Set Me as a Seal Part 4

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ltroifanatic
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by ltroifanatic » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:58 am

Great story.Loving it,especially their interactions with each other and also with other characters.They are so cute and it's nice to be reminded that they are children.Can't wait for the next instalement.

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dongregg
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by dongregg » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:54 am

ltroifanatic wrote:Great story.Loving it,especially their interactions with each other and also with other characters.They are so cute and it's nice to be reminded that they are children.Can't wait for the next installment.
Thanks for your kind words! Part 5 should not be long in coming. If my mentors would not have my head, I could probably submit it now for moderation, but I know it's going to take a while to really bring it up to snuff.

Yes, Oskar and Eli keep reminding us that they are kids. Sometimes Eli seems younger than 12, but I think it's because she regressed during two centuries of having limited contact with other people. On the other hand, I think she has a lot more emotional and mental headroom for growth than Oskar does at the present time. She really was mostly a creature living in the moment before her friendship with Oskar gave her the opportunity to begin reclaiming her humanity and, as ACL has written, reclaiming the happy childhood before she was turned. But in part 5, Oskar's behavior forces her to think more strategically -- to plan, in other words. Well, you'll see. :)
"True paradises are the paradises that one has lost."--Marcel Proust

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gkmoberg1
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by gkmoberg1 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:30 am

I have enjoyed reading again the first half of this entry. Wonderful!
See the stars, they're shining bright; everything's all right tonight. See the stars, they're shining bright; everything's all right tonight. -- depeche mode "Never Let Me Down Again"

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SpartanAltego
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by SpartanAltego » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:26 pm

SetMeAsASeal wrote: Putting the paella and garlic bread in the oven to warm, he smiles as he remembers an awkward scene during his first week with the children when he shyly asked them if, you know, it was okay to cook with garlic. They laughed at him, and Oskar ribbed him mercilessly about all the nonsense in his head about their condition—mirrors, crucifixes, and other lore.
I was hoping something along those lines would happen. LtROI was too serious a story to really allow for levity surrounding the vampiric condition, but it is indeed funny that Avila (and many others) would be completely at a loss as to separate fact from fiction. Oskar doesn't really have a leg to stand on, he forgets that at one time he wondered if Eli slept in a coffin and assumed that Eli was undead rather than infected but living.
SetMeAsASeal wrote: While Mr. Ávila is eating his dinner, the storm grows from insistent to scary. Bands of rain slap the old house like big wet sheets, and the wind has begun to howl like a living beast. He hears the first rumble of thunder. As he puts his dishes in the sink, Eli wanders into the kitchen half-dressed. That startles him because he didn't know she could be awake during daylight hours, but he’s more alarmed at the frightened look on her face, which makes her appear even younger than her 12 years.
You have some good imagery and allusion throughout your writing, the above passage being an example. There's a certain brusqueness to the prose, though, that gives the impression of a recitation of facts rather than the relaying of a story. Some of your sentences can be merged together into a longer line that flows a little smoother and chains some descriptions together for additional impact, for example:

"As he eats dinner, Avila listens to the intensifying growl of the storm as it grows from insistent to threatening. Bands of rain slap against the old house in wet sheets, the wind howling like a living beast and backed by the first rumbles of thunder. As he goes to put his dishes away, he is startled when he looks up to see Eli's reflection behind him in the kitchen window, half-dressed and figure indistinct through the blur of the reflection. It alarmed Avila, not merely because he assumed Eli was not active during daytime hours, but also because of the frightened look on her face, devoid of both the childish glee of Eli, content, and even the old, weary glint of her many lived centuries that sometimes shined through."

It could be a matter of personal taste, though, as writing styles differ.
SetMeAsASeal wrote: Oskar hops to it. In the gloom, the howling wind and the rain beating against the house are oppressive, but Oskar lights the candles and they bathe the room in a reassuring glow.
That's more like it. Paints a great picture and contains actions in a single sentence. I'm curious, is Winnie the Pooh indeed popular as a children's tale in Sweden? That'd be gratifying to learn. Home schooling not really being permitted is also interesting. I love when I can read for pleasure but also learn in the process.

