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Author Topic: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___  (Read 142715 times)

Rowanas

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1890 on: June 25, 2018, 02:47:28 pm »

To anyone reading my last works, you can skip to the bottom of this post if you like :D

Aylokat, thank you for your reply and for the effort that it represents. I take your grammatical criticisms and comments on redundancy to heart (I used it's instead of its in one place, I'm genuinely ashamed).  I can see where I've wasted space resaying things I've already said, and intend to modify the originals ASAP.  I've used dashes to indicate emphasis primarily because these are generally typed up on a Notepad file kept for this purpose and the italics tags don't work on Notepad, so it was copied across without modification.
I'll look at the placement of dialogue interruption, as yes, some of it is too clunky. I tried to find alternative places for some of those and it ended up feeling too much like a child's book ("blah" said john, "blah" said mary, "blah" said john again), but perhaps the interjections are simply too clunky to work wherever I put them.
Fewer commas, not less commas :P (we can argue this for ever if you like).

A few word choices and sentences, especially in the nightmare with the chittering darkness and A Quest Denied were made to try and more exactly replicate the styles they were associated with, Cosmic Horror and Sword and Sandals respectively. I realise that I made a lot of assumptions in the escape portion of the nightmare based on how I imagined it might feel to be in such situations - the pain fading from initial agony to dull throb, the renewal when you actually have to use the foot again and whatnot, but I can definitely rework those passages for clarity without compromising on pace and tone.  Other changes, such as the one regarding the purpose of the chittering chamber were made for brevity, as the alternative is to have to explain that the chamber was constructed for the purpose of carrying sounds of agony from the exhibits to the zoo owners. I think you'll agree that it would end up being atrociously clunky. I contend that a moan may be brief, but will at least accept that I probably don't need long and drawn out.

British colleges run from age 16 to 19ish, it's a British college not an American college, which would be a British university. As a result, his hosts are adolescent. More generally, if the narrator considers that they are not yet fully adult it's perfectly valid to describe them as adolescents, even if they are above the legal age of majority.

In Pascal Defends Himself, the passage regarding him outrunning the fat little fuck is speculative. Pascal considers that if it came down to a footrace he'd easily beat the kid, but that this is not an option presently. in this sentence, outrun is the correct word for the tense. I outran him, I could have outrun him.

In the Appointment with the Emperor's Advisor, Pascal notes that the advisor's laugh is strange because it is not strange at all, which he assumed it would be given that the advisor in question is an electrical elemental, and that it seems natural to assume some strangeness in such a situation. The accidentally in the next section needs moving though, definitely.

So, in addition to the issues you've presented, what made these difficult to read exactly? Were they just unenjoyable reads? Did you have any highs or lows in your consumption of my assembled works? What did you think of the various premises, characters (such as you could've gathered in such short passages) and the like? If you had to pick which ones to throw away forever, and which ones might be worthy of examination as a path forward (however little an advancement or slim the talent might be) for my further writing? Should I just quit and satisfy myself that the gap between school and now has robbed me of any creative spark I might once have possessed? Y'know, general feedback on the feel of it all.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 07:45:01 am by Rowanas »
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Dark One

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1891 on: June 26, 2018, 05:07:07 pm »

Made a few changes, but it probably won't be that much better. An overall review of the text with emphasis on the story (which is mediocre at best) would be greatly appreciated.

Spoiler: The silver crow (click to show/hide)

Aylokat

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1892 on: June 28, 2018, 05:13:48 am »

Fewer commas, not less commas :P

Did I say “less commas”? Oops. Thanks for pointing that out.

Quote
Other changes, such as the one regarding the purpose of the chittering chamber were made for brevity, as the alternative is to have to explain that the chamber was constructed for the purpose of carrying sounds of agony from the exhibits to the zoo owners.

I was thinking an alternative like The screaming reverberated through the chamber too well to be natural—or accidental.

Quote
I contend that a moan may be brief

Of course, but this moan was describe to be long and drawn-out.

Quote
In Pascal Defends Himself, the passage regarding him outrunning the fat little fuck is speculative.

I had thought it was speculative and retrospective because the next sentence started with “Plus, he had had a knife”.

Quote
In the Appointment with the Emperor's Advisor, Pascal notes that the advisor's laugh is strange because it is not strange at all, which he assumed it would be given that the advisor in question is an electrical elemental

The laugh is not detailed before being labeled strange and Brin's assumption of a different laugh is not mentioned until after, and the reader might think the actual laugh of the adviser to still be strange.

Quote
Y'know, general feedback on the feel of it all.

Spoiler: Feedback (click to show/hide)


An overall review of the text with emphasis on the story (which is mediocre at best) would be greatly appreciated.

Look at it this way, if your story is mediocre then it is not bad; it is middle-of-the-road and thus getting to the other side of good is easier than if you start at “bad.” Keep up your enthusiasm and be diligent and you will get there.

Here is the general review, and because you are planning on rewriting this into different language I will not get into specifics on grammar or spelling. I will say that it does read like a concept outline.

