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Lemec's Story Archives

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  • #31
    I felt the core structure, narrative flow with suitable climax, imagery and characterization are there, so like LSN, I'm pretty sure you've got a workable concept Lemec.

    Structurally the tension in the tale could be increased a little by interleaving the scenes in the bunker with those taking place on the other dimension. That way you maintain tension in the two plotlines until the end, whereas as it stands, the events in the bunker are concluded fairly early.

    Some sharpening up and strengthening of a couple of the concepts could help, like the relation of your conception of the Spirit World and it’s denizens to our reality, and the fictional scientific basis for the way the crawlers can dimension shift. And some of the scenes, chiefly the climactic battle, need to be clarified a little. and some scene trimming in a few places, some more focus on consistency of PoV in a couple of places? Perhaps an introduction or hint of the conflict a little earlier in the tale, but this could also be achieved by de-emphasising some of the 2ndary characters and choosing some characters to emphasise as chief protagonists.

    You have a good cast of likeable naturalistic characters. I liked the way you introduced various slices from the lives of your cast. In a short story version you might want to decide which ones you need to focus on, and which ones can be more in the background, and if you expand it into a novel you can then of course give full attention to all of them. Might need some emphasis on one or more of the protagonists as the chief point of identification for the reader? Greg and Andrew stand out as two examples if you want to let the reader in on the major plotline early on. Or perhaps choose Paul Garand as chief protagonist, if you want to ease the reader gradually into the plot, which is your current approach, and which works well. Maybe expand on Paul Garand and his relationship with his father so that his meeting later on the alternate dimension has greater poignancy. You could give the spirit of Paul’s father a role in the defeat of the Big Bad (yes I watch too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer) thus tying him in more with the plot. Perhaps some more dream contacts with his son as the story progresses, during which you can feed in more detailed hints on their relationship, building it gradually in the minds eye of the reader, and also feed info on the Spirit World to the reader too?

    Might be worth teasing out the main plot strands and working out how you’re going to interweave them. The way I see it you’ve got three main earthly plot strands:

    1 Andrew and Greg, who really represent the main plot motivators.
    2 Vask, Frank and crew, who represent the main antagonists.
    3 Various characters who will become part of the team and who find out about the main plot gradually.

    Using one of plot strand 3 as the main protag. esp in short story form, would help tighten up the story and give a chief protag for the reader to identify with. In novel form, of course, you would have plenty of space to use all of your characters in full detail. If you choose Paul, then not only do you have the hassle from Vasks men as a negative motivator, you will have the dreams from his father in the Spirit world as a positive motivator for his ultimately wanting in on Andrew’s project.

    These are just a few suggestions.

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    • #32
      That was me. One day I'm going to activate the auto log in feature. :roll:

      Comment


      • #33
        Thanks Mouser,

        Those are all good ideas and a much better approach.

        Now, I really see how much better it would be if I has a better structure to it like that. I should have provided more information about the characters and what was going on in their lives.


        That is very helpful, I really do see it now from a different angle.



        -Lemec

        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
        - Michael Moorcock

        Comment


        • #34
          I told you the Mouser was astute in these matters.

          Very good, solid suggestions. I want to encourage everyone who is willing to assist with a critical reading and constructive suggestions.

          Now, of course, lemec should produce a clean copy of his story (at home) and make such changes as he deems appropriate to his intentions. In the meantime, others should take a look at the story and ask any questions or make any reasonable suggestions that come to mind.

          In the course of answering some of your questions, lemec may see additional angles. The dialectic is as helpful as the suggestions - maybe more so.

          To those who have never written much fiction, but think they'd like to do it professionally, lemec's experiences here should prove interesting. Writing can be a time-consuming labor, and it doesn't pay very well per hour (for most practitioners). It's probably more cost effective to become a plumber instead.

          If you do it, it ought to be a labor of love. To echo those stupid old military recruitment advertisements, "It's not just a job. It's an adventure. And 5 cents a word if you did your job well enough."

          LSN

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          • #35
            A question for Perdix,PsychicWarVeteren,DeeCrowseer and LSN

            Hello, I would like to ask a question about Prototype X please.


            May I submit a fantasy-adventure story to a future Prototype X?

