Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot


Tell us what you thought about the October 2005 issue!

Moderator: Editors

User avatar

Senior Editor

Posts: 1082

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Northeast Georgia, USA

Post October 23, 2005, 10:49:04 AM

Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

Now this was a *ride!*<br>Better watch it Jaimie, Bob's gonna get jealous again. <br>This one is definitely one of the top 5 Nightwatch stories of all time. Anyone who hasn't read this one yet is missing out. <br><br>Dan<br>
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
Brice Linch - Max Headroom
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post October 23, 2005, 07:00:10 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

Better watch it Jaimie, Bob's gonna get jealous again.
<br>Well, if he'd only write as well as John R. Murray, he wouldn't have to get so jealous... :) Just a joke, Robert. You've got a few in the top five in my book.<br><br>Dan forbade me to hold anything back last time, but I'd already given my grumbly bits to Jaimie on this one before it came out.<br><br>Publicly, let me say that I thought it had more than its fair share of brilliant moments (and he better have left a few for the rest of us to come:))! It's style is a departure from what we'd seen previous, using more complex and darker characterizations, at least, I thought.<br><br>I think all the Nightwatch stories this year showed a step up in characterizations and craftsmanship, starting with Jeff's "Kindness". Last year, things tended to be very "white bread"--crazy scientists trying to take over the world stopped by happy operatives using the latest gizmo. Nothing wrong with that, but this year, Simon and crew aren't monochromatic anymore. They can do both good or bad, for lofty or sometimes dark reasons. I think the Nightwatch universe is all the more complicated and more enjoyable for it.<br><br><br>If you aren't reading Nightwatch, shame on you!<br><br>They're damned good fiction pieces, every one of them. <br>Try finding free fiction this good anywhere else. I dare you.<br><br>Nate
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post October 24, 2005, 03:31:06 AM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

<br>I'm with Nate on this one.  (Well, I can't always refute him, thusly!) <br><br>The Sin Watcher really raised the bar for the rest of us.  I would think that several additions to the Night Watch Bible would be in order after this.<br><br>I read this story very carefully and have gone through it three times from beginning to end (for reasons of my own) and the time, effort, sweat and blood that went into this work really show.  I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Jamie is a writer! <br><br>Maybe I missed it, but the only problem I could find with this story is that I thought that the 'egg' had to be physically placed in one of the 'rings of power' in order for it to close the transdimensional doorways.  Unless there happens to be one in Washington.  .  .<br><br>In any case, I would appreciate a little clarification on that.  <br><br>As for the story, once again Mr. Elliot has demonstrated that the best stories are about people. And let's face it, when it comes to Science Fiction, the word 'people' is never confined to 'human.'<br><br>Although the Massoud character was a little reminiscent of the demonish antagonist in the Stephen King story The Perfect Storm, he was portrayed as an anguished, tortured individual who—like many of the Night Watch characters—bulled through his pain to get the job done.  These characters didn't always make the best choices, but they made choices and lived (or not) with the consequences.  There was nothing cookie-cutter about any of the major characters in this story and that takes nothing but grit from the writer.  The only way I know to do this is by personally getting to know the person you are writing about.  You have to spend time thinking about how this one or that one might react to a given situation and then you have to try and sort through the fluffery and chose the best, the most telling, response or phrase which develops the character the way you want him or her to go.  It can be excruciating, but it is always worth it.  I don't even want to think about how deeply Jamie must have delved into these diverse personae to have so perfectly rendered these, words-on-the-screen, bodiless literary conceptions into flesh.  And yet he did.  .  .and for free, too.<br><br>What the heck is wrong with you, Mr. Elliot?  Are you mad? <br><br>Oh yes, Nate.  .  .these characters are getting darker as they develop.  They are as changed by their actions as any of us would be.  If we could have survived, that is.  And I think we are going to have to credit Mr. Williams for much of this.  From other posts and from some correspondence of my own, I am beginning to see how seriously he takes his Night Watch creation and his subtle hand, guiding the larger plots without stifling the individual 'voice' of each writer is a thing of beauty to behold.  This series may well become (if it isn't already) a true benchmark in the developing genre of the free webzine.  <br><br>Excellent storytelling by Jamie Elliot.  And Jeff, you are either a merciless taskmaster or you have gotten gol' dang lucky.  Perhaps a little of both?<br><br>Bill <br>
Last edited by Bill_Wolfe on October 24, 2005, 03:31:46 AM, edited 1 time in total.
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post October 24, 2005, 07:44:55 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

The Sin Watcher really raised the bar for the rest of us. I would think that several additions to the Night Watch Bible would be in order after this.

