06-10-02, 10:15 AM #1
User Literature Arena
It's come to my attention that we have not only a steady growth of new subscribers to 'the sciforums' but that slowly more and more of them are arriving. Lykan and I have exchanged private messages, Dragon Stone, in his profile, appears to be interested in writing, Cactus has told me he believes that he is a 'good writer.' I don't doubt that there are others here that are interested in writing or write on their own, so I've created this thread to showcase what we've done and comment on various aspects of what we've created.
Me, personally, I'm a sucker for good science fiction and fantasy, but genre really makes no difference to me as long as what's written is powerful and engaging. Hopefully what I've done will at least get me there eventually.
After a good deal of thought I've formulated the first amateur law of writing:
-No matter how good you are or how good you think you are, you are never the perfect writer, you can always evolve into something better, until you take your last breath you will never reach the pinnacle of expressing a story.
-Keep writing. Never stop, do it every single day.
-Read what others recommend, because more often than not what they do recommend may be really above and beyond excellent, and to learn how to write you have to read what has already set the standard in writing.
For this thread, I'm really going to insist that only constructive criticism is given with solid points to back up any criticisms at all, negative or positive. I'm in a study hall right now, I wish I could post some of my latest stuff.
Edit to add: I'm going to start up an excersize. Describe someone in a hot desert. After all, in scifi at least, most great stories have a desert in them.
He didn't know how long he had been there, didn't care, it didn't matter, was not integral to his survival. The intense sun had burned away what was left of his sight, all he could see was blinding white during the day and sickening black, an ocean of black rolling over itself during the chilly night. There was nothing to see anyway, all around him in every direction there was nothing but flat, untouched sand, sand that was almost like a thick liquid, so that even a single step brought agony to his overworked muscles and aching bones. He could feel his joints creaking and grinding back and forth, back and forth, again and again in a pattern he had grown to despise. His breathing became strained, he coughed from the dry air more than he inhaled, and soon the man collapsed in the sand, stretching out his wire thin body to the sun, ready to dry to a crisp human shaped raisin.
Last edited by Pollux V; 06-10-02 at 04:53 PM.
06-10-02, 04:18 PM #2
The new beginning of the rewritten Intertwine....
The sun emerged from behind a thick bulbous cloud, causing Salax Pluvia to shield his eyes and squint. He lay on a grassy plain, and all around him for miles stretched endless groves of apples and oranges, olives and figs, and he was happy: for it was a lazy Sunday afternoon. He stretched his arms and groaned, closing his eyes and enjoying the bright yellow light shining through them, knowing that there was nothing he had to do, nothing to worry about, just sheer laziness and maybe some naps mixed into his day, his week, his month. It was paradise. It was vacation.
He lived on an island that went by the beautiful name of Vadaina, and the word did the place justice. It was a gorgeous heaven, where salty ocean air drifted in from the perimeter beaches and swayed the orchards, their leaves fluttering, almost glimmering like small fish in shallow water. In the distance a volcano rose from the flat ground, a place where steam hissed regularly from its tip.
Eventually, as the day wore on and Salax drifted in and out of consciousness, the sun dropped behind the horizon and the stars soon littered the heavens, thousands of them just scattered everywhere like crumbs of a flaky, dry food. That thought reminded Salax that there was a party tonight, and he immediately leapt to his feet and dashed down a barely discernable path, his feet thumping on the wet dirt.
06-10-02, 04:50 PM #3
Sun is thristy, and heaven is drowining. He has brown, bulbous legs and a set of ribs like caged lions, but no one would dare cross him when it was his turn to leave. Got up, left, and where he's got the shoes now are where he's got the burn.
There's too much sand underneath him now, a teeming ocean of blistering cinders. "Hold on, hold on" he's been told, but the sky has been ripped open too far to reel him back in. Eyes of gray eclipse sockets of red but inside, his soul is burning as well.
Mother always told him, "Be happy with what you have." But his feet are moving, eyes searching for the one spot of significance in the hellhole inside the Sahara. He's been set in motion, reeling without a cause into a seldom blunted spike.
06-10-02, 09:51 PM #4
I'm a she, not a he, as I just newly posted in the Biography blank of my profile! I can see how it'd be mixed up, but people always assumed I was a girl...*pouts*
You're a good writer Pollux, and I pale in comparison. I hate writing description and I can't for the life of me finish a story because I have too many other story ideas in my head. So I'm just gonna write something off the top of my head and hopefully add on. Hopefully.
“No, no! I cannot do it, milady!” The servant continued onto the kitchens. He shifted the pots in his arms as he walked. The determined noblewoman hiked up her skirts and fell in step with him. She mimicked his every move. If he stopped then she’d stop. If he continued walking she would continue walking. On one of his abrupt stops a pot fell out of his arms. He crouched down to pick it up with one hand.
The noble woman dropped down also, her hand quickly covering his. She gazed into his eyes seductively. He knew this game and broke eye contact immediately, “I told you, I cannot.”
“And why not?” The woman asked irritably. She pulled her hand away and stood up straight again.
“I just cannot,” He told her firmly, still crouching.
“You cannot or you will not?”
The servant stood, dropping the other pots. His jaw and fists were clenched in anger. He spoke through gritted teeth, “I cannot and I will not,” He looked into her hazel-brown eyes, “What you ask of me is punishable by death if I’m caught.”
The noblewoman was prepared for this, “Is that all you’re worried about. If you do this for me, for us, I swear by the Goddess we will shield you!”
“How so?” The servant asked, still angry but slightly intrigued.
“The plan is to ship the assassin to the Isles,” she took his hand and brought it to her lips, “where he will become one of the noblest of nobles. He will be given a long title naming all of his victorious conquests. He will be given a fortress of wealth and a castle of his very own,” she kissed his hand longingly, “and any thing—or person—he desires.”
This offer was much too difficult for any common folk to resist, and he was certainly no hero. The temptation of the offer sunk into his head. How many poor men and rogues had dreamed of an offer like this or a life like that? All of them. Only a fool would’ve turned down an offer like that. The answer was evident in his eyes and the woman released his hand and spoke in a whisper, “Deliver your pots, sleep well for the night, and tomorrow when the bells chime twelve meet me at the smallest garden. There the date will be set.”
Hope you enjoyed. As I said, I hate description. I know there is absolutely no description for the man and barely any for the woman. Sorry.
06-11-02, 03:59 PM #5Hope you enjoyed. As I said, I hate description. I know there is absolutely no description for the man and barely any for the woman. Sorry.
From what I can tell here you seem to be setting the scene for a fantasy that is fairly grounded in our world, I got this impression from the mention of 'godess.' Off topic question here, but have you ever watched the scifi show Farscape?
The speaking seemed pretty solid, I guess, if maybe a little monotonous, for example:
“No, no! I cannot do it, milady!” “And why not?”“You cannot or you will not?” “I cannot and I will not,”
To start yet another excersize, describe exiting one normal area and entering a much colder climate. I might mention that I don't have to be the only one to initiate these.
As she slammed onto the metal floor she screamed, not in pain from the long fall, but the temperature. It was almost unimaginable, every puff of moisture from her mouth or nose was instantly visible, soon from panting so much a cloud of moisture had condensed just above the icy metal plating. The liquid around her eyes began to harden, and she closed their lids tightly, whimpering silently as she found that they could not be opened again, as if they had been welded shut.
The girl curled into a ball, almost shrivelled into one as she pulled what garments she had upon her body as close together as possible. She cupped her hands around her mouth and pushed warm air into them, but whenever she inhaled deeply in response to this action she felt as if a sword of ice had plunged down her mouth and stabbed her lungs with unmercilless ferocity.
As if to torture her one last time the operators of the torture room she lay in opened the floor up below her. Her body was almost instantly hurled into the immeasureably black ocean of space, where her skin hardened to a solid crust before she shattered into a hailstorm of icy slivers that quickly disapeared from view as they flew apart from each other.
I love happy endings....
New nickname for dragon stone: Dragony!
06-11-02, 04:33 PM #6
I like writing description, but not a lot. Yes, I'm aware that a book DOES need description! I just hate to over exaggerate.
Take for example:
The sunset was beautiful. John sat back watching the final glimpes of the sun dive in to the beautiful ocean and sink to the ocean floor. The colors that surrounded him were soft and light and almost whispered to him a goodbye....
and blah, blah, blah, blah, blaahhh!
Its a sunset for pete's sake! That's the kind of description I hate doing. And it gets really annoying after writing 3 paragraphs of it.
Hey, get off my back for a second here man. Its only the first segment of the first chapter! Its not suppose to hint much yet! Yes, its fantasy. Yes, I watch farscape every friday night at 9:00.
As for the monotone-ish thing...yeah, its suppose to be like that. Kind of like a dry unintentional humor, because who actually has a conversation like that?
06-12-02, 06:30 AM #7Yes, I watch farscape every friday night at 9:00.
And about the dragony thing, dragony, generally nicknames shortening user names and then adding on a y persist throughout the forums. There's me, called polly by maybe two people (heh...heh), tristy, the politically incorrect world events and politics user who usually provides unsubstantiated claims. Other nicknames are about, like foxynutter, who is actually FoxMulder, a really, really screwed up guy who said he'd pray for me because I like hawaiin shirts (he was serious, too. Check out the hawaiineriffic shirt thread under free thoughts). It's just so crayazy heeya!
