Shane Berryhill's picture
Shane Berryhill February 17, 2013 - 8:40pm

Hello, everyone. I've just submitted my short story to the LitReactor Teleport Us contest, BURN

In a society where owning books makes you an outlaw, literature is kept alive by "burners," those who wage war for books by reciting their pages in rap-style battles called "burns." BURN by Shane Berryhill features "Reader" on the night of the biggest burn in his life. Reader must face off against "Shakespeare" for the title of "Librarian" while the Tolstoys, the Austens, the Wells, the Vernes, and all the other burner gangs look on. BURN is a tribute to the work of Ray Bradbury and a love letter to the written word.

Read, rate, and review BURN here: http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/burn

Thanks for your time. Good luck, everyone!

-Shane

www.facebook.com/shane.berryhill

 

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 18, 2013 - 4:23am

Holy hell. Gorund was a brilliant read. I can't believe I overlooked that one for so long. Hurts to be an early adopter, I guess. 

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) February 18, 2013 - 7:25am

Thanks Klahol - would have missed it had it not been for your post. Brilliant story, perfectly formed.

Shane Berryhill's picture
Shane Berryhill February 18, 2013 - 12:10pm

By the by, if you read, rate, and review my Teleport Us entry, BURN, then I'll definitely return the favor in regard to your submission (Regardless, I'm going to try to read as many as possible).

Well, what are you waiting for ;)? Read BURN here: http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/burn

Thanks for your time. Good luck, everyone!

-Shane

www.facebook.com/shane.berryhill

Ben_Sharp's picture
Ben_Sharp from London February 18, 2013 - 1:18pm

...Might just jump on the review-seeking bandwagon, please forgive the shameless self promotion...

:)

'Scrap'

A phone call from yourself is great right? Except when the yourself that calls is not the yourself that you know, or even one that you like very much. The radiation count is through the roof and your lab grown burger is as tasteless as the globs of the meat-creature it was made from.
The pills will help, they say that the pills help. But then they say a lot of things, and I have never been one to listen...

http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/scrap

 

Thanks!

 

:)

B

 

 

Ben_Sharp's picture
Ben_Sharp from London February 18, 2013 - 1:21pm

...Also, if you are looking around for stories, I second the recomendation for 'The Gorund', and also really enjoyed 'Patches'.

I have been a bit slow on reading too many, but am getting back onto the reviewing train 'soon as i can.

 

 

ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett February 18, 2013 - 5:06pm

Man. Wow, I can't even tell you how much that means to me you guys. Wow.

That's what I mean though. I've seen some stories get negative votes, and they always get some feedback to go with it. And I don't mind getting a negative vote, but I'd like to know what the motivation is -as I think any of us would. But I'm now up to three negative votes without a single one having been accompanied by feedback. (Sorry, again, Piech. S'what I get for jumping to conclusions, eh?) It just seems strange...

ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett February 18, 2013 - 5:08pm

Oh. I forgot to drop my plug in that last one. :)

http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/the-gorund

Shane Berryhill's picture
Shane Berryhill February 18, 2013 - 5:56pm

Hey, all. I've had the opportunity to read several stories today...some of this week's "hot stories" among them...and I've noticed some overarching issues like heavy use of adverbs (and adjectives), passive voice, and flowery (and clunky) language.

All these are considered 'no-nos' by White and Strunk's THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE. Is everyone familiar with it? It's long been considered the writer's bible by successful authors (Stephen King among them, for example). It made all the difference for me. I recommend anyone trying to give writing a serious go embed its words in their heart. This is just my humble opinion, of course.

Keep writing!
-Shane Berryhill
In a society where owning books makes you an outlaw, literature is kept alive by "burners," those who wage war for books by reciting their pages in rap-style battles called "burns." BURN by Shane Berryhill features "Reader" on the night of the biggest burn in his life. Reader must face off against "Shakespeare" for the title of "Librarian" while the Tolstoys, the Austens, the Wells, the Vernes, and all the other burner gangs look on. BURN is a tribute to the work of Ray Bradbury and a love letter to the written word.
Read, rate, and review BURN here: http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/burn
 

ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett February 18, 2013 - 6:20pm
klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 19, 2013 - 2:32am

@ender.che.13 regarding the ratings:

I'm sorry I'm harping on about this, but in regards to anonymous thumbs down, fact is that at about the same time last weekend, a lot of people got an anonymous thumbs down in a short period of time. As I've said before, it should be an easy task to check the logs. Anyone giving two or more stories a thumb down right after another is a troll. THat is, they are giving bad reviews without actually reading the stories. 

