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Old 02-28-2013, 04:29 AM   #1
barrymanilow
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New brother/sister story (but there's a catch), would love feedback

Hello,

I've recently finished my second ever story. Like my first one it's a brother/sister incest story, and I put a lot of time and care into it to make sure it has character development and isn't just a stroker. I also took a lot of the feedback I received from my first story (Aaron's New Stepsister) to help to try to help make this one better.

Being a new writer I would be extremely interested in feedback on it in order to help me improve as a writer, especially considering I received so much helpful feedback on my first story that helped me improved.

That being said...as I said in the title, there is a catch.

The characters in the story aren't original characters. They are characters from a TV show you have almost certainly never seen. This means that there is some backstory that needs to be explained, and it was put in the "Celebrities" section which no one reads instead of the much more popular incest section.

It's about the CW TV show "Arrow," based on the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow. In the show, they gave the Green Arrow a little sister, and watching the show I felt their chemistry was so striking that I couldn't help write a story about it. I'm not the only one - a lot of the reviews I've read of the show have said they thought there was a weird "incest vibe" between their relationship, and said there was more sexual chemistry between him and his sister than there was between his ex-girlfriend/supposed love interest.

That being said, I truly feel like the story can still be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys brother/sister stories even if they don't know the context. The only real facts you need to know are that A) The brother, Oliver, was stranded on an island for five years, during which his sister Thea (who he gave the nickname "Speedy" as a kid because she used to chase him around) grew from 13 to 18 and B) When he came back, he used his newly found skills to become a costumed vigilante in order to hunt down evil people that he identifies through a list that his father gave him of "evil people to be taken down."

That being said, the story focuses almost entirely on the two interacting and not so much about elements of the story. At the very least, the first three pages deal with some backstory stuff about the show but that if you skip down to the first page break of page 4 (after the flashback scene with the character Slade Wilson, which would take too long to explain) it can be enjoyed as a standard "hot little sister wants her big brother, brother is reluctant but breaks down" story.

I haven't exactly received much feedback about it (one comment and one e-mail feedback) but both of them have said they have never seen the show but still greatly enjoyed it as an incest story. So I was hoping some people could check it out (or page four onwards, at least) and let me know what they think, because I am very interested in receiving critique so I can improve as a writer.

Thanks!

http://www.literotica.com/s/arrow-forbidden-desires

Last edited by barrymanilow : 02-28-2013 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
PacoFear
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Hi Barry,

You may have some sense of this already, but you probably shouldn't expect piles of feedback from the Lit readers. They're a busy, quiet bunch and for the most part they're content to read for a bit, then log-off and get back to their lives. You have one posted feedback comment for a little over a thousand views; that's pretty much the norm.

I had a little midday time to kill and peeked in on your story. I read the first Lit page then stopped for a reason I'll get to in a minute.

To start, BM, your mechanics seemed solid to me, meaning your grammar and such, though I did see you fall prey to two small-ish errors. First, write out your numbers. "4-year-old" should read "four-year-old" and "14 years ago" should read "fourteen years ago." Second (and I used to struggle with this one), you have a penchant for improper dialogue tags. For example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Story
"Okay, great. Thanks again," Carrie smiled, as she closed the door.
"Smiled" is not a dialogue tag. It's an action tag entirely unrelated to Carrie's statement. Properly punctuated, that should read:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edited Story
"Okay, great. Thanks again." Carrie smiled as she closed the door.
Another example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Story
"That's kind of the point. Think of it as a form of 'silent protest,'" she grinned.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edited Story
"That's kind of the point. Think of it as a form of 'silent protest.'" She grinned.
As I said small-ish error. On to a larger matter (and the reason I stopped reading).

First let me issue my usual waiver/caveat: I don't purport to be delivering the gospel of fiction writing. I write professionally, but it sure ain't fiction. Besides, once we get past mechanics, I think a lot of things are a matter of taste.

Anyhoo, here goes: BM, I think you're suffering from an acute case of overexplain-itis, both large and small.

Large, as in Big Picture
Yes, you need to get people up to speed who aren't familiar with the TV show so that means you're going to have to deliver Queen's back story somehow. I think that can be done better by weaving it through your story, e.g., in his reactions to events as they unfold (e.g., It reminded him of the hours he'd spent whittling arrows by the campfire.) and dialogue with other characters ("It's times like this I think about paddling back out to that stupid but very quiet island.")

Small, as in What's in Your Characters' Heads
My chief trouble getting into your story was with its explanations of so many little thoughts and motivations behind what your characters were up to. This, I think is a variation on the usual exhortation to "show" rather than "tell." What your characters are saying and doing, properly written, tells your readers what they need to know about what your characters' thoughts and motivations. Humans are wired for this kind of work; we've had a few million years of evolution to teach us to figure out what the hunter-gatherer next to us has going on in his noggin; it's part of what keeps a reader engaged. In your well-meant zeal to make sure your readers are perceiving exactly what you want them to, you're spoon-feeding. I prefer to work my own mental silverware. I think most people do.

