• Play
  • About
  • News
  • Forums
  • Yppedia
  • Help
Welcome Guest   | Login
  Index  | Recent Threads  | Register  | Search  | Help  | RSS feeds  | View Unanswered Threads  
  Search  


Quick Go »
Thread Status: Normal
Total posts in this thread: 26
[Add To My Favorites] [Watch this Thread] [Post new Thread]
Author
Previous Thread This topic has been viewed 2099 times and has 25 replies Next Thread
Bia
OceanMaster
Member's Avatar


Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 2787
Status: Offline
Writers' Workshop: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Writer's Workshop - Summer Vacations!

The Writer's Workshop is a place for you to write stories and get feedback. The goal here is to provide a venue for peer review and constructive criticism. I take inspiration from Nemo for his Art Forum idea. Consider this the equivalent for writers.

Here is how it works:
1) Each Writer's Workshop will have a topic. This will be somewhat broad, to allow open-ended creativity on the part of the writer.
2) Anyone who wishes to take part may submit their own story.
3) Anyone may provide commentary on stories submitted and give the authors constructive criticism.
4) Each workshop will last about a month or so, then I will start a new thread with a new topic.

Guidelines for Stories:
1) Short stories. Try to keep them at or below 500 words.
2) Post stories in this thread.
3) This is for prose, but use whatever creativity you desire to interpret the topic and turn it into a story.
4) Do not preamble your story. Let it stand on its own. We do not need the DVD commentary before we have read it (or even immediately afterwards.)

Guidelines for Commentary:
1) Post commentary in this thread.
2) This is all in good fun. Criticism should be constructive. No flames.
3) Quoting the title or linking to the story will be helpful in keeping things organized.

This Month's Topic: Piratey Summer Vacations!

What do pirates do for their summer vacations?
----------------------------------------
Avatar by Salmagundi
[Aug 4, 2005 10:21:25 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Feegle

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jun 9, 2004
Posts: 675
Status: Offline
Re: Writers' Workshop: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

I don't mean to sound defeatist, but there is no way I'll be able to keep a story to 500 words. It wouldn't be a story - or at least, not one of mine, since I'm such a big fan of dialogue.

So, I wonder if anyone (specifically you, Bia) minds if I post something a little longer. (A little longer meaning 'as short as I can possibly make it.') If not, I'll take the inspiration and post what I write on my personal webspace, and link it for anyone who's interested.

I'm not intending this as an ultimatum, and I hope I'm not coming off as snarky. I think this is a great idea, and I'd love some feedback - but ultimately, I just want to write, and so I'm going to do stuff to the themes anyway. It's just a question of whether you'd prefer I didn't post stories longer than 500 words in here. :)
----------------------------------------
- Feegs

Senior Officer of the Ransack Marauders, Midnight Ocean
Disciple of Artemis
[Aug 6, 2005 7:14:17 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://feegle.mathninja.com    jeffmahood    FeeglePoet [Link]  Go to top 
Bia
OceanMaster
Member's Avatar


Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 2787
Status: Offline
Re: Writers' Workshop: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

This is a writing exercise. Use it to get practice in and recieve feedback.

The guidelines say to "try" to get it down to 500 words, so see how well you can do that. If you miss it, then the feedback you recieve may help you find a way to edit it down, or perhaps give you an idea on how to write a story that is shorter.

If you post something longer, the worst that can happen is that some readers may skim over it.

Also, as a brief comment on some problems I noticed in many stories from the Familiar contest, please check your formatting. It is best if you insert a blank line between paragraphs, to make it easier for the reader.

While the common practice for any print media is to have a tab at the beginning of a paragraph, when reading on a monitor, a blank line is more effective in letting the reader keep track of the story.
----------------------------------------
Avatar by Salmagundi
[Aug 6, 2005 8:07:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
reymartin

Member's Avatar


Joined: Feb 25, 2005
Posts: 64
Status: Offline
Re: Writers' Workshop: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

ok this is my entry, sorry I put my name there, I just felt like putting it. Enjoy!

A Pirate?s Vacations.

When a Pirate takes a vacation from June-August, he/she does everything they want. Some try spending some quality time at the Seas, while others try making something never done in the Seven Seas, like getting a Familiar, getting to an Ultimate List, or find a trade route and not tell anyone where it is. Some also try pillaging to win booty, increase their experience, or having a good time with their friends.

Others try visiting other oceans, to see the differences between oceans, and know some new mates. Others try saving for buying materials, or wait to buy a house.


Besides from that, every pirate might try finding new friends, practice Carousing and Sword Fighting, or participate on contests to win some money, clothes or Familiars. Lasses go in the search of more friends to talk with, Kings and Queens go blockade an island to extend their empire. Other experienced players try going for their Own Crew.

In my personal words, I would love to do everything I could!

However, Real Life is first as we can remember, so we will have to take a time for doing our things. Some people get stalls, or even shoppes! Some others do events to win money or promote something special, like their own stall or shoppe.


Ksmfg, Viridian Ocean.
[size=18][size=12]
----------------------------------------
Ksmfg./Kas./Adrastus.

[Ice]Kas,
Captain and Alchemist of the crew 'Kas's Dolls',
King of the flag 'Because we can'.

[Midnight]Crewless.
[Cobalt]Cabin Person of the crew 'Yarrr! Pirates',
Member of the flag 'Limelight'.

