Author Topic: Re-3/21/11-MannyBrainpan-Untitled Fantasy Serial (Part 4)  (Read 2019 times)

MannyBrainpan

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Re-3/21/11-MannyBrainpan-Untitled Fantasy Serial (Part 4)
« on: March 21, 2011, 04:28:38 PM »
I switched to Courier for my font, that is what I usually write in anyway, and it looks more professional or whatever. Please let me know what you think, I am beginning to introduce more of the secrets...
Enjoy!
(If you missed Parts 1-3 just go to http://www.braipan.webs.com)
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: Re-3/21/11-MannyBrainpan-Untitled Fantasy Serial (Part 4)
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 05:18:03 PM »
It's short, so I will try to keep the comments reasonable for it.  Hopefully not absurdly lengthy.

The dialogue is boring, bland, and incredibly overs used.  "I thought you'd like the challenge."  While I get the line and why it was used, that does not change the fact that most of us have probably heard it a hundred million times.  You can say the same thing another way.  Several other ways.  And most of the lines are just like that.  In fact everything about the piece is predictable in that way.  There is nothing unique here, or interesting (well, nothing but a little talking lizard but that does remind me of Mushu a bit from Disney's Mulan), or even remotely entrapping.

akoebel

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Re: Re-3/21/11-MannyBrainpan-Untitled Fantasy Serial (Part 4)
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 09:00:54 PM »
The piece cleared some of the questions we had on the earlier parts.

My remarks here will be purely stylistic:
* you may want to loose some adverbs, especially at the beginning ("kindly voice definitely").
* you often put a coma where one isn't needed ("Which would have more than likely ended, in your death."). You can use full stops in some instances too ("And for some reason, Vara didn’t find herself surprised, she just swatted the lizard away." would seem better as "And for some reason, Vara didn’t find herself surprised. She just swatted the lizard away.")
* some sentences are oddly phrased : "but she was soon second guessing her presumptions". Why not go for something simpler, like re-assessing (ok, my choice is not that simple).

For the story, I won't go as strongly as LTU, but suspension of disbelief has its limits. Right now, I'm seriously lacking empathy for the character, or the setting, or the plot. Vara could get stoned by a mob and I wouldn't care one bit at the moment. I know it's difficult in short form.

We'll get to see in the next installment.

MannyBrainpan

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Re: Re-3/21/11-MannyBrainpan-Untitled Fantasy Serial (Part 4)
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 05:20:11 AM »
@LTU, I see what you mean about it being stereotypical. The lizard never says, "I thought you'd like the challenge." He asks her if she didn't enjoy the challenge. I was not aware that this is cliche, but I will from now on. Anyway, I apologize for it being uninteresting, with the whole serial format it makes it harder for my mind to process "Get from A to B." Without getting gummed up or shirking on certain areas (i.e. detailed descriptions and more colorful dialogue). But that is one of the reasons why I am doing this, to practice accomplishing a lot in a small amount of space. Also, this whole story was concocted for my Facebook friends, and then it escalated to this. I do hope that you will continue reading for the more fantasy concepts and stuff like the talking lizard are on their way. But thanks for being honest and reading deep.
@Akoebel, the commas and adverbs are my bane. I have worked and worked but I am getting better, I will try to avoid doing over use of adverbs and commas. And, I had a lot of trouble with that sentence and a few in that piece. They are progressively getting harder to write. I will also be sure to really get you involved in the character, I have been all about the action up until now, and I guess I didn't use the non-action space to my character's advantage. I will address that now that you point that out. Thanks too.
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite

Asmodemon

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Re: Re-3/21/11-MannyBrainpan-Untitled Fantasy Serial (Part 4)
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 08:28:05 PM »
I agree with the others that the dialogue could be better. And since the majority of the chapter is dialogue it’s important to look at. To me it feels stilted in places, in part because of erroneous commas, partly because the dialogue feels like I’ve seen it before, but also because there’s a lot of passive voice usage in this chapter. It makes it seem that we’re one step removed from the story.

There are a lot of sentences like: “Vara was now putting her goggles back on.”

This is passive voice and reads slower than “Vara put her goggles back on.”

The same message, but more immediate in tone and in pacing because there are less words to stumble over.

The passive voice can also be found in dialogue, such as with:  “I’m suspecting that you are surprised.”

A less passive variant: “I suspect you’re surprised.”

This has the added benefit that it doesn’t read oddly, as the first version does.

Passive voice and adverbs should be avoided as a general rule, but especially in this serial format it’s important to scratch as many unnecessary words as you can so you can fill the remainder of your allotted number with meaning, action, and character. It’s hard to feel for Vara with such short chapters, don’t make it harder.

What I also see is that aside from bloating up the text with adverbs and passive voice you also go about certain descriptions in a round-about way. With so many commas and long sentences it takes longer to process what’s happening. The last big paragraph, starting with “Vara pushed a branch” is a good example of this.

I rewrote the paragraph to a more direct approach (if it was me I’d cut it even further, but I've been in a cutting mindset lately), with only a single comma. That’s not to say you should do it this way, but if you look at the difference you see it’s the same information, presented in a shorter way and closer to home (Vara).

Vara pushed a branch out of her way. She could hardly believe it, there was a crater in front of the butcher shop. Her landing spot? Ripples of dirt emanated from the impression she left behind.

MannyBrainpan

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Re: Re-3/21/11-MannyBrainpan-Untitled Fantasy Serial (Part 4)
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 03:27:06 PM »
Wow! I hate reading passive voice, but didn't even think that I was writing it. I see what you mean. I do a lot of correcting passive voice in my Grammar class so I can't forgive myself for these mistakes. Thanks for pointing that out. I am aware that I draw out sentences with commas. Its just what I do and I am much better than I used to be. I will work on that though. Thanks.
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite