Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » EZ

   
Author Topic: EZ
Peter
New Member
Member # 10425

 - posted      Profile for Peter           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In the end killing the zombies was easy. All it took was some out-there thinking by a lazy, genius, engineer from Mexico named Bernardo and the inspiration of Albert. Poor Albert. May he rest in peace.. or at least pieces.

The main problem in the beginning was in our heads. We were so terrified and shocked that we developed this kind of siege mentality. We all went around thinking “Oh, our lives are so hard, we are tough hard survivors, we have to fight everyday just to live.” I think some of us liked to leave a little grime smeared across our faces, just because.

While that kind of thinking is great for making you feel like a Bear Grylls wanna be, it doesn’t really have any long term benefit.

[ June 09, 2015, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jun 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Disgruntled Peony
Member
Member # 10416

 - posted      Profile for Disgruntled Peony   Email Disgruntled Peony         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd recommend scratching all but the first sentence of the first paragraph and merging it with the second paragraph. Why? Because it's more interesting that way. If you were going to follow through on the stuff with Roberto and Albert that would be fine, but as it is the first paragraph tells instead of showing.

The stuff about the siege mentality and the senses, though? That's what grabbed my attention. That's showing rather than telling. It's visceral. It gets you in the perspective character's head.

Posts: 346 | Registered: May 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Peter
New Member
Member # 10425

 - posted      Profile for Peter           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cool, thanks! Looking at it, I agree. I hadn't noticed the distinction between telling and showing there.
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jun 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JSchuler
Member
Member # 8970

 - posted      Profile for JSchuler   Email JSchuler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Your thirteen lines stops around "making you feel like," so anything beyond that isn't being remarked upon.

quote:
In the end killing the zombies was easy.
A good first line, mainly because gives me a setting I haven't seen much (at all) before: The Post-post-zombie apocalypse. Rather appropriate, as with the saturation of zombies in the media, it's good to see something move beyond it.

The fundamental problem with it is that it's exposition. That would be fine, except the entire opening is exposition. And I get the feeling I'm about to spend the chapter being told how the zombies were defeated instead of shown. And everything in here is telling. There are no actions or events that I can draw inferences from. I can't tell you what the environment looks like, or the narrator. I do get the idea that he is contemptuous of everyone else with how quickly and cartoonishly he dismisses and characterizes their mindset. But other than that, I have nothing.

Posts: 388 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I enjoyed the opening. Yes, it is predominantly tell, but that's what's called for I think. This telling separates this particular zombie story from all the others--zombies are stupid and no danger if you keep your wits about you.

Apart from Indie and self-publishing, it is interesting to note that over 80 percent of all published spec-fic start with exposition. And yes, the study has been done. The narrative distance and viewpoint of the exposition 'tell' is quite variable, ranging from the 'History Lecture' type of tell to a first person, present tense.

Yes, I would read on. The 'voice' of the narrator is interesting.

Phil.

Posts: 1284 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JSchuler
Member
Member # 8970

 - posted      Profile for JSchuler   Email JSchuler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Apart from Indie and self-publishing, it is interesting to note that over 80 percent of all published spec-fic start with exposition. And yes, the study has been done.
A meaningful statistic would also include the percentage of total submissions that start with exposition. 80% published may seem like the way to go until you find out that 99% of submissions followed that pattern. Without that, the statistic is descriptive, not prescriptive.

Also, is it 80% of openings are composed entirely of exposition (as this is), or is it that 80% of openings include exposition?

Posts: 388 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
//In the end[,] killing the zombies was easy. All it took was some out-there thinking by a lazy, genius|,| engineer from Mexico named Bernardo and the inspiration of Albert. Poor Albert. May he rest in peace|..|[ --] or at least pieces.

The main problem in the beginning was in our heads. We were so terrified and shocked that we developed this kind of siege mentality. We all went around thinking “Oh|,| our lives are so hard|,|[.] |we|[We] are tough[,] hard survivors|,|[;] we have to fight |everyday| [every day] just to live.” I think some of us liked to leave a little grime smeared across our faces, just because|.|[...]

While that kind of thinking is great for making you feel like a Bear Grylls wanna be, it doesn’t really have any long term benefit.

When you think about it[,] zombies are limited to pretty much three//

Seven lines over thirteen. Other responders' responses comment insightfully about areas I consider noteworthy for introductory fragments, notably for narrative point of view, narrator, the meaning and purpose of a writing, and emotional disequilibrium introductions. I'll add pleasant and profluent use of first-person plural and second-person reflexive. Yes, notably an artful use of narrator tell, one that works for me.

However, the grammar is -- as marked above -- inconsistent to the occasion. Brackets mark suggested, (conventionally nondiscretionary) insertions. Verticals mark suggested excisions. The marks, for me, signal where grammar faults disturb the fiction dream, throw me out of the narrative.

Remarkably, the flow, or profluence, otherwise, is well managed and fluent -- and smartly self-effacing irony. The diction and syntax are apropos of the words and subject matter and to each other, the occasion, and the audience I estimate is the target: providentially perhaps, readers weary of the same old troublesome zonbi big game hunts, which may be passable for visual media's spectacle appeals though inadequate for written word's need for event, setting, and character depth and meaning. And maybe, most appealing for me, parody of zonbi genre conventions that expresses a commentary about a moral truth, a human condition; that is, zonbi are ourselves as the soulless, sleepwalking, emotionally indifferent, and indifferently hostile masses who would eat our and us'es kins' brains. That latter gives me shivers of promise.

I could turn the page and read onward.

[ June 08, 2015, 01:27 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 4370 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Peter
New Member
Member # 10425

 - posted      Profile for Peter           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks all. I have gone back and read a better description of the 13 lines and understand it better now.

Thanks for the encouragement. This is really my first attempt at writing, and I what I am taking away is that I have some ability but it needs a lot of polish.

I have to admit though that I didn't understand some of what was said, especially extrinsic who sounds really intelligent and insightful, but I think that is because I need to learn some more terms, methods, approaches, etc and get a good book grammar.

So far I have read Million Dollar Outline and am now reading Elements of fiction by OSC. Open to suggestions on my next read.

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jun 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
More of our host Orson Scott Card's writing about writing: How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy and Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction: Volume One First Contact. Algis Budrys, former W&IotF anthology editor and judge of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest, Writing to the Point, complements Card's texts and is about on par for accessibility, far less dense than, say, The Poetics of Aristotle or denser perhaps, Seymour Chatman, Story and Discourse and denser still -- numerous others. Damon Knight's Creating Short Fiction is a mite more dense (more information content organized more clinically) though close to Card and Budrys' par.

For a comprehensive grammar handbook, not really a read-read, more of a lifetime writing study and reference companion, consider The Little, Brown Handbook, 13th edition. $$$ pricey though worth the expense, and one of five or so essentials for a writer's Hatrack utility belt's book shelf: comprehensive dictionary, English usage dictionary, style manual, synonym dictionary or thesaurus, and a grammar handbook -- probably the best advised, first priority for any writer.

Other useful utility belt tools might include a plot energy reactor, to power plots and the belt's apps and tools. The n-dimension lofter is an advanced tool that generates subtext and needs every spare erg of reactor power. It's a time and heartache and midnight candle expensive tool.

[ June 09, 2015, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 4370 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2