[Viridian]Senior
[Aug 6, 2005 11:22:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Feegle

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jun 9, 2004
Posts: 675
Status: Offline
Re: Writer's Workshop Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Forty-Five Minutes on Park

From the south side, Park Island appeared uninhabited - lush vegetation and dense tropical forests rising up from rocky shores against which the warm water of the Coral Archipelago crashed endlessly. Seeing that side of the island, it was easy to believe that no one had ever set foot on its verdant shores.

However, as Crazy Luigi's experienced hands guided the single-masted Spirit of Eta around the island, keeping his distance, he spied a few more artificial shapes clustered in among the trees. First, a low, level shadow he took to be the docks, and then the regular rectangles that were the few dozen buildings making up Arnoldtown, the small settlement that had been there for no more than a year.

"Eeeeeeeee!" came a squeal of excitement from behind the captain. Luigi winced. "I can see it! We're almost there!"

"Yes, dear," replied Luigi. His voice was level, and he spoke with a refined accent that almost defied the listener to find any extreme emotion within. "And once we arrive there, our vacation shall begin."

"It's been a long trip." The second speaker's voice was musical and female, anticipation obvious in every syllable. "We've been travelling almost a week."

"Well, when my darling Teagan says she wants to travel to the small settlements during my annual vacation, that's what we do. Coral should be a nice change of pace from Ruby, after all. Not much in the way of war out here - we should be able to relax."

The wind was favourable, and it only took a few more minutes for Luigi to gently guide his sloop into the harbour. The longshoremen moored the ship, and Luigi stepped onto the dock, reaching back to gallantly help Teagan ashore.

"Much more civilized than Oyster," she observed, sourly remembering their last stop for supplies. "Who would have thought that an island with that many people wouldn't have a dock?"

"Not every island is blessed with a deep-water harbour," Luigi remarked, scanning the docks.

"What are you looking for?" asked Teagan.

"I sent Finn ahead of us," said Luigi. "He was supposed to meet us here."

"There he is," Teagan said. She pointed off to an unshaven man who sat lounging in a chair under a small palm tree. His eyes were closed, and he appeared to be asleep, but his arm hung off the side, resting atop a wooden sign. On the sign was painted Loojee & Taygunn.

Luigi just shook his head, and the two vacationers walked over to the dozing man. A mischievous smile grew on Teagan's face as they got closer, and when Luigi opened his mouth to speak, she silenced him with a look. She silently circled around the back of Finn, and ran a hand gently across his chest.

"Mmm... Ami... here..?" Finn mumbled.

"Nope!" Teagan said loudly into his ear. Startled, Finn awoke, falling off his chair and crashing to the ground in a tangle of limbs.

"Not nice," he grumbled while he picked himself up, brushing the dust off.

"Hi Finn!" Teagan said, smiling happily. She skipped over to Luigi's side and took his arm in hers.

"It's about time you two showed up," Finn scowled. "I've been waiting nearly two weeks for you. Without my wife."

"One would think that in two weeks you might have had time to spell our names correctly," observed Luigi dryly, pointing at the hand-lettered sign.

"Don't start with me!" warned Finn, shaking a finger at the two. "I got here, and did everything you asked me to. This island is fine - it's got everything you want. I even got you the big room in the inn. Now I'm going home."

"Thank you, Finn. It's much appreciated."

Finn just scowled and stomped off toward the docks, where his own sloop bobbed gently on the harbour waves.

"What was he supposed to do?" asked Teagan.

"Oh, just get us a room in the inn, and then scout around for little knickknacks and such. Nothing major - just make sure we're not wasting our time here on Park looking for something that doesn't exist. I know that you really just want to go shopping."

"Yay!" Teagan exclaimed. "Shopping! I really think we need to spruce up that palace, dear. It's so spartan. I don't know how you can stand to work in there all day."

"You see 'spartan,'" Luigi replied, "and I see 'efficient.' Besides, I can't spend all the taxes on decorating for the palace. Chihiro would have my head - not to mention the Royalty Council."

Teagan waved a hand dismissively. "If they ever noticed, you could just convince them that it was necessary by making something up about beautification in order to increase traffic to Eta."

Luigi sighed and shook his head in resignation. Placing a hand in the small of Teagan's back, he guided her toward the inn. "Shall we investigate the state of our accommodations?" he asked.

"You go ahead," said Teagan, slipping away from Luigi's gentle hand. "I'm going to start shopping."



The room in the inn, while large and comfortably furnished, had not been completely prepared for their arrival. Finn, per Luigi's instructions, had arranged for the room to be scattered with purple flowers of all types, and a gauzy, translucent material in the same shade covered the window.

What was missing was the food: Luigi spoke with the innkeeper, who assured him that shortly a piping hot meal would be awaiting the two of them in their room - as well as an excellent bottle of '26 Winter Solstice Chardonnay.

So, half an hour after Teagan had begun her shopping trip, Luigi paced the dusty road that ran straight through Arnoldtown, in search of his wife. A sudden screech of unmistakable rage from one of the small shops that lined the road caught his attention and he headed over to its doorway.

Poking his head inside, Luigi found his wife amidst a number of pieces of furniture, her face as red as a sunlit field of madder - with none of the tranquility of the latter. She was in the process of yelling at the proprietor of the store, who was withstanding the abuse with stoic impassivity as he held a small, mahogany, brass-trimmed chest in front of him.

"I told you, that is what I want, and I'm going to buy it, you farthing-junk peddler!"

"And I've told you, madam, that it is not for sale."

"Is there a problem?" ventured Luigi, stepping inside.

Teagan took a deep breath, but before she was able to speak, the shopkeep interrupted. "There most certainly is not, sir. At least, there will not be once this young woman understands that I am unwilling to sell her the chest that she wishes - beyond all reason - to purchase."

Teagan took a second deep breath, and Luigi placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, forestalling the inevitable spew of epithets. "It is, though, in your shop, sir. Why won't you sell it?" he asked.

"Oh I'd sell it," the man admitted, "just not to the likes of her. It's a personal favourite of mine, and I'd hate to see it going to such an uncouth, insolent, demanding - "

Teagan could contain herself no longer - she screeched in rage again, and grabbed at the closest thing she could find, which happened to be a large hickory-carved hatstand. Hoisting it in both hands, she began cursing endlessly at the shopkeep, while swinging wildly with the improvised weapon, smashing it repeatedly into the shop's not-insubstantial inventory. The shopkeep backed, cowering, into a corner.

"Oh dear," thought Luigi as he stepped back out of range of the bludgeon, watching as the contents of the shop were reduced - with brutal efficiency - to mere splinters.

Huffing and puffing, Teagan dropped the hatstand on the floor, grabbed the chest from the quaking shopkeep, and dashed out the door. She grabbed Luigi on her way by, and pulled him toward the docks, giggling maniacally as she went.

From behind the running pair, Luigi heard the shopkeep shouting for help. He thought forlornly of the delicious dinner and fine wine awaiting them at the inn, as Teagan pulled him on board the Spirit of Eta and went to cast off her lines, shoving the small chest into his hands.

I suppose, he thought wistfully as the ship moved away from the docks, that pirates never really go on vacation.
----------------------------------------
- Feegs

Senior Officer of the Ransack Marauders, Midnight Ocean
Disciple of Artemis
----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by Feegle at Aug 18, 2005 7:32:06 AM]
[Aug 7, 2005 2:59:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://feegle.mathninja.com    jeffmahood    FeeglePoet [Link]  Go to top 
stripey2004

Member's Avatar


Joined: Mar 20, 2004
Posts: 1846
Status: Offline
Re: Writers' Workshop: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Spelling has never been my forte...

Great story Feegs, it made me laugh.

Finn
----------------------------------------
Featherfin
SO - Ransack Marauders, Lord - Marauders Pact
YPPedia administrator | Island Designer
"What's the Welsh for sea cucumber?" - Orsino
----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by stripey2004 at Aug 7, 2005 5:06:29 AM]
[Aug 7, 2005 5:06:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    FeatherfinYIPP [Link]  Go to top 
reymartin

Member's Avatar


Joined: Feb 25, 2005
Posts: 64
Status: Offline
Re: Writers' Workshop: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

yeah-
----------------------------------------
Ksmfg./Kas./Adrastus.

[Ice]Kas,
Captain and Alchemist of the crew 'Kas's Dolls',
King of the flag 'Because we can'.

[Midnight]Crewless.
[Cobalt]Cabin Person of the crew 'Yarrr! Pirates',
Member of the flag 'Limelight'.

[Viridian]Senior
[Aug 8, 2005 4:32:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 1, 2003
Posts: 5791
Status: Offline
Shorts are generally two thousand. These are practically vignettes. Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

A Glass Half Full, A Bottle Half Empty

Wanderlust, it's somethin' of a known problem among the gentlemen of fortune who sail the lucrative routes between Mujer Island and new mainlands. The problem lies not with the disease itself, but in how to answer it. A man who travels for a living ought never feel the call, yet there it is.

The others had some inkling all weren't right. There'd been a rumble of discontent, but nothing concrete. Just a sort of feelin' that our little two-thousand league stretch a'the ocean weren't quite enough. Somethin' about it bein' all pretty much the same, as I recall.

I asked'em what they wanted t'do. They didn't know, of course, but it's important t'let them have a say, even if it don't matter. I hadda point out to'em there just ain't no sweeter pickin' than this route we'd claimed as our own. We could catch'em shippin' in supplies an' weapons from the old world when we was feelin' brave, and when we was hungry get'em shippin' grains an' rum back up t'Mujer. There ain't much reason for most folk t'lay anchor at Puertapollo, so we could offload to a warehouse I keep there an' resell when they'd forgotten what they ne'er got.

Okay, so it ain't the best business in the world. We made more in a year of runnin' legit gold up the Meene Coast than we ever did tryin' t'fence weapons. Them natives, whatchacallem, the Akazi, they might want guns, but they sure do know how to bargain. 'Course, it's tough t'make a good deal when yer hagglin' around poles with Colonial Guard helms stuck on top. Some a'them stories they tell ain't just stories. Couple'a them helms weren't empty. Ain't no surprise we went legit for a bit, eh?

This, this is good stuff, here. Really warms the bones. Ain't never had it before. Ye just can't get good booze in our usual haunts. Ye'd be shocked t'learn even though my whole crew's grown up in spittin' distance of Mujer, not a one of'em knows where to get a decent drink. Hell, the islands that surround the big one all import theirs from the mainland and the old country. And damned if I knew where that rotgut came from. Guess ye'd been holdin' out on us, eh?

Yeah, we're all from the islands. Even me. We're not really used to this sort of weather. I mean, it can get pretty chilly out there on the ocean, but the water's got some sort of stabilizin' influence, I guess. They ain't never seen anything like this. Th'whole world is so...white. I'd love t'get out there and just really see it. But I'm gettin' cold. Gimme another glass a'that swill yer drinkin'. And another round a'the cheap stuff fer the boys. Looks like we'll be here a while.

