1. Midnight Pete
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    Midnight Pete Member

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    My First Story for CFW

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Midnight Pete, Dec 14, 2010.

    I want to write a story that is a fictionalized account of how Jesus was tempted by Satan while in the desert for 40 days/nights (Mat. 4:1-11). I do not want it the reader to realize what the story is a mirror of until the very end. I will drop subtle hints along the way but nothing too overt. It should stand on its own as a piece of of Fantasy / Horror fiction, though influenced by SK's The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger. In that novel, Roland finally meets up with the Man in Black at night, over a campfire. They talk at length, and TMIB gives Roland a Tarot reading, gives him a vision of the Dark Tower.

    When the time is right, I intend to have this piece submitted and reviewed here on CFW.

    Please don't close this thread!
     
  2. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Personally, I don't see how you can do so easily. The story is well enough known by many that they will immediately see it in the prose.

    Certainly, write it - it's an excellent theme to explore. I would think it would be better to just write it though, without consciously trying to hide its inspiration.

    Just my thoughts. I'd love to hear what others have to say.

    -Frank
     
  3. FrailBeauty
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    FrailBeauty Member

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    You are announcing that you will be submitting a story for review and giving away all the twists and turns in advance? Why would you do that? How can those that have seen this thread possibly give constructive feedback if they were robbed of such a big part of the reading process, the element of surprise?
     
  4. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    A story is good whether the element of surprise is still surprising... especially to writers who should be analyzing the story on the merits of craft, not just how much they liked it as a writer. And surprises in good fiction shouldn't come from twists and turns, but the depth and truths explored.

    But, I agree, kinda silly posting about how you're going to eventually post a story. Just post the story, when ready. People will either get it, or not, and then you'll have your answer.

    edit: and what exactly was the question or topic of discussion. This just seems like a mission statement. You'll write a story? Cool, go for it. :p
     
  5. FrailBeauty
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    FrailBeauty Member

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    I personally never analyze stories for merits of crafts alone. Perhaps because when I'm reading I dive into the world that I'm reading about. To me, not knowing what happens next is a big part of the adventure. Just a personal opinion. :)
     
  6. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    The adventure of reading died when I decided fiction was my work, not entertainment.

    I'm not saying this is fun as a reader (it's not, it sucks), but it's helpful as a writer.

    When I want to just enjoy the adventure of a story, I watch TV so bad there's nothing worth studying. Ahhh, sweet release from the pressures of being a writer.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Titanic did OK and we all knew the boat would sink :)
     
  8. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    WHAT?! Great, I'll just go ahead and delete that one from my Netflix queue!

    I think it was Vonnegut who said a story should be such that if the last few pages turned up missing, the reader could still finish the story on their own. That's not to say a reader should have to finish their own story, just that too often people rely so heavily on thinking the power of fiction is in a twist ending or surprising the reader, when it's not, necessarily (depends on markets and audience, of course).

    If a story is good, a reader shouldn't go 'what the heck just happened?' at the end of a story, nor should the story be ruined if the plot points are revealed. In fact, some of the most powerful stories will tell you exactly what happens right from the beginning.

    I mean, if readers were truly that fickle, nobody would read, listen or watch another story in their life, since the same basic premises are simply rehashed over and over.

    Oh, wow, an unlikely couple finds love in the end... I'm glad I didn't see that coming!

    I'd almost go so far as to say surprising a reader via 'what happens' is a bad sign, and instead they should be surprised by the 'how or why it happens', since that's the only thing that really changes is many stories.

    How and why Romeo and Juliet ended up deaders is what matters, not that they did. It the only thing that mattered was 'what happens' we'd have much easier jobs, as we could just write for movies and let the directors and actors figure out the hard stuff! errrr
     
  9. Midnight Pete
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    Midnight Pete Member

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    You've got a point there, but my intended audience is not limited to CFW. I don't intend to sell this story to anyone (at the moment) but I guess plagiarism is a risk we all take if/when we post our writing somewhere online.
    Is it that this website deals exclusively with the professional-commercial aspect of writing? Is it that CFW members are just waiting to steal someone else's intellectual property? :(
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, but it took such a long time! :eek:

    I would just suggest that you NOT try to draw the reader's attention, either in early hints or a big revelation at the end, what you're using as a basis. Let the reader reach that conclusion on his/her own, if the reader chooses to do so (he/she may read your story a completely different way, or may not pick up the reference). Your writing will be better for it.
     
  11. flanneryohello
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    flanneryohello Member

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    I don't think anyone is suggesting that you're going to be plagiarized. I think the comment was questioning why, if you have a story in which you want to obfuscate the actual inspiration from the reader, would you post a thread about your intention to submit it for critique in which you spoil the "surprise" you so clearly want to protect? If not knowing what the story is about until the very end is important for the reader, why tell people ahead of time?

