Author Topic: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word  (Read 27552 times)

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #120 on: January 02, 2013, 09:51:58 PM »
oh right gotcha. same for you as well phil I know I've taken up a lot of your valuable time over these last few weeks, While I do appreciate you doin it, I cant take you away all the time from your other work, so I'll understand if you too want a break from me now. Thanks as always. b
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #121 on: January 02, 2013, 09:58:35 PM »
It's not a case of taking up my time. You need perhaps to reflect on the feedback then rejig your work then let it lie a while before reposting and asking for a fresh response.

And if you rely on others too much, you sort of stop thinking for yourself and your personal work ends up being a group effort. Not what you're looking for on here, I'm sure.

P

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #122 on: January 02, 2013, 10:04:21 PM »
spot on, I still look for my voice even after advice from you, so far I've been lucky with the adv off yous all, it still has my "feel" to it, If it didn't I'd be looking at it with more critical eyes than yours mate. But I will look at all me work at another fresher time. Am off tuh bed, been workin here for most of the day and am like that little boy after fightin his ma over soap! ha ha, Knackered! gnight mate. b
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 510bhan

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #123 on: January 02, 2013, 10:07:46 PM »
Take heed of what Phil says . . . it's great that you're keen to improve, but it is incredibly frustrating when you ignore [either through oversight or rushing] suggestions to CORRECT issues. Regardless of style, voice etc, the corrections -- for punctuation, spelling and grammar issues, SPaGs, must be observed. The suggestions for tweaking and rephrasing can of course be actively ignored, they are just opinions after all. Sometimes the suggestions are limited, and might sound strange to you because most people commenting try to stay with the words supplied, but it doesn't always work if they are totally befuddled by punctuation or grammar issues muddying the water.

Take some time to get to grips with the parts of speech and complete a few of the exercises online to familiarise yourself with them so you can make better word choices and phrase expressions to suit your intention. Use Pro Writing Aid to pick up repeat words and phrases, sticky sentences, diction issues or overused words -- that will help you see things through an independent eye and with your new knowledge you can make the call about how you might amend any problem areas without relying on the input of a 'committee'. ;) ;)

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #124 on: January 02, 2013, 10:19:05 PM »
 ;D ok ok shvon! I definitely think I'm gettin me arse slapped now! ;D

I wasn't kiddin when I say, I forget things cos it happens every day, I forgot about the exercises you just mentioned, you sent em to me when I/we were doin the wagons didnt ya? Ive wrote down a reminder to go look at them tomorrow, ok? I hear what youre both sayin to me and Ive wrote them down as well, so i wont forget them either. Am off to bed, knackered now, see you's tomorrow/today.  I HAVE learned off yous, dont think i dont know that, and yous have seen an improvement, now I'll try it for myself. Thanks again, gnight. b
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline swimmer1948

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #125 on: January 03, 2013, 12:12:56 AM »
This is a two-part story, this is the first part, I'm busy on the second as of now. I'd like your opinion of this so far. I've used all the good advice given by everyone here of show, not tell, and I think its good(but then, I am biased)

I swear (part 1)


I was eight years old when I was taught a valuable lesson by my Mother.  She taught me not to swear, because it "wasn't nice". The only lesson I learned that day was how to "swear, and not get caught!"

South Shields in 1967, I'm leaning against our wooden gate, in the back lane, swearing my head off to the bloke next door, who had already complained a couple of times to mam about my bucket-gob. [What is that, Brian?  A britishism?] I'm repeating all the words I'd heard recently, thinking I was so big and clever, whilst the other kids were looking on with their mouths open in a big 'oh', waiting expectantly to see what happened next.
  
I should have got a clue when the 'ohs' turned into 'ahs' and their eyes lit up in gleeful anticipation. I felt a vice-like grip on my collar and I was yanked off my feet, and went sailing back through the gate at an alarming rate!  Mam had sent me out, knowing I'd swear again, because I'd repeatedly promised her that I'd NEVER EVER sworn at anyone! She knew, in that intuitive way that all mothers do, that I was lying through my back teeth, so she'd set me up by standing hidden on the other side of the gate!
  
I was now being dragged backwards across the yard, past the coal-house and to the back steps, blubbering and pleading with her that I'd "be good and I'd live a chaste, decent law-abiding life, from then on!"  [Why not use real words and real dialogue rather than interpreting it with grown-up language?] But soon my heels were thumping on the rickety stairs, all I could see were the cobwebs in the roof amid the dirt and stains, and the fast retreating light from the back door down below. She hauled me like a sack of spuds up the stairs.  We then got to the top and into the scullery, which to me had turned into my own personal torture chamber.  

She'd warned me time and time again that if she ever caught me swearing, she'd wash my mouth out with Carbolic Soap.
If everyday soap could be categorized as "nice, sweet, soft and gentle, perfumed and refreshing"  Then [no caps for "then" and comma after "refreshing.] Carbolic was the total opposite.  It was blocky, rough, smelled of disinfectant, lather-less, industrial cleaner, and generally horrible. Carbolic was the skinhead of soaps, and I was about to have a meal of it!

This is a nice description of that horrid treatment - got it myself  couple times, but not with Carbolic.

Have you ever been in a proper Butcher's and he slaps a side of beef on the chopping block with a thump with one hand, whilst raising a meat-cleaver up in the air with the other ready to swish down, sinking the blade into the waiting flesh?  Well now you get the picture of what mam did to me on that day.

I'm now on the draining board, struggling and wriggling, Mam's got a strong, polished-finger-nailed hand holding me by the throat. I can see the upside-down view of the greasy plates in the sink. There's pans and plates being scattered, clattering everywhere by my wildly kicking legs.  She turns the brass tap on, there's a clunking noise as the air is released and I can hear the water approaching up the pipe.  A single drop of water gathers on the end of the tap, and I think I'm saved, [sometimes the water just didn't flow, and I remember thinking to myself that this was one of those days]. But alas, not this day!

The treacherous water gushed out of the tap soaking my head and neck.  I was now spluttering and spitting as I still begged mam to let me go.  But once mam made up her mind to do something, she did it! "Oh Gawd did she do it!"
The ironic thing is, whilst all this was going on, mam was shouting at me, "I'll teach you to f***ing swear you little bas***d! You won't f***ing swear again! Will you? you f***ing little shite!". . . .Back to the torture.

This is good, a perfect example of "do as I say, not as I do."

I jammed my mouth closed with a snap.
"Open your mouth, and this'll go easier on you!" shouted mam. At this point, a team of wild horses wouldn't get me to open my mouth. This is a cliche.  You can do better.
"Open your mouth" she repeats.  It's a staring match now, my mouth is still wedged shut, but I'm trying to dodge the water still gushing out of the tap and God, it's cold!
  
Then she leans down, gets right in my face, practically nose to nose and repeats in a really strange quiet-like, whisper, "Brian, open your mouth", and she's smiling.  I'm shittin myself now!  Anyone who's experienced a stern-loving mother like this will know exactly what I'm talking about. This kind of command has to be obeyed, or woe betide you!
I stammer a quick "Please mam", and in that instant of begging, she jams the carbolic soap into me gob!  Oh she could be so quick!  She's now rubbing and drubbing like its wash day on a monday, she's singing some obscure little song. Meanwhile I'm begging and sobbing and getting myself worked up into a lather(no pun intended) really feeling sorry for myself.  The bar is wedged into my teeth, she's really putting some 'elbow grease' into it!  She was so thorough and resolute!

Finally, its over.  She stands me on my feet, of course being the devious little git that I am, I wobble a bit, look as if I'm goint to faint, and mam wraps me in her arms, acting all contrite, [guilt can be a good commodity when youre eight and know how to wield it!]  As she wraps me in her arms cooing to me and telling herself what a horrible person she is for inflicting this on her poor child, I made a cardinal error, and smiled, thinking to myself of how I could turn this to my advantage?

She saw this and instantly she was back to Jeckyll-mam, my arse was back on the draining board in a flash!  She had the carbolic soap in her hand raised up ready to "wash" me again!  I just looked on with what I can only describe now as futile-acceptance of something I had no control over.  She saw this, and slowly dropped the bar onto the floor, looked at me with a little discomfort on her lovely face and told me to get off the drainer.

This wasn't so easy with my little legs and no stool to climb down.  But I eventually struggled off and stood before her.  "Now", she said. "Will you ever swear again?"  I hung my head down and swore on the bible that I wouldn't.  She's standing in front of me with her hands on her hips and tapping her foot, I knew I could still be in trouble, at this sign.  She sighed and said under her breath, shaking her head slowly from side to side, "Eee, our brian, what am I going to do with you?"  I just hoped it wasn't anymore of what had just happened.  She then sent me to my room, without supper.
I'd like to say at the end here that I learned my lesson that day. But I'd be lying, cos I still swore, I just never put myself in the position of letting mam hear me!  

