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 Books » A War of Tea and Flowers (SF/Adventure) (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: A War of Tea and Flowers (SF/Adventure)
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The story is pretty much adventure SF. I'm worried about a few things:

*info-dumping or too little information (this is a strange setting - how much is too much? What about nautical terms (I used "left" rather than "port")?)

*Character voice (you don't see it yet, but the the only other character in this chapter sounds pretty identical to this one)

*Languages (the woman speaks with French style quotes. I want to indicate that she's not actually speaking English, but I think it's only confusing to the reader)

Well, here're my 13 lines:


There! A little up and to the left. Maybe a few arc minutes. Another one down and to the right. A third one in the middle.

Syiy felt overhead for the voice pipe and popped off the cork. She pulled herself up to it and blew in hard. The brass was cool against her face.

A tinny voice came back. “Here, Syiy.”

«Aye, Garoux. We have sign.»

“Details.”

«Three lights. I wager they’re skiffs. If they are, they are about five days away if they opt to pull alongside us. Two if they opt to strafe us.» She tried to brush the matted hair out of her eyes.

[ May 10, 2017, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: Will Blathe ]

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jay Greenstein
Member
Member # 10615

 - posted      Profile for Jay Greenstein   Email Jay Greenstein         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
There! A little up and to the left. Maybe a few arc minutes. Another one down and to the right. A third one in the middle.
Here’s where you lost me, I’m afraid. It’s not quoted, and makes no sense as narration. So I assumed that this is what someone is noticing, internally. Perhaps, had it been italicized, indicating that it was a series of internal observations (or quoted), it might have worked. But then, given that it was noticed, and this is the protagonist, some internal reaction and analysis would be necessary if we’re in her viewpoint. To be our protagonist a character has to be more than someone who you talk about. We have to be placed in their viewpoint and know both what they know and their analysis, so we can know why they act and what they hope to accomplish. They are our avatar, remember, not someone in our field of view. Or as Anthony Burgess observed, “A character, to be acceptable as more than a chess piece, has to be ignorant of the future, unsure about the past, and not at all sure of what he is supposed to be doing.”

quote:
Syiy felt overhead for the voice pipe and popped off the cork.
First, it can’t be overhead and be blown into because when you look up, your mouth is lower than the top of your head. Next, why do we care where it is, or that it has a cork (and in line with that, if there’s a cork at the other end, blowing will do no good, unless she has one hell of a set of lungs)? If it’s the voice pipe and she uses it, the reader will assume she did whatever was necessary to do so. Where it is, and the actions she takes, are visual details that are irrelevant because we can’t see the scene, only know what’s within it. Scene setting matters if it’s relevant, but it should never slow the narrative.

But forget that. Where the hell is she in time and space? Who is she? What’s going on? Without knowing that, the words have no context. You know all that. She does, too. So do all the people with her. But fair is fair. If she’s our protagonist—our avatar—shouldn’t we know, too? It makes no sense that the one you wrote it for has no context to make the actions meaningful.
quote:
She pulled herself up to it and blew in hard. The brass was cool against her face.
Why do we care that it’s brass? Why do we care how the pipe feels. She wants to talk with Garoux. And she’s felt the pipe against her skin many times. So she pays it no mind. But by mentioning how it feels you interject yourself into the scene and break POV. But if you do that, she should be saying, “Who are you, and what are you doing here?” That she doesn’t, clearly says this isn’t real. But isn’t your goal to make the story seem real to the reader?
quote:
«Aye, Garoux. We have sign.»
So she’s speaking French, he speaks the language, but answers in English? Makes no sense. Suppose this is a film. How do you think the audience will respond if they have to read subtitles for everything the protagonist says. In reality, they won’t have to because no one would be dumb enough to make a film like that. If she has a French background it will influence her perceptions and behavior, and cause people to mention it. Other than that, it matters not at all what language she’s speaking.
quote:
«Three lights. I wager they’re skiffs. If they are, they are about five days away if they opt to pull alongside us. Two if they opt to strafe us.»
Okay, I’m lost. Obviously, they’re not in a sailing craft because another boat can’t be seen if they’re days away. And spacecraft doesn’t seem reasonable because they’d use an intercom. Though if they are spacecraft it would be match velocity, not “pull alongside.”

And, if you postulate some more primitive space-going people they wouldn’t have gravity and nothing would be “overhead.” So I have no context for what’s going on, where they are, or whose skin I’m wearing. Certainly, I don’t expect all that to be complete in thirteen lines. But I do expect to have context for what’s happening.

In general, it seems that you’re presenting a dispassionate external observer who’s watching the film version and reporting what they see/hear. The problem with that approach is that you can visualize what’s happening as you read, and so, as you write you forget that you have context bor the situation when you begin reading, and so leave out the things the reader lacks, and requires.

You need to get into the protagonist’s viewpoint and take your reader there with you, so they view the scene as she does, not as a viewer.

A bit of digging into the techniques and tricks-of-the-trade the pros take for granted would pay big dividends.

Hang in there, and keep on writing. It never gets easier, but with time, practice, and study, we can become confused on a higher level. And that helps better the crap to gold ratio of the prose.

Posts: 55 | Registered: Dec 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah! Thank you, Jay Greenstein. I have my head so far up my story that I can't see what the reader sees.


Let's try cutting the weird stuff out and adding context:


quote:

Syiy sat staring out the porthole when when she saw three faint glimmers in the inky space. She pulled her notebook out of her pocket and sketched what she saw. She used her thumb to measure one glimmer against another and wrote a string of numbers next to her sketch, mumbling to herself all the while.

She was at it nearly an hour when she sprang up, threw open the hatch and sprinted down the walkway. She reached some curtains and pushed them aside. "Garoux!"

Garoux jumped out of his cot. "What's wrong?"

"We have less than two days before pirates have us."


Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
An individual notes and shares report with a crewmate a pursuit of their vessel.

Eleven lines, by the way, spare real estate for two more.

Arc minutes implies a precision sextant. Voice pipe is patently an anachronic device for a starship and even a present day nautical vessel. Is this steampunk? More the merrier if so.

The human eye cannot distinguish arc minute detail, not even degrees, except as crude estimates, clock hours at best. In any case, such a measurement doesn't yield distance. A closing plot on a chart or a monocular distance device or other method is necessary to determine distance to a fix. And more about astrogation-navigation that is inapt for now.

A voice pipe overhead? Huh, I infer a gooseneck pipe about large enough a diameter that a hand still wraps around yet effectively communicates intraship, say, three inches. Voice pipe. Brass. A cork. The whistle at the other end that signals attention is implied, why Syiy blows into her end, though most readers won't infer that.

The skiffs present a complication, a problem anyway and an implied want, to evade the skiffs. Conflict is also implied, life and death, or freedom and capture. Complication and conflict introductions challenge many writers, at least enough of both are here for consideration.

The guillemets, «dialogue text string», are gimmicky. Many languages use those, other than French. Instead, a French diction flavor that distinguishes Garoux is French and that contributes to his characterization, characterization more so than that he's French, could be stronger and clearer appeal, maybe a few judicious French words that are English loan words.

A larger doesn't work for me is, overall, the scene segment is sparse, a thought start which comes from a disembodied mind, only the barest cue this is in outer space and somewhere far away from flight reference points, like stars, an action which is physical movement though lacks dramatic movement, and a voice pipe conversation that amounts to a low urgency report of a pursuit. A tickle of dramatic movement due to the skiffs might strafe whatever vessel type Syiy and Garoux are on, implication of a pursuit. Setting development falls short for me, and character, almost enough event development (complication's want-problem motivations, conflict's polar opposition stakes forces.) Though why Syiy and Garoux are pursued is a more pertinent detail, which could also begin character development. Are they pirates? Spies? Cops? Merchants? Diplomats? Miners? Freighters? Military? What?

And for complication introduction completeness, what does Syiy privately want that is a hard to satisfy problem, too?

