HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 36
  1. #21
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    ...he checked the doghouse, then played the light out over the length of Smokey’s chain.

    You kinda led me to believe the chain was bolted to the doghouse, or at least very close to it. It was easily inferred.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'm addressing a "big picture" facet of your story. That chain breaking doesn't align with reality to my mind. That's pretty big, isn't it? I'm one who believes there are no minor details, and that the sum of all the details building on each other gives you the "big picture".

    I think maybe I'll put your piece in The Crucible and see how it fares.



  2. #22
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    I think maybe I'll put your piece in The Crucible and see how it fares.
    Gee since that's your website I can't imagine how it'll fare. Hahaha.

  3. #23
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    I don't know how it will fare. I haven't read it closely for writing. I just read it for story. I understood it fine, so big kudos there. That Cheshire Cat simile stinks pretty bad and should probably go. We'll see.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    684
    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    ...he checked the doghouse, then played the light out over the length of Smokey’s chain.

    You kinda led me to believe the chain was bolted to the doghouse, or at least very close to it. It was easily inferred.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'm addressing a "big picture" facet of your story. That chain breaking doesn't align with reality to my mind. That's pretty big, isn't it? I'm one who believes there are no minor details, and that the sum of all the details building on each other gives you the "big picture".

    I think maybe I'll put your piece in The Crucible and see how it fares.
    John, again, yes to all that. The reason why I feel there's a bigger problem everyone is missing is because this prologue isn't working quite right to ME. I understand how readers might think the chain is bolted to the doghouse, but I, myself, don't think that. I know the details and they fit (as the author, the details fit in my mind, whether inaccurate or not, because I don't know they're inaccurate and I accept them for what they are). So, another reader may correctly say something like the dog chain is a problem for them, but for me it is not. I only know the whole piece isn't working quite right for me. It very well could be an accumulation of mistakes. Usually, I have no problem spotting the problem, but this one has me perplexed.

    So, no, I'm not saying your problem with the chain is a minor detail (all details matter), but I feel as if the new car I left in a parking spot last night has been damaged; you're pointing out a scratch in my new paint on the passenger side, repeating, "Did you see this scratch?", meanwhile, I'm on the driver's side, looking at crushed fenders and doors. That's what I mean by minor, lol.

    Again, thanks!!
    Last edited by The Tinman; 09-05-2016 at 05:02 AM.

  5. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    684
    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    That Cheshire Cat simile stinks pretty bad and should probably go. .
    Sometimes I look at that part and agree wholeheartedly with you and sometimes I look at it at wholeheartedly disagree, lol. Actually, this might be getting closer to what MY problem is with the story: I may need to remove that piece and several other small pieces cluttering it up.

    I'm moving forward, editing other chapters, and though I'm interested in any input, I'll probably wait and hit the prologue again (or possibly completely replace it, I have 2 other sections that would make good starts) later with fresher eyes. I just hate to do that because I'm getting close to beginning a final edit.

  6. #26
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    Quote Originally Posted by The Tinman View Post
    Sometimes I look at that part and agree wholeheartedly with you and sometimes I look at it at wholeheartedly disagree, lol. Actually, this might be getting closer to what MY problem is with the story: I may need to remove that piece and several other small pieces cluttering it up.

    I'm moving forward, editing other chapters, and though I'm interested in any input, I'll probably wait and hit the prologue again (or possibly completely replace it, I have 2 other sections that would make good starts) later with fresher eyes. I just hate to do that because I'm getting close to beginning a final edit.
    Well, alrighty. As a rule, I'm against prologues anyway. Just get on with the trouble, I always say.

    As for the Cheshire Cat thing, I was thinking of something more in line with this couple argues, he wants to watch his flick, he wants her to leave him alone, etc. So yours:

    From her perch, standing in the hallway, all Rachel could see of him were flashes of tv reflecting off his glasses, like a disappearing Cheshire Cat, only instead of a disembodied grin all that remained were his glasses.

    Mine:

    From her perch, standing in the hallway, all Rachel saw of him were flashes of tv reflecting off his glasses like hazard lights.


    I thought that fit much better with her kinda leery of starting an argument and him wanting her to leave him alone.

  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Elkins Park PA
    Posts
    343
    Quote Originally Posted by The Tinman View Post
    John, again, yes to all that. The reason why I feel there's a bigger problem everyone is missing is because this prologue isn't working quite right to ME.
    Who's the protagonist? There doesn't seem to be one. Instead, the narrator is explaining the story as if at a storytelling session. We get words on someone "not accepting that," and their reply, for example, but we don't know why they don't. And if we don't know why people do things wy do we care what happens as a result? Were it a film we would know their emotional state by watching and listening to them. But on the page we can't.

    Often, the action stops and the narrator explains the situation to them, adding info-dumps of backstory that aren't relevant to what's taking place in the scene.

    But the voice doing the explaining is a unheard, and thus, a monotone. You can tell us how the character speaks a line, but you can't end a line of narration with, "I said, forcefully." So the reader is looking at what amounts to a detailed report on some fictional characters, given by someone neither on the scene or in the story. Informative? yes. Entertaining? As you note, even you aren't entertained.

    One of the pitfalls of that approach is that because you visualize the scene you see everything in it as you edit the prose. But what about a reader, who has none of the mental pictures and knowledge of the scene. When you read you, can mentally see the expressions change and the physical reaction of the characters. But what can the reader see? Nothing.

    My point is that you're using techniques of storytelling to "tell" the reader a story, but that won't work on the page because it reproduces neither sound nor picture. So the storyteller's performance is missing, and that's where the emotional part of verbal storytelling lies. After all, how real can a story seem when the characters politely shut up when the narrator strides on stage to talk, and politely wait for that person to finish and leave the stage. And yes, I know there is an omniscient viewpoint, but you're not presenting that. You're "telling" the story instead of showing it. It is the single most common reason for rejection.

    Were someone to appear in your living room and begin talking about you to an invisible audience wouldn't you ask who they are? The fact that your characters don't says, "this isn't real," to a reader. They aren't with you to learn the details of the story. They want to be made to live it, moment-by-moment. As E.L. Doctorow observed, “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
    I understand how readers might think the chain is bolted to the doghouse, but I, myself, don't think that.
    Unfortunately, our intent dribbles from the words at the keyboard. The reader has only your words and their placement to go by, plus what has gone before in the story. And since you're not there to explain, the reader takes the meaning and emotion the words suggest to them, based on their background, education, age group, location, and perhaps gender. You, your intent, and everything about you becomes irrelevant to-that-reader. So you should write with their understanding in mind. But since you can't know that, the best alternative is to make all readers know the situation as the protagonist does, in the moment they call now. In other words, tell the story from the character's viewpoint. And that's the difference between telling and showing. Telling only informs. Showing, because it places the reader on the scene as a character, entertains.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #28
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    But the voice doing the explaining is a unheard, and thus, a monotone.
    Speaking of monotone, amiright? Hahaha

  9. #29
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    lol...Mutt.

  10. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    684
    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    From her perch, standing in the hallway, all Rachel saw of him were flashes of tv reflecting off his glasses like hazard lights.
    John, I do like this and it does work well. Thank you.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts