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Original Alien Poverty

#1
If you read my new person thread then you probably heard about a book idea I was coming up with. I worked on it and managed to make some progress. So I present my non-Pokemon related story entitled Alien Poverty:

Chapter 1
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Chapter 2
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Chapter 3
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Chapter 4
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Chapter 5
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Apparently I exceeded the character limit on this first post with this new chapter. I might as well just put each new chapter in a separate post, so scroll down to see how far I am.
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#2
To answer your questions completely out of order, you get spoiler tags by using the [] brackets (I never remember the exact names for parentheses/brackets/whatevers) and typing in "spoiler" to start the spoiler, and then then "/spoiler" at the end. Sorry for the overly detailed explanation, I obviously can't just type the tags there because then it would create a spoiler... xD

Anyway, on to more relevant matters. Currently, I don't think you need to worry about not getting enough information across. We definitely get that the lizard creatures are shunned by humans, that these particular ones are firefighters, and that one of them lost his wife. However, currently your exposition is a little clumsy, and it feels a bit like an info dump. You really don't need to tell us all of this quite yet - it's okay to leave things shady in the beginning. Also, some of the exposition comes off as a bit weird, in the "As you know, Bob"-sense, if you've heard of that trope. Essentially, the characters are saying things to each other that they both are aware of, which is kind of strange. Especially in the case of Joe telling the two Srains that they're fire resistant.

You can safely put most of that in the narration, I think. I know this is one of those cases where the writing community keeps saying "show, don't tell", but telling is also okay, and what you're actually doing right now is telling, just indirectly. So, you can leave out the part about the characters talking about being firefighters and simply say they arrive at the fire station, which will show us that they are, indeed, firefighters. You can show the thing about being fire-resistant when they actually go put out a fire, which I assume they are shortly going to do. And, instead of having one of the characters say that humans don't treat Srains the same way, you can, for instance, tell us that the two characters see some free seats, but there's a sign forbidding them from sitting on them, or just otherwise letting us know they can't sit there.

These are difficult things - exposition, information, what to tell and what to leave untold. I struggle with stuff like this a lot myself, mostly where I want to tell the readers more than they probably care to know. Here, I think you're falling prey to the same issue. We don't need to know this much yet, and we will probably find all of this out in the course of the story itself. So, you can definitely go a bit ligher on the exposition.

You're also suffering from a case of walloftextitis here, but that's simply a matter of formatting, and could easily have occurred when copypasting your text into the posting window. Currently, your text has hardly any breathing space, and reading it becomes more difficult and tedious. Make sure to separate your paragraphs with two line changes, so that you get an empty line between them. Also, lines are usually contained in their own paragraphs. Let me give you an example:

Quote:"I wouldn't worry too much about that." Joe said trying to reassure Nolafus, "I mean you two are the only Srains that are willing to put up with Chief Baker here and with your scales covering your entire body that makes you naturally resistant to fire and falling debris better than the coats humans have to wear, so whether the chief is willing to admit it or not, you guys do make excellent additions to our team here."

"Thanks Joe, you always seem to know just what to say and I'm not sure if I ever thanked you for that." Nolafus said a smile coming across his face and his nerves settling down.

Kolski opened his mouth to say something, but a loud alarm started blaring all throughout the station.

Then, matters of grammar. You make some minor comma mistakes, but otherwise the text is quite good. However, you have several odd mistakes in the first paragraph that are in need of correcting.

Quote:A reptilian creature standing on two legs stopped in front of a mirror by the front door. He reached for a hat that found its place on a smooth, scaly head.

I bolded the odd sentence here. The image I get here is very odd, because for one, the hat is an active agent in this sentence, which makes me think of the hat falling or flinging itself onto the smooth scaly head. Also, since you say "a smooth, scaly head" instead of "his smooth, scaly head", it comes off as someone else's head besides the reptilian creature's. I would suggest revising this a little, maybe rewording it to something else, or at least changing the "a" to "his" to avoid strange images.

On that note, this is also a perfect place to give us a bit of a description of our main character. So, he's reptilian on two legs. Is he humanoid? What kind of a reptile does he look like? What color is his skin? Does he have a tail? What do his eyes look like? Why does he wear a suit and a hat? You pique our interest with a new, strange character, but then make it fairly difficult to imagine him because there's so little to go on. However, I should note that this is a highly personal thing. I tend to prefer a bit more description than some people, so if you're of the "leave it up to the reader"-school of writers, you don't have to describe the character very much. It would be nice to know something, at least, though.

Quote:The creature was passing a house that looked like it hasn't received a coat of paint in decades when he heard a shout.

You switch tenses here, and while I can see why you'd do that, it doesn't work. This should be "hadn't". Also, it seems a bit strange that you refer to the main character as a "creature", because that alienates the reader slightly. But that could, again, be a personal concern, so take it with a grain of salt.

Quote:A lighter green creature that looked a little younger

A-ha, so Nolafus is green, then. You should probably mention this earlier, because now it comes off as strange - you refer to the new character's color as if we knew what color Nolafus is, when we don't.

I also spotted this:

Quote:"Thanks Joe, you always seem to know just what to say and I'm not sure if I ever thanked you for that." Nolafus said a smile coming across his face and his nerves settling down.

The line is a run-on, and the whole thing is missing several important commas. For comparison:

Quote:"Thanks, Joe. You always seem to know just what to say. I'm not sure if I ever thanked you for that," Nolafus said, a smile coming across his face and his nerves settling down.