    It's a fair question.
     
  12. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you think you might want to sell it, then only post small excerpts and not the full thing.
     
  13. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    Except for possibly giving away an idea..I think making a post like this can be a good idea. It will give the OP some motivation to finish and write his/her story...instead of letting it linger in his/her head.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what's the purpose of this thread in the first place?... you're simply making statements, not asking any questions, so what are you wanting it to accomplish?
     
  15. Midnight Pete
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    Midnight Pete Member

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    I am stuck on the first line because I want a really good opening sentence. For me, therer is no better opening sentence than

    The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't bother. Write a really good story. You can tidy up things like the opening sentence later.
     
  17. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Good advice.

    How can one even know they have a good opening line until the last line is in place?
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    true!... that's good advice... i advise taking it...
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Again, a story concept means nothing. Are you looking for ideas, or approval?

    If the former, then how will it be your story? If the latter, you won't last long as a writer, because you will get many rejections and harsh critiques before you receive an acceptance letter.


    Suck it up and write. Then be prepared to learn from the mistakes you will make, and yes, there will be plenty of them. By finding your own ideas and writing from what you figure out on your own, you will improve as a writer.
     
  20. Midnight Pete
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    Midnight Pete Member

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    That's what I end up doing, anyway. I always edit as I write. :D
     
  21. Midnight Pete
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    Midnight Pete Member

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    I'm looking for fellowship.

    At this point, I'm just writing for the sake of writing. Just because I enjoy writing. :)


    Yes, sir!

    You know, I never thought of myself as someone incapable of making mistakes in regards to writing or life in general.
     
  22. Midnight Pete
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    Midnight Pete Member

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    If you can't get any enjoyment out of anything you read, your readers won't enjoy anything you write. The author's love of reading should shine through in what they write, IMO. And if being a writer is so intolerable, why pursue that occupation at all?
     
  23. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    A reader gets nothing from me sitting down to read some fun, but shallow book that is entertainment only and that I forget the next day.

    The reader will get the most from me when I perfect my craft and can tell a story they can sit down and enjoy without the burden of being the storyteller.

    I'm not saying I don't find writing rewarding or gratifying, just that writing is my work, and reading is an area I use to study. There are still plenty of stories I read that are moving and entertaining in that sort of way I know the author did something right. Then, I got back and study it, which isn't the kind of 'fun' or 'entertaining' most people think of when they hear the words.

    And I've never read a story where I thought 'clearly this writer just doesn't enjoy sitting down with a book and reading for personal enjoyment.' Though, I've read plenty of stories where it was clear the writer didn't study things they were reading often enough while refining their skills.

    I know plenty of professional writers, and 'fun' isn't a way a single one of them would describe the writing process, and 'entertaining' isn't what a single one of them would describe what they do when they read a book. All of them are brimming over with passion and dedication, though, and most of them find it all very rewarding.

    I'm not saying people can't just read for personal pleasure and not for any other reasons like studying craft, I'm just saying I don't know a single professional writer who does. Do they enjoy reading? Of course, but not how most of our readers should.

    It's like how sports players enjoy winning a championship, but how many would say it was 'fun' in the midst of fighting out a game or series? And how many would think it 'entertaining' to simply sit down and watch someone else on the big stage and not at least be analyzing the game?

    Fun is had at your book launch party--though most I know didn't enjoy them, hah, reading and signing for hours, etc--or I know, winning a Pulitzer or Nebula award or something would be pretty fun. But that isn't exactly part of the reading/writing process.
     
  24. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Think it kind of sad if you lose your passion and enjoyment of story.

    I adore stories, don't care what media they come in. Think Dolly Parton is the most amazing creator of characters. Plays, books, back of cereal packets, playing with children, TV, film, non fiction books even mathematical equations - all have stories.

    Yes I have fun writing - I love every part of the process from writing, rewriting, editing. It so exciting seeing a new story form and then be refined. Reading has given me skills I appreciate. I know I enjoy the promotional side having put it together and worked alongside authors doing it. But then my goal is a great story, with great characters, that entertains, written to the limits of my ability. Not really bothered about it being a great work of literature. Nothing turns me off a book faster than seeing it has won a literary prize so not sure I would be that impressed winning one lol

    However I see myself as a story teller rather than a writer so maybe that is the difference.

    It doesn't matter what my job I set out to have fun doing it - whether that is waitressing, archaeology/academic work, working in an old person care home etc The people who have fun doing their work always stand out to me they give that energy to the people around them. Actually with the way they are promoting books and authors these days - someone who has fun will give a lot more to the reader - imagine the difference of the writer who is having fun signing books and reading their work (because now that is a good way to bring in finance) it shines through when someone has fun giving a speech or reading rather than someone who is merely professional.
     
  25. Midnight Pete
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    Midnight Pete Member

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    Fair enough.
     

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