Author Topic: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08  (Read 3995 times)

little wilson

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Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« on: December 30, 2008, 05:08:05 AM »
And post away on the criticisms....And again, sorry for the resubmission, even if it was sanctioned....
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Chaos

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 08:03:48 AM »
Hmmm...

Well, there are two primary differences with this one and the previous:

1. The Crashers are far more obviously terrors. In the other one, they seemed more like they systematically destroyed the technology, but here they seem more like basic terrorists. You say that they killed "scientists", but two hundred scientists and a bunch of tech centers does not seem like a thing that would set technology back so far. Though, in that comment, I am obviously mixing the two drafts together here for my perception. Here, it's a lot more clear that the Crashers did horrible stuff (which is cool), but it's less obvious what the effects were.

2. Dialogue is much tighter and more effective. All of the dialogue felt better. Though, that could be because of my biggest beef with this: the narration. There's more of it, that's for sure. And boy, it's telly. The scenes do not pull me in. Ashley does not pull me in. After the narration, the dialogue was a much needed spell of relief.

I'm not sure I can elaborate effectively on why the narration didn't work for me except to say: "telly". It just feels telly.

Things like this:

Quote
Dark patches were growing on her jeans, indicating that the jeans were soaking up the moisture in the ice.

It's kind of redundant. This kind of redundant-telling happens a lot, and it really makes the story dull.

Let's see now... the Prologue. Still omniscient, which automatically makes it lose points in my book. I don't find that the omniscience is really necessary here, that Ashley's birth could be observed just as well. Anywho, besides THAT, this prologue felt like it was doing two different things. It was trying to display Ashley's birth and then illustrate how badass the Crashers were. The way it came out, though, seemed a bit muddled.

Chapter One was okay, but I thought the walking in the snow was relatively superfluous. I didn't really find that the tractionless boots were very interesting on any level. More importantly, though, I don't feel like I know Ashley. That could be the biggest problem.

I would write more, but I am dead tired. You'll get some more tomorrow :P Or sometime later, at least...
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Reaves

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 06:52:25 PM »
I'm gonna have to agree with Chaos on a lot of this. It really didn't draw me in at all. Show me why I should care about Ashley. Show me why I should care about the world. Show me how it's different from the world we live in today.
 
   I'm not really sure what the prologue accomplishes, to be honest. There was a sign at her birth that no one knows about, and the Crashers bombed all the Tech centers. Could you show that any other way?

    I think what Chaos is saying about the "telliness" is something I've been working on myself, too: you say something, and then feel the need to summarize it. Try to avoid that.

     It feels like you know who Ashley is pretty well, but to me she just seems like a normal college kid. Give her some unique and distinct personality traits.
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Frog

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 09:02:10 PM »
Okay, I feel like I’ve been really nit picky with you lately, so I will let the others take care of that for now, and just give you my general impressions of the 1st chapter. If you want more later you know where to find me.   ;)

Alright, first off, it seemed to read like a first draft, which I know it basically is, so no real fault there except that you know that eventually it is going to have to be chopped down because it just seems…long. Not that you don’t do a good job of getting to your climax and setting up a few things about your characters, because you do, but there are a lot of the telly details that do nothing but fluff it up and make it harder to get through.

Like the snow. Now it made me smile because I remember having similar experiences back in the day when we were roommates, but at the same time, it really didn’t add much to the story in my opinion. A better place to start might be when Rem first starts whispering to her in class, then you have a point of interest and you can set the scene as you go (like, we’ll know it is winter and she hates snow later when they all go out to the field trip and stuff).
 
And at the end, I would think the cliffhanger would be a bit more dramatic if you just left it with the window cracking, and gave her reactions as the beginning to the next chp.

So that’s it for me…for now.
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Chaos

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 09:03:49 PM »
Quote
I think what Chaos is saying about the "telliness" is something I've been working on myself, too: you say something, and then feel the need to summarize it. Try to avoid that.

Yes, that's what I was trying to say. I just couldn't find the right words in the throes of severe sleep deprivation.