I'll try a concrete example just so it sounds a little less like I'm talking out of my butt :

Quote:
"Speedy..." Oliver said with a sigh as she walked towards her. She backed away.

"I don't like her, Ollie," she said defiantly. "I know who that is. Carrie Cutler. Spoiled socialite...she loves the tabloids, sells out gossip about her friends to them..."

"Speedy, it was nothing. I agree with you in that I don't particularly care for her as a person. I'm not interested in dating her. It was just a drunken mistake. I regret it now," he replied, trying to console her.

"Do you?" she said, her mood starting to warm. "Well...that's good, then. I just thought you should know that I don't particularly care for your choice of friends in this instance."

Oliver was glad that the mood had lightened somewhat. He chuckled to himself for a moment, then looked back at Thea. "Speedy, from what I can recall, you have never approved of any of my choices in 'friends.'"
I don't think any of the stuff in red needs to be there. In fact, I think it would read better without it. Give your readers some credit, BM. They'll get what you're saying without you holding their hands so much.

Just my $0.02. It's your story.

-PF
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
sr71plt
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I think PacoFear's take is spot on for as far as he read into it (which is as far as I did). I wasn't as put off by that "first three pages is all background" declaration as I thought I'd be when I looked at it, because it does start with current action. But I fully agree with PF's advice to fold the background in in bits and pieces only when and as necessary and to start off with current action on the current plot and get the reader hooked on your story, not the original one.

As PF said, I found the writing and technical presentation overall to be very good (with the same demurs PF gives).
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:26 PM   #4
lovecraft68
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Be wary of how you portray these characters. DC comics has been known to be more than a little proactive when they do not like how they're portrayed.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:21 AM   #5
barrymanilow
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Paco, thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and go through it and point out errors and areas for improvement. It is greatly appreciated. That was exactly the kind of feedback I'm hoping for to help in my journey to become a better fiction writer.

I never would have noticed anything wrong with the numbers or using smiled/grinned as dialogue tags, extremely helpful hints that I will take with me.

As far as the over-explaining whats in the characters heads, that's a real eye opener and I completely see where you're coming from. I'm going to make sure to keep that in my head in the future.

Quote:
Large, as in Big Picture
Yes, you need to get people up to speed who aren't familiar with the TV show so that means you're going to have to deliver Queen's back story somehow. I think that can be done better by weaving it through your story, e.g., in his reactions to events as they unfold (e.g., It reminded him of the hours he'd spent whittling arrows by the campfire.) and dialogue with other characters ("It's times like this I think about paddling back out to that stupid but very quiet island.")
You're totally right, when I was writing it I didn't think nearly enough about people reading it who weren't viewers of the show. I started writing it mostly for people who already had seen it and would know those details already, and didn't consider non-viewers enough to add in explanatory details later.
It was only after I finished that I was like "Hmmm, I put a lot of effort into this, I think I should share this even with people who haven't seen Arrow" but I should have gone back and added more details. That's why I recommended non-show viewers skip ahead to page 4, where the show details become less important and it mostly becomes a "sister seduces brother" story that could be , but I should have done more to keep a new viewer up to speed.

One thing I will note, however, is that I can't really deliver Oliver's backstory about what happened to him on the island because it's a mystery to the audience in the show. They only show it in bits and pieces. And later on in the story I do give a flashback to him on the island, but I should have mentioned more up front.

In any case, thanks for reading and giving me these tips. They will greatly improve my writing in the future. I hope you reconsider stopping at the first page and give the rest a try at some point, (or at least try by starting at the first page break in page 4) because this feedback is extremely helpful and its an honor to have the writer of some of the very top stories on this entire site reading my story. Looking over it again I think the over-explanation thing is mostly rampant in the first two pages and calms down later so hopefully you'll find it more palatable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I think PacoFear's take is spot on for as far as he read into it (which is as far as I did). I wasn't as put off by that "first three pages is all background" declaration as I thought I'd be when I looked at it, because it does start with current action. But I fully agree with PF's advice to fold the background in in bits and pieces only when and as necessary and to start off with current action on the current plot and get the reader hooked on your story, not the original one.

As PF said, I found the writing and technical presentation overall to be very good (with the same demurs PF gives).
Once again, you're totally right. The first page is me giving an incestuous spin to events that happened in the show from Oliver's POV, and the second is the same from Thea's POV and it could have been done more smoothly. Thanks for the compliment regarding the writing/technical presentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
Be wary of how you portray these characters. DC comics has been known to be more than a little proactive when they do not like how they're portrayed.
I did some research on this subject and think I should be OK, for a few different reasons. First of all, I don't think incest is necessarily what they're trying to guard their characters from being portrayed as doing (there are a ton of stories about Superman and his cousin Supergirl), it seems to me they're more concerned with their characters being tortured/raped. Second, I don't think they care nearly as much about their TV/movie adaptations as they do with the comic book versions of characters...there are tons of Smallville stories out there about the characters doing all sorts of perverted things. Third, the character of Oliver is greatly changed in the show from his comics adaptation, and the sister is actually an original character created by the CW and isn't from the comics.

Last edited by barrymanilow : 03-01-2013 at 12:32 AM.
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