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(Fark)   "I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us." -- Franz Kafka. Huh, I got a nasty paper cut from Catch-22, does that count? This is your Fark Writer's Thread, wounding and stabbing edition   (fark.com) divider line
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1039 clicks; posted to Main » and Discussion » on 09 Aug 2017 at 2:38 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2017-08-09 11:15:34 AM  
For anyone who didn't catch the announcement thread, Through a Scanner Farkly is live!

img.fark.netView Full Size

Now available on Amazon

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is the 2017 Fark Fiction Anthology, filled with hand-picked short stories straight from the Fark community!  Our team of intrepid editors has worked endlessly and occasionally soberly to put together this collection from writers right here on Fark, and best of all, all proceeds will going to [REDACTED], an excellent charity who refuses to let us use their name!

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is available in both paperback and Kindle e-book versions, at 13.95 USD and 2.99 USD respectively.

Thanks again for everyone who submitted and helped out on this!
 
2017-08-09 11:19:17 AM  
Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?
 
2017-08-09 11:53:15 AM  
If you're one of those folks who believes humans are "Special" and that the invisible sky man built this whole planet just for us, this book will stab you pretty hard, actually.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-08-09 11:54:46 AM  

toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?


It's cliche, but personally I despise most happy endings. I find a message can be more compelling when it doesn't all turn out okay in the end.
 
2017-08-09 1:04:14 PM  

toraque: For anyone who didn't catch the announcement thread, Through a Scanner Farkly is live!

[Link][img.fark.net image 330x496]
Now available on Amazon

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is the 2017 Fark Fiction Anthology, filled with hand-picked short stories straight from the Fark community!  Our team of intrepid editors has worked endlessly and occasionally soberly to put together this collection from writers right here on Fark, and best of all, all proceeds will going to [REDACTED], an excellent charity who refuses to let us use their name!

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is available in both paperback and Kindle e-book versions, at 13.95 USD and 2.99 USD respectively.

Thanks again for everyone who submitted and helped out on this!


I was wondering about TASF on Amazon. If we have an author's page, can we "claim" TASF, or would you prefer the author credit stays limited to the Fark Writers?
 
2017-08-09 1:41:54 PM  

D_PaulAngel: toraque: For anyone who didn't catch the announcement thread, Through a Scanner Farkly is live!

[Link][img.fark.net image 330x496]
Now available on Amazon

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is the 2017 Fark Fiction Anthology, filled with hand-picked short stories straight from the Fark community!  Our team of intrepid editors has worked endlessly and occasionally soberly to put together this collection from writers right here on Fark, and best of all, all proceeds will going to [REDACTED], an excellent charity who refuses to let us use their name!

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is available in both paperback and Kindle e-book versions, at 13.95 USD and 2.99 USD respectively.

Thanks again for everyone who submitted and helped out on this!

I was wondering about TASF on Amazon. If we have an author's page, can we "claim" TASF, or would you prefer the author credit stays limited to the Fark Writers?


I think that's fine.  Anyone who's entries were accepted or was listed as an editor should be able to claim their contributions.  This wouldn't have happened without everyone's work, so yeah.
 
2017-08-09 2:07:40 PM  
So, if anyone is inclined, this is the story I've collected a couple rejections for.  If anyone has the inclination to read it and give me some thoughts I'd appreciate it.

Domum Vox

The Voices returned.  The quiet whisperings in his sleep, the reminders of who was.  Who he became...

Nico tried to will himself back to sleep, but The Voices were insistent, filling him with flashes of memories from within; overwhelming him with images of grief, of pain, of violence- and of Her.  He awkwardly extracted himself from the hammock and struggled up the wooden ladder towards the deck, slipping twice on rungs worn smooth from use. The Voices grew louder, distracting his balance and maliciously laughing at every stumble.  When he finally made it topside he breathed a welcome sigh of relief, happily up and trading the stale mugginess below for the brisk Tropical breeze above.

The Harvest Moon's setting light left an angular mix of shadows and darkness across the sloop's deck, and its sails glowing against the night.  He listened where he stood for signs of the crew, straining to hear past The Voices, the creaks and groans of her old timbers, and the wind rippling through her canvas.  When he could finally hear their words and distinguish them from the Voice's chatterings, he headed towards the forecastle, as far away from them as he could.  He worked himself all the way up to the bowsprit, where he reveled in the spray's salty sting across his face, and embraced the moment of solitude as The Voices grew steadily softer.  He closed his eyes, letting his body relax and pulse slow to the beat of waves against hull until The Voices were finally silenced.  He couldn't tell how long the moment lasted, or even if he'd slept where he stood, when his eyes opened of their own.  Across a deep swath of black swells and phosphorescent crests, laid a bright, white light dead ahead.

