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Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Hey guys. I wrote a thing and actually like it. This is an indication that it is bad. Tell me how bad! I will also critique anything that you guys will let me lay my eyes on. I need practice with that sort of thing.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...it?usp=drivesdk

Is this a full story? A start of a story? Just free-form writing, or is it flash fiction?

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AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

My sincere thanks to Exmond for the crits on that story. Everything you wrote was concise and to the point. Now I gotta hit the revising board. It's funny because a couple of the paragraphs that you pointed out as being clunky and difficult to parse seemed fine to me until you pointed them out. Now I wonder how the hell I ever allowed that poo poo to get on the page. Thanks!

Exmond posted:

Is this a full story? A start of a story? Just free-form writing, or is it flash fiction?

This is like a piece of something serialized I was working on. I'm trying my hand at world building by setting all my stories in the same place. So it's a full story, in and of itself, but also a piece of something bigger I'm kinda hashing out in my mind. I'm trying to show this city from a number of different eyes before throwing a single "superhero" in there to gently caress everything up.

AllNewJonasSalk fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2018 around 22:09

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Hey guys. I wrote a thing and actually like it. This is an indication that it is bad. Tell me how bad! I will also critique anything that you guys will let me lay my eyes on. I need practice with that sort of thing.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...it?usp=drivesdk

I commented as Mike. I like flash fiction, exciting starts and not gettign confused. As always, get a second opinion, and feel free to tell me to stuff it.

I see why you liked this piece, there is a strong voice here. Kind of a noir, down on his luck noir detective voice. You also have contrasting characters that play well off of each other. Joe doesn't get much screen time, but his personality comes through and he is well utilized. The protagonist plays off of him well, and the dialogue really worked for me.

Your start is cliched and on the second re-read: bad. It starts off with a cliche: something is wrong. Then it takes it's sweet time to tell us what is wrong and why. I don't think you need to abandon your start, but a heavy rewrite is required.

This piece also suffers from what I will sum up as first-draft woes. Grammar issues and some sentences that should have been read out loud.

I want to point out that I enjoyed the piece when your character made observations and comments in that voice of his. When you needed action to happen, or a span of time to pass, you had to zoom out. Whenever you zoom out the following problems occur

1) Your prose starts to get disjointed and confusing. Characters comment on a perp drawing a gun. Next sentence the ambulance is driving away. The next sentence is about pizza. Then the sentence emphasizes the shooting is currently happening.
2) The action whizzes by so fast that I can't get a grasp on the characters
3) The action whizzes by so fast that the characters seem to react nonchalantly to important events

It was a problem for me and my suspension of disbelief was shattered.

Another problem we have with this piece is uhhh, there isn't much of a story. There is no conflict, there is no consequence for actions, there is no choice and there is no change in characters. There isn't a lot of plot here either: junkie gets found, junkie is a young girl, junkie gets dropped off at hospital, guy goes to grab pizza, guy gets shot, guy laughs about it and goes to library (Guess which part of your piece I dislike), guy goes back to hospital.

The only caveat I can offer is I don't write serials, so I don't know how they work. I can tell you that only due to liking noir and your voice, would I read further. Even then I would probably give you another two paragraphs. I suspect I would be gobsmacked when a superhero entered the scene and stop reading. This needs a heavy dose of tightening up, and I think some plot would help.

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I can definitely see everywhere that I need to either tighten or rethink the way I get the ideas on the page. It's funny that you should mention it having a noirish detective like feel because a day before I wrote this I wrote a sorta graphic story about a detective in a gunfight with a meth dealer. I like that vibe of good guys with problems and terrible chain-smoking habits (I may have a flimsy grasp on what constitutes noir).

The major takeaway I'm getting is that my plot is barebone. It makes sense as I've always struggled with the writing of plot. I'm a no outline kind of guy and it shows!

Time to rejigger this thing. I have a proper idea of what I can do with it now. Thanks for that.

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

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


Taco Defender

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

I'm trying to show this city from a number of different eyes before throwing a single "superhero" in there to gently caress everything up.

If you're going to be doing a bunch of those little PoV shorts, then do them in third-person. It will be very confusing to the reader to see one chapter where "I" is a black paramedic, and then in the next chapter "I" suddenly becomes, say, a white financial analyst working downtown, and then in the next chapter, "I" becomes a suburban housewife.

Also, some thing to think about : you don't just want a scene to sit there limply, you want it to be compelling. Give the protagonist a short-term goal they're trying to accomplish, put in some form of conflict that interferes with the protagonist accomplishing the goal, and conclude with a setback of some kind (or more rarely a victory, but especially so if that's the end of the piece). Your piece doesn't do that. It kinda meanders.

Stabbey_the_Clown fucked around with this message at Aug 23, 2018 around 18:11

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