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DesDownunder

Example of writing for review.

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No explicit adult content.

Might be slow for some.

Please note while marked as Chapter one it may never get completed as I am working on my larger novel which is very different.

However I expect some criticism so do not think that will put me off, it won't.

This is very much an exercise to gauge my own and others reaction to the writing, ideas and devices used in this example. I have a box of tissues ready in case I burst into tears. :icon6: (not likely.) Enjoy.

Thanks all.

Working Title (will most likely change):

Office Games

By DesDownunder.

Length: 1500 words approximately.

Chapter One.

The elevator doors opened. The office sprawled before me like a giant board game. Each desk in a cubicle of waist high partitions, each reserved for a pawn, to be used as needed for the whim of anyone who was in the game, and they were all in it playing by the rules.

The whole game board, the office, was surrounded by booths containing the main players, the managers and executives, except the managing director. He was in a room on his own floor.

An office game all to himself.

I walked passed the empty cubicles. In ten minutes the room would be filled with the pawns of work. I always arrived early. It gave me time to rest before the day started. I have been the mail boy since I was nineteen, only I was no longer a boy at 27. I was also the male boy but no one new that. There was no need for any of them to know I sorted the mail by day and the males at night. Not that there was much to sort at night. I was between deliveries, I guess those would be the male deliveries.

I chuckled at my bad pun as I pushed open the plastic doors that led to the mail room. It was really an alcove in a corridor that ran along the back wall of the building. I looked at my bench, my scratched, splintered and beaten old wood-grained bench. Everyone else had a nice glass top desk with silver trim. Not me. I get an old bench with little slots for the mail sorting. I slipped off my coat and hung it on the back of the high-stool that lets me reach the shelves above the bench without having to stand.

At least I had a job that couldn?t yet be done by a computer. I had to sort the various samples by their prospects as well as handle any snail mail. I deliver the letters and then the samples to the various sections where they would be tested, assessed, approved or rejected.

Except for old Eddie the janitor, I must have been the longest serving employee in the building and the least recognised, but I was needed. After eight years, I was good at my job, most of the time I knew which sample was the best before the testers did.

It was Monday and I had to wait for the delivery man. He was a forty something yobo and had breath that told you what he had eaten two nights ago.

I sat down, slipped my hands down the front of my slacks and made sure that the essentials would not be crushed by the hard seat of the stool while I worked.

Nothing was in yet so I folded my arms across the bench. Gently I lowered my head on top of them. I could feel the soft fur of hair on my forearm caressing the side of my face. I closed my eyes, pretending it was someone else?s arm, someone else's breath blowing gently on my skin rustling the hair on my other arm.

A thump hit the plasterboard wall and vibrated throughout the bench. I sat up. It must be old Eddie the Janitor. He would clean from dawn until lunchtime and then sleep til five. I slipped off my stool as the head of the broom came swiftly around the concrete pillar that hid my presence from the world. On the other end of the broom was a wide-eyed youth all of eighteen and just bustling with energy and sweeping good looks.

His broom went over my shoes, tangled in the foot of my stool knocking it over with the loudest noise.

?Aww Sorry.? He said. We both leaned down to pick up the stool, brushing the heat from the sides of our cheeks together. Any closer and we would have kissed. At least we avoided the possibilty of a concussion.

?I didn?t see you there.? He said.

It?s OK, no one takes any notice of me.? I replied as I repositioned the stool.

?I?m the new janitor.? He proclaimed with eager innocence.

?Where is Eddie?? I asked.

?He was laid off by the new manager. I got hired Saturday when I answered the ad in the paper.?

?Which paper?? I asked.

?The employment section of the Evening Blah.?

?That?s the college paper.?

?Yeah, I only got the job until the new year. They are going to contract the cleaning out in January.?

So Eddie was fired. This is not good. No one had seen the new manager yet and if this was a taste of the way things were going to be done I felt concerned. Eddie would be alright, he was entitled to retire at his age. That did not worry me. What worried me was the way junior here was hired, on a Saturday, when the office was closed. That might be considered sneaky. But to let out a cleaning contract was down right stupid in a building this small. They would never do it right. I bet they would charge hell for it too. What were they thinking?

