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Old 03-06-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
LaRascasse
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Feedback on something experimental

Hi there,

I'm looking for some feedback on this new series I've just started. I welcome your thoughts on the plot, characters, pace ... anything you have to say. Also tell me if it's good as a standalone read. Since, I'm reusing a character, one of my worries is that I might not have introduced her properly. Let me know.

Thanks

http://www.literotica.com/s/madness-in-the-method-ch-01
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In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, thatů
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
-Albert Camus
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
PennLady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRascasse View Post
Hi there,

I'm looking for some feedback on this new series I've just started. I welcome your thoughts on the plot, characters, pace ... anything you have to say. Also tell me if it's good as a standalone read. Since, I'm reusing a character, one of my worries is that I might not have introduced her properly. Let me know.

Thanks

http://www.literotica.com/s/madness-in-the-method-ch-01
I think the plot and pace of this was fine. I don't think, however, that you need "warnings" at the beginning of the story. Personally, I found it a little condescending, almost insulting. If I read something and don't like it for whatever reason, I will stop reading. But to be told it's "not for the faint of heart" struck me wrong. Because honestly, I don't think there's anything so awful in this chapter, and also, it's a story -- I can handle it.

Also, I think enough people know "Les Mis" these days from Broadway and the movies that you didn't need to put that in your note, either. For heaven's sake, trust your readers.

As you say, it's not a happy tale. Which is fine. I personally couldn't sympathize with Katrina, although I'm not sure how to resolve it. Perhaps some more background, more than the situation with Noah, would help. I realize she's 19, in college, not wordly, etc., but frankly she does stupid things and it's hard to relate -- not even talking about like -- to someone who's stupid. And the line about her being bipolar is just kind of thrown away. It's there and never mentioned again so it doesn't seem like a big deal.

The prof was perhaps the best character. Not the nicest, or sympathetic, but the most believable. Everything he did seemed plausible.

The stuff with Edie at the end seemed very forced (no pun intended), like it was just put there for titillation -- "Hey, look, some nasty FF action!" It was pulled out of nowhere. There was no indication Katrina had this in her character, and no indication that Edie and the other one had this kind of relationship. It's fine to surprise people but this didn't work. (Nor, for me, was the opening seen with whats-her-name rubbing one off in class; not saying it doesn't happen, but again it seemed put there for no reason except shock value.)
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Since it seems to be the main focus of your post, I will respond first to your inquiry in regards to if the story stands alone without its prequel. I believe that it does. Then again, I believe most stories do. If they struggle in this, it is generally because the writer is getting caught up in minutia and frivolous detail rather than letting the characters take the story where they will. It's a bit like music--hearing a song from the beginning may add extra elements and help complete the experience but shouldn't be required for enjoyment.

As to the pace and plot, both were well structured. I found your intermingling of "Les Mis" ambitious, a bit artful, and, ultimately, to be commended. To place the works of a great author within your own is to invite a comparison (Something a great many teenagers don't seem to realize when they go about slapping and chopping bits of Shakespeare into their own poorly conceived drivel), and your story is not done and out-and-out disservice by this. I like writers who reach, even if this opens them up to overextension.

If there is a single comment I can make about this story, it is that it is exceedingly competent; and I mean that in both a positive and negative way. This tale is well-sculpted, but, like a marble lion, it succeeds in serving as an admirable representation of something fierce without holding any of the true kinetic ferocity. I felt at times that you were writing this story purely for yourself. If true, there is nothing wrong with that, but as a result there were instances where I felt a bit like an audience member at a rehearsal for a one-man show, watching you work through a lot of material by yourself, for yourself.

You are obviously a talented writer, but I felt that this particular tale might be bogged-down by your repeat use of these characters, not because there is something wrong with that by nature, but because in doing so, you've made yourself wonder so much about what you should and shouldn't include that you've lost a tad of the ensnaring energy that winds through a typical story. These characters must surely mean something to you, otherwise you wouldn't be using them again. My advice: worry less about the particulars and more about showing us exactly what it is about these characters that makes them so special.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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Not bad, but I think you(especially knowing your other work) could have done better.

I agree with PL "faint of heart" was too strong of a warning for this. It was not light and fuzzy, but when I see a disclaimer like that I'm expecting to say "damn" at some point.

The bi-polar seemed like a weak excuse. Not the condition itself, but the way you put it out there was sort of "Oh, by the way"

The action at the end was hot and it was a surprise, but a little to out of left field, I think you could have dropped a couple of hints or foreshadowed a bit.

But all in all enough for me to want to check out ch 2
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:00 AM   #5
annanova
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Yes, it works as a stand-alone piece and, as has been noted previously, the pace was very good.

As an actor, there are some fairly large problems taking place after rehearsal and during the show. The props should have stayed in the rehearsal area; for a period piece, they should already have an approximation of their costumes and be working in them; an actor NEVER leaves the theatre during performance.

Boy, Adair was a real shit for dropping his news on her backstage! At least she didn't have to go back onstage afterward.

One question: did you use the novel for your script?

Other than that, a good read that I'm looking forward to future chapters of.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:51 AM   #6
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Small thing I forgot -- I don't think you should or need to render the play's dialogue in italics. It's clear from what's going on that it's the play, especially when you note that the people are playing their characters. Since italics usually denote emphasis or thought, my first reaction was that someone was thinking the dialogue.

Nothing wrong with it, particularly, but I think you don't need it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
LaRascasse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annanova View Post

One question: did you use the novel for your script?
I used the translated script of the play and formed appropriate dialogue tags as and when needed.
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My stories in case you are interested. Offbeat, unconventional and just a bit dark. Just a bit, I swear


In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, thatů
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
-Albert Camus
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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Experimental fiction is important in that writers come up with new and fresh narrative techniques. It defamiliarizes the stories and gives the reader a new perspective. However, because of the experimental nature of the story there are certain things which will not work.

In post-modern or meta fiction the referencing of other work can sometimes get in the way of the narrative and make the story seem self-conscious. However, many film makers -- Quentin Tarrantino most notably -- have been successful in doing this. I think the challenge for the writer is to find new ways to tell stories that, at the same time, are "user friendly" to the reader. My question is why does something like John Travolta recreating his iconic Saturday Night Fever dance scene in Pulp Fiction work in a film and what does a writer need to do to have something like that work similarly in a story?

I hope you continue with your more experimental erotica. Don't worry about the scores. In the process of writing you will discover new and fresh ways to tell a story.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
annanova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRascasse View Post
I used the translated script of the play and formed appropriate dialogue tags as and when needed.
Thanks. That's interesting how it moves from one medium to another. I thought it seemed awfully close to the novel. I haven't seen the script, so I'll just say that I think you did a really good job at working that out.
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