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    Limitless's Avatar
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    Default Short Story

    I thought I'd like to share a short story I wrote a couple weeks ago if you're interested. Hopefully you like it!

    Also, I'd gladly take any comments on how to improve, so if you think of something let me know!
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    STATIC OVERLOAD

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    This is AWESOME, @Limitless

    Loved the depth, loved the character descriptions, and I especially loved the little touches you had in there, such as the font changes. My heart went out to the main character. It's as if I've been in her position before, and thought you portrayed her emotional processing and hesitance in the new environment well. Thank you for sharing! Don't ever stop writing!
    Last edited by applejacks; 01-26-2015 at 03:35 PM.
    And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?- Matthew 6:30

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    Heyo , kid, I'm reading the thingy , great idea that you posted. I'll let you know what I think just cause you remind me of my last INFp crush .

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    It is a very well-written story. The person whose "work" I sent you is going to read it and send me some feedback. I will pm what he says.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    It's a well-written story. I congratulate your use of language. I would remove that blank page at the end, though. (That wasn't intentional, was it?)

    ESTj
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    I've been recruited. (I'm a book editor.)

    You've got a great talent for narrating fiction. It's not something to take for granted, a lot of ppl just can't do it. To be able to narrate with a lot of deft, original twists of language and an assured tone that draws in a reader is even rarer.

    I'd have to go back through it to critique it bit by bit . . . as far as story structure goes, I'd say you haven't learned that yet. The non-urgent pace and the open-endedness, the lack of a clear obstacle established at the start and uncertainly and high stakes regarding its outcome, these aren't present. So you might say that though those might also not be there yet for you were this a section from a longer-form work, the pace you establish actually is more novel-like. Which in a sense is good, because the novel is a saleable form vs. the short story.

    Another feature that will improve as you further develop your craft is the avoidance of back-storying (+ explaining, defining, summarizing). Continuous action will serve you and the reader a lot better. Explanations to orient the reader can be carefully tucked in among the action, briefly. A question to ask during revision processes generally is, Can I show this in the action, show rather than tell?

    I really, really, REALLY encourage you to keep writing, like, I think you could pursue this as a career, and I have read a kajillion submitted manuscripts from would-be authors over the years and I have said that to . . . no one? Or virtually no one? That is, I always want to encourage people, but probably not to this extent.

    Fantastic work and thanks for sharing this.

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    Wow, what a great review from Golden! She knows. I just read your story and I liked it very much, too. I wasn't expecting to, either. I guess because good writing is not that common. Your story really touched me; it seemed so real. I was very interested especially because my son is a child of divorce, and I never imagined not having an intact family and for his whole childhood after the divorce (grade 2). And, not waiting for my deathbed, I always had an ache and sorrow for what he missed out on, not having an intact family. It pretty much never left me. Truly the very best thing for every child is to be raised in an intact home with his own mother and his own father. But we are in a world of brokenness and it doesn't always work out that way. My son is 18 now and seems to have made it just fine. I pray all the time for him and for whomever will be his wife, that he can have that intact family I was not able to give him.

    I was glad Marlow made the friend she didn't think she needed! Hope she realizes now that while aloneness is good there can be too much of that good thing. People need people. I was always especially glad for my son's friends, even in the case of one whom his Dad and I agreed was not ideal. (I just prayed a lot for that one!).

    I do hope you keep writing! Keep in mind Editor Golden's comment! Pretty special!
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
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    .
    .
    .


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    STATIC OVERLOAD

    http://wikisocion.org/en/index.php?title=Statics_and_dynamics ?
    Heyo , kid, I'm reading the thingy , great idea that you posted. I'll let you know what I think just cause you remind me of my last INFp crush .

    Okay Iíll look forward to youíre reply!
    It is a very well-written story. The person whose "work" I sent you is going to read it and send me some feedback. I will pm what he says.

    I would LOVE that! Thank you!
    It's a well-written story. I congratulate your use of language. I would remove that blank page at the end, though. (That wasn't intentional, was it?)

