Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 11, 2012 - 10:03pm

Hi all,

So, this is my introduction thread... I've been studying writing (on my own) for far too long to not have finished a manuscript. If you follow my profile to my web page, you'll find a blog that's not been updated in far too long. There will be a blog entry about that...

Though a few months ago, I set myself up with an ipad, a keyboard, Scrivener on my PC and kicked my arse (it still feels weird writing kicked my ass though I've been living in the US for a few years now) into gear, and have regularly been writing.

Some of you may have encountered me before on Critique Circle or Scribophile. I'm hear because I crit to the point of being villified and I can't turn it off. I crit how I want to be critted, and I've been assured by a friend here that litreactor is "more my level", which I took to mean that none of you will care about my feelings. This motivated me to come in, and everything so far lines up.

Good to find this place, feel free to say hi, or anything at all, to me.

Cheers,

Alan

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones July 11, 2012 - 10:26pm

Alan,

If you liked what I was doing over on Scribophile, this is the place for you. A couple of those pieces (Shutterbug and Take a Penny) were written for a class I took last year with Clevenger. If you hurry, and you have the cash, it's starting up again mid-month.

I feel you on the being villified. Since I'm not there anymore, and I can call people out in the forums: Lola wrote a 3,100 word story with 176 I's in it, and that started the snowball of people hating me there. You can do shit like that here, and ain't nobody going to care, cause we're in some ways built on the Dangerous Writing tennents, of which that is one.

EL Gomez's picture
EL Gomez from San Diego is reading Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen, Warmed and Bound by Litreactor, Growing Up Dead In Texas by Stephen Graham Jones July 11, 2012 - 10:34pm

Welcome Alan enjoy your smooth introduction while you can.

(its a long story)

cosmo's picture
cosmo July 11, 2012 - 10:38pm

Hi Alan,
Nice to see you here!

 

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 11, 2012 - 11:11pm

Hello and welcome! Chris Davis is slacking off and won't be here to tell you all about who will be here and what they will do, and presumably Avery or Gary will be here with a welcome meme, and Matt might show up and give you a picture, but seeing how many new people have shown up, I'm guessing everyone's sick of it and nobody's going to do anything. But it doesn't mean they don't love you.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel July 11, 2012 - 11:16pm

Welcome to the pit!

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter July 12, 2012 - 3:54am

Hey Alan! Nice to meet a critique guy. There are some great writers here who will be happy to see your nitpicking. Me included!

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 6:47am

Hi all,

Thanks for the welcome. I'll read the essays and jump in the fray. I need to figure out what to post first. I've got a work in progress novel, not sure if posting it from the start is best...

Are there any novel tracking tools here? Or just name it as chapters?

Cheers,

Alan

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig July 12, 2012 - 7:23am

Welcome! 

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter July 12, 2012 - 8:11am

People usually post novels chapter by chapter and just name them. The problem with posting novels is that most users don't really follow them. They might read the first couple chapters as they're posted, but life gets in the way and it's not easy to be constantly be on top of the workshop. Plus, nobody is going to pick up on a novel at the fifth chapter if they haven't read the previous ones.

Short stories or novel excerpts that function on their own will get you the most feedback, especially if they're about 2500 words.

Tony Koval's picture
Tony Koval from Jesustown, Bible Belt, Texas, USA is reading more and more and more July 12, 2012 - 8:36am

...and Matt might show up and give you a picture...

He won't show up to give a picture until Chris shows up. There are rules.

 

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that July 12, 2012 - 8:54am

But it doesn't mean they don't love you.

Let's not get carried away. I promise not to be overtly hostile (but my fingers are crossed).

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig July 12, 2012 - 9:03am

I love that welcome meme meme so much. 

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 10:59am

My first memeogram... Thanks. It wasn't nearly as awkward as I'd expected. :)

Thanks, Sparrow. Good to know regarding novels, Bek. My chapters are abysmally short, rarely past 1500-2000 (mostly closer to 1000-1300) words, though it probably feels much longer if you are trying to read it ;)

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 9:13am

Edit: Note to self

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 9:14am

Edit: Never post from an iPad... Clicking is touchy. Triple post #fail

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 12, 2012 - 9:51am

I'm nearly done with the first draft of my current novel, so I've been kinda wondering about that too. My intention was more to see if I could get some people who might want to read it outside of LR and give me feedback. I have at least one friend that probably will, but that's likely it, and I'm going to need more. So hopefully either bribery, friendship, or a combination of the two will get some of the good folks here to read it for me when it's finished... if I manage to get it done. I was hoping to have it done by the end of July, then signed up for the Clevenger class, and school starts immediately after that... so I may be boned.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 12, 2012 - 11:38am

I've thought about setting up a email review circle for longer works. It wouldn't be too bad if we did 8,000 to 12,000 words a week. Week one we review whoever, week 2 we review whoever, and so on. If there were 3 or 4 of us we could be done with everyone's in 8 or 10 weeks. Everyone would need to have a written/very nearly written longer work to take part. If someone got done early they could submit a shorter work for their week.

