Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Some thoughts on the new version of Where Heaven and Hell Meet.  You might want to make Brian's humiliation/rape of Athena turn on her sleeping with him.  He's Linda's boyfriend.  I'm thinking this--Athena sleeps with Linda's boyfriend.  She finds out about it (maybe walks in on them).  Is mad and tells Brian that he's going to have to have Athena raped by his friends, or else. (So everyone knows what a slut she is. It's not just her boyfriend, but everyone's boyfriend.) So he arranges that and humiliates Athena.  This would make what happened karmic.  Also, he leads her around like a dog--that would be the bitch part, and it turn on how mean she has been to everyone. (Everyone knew she was a bitch, but now they see her treated like one.) But then the rape by several guys would make her a "slut."  (Not really, but as she's slept with everyone, albeit involuntarily, that's what the teens would say.  Have her raped by all the guys in the in-crowd. 

Then when Helga emerges--all hell (so to speak) can break loose, as she revenges herself.

This would complicate things--make the Brotherhood more sympathetic when they work to stop her, even though they could (and should) be the bad guys. She will be more sympathetic, as a victim, but what she did to deserve it and her revenge, would make her a bod guy too.

Make sense?

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Rachel:

Thanks for the ideas.

The rape thing... you know? It's kinda McGuffin. It's only a reason for Athens to be in the right place at the right time when trying to commit suicide (BTW, it'snot Athena but Athens, like the capital city of Greece. In this story, the good buys have names after places, so we have ATHENS, Melissa DENVER, Patrick LONDON, Mr. OXFORD, while the bad guys have names after Scotch brands: our #1 antagonist Buchanan, his assistant William Lawson, etc. And the extras, I.E., every character that is not important at all but ought to be mentioned by their name have occupational surnames, like Dr. Healer).

After Athens jumps off the building, the rape subject is forgotten, because Helga is in control and she wasn't raped. Moreover, she comes back to school and while she's somehow despised at first and seen as a freak, she doesn't cares. And that is because this is not the story of a girl who was raped, but of a teenager demon who discovers her long-forgotten human side.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

The rape thing can't be forgotten, though, although it can increasingly slide into the background.  There will be the attitudes towards Athens because of it, which Helga will have to contend with (she might have to use demonic powers against some guy, for instance).  Athens' parents (I don't recall them playing a role before, but they would) might sue the school; there will be a lot of news coverage about the suicide attempt due to bullying, both on the internet and the MSM (mainstream media).  And btw, the idea of a teenaged demon rediscovering her human side is one of the things that has heretofore been lacking--a theme that ties in with the developmental issues of young adults.  The best stories for young (and new) adults do this.  Smallville had, as its underlying premise, the discovery of your powers as you grow older.  Supergirl plays off of the problems of women in their twenties--for instance, you are in love with this man, but his mother is horrible and you feel your whole world will crumble if you choose between him and what you want to do in life.  It's just that most women's mothers-in-law don't have superpowers and are bent on taking over the world, and when you think you're losing your world to a guy, it isn't literal.

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Suin:

Yes, I'm posting new chapters of the same story: Where Heaven and Hell Meet. I sent the whole manuscript to my editor and she returned it with gazillions of observations, which is what an editor stands for.

One of her main observations was that the story lacks of more chapters where Patrick, Melissa, and Helga/Athens share time together. This chapters are needed because Helga, a selfish, spoiled, and crafty brat, needs to grow and come of age (the objective of the plot) thanks to Melissa's and Patrick's friendship. She was right, it was a hole in the plot because Helga had no reason to care for any of them. By turning into their friend and learning to appreciate them, and finding them valuable, Helga should find a reason to stay with them and, finally, to go and save Melissa. Athens is an spoiled and selfish brat too. She was a popular girl who cared for nobody, but she'll sacrifice her life so Helga may save Melissa and Patrick. both girls will grow thanks to their friendship.

However, the only way to highlight that friendship, and to show how Athens/Helga bond with M and P, is through coexistence (if this the right word in English). I mean through spending time together and discovering each other.

My editor also suggested to reduce the amount of chapters about the Brotherhood, concealing them as a last-minute surprise.

So, I'm writing new chapters and re-writing some old ones. Also, I'm removing many related to the Brotherhood and Mr. Buchanan.

The bad news is my editor passed away recently (it was very sad, she was 38). Si now I need a new editor. If somebody knows one, I'll appreciate if you can send me his/her contact info.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

I had a really great substantive editor back in the mid 90's. Actually, I didn't like him at first, but he was assigned to me. My attempts to escape him were met with resistance. After the first round (of three) of him eviscerating my work, I kinda got used to him. Alas, when I parted ways with the publisher, I lost track of him too (In these days we used PINE for email everyone used BBS's).

I have a new one but she's not as good, sometimes with one comment per chapter. Not really a good investment, and per price is too low (about 0.1 - 0.2 cents per word). The on Suin posted looks like he knows his stuff. I'm considering him for one of my projects (Maybe the Venus stories).

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

I've just posted some pictures of my characters, a là Kdot.  Hope you enjoy meeting them.

May the force be with you.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Posted where?  And how did you do it?  My characters refuse to sit for a photograph (except Rhiannon and Jeb, but the pix are too old, so I'm thinking of asking them to pose again.)

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Here!

https://www.thenextbigwriter.com/postin … -v.2-25259

Kiss

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

that's sooo cool!! i can't believe Helga is exactly how i imagined her (Athens too!) your descriptions of these characters is perfect!

