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Lime-Cat

Come here to get feedback on anything your heart desires...Ok, anything FP story/poem related. You are free to post as many ideas/stories/poems as you like, but please keep them organized by sticking to the template... :D

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Posting Guidelines/Template:

IDEAS:

1) Each idea will be in bold so that it is obvious for the person skimming through posts. Be sure to tag it with something you and others will recognize for that particular idea - a title would be ideal. If you don't have a working title for your idea, name your idea and use that as a tag.

2) Summarize your idea underneath.

3) After summarizing your idea, points of concern should be put in a section directly under your summary under a CONCERNS/COMMENTS section (see example). For organization's sake, list them - make it look pretty and presentable.

4) Try not to lump all of your ideas into one section. Keep each idea separate as to not confuse readers. There is no limit to how many ideas you can have in one post. Just be sure to follow the format.

FEEDBACK ON IDEAS:

1) When replying and giving feedback on someone else's idea, use the format: Feedback - Idea Poster's User/Nickname - [Tag] and have it in bold. For each idea that you are responding to, use one of these and separate them up into sections.

2) Type up your response below in a COMMENTS section. After you type up your response, address the author's concerns/comments if you can under the comments section. Correlate your numbering with the author's numbering in their original post - if you choose to answer concern/comment #7, use 7 and follow up with your opinion.

3) If you have any questions you would like the author to clarify on or address, start a new underlined section and label it QUESTIONS.

4) You don't have to comment on each idea that has been posted. Give input where you can. There is also no limit to the number of people who give feedback. If you have feedback to give in response to an idea, don't hold back - share it!

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS (FROM FEEDBACK - as applicable):

1) my answer here

COMMENTS/CONCERNS: yea, but i'm concerned about X, Y, Z and triple A.

EXAMPLE (STORY IDEA POST):

Story Idea - [Dragons]

Summarize my idea that pertains to this story.

CONCERNS/COMMENTS: (If you have anything in particular that you want feedback on, itemize them into a list so that they can be answered in a Question/Answer type fashion.)

1) I don't know if I should incorporate have x scenario happen or would x scenario be more effective?

2) another one

3) ...

Story Idea - [Flowers]

Summary of my idea.

CONCERNS/COMMENTS:

1) i'm worried about ...

2) will the idea work?

3) etc...

EXAMPLE (FEEDBACK POST):

Feedback - Lime - [Dragons]

COMMENTS:

What i think about ...

3) My opinion on the author's concern/comment.

QUESTIONS:

1) Q1

2) Q2

EXAMPLE (Response to Feedback post):

COMMENTS: state my response here.

QUESTIONS: list any further questions I have.

2/3/2009 . Edited 2/3/2009 #1
FirstBloom13

here goes ;)

Story Idea- Shards of Snow

well this story is from an idea I had in church, about writing a fantasy story with parallels to the Israelites-in-Egypt-ten-plagues-passover section of the bible. I put up a sort of first chapter/prologue which is here. It takes place in the fictional world of Rivza, which is sort of what I imagine Antarctica to be like- a barren, snowy wasteland except for the bustling city-state of Minij, and the quarry which the slaves (Cudja/Israelites) work in. A seventeen-year-old boy, Pasha, son of a high-ranking government official for the Tucskja (Egyptians), falls in love with his slave, Sofija, who is Cudja, who just wants to go back to the quarry, where she could be with her family and friends. The Kraal and the Cudja leader are battling wills for the future of the slaves. some form of the ten plagues are inflicted on the Tucskja, and with the last one, that of the death of the firstborn, Pasha dies, and Sofija doesn't know how to feel about it... that's the rough idea, although most of it will probably be changed.

CONCERNS/COMMENTS:

1) does it sound overly melodramatic? it didn't in my head... but it looks pretty bad on paper...

2) does it make sense? is it too complex?

3) are the religious elements too weird, eccentric, unnecessary, vague? will people view it as offensive?

4) anything else you want to add :)

thanks :)

3/31/2009 #2
Lime-Cat

Feedback - Sakura - [Shards of Snow]

Comments: Hey! You have a title and a chapter 1/prologue! That's a good start. :) From the description you have, the story seems a bit cliche - person of high rank falling in love/eloping with a person of the lowest rank. Nonetheless, the story sounds interesting and I'm sure you can work around the cliche.