So it's pretty safe to say we have a pest problem. However, there is not much you can do about that. Some people focus on the competition part of this, and the fantastic tool we are using for this writing event - the LitReactor site - sadly affords people the chance to behave like the petulant children they probably are. 

You, being among the first to publish, have probably taken a worse blow of this behavior than most. I've read a lot of stories and find it very hard to believe that Gorund would merit three anonymous thumbs down  other than out of pure meanness. 

My suggestion for the future would be to change the review scale to a five point one, and maybe add the feature that in order to give a top or bottom score, you would have to leave a short review. 

Overall, I think it's pretty obvious that the tool works great, though. 

So the other solution, and the one I prefer, is simply to suck it up and remember the words of the wise sage Chamillionaire: "They see me rollin' - they hatin'" 

Ben_Sharp's picture
Ben_Sharp from London February 19, 2013 - 5:20am

@ender.che.13, I have the same thing going on, two anonymous thumbs down, and no negative reviews. 

Oh well, I think i saw somewhere in this thread that reviews would be taken into account, so my plan is to ignore the trolling and carry on drinking this delicious cup of coffee. :)

B

 

Ethan Cooper's picture
Ethan Cooper from Longview, TX is reading The Kill Room, Heart-Shaped Box, Dr. Sleep February 19, 2013 - 7:42am

In regards to feedback, this is definitely a safer place than the Internet at large. Just imagine you're a very famous writer--say...Stephenie Meyer--and imagine having to read what people say about you!

Writers need some very thick skin coupled with the ability to determine what is a valid point and what is simply opinion. Just because a person doesn't "like" a story, doesn't mean it's not good/well-written. I can not "like" Romeo and Juliet simply because **spoiler alert!!!** they both die in the end, but that doesn't mean it's not one of the greatest love stories ever told.

Sure, some comments make us all want to cry in a corner. The first story I ever posted online got blugeoned apart like a pinata. It hurt like hell, but it was also the most important thing that's happened to me as a writer. It let me know that I had to be better at this writing thing.

Regardless of how things are phrased, always ask yourself whether the person has a valid point about your story. If they do, go change your story, and also kick yourself a little for not being tougher on your story.

I've always told my friends that I need my greatest enemy to critique my writing. Too bad I don't know how to get in touch with Jeremy from 3rd grade....

Ethan

JC Piech's picture
JC Piech from England is reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest February 19, 2013 - 9:11am

Does anyone else go through a process in their head when they get criticism?

I find at first I'm usually like, "Well, what do they know anyway? They must have read it wrong." 
And then, "Ooooh maybe they're right. I'm such a terrible writer... boo hoo"
Then, "No. No. They're wrong. My story's fine!"
Then finally, "Yes, actually. They raised some good points, and now that I've changed this and that my story reads much better. Thank you. Hey, I'm quite a good writer now..."

And repeat. 

JC Piech's picture
JC Piech from England is reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest February 19, 2013 - 9:13am

Oh, and following on from that - Here's my 3rd edit ;)

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) February 19, 2013 - 9:41am

I'm always so happy to get comments I just tend to feel pleased that someone read it.  When I get people I know to read my stories, I tend to get some good feedback but it's all fairly positive.  It's the negative feedback that really helps though, and the few comments I've had have all been pleasingly constructive.

JC Piech's picture
JC Piech from England is reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest February 19, 2013 - 10:29am

Maybe it's just my neurosis then... hehe :)

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies February 19, 2013 - 10:37am

You can usually tell by what they write if they know what they're talking about.

Frank Chapel's picture
Frank Chapel from California is reading Thomas Ligotti's works February 19, 2013 - 11:18am

I havent thumbed anyone down, and wouldnt unless the prompt wass not followed or for some other unforgivable thing. Ive not been able to read much either as im struggling with the 3rd draft of my story, trying to stay positive tho... Aheh.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. February 19, 2013 - 11:20am

@JC Everytime I see a new comment I get this little jump of anticipation accompanied by a tinge of fear.  Did they like it?  Do they have something that I really need to fix?  Etc.  Either way, it's wonderful to know someone out there is actually reading this stuff!  Even if they don't like it, and especially if they can tell me why they don't like it!

