1. Anomaly
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    Anomaly New Member

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    Could you help me write better?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Anomaly, Dec 4, 2010.

    So, I've got a book, start to finish, huge book, in my head...
    I'm wondering where my presentation of thought could use improvement, I haven't written much and it's a life goal to produce this novel.
    The novel itself is irrelevant.
    The beginning of it is a drilling operation, thinking maybe Alaska or the North Pole, where the goal is to breach the core of Earth with a horribly unexpected result...

    Sorry folks, but snip...

    Annexed for the better! Woo.
     
  2. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    This probably isn't what you want to hear. *shrug* But it's the truth.

    Writing is a skill that improves the more you do it, like most things -- bicycling and singing, cooking and chemistry, carpentry and basketball. The more hours you put into it, the better and better you'll get. Now, for a huge work like a book, that sometimes means that the beginning is "meh" and the ending, by the time you get there, is much better. But that's okay. As long as you're writing as well as you know how, you shouldn't worry. After all, you can re-write for clarity, but you can't fix what you haven't written.

    Without going over your writing line-by-line, I can say a few things. First, your spelling and grammar are excellent, which is a good sign; it's one less hurdle you'll have to conquer.

    Second, the focus of the first few paragraphs seems to be on "impressing the reader," which is tolerable but in this case leads to contradictions -- such as your third paragraph, which simultaneously claims that the drilling team has improved daily, "breaking records," then claims that equipment malfunctions have led to frequent delays.

    But for all that, the best thing you can do write now is to continue the story. Remember how I said you can re-write when your skill improves? Well, it won't improve if you don't keep writing -- and if you try to re-write without having bettered your ability, you'll find first that the story doesn't improve all that much for the time spent, and second you risk getting discouraged when you find that your mental image of the story doesn't match what's on the page.

    So write. The next bit, and the next. Your readers at this point have a decent understanding of the situation and a reasonably interesting character to focus on; after all, Mr. Paxton is unusual if only because he's willing to live in uncomfortable conditions in order to further human knowledge. Presumably you'll have other characters too, who will be dealing with the disaster as best they can.

    So write it! Don't re-write a page or two until your hair goes gray. Keep writing, and keep working, and soon you'll find that the words come -- if not easier -- then with better results, and more familiarity. And after a while you'll find yourself with a first draft you can be proud of, and not long after that you'll have a book.

    But re-writing won't get you there. So keep going. The only way out is through.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  4. Anomaly
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    Anomaly New Member

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    Wow, thank you both. I've gotta do this whole literature thing more often because that is the impasse I've been at for far too long, and you freakin' nailed it.

    The whole drilling operation kinda blows itself up... The core of Earth happens to have this crazy reproducing fuel and it drives Mr. Paxton insane as he's the sole survivor, everyone else is dead, and he knows this could be WW3 or essentially free energy. Mr. Paxton attains a vial of the fuel which caused the chaos; he's rescued by helicopter and refuses to divulge the occurrence. Suddenly the scene switches to the main character who inevitably meets Mr. Paxton, obtains the vial, and eventually combines our world with another that he (the main character) has defined via semi-conscious computer. It ends up being our world among infinite others, defense versus offense and the power of debate over hatred :p phew...

    But yes, I must read all the resources I can obtain, hell, I don't even know the definition of noun against adjective :p

    Oh, and dang, I should have wrote "near every day" and provided a time wise comparison of delay versus record >.<
    Thank you for pointing that out, I only want this to potentially get controversial when it delves into quantum mechanics, which I barely know.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a little rusty on my Earth Science, but I'm pretty sure the core is molten elements, such as iron. The kind of "crazy reproducing fuel" or "free energy" you mention would be more likely found on a star than a planet, I would think. This brings up another important point: make sure that whatever you write is factually sound. And if you are writing science fiction, make sure the "science" part is plausible. Good luck.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, if the energy is drawn from another dimension, it's pretty much free game what it can be. Not sure if that was the actual idea, but if it was, it sounds cool. Our dimension sucking another one dry in greed of resources.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to learn how to be a good writer, one must be a good and constant reader of the best works of the best writers of past and present...
     
