Time to bring this back up again... there is one really bad anachronism in chapter 51 I need to note you about, Monkey man.
When Indy arrives to the Russian site, the fellow who greets him is having a Kalashnikov rifle... in 1938, when Viktor Kalashnikov, probably the most famous weapon designer up to date, born 1919, was 19 and nothing but a rookie soldier in the training of the Red Army.
The world hadn't heard about any kind of Kalashnikov rifle before WW II was over. Everybody probably knows the famous AK-47, and that's exactly what that "47" means there, the designing year. Kalashnikov did actually model his first submachine gun while in infirmary in 1941, but that never gained wide use... of course, this is just extra info. I already told you the probably most worst goof up to date in this story.
Of course, Raiders of the Lost Ark had a bazooka that was designed in 1942, but we can always presume that in Indiana Jones universe, some inventions were made ahead of their time, but in the case of Kalashnikov... that won't work.
First of all, thanks for posting again. I actually thought that everybody had forgotten all about Gypsy's Kiss, or were bored with it and had stopped reading. And I knew that you, if anyone would spot this.
By the way, today Chapter 53.......THE FINAL CHAPTER is scheduled to post.
Believe it or not, I kind of suspected that it might be an error when I used the "Kalashnikov automatic rifle" reference but I was too lazy, or didn't have time at the time (can't remember which) to check it. I knew that the AK-47 was not yet in existence in 1938, but I wasn't really sure if there was a "Kalashnikov" company that was making some kind of 'automatic rifle' in 1938.
Why did I intentionally put something in there that I knew might be an error? Good question. Two reasons:
1. "Kalashnikov"....It sounds so damn Russian! Lends a bit more of a 'Russian' atmosphere to the scene.
2. I felt that even if it were an error, that it wouldn't really matter in an Indiana Jones story. I think in an IJ fiction you can get away with stuff like that. I will liken it to the "Flying Wing" Delta wing aircraft in "Raiders".........futuristic....experimental....but there's no way that really existed in 1936.
So I thought I could get away with it since I felt that it would add to the feel of the scene.
...........once again, caught, red handed.
But I want to thank you Finn for taking the interest, and time to post. And mostly, thanks for reading. I hope you and anyone else reading will enjoy the final chapter, and the ending.
Monkey, all I can say is that for myself, when dealing with Indiana Jones fiction, I can stand Indy mingling with WW II era weapons, even though they were not yet designed on the particular year the story takes place. It is when we're going to detail when my mind goes alarmed... for example, when you mentioned name "Kalashnikov", accurate historical facts immediately flooded to my mind associated to it. If you had just written "Russian assault rifle" (even though even that kind of weapon didn't exist before 1942 by German design), I would have let it slip through my mind, thanks to my earlier experiences about Indiana Jones fiction.
Oh well, even Rob MacGregor goofed badly once. In Indiana Jones and the Unicorn's Legacy, Indy is burying the horn with the old Indian who notes that there are forces of evil in the world worth being aware of... and Indy assumes the man speaks of Nazis. The year is 1928 and Hitler's rise in power happened 1933... and it really was a thing one was not able to tell five years before.
Anyway, I just read the last chapter of Gypsy's Kiss...very nice work. Really nice.
And my head is coming up with several little bits of advice and reworking it wants to give or suggest to you.
And I better start right away.
I don't know should I cheer victoriously or frown in disappointment, but: don't reveal the ending before the story is even halfway through.
You fell into committing one general cliché that, I admit, may just pass through an everyday readers' mind unnoticed, but one that has read a lot and knows something about story structuring will go like "oh no, not this again..." and once that is written into the story, there is just one way it could possibly end between the protagonist and his love interest.
What it is, I'm letting you to figure out by yourself a little longer.
Then there's more... of course, majority of the fans of your story will now jump out of bushes and ask me how can I ever mock such a beatiful and well-written story like that, but it had a few structural bits that bugged me. Don't worry (anyone of you), I'm not going to tear Monkey man off that great shrine of the Indy fiction writers he had obviously just rised in your mind by trashing Gypsy's Kiss completely, because I liked the general idea in the story and the plot itself, I really did... but there's always something.
Gypsy's Kiss had a few problems with pacing. Every really good story has its beginning, middle and ending in close balance, something GK unfortunately had not. The beginning dragged (and was too long to serve the balance), the middle part was too shattered with some issues getting too much highlight and some brushed past even little too quickly (of course, this will most often be the case when one is writing a serial with every chapter ending to a cliffhanger, though there is a better way to work the structure and still come up with decent chapter endings that make the reader to crave for more), and the ending... it really didn't slowly rise and build up to the climax, it just suddenly kicked in and was over just as fast, this got it to lack majority of this so-called extra tension it could have received.
Then there is the issue about characters and the way they were pictured. To pace through the story, there must be lesser and more important characters, and the writing style should make it clearly out. GK however... well, to give you a concrete example is the Nazi major in the end. The final chapter was written in a way that gives you an impression possibly making you to think he was the main villain of the story... but he had actually made his first appearance barely one chapter earlier. I think I don't have to tell you the things that are for granted to make you figure out what is wrong in this picture. There are more similar things with characters, but more about them if Monkey man wishes for a more detailed report.
And it gets us to the another... the point of view the story used. For 90% of the story, the teller's eyes were locked on Indiana Jones. They only jumped to describe the things about some other character's POV only when it appeared you need to give a thrill impression or tell the readers something crucial that would seemingly appear more logical if they were told that way; which is actually a sign of a writer who still needs to hone his/her skills. Especially chapter eight was this kind of odd bird. It just suddenly jumped out of context, because there was no more secquences like that. And by this I don't mean that the writer should have told us more about the kid in question, but e.g. take us off Indy and describe what Marcus or the Nazis were doing in the meantime.
The writing style is good, dialogue flows smoothly with no artificial "cheap takes" to move them from subject to another, all in all good. It's the story flow that prevents GK from being a masterpiece. Too many odd things here and there.
And please, do not try to play knight in a shiny armor and tell me I'm taking it too rough on an amateur writer, I'm well aware of that. But when the context itself goes out for being something like this (every chapter got an announcement on the main page, all the praising comments)... the critique has to be the same caliber, right? Keeps the world in balance.
Great critique Finn!! I have no problem at all with it. In fact I am very grateful for it, it helps me immensely.
As I said before, it's no masterpiece, just a decent Indy fan fiction. Something for an IJ fan who might have read all the books, and wants a new one to read. And it was an excersize in writing a novel for me.
Wow, GK was really a wonderful novel. I gotta say, though, that ending with Indy watching Vadoma being incinerated was a real downer. I don't care what anyone says. I hope Indy's married in Indy IV. Geez, I think the guy's MORE than entitled to someone who will love him and actually still be ALIVE when it's all said and done. Poor Indy.
Still, excellently done and fine writing! I was hanging on every word.
Thanks Indyologist. Sorry about that rather graphic ending. I hope it didn't throw you, or any of the readers too much. If so I apologize. It wasn't meant to be brutal or disturbing in anyway. In fact it was meant to be rather the opposite of those things.
I think I was trying to make some kind of a point about the transitory and impermanent nature of life; of the flesh, versus the immortal and eternal nature of the human spirit.
Actually, there are two of them. The first is a general assumption, and you made it even more clearer by giving us an opposite reflection. In the beginning, you showed us Indiana Jones with one of his girlfriends around the world, and gave us the expression that Jones was just looking for some fun, not being serious with her.
As with Vadoma, you might have as well bolded, underlined and written in it italics and couldn't have made it any more clearer that Indy's found the girl of his life... biiig mistake. Since as we all know, Indiana Jones is a very classic archtype of a hero and we will never ever see him ending up with together in the very final way. (At least not in that point of his life, though I would not be surprised if he actually had someone in Indy IV.)
And the second one, which you just also gave away, you obviously thought that it was an unique way to end the story. Nearly every writer who kills off the girl in the end thinks they have created something revolutionary, while in the reality, that truly is out of this handbook called "Cheesy Endings for Dummies", if you get what I mean. Of course, the reason for this everybody thinks that killing the love interest in the end may be a result of watching too many Bond films since in the end of those, 007 always gets the girl.
