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The Writers' Room

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Eminence
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#1

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:28 AM

The Writers' Room

Who needs an entire social club when you can have one measly little room?


At 191 pages, it feels like The Social Club has had a good run. A nice long, healthy life.

But now it feels like we could try and spruce this place up a bit, make ourselves a new home. Here it is.
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#2

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:29 AM

1st, sorry I had to lol. I hope this goes well smile.gif

Eminence
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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:30 AM

And we're off to a great start. tounge.gif

I'm thinking we could do with retooling the resources thread at the top of the forum. Anyone with any suggestions, or who wants to lend a helping hand with that, feel free to chime in.

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:33 AM

Can I make the logo for this thread please ? smile.gif

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#5

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:33 AM

QUOTE
I'm thinking we could do with retooling the resources thread at the top of the forum. Anyone with any suggestions, or who wants to lend a helping hand with that, feel free to chime in.

Woah. Feels weird, man. And I'd be up for helping out with that as soon as possible!

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#6

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:35 AM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 00:33)
Woah. Feels weird, man.

Its crazy, it feels so empty lol

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#7

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:42 AM

QUOTE (Eminence @ Saturday, Apr 13 2013, 18:30)
I'm thinking we could do with retooling the resources thread at the top of the forum. Anyone with any suggestions, or who wants to lend a helping hand with that, feel free to chime in.

I don't have any suggestions right now, but I'm quoting you to make you think I do so you read all of this.

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#8

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:53 AM

Looking forward to the fresh start, and I'm going to make it a point to start actually reading everyone else's story tomorrow afternoon. smile.gif icon14.gif

Would this be the right place to post a preview of my current story for feedback?
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Ziggy455
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#9

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:53 AM

I could get a few things going? Writing 101? Couple of simple things for new writers.

Eminence
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#10

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:56 AM

Tyler - sly bastard. wink.gif

King - Sure, go ahead. Better that than to create a new thread for it when it's possibly not ready for it yet.

Ziggy - Yeah, that's the sort of stuff. I mean, the first thing that needs to happen I think is to trim what's currently there down. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of overlap in it; a lot of repetition. So streamlining it all will probably make it a bit more helpful in the long run.

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#11

Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:58 AM

QUOTE (Eminence @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 00:56)
Tyler - sly bastard. wink.gif

King - Sure, go ahead. Better that than to create a new thread for it when it's possibly not ready for it yet.

Ziggy - Yeah, that's the sort of stuff. I mean, the first thing that needs to happen I think is to trim what's currently there down. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of overlap in it; a lot of repetition. So streamlining it all will probably make it a bit more helpful in the long run.

I'll get on it now.

Want me to start a new topic?

Eminence
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#12

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:04 AM

Not yet. I don't mean to just eliminate what we have and start afresh; there's some excellent stuff in the previous two threads. Just needs a bit of editing more than anything!

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#13

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:06 AM

QUOTE (Eminence @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:04)
Not yet. I don't mean to just eliminate what we have and start afresh; there's some excellent stuff in the previous two threads. Just needs a bit of editing more than anything!

I'll take a look at all the topics. I've not really got the power to mess about with other people's post. I'm just a user, not a leader. I can create DRAFT topic with all of the stuff from the old topics that I've edited for a more streamlined read if you like?

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#14

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:11 AM

Sounds good. wink.gif

Another thing I was thinking, though I'm not sure how feasible this one is. There was a lot of talk earlier this evening in The Social Club about discussing work in greater detail, whether that's analysing the characters, themes or what have you. A few people said they don't really get the opportunity to do so.

So, how feasible is it that we could start a sort of book club or something? Y'know, one of those cheesy groups where everyone reads the same book and then discusses it afterward, and there's always someone who hasn't actually read it and who phones in their opinion by channeling sparknotes (a little like at uni).

Thing is, given that people can barely sustain writing a single short story in the space of a month... yeah, it's probably a non-starter.

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:11 AM Edited by GTA-King, 14 April 2013 - 01:13 AM.

QUOTE (Eminence @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 00:56)
King - Sure, go ahead. Better that than to create a new thread for it when it's possibly not ready for it yet.

