Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Dear CJ:

Good points all of them. Yes, the thrones are a weakness. You need a truck to transport them somehow, maybe in the back of a van, but then it should be a large one. It could have been folding chairs, but then part of the solemnity would have been lost. This is not a cub-scout meeting.

You're right about The Brotherhood. Their intentions are not good and the people belonging to the group are held together more by fear than by camaraderie. Somehow, the low level chaps (the higher the number the lower the level) are constantly being fooled by the high level leaders who have their own agenda. While the Brotherhood is actually after the demons, the reason why they want to seize them is not to free humanity from evil but in order to channel the demons' power for their own purposes. Ultimately, The Brotherhood wants to rule the world, etc., etc., etc., the usual.

Imagine The Brotherhood as an organisation with ramifications  all agents all around the world. Currently, their headquarters are in America but in the past they were in Europe and before than in Ancient Egypt. While at first The Brotherhood was loyal to their objectives, given enough time they had degenerated and now it's difficult to tell The Brotherhood leaders from the demons they chase.

Patrick's dad motivations are not explained and it's not my intention to study them because  he's not a main character. Let's say he is one those who believe The Brotherhood is good natured and their intentions are legitimate. He introduced Patrick to the group because he truly believes in it.

The Brotherhood minions are indeed expandable, as will be shown afterwards. Buchanan, in particular, has his own agenda, and it's like Frank Herbert indicated in Dune: plans within the plans.

Helga & Athens... From the comments poured by the reviewers I gather it's evident Helga is  "possessing"  Athens. In the revision I'm doing now I'm trying to clarify that. More than a typical possession, Helga is trapped in Athens's body and cannot leave it, at least for the time being. According to the explanations given in the story, if a demon gets trapped in human body the way Helga just got trapped, he cannot leave the said body. In itself this is a risk because, as it is also explained, if the demon remains in trapped in a human after the person owner of the body dies, the demons remains in the dead body. Given enough time, the body would decompose and the demon would end-up scattered and unable to be one single entity again. For practical purposes, the demon would have died.

The above is different from the typical possession where the demon can enter and leave a human body at will. I will make sure this last statement is properly explained. Kindly notice that, while I borrowed some ideas from the demonology cannon, I'm also creating my own. Rhiannon pointed at a coupla facts not in line with the cannon. It's on purpose and not because of my lack of knowledge (my demonology on demonology is certainly little), and I do not pretend to be in line with other stories. Think of Twilight  vampires who can walk on daylight without evaporation, or whatever vampires do under direct sunlight. According to the regular cannon, vampires cannot stand sunlight, not even if the day is cloudy, that's not enough. They can only be outside at night. In the same way, I walked away from the demonology cannon according to my story requirements.

Helga is not a demon. It is mentioned that demons are all male, even though Rhiannon was so kind to point angels, and thus demos who derailed angels, are neither boys nor girls. Once again I walk away from the cannon, and maybe from what Christianity believes, for the sake of my story. Helga is a human girl. A Mycenaean princess who is actually sister to Agamenón, the famous king who directed the war of Troy. At some point in the past, both Mephisto--the bloke we know as the devil--and Senneferi--another of the angels who rebelled against God--had a crush on Helga when she was 16. Of course it's not true love. Demons cannot love. It's lust and both of them wanted to rape her. None of them could because she was able to control them for reasons not explained in this book (this intends to be a trilogy). Because they could not force her, i.e., rape her, they offered her power in exchange. She accepted the power but ultimately fooled them because she has not had sex with either of them.

So far, she has been ambitious and greedy, and has lived for 3000 years. She can be a spirit but also has a body, hers. She has not aged in 3000 and still looks like a 16 year-old girl.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

About Helga and Athens:

Athens appeared in the first chapter, but she's not supped to be there anymore, that's why Sheriff Norm's suggestion about either Athens or Helga alternatively controlling the body, or even talking to each other inside the body they both occupy, is not possible. I don't want the reader to connect with Athens, the girl who wanted to commit suicide, because she's not the main character and there's no story arc for her. Helga is the MC. Helga is the one who will learn and grow. Patrick is also supposed to learn and grow, so in the end I'm not completely sure who is actually the MC, but the idea is everything rotates around Helga, who ends up learning and growing following the YA literature unwritten rules.

