A short scene

Ca
Carradee
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:38 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:08 pm Post

vic-k, please relax.

I've made the most progress as a writer when folks dropped anvils on my head. I gave Eddy what he asked for, an outside perspective from a lion(ess) in the mood to maul.

Eddy's a big boy and can maul me back all by himself. :mrgreen:

Things like 'Show, don't tell' are standard advice for a reason, sir. They oversimplify things, but they're what most writers need to hear to improve. The same is true for pretty much any rule of writing. Or grammar, for that matter.

Yes, I broke two rules of thumb in the above sentence (fragment) on purpose, thank you. :D
Wanna hydroplane?
--My brother (while driving)

User avatar
vic-k
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:23 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: Protesting in the nude, outside ex Red Lion TESCO Store

Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:46 pm Post

Ahaa there you are My Precious,
The clouds have just parted. :)
Back soon.
vicx x
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

Ca
Carradee
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:38 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:04 pm Post

vic-k wrote:Ahaa there you are My Precious,
The clouds have just parted. :)
Back soon.


*wonders if she should make a break for her rafters* :wink:

Eddy wrote:I value such feedback because this is very much the kind of thing that you just don't hear from friends and family.


:shock: Guess I need new friends, then. I'm the nice one.

Eddy wrote:The original text for this scene ran over 1500 words and I "murdered my darlings" extensively to cut it down to about 1/3 the size


...Did you need to? It's likely because I'm a naturally concise writer who has to expand, but that 'murder your darlings' advice makes me wince and wonder if you actually needed to do it.

Eddy wrote:ultimately you can't please all of the people all of the time.


Bingo. I like how you put that.

Eddy wrote:Actually, "Events overtook him" could be a quintessentially English phrase. I am an English writer as both my spelling and turn of phrase probably illustrates. It does make complete sense in English (err, any fellow Brits who want to disagree with this are welcome to speak up.)


Ah. :) What does it mean?

Eddy wrote:A couple of things you mentioned, I would disagree with (perhaps to my peril)


If you comprehend why you disagree, I doubt it's to your peril. You know what your vision is for your story. I don't.

Eddy wrote:I particularly like "careened" :)


I thought you might. :D Nothing like someone recommending another word to make you consider how well your present phrasing expresses what you want it to.

Eddy wrote:Oh, one thing, I didn't use a thesaurus.


*perks up* Really? I'm surprised. (In a good way.) That frankly makes me interested in seeing a larger excerpt of your writing.
Wanna hydroplane?
--My brother (while driving)

User avatar
vic-k
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:23 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: Protesting in the nude, outside ex Red Lion TESCO Store

Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:00 am Post

Ahh Little Hermione Carradee, our Irritant-in Residence,
So dawns another day. Full of magic, mystery, wonderment and potential? How say you, my little pumpkin pip, how say you?.
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

Ed
Eddy
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:00 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:12 pm Post

Carradee wrote:
Eddy wrote:The original text for this scene ran over 1500 words and I "murdered my darlings" extensively to cut it down to about 1/3 the size


...Did you need to? It's likely because I'm a naturally concise writer who has to expand, but that 'murder your darlings' advice makes me wince and wonder if you actually needed to do it.

I think I did need to ... my default style is very chatty and distinctly verbose. I find it works for me to spew a stream of consciousness onto the page and trim the fat subsequently. It also means that if I haven't trimmed enough fat (as may be determined via subsequent feedback) then it is 'just' a matter of taking the dismemberment that much further.

Carradee wrote:
Eddy wrote:Actually, "Events overtook him" could be a quintessentially English phrase...


Ah. :) What does it mean?

I think some context would place this better than I can express:

http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&safe=act ... ertook+him

Carradee wrote:
Eddy wrote:A couple of things you mentioned, I would disagree with (perhaps to my peril)

If you comprehend why you disagree, I doubt it's to your peril. You know what your vision is for your story. I don't.

I beg to differ. Although I may or may not emotionally agree with critical feedback, to fall back to a position of faith and adopt the stance that I want to keep something the way it is because I have a vision is probably not going to do me any good.

This isn't to say that one should accept all responses unquestioningly either of course ;-)

Carradee wrote:
Eddy wrote:Oh, one thing, I didn't use a thesaurus.

*perks up* Really? I'm surprised. (In a good way.) That frankly makes me interested in seeing a larger excerpt of your writing.

Thank you for the compliment. I have never used a thesaurus, ever.