Okay, now one may wonder if the girl living in the end is a cliché and the girl dying at the end is a cliché, then what is not?
To be honest, none of them are clichés if the story is built in the way reader doesn't get any hints about how it might be... something in what you Monkey man failed miserably.
You slightly took your readers as simpletons in other cases too, by the way. You tend to underline the current emphasis in a scene overly too much to make clearly out that now they're excited, now the athmosphere is threatening, now they're relaxing, etcetera. While this, of course can bring a writer to the core sources of using good metaphors, it's also an insult towards the reader's intelligence.
But as I said, good work. You'll have to work out keeping the plot flowing more smoothly and get rid of writing so much out-of-place scenes, but as usual, the journey around the world starts with taking the first step. And more steps you take, more determined and secure your gait will become.
One thing though, I never meant to insult the readers' intelligence. I may have done so inadvertantly, I apologize.
Cheesy endings for dummies??? Hmmmm, I disagree there. I kind of liked my ending. And I don't think I foretold it in the story anywhere. I think there were lots of alternative endings that could have happened. But that's just me. Others may agree with you.
But it is interesting that you bring up that earlier girlfriend in South America. She was a brief, but very important character for me. She helped to define MY concept of Indiana Jones. I have always thought the playboy aspect of Jones' character has been too much understated. He IS a playboy, and has girlfriends all over the world, but as he is getting older, he is somewhat troubled by that fact.
As for the main female character, Vadoma, being the girl of his dreams, she wasn't supposed to come across that way. I must have botched that because I wanted Jones to be attracted to her for two reasons, one, she was HOT to look at, and two, she was intriguing, interesting, and a woman in trouble.
In my concept of Indiana Jones he is a playboy, but a chivalrous playboy. (Kind of like me)
Actually I wanted Jones to fall in love with Vadoma gradually, but not necessarily fall any more in love with her than with Lupe down in South America, or any of his other many girlfriends.
You are a very astute and knowledgeable reader Finn. I want to thank you for your extremely helpful critiques. Despite my "ouch" I still appreciate it.
If you didn't foretell it anywhere, then how was I able to be so damn sure about it? (Think about that.)
And another thing about the ending... killing Vadoma off was the only way to end the story, so in that case you did a good job. There was no other solutions to bring this story to a sensible end. Actually, if we look at things that led to the ending, I'd say that even Elsa had a bigger chance to see LC's credits than Vadoma living past "The End" in GK.
And you didn't really have to tell me that you weren't supposed to insult the reader's intelligence, no writer does that consciously (except in some cases of satire and parody), so no hard feelings about that.
And for cheesiness & stuff in some scenes, I guess they were supposed to be there. This was a classic adventure serial and it actually helped to create the athmosphere more closer to that, cliffhangers an'all. This is the stuff in thin cheap paperback bookies people buy from paper stands.
But if you dream about writing an actual novel, Monkey man... I'll tell you one thing.
If I ever, ever order a hardback copy off eBay with $39.90 and it's written like this one, I'm marching right up to the writer and tell him I've been robbed.
You know, I've been here talking big words and I have absolutely no proof that my skill in writing is any higher than our fabulous serial author's here... Hmm, p'haps I should try writing my own story?
If anybody ever charged you $39 for GK, then I myself would be a witness to the crime.
I think I pretty much get everything you're saying Finn. And you're right about the 'cheese'. A lot of the cheese was intentional. I tried to give it a 1930's Adventure Serial feel, and that recipe often calls for some gouda and gorganzolla.
I have a few ideas for other novels (NOT IJ). These, if written, will be done in a totally different style that hopefully will be worth.............well, maybe 39 cents, if not 39 dollars.
By the way, you hint at the possibility of maybe writing an IJ fiction???
That would be great! Interested in a collaborator?
Location: Originally from the UK but now living in Pennsylvania, USA!!!
