CLoM » Atlas Shrugged, Part II
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I'm back for more and only a few hours late!
OK, I'm not on time. But I'm less late than I might have been. Yeah. Think about it.
|“||Pop Harper glanced up at Eddie Willers as he came out of the president's office. It was a wise, slow glance; it seemed to say that he knew that Eddie's visit to their part of the building meant trouble on the line, knew that nothing had come of the visit, and was completely indifferent to the knowledge. It was the cynical indifference which Eddie Willers had seen in the eyes of the bum on the street corner.||”|
- “a wise ... glance” - Sorry, that’s not allowed. “Wise” is not a facial expression. And more importantly, you can’t just tell us that someone is wise. You have a whole one thousand pages to play with — take some time off and show us that this person is wise.
- “it seemed to say that he knew that Eddie's visit to their part of the building meant trouble on the line, knew that nothing had come of the visit, and was completely indifferent to the knowledge” - Yeah. How about “Harper already knew he’d failed”? Plus, if you start a sentence with “it seemed”, you really can’t follow it up with a list of objective facts. “It seemed to mock him” is fine. “It seemed to convey every little thing Harper was thinking” is insane.
- “It was the cynical indifference which Eddie Willers had seen in the eyes of the bum on the street corner.” - Eddie, you work in a large, impersonal business. If you’re going to stop and tell us whenever you encounter “cynical indifference” we’ll be here all year.
|“||"Say, Eddie, know where I could get some woolen undershirts?" he asked, "Tried all over town, but nobody's got 'em."||”|
I’m sure we all already noticed, but “he asked” is redundant here. It’s not quite as bad as “damn my sister said James Taggart”, but it’s pretty clumsy.
|“||Eddie started. That was the sentence he had tried to remember: Your days are numbered. But he had forgotten in what connection he had tried to remember it.||”|
It was the giant implausible calendar, you stupid idiot. Besides which, the connection between these two things is a joke, not a legitimate apprehension of mortality. It’s the kind of thing you’d find in a humorous birthday card.
|“||"I'm not going to requisition a new typewriter. The new ones are made of tin. When the old ones go, that will be the end of typewriting. There was an accident in the subway this morning, their brakes wouldn't work. You ought to go home, Eddie, turn on the radio and listen to a good dance band. Forget it, boy. Trouble with you is you never had a hobby. Somebody stole the electric light bulbs again, from off the staircase, down where I live. I've got a pain in my chest. Couldn't get any cough drops this morning, the drugstore on our corner went bankrupt last week. The Texas-Western Railroad went bankrupt last month. They closed the Queensborough Bridge yesterday for temporary repairs. Oh well, what's the use? Who is John Galt?"||”|
- This whole thing is pretty random. I think it’s meant to be a stream of consciousness, but it reads more like the lyrics to MacArthur Park. There’s too much of a disconnect between these thoughts — they’re not a train of thought, they’re clearly a list that was thrown together from different drafts of this scene. Why would anyone go from “horrible industrial accident” straight to “listen to a good dance band”?
- I get what Rand is trying to do with the “Who is John Galt?” thing, but it’s just falling flat on its face.
- Firstly, we’re supposed to find it mysterious that this man’s name has become so ubiquitous — but the problem is, it never makes any sense that his name is ubiquitous. Galt is supposed to be acting secretively at this point, so the fact that he has also become a household name just seems farcical. The effect isn’t “everyone is interested in John Galt”, it’s “Ayn Rand is interested in John Galt”.
- Secondly, the fact that the question “Who is John Galt?” actually has an important answer is supposed to surprise us (I assume), but this would be pretty unlikely even if I didn’t already know the plot. The fact alone that he has been given a unique, deliberately dramatic sounding name (By Rand’s standards, at least), makes him a obvious character to us, even though we haven’t seen him yet. When Graham Greene tries a very similar trick in The Third Man, it actually works because (if we don’t already know the plot) we think Harry Lime is dead. Plus, Harry Lime is convincing as an unseen puppet-master, whereas John Galt’s influence comes from the fact that he is writing the book he is in.
|“||She sat at the window of the train, her head thrown back, one leg stretched across to the empty seat before her. The window frame trembled with the speed of the motion, the pane hung over empty darkness, and dots of light slashed across the glass as luminous streaks, once in a while.||”|
- Dagny Taggart is a sleeping cat. Canon.