Ok. Here's the opening paragraph to my story:

QUOTE
This is the story of a seemingly innocent little boy who grows into a ferocious, conscienceless, ugly monster that destroys and devours everything good and pure that crosses his path. From tender childhood friendships to sweet innocent romances, nothing is immune to the monster's dark spell and insidious nature.


There's a bit more to it, but that's basically the tease part. So far I have like 8 paragraphs, and I'm having a bit of trouble making the sociopath (who is 1 of 2 protagonists... the other being a psychopath) seem charming. I want the reader to actually feel like they are inside his head, & kinda root for him. I want the same thing for my psychopath protagonist, but I haven't really developed him yet though.

Basically though, the whole premise of my story is that a young sociopath meets a young psychopath at a very early age, & they become friends. As they get older, they become too conflicted with one another... and tensions rise. Think of it liked a f*cked up version of The Fox and the Hound, because alot of my inspiration comes from that. Two totally different people becoming friends, & the consequences of that. I just find it interesting.

Would like any kind of feedback. Especially where you guys would like to see the characters go. icon14.gif

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#16

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:19 AM

So, is anyone reading anything good at the moment?

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#17

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:21 AM

QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:19)
So, is anyone reading anything good at the moment?

I'm reading Night Shift by Stephen King at the moment. Almost finished it. Not a bad book. It's got some brilliant shorts, some fall flat, some stand tall.

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:23 AM

QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:19)
So, is anyone reading anything good at the moment?

GTA V: The Story Of Albert Da Silva by GTA-King devil.gif

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#19

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:26 AM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:21)
QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:19)
So, is anyone reading anything good at the moment?

I'm reading Night Shift by Stephen King at the moment. Almost finished it. Not a bad book. It's got some brilliant shorts, some fall flat, some stand tall.

Funny, I read the collection Full Dark, No Stars and it was very much the same.
By far the best story in that anthology was Fair Extension. A typical Faustian tale but done in a manner that was so snappy I couldn't help but love it.

Right now I'm engrossed in Vlad: The Last Confession, it's a historical fiction about one of my personal heroes Vlad Tepes, showing what he went through as a child and how it shaped him into the cold man he later became.
I'm really quite in to my historical fiction at the moment, it was all set off after I read The Sunne In Splendour, about Richard III.

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#20

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:29 AM

QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:26)
QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:21)
QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:19)
So, is anyone reading anything good at the moment?

I'm reading Night Shift by Stephen King at the moment. Almost finished it. Not a bad book. It's got some brilliant shorts, some fall flat, some stand tall.

Funny, I read the collection Full Dark, No Stars and it was very much the same.
By far the best story in that anthology was Fair Extension. A typical Faustian tale but done in a manner that was so snappy I couldn't help but love it.

Right now I'm engrossed in Vlad: The Last Confession, it's a historical fiction about one of my personal heroes Vlad Tepes, showing what he went through as a child and how it shaped him into the cold man he later became.
I'm really quite in to my historical fiction at the moment, it was all set off after I read The Sunne In Splendour, about Richard III.

Ironically I've got Full Dark, No Stars on my bookshelf. It was a late xmas gift from my mother. I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I can't wrap my head around Historical fiction for some reason. Maybe it's my disdain of History as a whole. I don't know.

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#21

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:31 AM

QUOTE (GTA-King @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 02:11)
Ok. Here's the opening paragraph to my story:

QUOTE
This is the story of a seemingly innocent little boy who grows into a ferocious, conscienceless, ugly monster that destroys and devours everything good and pure that crosses his path. From tender childhood friendships to sweet innocent romances, nothing is immune to the monster's dark spell and insidious nature.


There's a bit more to it, but that's basically the tease part. So far I have like 8 paragraphs, and I'm having a bit of trouble making the sociopath (who is 1 of 2 protagonists... the other being a psychopath) seem charming. I want the reader to actually feel like they are inside his head, & kinda root for him. I want the same thing for my psychopath protagonist, but I haven't really developed him yet though.

Basically though, the whole premise of my story is that a young sociopath meets a young psychopath at a very early age, & they become friends. As they get older, they become too conflicted with one another... and tensions rise. Think of it liked a f*cked up version of The Fox and the Hound, because alot of my inspiration comes from that. Two totally different people becoming friends, & the consequences of that. I just find it interesting.