I looked at the boy and held out my hand

?Hi I?m Fred.? I proffered.

He burst out laughing. I felt stupid. What was he laughing at?

?Sorry, ?he said, ?I?m Barney.?

Relieved and catching on I raised an eyebrow and asked. ? Rubble??

?Flintstone?? he replied.

?No!? we said together.

Our laughter was joyous and good natured as our eyes met and our hands shook with a warmth that surprised me. I looked at his pale blue eyes and sandy coloured hair. Yes, definitely a Barney. I however, was anything but a Fred with my brown hair and slim build, but then again he was even slimmer. He had one of those waistlines where you wonder how he packs in all the necessary organs of survival into such a small space.

Is he checking me out too? I followed his gaze, he was looking at my once carefully arranged package for my duties in the mail room, my crutch.

?I have to go.? He said with a tinge of embarrassment. ?I only get paid till lunchtime.?

He disappeared into the main office. I quickly followed but he was nowhere to be seen.

?Fred!? Yelled someone, ?Mail?s up.?

?Yes.? I thought to myself, ?The male is certainly up and I wouldn?t at all mind doing the sorting.

Sure enough the room filled with the odour of rancid liver as I signed for the mail cartons being dropped off by the delivery man. The contents of his stomach tried to escape through his lungs as he wheezed all over me. As soon as he left I switched on the desk fan to disperse the smell.

I had best get the work started.

*********

Eleven o?clock. Morning tea. I slid off my stool and wandered down the corridor behind the pillar to the staff room for morning tea. Why do they call it morning tea? Everyone drinks coffee.

The door was open as usual and the dozen or so staff all stood around as we poured ourselves a coffee. Mrs Hennessey, the tea lady, offered everyone a biscuits or buttered buns. Speaking of which I spied Barney bending over the coffee machine. I was just about to say hi to him when the Chairman of the board and a woman marched into the room.

We rarely saw the Chairman. He worked from an administration building in the city centre.

?Good Morning everyone.? He said. ?I want you all to meet Vanessa Murch, our newly appointed managing director.? He was positively beaming with pride in his selection.

A woman. They?ve appointed a woman. There goes the glass ceiling.

?Hello everyone. Please call me Vanessa or sir.? she said with a giggly laugh.

Everyone laughed, nodded and said hello or hi in return. The staff did not seem too surprised.

I guess no one thought to tell me. Why am I always the last to know what is going on around here? She must have been the one who replaced Eddie with Barney.

She seemed nice enough, a big smile lit her face as she surveyed the room.

She moved around the room stopping for a brief chat with everyone. I leant against the door frame watching as she approached Barney. She shook his hand, probably asking how he was enjoying his new job, when suddenly his face turned scarlet and he sneezed into his coffee cup. Mrs Hennessey quickly provided him with a napkin which he took and excused himself from the room. His eyes were wide as he brushed passed me. I looked to see how Vanessa was reacting to all this, but she went on chatting to other staff as if nothing unusual had happened. I turned and followed Barney out of the room, down the corridor.

?Barney.? I yelled after him ?Wait up dude.?

He stopped just as he reached my work bench.

?Barney, what?s wrong? What did she say to you??

He leaned on my bench and slowly turned his head, his blue eyes glared up at me trying to betray the ripples of horror that distorted his face.

?She hit on me.?? He said.

***End example.***

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Sorry, Des, for the late review, but I'm still catching up from being away for a week.

First, the piece has a significant number of editing issues that detract from the piece. For example, "I was also the male boy but no one new that." The "new" should be "knew" and "male" may have supposed to have been "mail", though the pun later could accept "male". My recommendation would be for this one to be "mail", as the "mail/male" pun comes along later. There are also several other distracting typos and punctuation errors, but these should be easy for an editor to fix.

At a higher level, the start is awkward. There's mention of office games, which I liked, though the opening seemed more flowery than the rest of the piece. However, there's no indication of WHAT the company does. There are mentions of samples, but this is confusing without the extra bit of information.