I read this story very carefully and have gone through it three times from beginning to end (for reasons of my own) and the time, effort, sweat and blood that went into this work really show...
<br>Dear Lord! Did Jeff get you, too? <br>It sounds like he did. Good luck to you, and I hope you don't have to wait like me. Only Jigsaw Creek was written before mine for this year (and that includes Jeff's), and I'm still waiting. When December comes, it will be a whole year since the 1st draft was done. (Must be my punishment for my being such a pain to all the other Nightwatch writers. :))<br><br>
This series may well become (if it isn't already) a true benchmark in the developing genre of the free webzine.
<br>Hear, hear! <br><br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on October 24, 2005, 07:46:09 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post October 24, 2005, 08:03:17 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

Dear Lord! Did Jeff get you, too?
It sounds like he did. Good luck to you, e
<br><br>Yup Nate, he did. I've already trashed about 3000 words because they interfered with a direction he wants to take the series, but he's right. <br><br>And we haven't even agreed on the plot, yet. I think I'm going to like this. Then Hate it. . .then like it, again. . .<br><br>Actually, I'm going to need a little more time than usual to get this done. I've got a bit on my plate for the next year, or so. <br><br>And Nate, your name was spoken with naught but reverence at ApheliCon1. We all simply love your critiques. Don't even worry about that little efigy-burning incident. I don't think they had access to more than two samples of your bodily fluids. . .and it hardly ever works without at least three.<br><br>Bill
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

Production Editor

Posts: 143

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post October 24, 2005, 09:55:06 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

Nate Wrote: Dear Lord! Did Jeff get you, too? <br>It sounds like he did. Good luck to you...<br><br> <br>Bill Replied: Yup Nate, he did. I've already trashed about 3000 words because they interfered with a direction he wants to take the series, but he's right. <br><br><br>Jeff Writes: I'm still looking for writers for next year. Yep...still looking...<engages>...looking deeper...deeper...yes...yes, grasshopper...you feel strangely compelled...compelled to write NIGHTWATCH...compelled...Compelled...COMPELLED!!!! :o
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post October 24, 2005, 10:08:20 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

And Nate, your name was spoken with naught but reverence at ApheliCon1. We all simply love your critiques. Don't even worry about that little efigy-burning incident. I don't think they had access to more than two samples of your bodily fluids. . .and it hardly ever works without at least three.
<br>Let's see... "reverence..." that's Latin for "he better wear Kevlar underwear if he shows next year", right? :)<br><br>Nate<br><br>PS. Check it out! I turned "Master Critic" with a fluff post! <br>I feel just like Robert. ;)
Last edited by kailhofer on October 24, 2005, 10:11:18 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post October 24, 2005, 11:38:54 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

...Check it out! I turned "Master Critic" with a fluff post!
I feel just like Robert. ;)
<br><br>You mean arthritic, diabetic, but otherwise a paragon of virtue? You have my sympathy, for as the great Mac Davis once sang,<br><br>Lord, it's hard to be humble<br>When you're perfect in ev-er-y way ...<br><br>And fluff is as fluff does, to paraphrase Forrest's Ma. So you must be feeling ... fluffy right about now.<br><br>Robert M.<br><br>
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 550

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Atlanta, GA

Post October 24, 2005, 11:46:52 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

Wow :o, some really nice comments here. I'm embarrassed. Although I have to admit that I leveraged a great deal of material from the writers that preceded me (and even a snippet or two from the one that follows). It was actually a very interesting exercise weaving together bits and pieces. The ability to attempt such a feat speaks wonders of the Nightwatch universe and all the writers involved.<br><br>
Maybe I missed it, but the only problem I could find with this story is that I thought that the 'egg' had to be physically placed in one of the 'rings of power' in order for it to close the transdimensional doorways. Unless there happens to be one in Washington. . .

In any case, I would appreciate a little clarification on that.
<br><br>Actually, only the listener of the 'sama needed to be near a ring, not necessarily the key. I purposefully tried to guide the reader into thinking key, ring, and listener needed to be in the same proximity. However, Simon was resourceful enough to realize that he could keep the key safely stowed in Washington as long as the listener had a way to manipulate the artifact from afar. I have to thank Robert for creating the fake "egg" in the first place. It provided a nice, industrial-sized manhole cover for a potentially insurmountable plot hole. ::)<br><br>As for Jeff being a taskmaster, outside the fact that he bade me use England as a backdrop which caused me to spend endless hours researching, he was fairly hands-off (although I did receive a couple frantic emails toward the deadline time... :)). And in the end, using England made my life much easier. As I pondered what legendary item I could tie to the egg, I chanced upon the Ring of Solomon, the fabled ring that Solomon used to control the jinn. Once I thought of Stonehenge, it all coalesced rather quickly. Also, according to some obscure myths, Merlin was thought of as half-jinn and not half-demon, which further strengthened the connections in my mind. As an interesting side note, I believe that I now understand how conspiracy theorists come up with the things that they do...<br>
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


jaimie l. elliott

[b:2o4dvkjg]Check out my website:[/b:2o4dvkjg]
http://www.jaimie.org/

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post November 07, 2005, 11:55:16 AM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