Would like any kind of feedback. Especially where you guys would like to see the characters go. icon14.gif

First thing I'd ask is: how are you distinguishing, specifically, between the sociopath and the psychopath? While not strictly synonymous, the two terms largely point to the same thing; to my knowledge, there's no undisputed consensus separating the two. Search for specific definitions and you can literally find one person defining them in one way, then find another describing them as the exact opposite. So that's my first question.

Second point: that opening paragraph feels like a brief synopsis, as opposed to the actual introduction to the story. It's too broad. You want to get straight into actually telling the story, as opposed to telling us the story.

As for wanting the reader to feel like they're inside the protagonist's head: first-person viewpoint. That's definitely how I'd approach this. It offers a lot of room for subjectivity, unreliability... it allows you to craft a specific voice and show the reader how this character views the world. I think that'd be a good way to approach it.

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#22

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:33 AM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:29)
QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:26)
QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:21)
QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:19)
So, is anyone reading anything good at the moment?

I'm reading Night Shift by Stephen King at the moment. Almost finished it. Not a bad book. It's got some brilliant shorts, some fall flat, some stand tall.

Funny, I read the collection Full Dark, No Stars and it was very much the same.
By far the best story in that anthology was Fair Extension. A typical Faustian tale but done in a manner that was so snappy I couldn't help but love it.

Right now I'm engrossed in Vlad: The Last Confession, it's a historical fiction about one of my personal heroes Vlad Tepes, showing what he went through as a child and how it shaped him into the cold man he later became.
I'm really quite in to my historical fiction at the moment, it was all set off after I read The Sunne In Splendour, about Richard III.

Ironically I've got Full Dark, No Stars on my bookshelf. It was a late xmas gift from my mother. I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I can't wrap my head around Historical fiction for some reason. Maybe it's my disdain of History as a whole. I don't know.

You disdain history? Why?

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#23

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:36 AM

I studied it in school - It's not ALL history, it's more the fiction. I always try to read some books that go under the genre of Historical Fiction but I can never stay interested. I've tried but it just falls upon blind eyes. I don't know why though. Maybe it's the bad experience of studying such fiction in school, or maybe it's just my preference.

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#24

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:36)
I studied it in school - It's not ALL history, it's more the fiction. I always try to read some books that go under the genre of Historical Fiction but I can never stay interested. I've tried but it just falls upon blind eyes. I don't know why though. Maybe it's the bad experience of studying such fiction in school, or maybe it's just my preference.

I've always loved history - I cannot fathom how schools can make it boring. I know they do, trust me, I know all too well. As I did my A-Levels, I was psyched and wanted to show how well I could do - it being a subject I'm deeply passionate about.
Would we learn about the Henry VIII war on the monasteries? In which monks were hung inside their own churches?
Perhaps, we would learn about the Russian Revolution, in which Rasputin was dug up by Bolsheviks and incinerated - lest his vengeful spirit return.
Nope, we learned about the history of medicine. They didn't give me blood and guts, I didn't give a sh*t about what they were teaching me.

Truly though, history provides a wealth of inspiration to the aspiring story teller. I could tell you many tales of many men whose lives scarcely seem plausible.

The education system does a disservice to their students when they boil down our bloody history to dates and facts and figures. History is a collection of story and rumour and innuendo - and if they realised this, more people would give a damn about the whole thing.

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#25

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:45 AM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:36)
I studied it in school - It's not ALL history, it's more the fiction. I always try to read some books that go under the genre of Historical Fiction but I can never stay interested. I've tried but it just falls upon blind eyes. I don't know why though. Maybe it's the bad experience of studying such fiction in school, or maybe it's just my preference.

I think its bad how most people believe Assassins Creed is real, still makes me laugh. tounge.gif

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#26

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:51 AM

QUOTE (Typhus @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:19)
So, is anyone reading anything good at the moment?

Reading 'The Devil's Arithmetic'. I remember reading it in 6th grade. Don't laugh at me, so what if it's a book I read when I was 12? Huh? HUH?! You got a problem? It's a pretty uncommon novel for the "Holocaust" genre (yes, I think Holocaust has it's own genre).


