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Writing • Page 4

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by WordsfromaSong, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Garrett

    I'd like to be my old self again Moderator


    Just read your two excerpts. I think I saw you mention in here that you have spent a lot of time writing screenplays, and I think that shows in your draft. Your dialogue is working, but I think I'd take some time and go back through and flesh out around your dialogue. A few places seemed more "tell" vs. "show" which I think is a main difference between screenplay and novel writing. You seemingly have a really good grounding of characters, so I'm also curious more about the greater world around it.
  2. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    Really well written.
  3. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    Thanks for the feed back...and yes, I started out writing this story long hand and then suddenly realized that the pages were full of quotations. I abandoned the novelization and went for a screenplay instead, which I've partially written already.

    I try my best to give characters realistic and unique voices, and sometimes I have to take stereotypes and generalizations into consideration when writing. But I think with my character Chris, the big black dude in the second excerpt, I was able to give the reader a visualization of what he looked like...without being too "hey this is how some black people talk". Know what I mean?

    I want to get through the initial draft of the entire book and see what happens. I started out with POV chapters but since the groups have come together, I'm switching that up to the omniscient narrator format and going with past tense. I don't think the change will be too abrupt, but we'll find out.
  4. Garrett

    I'd like to be my old self again Moderator

    Definitely know how the quotes go. My first drafts are always 75/25 dialogue to exposition. It's become something I'm hyper aware about.

    Absolutely. Characteristics carry stereotypes and generalizations because in a lot of ways, they have to connect with the reader. If they're done well, it's never an issue. It's when they move from "connection" to "racist/sexist/etc" where the writing suffers (not saying you do that at all, btw).

    Completing the first draft is always the hardest and most important part. It's so much easier to edit, fix, and correct a draft. Especially when no one has to see it until you're ready.
  5. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    Tell me if this comes off more racist/stereotypical or not. This is where Chris comes in, I thought he was in the previous excerpt but I was wrong.

    In the excerpt below, the main group of characters are being held at gunpoint by Chris and has just shot Sherrie in the leg.

    "Which one of you is the cop?" Chris asks.


    "Do we need to play this game again?" Chris asks.

    He walks up to Sherrie and pushes her to the ground.

    "Get your hands off her!" I shout as I move toward him.

    "Shut the hell up and back off." One of the armed men tell me as he rushes closer with is shotgun.

    Chris kicks Sherrie onto her back and places his foot on her chest, holding her there. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I let anything else happen to her. He point his gun down at her face and looks in our direction.

    "I don't got no problem leavin' this bitch dead on the street." He says somewhat laughing.

    “I am.” I tell him as he smiles and puts his gun back in his waist line.

    “See, that wasn’t too hard. Well alright Officer Frank, I know exactly what I want from you.”

    “What’s that?” I say.


    “Your men have guns.” I say while pointing at the 5 in front of us and the one up on the hillside behind us.

    “True, true, but you got an armory in that police station; I want what’s in there.”

    I know there are no guns left in the armory, someone already cleaned it out. But obviously Chris doesn’t know that, I should play along.

    “What do I get in return?” I ask him.

    “Look at this mother fucker asking for shit.” One of the men says as the others laugh.

    “No, no, the man has a point. I said we’ll make a deal and we’re gonna make one. I’ll get your wife’s leg taken care of while you’re gone. Call it an insurance policy. You’ll be motivated to come back, and when you do, I’ll make sure she’s good to go.” He says.

    “Fuck that Frank; don’t help this fat piece of shit.” James says.

    “That’s his wife, bro, he’s gonna do whatever it takes.” Harry says.

    “Listen to your boy, Officer Frank. We got a deal?” He asks with his hand extended toward me. His fingers are like sausages and enough gold & diamonds around his wrist to blind someone if the light hit correctly. Makes me wonder where he found this stuff, or from whom they belonged.

    “Do it, baby, please.” Sherrie quietly tells me, still lying on the ground. She’s starting to turn a pale.

    “How will I know she’s cared for?” I ask.

    “You’ll see her when you get back. We got a park ranger station full of supplies down the road and people here who can patch her up.” He says, still holding his hand out towards me but growing impatient.

    “Alright.” I tell him, shaking his hand before pulling it away.

    “We need water. If you want this done we have to be able to physically make the trip.”

    “I got you, there’s a stream over there; fill up your bottles but hurry up.” He tells us.

    “I love you Sher, we’ll be back as soon as we can. I promise.” I tell her as my eyes begin to swell. The tears running down her face are enough for me to break down, but I can’t, I need to stay strong.
  6. Garrett

    I'd like to be my old self again Moderator

    It doesn't
  7. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    Alright well that's good...haha I was worried bout that.

    What do you think of going from first person present tense to omniscient narrator maybe present but might switch to past tense.
  8. Garrett

    I'd like to be my old self again Moderator

    That's an important part of the beta phase. Identifying all of those sections you're worried about and seeing if your betas see it the same way or if you're fine.

    In my current work, I went from 3rd person close past narrator to first person present. My opinion is do what your story is telling you to use. The writing process "clicks" for a story when you've discovered where POV/tense it's supposed to be in.
  9. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    I started out with James and Frank (the two main's) having their own POV chapters up until like chapter 6 or 7. There is a James chapter where he meets Frank, so the narration stays the same, but all following chapters will be omniscient since everyone is together, it makes no sense for the story to continue from the eyes of just one person.
  10. Garrett

    I'd like to be my old self again Moderator

    If they're going from two to one like that, I'd unify the whole thing into third, then. Unless you need the two separate for any reason.
  11. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    I don't NEED the two different POV's for any reason besides the fact the first 6-7 chapters take place in different locations and a lot of the exposition is the characters thoughts.
  12. I've got a lot of book ideas floating around in my head, but all I have time for lately is blogging. I'm finally getting into a consistent schedule of posting almost daily.

    Ours By Accident Song Shop

    Here's a brand new poem I wrote a few days ago titled "Laps of Love":

    I would love to date a girl
    Whom I met by the poolside,
    She’ll have already seen me
    In my most vulnerable state

    With no shirt — already honest
    About body, I’d be honest about spirit,
    Too. But I wouldn’t tell
    Her this; I’d appear

    Confident. Maybe someday
    I’d let her know what it meant
    And perhaps she’d feel the same,
    That she was self-conscious

    About her belly, ashamed
    To be in public without makeup,
    Afraid that men saw a body
    Without seeing a spirit.

    Which brings me to where
    I always end up:
    I’m in love with the idea
    Of her, but do I
    Love her?
  13. DesolateEarth


    Here's something I wrote a year ago. I want to get more writing done. Hopefully posting in this threat will help provide motivation for that:


    To the tyrant that lives inside of me,
    your monarchy is breathing its last.
    Your fortress will collapse into ruin,
    these walls were built to fall.

    For too long you have oppressed me,
    breaking my will like you break bread,
    Declaring me a failure and a weakling,
    And showing me my true strength in the process.

    I've spent years in bleak dungeons,
    among brick that has never seen the light of day,
    a prison of hatred and self loathing,
    Clinging to a mental ball and chain.

    The poverty in my brain is staggering,
    Hungry aspirations, starved of pride.
    I can hear the echoes in their bottomless stomachs,
    I will feed them with your demise.

    I can't reclaim what is in the past.
    I can't kill the ghosts that now inhabit my memories,
    immortalized scars in the skin of time,
    I take comfort in knowing you will soon join them.

    The fatigued peasants have spoken.
    They want an end to this endless night,
    they want answers to their gnawing questions,
    they thirst for what could be for throats parched with what is.

    I have amassed an unstoppable army,
    Capable of toppling any imposing utopia,
    an army armed with confidence, self worth.
    and eyes where there were once hollow sockets.

    Your ships will burn with the dawn,
    from fires fueled by imagination,
    from torches ablaze with ideas,
    infernos born from a single spark of hope.

    You cannot hide from the march of dreams,
    you will be torn from your wicked throne,
    and dragged through the crowded streets,
    filled with all of the thoughts you stifled.

    I will stand at the guillotine of truth
    staring down at you, oh king of lies.
    Realizing that I am no longer your slave,
    I will release the weight from both of our shoulders.
    heartbeatsbrain likes this.
  14. New blog post where I go semi-in depth about the use of analogies in poetry and music.