Besides, within THIS story's cannon, there is only one way for a demon to abandon a body in which he is trapped: spontaneous combustion. As explained before, the demon cannot leave the body, the very reason why he is "trapped". If the person dies, the demon will remain trapped in the carcass. There's one only chance for the demon to escape from the body: if for some reason the person is in dead peril, for example, in danger to be run over by a car, the demon's self preservation instinct  will try to save him. But the demon is trapped, remember? So, his instinct fuels him to escape before his host is dead and thus the demon abandons the body of his host amidst a sudden combustion. From an eyewitness perspective, it would be spontaneous combustion. Of course, the human being will die, despite he is actually run over by the car or not. The spontaneous combustion is so violent his body ends-up turned into ashes.

Once free, the demon is so weak he remains on the spot previously occupied by the person who is now ashes. In that moment he acquires a physical form and is visible. This is the right momento to seize him, like the ghostbusters did with ghosts, and lock him in an appropriate dungeon whence he cannot escape.

The above is the only way for Helga to leave Athens's body. If the reader has connected with Athens as a character, once Helga leaves her body (and she will, it's part of the story) Athens would die. The reader's perception would be Helga murdered Athens. Even if Athens would voluntarily give her life encouraging Helga to leave, I'm not sure if the reader would end up feeling sympathy for Helga. The reader would feel much more sympathy for Athens who's just gave her life for the greater cause, and I want Helga to be one with whom the reader connects. it's not Athens's story, it's Helga's.

As I am writing this, the above is not sounding that bad to me. I mean, I hadn't thought of it until now. CJ comments have just made me think. Anyway, I'm not sure if I want to rewrite the story following the above lead. I'll think about it.

Thanks CJ for stirring this vein (dunno if this is properly written/conveyed in English, but it would be in Spanish).

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

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Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Hi Gacela,
Just saw your message about bundling. It's a really nice offer and I'm so grateful you thought of me, as that sounds sooo good! But I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Being Fifteen. It's still a work in progress with a lot of improvement needed and I don't think I'll be moving it forward any time soon.
It will be really interesting to hear about your experience of self-publishing, though, and if I can help in any other way, please do let me know!!

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Well I keep telling Gacela what to do with this young adult novel. So I'm gonna tell everybody else and see if there is a concensus.

1) to me there is a huge problem having athens talking like athens and helga on separate ocassions.   We really don't know who is talking. Gacela says it is always Helga. Sometimes Athens/helga is fighting the situation or simply seems confused.

2) We don't want to make Helga evil, and her downgrading Athens in the book makes her look evil. And a hero looking evil not good, especially in a young adult book

3) A young adult books need friends, and granted Melissa is a friend to athens, but we can't see her being a friend to Helga in the book.It would be so much better if Helga and Anthens were friends.

4)  most important you need a dialogue between Helga and Anthens where they work together under this stressful situation. Both should be freaked out at first and then learn to adapt.

5) Mephisto needs to come into the play, maybe helga can trap him getting him  unattentionally  trapped by the Brotherhood.  You don't have a red man, helga's nemesis on the roof without him showing up in the story somewhere..

6)  The finally when Athens officially dies could be done as a tear jerker, with Athens
telling Helga to take over her body to save Melissa and destroy the brotherhood.

It seems so obvious to me, but Gacela seems to be fighting it.  What do you other guys think.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

I've just added three chapters. My intention is to explore deeper into Helga + Athens relationship and to better explain Helga’s motivations. I found a weak point there: if Helga could leave Athens’s body at any time she wished, why didn’t she did it as fast as on page 3 of the story. There ought to be a GOOD reason. I’m trying to make sure such reason exist. Because if not, why should a 3000 YO half-demon care about a bunch of high school kids?
Hope you may find some time to check these chapters and share your opinions with me.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Gacela:  Isn't it great how responses to reviewers made you more self-aware as a writer?  I love that aspect of it.  In my case, I'm often not aware what the structure of the story is until half way through it.  In Vol. 2 of my story, I didn't realize it was a quest-plot until I thought about the reversals I tossed in, and what they were reversing.  In your story's case, I think the relationships are front-and-center, so you should explore all of them.  So I agree with Norm that there should be internal dialogue between Helga/Athens, and even if Helga is the m/c, not Athens, have Athens sacrifice herself for Helga.  This is consistent with it being Helga's story if there is a growing friendship between the two girls. (or female entities).  "At first, I only wanted you for your body, but now, I've grown to love you, as much as a demon can love.  Farewell, my mortal friend..."  See?  Made you cry.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

