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hey u guys i'm doing this little writing exercise for a class and i need u to tell me if this is too ridiculous or not

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So, like, basically I need to write a paragraph about how a car ended up in a deserted intersection with only a passenger and no driver. I just scribbled out this:

Quote

Kansas County Road 137 doesn’t usually get to dress up, but tonight, tonight would be different. An electric car, guided by its autopilot system, rode across her gravelly, pot-marked face, with its sole passenger soundly asleep inside, when a slightly dimwitted deer skittered out of the woods. The car, unlike its dozing passenger, was quite inexperienced with wild deer, and immediately fell in love with the scampering animal. Later versions of the autopilot software would be programmed to not experience infatuation, but for the car, in this moment, the only logical option was to attempt a kiss at sixty miles per hour. Subsequently, the car found itself tumbling across 137’s face like a roiling zit, shedding its two side mirrors and leaving behind a unsightly smear of commingled deer blood and candy apple red paint. Cheap earrings and non-animal-friendly lipstick, to be sure, but 137 would take what she could get. 137 did not want to share her newfound mechanical makeup artist with the more popular K-86, but unfortunately the car continued sliding until it finally came to rest at the intersection of the two roads, in the heart of the heartland. Here, lying upside-down, the car breathed relief. At this crossroads, in these crosshairs, on this cross, its dazed passenger, ensconced in airbags, was beaten, but still beating.

lol is this pretentious-stupid or goofy-funny, i don't knowwwww

Edited by hot

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Do you want my actual advice/feedback?

THEN HOLD ONTO YOUR LUG NUTS.

I would say that perhaps you are a little too fixated with pumping your writing full of as much imagery as possible. While you do have a very nice extended metaphor going on there with the whole makeup angle you have going on, I think that you got yourself so fixated on fancy description and extended metaphor that you forgot to make something interesting happen or have an interesting thought about it. Or to put it another way, if you take out all of the metaphors and colorful description, your story is basically this:

"An auto-pilot car crashed into a deer."

Extended metaphors aren't bad things, nor is imagery, but it's a spice you put in there like salt or sugar. You sprinkle it in. If you just dump a big pile on top it is too overpowering. As a point of contrast, I went and dug up this very short piece from an author I really like. And one of the things that I really like about his style of telling stories is that he has a fondness toward very short, simple sentences. (Budding writers often intuitively feel that the longer a sentence goes, the more skillful it is. But no, a three-word sentence in the right place carries more punch than the longest, most complex and imagery-packed sentence ever could.) He uses imagery here and there, but he is more focused on getting to the point. Read this and note the length of his sentences and the ratio of flowery devices to just plain ordinary description:
 

Quote

One time during college I got a job counting traffic outside. It was a cold lonely job. I had to wear several pairs of pants just to keep from freezing. I counted which cars turned left, which cars turned right, which cars went straight, etc. I didn’t know why I was doing it.

I met a woman every week at a cafe to get my paycheck. One day I asked her, why am I doing this? How will the numbers be used.

She said “I honestly do not know.”

But I was being paid 12 dollars an hour, which was real money then. Roughly 3000 dollars an hour in 1992 money.

I rented a lot of movies and lived the high life. Comics only cost 50 cents then, and I won’t tell you what whiskey cost because you are a child.

For a moment, I thought, maybe I should keep doing this forever. But then it was November, and it got too cold. Then one day I saw a guy get hit by a car. He was OK, but his scream of pain and surprise haunts me to this day. After that, I didn’t want to go back.

Lesson: In the end, I am glad I finished college. It allowed me to get a job that paid less (working in book publishing), but at least I know why I was doing it. And I only ever had to wear one pair of pants.

Now that I am a writer and an actor, I sometimes wear no pairs of pants. That’s a good job.

Look at the shortness and simpleness of the second sentence: "It was a cold and lonely job." And yet that sentence says so much. And the shortness of it feels so right. Imagine if he tried to write something like, "It was as cold and lonely as a shard of frozen debris drifting through the infinite void of space, unaware of its own cosmic insignificance." Or whatever. That's what some people would call "gilding the lily". The sentence is no longer than it needs to be. Before adding imagery, one must ask WHY am I adding this imagery? If the answer is something like "to further extend my cool extended metaphor" then you might be getting carried away. If the answer is "because I really like this image and just really want to use it" then you may be losing sight of your priorities in telling a story. (Is this a story or are you writing a poem?)

Note also the sentence: "I had to wear several pairs of pants just to keep from freezing." Now THAT is an image, but it's not flowery. It's very plain actually, but the effect of the image is powerful, no?

So with your story, I would ask some questions like these:

--Why did you choose the extended metaphor of the makeup? What are you trying to convey about 137, and how does the extended makeup metaphor help convey that idea/feeling about 137? And how is that idea/feeling about 137 important to the story? How does it help get the reader where you want them emotionally or thematically, and why do you need them to be there emotionally/thematically? How do you cash in on that?

--As you get nearer to the end you sorta switch focus away from 137 and the makeup it wears and instead start focusing on the car and this idea that it is beaten, but it is still breathing and beating. Why this switch? What are you trying to convey about the car by describing it this way and how is that helpful to the OVERALL thing you are trying to convey? Does this conflict with the makeup metaphor or does it add to it / resonate with it?

S'all I got for now!

 

Edited by AnAnemoneInAnonymity

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he he you're right, this is more of a poem than a story. though i think when you have just a paragraph, maybe it's okay to be more abstract? 

i get what you're saying though: simplicity is good. narrative focus is good. it's like this old chestnut: "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_sale:_baby_shoes,_never_worn." says more in 6 words than i say in more than 6 words. thx homies, i will think about this

Edited by hot

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I always forget about the baby shoes thing, but yes, basically. xD

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that wacky baby wouldn't put on those shoes because it was just too hardcore for baby shoes

Edited by hot

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"It was a cold and lonely job." 

i get why you like this line, but it also kind of feels like it's verging on cliche. it's got the same vibe as "a dark and stormy night," you know? 

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Quote

Kansas County Road 137 always felt underappreciated. She was far from a beautiful road, and she was reminded of this fact every time she crossed paths with one. She particularly admired Highway K-86, with its newly repaved surface, its freshly painted lines, and its constant flow of traffic. If K-86 could be considered an artery of the Kansas Road System, then 137 was much less significant. More like a van-ule, or a car-pillary, she mused. But before she could conceive of any more puns, she noticed a rather attractive electric car turning onto her gravelly, pot-marked face. She knew that it had likely taken a wrong turn on its way to the highway, and it would shortly reach K-86, but she savored the company anyway. The car, guided by its autopilot system, with its sole passenger soundly asleep inside, was quietly humming across her surface when a deer skittered out of the woods. Unlike its dozing passenger, the car was quite inexperienced with wild deer, and immediately fell in love with the scampering animal. Future versions of the autopilot software would be programmed to not experience infatuation, but for the car, in its awkward youth, the only sensible option was not to swerve, but to kiss the deer at a speed of sixty miles per hour. Shortly thereafter, the car found itself tumbling across 137’s face like a roiling zit, shedding its two glistening side mirrors and leaving behind a smear of deer blood and candy apple red paint. The car skidded until it reached the intersection of 137 and K-86, where it came to a gentle stop, its passenger ensconced inside. Having witnessed these strange events, 137 felt a mixture of astonishment and concern. But she couldn’t help but notice that the side mirrors were not unlike earrings, and the smear was not unlike glossy lipstick, and she felt beautiful as the sky and stars looked down upon her.

ok i revised it. here i am writing about a dirt road's feelings, lol 

Edited by hot

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I think that's better! But never ask just one person's feedback, because he/she is always biased by their own preferences, natch.

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yeah i tried to make it more dramatic. at first, the road is lonely and feels ugly, but then things happen, and the road the feels not-so-ugly. there is emotional change! 

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Here are some thoughts you could take or leave:

Why does 137 want to be beautiful? What does 137 care? It seems like 137 is jealous of K-86 not just because of how fresh and pretty it is but also because of the attention it gets. So perhaps there is some kind of underlying theme of the loss of youth/beauty as a character ages. So 137 misses being new and beautiful, but not just for its own sake, but 137 misses the attention, misses being freshly paved (read: young?), reminisces about the days she was first paved and frequently traveled (though obviously there is a risk there of accidentally metaphorically making 137 sound like a wh*re lulz).

But there is also a potential point of confusion. 137 seems to be jealous of the fact that K-86 gets more attention, and yet the car that comes speeding along 137 is described as "a rolling zit" which suggests that 137 is scornful of it, as though it is something 137 does not want. So does 137 *want* to be driven upon or not? If 137 *wants* to be driven upon, then maybe "a rolling zit" is not the best way to convey how 137 feels about the approaching vehicle. Conversely, if 137 does *not* want to be driven upon, perhaps she has less jealousy of the attention K-86 is getting. Perhaps 137 even delights in the fact that all of those drivers are soon going to ruin her freshly paved face and that should take her down a peg or two etc etc.

