Date: December 15, 2020 04:54 pm Title: Chapter 3: Gouache Sunlight and Pained Overtures
No the plot's not plodding along. Rather I see this as Pam processing everything and starting down a new path for herself. She wants to be more open, more honest, less like a doormat. That journey has to start somewhere. Getting the context behind it, in this case her almost sleepless night, helped to show where that journey is starting from.
But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Grea use of description throughout this chapter. Though her thoughts at the start did peak my intrest a bit.
"absent the peaty complexity or wooded finishes she associated with a higher grade of liquor."
Sounds like Pam is a fan of Scotch or other fine whisky. Well done Pam. A line like that to me shows that Pam is really interested in exploring the world around her, not just going through the motions of it. Thus her artistic abilities. Take time to enjoy and savor the drink rather than just knock it back to get drunk. Great detail.
I also loved the fact she peeled out of the parking lot to get away from the doc crew. She told them already she was done talking about Roy and his actions are not her resposibility. They tried pressing and she's not having it. Well done Pam again. That's how you stand up for yourself. If the start of this chapter is Pam getting a spark back into her life, that parking lot peel out is fanning that spark into a flame. Loved it.
So it seems the stage is set. Her life is going in a new direction that is right up her alley and she seems genuinly happy to be traveling that path. Can't wait for the next update.
Date: December 15, 2020 03:15 pm Title: Chapter 3: Gouache Sunlight and Pained Overtures
I’m really liking this version of Pam’s post-Cocktail struggles – and especially how you’ve dressed the touchy question of why Pam didn’t warn Jim about what might be coming.
The description of Pam’s apartment works on so many levels. “The fact was that Pam had never been one to take up much space” is such an insightful line about who Pam is and how she’s lasted in this relationship with Roy where she’s not free to take up much space – plus, the fact that this noticeably small apartment is *still* not something she can quite afford is another clear illustration of her financial struggles. Although the natural light makes this about the best studio I’ve ever heard of.
The construction metaphor (post-demolition phase of her renovation) is an interesting thought on what led to Pam’s painfully passive approach to Jim between Casino Night and the merger (and also mostly after the merger). Pam is very much a work in progress, and in that way I suppose it makes sense she’s not ready to be displayed to the world.
Say what you will about Dwight, it does kinda make sense given their relationship that he’s the only one to apologize – and also that his apology is basically “art sucks… but *you* don’t suck.”
I’m fascinated by the concept of the camera crew in Office fic – the relationships of our characters with them, the way they impact the story – so I’m really glad you made that interaction a part of this story, and gave Pam some room to be resentful of how intrusive they are. Feels a lot more natural than her canonical reaction in some ways, it always felt to me like Pam’s friendlier with the camera crew than her personality suggests she would be. And it’s a big sign for her development that she’s running a scam on them to get out of talking to them – not quite the “just say no” place she should be aiming to get, but ole Pammy is indeed getting what she wants and not giving a hoot about what other people are trying to get out of her.
My general rule of thumb is “write the story like you’d want to read it and don’t worry too much about how the readers may or may not react.” In general, it feels like Pam introspection is a big part of what you’re trying to do with this story – so why wouldn’t you make room for it?
You know that feeling when you say or read a word a bunch of times and it starts to sound incorrect (TIL: this phenomenon is called semantic satiation)? I think that’s what I did with this chapter. Reread it one too many times while proofing until it just sounded worn out and dull and nonsensical. I should probably seek a beta. At the same time, you’re absolutely right, and I really like what you said on your approach to writing. That’s solid advice and something I need to commit to memory.
I, too, am absolutely fascinated with the doc crew and I hope I can continue to keep them balanced in this story. I have many theories about the whole canonical relationship with Pam and the crew. One of my (jokingly) favorites is that Season 3 Pam has a side hustle in which the crew slips her a 20$ to give them one or two decent takes that they’ll actually be able to use. Otherwise they just have reels and reels of sassy/resentful Pam. There’s a fic that needs to be written (if it hasn’t been already)!
Gosh, I love the details you’ve brought up and your analysis. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write such an insightful and encouraging review!
Date: December 15, 2020 01:57 pm Title: Chapter 3: Gouache Sunlight and Pained Overtures
I really enjoy your insights to Pam's psychological makeup. "...never been one to take up much space" is early Pam in a nutshell. Your reference to invisible wounds explains why. I sometimes think the invisible ones take longer to heal than the physical ones. Humans tend to pick at the emotional damage more.
Describing Pam's insomnia with a dancing metaphor is a change up from the painting ones. I think you were going for a ballet visual; mine tend to be cloggers or Russian Army dancers. I believe the cure for insomnia is to abolish the hours between 2:45 and 4:30 AM, the hours when the dark night of the soul hit.
Ms. Shay is a bright spot again. Her job offer/job description sounded more like an invitation than a business deal. For Pam who is trying to establish more control over her own life, it was a perfect approach even if Madeline had no insight. The extra bucks means Pam gets to eat!
One thing I did notice in Roy's attack in the office is that Jim looks to Pam first before protecting Karen right before Dwight pepper sprays them all. I'm wondering if Pam noticed it as well. I think her Jimdar (Jim radar) would have clocked it. Hope, the bane of human existence.
I enjoy plodding. It makes me introspective.
Aw, thank you for this. I love all the details you’ve touched on here and agree 100%, especially on abolishing the insomnia hours (@Russian army dancers had me lol! That’s perfect.)
@Jim’s look - yes, yes! You are absolutely right; here’s the question though - what does that look entail? I rotate from horrified, to baffled, to protective, to resentful, to ??? It’s very interesting and I think Pam’s Jimdar would definitely have latched on to it and replayed it in her mind for days...poor girl!
The human condition is such a gloriously complicated thing, it’s been terribly interesting delving into Pam’s psyche. And it makes me so happy to hear you are enjoying that process too! Thanks a million for reading and reviewing!