    Oops! No, not intentional...

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    I've been recruited. (I'm a book editor.)

    You've got a great talent for narrating fiction. It's not something to take for granted, a lot of ppl just can't do it. To be able to narrate with a lot of deft, original twists of language and an assured tone that draws in a reader is even rarer.

    I'd have to go back through it to critique it bit by bit . . . as far as story structure goes, I'd say you haven't learned that yet. The non-urgent pace and the open-endedness, the lack of a clear obstacle established at the start and uncertainly and high stakes regarding its outcome, these aren't present. So you might say that though those might also not be there yet for you were this a section from a longer-form work, the pace you establish actually is more novel-like. Which in a sense is good, because the novel is a saleable form vs. the short story.

    Another feature that will improve as you further develop your craft is the avoidance of back-storying (+ explaining, defining, summarizing). Continuous action will serve you and the reader a lot better. Explanations to orient the reader can be carefully tucked in among the action, briefly. A question to ask during revision processes generally is, Can I show this in the action, show rather than tell?

    I really, really, REALLY encourage you to keep writing, like, I think you could pursue this as a career, and I have read a kajillion submitted manuscripts from would-be authors over the years and I have said that to . . . no one? Or virtually no one? That is, I always want to encourage people, but probably not to this extent.

    Fantastic work and thanks for sharing this.
    This was sooo encouraging!!! Thank you, @GOLDEN! Itís so exciting to have been able to share it with you, and Iím SO glad knowing you liked it!

    I actually had a couple questions for you as well, hopefully thatís alrightÖ

    Iíve taken a couple English/Creative Writing courses now, but I still have a difficult time feeling like Iím able to turn more abstract concepts into concrete ideas. They talk about developing metaphors to help represent these things, but I feel like there are a lot of different ways I could illustrate a particular concept. (Like, I could say, ďlove is like a pillowĒ or ďlove is when Mom cleaned up that milk stainĒ) So I was wondering, do you have any pointers on how I could narrow it down? (Like, should the metaphors be related to the timeline or characters? Hopefully this makes sense. Iím just wondering if when I get to this point in fleshing out a story, there would be an easier way to decide what I should do with the concepts.) For example, Iím trying to write a poem right now on ďbeing gratefulĒ and I was tapping into the creative flow for maybe 15 mins or so, until I realized I have to choose how to show this instead of writing ďoh, being greatful is such a wonderful thing!Ē lol. I just walked away feeling overwhelmed and I havenít gone back to it because I feel like Iíll just sit there not knowing how to do this.

    I have a huge complicated story Iíd like to write that would probably be about book length, but all my classes thus far have all focused on smaller stuff l ike poems and memoirs. It feels like a daunting task since I donít feel very familiar with books and this story line is a really promising and interesting story, so I really want it to turn out mega high-quality. In general, are there any pitfalls that I should be aware of before starting? Or maybe any basic tips?

    Also, out of curiousity, whatís it like being a book editor? Do you receive all the drafts by email or do you actually meet with the authors on a regular basis to discuss the development of the book (kind of like a music producer)?

    I know these questions are a little vague, but hopefully it was clear enough for you to be able to understand!

    Thanks again!!! It's made my week (as all these comments have) and itís a comment I donít think Iíll ever forget!

    Wow, what a great review from Golden! She knows. I just read your story and I liked it very much, too. I wasn't expecting to, either. I guess because good writing is not that common. Your story really touched me; it seemed so real. I was very interested especially because my son is a child of divorce, and I never imagined not having an intact family and for his whole childhood after the divorce (grade 2). And, not waiting for my deathbed, I always had an ache and sorrow for what he missed out on, not having an intact family. It pretty much never left me. Truly the very best thing for every child is to be raised in an intact home with his own mother and his own father. But we are in a world of brokenness and it doesn't always work out that way. My son is 18 now and seems to have made it just fine. I pray all the time for him and for whomever will be his wife, that he can have that intact family I was not able to give him.