He strained through his groggy, unfocused sight to make out its form, but couldn't even tell if it was real, let alone whether their distance was closing.  He tried blinking and rubbing his eyes till spots overwhelmed his vision, but the light remained unchanged.  He had been staring at it for several minutes when it suddenly blossomed in size, resolving into the figure of a woman, turning his stomach when he saw she was both solid and translucent.  He could see her just as clearly as he could the ocean through her pearlescent glow, and her long white dress flowing with the wind and sway of her breasts, but showing no sign of getting wet as she "walked" across the waters.

Anger and terror fought in his heart and narrowed his view until she was but a cable's length away.  Then both gave way to raw panic as he fumbled to extract the obsidian knife hanging round his neck.  He wrapped its leather cord around his wrist to secure its slack, and squeezed its handle with a shaking fist.  Its short, wide blade absorbed the light around it, becoming a shadow within a shadow as he held it before him.  The harder his grip, the more more he could feel its knapped edges' familiar shape, returning his feelings from panic to hardened determination.  When he returned his focus to the water she was close enough that he had to look almost straight down to see her.  He flinched to see her looking up at him with sultry eyes and a wicked smile.

He sighed as his sharp edge dulled, losing himself in her look.  A heartbeat later she disappeared into the ship's bow-wake, only to suddenly reappear at his side.  He stumbled from the railing as she looked him up and down, judging him as a rancher would a steer.  With an enigmatic smile she left him in an addled trance and sauntered towards the mast.  He watched her rise through the rigging without a flicker of movement from either arm or leg until her unnatural motion awoke The Voices, returning his consciousness with their screams. Abruptly aware once more, he looked to the stern and found the crew's silhouettes transfixed in muted stillness.  He returned to her just as she ascended the crow's nest, its lookout either wholly oblivious of her, or fast asleep on his feet.  He remained completely still at her approach, but slowly tilted his head back as she reached out and tugged his trousers down.

Nico ground his teeth in frustration, letting the knife bounce on its cord as he reached for a musket.  He swore at himself for his sluggish response, while also thanking God that its powder was near.  With rote efficiency it was primed and raised, but she had already lifted her dress by the time he fired.  The black powder's loud retort woke the crew, starting them pointing to the crow's nest and shouting incoherently at its scene.  The lookout was shaking his head as though trying to wake, but the rest of him stayed resolutely frozen.

She snapped upright and glared at Nico with seething hatred.  He dropped the spent musket with a clatter and desperately tried to get the knife back in his hand under the crippling force of her furious stare.  In a grain of time her unearthly beauty had switched to an ugly grotesque of human features, with rows of jagged fangs lit by the waning moonlight.  An instant later she was simultaneously at the crow's nest and mere inches from his face, shrieking at him in a baritone wail of rage.

The Voices answered through him, their inhuman words choking his mouth and throat in pain.  His will staggered under the combined assault of The Voices and Her, as they both fought for control of his being.  The more his spirits flagged, the harder they lashed out against him and each other.  He shook under the taught strain of their tableau when her visage softened, slowly returning to her earlier beauty.  He felt his strength ebb along with her features until they resolved into Her.
"NOT HER!" he shouted in his own tongue.  "NEVER HER!"

He futilely tried to stab her, but she deftly grabbed his hand with hers, their delicate softness turning to vicious, chitinous claws.  Her shrieking overwhelmed him as he fought until hers was the only "Voice" he could hear.  The searing anguish from the face she now wore, Her face, was all that kept him fighting.  The closer he came to loosening her grip, the more solid she became, until all of her form and focus were away from the mast and solely on him.

Despite his desperate efforts he felt himself continue to weaken and succumb ever more to her power. Then he met her eyes; not her eyes, but Her eyes, triggering a primal surge of strength that broke her grip.  With a guttural howl he thrust the knife into her chest, burying its blade.  Her body shifted back and forth between solid and spectral before bursting into crimson flames.  He was still trying to recoil from its unnatural heat when it abruptly extinguished, leaving naught but char marks on the ship's planks, and a smear of burnt, unidentifiable flesh on its deck.

As he stood there, knife in hand, stunned and overwrought, he watched the crew finally head up towards the lookout.  They approached him in fear, continually crossing themselves even though he'd already collapsed into pitiful sobs.  With a painful, raspy bark he shouted to them and their bewildering fear, "Succubus! She's gone. 'Tis safe." In the dubious silence that followed, the first light of dawn lit the sky.  It crept over the far rail, and returned an unearthly fire to her remains wherever it touched.  Nico stood back watching, until the rising Sun's flames engulfed the last of her slag.  Before it was even fully risen, the wind had already claimed the last of her soot-- but left the vile stench of her smoke untouched.  Soon enough he was aware of voices again, but this time it was only from the Captain and his crew.