As it happens I have another scene from the same project which I'll be happy to post - I'll do so once I have finished flaying it!

Eddy
"Writerʼs block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you SHOULD feel the need to say something." - Hugh MacLeod

Ca
Carradee
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:38 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:53 pm Post

vic-k wrote:Ahh Little Hermione Carradee, our Irritant-in Residence,
So dawns another day. Full of magic, mystery, wonderment and potential? How say you, my little pumpkin pip, how say you?.

I beg your pardon most profoundly, Your Majesty. I never intended to insult someone who owned use of the royal first person plural.

-Irritant-in-Residence*

************************************************************************************************
*In case it isn't obvious, I'm playing around.
************************************************************************************************
Eddy wrote:my default style is very chatty and distinctly verbose. I find it works for me to spew a stream of consciousness onto the page and trim the fat subsequently. It also means that if I haven't trimmed enough fat (as may be determined via subsequent feedback) then it is 'just' a matter of taking the dismemberment that much further.

Ah. That 'Kill your darlings' advice likely works well for you, then.

Eddy wrote:
Carradee wrote:
Eddy wrote:A couple of things you mentioned, I would disagree with (perhaps to my peril)

If you comprehend why you disagree, I doubt it's to your peril. You know what your vision is for your story. I don't.

I beg to differ. Although I may or may not emotionally agree with critical feedback, to fall back to a position of faith and adopt the stance that I want to keep something the way it is because I have a vision is probably not going to do me any good.

*thinks* To put it another way: you know what the story is supposed to become. If I were to give you advice that would produce something contrary to what you're attempting to achieve, I'd expect it to be ignored as you sought other advice that would produce your goal.

Eddy wrote:Thank you for the compliment. I have never used a thesaurus, ever.

You're welcome. :) I mainly use one to make sure I'm using the best word for what I'm intending to convey. Or after my brain powers down at 8pm. (Friends tell me I'm a pretty accurate clock for that. They enjoy watching the lightbulbs click off one by one as I get decreasingly coherent and my memory goes to bed.)

Eddy wrote:As it happens I have another scene from the same project which I'll be happy to post - I'll do so once I have finished flaying it!

I'm looking forward to it! :D

***********************************************************************************************

vic-k wrote:Overcome By Events (OBE) or Overtaken By Events (OTBE), is a term of military origin used when a situation changes so rapidly that any proposed courses of action are no longer useful.

Oh! Thanks! :) And here I was thinking it some combo of "Age caught up to him", "Events overwhelmed him", and "His luck gave out."
Wanna hydroplane?
--My brother (while driving)

User avatar
vic-k
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:23 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: Protesting in the nude, outside ex Red Lion TESCO Store

Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:10 pm Post

Once again the clouds doth part.
If you go about this in the proper manner, Pumpkin Pip, you could become, our (Scriv`s) 'asset' in residence. :wink:
See y`ve been doing your homework then. ^ :roll:
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

Ca
Carradee
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:38 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:14 pm Post

vic-k wrote:Once again the clouds doth part.
If you go about this in the proper manner, Pumpkin Pip, you could become, our (Scriv`s) 'asset' in residence. :wink:


With or without the "-et"? ;)
Wanna hydroplane?
--My brother (while driving)

User avatar
vic-k
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:23 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: Protesting in the nude, outside ex Red Lion TESCO Store

Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:20 pm Post

Pumpkin Pip wrote:With or without the "-et"?
Precious one! Without?! Perish the thought!
Just keep uppermost in your thoughts, the, ScrivLitCrit Forum`s motto: 'Nurture not Torture'
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

User avatar
Jaysen
Posts: 6278
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: East-Be-Jesus-Nowhere SC, USA

Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:04 pm Post

vic-k wrote:
Pumpkin Pip wrote:With or without the "-et"?
Precious one! Without?! Perish the thought!
Just keep uppermost in your thoughts, the, ScrivLitCrit Forum`s motto: 'Nurture not Torture'

Poor Le'D.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

ImageImage

User avatar
vic-k
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:23 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: Protesting in the nude, outside ex Red Lion TESCO Store

Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:44 pm Post

Mr Jaysen
He can`t have it all his own way.
Fluff
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

IJ
IJB
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:35 pm

Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:05 pm Post

Hi guys,

Well, vic-k asked me to take a look, but I feel like I'm wading into a minefield here! :shock:

I agree with Carradee's points about the grammar (although not that it looks like English is Eddy's second language - I've seen far worse on the Times online and they're supposed to have editors all over their work before it's posted, not to mention some hideous errors I've run into in published writing lately). Proof-readers and editors read with a sharp eye and tend to notice things that most readers miss. Most of the time, when we read, the brain inserts what's missing so we don't notice it.

