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hefjr76
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2008 7:08:35 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 6/13/2008
Posts: 4
Just thought I'd pop on here to introduce myself. I recently decided to start writing this kind of thing for the first time. I'd really just like to get some comments on my work, and on how I can improve. I've found that I really enjoy this as an outlet for my frustrations with life right now. Please be nice and let me know what you think!
http://www.lushstories.com/stories/straight-sex/the-dance.aspx
http://www.lushstories.com/stories/straight-sex/hot-breakfast.aspx
Guest
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2008 8:16:36 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 532,053
Welcome, hef. I read the first one and found no need for improvement. Well done, and I gave you a five.

And don't let frustrations with life get you down. In my experience, it's only temporary.
hefjr76
Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2008 5:45:42 AM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 6/13/2008
Posts: 4
I do appreciate that. I've only written these two so far, but it does help me to forget all of the crap going on in my life. I'm actually kinda surprised that both have my stories have don this well. I had a couple of female friends read them and they liked them but I wanted unbiased opinions. Thanks
nicola
Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2008 3:09:44 PM

Rank: Matriarch

Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 25,421
Location: The Orgasmatron
I'm glad you're enjoying writing as an outlet for your frustrations. I picked that up in your second story in particular.

They are both great for short stories - you set up the scenes well, and are descriptive of the characters and situation.

Your breakfast story conjured up memories for me of this Blur tune - you might like it icon_smile




hefjr76
Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2008 4:10:26 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 6/13/2008
Posts: 4
That is a pretty funny video, I can see what made you think of it. The first story, the Dance, was written for a friend, using a few of her ideas. The second was actually the first one I wrote, and inspired by a few of the currents events of my life. I'm working on a theme to tie all of the stories together into the one run-down mall. I'm having fun and working on the ideas for the next one in my head. I don't even sit down to type it until I get all the story in my head.
Curious2c
Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2008 5:32:12 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 532,053
I read 'The Dance' and found it to be quite good. I do think that the paragraphs are a little long. Usually a good paragraph should be two to four sentences... and on the same subject hopefully. A change in subject or direction should bring in a new spacing for the new paragraph. I see that you also have some issues with formatting. I too have those, for some reason, and the large space between spoken words and the story paragraphs (descriptive text) tend to cause some readers to avoid reading a story, as I've found out.

Other than those items, I enjoyed the story and hope to read more of your work in the future.
techgoddess
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:58:28 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/9/2008
Posts: 1,980
Location: In my own little world, United States
Curious2c wrote:
I read 'The Dance' and found it to be quite good. I do think that the paragraphs are a little long. Usually a good paragraph should be two to four sentences... and on the same subject hopefully. A change in subject or direction should bring in a new spacing for the new paragraph. I see that you also have some issues with formatting. I too have those, for some reason, and the large space between spoken words and the story paragraphs (descriptive text) tend to cause some readers to avoid reading a story, as I've found out.

Other than those items, I enjoyed the story and hope to read more of your work in the future.


As a teacher of English, I had to comment on your idea of how long a good paragraph should be. My seventh graders are required to write a minimum of 4-5 well written sentences that are connected in subject to be considered a good paragraph. Otherwise, the writing is choppy. The exception to that is when there is dialogue, which requires the writer to begin a new paragraph whenever someone new begins speaking.

As far as spacing, I think that is more an issue of whatever word processing program the original work is typed in and how compatible it is with the format of this site. I don't find spacing an issue when I am reading a well written story. I am far too captivated by the content to notice.

I enjoyed "The Dance" very much as well. As a parent of a dancer, I could picture the setting all too well in my head, which made it an even better read.

Just my thoughts...

Tech

~~Tech
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do...
Curious2c
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 11:38:40 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 532,053
techgoddess wrote:
Curious2c wrote:
I read 'The Dance' and found it to be quite good. I do think that the paragraphs are a little long. Usually a good paragraph should be two to four sentences... and on the same subject hopefully. A change in subject or direction should bring in a new spacing for the new paragraph. I see that you also have some issues with formatting. I too have those, for some reason, and the large space between spoken words and the story paragraphs (descriptive text) tend to cause some readers to avoid reading a story, as I've found out.

