Author Topic: Critic alert! ^^  (Read 32313 times)

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Kira Dwenna

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« on: December 06, 2005, 05:02:51 am »
Where would one actually put this?  Hmmm.....  o.O

*brain churning random thoughts*
*fizzle*
*ZAP!*
O.O
......fried chalupas.....

Okay!  After a hectic moment of thought, I decided that, "Maybe I should ask first."

Yep!  Mmmmhmmmm! ;)

I have something, you see, that I would like a bit of critical advice on.  How's my writing style, what should be improved..that sort of thing.  *nods*  
But....it's a wee bit long, and I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post the first chapter of something or whatnot in the forums.  
So, a 'go ahead' or a 'naysay' (and where to put it if there's a naysay) would be appreciated!  :D

And here's the prologue for ye to chew on:

OdiN

Prologue ~ Ab Hinc ("From here on")

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." ~ Confucius


It is often said that the Norse God Odin, great Hunter of the wilds and keeper of the souls of fallen warriors, had but one weakness to his name...  His unquenchable thirst for knowledge, which cost him to lose one eye to Mimir, keeper of the well of wisdom.

Well shall we heed this tale of an ancient humanity.  The oath must be kept at all costs.
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.

Xepher

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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2005, 05:13:26 am »
Odin's got one other weakness... He gets eaten by the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarok! :-)

But seriously though...

Yeah, go ahead and post a chapter here if you want. No problems with that. Just don't expect a great response. Most of us seem to be rather busy. I, for example, can't even find time to write more than a few thousand words in an entire month. I'd love to really take the time and discuss/critique writing again, as I really do enjoy it... but as I said, I can't even find time for my own writing. So go ahead and post, just don't be offended if you don't get any response.

Kira Dwenna

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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2005, 05:46:46 am »
I'll keep that in mind.  You are setting a horrible precedent by being so quick on the uptake, though. ;)

OdiN

Chapter Two ~ Cui Bono ("Good for whom?")

   "Aw man!  Five bucks for lunch?  What kind of place is this?"
   Jim shrugs.  "It's buffet, bro.  Fine dining for some people in here."
   Erik steps to one side, two girls walking past him to go through the door he had been blocking.  A glare is directed at his friend.  "Damnit, Jim.  That isn
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.

Kira Dwenna

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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2005, 05:49:26 am »
After reading it myself, I say:

Dialogue is a little stilted.

Based on this chapter alone, I have little to no originality.  

Editing is my friend.


Any more comments from the peanut gallery?  XD
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.

dragyn

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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2005, 01:42:23 am »
Comments?  Yeah.  That's...interesting.  Living way up in north Idaho, most fantasy never makes it to where I am.  If that's unoriginal, I definitely haven't read it's predecessor.  

Anyway, enough rambling.  The story is good, so far.  I liked the last paragraphs, though I am thoroughly confused as to what was going on.  I am always confused, so it's likely not you, though.  The conversations were, as you said, a bit broken, though I could follow it easy enough.

My main complaint here is gonna' have to be the absolute lack of spaces between paragraphs.  More often than not, they make it easier to read.  

Yeah, good story.  I generally have to read something two or three times before I catch most of the problems, so I'll probabaly say more later.

Also, Peanut gallery?

Xepher

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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2005, 04:29:45 am »
Well, after that rant about how I have no time to read/write anymore, it seemed stupid to me that I didn't. So I made some.

On the story. First off, is it chapter one or two? If it's two, why did you never post chapter one? (Prologues don't count as chapters... heck, they often don't even count as page numbers.) The use of present tense is very strange, and I only found one part where you slipped up and did past. However, the use of an "abnormal" form like that usually shouldn't be attempted without a specific reason or purpose in mind. I confess I've yet to see one here, but that could be revealed later.

