Old 11-11-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
CatherineBlack
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Last edited by CatherineBlack : 11-13-2012 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Deleted
 

Old 11-13-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
CWatson
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Well first off, there's no sex in the story, which might kill some interest from The Reader.

Second, when posting, especially here on the forums, please make sure to format. I guarantee you that part of the reason nobody's answered yet is that this post is, put bluntly, a pain in the ass to parse through. I realize that you wrote this using a word-processing document where you can indent, and that it would be a lot of work to put double carriage returns between paragraphs. Unfortunately, you need to do it anyway. The Reader is lazy, and as The Writer, it's your job to do all the work. In fiction, you're always on top.

Now, onto the story itself. The first thing that got me was the overwrought prose. Put down the thesaurus! There is such thing as good description, but there is also such thing as bad description, and one of the shortcuts to it is to overdose on it. Less is more when it comes to description.

Second, technicals. Anything that is within quotation marks has to end with a punctuation mark. No matter what is being said or what comes after it, if the quotation ends without a comma, period, exclam or question mark, it is wrong. Additionally, you need to decide how a paragraph is going to continue after a quotation: if you start a new sentence, you need to capitalize.

Quote:
“Who are you? And how did you get in here?” he was much taller than she thought he’d be.
Good, you ended with a punctuation mark. But it's one that ends a sentence. The next one should start with a capital letter.

Quote:
“None of that matters, Ivan Isely, age 25, born January 4th_astonished, the intern stepped back.
And this one is just a mess. The sentence that follows it implies that it should be preceded by a sentence-ender (let's say an exclam, just for the sake of obviousness):

Quote:
“None of that matters, Ivan Isely, age 25, born January 4th!Astonished, the intern stepped back.
But the current capitalization implies a comma!

Quote:
“None of that matters, Ivan Isely, age 25, born January 4th,” astonished, the intern stepped back.
And yet that's obviously wrong too. The easiest way to test whether you've got things right is to remove the quotation marks entirely and check to see if the sentence still makes sense. If we do that, we see your problem:

Quote:
None of that matters, Ivan Isely, age 25, born January 4th astonished, the intern stepped back.
Punctuated properly, it reads. It's comprehensible, if still somewhat unclear.
Quote:
None of that matters, Ivan Isely, age 25, born January 4th. Astonished, the intern stepped back.
You may wonder why I'm spending so much time harping on tiny little titch-marks that are maybe five pixels large. "What about the story? What about my artistic endeavours?" Well, here's the truth: I can't talk about them because the lack of punctuation made it difficult for me to comprehend them. Punctuation helps The Reader understand what you are trying to say. Without it, you are writing in a foreign language. "Let's eat, Grandma!" is a very different sentence than "Let's eat Grandma!", and the entire difference lies in that five-pixel titch mark. Punctuation is important. It's the line between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.

And finally, the artistic output.

First off, I don't buy it. I'm pretty remarkably vanilla--anal sex is about the most exotic thing I have any interest in--but if someone threatened me with a taser, I would not be very turned-on, regardless of how hot she was. And I was a virgin when I was 27, so I'm not just saying that.

Second, this isn't going anywhere. It's a story about... what? A girl forces a guy to do something for her, steals his watch, and leaves. The thing is, who cares? Thievery, blackmail, sex--it happens all the time. All three of them are happening to someone right now, this very instant. Do you care? No, you don't. Why? Because it's happening to strangers, and you aren't emotionally involved in their business.

Here's the problem: Grace and Ivan are strangers to The Reader, and by the end of the story you haven't changed that one bit.

Why does Grace do what she does? What's her motivation? What drives her? What made her start stalking? How does she avoid getting caught? What is her sex life like when she's not cat-burglaring?--if she has one; there's a lot of interesting psychology about the interplay of sex and power that you could get into. And Ivan: what's so intoxicating about Grace to him? Why does he have fantasies about being blackmailed by someone in a latex body suit? What's hot in his opinion?--the latex? The blackmail? The girl? Does he have a girlfriend? Does he not have a girlfriend? What would he do to Grace if given the chance? I want to get inside the character's head, to walk in their shoes and live in their skin. I want to know what makes them tick. Then I care. But if you don't show me those things, I don't, and I'm hitting the [Back] button, and you're never gonna get me to read one of your stories again.