Edited by AnAnemoneInAnonymity

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13 hours ago, hot said:

"It was a cold and lonely job." 

i get why you like this line, but it also kind of feels like it's verging on cliche. it's got the same vibe as "a dark and stormy night," you know? 

I think it has some superficial similarities to "it was a dark and stormy night" but I don't think it's actually cliche because it is a legitimate description of a job that he is doing which is a very strange and unconventional and decidedly non-cliche job. There is nothing strange or unconventional about a dark and stormy night.

I think it is a mere superficial similarity.

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3 minutes ago, Joyhappy said:

I think AnAnemoneInAnonymity is right. I too think it is a matter of similarity. Even those who order papers with writing sites, would definitely agree since such statements are evaluated numerous times.

Can't tell if actual post or clever spam....

Futurama-Fry.jpg

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New poster? Check.

First post? Check.

Post includes link? Check.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

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1 hour ago, Darth Marsden said:

New poster? Check.

First post? Check.

Post includes link? Check.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Thank you, Sheriff.

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1 hour ago, Scarecrow said:

I like that they threw their ideal consumer under the bus to basically say: "Even an idiot would agree with such an obvious distinction!"

I think Scarecrow is right. I too think they were throwing a prospective customer under the bus. Even people who read erotic space raptor fiction would definitely agree since throwing people under buses is a common space raptor fetish.

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Just found another good example of the "For sale: baby shoes - never worn" thing.

Ken Follett begins one of his books with this sentence:

"The last camel collapsed at noon."

That's a pretty nice appetizer!

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I learn so much stuff from these threads that I know I'm going to forget all of it the next time I go write something.

Though, this is reminding me that I should add a story behind my "sometimes you wake up on the right side of the bed, sometimes you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, sometimes you wake up in an incinerator" starter.

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11 hours ago, Alcoremortis said:

I learn so much stuff from these threads that I know I'm going to forget all of it the next time I go write something.

Though, this is reminding me that I should add a story behind my "sometimes you wake up on the right side of the bed, sometimes you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, sometimes you wake up in an incinerator" starter.

post dat story here

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sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't, sometimes you realize that omg I really am a nut how did this happen?

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ooh, this also reminds me: generally speaking it is not a good idea to begin a story with a character waking up. That includes beginning a story with their EYES OPENING (aka waking up). There are some rare exceptions, but in general it's a pretty amateurish way to begin a story, but lots of people starting out do it because they're not sure how else to begin. Waking up is just not a very interesting event. The truly catchy part of that opening is the reveal that, oh, by the way, I am in an incinerator. How strange. How on earth did I end up here? SO CRAZY. But if you can think of a way to do it without the waking up part, it might be better.

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-not-to-start-story.html

In fact, you might not even need to set it up like a surprise twist. Just start talking about the fact that he or she is in an incinerator and your reader might be like, "What? Why is this dude in this incinerator? Tell me more about this weird situation."

For example, compare:

Sometimes you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, sometimes you wake up on the right side of the bed, sometimes you wake up to find that you've been transformed into a giant insect.

VS

Gregor Samsa awoke one morning form uneasy dreams to find himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect.

And that is one of the most famous openings of all time! So if it is interesting enough in itself, then you can just hop right to it instead  of trying to make it jump out of a cake.

Edited by AnAnemoneInAnonymity

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But I love making things jump out of cakes! 

Though, honestly, my main goal tends to be keeping myself interested in writing a story at the moment. I have a terrible problem with writing twelve or seventy pages and then deciding that's about good and moving onto a new idea. Or writing something at four in the morning and reading it during the day and realizing I'm a weirdo.

But this thread is great! We should start a doublefine writer's group. 

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Long ago, in a land far away, hot jumped out of a cake, and everyone was aroused.

The End

(TO BE CONTINUED....????)

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Princess Kittylitter swooned at the sight of hot jumping out of a cake and hit her head on the corner of a nearby table and died.

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50 minutes ago, hot said:

then i brought her back 2 life w/ my love? 

ITT: we learn that hot is a necrophiliac

I guess technically that would also make him a necromancer....?

Edited by AnAnemoneInAnonymity

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14 minutes ago, AnAnemoneInAnonymity said:

ITT: we learn that hot is a necrophiliac

I guess technically that would also make him a necromancer....?

i didn't bring her back 2 life w/ sexual love!!!! gross!!!!!!!!!

in the words of 50 cent,

you'll find me in the club

bottle full of bub

my mom got what you need 

if you need to feel a bust

i ain't into having sex 

i ain't into making love

so come give me a hug

if you're into a platonic thug 

 

Edited by hot

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I think the question that really needs to be answered is whether or not Princess Kittylitter was ever alive in the first place.

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