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The Great PlanetCrap Writing Experiment, Round 3
June 8th 2004, 18:48 CEST by Thrrrpptt!

What, nobody was going to create a new topic for Round 3. Discuss!
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Home » Topic: The Great PlanetCrap Writing Experiment, Round 3

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#1 by jjz
2004-06-08 18:50:10
No.
#2 by Fugazi(werking)
2004-06-08 18:51:31
Yes.

!
#3 by Jibble
2004-06-08 18:54:31
Maybe.

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#4 by crash
2004-06-08 18:55:29
Never.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#5 by Jibble
2004-06-08 19:00:15
Thanks, Gabe!

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#6 by UncleJeet
2004-06-08 19:03:34
I'm going to cut my comments out of the old thread and into this one so everything's in one place.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#7 by UncleJeet
2004-06-08 19:03:53
The House off Route J
Thrrrpptt!

I enjoyed the leisurely flow of your writing.  I'm not normally big on plot, but I need to make a couple of comments about it.  Tyler is supernaturally gifted and the whole story depends on it.  To explain the gift, you used flashbacks to show his first experiences with it so that the end conflict could make sense.  However, I really don't think you need the flashbacks.  Make this house his first experience with his gift, show his struggle with trying to understand it, and his eventual mastery of it all in the present of the story.

Along the same lines, I don't think you should show anything about the creature at all until the end when it reveals itself.  I think it would add a lot of suspense and keep the mystery going until the end.  In fact, I think the few realy glimpses we get of the creature cheapen the story by giving us too much information, as well as in how its presented.  When the kids first try to get in the house and the creature wakes up, it was almost as if I were watching a bad horror movie where the camera tracks into the house, then pans up through the second story floorboard and slowly tracks along the floor to the papers stirring around while cheesy synthesizer music starts playing in the background.  The story is much, much better than that, so I'd kill these glimpses of the creature that bring it down to this level.

As for everything else, I really liked what the ghost ended up being and the conflict at the end was nicely done.  That's about all I have to say about plot.

As I said, I really enjoyed your writing style.  There are a couple of things, though.  I'd rip out the first paragraph of the story entirely.  It serves little purpose, and I think the story would pop a little more if it started out right in the action of the story.

Watch out for word repetition:

They circled around the side, passing more dark windows until they came to the front of the house. The front of the house was set back from the road, accessible by a long gravel driveway...



Tyler took several steps back, tearing his eyes from the upstairs window. "It's okay," Tyler said. "Let's go."



A particularly large pile sat to the left of the desk. On the desk squatted a large beige typewriter...


Other than that, I thought everything was great.  I liked your take on seeing the supernatural, with the pulling effect.  I really enjoyed the frantic bit where all of the past was rushing into Tyler's mind.  It was a little difficult to read, but the effect you were going for worked.  Nice attention to detail in your narrative, without falling into the trap of overly describing everything.  I especially like that the only physical description of the boys was their hair color, as I'm a fan of minimalism when it comes to describing characters.

Nice work - I didn't even miss the lack of locked doors!

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#8 by UncleJeet
2004-06-08 19:04:21
Machines
By (Anonymous)

I think this is a good shell of a great story.  The problem is that it's way too short.  You explained why, but there's still plenty of time to edit it up and flesh it out.

Does the robot ever get any clothes?  It was a little odd picturing the girl (before the revelation at the end, but even then...) not even giving this naked android a second glance with his Wee Willy Wonka dangling in her face.  Also, a bit creepy when he puts his arm around her.

I don't mind not knowing what happened to the world, but the meat of the story is the relationship of the robot with the girl, and we don't really get any of that.  This is where I think you should flesh things out.  Have the girl help the robot find some clothes.  Make the trip to the bunkers take a little longer.  Maybe have some human patrols they have to skirt around and hide from on their way.  Put in some situations for the robot and the girl to bond in, that sort of thing.

As for your writing, add some more action and watch your tense use.  Other than that, it's fine.

