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Zymologist
04-20-2016, 11:47 PM
I learned a couple things from my latest short story, and I thought, why not share what I learned on here....

These are both seemingly small things, but IMO had a pretty big impact on the result.

1. Character development--simply put, I made the characters argue with each other, and this did wonders for making the characters feel more real. Lesson learned: make characters argue with each other more.
2. I tried to make my narrative style more casual, and sound like the speech of the narrator. Turns out that this is one of my favorite parts of the story. I just like the way it reads. In comparison to the relatively formal, stilted prose of my novel-in-progress (completely unrelated to the story), I like the casual style a lot more. So perhaps there's a lesson to be learned here about developing quirks of character speech, and then narrating accordingly.

Carrikature
04-22-2016, 09:16 PM
Good lessons. Just don't start adding 'uh' and 'um' into your dialogue. In real life, your brain sorta skips over those words unless they're really prevalent, but in writing it messes up the flow.

Zymologist
04-22-2016, 09:36 PM
Good lessons. Just don't start adding 'uh' and 'um' into your dialogue. In real life, your brain sorta skips over those words unless they're really prevalent, but in writing it messes up the flow.

Yeah. I actually wrestled, briefly, with dropping the "g" off of certain words (e.g., "I didn't say nothin"), but decided against this. Seemed too literal, and not necessary to get the intended point across anyway.

Carrikature
04-27-2016, 05:55 PM
Yeah. I actually wrestled, briefly, with dropping the "g" off of certain words (e.g., "I didn't say nothin"), but decided against this. Seemed too literal, and not necessary to get the intended point across anyway.

If you want an extreme example of dialect in writing, read Huckleberry Finn. You probably shouldn't go that far, but it can be pretty useful to differentiate characters or achieve some level of realism in part by showing speech patterns. I've seen different methods. The simplest is just specifying early on how they're pronouncing a certain sound. Leaving off g's, never using contractions, or really bad grammar also work. The same rule about not messing up flow applies here. Huckleberry Finn is a beast until you get used to the sounds.

Zymologist
05-02-2016, 03:00 PM
If you want an extreme example of dialect in writing, read Huckleberry Finn. You probably shouldn't go that far, but it can be pretty useful to differentiate characters or achieve some level of realism in part by showing speech patterns. I've seen different methods. The simplest is just specifying early on how they're pronouncing a certain sound. Leaving off g's, never using contractions, or really bad grammar also work. The same rule about not messing up flow applies here. Huckleberry Finn is a beast until you get used to the sounds.

Yeah, I think Huckleberry Finn would be the quintessential example of that.

I had a great day yesterday: cranked out 4000 words in the follow-up story. It's already longer than the first one, and it's not finished yet. I'm now wondering if I could turn this into a novel when I'm done, with these stories being chapters or sections or something. I might have ~15k words when I'm done with this one, which is an appreciable chunk.

Carrikature
05-03-2016, 03:45 PM
Nice! 15k word is just under 1/3 of a full novel. :thumb:

Zymologist
05-10-2016, 06:45 PM
I finished the second part of what is now an extended short story, or maybe even a novella. It totals to 17,000 words, which is pretty substantial.

I'm not sure what I think about this second half, though. I still like the first one a good bit, but I think this second one has some issues with flow and transition. Think on it more, I must.

Carrikature
05-11-2016, 07:51 PM
I finished the second part of what is now an extended short story, or maybe even a novella. It totals to 17,000 words, which is pretty substantial.

I'm not sure what I think about this second half, though. I still like the first one a good bit, but I think this second one has some issues with flow and transition. Think on it more, I must.

17.5k is usually the line between novelette and novella.

Way to go!

Zymologist
05-11-2016, 08:30 PM
17.5k is usually the line between novelette and novella.

Way to go!

Thanks! It's good volume, but I'm still not sure about the quality. You're welcome to read the second one as-is, if you want. How much of a masochist are you? :wink:

Carrikature
05-13-2016, 11:07 PM
Thanks! It's good volume, but I'm still not sure about the quality. You're welcome to read the second one as-is, if you want. How much of a masochist are you? :wink:

I spend my free time playing Wurm, doing primarily terraforming projects that no one else would attempt (not an exaggeration). My friend says my projects scare him. I go by Insano for a reason.

So...what do you think? :smile:

Ben Zwycky
05-18-2016, 05:29 PM
I'll take a look at it, if you'll do the same for my new short story.

Zymologist
05-18-2016, 05:45 PM
I'll take a look at it, if you'll do the same for my new short story.

I'll take that trade, sure!

But just to be clear...I have two short stories, one of which is a direct continuation of the other. The first one is 6k words, second one about 11k. At this point I feel much more confident in the first one, as I haven't had a lot of time to sit on the second one. You're welcome to read either the first one alone (since it was intended as a stand-alone in the first place anyway), or both if you want. Up to you. Combined they're about 50 pages of 12-point, double-spaced font.

Ben Zwycky
05-18-2016, 06:00 PM
Both is fine. I'll throw in the first chapter of the follow-up novel, which could probably do with a bit of a polish, since it's still in the rough draft stage. I can't promise how quickly I'll be able to get back to you with feedback, but I'll try to give you something in the next couple of weeks. We can continue this by PM I think. Anyone else want to take a look at my short story?