There's a quote from a Star Trek novel I read a long while back.  I can't remember the book or the exact text but it went something like this:

"As captain, I listen to my officers suggestions, take note of their opinnions, and then ignore them and figure out what I think needs to be done."

Or something like that ;)  (If anyone remember's where that came from I'd like to know so I can go hunt the book down again.)

JC Piech's picture
JC Piech from England is reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest February 19, 2013 - 2:18pm

Oh, of course, of course. I didn't mean to give the impression I don't value feedback. You can't do without it. I just sometimes go through a bit of a process in my mind, where all my insecurities rise to the surface, and I have to get over them before I can assimilate the criticism. That process is taking less and less time though, thankfully!

I feel like I've revealed too much now! *hides*

Essel Pratt's picture
Essel Pratt from Indiana is reading Too many to name February 19, 2013 - 2:49pm

ArlaneEnalra, that is a fabulous quote!  Anyway, as I haev said before, I welcome both negative and positive feedback. If I only got positive, I would enver get better.  I know my submission was a rough draft, and has had a few minor edits here and there, but I haev not had the time to give it a look over with a magnifying glass.  I hope i can before the end.  Regardless, I imagined a character that I can come back to in the future.  

Regardless of what other people say, be proud of your work.  You will not please everybody, so why not please yourself.

ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett February 19, 2013 - 4:57pm

@JC Piech. I went through the that exact process when I first started getting criticism, but it defiinitely goes away. You learn to tell the legitimate from the mean spirited. And, I never trust feedback from anyone close to me.

That, said, I'm up to negative votes, now, and no negative feedback. I hope you're right, @Ben_Sharp, because I'm getting nailed by this(these) tally-whacker(s). Apparently 4 is my threshold, because now it's starting to bum me out.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. February 19, 2013 - 11:37pm

If you haven't given it a read yet, or even if you have.  An updated version of Anomaly was just posted.  It's definitely worth a look!

 

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 20, 2013 - 12:45am

Not that most of you seem to need it, but here's Hemingways five cents on how to write a good story. Apart from that 'pencil' thing he's referring to (Pencil? What is that?), good advice. http://boingboing.net/2013/02/19/seven-tips-from-ernest-hemingw.html?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! February 20, 2013 - 4:10am

Science fiction is so not my forte but I like a challenge so here's my take on it: http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/a-burning-girl

I hope to be reviewing like a crazy person soon, so review me and I'll return the favor.

All opinions welcome :)

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words February 20, 2013 - 10:38am

Hi, all. Just rebuilt my account, wrote a story, and caught up on all the comments on this thread. Now I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's takes on the Utopian/Dystopian theme and seeing what everyone thinks of my entry, The Human Argument.

I procrastinated too long for Scare Us, despite horror being one of my favorite genres. This time, I again thought the month would get away from me before I had a chance--or an idea--to write, but the writing prompts for Teleport Us dredged up a setting I'd toyed with a couple of years ago, but almost immediately forgot.

Now, to get started on reviewing. Thankfully, we have until the end of March for that, because it looks like there's a lot of reading ahead.

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words February 20, 2013 - 10:54am

@klahol: Thanks for posting that link. I just finished reading The Sun Also Rises again and so I'm in a bit of a Hemingway zone. Also, that site links to some other great writing advice. One day, I might even take some of it. Heh.

lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles February 20, 2013 - 11:03am

Maybe it's just me, and maybe this has already been discussed, but I think it's problematic that the "winners" are chosen based on a perfect score. A dude has been going around saying nasty things -- someone already removed their story to avoid the abuse -- and giving thumbs down to everyone. I've been lucky enough to be skipped over so far, however I *did* just get a thumbs down b/c the person who read my story said the formatting was off (which turns out to be an issue on *their* end). 

However, it's also possible that i'm just in a whiney mood.

JC Piech's picture
JC Piech from England is reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest February 20, 2013 - 11:49am

@ender.che.13 - It is hard getting thumbs down without knowing why. And it does suggest people are getting jealous or pissy and just giving thumbs down to the stories which are doing well. Just try not to take it personally (hard, I know). Haters gon' hate.