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 12, 2012 - 12:09pm

That's not a bad thought. I could be potentially interested if something like that were to go forward.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 12, 2012 - 12:41pm

It's the forums not the iPad. Or not just the iPad.

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series July 12, 2012 - 12:52pm

Good day, Mr. Jones. I think you may officially be in possession of the longest on-topic thread on all of the Lit. Congrats.

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 1:17pm

My manuscript is only a bit over 20%, but I'd be interested when it's done.

Hi Profunda. Thanks for the welcome. A record on my first thread? I best leave Lit now ;)

.'s picture
. July 12, 2012 - 1:25pm

Welcome Alan! Can't wait to read your book!

While were at it, who is your favorite author?

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 12, 2012 - 1:35pm

I think I know why it has been on topic so long.

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 1:59pm

Thanks, Jack. My favorite author is a tough question. Chuck Palahniuk is who I've been reading most of lately. I didn't know of him until I put some of my work through http://iwl.me Hos name came up on most of it, which made me curious. I really enjoy his work. I also like Ethan Canin's very much. Hard to pick a favorite though, as books tend to be where my affection lies, rather than authors. I loved The Collector by John Fowles, but didn't enjoy his others I read so much.

Why's that, Avery? My excessive use of emoticons? :) I'm trying to cut back.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones July 12, 2012 - 4:19pm

@Avery/Alan: is it cause kyle isn't here, yet?

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that July 12, 2012 - 4:27pm

Penis.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 12, 2012 - 6:12pm

No.  HAHAHAHAHA!  I laugh in the face of trolls who try to pull a thread off topic faster than I, the great and powerful AVERY!!!

Alan Jones, I have arrived.  You should welcome me.

I just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love.  I'm not joking.  It was lovely. 

Chris Davis's picture
Chris Davis from Indiana is reading A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews July 12, 2012 - 6:35pm

I thought I read somewhere that Matt was taking a break and the welcome meme was getting random.  When there is a steady welcome pattern I will return with glorious intros.  But if people are taking time away from forums to write I will not discourage the behavior.

Oh, Alan, you're still here. welcome.

smooches, Chris Davis

Stacy Kear's picture
Stacy Kear from Bucyrus, Ohio lives in New Jersey is reading The Art of War July 12, 2012 - 6:48pm

Fear Avery, keep your penis away from GaryP (the P stands for penis), bow to the Beckanator, coddle Michael, tickle Jacks (he is a cuddly bear after all) don't look Charles in the eye, remember Dwayne isn't as nice as he looks, feel inferior to Profunda and her wicked hair and for goodness sake give Chris some kisses back, don't leave a man hanging. 

As for me I'm just the token ginger, feel free to sexually harass me. 

Welcome

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading July 12, 2012 - 6:56pm

I feel you on the being villified. Since I'm not there anymore, and I can call people out in the forums: Lola wrote a 3,100 word story with 176 I's in it, and that started the snowball of people hating me there.

I don't understand. Someone called Lola wrote a story with the word "I" and people hated you? Are you Lola or what am I missing?

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 12, 2012 - 7:22pm

You know what I love?

The word 'I'.

I use it all the time.  In everything.  And it's beautiful.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones July 12, 2012 - 7:25pm

Phil: There was a story on this other writing site I went to when the shit here got messy around Danny, the anthology, etc, etc, etc. And one of the things I was nailing people on there was pronoun over-use. I'd say three percent of your word-count or more, and I'd make a note of it. In that instance, I counted all of them, on my draft, because it was getting toward six or seven percent, and I pointed out tons of missed development, subplots, places where mannerisms needed to be used, and so on. Turns out this chick was really popular there, and thought I was rude, insane, or some mixture of the two.

Then all the little Collins wannabes hated me.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading July 12, 2012 - 7:26pm

On thinking about it, this sounds like that whole "submerging the I" idiocy, in which case, yeah, I can see why people might hate a workshop member for pointing out the number of times the word "I" appears.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones July 12, 2012 - 7:32pm

I'm not so bad about it as that, but five percent of your word count is a bit of an issue. And, as I said, I pointed out several other more "realistic" issues with the story, but some of them would have been fixed by the process of rewording to remove the I, which is easier to explain and to impliment for the writer. One would suspect that even Phil would make note if someone used the narrator/main character pronoun *six* times, in a three sentence paragraph.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading July 12, 2012 - 7:51pm

It sounds like trivial cosmetic surgery for a story that's basically finished. If you're at the stage where all you have left to do is reword things so a certain word appears less often, I assume you've managed to create a solid and intelligent and well-plotted and coherent and sufficiently compelling story. If you haven't, then yes, having the overuse of a pronoun pointed out to you could feel a little frustrating, since you're still trying to deal with, you know, writing.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones July 12, 2012 - 9:20pm

But then isn't that more a case of: do you want me to critique you, and tell you what I would fix? Or do you want me to pat you on the head and say "nice job, you poo poo'd in the potty!"

