OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

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Nidotamer
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OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby Nidotamer » Tue May 12, 2015 9:58 pm

Okay, first time putting up anything of my own on this board. Honestly I'm nervous as heck.

It's mainly just a bit of pointless future!Bart & Terri fluff that was literally made just as a writing test. I've seriously never actually done this before. Ever. Not necessarily demanding people go easy on me but those points might be worth keeping in mind. I'm a total beginner who still isn't sure what they're even doing. Still, wondering if I can get any comments (doesn't have to be super deep, it's probably not long enough to warrant that) or stuff I might need to keep in mind should I try writing actual stuff, and hopefully I will if I'm not too eye-searingly awful at this.

Also, thanks to Just_Chris for a little help in proofreading and such!
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LateNight.odt
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[21:32] <Chris> The red Snifit!
[21:32] <Chris> My life is now complete.
[21:32] <Chris> MAY: *kills him*
----
"Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment."
---- Harry Potter and the Portrait of what Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby gkscotty » Tue May 12, 2015 10:05 pm

Cute story, well written. Not a whole lot of depth or surprises and I find the picture rather bleak for them, but their closeness came though clearly, as was the point. Good work.
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It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do bad things. - Jingo, Terry Pratchett
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby Nidotamer » Tue May 12, 2015 10:10 pm

Thanks, I guess for such a short piece the lack of surprises or depth might be a given. Though funny enough, it seemed to come out a bit bleaker than I intended. Was meant to be a bit more "early independent living issues" or a slump.
[21:32] <Chris> The red Snifit!
[21:32] <Chris> My life is now complete.
[21:32] <Chris> MAY: *kills him*
----
"Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment."
---- Harry Potter and the Portrait of what Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby SirMustapha » Tue May 12, 2015 10:48 pm

If you hadn't told this was your first attempt at writing, I would have never guessed. The writing is good, and I think it slides in quite a bunch of information and little quirks without killing the momentum of the story. While on its own it may seem lacking on depth, I can easily visualize this as the start to a novella or something even longer. Personally, I found it quite relatable, and they feel believable as a couple. I'm just sorry I can't offer much advice in terms of language, but it looks good and tidy to me. I enjoyed this!
"Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles"

-- Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby Nidotamer » Wed May 13, 2015 4:56 pm

Oh that's fine! Really the kind words mean plenty!

I'm not sure I'm novelist material (certainly not right now!) but hopefully soon enough I'll have something a bit lengthier done now I think I've tested the waters a bit. Might be something in script format to practice stuff like pacing and proper story without worrying too much about being too fancy.
[21:32] <Chris> The red Snifit!
[21:32] <Chris> My life is now complete.
[21:32] <Chris> MAY: *kills him*
----
"Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment."
---- Harry Potter and the Portrait of what Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby c_nordlander » Thu May 14, 2015 10:38 pm

First of all, you're definitely a very good writer for a beginner. You've created a very good narrative voice for an adult Bart. I like that he's in a relationship with Terri, and the description of their everyday life feels realistic. You have some very funny jokes as well. Also, "McClure Heights" is a great name for the building.

As Fernando said, this bit may feel a bit low-impact on its own, but would work well in a longer story.

The only problem I have, and it's not a major one, is that your style sometimes feels a bit cumbersome and lacking in flow. Try reading your stories out loud and see how it feels. Chances are, if it feels clumsy to you, it will feel that way to your readers as well. There are no huge problems in this story, just something to remember for future notice. (I know you've already made some changes I've suggested.)

A typo I missed before: "forty five" needs a hyphen.

In short, you're definitely a better writer than you think. You have good characterisation and jokes, and your writing is better than that of many people who have been doing it for longer. Don't give up. :)
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby Nidotamer » Sat May 16, 2015 2:13 pm

Well I can't take credit for the building name, you'll have to praise Steve for that one!