The premise for the story is good. It's nice to see an office-based story for a change.

I need to review this again more carefully for fine detail comment, but that's my initial reaction.

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Hi, Des, sorry for not getting to this sooner. I've been editing and trying to write past writer's block. I owe comments on another couple of things too.

OK, first the low-level stuff, then the high-level comments that are more important for a writing critique.

There are a few spelling and punctuation issues, mostly commas. Use "past" instead of "passed" in either Australian or American English, there; "passed" is only when it's a verb. I'm not certain, but I'd guess "yobbo" is usually spelled, er, spelt, with two B's.

You wrote:

Each desk in a cubicle of waist high partitions, each reserved for a pawn, to be used as needed for the whim of anyone who was in the game, and they were all in it playing by the rules.

I'd start that as, { Each desk was in a cubicle }. Why? The main clause, { they were all ... } is deferred until the very end, and it's long enough that the reader might get lost in "dangling clauses." (No, that's not when Santa goes commando....) ;) The sentence structure you're trying here is fine, it's merely longer than I'd recommend for ease of comprehension.

OK, on to higher level items:

The opening's prose style versus the remaining prose: Graeme didn't raise a big issue, but it is worth thinking about. When, where, and how should the reader find that Fred is very overqualified to be stuck in the mail room? In that opening, or sprinkled throughout the remainder? Or perhaps it needs no change. Also, your reason for the opening is to describe the office space and Fred's viewpoint on it, and to hook the reader into the story. ...Hmm, I think I'm being hypercritical there.... Fred will (and should) show his views in dialogue and narrative all through the story.

We go from saying he's in the mail room to a pun on "he's the male boy." Hey, I saw the pun there on the first reading. I'd hope the readers would get it too, so I don't see a problem there.

"The fur of hair on his forearm?" OK, somehow that conjures up ape-man images. Well, I suppose fur might be.... (Oh, stop that, you.) Seriously, it did make me wonder for just a moment quite how much body hair Fred has, and that might give readers pause for a "what the heck?" moment as they work out their mental image of him.

Personally, I like the humor in the piece.

"Sweeping good looks." :groans: I liked the pun, but I'm prone to them. Let's hope it won't be the last straw for the readers. ;)

Fred and Barney: I like it. Where's Dino? (Say, an early/late Dino-like char. might be fun.)

"Mail's up [ ... ] sorting it out." -- :smile: Liked it.

Well, sneezing is certainly one good way to put off boss-lady from propositiioning him. :icon6:

To all concerned: Is it too easy to presume Barney is gay too? What if he's not? (Aside from Fred might be disappointed.) Is someone else? -- Yes, that is something I don't know from what you've given, and yes, that is asking you to think how your story goes. I don't want to suggest an outcome, only to get you to think about it.

Now, a question on story structure:

Fred is the junior employee, still stuck in his job in the mail room. However, I would think the mail room employees learn, hear, and see a lot of what goes on in a company, much like the secretarial staff. -- Is there some reason Fred doesn't pick up on things? Or perhaps he doesn't find out anything because he doesn't get out of the mail room enough? Think this through, and think of alternatives in several directions to explain why he isn't aware of all the corporate gossip and goings-on. -- Again, that's asking you to think about your story's plot and characters.

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Here are some suggestions and things to consider:

The office sprawled before me like a giant board game. Each desk in a cubicle of waist high partitions, each reserved for a pawn, to be used as needed for the whim of anyone who was in the game, and they were all in it playing by the rules.

Normally I would say ?fix it? but you don?t know me and I?m new here so I?ll explain myself.

(A possible alternative)

The office lay before me like a giant board game. Three foot cubicle walls bordered each pawn?s desk like individual countries. Each would be used at the whim of anyone who was in the game. Rest assured, if you were in a cubicle, you were also in the game, and playing by the rules.

I?m giving this as an alternative because the second sentence is too much. It?s a tough read and makes you take a mental breath at having finished it. If there are two separate thoughts here, my suggestion would be to split them.