At the beginning, you apologize for making "stupid mistakes" - bleh.  I don't think anything your wrote here is stupid; you just need to flesh it out into a full story.  It's a great starting point.  I like the idea of the robot and the girl and their relationship - just give us more of that.  With enough time spent on them, we can care more about what happens to them and the revelation at the end will hit harder.

We only have three stories in so far, so you have plenty of time to revisit your story and work on it some more.  I hope you do, because I think it has a lot of potential and I want to find out everything that happened on their journey to the bunkers.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#9 by UncleJeet
2004-06-08 19:04:45
At The End, Perchance
By Hugin

I really liked your take on the theme.  I wasn't really sure where you were going with it until the end, then it all made sense.  You have a frantic paragraph in the story, much like Thrrrpptt has in his, but I don't think it works quite as well here as it did there, mainly because we lack an established context to view it in.   I also liked "coughlaughing" - I'm a fan of playing with words like this, but I think it would work better as just "coughlaugh" but don't ask me why.

I'd like to read some more about the power this family has.  I realize its consequences, but I don't quite understand how it would be seen as a positive and used in ruling and helping the people.

I also dig the style you used in this story.  It's very Harlan Ellison, though I don't mean to say that you intentionally tried to write in his style.  I mean it more in the sense of I love how your sentences read, some a little abstract, some a little run together, etc and in all the right places.  Really nice work.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#10 by UncleJeet
2004-06-08 19:05:15
The End Result Part Two
Story:  Charles
Quality:  Bailey


I didn't pay attention to the title, so I had no clue that this was a continuation of your last story.  (I didn't read many submissions from the last round.)  I like the idea of the GenoMod "demons" and a good revenge plot is always fun.  The end confused me though, but then I noticed the title and I assume that there is more to come.

After I finished the story and noticed the title, I read part one.  I have to say, the writing of part one is a little better than part two.  I don't know if it was Bailey's contribution or you just second guessing yourself, but the writing here in part two is changed.  I need to say that it's not bad or anything, just that it's not as tight and focused as it was in part one.

I'm a fan of lengthy sentences, but watch how many comma separations you use in them.  Try to phrase them so that you don't have to use a ton of punctuation.  Also, detail is nice but sometimes too much is distracting.  For example,

Zend ran his left thumb along the edge of his right horn, contemplatively.

Unless it's important to the story that he uses he left thumb and his right horn, it would read better to just say:
Zend ran his thumb along the edge of a horn.

I'd kill the adverb completely, too.  Something like this:

"Let's just lay this out," said Zend.  He paused and ran his thumb along the edge of one of his horns.  "You want me to...."

All in all, the story was enjoyable to read.  I just think that you've lost a little of the focus in the writing that you had in part one.  Due to the liberal use of commas, minor tense changes, and sometimes over-wordiness, this story doesn't read with the quick flow that your last one did.  The dialogue, while still very good, has also received the verbose treatment and, as a result, doesn't have quite the pop and believeablity that it has in part one.

It's a good story, and I look forward to reading part three.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#11 by UncleJeet
2004-06-08 19:05:44
Ok, all done.  You may put your scroll wheels away now.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#12 by Jibble
2004-06-08 19:06:49
I will put it away after I've extinguished it.

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#13 by Jibble
2004-06-08 19:07:11
Meanwhile, who wants s'mores?!

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#14 by Sgt Hulka
2004-06-08 19:26:58
S'mores?  Only if you burn the marshmallow

#15 by jjz
2004-06-08 19:53:28
So, in the new GTA game, you will have to eat food to maintain stamina.  If you don't eat healthy food and whatnot, your character will get fat and you'll have to go to the gym and work out otherwise you won't be able to do missions.
#16 by Shadarr
2004-06-08 20:26:22
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
S'mores?  Only if you burn the marshmallow


That's not a choice, that's a natural consequence.

PLUR, motherfucker!
#17 by Jibble
2004-06-08 20:34:33
All marshmallows shall henceforth be heated to a delicious golden brown and no further.  The act of burning marshmallows will carry the penalty of death, dismemberment, and sexual abuse, the order of which will be chosen by the courts at the time of sentencing.

