1. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    This had better be a clear paragraph.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by waitingforzion, Jan 19, 2015.

    Once upon a time I tripped on a rock, not a big rock, but a really small one, a rock so small that it didn't even exist. I don't even know how I tripped on it. I think I was just drunk or something. Anyway, as I was walking along the highway, I noticed that these strange narrow objects were rushing passed me. There was a wall on one side of the path where the objects where rushing. I decided to jump over it. I'm not even sure how I got back to my house, actually. I took a cab, I think, but I wasn't in the cab, I was on the cab. I didn't know it was a cab though until I was sober.
     
  2. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Stop trolling.
     
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  3. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    I'm not trolling.
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    1/ Who, or what, is the implied threat in the title directed at? And what would be the consequence of failure?

    2/Once upon a time I tripped on a rock; not a big rock, but a really small one; a rock so small that it didn't even exist.

    This is not one sentence with sub-clauses. If you totally remove a sub-clause (between a pair of commas) the sentence should still make sense, even if the sub-clause changes the sense. Yours doesn't:

    Once upon a time I tripped on a rock, ..., but a really small one, a rock so small that it didn't even exist.

    Once upon a time I tripped on a rock, not a big rock, ..., a rock so small that it didn't even exist.
     
  5. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    His own sanity?
     
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  6. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    There is no threat implied.
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    This had better be a clear paragraph...or there will be trouble. There's your implied threat.

    OK, you might not have intended to imply a threat, but that's how it could be read.
     
  8. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Sorry.

    But what it at least a clear paragraph?
     
  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Apart from the over-extended first sentence, which I've already commented on, it's fairly clear.

    It appears to be describing a drunken dream.

    What was the point of writing this?
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Shadowfax - he's just growing incredibly frustrated and desperate. This is the third thread I've seen from him since last night, and I believe there're at least a couple others I've not seen but others have, all of them about exactly the same thing.

    As for the OP - yes the paragraph is clear. However it is boring. It is boring because all the detail you insist on giving is really vague to the point where they add nothing. "Strange objects" and "a wall" don't really allow us to visualise much.

    And yeah... you gotta stop man. Post something in the workshop and stop bypassing the forum rules. People are getting tired of you constantly repeating the same question. However, in the workshop it would be acceptable, since that's what the workshop's for.
     
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  11. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Is this boring? (Please keep in mind I am deliberately being silly, because that seems to help me get ideas flowing)

     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I fold.
     
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  13. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Not sure what you mean by, "I fold", but I hope it wasn't a bad thing.
     
  14. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    I am just writing silly things because it is the easiest way for me to get something written. I think that the last paragraph is much clearer even though it might have some logic problems. I hope it is not boring either.

    I intend to write longer short stories but before I can do that I have to start with one paragraph stories.
     
  15. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    It's not a story. It's a poorly conceived paragraph, no more, no less. Looks like you rushed it out in as long as it took you to type it.
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think what's being said is quit posting these things in various places other than the critique section where they belong.
     
  17. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    I liked the drunk person paragraph. It could have been written better, but just the idea when people say "I took a cab home" that this guy got hit by a cab and rode home on its hood is funny. Then he casually states he sobered up and doesn't directly relate it to the event of speeding down the highway on the hood of a cab. This was more clever than your other paragraphs and the unclear parts actually had a little bit of deeper meaning as opposed to just being unclear. You might be trolling, but this paragraph did have something the other paragraphs didn't.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  18. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You're missing the point of this place altogether. You want help, but your own cageyness is your enemy. You try to piecemeal a critique out of the upper portion of the forum without going for the Full Monty in the Workshop. You're not going to improve in this direction. You're not going to get any better through our venue the way you are using it because you don't let the venue help you. You want us to help you build your house but you don't want us to look at that house, see the materials, or know the overall design of the house.

    Someone (@obsidian_cicatrix ) in a previous thread asked what genre or kind of writing you were endeavoring to write and you asked them why that should matter. This alone is a profoundly telling remark on your part. It matters a great deal. The rhapsodic waxing and verbal filigree of Evelyn Waugh is going to find little appreciation in works of Science Fiction. It certainly has no place in "hardboiled" works, where the clipped terseness and vintage lingo of the detective are as much a part of the story as the characters themselves. His style is well regarded in its genre, but not every genre will accommodate his style. So, the genre matters. What you are trying to write and why matters at a meta-level and at a closer, more detailed level within the work, in its different parts. This is why she asked you. This is why I keep telling you that you need to tell people that you are writing an epistle, assuming that is still what you are attempting to write. They need this piece of information in order to better opine on the work. I know you think it shouldn't matter, but clearly the evidence of days of posting in now-multiple threads becomes irrefutable empirical evidence that, yes, this matters greatly.

    You have broached on misusing the upper quarter of the forum, and I have tried my best to soft-shoe that to you. Please don't force my hand and make me have to act as a mod.
     
  19. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    What about it was poorly conceived? I think that will help me to be more careful next time.

    But yeah, I did type it out pretty fast.
     
  20. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    All I wanted to know was if you saw an improvement in clarity in my last paragraph. I will post in the workshop when I find a suitable piece to critique. I need to critique two pieces before I can post anything there.

    You're making me feel unwelcome here. I only wanted to know if the paragraph was clear, not if it was well conceived. I have every intention of posting in the workshop, but I don't want to critique a piece without fully understanding its content and structure. That for me is hard because I see myself as having comprehension problems, which is something I am trying to improve by reading fiction, which is why I asked for fantasy book recommendation. Fantasy is the genre I want to write. Epistles are another thing, but I want to write them too. I am allowed to change my interests.
     