I slipped off my coat and hung it on the back of the high-stool that lets me reach the shelves above the bench without having to stand.

I would probably simplify this sentence.

I slipped off my coat and hung it on the back of the tall stool that allows me to reach the (sorting?) shelves without having to stand. (This is only to eliminate the preposition and the word ?high?. I don?t truly think there is anything wrong with the sentence other than it is just a bit awkward on the eyes.)

I sat down, slipped my hands down the front of my slacks and made sure that the essentials would not be crushed by the hard seat of the stool while I worked.

(A possible alternative)

I sat down and slipped my hands down the front of my slacks. I didn?t want to chance the hard wooden seat might crush my ?essentials? while I worked.

There are several ?typos? etc that have already been mentioned. There are some flow issues, but I?m not going to write an eight page post that few can endure.

One problem I see from the start is that you aren?t explaining the meaning behind the ?game? and the ?pawns?.

The dialogue needs kicked up a notch.

It?s OK, no one takes any notice of me.? I replied as I repositioned the stool.

(?It?s Okay, no one ever notices me.? I shifted on the stool trying to get comfortable.)

My suggestion? read the dialogue aloud? is this something you would normally hear or say?

?I?m the new janitor.? He proclaimed with eager innocence.

(?I?m the new janitor.? He seemed almost too happy at having found a job.)

?Where is Eddie?? I asked.

(?Where?s Eddie?? The concern in my voice was genuine. I didn?t like the idea he may have been let go after so many years of faithful service.)

You get the general idea I hope ;)

Anyway, I hope that this helps!

Please remember... these are only my opinions... and I have a lot to learn!

Take care!

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First my gratitude for the replies and work that you put into them Blue, Graeme and DarkShadow.

Also my apologies for the typos. I thought I had caught the more obvious ones.

I am having a little trouble with my eyesight at present.

I can imagine that you are all very busy people with better things to do than hold my hand while it is trying to type a story. :smile:

Anyway I want to explain further what I was doing here, with this piece.

I was becoming tired from work and not having the get and go to work on my long, laborious novel.

(Not the work on which you have all so kindly and objectively made such helpful comments.)

The idea for Office Games ran around the vacant lot that my braincell uses when I seized it and started typing. (No. no, not the braincell. I seized the Office Games idea.)

Two hours later, it was as you see it above. Yes I did spell check it but missed the "passed". Any editor is going to have watch out for me on those kinds of words.

I would need to do somethings to it, I knew, but what and how much was acceptable as it stood?

Did the Barney/Fred cause infringements of copyright. I would argue no, but I wondered.

Was the male boy device annoying or entertaining as a introduction? Similarly the "sweeping good looks?"

I could see I would have liked the word "broom" to be more concealed from the "sweeping good looks", but I needed some guidance on these things.

I also am painfully aware that my fleshing out skills sometimes won't cooperate. Bouncing this "raw" material would I hoped give me more of an insight into alternatives and the process.

Well the three of you certainly have given me much to work with and think about.

The opening paragraph obviously causes us all some problems. For me it is not quite as poetically symbolic or as intriguing as I would like. (Yes Graeme that means flowery, sorry.) One of my loves is instances of poetic prose that serve dramatic purposes in the story. The fact that a lot of people do not like it means I just have to make sure it is appropriate and as good as I can do it.

The partitions being waist high was meant as a visualisation that crossed the boundaries of the metric/imperial systems of measurement, DarkShadow.

I liked that you all discuss the opening. I had meant it to be a general poetic prose summation of the office area with an intrigue about it being a place where "games" were played. The nature of the games would unfold later. May be a little dangerous and I should elaborate slightly.

"Yobbo" before I forget was accidentally misspelled (misspelt). I included it to see if it was a problem for non-Aussie readers with the word's meaning. I guess you are all OK with it.

DarkShadow was not happy with the "It?s OK, no one takes any notice of me.? phrase.

