I thought we could try out something new. Instead of having a bunch of separate posts about writing, we could have a single post for writing discussion. A place for critiques, writing tips, questions, feedback, etc. If this goes well, I'll post another one.
Q: How do you make your script/work stand out? It feels and it is like most things have been done already
seriously- I don't think simply saying "this is different because it's written well" will suffice
the setting/premise has been done to death, and it bugs me that I feel like I might be wasting my time
You cannot write about mythological entities with a protography.
>The idea isn't the core of the thing, but the execution. Each writer will write about an idea in their own way.
well I guess if it's worth it or anything, it'll shine, thanks
side note: how do you properly outline? I'm pretty poor in that department
How do you approach the rewriting in a first draft? Do you only revise and do some changes in the sentences and paragraphs or do you literally restructure the plot and script of the novel to make a second or even third draft?
Man, I was writing a short novel and you know what? I wrote the first draft or outline, call it how you want, in five days. Okay, I already knew what to do and where to go because I wrote a small script for what would happen. But I wrote this "first draft" with the knowledge that it would be bad, I wouldn't show to anyone, etc, etc...
So I already had in mind, "Okay, after this, only when I finish this here is where the real thing begins."
Wrote it fast. Not even worrying if the sentences were bad, wrong, or if it wasn't so good when I thought it was. Wrote just to throw up and know what to improve and to let.
Now, the real thing, I'm still developing the characters and restructuring the plot to make it more dramatic and cathartic. This time I'll write by hand (the second and maybe the third draft).
Till now it took me about two months. And I don't know when I'll really finish it.
>or do you literally restructure the plot and script of the novel to make a second or even third draft?
I just go through the sentences to make sure they sound the way I want them to. I'll also add more sentences to places I feel are lacking in content. If it gets to the point where the entire story is just shit then I'll scrap the entire thing.
>Till now it took me about two months. And I don't know when I'll really finish it.
I know that feeling. I start stuff, good premises, colorful dialog and then stop because I realize I'm on a runaway train.
I don't lay tracks I just go where I'm taken and it's that spur of the moment writing that's throwing me off.
I've been told a good writer writes even when he's not feeling it because it builds discipline and the skill, guess I just have to push myself through
Believe it or not, /ic/ might help you with writing more than you think that /lit/ can.
I'm a writer who won't post on the critique threads any more after finding out that literary journals will reject your stuff if it's been publicly posted online. I actually like to get my writing published, so no more sharing for me.
That said, general threads are cancer.
Can steam-of-consciousness be pushed further, or done in a new, exciting way, or just in the old ways with a new subject matter, and be actually worthwhile?
Also, has anyone read 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing' by Eimear McBride? 'Cus I'm thinking of writing in that neo-Joycean vein.
I'm experimenting with a poetic stream of conscience type of thing. Not sure if it's been done before, but at least I've never heard of it.
Essentially the trick is to pick what's melodic, or rhymes or even sometimes just doesn't. If the content is good, it's understood I'm pleased but ultimately and this is the crux, I don't give a fuck as long as it looks and sounds nice and I try not to think even twice about what the fuck I'm actually writing.
This was a bit forced as I'm too lazy to write an actual example AND the explanation. Maybe later on. Point is I try to forget content and just write sounds I associate. As the meaning of words always lingers around in the back of your head the text is coherent most of the time but may trail of.
I'm not a native English speaker btw, so naturally my example is shit. I still lack the 'feeling' you get with your mother tounge.
Ok, well, since nobody's posted something to critique yet, here's something that I just wrote. Any thoughts, anybody?
“I’m ah, not some kind of a—ah—ah, a stealer! Ah, ah—ah—ah—ah—a, a thief!” So the guy at the front is shouting at the cashier. I take a look around and don’t even register the details and I know he’s homeless, I don’t know why I looked but like, as I was just starting to move to look, before I even saw him, I just knew he was. So I try to turn around before I get a glimpse, a little quicker and more haphazardly than I would have if I didn’t want to actively avoid acknowledging him like you learn to do with them on the East side, making me hit my head on the rack next to the conveyor for groceries, (you know, with all the trashy magazines that you can’t help but glance at because they say, in big bold sexual symbols, both/either human and/or orthographical, “SEX”,) loud enough that some people look over and then everybody looks over and the incident sort of dissolves, he stops shouting and just looks at me and, and I’m not kidding, then he takes this half-eaten chocolate bar out of his pocket and throws it on the floor and yells “THANKS FOR NOTHIN” (yeah, like that, without the G, but also as if the G were never there, thus “NOTHIN” r/t “NOTHIN’”) loud enough that the whole store hears. Huh? Ah, yeah, the chocolate broke into a bunch of pieces on the floor, it was awesome.
stream of consciousness isn't a thing anymore. it's been tried and done. it's fine as an exercise but no one writes that way these days.
sorry but i'm not a fan of that long ass sentence and all the tangents.
change as much as you feel you need to improve it
you stand out with your voice
use fucking everything
Learn poetry and apply its principles to prose and characterization
congrats you now have dank prose that'll make Nabocuck cream himself in his next life
See John Gardner's book for more info, a little page or two on the subject of rhythm and cadence
Depends what I think it needs. When writing short fiction I tend to rework anything and everything. I finally got a piece to the point of publishing lately, and I've done maybe a dozen drafts. Some were sentence level, but there were a few that changed the plot quite a bit. The chances of writing a perfect first draft are small, be prepared to make big changes.
Here's something I just wrote. I'm not exactly sure what the hell it is yet, if it's anything, but I thought you guys might find it interesting.
"There stood a few objects in front of Tyler. One was a glass full of water and one was a bottle of water. Other things surrounded these containers, but none of them seemed so important. Tyler could describe the reason for this importance. He could, for instance, tell a spectator who found his predicament odd of his status as a bodybuilder in training, and that the bottle of water contained xenoestrogens that might limit his muscular gains, so it may be better to pick the glass to drink on the way to his gym. On the other hand, Tyler could explain how the glass was a bit fractured round the rim, and thus held the potential to bust in his mouth or work its shards down into his stomach, a threat obviously much worse than xenoestrogen.
Tyler could say all that but the spectator still wouldn't understand. It's the habit of people who commit themselves to nothing to find preposterous the issues of devotees. Most think they are devoted but they aren't. These folks are not even committed. They are merely persistent. For a day job with no direction but beers on the weekend or a pipe to pass around persistence is more then enough. Devotion is an entity only known to those who put their life within something remote from this grind, from this general habit of work. Only through the particular work of people such as Tyler can we understand devotion. This is well understood by the devotee, and this is why they are so careful in their activities.
After several searing moments of deliberation, Tyler decided on the glass. Better to be dead then to disappoint the promoters of his next event."
Be careful with the passive voice. I get that Tyler is a very passive voice character, but the first sentence is your narration, where it doesn't belong.
Than, not then.
Don't tell us he's been deliberating, just leave it at "Tyler decided on the glass." Most people would get that he was agonizing over something so little.
first lines from an unfinished novella:
"The only fems allowed in the Kindercademy were the ones who stayed in kitchen and cleaned the rooms, hallways and bathrooms. Although Masters had their own harems locked away from the prying eyes and hands of the students, it was allowed for the boys to experiment with the scullery maids- only on the condition if they didn't have class and the maid didn't have to cook.
Curious as I was as a young boy, I understood that these fems- ranging from little girls to old hags- did their best to keep to themselves and avoid the attention of all the loud, rambunctious millionaire heirs scourged with an irrational sense of entitlement. It revolted me; sometimes, even to the point of puking, to wake up late at night with the urge to pee and to walk inside the bathroom to see a group of boys- not even developed enough to mate correctly- having their way and exploring the crevices of a poor maid assigned to the nightly cleaning duty. Condemned as an outcast began to shed light on the daily injustices of the world.
We were taught that they, the fems, were born with half the mind of a man.
As I had come to understand from Preremodernist History, Fems in the past fostered a false sense of self and slowly began to dominate over men, pushing for a society built around niceties, superficiality and worst at all, weakness. This was snuffed out by the Masculinization of society a few generations before the War. Fems were 'put in their place' as it were: in factories. Kitchens. Bedrooms. Patriarchs, hungry for able-bodied heirs mostly discarded their babies that turned to be fems by selling them to private mills or gave them to government agencies to be fostered and conditioned then sold at Kanjomarts."
Interesting premise. Could work if you don't go too much into worldbuilding and develop an adequate plot.
I'd go full fedora in terms of the prose. The pseudointellectual ramblings written with the help of thesaurus would fit your ivy-academy character and the overall themes.
Tim sat down with his father at the long dining room table. "Year 6 Mathematics, 1999 edition" lay open between them, with stationery and lecture pads placed neatly to either side. His father turned to a new chapter and began reading out aloud about long division when Tim started to bubble. As his father went on little puffs of of air came out his nose, like a stuttering steam train. He felt the lightness of free-fall as his hands scrabbled along the length of his pencil. His thumb dug into the metal end. It could no longer be contained. Staring at the first question, Tim began to cackle.