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Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:26 pm
by SirMustapha
Talking about your motivations and reasons for writing is important, especially in an "opinions" thread, since it helps give us a better insight on what you're trying to do and offer better advice. Also, personally, I find it very interesting to know the artist's process of thinking. What you're trying to do with the story is indeed a challenge, and a very valid one. Falling into extremes can be very tempting and comfortable for the artist, but striking a balance, while difficult, is so much more rewarding. My opinion is that, so far, you're achieving your goal. Terri is not coming across as "angelic" in her actions, and as much as she can be mischievous and deliberately unlikable, she has clear limits. You did well in the scene with Lisa, and the moment when Terri is complaining and Sherri stays still is quite creepy, and would make for a visually interesting scene if animated. This is an example of a dialogue that would probably feel cheesy in another context, but it feels appropriate for the characters and for the situation. You left the story at an interesting point; we can see what's happening next, but we're left curious as to how.

I'm still liking this a lot!

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:49 pm
by c_nordlander
"However she could only ever wonder if Springfield was always so dull and unpleasant." Good sentence, but I'd personally cut the "ever." It doesn't really add anything.

The bit about the fog made me chuckle, because you made me sit up and wonder: *has* Springfield ever been foggy on the show?

"In a contest of who could complain the most about Springfield she and Sherri would probably win third place." Another nice line. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but chuckleworthy.

"Terri couldn’t think of someone she wanted to see less" I think "anyone" would be better. Good sentence otherwise.

Lisa's dialogue feels in character. It's nice of her to try to comfort someone who's lost a family member, even if she's not doing a very good job.

A small nitpick: after Lisa asks Terri if she's all right, you briefly switch to Lisa's perspective, then switch back to Terri's.

"‘Act natural’ is a tall order when she hadn’t been able to act normal since the accident." Good line. I'd change "is" to "was", to go with the past tense in the rest of the sentence, but that's a minor nitpick.

Good dialogue. Lisa's reaction to Terri's outburst feels appropriate and convincing.

"Even after wiping her eyes on her sleeve, and accidentally, her nose she couldn’t tell." Needs another comma after "nose". Good description.

I don't normally say this, but you probably should specify who is the speaker of the line before the scene break, since it's not really apparent. At first, I assumed it was Lisa asking the question, which means that the next scene confused me a bit.

"Ms" should be capitalised.

This continues good: the plot flows well (bringing up the trolley problem is a great way to advance Terri's dilemma), and you have some funny lines and good descriptions, especially in the last scene. Terri's angstiness and anger feel appropriate. Maybe she apologises a bit surprisingly quickly to Lisa, but everyone acts differently in this sort of situation (I tend to hold on to anger for longer and escalate things), plus, she does want information that Lisa has. Lisa is well characterised: I like that she's trying to be friendly to Terri and ends up annoying her anyway.

Regarding your musings in the spoilers, I think you're doing a good job
Spoiler
This story is still grabbing me. Will read more.

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:22 am
by Nidotamer
c_nordlander wrote:"However she could only ever wonder if Springfield was always so dull and unpleasant." Good sentence, but I'd personally cut the "ever." It doesn't really add anything.
... I don't know how that "ever" even got there. No seriously, it doesn't even make sense in the sentence. Spooky...

Speaking of spooky, I think the only time fog was really a thing was in THOH... 10 I think? The one with Werewolf Flanders.

Good point with the perspective switch, and while looking at that I caught a wild typo too, so hey works out!

Had a feeling about the nose comma. I think I foolishly declined to use it in an attempt to avoid comma abuse, it feels like I fall into that a lot!

So since opening up about thoughts and stuff has helped generate a bit more discussions and stuff, I'd add a few cents on stuff like the apology! Although I think I do wanna leave some room for interpretation so what I'll say is probably more of a "maybe" than something entirely concrete. Kind of a much looser word-of-god.
Spoiler
Welp, applied those edits, not sure if to stick them here now or just let them be a part of the next update.

... Also I should probably talk about thought processes more because now it's encouraging discussion and hey I love it when a thing I do does that.

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:04 am
by Nidotamer
Staring on a rewrite...

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:16 pm
by c_nordlander
A few typoes/grammar issues (and general improvement) below:

"If any other person knew what she was up to, they would think she’s insane." This and the rest of the paragraph should be in past tense. (Still good, though.)

"not that Sherri could hear" The start of this sentence should be capitalised. Good otherwise, though.

"she said as she started to glance away “I can’t survive on my own.” Great line, but you need a full stop or a comma after "away".

Typo: "non existent" needs a hyphen.

