Author Topic: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...  (Read 28859 times)

C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2007, 11:34:50 am »
I can't seem to see an "Edit" button, so just one quick thing:

How do the opening lines of the other two stories currently on the site strike people?  And any general language or story critique on the others would be very useful as well, thanks!

Offline Pigasus

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2007, 11:52:45 am »
Mr Pirie is both correct and amusing.

Agreed...
I also presume his 'armed robbery' sketch was the start of a horror story.
Why else would anyone (even masked robbers) run "into Woolworths"?
 ;)
Liked Steven's phrase "just midwife stuff" for a story's needless preamble, too.
 8)   

Offline Lermontov

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2007, 02:22:16 pm »
C.C. I think the best advice you can be given has already been given here: find a private members' forum in which to get your work critiqued. A public forum really isn't the place. No matter how measured, informative and helpful the resulting critique may be, you will always lay yourself open to the passing flamer and nutter on the trawl (luckily not on this site, so far!). Now of course, the first lesson for any writer, is to be able to take criticism, but there is critiique and then there is criticism; asking for a critique on a public forum is akin to bending over naked and grabbing your ankles for all and sundry to have a go. My advice is: don't do it! You don't know where they have been! Those private members' forums are the place to go, as I think you may already have found.

Bryn Llewellyn

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2007, 02:22:44 pm »
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?".

The question of "who" is never subordinate to any other question.

These stories are to showcase what he encounters, not who he is, (with any luck) for a game that is currently in production.

In that case, is this whole thread not a completely pointless exercise? We are not interested in your game. We are interested in people and story.

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.

Please do not be concerned. It is just the way I speak, or in this case write. You will have ample opportunity to critique my work when I post it on the "Writers' Dock" website.

With high regards,

LLEWELLYN

C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2007, 03:33:54 pm »
The question of "who" is never subordinate to any other question.

Personally, I disagree with this: "who" does indeed become subordinate to "where" after the N'th story involving a recurring character.  After reading the third or fourth story, I would become sick of hearing about the characters harrowing trials and past personal milestones, and would want to hear what happens next.


In that case, is this whole thread not a completely pointless exercise? We are not interested in your game. We are interested in people and story.

Of course you aren't interest in the game, which is why I made no metion of it.  It is only at this point, where you require justification for the lack of interest in the main characters history or motivations, that it becomes relevant.

I still want opinions on the stories, as stand-alone works preferably, because then a reader can pick up the manual at any point and start reading something enjoyable and understandable. Any advice that gets me to this destination is fantastic advice!


Please do not be concerned. It is just the way I speak, or in this case write. You will have ample opportunity to critique my work when I post it on the "Writers' Dock" website.

I look forward to it. I mostly trawl 18. Short Stories (R W R) and 26. Science Fiction/Fantasy! (R W R) forums, so if you post in any of those I will certainly have a read of your work.





Lermontov,

Then call me a whore, because I want everyone's opinion!  The reason I came here is because I do not want to be molly-coddled.  The worst thing to do, in my opinion, is to deny the truth.  If the truth is I ramble too much about setting and not enough about character or action, then it's something I need to know.  Hopefully the next piece of work will reflect what I have learned here.

If nothing else, brutal opinions at the very least build character, which is never a bad thing.  :)




I am currently mid-way through writing the next piece, which has obviously been shaped by much of the advice given from you guys, so hopefully it will get up and grab you and draw you into it more easily than the others!

Troo

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2007, 03:09:59 pm »
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.

This is exactly how editors approach their unsolicited submissions and slush pile, too. If you can't grab a casual reader, you sure as hell won't get past a professional one.

Bryn Llewellyn

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2007, 05:30:31 pm »

This is exactly how editors approach their unsolicited submissions and slush pile, too. If you can't grab a casual reader, you sure as hell won't get past a professional one.

It turns out Mr Benjamin was not writing seriously. (See posts above.)

C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2007, 07:40:32 pm »
That is untrue, I am just not looking to get each piece individually published.