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Why would you want Patrick to be a 'stupid boy'? I don't understand...

Personally, I think you should make him more attractive - not physically, but in personality. He should be the nice guy who constantly supports Athens. The only other love interest is Bertie and I think the teenagers who are your target audience will struggle with Helga's attraction to BErtie because of the age issue. It would be like having a crush on their dad's age group. By making Patrick be the nice guy, teenagers will fall for him and want to read more because they'll be rooting for him.

You always revert back to YA bestsellers, so I'll do the same here. Think of Bertie as Gale and Patrick as Peeta in the Hunger Games. Everybody loved Gale for the first two novels (especially helped by Liam Hemsworth in the movies!) but it made sense that Katniss ended with Peeta at the end. He loved her through everything. And he may not have been as strong or brave as her, but in the end, she valued him for the strengths she didn't have; his empathy and charisma with others.

You could bring out these great qualities in Patrick so that he isn't the 'cool' guy or the 'hot' guy but he's the nice guy who's there for Helga in the end.

That's just my personal preference - I got irritated by him being so weak and unlikable in the last draft, but others may differ in opinion. Hope this helps!

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Dears:

I’ve just published new chapter of Where Heaven and Hell Meet V.2.

I’ve done a lot of thinking and rewriting for this second version, based on:

1.    All the comments and ideas you gave me, mainly:

a.    The sheriff kept suggesting that Athens and Helga communicated with each other, which barely happened in V.1. IN V.1 they will talk a lot and allow the reader to learn who Athens is. This will also allow the reader to understand Helga’s transformation from a cold and calculating, never-aging, teen bitch into a human being who cares about her friends. It’ll also explain why Helga decides not to leave Athens’s body when she discovers she can (because she’s grown fond of Athens and doesn’t want to kill her, something that will inevitably happen when Helga leaves Athens’s body).

b.    Suin suggested that Patrick should be less stupid and shy. He will. At first, he’s still the loser he’s always been, but will grow into a brave guy that will defy the Brotherhood for the love of Athens. He’ll love the Athens-Helga binomial despite everything and anything. Despite the fact Helga is in love with Mr Oxford. Despite the fact Helga is the one the Brotherhood is searching for and the one he’s been told to spy on and help to seize. Despite the confusing fact of interacting with a person made from two different halves: Helga and Athens, each one with their own agenda, each one controlling of the body he sees at different points in time. He’ll be the loyal, lovely, nice boy of every teen-age story that every teenage-reader falls for.

2.    The comments from my editor (RIP) that she sent me before she passed away (don’t think I can communicate with her or something of the sort):

a.    The Brotherhood needs to be less a protagonist and more a background threat. There should be a coupla scenes here and there where the Brotherhood appears (mainly Buchanan pulling the wires), reminding the reader the threat they represent, but I should reduce their on-stage time, increasing the teen-characters’.

b.    I need to write more every-day scenes where Melissa, Helga/Athens, and Patrick interact. The objective of this scenes must be to explain how is it that Helga, an I-don’t-care-about-anybody-but-me bitch in the past, grows fond of her two friends and, in the end, grows as a person.

c.    Helga’s background was too fuzzy. Some flashbacks may help the reader to get a better picture of her. Also, these flashbacks must serve the purpose of being the mean through which she recovers her memories, rather than recovering them in one single shot. In this way, the reader grows closer to Helga.

The basic plot, while still the same in the general lines, will have some changes:

a)    Athens, one of the popular girls, tries to commit suicide after being bullied at school.

b)    Helga enters Athens’s body after fighting Mephisto, the devil.

c)    The Brotherhood asks Patrick to spy on Melissa and Athens.

d)    While turning into their friend, Patrick spies on them. New: at some point, he’ll realise the truth: that Helga is trapped in Athens’s body, and that she’s the one the Brotherhood has been looking for. At this point he’ll decide not to give Helga away and will pretend to be cooperating with the Brotherhood.

e)    Helga keeps on flirting with Mr Oxford until they have sex.

f)    The Brotherhood discovers the truth, not because of Patrick’s reports, but because of other reasons.

g)    The Brotherhood intimidates Patrick, ordering him deliver Helga/Athens to them.

h)    Patrick escapes with Helga but is intercepted by the Brotherhood who has also kidnapped Melissa.

i)    The end is more or less the same you V.1 readers are familiar with. I’ll emphasise Patrick’s role in it, but the outcome will be the same one. In the end, Patrick will swear Helga eternal love and loyalty, thus emphasising he’s the cool boy who loves the girl despite the girl being not-cool with him (because the girl is flawed, not because she’s a “bad” character).

Because of the changes, the story’s length may increase a lot. I’ve have always thought of writing a trilogy. This story, rather than being book number one as originally planed, may well turn into books one and two, while a third one, which I started writing but stopped because of the above changes to the basic story, will be the closing of the part.

Comments? Ideas?

I’ve been working a lot on this second version, that’s why I’ve been a bit away, but I’ll will start posting the rest of V.2 soon. And, of course, I’ll be reading your stories so we may keep interacting.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

(3e) toss a few shared memories when Athens and Oxford are netflix/chilling to explain why she's eager to get back

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Kenny:
Good point too. I'll do so.

Kiss,
Gacela

Re: WIP Where Heaven and Hell Meet by Mariana

Gacela.  I think it's perfect that Helga speaks Brit and Athens speaks Yank.  Just be sure they are consistently separate. Maybe have people wonder about the switch up.