This is why it helps to have a proof-reader or editor (it's relatively cheap if you're related to them or they're your (trained, professional) friends). Your work hasn't really been edited or proofed until somebody else has torn it to bits. And it's not personal. English is not a perfect language, there's no equivalent to the Academie Francais so a lot of rules are conventions that come in and out of fashion. Missing a comma, not quite finding the right word, are all perfectly acceptable given a brilliant plot, great characterisation and enough talent in the text to carry the average reader through any mistakes that show up.

Eddy, I thought it was a good piece of writing. Commas needed, better wording in places would help the reader slide over the sentences to get real feel of the action. I agree with the point about short sentences. Action, speed and danger are best conveyed that way. It gives the impression that the situation is urgent. Long sentences can get distracting as the reader is so keen to get all the information as fast as possible.

One thing really did stick out for me, and this is a personal gripe I have about a particular kind of writer who creates unbelievably handsome, gorgeous and flawless characters and then gushes over them ad nauseum. Readers can't relate to people who are that superhuman, and there's no sense of risk or danger presented because of course, they'll handle it without struggle.

I don't think you did that, but the reference to a good knowledge of local geography niggled. I assume this is a book, so there will be some other place where this could be related in a conversation. A boss saying, "You know the area well..." works well. Any references to talent or brilliance are best conveyed through other characters or demonstrated directly. In fact, you've already demonstrated in the passage that he has a lot of local knowledge when he assesses his options.

This isn't comprehensive, but it's a start. It's really hard to accurately critique when you only have a passage to work from, but thank you for sharing. As ever, this Dementor prefers not to kiss absolutely all the life out of her victims :wink: , so keep going. It looks like you're building talent.
Driven by biscuits; fueled by tea.

Ed
Eddy
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:00 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:48 pm Post

That is some truly useful feedback - thank you very much!

I have been rushed off my feet with my day job this week unfortunately and have had little time to spare but I'll be putting some quality time aside this weekend for a proper sit-down and review of the material I've written to date.

Writing is easy but writing is hard and I'm completely new to the authoring game. I should have gotten into it years ago really. I'm enjoying it very much although it is frustrating when you are trying to develop a style with the potential to be commercially viable. Not that I'm after conquering the world with it or anything but I would like to approach the whole subject with at least the semblance of a professional attitude.

Impatience and commas are two of my weak points. I have given myself a homework assignment to address the latter ;-)

I shall assuredly persevere - it's actually great fun writing. I do have a book idea (in fact I've had it for years and even researched the historical, geographical and political contexts in some detail) but before I get stuck into it properly I have resolved to spend time writing practice scenes that introduce a variety of characters (most of whom I expect I shall never use). I'm also trawling through various author blogs and 'writing advice' sites trying to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to good writing practice. Everything you said is gourmet food for thought and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Eddy
"Writerʼs block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you SHOULD feel the need to say something." - Hugh MacLeod

Kr
KrisLK
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 3:12 pm

Sat May 08, 2010 3:29 pm Post

I was browsing the forums as I pondered downloading Scrivener. The opportunity to read draft compositions caught my eye, and your post, Eddy, happened to be one that I clicked to read.

Quickly, he summarised his options. The enemy were approaching from the North. South-West lay the Sergosa hills but the terrain there lacked cover, besides which the dogs would catch him in no time on an incline. Two klicks ahead to the South was the river Tharza which flowed fast from the hills but the rocks would be treacherous and the water freezing. This left only the option of heading for a disused mine to the South-East. Some choice. He cursed softly.

Veering right to make for the mine, events overtook him.


I didn't notice any of the other critics pointing out this error, so I feel inclined to share. Aleksi is facing South, I presume, as he weighs his options. He concludes that his best option is to go South-East. Would he not then veer left to go in that direction?

That minor error got under my skin, but I enjoyed the scene as a whole. My only other recommendation has already been mentioned: please use more commas.

Ed
Eddy
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:00 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:59 am Post

KrisLK wrote:Aleksi is facing South, I presume, as he weighs his options. He concludes that his best option is to go South-East. Would he not then veer left to go in that direction?


Gadzooks! He speaks the truth!

Fixed :)

Eddy
"Writerʼs block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you SHOULD feel the need to say something." - Hugh MacLeod