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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:59 am 
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Under any other circumstances, I'd join now and crit Son's story, but I'm having the same issue as Seefy: school.

Except mine's a chemistry test that I didn't get a study guide for till yesterday. Test's today, so I'll be a lot more ready to work tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Today is my last day of working, so I'll definitely post tomorrow. :>

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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Okay, so are there any people here who are on the new website and wouldn't mind moving to the thread that I'm about to make on it? Fenn will be in charge of that one to make it easier. If you don't want to then don't offer.


Edit: So are finals over with now?


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:59 pm 
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Okay, so is everyone free now? Cause if no one else comments on son44's story soon, we'll be moving on.


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:12 pm 
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Alright, We'll be moving on to Roxas, and we now have a two day limit to have your short story posted.


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Okay, Roxas's turn is up and its actually going to be a 3 day limit now. So not too much to sweat about. It is noe Bacon's turn. Sorry I didn't get a pm to you earlier. Here's the list


1. pencil
2. Son44
3.Roxas
4.Bacon
5.Dr.Pumpkin
6.Matt

Edit: Sorry about the double posting twice. Didn't notice til just now.


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:38 pm 
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Okay, it is now Dr Pumpkin's turn. By the way, I know some of you are just busy or whatever, but if you don't want to be a part of the group anymore then pm me. It would help out. (another repeated post :P )


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:34 am 
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I'll post by Sunday. I promise. On my soul.

And if I don't, take away my soul and skip me.

EDIT: And here it is. A very big fail.

Although I have a feeling that no-one's really doing this anymore on this forum or thread, have fun reading my shite.

Spoiler! :
“Have you ever talked to someone?” Said the man who had walked into the office.

The receptionist said that she had.

“No. I’m not finished yet.”

The receptionist nodded.

“Have you ever talked to someone, and felt a sudden feeling that the ground had been swept from your feet? That the sky was no longer above your head and the world as you knew it was an image so real that it had to be fake? Have you ever talked to someone and felt that the morals and experience and feelings that you gathered over the countless seconds and decades and years and minutes and hours have been and are completely pointless? Everything and everyone you knew weren’t what you think it was but was something completely different to how you thought and conceived everything and everyone. This person that you just had a conversation with changes your perception of reality. This person implants a feeling, like a cold mug of coffee on a wet, damp morning that had been left on the table for all night, deep inside your head. You finally think that you understand, understand life, and logic, and emotions. You finally feel that you’ve grasped life. And then, the person comes and makes you feel that all that you have is wrong.”

The man paused for a moment as his mobile rang. When he failed to find it, he continued.

“The days we live in isn’t like a straight line. It’s more like a straight line on a scrunched up piece of paper, in a bin, on fire. It’s a mixture of the extraordinary and the mundane, the emotional and robotic, activeness and immobility, of infinite complexities and contradictions and countless empty corridors that are meant to lead somewhere but don’t. And it’s burning at the same time. All of these feeling that we have are trapped inside us and we have no idea what it is. We give such a simple name. Life.”

The man had found his mobile but it had now stopped ringing.

“So imagine one’s horror when they feel that it’s incorrect. All of it. The candlelight inside you vanishes when you talk to this person, the person that insists that everything is inaccurate. It’s not a feeling of falling down a dark hole. It’s the feeling you get when you’re reading books in the middle of the night in some shorts and a T-shirt and you’ve just got out of the bath three hours ago so there’s a breezy feeling that you just can’t get rid of. You can’t get make it disappear but at the same time you don’t even recognize it’s there because you can’t acknowledge it’s existence.

And then, all of a sudden, in that exact moment when you aren’t bound by the chains of understanding and morals, you feel free; more free than anything in all of creation. You can do anything in that split moment. Eat waffles for the rest of your life or liberate a small village from an empire. Fly or dig to the other side of the ground. You can even finish reading the book that you’re suck at on page one-hundred and thirty seven.”

The man put his mobile back in his pocket.