The steampunk promise holds appeal potential, though why steampunk? Steampunk is more than physical details, it is more so a platform for social commentary, a type of sarcasm that expresses doubt, confusion, frustration, and anger about the complexities of adulthood onset, moral maturation anyway, and about an advanced technological age's complexities.

I would not at this time read on as an engaged reader.

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  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 
quote:
Originally posted by Will Blathe:
The story is pretty much adventure SF. I'm worried about a few things:

*info-dumping or too little information (this is a strange setting - how much is too much? What about nautical terms (I used "left" rather than "port")?)

*Character voice (you don't see it yet, but the the only other character in this chapter sounds pretty identical to this one)

*Languages (the woman speaks with French style quotes. I want to indicate that she's not actually speaking English, but I think it's only confusing to the reader)

Generally speaking, if there's something I'm worried about as a writer, it's something that needs fixing. To be fair, I don't always know how to fix it right away, which is where outside feedback can be helpful. But if those are your major concerns, then probably they're problems that could use fixing (or at least some tweaking).

Also, as you're new, a general point of note: I've found, from personal experience, that it's best to wait for a few days after the initial posting of lines here before making any edits. Reading the comments as they arrive is fine, but waiting a few days before editing gives a certain measure of breathing room and distance. It will give you more opportunity to consider the critiques you've received and decide which parts you do/don't agree with. (And even if you don't agree with a critique, that doesn't mean you should discount it out of hand--just because you don't feel the same way as someone else doesn't mean that there isn't an underlying problem that the two of you simply perceive in different ways.)

Another quick tip, since you said you were too close to the story to see what the reader sees: Letting the story sit for a week or two and then going back to re-read it later can help alleviate that. Letting it sit for longer (a month, for example) can be even better, but that's sometimes difficult to do, especially if deadlines loom.

I'm actually going to critique both versions of your story, because I didn't get a chance to critique the original version before you posted the new one.

quote:
There! A little up and to the left. Maybe a few arc minutes. Another one down and to the right. A third one in the middle.

Syiy felt overhead for the voice pipe and popped off the cork. She pulled herself up to it and blew in hard. The brass was cool against her face.

A tinny voice came back. “Here, Syiy.”

«Aye, Garoux. We have sign.»

“Details.”

«Three lights. I wager they’re skiffs. If they are, they are about five days away if they opt to pull alongside us. Two if they opt to strafe us.» She tried to brush the matted hair out of her eyes.

The first paragraph pulled me out of the story immediately, because I had no context for setting and the fragmented sentences were confusing. If you cut the first paragraph and started from the second, with perhaps some more context, it might flow better. There's a character in the second paragraph, as well as some minor setting description, as opposed to the first paragraph, which gives very little information to the reader.

The French quotation marks also threw me off, as I was not personally familiar with them.

The prose in this version comes off as artistic, but relatively low on context and substance. It didn't grab my attention enough that I would keep reading if given the chance.

quote:

Syiy sat staring out the porthole when when she saw three faint glimmers in the inky space. She pulled her notebook out of her pocket and sketched what she saw. She used her thumb to measure one glimmer against another and wrote a string of numbers next to her sketch, mumbling to herself all the while.

She was at it nearly an hour when she sprang up, threw open the hatch and sprinted down the walkway. She reached some curtains and pushed them aside. "Garoux!"

Garoux jumped out of his cot. "What's wrong?"

"We have less than two days before pirates have us."

This version of the story has a good deal more context, but the prose is far less artful. Many of the sentences are telling or static, and the fragment suffers for it.

My first question is, quite simply, why was Syiy staring out of the portal? (I recently drafted a story where a character noticed something while traveling down a road, and one of the people who beta read for me asked where he was traveling. The fact that I didn't have an answer for it struck me as problematic, so I've been more sensitive to those kinds of things of late.)

Since Syiy is an uncommon name (at least, from my personal experience, as this is the first time I'd ever read it), I'd recommend opening the first sentence with something other than her name. Her name can certainly be in the first sentence, but if you give the reader a few words of context on the setting or something similar they might fall into the tale a little easier.

The phrase 'She was at it nearly an hour when she sprang up' is grammatically inaccurate. 'She had been at it nearly an hour...' flows better, in my opinion, but is still static. Something like 'After an hour of intense study she sprang up...' might work even better still.

The other question that strikes me as important to ask is: How does Syiy know that those glimmers in space are pirates? There's no hint given as to what the lights in space might be until she states that, which feels a little jarring to me.

It seems to me that this second version of the opening was written in a rush, and that you might be trying too hard to hurry into the main conflict of the story as a result. There should certainly be conflict of some sort in the opening thirteen lines, but it doesn't have to be the overarching conflict that the entire story hangs on. You might want to consider exploring why Syiy is staring out the window when she notices the glimmers; that could give you a chance to flesh out or hint at the internal conflict she'll be facing during the story (because internal conflicts are even more important than external ones, in my experience).

Posts: 686 | Registered: May 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jay Grenstein:
quote:
The problem with that approach is that you can visualize what’s happening as you read, and so, as you write you forget that you have context bor the situation when you begin reading, and so leave out the things the reader lacks, and requires
.. Yes. I'm thinking that there's too much strangeness happening at once that I'm not noticing.


extrinsic: Yep! (arc minutes are kinda measurable by outstretched thumb) You're pretty much on the money with your inferences and the fact I didn't do a good job cluing the reader in. It's an unusual world (I need to move the genre to science fantasy rather than SF, even though it wants to pretend it's SF) in setting & physics.


Disgruntled Peony: I want to show competence on the part of the MCs, but the setting is so out of the ordinary that it's hard to use it in an active conflict. I'm beginning to think that I should open with the same kind of thing but planetside. It's just easier for the reader, and I can be freer with the prose.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tesknota
Member
Member # 10041

 - posted      Profile for tesknota   Email tesknota         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was typing something yesterday, didn't actually reply, and now what I had to say is largely irrelevant. Ah well.

Out of the two, I personally like the second one better. The second version provides more setting and context, giving me (the reader) a more solid anchor into the story. As for the language issue, you could always casually mention that Syiy is speaking French, but leave all the conversations written in English.

What I'm a little curious about is your title. Can you provide a little background on what your title is alluding to? It sounds interesting, but I can't see the connection between it and your 13-line intro. Not a criticism - just curiosity!

Posts: 223 | Registered: Feb 2013  |  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 
Re:Speaking tube.

Check out https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_tube

Proper research is essential when writing OR critiquing a story.

And, on the subject of research, there is very little light in space, and effectively none in deep space. There is no way in hell you're going to see a spaceship with the naked eye if they're only 10 miles away, let alone two days.

Phil.

[ May 12, 2017, 03:00 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

Posts: 1592 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grumpy old guy: The setting makes it hard not to see the spacecraft with the naked eye. But, you don't know the setting because I was silly enough to try to show some action without any context.

The setting is too alien for the reader. This scene needs to take place after the reader is familiar with the storyworld.

That's why I think I'll have the book start with our heroes chased on the ground instead of in space.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
tesknota: The title is only a working title, but I like it a lot. It refers to the larger conflicts that the protagonists live in. I don't want to give anything away (spoilers!), but some of the powers that be are in a grand and destructive conflict. Our heroes are on the fringes of that conflict and are trying to make do as best they can.

Maybe the title should be The War of Tea & FLowers or maybe The Tea & Flowers War. Either way, it has the feel of a historical title.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's an alternate book opening. It's the same idea: show protagonists being competent. This time it's a bit more down to earth.

....


The pale man offered a bolt of fabric. “Hoc mater es natnat.”

Garoux gestured to the bolt. “Tell me the silver thread count.”

“Non dishi.” The man shrugged.

“Sorry,” Garoux said. “Qua re --damn-- re- revus ash -- how does that go? Qua arge-”

“Bene bene. Non.”

