Print Story The story is bleeding on the carpet. Clean up those fragments!
Educashun
By aphrael (Mon May 15, 2006 at 09:22:49 AM EST) (all tags)
Story autopsy and post-mortem.



Like blixco, I wrote my story in roughly a couple of hours (on the day it was due, as i'm a terrible procrastinator); but the idea had been germinating since the day the prompt was posted. It started with me thinking about the ghost stations, and whether or not leprechauns could have passed through them unnoticed; and from there, the idea of leprechauns as spies was natural. But I wanted it to be dark, to carry a sense that the leprechauns were being used and abused; what I was looking for was the feel of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, only with leprechauns.

I had an enormously difficult time with the plot. The general idea was that the leprechaun had been sent to investigate something evil that the Ossis were up to, and had been turned somehow; but I was never able to figure out a convincing evil, or a convincing way to turn the leprechauns. Every idea that came seemed somehow cheesy and lame, and it wasn't until the last day that I realized that it didn't matter; the story could be told, and might even be better, if the evil remained nameless.

I had the backstory and the ending when I started writing, and those were the parts I was happy with; the action scene was something I knew the story needed, but I don't think it worked. Writing action isn't my forte, and I need to work on it.

Most of the feedback i've recieved (aside from the comment that it was Dickian, which is true upon reflection but was the farthest thing from my mind when I was writing it) is consistent: it was too subtle. Neither the setting, nor the fact that Dylan had been turned against his own people by the enemy, were clearly communicated. I hate stories that beat you over the head with their plot or their moral, but I erred to far on the other side for this one ... despite the fact that I was convinced that both were so blindingly obvious as to be perilously close to oliver stone territory.

It's a good lesson to learn: that particular sensor must be ignored, or at least taken with a grain of salt.

< Ed's Dead. | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
The story is bleeding on the carpet. Clean up those fragments! | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Writing Action by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon May 15, 2006 at 09:33:53 AM EST
Writing action is astoundingly difficult.

I remember Gore Vidal wrote in his introduction to the Signet edition of Tarzan of the Apes, "Writing action is the hardest thing for any author to do, no matter whether you're Edgar Rice or William S."

Excellent work on the WFC.

I liked yours a lot... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon May 15, 2006 at 10:02:35 AM EST
mostly for the atmosphere and the "who is evil in this story?" vibe I had at the end.

You said:

despite the fact that I was convinced that both were so blindingly obvious as to be perilously close to oliver stone territory.

This is the problem I always have, and the reason I usually try to get someone else to read what little bits of stuff I write. It's hard to know objectively how much of what's in my head actually comes through in the words I use.
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I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco

the sense i got from the guy i was riffing off of by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon May 15, 2006 at 10:06:14 AM EST
it may be back in some form by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon May 15, 2006 at 12:39:58 PM EST
as it's an interesting concept that could be played with later.

(leprechauns during the inquisition, for example)
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
IAWTP by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon May 15, 2006 at 06:02:20 PM EST
It really is hard to know how well you are expressing your ideas to someone not living inside your head. However I think it's almost always better to err on the side of explaining a bit too much, to take the chance of a reader going "yeah yeah, I get it" vs. "huh? wtf?" If you put it concisely rather than dwelling on it, at worst the reader has a flash of annoyance and moves on; at best the reader gets an "aha! I knew it!" moment and feels good about "getting it." Holding some things back is cool, but only with the promise that they will be revealed -- that's why it was so frustrating to have Ed Hulver ask the question "What are they doing over there?" but not to answer it.

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"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."
[ Parent ]
Not true by janra (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri May 26, 2006 at 01:21:40 PM EST
that particular sensor must be ignored, or at least taken with a grain of salt.

It must be calibrated.
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Discuss the art and craft of writing

The story is bleeding on the carpet. Clean up those fragments! | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback