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Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'll make up my own, but I should also do some looking into actual Aussie slang and content to try and emulate the feel better.

flosofl posted:

Personally, I would think it would be better to have unique slang and idioms. Just be consistent in their use and don't slip up and mix them in with one's from Earth. And you probably know this, but let the context inform the reader as to what they mean. Unless, like Australia, the not-Australia slang is impenetrable by anyone NOT not-Australian (that hurt to write).

Making it nigh-impenetrable by outsiders is half the point! But yeah, I'll try and have it mostly clear by context.

Stabbey_the_Clown fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2014 around 18:57

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Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Fake ocker done badly is the best, do this.

Wallaby bilby sheila mate.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


Chairchucker posted:

Fake ocker done badly is the best, do this.

Wallaby bilby sheila mate.

Shrimp onda barbie mate. Dingo ate mah bayby!

Blade_of_tyshalle
Jul 12, 2009

If you think that, along the way, you're not going to fail... you're blind.

There's no one I've ever met, no matter how successful they are, who hasn't said they had their failures along the way.



The aussies I know just call people cunts at all times. So do that. Replace any and all direct forms of address with "you stinkyhole" and your story will self-immolate with authenticity.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Australians speak in backward-masking due to the coriolis effect. Use this to your advantage in your future endeavors.

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

Blade_of_tyshalle posted:

The aussies I know just call people cunts at all times. So do that. Replace any and all direct forms of address with "you stinkyhole" and your story will self-immolate with authenticity.

Even the women? (The character in question is a woman.) But nah, just as real speech is peppered with
"um", "ah", and "err", I think I'd limit the frequency of "stinkyhole" even if it would be less authentic. I think I'll still use "mate" even if it is stereotypical and not authentic, because the reader will be more likely to 'hear' the dialogue in the right accent.

PoshAlligator posted:

Racist caricatures are definitely the way to go as a nice shortcut to character identification. I always replace all the "l"s in the dialogue of my Asian characters with "r"s. Sure, it's not necessarily authentic, but readers sure will be able to "hear" the dialogue in the right accent.


That's not what I meant and you know it, but I see your point and will do something else.

Stabbey_the_Clown fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2014 around 18:57

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Stabbey_the_Clown posted:

Even the women? (The character in question is a woman.) But nah, just as real speech is peppered with
"um", "ah", and "err", I think I'd limit the frequency of "stinkyhole" even if it would be less authentic. I think I'll still use "mate" even if it is stereotypical and not authentic, because the reader will be more likely to 'hear' the dialogue in the right accent.

Racist caricatures are definitely the way to go as a nice shortcut to character identification. I always replace all the "l"s in the dialogue of my Asian characters with "r"s. Sure, it's not necessarily authentic, but readers sure will be able to "hear" the dialogue in the right accent.

raspy trashfucker
Jul 5, 2014

i wOuLd lIkE To dOnAtE BuT I DoN'T KnOw mY AcCoUnT PaSsWoRd

i donated for you, dicknose


I'm working on a short story called The Eternal Recurrence of Babys Mange. It's about a man named Babys Mange who discovers Taoist secrets that give him all sorts of powers, but it takes him his entire life to do it. Too old to enjoy his spoils, he puts all his energy into a spell that will make anyone become him if they look enough like him. That includes his personality, powers, and all the memories of any previous Babys Manges. But he didn't think of the fact that being old when he cast the spell would mean all his future incarnations would also be old and it wouldn't solve the problem.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

raspy trashfucker posted:

I'm working on a short story called The Eternal Recurrence of Babys Mange. It's about a man named Babys Mange who discovers Taoist secrets that give him all sorts of powers, but it takes him his entire life to do it. Too old to enjoy his spoils, he puts all his energy into a spell that will make anyone become him if they look enough like him. That includes his personality, powers, and all the memories of any previous Babys Manges. But he didn't think of the fact that being old when he cast the spell would mean all his future incarnations would also be old and it wouldn't solve the problem.

hm, this is making all the same sounds that bestsellers make, but how does it fit into the metanarrative, is what I'm asking myself.

raspy trashfucker
Jul 5, 2014

i wOuLd lIkE To dOnAtE BuT I DoN'T KnOw mY AcCoUnT PaSsWoRd

i donated for you, dicknose


Sitting Here posted:

hm, this is making all the same sounds that bestsellers make, but how does it fit into the metanarrative, is what I'm asking myself.