Finn, your posts on this topic are interesting to read, but I can't help think but feel that you're being a little bit harsh about Monkey's story.
Okay, I'll be honest with you. I kinda guessed what happens to Vadoma many chapters before I read it, but apart from that, I feel that was the only cliché as far as I could see. And as for pacing, I certainly didn't think that there was a problem.
And as for insulting the readers intelligence, I certainly don't think that Monkey was doing that subconsciously or consciously.
I'm honestly not trying to be a pain, and you are certainly entitiled to your opinion, but I just felt that you were a little bit overcritical.
Canyon - As I've said here I liked GK very much, and I admitted that in the frames it was published, it was more than fitting piece... and if I didn't get it completely wrong, Monkey got my meaning here too. It's a great piece of amateur fiction... and if you read the topic from very beginning you notice that Monkey man here actually thought about letting someone re-read it and tell him what prevents it from being "professional" fiction. And this is the job I'm doing here, using those skills I've learnt about storywriting to tell him my views about what should be honed in GK to make it look even better than what it is now. And even now, it's one great piece. My apologies, if I didn't make this clear enough.
Monkey - To be honest, there has been this certain plot idea that had span around my mind for some time now... one that I, when I say it rather honestly, think that it would have some potential if even turned to from simple thoughts to a written form.
But usually the things are the biggest obstacles on my way when writing a story is that I can think of a great storyline and the major events from the beginning to the end and the themes the story is going to deal with, but when it comes to close-to-earth events you're supposed to handle and enlighten the story with, it all, if does not start to collapse, but at least slows down the process pretty good deal.
And this is, I admit, the thing that could make one interested about a partner in crime, even though that means the credit has to be shared (with what I personally have no problem with). It's just that finding a good collaborator can be a pain. Many have enthusiasm, but lack greatly in the fields that closer to the process of writing itself. But if I get this ball (or should we say boulder?) rolling, I could actually give it a shot in the form of team work, since the fellow offering his helping hand has some helluva credentials, with 53 chapters.
Originally posted by monkey Thanks Indyologist. Sorry about that rather graphic ending. I hope it didn't throw you, or any of the readers too much. If so I apologize. It wasn't meant to be brutal or disturbing in anyway. In fact it was meant to be rather the opposite of those things.
I think I was trying to make some kind of a point about the transitory and impermanent nature of life; of the flesh, versus the immortal and eternal nature of the human spirit.
That's no problem, Monkey. You did a great job. I figured that Vadoma would die-- it was the only cure for her deadly "kiss." It was a mite graphic and more than a little sad. I think I would have had Indy just bury her in some kind of gypsy tradition, if they DO bury their dead and don't creamate them. I'm a writer too, so I appreciate your symbolism regarding the human spirit. Maybe, as I said earlier, you could have done some research into gypsy traditions/rituals involving death/funeral rites. That would have been interesting.
Thanks again Indyologist,
Your comments and suggestions are very nice, and very helpful.
One of the things that GK suffered from was my inability to put as much time as I should have into research. But that was a function of two things.
First of all, I was working full time the whole time writing it. Sometimes, as you probably well know, it is tough to squeeze writing time into your daily schedule.
Secondly, I foolishly compounded the first problem by my own impatience and overenthusiasm. I got so darned excited about writing it and putting it out there that I sent it in to the site before it was even half finished. I'll never, EVER, do that again. Because then I was faced with a deadline to get the chapters out. What I haven't divulged until now is that there were times when I was only two or three chapters ahead of the posted chapter. That was kind of stressful, and led to me taking some shortcuts.
Lesson learned: Don't post anything until it's DONE!!
But just to comment on the cremation scene again for a moment, another aspect of that was that the followers of Pharaoh Akhenaton's religion of the Aten (which was one of the main archaeological themes of the story) rejected the funerary practices of the Amun priests, and believed that cremation was the only true way to release a person's Ka; their spirit. I think I was trying to somehow incorporate that into the scene.
(...........I say 'think' because half the time I didn't even really know what the hell I was thinking.)
Thanks again Indyologist for your nice comments. I very much appreciate it.