1. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    The story so far...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SethLoki, Feb 9, 2016.

    Not to hijack another thread (about a poetic prologue) that got me reviving an idea I had a while back. I've got a mothball smelling piece of work that contains six or so chapters where, in each chapter, I've gotten a little too florid, self-indulgent and too (to my own mind) purple with my prose for general consumption. I'm quite sure it'd be off-putting for anyone wanting to blitz through the pages. So I made a mission of clarifying/ rationalising those chapters and rather than deleting the elements that I figured too pretentious; I gathered them up and moulded them into mini, backward facing summaries (laden with the flamboyance I'd extracted and definitely overcooked). The notion being to have a breather between chapters and at the same time reaffirm the story's most recent events. Also to have it appear optional, I'd intended the summary be set in a different more script style font and greyed to fifty percent taking up less than a page. If I could liken the idea to anything, it'd be a cross between a chorus in a song and the three minute recap you get when watching a fresh episode of a weekly drama. Always with a mind to continue with the project at some point I did set it aside when I felt my creativity slipping and to be honest also felt it a bit of a chore (but doable with encouragement) to maintain the effort.

    I'd like a little feedback on the idea and also to know if it's ever been done before?
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    If they're florid, self-indulgent, overcooked, and pretentious, they don't belong in your novel. It doesn't matter what font they're in or where they appear - they need to go. Kill your darlings.

    I recommend you paste them all into a new document, so you don't have to delete them - I know that hurts - and let your story stand without them.
     
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  3. Holden LaPadula
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    Holden LaPadula Member

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    I agree with the above, it sounds extremely complicated. Imagine the reader seeing that font and thinking, "Wow, the writer of this doesn't even know if this is worthwhile." Interesting concept, though!
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Asimov's Foundation trilogy has each of the novellas start with an extract from the Encyclopedia Galactica which outlines succinctly, in a dry academic manner, the back-story. Then the story begins, with all the drama, hooks, etc.

    What you're suggesting seems to be the opposite...
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    You want beautiful prose never anything florid. Plus, you also want a tone that works for the mc and for the piece in general. Meaning if your story calls for more matter of fact prose put your poetic stylings off till the next project.

    I totally agree with Tenderizer to clip them and save them or copy and past the chapters and save them as a first draft so that you can see how the changes looks when you tweak them.

    I wouldn't bother with fancy fonts. I always hated in the Babysitters club when the chapter would begin with a handwritten diary entry. It was distracting and, depending on whose penmenship, hard to read.

    The whole things seems rather complicated. Are you following the example of anyone - have you seen this style done before? Also why would you need to clue people in about stuff that is optional - because to me the information is either needed or not and if it's needed it should be seamlessly woven into the exposition.
     
  6. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I never considered the faint font would indicate diffidence, t'was to tone down its import. With the words therein being a recap from a narrator; a seven to twelve line short that breaks the first person barrier and reinforces the story so far to any reader wanting to take up the option. I figured as-well that if the book was put down one week at the end of a chapter and picked up an age later; a dip into the prose that precedes said chapter would get one up to speed.

    Hmmm, well yes, no hooks and drama, more word dense melodrama and an anchor


    Might be a failing of mine, but the line twixt florid and beautiful prose is grey to me. :meh: As for the tone, it's definitely a break in tone, an absolute one, a small island of respite, of breaking to something completely different, if you feel inclined, before diving back into the novel.
    The font, I can't see my original post as I type here (may be making a liar of myself) but I don't think I put fancy, just different. I'm all for readable fonts.
    I'm not so much following any examples as I've not seen this format before; if it's born of anything it'll be a mash up of Goethe's Faust, the chorus singing you see in the film Little Shop of Horrors and something like 'Last week on Breaking Bad...'

    Of course all the above could be academic; the consensus I'm getting alas is to 'kill my darlings'. I definitely couldn't do that by way of delete or the throwing of a scrunched ball into a wastebasket; maybe I should create some form of purgatory till I'm at death's door then, with my dying scribbles, doodle them into the opus 'Darlings' Heaven'. Format it seems, and likely for good reason, ought to be adhered to. I really don't think I sold the idea too well mind with the self-deprecating words I used to put it forward.
     
  7. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I don't permanently delete my darlings, either. I copy them into a new document and shed a tear over them each time I see it.
     

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