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#27

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:54 AM Edited by brownbear, 14 April 2013 - 02:00 AM.

Typhus: Sounds like an interesting book, I love history to no end, particularly the darker stuff, much like Vlad. He was a prisoner of the Turks as a boy wasn't he? As I recall he grew up being sodomized in a Turkish dungeon, part of the reason he hated the Turks so much, along with the rest of Europe at the time.

Is it cool to put a little short story here? Didn't think it was worthy of a full topic.
This is a little piece inspired by the brilliant book "Samurai William", by Giles Milton , which I'm currently reading. The book takes an accurate and lively look at some of the first explorers to the mysterious land of Japan, in the early 17th century. Anywat, here's a little story I wrote, feedback would be much appreciated.

The air hung heavy and thick with the smoke from small scented sticks which burned slowly in ornate bowls. Small, round faced men sat in two rows down the middle of the cavernous hall. They were a peculiar sight, small and dainty with strange hair which was shaved all over, apart from a tight, greasy knot at the back which could hang to their waists. They wore elegant silks in a rainbow of colours, many decorated with small intricate patterns of birds or flowers.
As the ragged sailors entered the hall, the men turned their attention from their prayers to the stinking foreigners that had just entered. They reacted with disgust, covering their noses and averting their eyes, the sailors thought this conduct to be flowery and rude, not understanding the deep nuances of Japanese etiquette.
The hall was grand and ancient, a high curved roof hung small lanterns of burning oils, the Japanese loving their various fragrances. Huge skins of unknown beasts lay on the floors, covered with small, intricately designed cushions. A fair young woman sat, plucking a small harp like instrument, creating a haunting, mysterious noise which echoed round the great hall.
In the center of the room sat a large, pompous looking man, a long bone pipe hanging from his lips. He twirled his long beard as the sailors walked towards him, staring blankly as they stood confused before him, a servant by the man bowed forward, gesturing for the to do the same, they did so in an awkward fashion, recieving a disgruntled nod from the huge man. The leader of the sailors, a ragged Englishman named Jonah Smithy, pulled a small box of gold from his coat, meant as a gift for the lord of this strange land. He stared at the sailors, much to their discomfort, before putting out his hand to show his rejection of the gift. At this, two men in long robes emerged from the doorway, long curved blades in hand, they advanced on the sailors and one lunged towards Smithy with his saber, only to receive a blast in the gut from the pistol concealed in his pocket.
Panic reigned as white smoke filled the room, people screamed and scrambled for the exit, others prayed to their gods for protection. The lord sat mumbling and terrified in his throne, astonished by the savagery of the small wooden weapon. Smithy realized they had never seen such a weapon, and waved it at the other swordsman, regardless of the fact it was now unloaded. Shaking, the old man raised himself from his seat, stared for length at his face, then, reluctantly, bowed before him.

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#28

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:57 AM

QUOTE (brownbear @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:54)
Is it cool to put a little short story here? Didn't think it was worthy of a full topic.
This is a little piece inspired by the brilliant book "Samurai William", by Giles Milton , which I'm currently reading. The book takes an accurate and lively look at some of the first explorers to the mysterious land of Japan, in the early 17th century. Anywat, here's a little story I wrote, feedback would be much appreciated.