“But then, it ends. All of it. You hit yourself in the face for being an utter idiot and you anchor yourself back to supposed reality. And then you have some tea. That’s all you can do. Drink tea and continue your life, feeling a little odd and unhappy, but comfortable.”

“Is that it? Drink tea?” Asked the receptionist.

“Yeah.” Said the man. “So how about it? Want to have some tomorrow lunch-time with me?”

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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:18 pm 
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haha, nice ending.

One thing:

Show, don't tell.

"The man paused for a moment as his mobile rang. When he failed to find it, he continued."


I think it would be better to "Show it":

"A high pitched sound cut him off and something in his pockets started moving. He checked them all, but he couldn't find the cellphone. He continued"

and again:

"The man had found his mobile but it had now stopped ringing. "

Show it:
"While saying this he finally located his cellphone deep inside his jacket. The "lost call"(not sure if its called that in english) number was the only thing on the screen"

Same with the intro. You should have used a conversation instead of telling us.

Other than that i like it. A bit more details on the characters wouldn't hurt, but it's up to you

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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:06 pm 
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I agree with son. There were some typos that I noticed though.... Wow.... And I can't even find them again. I noticed two of them though and one of them had the word get in it out of no where. But yeah, nice story. The whole time I was wondering how it would end.

Quote:
Although I have a feeling that no-one's really doing this anymore on this forum or thread, have fun reading my silly goose.


Yeah, I know what you mean. Once we switch to the new forum I'll kick out the non active ones. If they still want to be in, then they'll have to rejoin.


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:46 am 
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I like the complexity of their discussion, but I think it lacks a good hook--as in, it's sort of boring (no offense). There was really nothing to keep the reader reading.

Sorry I didn't do a more in-depth critique. I'll try again when I've got a little more time.


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Probably because there was no major reaction from our second character (receptionist). I dunno, I kinda liked it.

The phone call was an effective way to break up the conversation.

[Aha, I've been kicked.]

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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Okay, DrPumpkin's turn is up for now. It is now Matt's turn. So whenever you are ready.

Also, when we move to the new website, I'm going to need one or two people who can help run different improve your writing skills thread. Also, Fenn who is in charge of one in the new website had an idea that you just post your story once you have one, and no order. But only one story per thread can be active at once. Then once people have had their chance to crit, we move on with who ever else has a story ready. You can't post a story twice in a role though. And if you have one ready but someone beats you to posting it, then you can pm me and I'll hold a reservation. What do you all think?


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:53 pm 
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I'm fine with that. I'll write tonight and see what I can come up with. Hopefully it won't turn into another of my 6.02x1023 mindlessly violent action stories. I'll try to write about drawing manga, but don't be surprised if it still has a bunch of fighting in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your writing skills
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:13 pm 
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Done. I don't like it. If I'm gonna go around calling peoples' stories boring (I'm SO sorry, Dr. Pumpkin), I should at least make mine interesting. I discovery wrote all but a little bit of it and this is how it turned out:

Spoiler! :
Sierra Summer sat stiffly in front of the editor’s desk. Every time he turned to the next page of her first manga, her heart rate increased. The things she had heard about editors from her English teacher and councilor didn’t help her composure.

“One time, an editor looked at my title, threw the manuscript away, and told me to leave.”

“Editors? Mine got to the last chapter and shredded it. Sure you wanna try publishing?”

With these thoughts mingling in her head, complimenting each other, sending her mind into despair, Sierra forced herself to remain silent. She wanted to blurt out questions like, “How is it so far?” or, “You didn’t notice that ink spill I saw on the way here, did you?”

Maybe not that last one. The ink spill was small, and even looked like part of the picture. Surely the editor could overlook it. Or would he take it as a sign of inefficiency?

He was on the last chapter. If Sierra hadn’t forgotten to take off her mittens, she would have bitten half her fingernails off. Her entire attention was on the editor’s face, seeing if he would smile or frown even once. It had been the same since her arrival. She hadn’t taken her eyes off him or the pile of finished pages in front of him even once.

One last page fell onto the “finished” pile. Sierra didn’t want to make eye contact right now, but she forced herself to.