So, to answer your questions...

1) It didn't sound overly melodramatic to me. The chapter 1/prologue can definitely be brushed up on though. I spotted a typo: "Some people say you can't here snow, but I think I can."

Instead of telling here, "There’s knocking on the door, and while he walks over to answer it, he thinks to himself, better not be that damned curfew officer again. It’s not like my bedroom lights are causing societal damage.", I think you should show it by saying: "Someone is knocking on the door. It better not be that damned curfew officer again. It’s not like my bedroom lights are causing societal damage." Now, while the first sentence in my suggestion is more of a tell, the reader is safe to assume the character is going to go open the door. The italicized text is an indication (as you intended) your character is thinking. If anything else, allow your context to "tell" the story - if your reader is confused about the events, the context should be able to show them what is going on. :)

2) It's not too complex. I would say this is a good start - it makes sense and it has good pacing.

3) What religious elements? I don't think I saw any in the chapter 1/prologue, but then again, I could have missed it. Regardless, be careful of religious elements/context/etc. While there is no way to guarantee you won't offend people with your writing, it is always nice to be conscious of what you're writing when it comes to touchy subjects - religion being one of them. If some people view your story/idea as offensive, then they should not read it. If it makes you feel better, you could always put a warning at the beginning of your first chapter or put it in your summary so that you do not attract the wrong crowd.

4) I have nothing else to add other than: Do you have any other questions/concerns that you'd like to add? :)

-Lime

4/7/2009 #3
FirstBloom13

yep, it does sound pretty cliche. I hope I can work around that :) (I'm a teenaged amateur writer, I think it's a law or something I have to be cliched at first =D)

I definitely can brush up on the first chap, I know... I wrote it all in one sitting and I plan to read over it this weekend when I have free time :)

thank you loads for the awesome feedback!

4/9/2009 #4
vvild

Story - Bloodties (title is subject to change)

Well, it's my first story on this site and my first try at writing with two-legged beings. My summary is dreadfully weak, and I'm very unsure about it. I really need an opinion on what I have so far.

It's kind of a story about a sibling rivalry between Twins. And it tells the story of Pandora, who has a very neigtave outlook at times and seemed to have forgotten a lot of good things in life.

CONCERNS/COMMENTS:

1) Is it confusing at all? (because I find that a lot of my stories end up rather confusing D;)

2) Which summary seems more interesting -

Pan’s a mix between supernatural beings, one day she goes to go to Nevada for something.There she meets her Demon brother that offers her something yet Pan rejects.This starts a war and a plan to raze humans; she goes on a risky quest to end her brother.

or the one already there as a summary? Or Should I write an completely different summary? (I really haven't pin down the art of writing short summaries that are interesting)

3) Umm...any suggestions?

4/20/2009 #5
VelvetyCheerio

Feedback-Story-Bloodties

Comments: Well, for a first time on two legged beings, I actually think you did a good job. There were a few things I noticed, but overall, your plot actually seems very well developed.

As to your questions:

1) Well, you did add a good sense of suspense as to what Pan really is, seeing as how she isn't a Demon. I don't think there was any confusion in that. However, there was one sentence: [At least Pan could smell her brother.] This really had no business being in your story, it would be good to remove it because it kind of just pops up out of nowhere and it made me go, "Huh?" I mean, there was nothing in that paragraph that was in any way related to that sentence, so it would be best to get rid of it.

2) To be honest, I would suggest you write a completely different summary. Try not to reveal the plot too much and avoid the word "something". If you can't think of more than two sentences for a summary, try one sentence that sort of sums the story up. Maybe it's a line from the chapter, or question that has the reader wondering. If you're good with humour, write something funny. Make it melodramatic, and watch spelling and spacing.

3) When I was reading your story, the first thing I noticed was the way you put the first word of each new scene in all caps. I have nothing against this, and it's rather unique, but I got confused the first few times because I thought you were trying to emphasize the word. Scene breaks, like ***, or -ooo-, or something of the like works fine to indicate the scene break.