Its a sunset for pete's sake! That's the kind of description I hate doing. And it gets really annoying after writing 3 paragraphs of it.
If I sounded like an asshole in the last post, I'm sorry. I enjoyed the piece, and I enjoy reading other amateurish writer's work as well. Right now I had a chat with my ole buddy iced_earth, but I had to leave before I could get what he wanted to send me. Croicky.
06-12-02, 08:54 AM #8
Farscape is awesome! I didn't think I'd like, but there was nothing good on and I watched it anyway. I was suprised because it just kind of blew my mind. I really didn't expect it to be that great. *Shrugs* Then I just kept watching it.
Same with Buffy. Didn't think I'd like it that much. Now I'm obsessed with the damn show!
Your right. But I actually know what kind of description I want. Not a lot, but just enough. Good example is JK Rowling. She's not powerful in description. Its hard to write like that though, you need to know what to take out and what to keep in.
You didn't sound like an asshole...just grumpy. So don't worry. I didn't really notice any.
06-12-02, 09:21 AM #9
DUde I dunno I think you could use a bit more description but from the story you were running with layin it on thick like Pollux and I like to is too much. It was good and I know what you mean about plain writing.
And I will reply to both your exercises once I got some time to think too much hw!!!!!
06-12-02, 10:03 AM #10
Homework...ahh homework, alas, we have met the one week mark. One week from now, we will be free! But I haven't been here in school the past two days, so I have much to do.
Take it from us, cactus, WATCH FARSCAPE!!!!! But as for what you said...I had trouble understanding it. Were you awake?
06-12-02, 10:19 AM #11
I'm out of school. I got out June 8th. I think we're the only school in the USA that did. No more HWK for me!
You should watch Farscape, it's really good. Funny too. Lots of craziness, literally. They go crazy a lot.
I'll have the next part of my story up hopefully very soon. I'm almost done with the segment. Yay!
06-12-02, 10:23 AM #12
I'll get some more on when I get home, right now I'm at school. The second draft of my story, tenderly entitled 'Intertwine' is about seven pages long double space, while the first draft of the story is 120 and unfinished. I decided to discontinue the original because I deemed it unworkeable-that is, I couldn't fix it up to what I wanted the story to be like. I've modified the plot significantly, this is noticeable in the very beginning to people who may have read parts of it.
But to all, like I keep saying: don't stop writing.
06-12-02, 09:55 PM #13
Someone said that if you took an infinite number of monkeys on typewriters, eventually one would write an exact copy of some Dickens book I think it was.
Or Tolkien, or Heinlein, or...
06-12-02, 10:23 PM #14
06-13-02, 10:26 AM #15
It's all randomness. There would be plenty of monkeys that got close, but give it enough time one of em would get it.
Tonight when I get home, if I can remember, I'll post more of the story. Anyone, feel free to start an 'excersize.' This doesn't have to be with description[dragony]. Later....
06-13-02, 03:27 PM #16
Pollux, I liked your dragon avatar better.
06-13-02, 04:07 PM #17
I like it too, but I really like my enterprise one, too. Maybe it's time to find another...
Anyhoo, another quote fromt the story coming up:
He arrived at his house, a quaint place with only a few rooms and just one floor, and snatched a shirt from a pile, throwing it over his body and then bolting out the door, hearing it clatter against its frame. Town was fairly far out, he lived in the wilderness. He had to be quick. He pumped his legs and sped as fast as he could, passing by tree after tree, occasionally gazing at the dark sky and the moon’s crescent, before returning his gaze to the ground to make sure that he wouldn’t trip over a wayward root.
The party was on the beach, just outside of town, and all of the inhabitants of the island, maybe three hundred people or so, had gathered around a bonfire and were dancing wildly, laughing and giggling with glee. His schoolmates, around thirty or so boys and girls, had paired up, leaving himself and strangely enough his best friend, Élan the odd ones out.
“Well look who’s here,” muttered Élan with a smirk on his face, “I had no idea that rats could walk on their hind legs.”
“And I had no idea,” retorted Salax as he stood next to Élan, leaning on the wall of a house, “that dogs could interbreed with terrans, producing such…handsome results.”
Élan chuckled, then glanced at their dancing classmates, the light from the bonfire dancing on his face. “Damn kids…wish I could be a part of that. Everyone’s taken!”
“Everyone except…. well, you know who.”
06-14-02, 02:13 PM #18
Pollux, I wanted to give you a sample of the kind of stuff I've been working on!