I have a feeling that my cumbersome-ness can be down to two things: a- baby steps or b- I didn't really... plan much. I'm currently working on that latter one with the thing I'm doing now, even if it's not prose.
[21:32] <Chris> The red Snifit!
[21:32] <Chris> My life is now complete.
[21:32] <Chris> MAY: *kills him*
----
"Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment."
---- Harry Potter and the Portrait of what Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby SirMustapha » Sat May 16, 2015 3:41 pm

Nidotamer wrote:I have a feeling that my cumbersome-ness can be down to two things: a- baby steps or b- I didn't really... plan much.


I would account it more to "a". Creating a fluid prose is only achieved with practice and repetition, rather than proper planning. Personally, I didn't have any qualms with the story on first reading, but going through it again, I can see a few bits that can be improved; most of it comes in the form of the odd redundant adverb, or sentences that could be combined, or repeated ideas. I think this happens mainly because our thought processes when writing are very different from when reading; ideas may come up in fragments, and our instinct is to throw them all in so we won't miss anything, in our attempts at creating a vivid picture. When reading, though, those fragments may seem too disperse and redundant. The remedy to this is re-reading your own story, and doing one of the most painful things for me as a writer: cutting things off. It can seem like a great torture to take out words and sentences, mostly because we get used to the things we wrote and don't want to sacrifice them; but often we can rewrite sentences and paragraphs while preserving the original idea and making it a lot better. If I can get out of the abstract for a moment, I may give you an example, from the second paragraph:

His efforts to find his own apartment amounted to at least forty five minutes of just wandering about under a constant assault from the heavens, and the occasional car driving by, while growing increasingly annoyed. The repeated hair-induced blindness only contributed further to his frustration.


The idea being delivered is perfectly clear, but notice how you refer to Bart's frustration twice in the same paragraph. I'm sorry if I sound cheesy, but that's the kind of thing I would probably do myself, because of the way ideas arrive in my mind. In that particular case, you could combine both sentences, also working off the presumption that the situation is quite obviously annoying. Here's a suggestion:

His efforts to find his own apartment amounted to at least forty five minutes of wandering about under a constant assault from the heavens, and the occasional car driving by, while the hair-induced blindness only increased his frustration.


Also noticed that I shaved off a few words, but that's more down to personal style and taste. You may disagree with my choices, but it's still valid to make that exercise in choice. There are many ways of rewriting that paragraph, and that is only one of them, and only the one I was able to do. If you tried doing it yourself without reading my example, you'd probably come up with something different and equally valid; and if Chris gave you an example, it would probably be something different and more pertinent (she has given way, way more writing advice than I ever did; it's in her bloodstream, you know).

I'm sorry if I sound too patronising and didactic; it's my nature, you know. And I also only shared this bit of advice because this is something I'm working on myself to this day, so I don't feel like I'm speaking off the top of a pedestal. And I'm also only giving advice because you're already pretty good; if you were a hopeless case, I wouldn't even know where to start. ;)
"Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles"

-- Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby c_nordlander » Sat May 16, 2015 4:48 pm

Yeah, listen to Fernando!

And yeah, prose isn't really anything you can plan. Just keep writing, keep reading, read through your story to catch the awkward sentences. Like I said, you're already a pretty good writer. This is all about making you even better.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby missy_misery » Sun May 17, 2015 10:54 am

Snagged to DL and read later!
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Re: OPINIONS: Late Night (writing test)

Postby Nidotamer » Sun May 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Whee!

Seriously, I'm pretty happy that it's actually getting some notice. Certainly gives me a reason to do other things too!

And don't worry, I don't even think I'm capable of being patronized towards. Even then, didn't come off like that either. Just glad I'm getting some crits, that's usually so hard to get on the internet with that "don't criticize anything ever" mindset a lot of people take to their own work.
[21:32] <Chris> The red Snifit!
[21:32] <Chris> My life is now complete.
[21:32] <Chris> MAY: *kills him*
----
"Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment."
---- Harry Potter and the Portrait of what Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash

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