Also, you do a lot of telling, rather than showing. [a goodbye between twin siblings], [it was because she was different from most], [Pan felt completely hopeless.], [Her brother’s name was Quinton but she called him Quinn], [Being twins, they could read each other’s minds if they wished unless one of them blacks it out.], [She had black leather gloves on her hands she always wore.], [She did run pretty fast to the extent that one thousand miles looked like ten meters.], [She whispered out loud with clear sarcasm.]

All of that would be better of shown, through dialogue or situations Pan finds herself in. Emotions are best shown through the way the character holds themself and perceives the world. For the sarcasm bit, that was pretty obvious, considering the situation Pan was in, but if you feel the reader might not get it, you could put, "rolling her eyes" rather than "with clear sarcasm".

[genteelly] gently

[“Nice Scars.” He remarked] There should be a comma in place of the period after "scars". Also, it should be: ["Nice scars," he remarked.]

[She whispered out loud with clear sarcasm.] Haha also concerning this bit again, whispering out loud sort of doesn't make sense. :P Try, ",she said in a low voice" or ",she muttered to herself".

Other than that, you have a working plot, and I hope you continue with this story!

7/12/2009 #6
Cora Torrence

Story Idea: Aelorea

Summary:

Aelorea is the daughter of Lord Saen, King Alaric's closest friend and most trusted advisor. She was born with a rare and powerful gift - magic. When Saen is killed in a skirmish on the outskirts of Esidor, and war breaks out throughout the kingdom, Aelorea must face her destiny and use her gift to save the land that she loves. However, to do so, she must enlist the aid of a certain pigheaded prince; as their fates intertwine, their biggest challenge may just be refraining from killing each other.

Concerns/Comments

1. The title...blargh?

2. I have a prologue up and a chapter 2 (although technically I suppose it would be chapter 1) preview up...thoughts?

3. Does the summary seem too corny?

4. I have a bit of an issue with war stories because I am the crappiest military strategist available. If anyone would be willing to let my bounce some ideas off them at some point (there will definitely be spoilers involved), it would be greatly appreciated.

5. Is this kind of story overdone?

8/9/2009 . Edited 8/9/2009 #7
Lime-Cat

Feedback - Cora Torrence [Aelorea]

1) Titles aren't concrete. :) One of the worst things you can do with a title is mess it up by making it misleading. However, I think your current title works. If, as things go along and you come up with a better title, then you can always change it.

2) I haven't read it yet, but I will! I shall leave reviews instead of giving you feedback here. :)

3) Your summary is quite long. No need to introduce characters in your summary - you have your story to do that for you. :) Instead, you could likely shorten your summary to: "When Lord Saen is killed in a skirmish on the outskirts of Esidor, war breaks out in the kingdom and his daughter, Aelorea, must face her destiny to save the land she loves." Have your story explain why magic is so rare and powerful in the form of actions. I also didn't copy your summary word for word; specifically at the part where you have "war breaks out throughout the kingdom" - war breaking out is enough; "throughout" is repetition. ;) Also, with this condensed summary, I took out metioning Aelorea's gift because I feel that's part of what your story has to offer...why let your summary spoil it? :D

4) If you feel you're lacking in military strategies, you could always go online to play strategy games or analyze them to figure out strategies to use in your story. It doesn't need to be too detailed...good battles are all you really need - just look up famous battles or battles of interest and do your best to incorporate those into your story. ;)

5) Cliches are bad when there's no twist. As long as your story is not 150% predictable, then I think you should be fine. Don't try too hard to make it unique - you'll likely lose some of yourself by trying to do that.

8/9/2009 #8
Cora Torrence

Mhm, you were right about the prologue. I've deleted it and put the first chapter as the prologue, but apparently it's taking a very long time to show up. O.o

I've also redone the summary somewhat: "Aelorea was born with a gift, and when Esidor is plunged into war, she must enlist the aid of a prince to save the land that she loves. Despite the ongoing war, however, their biggest challenge yet may just be refraining from killing each other."

Hopefully that's better?

8/9/2009 #9
Ida Dallas

Mary-Sue (story I'm working on)

This little girl, Mira Quidd, is diagnosed with cancer, apparently terminal. So, feeling alone and detached, she starts writing. She creates this character named Mary-Sue, who starts appearing to her on the walls, talking to her on many surfaces as a two-dimensional character. No one else could see Mary-Sue. Mira eventually became tired of Mary's predictability, throughout the adventures they had wandering through the hospital, the beauty of the character, the overwhelming niceness, the incredible talents-- they seemed to mock her, and her deteriorating condition. Mira began writing her in a new way, a darker personality, a sulking, malevolent one. Mary-Sue would come to her as a ghost, goading her to do bad things, becoming more and more twisted, foul tempered, and rude. Once again, Mira rewrote her, as a more well-rounded character (Probably a few more attempts before this one) and she became fully tangible and visible to her, almost completely solid and three-dimensional. Mira's condition worsened, until finally, she dies. Mary-Sue stands by her bedside, and the girl's parents walk in, finally able to see her. She introduces herself as a friend of the girl, and offers consolation. And that's p. much it :/

Concerns

Well, I'm worried that it's a cliche idea in itself, I mean, I know it's BASED on cliches, but I don't really want it to BE cliche. And, I'm also worried that it's going to be boring. I have ideas wherein the two characters, when Mira becomes too sick to wander through the hospital, go instead inside of Mira's mind. Towards the end, just before she dies, I imagine Mary-Sue inviting Mira inside her mind. But that's WICKED cheesy. Like. Fondu.

8/18/2009 #10
VelvetyCheerio

Feedback-Story-Mary Sue

Well, you didn't do much in the way of asking questions, which would have helped more XD, but it's alright. From what I read, you basically have a plot down, which is good.

I mean, I know it's BASED on cliches, but I don't really want it to BE cliche. And, I'm also worried that it's going to be boring.

A work is never boring unless you yourself have no interest in it. As for it being cliche, I have questions:

Is Mira emotionally unstable? Because it's very easy to keep this from being cliche by making her insane/crazy. Seriously, anyone who writes about a character and literally has them come to life is just a tad bit insane in the membrane. :P

Does Mira have any friends who want to come visit her? How many times does she try to tell people about Mary-Sue, especially when the character becomes "violent"?

Another way you could take it is that Mira is in a coma and is just dreaming all this up. It's only as she wakes up, right at Death's door, does she see her Mary-Sue, who was probably a friend, telling her a story or something. :/

How ever you take it, I hope it goes well for you and I hoped this helped! :)

8/18/2009 #11
Ida Dallas

Those are some excellent ideas (especially the last one), thank you. And, I do love writing the crazies:)

Originally, she was intended to be stable, entirely, only just a bit odd, always seeing things as if they were in a movie or story-book. Other people were indeed supposed to think she's a little off, but pass it off on her youth. I intend to have her parents hire a psychologist to come and talk to her after they see her speaking to what appears to be no one.

8/19/2009 #12
VelvetyCheerio

So you have the basic plot down, yeah? Or what is it exactly else do you think you need looking at?

8/20/2009 #13
VelvetyCheerio

Story Idea-Frozen

It's not up yet, but I hope that I will be able to finish my current two stories soon so I can get cracking on this one. Okay, the idea is that I want a story reminiscent of stories like "Missing Abby" and "Bridge to Terabitha", but... different. See, I want this girl, around 14-15, to have this great world mapped out in her head that she writes down in a journal as a story. The thing is, though, she really believes that the MC in the story is her, so she's kind of caught between reality and fantasy.

It's just that, I want the fantasy to sort of take on a life of it's own, you know? Anyway, there's this other girl, well known at the school, who keeps bugging and picking on Girl A (need names :P), but is also willing to stick up for her. I plan to have them go on "adventures" or whatever, but I don't think I want anyone to die in this, unlike the two published books mentioned above. Though, I would like one of them coming very close to death...

Concerns/Comments:

1. The title was sort of, on the spot. Is it any good?

2. Does the idea seem strange? I know it's not necessarily one often reproduced, so I have little basis to go on but published books. :/

3. Sorta the same as question one, but would you read a story like this? Without knowing anything about it, i.e: summary or accessory tags?

11/7/2009 . Edited 11/7/2009 #14
Sercus Kaynine

1. The title was sort of, on the spot. Is it any good?

It's not bad, but if you think of something catchier later I'd use it.

2. Does the idea seem strange? I know it's not necessarily one often reproduced, so I have little basis to go on but published books. :/

The idea is an unusual one, but it's not that weird. The idea sounds somewhat fantastical to me, though I'd try not to make it too much like BtT or the other book that I haven't read. I'm kind of iffy about coming very close to death because that would immediately make me think of BtT, but this idea is a unique one and I'm sure you can make it different. :)

3. Sorta the same as question one, but would you read a story like this? Without knowing anything about it, i.e: summary or accessory tags?

Dude, I love these kinds of bizarre ideas... I'd give it a shot.

11/8/2009 #15
Tekla

1. The title was sort of, on the spot. Is it any good?

it seems maybe a little off. I mean, she's stuck between two worlds; frozen sounds like she's emotionally unattached or something (which you made it sound like she's not).

with this little snippet you've given me, I don't really think it fits.

2. Does the idea seem strange? I know it's not necessarily one often reproduced, so I have little basis to go on but published books. :/

It sounds really cool - especially the fact that she creates the world she's stuck in. That could help out in a sticky situation :P

3. Sorta the same as question one, but would you read a story like this? Without knowing anything about it, i.e: summary or accessory tags?

if you mention she's writing about the world and she's stuck in it, that would be a catch for me =]

11/8/2009 #16
VelvetyCheerio

Thank you both! ^-^ That was extremely helpful and now I can write a better plot summary. :)

I'm kind of iffy about coming very close to death because that would immediately make me think of BtT, but this idea is a unique one and I'm sure you can make it different. :)

Also what do you mean by this? Should I skip the whole death thing altogether?

11/8/2009 . Edited 11/8/2009 #17
Caterpillar-Drag-Queen

Jamadget Castle.

This is a story I've been working on for a very long time. I haven't posted it yet, maybe due to plain laziness or writer's block probably both. I've got it all planned out in my head but when I put it onto paper it just seems...crappy.

Anyway it's set in a small town called Jamadget Castle that is constantly having strange supernaturel beasts attacking it. Like gremlins and slimy, walking eyeballs and furry poisenous snakes...you know icky, monsters like that. It is being protected by 3 sisters with supernaturel powers. They have been protecting the town since birth and take their powers for granted. To top it off they are all teenagers and are having problems with school and family life. Also in the background a growing group of criminals are plotting to to cause fear and chaos throughout the town for mysterious purposes.

The story is mainly a gigantic character study as it focuses on each of the girl's and their problems, their family members and yes even the villains get a thourough examination as well. It's mainly about grudges, bad choices, consequences and the girl's painful growing up and finding out secrects of their family.

CONCERNS/COMMENTS

1) Is it sounding like a cliche teenage superhero story?

2) Is the plot paper thin?

3) Is it too complicated?

4) Is it melodramactic?

12/15/2009 . Edited 12/17/2009 #18
VelvetyCheerio

Feedback-Story-Jamdget Castle

As far as cliche, I don't think so that much. As long as you don't introduce other characters who never knew they had powers and then suddenly they're all saving the world, you could pull it off quite nicely.

The plot doesn't need that much more added to it, as long as you can keep the ball rolling from chapter to chapter. The fact that they're teenagers, AND guarding this castle (which has a very interesting name by the way) could make some parts seem a little over the top, especially if they prove to be more adept with their powers than adults. Unless, of course, every one in your story's world has the same maturity from birth to death, I would suspect that teenagers would be a little more apt to be reckless with their power.

No, your plot is in no way complicated.

Hmm, I don't know to much about melodrama. Just try not to overexaggerate everything. If one girl gets dumped, don't make it seem like the love of her life has just refused her. They're teenagers. They'll mope. They'll get over it. There are other fish in the sea. ;P

Good luck, hope I helped! :)

12/17/2009 #19
Caterpillar-Drag-Queen

Thank you very much! You've given me some things to work on, especially the girl overreacting to being dumped. ^^ I was a bit guilty of that...you know "woe is me my soulmate has abandoned me!111"

And one of the main points of the story will be the consquences of the girls using their powers recklessly...I imagine it like when you first drive a car and want to do wheelies and race each other. And then you crash the car and get grounded for a month.