    I was glad Marlow made the friend she didn't think she needed! Hope she realizes now that while aloneness is good there can be too much of that good thing. People need people. I was always especially glad for my son's friends, even in the case of one whom his Dad and I agreed was not ideal. (I just prayed a lot for that one!).

    I do hope you keep writing! Keep in mind Editor Golden's comment! Pretty special!
    @Eliza Thomason, Iím really sorry to hear about how youíve worried about your son but Iím SO glad he seems to have made it through alright!

    Itís helpful getting all this external input since Iíve never actually had that before (except for family) and Iíd always wondered where exactly Iíd measure up in the writing world. Iím so glad youíve liked it and especially am happy to hear you were able to feel like you were experiencing what Marlow was going through, since that was probably my main goal through it all!

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    Milk stains?

    ESTj
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    Milk stains?
    Just an example

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    2 EVIL I golden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limitless View Post

    This was sooo encouraging!!! Thank you, @GOLDEN! It’s so exciting to have been able to share it with you, and I’m SO glad knowing you liked it!

    I actually had a couple questions for you as well, hopefully that’s alright…

    I’ve taken a couple English/Creative Writing courses now, but I still have a difficult time feeling like I’m able to turn more abstract concepts into concrete ideas. They talk about developing metaphors to help represent these things, but I feel like there are a lot of different ways I could illustrate a particular concept. (Like, I could say, “love is like a pillow” or “love is when Mom cleaned up that milk stain”) So I was wondering, do you have any pointers on how I could narrow it down? (Like, should the metaphors be related to the timeline or characters? Hopefully this makes sense. I’m just wondering if when I get to this point in fleshing out a story, there would be an easier way to decide what I should do with the concepts.) For example, I’m trying to write a poem right now on “being grateful” and I was tapping into the creative flow for maybe 15 mins or so, until I realized I have to choose how to show this instead of writing “oh, being greatful is such a wonderful thing!” lol. I just walked away feeling overwhelmed and I haven’t gone back to it because I feel like I’ll just sit there not knowing how to do this.

    I have a huge complicated story I’d like to write that would probably be about book length, but all my classes thus far have all focused on smaller stuff l ike poems and memoirs. It feels like a daunting task since I don’t feel very familiar with books and this story line is a really promising and interesting story, so I really want it to turn out mega high-quality. In general, are there any pitfalls that I should be aware of before starting? Or maybe any basic tips?

    Also, out of curiousity, what’s it like being a book editor? Do you receive all the drafts by email or do you actually meet with the authors on a regular basis to discuss the development of the book (kind of like a music producer)?

    I know these questions are a little vague, but hopefully it was clear enough for you to be able to understand!

    Thanks again!!! It's made my week (as all these comments have) and it’s a comment I don’t think I’ll ever forget!


    @Eliza Thomason, I’m really sorry to hear about how you’ve worried about your son but I’m SO glad he seems to have made it through alright!

    It’s helpful getting all this external input since I’ve never actually had that before (except for family) and I’d always wondered where exactly I’d measure up in the writing world. I’m so glad you’ve liked it and especially am happy to hear you were able to feel like you were experiencing what Marlow was going through, since that was probably my main goal through it all!
     


    The best ideas I've encountered on "how" to come up with pertinent metaphors and structure novels, basically the whole enterprise, comes from fantasy authors who are articulate about their craft.

    The reason being, they're conscious of the fact that fiction is "world building," so that the most important work begins before you ever put down a word. The first task is to just let yourself imagine the world you're going to write about.

    The author Diana Wynne Jones is a good source on this--look for her advice for writers. (Another interesting piece of information about her is that she had a strong background in Middle English and said she drew on that language heavily, owing to its concreteness. This is advice I've seen from other good writing teachers, such as Bill Packard, a mentor of my husband's. Latinate terms are often abstract and therefore don't convey imagery.)

    The best current how-to book I've seen on writing a novel is The 90-Day Novel. I don't think the ninety-day timeframe is too important, but I like the approach the author outlines, which emphasizes writing as "play" and discovery, and delay of the writing itself until you have the whole reality of the book in your head.

    I think that the more upfront work you've done in imagining a world in detail, and following the ideas that are most compelling, the more that metaphors and other building blocks will suggest themselves. Reaching for a metaphor or other element of craft is not really the thing, I guess, it's more like finding it--"seeing" it during the discovery phase--and then using it as one of the materials at your disposal. It's archetypal information; it's just there. So also, reading classical literature (principally the Greeks), or any mythology that appeals to you will put you in touch with some more of that energy.

    For story structure, Joseph Campbell is a perennial source. What most fascinates me here is that I've done a marketing program in NY that drew on current science (like this) on how story affects the brain, and how. I love knowing that the power of story can be found in our hormones, our brains, etc.

    As for what it's like being an editor, I'm pretty burned out on it and edging toward a career shift (currently lined up to work for a media-research startup and even pondering MBA programs, which seems like a really unlikely turn given where I started out when I was younger). For several years I worked for an independent press and shepherded projects from manuscript to bound book, and I worked closely with the authors, and it was often a joy. Despite the fact that my boss was an irrational Calamity Jane on steroids, I felt super passionate about connecting with each author and privileged to be part of their process, and holding that finished book in my hands was a moment of magic.

    I also dealt with manuscript submissions, aka "the slush pile," and it was a burden.

    Now I freelance, something I began doing when my son was born. Rather than being a creative overseer of a project, I'm parceled out pieces of it: do a developmental edit, a line edit, a copyedit; write this marketing material; etc. And now, when I deal with manuscripts not already under contract, usually it's from an individual author who wants to hire me directly. I've done some in-house stints, too, along the way, most recently at Scholastic. (Scholastic was a bag of turds, btw.)

    And all of this adds up to me being bored and needing new challenges, and having learned enough from a VP of children's lit (my specialty) at Simon and Schuster--who says that he can't sleep at night because of gradually declining sales figures and an inability to give his staff the promotions and raises they deserve, and bring new people onboard, to know that bottom line, I want out of the book business.

    But that's on the production end of things. I don't think books are going to go away. I also think, if you have any interest in juvenile or YA (and YA crossover) fiction writing, that's a good direction to go, because no matter what happens with grown-up readership, younger people are still going to need books. Those sales have remained fairly robust. And I think that in part, this is because these books give ppl something they deeply need, which is story in the transformative sense.

    I'm just one person with my own take on things. To meet editors and agents, you can attend writers' conferences if there are any in your area. They'll be most interested in you if you can show them a good completed ms., of course, BUT they should be interested as well in supporting new talent. I used to love going to those conferences because of the passion of the attendees. And also I am just a more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kind of person than some book pub people are, and I guess I liked connecting with people and putting a bit of a friendly but realistic face on the industry.

    Are you considering doing a writing program in the future?

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    Limitless's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to reply and offer me a glimpse into a day in the life of a book editor! Itís exciting, being able to look into this in more detail. I think, too, itís helped confirm my suspicions that I probably wouldnít like being an editor as I had once wondered.

    I havenít had the chance yet but Iíll check into the links you sent me when I get some free time. It looks interesting and thatís the sort of stuff Iíve been looking for because Iíve always been interested in learning from an authorís own personal experience. I read ďThe Practice of Creative WritingĒ recently which I really enjoyed because I felt like it was really useful learning about the way the author personally undergoes her writing endeavors. The study especially looked exciting, so I canít wait to check it out!

    Iíd love taking some sort of class for writing longer stories at some point, or even looking into another creative writing course would be fun, although I donít have anything planned at the moment. Iíll be keeping my eyes open for some since I think itís something Iíd like to be able to do for my whole life, regardless of whether or not I end up pursuing a career in it. Iíd like to go further, so if there are any online classes you'd recommend feel free to let me know!

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