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Is the slumber going to end?
Yes 83%  83%  [ 5 ]
NAI 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
No 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Abstain 17%  17%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 6
Total voters : 6
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 4:07 am 
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Awake in the Dark


First Revision

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Last edited by Huey Nomure on Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 9:38 am 
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I really enjoyed this one-

The way you wrote it is actually kinda neat, from your handling of english. The more I try to rephrase things that i feel are not englishy enough, the more i see that, that is the problem.

It's dosn't really have any mistakes.

It is a great expression to behold, an uncommon build that fosters progression.

It has a very nice spoken-word feel that i think you could take farther by cutting away the many repetitive 'I's' and 'me's'.

The cold, creepy atmosphere is captured quite well, and the reader will be immersed into it better( even though its a first person expression) if you point their gaze to "You" or "It" as little as possible, especially considering the short-length of the piece.

Practicing that will help your english, making your writing a touch swifter-

Ex: The floor is smooth and cool under my body; I am naked.

Try this " The floor is smoothe and cool under my naked flesh." ( I chose flesh because you chose 'body' once already:)

or :
I stumble when I try to step forward; the pain increases unpleasantly. I slowly drag my heavy feet toward the bookshelf on my left until my two left hands can rest on it.


you could try: " Stepping forward and stumbling, the pain increases unpleasantly, my heavy feet slowly dragging towards the bookshelf on my left until my two left hands can rest on it."


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 5:25 pm 
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I'm torn on this one. on the other hand, the story of it is interesting and I definitely want to know more about this character. on the other, a piece like this, built on ambient disorientation, is incredibly sensitive to phrase construction and other prose issues, and issues that would be easy to gloss over in something like ADAF feel completely jarring and mood-spoiling here. I didn't feel the character's disorientation very much if at all, and I think a lot of that comes down to problems with phrasing and structure.

I'd point to specific examples, but I think it's more an overall construction problem. my biggest piece of advice is that the best way to convey this sort of disorientation is through short, often incomplete sentences. it also pays to be direct. hit them with the most powerful part of the thought first. for instance, take the first paragraph:

I am lying prone on the ground. The only sounds I hear come from my body; a heart beating, a regular breath. The floor is smooth and cool under my body; I am naked. This seems odd to me. The darkness around me is absolute, but I can sense things around me. Disorganized book heaps on my right, two high structures on either side of me. Bookshelves. Where am I? How did I get here? Nothing comes to mind.


compare to this:

I am lying prone on the ground. I hear a heart beating. Mine. I hear my breath, shallow but regular. I hear nothing else. The floor is cold and smooth against my naked flesh. The world is dark, but not empty. I sense disorganized book heaps on my right, two high structures on either side of me. Bookshelves. Where am I? How did I get here? I do not know.


this is a quick run-through, I'm sure it could be polished more, especially if I hadn't restricted it to non-substantive changes, but I think it does a better job drawing the reader in. it contains all the same information (ok, I dropped the bit where being naked seems odd, but I don't think that's super important. if you really want it it can be worked back in.) but it cuts down on verbiage to get to the core disorientation, making it more guttural and less cerebral. it's a small change, but again, this sort of thing is very sensitive to these sorts of prose changes, so I think it makes a big difference.

I'm debating my vote here. on the one hand I don't think that prose are all that important here, since the most important thing is the introduction of the character. on the other, I feel like just a bit of polish could make this story just so much better, you know? I'll probably wind up voting yes, but I may go with an NAI. I'll figure it out.

:duel:

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 1:25 am 
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Thing is, Elphimas is meant to sound cerebral, a bit alien and weirdly detached from their own emotions. Should I drop part of my idea to better engage the reader? Is there a way to achieve both? I'm not sure, as you notice my competence in English is... less than stellar, to use an euphemism.

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 2:17 am 
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Thing is, Elphimas is meant to sound cerebral, a bit alien and weirdly detached from their own emotions. Should I drop part of my idea to better engage the reader? Is there a way to achieve both? I'm not sure, as you notice my competence in English is... less than stellar, to use an euphemism.
you're English is actually pretty good for a non-native speaker. don't worry about it. it's just this particular story form is really brutal on prose issues.

as to the question... I think if that's your goal then I'd scale back the disorientation. maybe even pull out of first person entirely. right now it feels like it's trying to disorient and failing, but there's no reason it needs to feel like it's trying at all. an amnesia story can just as easily focus on the puzzle-solving aspect of figuring out your circumstances, but it has to be framed that way.

I think the big question is how do you want the reader to feel? do you want them to feel lost? because if so then it has to seem like the narrator feels lost. but if you want the focus to be more on discovery, then the narrator should feel in control. it's currently in a grey area between the two, and I think it's suffering for it.

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 7:08 am 
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razorborne wrote:
as to the question... I think if that's your goal then I'd scale back the disorientation. maybe even pull out of first person entirely. right now it feels like it's trying to disorient and failing, but there's no reason it needs to feel like it's trying at all. an amnesia story can just as easily focus on the puzzle-solving aspect of figuring out your circumstances, but it has to be framed that way.

I think the big question is how do you want the reader to feel? do you want them to feel lost? because if so then it has to seem like the narrator feels lost. but if you want the focus to be more on discovery, then the narrator should feel in control. it's currently in a grey area between the two, and I think it's suffering for it.

It's hard for me to give a simple answer; I'd like to give the impression that Elphimas is calmly exploring the Haven, and their feelings and emotions (even the pain at the beginning of the piece, and the shaking of their hands at the contact with the Eternities) are examined as they were odd pieces of furniture left around in their own head by someone else. Should I use an even more clinical point of view, and find turn of phrases that further minimize the use of 'I'?

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 8:01 am 
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if that's the vibe you want, yes, I'd definitely try to get more detached and clinical.

one thing that'll make a huge amount of difference is the framing in the first paragraph. that tells the reader how to interpret what comes next, so it really needs to punch home that Elphimas isn't scared, or lost, or disoriented, but is instead just trying to puzzle through a set of circumstances. I wouldn't lead with lying prone on the ground, that carries a lot of weight to it so I'd push it back a bit to once the audience knows how to read it. also, not entirely sure where, but I'd try to drop a "Curious" in somewhere as a single-word sentence. that's gonna be a giant signal that the narrator doesn't feel threatened.

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 8:10 am 
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razorborne wrote:
I wouldn't lead with lying prone on the ground, that carries a lot of weight to it so I'd push it back a bit to once the audience knows how to read it.

Like mentioning it after they assessed their surroundings and their plan of action, as lying naked on cold marble was just a negligible detail?

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:37 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
I wouldn't lead with lying prone on the ground, that carries a lot of weight to it so I'd push it back a bit to once the audience knows how to read it.

Like mentioning it after they assessed their surroundings and their plan of action, as lying naked on cold marble was just a negligible detail?

yeah, something like that. that line, combined with the title, set an expectation of a disoriented horror story, which is something the piece doesn't really try to deliver.

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:27 pm 
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Awake in the Dark, Revised


"moving in the same direction my head was facing" sounds clunky, anyone got an alternative to this phrasing?

EDIT: I ended up cutting the "my head was facing", I believe the chosen direction is clear in context.

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Last edited by Huey Nomure on Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:25 pm 
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I think that's a lot better. I'm not sure how changing your submission mid-vote works, but I think this version nails the feel a lot better. there's a couple grammar and typo things but I just woke up so I don't feel like diving into those at the moment. maybe later. as for your question, I think you can get away with just "moving forward" there. or "moving along/toward the wall" if you want to be a bit more specific.

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 7:58 pm 
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I think voting twice in the same thread is smart....can't wait to see revisions!


'Moving in the same direction as my head was facing"

How about " Pulled forward from the inertia of a bulbous noggle."

or you can try " Straight away! Ushered by the momentum of my giant head."


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:01 am 
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razorborne wrote:
I think that's a lot better. I'm not sure how changing your submission mid-vote works, but I think this version nails the feel a lot better.

That's good to hear. I took your post as a "NAI but I don't want to force a rewriting"; if you find something jarring or improper in my future works feel free to vote NAI, there's always room for improvement and I gladly accept suggestions to polish my writing further.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:05 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
I think that's a lot better. I'm not sure how changing your submission mid-vote works, but I think this version nails the feel a lot better.
For the record, changing something mid vote is strongly discouraged. It's always better to bring it back up to vote after the other had closed.

Think of any NAI as going back to the drawing board. You don't really do that when you're already presenting your piece.

For now, I'd suggest just extending this vote a week since it's already been done.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:02 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
razorborne wrote:
I think that's a lot better. I'm not sure how changing your submission mid-vote works, but I think this version nails the feel a lot better.
For the record, changing something mid vote is strongly discouraged. It's always better to bring it back up to vote after the other had closed.

Think of any NAI as going back to the drawing board. You don't really do that when you're already presenting your piece.

For now, I'd suggest just extending this vote a week since it's already been done.

Seconded, since you effectively gave everyone 3 less days in which to read your piece. Not that people haven't done this very thing several times, though. It's why I tend to ignore the first few days of a voting period, when I read them at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:22 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
razorborne wrote:
I think that's a lot better. I'm not sure how changing your submission mid-vote works, but I think this version nails the feel a lot better.
For the record, changing something mid vote is strongly discouraged. It's always better to bring it back up to vote after the other had closed.

I'm sorry, I'll keep that in mind.

Seconded, since you effectively gave everyone 3 less days in which to read your piece.

How so?

Quote:
Not that people haven't done this very thing several times, though.

It depends on the dimension of the revision, am I right? I see how correcting a few typos and a clunky turn of phrase could be overlooked.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:57 pm 
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I still have a few concerns about the character, but I like this story well enough, and I agree that the revision tightens up the narrative in a way that I think benefits it.

I'll vote "Yea."


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:03 pm 
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Seconded, since you effectively gave everyone 3 less days in which to read your piece.

How so?

That was my miscalculation as far as the number goes. However, assuming people did not come to read the story until it was announced on Sunday in the Voting Week PM, it wasn't until Tuesday that you posted the revision. Theoretically people should be voting on the finished product, meaning whatever the final revision ends up being. That means, because you posted a rewrite on Tuesday, people only had about 5 days to actually read the piece.

Not that people haven't done this very thing several times, though.

It depends on the dimension of the revision, am I right? I see how correcting a few typos and a clunky turn of phrase could be overlooked.
[/quote]
I apologize if this sounds rude, but I was not opening up a point of debate; I was stating a fact. People have actually made partial rewrites in the middle of a voting week, at least as far as I can recall (though my memory is not perfect by far).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:12 pm 
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I guess I don't really need to re- cast my vote.

You did wonderful with the revision,, only missing a few grammars.

There's something about this story, an ' I don't know what' that kindles an inkling of nostalgia, especially after the revision.

I would assume it can be attributed to the style in which it was written, with the dreamlike detatchment of the main character becoming like a blank slate for memories, though I am not positive.

Kinda reminds me of bram- stoker

Have you read Dracula?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:50 pm 
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You know what? Despite some grammar issues (which I'll come back later to address), this is actually fairly good. Personally, I think you've tackled the story from a little too much of a "real-world" perspective, like the main character knowing a spark is likely to ignite from trauma, but it's mostly unimportant to the central story.

So, Yea.

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