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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      Major Update to OL (please click to open)   02/09/2016

      Sorry for the inconvenience, but we had to update OL and there have been some serious changes made by IPB. The real bad news is that they had to merge User Names and Display Names. This meant that I had to choose between bad and bad. I opted to keep the log-on information the same, so you can get on OL like you always did, but now your User Name is displayed. If your User Name and Display Name were the same, you will not feel the change. If they were different, you are probably irritated right now. I will figure out how you can change this so you can revert to the Display Name you used before if you like, however this may entail a change in how you log-on. The good news is that OL is now searchable from the very beginning. This means all the old posts from the A-Team in Objectivism (and everybody else) will finally show up when you search for something. I will keep changing this announcement as we adapt to these new changes. It's a pain, I know, but after looking around the backend for a bit, I believe the benefits will far, far outweigh the current irritation. They changed things in a hamhanded way and I don't like that, but I can't do anything about it. Benefit-wise, they actually did a good job, so please bear with us. In addition to this change, many good things are coming over time. You are the reason OL exists and I am sorry you have to go through this. Think of it like birth pangs... (All right, all right, that's forcing it.  ) Michael
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Jules

Is this any good?

9 posts in this topic

Hello everyone, I started this piece when I was 18, wrote a synopsis, and did pretty serious research for several months--I am now 19. I never finished it because I fell into a period of depression which affected my school and creative work to a certain degree. These are just the rough drafts of the opening two sections.

I now see its defects, but I am still really proud of the rough style I achieved--its virtues, if you agree that it has any. I fall into those periods of brief subjectivity where I think that no one else will like it or think it's any good. I debated putting it up here for awhile. I'm not seeking praise, just honesty. It would help me a lot in challenging my grasp of objectivity, and I'll come on here and respond when I get a chance.

Html text link: http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/094/5/f/St__Elmo__s_Fire_by_heyjude83190.html

Thank you.

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Hello everyone, I started this piece when I was 18, wrote a synopsis, and did pretty serious research for several months--I am now 19. I never finished it because I fell into a period of depression which affected my school and creative work to a certain degree. These are just the rough drafts of the opening two sections.

I now see its defects, but I am still really proud of the rough style I achieved--its virtues, if you agree that it has any. I fall into those periods of brief subjectivity where I think that no one else will like it or think it's any good. I debated putting it up here for awhile. I'm not seeking praise, just honesty. It would help me a lot in challenging my grasp of objectivity, and I'll come on here and respond when I get a chance.

Html text link: http://fc01.devianta...yjude83190.html

Thank you.

Rewrite the material using about 10% fewer words. This alone will clear up some minor style issues you may not be aware of, like the last part of Part I: "The boy stepped out. Florin waited a few moments in silence, but when he stepped out the boy was already gone." Now why is "but" the wrong word here? Because when the priest waited a few minutes it was to be expected that the boy would be gone. Why might it be better not to use "already"? Because we already know it's "already" because the priest only waited a few moments. If the reader is already thinking "already" there is little need to write it. It might also not be best to use "stepped" and "boy" twice. Not necessarily--just something to think about. Or, try this: "The boy stepped out. Florin waited only a few moments, but when he stepped out the boy was gone." Etc.

Keep writing, regardless. Second-party editing is easier than the original material, believe me.

--Brant

so, when can I read some more?--you can't just leave the story here, half born

Edited by Brant Gaede
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Keep writing, regardless. Second-party editing is easier than the original material, believe me.

Speak fer yerself, Brant.

And, just to be proper- "editing" is, of course, lamb-chop, secondary. Tried it lately? I'm doing it. Yeah, I know: scary. Even moreso that I am doing it in a barter with (He Who Will Not Be Mentioned Here<tm>). But once we are in California editing down our film, those arguments will become shallow. That's in a few months. But to proceed (part where I actually agree with Brant):

Keep the story tight, envision it. It doesn't have to be a 1-2-3 thing, but that works too. Lemme look at this thing and see. Meanwhile, 10% sounds OK. I'd prefer around thirty.

rde

Reduction is my Middle Name

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OK, I read it.