Another thing that I was missing in the section were Ashley's own thoughts. I seem to remember them being in the previous one (italicized thought bubbles and such) but now they are gone.
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little wilson

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2008, 11:32:28 PM »
All righty....lots of work to be done. One question, though. Chaos and Frog, since you two are the only ones who have read the original version of the field trip, which did you guys like better? I have a feeling Chaos is going to say the first, simply because of the destruction at the end, but....he could surprise me. I need to know so I can change the second so it's more like the original than it currently is, assuming the original is the best....

And as for the thoughts. I'll be sure to bring them back. And I promise that even if I do change these drastically again, I won't resubmit them.....Hopefully, if you read a little further into the story, you'll get drawn in more. If not.....Well, we'll cross that bridge should we get there (unfortunately, I think we will get there...)  :(

Oh, and thank you for the critiques. They're helping...Or they will once I get over the relative harshness of it (but don't cut back the harshness. Harshness is good. I just need to stop being a pansy  ::)).
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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 01:31:00 AM »
Hmm... its been awhile since I read the other version but I'd say it is a bit of a trade off. The first one was probably a bit more dramatic, but this one seems to flow/fit better in some ways. Not much of an answer I know, but I'll trust you to come up with a good mixture that meets all your new ideas. :)
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Chaos

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 10:39:34 AM »
All righty....lots of work to be done. One question, though. Chaos and Frog, since you two are the only ones who have read the original version of the field trip, which did you guys like better? I have a feeling Chaos is going to say the first, simply because of the destruction at the end, but....he could surprise me. I need to know so I can change the second so it's more like the original than it currently is, assuming the original is the best....

And as for the thoughts. I'll be sure to bring them back. And I promise that even if I do change these drastically again, I won't resubmit them.....Hopefully, if you read a little further into the story, you'll get drawn in more. If not.....Well, we'll cross that bridge should we get there (unfortunately, I think we will get there...)  :(

Oh, and thank you for the critiques. They're helping...Or they will once I get over the relative harshness of it (but don't cut back the harshness. Harshness is good. I just need to stop being a pansy  ::)).

Yes, we definitely don't want to see this same section over and over again :P

I'll be honest, Wilson, I... didn't actually get to the ending of the old one. I was really tired. And it wasn't engrossing. The scenes weren't, I mean. So I didn't actually get to the end of it.

Though I will agree that the transition worked better in this new one.

One thing that I wanted to learn was, like, the tour guide explaining stuff. Like, giving more information on it. It's kind of an intentional infodump, which could go over really badly, but in my opinion, your strongest part about Crashers is the world. I'm interested in that the most. So since the field trip in both versions didn't have any of that, it ultimately fell flat either way.

Just my opinion there.
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Yusuke

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 05:38:58 AM »
Quote
From space, the world was still blue. Mostly.

I think you can just combine those.  I mean, the Mostly. just seems unnecessary.  Maybe try: From space, the world was still blue, at least for the most part.  In my opinion it sounds better, but maybe experiment I guess?

Quote
There were green smatterings of land here and there among the blue, just as there always had been, but it was still mostly blue.

Next, I have to say I really don't like the word smattering you used there.  I'm not sure what it is about that word and how it's used, but it feels weird lol.  Maybe it's just me...  If you decide to use a different word, you can always go to Rhymezone.com, which I've found exceedingly useful when I just can't think of the right word.  Although, it could just be me, but I did ask the opinion of a friend who did agree.

Quote
The color stayed the same. It always stayed the same.

Once again it just seems like you can combine that into a better sentence structure.  Maybe: The color stayed the same as it always did.  Though experimenting is fun lol.

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They didn’t expect a fight for power with nature, yet that was what happened.

Sorry if I seem really really picky about sentence structure, but I have a problem with this one too.  What if you tried: They didn't expect a fight for power with nature, yet it was inevitable.  Sounds better in my opinion.

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Disappear and reappear instantly wherever.

I don't like how that's worded, but I don't really have any suggestions...

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The same black tint in the sky which proved the existence of smog cleared up, and all of a sudden city-dwellers could see the baby blue color of the sky rather than the blue-black color of the smog-filled atmosphere.

Seems really long and sorta confusing.  I think if you put a period after "smog cleared up", you could do something better with the next sentence.

Quote
It also made for strange requests, like at-home births when a birth could take place at virtually any hospital in the world.

Sorry, confusing to me on how it was worded.  Though I don't really have any suggestions, but I guess it's just how you worded it.