I hate to tell you this but the sentence is a word for word real life statement by an actor in a situation not dissimilar to the actual setting in the story. However I do like your more concise variation. I still like the stool being repositioned. But I can work both in there to make us both happy DarkShadow. :smile:

So on the whole gentleDudes, I am most happy to have your opinions and suggestions.

The exercise has confirmed for me that speed writing without painful (for me) reconsideration is not going to work very well. On the other hand spontaneous occurrences like the Barney/Fred thing or the use of the sneeze are not to be instantly avoided or dismissed. I needed to know these things.

That is really helpful for me.

I was very interested to see the reaction to the anonymity of the company and the "samples".

I really wanted to go down this "alternative", nondescript path of not having the company and its products grabbing the readers attention as something that would allow the reader to dismiss the office game as something that could only happen in that company and with their product alone.

The aim was to have a symbolic company backdrop for the dramas that unfold and could be in any work situation. I guess I will need to think that through as well. I can see some opportunities from your suggestions, but will need to research another avenue to achieve this end.

I have almost finished chapter two and some of the queries you have raised here have been addressed. Others have now become a slightly bigger target for me to work upon that make chapter two quite unfinshed.

I certainly can see that we all read very differently and that a writer's skill must work to include those differences to further the story for as many readers as possible without scarificing style altogether.

As for the future of the story I know something about the plot I have not revealed here and it is certainly not what you might think. Can I make it all happen? I can but try and with your help it just may be possible.

I am going to need an editor aren't I? :huh:

My many thanks again for the most helpful feedback. :icon6::smile::icon6::huh:

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DarkShadow was not happy with the "It?s OK, no one takes any notice of me.? phrase.

I hate to tell you this but the sentence is a word for word real life statement by an actor in a situation not dissimilar to the actual setting in the story. However I do like your more concise variation. I still like the stool being repositioned. But I can work both in there to make us both happy DarkShadow. :icon6:

From what I read, the question mark that was raised for "OK" vs "Okay". I prefer the later, but this is more an editorial question which I'm not really qualified to answer. I've seen both used in print and I don't know if OK is an acceptable alternative to Okay or not.

The exercise has confirmed for me that speed writing without painful (for me) reconsideration is not going to work very well. On the other hand spontaneous occurrences like the Barney/Fred thing or the use of the sneeze are not to be instantly avoided or dismissed. I needed to know these things.

Speed writing has its place. What you have written is a basic framework that has been constructed quickly. The fleshing out and refining is a separate process that takes time and some people may find it tedious. However, if you look at the comments that have been made you'll notice that they focus on a few areas, not the whole piece -- no one has suggested scrapping the lot and starting again.

Good luck!

Graeme :smile:

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Speed writing has its place. What you have written is a basic framework that has been constructed quickly. The fleshing out and refining is a separate process that takes time and some people may find it tedious. However, if you look at the comments that have been made you'll notice that they focus on a few areas, not the whole piece -- no one has suggested scrapping the lot and starting again.

Good luck!

Graeme :smile:

Thanks Graeme,

I too have seen OK and Okay in print and think it okay to use OK as a kind of contraction, say in dialog or in online forums. Sometimes then OK might slip in as a typo in a story. Just my thoughts on it.

I thought DarkShadpw was contributing a more concise form of the dialog and pointing out the OK. I wasn't criticising him, indeed I was pleased with his pointing it out.

Again I must thank you for illuminating the story writing process for me.

My comment on fleshing it out was meant to convey that you had all opened my mind to what you describe so well above. The exact nature of the help we get from the Bull pen, the AwesomDude site and Codey's world as well as the interaction with each other here is sometimes not readily perceived, almost intangible at times, but for me is also quite inspirational.

"- no one has suggested scrapping the lot and starting again."

Well except me perhaps. I saw the opportunity to try to get some help to understand what I had done with it.

The process being tedious is not my problem, knowing when I have reached a point when I can stop and accept what I have done is what I am learning here I think.

Getting the best construction for a desired result is as difficult as I thought it would be in a story as distinct from say writing a play or a poem. I am enjoying it though.

I never throw anything out, ask any of my boyfriends who are now locked up in the spare room. :icon6: (I wish) ... perhaps not. :smile:

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First my gratitude for the replies and work that you put into them Blue, Graeme and DarkShadow.