"They told me she was a Succubus." the Captain said, approaching Nico with raised hands.
Nico nodded in reply before quietly asking through his throat's lingering pain, "Your lookout?"

"Gibbering, but alive.  And you- You exorcised her then, Father?"
The Captain crossed himself in awe as Nico nodded in reply again.  "Thank you Father, and... that is... could you, perhaps, please bless the ship and her crew as well?"

"After I rest," he said with a forced smile.

While the Captain's answering smile was still more fear than gratitude, at least it was done.  After making his way below, Nico found his hammock now comfortable and the air no longer oppressive.  He closed his eyes and The Voices awoke, erupting in cruel laughter and mockery at a new, distinct Voice railing against her sudden perdition.
 
2017-08-09 2:09:32 PM  

toraque: D_PaulAngel: toraque: For anyone who didn't catch the announcement thread, Through a Scanner Farkly is live!

[Link][img.fark.net image 330x496]
Now available on Amazon

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is the 2017 Fark Fiction Anthology, filled with hand-picked short stories straight from the Fark community!  Our team of intrepid editors has worked endlessly and occasionally soberly to put together this collection from writers right here on Fark, and best of all, all proceeds will going to [REDACTED], an excellent charity who refuses to let us use their name!

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is available in both paperback and Kindle e-book versions, at 13.95 USD and 2.99 USD respectively.

Thanks again for everyone who submitted and helped out on this!

I was wondering about TASF on Amazon. If we have an author's page, can we "claim" TASF, or would you prefer the author credit stays limited to the Fark Writers?

I think that's fine.  Anyone who's entries were accepted or was listed as an editor should be able to claim their contributions.  This wouldn't have happened without everyone's work, so yeah.


Thanks!
 
2017-08-09 2:43:26 PM  
fark you Kafka. Until I was 30 or so I was a snob that wouldn't read anything but the classics. Then I realized all that shiat is basically about conflict and suffering. shiat just hits me too deep. I'm all about the escapism these days - read what you like. I no longer like to spend my leisure time being depressed about shiat that ain't even real but whatever floats your boat. I'm glad I read all that shiat, just can't do it anymore.
 
2017-08-09 2:44:24 PM  
It's been many years, but the last book I remember stabbing at me in strange and alien ways was The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. That was some farked up shiat.

Definitely makes sense as a Kafka quote, considering the uncomfortable stuff he wrote.
 
2017-08-09 2:45:39 PM  
I think we ought to read whatever the fark we want to read.
 
2017-08-09 2:47:24 PM  

toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?


One thing that's nice to see is when the author lets the reader decide what emotion is trying to be related.  A bit like poetry I suppose.  If someone close to a character dies, having the character grit his jaw versus sob.  Is he angry?  Is he holding back tears?  It's a familiar action for people that can mean both of those things (at least).
 
2017-08-09 2:47:50 PM  
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

My father told me when I was a teenager that, if I read that book, I'd get to a chapter that would be difficult to stomach, but not to put the book down because I'd never pick it up again.  Twenty years later, I was reading the book for the first time and, in the bathtub, I hit that chapter... my father's words came right back to me.  I actually did want to drop the book and never pick it up; instead, I read the offending chapter all the way through.

The bathwater was ice cold by the time I finished.
 
2017-08-09 2:48:20 PM  

toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?


You write story of rodina.  Winter of harshness. Oppression of krepostnyye. Tea of hot from samovar. Then you become proud patriotic writer of Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Pasternak who write of glory of October revolution.
 
2017-08-09 3:01:20 PM  

toraque: How do you make your stories affect the reader? What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?

I don't like endings, happy or sad, when everything kind of all stumbles toward the same endpoint just to wrap things up.  This is typically more conspicuous with happy endings because it's much easier to destroy than build.  I have two sisters who were big on chick flicks during their formative years, and I read Shakespeare during my own emo stage, so tragedies bore me now.  It's just so easy.  If an ending isn't nihilistic enough you can always just give a character a terminal illness, or blow up a sense of trust with a devastating "s/he was a spy the whole time!" betrayal.  The former is stupidly common in chick flicks; the latter in Fark fave-rave "dark n' grittyTM" "realisticTM" dudebro flicks.  Not that terminal illnesses aren't cruelly arbitrary IRL, and you can't throw a rock without hitting a sociopath these days, but that's precisely what makes these twists "safe" in dramatic writing.  They're threadbare cliches to me at this point.

So, I like to see authors try to build something.  It doesn't need to be a happy ending, but at least build FFS!  Don't just pull a deus ex machina, "they all lived happily ever after".  Don't just set the house you built on fire as a "fark you" to your audience.  Develop the characters.  That in turn develops the relationships, which in turn shapes the social landscape, which will change your world.
 