“None?” He lifted the cover off the fabric. “This stuff is natnat, indeed. Bene.” He pushed a handful of coins at the giddy man. “Take the money.”

“Aret!” echoed through the alley.

Garoux didn’t look to see where the shout came from. He threw the bolt over his shoulder and headed into the market square crowd. He quickly found a woman haggling over a slide rule. “Syiy, we have to go.”

[ May 14, 2017, 01:08 AM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The International Space Station is naked eye visible from Earth at times. The huge dragonfly shape orbits at 250 miles. Its most visible solar panel wings are 357 feet wide. The view is of a sunlit blot's movement against the starry night, larger than stars, larger than a high-altitude plane's aerogation lights, larger than the planet wanderers Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, about as large as a large-sized comet's core viewed before the tail emerges. Imagine a silvan pea beside a 1 carat diamond Jupiter. What a sight!

The most profound use of outer space celestial astrogation, by sextant, is James Lovell's Apollo 13 use for an attitude fix, essential for the crippled craft's accurate orientation for the lunar sling orbit transfer burn. Lovell also astrogated Apollo 8.

[ May 13, 2017, 02:37 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay. How about redoing the first intro a third time with lots more context:


There was a young woman who lived on a ship. Son of a blip! She lived on a ship!
She lived on a ship with a gun on her hip and a man by her side who gave plenty of lip.

They floated in space with minimal grace and billowing sails (some trimmed with lace).
Sails? In space? It’s a long story. About whales. Space whales.

The story begins in a bit of a race with three little glimmers giving them chase. The woman writes figures with numbers apace inferring the dangers about to be faced.

And so . . .

“Garoux!”

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic: I've seen it on occasion (once, quite by accident). Gave me shivers.
Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  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 
The only reason the ISS is visible is reflected sunlight.

Phil.

Posts: 1592 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also, stars in space create a background against which any small reflecting object (if there is one and if there is light for it to reflect) would be very hard to differentiate from the background.

Not only that, but the movement of something two days away in space, especially something moving directly toward you, would be almost impossible to detect with the naked eye.

The International Space Station is much closer, it is (as Phil said) reflecting sunlight, and it is moving across the sky instead of toward the viewer.

Posts: 8491 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
All if this is why the first two drafts of the intro are problematic.

Under the conditions of the world and that particular setting, it was possible to see the pursuing vessels and infer approximate distances and velocities from their apparent brightnesses and arrangement.

This isn't knowable to the reader, so would leave her a bit confused at the start of the book.

I think I should go with the third or fourth version of the opening. Both avoid the issue altogether.

[ May 14, 2017, 02:15 AM: Message edited by: Will Blathe ]

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The "Edges of Ideas" concept from both "Being a Glossary of Terms Useful in Critiquing Science Fiction" by David Smith and "
Turkey City Lexicon – A Primer for SF Workshops
" edited by Lewis Shiner, second edition by Bruce Sterling, SFWA site, contain a strategy for how fantastical science and technology fit social science and physical science science fiction and fantasy; that is, how the tech, gadget, or magic works is secondary, if relevant at all, to the main function of how a circumstance dramatically influences characters.

"Edges of Ideas. The places where technology and background should come onstage: not the mechanics of a new event, gizmo, or political structure, but rather how people’s lives are affected by their new background. Example of excellence: the opening chapters of Orwell’s 1984. (Lewis Shiner)" (Glossary)

"The Edges of Ideas. The solution to the 'Info-Dump' problem (how to fill in the background). The theory is that, as above, the mechanics of an interstellar drive (the center of the idea) is not important: all that matters is the impact on your characters: they can get to other planets in a few months, and, oh yeah, it gives them hallucinations about past lives. Or, more radically: the physics of TV transmission is the center of an idea; on the edges of it we find people turning into couch potatoes because they no longer have to leave home for entertainment. Or, more bluntly: we don’t need info dump at all. We just need a clear picture of how people’s lives have been affected by their background. This is also known as 'carrying extrapolation into the fabric of daily life.'" (Lexicon)

[ May 14, 2017, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic: I haven't read those, but I'm familiar with the idea.

Maybe I can follow that idea and put the gizmos in the background more. But, I do want that sense of wonder if I can get it.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Readers' emotional responses follow narrative personas' emotional responses to their dramatic situations. For example, the outer space version is less of a challenge to evoke wonder, more of a challenge to compose than the dirt-side versions.

Wonder's Golden Age emotional companion is awe. However, the skiffs' pursuit is not on its face an awe and wonder scenario, fright, yes, what else? Contrasted emotions of a cluster appeal more than a single emotion. Fright and anger? How about fright and delight at the thrill of a foxes and rabbit chase?

Through one surface emotional cluster, a subtextual one is possible, inferable, like awe and wonder, or other cluster. What, say, might Syiy be awed by aboard her vessel, or the chase, or what?

A method that presents to me is to first show Syiy discover the pursuit, be somehow alerted to the skiffs. How? Might the spacecraft have a crude radar transmission detector? Which the skiffs' radar system Syiy could be in awe of and wonder at its expense and majesty. Not a radar transmitter, though, rather, some anachronic range and velocity measurement devices, for steampunk appeals.

Say a blink comparator (Wikipedia), invented 1904 by Carl Pulfrich. For greatest anachrony potential, instead of CCD image technology, Syiy could expose glass photo plates for the comparator. Range and velocity fixes, too, actual direct visual parallax measurements taken by sextants. None of which how those work or whatnot matters, rather, really, only the influences those have on dramatis personaes' lives. This is the Edges of Ideas.

Radar pings alert Syiy of the pursuit. She speaks aloud some incited utterance, to herself or to Garoux through the voice pipe or both. Why are they pursued is relevant now. Because they stole the Moira Blue from its owners for to sell to a fence? No great need for exhaustive detail at this time, again, only the edges of ideas, motivations foremost, and emotional responses to received sensory stimuli.

Say, Syiy might then think that the Moira must be upset about the theft of the Blue!? Imagine that. Who could have known? Understatement, irony, litotes, actually. The Blue is a seed crystal, one of a kind, the Moira use to grow drive reactor shield panels, for example, which can be clarified later if needed at all. What's required are clear and strong motivations and emotional responses for Syiy, Garoux, and the skiffs' actions at this immediate now moment and while the action unfolds to its unequivocal, irrevocable conclusion.

Garoux arrives, where? In the bow or aft observation bay? Do the skiffs come to meet head on or overtake Syiy's craft? In a central conn bay and all telemetry come there through pressure tubes and dials and aural and optical pipes and tubes and mirrors and prisms? Not by wifi or wire? Why? Though few details of the sort are required, those do establish narrative authenticity, if emotionally charged from their effects on personas, which provide for readers a sense of an authentic, realistic, if fantastic, awe and wonder situation.

[ May 15, 2017, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  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 
In a attempting the WOW factor, make sure you don't give the readers a,"Huh, whaa?" factor instead.

If you're going to alter the nature of reality for your world, you'd better explain it.

Phil.

Posts: 1592 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jay Greenstein
Member
Member # 10615

 - posted      Profile for Jay Greenstein   Email Jay Greenstein         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really hate to do this to you, given that you’re working hard, but…
quote:
The pale man offered a bolt of fabric. “Hoc mater es natnat.”
You’re thinking in terms of Story, not story. Story is the plot, the progression of events. But that’s only the framework, a chronicle. It’s a detailed synopsis, and as such a dispassionate listing of the events making up the history of a fictional character.

As such there’s no uncertainty, just a record to explain, in the form: “this happened…then that happened…the protagonist did…the protagonist said…and then…” Informative? Yes. Entertaining? No. And why do we read fiction, as against history books and biographies? To-be-entertained.

