kuttner's several efforts, the sheer scary of Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life", or the subtlety of "Gomez". I would be not at all surprised to find this thread, almost identical in rancor and misunderstanding, at another site just as soon as it finally winds down here.

It's opened up a good exercise for me, though. Perfection is a difficult concept; as I mentioned to ET, I am going to try to write a similar story, though focusing more on the small-scale difficulties the character faces. And probably with a better outline than the hastily drawn-up one I offered at one point in the thread. Thank you for giving me this idea, ET.
 
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