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  1. #11
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Actually, I have no issue with his first sentence except perhaps the fact that there have recently been too many stories that start with the viewpoint being brutally murdered in such a way.

    The swearing, though, yeah, is really, really distracting. Most of the times I've seen really copious amounts of swearing working is in movies or in more distant narratives where it's not infiltrating your narrator's thoughts. The word "fuck" is like any other word, if you use it too much in writing, it gets repetitive. Sure, the guy may use fuck like a comma, but people even get annoyed by commas if you use them too much.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  2. #12
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    And I foolishly thought this was going to be about Norman Davies's book. :redface:

  3. #13
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    You've got interesting characters and storyline. I'm now curious about what's going to happen.

    Your protaganist isn't tough or irreverent enough. As an example:
    "Awe, what's the matter, are you fuckers jealous of my awesomeness?"
    "Aww....whatza' matter? You ladies got PMS? Cramps?"

    You might want to consider the banter that soldiers indulge in.

  4. #14
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    Originally posted by Haphazard
    It seems bizarre that if God has all these cameras everywhere, watching everyone's deeds that the angels would have to investigate a murder.
    Well, there is a reason for such, and eventually the truth of why it occurs this way will be later revealed. Until then I will have the characters engage in conversation where they question why an all knowing the god would allow evil to exist in the first place (the problem of evil).

    There are a lot of little things too: I mean, why call Satan Rak? "It's cooler that way"? We all know Satan as Satan, and Satan is a plenty badass name because it IS known, and why would they want to make his name sound cool if they were working against him? You don't try to build up your enemies. In that case, they would probably want to give him a non-threatening name or give him some kind of unusual euphemism. I'd go for Mr. Goatfooties myself, or something to that effect. Why describe your wife like something out of an anime? etc.
    As for Rak, it's more of an easter egg: http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/...efiler_640.jpg

    The wife is like something out of an anime in that she is unrealistically beatiful and perfect in her looks. She's also subservant, cute, and innocent.

    The swearing, though, yeah, is really, really distracting. Most of the times I've seen really copious amounts of swearing working is in movies or in more distant narratives where it's not infiltrating your narrator's thoughts. The word "fuck" is like any other word, if you use it too much in writing, it gets repetitive. Sure, the guy may use fuck like a comma, but people even get annoyed by commas if you use them too much.
    Yeah, the foul language is slightly unneccesary, I can limit a few parts of it.

    Originally posted by noigmn
    Why cold? Why November? Why night? Why stabbed? Why "several times"? Why "broken bottle"? Why "beer bottle"?
    I suppose I could try this, although the whole "cold november night" was meant to give the reader an idea of the environment.

    Originally posted by Peguy
    And I foolishly thought this was going to be about Norman Davies's book.
    Oops. Guess I need to change the title. :redface:

    Originally posted by Metaphor
    "Aww....whatza' matter? You ladies got PMS? Cramps?"

    You might want to consider the banter that soldiers indulge in.
    Yeah, I was never too good with comebacks and insults, I really got work on that.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Brain View Post
    I suppose I could try this, although the whole "cold november night" was meant to give the reader an idea of the environment.
    Sorry, that wasn't meant to attack that sentence. I just used it because it was first and had lots of why points for the example. I think you did a lot of that well. It is just a good mindset to start in, especially if you are going to put swear words in there and really get the impact. Don't be scared to make things really hit home.

    Why is the environment important to the reader? ...

    Keep asking why and eventually you'll see the problem in a really clear form. You'll notice what should and shouldn't be there. This is going on the assumption that we think in a similar way as the same type. It is filling out the big picture.

    For the first sentence I would've gone something simpler like, "On a cold November night, I was stabbed." The frills kill the complete waste and pointlessness that you are trying to put across. I'd want it to start uncomfortably simple, unjustified and whatever. Then for the rest of the paragraph you try to justify the unjustifiable. It might start better with something that sets the scene more than the month and the temperature. Like "As I turned to punch, I was stabbed." or something. I like that you kill the protagonist in the first sentence though. It's brilliant.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  6. #16
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    ^Ah I see, so your saying I need to contsantly analyze every sentence I write in order to build more congruity and meaning, see what should be and what shouldn't be, just like how an artist steps back and looks for certain details?

    And yeah, most people wouldn't expect something like the main character dying in the first sentence, but it's definitely a good way to draw the reader in.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Brain View Post
    ^Ah I see, so your saying I need to contsantly analyze every sentence I write in order to build more congruity and meaning, see what should be and what shouldn't be, just like how an artist steps back and looks for certain details?
    Yeh, I like to step back and analyse it at the start. It helps you understand how you work as a writer too. Then you start doing it subconsciously after a while and it starts to feel like an entity which you are adding parts to. Some parts feel right, some feel Picasso .

    I'm not really trained in writing or anything, but the elements I seem to notice are:

    The psychology: getting into the readers head and playing with it. The great film maker's are known for this too. Priming the audience to have certain reactions, really putting them there, or making them put themselves there.

    The flow: communicating the mood with the flow of the writing, stopping and starting the reader, making them pause after certain things, or read quick sentences.

    Communication: Getting the message across. What words you choose matter. At school we were told to find stranger words because people get bored of reading the same word, but you want the word that gets the message to the reader the best and the way you want. If you choose something too standard it might not have the literary or romantic feel of something more unusual; if you choose something too unusual the reader might stop and reach for the dictionary or ignore it and miss the message completely. You don't really want their brain wandering off thinking "did that make sense?" or anything. My sister always told me "say it". Like get rid of the conscious part that thinks "how should I say this if I am writing a book" or whatever, and just say what you want to say. If what comes out doesn't look quite right, make a few adjustments or try again.

    tone: I'm not sure if tone is the right word, but you want to use direct and active tenses in some places and passive ones in others. I just play that by feel, but I'm sure there is some theory to it.

    I figure the more things you are aware of as you write the more you can draw on. Just have fun with it and try things.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  8. #18
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    To add to the part about word usage, it sounds like most of your main characters are tough guys. Use strong words and phrases in dialogue, even if you end up using cliches. These guys aren't supposed to be creative literary geniuses. You want them rough around the edges where swearing isn't the only defining factor.

  9. #19
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    I should also probably mention now that I mistyped the title of this thread: it's not a short story, but a whole novel I'm working on.

    Oh, and thanks for the additional advice guys

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