Author Topic: September 27-fireflyz-The Witching Hour (L)  (Read 1986 times)

fireflyz

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 143
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
September 27-fireflyz-The Witching Hour (L)
« on: September 26, 2010, 11:40:12 PM »
This is to discuss the short story I submitted today.  Thanks!
Follow my journey from aspiring author to published phenom.  Along the way we'll discover the dos and don'ts of successful writing!

http://twitter.com/ryanvanloan

hubay

  • Level 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: September 27-fireflyz-The Witching Hour (L)
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 03:08:04 AM »
I'm staying out of this one.


Content aside, the prose wasn't terrible, but you tend to be a little melodramatic in some of your descriptions/metaphors. The opening line stood out to me – you say 'match' twice in the same sentence, which makes it sound clumsy.

The "show don't tell" rule is always essential to writing, of course, but for what you're trying to say here it's particularly important. If you spend too much time giving backstory on a character in a standard piece, the narrator stands out. Here, when your character talks about his past, and the narrator (you) sticks out, you run the risk of just sounding like you're ranting. And while I'm no expert, I feel like if you're going to satirize/parody a real figure, you might not want to tell the story directly from their POV.

You might also want to put in a (V); you did reference a bit of gore.

Derby

  • Guest
Re: September 27-fireflyz-The Witching Hour (L)
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 04:21:48 AM »
I like the story.

It is no secret that I tell rather than show far too much -- I'm working on it! ;D  However, I feel you have overdone the metaphors  in this story.

Also, twice there are three consecutive paragraphs that start with "Greg . . . ".   A little rephrasing could have taken care of that.

"Loss of a hand." is the start of four consecutive paragraphs but there is a purpose for that and it does not detract in any way.

Eerongal

  • Level 23
  • *
  • Posts: 1199
  • Fell Points: 0
  • That jaunty jackanapes with moxie and pizzazz
    • View Profile
    • Rockin' with the Erock
Re: September 27-fireflyz-The Witching Hour (L)
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2010, 05:35:20 PM »
Yeah, I agree with the others, there was probably a bit too much when it comes to the metaphors. The story was pretty well saturated with 'em.

Overall, it was a pretty good story, though, However, i'm unsure of who this particular author is (in the story), and searching online for the name given returns no results, so i'm assuming that's not his real name (?). At first, i thought it was going to be related to Ann rice, since she wrote a book by the same name and you said it was about an author. :P

The opening line stood out to me – you say 'match' twice in the same sentence, which makes it sound clumsy.

Are you talking about the use of the word "Match" in the same sentence as "Matchbox"? I dunno, that strikes me as just fine, since they are two separate words, however, i probably would have just said "box" and not "matchbox" since it's implied you're striking the match against a matchbox, and not just some random wooden crate.
[shameless plug]
My site
[/shameless plug]

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-R. Howard

Pie is clearly the most trustworthy. Pie for president. - Me.

RavenstarRHJF

  • Level 9
  • *
  • Posts: 339
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: September 27-fireflyz-The Witching Hour (L)
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 04:32:58 AM »
First of all, I love the concept.  Characters literally bullying their creator into finishing their stories?  Win!  (now lets hope it never happens to me... O.O)

I like how Greg spooks himself into doing something he knows would be stupid in a story setting.  I have to say, though, I was surprised Victoria didn't make an appearance until the end.  After all, she was the reason he went downstairs in the first place (or was it just down the hall? I can't remember) and, given that his first reaction upon turning on the light was to graphically spill his guts, I was really expecting him to find her murdered-and-possibly-dismembered body on the kitchen floor.  I have to say that it's a bit of an over-reaction, especially considering that he knows these characters intimately.  Granted, they're a gruesome lot, but still.  He wrote it, after all- a fact which they fling in his face repeatedly (again with the win! ;D).

You give the impression that we should be familiar with these people, much like a fan-fic.  And like a fan-fic, it would probably be more fun to read if we were.  But it's also ok if we aren't- if that makes any sense- because you give us enough description and interaction to solidly establish their characters.  So good job there.
***(Please don't be offended at me comparing this to a fan-fic.  I know there are a lot of authors and editors and critics out there who roundly disparage fan-fiction of any kind.  However, I think it has it's place, if only on the inter-webs.  So yeah, no slam from me, there.  And not a back-handed compliment, either.  The style, kind of tongue-in-cheek if you will, just reminds me of it.)

One thing that bothered me, though... you repeatedly mention him mumbling into his beard.  Now, I might be mistaken, but I would accept this description more readily if you at some point mentioned that his mustache had gone untrimmed for so long that the hairs had merged with his beard.  Otherwise I get a mental image of him physically holding up the beard to his mouth like he's got a radio in there.  Just a personal preference, though. ;)
A crown does not a King make, nor the lack of one a commoner.

fireflyz

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 143
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: September 27-fireflyz-The Witching Hour (L)
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2010, 04:34:59 PM »
@ Hubay and others

I agree with the metaphor usage.  One of those issues where I was too close to the story to really see it until it was pointed out.  So thanks for the help with that.  I am not bothered by the usage of match twice, although "box" probably would be better.

@Hubay
  I see where you're coming from with the backstory.  In this case I feel that I was able to escape without crossing the line, but if even a few "hems of my clothing" appeared while Greg was providing his backstory then I need to rework it so that doesn't show.  I wanted to tell it from Greg's perspective because I want the reader to understand where he is coming from.  Even if I, the writer, don't completely agree with him, I wanted to give him a fair shake.

@Derby
  I tend to overuse names when I'm first writing a character.  I think this is due in part to two things.  First, using the name helps me sink into the character.  Secondly, I believe that subconciously I'm worried that the reader won't be able to recognize who is speaking.  Neither are good enough reasons to keep hammering home Greg's name.  Will definitely work to limit that.  Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

@Erongal
  Thanks for the feedback!  I'm glad you enjoyed my story.  The author is George R.R. Martin.  He published his last novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire Series in 2005.  He said that it took awhile to come out because he ran into some problems and decided to cut the book in half.  The next novel was partially finished and would follow shortly.  Since then he's complained about a "knot" he can't unravel.  While he hasn't been able to finish the next novel he's edited several works, produced various anthologies, written comics, developed an HBO series for his books, and spent plenty of time at conventions and other events.  There is a split among his fans.  Some think he's being lazy and collecting royalties that are due in part to the promise of a series, not a few books.  Others think that he should be given all the time in the world and that artists can't be rushed.  Me personally, I fall somewhere in the middle.  I can't begin to fathom the complexities of the world he's created and the direction he's trying to take it in.  On the other hand, I have to think that traveling around the country and world for a few months out of every year and working on numerous side projects can't be helping him finish it any faster.  And he's living comfortably off of money that I paid with the knowledge that I would be reading a Series, not stand alones.  All IMHO.

@Raven
I'm glad you liked it  :)  Greg puked because the world spun before him so swiftly that it made him ill.  I wanted to be vague enough with the characters that they would appeal to those unfamiliar with the stories.  Also, while the characters are mostly loosely based on real characters in his novels, their words and actions are not true to the physical characters portrayed.  If that makes any sense.  The closest is probably the Drowned Lady.  I'm not offended by the fanfic comment, though honestly I didn't intend that and it never occurred to me.  I picture him with his chin against his chest and his beard bunching up so that his words are mumbled through a forest of hair.  I'll have to work on better conveying that image to the reader.  Thanks!
Follow my journey from aspiring author to published phenom.  Along the way we'll discover the dos and don'ts of successful writing!

http://twitter.com/ryanvanloan