  8. Anomaly
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    Anomaly New Member

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    Thanks for input!

    I believe I've thought of another method of starting this book off, just a generic mining operation where they happen to encounter a pocket of this fuel... disastrous results. It is true, it would end up being very controversial if the fuel were the matter comprising the core of Earth.

    So here's the idea of the fuel, it self-oxidizes and reproduces with exposure to oxygen from an external environment; it also increases in intensity during exposure. If it were to spend enough time within an oxygen rich environment, it would inevitably burn itself out as it would grow to consume more energy than it could produce which is directly relative to the volume of fuel available when it was contained (no external oxygen available to it). Essentially, you expose this to oxygen, there will be more fire and hotter fire. To allow this fuel to have a greater maximum potential intensity (the point when it starts consuming more energy than production), you simply must add increments of oxygen while it is contained to increase the volume of the fuel, keeping in mind if it burns too hot it will destroy the container. This fuel, naturally, is always burning and may have always been so. Additionally, this fuel is perfectly stable when kept from oxygen, it produces and consumes itself (fuel and oxidizer) at the exact rate required to neither increase or decrease in volume.

    I'd really like this stuff to at least sound MARGINALLY possible, so I'm trying to work it down to at most one question to leave unanswered (the book will be titled Anomaly, so why not right!?)

    Right now I can easily think of five,

    A: What happens to burnt fuel?
    I'm thinking this fuel never burns out because its burnt material still has a lower flash point than required for combustion. However, how could burnt fuel still contain the properties of what it was prior? Maybe the book title...

    B: How does this fuel overwhelm itself?
    C: Where did it come from?
    D: How long has it been?
    E: How did it end up in Earth?

    GAFSFSDK it's hard to think of


    Maybe I should just say screw it and just speak of the properties it expresses.

    But seriously, this fuel must be or else this book is scrap, so if anyone has a suggestion on how to make it MARGINALLY (notice the capitalization) possible, let me know!
     
  9. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    After reading the fine advice you've already been given, I can offer nothing further, other than this:

     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    safire was the ultimate wordmeister, so heed his words!
     
  11. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    I am not a physics or a geologist expert but I would have a hard time believing that this is possible, at least naturally.

    The fuel would have had to been deposited at least 1.7-1.8 billion years ago before oxygen became a significant part of Earth's atmosphere.

    Then, with plate tectonics and subduction over a period of 1.7 billion years, either the fuel would have become exposed on oxygen or been buried so deep that a typical mining operation would not go that deep in drilling. The Earth's continental crust is around 2 billion years old (oldest seafloor crust is about 190 -200 million). So your fuel deposit, if still intact, would have to be very close or already a part of the upper mantle because of subduction. And after that you face more problems with your fuel occurring naturally and being able to obtain it.

    I think you would need an unnatural (aliens, top secret government) event to bring the fuel to earth.

    I would suggest you do a lot of research on this fuel. Obviously if you are making it up it might not fall inline with all of the chemical laws. But, you should at least make sure your fuel jives with at least some or most of the rules especially rules relating to chemical changes, and combustion.

    I like our idea though and I would love to read it- just study chemistry, astrobiology, geology, and physics! LOL
     
  12. Anomaly
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    Anomaly New Member

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    Lols I've been bouncing around Wikipedia so much my head is spinning...
     
  13. Alterra
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    Alterra New Member

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    wait just a minute here. The book is called "Anomaly".
    And because of the points PurpleCandle pointed out, this fuel would be considered anomalous.

    So why not leave it that way?

    It may even enhance the story! Initially there could be scientists scoffing at the claims to this fuels property there may even be some speculating that it proves aliens or some say it is terrorists attacking a mining endeavor. You may not even have to explain a thing, just describe the events surrounding the anomaly.

    That's just my thoughts, it may not be the correct answer you want
     

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