Eventually people find out about Babys Mange and everyone wants to become Babys Mange when they get old.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

raspy trashfucker posted:

Eventually people find out about Babys Mange and everyone wants to become Babys Mange when they get old.

oh my god. So he becomes the metanarrative

but if you think about it, it's kind of un-tao to want to sustain immortality. Like, and i'm just speculating here, i think an enlightened tao master would see the inherent transience of everything and realize that it would be futile to try and perpetuate the self indefinitely..

still getting in on the ground floor of this though. You have my permission to add my name to the "dedicated to" part of your book

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Blade_of_tyshalle posted:

The aussies I know just call people cunts at all times. So do that. Replace any and all direct forms of address words with "you stinkyhole" and your story will self-immolate with authenticity.

Sitting Here posted:

oh my god. So he becomes the metanarrative

but if you think about it, it's kind of un-tao to want to sustain immortality. Like, and i'm just speculating here, i think an enlightened tao master would see the inherent transience of everything and realize that it would be futile to try and perpetuate the self indefinitely..

still getting in on the ground floor of this though. You have my permission to add my name to the "dedicated to" part of your book

He is so un-Tao he becomes Tao.

Circular, do you see.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

I crashed Thunderdome's 6th Birthday and all I got was this av!

sebmojo posted:

He is so un-Tao he becomes Tao.

Circular, do you see.



Tao is a flat circle.

Liam Emsa
Aug 21, 2014

Oh, god. I think I'm falling.

I have two guys named John and Mike. I'm trying to write a scene where John sees Mike, but John doesn't know who Mike is yet. But I've already introduced Mike earlier in the story. I want the audience to know that John is seeing Mike. If this was a movie it would be easy, because of faces obviously. But how do I do this in a book? I haven't given Mike a physical description yet, so I'm not sure how to give a nudge to the reader letting them know that the guy John is running into is actually Mike.

I feel like I'd have to give Mike some really weird obvious physical trait like a big mole on his cheek or something, and then have a line like "John noticed the big mole on this man's cheek," and it would be really obvious and gimmicky.

edit: I should add that neither are in a situation where they can speak to each other, so there's no way they can give identifying information verbally

Liam Emsa fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2014 around 02:33

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


Make Mike Babys Mange.

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

by R. Guyovich


Liam Emsa posted:

I have two guys named John and Mike. I'm trying to write a scene where John sees Mike, but John doesn't know who Mike is yet. But I've already introduced Mike earlier in the story. I want the audience to know that John is seeing Mike. If this was a movie it would be easy, because of faces obviously. But how do I do this in a book? I haven't given Mike a physical description yet, so I'm not sure how to give a nudge to the reader letting them know that the guy John is running into is actually Mike.

I feel like I'd have to give Mike some really weird obvious physical trait like a big mole on his cheek or something, and then have a line like "John noticed the big mole on this man's cheek," and it would be really obvious and gimmicky.

edit: I should add that neither are in a situation where they can speak to each other, so there's no way they can give identifying information verbally

as long as the reader is supposed to know its mike, just call him mike.

Liam Emsa
Aug 21, 2014

Oh, god. I think I'm falling.

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

as long as the reader is supposed to know its mike, just call him mike.

The problem I have with this is that I'm writing the chapter from John's perspective. It's what he's seeing around him, so it feels weird to write "He saw a man in front of him. It was Mike." Because he has no idea who Mike is at this point.

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

by R. Guyovich


Liam Emsa posted:

The problem I have with this is that I'm writing the chapter from John's perspective. It's what he's seeing around him, so it feels weird to write "He saw a man in front of him. It was Mike." Because he has no idea who Mike is at this point.

if it's from perspective just make sure you share one detail then, imo. "large man with a mustache", etc. it doesn't have to be "his blistering pimple that shot pus of acid was impossible to ignore" x2 throughout your story.

you can also use a title, but something thats discernible from other characters "the monster" "the gentleman" "the mexican food lover" etc.

anime was right fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2014 around 02:59

Liam Emsa
Aug 21, 2014

Oh, god. I think I'm falling.

Thanks I'll try that out.