    My Life Analogy
  15. New blog post, for anyone interested!

    Appearing Clean

    I discuss the difference between appearing clean and being clean, a gross pattern I've seen at my job lately--and then I take a philosophical spin on it. Because OF COURSE.
  16. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    Maybe someone will be interested in this. It's a short story told in first person, present, titled Captive (1043 words)

    Eyes open, the light is the all too familiar brightness that I’ve come to dread; the dark is the only place I can be at ease and where the only threat is my own mind. The door opens as I receive my clothing for the day, which is the same as it’s been for years now. The door closes, I remove what I’m wearing –a wrinkled version of what is neatly folded beside me. The basket, which is secured to the floor, with child-like precautions on the rim, is in the corner; that’s where the previous day’s clothes are to be placed. There is an ominous black button, with no back plate, protruding from the wall just behind the cylindrical shaped clothing receptacle. Pressing this will send a signal to someone, somewhere, to turn what is an otherwise innocent basket, into a thunderous vacuum tube that takes my soiled clothing to some other place I’ve yet to see.

    The speaker in the corner of the ceiling emits static, what follows is always a voice, a rather informative voice but in a language I do not understand. The absence of conversation is something I never put much thought, but now it proves to be a necessity. I’ve forgotten the sound of the female voice; the softness and comfort that can make you quiver if used correctly. The speaker lets out a click, signaling that the person on the other end is finished with the daily announcement. What is he saying? Why is the message different each day? Answers to such questions are never going to be answered, and I need not worry myself. The blackness in my peripheral is returning, I’m still not recovered from yesterday’s activities. As the tunnel that is my sight narrows, I give into the urge of sitting down on the bed that I wish on no one.

    Knocking at my door causes me to freeze. The voice coming from the other side sounds the same as the speaker. The door opens and I sit up. A man that I have never seen stands in front of me, staring silently before placing his hand on my shoulder and using the other hand to gesture me to the open door. The lightly placed hand on my shoulder quickly turns into a firm grab as I have yet to stand. The man’s face now has the expression of frustration and disgust. I stand, the tunnels return and quickly envelop my vision and I use him for balance. His other hand is on my other shoulder as he pushes me upright, he shakes me, and my vision is slowly clearing. I reach down to straighten the sheets on my bed but am stopped. I look at him confused; he subtly shakes his head from left to right.

    The slight green hue from the fluorescent lighting in the hall ceiling always makes me squint; I’ve forgotten what the sun looks like. The floor is cold on my bare feet, and the clothing does little to block the air blowing in from the strategically placed air vents in the ceiling. There is a door straight ahead, it’s not the same bluish gray as the rest of the doors stretching the once thought of as endless corridor. His hand is still on my shoulder, but it’s not the lightly placed hand. He knocks two times on the door just inches in front of me. A man opens, he’s dressed differently than the one who took me here, but doesn’t say anything. A large rectangular table is placed in the middle of the room, with a curtain flowing over one of the walls. I look around and see tubes, four canisters and gauges mounted on another wall, below them is a small table with various instruments; the man who opened the door is standing with his back to me, facing the curtain. The man who brought me here leaves through the only door into the room.

    The curtain opens. My bright orange clothing gleams in the reflection of the glass. My face, though not clearly seen, is bruised and battered. There are people on the other side sitting in chairs, staring into the room, but not straight at me. On the other side of the glass, the same from my room begins to speak to the people. I see tears on the faces of some, and anger on the faces of others. The man whom waited my arrival turns to me guides me to sit down onto the table before gently pushing at my chest in a gesture to lie down. The back of my head and my heels are cold from the table’s surface. He grabs my left arm and extends it with my palm facing up; his fingers run from my wrist to the pit of my elbow. I turn to watch as he gathers the tubes that are mounted onto the wall, from the table he picks up the IV central line. A small prick to the pit of my elbow makes me wince; one of the people behind the glass is smiling. He walks around the table to my right arm, repeating the procedure.

    He attaches two tubes to each of the central lines taped securely to my arms before walking to the wall where the canisters are mounted. I didn’t notice it before, but the same little black button from my room is mounted next to where he’s standing, this one has a back plate. The hiss of compressed air fills the room after he presses the button, I can see a milky fluid coming down one line of my right arm; I feel the sting once it begins to flow into the central line. Another hiss releases a clear fluid coming down to my left arm. The stinging isn’t as bad, my tunnels are returning. I don’t hear the next fluid being sent, but it’s dark and fast moving. There is no more stinging. The tunnels close in around my eyes. The final liquid is coming, I can’t see the color. The tunnels take over; I turn my head to look straight up to the ceiling. I don’t feel the cold on the back of my head or heels. Eyes close.
  17. sunshift


    I write poetry all the time and I guess I'm looking for a solid, reliable place to post it ???
    heartbeatsbrain likes this.
  18. Raku


    I know/am part of a poetry posting website. I can send you a link over pm if you don't mind.

    Reason why is I don't want to get in trouble linking to sites on forum, unless @Jason Tate doesn't mind me posting a link?
    heartbeatsbrain likes this.
  19. heartbeatsbrain


    I would also like this link. I'm a huge fan poetry, and find it's useful to have a place to share get open feedback on what I write.

    Plus I think it helps to see other people's approaches to writing.
  20. aspeedomodel

    Cautiously pessimistic Prestigious

    Have a novel in the works, about 3/4's done at this point. My issue is I rewrite as I write so the product is never finished.

    Just wrapped up second draft on a short story, need wife to give feedback.
    Garrett L. likes this.
  21. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    I'm writing something long form and various short stories, would love to bounce ideas off of someone here.

    What narrative is your novel?
  22. aspeedomodel

    Cautiously pessimistic Prestigious

    Cool, what do you have in the works?

    How do you mean? Sorry, only one cup of coffee so far so I'm scattered haha
  23. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    1st, 2nd or 3rd person? What tense?

    I posted something above, kind of a longer post (6 paragraphs). It was something I came up with and wrote in about 90 minutes, and it kind of shows, but I like doing these types of things as exercises. Plus, I hate to outline and plan out too much, so this works for me.

    As for my "book", I'm 95 pages (17,600) words in; It's a post apocalyptic tale titled "The Endeavor". The story follows two separate parties, told in first person, present tense. When the two groups come together, the narrative changes to just one character's POV for the rest of the story. All earlier chapters are titled after the main character's name and follows that one POV (I ripped off GRRM).

    It takes place immediately after the catastrophe happens, the characters aren't aware of what exactly happened, but I am, and it will be revealed later in the story.
  24. aspeedomodel

    Cautiously pessimistic Prestigious

    Third person for the majority, though there are several portions that are first given their nature. It also switches between time periods, so mixture of present and past.

    Once I get off work, I'll give this thread a thorough look through and see what you posted. Always love ready other people's work and giving feedback.

    I actually LOVE the idea of a story set around the aftermath and the characters struggling to find out what happened. Reminds me of the show Jericho which is such an awesome approach. Good luck! Would love to read some when you're ready.

    My novel is a story focusing on a character's struggles with loss, uncertainty and the realization of his place in the world while dealing with intense isolation. Science fiction heavily inspired by Solaris. I usually don't do Outlines, but honestly wish I had with this novel, it's becoming a beast. Usually I just write, but I did start outlining thoughts and doing free writing for the story which I then saved in separate folders to be dropped into the story as I felt needed. It's coming along, 200+pages, titled "The Cosmonaut".
  25. drstrong

    I'm Back.

    In my story, all electricity (including most batteries) have been rendered useless by a massive EMP. With the first group, I start out a few weeks after shit hits the fan, and then with the other POV group, we get to see the night of the event and the sudden power loss.

    I don't have a lot of characters in this story, just the two small groups and a couple of supporting antagonists because lets face it, if there is a power loss, certain people will take advantage.

    There are certain twists I'm considering but haven't pulled the trigger just yet. If I go down that road, I might lose the core plot of the story which is survival of the group. I PLAN on making this a series of three books, each about 300 pages, and I have an ending already for the first one.

    I'd love to share in some feedback as sci-fi is my favorite genre (I have a couple of short stories), so we'll talk later.