Other than those items, I enjoyed the story and hope to read more of your work in the future.


As a teacher of English, I had to comment on your idea of how long a good paragraph should be. My seventh graders are required to write a minimum of 4-5 well written sentences that are connected in subject to be considered a good paragraph. Otherwise, the writing is choppy. The exception to that is when there is dialogue, which requires the writer to begin a new paragraph whenever someone new begins speaking.

As far as spacing, I think that is more an issue of whatever word processing program the original work is typed in and how compatible it is with the format of this site. I don't find spacing an issue when I am reading a well written story. I am far too captivated by the content to notice.

I enjoyed "The Dance" very much as well. As a parent of a dancer, I could picture the setting all too well in my head, which made it an even better read.

Just my thoughts...

Tech



Having had more than a few stories online I can tell you that long paragraphs, as in his story will cause people to not read it. I used to go by the 4 to 5 sentence rule but evidently as viewed by computer online, it doesn't work as well as say in print. Perhaps it's harder for the eye to track the writing at times since many sites have side bar things that can be distracting. All I really know is when I use 4 to 5 sentences, unless they're very short sentences, I'll get feedback from readers complaining about it.

The formatting is what causes issues in spacing between paragraphs too. I know that, and I've had issues with that at Lush. For some reason, time to time, when a story is posted there are huge gaps between paragraphs. I've gotten comments on that and fixed them, but if one isn't aware of it, it can distract from the story. Again, it may be due to being presented online and not in print.

My comments may not be directly English Rule, but I do know from feedback what readers are expecting, and I try to design my writing to make the stories I write easy to read, in addition to entertaining. Were I publishing books I'd more than likely stick to English Rule as you stated above.


Just my thoughts as well.
techgoddess
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 1:37:36 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/9/2008
Posts: 1,980
Location: In my own little world, United States
Curious....some of your best stories on here follow that 4-5 sentence rule....and I found them quite entertaining. The negative feedback must be coming in the form of private messages as I saw mostly positive comments written about your stories. Your stories do tend to be longer than many...but worth the time to read them. However, my eyes are trained to read paragraphs I suppose.

By the way, I meant no criticism by my comments. Just an old English teacher being finicky with the language. That is why I stick to poetry...where one is allowed to bend the rules. L16

~~Tech
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do...
hefjr76
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 3:46:11 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 6/13/2008
Posts: 4
I do try to be careful about my paragraphs, but I'll be honest in that I don't usually even proofread these before I post them. I usually sit down and write them out straight through, and then just usually do a quick spell and grammar check in word. I had noticed the odd gaps in between paragraphs o here, but I am unsure how to fix that. I tried in my latest story, by deleting all of the spaces in between my paragraphs, but it still did it. Any ideas?
nicola
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 3:55:01 PM

Rank: Matriarch

Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 25,421
Location: The Orgasmatron
hefjr76 wrote:
I do try to be careful about my paragraphs, but I'll be honest in that I don't usually even proofread these before I post them. I usually sit down and write them out straight through, and then just usually do a quick spell and grammar check in word. I had noticed the odd gaps in between paragraphs o here, but I am unsure how to fix that. I tried in my latest story, by deleting all of the spaces in between my paragraphs, but it still did it. Any ideas?


Yes. MS Word is really only good in terms of reading, if someone sees the story in MS Word. Take it to almost any site online, and it will show up as a formatting mess.

The best way to see how it will look, is copy the story into notepad. You will then see the same large spaces that you would see if you posted it on here, or most blogs and other sites.

I know several story sites that only allow stories to be sent in in .txt format. If you don't know how to find notepad, and assuming you're on a pc, click on the Start button, then run, and in that box, type notepad and it should pull it up.