Quote
The home was in a Long Island suburb about forty-five miles east of Manhattan, and the day was 21 December 2319, a little over 27 years after the Coalition’s breakthrough with the transportation system.

I think a period after "Manhattan" is needed, and then you can do something better with the following sentence if you'd like.

Quote
A man, presumably the husband of the woman, for he wore a ring on the third finger of his left hand, stood at the head of the bed, pressed against the wall.

Definitely seems like way too many commas in that sentence...

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In the home, the baby crowned. Outside the home, the black, star-flecked sky flashed a brilliant white.

I believe you can combine those with a comma after "crowned" and the word while...

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But although they may have missed the astronomical anomaly, only to read about it the next morning on the front page of the paper, many others were not so distracted as to miss such an event.

Starting a sentence with the word "But" equals uncool.


Okay, sorry if this sounds really mean.  However, I really can't read anymore of the prologue here.  It's really boring in my opinion and it's failing to draw me in.  It seems bland and plain, so I definitely think it's something you should work on here.  Sorry, but it's really really lacking... So,  I'm going to move on past the prologue.

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When balance was once again only relatively restored, she glanced around quickly to see if anyone had noticed her close encounter with the ice.

How you started it off throws me completely off.  By that I mean it's worded awkwardly and could use some work.

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She sighed, cursing the boots she was wearing for their lack of traction.

If Chaos has drilled ANYTHING into my head, it's that the word was is usually a last resort.  You can easily say the boots she wore and avoid using "was".

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Snow meant ice. Ice was slippery.

Snow meant ice, and ice was slippery.

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And yet, her boots had no traction.

You started off the sentence with the word "And" which also equals uncool.  Maybe say Yet her boots had absolutely no traction whatsoever.

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She looked back up toward the building, noticing that even though she’d only taken a dozen small steps, it loomed nearer.

I don't like the word "nearer" there.

Quote
Then she realized where he was. Not on the sidewalk, but next to the sidewalk. In the snow.

That entire thing just doesn't flow well, as you can combine some stuff there.  I think you should experiment more with that sentence and try and redo it.

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Snow wasn’t ice. A person didn’t need much traction to walk in snow.

You can combine these!!!  Simply put a comma after "ice" and add in the word "so".  Although, it could be redone a bit, such as: Snow wasn't ice, so a person didn't need much traction to walk through it.  Or at least something like that sounds better in my opinion.

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A little smile lightened up her face and she looked down, noticing how deep the snow was.

Once again, sentence structure isn't up to par.  A little smile brightened up her face, as she noticed the depth of the snow.  Sounds better and flows well.

Quote
The deepness hadn’t mattered on the shoveled sidewalks, but off the path, the snow was drifting over two feet.

You can use "depth" instead of deepness which sounds weird.  Also, that entire thing sounds awkward and doesn't flow.


Okay, honestly I'm gonna have to stop reading here.  It's all really bland, plain, and lacking.  I think a big portion of it is the sentence structures that you used.  I'm really not finding myself being drawn into this at all, and I'm feeling like it's a chore to be reading it.  It needs life, excitement, more feeling.  I want it to pull me in and keep me in, read it and can't wait for the next part.  I'm really sorry to say that it just fell flat for me...

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 10:41:58 AM »
Wow, Yusuke. I know you’re probably trying to help, but your whole critique just seemed overly cruel to me. I mean, I joined this group because I thought that it would be nice to give help and receive help to beginning writers (just like me) not because I expected the work to be perfectly engaging all the time. So while I am not about to take back any of the honest criticism I give out, to not even finish a work you are critiquing and failing to find things (even small things) to praise and encourage seems a little anti productive to me. Might even be better not to critique the work at all.
I may be a bit sensitive in this case because Wilson is a good friend of mine, but I just felt it needed to be said.
All you guys are still awesome in my book, so just keep going strong because hey, writing is fun. :)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 10:46:12 AM by Frog »
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Yusuke

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 12:26:36 PM »
Well, I really don't need to say that I'm honest when giving a critique.  That was in absolutely no way meant to be cruel, I stated what I saw wrong with it and attempted to give possible fixes. 