- The flashes of light you see in a train at night are very immediate sensations. Here they are rendered in a very dull, itemized way. “Luminous” is such a boring word. It’s incapable of evoking anything close to its supposed meaning.
|“||Her leg, sculptured by the tight sheen of the stocking, its long line running straight, over an arched instep, to the tip of a foot in a high-heeled pump, had a feminine elegance that seemed out of place in the dusty train car and oddly incongruous with the rest of her. She wore a battered camel's hair coat that had been expensive, wrapped shapelessly about her slender, nervous body. The coat collar was raised to the slanting brim of her hat. A sweep of brown hair fell back, almost touching the line of her shoulders. Her face was made of angular planes, the shape of her mouth clear-cut, a sensual mouth held closed with inflexible precision. She kept her hands in the coat pockets, her posture taut, as if she resented immobility, and unfeminine, as if she were unconscious of her own body and that it was a woman's body. She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release and the tension of purpose. It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unobstructed effort. Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had had to be. It was the song of an immense deliverance.||”|
- Why say “sculpted” when you can say “sculptured?”
- “She wore a battered camel's hair coat that had been expensive” - Wow. If you really have to stick details on the end of a sentence and ruin any kind of flow you might have had, make sure they aren’t this shallow.
- “Her face was made of angular planes, the shape of her mouth clear-cut, a sensual mouth held closed with inflexible precision.” - Dagny Taggart is a robot. Canon.
- “She kept her hands in the coat pockets, her posture taut, as if she resented immobility” - I can kind of imagine this, actually. Compared to the rest of the paragraph, this is a very good description. I will tentatively award Ayn Rand one gold star. The only downside is I am now imagining Dagny Taggart as Asuka Langley Soryu.
- “and unfeminine, as if she were unconscious of her own body and that it was a woman's body” - Jesus. Even lacking femininity is a quantifiable mistake in this world.
- “She sat listening to the music.” - I suppose “the music” is a quite good way of introducing it without revealing where it’s coming from. Normally I’d expect Ayn to write something like “She was hearing music but was unaware of it’s source or location”.
- “It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive.” - Well, this is quite bad, as you can see, but writing about music is pretty much impossible, so I think I have to let her off on this one. There but for the grace of God go I, etc.
|“||She had never heard that symphony before, but she knew that it was written by Richard Halley.||”|
Halley is actually quite a good name for a composer. I can really see that. However, I don’t think we need “Richard”... and we especially don’t need “Richard Halley” every time he’s mentioned. Luckily, Rand seems to relax her “full names at all times” rule a bit in this case, and we will see him referred to as “Halley” in the future. Thank heaven for small mercies.
|“|| She recognized the violence and the magnificent intensity. She recognized the style of the theme; it was a clear, complex melody - at a time when no one wrote melody any longer. . . . She sat looking up at the ceiling of the car, but she did not see it and she had forgotten where she was. She did not know whether she was hearing a full symphony orchestra or only the theme; perhaps she was hearing the orchestration in her own mind.
She thought dimly that there had been premonitory echoes of this theme in all of Richard Halley's work, through all the years of his long struggle, to the day, in his middle-age, when fame struck him suddenly and knocked him out. This — she thought, listening to the symphony — had been the goal of his struggle. She remembered half-hinted attempts in his music, phrases that promised it, broken bits of melody that started but never quite reached it; when Richard Halley wrote this, he . . . She sat up straight. When did Richard Halley write this?
- OK. I knew this part was coming, but it still annoys me. By opening this book I have somehow entered a world in which enjoying the work of a composer implies the ability to predict and recognize their future compositions with sublime accuracy. I can’t express how arrogant I find this. This isn’t possible in the real world, or even anything approaching the real world — you would need to bend the definitions of music and the human mind to a great degree to make this possible. Morality is one thing, but when you lazily reduce music to a simple, objective construct you have really crossed a line.
- “through all the years of his long struggle, to the day, in his middle-age, when fame struck him suddenly and knocked him out” - I kinda like this part, actually. It isn’t phrased that badly, and it seems like something that actually happens. It kind of reminds me of J.D. Salinger. Sadly, I suspect Ayn Rand is aiming more for “non-free market hampering creativity” rather than anything like “dehumanizing nature of fame”.
|“|| She watched him incredulously for a while, before she raised her voice to ask, "Tell me please, what are you whistling?"