2017-08-09 3:01:30 PM  

bigfatbuddhist: Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

My father told me when I was a teenager that, if I read that book, I'd get to a chapter that would be difficult to stomach, but not to put the book down because I'd never pick it up again.  Twenty years later, I was reading the book for the first time and, in the bathtub, I hit that chapter... my father's words came right back to me.  I actually did want to drop the book and never pick it up; instead, I read the offending chapter all the way through.

The bathwater was ice cold by the time I finished.


More of the same,
img.fark.netView Full Size

and to help your brain recover:
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-08-09 3:02:06 PM  
I have often toyed with a modern retelling of The Metamorphosis as an exercise though I wanted to read the original deep in the language it was written before I dared.  I think it is time regardless.
 
2017-08-09 3:02:31 PM  
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

That's when she hit me in the face with the full Oxford English Dictionary hardback, large-print edition.
 
2017-08-09 3:05:08 PM  
Kafka was talking about pop-up books, which were very popular at the time.
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2017-08-09 3:05:27 PM  

toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?


The stuff that affects me the most is that which deals with the human condition.  Putting into words, the thoughts and ponderings that are contemplated by a person usually in within their subconsciousness.   it usually deals with mortality and morality.
 
2017-08-09 3:06:43 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-08-09 3:07:00 PM  

Evil Mackerel: bigfatbuddhist: Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

My father told me when I was a teenager that, if I read that book, I'd get to a chapter that would be difficult to stomach, but not to put the book down because I'd never pick it up again.  Twenty years later, I was reading the book for the first time and, in the bathtub, I hit that chapter... my father's words came right back to me.  I actually did want to drop the book and never pick it up; instead, I read the offending chapter all the way through.

The bathwater was ice cold by the time I finished.

More of the same,
[img.fark.net image 260x346]
and to help your brain recover:
[img.fark.net image 300x400]


That was the first Murakami book I ever read.  Since then, I've read them all.  Good call...  Although I don't understand his obsession with ears....
 
2017-08-09 3:07:12 PM  
bookofthedead.wsView Full Size
 
2017-08-09 3:20:23 PM  
Auguries of Innocence by William Blake

Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night

Lines Written in Early Spring by Wm Wordsworth

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

The Fall of Hyperion

'None can usurp this height,' return'd that shade, 
'But those to whom the miseries of the world 
'Are misery, and will not let them rest.

Dream Song 14  by John Berryman

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) 'Ever to confess you're bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.' I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

Dream Song 385 by John Berryman

My daughter's heavier.  Light leaves are flying.
Everywhere in enormous numbers turkeys will be dying
and other birds, all their wings.
They never greatly flew.  Did they wish to?
I should know.  Off away somewhere once I knew
such things.
Or good Ralph Hodgson back then did, or does.
The man is dead whom Eliot praised.  My praise
follows and flows too late.
Fall is grievy, brisk.  Tears behind the eyes
almost fall.  Fall comes to us as a prize
to rouse us toward our fate.
My house is made of wood and it's made well,
unlike us.  My house is older than Henry;
that's fairly old.
If there were a middle    ground between things and the soul
or if the sky resembled more the sea,
I wouldn't have to scold.
                                                                                my heavy daughter.

****************

It amazes and depresses me that people quit on poetry. You could transmit nuclear secrets or confess to murder without ever being caught if you'd only put the damn stuff in verse. Nobody would ever read it.
 
2017-08-09 3:22:50 PM  

toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?


Good question.  In my case, I'm just interested in telling the story. If there's any lingering impact, it's that they enjoyed reading it.
 
2017-08-09 3:34:50 PM  
Hello Fark writers!
 
2017-08-09 3:36:33 PM  

toraque: For anyone who didn't catch the announcement thread, Through a Scanner Farkly is live!

[img.fark.net image 330x496]
Now available on Amazon

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is the 2017 Fark Fiction Anthology, filled with hand-picked short stories straight from the Fark community!  Our team of intrepid editors has worked endlessly and occasionally soberly to put together this collection from writers right here on Fark, and best of all, all proceeds will going to [REDACTED], an excellent charity who refuses to let us use their name!

THROUGH A SCANNER FARKLY is available in both paperback and Kindle e-book versions, at 13.95 USD and 2.99 USD respectively.

Thanks again for everyone who submitted and helped out on this!


Won't matter once the attorneys for Dillip K. Fick's estate sue the book out of existence.

Also, I just found a short story from long ago that my geometry teacher read us in class, but didn't matter until about five years later. I've been looking for it ever since, even though I had forgotten the author (Mark Clifton) and the title (Star Bright). Am temporarily happy.
 
2017-08-09 3:40:13 PM  

toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?


Teach me something.
 
2017-08-09 4:11:52 PM  

D_PaulAngel: So, if anyone is inclined, this is the story I've collected a couple rejections for.  If anyone has the inclination to read it and give me some thoughts I'd appreciate it.