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#18 by Shadarr
2004-06-08 20:44:25
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Are you part of the Left-Liberal Crü?  Because if not, you're in no position to set policy.

PLUR, motherfucker!
#19 by Jibble
2004-06-08 20:59:31
The former established regime has been removed from power by citizen demand/revolt/mass murder.  Now all we do is set policies on foodstuffs.

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#20 by Shadarr
2004-06-08 21:07:06
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I don't feel very murdered, upstart.  Don't put the cart before the horse.

PLUR, motherfucker!
#21 by Matt Perkins
2004-06-08 21:15:06
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
As a member of the "new crew", I'd like to say it's damn well fine to burn your marshmallows...duh.

"1) Lighting?!  Must be Zeus!" - Jibble's view on Faith
#22 by Squeaky
2004-06-08 21:20:07
That's it, Matt's up against the wall!

I just found me a bottle of blues
some strange comfort for a soul to soothe
dvds
#23 by Jibble
2004-06-08 21:28:52
#20 Shadarr
I don't feel very murdered, upstart.  Don't put the cart before the horse.

I didn't say everyone was murdered.  Only the important people.  The rest of you were merely slandered behind your back to the point that the populace no longer recognizes your power.

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#24 by yotsuya
2004-06-08 21:35:06
I'll bet Jibble's elementary school teachers told his parents he had quite the imagination.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
The NEW Official PCMLB League Page
#25 by Jibble
2004-06-08 21:40:06
If by "imagination" you mean "learning disability", then you're right on the money, honey.

Kids today have so many advantages I never had.  There's no telling what I could've accomplished with a home computer and a handgun.
Crapsifter v0.2 beta
#26 by DEATH KILLER INTERNATIONAL (INTERGALACTIC DIVISION
2004-06-08 22:13:52
deathkillerint@hotmail.com
can we talk about sports in this thread

Intergalactic Turnip Festival Destroyer
#27 by BobJustBob
2004-06-08 23:11:24
I voted no for this thread! Democracy sucks.

Dood.
#28 by Phayyde
2004-06-08 23:49:05
Is this the patch that makes Quake fun?

Beat to fit, paint to match.
#29 by bago
2004-06-09 00:26:53
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
I got yer quake right here.

By the way, if signatures weren't for perverts, I'd totally sig this.
#30 by Caryn
2004-06-09 04:18:25
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Well, I thought I'd manage to get a story in this round, but I just won't -- too many stressful things going on for me right now. But to make up for it, I WILL spend extra time and effort doing critiques. And I'm sure it's ruined lives and cities that I didn't contribute this time around.

"See, Canadians believe Jesus walked on water. We just figure it was winter when he did." - Squeaky
#31 by UncleJeet
2004-06-09 04:19:56
We all know you're busy getting co-op into Doom3, so there's no problem.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#32 by yotsuya
2004-06-09 04:20:37
If you see "The Day After Tomorrow", you'd see the repercussions of not contributing, Caryn!

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
The NEW Official PCMLB League Page
#33 by Xero
2004-06-09 05:16:02
http://novakometa.blogspot.com/
I tried to make it in, I have the beginning and end of a good story but no middle. Maybe next round.

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.   James Madison
#34 by BobJustBob
2004-06-09 05:19:19
Is it next Tuesday yet?

Dood.
#35 by Caryn
2004-06-09 06:40:31
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
The House of Route J
Thrrrppt!

I enjoyed this story. It was packed with description, which really brought the house to life. I was worried that this would turn into a stereotypical horror story, but I really liked the way you handled Michael's sister and her role in the story.

I've got some specific comments below...

The one thing that sticks out to me most is something you actually commented on favorably in my last story: the tone of the writing. You're talking about two fourteen year old boys, but it definitely sounds like an adult who's writing about them, not a story told from their perspective. This sentence is a good example:

Michael kept laughing, tickled even more by the name Tyler had given him, and struck an exaggerated battle stance, backing up against the edge of a ridge.


Are 14-year-old boys really ever tickled about anything? :) I don't get the sense they are, and this sentence made me feel one step removed from the immersion of the story. One thing that may help is trying to envision how the person the story is being told around would say each sentence. Doing that, it begins to help shape the writing so that even in third-person limited POV it can have the right "voice".

"Yuck," Michael said, flicking the spoon in the cereal bowl. "It's all crusty like it dried up years ago. There's mouse shit, too." He tilted the cereal box, a orange and white Wheaties box that looked different than the ones they had seen in the supermarket. "Who the hell is Bruce Jenner?" Michael asked, pointing to the face on the box.

Loved this paragraph. It was a great way to show and not tell.

Tyler was puzzled by an odd progression of ...stretches that ran up the stairs in a side-stepping pattern. Like footprints. He blinked his eyes to try and clear them of what he thought must be an illusion. It was as if someone had taken a picture of the stairs and pulled at the back of it in several places, creating a trail of indentations marked by stretches in the picture. Except this wasn't a picture, it was real.

I had to read this a couple of times to get it, and I still can't picture this in my head. Am I missing something? Note: the later description of the baby in the fire helped clarify it.

The thing chuffed and breathed deeply, inhaling the residue of their conflict like perfume. Delicious.

I liked this sentence a lot.

Tyler stared at the white ceiling tiles above his bed. There was a grey stain around the edge of one of the tiles, which reminded him of something he couldn't quite remember. He knew that there was something in the house off of Route J, something that was like Michael's dead sister.

This seems redundant; you've done a good job up to this point with mysteriously linking the thing in the house with the "ghost" of Ashley...you're assuming that your reader hasn't gotten it yet. But they have. :)

The world washed out around Tyler, his vision fading to a palate of muted blacks and grays and the few sounds around him disappearing entirely. He sees Randal and Joan Klein as Honey, this house will be perfect, and it'll only be for the summer they walk up the front porch and into the house and Joan sitting in her tidy study tapping out words on the beige typewriter as It's coming slowly,

I love what you did in this paragraph -- it's perfect.

"See, Canadians believe Jesus walked on water. We just figure it was winter when he did." - Squeaky
#36 by Your Friend
2004-06-09 06:52:55

Are 14-year-old boys really ever tickled about anything?


Only when they are staying at Michael Jackson's house.

Comment Signature
#37 by Caryn
2004-06-09 07:11:26
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Keyless Entry
Jeet

I loved the writing, loved the demon, loved the dialogue, but I'm lukewarm on the story's ending.

You've got a talent for good phrasing, and that's very prevalent throughout this story. The story had me all the way up until the very end when he suddenly realizes that it's been two years. The ending felt way too rushed, though, and seemed tacked on. As if you realized that you had to tie it in quickly to the rest of the story and sort of whipped up a "and this happened and then it triggered this memory and the end" (in fact, the actual addition of the words The End at the end of the story reinforce that - I would advise removing it, it's usually pretty jarring when an author does that, and something publishers traditionally hate seeing).

So, I dunno...I LIKED the story. I liked his realization at the end, because you had the reader wondering all the way up until that point what the kid needed to summon the demon for, and that's good. But the ending was so brief that I was left feeling rushed.

Here are some more specific comments:


Cody was speechless. He tried to shrug, but his shoulders refused to cooperate. He nodded instead. *Nod*

No need for the *nod* at the end.

*Nod*

“You’re going to have to do better than that, Sparky. You’ve called upon powerful mystical forces of darkness. I expect a little effort.”

*Nod, nod*

It's totally a personal preference, but I would have preferred to read "He nodded." In place of the *nod*. Something about the *nod* strikes me as very Internet-like. Maybe just Italicize it? The asterisks throw me off. I know, stupid little point. I know what you're trying to do and it's clever, but the flow seemed off to me.

“HA! Stupid kid. Do you know what I can do to you for giving me polyfuckingester?”

Loved this line.