At the moment you own, like everyone who passes through our educational system, a set of writing skills that are designed to inform, clearly, concisely, and accurately. And that means that no matter how you rearrange the story plot, you will present the action precisely as you’ve been taught. And that will both work for you—who have plot/situation knowledge the reader doesn’t, and the intent for the scene, and not work for the reader because they don’t. So unless you change your approach to be character-centric instead of author-centric, and emotion rather then fact-based, the basic, underlying problem, will remain. Look at the lines as a reader will perceive them:
quote:
The pale man offered a bolt of fabric. “Hoc mater es natnat.”
“The” pale man? How can it be “the” man when we have no clue of where we are, who we are, and whythis man is offering an unidentified bolt of fabric? In the mental film you’re watching the market is there, along with the man and his merchandise. But what can a reader get from the generic “pale man?” Nothing.

Story is about moments, not details. And in this moment—the one the protagonist calls “now,” he is somewhere for a reason. He is focused on something when the man speaks. Is he walking by? Is he shopping? Is the man interrupting? Replying? That matters to Garoux so it should matter to us, because he’s our avatar.

And what can the man’s response mean to the reader who just arrived? They are not impressed by words that make no sense in context. If our protagonist understands him then we must, as well. Were this a film, at the same time as the words are spoken we would read the translation subtitles—or, as in Firefly, know the meaning through context. But in here?
quote:
Garoux gestured to the bolt. “Tell me the silver thread count.”
Garoux? Who the hell is he or she (or it, I suppose) and why does this being want to know this? Unless we know the motivation for the statement it’s meaningless so far as developing character, setting the scene, or moving the plot. And any line that doesn’t do that is fluff that serves only to slow the narrative.

Look, I know this is frustrating. You have a story and want the reader to love it as much as you do. But at the moment, because they’re the only tools you own you’re approaching the act of storytelling as a written version of the film playing in your head. And because you are, you’re telling the reader what the camera sees. But that is not the same as making them see it. That would take the thousand words a picture is said to be worth, and produce a still picture, most of which would be ignored by our protagonist. But…in the film you’re mentally viewing, there are twenty-four of those still pictures every second! No way in hell can you duplicate that on the page, in a medium where everything must be presented, one item at a time.

In short, no matter how hard you work; no matter how you change the opening point; no matter what you do, you are in the position of the man who says, “I don’t get it. No matter how hard I throw the egg down it still breaks. In other words, you’re trying to solve the wrong problem. You’re focused on making the reader know what happened when you should be focused on making them know why, in that moment, and out of all the things available to claim the character’s attention, it matters to the protagonist. And knowledge of how to do that clearly, is what you need to add to your tool kit.

A scene on the page is not at all like one on film. On stage and screen it’s about the action that take place at one time or location. On the page it’s a unit of tension—a collection of all the things that insist on claiming the protagonist’s attention during a period that can best be summed up with, “Nothing works and you can’t get there from here.” And that, the struggle to make things go right, and “get there,” is where your story lies, not in the details of what happens.

To give you an idea of how to write this, take a look at this article. It’s an overview of one of the most powerful ways I know to place the reader into the story as a participant. Chew on it till it makes sense. Then try it. It will feel unnatural to your current writing reflexes, and restrictive, in the way the box step feels awkward and mechanical if you try to learn the waltz—and continue to be so until you master it and can make it yours, and subject to your control as just another tool. But stick with it, in spite of the feeling, till you have a few paragraphs done. Verify that each motivation has one and only one response. Verify that each response has its own motivation that the reader is aware of. Then, look at as a whole, as a reader, and I think you’ll find yourself not only liking the flow, but also wondering why you didn’t see it for yourself.

Used well, the approach has the power to make your reader jump back when someone throws a rock at your protagonist. And if what the article outlines seems worth pursuing, picking up a copy of the book it was condensed from would make a lot of sense.

Bear in mind that nothing I’ve said about your writing has to do with your talent or the story, only the fiction-writing tools you need to know and master, in addition to the nonfiction skills we all learn in our school days.

Hope this clarifies.

Posts: 55 | Registered: Dec 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic: I'm digesting your recent comments.

Jay Greenstein: the article is very useful. I didn't realize how outside the characters my text is.

Here is a first attempt after reading the both of your comments and the article Jay mentioned:


***

Garoux fiddled with his coin purse as a pale man spread open a bolt of leathery material and gestured for him to touch it. He reached toward the dull sheet, and it rippled like quicksilver, seeming to reach back at him. Garoux jerked away. He fumbled with his purse. “Seventy pfennig,” he said as he fished a few coins out.

“Two-hundred,” said the man.

“Ninety pfennig.”

“Two-hundred,” said the grinning man.

Garoux imagined snatching the thing. They were alone in the alley, and a thousand people bargained in the market square mere yards away. He would melt into the crowd. No need to haggle.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grumpy Old Guy: "Huh, whaa?" seems to by my life's story.
Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
An individual barters for fabric; contemplates its theft.

A motivation is clear, maybe not strong, for a piece of cloth of indeterminate size, of a unique quality. Stakes, perhaps, of petty or grand theft and consequences for crime. Emotional disequilibrium of a slow degree, leans for me more toward indifferent dislike for Garoux. Why should I care? Plus a few Oh yeahs? and Huhs?

The standout Oh yeah? is the fabric's value is low. Pfennig is a pre-Euro German currency that is a hundredth of a Mark, the word from which British penny derived, pre-decimal worth 1/240th of a Pound. The seller only wants 200 pfennig for the shimmery cloth? About $4.00!?

Some of the Oh yeahs? and Huhs? come from the "as" conjunction spliced sentences -- run-ons.

The standout works for me is the cloth's unique properties, for that it tempts Garoux to steal it and what the cloth and its theft might cause for problems, though blunted by an apparent low value and only a scrap of its complication development. That it seems to reach for him leaves too open why Garoux is both tempted by and averse to it. Does or seems, too? Does -- no seems about it, for strongest reality imitation is best practice. The thing doesn't reach for the "pale man" when he handles it?

That latter "pale man" is a piece of potential imagery that invokes no image of the man for me. Plus, imagery's function is a visual depiction and implication of an intangible characteristic. Paleness could be taken any which-a-way at all, appealing, unappealing, peril, joy, etc. The fragment's visuals and their imagery potentials overall generally are similarly flat.

Some potential drama suggested by the leathery cloth and its complications for Garoux, though I would not read on as an engaged reader at this time.

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic: I agree. Back to work for me!
Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Once more into the breach!


***

Garoux held his coin purse tight as a mole-faced little man playing the part of a merchant rolled a bolt of fabric open on the ground. It fluttered at the edges although the air was hot and still. The man gestured for Garoux to touch the fabric, but when he reached out, the stuff rippled like quicksilver and seemed to reach back toward him. Garoux recoiled for a moment, then fished a few coins from his purse.

“Two-hundred Midfranks.” The man grinned, showing too many teeth.

The coins in Garoux’s hand now seemed smaller, dingier. A thousand people stood in the market square just yards away. Garoux could snatch the treasure and melt into the crowd. The man wouldn’t risk his own neck calling for help --probably.

[ May 18, 2017, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: Will Blathe ]

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stronger and clearer emotional development and sensory detail, a large leap skill-wise. Fewer So whats? Oh yeahs? and Huhs? consequently, more to work with and develop and infer from for commentary.

However, some language glitches and yet little complication, conflict, and emotional and dramatic movement. This is the start of a novel, presumably eighty thousand or more words. Occasion for leisurely development though no less dramatic movement. The start to me is rushed and forced, where a few straightforward focuses, or one, really, is overlooked -- under-realized, in the craft's vernacular. What is the dramatic situation of the start that in turn sets the whole in motion toward a much artfully delayed satisfied and satisfying end?

Now I can infer that the exotic fabric is such a crux. Realization shortfalls of it, what doesn't work for me, include that its value is still low, what it does that persuades Garoux to want it at his own peril, what it means to the seller, and, overall, why later it becomes a problem of high magnitude, such that, say, three chase skiffs come to recover it. What is its function? The seller knows, and would naturally and necessarily hawk its most salient features to Garoux.

