|Reviews for Meta Brew|
| Phineas Redux chapter 6 . 5/9/2018
These are concise and clear directions for the aspiring author. They set out in exact detail the whole framework required for the presentation of a story or novel. Perhaps it might not be possible for a would-be writer to cover all points indicated; but they are all there, as lights indicating the central path of literary production.
In discussing the creative act of writing I note with a fond smile your reference to Arthur Quiller-Couch’s remark to aspiring authors with the impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing to do so wholeheartedly—then delete it, so murdering your darlings. This being a piece of literary advice which I have personally found immensely useful over the years.
It is not easy to express big ideas in few words, but you have succeeded wonderfully within the parameters you have set out for yourself.
| Guest chapter 4 . 5/16/2017
Ah plot and pacing...
Sadly I tend to be more of the 'get about a third of the way through and then get too caught up in pointless drival that stalls everything'. As such I can think of little to say on this chapter.
They're mostly good points though there are certainly exceptions — a book designed to reassure a child who's nervous about starting school shouldn't have a villain or anything associated with it and given the age and reading level of the target audience you wouldn't want excess sub-plot either.
But for sci-fi or fantasy epics it's certainly useful. And that's true for all media — who plays the Assassin's Creed games for the primitive city-management sim or watches a Star Wars film hoping to see a tax dispute (sorry, couldn't resist). No, we want our good (or less bad in AC's case) protagonists to emerge the victor of an epic struggle.
| Guest chapter 3 . 5/16/2017
Second person — it works well in games but not so well in books.
Your author intrusion example — to my eyes that looks like the format fables, fairy tales, children's ghost stories (and the news whenever they're reporting a crime) are presented in to drum up suspense, so it does have a use.
When I saw TV screen PoV I was expecting a rant on the way chat-fic is commonly presented. You know, the difference between being done relatively well...
Martin's heart raced as he saw the message he'd just been sent; Lexie (aka M1rr0r G1rl) wanted to go out for coffee wth him — him! Hands sweating he typed out his agreement, ending his sentence with a smiley face before a tap of the enter button sent it on its way.
...and the usual...
M1rr0r G1rl: Hi, wanna go get a coffee?
...seemingly whenever it gets used on this site.
I know that's not strictly relevant but I thought it was interesting.
| Guest chapter 2 . 5/16/2017
I waver on trigger warnings. On the one hand I'm sure there probably is a time when they should be used but here the seem to be more like search tags.
And yes, an epic that starts with the Duchess sitting down to tea... Just because War and Peace gave its first 8 chapters over to a high society party and went something like a hundred pages in tiny print before meeting a soldier on duty doesn't mean it's a good idea. It worked for Tolstoy because he wasn't writing a war story, he was writing coming-of-age stories full of dynastic politics that took place during the horror of the Napoleonic Wars and so could get away with the start he used.
| Cosmic Horror chapter 3 . 5/2/2017
I love these pieces of advice you're giving. I stick to First Person Standard or Over the Shoulder, and Limited Third Person. I'm no stranger to FP epistolary or 3rd person omiscient, but I only did the former for school essays and with the latter my writing really jumps all over the place. I have problems wanting to info dump or go off on tangents in prose with the character's thoughts, so I try to stay with the styles that induce structure on their own.
| MischaBlair chapter 3 . 5/1/2017
I'm so happy I stumbled across this! You are very insightful with your views of narrative Point-of-views. I definitely agree with your statement that POV's are essential to storytelling. I have workshopped stories in which the plot hit the mark but the POV created confusion or questioning of how me as a reader was meant to perceive the plot. When we move from one particular POV to another, the story we tell creates a different effect on the reader. I think some writers perhaps don't take enough time to consider how effective their chosen POV is, which can have a negative effect on their story.
You do a great job in communicating the purpose and effect of the first person and third person POV. While i thought it was humorous that you referred to the second person POV as the one you shouldn't use, I wish you had devoted equal time to discussing it. I agree that first person and third person POV's are typically easier to work with and create a better effect, however I have seen excellent examples of the use of the second person POV. Some stories can benefit from being told in the second person, though I don't necessarily think it works with longer stories. I also think its certainly not a POV that suits every writer, or one that many writers would immediately use, but I think writers have to experiment a bit to find the right POV that works for them. Thus, by failing to discuss it in the same light as the other two POV'S, readers who are also writers may be missing out on something that they may pick up easily.
Nevertheless, wonderful post!