"See, Canadians believe Jesus walked on water. We just figure it was winter when he did." - Squeaky
#38 by Caryn
2004-06-09 07:27:12
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Machines
Anonymous

Since I don't know who Anonymous is, I don't know how critical s/he wants the comments on this to be, so be warned.

This story fell flat for me. There's some potential there, but it was too simplistic -- it read like a children's story. Which is fine, I suppose; there's nothing wrong with aiming for that type of voice. But it didn't make me want to continue reading it. The sentence structure was very simple and plain, and it didn't inspire interest in me to keep reading.

The ending definitely needed to be fleshed out. In fact, the whole story should be. In one sense, it's good to have the reader wondering, why is this robot alone? Why is the city empty? Why are people in the barracks? But at some point it's good to start filling in a bit of the gaps.

If I were to try and make this story better, I would suggest trying to mature the voice and tone of the writing, to start. It can be easy to fall into the trap of going for very simple style when you're unsure of your abilities (which I'm guessing is the case if the author wants to remain anonymous).

Then I'd try to add more punch to the ending. It's got potential, but definitely needs some more info and length to it to draw the reader along.

"See, Canadians believe Jesus walked on water. We just figure it was winter when he did." - Squeaky
#39 by lwf
2004-06-09 11:08:25
Well, I seem to have submitted a story. In your face, faggots!

Fear is the dark room where the devil develops his negatives.
#40 by lwf
2004-06-09 11:19:45
Charles' story reads like Max Payne Jr., in 2023. And that's how he and Bailey should pitch it to Take-Two.

Fear is the dark room where the devil develops his negatives.
#41 by lwf
2004-06-09 12:31:51
And Hugin's story was good too.

Fear is the dark room where the devil develops his negatives.
#42 by lwf
2004-06-09 12:36:22
But I'm afraid I don't see the Harlan Ellison in it.

Fear is the dark room where the devil develops his negatives.
#43 by UncleJeet
2004-06-09 15:33:41
Caryn

Good point about the nod.  I think italicizing it might be enough.  About the ending, you're right that it's abrupt, but I didn't just get to a point and say ok, tired of writing now, end!  I could expand on the it though, and show what happens when the demon comes back.  I'm just not sure what that will add to the story.  Let me give some thought to where else I could take it, and if I come up with something I'll revise and repost.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#44 by UncleJeet
2004-06-09 15:36:09
lwf]/b]

Read more Ellison, then!  Pick up The Essential Ellison and start at the beginning.  DO IT NOW!

I wouldn't confuse Hugin's story for an Ellison story or anything; what I meant was that there was a general Ellison type vibe to his sentences.  I guess I wasn't clear enough.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#45 by UncleJeet
2004-06-09 15:36:22
well, assmonkeys

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#46 by Charles
2004-06-09 15:49:59
www.bluh.org
Charles' story reads like Max Payne Jr., in 2023.


More like 2080, though I haven't really settled on the timeframe yet.

"I'm not asking for much; just a job that meets the minimum legal requirements set forth by my country."
#47 by yotsuya
2004-06-09 16:23:05
It's good you're thinking of sequels already.

That's a beautiful way to go. Shot by Yot. In more ways than one. -mgns
I wear my sunglasses at night.
The NEW Official PCMLB League Page
#48 by jjohnsen
2004-06-09 18:39:41
http://www.johnsenclan.com
We're done moving, and have made most of our preparations for the new house, so I'm going to give the next round a shot.

#49 by Caryn
2004-06-09 20:55:44
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Not that anyone asked, but I really love Fireland. I often find myself wishing I could write like him. All of his stuff is so surreal, weird, and well-written. Half of it doesn't make any sense, and yet I love it anyway.

"See, Canadians believe Jesus walked on water. We just figure it was winter when he did." - Squeaky
#50 by lwf
2004-06-09 21:59:20
That would probably have to be Max Payne III then.. Either way it's a game I'd pirate in my spare time, especially if the demon is a playable character. (Please no shower scenes though)

Fear is the dark room where the devil develops his negatives.
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