Eli's pleasure at being schooled is endearing, and also rather promising for her and Oskar's prospects in the future. I have to wonder just how much they are actually capable of learning, though, being 'frozen' as they are. Clearly they can form new memories and take on new information, but can their education entirely stick? Especially post-hibernation. After all, Eli only just recalled that Malmö was where she met the 'hollow woman'.

Actively referring to interested parties pursuing Eli and Oskar as 'Javerts' is a bit on the nose, and perhaps a bit misleading regarding the children's level of innocence. But Avila and Grigor are pretty much 100% on the kids' side, so this attitude fits. Plus, the use of the term got a chuckle from me, so I'd say that made it worthwhile. Also when I suspend my disbelief the strategy and brainstorming sessions those two have are legitimately engaging and feel credible. It's almost like I'm stepping out of LtROI to briefly partake of a spy or crime novel.
SetMeAsASeal wrote: Much of their energy goes into shrieking with excitement and yelling at each other. Oskar tries to distract Eli by teasing her—“Let’s go, shorty” and “Who knew shrimps could play racquetball?” He tones it down after Eli reaches her limit and drills him in the chest with a shot that achieves a significant fraction of Mach 1.

But Oskar heals fast.
Pfffft. Okay, that was a good one. Pretty good entry here altogether.
"The dark is patient, and it always wins. But its weakness lies in its strength: a single candle is enough to hold it at bay. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars." - Matthew Stover

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dongregg
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by dongregg » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:48 pm

A thousand thanks for the astute observations!
Actively referring to interested parties pursuing Eli and Oskar as 'Javerts' is a bit on the nose, and perhaps a bit misleading regarding the children's level of innocence. But Avila and Grigor are pretty much 100% on the kids' side, so this attitude fits. Plus, the use of the term got a chuckle from me, so I'd say that made it worthwhile. Also when I suspend my disbelief the strategy and brainstorming sessions those two have are legitimately engaging and feel credible. It's almost like I'm stepping out of LtROI to briefly partake of a spy or crime novel.
I really enjoyed trying out genres other than horror/romance. I have police procedurals in part 2 and 9, a bit of cloak-and-dagger stuff in part 4 and in the black market ideas in part 10, and actual horror/suspense in part 5. Much fun, but with varying degrees of success.

Whenever I could get the kids into choreographed action, such as the muggers in part 7 and the Wile E. Coyote bit in part 10 (Acme Shipping), I felt like the writing flowed.
Eli's pleasure at being schooled is endearing, and also rather promising for her and Oskar's prospects in the future. I have to wonder just how much they are actually capable of learning, though, being 'frozen' as they are. Clearly they can form new memories and take on new information, but can their education entirely stick? Especially post-hibernation. After all, Eli only just recalled that Malmö was where she met the 'hollow woman'.
Jameron also raised the question about the implication of frozen at 12. In fact, they can learn and retain new information as well as any 12-year-old. Eli's seeming lack of personal history is because vast stretches of her life were just the same stuff/different day. At her and Oskar's age, they have logic, but as applied to concrete situations; they are not wired for abstract thinking (high school age); and they are not wired for thinking things through (college age). These features depend on adding new brain cells (up to about age 18 to 25), but learning as such just requires billions of new connections between what brain cells the kids had when they were turned. But Malmö she remembered -- just not the name! The name wouldn't have been important to her, but she knew the buildings, the harbor, the alleys, and the kinds of ships from a hundred years ago.

Oh, and as much as I could, I left out anything in the novel that wasn't in the film--bathtub of blood, hibernating/estivating. I also modified stuff just because I wanted to -- Eli is less savvy in my story, acts younger, and is shorter than Oskar by a few inches more than in the film. I like the novel just fine, but, as I understand myself, I mostly wrote the story so I could hang out with young Lina and Kåre.

I know that a number of the infected see LTROI as a "seamless whole," but I see each version -- book, two films, and Jack Thorne's script for the stage -- as standalone works of creativity. I took what I wanted to from the novel -- her age, for example -- but most of the stuff not in the film I took from fan fictions. (I can't wait to loot your thrilling story :) I leaned heavily on stories by a-contemplative-life, PeteMork, Gkmoberg1, and lombano, even when they conflicted with the canon.

I hope you find part 5 engaging. It was my favorite of the 10 parts to write!

