About the Hotels aka The Parts People Skip

I’m reading your comments and not commenting because I’m still in the zone where I’d probably start justifying which is just wrong, and I’d planned on doing the discussion post on Monday since I figured most people would take the weekend and I’d need that time to figure everything out, BUT . . .

Lots of you are mentioning that you know I need the Hotels later.  I do.  BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER.  If they’re a problem, they go.  

Here’s the thing.  When readers hit a part they don’t understand or can’t make mesh with the rest of the book, they skip it or skim it.  That’s bad because it throws them out of the book, and it’s also useless because that important stuff that has to be in there for later?  They’re not reading it, they’re skimming.  So with the Hotels, I’m disrupting the story and not getting anything for doing it. And even if by some miracle I was getting something for doing it, it still wouldn’t matter because it throws people out of the book.  It’s a lose-lose proposition.

All of which is to say, don’t worry about what I need later.  Reading is in the now of the moment so my later needs are irrelevant to your reading of the book now.  If you skim, it has to go.  

My big fear now is that I’m going to have to cut Part One entirely and that’s gonna be a problem.  Lotta set-up stuff in Part One.  On the other hand, that’s 6,000 words right there.  ARGH.

18 thoughts on “About the Hotels aka The Parts People Skip

  1. There are a lot of times that things are introduced in the first part of a book without a lot of definition and they come into play later in the book. I think if you had just used their names as some characters in the bar and later started identifying them as “Hotels” maybe with a brief reason why you call them that it would be a whole lot less distracting. The name “Hotels” is what is confusing me I think. It is kind of an awkward name and distracts me trying to figure out what it means.

    1. That was a choice to make it easier to understand, three people as one, but obviously that’s not working.
      I will be cogitating on this.

  2. I haven’t finished my first read through yet, but in retrospect they kind of distract from the scene without adding a whole lot.

  3. I know what Hotels and their various iterations mean, I’m not distracted, and I LOVE the Hotels, concept and people.

    But I’m out here standing to the side on this one.

    1. No I like them too. I like the funny mustache thing, like a walrus, and I like them being a sad Greek chorus

  4. On your comment about cutting all of part one, I will say that somehow I accidentally opened it in part two and despite having read it before (or maybe because?), I was pretty confused.

    I liked it all, and read it all. I am sick and medicated today, though, so I will try to be more helpful when I am feeling better.

    1. Yep, I’d have to either layer in parts of part one into two, or just shorten one. I think shortening one is the way to go. But I want to give myself time to absorb everything everybody is saying.

      And of course, I’m still working on acts two (now over 42,000 words), three and four.

  5. I got the Hotels, but it took me a couple of re-reads of their introductory paragraphs. I couldn’t figure out if they were human or demon.

  6. I am gonna say something I never expected to say, which is that in context (there’s a lot in parts 1-8 that I never read before) Part 1 seems … not necessary. I know there is stuff in it that IS necessary. But things actually happen starting in Part 2, and nothing actually happens in Part 1.

    The whole act winds up to really gripping suspense/action and in retrospect the whole thing with Button in the car with the coffee, and the Hotels, and much of the business with Jeo and Rab and Vinnie in the bar is … stuff I didn’t need to have introduced. The relationships kind of fell into place in the later scenes. Also I had a personal disconnect with Rab being such a chatterbox, it seemed inconsistent with him being part of the “best team.”

    All that said, I would happily read it all again if you didn’t change a syllable. 🙂

    1. I thought the first part of part 1 dragged but was needed to set up Nita. The second part of part 1 I thought could get totally cut. There was a lot of talking but not a lot of doing. The Hotels totally dragged me out of the story (so I was going to say they needed to go), and I was really bored by the time I got to the end of the scene. Also, you explain Nick a lot throughout the first act. I think you explain that he’s dead at least 3 times in pretty much the same degree of detail. It seems like you could cut that down some if you need to cut words. But overall, once I hit part 2 it really started moving along and I didn’t feel like anything was unnecessary.

  7. Um. I haven’t read this before – I haven’t been keeping up with argh for a while bc life, so I am coming in blind.

    I found the first section of this to be frustrating. It feels like the backstory you as the writer need to write the story, not part of the story to be read, so it’s fun but also irksome – it doesn’t move the story in any perceptible way. There is a lot of charming banter and what feels like exposition – the Hotels, Nita and Chloe, Jeo, Nick and Rab – that didn’t leave me with knowledge that was useful in later sections. As I progressed through the sections, it got tighter and tighter, at which point the shifts between Button, Nita and Nick began feeling abrupt and Nita’s denial of the demony-ness of Demon Island feels clunky, especially in the context of everyone calling her Spooky and the emphasis on her drinking.