As a side note, this twitter is hilarious: https://twitter.com/guyinyourmfa

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

https://twitter.com/WorstMuse

this one's good too

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Liam Emsa posted:

The problem I have with this is that I'm writing the chapter from John's perspective. It's what he's seeing around him, so it feels weird to write "He saw a man in front of him. It was Mike." Because he has no idea who Mike is at this point.

I've had to do this before sort of. In mine the reader sees someone who is described in a certain way, not terribly unusual. Then when under a different perspective and the character is properly introduce I retrod that description very similarly.

I'd just say go back and add a bit of description, or maybe something in his section that would make his presence in the second section make sense to the reader so it clicks.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


The Saddest Rhino posted:

Make Mike Babys Mange.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Okay, one common theme in all my Thunderdome Dishonourable Mentions is that I lack clarity, and when I say 'common theme', I mean to say that out of all my submissions, only two haven't been dinged for it. Any tips on fixing this? It can't be the length- I read the winning entries, compare them with mine, and I can't seem to see where the disconnect is, though I suspect that my own 'closeness' with my story is the reason for that. Any tips on how to rectify this? I thought of letting others read my work, but that would be against the spirit of the Dome, as I'm given to understand.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME crabrock? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Grimey Drawer

I'll read your stories in a bit and get back to you, but in general the best way to make something clear is to state it plainly. "Tim went to the store." "The sky was dark." "Her hands were sweaty."

of course, that is boring to read, but it's clear. Try using simple, short sentences that are either a simple clause, like above, or two simple clauses put together with a conjunction. "Her pants were green, and she loved the color green." Don't try to be too fancy with language, don't be vague, don't be pretty. That stuff comes AFTER you learn to say what you mean. When I first came to the dome, I tried to write too pretty. It was only after I stripped that all down and learned to write a simple declarative sentence that I could add a little back in. I still say I err on the side of "talking plainly" at the cost of "this is interesting to read," but usually people understand what I was saying.

Like I said, I'll find some examples in yours.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Thanks, Crabrock! Will you be posting the crit in here or the 'Dome, if I may ask?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME crabrock? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Grimey Drawer

in here, sometime tomorrow

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I only read this one story, but your main issue here was you had no plot or narrative at all. There was a thread in CC once where this German guy was translating a novel he had already written. The entire novel was written like this: no immediacy at all, just pure exposition. It reads like a skeleton or an outline and not a story.

Here is your idea that you had: An AI running a colony world keeps everyone happy through Matrix-like illusions, but what will the AI do when it realizes it must kill for the good of the colony?

You have to start that story from the first sentence and see it through a progression that is interesting to read. You can't do 1,000 words of montages interspersed with vague italic exposition, then dump a bunch of explanation with no immediacy onto the end of the story to explain what the montages were for.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Ah crap, there's my problem right there- they weren't even on the colony world, just the ship taking them there, and the AI was keeping them in a Matrix-like simulation. It was killing them off after an accident depleted the ship of the resources it was using to keep the colonists alive.

systran posted:

You have to start that story from the first sentence and see it through a progression that is interesting to read. You can't do 1,000 words of montages interspersed with vague italic exposition, then dump a bunch of explanation with no immediacy onto the end of the story to explain what the montages were for.

Yeah, I was trying to build up suspense, play with reader expectations, that kind of thing. I'm sure it'd work with a better writer, but for my next 'dome, I'll go with something a lot more straightforward.

EDIT: Do you think the whole concept work if the story was longer? Because to be honest, the entry was actually a shortened version of a longer piece I've been working on.

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2014 around 04:44

LITERALLY MY FETISH
Nov 11, 2010

Could people please stop fighting the avatar war over my avatar. I really appreciate people being nice about it but I'm feeling crappier that people are wasting money because someone is an asshole than I am about the avatar in the first place.


CommissarMega posted:

EDIT: Do you think the whole concept work if the story was longer? Because to be honest, the entry was actually a shortened version of a longer piece I've been working on.

The concept itself could work with any medium. The main issue is with the time limit of a short story. A novelist has time to develop a lot of different interwoven plots, and in fact their audience is expecting them to. A short story writer doesn't. You've only got a few thousand words to get your story across, and you spent nearly all of them showing us various images with no way for us to know what they mean, and that gives the reader a huge sense of vagueness. You can make this work with a short story, but not without a drastically new approach to how you're presenting this viewpoint.

Also, suspense doesn't come from the reader not knowing something. It comes from the reader caring about something or someone in the story, and not knowing whether what will happen to them next. When I read that, I didn't give a crap about Omar. I didn't even know who he was, or who anyone in any of the images was. If you withhold important setting and character information from the reader, the most likely thing you're going to get is a confused reader, and confused readers don't keep reading.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

A full crit for you is forthcoming but next to the good advice you got above I'd like to tackle your "a better writer could have done it" comment. Your story reminded me a lot of a similar thing Djinn wrote recently, which I personally liked much better because

a) the AI was clearly an AI from the start
b) the AI was interacting with a (silent) human protagonist as opposed to talking at the reader
c) "You’re going to live forever." is a better hook than "My name is Omar."
d) the frame story served a purpose and had it's own (short) thread of progression

Note that these things are mostly on a conceptual level. This is not about the strength of your prose. Being a good writer is about putting events and information in the right order as much as it is about putting the right words after one another.

Schneider Heim
Oct 17, 2012


I'm a chapter or two from finishing the first act of my novel. Now, I'm thinking of going back and rewriting it before I start on the second act, because most of my running crits say that it lacks something that makes it special (i.e. it's pretty generic and doesn't really separate itself from other stories of its genre). I also feel that way, so if I address that problem sooner than later it's going to save me time, I think.

I've got little experience writing longform stories (>5000 words) beyond the initial drafting phase, so I don't know if I should do that or blaze on and rewrite once I'm finished with everything. So here's my question: is it okay to revise chunks of your novel if you're dissatisfied with its current state/direction?

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Schneider Heim posted:

I'm a chapter or two from finishing the first act of my novel. Now, I'm thinking of going back and rewriting it before I start on the second act, because most of my running crits say that it lacks something that makes it special (i.e. it's pretty generic and doesn't really separate itself from other stories of its genre). I also feel that way, so if I address that problem sooner than later it's going to save me time, I think.

I've got little experience writing longform stories (>5000 words) beyond the initial drafting phase, so I don't know if I should do that or blaze on and rewrite once I'm finished with everything. So here's my question: is it okay to revise chunks of your novel if you're dissatisfied with its current state/direction?

No. Make a note, and finish it. Then go back.

LITERALLY MY FETISH
Nov 11, 2010

Could people please stop fighting the avatar war over my avatar. I really appreciate people being nice about it but I'm feeling crappier that people are wasting money because someone is an asshole than I am about the avatar in the first place.


Schneider Heim posted:

I'm a chapter or two from finishing the first act of my novel. Now, I'm thinking of going back and rewriting it before I start on the second act, because most of my running crits say that it lacks something that makes it special (i.e. it's pretty generic and doesn't really separate itself from other stories of its genre). I also feel that way, so if I address that problem sooner than later it's going to save me time, I think.

I've got little experience writing longform stories (>5000 words) beyond the initial drafting phase, so I don't know if I should do that or blaze on and rewrite once I'm finished with everything. So here's my question: is it okay to revise chunks of your novel if you're dissatisfied with its current state/direction?

I think that you should do what you feel will get you the best results in improving your writing. Generally, this means you should do the thing you don't want to do.

So finish the book.

Hungry
Jul 14, 2006



Schneider Heim posted:

I'm a chapter or two from finishing the first act of my novel. Now, I'm thinking of going back and rewriting it before I start on the second act, because most of my running crits say that it lacks something that makes it special (i.e. it's pretty generic and doesn't really separate itself from other stories of its genre). I also feel that way, so if I address that problem sooner than later it's going to save me time, I think.

I've got little experience writing longform stories (>5000 words) beyond the initial drafting phase, so I don't know if I should do that or blaze on and rewrite once I'm finished with everything. So here's my question: is it okay to revise chunks of your novel if you're dissatisfied with its current state/direction?

Finish the first draft. Resist the urge to put down that shovel. If there are problems, acknowledge them and continue writing with those problems in mind. Editing comes later.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the nuggets in front of me

Schneider Heim posted:

So here's my question: is it okay to revise chunks of your novel if you're dissatisfied with its current state/direction?
To borrow advice from Stephen King: print what you've written, put it in a drawer, and leave it for a month. Then after a month, come back and take a fresh look.

