Tag Archives: reading

Self-Discipline and the Scribbler (Plus Reading)

This entry is part 42 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Experiment number one: no internet reading, commenting, etc. until after I type up the morning side of this status report, then write at least a thousand words for the day. If I’m going to get my sleep cycle turned back around, I need to not write or read between eleven p.m. and one o’clock in the morning!

These posts are getting rather long-winded. Anyone want me to split out the reading from the writing? I doubt most people are interested in the writing, and I don’t really know if anyone’s interested in the reading. I just plug this stuff here for my own accountability.


Last night I finished out Debt Collector, Season 1, by Susan Kaye Quinn. I had mixed feelings by the end. The story was very good, just like in Open Minds, and I loved the main character, but.

Lirium is twenty years old and that is well established. When dealing with men or enemies, he acts like it. Unfortunately with women and in several other situations, he is consistently portrayed with the emotional and cognitive maturity of a teenager between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. There is a cognitive shift in the brain between that age and Lirium’s stated age that makes this unbelievable for me; thus, my annoyance with the series. Also, there was some rather problematic objectifying of women and using them as rewards for the main character, something I would rather not have encountered.

In short, this read very much like a tv series, and in that respect, structurally, it was amazingly well done. It’s one I would like but not watch next year until I could buy the whole season and I wouldn’t cry my eyes out if I didn’t get to watch it for some reason. Further note to self: the first episode’s title was too iconic for the series. I keep calling the entire series Delirium instead of Debt Collector. Next season is supposed to be about a different collector. I might not buy it. The fifth season will have all the collectors that were introduced, meaning to me that there will be Lirium. I’ve got other books to read and will probably skip out on Season 2 for the time being.

A long time ago, I read an SFF writing book by Orson Scott Card that included tantalizing snippets from Octavia Butler's book, Wild Seed. I've wanted to read it since. I just did. Wow. Still processing this book. It's grappling with tough questions and ideas. I did love it.

Next on my reading docket: The Drought by thecatisacritic.


So the formatter needs my cover file. :groans: I might not be able to get to that until Saturday night, but he did say I should get my Dowse and Bleed Kindle file around Tuesday of next week. I’m really excited about all of this, as its my first major professionally done book launch. Usually I treat it a lot like fanfic: post it and get back to writing. This time, I did categorization and metadata and careful typesetting and hired a formatter and really tweaked the cover until I was satisfied, etc. It’s a good feeling. I’m going to try and make a system of this.

Publishing Plans

I do want to publish twelve pieces this year as you might remember, but that means finishing eleven more pieces. I’m going to start trying to choose between my options for the eleven stories I want to flesh out and complete. The collaboration, fanfic, and short stories don’t count. As much as I like shorts, I was surprised by reading Debt Collector to realize how dense I pack my work. I don’t think shorts are enough to do what I want them to—I want more fiction like Rachelle’s—and I don’t think I’m going to magically start writing looser fiction either, so I suspect I’m about to get very happy in the novelette/novella word count range.

Writing Goals for the Day

Today, I want to get the antagonist side of things hammered out on the collaboration, enter my notes on Splintered Gates into my working file, then sketch or flesh out another good-sized chunk of words on it.

I’m thinking I’m going to take a break from the Laurie fic, simply because I still don’t feel equal to canon. I know the piece I want to write, and I don’t feel like I can do it justice yet.


First I wrote 755 words of brainstorming on the collaboration. It’s not fic, but it’s a start. Back to no internet until we get more written. I think we’ll do the notes on Splintered Gates before we try to write any more new stuff.


So that didn’t work. At all. But I stuck to The Passive Voice, Dean Wesley Smith, and one post of Hugh Howey’s, so not bad, right? Then, I screwed up and peeked on LJ for a reply from my collaborator. None, of course. I had to make myself close the browser window. Self-discipline is vital, but it’s harder than it looks.

Writing Again

Forget typing. I need to distract myself from distraction with new words, not compilation. Got 174 words on Splintered. At fifteen sentences, I’m thinking I’m technically good for the day. I can technically spend the rest of the day plotting out what I want to do for the year and how I want to do it and whether I want to go ahead and do a series or not—that is until my collaborator tells me whether I’m on the right track or barking up a tree.

Brainstormed with collaborator. We both like the same ideas for the most part, so time to get some words on page.

I sketched and tossed and will need to rewrite. Not counting them.

The Fangirl

The Giver by Lois Lowry is being made into a movie? :nearly faints: :makes grabby hands:

Word Count

  • Fiction: 174 words
  • Poetry: 0 words, 0 lines
  • Blog: 1700 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 174 words
  • Total: 2175 words


  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 56,380 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 5232 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 5958 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  • Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
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How Do You Make a Suggestion to Amazon?

As a reader, I’m seriously looking for series fiction. Why isn’t there a series landing page/showcase? I’ve just discovered how widespread the episodes/season format is becoming for books and I want more.

Of course, I might not need this right away. I just made the dubious decision to swipe several Honor Harrington books for free, among others I’m anxious to try, and spent ten bucks getting Octavia Butler’s Patternist series.

The TBR never ends.

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Writing Up Loose Ends

This entry is part 40 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports


Today,  I ordered my proof of Dowse and Bleed. I cannot tell you how excited I am. Also, read Kristine Rusch’s post about branding and am thinking of reassessing Vardin’s covers—again. I really do like “Portrait of a Butterfly,” but the rest… :shrugs: It wouldn’t bother me to change them. The covers for Breath are good, I’m pretty sure, even though I don’t keep author placement the same on every single book. I move them about for genre and keep them identical for series. I’ll probably stick to that because I love the Kingdoms and Thorn covers and the Breath covers and don’t really want to change them.

Ideas for Fiction in 2014

I am seriously considering going through When the Clock Chimes and just seeing how many of those stories I can flesh out, but I also want to start finishing what I start and that means the projects on the MyWriteClub screenshot I posted earlier. I’ve also thought about series fiction vs. storyworld fiction for a long time, and I keep side-eyeing following up Dowse and Bleed from the next morning. Not sure any of those are actually good ideas, but ah, well. Uncertainty is fairly typical for me.


Yeah, that thing I’m supposed to do today. Self-discipline is something I need a lot more of, so let’s see what we can do. Be disciplined. Open the document, apply words! I finished the first gift-fic at 1397 words. :throws confetti: She liked it! :throws more confetti:

Ahem. Right. That collaboration. A writer’s work is never done. :shakes head ruefully: And I am woefully behind on it. This is largely because I have it all broken up in Scrivener, which is proving a lot easier for me to deal with something so big and uneven. (Uneven because my collaborator tends to flesh out her work when she writes, and I tend to flesh it out a lot later.)


So I paused when I got home (due to feeling pretty sick) and read, in this case, Delirium and Agony by Susan Kaye Quinn. This is research. I've wanted to write a season-style fiction series for a while and this is one I want to read.

Writing Again

So two scenes popped into my head while I was in the kitchen because I kept thinking I didn't want Splintered Gates to be just a romance to me, and then I was thinking give me plot and I got a denouement snippet and a major climactic event type snippet and wrote both when I got back to my tablet. 244 words. I seem to sketch more on the tablet and do full fleshed-out writing on the desktop. Need to work on that.

And unfortunately, a return of sickish feeling reminds me of the need to finish catching up on sleep, so I'm going to stop. I stopped making progress ten minutes ago anyway.

Word Count

  • Fiction: 1065 words
  • Poetry: 0 words, 0 lines
  • Blog: 528 words


  • Today: 821 words
  • Total: 1397 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 244 words
  • Total: 2001 words


  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 56,380 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 5058 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 4258 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  • Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
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Headdesk Equals Scribbling?

This entry is part 36 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So yesterday was nothing but :headdesk: and today was quite productive. I thought it wouldn't be because I... um... :coughs: read a book this morning into the wee hours again. I know I need to stop, but it just keeps happening. Anyways, it was Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn, and it was very, very good.


Finished a decent draft of metadata for Dowse and Bleed and finished hyphenating and PDFing the file. I might actually get this baby out in January. :prays that it will be so:


First, I hammered away at Splintered Gates, choosing to do so on computer instead of tablet simply because that's where my file with all the original notes was. I had this realization I was in the wrong tense and suddenly I thought I could do something with this. I dumped most of what I had and went from 2239 words to 558 words, then scribbled. And got somewhere. This is good.

I decided randomly I wanted to write a poem today. I wrote three-fourths of a poem, scrapped it, then wandered through my WIP file. I added a couple snippets to Lovemark the Seasons and paragraphed a scene on my way through then stopped at two lines of poetry that had come to me ages ago and given me nothing else besides. I wrote the poem.

Happy Belated Yuletide

Otherwise known as fanfic. I am intimidated by my source material. Full stop. Hint to the scribbler: pick another character. Working... This requires immersion reading. See you on the other side of the flood, 'kay, y'all?

Note: That means tomorrow.

Word Count

  • Fiction: 602 words
  • Poetry: 212 words, 45 lines
  • Blog: 300 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 470 words
  • Total: 1028 words


  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 55,978 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.

January Totals

  • Fiction: 2287 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 1973 words
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Plot as Illumination of Character

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Writer, Know Thyself: Plot & Character

I came to a sudden realization the other day when I was working on Dowse and Bleed then the collaboration and also thinking about all the aggravating articles recently claiming the three-act structure is the only one: I really don't care about plot.

Now, this doesn't mean I dislike plot or that I don't think it's important, but I do mean it's not even a secondary consideration for me. I care about structure because structure is fun, especially for a poet, but I don't take any time to analyze my own plots or even to develop them. That holds no interest for me, and I don't look for a particular plot in books I read. In fact, that's why I adore love stories and am so totally sick of romances. I'm not interested in the "how did they fall in love" and we're done here. I'm interested in two separate people and then how they interact together, etc.

I wrestled with this for another day before I finally came to the conclusion on how I could not care about something so fundamental to story. Most writing articles and books address characters that drive the plot and plots that are born out of the characters' struggles. That makes for a good story, but I'll probably never, ever write that kind of story ever.

I love plots that illuminate character. And that's probably why I tend strongly to the literary side of genre and love Jodi Picoult's books, even though I've heard some genre writers sneer at them. Her books are complicated messy stories about characters. The plots reveal the characters, rather than characters driving the plot.

Dowse and Bleed is the most incredibly plotty story I've ever written in my life. When I wrote that first draft, it was a quick ramble through a decent, engaging plot, but when I came back to it, it was with two questions: whose story is this and why is it her story? Out flowed something considerably deeper and much more 'me.' The plot is secondary because it exists to reveal something about Rachelle and no other reason.

This is also why I haven't been able to get through Collateral Damage yet, I'm pretty sure, or any of the other Special Unit fics percolating in my head. That revelation, that core idea, isn't there for me yet. I wrote Dowse and Bleed from a prompt about the sides of love:

I've looked at love from both sides now / From give and take, and still somehow / It's love's illusions I recall / I really don't know love at all

"Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell

It's not this perfect match with Rachelle, but it was close enough for me to devote a story to this relationship she has to love and the idea of love. It was an interesting revelation for me.

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Scribbling on the 3rd, aka This Way Trouble

This entry is part 33 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports


I am crazy. I have never successfully completed a big bang or NanoWrimo type challenge in my life, and I just signed up to do a 10K couples big bang writing Tris/Four, which is basically an AU required to happen.


I am positively certifiable.


On the rest of January 3rd, I finished reading The Tenth Hell. Crazy me. Another awesome, gut-clenching, nobody's good, nobody's bad, it's all too real round of Picoult.

I always figured Rachelle would like Picoult's books. They fit her worldview.


I also finished finalizing my publisher file for Dowse and Bleed. Anyway, it just needs hyphenation, which is driving me batty. I'm going to have to do it manually, and I already hate the idea.