“Mr. Swan! You’re shaking! Are you all right?”

Hastily, Sierra stood up. The editor’s face was pale, like he was sick. After a moment, he looked forward at Sierra, motioning for her to sit.

“It wasn’t perfect,” was the first thing he said. “You drew a lot of big scenes with about twenty vanishing points and thirty people. Inevitably, the word bubbles got cluttered and I lost focus on the characters. Putting too much detail into your backgrounds was a mistake. Simplify them—you’re writing manga, not repainting the Sistine Chapel.

“I’m sorry. I’ll work on that.”

“That’s not all. You started the story too early. Instead of sixty-four pages, it could have easily been forty. Start it as late as possible. Also . . . I did notice that you tend to spend more effort drawing the boys than the girls. That might get you good marks with a female editor or someone publishing romance, but how do you expect overly-sparkly bishonen to sell to an audience asking for thrillers?”

It was a much lighter response than Sierra had expected. She still cringed a little. So it turned out she wasn’t some kind of prodigy, contrary to her sister’s overenthusiastic comments.

“Listen, Sierra. I could go on for hours listing the flaws, but that would be useless.”

“So I’m no good, then . . .” Sierra trailed off and took her manga from the desk. “Excuse me, then. I’ll come back after I’ve practiced more.”

She stood up and pushed the chair in. Mr. Swan sighed and caught her hand. “Where do you think you’re going? You haven’t even heard the reasons why I’m accepting your work.”

Without a word, Sierra set the pages back on the desk, pulled out the chair, and plopped down in it again.

“Sierra, this manga scared the crap out of me. You asked if I was okay when I finished.”

“Are you? You still look a bit pale.”

“How old are you, Sierra?”

“Ah--! That’s one of those questions I’m supposed to lie about, isn’t it? Because editors treat you differently when they find out your age?”

“If you were gonna lie, don’t come out and ask me that. No, I won’t treat you any differently. How old are you?”

“Fourteen.”

The editor took a pen from his desk and began writing on a sheet of lined paper. Sierra tried to see what he wrote, but from her angle it was impossible. “Mr. Swan, what’s going on?”

“You’re fourteen years old, you wrote about characters within three years of your age in either direction, and you managed to get me attached to them. The reason I was pale was because of the ending. You ending was the best I’ve seen in twenty years of reading mediocre endings.”

Sierra took out the last page from the pile. She stared in disbelief. This wasn’t the last page! It was page sixty-four, but she had written eighty-six. Silently, she returned it to the pile. She had somehow forgotten the ending at home.

“Aside from overly-sparkly boys, the art is very nice—quite admirable for your age. You’ve obviously practiced a lot. The story it on a level of its own. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than eighty percent of published comic books, manga or not. I really like that you’ve broken as many manga clichés as possible. The structure is more like a good movie than a manga—which is good. Manga’s got some very annoying traditions that I’ve wanted to see eliminated for a long time, and you’ve done it.”

“Um . . . what clichés did I break?”

Without hesitation, Mr. Swan answered, “Number one: school uniforms have long skirts for once. Number two: your characters actually use gestures instead of standing straight up while talking. Number three: characters don’t talk or have flashbacks during a fight scene. Number four: the aggressive characters don’t go chibi and punch or kick their best friends over little things. Number five: the story isn’t linear or predictable. Happy?”

With her mouth hanging slightly open, Sierra nodded.

“Work this piece until it’s perfect. I’ll keep in touch through e-mail and send you some things I’d like to see done. Ah, one more thing.”

“One more?”

One last piece of great advice? Encouragement? Another flaw? A reconsideration!?

“Clean up your ink spills.”


Sierra's personality was just . . . boring. She didn't have any little quirks or anything, and neither did the editor. They were both pretty boring people. That aside, it was fairly predictable. I mean, this being a story by me, you can already tell that everything's gonna turn out like it did. I also played around with Sierra's thoughts in a sort of amateur way.

With that said, tear it apart. I know I missed a few things in my self-critique that I noticed while I was writing the story.


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