Hope that helps icon_smile
Curious2c
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 6:59:17 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 532,053
techgoddess wrote:
Curious....some of your best stories on here follow that 4-5 sentence rule....and I found them quite entertaining. The negative feedback must be coming in the form of private messages as I saw mostly positive comments written about your stories. Your stories do tend to be longer than many...but worth the time to read them. However, my eyes are trained to read paragraphs I suppose.

By the way, I meant no criticism by my comments. Just an old English teacher being finicky with the language. That is why I stick to poetry...where one is allowed to bend the rules. L16


Most are around four, which is my usual limit. As I said, shorter sentences will allow more per paragraph. I tend to look at what I've written and if it isn't... heh... 'symmetrical' I tend to re-write or start breaking down things to fix it. My stories are generally long ones as I like to build a characters background and intent... I've been taken to task for length of stories too as far as that goes.


I am basing most of my experience on emailed feedback from stories I've had posted elsewhere over a long period of time. I am also discounting the anon/haters too, as they trash anything that doesn't seem to fit their little world view on life and things. In the end, each writer has to figure out the best way to present their work. I've read that when ever I start to think about present my work to an agent or publisher. A bit intimidating to me, and as of yet, I've not actually done that. I seem to chicken out at the last second. Heh. Maybe after I've rewritten my 'big' story ten more times I'll finally feel comfortable enough to allow some editor a chance to demolish my work... if it gets that far that is.icon_smile
Curious2c
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 7:02:11 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 532,053
Lush wrote:
hefjr76 wrote:
I do try to be careful about my paragraphs, but I'll be honest in that I don't usually even proofread these before I post them. I usually sit down and write them out straight through, and then just usually do a quick spell and grammar check in word. I had noticed the odd gaps in between paragraphs o here, but I am unsure how to fix that. I tried in my latest story, by deleting all of the spaces in between my paragraphs, but it still did it. Any ideas?


Yes. MS Word is really only good in terms of reading, if someone sees the story in MS Word. Take it to almost any site online, and it will show up as a formatting mess.

The best way to see how it will look, is copy the story into notepad. You will then see the same large spaces that you would see if you posted it on here, or most blogs and other sites.

I know several story sites that only allow stories to be sent in in .txt format. If you don't know how to find notepad, and assuming you're on a pc, click on the Start button, then run, and in that box, type notepad and it should pull it up.

Hope that helps icon_smile


I've also found that if one copy/pastes into the browser window the story goes into, you can get a look-see at what it will be like, and you can make changes there if the spacing is not quite right.

Converting word to txt files will try to keep the original formatting as much as possible even though it isn't supposed to be doing that, and I think that's why the spacing issue comes in as it does.

My best luck has been converting the txt file from word, and then doing a second 'save as' of the txt file, which seems to make or force word to forget it wrote the damned story.
techgoddess
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 7:06:49 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/9/2008
Posts: 1,980
Location: In my own little world, United States
I know exactly what you mean about the intimidation factor. I have 3 books started and a collection of poetry that I finished and actually had a publisher express interest in...but I always find reasons to not finish the books or submit the poetry collection.

~~Tech
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do...
ASubtlepassion
Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 8:38:17 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 532,053
I think readers do want a quick fix. I decided to forego, to an extent, what they wanted and to write my stories to satisfy my inner piddlings. The comments I receive from the regulars here, even criticism, is what keeps me writing. I understand both sides of your issue, but on this site, other than personal satisfaction of a job well done, it's the attention span of the readers that matters.

You can tell by their language what their needs are: ur, cunt, faggots, sickos, sumtims...all those misspelled words to convey the complex world of their minds. lol

When I was a lad, the rule was 3 to 5 sentences, but things change. I fail a bit when it comes to grammar, but I always try to spell check.
nicola
Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 4:00:27 PM

Rank: Matriarch

Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 25,421
Location: The Orgasmatron
ASubtlepassion wrote:
You can tell by their language what their needs are: ur, cunt, faggots, sickos, sumtims...all those misspelled words to convey the complex world of their minds. lol


I nearly spat out my coffee coffee over that one laughing9

We certainly do get an eclectic mix of visitors to this site. I might compile another "best of reader's comments" post, it's long overdue.
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