@lspieller - I've had a few comments on my formatting too. One person said the font was too big, yet it's Times New Roman, 12, and double spaced, which I think I read in the guidelines is the preferred formatting? So... I don't know what's up with people. I'd never thumbs down a story for the formatting.

 

irennie's picture
irennie from All over. Currently in Cambridge, England. is reading the Target Doctor Who novelizations February 20, 2013 - 12:07pm

Personally, when I'm reviewing I usually ignore formatting entirely unless the formatting makes the piece actively difficult to read or is an inherent part of the story.  I'm reviewing the text, not the package the text comes in.

Of course, that's entirely personal preference.

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries February 20, 2013 - 12:16pm

I've been putting off reading submissions because I dread the 'on a scale from good to bad, is it good or bad?' rating system. I couldn't even answer that question about chocolate!

Just submitted my story though so I suppose I'll have to get on with it.

Have a lot of catching up to do.

lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles February 20, 2013 - 12:38pm

I have a TON of reading to do, but I can't wait to get started!

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. February 20, 2013 - 12:38pm

@Ian Rennie  I think you've got dead on the money.  Unless there's something so bad about it that you can't read the story, formatting, in and of itself, is not a reason to down vote.  On the other hand, I think it does make sense to mention somethings that could be done to clean up layout on the page. Within the submission guidelnines of course.

I do have one question for the group at large:  What is standard Manuscript format now?  I've seen Courier and Times New Roman for font choices out there, which is more common?

irennie's picture
irennie from All over. Currently in Cambridge, England. is reading the Target Doctor Who novelizations February 20, 2013 - 12:54pm

Courier is what I was told many years ago, but this was in an era of non-proportional fonts being favoured by typesetters.

 

EDIT don't know if this is the accepted standard, but William Shunn has a good page on the various specifics of standard manuscript format here:

http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html

 

Essel Pratt's picture
Essel Pratt from Indiana is reading Too many to name February 20, 2013 - 1:34pm

ArlaneEnalra, from what I have been told from two publishers that I have short stories published with, and two others that I am currently working with, is that a submission should be in preferably a size 12 font (but they will accept 14), single spaced, Times New Roman or Courier/Courier New (unless the guidelines demand another font).  The thing I find strangest, and hardest to implement, is that the double space after a period is now frowned upon.  The reason is that when they format it for ebook and print, the spacing seems to massive in between sentences, so the editor has to go through and change them all to single space.  Double spacing is a hard habit to break though! 

Anyway, for a project such as this, we aren't necessarily submitting for publication, but for fun.  So, I agree with Ian.  Unless the formatting is so horrible that it completely distracts from the reading, it should not even factor into the vote.  In fact, in a project such as this, I am not entirely sure grammatical mistakes should play a large role in the voting (unless they are so many that they distract from the reading).  We have a lot of beginners here, and I don't want to discourage them from writing, so leave the constructive criticism for the comments, and vote on the overall story itself.  

Now that I think about it though, I have a LOT of reading to catch up on and place my vote.  That, in between working on my Novel, I will be a busy boy!  

 

I also wish that it wasn't thumbs up or down, but rather a four or five star rating system.  It would make things so much more fair.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 20, 2013 - 1:49pm

Chocolate is good. [That's my voting.]

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 20, 2013 - 2:57pm

Tonights tip: The Sea Came. 

Environmental disasters, and zombies, oh my! Loved it. Go check it out post haste. 

ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett February 20, 2013 - 5:12pm

I absolutely love this story. Love. That is all.

http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/a-burning-girl

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. February 20, 2013 - 6:06pm

Grammar's one of those things that can very easily ruin a story.  With out structure, you have a big mess of words more than language.  A few things here and there being off is no big deal.  Much more than that and it starts screwing with the readers flow through a story.  The more painful it is for me to read, the harder time I have up voting it.

 

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff February 20, 2013 - 7:12pm

I uploaded my story ELECTRA today. I don't read or write sci-fi so this is new to me but I thought it would be fun to do. To be honest I don't really love the story but I'm hoping to get some good critiques from you guys and maybe make it better in the future. So thanks in advance.

ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett February 20, 2013 - 8:18pm

@EdVaughn, in the future, when you name your story in the forum, link it to the page. That makes it easier for others to find it quickly, instead of perusing the index. Just a tip. 

http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/electra

And, how can I resist?

http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/the-gorund

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words February 20, 2013 - 8:48pm

@Essel Pratt: I just found out about that single-space-after-period-rather-than-double thing last year, and I'm an English teacher. I'm supposed to know these things. Heh. Thankfully, the find/replace feature fixed up my old manuscripts QED. Also thankfully, it didn't take me very long to get used to only hitting the spacebar once after periods. Now it feels weird to do it any other way.

Hmmm, as for line spacing, I submitted mine (The Human Argument) single-spaced. Perhaps I'd better reload it as double, since that does seem to be in the guidelines (or at least Rob's comment on this thread). Double certainly makes sense when dealing with a hard copy--much easier to jot down notes when you've got that extra space--just not sure what the advantage is when dealing with purely electronic versions. Anyone?

--Patrick...

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland February 20, 2013 - 9:50pm

@C Patrick, maybe it's just because it's what I'm used to but It seems to strain my eyes more trying to read single space on electronic versions. I can kind of deal with 1 and a half but double is ideal for me. Also, sometimes I print out the stories from the workshop if I'm not going to have a machine with me so it helps to make notes so I can comment for them later.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! February 21, 2013 - 2:04am

@ender.che.13 ~ Thanks :)

Shane Berryhill's picture
Shane Berryhill February 21, 2013 - 6:59am

Hey, everyone. Considering the tech I chose for my story, BURN, I thought you might enjoy this article on drones from Yahoo! News (published and posted just yesterday):
http://news.yahoo.com/drones-large-small-coming-us-010537668.html
"Most of the drones that have begun to appear in the skies above the U.S. homeland don't resemble the Predators or Reapers flown by the U.S. military and CIA above Afghanistan and Pakistan. Instead, these smaller versions of flying, unmanned vehicles almost rival the animal kingdom in their diversity." -Yahoo! News


Here's hoping you enjoy BURN!
Keep writing,
-Shane
Read, rate, and review BURN here: http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/burn

In a society where owning books makes you an outlaw, literature is kept alive by "burners," those who wage war for books by reciting their pages in rap-style battles called "burns." BURN by Shane Berryhill features "Reader" on the night of the biggest burn in his life. Reader must face off against "Shakespeare" for the title of "Librarian" while the Tolstoys, the Austens, the Wells, the Vernes, and all the other burner gangs look on. BURN is a tribute to the work of Ray Bradbury and a love letter to the written word.


 

Dino Parenti's picture
Dino Parenti from Los Angeles is reading Everything He Gets His Hands On February 21, 2013 - 9:14am

Hey everyone, I just posted my Teleport Us story enititled Causality Loop:

http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/causality-loop

This is my first real immersive experience writing sci-fi--immersive in that I did some actual research. Hope it actually made some sense. I know it needs some tightening up and I'd like to add a little more character work afterwards, but all feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

--Dino

Frank Chapel's picture
Frank Chapel from California is reading Thomas Ligotti's works February 21, 2013 - 6:53pm

I just realized the only way to make my story meet the 4,000 word limit is to drop the transhuman-grinder-terrorist from the plot. Being an atheist (more or less) i am not able to convincingly shout "WHY GOD", instead i will opt for the fetal position and clint mansell tracks.

 

@Dino I read your story earlier today, very nicely fleshed out world. Haven't voted yet though.

 

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 21, 2013 - 11:14pm

Oh, well. My story WAS Science Fiction three weeks ago. Then reality caught up with me. 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/21/4010016/liveson-uses-artificial-intell...

(Ok, I'll have to jump on the promote-my-story-in-the-forum bandwagon. Because I'm only human. ....OR AM I? *dramatic music*)

Call Me Tim

/Klas

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words February 22, 2013 - 1:35am

@Shane: Thanks for the link. I've got a drone in my story that looks (in my head) more along the predator/reaper lines. Perhaps I'll go with one of these, instead, in future iterations.

Everyone: Should we use the SPOILER tag on our reviews, or just assume that if people are reading the comments, they've read the story? That said, let this be my official announcent that ALL my reviews are spoiler-y. Heh.

I'm slowly working my way through every story submitted and trying to give (mini) in-depth like/dislikes. If you'd like to move higher in my queue [BRIBERY ALERT] I will give reading preference to the stories of people who have left comments (the good, the bad, and the vaguely-not-attractive) to my story, The Human Argument.

I'd offer cookies, but I can't afford the postage. :-)