Domum Vox


It's a good story, D. I enjoyed it very much. I'll try to give some story notes, but take them for what they're worth.

It wasn't clear who Her was supposed to be. Someone from Nico's past, I assume, but I still had to guess at who She was and what She means to Nico. Maybe that's a character for a larger story, but it was hard for me to understand Her place in Nico's mental life.

Using "She" as a name was also a bit confusing since the Succubus had no referencing name either, so making references to both Her and the Succubus in the same sentences/paragraphs got a little confusing at times.

The time period wasn't clear either. I began by assuming it was modern times, which turned out to be wrong by the end of the story.

It wasn't until near the end that I grasped that he was on a large ship. Somehow I associate a sloop with a smaller boat.

Since there was no mention of others on the ship near the beginning of the story, I was also guessing that he was alone. I believe your first mention of others on the ship was describing them as asleep, so I pictured them as either lying there asleep or standing there in a trance. It wasn't apparent which one is was supposed to be until a few sentences later. I would describe what they are doing and how they look in a little more detail when Nico first sees them.

It's also tough to mention Voices, but not give any real clue as to what they're saying or how they sound. Maybe that's part of the mystery of the story, so I can accept that. The description of swaying breasts was also a bit comical. Maybe there's another way of describing her allure?

Unless Nico's used to seeing ghosts, I would think he would have some sort of reaction to seeing the Succubus or at the moment that he realizes she's an apparition.

So, I would suggest making the (time period/size of ship/meaning of Her/location of others on the ship) clearer earlier. I would also consider some more lines of internal dialogue for Nico, so we can better understand what seeing these things means to him.

Hope that helps! You're a good writer, so you hardly need my advice. Best of luck on the story!
 
2017-08-09 4:21:48 PM  
Been making my way through TaSF and am enjoying it.  I can't get myself to read my own story in it though.   Not sure what that's about.
 
2017-08-09 4:23:21 PM  

toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?


I don't know that I ever try to affect the reader.  I try to tell the truth and hope that the reader has a heart.
 
2017-08-09 4:24:48 PM  
I took the advice from these threads and checked out Scrivener. It was good advice. I'm still using the trial version, but I plan on buying it. I started work on a non-fiction book that I've false started several times over the past ten years or so. I hope I can keep at it. There's just a mountain of facts and names to sift through, and I can already see how Scrivener can help me navigate all that. So, I hope I can keep at and make some progress. But, like I said, this project has failed to launch in the past, so who knows?

I had a good idea for a novel title, but no real ideas for a plot right now. I have a fantasy novel halfway finished, and someday I'll come in here and ask if there's anyone who would be willing to read it and tell me if it's worth completing.
 
2017-08-09 4:46:17 PM  

bigfatbuddhist: Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

My father told me when I was a teenager that, if I read that book, I'd get to a chapter that would be difficult to stomach, but not to put the book down because I'd never pick it up again.  Twenty years later, I was reading the book for the first time and, in the bathtub, I hit that chapter... my father's words came right back to me.  I actually did want to drop the book and never pick it up; instead, I read the offending chapter all the way through.

The bathwater was ice cold by the time I finished.


I'm actually reading that right now. I've been steadily working through all of William Shirer's books because not only was he a fantastic reporter in Europe in the 1930s and 40s, he was an amazingly good writer as well. As for other books that have wrecked me, I'm still messed up from Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
 
2017-08-09 5:23:29 PM  
knifetalkforums.comView Full Size


" .. then the killings began .."
 
2017-08-09 5:57:54 PM  
So no comic novels? No Terry Pratchett?

Go back to reading your giant collection of pron, Kaffa. You're drunk.
 
2017-08-09 6:01:53 PM  

AstroJesus: Kafka was talking about pop-up books, which were very popular at the time.
[i.imgur.com image 360x353]


So no comic novels? No Terry Pratchett?

Go back to reading your giant collection of pron, Kaffa. You're drunk.

I love pop-up books. I have several good books, included a spooky Halloween House, a museum of monsters, and the Royal Family pop-up book, complete with Royal Family barbeque. Prince Philip is wearing the "Kiss the Cook" apron. I think it says "Kiss My Royal Ass> maybe.
 
2017-08-09 6:13:31 PM  
I was told by a successful writer that you feel perhaps 1/4 of your characters' emotions, and the reader will, ideally, feel 1/4 of that.

For D.PaulAngel: You are missing the word 'he' in the very first sentence. Editors won't read past that.
 
2017-08-09 6:56:38 PM  

Highroller48: toraque: Headline jokes aside, the Kafka quote does bring up an interesting question.  How do you make your stories affect the reader?  What's the best way to leave a lingering impact on someone, short of actually hitting them in the head with a book?

It's cliche, but personally I despise most happy endings. I find a message can be more compelling when it doesn't all turn out okay in the end.


