#796 – an external force

I wrote and rewrote the dialogue in this one right until it was posted. I needed to accomplish a few things and it was deceptively hard. There is a clear class divide between them - I needed that literally on the table - but neither of them have any real power, and they can regard each other as equals with good humor. Jane is still very much listening to Mar here, but I had a lot Mar needed to say before passing the torch to Jane, whose POV takes over for the rest of the story.

I think it frustrated some readers at the time that the perspective jumped to Jane's after we'd started with Marigold. At this point Jane was a more minor character, and I wanted to crack open that inner life. But Mar's arc has less to do with her inner thoughts (which we'd spent some time with) and more with the way she's seen, and I think that remains in focus as the story shifts.

7 thoughts on “#796 – an external force

  1. "The way he feels is an external force…"Hanna later claims something similar about how she feels about Marek's thoughts and actions, and about how Marek should feel towards her thoughts and actions, which Marek's mistimed reply indicates is clearly not true for either of them – whether they heal their mutual wounds together or more likely apart, much more needs to happen in each of their lives.But in this page's case, Mar has healed enough from her breakup with Will that her saying this feels natural. She's not the same person, the few needs that Will fulfilled for her during their relationship are needs she has overcome, and she can apply the impartiality to their interaction that Jane admires.

    Funny how two people can say the same thing and it's hard-won wisdom for one and misapplied cliché for the other.

  2. these lines of dialogue stuck with me. "external force" in particular. I held this phrase like a coin in my pocket, toying with it until it made sense in light of my experiences.

  3. I don't have anything deep to say, but I did just want to express his much I've been enjoying your author's insight on this run. It continues to make this even richer. (And how much symbolism I missed, and his much it fits – Oy!)

    It's an education. Thank you.

    1. As someone vehemently opposed to death of the author, I am also highly appreciative of the author insight on this second run.

  4. That first panel carries a subtle-but-telling observation; I actually remember where I was when I first slapped plastic on the table while the people who were the friends of my youth counted out their cash. I didn't know the idiom of the crab bucket then, but as I rationalize my memory into a coherent narrative, that was the moment where I looked back from the lip of the bucket, and then slipped away.

  5. "Piece of sky"… a Yentl reference?

  6. lilies of the valley

    “You make your company RICH, don’t you?” is a line I initially read as Jane complimenting Marigold’s social skills, hahaha. I guess I’m a little weird and anxious, always looking for subtextual messages in real life, and that bleeds into my reading time, as well. It’s enjoyable when it’s fiction and I don’t have to worry (lol) about seeming neurotic to another human being. Now, this is called “subtextual analysis,” not “nitpicking”! Working on it… Great page.

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