The bolded part is odd for two reasons:
1) I could be wrong on this one, but doesn't "come across" mean the same as finding or bumping into something/someone? It's a bit of an odd image, so I would suggest rewording that.
2) Because we know nothing about Nolafus besides that he's a reptilian creature, having him suddenly smile is strange. I can't imagine what a lizard smiling might look like, so the image I had of him in my head was slightly broken by this. That'll probably be avoided if you give the reader a bit more to go by when imagining the characters.

Overall, this seems like a fairly interesting start to a story, though it's awfully short so it's difficult to say for sure. I don't know how long your next chapter is, but if it isn't horribly long, you could consider merging this one with that to make it a bit more stretched out to capture our attention. Length can be a tricky thing - too long, and people don't want to pick it up; too short, and people will set the story down in impatience and move on. This here is just long enough to get me interested, but then it cuts out abruptly just as I start to care. But, again, this is a personal sort of thing, so someone might prefer exactly this length of chapters. Ultimately you should do what you want to do, but I'm just letting you know what my opinion is if you want to refer to it. Pleased

I'll definitely keep reading if you keep posting. Try to pay a bit more attention to commas, which you seem to skip quite often, and spacing, which you currently lack entirely. Story-wise, I don't have much criticism to offer. I'll have to read further to know how this is going to work out. But, in general, the setting has me interested, I'd like to know more about the characters and the world, and especially the origin and nature of the lizard people. Why are they there? Especially if humans are jerks to them? So, yes, I'll definitely be reading more.

I hope this was helpful to you. If you have any questions about stuff I said, or further questions about something I didn't really touch upon, you can always ask me!
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#3
I changed just about everything you mentioned and I just want to say thanks. This is the first time I'm attempting something of this magnitude and I know I have a lot to learn. My biggest weakness I feel right now is showing and descriptions. I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of work since the only style of writing they teach you in school is essay writing. :/

I still don't quite understand when commas are appropriate so if you could point out exactly where I need them then that would be greatly appreciated. I tried to add them when necessary, but I feel like I missed a lot of spots where they needed to be there. I added more story to the first chapter and tried to describe the main character better. I would post a picture of what the Srains are supposed to look like, but I suck at drawing.

Could you understand that the first time I used Srains that I was referring to the species name of the aliens? I tried to make it obvious with using humans in there as well and I was wondering if that worked.

If you want to know more about the setting of the story you can click the spoiler below (I didn't want to make this comment too long and I want to abuse my new found spoiling power):
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That's about it for now and I'll try to finish the second chapter soon.
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#4
Second chapter is up. Please give it a read and leave some great feedback! I'm not sure when the third chapter will be completed with my senior year in high school closing and everything that goes along with it, but I should be on often enough to make edits to this chapter in the meantime.
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#5
Third chapter is up! I also edited the introduction to the second chapter a little. Tell me how the story is so far and how my writing could be improved.
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#6
I made some pretty heavy edits to the story and Badron got a complete personality change. The fourth chapter is coming along nicely, but I'm waiting for some edits by a friend to be completed before I fully finish the chapter so it might be a while.
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#7
Hah! Quintuple posting, there's no rule against that! Only double posting! Maybe it's the fact that it's currently three o' clock in the morning where I live, but that sounded a lot funnier in my head.

Anyways, the story takes a more serious turn this chapter. It took a surprisingly long time for me to write this out. Writer's block was behind every sentence, but I finally managed to get my ideas on paper. Special thanks go to An-chan for the idea on where they should go, I feel the chapter has more depth now than it would have otherwise. I had a thought that I ended the chapter a little too early so let me know if you feel the same way. Hope you enjoy the new chapter!
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#8
Chapter 5 is up! It might seem like I made quick work of this chapter, but spending ten hours in a car makes for ample time to write.

I'm mostly posting new chapters here for my friends since I link them the page here so I can keep them updated over the summer. I realized a while ago the interest for this book is close to non-existent.
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#9
Chapter 6
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#10
A relatively short chapter, but I feel that if I add on to it, it might lose its meaning.

Chapter 7
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#11
Oh no Nolafus! What happened?

Chapter 8
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#12
Oh Nolafus, will you ever get better?

Chapter 9
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#13
Yay! Double digits!

Chapter 10
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#14
Not my favorite chapter, but it's necessary. I'm not a huge fan on how I ended it either, I just got impatient and wanted to move out of the hospital.

Chapter 11
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#15
Well, here's the final chapter. I'll include my thoughts on this entire project at the end.

Chapter 12
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Now that it's all over, I'm very much relieved. As many of you know, this was my very first writing project that I took seriously. Looking back, I probably should have started off with a short story, but oh well. I know I have a lot to learn, but I'm proud of myself for finishing an idea. I've ditched two other chaptered story ideas, so it feels good to have one that's completed. Not to mention I can finally start working on other ideas I have!

Is this my strongest work? Not even close, you should go check out some of my short stories for that, but that's not the point. I learned a lot writing this out, like how keeping to a theme is nearly impossible. Alien Poverty got really off track of what I originally planned it to be. In case you were wondering how far off track it got, Nolafus was never supposed to go to the hospital, he was supposed to go to jail instead. So, with that in mind, I really didn't have a plan for this past chapter seven. In fact, the reason this is so short is that I just wanted to end it before it got even more off track. So, I tried my best to do with what I had created.

I'm really proud of myself for seeing this through, now I just wish it turned out better. Oh well, I'll go back and rewrite this thing once I have more experience.
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