I'm writing a woman mc historical fiction and she DOESNT end up with the dude, she ends up with her little house and garden and good work to do and friends and her self respect. But I keep being afraid my readers will be pissed that she doesn't end up with a dude.
 
2017-08-09 7:07:12 PM  
I don't know about wounding and stabbing, but Atlas Shrugged made me want to drive a railroad spike into my skull when I was a high school senior.  Does that count?
 
2017-08-09 7:23:25 PM  
just got the kindle version of ASF2017. will begin it this evening so it should be interesting.
 
2017-08-09 8:12:47 PM  
The Cruel Sea, by Nicholas Monsarrat.

Just regular people, doing their duty. And wounding and stabbing you
 
2017-08-09 8:25:44 PM  

Khazar-Khum: I was told by a successful writer that you feel perhaps 1/4 of your characters' emotions, and the reader will, ideally, feel 1/4 of that.

For D.PaulAngel: You are missing the word 'he' in the very first sentence. Editors won't read past that.


Well shiat, thank you!
 
2017-08-09 8:27:27 PM  

thatguyoverthere70: D_PaulAngel: So, if anyone is inclined, this is the story I've collected a couple rejections for.  If anyone has the inclination to read it and give me some thoughts I'd appreciate it.

Domum Vox

It's a good story, D. I enjoyed it very much. I'll try to give some story notes, but take them for what they're worth.

It wasn't clear who Her was supposed to be. Someone from Nico's past, I assume, but I still had to guess at who She was and what She means to Nico. Maybe that's a character for a larger story, but it was hard for me to understand Her place in Nico's mental life.

Using "She" as a name was also a bit confusing since the Succubus had no referencing name either, so making references to both Her and the Succubus in the same sentences/paragraphs got a little confusing at times.

The time period wasn't clear either. I began by assuming it was modern times, which turned out to be wrong by the end of the story.

It wasn't until near the end that I grasped that he was on a large ship. Somehow I associate a sloop with a smaller boat.

Since there was no mention of others on the ship near the beginning of the story, I was also guessing that he was alone. I believe your first mention of others on the ship was describing them as asleep, so I pictured them as either lying there asleep or standing there in a trance. It wasn't apparent which one is was supposed to be until a few sentences later. I would describe what they are doing and how they look in a little more detail when Nico first sees them.

It's also tough to mention Voices, but not give any real clue as to what they're saying or how they sound. Maybe that's part of the mystery of the story, so I can accept that. The description of swaying breasts was also a bit comical. Maybe there's another way of describing her allure?

Unless Nico's used to seeing ghosts, I would think he would have some sort of reaction to seeing the Succubus or at the moment that he realizes she's an apparition.

So, I would suggest making the (time period/size of ship/meaning of Her/location of others on the ship) clearer earlier. I would also consider some more lines of internal dialogue for Nico, so we can better understand what seeing these things means to him.

Hope that helps! You're a good writer, so you hardly need my advice. Best of luck on the story!


Thank you very much, that is incredibly helpful. It gives me a good sense of what to look for when I edit it again.

*Internet fistbump*
 
2017-08-09 8:32:48 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-08-09 9:25:28 PM  

thatguyoverthere70: D_PaulAngel: So, if anyone is inclined, this is the story I've collected a couple rejections for.  If anyone has the inclination to read it and give me some thoughts I'd appreciate it.

Domum Vox

It's a good story, D. I enjoyed it very much. I'll try to give some story notes, but take them for what they're worth.

It wasn't clear who Her was supposed to be. Someone from Nico's past, I assume, but I still had to guess at who She was and what She means to Nico. Maybe that's a character for a larger story, but it was hard for me to understand Her place in Nico's mental life.

Using "She" as a name was also a bit confusing since the Succubus had no referencing name either, so making references to both Her and the Succubus in the same sentences/paragraphs got a little confusing at times.

The time period wasn't clear either. I began by assuming it was modern times, which turned out to be wrong by the end of the story.

It wasn't until near the end that I grasped that he was on a large ship. Somehow I associate a sloop with a smaller boat.

Since there was no mention of others on the ship near the beginning of the story, I was also guessing that he was alone. I believe your first mention of others on the ship was describing them as asleep, so I pictured them as either lying there asleep or standing there in a trance. It wasn't apparent which one is was supposed to be until a few sentences later. I would describe what they are doing and how they look in a little more detail when Nico first sees them.

It's also tough to mention Voices, but not give any real clue as to what they're saying or how they sound. Maybe that's part of the mystery of the story, so I can accept that. The description of swaying breasts was also a bit comical. Maybe there's another way of describing her allure?

Unless Nico's used to seeing ghosts, I would think he would have some sort of reaction to seeing the Succubus or at the moment that he realizes she's an apparition.

So, I would suggest makin ...