Found via Hugh Howey a wonderfully formatter who will turn my Createspace .doc (which I will separately convert to PDF via OpenOffice) into Kindle and Smashwords files for only $35. I have decided now would be a good time to start putting money into publishing. That saves me a lot of work for a very small cost, all things considered.


Wasn't I supposed to write in there? I'm sure that was on the agenda. Tonight then, me and the keyboard shall meet. The Drought beckons, but I can't read through all my scribbling time.

So it's scribbling time and I did the normally very bad thing of going on Twitter first. This time it was a good thing. Check this out: My Write Club. Lovely. Thanks, Kayla!

Started in my seven sentence fic, got carried away, and am not going to try and count the sentences. It was 344 words though.

:mulls over scene: I've known the opening scene of this for me for a while now and it keeps coming out wrong. I'm going to kill it and start in the middle like I always seem to do anyway. Ah, well.

I imagine that total is about to get totally shot for Spintered Gates, but that's my no-pressure project anyway. I'm basically percolating it on paper instead of in my head.

Back to collaboration. I don't have Scrivener on my tablet, which is a real pity, though I feel compelled to share the joyous news that my CD backup arrived today and is now tucked safely on my bookcase. You didn't need to know that, but I sure felt like being giddy about it. So what the collaboration particularly needs from me right now is some plot-noodling. Let's do that on paper, shall we?

So in searching out my plot, I didn't find what I wanted, but I did find something interesting. I left way too many gaps when I first started drafting my part of this collaboration. My writing partner is much better disciplined than I am. I sketch, percolate, then gap-fill. It's kind of painful.

And off to bed...

Word Count

  • Fiction: 1284 words
  • Poetry: 0 words
  • Blog: 597 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 344 words
  • Total: 2060 words


  • Today: 940 words
  • Total: 55,978 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 1333 words
  • Poetry: 0 words
  • Blog: 1417 words
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Scribbling? Not so much... January 2, 2014

This entry is part 32 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So the story of yesterday is that I did some editing, formatting, and plenty of day job work and all that, and I did my chores and Sabbath cleaning and got a new arrival that thrilled me to my toes, then when it was time to write a few sentences for bed, I discovered the book I bought last week, cracked it open, and ended up reading through half before remembering the primal need for sleep.

The book is The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. Last Sunday, I really wanted to buy a new book. A paperback book, preferably mass market size. I looked and looked and looked and was getting ready to leave when I saw Picoult's name. I'll buy and read anything she writes—anything. It came home. My grandfather handed me Return to Me, so it took me this long to remember I'd bought it.

Sucked in. Want to finish reading it even though I ought to use my work break today for writing fiction. Or poetry. :shrugs:

On the new arrival, I ordered a keyboard for my tablet. I found the on-screen keyboard just didn't work for me when I got into serious writer mode and I couldn't manage any major production. Game changer with my new wireless keyboard. I'm so excited to start using it.

Slow start to January, but that's okay. We'll get there.

Word Count

  • Fiction: 0 words
  • Poetry: 0 words
  • Blog: 739 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 49 words
  • Poetry: 0 words
  • Blog: 820 words
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A New Year's Scribbler: January 1, 2014

This entry is part 31 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

The daily scribble posts are back. On New Year's Day, I didn't actually expect to be productive. I expected laid back holiday, wherein we ate a scrumptious meal, spent time with family, and kept our four-year-old tradition of a treasure hunt, albeit a week late due to my sister and I having been sick heading into Christmas.

We did that, but I was also productive.


Read through some Yuletide reveals and one of the two new stories at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I also 'accidentally' stayed up to 2 o'clock in the morning reading Lynn Austin's Return to Me.

Note: I am extremely picky about historical and non-Old Testamental Biblical fiction. Most of it bores me unless it's written extraordinarily well. I tend to like Old Testament stories and I like classics that were written in historical periods, but not ones written about said historical periods. That said, I liked Lynn Austin's Gods and Kings series about Hezekiah. This book is set during a period of Biblical history that fascinates me (and is Old Testament): the interval between Daniel and Esther wherein there was Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Haggai. So I figured I'd like this book.

It had issues. Overall, I liked it. Can't say I loved it because the prologue was fabulous and then the first ten chapters were so tedious that I skipped five of them and probably never will read them. The middle was driven by a bad promise the main character kept despite knowing better on so many counts it wasn't even funny. The ending was fabulous. So... mixed feelings. Probably won't reread.

I've been reading The Drought and Quartz as well and am hoping to catch up within the next month.


Hammered away at "Dowse and Bleed" by tweaking four or five lines that were bothering me (apparently I'm one of those artists who won't stop editing until you pry her work right out of her hands), laying out the interior less hyphenation, and figuring out whether to add chronology to the cover. Also categorized it as a science fiction procedural per BISAC. Thank you, lithiumlaughter and in_the_blue, for helping me figure that one out. I haven't decided whether I want to add an excerpt for a forthcoming story in there, but am leaning strongly toward not.

To publish this baby in January, I particularly need to finalize the cover and finish pounding away at the summary, which I was doing yesterday. I thought it was perfect than realized it really didn't have a strong enough emphasis on what a special-type human was or that this was superhuman fiction. :headdesk: Back to the drawing board.

I'm tempted to work on Kingdoms and Thorn for the February story, but then it might be waaay better to do one of the other storyworlds for lots of reasons, so leaving certainty on the back burner.


Wrote 12 sentences instead of seven on book I should not be writing but is pestering me anyway.

Did some percolating research for fanfics in progress. I've got a particular scene I want to write for Finding the Ground and am still mulling over exactly where I want to check into Laurie. I think I know, but I keep waffling.

Also reread a bunch of Divergent series stuff. Is it awful to say I want a serious romance fic on the level of short story like what I write for Rogue/Gambit? Tris and Four have this serious fade to black moment and I'm pretty sure it was the standard fade to black and I wanted more. Additionally, I've got other serious Divergent plot-bunnies. I'd like to make them wait until I update some of my older fics so many people are waiting on, but no promises. Never those.


Discovered the joys of Scrivener for collaboration. I can add status notes about who worked on which part last, setting keywords, folders for our alternate chapter/scene orders and compiled files, etc., etc., etc. And we're sort of writing multiple timelines, so the brain went crazy with ideas yesterday. For collaboration, Scrivener is awesome.

Which brings me to...

New Arrivals

Scrivener: I officially love you, thecatisacritic. Thank you!

Duotrope: I thought about submitting "Dowse and Bleed" before I changed my mind, but now have a trial of Duotrope. I should do Heinlein's challenge in light of it, but I don't need the pressure, so probably won't.

Word Count

  • Fiction: 49 words
  • Poetry: 0 words
  • Blog: 81 words
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Finding My Year Through the Scribbling

So 2013, goodnight, goodbye
You were lovely and bright
You were terrible, my!

I loved you, I hated you
I scribbled the mess of you
Oh, 2013! Goodnight, goodbye!

End of the year post and all that demands a lot more out of me than I'm willing to give. The analytical brain was left in bed this morning and is still sleeping peacefully against my pillow. The rest of me, creative but lazily, has been puttering about today, wishing to join the analytical brain in pleasant dreams and instead working my tail off and getting little in the way of writing done. Which is a nice way of saying, expect a ramble. I'm rambly when I'm sleepy.

A Long Look Back

This was a busy year, full of good things and bad. On a personal level, I got a job, went permanent, had a falling out with someone once precious to me, lost my great-uncle, and have had ups and downs in my relationship with my sister. Nevertheless, I also had the sweetest Christmas season I can remember, starting with a Thanksgiving I actually enjoyed before all the cleanup was done.