Also my apologies for the typos. I thought I had caught the more obvious ones.

I am having a little trouble with my eyesight at present.

I can imagine that you are all very busy people with better things to do than hold my hand while it is trying to type a story. :smile:

I'm always busy, but that surely doesn't mean I don't have time to help out someone who is asking ;) It only takes a little bit of time. As for the 'passed/past' and 'new/knew' issues. I have a growing list (an incredibly LARGE growing list) of things that I double check after I finish writing. I know my errors because my editors point them out to me (THANK THE GODS!). I still don't send them clean copy, and there is almost always an autopsy of edits sent back to me, which I love. Every little suggestions and pointed out mistake helps me learn that much more.

Anyway I want to explain further what I was doing here, with this piece.

I was becoming tired from work and not having the get and go to work on my long, laborious novel.

(Not the work on which you have all so kindly and objectively made such helpful comments.)

The idea for Office Games ran around the vacant lot that my braincell uses when I seized it and started typing. (No. no, not the braincell. I seized the Office Games idea.)

Two hours later, it was as you see it above. Yes I did spell check it but missed the "passed". Any editor is going to have watch out for me on those kinds of words.

I would need to do somethings to it, I knew, but what and how much was acceptable as it stood?

Did the Barney/Fred cause infringements of copyright. I would argue no, but I wondered.

Was the male boy device annoying or entertaining as a introduction? Similarly the "sweeping good looks?"

I could see I would have liked the word "broom" to be more concealed from the "sweeping good looks", but I needed some guidance on these things.

I also am painfully aware that my fleshing out skills sometimes won't cooperate. Bouncing this "raw" material would I hoped give me more of an insight into alternatives and the process.

I love speed writing a chapter. It gets, as Graeme put it, 'the frame' of the chapter down. Fleshing it out, to me, always seems easier after you have the bulk of the writing done.

I enjoyed the mail/male play on words, though I honestly have to admit. I totally missed the 'sweeping' reference. I'm not quite as 'with it' in the late afternoon and evening hours. I'm usually brain dead.

Well the three of you certainly have given me much to work with and think about.

The opening paragraph obviously causes us all some problems. For me it is not quite as poetically symbolic or as intriguing as I would like. (Yes Graeme that means flowery, sorry.) One of my loves is instances of poetic prose that serve dramatic purposes in the story. The fact that a lot of people do not like it means I just have to make sure it is appropriate and as good as I can do it.

The partitions being waist high was meant as a visualisation that crossed the boundaries of the metric/imperial systems of measurement, DarkShadow.

It's strange. I have used both 'meters' and 'feet' in the same story, and never really gave it much thought before as to how other nations might have difficulty equating the dimension or distance. I will have to take this into consideration for future chapters. So... thanks! Yet again I've learned something that hadn't really dawned on me before. I was brought up in the Metric generation in the US (which was quickly scuttled) so I have a concept of the measure. I can concieve meters and Kilos and grams and pounds and miles. (how's that for a terrible sentence 'eh?) By god... I can even do Celcius lol. The old 'non changing fogies of the US' pigeon holed the concept of learning metric a couple of years after it was implemented. Luckily... I was in school when it was introduced. It's just something I never considered before. So thanks!

I liked that you all discuss the opening. I had meant it to be a general poetic prose summation of the office area with an intrigue about it being a place where "games" were played. The nature of the games would unfold later. May be a little dangerous and I should elaborate slightly.

"Yobbo" before I forget was accidentally misspelled (misspelt). I included it to see if it was a problem for non-Aussie readers with the word's meaning. I guess you are all OK with it.

DarkShadow was not happy with the "It?s OK, no one takes any notice of me.? phrase.