The small inn was somewhat secluded from the rest of the town. The large wooden shutters now only contained small flecks of what had once been a brilliant green hue. The wind had howled all day and the rain that was expected started to scream as it crashed against the roof. Inside, the business of the tavern that served as the base of the inn was full of its usual customers. They were mostly drunkards and the homeless, but there were also those who couldn't afford the price of their favorite drink at the other taverns in town. The owner of the inn was a large, round man who lived a good life of kindness and profit from his business. His kindness was so great that he allowed the sick and wounded to stay at the inn for one night free of charge, but only if they could prove that they needed the rest.
This evening was rather peculiar though. It began when the only hotel patron showed up. He was an old man, but he walked as if he still were 30 years younger. His face was dark and thick, with barely a wrinkle to even crease his cheek. This, however, was not his strangest feature. The feature of this man's face that was most perplexing were his eyes. They were white and glazed as if he were blind, but the man seemed to have no trouble finding his way path through the crowded tavern to the hallway in which the rooms resided. The other peculiar event of this evening was when the owner was about to lock his door and douse the fire. After locking the door and making his way over to the water bucket to douse the flames, there came a knock. It was not a loud knock, but he could still here it resounding in his mind after it had finished. As he moved towards the door, his urge to open it and see who was behind it increased. When he reached the door, he slid the lock away from its breech and let it swing beside the door. The figure that he saw next made his heart jump inside his chest. It was the shape of a man, but the sheer size and strength that lay within the shadow of that cloak did not seem human.
"I need quarter for the night.", called the raspy, aged voice, "I will pay you well if you at least allow me to enjoy your fire." The owner stood, dumbstruck in the doorway until he finally regained his senses and let the man pass through.
"Y.. you may have a room if you like.", stammered the owner.
"Yes, thank you.", the man said as he handed the keep a small pouch of coins.
I gotta go!! TO BE CONTINUED...
06-14-02, 03:09 PM #19
Uber, how long have you been writing? This question goes for everyone else. May I suggest editing the post and spacing the paragraphs, this makes it much easier to read. Please, continue!
As for me, well, here is more of what I have (it's been written for a few days):
Continued Élan, “Everyone except…. well, you know who.”
Salax looked at Élan, his eyebrows raised under his short, brown hair. Suddenly his gaze changed from annoyance and stupid wonder to surprise; apparently someone or something had softly touched his back, his shoulder.
He turned, and found Hara, immediately realizing that the neurons in his brain had ceased to function normally and were busy trying to re-activate themselves. He just stared at her, knowing that any method of communication would sound primordial (or stupid, a synonym he preferred to use). Hara was gorgeous, indeed that was one of the few messages his eyes managed to get through the confusion to his brain.
“Would you care to dance?” She asked, outstretching her arm.
Élan scoffed and turned away. Salax smiled and took her hand, suavely leading her into the crowd (he had lost control, so just kept himself on autopilot), bouncing about happily like everyone else as Élan simply watched, until he finally joined the drunken group of adults on the far side of the tall bonfire, sipping a mug of frothy ale.
The moon rolled across the sky, the bright fingernail crescent glowing a bright white. The party ended, leaving Salax and Hara to depart together, heading for a more secluded area of the beach beyond sight of the bonfire, which was still roaring like some fearsome animal, its glow reaching up to the sky. Salax put his arm around Hara’s shoulder (gritting his teeth in a wide smile after he had accomplished the feat) and hugged her close as he strolled across the cool sand. The night, the day, the week had been perfect. Salax had only his friends to bother him, the clouds to interest him, and the sun to warm him. He was having the time of his life. But at the moment he was focusing on remembering his own name, a hassle that could not be left for later.
Eventually they were far enough away so that the bonfire’s blaze looked only like a wavering orange speck, here just the dark, swaying palm trees and an abandoned fishing boat bobbing in the tide kept the pair company. Salax laid back on the sand, Hara falling next to him, and they both drifted into a quiet slumber, Hara’s soft wheezes accompanying the breaths of wind fluttering from the calm ocean. The moon fell below the horizon, and soon it was dark enough for even more stars to emerge from the heavenly curtain, enough of the bright specks were visible to make the sky look like a giant beach of light, a reflection of the place that Salax lay upon.
There was an explosion...
I might mention that the great Douglas Adams has had a profound effect on how I describe a love for another in a piece of writing...I heartily reccommend the book "So long and thanks for all the fish!" To any reader interested in learning from, in my opinion, a master of writing. I'm dead serious, so don't be dissuaded by the title of the book
06-15-02, 04:50 PM #20
I hate you UberDragon. Not really. You just write fucking awesome! I'm jealous. Polly, keep writing. You left us at a cliffhanger so post soon, dammit!
I haven't written anything because I'm taking a break from the computer, hence why I haven't posted in two days. I have done a little bit of research for a story I really want to write, but other than that I've been avoiding my computer.
Oh well, I'm gonna get back to writing monday or depending on my mood some time tomorrow.