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Thread: Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

  1. #11

    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    Uh...well I'm not going to pass judgment immediately but I would like you to post a small portion of your story, preferably the introduction, to show us what you've done with 2 years of polish.

    I don't want to get your hopes down here, but if it's even remotely like what you posted originally, you have no chance of getting it published.
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  2. #12
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    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    It hasn't been two years yet. I said I'm not going to publish it until I have 2 years of polish, and I meant 2 years from today.
    Here it is in its current state:
    There are multiple things which do not fit together in this world, things which do not like each other in the slightest. For example, soda does not taste very good when it is poured into a bowl of cereal. Lions do not play “tag” very well when paired with baby narwhals. Buttered toast does not like gravity in the slightest, tending to follow Murphy’s laws to the letter. Fairly large rocks are not very fond of glass windows, especially when said glass windows are in their way. Red governments do not get along well with Blue governments. In fact, expanding on that last one, one could just say that the Red government was not very fond of the Blue government. The Reds were the opposite of fond of the Blues. They really didn’t like the Blues too much at all, actually. And one day, they decided that they had enough of the Blues exerting dominance over their planet, and so they decided to declare war on the Blues.
    The war dragged on forever. After years of warfare and billions of lives spent, the Red government had finally managed to exert complete and utter dominance over Europe, Africa, and Asia. Their victory was near; their massive war campaigns would not be for nothing. Soon, they would stand triumphant, trumpeting their massive victory over the forces of capitalism. The last vestiges of Blue hope lay in America, the last remaining stronghold of the inferior capitalist economic system.
    Tension filled the world’s stage as the Reds slowly planned for a massive attack on the New United States. The Reds had already taken parts of Canada, and continual fighting between the two factions forced territory all the way down the northwest side of North America to be declared a “no-man’s land”. One last, final, decisive attack would crush the remains of the Untied States and defeat the Blue capitalism forever.
    And so the Reds planned such an attack. Everyone involved in the planning and execution of the attack would go down in the history books. The planners and executioners knew this and as such the plan was very thorough, going into intense detail for every last little move which would bring the Blues to their knees.
    Unfortunately, due to budget constraints and hundreds of those annoying war protesters, the Reds were unable to launch said massive attack. After much deliberation among the Joint Chiefs of State, the Reds decided to drop in a couple detachments of their best marines to get the job done and wing it from there.
    And today, the first wave of the Red’s attack had begun.
    Two detachments of marines charged from the dropships they had just flown in on. Their Red-armored forms scurried about on the beach like bugs after their rocky home had been lifted up from their heads. They prepared to wage all-out war on their helpless enemies as they formed their attack formations. Several heavily armored jeeps, nicknamed “Chupas”, exited the dropships, kicked sand up into the air as their wheels gained traction, and drove to the head of the pack.
    The attack companies waited for the dropships to finish unloading so they could begin their much-awaited assault.
    As they scurried about the beach, one of the soldiers turned to his brother-in-arms. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind one gets from not having anything to eat for a while. “Another day, another battle, eh, Vlad?”
    Vlad smiled, one of those war-torn smiles worn by many of the soldiers on the beachhead that day. “Ivan, if it means we get to destroy these damned Blues, I’d fight every day of my life. It’s a tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.”
    Ivan nodded. “I think the higher-ups agree with you. About the fighting bit, at least. They do pump trillions of dollars yearly into this damn war, after all.”
    “Ever wonder why we’re doing this, though?”
    Ivan laughed slightly and pushed Vlad away. “Don’t get all existential on me, now.”
    “No,” Vlad said, seriously, “Do you ever wonder why it is we’re fighting?”
    “Because they’re bad, comrade. Evil dirty capitalists. You know, the typical Communist reasons.”
    “Yeah, but how’d it start? Why are we fighting? Why are they so bad? Why can’t we co-exist?”
    “I don’t know, maybe because of that whole ‘Communism vs. Capitalism’ thing?” Ivan’s tone was bitterly sarcastic.
    Vlad, meanwhile, seemed genuinely curious. “But how the first Communist rebellions begin? Why did they begin?”
    “I don’t know. I think once the last of the ‘Great Democracies’ had fallen, the Blues rose from its ashes. Then their power spread until they exerted complete dominion over the entire planet, and the resulting corruption and mismanagement of the government was what led to the rise of our rebellious Red government. You should stop asking questions and just go with these things, comrade; you know the Reds hate it when people begin asking questions.” The soldier spoke this last bit with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
    “Meh. Works for me.”
    “If you really want answers, I would say that it just seems that humans like to fight over stupid things for stupid reasons.”
    “True that.” The dropship unloaded the last of its cargo and flew off. The only thing which they were waiting on now was an attack order, and so Ivan and Vlad straightened up.
    The enemy, those ignorant, capitalist, fascist Blues, was crawling all over this beachhead. The Blues knew they were coming, for no one for miles around could have missed the absolute racket which their insertion had made. The Reds could almost hear the sounds of hundreds of anti-aircraft guns coming online for California’s defense. Air support would be no help in this fight. They were going to have to win this battle on their own.
    The Reds knew that all throughout the makeshift base which they were attacking there were soldiers running about like angry ants, arming themselves with the best weapons available and preparing for a long, drawn-out battle… Or possibly just climbing out of their bunks.
    As you can see, it's quite different than my original intro. I added in a minor dialogue between two "Redshirt" characters (who will never be mentioned again) to break up the monotony of the exposition. I also added a better "hook" and more supporting details.
    Last edited by English Mobster; January 13th, 2010 at 09:04 PM.
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  3. #13

    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    It's a stereotypical adaptation of capitalism vs communism, with obvious inspiration from Red vs Blue, a lack of descriptors that really help you visualize. So they're attacking California... how about a description of where? California's coast is fucking HUGE and has a very very big difference from north to south.

    Might want to get some non stereotypical names for the Russians. You know, not "Ivan" and "Vlad". Those are as generic a "vodka". Try something like Dostoevsky or make an adaptation of a war hero's name.

    You need to execute the hook a whole lot better. You made it too long and dragged out, and entirely ridiculous. "lions and baby narwhals" made me want to stop reading right away.

    You used "red" 25 fucking times, and "blue" 13 times, and "fighting" 8 times in very close proximity.
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    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    • This entire thing is meant to be one massive parody of those Cold War action novels pitting the Russians against the U.S., hence the stereotypical adaption. It actually used to be a lot more subtle than it is in its current form
    • Red vs. Blue was a heavy source of inspiration for this, yes, just as Aliens was a major source of inspiration for Halo. I'm not plagiarizing them (at least, I hope not), other than a few nods here and there which few would notice and fewer would understand, so I don't really see anything wrong with taking inspiration from a source. It follows the Red vs. Blue model (Red and Blue teams in box canyon, mercenary shows up, mercenary turns out to be female), but it does eventually deviate (teams get arrested, jailbreak, flee to Canada... Shit happens, teams must put aside their differences temporarily to sort it all out).
    • You have a valid point on the descriptors; the description of the coast was cut so I could cut to the action. I've re-included it a bit further down in the intro.
    • You also have a valid point on the names, they've been changed to "Dostoevsky" (thanks!) and "Dmitriy", former Russian Tsar.
    • Moved the dialogue up a fair bit, it now precedes the "Tension filled the world's stage" bit.
    • It's a bit hard to not use "Red" and "Blue" when those are (literally) the names of your governments. I understand it's a bit silly to name your government after a color, however, it's a good way to tell which team is which without having to specify "The Communists" or "The Capitalists". However, I will work on it.
    Thanks a lot for your input guys; I wish I could have gotten this before I had it all printed out. The "Writer's Crit" place I posted it to for crit was (for the most part) totally useless.
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  5. #15

    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    When you literally take the storyline out of r v b (merc shows up, turns out to be female) you're doing a little more than using it for "inspiration". I'm not so sure I would call it plagiarizing, but you certainly can't be credited for being original!

    If you don't see something wrong with that, please re-evaluate your worth as an author.

    There are a lot of ways to describe which team is which, which government is which, without having to use "red" and "blue". Geographic location, values, equipment, style of government, etc. There's so much available to you to use as inspiration, but yet again, you're lacking the vocabulary and insight to accomplish good use of those kinds of descriptors.

    I think you need a little exercise in modesty as well. I know it would be pretty cool to get published, but at this point, you're just too much of a neophyte, and your writing shows that. Vocabulary and composure are everything to writing, and you're severely lacking in both.

    If you're serious, take a lot of writing classes at your local college or something. You could really use the help.
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  6. #16

    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    My writing style is fucking magnificent. I should put my blog back up.
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  7. #17
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    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    yes blind, you should.
    gallery-smellery!
    tutorial-brutorial!


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  8. #18

    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    lt slide, electric glide
    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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  9. #19
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    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    Quality shit is still shit, hth.

    You should just go for quality. No amount of polish will make something fundamentally flawed suddenly good, even if it's already at 75,000 words. Quantity does not trump quality no matter how big the ratio is.
    Last edited by Warsaw; January 14th, 2010 at 08:50 PM.

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  10. #20
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    Re: [Tutorial] Writing Stories Which Don't Suck (Part 2 of 2: Finding Inspiration!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Warsaw View Post
    Quality shit is still shit, hth.
    Published authors say otherwise, hth.
    Last edited by English Mobster; January 16th, 2010 at 01:19 AM.
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