The boy turned to her. She met a direct glance and saw an open, eager smile, as if he were sharing a confidence with a friend. She liked his face — its lines were tight and firm, it did not have that look of loose muscles evading the responsibility of a shape, which she had learned to expect in people's faces.
- I quite like “Tell me please, what are you whistling?”. Sure it’s stilted, but it fits what I know of her character so far.
- “its lines were tight and firm, it did not have that look of loose muscles evading the responsibility of a shape, which she had learned to expect in people's faces” - This is ridiculous. Everybody take note: the expression on your face is now an issue of “responsiblity”. This is especially absurd if you actually know what Ayn Rand herself looked like.
|“|| "It's the Halley Concerto," he answered, smiling.
She let a moment pass, before she said slowly and very carefully, "Richard Halley wrote only four concertos."
This guy is such an idiot. Again, I should mention that I haven’t read this book all the way through, and everything I know about it is absorbed from second-hand sources, but I’m pretty sure this guy knows of the new concerto because he and Halley are both somehow part of Galt’s “strike”. And if that is true, he should really be more careful about giving out information like this. It’s bad enough that he’s actually whistling the theme deliberately, in full knowledge of what it is, but actually explaining himself to a suspicious passerby is really pushing his luck.
Also, this nameless woman will soon be revealed as Dagny Taggart, the éminence grise of Taggart Transcontinental. She effectively owns the company John Galt is currently skulking around in (I think), and is a close personal friend of several of his chosen strikers. If anyone is going to appear on a hypothetical “people you shouldn’t explain everything to”, she is.
|“||The boy's smile vanished. It was as if he were jolted back to reality, just as she had been a few moments ago. It was as if a shutter were slammed down, and what remained was a face without expression, impersonal, indifferent and empty.||”|
Why is this klutz part of the strike anyway? What makes him a candidate for this ideal meritocracy?
|“|| "Yes, of course," he said. "I'm wrong. I made a mistake."
"Then what was it?"
"Something I heard somewhere."
"I don't know."
"Where did you hear it?"
"I don't remember."
Nice covering up there. She’ll never suspect a thing.
You know what? He could have just said something obviously wrong, like “it’s Beethoven's Fifth”. This would be extremely plausible behavior in a human being. But I guess it would be difficult to swing now that we’ve decided music is objective. Who would have thought that would have had any negative effects?
|“||"It sounded like a Halley theme," she said.||”|
See how good it looks without “Richard” next to it? Richard doesn’t belong next to Halley.
|“||"You like the music of Richard Halley?"||”|
Goddamn it, Ayn.
|“||She tried to think; but the music remained on the edge of her mind and she kept hearing it, in full chords, like the implacable steps of something that could not be stopped. . . . She shook her head angrily, jerked her hat off and lighted a cigarette.||”|
- “lighted”? Fucking “lighted”? Is this what we’re reduced to?
- “jerked her hat off” sort of works. That sentence is kind of “busy”, rhythmically, and it fits what is happening.
|“||She had fallen asleep and she awakened with a jolt, knowing that something was wrong, before she knew what it was: the wheels had stopped. The car stood soundless and dim in the blue glow of the night lamps. She glanced at her watch: there was no reason for stopping. She looked out the window: the train stood still in the middle of empty fields.||”|
- I don’t think there is such a thing as a situation where the word “awaken” is better than “wake”.
- “She glanced at her watch: there was no reason for stopping” — I suppose this is OK. Something like “it was only three o’clock” would get this across without sounding so robotic, though.
- “She looked out the window: the train stood still in the middle of empty fields.” — This is just plain bad. The colon here doesn’t work at all — this seems like two slow, leaden sentences with no actual connection between them. Worse, we don’t even need to read that she is looking out of the window — just saying “the train stood etc” would take care of that just fine. I, for one, would not have assumed she had reached this conclusion through telepathy.
|“||She heard someone moving in a seat across the aisle, and asked, "How long have we been standing?"||”|
I’m kinda lost here. Is it really that dark that she can only detect things “across the aisle” by sound? What happened to the "blue glow of the night lamps"?
|“||A man's voice answered indifferently, "About an hour." The man looked after her, sleepily astonished, because she leaped to her feet and rushed to the door. There was a cold wind outside, and an empty stretch of land under an empty sky. She heard weeds rustling in the darkness. Far ahead, she saw the figures of men standing by the engine - and above them, hanging detached in the sky, the red light of a signal.||”|
- We don’t really need “a man’s voice” there, because we discover he is a man in the very next sentence. We really need to get some of that fluff out of the opening of the line, and this is obviously unneeded.
