Author Topic: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...  (Read 29581 times)

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2007, 07:37:21 pm »
That's the big problem with online critting; it's so easy for the critter to appear to be lecturing/patronising and just as easy for the crittee to appear overly defensive. It won't happen when this Internet thingy becomes touchy-feely?:-)
I do like the description of Troo as a "critter"!  ;D

Oi, stop it you two. We'll have none of that touchy-feely stuff going on here - it's a respectable forum.  ;)
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Bryn Llewellyn

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2007, 09:09:26 am »

The other reason I'm not a fiction writer is my own problems with characterisation. I tend to have great ideas for a story/plotline, but when it comes to creating a character who will interest the reader, I just haven't got the knack. I wonder if you, Carl, find this a problem too?? I'd certainly welcome some advice myself, from those who know, about how to create interesting and believable characters.

I will post some advice of my own on characterisation. I profess no great skill in it, but I will offer what I have learned. I shall do this on my new Internet "blog" (I understand this new word is short for "web log"), which may be found at:

http://brynllewellyn.blogspot.com

I hope to add to this "blog" regularly, so please feel free to visit my somewhat gothic life.

With best wishes,

LLEWELLYN

Troo

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2007, 10:13:55 am »
I didn't say stop  ;D

Now now. What would the neighbours say?  :o

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2007, 12:43:15 pm »
I will post some advice of my own on characterisation. I profess no great skill in it, but I will offer what I have learned. I shall do this on my new Internet "blog" (I understand this new word is short for "web log"), which may be found at:

http://brynllewellyn.blogspot.com

I hope to add to this "blog" regularly, so please feel free to visit my somewhat gothic life.

Thanks, Bryn.  I'll take a look at that when I get the chance.  Sounds like it will be useful.
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Offline Lermontov

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2007, 01:28:27 pm »
You could do a lot worse than Holly Lisle's stuff, Caroline:

http://hollylisle.com/

There is one on Creating Chracacter, costs about five quid.

You can download her first book of wrting advice Mugging the Muse as a PDF file for free.

She may not be considered the greatest fantasy or thriller writer by any stretch but she is an old school, daily at the chalkface, jobbing author with one of the very best sites by a writer offering writing advice on the Web. Her free Podcasts are informative, too.

C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2007, 02:58:59 pm »
Hey all,

After reading the advice presented, I have made a number of major changes to both The Cairn and Mind over Matter.  If anyone would like to have a re-critique and tell me if I have managed to improve them, that would be fantastic.

Cheers all,

Carl

Bryn Llewellyn

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2007, 03:38:57 pm »
I see no evidence of major changes to The Cairn.

With best wishes,

LLEWELLYN

C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2007, 04:13:16 pm »
The entire introduction has been completely restructured.  It has been mostly moved and had passages edited out.  I am surprised you did not consider the changes quite major, considering the original.

steven pirie

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2007, 05:38:19 pm »
Well, I read the story, and I have to say it seems to me everything before the meeting wth the elf creature seems superfluous anyway. I think you begin too soon. Why not think about beginning in medias res with the fatal meeting?

steven pirie

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2007, 07:49:27 pm »
Have you heard of ? http://www.critters.org ? ??

If you're serious about receiving criticism it's certainly a group to consider joining.

C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2007, 07:28:01 am »
Why not think about beginning in medias res with the fatal meeting?

Maybe it's because it's 7.30am, but "why not think about beginning in medias res with the fatal meeting?" doesn't make any sense to me at all!

Superflouous introduction aside, did you have any other opinions?

And thanks for the link to Critters, I'll register with them asap.

steven pirie

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2007, 08:48:29 am »
Okay, well to put it more simply: begin where the action is.

If you rush home and say to your partner: ?I saw an armed robbery.?

She/he says: ?Tell me all about it.?

You?d probably babble: ?They had guns, and masks, only they must?ve been good masks because they couldn?t see out and ran into Woolworths instead of John?s Jewels next door??

You wouldn?t say: ?Well, twenty-one years ago this midwife slapped my arse, and I gurgled a bit for six months, and lunch came in a wonderful container?? etc etc.

So it is with short stories. All the stuff before your elf encounter is just midwife stuff.

Bryn Llewellyn

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2007, 10:43:23 am »
Mr Pirie is both correct and amusing. Your new opening line runs, 'The forest rolls out before the wanderer.' It would be difficult to imagine a less exciting opening line.

This, then, is what we are saying. You have made no major changes to your story. All you have done is rearrange some words, an action which does not count as revision.

With all due respect,

LLEWELLYN

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2007, 11:27:02 am »
You could do a lot worse than Holly Lisle's stuff, Caroline:

http://hollylisle.com/

There is one on Creating Chracacter, costs about five quid.

You can download her first book of wrting advice Mugging the Muse as a PDF file for free.

She may not be considered the greatest fantasy or thriller writer by any stretch but she is an old school, daily at the chalkface, jobbing author with one of the very best sites by a writer offering writing advice on the Web. Her free Podcasts are informative, too.
That's really helpful too - thanks.  As is the "critters" site, which I didn't know about before.

What Bryn and Steven are saying, Carl, is what I was trying to say with my comments about me being a "lazy reader". Unless the story grabs me with some interesting action in the first paragraph, then, as a reader, I just can't be bothered to continue with it. I guess from the writer's point of view it seems natural to start with some scene setting and then move onto the action, but this isn't really the best way to do it. Start with something which is going to hold the reader's interest, then continue to paint that picture of the scene in the reader's mind as the action continues.  Not an easy task - which is where all these useful sites and references to materials come in handy ...
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C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2007, 11:29:53 am »
Thank you Steven and Bryn.

Steven,

Evidently I shouldn't post as soon as I get up, because I don't make myself clear enough at that time in the morning. ?"in medias res" either contains spelling mistakes or is just a phrase I have never heard before, but I took your meaning with no problem. ?Thanks for the response, though, and for taking the time.

Bryn,

I was referring not to what was happening but to how it was being related. ?As this character is to be featured in a collection of these stories, the question "who is the character" will become redundant to "where the hell is he this time?". ?These stories are to showcase what he encounters, not who he is, (with any luck) for a game that is currently in production. ?

Despite this, I don't doubt the introduction will be cut at a later date (for space reasons, if no other), but I do not need you repeating the same opinion to me. ?I have read and accepted your critique. ?I haven't changed the opening line because it will be, whether you believe it to be or not, important to the full tale itself. ?The Cairn is not the first story in which the wanderer is encountered.

I did agree with you that the introduction was a little too wordy and vague, and so I rearranged and edited a lot of it to make it read a little easier and hopefully get to the wanderer doing something (as in, traversing the mountain) rather than the description of him. ?An entire paragraph of that was removed. ?

I apologise if I am coming across as rude or arrogant, I am sincerely trying not to be, but I feel like I must seem that way due to the tone of your posts.


This next question is one I have had absolutely no feedback on: Did anyone have any opinions on the actual tale within the story? ?

Thanks

Carl



Caroline,

I must type slowly, because your post wasn't there when I started this one!  Hopefully this post clears it up though, and if it would help I could probably paste a version where it starts at the action, if anyone is interested.