Figures. The cure t'the disease? Take'em someplace they ain't never been. And whatta we do once we're there? Lay around in a tavern an' drink.

Keep'em comin', boss.
----------------------------------------
Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[Aug 17, 2005 12:01:10 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Feegle

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jun 9, 2004
Posts: 675
Status: Offline
Re: Writer's Workshop Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Fronsac:

First, I'm not sure I'm on board with your definition of vignette - but I'm a verbose kinda guy. (My 'vignettes' are around 1500. ;)

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I love the title.

The voice in which you've chosen to tell the story is fantastic - I've never been able to convincingly write in first person, and you pull it off well. There are a couple of inconsistencies - at least that's how I view them - in the opening paragraph. You've written in accent (I can't remember the term for it), which is neat, but two things stood out for me because of it. First, there are a few times when words (living and inkling were the two that jumped out at me) don't match the somethin' and bein' you use elsewhere. The accent gets thicker and more consistent beginning in the third paragraph, and from then on, I don't see anything jumping out at me.

Second, and more opinion-based - it seems strange to me that someone with such a thick accent would use words like lucrative and metaphors like "the disease of wanderlust," though I can see an argument for both sides too, so it's not major.

Is concrete anachronistic? That's an honest question. I'd have used firm or solid, myself.

The transition from the fourth to the fifth paragraph (? - the one where you go from talking about the natives to talking about the drink) seems a bit jarring to me. I lost the train of the narrative and had to reread that initial sentence a couple of times in order to realize what was going on.

One last comment is that I ended up wondering, after all the places you had named, which one the narrator was in when he was spinning his yarns. I eventually came to the conclusion that he was in none of them, but I'm not certain. Is that mystery there on purpose?

Nice work, Fronsac. A pleasure to read.
----------------------------------------
- Feegs

Senior Officer of the Ransack Marauders, Midnight Ocean
Disciple of Artemis
[Aug 18, 2005 7:47:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://feegle.mathninja.com    jeffmahood    FeeglePoet [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 1, 2003
Posts: 5791
Status: Offline
Re: Writer's Workshop Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Now for the director's commentary, since there was an intent and if I didn't quite make it, I'd like some advice.

Most everything is supposed to be chalked up to him drinking at every paragraph stop. He drinks quite a lot at one particularly jarring point. I couldn't think of a good way to show that, and the reveal hadn't happened yet.

So he waxes metaphorical early on, and pronounces his words with more care. After a while he gets caught up in the telling. I wanted to try and make that clearer just through text, but...well, if I had succeeded there it'd've been clearer, eh?

Concrete's been around since almost the beginning of human history. Of course, it's been known by many different names since then, and what we know as concrete today was invented in 1867--reinforced concrete. In other words, I could justify it either way. Heh.
----------------------------------------
Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[Aug 18, 2005 10:40:07 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Crystallina

Member's Avatar


Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 2614
Status: Offline
Re: Writers' Workshop: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Dawn arrived again. Once more the sun bored nailholes in the island thickets, a futile attempt to break the cocoon of green. Somewhere in the distance, the sea throttled the beach sands. Elderbeard had forgotten the direction, sometime ago.

Perry was squatted beside the man. After all this time, her wings had only grown back enough to hover, paralyzed by daily clippings in the captain's quarters.

"Do ye think anyone's here?" The same question, day after day.

"Avast," she seethed. "Yer worth nothing to anyone." The same words. Back home, word had carried about a king who taught his parrot to speak, to weave tapestries of conversation around a simple prompt. Spurred by the story, Elderbeard visited the quarters every night, bearing stories of the sea. For hours he would spin tales, waiting for a comment. She only learned to repeat, on her own terms, the words around her.

"I didn't think so either. It's too deserted."

"To the deserted island with ye!" She only achieved a reedy imitation of the captain's thunder - a rumble in happy times, a great roar in times of trouble. He roared the day he found Elderbeard squatted in front of the open cage, holding out a slice of mango as a reward for Perry's first word. To his eye, Elderbeard was luring his prize away, soon to disappear into the crowds. Every slight has its punishment, this one to be marooned for three months. A "summer vacation", he called it. It took Elderbeard a week to understand his true meaning.

"So did I tell ye about the time we met the great Kraken while stranded at sea?"

"A vacation, mate! Harr." Perry fluttered his wings a bit, but only rose a centimeter before the ground caught him.

"Suppose not...All right, mate, what about the great battle? Our mates were fine and strong, nearly sunk us..."

"Vacation." Taking the cue, he stopped talking. They sat in silence, Perry thumping her wings against her sides, as if she could coax a new feather to spring out. The sky deepened.

"They say there's magic on these islands," Elderbeard mused. "As if all ye needed to do was say the word and ye'd be home."

"Home?" A pinprick of light. They looked up, focusing in through the foliage. He dared the mists to carry him through. Perry thumped her wing again, beating out the hours. The sun dipped into the ground once more; a sudden wind obscured the sky. Dusk arrived.
----------------------------------------
Rapmasta26, in a surprisingly accurate assessment of many posters' attitude towards things:

 
PLEASE PEOPLE, IF YOU DONT AGREE DONT REPLY!!!!!!!!!!!

[Aug 18, 2005 2:09:56 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    YPP+Crystallina [Link]  Go to top 
DaneT

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Posts: 2665
Status: Offline
Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Here's a story I typed up in about half an hour. You'll recognise my pirate from the "A Day of Pillaging" thread. Hope for some feedback, as I might be inclined to write more. :D

Gigantor sat on a barrel, facing out to the ocean. The sky was clear and the sea was calm. Unfortunately, that also meant that the winds were non-existent, so he was forced to remain on Alpha for another day. Not that there was anything wrong with that, of course.

People whispered as they went past, looking at the grizzled sailor. Rumours circled the old salt, like the vultures over a rotting corpse. Stories of fearsome fighting against fellow pirates. Accounts of being part of a skellington-hunting crew, which went against the plague of the ocean regularly. Tales such as these were widespread, but unconfirmed. None dared to ask him, and he never spoke of his travels. In fact, he spoke rarely. A man of few words, but they were important ones if ever uttered.

The beach glistened in the bright sun, sparkling like the green jewels his skull dagger had for eyes. The name, Skully, was carved into the hilt, with the words, "Revenge is sweet" carved on the other. "For my services in the Alpha blockade." he replied when asked, with a look which didn't invite further questioning. It was said that he took it from the enemy tactician in the final phases of the battle, or that he took it from his mutinous Senior Officer or his sweetheart had given it to him before she was taken captive and killed during the blockade. Nobody knew, but there was one thing for sure.

It was the day he lost his hand.

He stretched, and got up to take a walk on the beach. He smiled. Alpha's beach always had that effect on him. The trees gave ample shade, and the grove he was resting in was secluded, but still open enough for the ocean breeze to flow through. In was as if the beach had been designed as a place for battle weary pirates to rest and forget their troubles.


Many wondered how a single man could survive such experiences. That perhaps, was his greatest mystery. Betrayed, all that he had ever loved destroyed, and memories of events so dark they would terrify many hardened pirates of the seas. Not to mention participating in one of the bloodiest blockades ever to awash the shores and stain the rocks of Alpha. Was his loss worth what he had achieved during his life? Did he have any regrets?

He watched, from a distance, as a few children played in the sand. Children who may grow up and face the challenges that he had. Children who would learn just how hard life was out here.
But not yet. These children had a simple life, a carefree existence. They didn't live under a tyrant, a tyrant that could've existed if the island had been lost. They were free to play for as long as they wanted. Was it worth it?

"Yes," he smiled to himself as he watched them play,

"Yes, it was."
----------------------------------------
It has been said, my friends, that I like war. My friends, I like War. No...I LOVE WAR!

Danet - An old salt of Y!PP, but not the oldest by a long shot.
----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by DaneT at Aug 18, 2005 7:49:30 PM]
[Aug 18, 2005 7:31:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 1, 2003
Posts: 5791
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

DaneT wrote: 
A man of few words, but they were important ones if ever uttered.

It always bugs me to see a line like this. If you feel the need to point out something as important specifically it means you either underestimate your reader or have failed to convey its importance. Very little need be spelled out so clearly; that's the point of prose. Otherwise you're just reciting events.

Er, that's not to say I object to the line itself. Just the fact that it screams "hand-holding" to me.

As evocative as each vignette should be, each rumor, they feel like little more than the words written. The essence of rumors is their lack of completeness, how the most tantalizing bits are left vague and often completely devoid of definitives. "Feel" is the worst word to use, as it means so very little and so much at once. Hard to nail down what gives something good feel and what doesn't. Atmosphere. Evocation.

Your metaphors could use some trimming. :)

I know it doesn't seem constructive...grr. If I was writing it, I wouldn't have given reader omniscience to the main character. Gigantor, right? The story'd be slightly longer, from the perspective of some young fellows swapping stories about the dark silent type waxing philosophic on the beach. They each have run across the guy before, so they know a few things, but largely his life is a mystery, and when you've got a couple beers in you, that's the most interesting subject at hand. So they swap a few stories about the guy. Each one relates a different tale, nice and short, the type you could tell in a single glass of beer. They're still wondering about the guy when he wanders over, not for them, just on his way to some other spot. He's watching the kids play, and the guys work themselves up (as only a bunch of drunk kids can) to ask him for some verification. Mostly he answers with nods or a stern look or other body language. They're still young punks, and they ask this obviously grizzled veteran if the life is really worth it. He takes a long look at the kids playing on the beach...and then he answers them.

Crystallina wrote: 
a story

It's the same thing with yours. And just this second I finally remember: Show, don't tell!

I'm having trouble pointing out specific instances (my brain's a bit fried), but there's a certain staccatto to your entire story that speaks of disjoints. Not in the narrative, but in the writing itself. The words don't flow into each other from beginning to end, though certain sections do. The second line feels nice, but the first doesn't fit, see? Wish I could put it together better than that.
----------------------------------------
Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by Gotagota at Aug 18, 2005 10:07:38 PM]
[Aug 18, 2005 10:05:59 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Feegle

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jun 9, 2004
Posts: 675
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

 
Crystallina wrote: 
a story

It's the same thing with yours. And just this second I finally remember: Show, don't tell!

I'm having trouble pointing out specific instances (my brain's a bit fried), but there's a certain staccatto to your entire story that speaks of disjoints. Not in the narrative, but in the writing itself.


I'll have more later (I've been mulling over your story for a few hours), but the word staccatto here jumpstarted my brain at *glances at the clock* five to six in the morning. Your story seems almost like a free-verse poem at times, and I think it's because of your use of what a former teacher of mine called "almost sentences." For example, "The same question, day after day.", "The same words." , or "A pinprick of light." They're there for a reason, and that reason I can see clearly - but they are disjointed from the rest of the narrative.

That's not a bad thing, necessarily, but not to my personal taste as a write.
----------------------------------------
- Feegs

Senior Officer of the Ransack Marauders, Midnight Ocean
Disciple of Artemis
[Aug 19, 2005 4:01:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://feegle.mathninja.com    jeffmahood    FeeglePoet [Link]  Go to top 
Crystallina

Member's Avatar


Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 2614
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Heh. What I posted here was an absolute first draft. 'Idle writing' at its...finest? Lowest? Most neutral?

The 'free-verse poem' comment is interesting; that's basically what I've done most of. (Two years at PFFA will do that to you. I should go back.) And a couple starts at longer prose that never have gotten beyond spare scenes.

I use too many fragments. And the disjointed part makes sense. I almost never write in a straight line, mainly because I hate openings. Sometimes I don't smooth things out enough.

I loathe the name Elderbeard. Did I mention that? Every time I typed it out I thought "can I just change his name already?" but then thought I might incriminate someone by accident. At first I left him unnamed, but I needed something to refer to. Bah.

Just a question - How many words am I at? I don't have Word and lost count about 5 times.
----------------------------------------
Rapmasta26, in a surprisingly accurate assessment of many posters' attitude towards things:

 
PLEASE PEOPLE, IF YOU DONT AGREE DONT REPLY!!!!!!!!!!!

----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by Crystallina at Aug 20, 2005 7:30:39 PM]
[Aug 20, 2005 7:29:21 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    YPP+Crystallina [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 1, 2003
Posts: 5791
Status: Offline
It's not irrational at all! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Crystallina wrote: 
The 'free-verse poem' comment is interesting; that's basically what I've done most of. (Two years at PFFA will do that to you. I should go back.)

I have this irrational loathing for nonstructured writing that calls itself poetry. Nothing against you, of course; just a bit of a tangent that may get someone's brain moving. Well, it might if they decide to figure out my justifications for liking structure in poetry so much. Heh.

Names are fun and easy. I use other languages for place names, usually. Talk a lot and see what sounds good to your ear. Avoid extraneous apostrophes. Remember the rules that names you know follow. Derive them yourself if you have to.* I've never trusted overly long names like those of elves in most fiction; they're a pain in the ass to say and even harder for a child to spell. It ruins immersion for me. Remember that for a character a name is part of his description. Elderbeard suggests one thing about a character (to me, averageness :) ) whereas Hookbeard would suggest something very different. [Adjective/Noun]beard isn't the worst place to start.


*- Pirates nickname each other by description. One word or two, short and punchy, heavy on the vowel sound that easily elongated to a shout. -beard is so common because it's a defining facial characteristic and easily shouted. [Descriptor] + [Common Name] works too: Old Tom, Stinky Pete, Brass Balls Betty, etc. Names won't feel forced or heavy-handed if you remember to justify them, don't forget. Firey Wilhelm needs to lose his temper once in a while. Carmencita better have an older sibling-type around. That sort of thing.
----------------------------------------
Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[Aug 20, 2005 8:00:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
DaneT

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Posts: 2665
Status: Offline
Thanks for the feedback, Fronsac. Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Gotagota wrote: 
DaneT wrote: 
A man of few words, but they were important ones if ever uttered.

It always bugs me to see a line like this. If you feel the need to point out something as important specifically it means you either underestimate your reader or have failed to convey its importance. Very little need be spelled out so clearly; that's the point of prose. Otherwise you're just reciting events.

Er, that's not to say I object to the line itself. Just the fact that it screams "hand-holding" to me.


Agreed. But 500 words is so limiting, and I'm more of a wordy guy. :(
But I guess that only expands my ability to write if I can work each word to it's fullest potential. :D

Gotagota wrote: 
As evocative as each vignette should be, each rumor, they feel like little more than the words written. The essence of rumors is their lack of completeness, how the most tantalizing bits are left vague and often completely devoid of definitives. "Feel" is the worst word to use, as it means so very little and so much at once. Hard to nail down what gives something good feel and what doesn't. Atmosphere. Evocation.


Same reasoning as above, + that I have the emotional writing expression of a rock. In the Atlantic. In winter. It's something I'm working on.

Gotagota wrote: 
The other way it could've been written.


Probably something I would've thought on if I spent more time on it. Great idea though! :D

Thanks for the feedback. I'll get working on something else. Probably be up here in the next few days.
----------------------------------------
It has been said, my friends, that I like war. My friends, I like War. No...I LOVE WAR!

Danet - An old salt of Y!PP, but not the oldest by a long shot.
----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by DaneT at Aug 20, 2005 10:42:21 PM]
[Aug 20, 2005 10:31:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Crystallina

Member's Avatar


Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 2614
Status: Offline
Re: It's not irrational at all! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Really? To me it's the opposite. While the experts can pull off structured poetry wonderfully, the experts are less than 1% of the general population. The other 99% will tend to force their rhyme, force their meter, and force everything into a sausage-casing until they've produced something that scans right, has a perfect rhyme scheme, but simply doesn't have any poetry left in it. Forced rhyme is up there on the top 5 comments I have on poetry critiques (the other four, in case you're wondering, are cliches, abstractions, telliness, and lack of imagery).

Heck, even the experts took some liberties with their formal schemes. Most sonnets, for example, will break the IP in a few places.

About names - I forgot where I read this, but I agree with it: naming a character after one of their attributes i.e. personality traits and the like can often come off contrived. After all, it is parents who name their children, and the name someone has honestly reflects much more on the namer than the named. For instance, if somebody is named Blossom Moonbeam, it can be assumed that her parents are either hippies or celebrities. Yes, I'm using stereotypical examples, but you see the point. (Nicknames obviously don't count.)
----------------------------------------
Rapmasta26, in a surprisingly accurate assessment of many posters' attitude towards things:

 
PLEASE PEOPLE, IF YOU DONT AGREE DONT REPLY!!!!!!!!!!!

----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by Crystallina at Aug 20, 2005 11:46:23 PM]
[Aug 20, 2005 11:45:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    YPP+Crystallina [Link]  Go to top 
Feegle

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jun 9, 2004
Posts: 675
Status: Offline
Re: Thanks for the feedback, Fronsac. Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

DaneT wrote: 
Agreed. But 500 words is so limiting, and I'm more of a wordy guy. :(
But I guess that only expands my ability to write if I can work each word to it's fullest potential. :D


Agreed. Though, I ignored the limit. (And look where it's gotten me - no critiques yet. Heh.) Still, there are ways around this. Let me think about it a bit and see if I can offer an alternative.

DaneT wrote: 
Same reasoning as above, + that I have the emotional writing expression of a rock. In the Atlantic. In winter. It's something I'm working on.


That's the hardest thing to get, I think, and if I can offer one piece of advice on that front, it's this: know your characters. I belong to a couple of online writing groups where this kind of critiquing tends to happen, and it astonishes me when I suggest, "Have you mapped out who your character really is, their likes and dislikes?" which is met with "What?" My story was easier that way, because Luigi, Teagan, and Finn are people I know in-game, so I just tweaked their personalities a bit. If you're writing for someone who's not based on a real person, spend 30-45 minutes beforehand just contemplating who that person is. I, personally, start by making a list of 10-15 adjectives to describe that character's personality (Physical description is unimportant to this, so it doesn't count.)

Hope some of that blurb helps. ;)
----------------------------------------
- Feegs

Senior Officer of the Ransack Marauders, Midnight Ocean
Disciple of Artemis
[Aug 21, 2005 9:16:15 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://feegle.mathninja.com    jeffmahood    FeeglePoet [Link]  Go to top 
Nowie

Member's Avatar


Joined: Feb 21, 2005
Posts: 300
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Ok, here's my first try at this. Hope it's not too awful.

The Red Hook Tavern

It was a bad day to be out at sea and few ventured further than the local inns to gamble and wench. One man made his slow way through the town, passing by the roaring noise of well-lit taverns. He ignored the signs swung in the howling wind, "The Sailor's Delight" and "The Treasure Deep" that beckoned him with promises of warmth and temporary companionship for, "just a few pieces of eight."

Rain poured steadily off the wide brim of his had and the parrot on his shoulder squawked quietly, protesting her matted feathers. He stroked the bridge between her eyes and headed for "The Red Hook," the only tavern that didn't have an overwhelming cacophony emanating from it.

He picked the table furthest from the door. With his back to the wall, he sat staring at the rest of the room with his one good eye. His parrot had hopped off his shoulder onto the table and was shaking her feathers, whirring and clicking with delight over the warmth. The tavern wench smiled at him and dropped a hot bowl of stew and a mug of ale in front of him, before turning away to attend to the other patrons. She swished through the tables pouring ale and rum for the solitary figures that dotted the tavern's tables. In the opposite corner, a group of sailors gambled. Cards slapped onto the splintered tables and dice clattered.

The door opened again and another soaked figure came through the door. He looked up and grinned at the entire tavern and was met with baleful glares from most. Wringing out his bright red cloak into a bucket he called out to the wench, "My dear! A glass of your finest and whatever the cook has handy." The parrot squawked loudly and his eyes were drawn to the back table. He stepped towards the one-eyed man's table and sat, looking admiringly at the bird. "She's a beauty." The bird seemed to recognize the compliment and preened, extending her green feathers with pleasure.

"The name's Andarel. I'm a minstrel by trade, though I've had to sell my guitar for food. Bad season you know, what with the weather and pirates and all." The wench brought Andarel what he requested and poured the one-eyed man another drink. "I tell you, I've never been more scared in me life than the day the passenger ship I was on was boarded by pirates." The one-eyed man gave no indication that he heard, but kept his eye on the parrot who was hopping across the table picking at bits of bread left there from previous patrons.

"Well, it was quite a sight watching this dashing man in a black cloak swing between both ships and land on our deck. He demanded the captain hand over a young woman, who was actually straining against her chaperones and reaching for him!" For the next hour, the minstrel wove a fantastic tale of love and adventure of a pirate named Red and his Lady Ren. Throughout the story the one-eyed man didn't move, but continued to watch his parrot prance about the table top.

When the minstrel finally finished his story, the one-eyed man stretched his arm towards the parrot, who happily hopped up to his shoulder with a little chirp. He reached into his purse and pulled out several coins. Two gold he dropped by his plate and ten he dropped by the minstrel. The wench looked toward him as he walked to the door. He nodded once to her and stepped out into the rain, heading for the dock.

The stunned minstrel gaped at the wealth in front of him. "Who was that?"

The wench quietly collected the gold off the table. She looked at him and whispered, "E's a pirate. 'Ad 'is tongue cut out as penalty by the gov'ner." She paused, "Reckon 'e liked your story, mate."
----------------------------------------
Greendodge says, "Fold: The New Raise."