This was the year I did the 365 Challenge and wrote original fiction as prolifically as when I dove back into fandom and whipped out 300K words of posted fanfic alone. I met a new storyworld and had so many delightful prompts and questions, I never could keep up with them all, but it produced "Dowse and Bleed" and I expect several forthcoming novelettes, novels, and collections. Additionally, I met a storyworld everybody who's read it has loved and know that it will do well if I can get it fleshed out in book format.

This was the year I did Nano—again—and failed. Again. Ah, well. :deep sigh:

This was the year I started a collaborative novel that stands more than a chance of succeeding and reaching those wonderful words, THE END. Also, I now own Scrivener. Quadruple awesome.

This was the year I moved out from sharing a room with my sister to having my own (godsend), my family blessed me with my own Samsung tablet (horrible distraction!), and the year I pulled together some actual songs to give as gifts using Finale (super fun).

This was the year I finally worked up the nerve to participate in Yuletide. If I hadn't veteraned in I Need My Fics, it never would have happened. It was wonderful, really wonderful. I loved my fics.

On the bookish front, I got my own copy of Jane Eyre now (yay!), The Left Hand of Darkness (I've been wanting to read this for forever), and Allegiant (see previous post for more on that). At some point, I might mull out how I feel about Le Guin's book, but in case I don't, let me just say it was amazing how the narrative had so many angles. The story disguises itself as Genly's story and in a very small, small way it is, but it's really Estraven's story, and the depth it takes us into the culture is amazing. I'm so glad I finally got to read this classic. Thanks, Yuletide bookswap!

Looking Forward

And next year? Next year, I'd like to write and publish, finish the Lena/Wesley book, finish fleshing out the heavier Kingdoms and Thorn and Vardin works that keep lying around, finish lithiumlaughter's fanfics "Everything is Blood" and "Body Heat," finish this collaboration with thecatisacritic, and maybe write some Divergent fanfic. I have that I must wait so long for the movie. :le sigh:

So thanks, last year, for being as big and complex and wonderful and challenging as you were and here's hoping the next year is big and wonderful for all of you. Happy New Year!

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The Scribbler Has Feels..., a.k.a. Some Serious Allegiant Meta

So I was pleasantly surprised. It pays to go in with your expectations on the floor. I received a gorgeous gift story for Yuletide that explored Four post-Allegiant, and it convinced me to finally buy the book, which I read in a couple hours this morning (Friday). Allegiant redeemed Insurgent for me. It brought the world together, painfully perhaps, but well. As for plot holes, I found none large enough to drive a truck through, but then, I've been in comics fandoms where these issues are on a whole other level.

So here goes some meta, hitting point by point the issues I was worried about and the stuff that blew me away in this book. From the beginning, I went looking for spoilers because at the end of Insurgent, I felt there was logic fail, and I have little tolerance for that. Spoilers implied there would be plenty.


When we first met Evelyn in book two, several things were quickly established:

  • Evelyn loved Tobias.
  • As soon as she felt it safe, she reopened communication with him.
  • She felt betrayed by the factions specifically because of how they failed her in her personal relationships with Marcus and Tobias.
  • Every opportunity, she reached out to her son for reconciliation.
  • She was jealous of Tobias' affection and loyalty.

Which is my way of saying, Roth extensively established the background for Evelyn's choosing Tobias over the city. It was beyond believable.


When I wrote up my Insurgent reactions, I noted then that I understood how he could get swept into Jeanine's mindset even though I hated him for it. The interactions between Tris and Caleb in Allegiant are spot-on. Caleb felt guilty and terrible but had been willing to sacrifice his family for what he truly believed was the greater good. I get that.

Because of that, the fallout here was perfect. Caleb did need redemption, but the suicide mission wouldn't have given it to him. It would have taken away the time he needed to do the actual hard work of redemption, as it says later in the book of Peter,

"change is difficult, and comes slowly, and that is the work of many days strung together in a long line until the origin of them is forgotten."

That's what Caleb needs and I'm glad Tris gave him the chance to get it. As soon as I read the scene where everyone looks at him and guilts him into "volunteering," all of my insides were screaming this isn't right, this isn't a choice. It's guilt, cold and hard and simple. Tris realized that and finally admitted it and remembered that she promised she wouldn't have walked him to his own execution. If she had allowed Caleb to go through with it, she would have done something horribly despicable and gone against every good part of her there was.