            Would you be interested in a 148 page fictional story that is in movie screenplay form at the moment? The story is printed like a novel, but it just has the character's names in movie script when they are talking. I am sure it can be condensed down.

            I need to get the story back on disc then I can send it in instant messenger, e-mail or something like that.

            If it is not good for Prototype X, may I post it in the Enclave for everyone to read? I thought it might be a different way to present a story. My friend wrote it,I just helped him with some of the action scenes and gave a few suggestions. ;) I should be able to set it up as a link for the thread. :D


            Thank You,

            Lemec

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #36
              Feel free to post a link to the story. Posting a 148 page story in Enclave is possible, but you would need to break it up into LOTS of small chunks. That's suboptimal, if you can simply put it on a web host and give us a link.

              I don't speak for Prototype X. The only person who does so is Perdix, since he's the editor. In my opinion, a 148 page manuscript is a bit long to be published there, but if you send e-mail to Perdix and ask, perhaps he'll be willing to work something out. I don't know, but it sounds a bit iffy.

              Our usual limit for stories is around 24 double-spaced pages. Exceptions are made, but bigger than about 70 double-spaced pages sounds problematic; you should see why I balk slightly at talk of a 148 page manuscript. If it is SINGLE spaced, the problem is even more severe.

              This is speculation on my part, but it's probably not far off the mark, since I'm familiar with a lot of the parameters.

              LSN

              Comment


              • #37
                Hi LSN,

                Thanks,that sounds good. I might send Perdix an e-mail, but I probaly will put it in a topic post as a link.

                If Perdix ever makes a big book version of Prototype X sort of like those "New Worlds" paperbacks that were out at one time, maybe then it could be squuezed into something like that. :lol:

                There are two versions of that script that I spoke of, the one I have on paper is single spaced. :oops: The one on disc and on a different bound print out is probaly double spaced, but it is actualy even longer because we added more content to it after my friend revised it to correct all the typos and other mistakes. That would be way more than 70 pages.

                Thanks for you thoughts and suggestions. I'll get it out there when I can and maybe some of the Miscellany members and guests will get a kick out of it. :D

                I would like to ask Dee some questions sometime about what it would take to see if he was interested in painting a portrait of one of the story's characters some time. Just a thought. It would be so cool if I could have it translated into a comic some time, or a least a part of it, or maybe an illustrated novel just for fun.

                Paints are generally expensive of course and an artist would have to put a tremendous amount of time in it. I know a guy who is a fantastic artist, but he would not have much time to do something like that. That reminds me though, that once he gets his web site up again, I will post a link here for his work, in fact some of his paintings are on a sci-fi e-magazine somewhere, I can post that link in a suitable thread. I think alot of MM fans would appreciate it.

                Anyway, I will keep reading and replying so I'll keep it on the back burner.

                8)

                "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                - Michael Moorcock

                Comment


                • #38
                  The first issue of Prototype X was 160 pages, but there was a LOT of content, not restricted to a small # of authors. The old New Worlds Quarterlies were each around 200 pages. That's still somewhat uneconomic for bringing out a work of 148 pages. Typically, if a magazine or quarterly elects to publish a work that long, they must break it into installments. This is an iffy proposition of another sort, for various reasons, but prominent among them is that purchasers of such volumes tend to be impatient with work that is not self-contained.

                  So touch base with Perdix, and he might be interested in reading the work in question. If he asked my opinion for the best way to handle such a voluminous work, I'd suggest he peruse the first 2 or 3 chapters to get a feel for whether the whole thing is worth further perusal. This might seem fairly harsh, but some such triage must be done if Perdix is to get any writing done of his own.

                  LSN

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                    The first issue of Prototype X was 160 pages, but there was a LOT of content, not restricted to a small # of authors. The old New Worlds Quarterlies were each around 200 pages. That's still somewhat uneconomic for bringing out a work of 148 pages. Typically, if a magazine or quarterly elects to publish a work that long, they must break it into installments. This is an iffy proposition of another sort, for various reasons, but prominent among them is that purchasers of such volumes tend to be impatient with work that is not self-contained.

                    So touch base with Perdix, and he might be interested in reading the work in question. If he asked my opinion for the best way to handle such a voluminous work, I'd suggest he peruse the first 2 or 3 chapters to get a feel for whether the whole thing is worth further perusal. This might seem fairly harsh, but some such triage must be done if Perdix is to get any writing done of his own.