    I liked it (snappy banter, conceit of Devil having fixer/appointed heir excellent, description of Lucifer delightful in a Brideshead kind of way, pleasing that not everyone is white), and I would buy it not out of loyalty to you in order to see what happens next (I am nosy like that), but I do not know that I would re-read.

    1. “It feels like the backstory you as the writer need to write the story,”

      That’s because it is. ARGH. Although “need to write the story” is debatable.

      This is why I tell people to cut the first three chapters of their WiPs, it’s almost always set-up. And of course that’s what Part One is. It’s probably also why this is too long. There’s at least 7000 cut-able words in here.

  8. What I’m finding is that you have a lot of extra words. You say on page 1 that Button has a perky little voice. You could lose the “little” and we’d still understand. Just above that the bar is described as red twice. It would work to say “glowed red thanks to the neon letters…” also, bearing in mind that I am a freak of nature, I actually stopped to try to figure out how the E and the A in Hell Bar were pitchfork shaped.

    In the next paragraph Nita says that they are across the street from the bar when you’ve already said it.

    It sounds like I’m harping on little things but if we were friends in real life and you asked me to help you cut 7000 words, you’d get this back (on paper) with lots of lines crossed out but not a lot of paragraphs deleted. The bits with Jason in the car as slow but there’s fat there that can be trimmed.

    You may need to introduce the Hotels differently. I realize that Vinnie talks to them to avoid answering Nick’s questions but it’s a little awkward or something. I think somewhere you need to explain why they are called Hotels. Maybe Rab or Nick asks. Two sentences would clear them up for a lot of people I think.

    It doesn’t bother me that they are in the bar, the murder took place outside and Witherspoon thinks it’s just a drive by with a dead shooter so open and shut.

    I like Rab’s babbling, it’s useful for passing on info quickly.

  9. You have a sentence and succeeding sentence both ending in “too.” Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find it. So cut one “too” and you’re already down to 6,999 left to lop.

    So I agree maybe a word-by-word is called for. Tightened up, the reading will be less, er, wordy. Look how much you tightened up the last scene of Part 1, jettisoning stuff I now don’t miss and you still fit in all the important bits.

  10. I’m still reading it. But stuff that feels like too much
    —the coffee. Would someone who met a new boss really bring three cups? Maybe one for Nita and then give her one Button bought for herself. Also it’s a lot of lines. That whole section can be a lot tighter. Love the poodles but I think Nita would not explain them. She might just say they match her bad ass socks but she wouldn’t discuss the hoodie.
    —would Nita really go behind tbe bar and make herself a drink? It’s not her territory and that kind of behavior can be construed as taking a bribe and she seems somewhat straight arrow on that. Even if you keep it that is a lot of words to describe making a toddy.
    —cut the cat.
    —I’m not in love with the hotels but I also think if you want them introduce them later. In tbr course of relatively few words we meet an awful lot of people and they haven’t all become distinct personalities yet. It’s amazing how distinct they are actually but these are 3 you can remove. Also it will keep the scene tighter.
    —ditto Nita’s ex.
    —nothing really happens in the car. Stuff happens in the bar.
    —Nita does a lot of explaining to Button.

  11. Section 5Nick Vinnie scene. Vinnie mourning Jimmy.
    In the beginning scene with Vinnie, I don’t remember him being this sorry about Jimmy. I think in the first scene Vinnie needs to have a line showing some emotion about Jimmy.
    Section 7
    He was just feeling a fuck ton of emphasis.
    Nick shouldn’t be using “asshats”. It takes away the fun of Nita using it. You might possibly rethink. Button using it also.
    I think that since These three characters come from different backgrounds. They should have their own profanities.
    Section 8
    Nita uses the word always about Nick several times.
    It seems incongruous because they just met yesterday.
    That is not an always.

    Aaargh! It’s over ! No more to read! Grief!
    Act 1 does need pruning, but some things need expanding.
    Nick and Nita’s relationship is a tad jerky. It’s almost as though they fell in love at first sight. But I didn’t get that feeling when reading it. Their progression into love seems to have taken place in less than twelve hours. And the beats aren’t clean.
    I know hell time and earth time aren’t the same. When nick goes back to hell how long is he gone in earth time?
    Ranger Rick came out of nowhere. I think his entrance is the first mention of him.

    One more question: Both Mort and her father believe In Demons. Why is Nita the family holdout? That isn’t clear.
    Again, thank you for the opportunity to read this. Blessings Susan.
    Again, I love the characters and I want this to work.

    1. I like this question.

      I thought that Nita didn’t believe in demons because she doesn’t want to believe in her powers being more than what she says they are. A belief in demons would mean a change in how she explains away her ability to sense guilt.


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