Probably with modern time constraints you won't have a month, but even if you only leave it a week you'll be surprised at how fresh your perspective is and how much more you see. Looking at it on paper also helps you see it differently.

Plus, it means you spend that week writing new stuff instead of poring over the old stuff and picking at it until you hate it.

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

Hungry posted:

Finish the first draft. Resist the urge to put down that shovel. If there are problems, acknowledge them and continue writing with those problems in mind. Editing comes later.

Does that advice still hold if the problem is you need to add another character?

Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi
Mar 26, 2005



Stabbey_the_Clown posted:

Does that advice still hold if the problem is you need to add another character?

Presumably this new character is imperative to future plot points, yes? If so, introduce them now. Don't go back and introduce them earlier or rewrite from the beginning; find a way to bring them in now so that they are there and ready for you when you reach the point in the story where they are necessary. If you feel the character needs to be introduced quicker once you read your completed first draft, then do so in the second draft.

Typically, I just think it's always a bad idea to suddenly scrap what you're writing and go back to the beginning without finishing. That's what second and third and etc. drafts are for. Or, if your first draft really really isn't working for whatever reason or you're growing to hate the subject matter, it's probably best to just shelve the story completely and save it for a latter date.

Hungry
Jul 14, 2006



Stabbey_the_Clown posted:

Does that advice still hold if the problem is you need to add another character?

Probably yes. Having a complete draft to work with is a totally different experience. It allows you to judge and adjust the structure of the text as a whole, and is much more efficient and precise than attempting to do all that work in the writing process. A lot of good second drafts leave very little of the first draft intact.

For example, let's say you go back and rewrite the first 1/2 of the novel in order to include the extra character. Then you complete the novel, begin editing, and realise the way you introduced that character is not right for the story. Now you've got to rewrite that character again. This can be expanded to anything in the story, anything that's wrong can warrant an entire rewrite, expanding the amount of work again and again. Personally I've found it a toxic attitude that has seriously hampered my own writing in the past.

If you're missing a major element like that, I would suggest 'airdropping' it into the story, as if it's always been there. It's only a first draft, nobody ever has to see it, the bulk of the work with a novel-length story is going to be in refining and editing, and you can only do that well with proper perspective gained from the end of the story. If you're not there yet, the most important thing is to keep shoveling.

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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME crabrock? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Grimey Drawer

CommissarMega posted:

Thanks, Crabrock! Will you be posting the crit in here or the 'Dome, if I may ask?

a crit of your story with a focus on clarity.

Fool's Throne

Ballad: zzz. boring, but understandable.

1st para: I understand everything it's saying, but it's not saying a lot. It's mostly just saying "hey guys, you know all those cliches?"

2nd para: "hardest thinking people" what you said here as "the most bad-rear end nerds." What I think you meant to say was "hardest-thinking people." I don't get what this para is trying to say. You say the thinking people are fools, but they live a long time, because people need to laugh. You want me to point out what isn't clear, this is a perfect example. A. You make a claim: thinking people are fools. B. Everybody but them die. already A and B aren't jiving. You need a third sentence that explains this. C. people need a good laugh. What? that doesn't explain why smart people are dumb. it just makes them look smart. This would have been a lot better if you said "ever notice how the fools are actually the smartest?"

3rd para: what happened? that somebody needed a laugh so they kept a smart person alive? but all you've talked about is death. this is confusing. Think about this sentence for a bit. Does it add to the story? No, not really. All it ostensibly says is "hey take that first thing i said and smash it together with that second thing." if you're doing your job as a writer, you shouldn't have to call attention to these two things. we should have already linked them in our minds. "who isn't sharp will find his line blunted"? A. I think this is a play on words, unless having your "line blunted" is not a phrase I'm familiar with. B. If he's "not sharp" then he's already "blunt." so this doesn't really make sense. this would be better just saying exactly what you mean. don't be cute. "Rioting serfs have drawn and quartered scores of stupid nobles." then straight into a tit singing his rear end off. who is singing? the bard guy? You interrupted "him" before started. It's just you saying some stuff. There's nobody to forget.