Trees sweeping around the snow isn't going to get it. Brant is right. Cut it down to journalism style. Too much imagery. If you want to use imagery, you better not use too much frosting. Meaning, do not let the descriptors override the storyline. Basically, over-writing. I got bored. Not enough action.

Even Hemingway fucked that up, and he was tighter than a ten-year-old.

Cut to the money-shot.

Idea: start with a hotter opening line. Maybe something with the priest; what's inside his head? Something like that.

Very well-done, but too flamboyant. You are wasting--too much colour? No hook. Now, one can write stories without a strong opening "hook," for sure. But that requires a certain touch. I think you have a good one here, but just use reductive editing, see what gives.

Here, this is un-related, but it's got the rat-a-tat-tat rhythm. Apply:

http://www.counterpunch.org/thompson02212005.html

His Hell's Angel's stuff has more imagery-based content, but either way you gotta get some funk into the spunk. Turn up the metronome, then do ostinato . You have to drown a bit before you float. Wait: you have to float a bit before you drown. Wait...you have to...blub, blub, blub.

"Fuck Art, Let's Dance." --The Adults (post-punk band)

rde

Always There To Help

Edited by Rich Engle
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The piece is very, very good in many ways. Unusually well-written for a young writer.

I don't know where it's going, but that's probably because this is just the beginning and so it would be mysterious. Presumably, if this is fiction, a story rather than just a descriptive exercise, we'll learn what the priest is writing and why the kid wants to go to Hell.

You would need to tie up all the loose ends, the things the reader would want to know.

What's best about this, your strongest point is your descriptive powers. I can feel, sense the place and the mood of the surroundings. What you did with the snow, the winter, the desolation is -very- effective.

Also, you write with very few errors of language, syntax, grammar - unusual for someone young.

Is it too long? Not necessarily. Well, perhaps the priest's little sermon (I got the idea halfway through, then he repeats himself and I had difficulty finishing it.) One would need to see the context of the whole work. It depends on how you build on the first two sections. It is valid to put in enough description to make the environment in which your characters will 'live' fully real and palpable.

Edited by Philip Coates
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Keep writing, regardless. Second-party editing is easier than the original material, believe me.

Speak fer yerself, Brant.

And, just to be proper- "editing" is, of course, lamb-chop, secondary. Tried it lately? I'm doing it. Yeah, I know: scary. Even moreso that I am doing it in a barter with (He Who Will Not Be Mentioned Here<tm>). But once we are in California editing down our film, those arguments will become shallow. That's in a few months. But to proceed (part where I actually agree with Brant):

Keep the story tight, envision it. It doesn't have to be a 1-2-3 thing, but that works too. Lemme look at this thing and see. Meanwhile, 10% sounds OK. I'd prefer around thirty.

rde

Reduction is my Middle Name

Well, Rich, how about "good original material" instead?

--Brant

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Well, Rich, how about "good original material" instead?

--Brant

It helps, doesn't it? rolleyes.gif

I've noticed, however, that a lot of modern fiction seems to have disregarded that as a requirement...

You know it is really bad like that when you do a really thorough editing job and end up with a nearly-blank page.

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Hello,

I sent you all PMs awhile back, but I would just like to say here that your responses are personally amusing for me to read and encouraging. I printed out a hard copy of this thread tonight to put in my relatively recent "writer's binder"--for the advice, humor, insight, and good writing contained in the posts.

I have new projects in sight, but I may return to this one in the future. Still struggling to overcome my depression--I am taking this semester off from university to recover from an auto accident I was in but am taking the time to develop nascent literary talent. I am glad that I shared my writing and received all of your comments because I can look back at a difficult time in my life and smile.

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Hello,

I sent you all PMs awhile back, but I would just like to say here that your responses are personally amusing for me to read and encouraging. I printed out a hard copy of this thread tonight to put in my relatively recent "writer's binder"--for the advice, humor, insight, and good writing contained in the posts.

I have new projects in sight, but I may return to this one in the future. Still struggling to overcome my depression--I am taking this semester off from university to recover from an auto accident I was in but am taking the time to develop nascent literary talent. I am glad that I shared my writing and received all of your comments because I can look back at a difficult time in my life and smile.

Good luck. Hang tough.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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