The story so far is a standard “hero fights off bandits” deal. Not much I can say about it. It works, and it reads smooth enough bar the formatting. Is there anything specific about the story you want examined?

The personality of the crow knight is odd, almost quixotic. I believe this is caused by the story moving too fast and thus requiring all actions to be exaggerated to convey the same ideas.

There are many unnecessary words strewn around, like in "outstretching his hand with an open palm" which could have been outstretching his hand. Because outstretching refers to the crow knight’s hand it is clear to mean extending fully, and that would mean opening his palm. Keep an eye on your phrasing so you do not repeat yourself and waste yours and the reader’s time.

Dialog and its dialog tag, if any, should generally be in its own paragraph. Put ideas that form a whole in the same paragraph; neat paragraphs make writing easier to read and understand.
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Dark One

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1893 on: June 28, 2018, 06:15:47 am »

An overall review of the text with emphasis on the story (which is mediocre at best) would be greatly appreciated.

Look at it this way, if your story is mediocre then it is not bad; it is middle-of-the-road and thus getting to the other side of good is easier than if you start at “bad.” Keep up your enthusiasm and be diligent and you will get there.

Here is the general review, and because you are planning on rewriting this into different language I will not get into specifics on grammar or spelling. I will say that it does read like a concept outline.

The story so far is a standard “hero fights off bandits” deal. Not much I can say about it. It works, and it reads smooth enough bar the formatting. Is there anything specific about the story you want examined?

The personality of the crow knight is odd, almost quixotic. I believe this is caused by the story moving too fast and thus requiring all actions to be exaggerated to convey the same ideas.

There are many unnecessary words strewn around, like in "outstretching his hand with an open palm" which could have been outstretching his hand. Because outstretching refers to the crow knight’s hand it is clear to mean extending fully, and that would mean opening his palm. Keep an eye on your phrasing so you do not repeat yourself and waste yours and the reader’s time.

Dialog and its dialog tag, if any, should generally be in its own paragraph. Put ideas that form a whole in the same paragraph; neat paragraphs make writing easier to read and understand.

Thanks for the review!

I had written much better stories. I'm writing since a few years and I had been writing even before joining the forums (approximately) four years ago. I wanted the story to be mediocre, it's main goal is to introduce the concept of the character.

I had already rewritten the story in my native language, changing several things on the fly, so the English version is highly subpar in comparison. But I'm rewriting things all the time, so both versions may yet change.

The Crow was actually meant to be a quixotic wandering knight, so I think that it was conveyed well. I wanted to hear opinions on the concept of the character - a quixotic wandering knight, that can speak with birds, turn into a crow and can regenerate from fatal injuries if given enough time to rest.

The second piece will have much better story, will be longer, slower paced and less chaotic. It'll also reveal more about the character - his name and provenance, more personality traits and why he is so quixotic.

I tend to throw unnecessary words when writing in English, then change or remove them when rewriting. It's easier to work on the text when you have to remove words instead of adding and matching then. I spend much more time on rewriting or editing things than on writing itself, but that's just my perfectionism not letting me ever write something fast.

Rowanas

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1894 on: June 28, 2018, 07:46:35 am »

Dark One, if I may also be permitted to provide my opinion -

I think your description of the Crow Knight as quixotic is perfectly apt. He charges a group of bandits for no other reason than honour and general do-goodery as far as I can tell, and refers to gunpowder as sorcery.  It definitely gave me the impression that he might be rather decent but perhaps a couple feathers short of a crow, as it were.  Birds are universal and function very nicely as all sorts of plot device, so a knight who can transform himself into a bird has a variety of interesting things he can do without breaking the internal logic or relying too heavily on deus ex machina.

His power set and nature lend themselves well to some sort of supernatural patron as the source of his powers, but I would be interested to see what you envisaged for him.

Aylokat, thanks for the direction. I'll try and write a bit next week without inspiration, post it up here and see how much the quality drops.
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Dark One

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1895 on: June 28, 2018, 12:50:42 pm »

Dark One, if I may also be permitted to provide my opinion -

I think your description of the Crow Knight as quixotic is perfectly apt. He charges a group of bandits for no other reason than honour and general do-goodery as far as I can tell, and refers to gunpowder as sorcery.  It definitely gave me the impression that he might be rather decent but perhaps a couple feathers short of a crow, as it were.  Birds are universal and function very nicely as all sorts of plot device, so a knight who can transform himself into a bird has a variety of interesting things he can do without breaking the internal logic or relying too heavily on deus ex machina.

His power set and nature lend themselves well to some sort of supernatural patron as the source of his powers, but I would be interested to see what you envisaged for him.

Aylokat, thanks for the direction. I'll try and write a bit next week without inspiration, post it up here and see how much the quality drops.

Every opinion is valuable and I'm really thankful for yours!