I agree with almost everything ThatGuy said, and I will strive to match his gentleness.

I had a little trouble getting through the two paragraphs where Nico leaves his hammock and goes onto deck.   I was a bit distracted at the time, so take this with a grain of salt, but it felt like you were trying to do two things at once:  tell us about Nico's experience of the voices, and describe his physical progress through the ship.  The reader feels yanked back and forth between the two.  The transitions could be smoother, and most of them aren't necessary.  Let Nico have a few thoughts in a row before he notices where his feet are taking him.  The voices are the heart of the story, let the reader experience them a bit more fully, sooner (and closer to Nico's point of view) and we'll have more confidence that laying aside our confusion about who-what-where-when will be rewarded.

OK, now let's get nerdy and talk about weapons.  First, the knife.  He's gripping the handle *and* feeling the knapped edge?  Not likely.  How is he gripping the edge without cutting himself?   Next, phrasing.  "He sighed as his sharp edge dulled."  Weren't we just discussing the knife a second ago?  Very confusing.  Also, a bit of a cliche, and an example of where you should either apply the golden rule "show, don't tell", or just skip it.  You tell us about changes in his mental state (e.g. sudden changes in his level of determination) but I don't feel like I understand or empathise.
Back to weapons.  Where did the musket come from?  What kind of captain allows muskets to be left lying around on the deck?   That was the last straw for me as far as believing in your historical setting.   To fix this, maybe Nico carries his own pistol - that would be bad-ass. I mean, if you've got a priest who carries a knife, why wouldn't he carry a pistol?

Finally, phrasing again, at the very end you talk about "perdition".  I think I know what you were trying to say, and "perdition" isn't what you meant.  In a story about demons and a priest, you can't be so casual with religious concepts.    Which reminds me, isn't it a bit strange how Nico never prays, never mentions God?  I couldn't figure out what church he belonged to (kind of a big deal in any time period where there are muskets), and eventually decided we were in an alternate universe so it didn't matter.

I feel like this story could work as a scene in a longer narrative, where  the reader gets some time to learn answers to all the questions that come up in this one scene, or at least to get used to living in suspense long enough to grasp some of the "rules" of your world.  For a story this short to stand on its own, you've got to find the emotional heart of it, write the hell out of that part, and pare away anything that isn't relevant.    I think what you really want to explore is: what does it feel like to be the guy who walks around with actual demons inside his head?  I mean, slaying a succubus is kind of cool, but it doesn't make the reader care a bit about Nico. The best part of the story, for me, was the awkward conversation with the captain at the end:  I could guess how Nico was feeling, and you didn't have to tell me.
 
2017-08-09 9:31:19 PM  
Somewhere in the ballpark of 21,000 words total done on the novel.Slowly but surely chipping away at this damn thing.
 
2017-08-09 10:26:13 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-08-09 11:09:09 PM  

nartreb: thatguyoverthere70: D_PaulAngel: So, if anyone is inclined, this is the story I've collected a couple rejections for.  If anyone has the inclination to read it and give me some thoughts I'd appreciate it.

Domum Vox

It's a good story, D. I enjoyed it very much. I'll try to give some story notes, but take them for what they're worth.

It wasn't clear who Her was supposed to be. Someone from Nico's past, I assume, but I still had to guess at who She was and what She means to Nico. Maybe that's a character for a larger story, but it was hard for me to understand Her place in Nico's mental life.

Using "She" as a name was also a bit confusing since the Succubus had no referencing name either, so making references to both Her and the Succubus in the same sentences/paragraphs got a little confusing at times.

The time period wasn't clear either. I began by assuming it was modern times, which turned out to be wrong by the end of the story.

It wasn't until near the end that I grasped that he was on a large ship. Somehow I associate a sloop with a smaller boat.

Since there was no mention of others on the ship near the beginning of the story, I was also guessing that he was alone. I believe your first mention of others on the ship was describing them as asleep, so I pictured them as either lying there asleep or standing there in a trance. It wasn't apparent which one is was supposed to be until a few sentences later. I would describe what they are doing and how they look in a little more detail when Nico first sees them.

It's also tough to mention Voices, but not give any real clue as to what they're saying or how they sound. Maybe that's part of the mystery of the story, so I can accept that. The description of swaying breasts was also a bit comical. Maybe there's another way of describing her allure?

Unless Nico's used to seeing ghosts, I would think he would have some sort of reaction to seeing the Succubus or at the moment that he realizes she's an apparition.

So, I would suggest makin ...

I agree with almost everything ThatGuy said, and I will strive to match his gentleness.