In short, I wasn't sure if the build-up would be well done or not. It was. I believed in the way things played out. It was necessary and not even a little bit. It was downright coldly necessary.

Speaking of...

The Death Scene

So someone remarked about how she fights off the death serum and gets taken down by a bullet. WTF?

Again, I get it. After Nita, there was no way on heaven or earth I would have believed there wasn't someone in there guarding. She would've gotten shot at point blank range in the Weapons Lab or outside of it after she deployed the memory serum. Guards just outside the door, remember? Okay, memory serum might have saved her, but I really wouldn't have believed in it. This was a suicide mission, flat-out. I wouldn't have believed in anyone's survival going into that.

It was beautifully done. I hate the result, but I believed in it. 'Nuff said.


So there were also those that thought Four's characterization suffered. I didn't believe that going in and I'm further unimpressed by the sentiment coming out. When you're not reading the thoughts behind his actions, he is just as strong and uncertain and hurting and stoic as portrayed in book number one. When you are reading the thoughts in his head, ignore them for a moment and read what he does and says on the outside. Yep. Still Four.

You don't get abused for sixteen years without getting broken. You don't go through your fear landscape and cringe like a child from a horrific image of your father and have that feeling go away a few months later just because you're in the middle of a war. In short, just because we feel his fear doesn't mean we're not seeing the exact same thing we saw before: someone who is very afraid of what few things he's afraid of, so much he has no room for other fears, and ignores his fear when deciding to act.

I was reminded a lot of the first few scenes in Divergent where Tris looks at him and recognizes the instability in him, the mercurial impulse he often squelches. We see it in Allegiant, and I respect him no less.

The Factions

I always loved the idea of the factions, though obviously they didn't work out well in practice, but they seemed to improve the cities where they were implemented. Think about it. It was focus, something the Bureau had little of. The Faction system pushed GDs to focus on the virtue inherent in their tendencies instead of the weakness. They focused on the good that came from their genes and how to use that good to its best and fullest to better their society and lives. In short, factions maximized the benefit of their genetic tendencies and helped to minimize the side effects.

Genetic Damage—Oh and Peter

Peter was the perfect example of someone who was truly genetically damaged. If he had been born Dauntless, he would have had a chance. That was his aptitude, that was his genetics, and that showed when he took the memory serum.

Allegiant redeemed Peter for me because he described so well the difficulty of himself. He grew up in Candor, which promoted honest living, which would encourage him to do what he wanted to. But what he wanted to do was bad.

"I'm sick of doing bad things and liking it and then wondering what's wrong with me. I want it to be over. I want to start again."

That is genetic damage in a nutshell. He had genetic tendencies that he was not raised to suppress, but he also knew something was wrong with him. So yeah, I buy this world. I buy that there really was an issue which caused the Purity Wars, though it obviously got skewed toward the victors.

And then there's the cities. Do they make logical sense to me? Oddly, yes.

Genetic manipulation took time to "take" so to speak. Generations. So they inserted the corrected/restored DNA into those in the experiments and then had to wait out the generations until that manipulation "took." In the meantime, the struggles GDs went through weren't going to just go away in the waiting, so they gave them cities and then got all high and mighty and forgot it was people they were trying to help, not a faceless "problem."

So yeah, I get it. I get it.


The book was extraordinarily satisfying and I reread parts and almost bought the hardcover at King Soopers, but I really want all three in paperback. I don't care for hardcover, too bulky, but I adore paperbacks. So there's that.

It's the first book in a long time that made me want to write. It also finally cleared up why I couldn't seriously and deeply fanfic in this world. I apparently needed an entire arc. Now, I've got so many plot bunnies, I expect a monster if I don't keep my head on original fiction.

That's my summary. I can't say I loved the book, but I can say I enjoyed it and was satisfied by it and am very glad I finally read it.

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