I heard Cj. She thinks Helga and Athens shouldn't be friends. As the story evolves Helga is not a demon.  She is good kid, she helps Melissa, saving her life, she explains to Patrict the brotherhood is the evil.  Hell she is the hero of this story, of course she can befriend Athens. This is YA. You need a hero, you need friends. Helga needs to be a true friend to Athens through this book.  The big problem that is driving Gacela crazy, she has Athens in the story subogated, and Hega and Anthens...you don't know whose mind is doing the talking. The only solution, is they talk to each other. They, after the shocking realiziation they are in the same body, start WORKING IT OUT.  And become friends in the process.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

working it out..SHARING! THE BODY..

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

I'm here to ask about Chapter 27 - it's the one I most recently reviewed. Since leaving the review, I've still been thinking about the chapter, and the main thing I'm thinking is - was that chapter really necessary? I don't think it told us anything other than that Buchanan is planning the magic show. The voices of the teenagers in this story are the most interesting since it's a YA story, so I'm not sure if it's necessary to have a chapter focusing on the two adults of the story. Even though Oxford acted like a teenager by chewing gum in front of the principal, he isn't one, and I think the focus should be kept on Helga/Athens, Melissa, Patrick and that bully (I forget her name). Oxford is only really interesting when he's with Helga. You're really strong at doing teenage voices, and the plot moves along at such a good and energetic pace when you're focused on them.
Just my thoughts for you to use/discard as you please! smile

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Just FYI - I am a ruthless cutter (if you had any idea how many subplots I remove before I post here!), so you may disagree with me entirely!

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Suin:

Thanks for your observations. I agree with you. The chapter is not needed at all to advance the plot.

However, I wanted to show Oxford out of context, that is, away from Helga. I was wondering why she fell in love with him. Then, I recalled why I fell in love with somebody years ago. It was because of his personality. He had a strong one. He used to stand in front of people who tried to abuse not only him but other people too. On top of his charm (he had a lot, just like your Hugh) he always stood his ground.

The only purpose of this chapter was to show Oxford standing his ground in front of Buchanan. By this time, Oxford is fed up with Buchanan, who behaves like a bully, is tyrannic and disrespectful. Oxford makes Buchanan wait because he feels it not proper to summon him like Oxford were Buchanan's servant. In the office, Oxford's attitude is challenging. A young man showing an older one who is a bully he's not afraid of him.

Having said the above, do you think the chapter works?

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Hey Gacela,
I haven't read that far- but is there anyway you can work those traits into other chapters? Do they really need to have a chapter to themselves?

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

CJ:

The problem is there are no other chapters where Oxford and Buchanan interact, except for a very short moment the day Buchanan arrives at the school first time ever. At that point, there is evident tension between the two of them. Fast forward to the very last chapter. They meet again there, like Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. They've turned into enemies and it seems it happened so because it is convenient for the plot. From my standpoint, it looked quite far fetched. So, I decided to write this short chapter where they clash again.

Also, as I noted before, I think it's not right that Oxford exists for the sake of Helga. Why should she have fallen in love with him if he's only her appendix with no personality at all? So, this short chapters shows part of Oxford's personality: he holds his ground in front an abusive boss, he is devoted to his work as a responsible person should, and he shows a strong personality. Helga fell in love of all those qualities. 

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

I don't think I've read this chapter, but I agree that sometimes you have to devote one to a character, with little impact on the plot.  The way a lot of writers handle this is to have some token interaction with the plot.  Maybe have him think about Helga, have a fantasy, or something.  Just an idea from someone who has no idea what she's talking about.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Okay, Gacela is going to extremes in this story, so much, I don't know what to tell her. And she knows it.  But she hasn't settled on how to resolve it, at least considering the whole story. I've had a story like that. The Saga of the Mighty Valentine.  what you do is start at the beginning, and rewrite it chapter by chapter.  And be ever so careful that Helga comes out looking like a saint. And Mephisto jumps in as the evil one who trys to destroy Helga's plan, more so, than even the Brotherhood.  And then in the end trap Mephisto into the Brotherhood.   And Athens, the one who lost her life, which Helga actually saved, at last, to save her friend Melissa, and destroy the brotherhood, and trap Mephisto into the Brotherhood trap ,sacrifices her life to save the world.  You have gold. Just take the dirt out of it.And it will shine.  You have stumbled upon the great arc of storytelling, unawareness.  Helga is unaware of Athens life, Athens is unaware of  Helga's life.  Let each one talk to each other. Let them become friends and SHARE their life together. I've been saying this over and over, and Gacela hasn't commited to it. i guess it easier to see it from afar, than in the mind of the writer.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