Also, is this a coincidence happenstance, that Garoux only holds a few coin for the purchase? Or does he have advance knowledge of the fabric and possesses the wherewithal for its purchase? What is the fabric's unique property? Is it military-grade ballistic armor that flows onto a person? Is it spy-grade stealth gear that likewise flows onto a wearer? Or both? Or something else. The seller knows and would tell Garoux. Might Garoux hold more cash than a few coins?

Then what sort of marketplace is this? One where shoppers and sellers are more or less marble statues who stand still? Marble statue mistake, similar to "White Room Syndrome." See the Turkey City Lexicon linked above. Or do the bazaar's folk do what any agora does, some scrupulous, some unscrupulous, some soap box preachers and orators and polticians and storytellers, some pickpockets, some grazers, some of everything. This is to me a thieves' bazaar. (Possible chapter title insight.)

Lots of detail, on its face, more than thirteen lines could possibly contain. Or, if more deftly constructed, possible. The fabric is the crux of the dramatic situation. If the seller states the fabric's purpose and that tempts Garoux to haggle for it, that is enough to work from for thirteen lines, plus, that this setting is a thieves' bazaar and the seller is a dealer of misapprehended merchandise.

Again with the unnecessary and erroneous conjunction uses, "as," "but," and "although," plus more "seem": when best practice is does or does not, or do or do not. This isn't a personal creative nonfiction essay where that subjunctive method has its artful uses; this is fiction.

Plus unnecessary -ing words, unnecessary tense shifts, actually, and gerund nouns that a recast obviates.

Scrutiny of the first sentence for evaluation of if an artless run-on:

"Garoux held his coin purse tight _as_ a mole-faced little man playing the part of a merchant rolled a bolt of fabric open on the ground."

Two different subjects, two different predicates, two different objects; two different and remotely connected ideas. When I read through to "as," I anticipate a correlative simile instead of a coordination conjunction. Though the two independent clauses' actions could be simultaneous or even contemporaneous, for prose, best practice they are sequential. Which should be first? Garoux's or the mole-faced seller's? Cause then effect? or intent to introduce by name the focal persona? Which first for strongest dramatic effect?

Causation determines sequence. The seller hawks his wares -- cause. Effect, antagonized, Garoux clutches his purse. Either Garoux knows about the fabric or he doesn't. The seller nonetheless describes the fabric's salient sales point, what its most valuable feature is, before price haggles commence. A run-on sentence from its splice of two disparate ideas and inverted causation -- a not-simultaneous mistake. (See the Glossary linked above.)

Does "playing the part of a merchant" intend a subtext meaning? What? He's a fence, sells contraband and stolen property? Military- or intel-grade materiel? What?

Okay, a bolt of fabric. Displayed on the ground? Might the fabric instead be wrapped in, say, Kevlar so that it does not do its mysterious and buyer-appeal thing to the seller? Details that imply the risks to persons are The Edges of Ideas, essential infill necessary for antagonism, causation, and tension development, ACT, and dramatic movement overall.

Likewise the price the seller asks, still little or low value implied, of low ACT. Two hundred somethings? Why not two million? for implied stakes and motivations magnitude. Because Garoux doesn't hold that kind of cash? Huh? So what? Oh yeah? Garoux is unprepared and doesn't know why he's at the bazaar? Oh yeah? unbelievable. So what? unsympathy worthy, he's an idiot? Huh? what is Garoux up to anyway?

No hyphen between Two and hundred, by the way. If the price asked were high, astronomical, that sets up now ACT and for later greater ACT, when, presumably, the chase skiffs engage, and why. Priceless, stolen military tech?

On a stronger and clearer tack overall, more artful character and event development anyway.

I am somewhat more inclined to read on from the latest fragment, though less engaged at this time for a start than I prefer.

[ May 18, 2017, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jay Greenstein
Member
Member # 10615

 - posted      Profile for Jay Greenstein   Email Jay Greenstein         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's getting hard to keep up, so I responded to the one before the latest. But it's 11 here and I'm too tired to start over, so for what it's worth...

quote:
Garoux fiddled with his coin purse as a pale man
Why not merchant? That would be meaningful scene setting. “Pale” tells us nothing useful.
quote:
spread open a bolt of leathery material and gestured for him to touch it.
The last six words can be replaced by, “gestured toward it.” What he wants is implied by the words, and confirmed by the action the protagonist takes. And any time you can remove an unnecessary word the story moves faster.
quote:
He reached toward the dull sheet, and it rippled like quicksilver, seeming to reach back at him. Garoux jerked away.
You’re spelling it out—reporting it. Put it into his POV with something like: He reached toward the dull sheet, then jerked away, when it rippled like quicksilver, seeming to reach toward him.”

But since it is unexpected, we need to know his internal reaction. Were this film we’d see it and read his emotional response from his body-language, gesture, and expression. But we can’t see him, so you need to give the reader his response. We need to know why he offered money, and why he felt it might be useful. Only by knowing his response can we calibrate our own to match his. In other words, stop watching the film version look at what motivates him to act, every time.
quote:
“Seventy pfennig,” he said as he fished a few coins out.
I’d preface the line with emotional information, like: Shaking his head ruefully, at his over-response, he forced smile as he said, “Interesting effect.” He effected an uncaring shrug as he displayed his coin purse and said, “For the fun of it, I might pay…say seventy, for it.” No need to keep repeating the coin's name,
quote:
“Ninety pfennig.
People don’t just toss dialog back and fourth like a softball. The shrug, they tap their nose in thought, they do a million things. Focus only on what’s said and done and it’s a report. Every line of dialog is the response from the speaker and the motivation to the listener. And if we’re the protagonist, we need to know how our protagonist reacts to that. Often it will be an immediate vocal response. But in this case, if we know why he wants it, knowing his thoughts as he bargains tells us how much he wants it, which matters.
quote:
Garoux imagined snatching the thing. They were alone in the alley, and a thousand people bargained in the market square mere yards away. He would melt into the crowd. No need to haggle.
I have problem with this. If it was that easy, no one would pay. They would just snatch and run. So while he might think that, and in doing so, make us know he’s dishonest, he can’t do it and get away with it.

Hope this clarifies.

Posts: 55 | Registered: Dec 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic:

“As” as a subordinating conjunction does lead to ambiguity in this case. I can swap it with “while” if I want to keep the sentence. I could swap the clauses: “As Buck-toothed Bob spread the McGuffin over the ground, Gaurox clutched at the pistol under his jacket.”

About that crowd-- I used “bargained” rather than “stood” in an earlier version. I want activity, not stasis.


I think it feels rushed because I want to stuff a lot into 13 lines. Maybe I should try for less.

I’m not sure how to pack more emotional UMPH in there. I’ll try for a few more drafts and see where it goes.

I am poking at the links you provided. Good and thought provoking reads.

***

Jay Greenstein: I haven't had time to digest your thoughts on the subject yet. One thing's for sure, I'm having a tough time getting into Garoux's head.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is still not simultaneous: “As Buck-toothed Bob spread the McGuffin over the ground, Gaurox clutched at the pistol under his jacket.” Causation, though, is now of a logical sequence therein. Cause, Bob displays the McGuffin; effect, Garoux reacts.

Note too that a MacGuffin, from Alfred Hitchcock's coin, is a motif that is interchangeable with any similar feature and is a plot pivot though extrinsic (outside) to a plot (melodramatic: a MacGuffin's only purpose is to set, re-excite, or keep a plot in motion). Like birds, bees, ants, worms, spiders, snakes, bunnies, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, ad nauseam, that imply Nature gone awry due to human artifice.

A non-melodramatic plot pivot point is intrinsic to the plot, can be few, if any, other motifs, and without which the plot cannot stand. H.G. Wells' time machine is one such motif. An interstellar spacecraft, though, if other than intrinsic, could instead be a Conestoga wagon, an East or Dutch Indiaman, a Winnebago, a rickshaw, a saddled camel train, an Uber ride, a barnstormer's crate, whatever.