4th para: i don't think of advisor kidnapping a kid to be raised by a knight is exactly a normal prince story. why the heck are you framing it that way? is this a specific story? then you should say so. right now you're like "IT NEVER ENDS HAPPILY HERE'S WHY: PRINCE HIDES AND GETS RAISED BY A KNIGHT." what. ok. so yeah, this is a specific story. that was not clear. make sure what you're saying actually flows. a lot of this feels like independent thoughts jumping all over the place than a cohesive story. you've never mentioned "the fool" up until now. you introduced the king, who I didn't realize was a character in your story (thought it was just a general king to make a general point), but never introduced the fool. you've been too busy making generalizations. Coulda solved with "once there was a king who met a fool." furthermore, I don't even know who is telling this story. that better not be the twist. it better not be the "fool." or i'll be annoyed. is it the bard?

5th para: you were calling him king, now you're calling him prince. pick one and stick with it. "Title, near-unlimited access to the king- odds are, he'd..." have no idea what this means. title? did you mean total maybe? going to assume you did. who is "he?" who has access to the king but doesn't allow others near him? the advisor? the knight? the fool? be specific. I'm guessing the fool, but this para is about them meeting, all of a sudden he has total access? keep your paras relatively close thematically. talk about them meeting, then next para move to talking about what it's like when they've been together for a while. This is what i meant by ideas jumping around.

6th para: "and a smart man ... he'd see why." that's just lovely English. again, think about what this sentence does for your story? it's just telling the reader "HEY ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT WHY THEY KEPT THE FOOL? SMART PEOPLE KNOW!" just tell the story and let your reader make those inferences. prompting us like this feels patronizing. Ok, i have no idea what you're getting on about the whores and alchemists. are you saying they're in the entertainment business? seems a little weird to lump them in with the fool. what point are you trying to make here? Because i honestly have no idea. HUGE clarity problem here. So not only did you go "heh, a smart man would see why they kept the fool." but you followed that up with "cause whores and alchemists. " what. "he's not just about milk and honey." don't know what that means. what are you trying to say? he does other stuff? "he has to know who has the milk and honey" SOUNDS LIKE HE'S PUTTING A PRETTY BIG IMPORTANCE ON THE MILK AND HONEY (which i still don't really know what you mean) TO ME. what for a good price? the king gets his milk and honey for a good price by being mean? is it literal milk and honey? I'm so confused. just say what you need to say here. this whole paragraph is the worst, and is utterly incomprehensible as to what you were trying to say. I understand the words, i just don't know what they MEAN.

interjection: I still don't know what this story is about. You're painting scenes, but nothing answers the "so why do we care?" question. It's just like "you know kings? they're not so great. really, smart people are dumb cause they're always living. like this one king met a fool. also he liked milk and honey." when are we gonna get to the central conflict? what does the king want? what does the fool want? why are you telling me all this stuff? back to the story.

7th para: coulda said this sentence more succinctly: "A competent tyrant rules with a velvet glove over his iron fist." Not understanding how having a manicure under your glove makes you successful tyrant. you've used tyrant, and you just established that tyrants use iron fists, so i'm assuming, by your own logic, that a successful tyrant has a manicured iron fist and that's in a silk glove. how does a silk glove differ from a velvet one? what are you trying to say here? that a successful tyrant doesn't ever need to use his fist? you realize iron fist is a metaphor right? if you're trying to say a successful tyrant never has to get his hands dirty, that's still ruling with an iron fist. i feel like you got too excited about your own metaphor here and never stopped to think about what you were actually saying. in the end, you said nothing. I think you're trying to contrast him to a brutal dictator, but all you've really talked about is varying levels of hand glovedness. Don't just write things cause they seem deep, actually understand what you want to say, and make sure you say it. so now you're saying his greaves are actually iron, not his fist. but you already said he was a tyrant. so maybe next time just say "but a successful ruler." this whole last sentence is a mess. it's just lovely english. that's your first problem. the second is that are you saying the kings knee is at the same level as the person he's shaking hands with's groin? is he kneeing people in the balls? wtf. why does he need extra armor on his knees? how much ball smashing is he doing? again, just say what you mean to say. Also I don't think an iron fist is "armor" so much as it is a weapon, so jumping to greaves seems weird. using greaves on the knees to smash people your shaking hands with's balls is weirder. considering smashing people's balls to get what you want "not iron fisted" is really weird.

8th para: i think you are responding to a question somebody asked you? this is pretty confusing. don't do this. if you have to have a conversation, at least include both of the chars. this is just weird and confusing. If you set this up better, with other responses to an offscreen char, then ok, but we're near the end of the story and it's the first time you've done this. I realize you've been TALKING to somebody, but now they're talking to you. that's a big jump to make, and contributes to clarity problems. don't introduce new gimmicks late into the story. "a fool" or "the fool"? I have no sense of when you're being general or specific. I dunno if you do either. You could have written all this story about one king and one fool. made it more personal, instead it's half "general knowledge" and half "specific story that only relates to one situation." pick one. "thinking 'fools' is a personal instead of personnel description" what. this seems anachronistic and stupidly cryptic at the same time. just spit out what you mean. haha, then you admit it sucks in your story. jesus. then again with the idea jumping. from "what a fool REALLY is" to "laughter is the best medicine!" to "king sure is a rube." each of these could be their own paragraphs of SHOWING rather than all smashed into one paragraph of TELLING.

9th para: "the fool tell him." just lovely proofreading again. haha, wtf is "snicker gnher-gnher?" wtf is fresh peaches? is that a pedophile joke? i don't get it. i like the scary line. but i don't like anything after it. you're basically explaining what you just told me. I GOT IT when you told me it was a scary story. don't insult me.

10th para: make "who" think? the king? don't use a pronoun unless the last male noun you used was king. it wasn't. it was knight. you just said the stories make the knight think. ok, you're explaining the peaches thing. ew. wtf now with "old knight" and a civil war? that poo poo is almost out of nowhere. you said nobles are stabbing each other earlier, but you never said it was a civil war. i just assumed it was general clamoring for power that happens all the time in old stories. poo poo man, way to bury that. "It makes a- made a king" is this the narrator stuttering? i don't really get the significance of switching from "makes" to "made." how did the narrator know what the king thought when he was alone?

11th para: power-hungriness is a lovely noun. Also this king never seemed power hungry. he was raised away by a knight and an advisor, and then hung out with a fool. and he smashed people's balls in? where exactly is he power hungry? can a king be power hungry? he has a kingdom. he has ultimate power. ok, so the narrator is the king. this is a weak reveal. why bother telling this story? and to whom are you telling it? i don't get this king's motivation. "by the way, just kidding ,i'm the king and i'm not dead and i gotsta have my secrets bro."

12th para: you did an ok job at tying back to the "fools stay alive." but what about the actual fool of the story? no closure for him. this ending doesn't do a lot for the story. he basically just said "i'm hella smart wink wink nudge nudge" because you said earlier the smartest people were the fools. what's he going to go do now that he's not king? i know nothing about this guy other than he smashes peoples nuts.

general notes: proofreading. several typos in this made it confusing. I seriously had no idea what you meant a few times until I realized it was a typo. This is especially bad when you typo something that is a real word (like total to title). If you want people to understand you, the first thing is actually making sure you're saying what you think you're saying. PROOFREAD SEVERAL TIMES. have somebody else look it over if you absolutely cannot find these still on the fourth pass.

Stop hiding meaning in weird metaphors. you try to get too clever for your own good. instead of just saying something outright, you bury it in confusing language and imagery. a metaphor is fine, used sparingly, but you shouldn't have a whole paragraph-long metaphor that ends with testicle smashing. (i don't know if that's what you were really getting at, but i like it, so i'm going with it).

stop insulting the reader's intelligence. Stop explaining exactly what you meant. This may seem like it conflicts with my previous statement, but it doesn't. Say what you mean to say, and no more. You don't need to filibuster here. The "scary story: peasants" part is a perfect example. That was a good line. I knew exactly what it meant and why it was scary. then you ruined it by explaining it to me. you did this a few other times as well. it's called "show and tell" and you shouldn't do it.

Overall, this story is clear for the most part, but you have several issues, with paragraphs #6 & 7 being the worst. Unfortunately, even having a few "wtf" moments in a story is gonna get you dinged with a "this is not clear." 100% of your story should be understandable. Don't try to hide things from the reader. don't assume the reader is an idiot. just tell a story with characters.

hope this stuff helps some.

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