"Where Heaven and Hell Meet" (WHAHM) is ready. Well... as ready as any story can be. You know, you can rewrite and rewrite, ad infitum, ad nauseam, and you'll always find a gap, or a a line that needs reworking, or something of the sort. The thing is, generally speaking, I consider the story complete. Not that I'm gonna publish right now. No. I'll first send the story to may editor, the same one who edited Amber Eyes. Let's see what she thinks of it.

That's the reason why I haven't been lately reading and reviewing much. I've been concentrated in WHAHM, making sure every comment is there, reading and rereading.

I wanted to publish in Amazon in October, but that's not gonna happen now. I'm targeting the end of the year right now.

I'll go back to reviewing your works, but there's no way for you to reciprocate now, but don't worry.  Save the reciprocation for when I start posting the second part (yes,. WHAHM is planned be a trilogy).

Any extra comment you'd like to add? Anything you suggested that I never took into consideration, but that you'd like to stress? Any last minute though?
Your opinion is important to me, so whatever you have in mind will be appreciated.

How about the title? Too long? Does it suit the story? Any other idea? The group suggested Suin several titles and she finally picked a terrific one for her story, now that she's looking for an agent.  Feel free to suggest any change to my title, in case I have selected one with little punch.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Mariana,
Even though I can't reciprocate- please don't pull it from the site- I'd like to just read it and get ready for the next book in your trilogy. It will be easier to review the next one if I know how this one goes. You can just leave it visible to this group if you don't want any other reviewers to look at it.
I'm really sorry for being so slow. Been a busy year.
CJ

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

CJ:

Thanks, and don't worry about being slow. I understand few of us are full time writers thus devoted to the site. We all have other stuff that consumes our time. Thanks for your terrific comments. You're a wonderful editor.

I'll leave the story visible for the time being. However, I'm planning to send a copy (either an e-book or a printed book, your choice) of the story to all the people in this group, who are the ones who helped me the most reviewing it, as a thank-you token. So, you'll be in position to read it sooner or later.

Thanks a lot!

Kiss
Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

that's so exciting you're going to publish this year!! i'm sure a lot of people will enjoy your story.
Where Heaven & Hell Meets is a really, really nice name! I wouldn't change it at all! But you could emphasise it a little more within the story to connect it to Helga's character.
I'm going to be offline for the next few weeks, but if i think of anything else, i'll be sure to let you know as soon as i'm back!

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Oh - just one thought - if you are making any edits, you could consider making Patrick's character a bit more masculine. I know the story is about a strong female, which is great, but at points I found Patrick to be too weak to be likable. I was rooting against him towards the end and preferred Helga with Bertie than with Patrick.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Thanks for your comments, Suin. I agree with you about Patrick. I've already started doing some edition of some of his parts.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Ooh great! I'm due your can turn him into a guy all your readers will fall in love with!

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Mariana,
Referring to your comment about my comment and prepositions. OMG- do mot even think about getting depressed. You write beautifully in a language that is not even your own. I can’t even grasp proper comma use. Prepositions are tricky. I studied French for 5 years, got to Paris and fell apart. Couldn’t get out of the train station and no one at the kiosks would help. Though they had no trouble helping the woman speaking German. I just think the didn’t like Americans, but, then who could blame them? Your grasp of English is outstanding. Don’t feel bad about minor shit, that’s what your “close friends” are for and what we miss or screw up, your editor will catch. Just tell that awesome tale, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
CJ

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

gacela, rejmorgh yIDaQo' vIHtaHbogh ra' nov Hol.  neH wa' fluent neH tlhIngan.

(Just kidding, used a translator for that. lol.)