I had a little trouble getting through the two paragraphs where Nico leaves his hammock and goes onto deck.   I was a bit distracted at the time, so take this with a grain of salt, but it felt like you were trying to do two things at once:  tell us about Nico's experience of the voices, and describe his physical progress through the ship.  The reader feels yanked back and forth between the two.  The transitions could be smoother, and most of them aren't necessary.  Let Nico have a few thoughts in a row before he notices where his feet are taking him.  The voices are the heart of the story, let the reader experience them a bit more fully, sooner (and closer to Nico's point of view) and we'll have more confidence that laying aside our confusion about who-what-where-when will be rewarded.

OK, now let's get nerdy and talk about weapons.  First, the knife.  He's gripping the handle *and* feeling the knapped edge?  Not likely.  How is he gripping the edge without cutting himself?   Next, phrasing.  "He sighed as his sharp edge dulled."  Weren't we just discussing the knife a second ago?  Very confusing.  Also, a bit of a cliche, and an example of where you should either apply the golden rule "show, don't tell", or just skip it.  You tell us about changes in his mental state (e.g. sudden changes in his level of determination) but I don't feel like I understand or empathise.
Back to weapons.  Where did the musket come from?  What kind of captain allows muskets to be left lying around on the deck?   That was the last straw for me as far as believing in your historical setting.   To fix this, maybe Nico carries his own pistol - that would be bad-ass. I mean, if you've got a priest who carries a knife, why wouldn't he carry a pistol?

Finally, phrasing again, at the very end you talk about "perdition".  I think I know what you were trying to say, and "perdition" isn't what you meant.  In a story about demons and a priest, you can't be so casual with religious concepts.    Which reminds me, isn't it a bit strange how Nico never prays, never mentions God?  I couldn't figure out what church he belonged to (kind of a big deal in any time period where there are muskets), and eventually decided we were in an alternate universe so it didn't matter.

I feel like this story could work as a scene in a longer narrative, where  the reader gets some time to learn answers to all the questions that come up in this one scene, or at least to get used to living in suspense long enough to grasp some of the "rules" of your world.  For a story this short to stand on its own, you've got to find the emotional heart of it, write the hell out of that part, and pare away anything that isn't relevant.    I think what you really want to explore is: what does it feel like to be the guy who walks around with actual demons inside his head?  I mean, slaying a succubus is kind of cool, but it doesn't make the reader care a bit about Nico. The best part of the story, for me, was the awkward conversation with the captain at the end:  I could guess how Nico was feeling, and you didn't have to tell me.


Thank you very, very much. That helps a lot, and between the two of you I have a pretty good road map for where I want to go.

I already know the answers to the questions you had, but I clearly need to do a better job of bringing them out. I have a sense how I'm going to do it now too.

This is why this thread is so great!
 
2017-08-09 11:43:28 PM  
No writing this week.
I had to fly to Bum Diddle Idaho and help someone move an online record store that sells hard to find original vinyl pressings of new and rare doom metal.
Drove 20,000 pounds of it across country in a extra large UHaul truck.
Yes, it was Satan Take The Wheel.

/  UHaul trucks built on Ford F-650 frames get about 8 miles to the gallon and have a speed governor set at 75 mph.
 
2017-08-09 11:53:20 PM  
Question for self-published Farkers:
Any suggestions of specific places to self-publish, or ones to avoid?
For example, what are your experiences the Amazon print-on-demand books, and/or Kindle e-books?

I have an unusual project which I cannot see any tradition publisher accepting, but which has a built-in audience.
It's part investigative reporting and part autobiographical about my childhood in Utah, among an unusually insane sub-group.

Without getting into sordid details/spoilers:
Over the years, as I tried explaining certain events I experienced, people would cut me off: "That couldn't possibly be true, because I can't imagine a person actually doing something like that." Sometimes people would keep interrupting me to say, "That doesn't even make sense - why would somebody do that?" over and over again.

At a certain point I just stopped telling people anything about my childhood, and tried forgetting about it all.

And then my step-father's brother ("Dr. W") put me on his email list to announce his new ebooks.
Several of "Dr. W's" ebooks discuss his work with "Evil Spirits" he encountered during hypnotherapy sessions.
Suddenly, everything I had been trying to forget "made sense," so to speak. Still too bizarre to be believable.

This "book" has been festering inside my think-bone for a while, and it needs to get lanced and cauterized, but not just for my own benefit. I was not the only child influenced by "Dr. W," who also taught Psychology at BYU, and went on to work for those "wilderness camp" Treatment Centers for at-risk youths. (Of course, any complaints of abuse at those Centers are easily, pre-emptively, dismissed.)

I'm certain hundreds of people would benefit from knowing they were not alone, and learning what "Gaslighting" is... But I also do not see any publisher wanting to touch the book I need to write.

In short:
Any advice about publishing ebooks, and what to avoid, or suggestions for meta-tag marketing to get a "Top Seller" sticker....
Or even suggestions of good websites offering good self-publishing/marketing tips, so I don't have to wade through the googleplex of Google Paid Sponsors....
 
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