I noticed on your other post that you asked for "insight on character development". Well, here's mine: Put some in the story. Then we'll talk.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
CatherineBlack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatson View Post
Well first off, there's no sex in the story, which might kill some interest from The Reader.

Second, when posting, especially here on the forums, please make sure to format. I guarantee you that part of the reason nobody's answered yet is that this post is, put bluntly, a pain in the ass to parse through. I realize that you wrote this using a word-processing document where you can indent, and that it would be a lot of work to put double carriage returns between paragraphs. Unfortunately, you need to do it anyway. The Reader is lazy, and as The Writer, it's your job to do all the work. In fiction, you're always on top.

Now, onto the story itself. The first thing that got me was the overwrought prose. Put down the thesaurus! There is such thing as good description, but there is also such thing as bad description, and one of the shortcuts to it is to overdose on it. Less is more when it comes to description.

Second, technicals. Anything that is within quotation marks has to end with a punctuation mark. No matter what is being said or what comes after it, if the quotation ends without a comma, period, exclam or question mark, it is wrong. Additionally, you need to decide how a paragraph is going to continue after a quotation: if you start a new sentence, you need to capitalize.


Good, you ended with a punctuation mark. But it's one that ends a sentence. The next one should start with a capital letter.


And this one is just a mess. The sentence that follows it implies that it should be preceded by a sentence-ender (let's say an exclam, just for the sake of obviousness):



But the current capitalization implies a comma!



And yet that's obviously wrong too. The easiest way to test whether you've got things right is to remove the quotation marks entirely and check to see if the sentence still makes sense. If we do that, we see your problem:



Punctuated properly, it reads. It's comprehensible, if still somewhat unclear.


You may wonder why I'm spending so much time harping on tiny little titch-marks that are maybe five pixels large. "What about the story? What about my artistic endeavours?" Well, here's the truth: I can't talk about them because the lack of punctuation made it difficult for me to comprehend them. Punctuation helps The Reader understand what you are trying to say. Without it, you are writing in a foreign language. "Let's eat, Grandma!" is a very different sentence than "Let's eat Grandma!", and the entire difference lies in that five-pixel titch mark. Punctuation is important. It's the line between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.

And finally, the artistic output.

First off, I don't buy it. I'm pretty remarkably vanilla--anal sex is about the most exotic thing I have any interest in--but if someone threatened me with a taser, I would not be very turned-on, regardless of how hot she was. And I was a virgin when I was 27, so I'm not just saying that.

Second, this isn't going anywhere. It's a story about... what? A girl forces a guy to do something for her, steals his watch, and leaves. The thing is, who cares? Thievery, blackmail, sex--it happens all the time. All three of them are happening to someone right now, this very instant. Do you care? No, you don't. Why? Because it's happening to strangers, and you aren't emotionally involved in their business.

Here's the problem: Grace and Ivan are strangers to The Reader, and by the end of the story you haven't changed that one bit.

Why does Grace do what she does? What's her motivation? What drives her? What made her start stalking? How does she avoid getting caught? What is her sex life like when she's not cat-burglaring?--if she has one; there's a lot of interesting psychology about the interplay of sex and power that you could get into. And Ivan: what's so intoxicating about Grace to him? Why does he have fantasies about being blackmailed by someone in a latex body suit? What's hot in his opinion?--the latex? The blackmail? The girl? Does he have a girlfriend? Does he not have a girlfriend? What would he do to Grace if given the chance? I want to get inside the character's head, to walk in their shoes and live in their skin. I want to know what makes them tick. Then I care. But if you don't show me those things, I don't, and I'm hitting the [Back] button, and you're never gonna get me to read one of your stories again.

I noticed on your other post that you asked for "insight on character development". Well, here's mine: Put some in the story. Then we'll talk.
As much as I tried to gain some wisdom and insight, you're blatant rudeness killed it for me. I've heard all of this before, and this is an age old work. I just needed a tester, as if I'd ever put my real work here.
So if u can help me delete this post, you'll never have to read shit like this again
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
Oldguyupnorth
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Wow.. next best thing to a cat fight.. I bet either one of or both of you would be a fun date!
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