Okay, now after pausing for a couple minutes and giving it some thought, I realize that you are right.  Critiques should also deserve some praise on what's liked about it.  See, when I get my stuff (not just writing) reviewed, all the people pretty much just pointed out what I was doing wrong on it.  I guess it just became natural for me to do it that way.  So, it's not that I'm failing to find things to praise, it's just that I'm not used to doing it that way >.<.  However, that doesn't mean I can't learn to do it differently, which honestly does seem like a better way after thinking on it.


I'll give it another shot right now...
 

+ I liked the detail that was put into it.  To me that shows the time taken on the project was good, also that you're taking it seriously.  Needless to say that time is very crucial to pretty much anything done, especially writing.  I saw from your first post that this was a resubmission.  Now, while I didn't read the first submission, the resubmission tells me you're taking time on this.  Definitely a plus, since I believe that's how great writing happens.  The imagery also seemed nice, and I don't really think I had a problem with that.

+ After reading someone's post about the dialogue, I decided to go back and give that a little read-through.  When I was reading the dialogue it seemed more interesting to me at that point then when you were describing the actions going on earlier (By that I mean it was a lot more interesting when I was reading the dialogue than when I was reading the Prologue, or the start of the Chapter).  So I have to agree that the dialogue is good, nice job there.



- Even though the imagery was nice and the detail was good, a lot of the sentence structure made it difficult to figure out what exactly she was trying to write.  However, once I figured it out, I thought it was good.  From what I read, a lot of things could have been structured better to give it a smoother flow.  I think I gave examples on that in my post above Frog's.  Sentence structure and flow are crucial elements, at least in my opinion.

- It didn't draw me in, and I'm not sure what it was about it that caused that.  Thinking on it, I believe it was the structures of your sentences (Yeah, I know you're probably tired of hearing me say that and wanna sock me for it >.<) and the way you told it through your writing.  It just felt lacking to me from the way you told it...



Hopefully you find this more helpful than my all negative critique o_O;  Though, I do feel like I should say that I didn't mean for anything to sound ridiculously cruel.  I simply stated what I saw wrong with it from how I was used to doing things.  So, I have to ask for your patience, as I will get better at doing it differently from now on.


Frog- I have to say, everything you said I found to be true.  So I hope you find the above a more acceptable way of doing things.  Though, like I said above, you're probably gonna need to be patient while I get better at doing the whole critique thing a little differently =P.


Reaves

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 05:24:03 PM »
Yeah we are all fairly new to this, Yusuke especially. I think most of us have never given in-depth critiques like this for the  most part, and we are all learning together. For myself I think I tend to focus a bit too much on faults in the work, so you're not alone Yusuke  :P
I just want to say thanks though for giving such an in-depth and long critique, I wish all of us were more like that  :P
And it is much better to be honest and maybe a bit cruel than just lie and always say nice things. You just have to make sure to not only focus on the faults.
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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 07:25:40 PM »
Hey, I’m all for honest criticism. Yours just struck me as over the top for whatever reason and I let my mama bear instincts kick in. I hope you don’t feel I singled you out and mauled you too much, because I do appreciate your willingness to listen, adapt and yes, give in-depth critiques, especially since you did give suggestions on how to fix things. I'm working on this as well and, as in all things in life, I think that the more we do this, the better we’ll be.
So, no hard feelings?
You guys are great!  :D
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wcarter4

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 05:47:40 PM »
I must say "even a slight case of death" has got to be the funniest quote ever.
This is far improved from the original version. I would say the only problems I saw were one it's risky to have that much narration before the characters begin to really appear for fear of boring the reader and two its equally risky to mention the 9/11 bombings in any controversial manner. There is simply no way to do that without offending someone. That doesn't mean to take it out, just realise that as writers we tread a knife's edge when it comes to peoples' feelings.
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Reaves

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Re: Crashers Pro-Chap 1 12/29/08
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2009, 09:27:47 PM »
I would say the only problems I saw were one it's risky to have that much narration before the characters begin to really appear for fear of boring the reader and two its equally risky to mention the 9/11 bombings in any controversial manner. There is simply no way to do that without offending someone. That doesn't mean to take it out, just realise that as writers we tread a knife's edge when it comes to peoples' feelings.
You know what they say in the newspaper business; its better to be hated then forgotten  :P
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RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!