I hate to tell you this but the sentence is a word for word real life statement by an actor in a situation not dissimilar to the actual setting in the story. However I do like your more concise variation. I still like the stool being repositioned. But I can work both in there to make us both happy DarkShadow. :smile:

LOL Don't you change something to make me happy. I'm just a beginner, and what I offer are just my opinions. You write it until you're happy with it ;) As for the 'OK / Okay' thing. That was not an intention to correct spelling. It's just how I write it lol. I didn't think anything of it. The wording seemed a little 'stilted' to me, but that is just me. Again.. if you like it the other way, by all means keep it that way. At work, I have a tendancy to be very familiar with people. Whether it is the first day or several years into the position. It's a love me or hate me thing, though... usually people just laugh at my strange sayings.

For instance... I told the Service Manager today 'You're really starting to work my TITS!'

(meaning... you're really starting to get on my f**king nerves)

A saying I picked up from Kentucky. Also... an insufferable habit of calling people 'hon' that has slipped into my writing which my editor Snatches out at every opportunity :)

So on the whole gentleDudes, I am most happy to have your opinions and suggestions.

The exercise has confirmed for me that speed writing without painful (for me) reconsideration is not going to work very well. On the other hand spontaneous occurrences like the Barney/Fred thing or the use of the sneeze are not to be instantly avoided or dismissed. I needed to know these things.

Again, I love the speedy approach to writing. So long as you can go back and flesh it out afterward. I believe that the 'bulk' of a chapter can be spat out (though lately I am having problems with that) and then edited into a beautiful thing! You have a lot to work with here and only some changes to consider.. Look at how much you have accomplished as opposed to painstakingly laying down each sentence! A couple of days ago I rewrote an entire page so I could include a single word. THAT really told me... 'Okay Shannon... I think we're obseesing a bit here... Let's be a little more productive.' So... before you discard the method completely... I hope you consider this. ;)

That is really helpful for me.

I was very interested to see the reaction to the anonymity of the company and the "samples".

I really wanted to go down this "alternative", nondescript path of not having the company and its products grabbing the readers attention as something that would allow the reader to dismiss the office game as something that could only happen in that company and with their product alone.

The aim was to have a symbolic company backdrop for the dramas that unfold and could be in any work situation. I guess I will need to think that through as well. I can see some opportunities from your suggestions, but will need to research another avenue to achieve this end.

I have almost finished chapter two and some of the queries you have raised here have been addressed. Others have now become a slightly bigger target for me to work upon that make chapter two quite unfinshed.

I must admit... I did want to know more specifics when reading about the employer. It seemed too ambiguous and made it difficult to become 'part' of the story when I couldn't place the scene or more detail because I didn't know what the 'samples' were for or of. What happened with me while I read, was that I continued to wonder after the beginning mention of the place... what exactly are you doing? I think this unanswered question distracted me in part from the details further into the story. I kept reading trying to find where it said exactly what the company 'does'. So that's something to think about.

I certainly can see that we all read very differently and that a writer's skill must work to include those differences to further the story for as many readers as possible without scarificing style altogether.

As for the future of the story I know something about the plot I have not revealed here and it is certainly not what you might think. Can I make it all happen? I can but try and with your help it just may be possible.

I am going to need an editor aren't I? :huh:

My many thanks again for the most helpful feedback. :icon6::smile::icon6::huh:

You're most welcome. I'm sorry that my posts tend to ramble on. I know it's a chore to get through them most times, but I try to explain as much as I can as well as I can, and that isn't always easy for me. I hope you do continue to write this story, because now I'm intrigued! (DAMN YOU!) LOL another story I'm going to have to follow. Chapter 2.... that will determine if I continue to read. If you can't hook me by then... you're toast! LOL (but that's just me) Though.... I did feel the hook dig in a little when I read about the new 'Boss' hitting on the employee heheh.

Take care and I can't wait to read what you make of Chapter 1!

Shannon / DarkShadow

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Hi Des,

* As DarkShadow said, don't take any of our comments as proof that you must do what we say. It's your story. Only you know what it should really say.

Yes, you can and should discuss points with an editor too, when you disagree or don't quite agree. Sometimes an editor misunderstands your intent or doesn't know something important to the future of the story.

* I commented on the stylistic difference between the opening and the rest of the piece, but maybe I gave the impression I didn't like the opening. Oh, the opening's fine. Yes, it's a little lyrical / poetic / flowery, but that's not bad. What struck me was that the rest was more down to earth and direct, workmanlike. (Heh, which fits the situation.) I do think it's best to reconcile them, though I doubt most readers will be put off by the change in style.

* OK versus okay -- as long as you use one spelling consistently throughout a story, you're fine. I was taught to use "okay" in writing, but I see it as OK all the time now. (Click OK, would you?) When in doubt, I use whichever the author has used most, or else write it as OK. -- However, I won't write it as ok unless it's verbatim from online. (Yes, online I often use lowercase in IM.)

* Dialect - Use dialect/slang sparingly, but don't hesitate to use it when it's needed and when it will give local color and feel to the story. If need be, give a definition outside the story, in a footnote or appendix.

Americans, Aussies, and Brits do have different slang or old dialectal words, and some of it's deep and thick. But that is part of what makes it interesting, at least for me. If, as editor, I don't understand something, or if I'm simply unsure, then I certainly ask.

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This is so good.

DarkShadow, as a rambler myself I really enjoyed your post.

I hung on every word. My youthful days of naivete taught me too belive everything I am told or read. Afterwards I analyse it like hell and pick it to pieces looking for the truth or meaning.

I do this with my own stuff too. Communication is an artform to me so I have little respect for speed reading where the reader zips through the words and understands nothing of the meaning. Yes, this point will be used in the Office Games story as a plot device. How? when? LOL, I don't know that yet. :icon6:

I am glad that the Vanessa Character got you interested, she is pivotal to the events that will occur.

I know that your suggestions along with Blue's and Graeme's are only suggestions, but as you have all taken time out of your day to offer them, it is only right I should consider them and work with them as examples and as stimulants for my writing. I would never blame any of you if I utilised the suggestion and it didn't work. I would hold myself responsible for my writing, but acknowledge others input as helpful contributions.

As for your "growing list of errors", my eye-brain coordination is playing up and I find I am hitting the wrong keys when typing so that I have to double read everything I write. Perhaps I am just exicted errr, excited. :huh:

Believe it or not I am pleased one of you got the "sweeping" joke and one of you didn't. That was just the balance I was hoping for. Yeah I am weird. lol.

My industry has used imperial and metric alongside each other for over 100 years so I can think in both too.

There is a certain kind of universality in language I find helpful to consider when writing. I would probably avoid on a number of grounds giving the exact dimensions of say a characters appendage. If I did it would be in inches as even metric people seem to have difficulty in keeping to a standard of whether it should be in milli-metres or centimetres. (Might be fun putting that in a story eh?)

No I would look for another way to convey shape, size or length, but only if it were necessary to the plot, to hook the reader or satisfy some literary device.

I am not all that keen to explore pornographic descriptions for their own sake, but I would include them if it was plot essential.

I think I have an answer to the predicament over the "sample" and company product thing. I am just real pleased to have tossed this around with you to find out that needed it more thought. Calling it a sample allowed me to get the core plot written and I could obsess later, about its use and alternatives now that I have that down.

That is what I have learned here. Good trick. Thanks.

At work, I have a tendancy to be very familiar with people. Whether it is the first day or several years into the position. It's a love me or hate me thing, though... usually people just laugh at my strange sayings.

For instance... I told the Service Manager today 'You're really starting to work my TITS!'

(meaning... you're really starting to get on my f**king nerves)

I think you have been reading my idea drafts for the story. LOL These sorts of interactions are definitely included in my idea fro Office Games. Great stuff. :icon6:

As you can see I am going to continue writing this story. :smile:

Now I am rambling so with that I will again thank you and get back to writing.

Cheers.

:smile:

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To all of you who have contributed to this topic, I want to say "Thank you."

I have just posted my first completed story which Cody's World is hosting in its Valentine's Story Collection.

Without all your help, insight, advice and encouragement I am certain it would not have been finished.

The story is not related to the Office story above, but your thoughts and discussion here, have been more than helpful.

So thanks again to everyone.

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