*I will only be making Friday posts for the month of December. Regular Monday and Friday posting will resume in January.*
WOW, it’s been a while since my last post. Not because I’ve been avoiding it this time, but because I’ve been swamped with work and other things, but now I’m ready to re-embark on the S.S. Cringe-fest and wrap up chapter 8 of this travesty.
Last time on the UNMEI, Matthias was being a robot to everyone, per usual, though slightly more jerk-ish than usual. And we’re going to find out why! What is it about the “hated day” that makes Matthias behave in such a way? Well, strap yourselves in… it’s going to be quite a ride, with a lamentable romance on the horizon.
Strikethrough = cut out
Highlight = rephrase/reword/awk
Blue highlight = minor additions
DANGER RED HIGHLIGHT= massive cringe
Green highlight – switch/move
This first selection is a nice warm up. Minna and Tango chatting about the General and his prickly behavior, and there’s a mysterious gift involved… though with more detail and description than is needed. So how are we going to fix that? *unscrews highlighter cap*
Trim and chop, trim a chop… it’s becoming quite a theme. Altogether, though, this passage is not totally horrendous. No, no… that is yet to come, don’t fret.
The superfluous bits have been shaved away, and the meat of the story remains. The dialogue tends to get repetitive because I like to make absolutely sure my message gets across, but I’ve come to realize the reader can put the pieces together without me beating them over the head with it.
Next up, their conversation strays to a different officer… one who is not so cold.
And there we have it. Tango, for as of yet unknown reasons, has feelings for Matthias. And though this piece is riddled with grammatical errors, this is a glaring issue with the plot/content. I was 1000000% on-board for this pairing when I wrote this story a decade ago, but now, I see it for what it is, which will become clear in upcoming chapters.
But first, we have to fix some of the grammar and syntax.
The eye references continue. And they shall be eliminated.
Oh, what messy romantic entanglements we will have to navigate in upcoming chapters? The seeds have been planted, but will they sprout into weeds, or flowers? *clears throat* ANYWAY, with some of the fluff cut out, this portion flows better and the conversation gets wrapped up sooner. So, let’s move on…
Cut to, UNMEI exterior deck, with our favorite frigid general and perky brunette major, as Matthias begins to reflect on his life and his relationships…
*eye twitch* THIS NEEDS TO BE SLIMMED DOWN, PRONTO. Now we know a bit of Matthias’s history with his father and his turmoil about Tango, but it’s still too much. WAY too much.
Whoo, boy. This may even take a bit more chopping once the sentences are restructured a bit. I can probably cut this portion in half and not lose anything of real substance.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, so much better. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Of course, it’s his birthday. Don’t think I hinted at it nearly enough, to be honest.
Content-wise… I actually don’t think this part is that bad. I mean, the conflict between them in this chapter isn’t the main issue I have with their relationship. No, that will become clearer later on, don’t you worry. But this passage still suffers from the usual issues, which need to be addressed.
Lots to trim, lots to axe, lots to rework. AND THAT EYE REFERENCE MUST BURN, AND DIE.
There; a bit better, and not so bogged down with description and clunky phrases.
Now… this was going to be the last segment. But I feel like I need to address something else, because reading it back, ten years after I wrote it, I’ve realized that I had some… erroneous view points on romance. So, here is the gift that Tango got for Matthias…
WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK. She made him a scrapbook about his life. THAT IS SO STALKERY!!! They aren’t even dating, and he’s almost twice her age! She needs to CHILL. That is not romance, it’s creepy. End of story.
The entire segment needs to go. It makes Tango look obsessed more than anything else, and that’s not okay, and it is not a positive attribute.
Her feelings for Matthias aren’t invalid or anything, but the way she expressed them is way too intense for someone she isn’t even dating, and that kind of behavior should not be projected in a positive light. I have actually experienced something similar in my life (as in, someone gave me an overly-intimate gift) and it was not okay to the point where it profoundly altered the way I behave around men in both a friendly and potentially-interested dynamic. So, maybe that experience is coloring my perception of Tango’s behavior, but I truly believe it is unhealthy and I 10000% don’t want to convey the message that acting like this is okay, so I’m changing it now.
So, she got him a sweater instead. So. Much. Better. It has Tango’s humor, still seems heartfelt and personal without being too intense, and it’s definitely not stalkery. Sorry that I soapboxed for a minute there, but I think it’s important to show how my current mindset and the experiences I have had since I was fifteen have changed the way that I approach my writing, both past and present.
NEXT TIME, we have a power outage… which can only mean one thing! DRAMA!!! Not sure when it will go up, but in the next post, we will explore Chapter 9: The Blackout. Until then!
If you’re in need of a new read, or want to get someone a book for the holidays, check out my YA novel, I’m With You! The ebook is only $1.99 or (£1.55) and paperback is $9.99 (£7.99) on Amazon / Amazon UK. Paperback is also $9.99 on BN.com.