- “The man looked after her, sleepily astonished, because she leaped to her feet and rushed to the door.” - What. The fuck. We’re now covering events in reverse order? Seriously? All this does is make her rushing to the door seem like an unimportant addition, when it’s actually the only important piece of information in the sentence. If you wanted the perfect word to kill the momentum in the middle of this sentence, it would be “because”. Seriously, read that out loud and try to make that “because” sound natural. It’s like it doesn’t want to associate with the second half of the sentence.
- “figures of men” - Just “figures” is fine. If they’re next to the engine, that itself is a very good shorthand way of tell us who they are.
- “the red light of a signal” - The only reason to string this out and mention light separately, instead of just saying “red signal”, is if you want to really evoke the image of this red light. This line really doesn’t manage to do that. If you really want to do that (I’m not sold on the idea, personally) you have to have the light touch something.
|“||She walked rapidly toward them, past the motionless line of wheels. No one paid attention to her when she approached. The train crew and a few passengers stood clustered under the red light. They had stopped talking, they seemed to be waiting in placid indifference.||”|
Still trying to get that red light to work, huh?
|“|| "What's the matter?" she asked.
The engineer turned, astonished. Her question had sounded like an order, not like the amateur curiosity of a passenger.
Good news, Miss Rand! It turns out you can actually convey an authoritative attitude in the dialog itself, instead of telling people what it might sound like. Who’d have thought?
For example, drop “sounded like an order”, and change her line to something like “what do you think you’re doing?”. See how much better that is? Imagine how good it could have been if I’d spent longer than three seconds on it.
|“||She stood, hands in pockets, coat collar raised, the wind beating her hair in strands across her face.||”|
You missed a trick, there. Ayn, you know perfectly well that if you don’t mention the red light in every image, I’ll just forget it’s there.
|“||"Red light, lady," he said, pointing up with his thumb.||”|
Much better, thank you.
On a serious note, I think everyone has noticed the red light by now.
|“|| The conductor spoke up. "I don't think we had any business being sent off on a siding, that switch wasn't working right, and this thing's not working at all." He jerked his head up at the red light. "I don't think the signal's going to change. I think it's busted."
"Then what are you doing?"
"Waiting for it to change."
If you hadn’t guessed, this is supposed to be a serious satirical event. If you don’t take an assertive, self-possessed attitude towards things, you can’t succeed in any kind of regular employment. Never mind that this presumes that the employees in question have no awareness of anything beyond their specific roles, just look at the pretty red light some more.
OK, enough of the red light now. Seriously.
|“||In her pause of startled anger, the fireman chuckled. "Last week, the crack special of the Atlantic Southern got left on a siding for two hours — just somebody's mistake."||”|
Again we have an event described in the weirdest, most round-about way possible.
|“|| "This is the Taggart Comet," she said. "The Comet has never been late."
"She's the only one in the country that hasn't," said the engineer.
"There's always a first time," said the fireman.
"You don't know about railroads, lady," said a passenger.
What is this, a nursery rhyme? A fairy tale? That's the only possible context in which a deliberate “— said X. — said Y” form works for a prolonged length of time. I particularly like how Rand wanted to have a passenger deliver a line, but couldn’t be bothered to create a character for them, or even a cursory explanation for why they might be communing with the engineers.
|“||He did not like her tone of authority, and he could not understand why she assumed it so naturally. She looked like a young girl; only her mouth and eyes showed that she was a woman in her thirties. The dark gray eyes were direct and disturbing, as if they cut through things, throwing the inconsequential out of the way. The face seemed faintly familiar to him, but he could not recall where he had seen it.||”|
- I notice that while James Taggart, the antagonist, looks older than his years, Dagny Taggart, the heroine, is unnaturally youthful. Is it possible for a bad person to be beautiful in Ayn Rand’s world?
- “He did not like her tone of authority, and he could not understand why she assumed it so naturally” — This is small point, but in the real world it is very easy to assume a tone of authority, even if you are a complete idiot. In Randworld it seems to only be possible if you are a successful industrialist.