Here's a second Crow Knight story. It seems to be more dialogue heavy than the previous one. The idea is that each of the stories could be read independently, but together they form one coherent plot. This took longer than expected, with 2660 words. A review with emphasis on the plot would be welcome, but focusing on any aspect of the text would be greatly appreciated.

Spoiler: Witches of Darkbog (click to show/hide)

Aylokat

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1896 on: June 30, 2018, 02:49:33 am »

A review with emphasis on the plot would be welcome, but focusing on any aspect of the text would be greatly appreciated.

Spoiler: Review (click to show/hide)


I'll try and write a bit next week without inspiration, post it up here and see how much the quality drops.

I am curious to see what it will be.
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Dark One

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1897 on: June 30, 2018, 03:32:15 am »

The text was pretty rough and rushed even for a concept outline. It's always good to get a review of the first, rough and ready version.

My writing is still full of those quirks that come from writing simple concepts. I'll have to work it out.

Rowanas

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1898 on: July 22, 2018, 05:29:06 am »

So, I was going to write without inspiration but I ended up having a dream.  To my credit, the dream wasn't very long and so most of what follows is proper writing, rather than inspiration-led.

I didn't have a name for the character, but after a few thoughts, I settled on Ide (pronounced EED), which happens to be the name of a little village nearby. I liked it, so I used it.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Aylokat

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1899 on: July 25, 2018, 03:27:11 am »

So, I was going to write without inspiration but I ended up having a dream.  To my credit, the dream wasn't very long and so most of what follows is proper writing, rather than inspiration-led.

The paragraphs being next to each other makes it difficult to differentiate them, and there are some minor grammatical errors (like one “i’m” not being capitalized) but they are not consistently made—did you proofread or edit this?

The only major problem is that it is too condensed. Things being detailed as they are referred to, such as the bandanna and helmet, make reading awkward and distract from both the action and the object. The progressive tense is constantly used to stack several actions and events onto a sentence which muddles the purpose and erodes any sense of time.

It makes little sense for Ide to recount the history of vehicles to herself. Those parts work better as objective narration (the conversational interjections make it less believable) and as their own paragraphs. The same goes for any other world-building. The ideas are interesting and would be done justice by detailing them separately.
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Rowanas

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1900 on: July 25, 2018, 04:54:06 am »

I rarely go back through what I write because I catch most spelling and grammatical errors while writing, though reading back through it now I can already spot some clumsy sentences and small errors.

I don't have an issue with dense text, so I think I have a tendency to ignore paragraph spacing, which I know you complained about with the previous posts as well.  Density in general seems to be an issue, both in format and in description - I know I overuse the progressive, though I don't know how to fix that.  Separate descriptive paragraphs bother me, which is why I try to weave descriptions into the fabric of another active sentence, though I acknowledge that that might be detracting from the action.

It's interesting that you consider Ide's musings unbelievable, because they're taken from the manner in which I detail things in my head.  I will consider your feedback for another draft.

Cheers.

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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Aylokat

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1901 on: July 25, 2018, 09:45:34 am »

I rarely go back through what I write

Writing as all art is made great by refining and polishing. Quite a few interesting findings lie that way, in my experience. I recommend it.

Quote
I know I overuse the progressive, though I don't know how to fix that.

It sounds like the problem is too much information and not enough sentences to spread it over. I will state the obvious and say that more sentences to attach the descriptions to is a solution.

Quote
It's interesting that you consider Ide's musings unbelievable

The conspicuous notes that what Ide is thinking might not be true is what makes the information unbelievable. If all but a few parts of the narration are in absolutes of truth, then logically those parts must be false to a degree.

But yes, it is odd that Ide is distracted from the pirates chasing her by a review of engineering. And is that not also a separate paragraph of description?
Say, if Ide had an opportunity to use a Burner Bike then her thinking about its construction and its dangers would be pertinent. You would at least have a direction to go if you were to go forward conceiving situations to incorporate things like that.


By the way, the quality did not drop. I think it is safe to say that you do fine without much inspiration from a dream.
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Rowanas

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1902 on: July 25, 2018, 01:42:05 pm »

I read things through over the course of months, like when I came to post up my previous works, I reread them.  I just don't reread them immediately.

Hah, yes, the solution to overcrowding -is- more sentences. Prepare for my next piece to be a little bloated, as I overstep :D

You make a good point there.  Ide's probably not as given to floating off mid-thought, and yes, as I intend to show if I write up some more, a great deal of what she "knows" is incorrect.  It should also be a separate paragraph.
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Rowanas

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1903 on: July 30, 2018, 07:50:55 am »

Damnit, footnotes from word don't carry over to forum posts, so the bit explaining about generator fans and the sad tales of rail-guards, of burner bikes and icestriders are all missing.  i'll come when i've got more time and put them back in. Here's another version, although formatting was also lost and I'm short on time (lunchbreak is over) so I put in paragraph breaks where I saw them - sorry if I missed one.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Aylokat

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1904 on: August 03, 2018, 06:30:11 am »

Spoiler: Rowanas (click to show/hide)
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