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  1. #21
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I'm not quite as practiced at critiquing/editing fiction and poetry. I did very much enjoy your poem, Jeffster, and SDM's story. I want to revisit them when I have more brain real estate to devote to them.

    Didums, splitting your composition into three paragraphs did a lot for it IMO. You may decide that you're writing only for yourself in which case who cares what anyone else thinks, but if you want your ideas to be accessible to a reasonably intelligent reader, some effort to give clarity is a good idea.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  2. #22
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Didums, splitting your composition into three paragraphs did a lot for it IMO. You may decide that you're writing only for yourself in which case who cares what anyone else thinks, but if you want your ideas to be accessible to a reasonably intelligent reader, some effort to give clarity is a good idea.
    Honestly, I don't think proper structure when writing is just for the sake of the reader, I believe it actually helps the writer better clarify what they want and need to say. It helps the writer hone his OWN thinking.

    I just think it's difficult for many people to move from a "mental web of ideas" (sort of 3D structure) to a 2D linear, "one word follows the next" structure on the blank page. So the writer will just brain-dump it all out of convenience.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #23
    Senior Member Snail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    Death by Lockjaw
    [This is an unfinished piece... it's supposed to be the beginning of a short story... this is to my mind a repudiation of the idea, occasionally bandied about, that the author's personality type uniquely determines the content of his or her writing or even the dominant mode of thinking of his or her protagonists... regardless of how you view the quality of the material.]

    I like your writing as is. It could be a complete short story already, since it has a well-formed ending. It needs no alteration. I got goosebumps reading it because I could relate to your protagonist so thoroughly.

  4. #24
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    It seems to be a phase which INTPs go through during their teenage years, occasionally persisting through their twenties. The experience of reading such an essay in a few years is likely to be very humbling--I have had similar experiences--and that is no bad thing, some of us could do with more humility.
    I've had my own, of a different nature. Thank you for explaining.

  5. #25
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    I like your writing as is. It could be a complete short story already, since it has a well-formed ending. It needs no alteration. I got goosebumps reading it because I could relate to your protagonist so thoroughly.
    I'm so glad it worked for you! and thanks...

    You've pointed out the biggest structural consideration of that piece... people who've read and reacted to this have been split down the middle... some are happy with the conclusion while others think it's not even a beginning, but a flash of time which needs much more expansion before and after... I'm undecided... sometimes I'm happy with it and sometimes I resolve to expand it...
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  6. #26
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I think it could stand alone, but I found myself wanting to read more. If that makes sense at all.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  7. #27
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I think it could stand alone, but I found myself wanting to read more. If that makes sense at all.
    Yeah, it does make sense... I think I need to write more... as it stands, it's barely over 650 words... and even if it does work alright by itself, it doesn't leave me with much understanding of whether or not the boy is actually really intelligent and sensitive or simply a dullard... I'll take it back to the drawing boards, but thanks for the feedback.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  8. #28
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    For lack of a better place to put it, I'm putting this in SJ Personal Threads for the time being. It occurred to me that folks may not want to put their writing out for public consumption, available to search engines and whatnot.

    I have two new pieces I'd love to hear some feedback on. Here's the first:

    Treasure Hunting in the 21st Century

    Imagine you're walking slowly through the woods of Carlisle County, holding a treasure map in your hands, glancing back and forth between the ground and your map. With every step you draw closer to your destination, getting a little more excited about what you might find there. Your digging tools clank and thump in your bag alongside your water bottle and your lucky stuffed monkey. Finally, you reach the spot indicated on the map. You look around, seeing the map's landmarks all around you. A crooked, sad-looking tree; a small, winding brook; two jagged boulders thrusting up out of the ground, like missiles frozen during launch. You drop your bag, take out your tools, and start digging. As dirt flies all around you, you can't stop smiling, wondering what has been left under the surface for you to find.

    Sounds like it could be a scene from a book or movie about pirates, doesn't it? (Except for the stuffed monkey part, perhaps.) All it needs is a parrot, an eyepatch, and some goofy expressions about shivering your timbers. But you don't have to be a pirate to search for buried treasure. Hobbyists known as geocachers leave small treasures known as geocaches or simply caches, and then share the location of the cache so that others can find the treasure. (There are caches hidden in every county in Kentucky.) Then, teams of other geocachers use handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to hunt for the caches. The treasure found in the cache may only be a rubber stamp used to add a mark to the team members' notebooks, proving that they were actually there. But geocachers are motivated by the hunt, not the result.

    Geocaching has its origins in letterboxing, which began in the 1850s when hikers of a well-known trail in England left letters sealed in weatherproof boxes, waiting to be found by the next group of hikers. The hobby evolved over the next century and a half to include different kinds of treasures, clues in magazines and other places, and other methods of searching. Letterboxing is still a popular hobby, but since the improvement of GPS technology in the year 2000, geocaching has become much more popular. GPS signals became much more precise in the year 2000, allowing people to use them to find very specific locations. Since then, caches have been planted all over the world, including the continent of Antarctica. The caches stay put, but the actual treasures are always changing. Anyone who takes an item from a cache must leave another item of equal or greater value in its place. The most basic rule of geocaching is "take some stuff, leave some stuff."