The air hung heavy and thick with the smoke from small scented sticks which burned slowly in ornate bowls. Small, round faced men sat in two rows down the middle of the cavernous hall. They were a peculiar sight, small and dainty with strange hair which was shaved all over, apart from a tight, greasy knot at the back which could hang to their waists. They wore elegant silks in a rainbow of colours, many decorated with small intricate patterns of birds or flowers.
As the ragged sailors entered the hall, the men turned their attention from their prayers to the stinking foreigners that had just entered. They reacted with disgust, covering their noses and averting their eyes, the sailors thought this conduct to be flowery and rude, not understanding the deep nuances of Japanese etiquette.
The hall was grand and ancient, a high curved roof hung small lanterns of burning oils, the Japanese loving their various fragrances. Huge skins of unknown beasts lay on the floors, covered with small, intricately designed cushions. A fair young woman sat, plucking a small harp like instrument, creating a haunting, mysterious noise which echoed round the great hall.
In the center of the room sat a large, pompous looking man, a long bone pipe hanging from his lips. He twirled his long beard as the sailors walked towards him, staring blankly as they stood confused before him, a servant by the man bowed forward, gesturing for the to do the same, they did so in an awkward fashion, recieving a disgruntled nod from the huge man. The leader of the sailors, a ragged Englishman named Jonah Smithy, pulled a small box of gold from his coat, meant as a gift for the lord of this strange land. He stared at the sailors, much to their discomfort, before putting out his hand to show his rejection of the gift. At this, two men in long robes emerged from the doorway, long curved blades in hand, they advanced on the sailors and one lunging at Smithy with his sabre, only to recieve a blast in the gut from the pistol concealed in his pocket.
Panic reigned as white smoke filled the room, people screamed and scrambled for the exit, others prayed to their gods for protection. The lord sat mumbling and terrified in his throne, astonished by the savagery of the small wooden weapon. Smithy realized they had never seen such a weapon, and waved it at the other swordsman, regardless of the fact it was now unloaded. Shaking, the old man raised himself from his seat, stared for length at his face, then, reluctantly, bowed before him.

A nice little piece, very descriptive. Actually. It's all prose and no dialogue. Some stories like that are very neat. I like it.

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#29

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:59 AM Edited by GTA-King, 14 April 2013 - 02:04 AM.

QUOTE (Eminence @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:31)
QUOTE (GTA-King @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 02:11)
Ok. Here's the opening paragraph to my story:

QUOTE
This is the story of a seemingly innocent little boy who grows into a ferocious, conscienceless, ugly monster that destroys and devours everything good and pure that crosses his path. From tender childhood friendships to sweet innocent romances, nothing is immune to the monster's dark spell and insidious nature.


There's a bit more to it, but that's basically the tease part. So far I have like 8 paragraphs, and I'm having a bit of trouble making the sociopath (who is 1 of 2 protagonists... the other being a psychopath) seem charming. I want the reader to actually feel like they are inside his head, & kinda root for him. I want the same thing for my psychopath protagonist, but I haven't really developed him yet though.

Basically though, the whole premise of my story is that a young sociopath meets a young psychopath at a very early age, & they become friends. As they get older, they become too conflicted with one another... and tensions rise. Think of it liked a f*cked up version of The Fox and the Hound, because alot of my inspiration comes from that. Two totally different people becoming friends, & the consequences of that. I just find it interesting.

Would like any kind of feedback. Especially where you guys would like to see the characters go. icon14.gif

First thing I'd ask is: how are you distinguishing, specifically, between the sociopath and the psychopath? While not strictly synonymous, the two terms largely point to the same thing; to my knowledge, there's no undisputed consensus separating the two. Search for specific definitions and you can literally find one person defining them in one way, then find another describing them as the exact opposite. So that's my first question.

Second point: that opening paragraph feels like a brief synopsis, as opposed to the actual introduction to the story. It's too broad. You want to get straight into actually telling the story, as opposed to telling us the story.

As for wanting the reader to feel like they're inside the protagonist's head: first-person viewpoint. That's definitely how I'd approach this. It offers a lot of room for subjectivity, unreliability... it allows you to craft a specific voice and show the reader how this character views the world. I think that'd be a good way to approach it.

In your opinion, what would be the best way to open a story like this? There's 2 protagonists, after all. That bit I provided is really meant as more of a tease than an actual opening paragraph.

And my sociopath protagonist is basically just going to be an egotistical, manipulative narcissist. Not sure how I want my psychopath protagonist just yet. But I'd like for him to have a mentality similar to Hannibal Lecter's. Also trying to figure out a great place for them to meet. I'm really considering a private school.

That advice you gave me about narrative modes is really helping, by the way. icon14.gif

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#30

Posted 14 April 2013 - 02:03 AM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Sunday, Apr 14 2013, 01:57)

A nice little piece, very descriptive. Actually. It's all prose and no dialogue. Some stories like that are very neat. I like it.

That's the thing, when I right a story, I see an image in my head and I like to write about and describe these images in detail, but when it gets to dialogue I often mess up, mainly because I start to lose interest.




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