Strong effort by Jaimie. Nothing to add in way of critique; Jamie has proven to be a talented writer and I think he told a good story.<br><br>I do have two remarks. One regards a rather minor detail in the story; the other is about the series. <br><br>First, when Simon says he gave up his accent after an incident with a school mate, I would argue that accent or not, someone who didn't know "rubber" meant eraser would likely have reacted sharply to Simon's request. Perhaps more so w/o the English accent.<br><br>I've read three-four of these Nightwatch stories and each writer has brought something different to the character of Simon, which is fine, but it strikes me as a thin line to tread. I wonder if these were ever gathered with the intent of publishing a collection if there'd be some question from a publisher as to Simon's character arc. His personality, moods, etc, tend to shift enough that continuity of his character might be compromised. I don't think that referring to other stories is sufficient to tie one character "shade" to another. This is not meant as criticism in anyway, it's more a question of what I think would be a fundamental dilemma (if that's not too strong a word) for this kind of project, which I think is, at the very least, a wonderful exercise for writers, and a great means of fostering creativity.<br><br>Blah, blah, blah.<br><br>Dan E.
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post November 08, 2005, 06:29:28 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

I've read three-four of these Nightwatch stories and each writer has brought something different to the character of Simon, which is fine, but it strikes me as a thin line to tread. I wonder if these were ever gathered with the intent of publishing a collection if there'd be some question from a publisher as to Simon's character arc. His personality, moods, etc, tend to shift enough that continuity of his character might be compromised. I don't think that referring to other stories is sufficient to tie one character "shade" to another. This is not meant as criticism in anyway, it's more a question of what I think would be a fundamental dilemma (if that's not too strong a word) for this kind of project, which I think is, at the very least, a wonderful exercise for writers, and a great means of fostering creativity.
<br>Obviously, every writer sees a character through his or her own eyes, and it would be, I think, impossible to keep the characters 100% consistent in all things. <br><br>But really, has there been anything really important about the characters that doesn't jive with the others? <br><br>Ok, a character may be more or less confident in one story versus another, but the basic core values of that character stay the same. It's true nobody can write Simon's smartass dialog as well as Robert can, but everybody tries. <br><br>Plus, Jeff keeps things even more consistent than anyone knows. Stephanie and Simon are more at odds in Jaimie's story than normal, but Tom, who keeps them in balance, is in space during this story. He isn't there to smooth the friction the way a friend who is also a psychologist can. All that was on purpose, and was a good thought by Jaimie.<br><br>There are trends and plot developments that point to other stories, even if it isn't readily apparent. Jeff will tell you things like a character is unavailable to use there, you can't put that in your story because someone else is already doing that, make sure you mention X company, or living in Y city, or add Z scene somewhere.<br><br>All because they tie things together. Jeff has plans for each of these characters and where they're going in life, and they'll change in the stories to match.<br><br>Unlike the Mare where every story remains independent, and the Mare never really changes, Nightwatch is a true serial adventure, one leading to another. If Simon and Callow suddenly develop a love of thumb wrestling each other in the next story (they do not), that would be a constant between them from that point on. <br><br><br>Do any of you other Nightwatchers agree?<br><br>Nate
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post November 08, 2005, 08:34:26 PM

Re: Nightwatch: Sin Watcher By Jaimie Elliot

I tend to agree with what you're saying, Nate. However, while it's entirely appropriate for Simon to behave differently given the story and, indeed, the inclination of the writer, my query stems from noticing a qualitative difference in the manner in which that behavior is manifested (a function of each writer's style/interpretation/etc). So it makes me wonder--and, again this is purely "academic"--might this pose a problem should Jeff approach a publisher with the collection? <br><br>But given Nate's response and the fact that I haven't read every Nightwatch story, maybe I'm off base and all of these Simons I think I'm seeing are in fact exactly in character. How's that for qualifying my remarks?<br><br>Dan "stealing a page from Robert M to say I'd rather be wrassling the bitch from Ringu than other Aphelionites" E.

Return to October 2005

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.