P.S.: In an earlier note, you mentioned the alley scene in Vällingby. I don't think of the unfortunate teens as perverts, just working-class kids who live in a world of rampant sexuality (including bold, pre-teen exploration/exploitation), much like the world I grew up in.
"True paradises are the paradises that one has lost."--Marcel Proust

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dongregg
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by dongregg » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:30 am

And another thing:
That's more like it. Paints a great picture and contains actions in a single sentence. I'm curious, is Winnie the Pooh indeed popular as a children's tale in Sweden? That'd be gratifying to learn. Home schooling not really being permitted is also interesting. I love when I can read for pleasure but also learn in the process.
I'm not sure about Swedish, but Winnie-the-Pooh has ben translated into many languages, including the Latin Winnie ille Pooh. Mr. Ávila was reading from the English text and, in the first version, translating it into Swedish for Eli. Interesting point -- what language are people speaking in the story? Mr. Ávila and Professor Grigor speak English to each other, Swedish to most everyone else. The professor speaks English as though from a grammar book -- very formal, no contractions. From the film, we know that Mr. Ávila spoke Swedish with a Spanish accent. In my story, his English is demotic but correct. He would have learned it from an early age, in part because he was born into a family of educators. English took; piano lessons, not so much.
I love when I can read for pleasure but also learn in the process.
I was meticulous about getting things right about Sweden (and everything else). There are no doubt errors, but not because I didn't try. My need for accuracy is not because I am so punctilious, but because the film in my head didn't roll until I could see/hear/smell the story. That, plus I only wanted one thing to suspend disbelief about -- vampires. :D
"True paradises are the paradises that one has lost."--Marcel Proust

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metoo
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by metoo » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:07 am

SpartanAltego wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:26 pm
That's more like it. Paints a great picture and contains actions in a single sentence. I'm curious, is Winnie the Pooh indeed popular as a children's tale in Sweden? That'd be gratifying to learn.
Winnie the Pooh is indeed as popular in Sweden as anywhere.
SpartanAltego wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:26 pm
Home schooling not really being permitted is also interesting.
In Sweden today, home schooling is permissible only if "very particular reasons" are at hand. The rules were more lash 1995 - 2010, but for the period in question (early 1980's), it would have been difficult to obtain such a permit.

However, I doubt that permits for home schooling would have worried Mr Ávila or Professor Grigor very much. If someone had spotted the kids and come to Mr Ávila to investigate, there would have been other, much more immediate issues at hand. Such as explaining why a boy that had disappeared under much publicity just the year before now was secretly living in Mr Ávila's home. Not to mention the proverbial elephant in this particular room, which doesn't seem to worry the men very much at all...
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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dongregg
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Re: Set Me as a Seal Part 4

Post by dongregg » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:58 pm

However, I doubt that permits for home schooling would have worried Mr Ávila or Professor Grigor very much. If someone had spotted the kids and come to Mr Ávila to investigate, there would have been other, much more immediate issues at hand. Such as explaining why a boy that had disappeared under much publicity just the year before now was secretly living in Mr Ávila's home. Not to mention the proverbial elephant in this particular room, which doesn't seem to worry the men very much at all...
Bear in mind all that Mr. Ávila and Professor Grigor have done to ensure that the elephant in the room stays hidden from both the authorities and from the people with whom the children interact. In part 3, they get new hairstyles, for example, and even though they are "hiding in plain sight" at the theater in part 5, they don't stand out much from the rest of the troupe. Note, too, that keen observers such as Denise are quick to explain away their appearance and habits. As Denise muses, "They are probably on a special diet because of their skin condition." It Is a constant of the story--Mr. Ávila doing the best he can (usually being overly cautious); Professor Grigor bringing his forensic training and experience to bear.

Best example of too much caution was using celestial photography as a cover for hunting down Eli's old hideouts. As you pointed out, it is unlikely that they would encounter a constable during their forays, and Sweden's constitutional "right to roam" works for them, but Mr. Ávila is concerned with provenance, too, so he leaves his cautious approach in place.

The biggest proximal threat is Sassa. She is with the children a lot. The family could have handled bringing her into the fold more smoothly, but...that's a problem for part 10!

It's all a big risk, of course, but life is like that. You hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Then there's the "Javert" factor, but Professor Grigor has already anticipated something like that and smoothly gets the children into hiding until Inspector Morkus leaves town.
"True paradises are the paradises that one has lost."--Marcel Proust

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