                    LSN
                    Ahhh,ok. Makes sense. I guess I did not realize what all needed to be placed in each issue. When I look at the story, it seems very short, but in reality it is fairly long. I was thinking in book terms that it could have another 200 pages added to be standard size.

                    There should really be a part two of the story anyway and that would not be something for a magazine of collections.

                    I could still put it online to see if anyone thinks it has potential. It kinda followed the old formula anyway like we talked about in the S&S story challenge thread. It was something to do for fun since my friend and I were fans of fantasy. It would be better to create somethng a little different for the genre.

                    Later down the road I might be able to contact Perdix about something that would be more suitable. :D I would not want him to have to continue the story in several issues, the readers might not like it and it would just take up space that somebody else could use.

                    What I could do is take an inspired short story from the general idea and see if Perdix wanted to read that. In any case, I understand it better now. One day I would like to try and get an issue of Prototype before it runs out.

                    Thanks again, I'll give it some thought and see what Perdix says,I will sleep on it and go from there. Hahaha 8)

                    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                    - Michael Moorcock

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      As for getting a copy of Prototype X - 1, that may be possible in the near future via a vendor in the U.S. Because the book is all-color, it gets a bit pricey for 160 pages. It might run around $30 in the U.S.

                      That's one of the reasons we have contemplated running PX-1.x in B&W: to keep the cost down.

                      PX-2 will be all-color again.

                      LSN

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Sweet! I'd pay thirty bucks for it though. "White Wolf's Son" and other hardcovers are $27. It does not seem to far from everything else is going for. I checked on a graphic novel that I wanted and it was $25. It probaly is only a hundred pages. Being that I am selective and only buy what I really want, I don't see that price as a problem,but the B&W is a good idea too. (When did I get so long winded? :D I should have had a shorter answer for that.)

                        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                        - Michael Moorcock

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Thanks. Your reaction is a valuable data point. I hope you are able to get a copy.

                          The book is pretty nice, even if I don't own a copy myself. (I ordered 3 copies and gave them away to other contributors who are friends.)

                          It has a striking color cover (front & back), loads of internal color (and some B&W) illustration, and stories, essays, flash fiction, verse, and our own Perdix's always amusing literary capering about. The general layout is very nicely done.

                          Excellent stories by fellows named Moorcock, Langdon Jones, Jeff Stadt, and a host of MM regulars -- many under their real names.

                          CK and Berry posted enthusiastic reviews here. A lot of others wrote about work that struck them as particularly noteworthy and interesting.

                          Our goal is to make PX-1.1 better still, and then to do better with each subsequent issue.

                          All the contributors to PX-1 have taken their bows already. Mr. Moorcock was very helpful and generous, not only with the story he contributed, but with time and advice. Lang Jones was also surprisingly generous with a story contribution (and a fine story it is).

                          The guy who deserves the biggest praise is Perdix. If you get a copy of the book, you'll see why.

                          LSN

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Saw my name, so here I am...

                            ...though I really have nothing to add. LSN has pretty much covered everything.

                            I agree that Prototype X is worth $30. Sadly, that puts it completely out of range for many who would love to read it (myself included, depending on the amount of freelance work coming in).

                            If you've written this epic, certainly you have something shorter you've written laying around? :)
                            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Sheesh! I am but a cipher, a mere pipeline, if you will, for the genius and talent of others...

                              Thankyou for your interest, Lemec! I would like to peruse your story, though 148p is waaay out of length for PX, to be honest: it's a book in its own right! Hence I think PX would not be the medium for such a magnum opus (a large type of cephalopod...?). Sounds jolly interesting, though. If it's a screenplay, have you 'pitched' it to anyone yet?

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by lemec
                                I would like to ask Dee some questions sometime about what it would take to see if he was interested in painting a portrait of one of the story's characters some time. Just a thought.
                                Well, I don't "paint" as such (I have absolutely no patience when it comes to letting things dry before moving on to the next colour), but I do like to doodle... all of my colouring is done on computer, because you can keep things nice and flexible, and there's always the blessed "undo" button. All hail the "undo" button! If you're interested in cartoons, then maybe I could do something, but paintings are really not my territory. We've had some very talented painters pass through the Enclave, but none have stuck around sadly.
                                "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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