- “The dark gray eyes were direct and disturbing, as if they cut through things, throwing the inconsequential out of the way” — Why write “as if” if you’re going to follow it up with a direct description of something? This is like saying “he looked at the skyline, as if it was lots of buildings”. This stuff about disregarding inconsequential things isn’t subtext, Ayn, it’s just you saying what you think.
|“|| "How long do you propose to wait?"
The engineer shrugged. "Who is John Galt?"
This is a better use of the catchphrase. It doesn’t seem forced in this time — if it was a real saying, this is a situation in which it might be used. More importantly, it’s an economical way of handling this piece of dialog. Quick, simple, and not hammered in.
|“||"He means," said the fireman, "don't ask questions nobody can answer."||”|
Oh for fuck’s sake.
I swear, this is the very next line after "who is John Galt". It goes [enigmatic question], [immediate explanation]. I think Ayn Rand just really hates subtext.
|“||She looked at the red light and at the rail that went off into the black, untouched distance.||”|
What is this part for? This is the most blatant filler I’ve ever seen. If you have a character take a whole paragraph out to look at something, please make sure it’s something worth looking at.
|“|| She said, "Proceed with caution to the next signal. If it's in order, proceed to the main track. Then stop at the first open office."
"Yeah? Who says so?"
"Who are you?"
It was only the briefest pause, a moment of astonishment at a question she had not expected, but the engineer looked more closely at her face, and in time with her answer he gasped, "Good God!"
She answered, not offensively, merely like a person who does not hear the question often: "Dagny Taggart."
- Very clumsy dialog there. When have you ever heard an exchange this predictable in real life? Surely she would have said something like “Don’t you realize who I am?” as soon as they didn’t leap at her instructions?
- “like a person who does not hear the question often” - Another directly informational statement phrased like a simile. I know it’s probably not a big deal to anyone else, but to me this just seems like such a disingenuous way to write. It’s only phrased like that to give it a superficially “descriptive” appearance, because Rand is at least vaguely aware that real people don’t write in blank statements of face. Is this type of thing going to turn up a lot? Please tell me it isn’t.
- "Good God" supposedly comes at exactly the same moment as "Dagny Taggart". This fails completely, but in fairness I don't think I've ever seen a real author pull this off, either.
|“||"Well, I'll be—" said the fireman, and then they all remained silent. She went on, in the same tone of unstressed authority. "Proceed to the main track and hold the train for me at the first open office."||”|
I’m not a complete fundamentalist when it comes to format — I don’t think you always have to begin a new paragraph to denote a new speaker — but in this case we desperately need some kind of pause to give Dagny’s line the weight Rand wants it to have. Shoving it on at the end of the paragraph like that, especially after the abysmal, arhythmic opening of that paragraph, makes it seem like time itself has stopped moving, and all events now take place in the same murky, purgatorial moment.
|“|| She was turning to go, when the engineer asked, "If there's any trouble, are you taking the responsibility for it, Miss Taggart?"
More pseudo-subtextual moralizing. Dagny is strong and able to make decisions because she accepts responsibility for them. I get it.
|“|| The conductor shook his head. "Your brother — he wouldn't have taken a coach."
She laughed. "No, he wouldn't have."
Which is why he is evil and must die.
|“|| The men by the engine watched her walking away. The young brakeman was among them. He asked, pointing after her, "Who is that?"
"That's who runs Taggart Transcontinental," said the engineer; the respect in his voice was genuine. "That's the Vice-president in Charge of Operation."
- I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this scene before in better stories (with phrases like “that’s my dad” at the end). Is it physically possible to say something as meaningless as “Vice-president in Charge of Operation” with “genuine respect”? Why would he know her exact job title? This little vignette could be genuinely affecting if it was played right, but it just isn’t. All it does is make me want to read a good book.
