comments on “starling”

Cyndi has commented on starling, chapter seven of U-town. My responses to her comments are in italics.

is the scene with Carl, Jenny and starling a flashback? I assume it is since Carl and Jenny are dead now, but it’s a little unclear to me. you make it clear later, when focusing on Pete and starling, but it’s unclear before then.

The entire chapter is a flashback, and the chapter after it as well. In the next chapter, we’ll see the day before the gig, and the morning of the day itself, leading up to the beginning of the Prove It chapter, when Pete and Jenny are in bed together.

starling was already in Pete’s life during the earlier chapters, but she wasn’t around on the afternoon or evening of the gig at the Quarter, and we’ll see why. It seemed like a good idea to show the other characters and relationships before introducing starling, to make it clearer what she’s coming into.

Then, with Curse the Darkness, we jump back to the “present.”

interesting that starling is considered the most dangerous woman in the world. are you going to detail why, later? I mean from what I already know, she handles guns and (I presume) knives very well.

The clues are in the newspaper headlines (and in how people react to her, of course). She’s killed a lot of people.

the scene when everyone meets at the apartment again is a little bit lighthearted to me. I like the tone of that. with the chaos at once. I especially liked Carl’s response: “All this yelling is disturbing to a person of my delicate artistic temperament . . .”

Well, it shows how wrapped up they are in their own lives (especially Henshaw and Jenny) that the arrival of a famous mass murderer into their midst barely affects them at all.

interesting that you note that Henshaw and Jenny neither one looked exactly happy while making out. it makes me wonder why they would do it if they weren’t even happy about it in the first place.

That observation was made about my and a girlfriend once, when we were making out at a club. Sometimes a relationship can be perversely (and sexually) satisfying without actually making you “happy.”

if I were starling, I’d be a little put off at how much commotion my appearance in a bar made.

She’s used to it, in fact she barely notices it.

I like the quirk in Pete’s personality that causes him to take notes very meticulously like he does.

Based on a friend I used to know, including the various details I throw in, like the comics he draws featuring people he knows on Star Trek and so on.

I really like the detail you go into from starling’s point of view when she awakes in the middle of the night.

Well, it is important to see her a little from the inside, not just from how people react to her.

Pete sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend does most certainly raise questions as to who’s the crazy one in this situation.. ha!

Exactly. Especially since we already know that Henshaw has a temper, and settles things with his fists. And, as I think I’ve conveyed, Pete is not a fighter.

this part tickles me like you wouldn’t believe:
      starling thought about this. “But he’s annoying me.”
      “He’ll stop.”
      “Immediately!” Carl added.
the whole exchange involving her almost stabbing him is very funny, really.

We’ll get a better sense later on of how much she was serious here, and how much she was playing.

this bit taking place in the February Island coffee shop seems lighthearted. a lot of the chapter does, actually.

Again, the next one won’t be as light. The thing that makes this chapter more serious is that, as much fun as we’re having reading it, we know that Carl and Jenny are about to die.

George is an interesting character–the area he lives in (apparently) seems like a commune. will I be hearing more about this place?

Some. George will be back, but not as a major character. He’s based on a character (of the same name) in Dhalgren.

One thing the search for Deirdre Hammersmith does for us is give us an opportunity to take a little tour of U-town. That’s not why starling is doing it, but it lets us draw back the camera a little and show more than we’ve seen before.

UnderTown.. very interesting.. I really like the idea of a literal town under the town quite a lot. it kind of plays into the fantasy realm of things to me.

Interesting comment. I didn’t do much more with the Undertown, but now (now that you’ve given me a nudge to look in that direction) it will figure in a major way in what I’m writing now. Thanks. 🙂

from the way you describe things, I get the feeling that Jenn and Henshaw’s relationship is NOT, by any means, a happy one. that’d explain why she’s sleeping with Pete too.

Yes. Henshaw is not exactly “emotionally available,” though the relationship gives her a lot of other things. Of course, Pete isn’t really emotionally available either. That side of Jenny (the side that deliberately screws things up, on the basis that they’ll get screwed up eventually anyway, so you might as well eliminate the suspense) is based on a guy I used to know. One time he was involved with four different women (including the one I later married, and her best friend), and I think he knew the whole thing would go bad eventually, so he invited them all out to dinner at the same time, to get it over with.

interesting moment with Carl and Daphne.. kinda surreal.

Daphne is sort of an illustration of how I work. It occurred to me one day that none of the characters had pets. Well, that ended up with Daphne (who is a pretty important character, and who has just re-appeared in what I’m writing now).

I’m not too keen on how jumpy starling gets–I get a feeling that one day she may snatch her gun and start firing away without really thinking.

You’re right.

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