I note you have an excellant grasp of diction, keeping the words both varied and appropriate... mostly. There were a couple points where I think you fell out of step and kludged together a sentence or two. But those occasional quagmires aside, the prose flowed rather well. I think that dialogue is, as you noted, one of the weak points. I notice two things that are likely the source of this. First off, the character you've chosen for erik (the viking?) doesn't seem to be worked out well. Now, I could be wrong, but you don't seem to sure of who he is and how he should act/talk. As such, you have him asking rather intelligent things one moment, and then really stupidly phrased things the next. So one moment Tam is having to answer a valid question, and the next he seems nearly patronizing. The general IQ of the conversation is all over the place and that makes the whole conversation rather jerky. The other thing that's hurting the dialogue is that you've got too much of it. You started a conversation, and tried to make it realistic, and explain everything via dialogue. Problem is, this doesn't work so well in books. If you have a principal you're trying to get across (like the idea that roleplaying a "character" is something done in normal life as well) you need to show it, and not just directly explain it. It's the classic example of the stupid character in a movie, who's only job is to ask stupid questions as an excuse to explain everything to the audiance. Yeah, it works for hollywood, but I would hope someone who aspires to writing would have higher standards than hollywood. :-)

Overall, not too bad. It's a bit shaky there at the start, and I worry you might be making Erik too flat/cliche of a character (total slob and video game addict) but the descriptions are good, and the flow works, and the premise shows potential. BTW, have you ever read "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman?

Kira Dwenna

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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2005, 07:27:27 pm »
I have not forgotten to write back!

Finals kiiiiiill me. @~@

I will be in to comment on the comments (and thank you for them, by the way! :)) as soon as they're over.  *nods*
Sometimes I feel unreal;
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I reach out and I touch my limit.

Kira Dwenna

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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 07:37:16 am »
Quote from: dragyn
Comments?  Yeah.  That's...interesting.  Living way up in north Idaho, most fantasy never makes it to where I am.  If that's unoriginal, I definitely haven't read it's predecessor.  

Anyway, enough rambling.  The story is good, so far.  I liked the last paragraphs, though I am thoroughly confused as to what was going on.  I am always confused, so it's likely not you, though.  The conversations were, as you said, a bit broken, though I could follow it easy enough.

My main complaint here is gonna' have to be the absolute lack of spaces between paragraphs.  More often than not, they make it easier to read.  

Yeah, good story.  I generally have to read something two or three times before I catch most of the problems, so I'll probabaly say more later.

Also, Peanut gallery?
Hmm.....I watch a lot of Japanese animation (aiiiieeee!  Run away!) so it seems a bit cliche to me.  Heh.  

I'll keep the paragraph comment in mind.  It was mostly a straight copy from MS Word, with me throwing in new apostrophes, quotes, and hyphens, so that's why it probably looked crowded.  Although....I don't remember seeing spaces between a lot of paragraphs in any of the novels I've read - except in major scene changes within chapters.

A 'peanut gallery' refers to sitting in the cheapest seats at a movie theatre.  I will directly quote Wikipedia here to explain the rest:  "By extension, the term is used, often humorously, to refer to any noisy, disorderly, or belligerent persons attending a presentation, lecture, or other event with an audience."

I didn't intend any insult by it.  It's just something that I picked up and took with me from childhood.  (weird how you keep sayings like that, isn't it?  O.o)

And if you already knew what that meant, and were just asking why I used it, I'm going to feel embarassed now.  *fret, fret*

But thank you for commenting!  It is much appreciated!  *nods* :)
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.

Kira Dwenna

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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 07:56:26 am »
Quote from: Xepher
Well, after that rant about how I have no time to read/write anymore, it seemed stupid to me that I didn't. So I made some.

On the story. First off, is it chapter one or two? If it's two, why did you never post chapter one? (Prologues don't count as chapters... heck, they often don't even count as page numbers.) The use of present tense is very strange, and I only found one part where you slipped up and did past. However, the use of an "abnormal" form like that usually shouldn't be attempted without a specific reason or purpose in mind. I confess I've yet to see one here, but that could be revealed later.

I note you have an excellant grasp of diction, keeping the words both varied and appropriate... mostly. There were a couple points where I think you fell out of step and kludged together a sentence or two. But those occasional quagmires aside, the prose flowed rather well. I think that dialogue is, as you noted, one of the weak points. I notice two things that are likely the source of this. First off, the character you've chosen for erik (the viking?) doesn't seem to be worked out well. Now, I could be wrong, but you don't seem to sure of who he is and how he should act/talk. As such, you have him asking rather intelligent things one moment, and then really stupidly phrased things the next. So one moment Tam is having to answer a valid question, and the next he seems nearly patronizing. The general IQ of the conversation is all over the place and that makes the whole conversation rather jerky. The other thing that's hurting the dialogue is that you've got too much of it. You started a conversation, and tried to make it realistic, and explain everything via dialogue. Problem is, this doesn't work so well in books. If you have a principal you're trying to get across (like the idea that roleplaying a "character" is something done in normal life as well) you need to show it, and not just directly explain it. It's the classic example of the stupid character in a movie, who's only job is to ask stupid questions as an excuse to explain everything to the audiance. Yeah, it works for hollywood, but I would hope someone who aspires to writing would have higher standards than hollywood. :-)

Overall, not too bad. It's a bit shaky there at the start, and I worry you might be making Erik too flat/cliche of a character (total slob and video game addict) but the descriptions are good, and the flow works, and the premise shows potential. BTW, have you ever read "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman?
Thank you for commenting after the comment about not commenting Xeph.  That made me smile quite a bit. ;)

Lets start the answers with a bit of an explanation, I suppose.  I've done a lot of my writing, recently, online.  I do a lot of roleplay that way, you see.  So, the present tense, despite how unusual it is in a novellisation, is something that I am quite used to, actually.  
And I know that is really strange.  XP

I have to remember what I'm doing to write in the past tense again.  And, it's gotten a little easier over the past few weeks, but several months of school with only a little bit of online time in your freetime, and no time to spend with books like you used to....eh....it's been a little while.

So, there's my wonderful not-so-excuse for the present tense.  It's good to know I can pull it off, though.  ;)

The story itself was actually a thought of mine to do a comic.  I have a 4-chapters finished story of another idea that I am working through, done in the same style, except it is visualized like an anime.  To clarify, it is written as if you are watching a show.  Not in script form, and not in past tense.  It is written as if every second goes by in real time.  
I guess I also took that particular 'fetish' of mine into this one, too.  Apologies.

Chapter One is a short one shot, and is only a couple of paragraphs long.  I decided to skip it and put chapter two in with the prologue because the prologue gave a little more of an idea for what was going on, and the 2nd chapter started with the real meat of the situation.  

I have since decided to scrap the entire chapter and start over, actually.  It has taken me this long to respond because I am trying to finish it, so I can show you what I am capable of writing when not using present tense or visual imagery - as I have done for some time now.  I have not finished yet, but I thought that I'd waited a little too long to respond to your very well-appreciated comments.  It was, and is, about time to get back into the swing of things in the forum.

I agree with your assessment of Erik.  He is not very well defined.  Part of the problem is that Tam is.  I don't a lot of his backstory yet, but I know of him, and he has become more of a person than a 'sketching' to me (more than a scattering of random thoughts pieced together in the semblance of a person).  
Another part of the problem is that I am just not very comfortable with portraying college males, I guess.  I am in college, and I know guys who are, but....meh.

But, I am working on it, and hopefully when all is said and done, you will allow me to repost and let me show you some improvement. :)

That being said, I have never heard of Neil Gaiman.  Most of my reading habits had been restricted to the fantasy section of the library (Weiss/Hickman, Eddings, Brooks, McCaffrey, Lackey, Williams, etc.) because I found them to be more enjoyable and understandable than science fiction (a lot of the terms they use were confusing to me in high school.  I haven't tested myself on them in a while - that might not be true anymore), and because I found other works of fiction to be 'boring'.  Which is, I guess, another way to say that I had certain expectations of what should go into a book, and if the book didn't have it (have a certain degree of 'magic' or 'fantasy') then I wasn't interested.  
Things may be different now, though.  Got any good suggestions? :)
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.

Xepher

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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2005, 01:24:28 am »
First off, Neil Gaiman does write some sci-fi, but lately seems to be all in fantasy. "American Gods" is a very good fantasy book, and in many ways similar in pretense to what you've got in this piece. Hence the asking... It felt like it may have been heavily influenced/inspired by American Gods. If, of course, you haven't read it, then you should by all means get to the book store and buy a copy! The wikipedia article explains it better http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Gods

Kira Dwenna

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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2006, 07:49:48 am »
It does indeed sound interesting.  I shall have to pick up a copy as soon as possible.  ^-^

Alrighty.  For anyone who is still interested, I am in the process of redrafting the first two chapters.  1 shall be posted now, and 2 shall be posted within a few more days (it's going somewhere I wasn't expecting O.o)  I would love to get as many insightful comments as possible, especially along the lines of what you see, vs. what you would expect to see in a published piece.
(not that I'm expecting it, but here's to wishful thinking! ;))
After I get the 2nd one done and posted, I'll leave it for a week, and then take them all (including the 'bad' chapter that's been sitting in here for a month now) down.  No need to waste Xepher's forum space, after all.  :P

~~

Chapter One  ~ Principiis obsta ("resist the beginnings")

He remembered the room.  
It had been grey, and dingy, four walls held up by thick, stout timber.  He remembered the hearth, and being so close to it that the ash burned his cheeks a cherry red.
He remembered the laughter.  He remembered being afraid; he remembered being different.  But he knew, as he had known then, that no one cared.  He hadn't cared, until the day he was told there was such a thing as 'difference' in the world.  He remembered the joy he felt when what had mattered no longer did.

There was another laugh.  A hideous laugh that dissolved his faith in the new world to dust, and birthed into fire his vision of the next.  He remembered his mother crying, and himself wondering why she did, even knowing in his heart the reason.  His cheek burned where it had been hit.

He remembered the pain.  A pain like thousands of sharp knives, each one ripping skin and flaying flesh from bone.  But worse, he remembered that his soul had been raped, and his mind broken, like a child's plaything discarded when it was no longer needed.  He had wished with all his heart to die, and it wouldn
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.

dragyn

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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 08:04:06 pm »
Um, yeah, I'll try to get around to reading this for you, but I'm not sure I'll get a chance...I will try, though.

Kira Dwenna

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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2006, 06:13:47 pm »
The funny, and yet very nasty thing about writing, is that it often doesn't conform to ANY standard you make for yourself.

Take this project, for example.  

I say, it will take a few days.  I check over what I've done, and write a little.  And then I write some more.  
And then I look at it upside-down, left, right, and backwards, and decide it's a piece of crap and tear the thing up. ^^;
(And I honestly haven't posted for a little while because I've been embarassed by the whole thing - which is to say, that saying I'll do one thing, and not doing it doesn't sit well with me...even if it is directly tied to whatever creative 'thing' I've got going on in my head here :/)

So, many thanks to everyone who agreed to read it, but I don't think I'll manage to have it ready for a bit of time here.  My Muse is being stubborn.
Or maybe I'm being stubborn.

But I WILL get the stupid thing done.  Sometime......

So...embarassed am I, but I'll admit to it, and start haunting the forums again. ^^;;


Muse:  I've checked the library registry.  You have an outline in there.  And 3 summaries.  Have you tried updating your filing system, lately?  It looks like a four year old lost his will to live all over the paper.

Me:  You try working with an archaic hard drive and see how far you get!

Muse:  Hon, I work with you, and it's your hard drive we're talking about, here.

Me:  Oh.....right........*expletive deleted*
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.

rozencrantz

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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2006, 06:00:27 am »
First, it took too long to get going. That's easy enough to fix, just cut out some of the details of the conversation, the bit in the cafeteria, anything that doesn't move it forward. Or just leave it because some jerk on the internet isn't going to tell you how to pace your story.

But some jerk on the internet *is* going to tell you to rewrite their conversation, because it is one of the most offensively demeaning portrayals of social awkwardness I've ever seen. If I could hold a normal conversation just by saying "I think I can I think I can" I wouldn't be in the fix I'm in now. Your description of easy answers that just turn him around right there are the kind of condescending delusion that perpetuates the belief that people with Asperger's Syndrome are just lazy.

Otherwise, it looks like an interesting story. I certainly want to know what happens next, especially if you really did kill off the main character.

Fayth

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Re: Critic alert! ^^
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2007, 09:55:13 am »
I can't read it all... :P

Er... help? ':D

Though what I could read sounded good...
O.o ?