1. RageAgainst
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    RageAgainst Member

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    help with feedback for rejected story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by RageAgainst, Jun 4, 2012.

    Hey guys if anyone is bored enough to help me with some feedback I got on a rejected story it would be greatly appreciated.

    So I just got a reply for a short story submission I made, it was rejected, for some reason I had a feeling that would happen... Anyway back to the point in the feedback I got "wooden dialogue" does this mean dialogue which is not like normal conversation ?

    And "disjointed narrative" which I thought meant non linear but that is what i was going for so possibly means something else ?

    Also "very rapid jumps in place and setting without warning " I knew it was like this but not sure how you give warning, any advice on how to do this?

    I thought it was pretty good to get this much feedback and hopefully it can help me improve
    Thanks for reading !
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Wooden dialogue - I'd interpret that to mean that your dialogue was boring and a little "dead" - either it doesn't ring true to how actual human beings would interact or it was simply uninteresting and not insightful.

    As for the disjointed narrative and jumps - that means the publisher probably couldn't follow your story very well. He felt thrown about, not really getting where the story is going, and this necessarily breaks the illusion and takes the reader out of the story rather than in.

    As for warnings - well, you need to give a setting for each scene so the reader knows exactly where they are, and why on scene follows another should be fairly obvious. The reader should know why he's reading a particular scene. It sounds like you didn't connect your scenes very well.
     
  3. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    First - congratulations on getting feedback, your story must have some merit for them to go to the trouble of giving feedback.

    Wooden dialogue - not sure, I imagine it means 'non-engaging/dull or does not give an insight into the character of move the story forward.

    Disjointed narrative - if that was your aim, maybe you did not quite pull it off.

    As to 'rapid jumps'- maybe if you read your ms out loud a few times you may be able to see what to do to cure the problem.

    Feedback is a positive, well done!:cool:
     
  4. RageAgainst
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    RageAgainst Member

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    Thanks to both of you! Very helpful
    It seems I've failed at the key points I was aiming for so not sure what I'll do with it either send it to the scrap heap or try alter it. Hopefully I don't make the same mistakes next time

    Thanks again
     
  5. koal4e
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    koal4e Member

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    Hi Rage,

    dont throw it out, use the feedback as a constructive way on improving the piece.. what I have learnt from this forum is that it takes many revisions to get to the finished article.
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I agree with what has been said as far as what the different bits of feedback could possibly mean. My only thought more was put more effort into finding critique partners who can give you line by line feedback and suggests. When you meet an agent at a writers conference more often than not they will ask you about having a good critique group because that critque group can allow huge jumps in improvment as you learn from the feedback you get. Although this advice comes from a different situation I believe it applies to your situation. When you can ask about the comments you've been given you have a much greater chance of learning from them and being able to fix that issue on your own in the future.
     
  7. RageAgainst
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    RageAgainst Member

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    Koal, thanks I will try and revise as I do like the plot and the characters.

    Amy, very true Im working on trying to find some people to help critique each others work as I think it's pretty important, I don't seem to notice mistakes in my own work which is a bit annoying
     
  8. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try critiquing members work in workshop forums; it does help in picking out the faults in one's own work.
     
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  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would think "wooden dialogue" would be self-explanatory. It's dialogue that is lifeless, without sparkle or personality, dull. The solution is not as simple though. Study good dialogue, dialogue that makes you sit up and take notice. See how other writers make dialogue come to life. It will take time and practice. Dialogue is practically an art in itself.

    "Disjointed narrative" and "very rapid jumps in place and setting without warning" are quite possibly related. If you hop from one scene to another frequently, and without managing the transitions, your narrative will be disjointed, i.e. its flow is constantly disrupted. Make sure the opening sentence of every scene clues the reader to the fact that the scene has changed, and try to make it equally clear that a scene is ending. If possible, take each scene to a natural endpoint, such as the POV character getting up and leaving.

    In all cases, read how other authors do whatever the submissions editor pointed out. Select authors from a range of genres, not just the one you are writing in.

    And do practice critiquing other people's writing. It trains you to enter an editing mindset, so the feedback you receive will make perfect sense to you, because you will have seen it before in other writing.
     
  10. RageAgainst
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    RageAgainst Member

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    thanks trilby ill have to attempt some more reviews when I get some spare time.

    And thanks for another perspective cogito. I guess my dialogue wasn't overly interesting ill have to do as you said and research more how other authors do it. The story probably didn't flow that well to come to think of it, I may have tried to cram too many different settings into a short story and failed to go into more detail in the scenes, ending them before the reader had a chance to get comfortable with the scene.

    I haven't been reading much lately, have to invest in some new books.
     

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