- Another wasted semi-colon. Try reading this and making it seem like there is any kind of rhythmic connection between the two sentences it bridges.
|“||When the train jolted forward, the blast of its whistle dying over the fields, she sat by the window, lighting another cigarette. She thought: It's cracking to pieces, like this, all over the country, you can expect it anywhere, at any moment. But she felt no anger or anxiety; she had no time to feel.||”|
Why is there no middle ground between “robotic” and “angsty” in this book? On a side note, I would love to see this story reimagined by John Hughes. Tell me that wouldn’t be awesome.
|“||This would be just one more issue, to be settled along with the others. She knew that the superintendent of the Ohio Division was no good and that he was a friend of James Taggart. She had not insisted on throwing him out long ago only because she had no better man to put in his place. Good men were so strangely hard to find. But she would have to get rid of him, she thought, and she would give his post to Owen Kellogg, the young engineer who was doing a brilliant job as one of the assistants to the manager of the Taggart Terminal in New York; it was Owen Kellogg who ran the Terminal. She had watched his work for some time; she had always looked for sparks of competence, like a diamond prospector in an unpromising wasteland. Kellogg was still too young to be made superintendent of a division; she had wanted to give him another year, but there was no time to wait. She would have to speak to him as soon as she returned.||”|
- Why the fucking hell would Dagny refer to her brother by his full name in an internal monologue? Why can no one in this book be known by their first name? What the hell is going on in your head, Ayn?
- Is it me or is Dagny micro-managing to an absurd degree here? “Hello, Nameless Superintendent? Pack your bags, I’m replacing you with the assistant of a man you’ve never met.”
- “She had not insisted on throwing him out long ago only because she had no better man to put in his place.” — Phrased very badly. At this point, it’s almost not worth pointing these little things out.
|“||The strip of earth, faintly visible outside the window, was running faster now, blending into a gray stream. Through the dry phrases of calculations in her mind, she noticed that she did have time to feel something: it was the hard, exhilarating pleasure of action.||”|
Yeah... “No feelings... except pleasure” doesn’t cut it in this club, dude. Lose three emo points.
|“||With the first whistling rush of air, as the Comet plunged into the tunnels of the Taggart Terminal under the city of New York, Dagny Taggart sat up straight. She always felt it when the train went underground — this sense of eagerness, of hope and of secret excitement. It was as if normal existence were a photograph of shapeless things in badly printed colors, but this was a sketch done in a few sharp strokes that made things seem clean, important — and worth doing.||”|
- “With the first whistling rush of air, as the Comet plunged into the tunnels of the Taggart Terminal under the city of New York, Dagny Taggart sat up straight” — This sentence has more baggage than the fucking train. Care to throw in a few more random details, Ayn? What day was it? What color were her shoes?
- “She always felt it when the train went underground — this sense of eagerness, of hope and of secret excitement.” — Dagny gets secret excitement, I get nausea. (What's so fun about trains anyway? To me trains are just an opportunity to be ill in different places.)
- “It was as if normal existence were a photograph of shapeless things in badly printed colors, but this was a sketch done in a few sharp strokes that made things seem clean, important — and worth doing.” — Ayn, not everything is a metaphor about industrial responsibility. Jesus.
|“||She watched the tunnels as they flowed past: bare walls of concrete, a net of pipes and wires, a web of rails that went off into black holes where green and red lights hung as distant drops of color. There was nothing else, nothing to dilute it, so that one could admire naked purpose and the ingenuity that had achieved it. She thought of the Taggart Building standing above her head at this moment, growing straight to the sky, and she thought: These are the roots of the building, hollow roots twisting under the ground, feeding the city.||”|
I’ll be honest. I like this bit. If only for reminding me how pretty traffic lights are when you get a lot of them in one place. It still has far too many random detours and ham-fisted metaphors, but I like it anyway.
|“||She started off, walking fast, as if the speed of her steps could give form to the things she felt. It was a few moments before she realized that she was whistling a piece of music — and that it was the theme of Halley's Fifth Concerto. She felt someone looking at her and turned. The young brakeman stood watching her tensely.||”|
If you can’t think of a mystery that will actually occupy your readers’ thoughts, just use a dull one and keep reminding them of it. It works just as well.
oh god why am I reading this.
--04:08, 1 April 2010 (UTC) </div>
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Wow, Mei, that was harsh and intense. Atlas Shrugged deserves it, of course, but that CLoM post was still the most extensive line-by-line spanking I have ever seen. I'm simultaneously applauding and ducking for cover. Tetronian you're clueless 15:38, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
- Thanks Tetronian! I'm thinking about adopting a theme for each Atlas Shrugged post, instead of just fighting every line individually. The only problem is, it seems like the tone is going to be pretty much the same for most of the book. Choosing a unique theme could seem artificial for a scene which is not really unique. This could be tricky. Mei (talk) 07:10, 2 April 2010 (UTC)