I can't say much in criticism.  This is a nice little vignette and very well-described.  I just wonder where you're going with this.  I am eager to read part two.  Joe

Offline protekme

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #126 on: January 03, 2013, 12:37:53 AM »
As you have once told me, Bri, you cannot always listen to everybody. You have to know what to take and what to reject, and I believe you do. You have a particular style and flavor, which everybody seems to appreciate. The main problems with your story are the grammar, punctuation, repetition, verb forms, structure: in other words, writing lessons would be helpful. Forum help won’t always be there for you. It’s too bad because you have a very, simple, interesting way of presenting your story. You reach a certain audience, just as I can only reach a certain audience. And that’s okay. But it has to be presentable. All the above suggestions are a “must”. Otherwise it looks as if an 8-year old is writing it.
 
There are so many ways to write a story. And there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Even for the best writers. So the task is even harder for the inexperienced.

Ex.: We all heard about “show and not tell”. IMO That can be exaggerated, because everyone has a different idea. Someone even suggested to you as an example: “chewing gum and eyeballing the bloke next door,” instead of writing: “acting the big man in front of the bloke next door.” You could also say “smoking a cigarette in front of the bloke next door.” Wow! How shocking for an 8yr-old kid. There is nothing wrong with either; it is just a matter of taste. You show already with the swearing, which is the main attraction—something added could be distracting.  According to my interpretation, I can well imagine what “acting the big man” means. Every one will have a different view on that one. I believe in leaving something for the reader’s imagination. It’s more fun.

That is your story. If you listen to everybody, you write for nobody at the end, and then all the similar stories would have the same technique. You would be robbed of your “talent and your imagination”. Don’t let that happen.

I don’t understand all the words and expressions in your text, but I laughed because I have enough imagination to read between the lines and to see the scene. This is your dialect and I like it. The improvement (with all the corrections) is very good. It could always be better. If a publisher won’t take you, there is ebook nowadays. To me, it is satisfaction enough. What about you? Are you aiming BIG?

P.S. I regret you did not have time to comment on my read yet. I know you’re busy with yours.  If you get to it, don’t read all the other comments before. Leave your mind open. I’d like your opinion without any influence.

Just my 5cents.

-- People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others 
-- I have made this letter longer than usual only because I had no time to make it shorter
              Blaise Pascal

Offline swimmer1948

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #127 on: January 03, 2013, 12:47:14 AM »
I liked Brian's story too and overlooked the dialect usages because it is part of his voice.  But as you say everyone needs improvement.  I taught writing (among other things) for about 30 years and still need help in writing suggestions.  I did all my comments by hand so I'm not used to using the strike-throughs and other HTML shortcuts.   I hope I will figure it out.  Sorry if this is off topic.  I'm having trouble with everything, including posting.  Your comments were gentle but to the point, which is what I think we all need to be.

Offline junel

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #128 on: January 03, 2013, 01:24:41 AM »
Ex.: We all heard about “show and not tell”. IMO That can be exaggerated, because everyone has a different idea. Someone even suggested to you as an example: “chewing gum and eyeballing the bloke next door,” instead of writing: “acting the big man in front of the bloke next door.” You could also say “smoking a cigarette in front of the bloke next door.” Wow! How shocking for an 8yr-old kid. There is nothing wrong with either; it is just a matter of taste. You show already with the swearing, which is the main attraction—something added could be distracting.  According to my interpretation, I can well imagine what “acting the big man” means. Every one will have a different view on that one. I believe in leaving something for the reader’s imagination. It’s more fun.

Quite bizarre how I think the opposite of you, protekme.

See, when I read "acting the big man in front of the bloke next door." I ask myself, how exactly? I want to be given an image! Otherwise I consider it lazy writing or the work of a beginning writer who hasn't learnt to show yet.

You're right in saying the reader can imagine the character "acting the big man", and each reader will have their own visual. But I don't want the story to tell me the images, I want the images to tell me the story, to show me the story. I want the story to be the subtext of the images I'm given.

Think of an iconic image that tells a story without words, much like that.

My suggestion takes nothing away from the reader, they can still fill in the look in the character's eyes, a Clint Eastwood furrow? How his arms are positioned? If he has one leg on the ground and the other pushing against the gate? etc, etc . . .

Junal.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 01:33:24 AM by junel »

Offline Dawn

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2013, 03:31:14 AM »
Brian, may I suggest you now print out all the comments and crits (only so you don't forget ;)) and do as Gyppo often advises. Place it in your top drawer for a few weeks. Then when you look again you will have fresh eyes.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #130 on: January 03, 2013, 06:39:47 AM »
mornin, Dawn. I usually print out the first and last of the piece I'm working on. I didnt know we could print out the crits as well, but I think I'd be confused by em all, cos as you can see theres a lot of em! ha ha.
 
to Protek.
I look impartially at everyones work. If I like something and the rest of the population of MWC don't, I still tell if I like. I generally swim against tides anyway.

To Junal.
 I have to find a balance between show, with a little bit of tell and still retain my voice, so it not only looks good to me, but still has enough "meat" to appeal to strangers reading my stuff for the first time. I'm not really thinking "big" at the minute cos there's so much I don't know, and there's far too many authors out there who need to publish more than I do, hope this answers some of your queries. Thanks all.
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #131 on: January 03, 2013, 07:32:52 AM »
Hi bri,

Not to appear sexist, but your approach to this piece reminds me of how some women buy clothes. They go to several shops and try on every dress but can't make their minds up which one they like best. After a while they often end up going back to one of the shops they visited earlier without realising it - and finish up trying on the same outfits again without noticing what they're doing.

When you keep redrafting (off the cuff, judging by the speed with which you do that) and reposting the same story, the new edition becomes a bit of a blur to the reader who's seen several versions - and quite possibly to you who fixes one problem only to recommit a previous one.

It might seem a difficult thing to do, but like home-brew, you have to set writing aside to let it ferment and allow your subconscious to work in the background looking at ways the story could be improved using your own ideas. It's surprising how a story can be rejuvenated when you read it again a couple of weeks later and realise what doesn't work, but also discover you know exactly which new changes will add a little polish and a more personal touch. Editing is as important as writing - but you can't do both at the same time in my experience.

H3K

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #132 on: January 03, 2013, 07:52:10 AM »
hiya phil, it seems to me that I have to take a break from writing and do a bit of learning. I'm gonna go look at some of the exercises that shvon posted to me ages ago, I have to learn what you all take for granted. Does that make sense to you?  I'm doing precisely what youre accusing me of. I'm working on the threads one step at a time instead of doing it off them as you all do, but its me memory thingy, its shite, I'm losing brain cells as we're speaking, it seems anyway ;D. Me spellings ok, but I have to work on me puncts, tenses, and grammar I think? Can you think of any more things I have to work on?  Or is there a couple a months work there already? Cheers. b
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #133 on: January 03, 2013, 08:06:17 AM »
Two things

- read as much as you can: short stories, novels, whatever takes your fancy. But you should aim to spend 3 hours reading for every half hour you spend actually writing. It gives you a better idea of how other writers craft a story - and also you will soon be able to spot the good writers from the naff.

- write something new every day. It doesn't mean you have to post it on here, and it can be complete crap - the first thing that comes into your head. But it exercises your writing muscle and also clears all the garbage out of your subconscious allowing more original material to bubble to the surface.

Although 'classroom exercises' can help polish up certain aspects of your writing, this ^^ is the only way to learn to write in my opinion. Punctuation is just a case of getting rid of bad habits. Controlling tenses and improving grammar will come from reading and trial-and-error writing.

Did you think you'd have come as far in your writing two months ago? Would you have achieved the same if you'd sat there doing 'homework' instead of jumping in with both feet into this shark-infested paddling pool? I doubt it. You'd have got bored senseless and given up on the idea of becoming a proper writer - i.e. one who other people outside your immediate circle are prepared to read.

H3K

-

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #134 on: January 03, 2013, 08:31:13 AM »
hey mate, I actually do read every day, just fiction. But I do crit authors I'm reading, sometimes I fall out of the book and crit instead of following the plot! I'm reading this book at the min called "The bones of Avignon" by Jefferson Bass, who it seems are two authors, and to me, theyre both shite, cos they started with a great premise of supposedly Jesus' bones possibly found(I know, say nowt! ha ha) But after the first few great pages of lightning words, its petered out a bit and segued into a connection with the Shroud of Turin! I'm sticking with it but am so tempted to throw it at the wall, somebody used a great expression on here about that, but I can't remember it?  I liked Clive Cussler when I was new to the genre, but now you can sum all his books up with "archeology, black ops and end with archeology", with a few fem fatales, who like james bond never ses no to his Characters!  Boring! So to get back to the point, I crit as well as read now, I study their techniques and see if mine come up to the same. Bad as these stories are, they still have more tecchie ability than mine, so I need to learn. I've found over the years that Anne McCaffreys books like any Stephen King's grab you by the balls from the first page and hold you while you run with them, till you get the end and leave you sayin "Please Sir/Ma'am, I want more!", thats the kinda writer I want to be.
To end, I've noticed in a couple of instances of your text that you use ^^ a lot. Does this have any significance? or is it just your way of highlighting something?  b
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx