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JamesSavik

Signs that you are reading a bad story

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Signs of a stinker

  • starts with main character waking up
  • shit, shower and shave details
  • overtly political tone for an orgy story
  • clich?
  • grandiose idea, wretched craft
  • Way too much story, not enough writing
  • spell checker boners-(I've made them too)
  • naked rough draft, not edited or dressed
  • needs a major rewrite and then needs to be set on fire
  • anything with the words "turgid member"
  • shotgun plot: throw a lot of plot out there and maybe some of it will stick
  • one-thread plot- which is OK as long as the author doesn't break it
  • jr high kids performing sex acts that Lady Xavier of Penthouse never heard of
  • Too much, too soon, too serious, too intense to finish
  • clich?
  • repetition
  • too cute
  • adverb hell
  • run on and on and on and on and on and on sentences
  • Opening scene sex and pillow-talk
  • It was a cold and rainy night (did I mention clich?s?)
  • Idea ripoff- write your own, don't rewrite somebody else's!
  • Horrible, awful, wretched over dramatization of the mundane
  • limited to a 4-letter word vocabulary
  • perfect characters with perfect lives with perfect teeth and perfect asses and perfect boyfriends with perfect grades BARF!
  • they all got rich, loved each other for life and lived happily ever after... for no apparent reason
  • the rushed ending to a good story which appears that the writer had finals and had to finish
  • did I mention clich?s?

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I don't know about others, but I have new posts emailed to me. James' post came across as one huge run-on sentence, not as individual lines. What fun! I had the biggest chuckle of the last two weeks, thinking he had done this to show how a bad story can start...

Imagine my disappointment at finding that he actually made it look nice on the forum itself. However, good points, all of them, except maybe turgid member. What's wrong with a turgid member? :icon_twisted:

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>>spell checker blunders

This is the one that often bites me- when the word is spelled correcly, only it is the wrong word.

Nothing kills the flow of a story like finding a word in the middle of a sentence that doesn't make any sense at all in context.

None of us are perfect. We'll all step it it from time to time. It's just a good idea to keep in mind the most glaring tricks and traps.

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I am in violation of these 3 items.

I find that difficult to believe. Your writing has less sex in it than mine does, and that's saying a lot. Just where would you work in 'turgid member', or any other kind of member?

I can believe you could start with a waking protagonist. It isn't too late to change that. Or, it's even OK to leave it if your approach to him waking up is fresh and new. As so many, many writers start a story that way, it would be a challenge to make it break new ground.

C

PS - And on a related topic, is 'tumescent member' as bad as 'turgid member?'

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Pubescent tumescence. :icon_twisted:

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I know I'm about to leave a story unread when I see the phrase 'boy-pussy'. *shudder*

The phrase usually precedes nearly all the items in James' list.

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... Just where would you work in 'turgid member',
Perhaps in stories about the British Parliament or the U.S. Congress.

:icon_twisted:

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Great list!

(On the other hand, I think there are times we all could use a "turgid mouth.") (Or was it "eager member"? I get confused.)

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My feeling is, the reason some things are clich?s is, they work well in that situation. Waking up in the morning is a good way to start a story because waking up is a symbolic beginning. It feels right.

The only problem with it is it's been used to distraction. You can still use it effectively, but you have to work hard to keep it from feeling clich?d. If you use the way he wakes up to define character, either his or whoever wakes him, that's a way to diffuse the sameness. There are other ways, too, of course. My opinion is just that however he wakes up, it should relate to the story and help develop interest for the reader, not the feeling that he's seen this too many times before.

C

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I have avoided the "waking up" scene for a beginning just because I've read it ad nauseum. However I did use it in one piece of flash fiction because it did set a mood and the beginning of something very important to my character. I have to agree with Cole in this. It can be done, but the writer needs to have a clear understanding of what he wants to accomplish...not just to start a story.

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Do you think "waking up" can be used if it sets the tone of the story? I used it in the opening paragraphs of my story Nightmare (on CW):

I drift on the edge of sleep. I'm held down by something that's twisted around my body. I'm drenched in sweat. I can't move. I cry out. That wakes me. My eyes open; I'm staring up at the ceiling. Something's shaking me. It's Dennis, my husband. He's shaking me, telling me to wake up.

I tell him it was another nightmare. He gives me that look that I've seen so often. He seems disgusted whenever I have a nightmare. I tell him I can't help it, and he tells me I should see a shrink like he always tells me. He gets out of bed. No good morning kiss, no 'I love you', he leaves the room without a word, leaves me alone with the fading recollection of my nightmare.

Is this overly clich?d?

Colin :icon_tongue:

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Quite the contrary Colin. You may have opened with a 'wake up' scene, but it was far from the cliched norm. Where's the trip to the bathroom with the usual sounds of teeth being brushed, the toilet being flushed and the ever present dilemma of what to wear that day.

No, your opening was far from cliche. The staccato of the opening sentences immediately had the reader anxious, even fearful. Within the first paragraph you had set the mood that you wanted to set.

That was VERY well done.

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A good writer can go into dangerous territory and come out with a winner.

Using some of the clich?d elements in a plot can be done if it is executed skillfully and/or the author has added something new and fresh.

Colin shows us a good example of a wake up scene that is different, fresh and immediately catches your attention.

In a clich?d wake-up scene there would be a turgid member, eager mouth, boy pussy and incessant pubescent tumescence.

:sick::icon_tongue::spank::shock::cat::icon_cat:

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In a clich?d wake-up scene there would be a turgid member, eager mouth, boy pussy and incessant pubescent tumescence.

I like that word 'turgid.'

tur?gid (t?rprime.gifjibreve.gifd) adj. 1. Excessively ornate or complex in style or language; grandiloquent: turgid prose.2. Swollen or distended, as from a fluid; bloated: a turgid bladder; turgid veins.

I look down and can't see the golf ball, so where is my 'turgid?'

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I love my dictionary's definition of "turgid" --

turgid [tur?gid]

adj. swollen; pompous, bombastic

:shock:

Colin :icon_tongue:

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I like that word 'turgid.'

tur?gid (t?rprime.gifjibreve.gifd) adj. 1. Excessively ornate or complex in style or language; grandiloquent: turgid prose.2. Swollen or distended, as from a fluid; bloated: a turgid bladder; turgid veins.

I look down and can't see the golf ball, so where is my 'turgid?'

The image of a frilly necked lizard keeps popping into my mind.

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Popped in there twice anyway. :icon_tongue:

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Hiding the evidence, huh?

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