If a non-MacGuffin, a motif is more than solely pivotal to the plot, is transformative, changes and causes change and is changed by the drama throughout, is as well event, setting, and especially character antagonal, causal, and tensional influences, which propel dramatic movement throughout. Most importantly, an intrinsic motif is both tangible and intangible, is a concrete and abstract representation of a focused human condition. The Wells' time machine, mentioned above, for example.

[ May 19, 2017, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic: The whole scene is MacGuffinesque. I want to propel the protagonists forward into whatever actual plot we end up with.

What are different ways I could show Garoux reacting to the other fellow's actions?

[ May 19, 2017, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: Will Blathe ]

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jay Greenstein: Thank you for pulling apart the weak bits.

I think your last critique is the most interesting:
quote:
If it was that easy, no one would pay. They would just snatch and run. So while he might think that, and in doing so, make us know he’s dishonest, he can’t do it and get away with it.
I want to show that the man & Garoux are dishonest (no honor among thieves). This can provide for some conflict, and Garoux has an opportunity to grow in the story by becoming less selfish and self indulgent.
Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Implementing many peoples thoughts over several iterations... Here's the next version:

***

A mole faced little man unrolled a bolt of fabric on the ground and gestured toward it. When Garoux reached down to touch it, the material fluttered and bulged and reached back. Garoux jumped away and clutched at his holstered pistol.

The man grinned with too many teeth. “Two hundred Midfranks.”

Garoux shook his head. “Seventy.”

The man stopped grinning. “If you want to haggle, there’s a market right behind you.” He tied the bolt into a neat package and stowed it on his cart.

Garoux’s tongue poked out the side of his mouth as he ran the numbers. “Friend, I do not have even one hundred. Anyway, who is willing to take that off your hands besides yours truly?”

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is less not-simultaneous, though a mite more than best practice.

"A mole faced little man unrolled a bolt of fabric on the ground _and_ gestured toward it. _When_ Garoux reached down to touch it, the material fluttered and bulged _and_ reached back. Garoux jumped away _and_ clutched at his holstered pistol."

Underscores bracket faulty conjunctions. Without those as such:

//A mole[-]faced little man unrolled a bolt of fabric on the ground. He gestured to it. Garoux reached down. The material fluttered and bulged, reached back. Garoux jumped away. He clutched at his holstered pistol.//

Lacks emotional texture, though, and stream-of-consciousness context, which is where emotional charge and characterization are apt and dramatic. "mole-faced little man" takes the hyphen (noun-verb modifier phrase), by the way. That piece is the stronger emotional expression of the fragment, though by default is more narrator tell than character show.

The narrative point of view is detached third person, okay enough, and consistent, though difficult to incorporate emotional texture. If the expression were more "other" than conventional, that would tip the scales from detached to close, limited third person narrative point of view, and similar throughout. How? overstatement, understatement, irony, metaphor, etc., emotionally charged poetic equipment generally.

Close, limited third person narrative point of view is the more flexible perspective of the many; it allows any perspective from detached, at times, to danger close, limited, one character's received reflections of stimuli, thought, response, and emotion; Garoux's, in this case.

Recast for illustration:

First, Garoux takes in the bazaar for his purview of the seller target, emotionally responds to those for dramatic movement start, so that readers know this is a thieves' market and are somewhat grounded to place, time maybe, milieu anyway, and situation, a haphazard contraband and rogues' marketplace where Garoux seeks plunder.

//A mole[-]faced and deathbed-pale little raghead opened a silvan fabric bolt onto powdered sand. He waved at the cloth, as like the stuff was a Hajji Arab flier's carpet for Garoux's pleasure.

//Garoux reached -- the quicksilver material fluttered and bulged, reached back. Revolted, Garoux leapt aside. He fumbled for his haltered sidearm.//

Then next, the seller extols the fabric's most salient function, before he names a high price.

Forgive my creative license; the Arab milieu suits the scene's function. Only that any such milieu development of whatever exotic-familiar time, place, and situation, especially dramatic situation, enhances the verisimilitude, the authentic realistic setting criteria as perceived by Garoux from inside looks and reflected by the limited, close third person narrator.

Any place's milieu, where readers might have some familiarity, is apt. Is it necessary that the place be dry sand? Only that the place be crude and raw, exotic and familiar? That it be a thieves' marketplace? Could it as easily be a Greek amphitheater free-for-all between shows? A frontier potlatch amid sequoias? A Siberian gulag's town square? A Caribbean cove's wharf? Paris's red light district alleyway? A Bourbon Street Mardi Gras saloon? A Sri Lanka salt marsh stilt house kafi-clatch? Saturday midday's are market times for many cultures, matinees. Thieves, though, prefer the covers of darkness and isolation and rowdy crowds. Anyplace, anytime, any situation is possible, only that Garoux and the seller meet incognito?

[ May 20, 2017, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic: I really enjoyed the images you painted. I think I'm getting the gist of your aversion to conjunctions. I think I will be struggling with producing emotional impact for a while longer.

I'm going to take the scene from another angle. I think I will back away from being tied to the action. Instead I’ll see how being a little more traditional feels:

***

Garoux ended the day hanging from a rope above the square. He began it with larceny. In the wee hours, when the sun was low to the north, Garoux fled the market square with its growing throng of elderly hagglers into the homey, urine soaked alleys. He spied crumbling facades and thrice painted wood doors in the local hues (oranges and blues). He was looking for signs, figurative and the other sort. He came across Hoc Lapidar scrawled on a window. He doubled back, found an alley within the alley and shimmied along the tightening space. Ten minutes of grunting, scraping, (cursing) brought Garoux to a courtyard, maybe five yards across. There was a metal door in the far wall, parts painted cobalt blue --the remainder rusted. He didn’t reach for the bell string nearby, He took a wooden chit from his pocket and shoved it through a mail slot in the door.

[ May 19, 2017, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: Will Blathe ]

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jay Greenstein
Member
Member # 10615

 - posted      Profile for Jay Greenstein   Email Jay Greenstein         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
One thing's for sure, I'm having a tough time getting into Garoux's head.
Mastering that is one of the more difficult tasks you will ever attempt, because you literally have to bypass decades of training and useage of the reporting skills we all learn as we prepare for future employment in school. Especially in the beginning, you won't even know your internal censors have intervened to make the writing "acceptable."


Existing writing habits will undermine each attempt to change from the author-centric and fact-based approach we worked so hard to perfect, until usage smooths the way to a more emotion-based and character-centric mode. But after time, as you write you'll recognize telling, where the author intrudes to explain, in situations where the viewpoint should be that of the protagonist. Like anything else, practice is the key.

One of the reasons I favor the approach so strongly is that it forces you to look at the situation driven by the protagonist's needs, background, and personality, which keeps the scene real from that character's view. Until you have literally had a character say to you, "Hell no, I won't do that and you can't make me," you truly don't know either the character or the situation.

In short, it keeps you honest.

Posts: 55 | Registered: Dec 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
By the way, my line of work involves reading a thousand or more pages per week of the most hypoliterate typescripts of spoken word imaginable. Of the most tedious content at times and at times the most gruesome content imaginable. Spoken by supposed educated persons.

The grammar faults are legend and numerous per page, often several per sentence. Not the writers thereof faults, the speakers whom are recorded. I cannot change the words, only suggest punctuation adjustments to clarify the intended context and facilitate reading and comprehension ease.

Speaking of text walls, at times several pages for one sentence. What I call filibuster speech -- and and and and and uh yada.

Plus, other grammar suggestions, one word? Two words? Hyphenated? Anymore (adv), any more (adj), maybe (adv), may be (verb phrase); tractor-trailer, nurse-practitioner.

Plus, homonym issues: aloud, allowed; its, it's; they're, their, there; your, you're; intense, in tents, intents; residence, residents, ad nauseam, and close words of different tenses, like chose and choose, lead and led, plead and pled, leap and leapt. Cannot change excess and unnecessary -ing and -ly uses and conjunctions and faulty uses.

And discrete grammar principles overall upon which to rely for all -- more than high school grammar aptitude. And ten millions of them to evaluate on the fly. Pages to go before I sleep (paraphrase from Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," "Miles to go before I sleep.")

And I read a few hundred books per year, closely, and short works, too, thousands per year.

Is then there any wonder I note the most trivial grammar fault? And appreciate the uncommon exceptions that transcend faults? Not to mention craft shortfalls, expression shortfalls, appeal shortfalls.

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here are two different draft openings with two things in mind.

1) Emotional connection to the POV character.
2) More clarity in situation and setting.


Opening 1:

Syiy's body was matted with sweat. Her shoulders ached. She was hunched over for nearly three hours in a pitch-black smaller-than-a-broom closet observation room at the very ass-end of her ship. She peered out at a starless void, looking for the maybe glint of pursuers.

There! One? Three! Three glimmers behind us. "Gods damn us all." She fumbled for the voice pipe. She pushed her face into it and blew hard. She left her face pressed against the cool metal until she felt the buzz of a reply.

"Garoux," she said. "We've been made."


Opening 2:
An elderly, bespectacled man thrust a white mass in Garoux's face and said, "Lovely Uguli tusk!" Garoux heard, "I jump off the clock tower tomorrow if you don't buy this!" Desperate merchants gave him hives. He felt the itching start in the small of his back. He scanned the surrounding facades for his escape. In the southeast corner of the square stood a small shop with the words Hoc Lapidar painted over the lentil. The imagined pleasanter-than-mass-of-human-stench smells of the adjacent alleyway pulled him like an Alpheratz opium den. Coincidently, 20 yards in, there was an opium den.

The shady solitude of the alley and sharp smell of its urine soaked ground eased the thumping in Garoux's skull and cleared his head enough for him to notice the cathouse he found himself before. 1100 was etched into the door. He pulled a ratty sheet of paper from his coat pocket: Maritricula Donna. He tested the door. It opened with a mouse squeak.

[ May 21, 2017, 01:40 PM: Message edited by: Will Blathe ]

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jay Greenstein: I'm getting to appreciate the differences between the expository stuff and the narrative.

Extrinsic: how do you not go absolutely bonkers?

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I do "go bonkers" yet maintain focus. A time past, reading for entertainment died and reading was stale ashes for my lifelong passion. I knuckled down on craft studies, especially rhetorics, uncorked my way out the far side of the brutal abyss. Then -- study of expression modalities and, at the last, audience appeal features opened a glorious vista. Not satisfied to leave well enough alone, I cycled back to deeper grammar studies and realized the synthesis's whole: grammar, craft, expression, and appeal as one.

One obstacle remains for my writing -- starts. For a start is an end itself; from a vibrant start does an end transpire. That is why I place strong emphasis on dynamic starts. From a well-crafted start an end can be inferred and appeal through at least incited curiosity, ideally, not telegraphed, though

I am especially delighted by narratives that contain a surprise dramatic pivot or two, discovery and reversal points in a narrative when the dramatic action transforms into an unexpected though inevitable, on second thought, congruent dramatic complication that is what the narrative is really and truly about human condition-wise. I find those narrative types too rarely; though, by all accounts, the type is most desired across the culture. One word encompasses the type's basis: transformative. What a beautifully tragic-comic tragedy phenomena for an individual who is stuck in a bathtub of a navel-contemplation life.

[ May 21, 2017, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The sum of the many fragments posted, for me, is an overall design shortfall. The shortfall is a big-picture item that expresses a focal area of the human condition, what the novel is really and truly about.

Such items are generally maxims, proverbs, sayings, and the like, with a moral criteria. Piracy is certainly a moral contest, but what kind of piracy? Privateer, corsair, freebooter, buccaneer, simple high seas thievery, highway rogues, etc.? From that definition can a moral be designed. What, a Robin Hood, Scarlett Pimpernel, a Francis Drake, a John Paul Jones, Otway Burns, Edward Teach, Ann Bonny and Mary Read, corporate raider, contraband drug lynch pin, cat burglar syndicate, or Somali warlord? A successful narrative entails a moral regardless.

Present day audiences prefer a moral be obscured, not too overtly preach against or glorify moral turpitude, though inferable. Such a device allows readers to take it or leave it, the moral, overlook it altogether, or infer it and feel smarter than the narrative which entails it. Reader love to feel smarter than a narrative.

Aside from aesthetic considerations, a tangible consideration for a moral contest tableau is that, of whatever narrative surface action, say piracy, a narrative might be about, greater than non-zero possibility such a narrative type has been recounted untold times across the human span, ergo, is more or less dull and superficial. The consideration then is how is this one different, fresh, appealing? For its moral tableau, period. Does this glorify piracy as redress of social grievances? Does this condemn piracy as antisocial selfishness? Some of both? Neither? What else is possible? Maybe a narrative about, say, theft as virtue, patriotism, or heroic sacrifice for the common good of all humanity.

Attitude toward a topic or subject is the forte of Tone, an essential part of creative expression, within the expression category, overlaps with craft and appeal. What emotional-moral attitude does this novel express about piracy? Proponent or opponent, or other, say, about social circumstances that warrant theft?

Many is the writer who cannot see a way to incorporate the manifold start criteria into thirteen lines. No doubt about it, probably every writer cannot, at first, include even one essential, let alone the several essentials that engage targeted readers.

However, publication culture presents many examples which do. A debut-ambitious writer, though, has that backdrop against which to compete. Accomplished writers enjoy more latitude, because they have a pre-extant promise of a worthwhile reading experience before them. Debut writers must transcend the competition.

Meaningful narratives do, because those entail a surface action and a subtext action. The subtext action is the moral contest tableau.

Now, I cannot infer what the subtext of this novel is about from what so far is given. The title holds a cue, more so of a "smart subconscious plant." (See the Glossary linked above.)

What do "war," "tea," and "roses" imply to me? Vague allusions to the Wars of the Roses, the red rose of the Plantagenets and white rose of the Tudors, who vied for the British crown. Tea, of course, holds a strong British association. Anyway, what was that war really about? Vices many: wrath, greed, pride, envy, peripherally, sloth, lust, and gluttony, too. Grand sweeps of events, though, lack focus.

What is this novel's focal moral pivot for its intangible action?

A surface action can only move through a linear event sequence, from some misfortune to a fortunate turn of events, from some fortunate circumstance to an unwarranted misfortune for moral self-error and folly, or from some misfortunate circumstance to worse misfortune. These former are classic Aristotlean comedy and tragedy, respectively.

However, circa the Renaissance, a new paradigm emerged: the bildungsroman: maturation narrative. At great personal sacrifice cost, an individual matures and comes of age to enjoy the privileges of maturity, with attendant attention to social responsibilities.

Many, if not all, young adult narratives involve coming of age tableaus. At the cost of lost blissfully unaware childhood innocence, an individual morally matures, or declines due to self-error and folly, and both, oddly enough. These are melded tragedy-comedies. Anymore, the standout publications of this age are bildungsromans. Regardless of age phase, each age phase and life change event gains an increment of moral maturity or decline at the cost of evermore sacrificed innocence. Plus, likewise, for any life-altering, life-defining circumstance, the crux of dramatic narratives, a transformative maturation tableau transpires.

Lost income? Relationship? Residence? Yada. These are problems which entrain a motivation to satisfy them, which, in turn, compel want. In short, develop a complication. Always a problem comes first. Problems interrupt routine; dramatic narratives are about interrupted routines; routines are not drama worthy. Then the problem incites a want. The problem becomes the want; the want then is the action's center. The problem-want wants satisfaction.