"no response." Should be capitalised, since it's a new sentence.

"Yet her chest was slightly rising and lowering but that could have been in Terri’s head." This would be better with a comma after "lowering," and in general feels a bit... rushed?


This is off to a good start. I thought the old version was already well-written, but you've improved some parts, such as explaining how Terri got hold of the book, and the scenes in general seem to flow better, with the funny parts being funnier. I giggled at "There wasn't any turning back, well actually there was."

In short, a good beginning, both in terms of drama and comedy. Good luck continuing!

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:43 pm
by Nidotamer
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GVm ... sp=sharing

Thought it'd be easier to share the document as is. Each chapter's pretty clearly marked and probably going to share a chapter at a time. Still not sure about alot of things, though...

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:11 pm
by c_nordlander
Comments on Chapters 2 and 3:

"she got the door unlocked to her relief." isn't bad, but feels like it would be even better changed to "to her relief, she got the door unlocked." Your call, really.

"her dad never noticed her leave the house" should be "dad had never noticed"

Love this: "The dummy-heads at school would buy that it was some kind of third sibling or a prank for the internet." The rest of that paragraph is good too.

"Once she gently carried Sherri down the stairs" again, this needs a "had," because it's what comes before the next action in the sentence.

Lots of good writing here.

The ending of the scene is good.

"at least the post-Sherri normal" is a good detail.

You have two sentences beginning with "yet." Feels like one of them could be changed.

The scene between Terri and her dad, where she convinces him to give her the basement room, is still good. I probably praised it already in the previous version.

"“Are you kidding me!?” He screamed as loud as humanly possible" "He" shouldn't be capitalised, since it's a dialogue tag.

Wow, the bit about Freddy Quimby is *nasty* (in a good way!), and I suspect this is setting up a future plotline. The way you've written Terri's father's reaction feels a bit underwhelming, though, almost funny. I'm not saying you should make it more melodramatic, just think about what could make his reaction seem as bad as the situation requires. Kind of depends on what you want to achieve with the scene, really.

However, I did find this line pretty great:
With that, her dad stomped over and with superhuman restraint, turned the TV off rather than pulling it out, hunting down Freddy and beating him to death with it.
Freddy's line is great in it awful way, very in character.

The ending of this scene is good. Emotional without going over the top.

Another line I liked for some reason: "The basement door creaked open in a most typical manner. She was going to have to get used to that." The rest of the paragraph is well-written as well.

The first glimpse of Sherri is unsettling without trying too hard to be scary.

A typo: a double space in "odd mannerisms"
“Helloooo,” still nothing.
This works, but I think it'd be better if "still nothing" were made into its own sentence.

"It just meant putting a bit of work into truly having her twin back, at least five of her dad’s spiels about hard work played back in her head." This needs to be split into two sentences where the comma is now; other than that, it's good. The whole paragraph is good.

The bit with
Spoiler
is cool and creepy, However, the paragraph itself needs a bit of polishing: you should probably have a new sentence after "loose," and "hair" should be "hairs" since you use "they" later.

Good ending to the chapter. Ending with an ellipsis is a bit pointless, though.

"Far from how movies made them seem, the zombies weren’t very scary, or even interesting." Good line, but I'd remove "the" and just have "zombies weren't" etc.

"and wasn’t like Sherri was going to suddenly spring to life in the next minute or so" should be "and it wasn't". Again, good paragraph.

"She couldn’t pretend to be anything but disheartened when she saw who was at the door. Before all of this, she used to be so good at pretending." Another good line. It has the ring of truth to it.

Milhouse's line about allergies is hilarious. Can't remember whether it was in the old version.

The scene with what happens to Milhouse is still absolutely great, very creepy.

Nitpick: "Terri may not" should be "might" since it's in the past tense.

Typoes: "by a spec" should be "speck"; "the instead" should be "then".

This whole scene is good.


To sum up: still going strong. It may seem like I nitpick a lot in these posts, but that's only because I already know the plot of these chapters, so I'll obviously spend more time focusing on the story on a verbal level. Apart from a few grammar/punctuation things that can be polished, I think the story is still good, and the Freddy Quimby element is interesting. I do have a slight nitpick that the scene with their dad watching the news, and the ending scene in Chapter 3, feel a bit like you've taken a very dramatic situation and written it in a slightly goofy way. It's really a minuscule nitpick, and like I said, it depends on whether you're going for drama/horror or comedy in that specific scene, I guess. (I realise that Chapter 1 also mixed drama and humour in the churchyard scene, but it didn't feel like a problem there.) All in all, this is still good: plot, characterisation, writing, the lot. I'm looking forward to more.

