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  1. #31
    Brittie .
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Hey Colin, I definitely didn't mean any harm. People on WN give great line edits, there's plenty of that. My focus (and profession, before I started a book) is on story, which is a larger picture, and which, in any excerpt anywhere in a book, will be apparent if it's working successfully. There's a lot of effort at craft around here, but without a great story and a bit of attitude on the part of the writer, the job isn't complete. These are thinking questions, not ones that are necessarily answered by putting a pen in a book.



  2. #32
    Colin Jeffcoat IV
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Brittie,

    I understand what you mean. I have tried to read many books that, by the standards of standard setters, are well written, but do to lack of plot I could not get into them. I love stories that make you root for the main character. I love them so much that I long to write one like that myself.

    Tell me what you think of this story idea.

    Young man finds he has the ability to time/dimension travel. Does not understand power or how to truly harness its ability. The power chose him (apart of the mystery). There is only one other with the ability to will himself through time and this other is purely seeking to used the power for selfish reasons. The main plot revolves around the character development of the young boy being chased by this other (man?) that wishes to destroy him so that he can be the only one. The boy, through learning to harness the ability, eventually copes with the realization of having to face this other or be in a state of perpetual escape.

    A few subplots will arise of course where the boy must help others along the way and at the same time keep this other from destroying him and those he cares for. Also, there is a dimension on the edge of time itself struggling to develop a machine that can manipulate the fabric of time. In doing so they discover this boys struggle and seek to aid him but also risk destroying everything.

    Too out there? I would like to think that it is feasible with some of what I have read by authors like H.G. Wells, Paul J. Nahin, C.J. Cherryh, and so on.

    What do you think?

  3. #33
    Brittie .
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Colin,

    So you state the conflict - young man (protagonist), finds out he can travel in time (a bit of self-discovery) but doesn't know what it all means (inner conflict).

    Antagonist has the same power, you say, but using the power for 'selfish reasons' is, in my opinion too vague to describe what motivates him. Evil-doers usually pursue power or riches, and yes, selfishness is a characteristic, but not a goal, so this is a very weak point.

    You say the main 'plot' is a chase; the antagonist is chasing the protagonist (for selfish, vague reasons), but on the way the protagonist comes to discover that he can control the time-powers he has.

    So what, exactly is the story here? :-- A boy who finds he can travel in time is pursued by a man who can travel in time, (unbeknownst to the boy), and until the boy discovers more about his own inner powers, he doesn't have a chance of saving himself.

    Hmm. I'm not sure there's enough here. It's a good start, but I'd want to know more about both charactes. How the boy discovered his powers, why the antagonist pursues him, and what the boy has to lose, in being pursued ie what's at risk for him?

    So I think you're maybe halfway there, but some of this needs fleshing out; that's my opinion anyway.

  4. #34
    Colin Jeffcoat IV
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Actually, Brittie, that is exactly what I needed to hear. I guess I have a movie script in material but not a great novels worth? I always hate how cut down and skeletal movies are made from great books.

    This is where my weakest skill is put into play and that is plotting. I need to sit down and meditate on this a bit. You have helped me to realize how much work my ideas need and exactly where too.

    Thanks,

    Colin

  5. #35
    Amanda Turek
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Can I just be stupid and say style questions notwithstanding, I like the story and want to read more?

  6. #36
    Colin Jeffcoat IV
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Thanks for the complement. I am currently working on a second chapter, but notwithstanding, it will be a while since there is a lot of work to be done on the entire concept.

    Amazing how your one sentence has inspired me to keep my nose to the grindstone though. I appreciate the push, Amanda.

    ~Colin

  7. #37
    Amanda Turek
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Well you know who to send it to.

  8. #38
    Brittie .
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Colin whether it's a book or a movie or a short story or even an essay, I don't see much variation on the rules, which by the way, I learned in 9th grade English and continually refer to.

    They're so basic (the elements of drama/stories) and they simply apply to everything, universally, from the beginning of time ie oral storytelling, to much that's in print in our everyday lives.

    So I'm not specifically saying your story works better as a movie than a book, not at all. I'm just saying it's important to actually break down the components (to nouns and verbs if that's what works best) and examine exactly what the story is; where the plot is going; what the characters are up to; and if it stands up to a few of these questions, then one is possibly on solid ground, heading for something that works. The inner mechanisms make and sustain their own rules. I'm not saying it's easy to do, by any means, but the questions have to be asked.

  9. #39
    Terri D
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Colin, your premise for the story idea is good. No story is ever "too out there" if you've pulled your reader in enough to suspend belief.
    There's nothing wrong with seeing a movie as you write. In fact it's probably the most helpful tool you can use. Why? Because it pulls you into the story, makes you feel what's happening around you and inside you. There are eight things you should always try to show in your writing. Five of those would be the five senses; hear, see, feel, taste, touch...your character should use these throughout each scene. The other three would be, sense of time, sense of place and sense of the unknown.
    If you can build your character's world with these in mind, you'll write a beleivable book...even if it's about a car named Christine.
    Here's another book that will help, Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan.

    I'm done,
    good luck

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