Shiny avatar by KingPriam
----------------------------------------
[Edit 3 times, last edit by Nowie at Aug 31, 2005 9:04:20 AM]
[Aug 22, 2005 3:07:41 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Nowie21    Nowie411 [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 1, 2003
Posts: 5791
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Am I the only one who sees a bunch of question marks that really interrupt the flow of the story? I don't mean to pick, but there's gotta be a way to fix that...and I can't do it :(
----------------------------------------
Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[Aug 25, 2005 6:02:37 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Feegle

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jun 9, 2004
Posts: 675
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

 
Am I the only one who sees a bunch of question marks that really interrupt the flow of the story? I don't mean to pick, but there's gotta be a way to fix that...and I can't do it :(


Nope. My story had them after we moved to the new forums any place there was a curled single- or double- quotation mark, or an em dash.

I think the new forums put them in anywhere there's a character that's not straight ascii.
----------------------------------------
- Feegs

Senior Officer of the Ransack Marauders, Midnight Ocean
Disciple of Artemis
[Aug 26, 2005 3:25:38 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://feegle.mathninja.com    jeffmahood    FeeglePoet [Link]  Go to top 
Nowie

Member's Avatar


Joined: Feb 21, 2005
Posts: 300
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Ok, I fixed my post. Hope it's easier to read now.
----------------------------------------
Greendodge says, "Fold: The New Raise."

Shiny avatar by KingPriam
[Aug 31, 2005 9:04:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Nowie21    Nowie411 [Link]  Go to top 
Bia
OceanMaster
Member's Avatar


Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 2787
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

I had my commentary about half-done when my computer decided it wished to stop working. I apologize if these are a bit rushed and incomplete.

reymartin
This feels more like a report you are delivering on the topic of Pirate Vacations than a story about a pirate vacation. There is certainly information here, but a story uses plot and character to convey the information. You need a sequence of events.

Show us a pirate vacation. You have the basic idea, now it just needs fleshing out.


Feegle
Your prose is excellent, this is certainly a fun story, that brings our attention down to a very specific incident. It is not without problems, however.

I think the big problem is that you take too long to get to the real story. The incident between Teagan and the shoppekeeper is the driving force. It is what holds the reader. Why wait so long to get there?

While there are some cute moments in the first two scenes, they do not really add anything. In fact, you have a completely incidental character in Finn, who only shows up to leave.

Despite your earlier protestations, I believe you could tell a full story, with dialogue, character, and humour, in just 500 words. Keep up the good work.


Gotagota
This story is full of character. In fact, it took me a bit of re-reading to figure out exactly what is going on. That is not entirely a bad thing - forcing the reader to slow down to take everything in - but there were a few instances where it seemed your accent took precedence over clarity.

In some ways, this feels like just a little snapshot of a larger story. There are moments of story, but nothing comes across as complete. The narrator is giving us anecdotes, but not a complete narrative.

It leaves me wanting more, and that is both good and bad.


Crystallina
This is certainly a different take on the vacation idea. I applaud the creativity. You do well to give an indication of what has come before in few words. I particularly enjoyed how you built up the interplay between the captain and Elderbeard.

There is a big of unclarity at the beginning, and I think the first paragraph may be entirely superfluous. Perry also seems to change gender. Also, watch for passive voice. If nothing else, it tends to waste words.

I think you have a good story structure, but it will take a few rewrites to get it into a really enjoyable story.


DaneT
I like the idea here, to show an old pirate who is off duty, but I am not sure you told it in the best manner. To echo and expand Gotagota's criticism, you seem to fall into some literary pitfalls by taking the easy way out.

The "man of few words" line is just one instance. The metaphor "like the vultures over a rotting corpse" also stands out. It is really a pity that you have these little bits, because they could probably be stories in and of themselves. Instead the reader is left hanging.

What rumours circle him? What important words does he utter? It almost feels like you are teasing the reader. Instead of giving us one story, you are giving us the possibility of many, but no fulfillment.

As I said, I like the idea. Work with it a bit, and I would enjoy the final result, as well.


Nowie
You have attempted a daunting task by trying to fit a story within a story into such a small space. While it could be successful, you do not quite get there.

The problem with both stories is the same. You have a large introduction, but the inner details are left behind before the finish. For short stories, you need to drop the reader right into the action. If you shortened the space before the arrival of the minstrel, you would be able to dedicate more space to his story.

Your atmosphere and characters are strong, but I tink you need to adjust your focus to make it work right.



To everyone who submitted, I thank you for taking part. I truly enjoyed reading your discussion about the stories, and storywriting, and I hope that you continue that and rework your stories to make them better.

I will leave this stickied for a few days before posting another topic for September. I shall also try to write up a story of my own for you to enjoy and comment upon.
----------------------------------------
Avatar by Salmagundi
[Sep 1, 2005 8:15:54 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Breannais8

Member's Avatar


Joined: Mar 24, 2005
Posts: 69
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Ok this is my first time wrighting something on a thread so I hope it works.
How do I make a link for my storie?
----------------------------------------
*Carmon*
Officer of the crew Go beARRRRS
On the Viridian ocean
[Sep 4, 2005 12:59:30 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Bia
OceanMaster
Member's Avatar


Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 2787
Status: Offline
Re: Piratey Summer Vacations! Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

 
Ok this is my first time wrighting something on a thread so I hope it works.
How do I make a link for my storie?


You do not need to link to your story. Simply copy and paste it entirely to this thread.
----------------------------------------
Avatar by Salmagundi
[Sep 6, 2005 5:53:18 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
[Show Printable Version of Thread] [Post new Thread]

Puzzle Pirates™ © 2001-2016 Grey Havens, LLC All Rights Reserved.   Terms · Privacy · Affiliates