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Destiny in Red
by Peter Leon Collins
   v2, 25 November, 2002 -
   A psychological romance.
   72,000 words.
   Peter L Collins
   30/159 Middle Head Road
   MOSMAN NSW 2088
   mobile: +61 408 419 571
   email: peter@peter-collins.org
   web: www.peter-collins.org

Anything in italics is probably going to get cut out.

There are forward and backward buttons to navigate between chapters, or you can use the TOC below. The name of the story, as with the chapter names, is just a descriptive working title so we have something to refer to. I may just go for chapter numbers without any text names, on the day. The HOME button brings you back here, not to my web site home page, for which there is a link at the foot of this page. This is all VERY compact html so it should load fast. You can resize the font (in MS IE, anyhow) with View -> Text size, I think. I'd suggest you then adjust the line length for easy readability by dragging the side of the browser window. What am I telling you for? To boast how I design for accessibility, I suppose.

The story? Here are some of my complaints, in no particular order. When I have worked out what to do about them, and done it, I'm sure I'll find plenty else to complain about. Better me than the critics.

I think that it fails on the personality of the little student girl. She is either too wet behind the ears, or too bold, and too easily scared off (as in the crash) - I don't think any one person would exhibit that range of naivete and bold animal cunning, or shift from one to the other in so short a time.

I think the time scale is muddled. Sometimes it seems only days have gone by, sometimes years.

I feel that the language is sometimes too lecture-room.

I can't accept that any Keith would go through so much angst just to get his end away in a spiteful bitch. If he loves her he's a complete moron, to boot.

What about Chris, eh? I think I've drawn the men to be wets. Father, Chris, Keith, The Tutor. At least they aren't modelled on myself. On no you don't!

I can't accept Jilly suddenly falling for a cop, even one who is about to go into a law practice. Even one who has got her off a big emotional hook - which she seems to have got herself off okay, anyhow.

The parents are too shallow.

I can't make up my mind how much cash was sent to Switzerland - half a mill, five mill? That and similar slips-up are still to be cleaned out, too.

The studies advisor needs more background - maybe his affair with another young student, first? And he's a medical professional, but I've drawn him as liberal arts type. he needs a touch more arrogance and a more formal presentation, from which he unbends somewhat as he moves into seduction mode.

If there's still a young idiot in it, with but one appeareance, rushing late for lectures and dropping his books, he needs to be expunged.

The back story, used here as a prologue, may be just too lazy of me. Maybe it should be revealed bit by bit, or even forgotten entirely. For we never actually see him, and it muddles the time flow a bit, too. Maybe everything up to the accident is back story. Maybe it should start:

"    That night she dreamt of a brain, dissected out on a rock, each part neatly and correctly labelled, suddenly sweeping together into the back of an empty face, like a movie running backwards, the skull re-assembling itself from its fragments, and the cyclist rising onto his cycle and starting peddling up the hill again, still in the rain and the dark. She woke, gasping ..."

Maybe it isn't even believable, anyhow. maybe I'm being too much the stickler and most people wouldn't know the feasible from a hole in the ground.

I've made it turn on fingerprints, so the problem of proof gets back into the realm of the understandable.

It's a real curate's egg, I think. It may have too many faults. It may be too messy to clean up for publication. Maybe I should shelve it for longer, write another one in the meantime, and then come back to it later.

Copyright 2003 Peter Leon Collins

Copyright 2003 Peter Leon Collins
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