Since, essentially edits/crit work is just telling someone how you would skin the cat to make the story better, me saying ditch a couple dozen of these I's, bears little difference to someone else saying "maybe the killer should be a hermaphoroditic midget with one leg. Both are plausably just as useful or useless to the author, aren't they?

And the fact of the matter is, I pointed out other things too, but bothered explaining the I thing further, because I didn't feel it was addressed in a meaningful way during the critique process. Had I not even bothered to do this, and focused on all the sub-plotting, and character building that was glossed over in what I can only call a hack-kneed fashion, the outcome would have been the same. At the end of the day I lambasted a pretty good story, because it could have easily been a great story, and the author took it personally, even though I said as much at the time.

At the end of the day, though I can't say I regret what I said, or reading the story, but maybe I regret the actual saying it, since it soured people more than I actually intended.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life July 12, 2012 - 9:32pm

Welcome Alan! If you are indeed a hard reviewer, then double welcome -- we need all of those we can get. I promise to say nothing positive about your work other than a 'nice!' when I encounter a clever turn of phrase or image. Everything else will be about how awful your mechanics are and how you're diluting your authority and muddying your theme. Also: adverbs. 

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 11:06pm

Okay, let's see if I can get this right.

Charles, Avery has taken responsibility for the thread being on topic through her absence. Based on this, I have concluded that every topic in which she has not partaken on the internet is on topic, making her the most influential absentee on every internet site she's never visited.

GaryP, I appreciate the offer, but I have one already. It's remarkably generous of you to offer to share something so valuable. None of us should forget: "The penis, mightier than the sword."

Avery: Welcome. I'm easily confused, but I'll watch for your 'I's - such an awkward word to write.

Stacy: A redhead and a fan of sexual harrassment. I'm going to have to double down my efforts if you're to feel harrassed. (BTW, I love how you captured your avatar right at the moment you imagined me in a jacuzzi full of architects. Argh, dammit, I was doing great until architects.)

Fylh: What Charles said, only imagine it with an Australian accent softened with many years of living in the UK and US. Oh, and breath you wish was mintier.

Okay, I think I'm caught up. Very warm welcome, thanks all :)

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 12, 2012 - 9:48pm

Hi Jeffrey,

Sorry, was writing while you posted. Thanks very much - that sounds exactly like what I need. Well, that and a scotch, but I can sort the scotch out.

Cheers,

Alan

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 12, 2012 - 11:06pm

A scotch man... you and I will get along swimmingly.

.'s picture
. July 12, 2012 - 11:20pm

I can't get behind Eat, Pray, Love unless it has James Franco in it. Thus I won't read it.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 13, 2012 - 5:42am

@Stacy - I'm very nice.

@Mike & Alan - Scotch is a whiskey fail. Whiskey is supposed to taste like bottled death, but smoother. 

@Alan - Did you get the Chuck pretty steady at IWL? I don't think I ever got the same person more then once in 10 times.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 13, 2012 - 6:04am

James Franco is the worst. 

Chris Davis's picture
Chris Davis from Indiana is reading A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews July 13, 2012 - 6:11am

I won't read Eat Pray Love. I did buy a copy of it for my aunt.  She is an atheist spinster who used to suffer from bulimia so I thought the title made it the perfect book for her.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 13, 2012 - 6:13am

I thought it sounded corny and resisted for a long time.  But it really is a pretty nice book.  Not so bad. 

Alan Jones's picture
Alan Jones from Redmond, WA is reading Stein on Writing by Sol Stein again July 13, 2012 - 6:55am

Dwayne, Yeah - very consistently, which is why I started reading his work. I've only ever got him and Lewis Carroll. I think Lewil Carrol was two or three of my novel's chapters, all the rest of the eight I've done and a short came up Chuck. Not sure why though. It's made me more curious about how they figure it out. The similarity isn't clear to me. 

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that July 13, 2012 - 8:15am

Weird that I found this on a blog just moments ago:

 

SQF: What other common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

MF: Really bad leads. If you're going to take me to the rapids, then launch the boat on steel waters with a cutting edge. Lots of 'I's, even though I use them all the time.

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 13, 2012 - 11:04am

Any whiskey is good whiskey, but bourbon is too much like drinking a bottle of perfume for me. Scotch and Irish for me, especially an older Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, Glenfiddich, Macallan, or any good Islay whiskey.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 13, 2012 - 11:47am

Bourbon is fantastic and I will hear no other remarks!

 

Stacy Kear's picture
Stacy Kear from Bucyrus, Ohio lives in New Jersey is reading The Art of War July 13, 2012 - 11:52am

@ Avery, your dominance and berating are all the richer said with a southern accent.  Listen to the podcast folks, if only to hear Avery's voice. 

Yea I'm kinda stalking you right now. What?