    Are you interested in trying geocaching with a team of your friends or family? Here's how:

    1. Buy or rent a GPS receiver. For your first geocaching adventure, or if you only plan to go geocaching once in awhile, you might want to consider renting a receiver instead of purchasing one. Many sporting goods stores sell and rent receivers. You may even be able to use a cell phone, if it has both a GPS receiver and the right kind of software to find precise locations. Whatever kind of receiver you choose, practice using it around your neighborhood for a while at first, so you and your team don't get stuck in the wilderness without knowing how the receiver works. Your stuffed monkey won't be able to help you.

    2. Decide which cache you want to pursue. Visit a geocaching website such as geocaching.com or navicache.com. At these websites, you can find locations of caches near you. At geocaching.com, you can enter a zip code and find the nearest caches to that area. For example, entering the zip code 40027 will give you several caches near Harrods Creek, Kentucky. Caches are marked with the coordinates or "waypoints" that will lead you to the treasure, as well as the level of difficulty and type of terrain you're likely to encounter. It's wise to start with an easy cache.

    3. Find a topographical map of the area where you will be hiking. A GPS receiver can only tell you how far to travel and in which direction. It can't tell you what lies between you and your goal. A topographical map gives information about the land features in the area, such as trails and bodies of water. Along with the GPS receiver, the topographical map can help you navigate through the area to find the cache. Sometimes these maps are available for printing on the geocaching websites along with the information about the location of the cache. Otherwise, you may need to visit a library.

    4. Gather the other materials you'll need for your adventure. Each geocacher on your team needs to bring a compass, something small to leave with the cache, and plenty of water and food. At least one team member needs to carry an extra set of extra batteries for the GPS receiver, and a first aid kit. Depending on where the cache is located, your team may need sunscreen or bugspray. Wear appropriate clothing for the terrain and season.

    5. Get going! Now that you've mapped your route, learned to use your GPS receiver, and gathered your materials, you're ready to go. When your team finds the cache, feel free to take some stuff as long as you also leave some stuff. Many caches include a logbook. Leave a note for future geocachers if you like. Then you can heave a satisfied sigh as you return home with your stuffed monkey, your treasure, and the satisfaction of having found it yourself.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  9. #29
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    That's funny, I never posted the second one. Huh. Oh well, I don't even remember what it was about now.

    Here's the one I'm currently working on. Writing for 4th grade is hard, yo.

    The Rising
    by me

    On a cool night in November 2008, Americans waited to find out the name of the next President. As the votes were counted, the answer became clear. Later that night, Barack Obama took the stage to speak to the nation that elected him. As he walked onstage, this song played:

    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up, lay your hands in mine
    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up for the rising tonight

    The man who wrote the song that introduced the country's next President is Bruce Springsteen. This Jersey-born rocker has been pouring his heart out on stage for over forty years. In 1965, Bruce joined his first band. He was sixteen. Over the next few years Bruce played in several different bands. After their shows, the young musician always made sure the band got paid. He collected the money and split it evenly between the bandmates. His take-charge personality earned Bruce the nickname that has stuck with him to this day: The Boss.

    In the early 1970s, Bruce played shows all along the Jersey shore. He performed with many different musicians and bands. In 1972, he asked the best of these musicians to form a band with him. They called themselves the E Street Band. Bruce and his band signed a contract with a big recording company. They released their first album in 1973.

    During the 1970s and 1980s, Bruce and his band made nine albums. They became known for songs about small-town life in New Jersey. Through music, they told the story of working-class people. They grew more and more popular. People came to their shows all over the world. But Bruce and his band stayed true to his New Jersey roots. He often shouted out to "the great state of New Jersey" during shows.

    In 1989, Bruce left the E Street Band. He has never told exactly why. Most likely, he simply wanted to perform with other musicians. In the early 1990s, Bruce made two solo albums. Some members of the band performed on these albums. They came together to make a Greatest Hits album in 1995. But it would be ten years before Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band officially got back together. In 1999, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band launched a Reunion Tour. Fans everywhere were glad to hear this Jersey boy and his band together again.

    After September 11, 2001, Bruce was inspired to write new music. In 2002, he and the E Street Band released The Rising. The album was full of thoughts, feelings, and memories of New York City. Two years later, Bruce and the E Street Band joined the "Vote For Change" tour. This tour encouraged people to get involved in politics. Four years later, Bruce got involved once again. He played a free concert at Ohio State University to encourage people to vote. His song, "The Rising," inspired listeners at the concert. Bruce hoped their votes would help elect Barack Obama. And they did. The song played again as Obama walked on stage on the night of his election.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are enjoying a new wave of fame. They rode the energy of the election and made a new album. This energy is bringing their sound to a new audience. They wowed the fans at the 2009 Superbowl. The Boss, New Jersey's native son, hopes to inspire listeners for another forty years.
    It doesn't help that I'm not really a fan of Bruce Springsteen. But what else is there to write about NJ? Not everyone knows about the awesomeness that is mlittrell.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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