  21. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    No. We are not making you feel unwelcome here. In fact, we've bent over backwards to accomodate you, and to try to make you feel welcome and to offer help on all the threads you started. But enough is enough. @Wreybies is correct. You need to start giving back.

    You need to fulfill the requirements of the forum—same as all of the rest of us did—if you want more help. If you want us to comment on your work, you need to post it in the Workshop, and not start other threads all over the place instead. You must do two critiques for other people's work for each Workshop thread you start yourself. That's the requirement for being a member of this forum.

    No one's forcing you to be here, but if you want to be here, you need to play along. It's not rocket science. Just bite the bullet, stop trying to wriggle out of the requirement, and do it. All the rest of us did. You help others, and others help you. Seems fair to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
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  22. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    I enjoyed that paragraph though the beginning was better than the end. It was a fun twist making firemen the villain. These just have a more natural voice to them. At this point, I think you've annoyed everyone by saying you can only post 200 paragraphs here because you are unable to critique when in reality you've had more work critiqued now than if you had posted one thread in the workshop. If you want to start writing a fantasy story right now, I think you could do it reasonably well if you use the voice you used for the paragraphs in this thread. Sure, there are grammatical errors, but I can understand what you mean and what underlying things you mean too.
     
  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It is my job, as the person charged with maintenance of this forum, to enforce the rules. When several forum members point out that rules are being bent, this is my cue that I have applied too soft a hand. I try always to lean to permissiveness, but that cannot always be the way.
    The only way to gain that knowledge is to get your hands dirty. Your critical eye is a thing you must develop, you must work on, you must hone. It's not something you can glean from a book and then apply, already razor sharp. It doesn't work that way. My first critique here was crap; my last critique here was more insightful. I have honed my eye with all the critiques I have given. That critical eye is then applicable to my own work. As I grow in my ability to critique, my own babies becomes less and less obligatorily beautiful. I am more able to see their flaws and warts. That's how it works, this venue.
    Of course you are allowed to change your mind. No one said differently. You mentioned in a previous thread about finding no place to post an epistle. I went off of that data since the style of writing you keep posting most closely matches that. There is context to my statement.
     
  24. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You said there's "a" giant fire truck in the first sentence. In the second sentence, you state that you actually have 3 fire trucks. This is contradiction. You cannot claim there's only one and then without any preamble or introduction state there're 3. For example, it maybe should have been "Then two more appeared in the sky. The first was a big, red one, and the two that had just appeared were..."

    How do you "run over" anyone if you're "hovering"? As far as I'm concerned, from your description, said fire trucks are still floating in the sky and, as such, no threat at all to the villages, and they are certainly in no position to run over anyone. To run over someone means you must knock them over and well, run over them - go on top of their person while they are crushed beneath you. The fire trucks can't run people over if they're still hovering.

    "Nobody was scared anymore" implies people are still alive at the end of the event in order to feel anything at all, even a lack of fear. However, you claim in the same sentence, "but everybody still died". So which is it? Are the people alive or not? By putting them in the same sentence, without any clarifying transition of time, you imply it happened at the same time. You're describing one and the same moment, and people cannot simultaneous be alive and dead.

    Unless you're trying to be ironic by basically saying, "Eventually, nobody was scared anymore because they're all dead."

    But that's not the reason you gave. You said "Nobody was scared anymore because Chickensock was defending them" - meaning these people are alive and aware and can see that Chickensock is defending them. Thus they cannot be dead.

    The key problem is mostly that the timing of these two things - people becoming aware of being defended and losing their fear, and the fact that they all died at the end - is unclear. By lumping the two into the same sentence, both of them preceded by "Eventually", you make it sound like they're happening simultaneously.

    So it should have been, "Once everyone realised Chickensock was defending them, they weren't scared anymore. However, they all died in the end anyway, because..."

    Or for something closer to your original: "Eventually, nobody was scared anymore because Chickensock was defending them. In the end, however, eveveryone still died because..."

    And all I really added was "In the end" and "however" - the "however" to put in contrast, much like why you yourself included the word "but". But in my line, what clarifies it is the phrase "in the end". With that, I separate the two things as two events that happened before/after each other.

    All in all, much clearer, so bravo to that. However, it's becoming clear to me why your more verbose sentences aren't clear. The way you introduce elements of the story don't seem to follow any chronology. You fail to introduce things before simply including them as if they've always been there, which confuses and surprises the reader. You also seem to fail at clarifying the time frame of events. It also seems like perhaps you're not always sure how an event looks, and thus you write things that simply make no logical sense, such as hovering trucks running people over when the trucks are in the air and the people are on the ground. If you'd visualised it, you would know right away it makes no sense. if you struggle in visualising a realistic scene, I suggest you try your hand at more realistic genres and not fantasy - because it's much harder to imagine what would be realistic in a fantasy world with magic.
     
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  25. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    If you want to read fantasy check out the fantasy section in the workshop -there's some interesting, fun stories on there that could use a reader and some helpful advice. Critique a couple - point out things that stick out for you as a reader. And then post some short snippet of something. With all the time you've used making up paragraphs you could've easily have posted a flash in the flash section.

    Also why are you so concerned that your critique won't be any good? - you don't have to point out things that you have no experience with, all you have to do is point out things that a. don't make sense, b. sentences you stumbled over, c. plot holes, d. characters who make odd choices, or strange conversation - anything that seems out of place. Plus, you can also point out where the writer got it right and give them encouragement. This is a give and take site. It's fine to get lots of advice but you should also be willing to give it. You won't grow as a writer until you can learn to look at someone else's work and point things out. As you'll eventually have to do that with your own work. You can't write without making mistakes and you seem to want a sure fire way to avoid that.
     

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