And even if I feel the collective advice on offer here isn't strictly applicable, it is always useful to know.  I don't doubt I will get on my way to producing a novel at some point!

Bryn Llewellyn

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2007, 11:02:26 am »
My apologies Mr Benjamin, that was a little harsh. But you must understand that the mere mention of the word 'game' will push away a good number of people from your compositions.

With best wishes,

LLEWELLYN

Bryn Llewellyn

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2007, 11:54:01 am »
My thoughts on the topic of characterisation have been posted on my web log.

Troo

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2007, 08:42:23 pm »
My thoughts on the topic of characterisation have been posted on my web log.

Excellent! Thanks, Bryn!

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2007, 09:11:00 am »
Quote
The forest rolls out before the wanderer.
This feels a bit like starting a story with "his eyeballs crawled across her body". It might be a common phrase, but as the first line of a story, and a fantasy story at that, where it's quite possible that a forest made of Ent-types really could be rolling around, it is very awkward.

The rest of the first couple of pages seems to have a lot of descriptions of scenery - do you realise how many people just skip those, or skim-read them? "Ah, green fields, mountains, got the picture, moving on!"

As for the story, it seems pretty standard fare - boy meets beautiful girl who is really evil and kills him. It's such a common plot, that it really cannot be considered enough on its own to sustain such a short story.

C.C.Benjamin

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2007, 11:50:35 pm »
Just a note for you all:

A new story is up, that I have entered into a competition on the giant in the playground forums.  It's called The Call, and any feedback would be great.

Also, pruned Mind over Matter heavily for adjectives/adverbs.  The Cairn may get the same treatment in the near future!

Cheers,

Carl

steven pirie

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2007, 08:02:55 pm »
Quote
The forest rolls out before the wanderer.
This feels a bit like starting a story with "his eyeballs crawled across her body".

Oh, I dunno, in a fantasy story maybe they did just that  ;D

Offline joshua rainbird

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Re: Some interesting (hopefully!) short stories...
« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2007, 11:51:34 am »
I read the The Call and the revamped Mind Over Matter

here are my concerns:

It is difficult to identify a protagonist. The pieces are written in an objective style with great emphasis on character actions and location description, but most of this is irrelevant to either the plot or to giving insights into the characters' motives. The rest seems overstated and therefore loses pace. Most of the description seems unnecessary.
To pull this off your reader has to get inside a character and begin to share their emotions. That character has to guide (and mislead) them through the story.
Strip away the fantasy elements and what have your characters got? Think of Conan the Barbarian- a child seeking revenge on the man who killed his mother. Drizzt Do'Urden- at odds with the cruelty of his own culture seeks friendship amongst people who fear him. Frodo Baggins- a kid from the suburbs who reluctantly tries to rid the world of a menace before it destroys the people he loves.

It doesn't seem to have a uniqueness. Looking at the creature retinue- beastmen, satyrs, minotaurs, etc. and the character retinue- thieves, thanes, witches, mysterious mages and the props- grimoires, glamers, swords, coins called 'coppers' it reads as standard D&D fare.To add into that a few 'thees' and 'thous' and it becomes cliche. Good fantasy fiction, especially high fantasy,  introduces new stuff either by taking traditional ideas and twisting them (Stan Nichol's- Orcs) or inventing imaginative new environs and cultures (RA Salvatore- Menzoberranzan).
One half expects a stranger who walks into a pub to be greeted with suspicion, what if he was welcomed warmly? Wouldn't that create more tension? Why would they be so friendly? A friend once advised me never to write the first thing that comes into your head. Always think how it could be told differently.

There are too many loud gestures and hostile encounters. Such events should be the exception rather than the norm. You need to create tension in other ways.

Your crowds move in unison as if the onlookers are churned out of a sausage machine.

The pieces have benefited from the trimming of adjectives. Keep writing but may I make one one big suggestion?

Write about something that has changed your life and, if necessary, put it in a fantasy setting.
It's the empathy that hooks the reader.  :)
If wishes were horses then we'd all be eating steak.
Jayne Cobb, Firefly.

But ... if fishes were courses then we'd all be eating hake ...