The problem-want is of a moral nature, always. Lost income could most often be about greed, for the self's gratification or from whoever stole away its routine sustenance. Lost relationships more often than not are about lust, in some peculiar manner, perhaps not about sexual gratification, some lusty desire for bloodshed or gluttonous consumption, wanton mayhem and havoc, etc. Lost residence is about the conflict mainstay acceptance and rejection for identity security crises, and so on, related to moral contests and self-identity crises and social re-affirmation or identity disintegration and reintegration, if possible.

Anyway, these latter above connections between tangible and intangible actions are the cruxes of reader appeals, the fourth though foremost and most difficult category of creative expression.

Physical movement is not dramatic movement, per se. Dramatic movement is at first problem-want motivations at ample magnitude stakes' risks, a conflict of polar opposite forces in contention. Then forward movement transpires from efforts to satisfy the problem-want complication, and stakes escalate. Then a satisfactory, transformative complication satisfaction outcome ends it all at a new normal emotional equilibrium. That's dramatic movement. It begins to barrel along the roller coaster track when motivation presents.

Victimism starts with an agonist being victimized, usually by external forces, often enough from self-inflicted problems, and both. The action thereof starts movement when victimization incites the agonized agonist to act proactively. Some many someones pilfer from the agonist's finances, home security, love interests, yada. Under siege, time at last to act proactively to satisfy the persistent assault.

Proactivism, conversely, starts from out of the gate into proactive problem-want motivation. Say the agonist wants to be emperor of the hill, playground ruler, real estate mogul, software magnate, state actor with territorial resource ambitions, yada. Problem is some many someone elses are in the way. Never mind the vice of greed or other vice, damn the yack holes and the risks and consequences, full speed ahead.

Victimism appeals to younger persons and those of a feminine nature, those most often victimized by life and who want at least enhanced identity security. Proactivism appeals to older persons and those of a masculine bent, those most inclined toward the self-gratifications of lifestyle enhancements and are aptitude- and attitude-equipped to pursue those.

Even linear and straightforward polar opposite drama narratives at least pit ultimate goodness against utter evil, the moral contest one of righteous us against wicked them.

Like word choice, what do, say, nouns and verbs, verbs foremost, express and imply about the moral contest action? A door paint's description as cobalt blue means nothing on its face, or an opium den, voice pipe, pursuit skiffs, quicksilver fabric, or whatever, without both an emotional and moral charge contest expressed from an agonist persona's motivated and risky inside looks out and deeper inward perspectives.

So what is this novel's moral contest subtext really about anyway? Figure it out and incorporate it into the start such that it is pertinent throughout and at the end; the struggle's mischiefs then are tamed somewhat.

[ May 21, 2017, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

What is this novel's focal moral pivot for its intangible action?

I'll get back to you on this one once I'm done banging my head against the wall trying to figure it out.

No, I do have a thought (or two) on this. I imagined this as an adventure story with little subtext, but that didn't last long. Two things came out as I outlined the story: 1) Garoux grows. 2) What is the rightness of an act guaranteed to cause great harm and potential good?

The first is something that pervades the story. The second becomes apparent later.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Will Blathe:2) What is the rightness of an act guaranteed to cause great harm and potential good?

The first is something that pervades the story. The second becomes apparent later.

That second above would appeal to me if it were in the forefront up front. I'd reword it, though. //What is the rightness of an act guaranteed to cause great harm and potential _greater_ good?//

The concept that, no matter the harms to powerless persons, the greater good of "greater" persons' needs are duly served and what trickles down from them is adequate for the powerless's basic needs is a ripe topic for satire, even if a no-subtext action adventure is the intent. Readers can infer such a design from an amply well-crafted narrative.

The conflict forces need only be from three opposite directions: pro greater good, pro common good, and one pro for the good of the self; and one that compasses all in the end, say, give care to the self so that the self can give care to the common good and vice versa, otherwise, the self cannot give care to either, nor the congruent opposite, the common good will not give care to the self. This channels John Locke's pure state of Nature and natural law theories.

[ May 22, 2017, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
extrinsic: How do I bring it forward? The issue won't be known for a very long time. I guess there could be some foreshadowing, but I'm not sure how I'd go about it. Maybe nix the intro with the merchant and replace it with government officials running a kangaroo court with the MC facing the gallows --being that the MC could be a destabilizing influence that local officials do not want.
Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is foreshadowing's function, imply what's to come. For dramatically close agonist narrative distance, the agonist, Garoux, in this case, best practice, errs and is pursued for to be held accountable. The gallows court is one way, though that raises prior motivation development considerations.

Another way, perhaps more dramatic and artful for appeal, is if Garoux is in the mix of his misdeeds already and discovers the true external agenda behind them. The buyer's true agenda for whatever Garoux and Syiy steal is such a discovery that causes a profound reversal of the action, such that Garoux transformatively matures a small increment.

The tangible object and its wants are a technical aspect at the Edges of Ideas. What do they steal and why? And why does the buyer really want it? Full realization of the latter delayed somewhat until later. Why is paramount, and is at root motivation. Plus, the edge of the idea, most important, how what's stolen influences transformations of persons' private and public lives.

Ergo, what's stolen is foremost for foreshadowing purposes and for implication of what the novel is really about. What? Solyent Green's recipe? A banned book? A time machine? A Frankenstein monster Prometheus? A submarine? A contraband substance a la Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde? A ring of power? The schematics of a death star warship?

For this, I can only in due conscience project a tangible motif. Elsewise, I usurp creative vision ownership of another creator. What might be apt? Something present-day readers are conversant with and troubled by that signals the whole action. Like, say, an object fraught with peril for the many and profit for the few that as well entails the razor's edge of an idea.

However, its true design cannot be at first easily inferred by Garoux, though readers best practice timely infer it. A mysterious shipment of illegal weapons comes to mind. Though, in the future, if not at present, purloined information is the ultimate weapon. That's too abstract an object.

A physical data core that contains purported trivial and innocent data, though in truth is weaponized data, is apt for foreshadowing, and Garoux nonetheless suspicious at first. That sets up the dramatic irony of a private and public hazard suspicion at cross causes with the buyer's stated motivation, all of which readers can infer through Garoux's ambiguous and ambivalent suspicions. Later, Garoux confirms his suspicions and, therefrom, readers' suspicions, and readers feel satisfied and smarter than the novel. Exquisite when those timely transpire.

Oh, and if "issues'" razor edges of an idea are known up front, readers engage emotionally. Those prepare, develop, delay, and escalate capital-T Tension due to what is known beforehand though left in doubt of full satisfaction until timely realization.

[ May 22, 2017, 03:51 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The introduction is no longer just a show of competence. It's fast becoming integral to the core of the story. I'm going to finagle my outline to see what I can make of it.


Odd. My use of finagle seems to be unusual. Now that I think about it, it does work here. Go figure.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
That second above would appeal to me if it were in the forefront up front. I'd reword it, though. //What is the rightness of an act guaranteed to cause great harm and potential _greater_ good?//

The thing I'd worry about is distinguishing that "great harm and potential greater good" from an "end justifies the means" rationale.

If the harm is imposed on others, without their choice, in order to accomplish a "greater good" from the perspective of the one imposing that harm, then it's an "end justifies the means" story.

If the harm is accepted and experienced by the protagonist in order to obtain a greater good for others (in other words, a sacrifice is made for others, not for self), then it isn't an "end justifies the means" story.

I consider the former highly immoral, and the latter highly moral.

Posts: 8491 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Will Blathe
Member
Member # 10300

 - posted      Profile for Will Blathe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's, in part, an end justifies the means story. But, the MC will react to that moral choice differently at the end of the story compared to the beginning. So, it's a maturation story as well.
Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ms. Dalton Woodbury seconded. As usual, exceptions validate literary and moral principle guideline options. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit Four-fifty-one at first asserts a moral law of ends do justify means, weaves a rich irony of moral contests, and ends with a proverbial outcome of moral truth self-discovery, Guy Montag's maturation growth, and discovers ends in and of themselves do not justify means.

[ May 23, 2017, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5035 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

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