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:54 pm
by Nidotamer
Hm, goofy? How so? Sorry, I'm not braining right today...

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:08 pm
by c_nordlander
No, I found it a bit hard to phrase. It's not so much in how the characters act, as how the scene is written. For example, Terri's father's reaction to the news program: the tone of that paragraph feels appropriate for, say, Homer throwing a fit that the Springfield Isotopes lost (or something similar), but when it's a father reacting to the person who caused his kid's death getting off scot-free, it's a bit lacking in emotional... weight? Intensity? Here's the thing, I don't want the writing to get all melodramatic, because that would probably be worse. I just want it to feel a bit more serious.

Apologies, this is really easy for me to nitpick, but hard to give concrete advice. Tone and atmosphere are among the hardest things to do well in writing. (And just the fact that I'm able to nitpick things like this shows that this is, in most respects, a very good story.)

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:47 pm
by c_nordlander
OK, my attempts at rewriting a couple of paragraphs from the scene with Terri's dad to make them feel less goofy and more serious. Now, I did this off the cuff, so I'm not saying it's stunningly beautiful prose. Just trying to show you what I mean. My rewrite is in the spoiler tags.

Terri's dad getting angry at the news (p. 5, starting with "Terri had seen her dad get angry before" and ending with "beating him to death with it"; this scene also had a bit of a continuity error, in that you mention him storming over to the TV twice):
Spoiler
Hopefully that was useful. I can't find what I had problems with in the Milhouse scene any more, which is good, but I'll have a look at it later to see if anything stands out.

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:46 am
by Nidotamer

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:18 pm
by c_nordlander
Chapter 4:

OK, well-written and funny description right at the start.

The writing continues good. The description of
Spoiler
warmed my heart, despite the creepy context.

The description of Terri's nightmares about Milhouse is very good. Maybe "pleading eyes" is a bit too heartstring-tugging, but then again, we are getting this from Terri's POV, and it makes sense that she would be very emotional about what had happened.

Grammar issue: "or even went down" should be "gone" (since the action is still governed by "had").

That technical nitpick aside, the narration continues good. Love the bit in italics.

"It was finally her chance to enact the closest thing she had to a plan; make a sandwich." Made me chuckle, very nice.

In fact, there are lots of nice witty lines here, and Terri feels in character. The pretending to bite her arm thing is something I can imagine her doing.

"Yet when Terri set it down—on a plate, obviously, she wasn’t a savage—Sherri actually" You're missing spaces around the dashes.

"On the off chance it was one of the “rules” she tried to trick Sherri into thinking it was alive" This would flow better with at least one comma (after "alive"), possibly one after "rules" as well. Other than that, a very funny bit.

The chicken's sweet.

The bit about her dad working longer hours does a good job bringing in a quiet bit of emotion.

Typo: "Knowing her luck Sherri, wouldn’t take anything" That comma isn't needed.

"it's not like" should be "it wasn't like"

I like the bit about the Nerdonomicon not being any help.

I really like the ending.


So I have a lot of positive feelings about this bit, aside from a couple of typoes and other technical issues. I feel you've improved your writing by a few notches since the previous version (which wasn't even badly written). The situation is intriguing, and you have plenty of good jokes and quietly funny moments that feel effortless. Good luck continuing.

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:21 am
by Nidotamer
Oh, the em dashes? I think in the context I was told about 'em, and looking around they don't seem to have spaces before and after. They're not quite the same as regular dashes, I think they're used to break up commas (or highlight something important in the list of things. Like "one thing, then another—but most important is this thing." Admittedly I'm still new to using them...

And yeah, the bit about the Nerdonomicon being useless was something I missed out on the earlier draft that I probably shouldn't have. That and thinking about it, it's going to be possibly be important... I mean besides railroading Terri's options.

Re: OPINIONS: Twin of the Dead (WIP)

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:03 am
by c_nordlander
They should have spaces around them, as far as I'm aware. Also, this isn't really relevant to my comments, but in the current case, you're using them more as an alternative to brackets -- to insert a smaller, independent clause in the sentence --, a bit like I did there.
Nidotamer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:21 am
And yeah, the bit about the Nerdonomicon being useless was something I missed out on the earlier draft that I probably shouldn't have.
Heh, I didn't think about that, but good catch. Besides, it makes sense that a necromancy book would focus on the actual raising, and be low on useful information about what to do once you actually have a zombie.

Probably a good thing that you're keeping the Nerdonomicon in view, if it's going to be important later. I'm really interested to see where you're taking this story.