Thanks again! I'll be sure to check out your stories!

12/17/2009 #20
VelvetyCheerio

Your welcome!

Thanks again! I'll be sure to check out your stories!

Oh, you don't have to! But thanks, regardless. :)

12/17/2009 #21
MechanicalJunk

Story Idea - [The Other Side]

Summary

This story is set in a fictional Underworld - the Other Side, the Realm of the Dead, etc. And I suppose I should begin by explaining some of the details of the Underworld, foremost how the dead are brought over, as the main story surrounds not the dead, but those who deal with them, and you won't really understand my plot summary unless you understand the mechanics of collecting.

Interns are "unofficial Deaths" who run around collecting the souls of those who have recently died - after all, you can't expect one man to collect all the dieing souls out there, can you? They collect said souls through reflections - preferably mirrors, but any reflection works, such as a rain drop or the reflection on a windowpane. They use glass spheres to collect the souls, and each sphere is distinct to one living person. The spheres - they're simply called collectors - are housed in the Light Room - a huge, cavernous hall that is lined with hundreds upon thousands of shelves, each holding rows of collectors. The collectors remain brightly lit with gold when their soul is still alive and they "s*** out" when the soul is about to die. This informs the sorters - like interns, but they keep track of the collectors in the Light Room - to quickly remove the snuffed collector from the shelf and hand it to a waiting intern, who will then quickly travel to the Mirrored Room - a huge, round, domed hall that's wall is covered in hundreds of full-length mirros - and enter through a mirror and find their soul. It does not matter which mirror an intern enters, as the collector in his or her hand will home in on its soul's death and bring the intern to it. After passing through any mirror in the Mirrored Room, the intern will find his- or herself in a small, round room, furnished with nothing but two mirrors. One is the doorway back to the Mirrored Room and the other is a window into the living world, where the soul is about to die. The intern walks up to the second mirror, and watches as the person on the other side dies (depending on what reflection is being used in the living world depends on the clarity of the intern's view. For instance, collecting through a raindrop is much more difficult than collecting through a full length vanity mirror). Just as the person dies, the intern will place the snuffed collector against the mirror and the soul will be sucked into it, causing the collector to light up in a very blinding, white light. The intern then returns to the Mirrored Room, heads for the Dump, and hand his or her newly lit collector to a smasher, who breaks the collector to release the soul. The soul then takes the form of a rather solid being. The only telling factor that he or she is dead is that he or she floats about an inch off the ground. The smasher steers the dead towards a waiting greeter who helps the dead understand exactly what has happened. After being taught the laws of the Underworld, the greeter will then help the dead find a place to live, an occupation, and different clubs and organizations he or she might be interested in joining. In the case of children, the greeter will try and find a family for the child to join. The entire collection process, and the Light Room, Mirrored Room, Dump, and greeter rooms, are in a very large, domed building called the Observatory that is in the dead centre of the city.

The Underworld is very similar to our own world. The dead are still dead, but they live very similar lives to those they had in the living world. There are many cities, but the capital is called, simply, the City of the Underworld - known to its inhabitants as Undercity. It was the first "area" of the Underworld and is the centre of collection. However, when whole cities and towns in the living world "die" - for example, the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum - the entire city is brought over to the Underworld. In addition, when whole buildings "die", they are brought over and added to Undercity. The inhabitants of the towns and/or buildings are brought over during the regular collection process. Animals may also be brought over, but they usually come with the cities and buildings. It is very rare for an animal to be brought over with a soul. It is also rare for a person to be brought over before their death. In both cases, it happens due to the intern's incompetence.

Beginning of Plot Summary

Penny is a simple, quiet young girl whose only friend is her cat. Due to her parents' lack of feelings towards her - they generally ignore her, though she isn't abused - she was forced to mature at an early age. In addition to her quiet nature, she doesn't really fit in with other children. Her cat is really a stray that she began to feed in desperation for something to talk to and who may return her own affection. Feeding the stray worked, as the cat began to simply follow her around as the years went by. One day, when coming home after wandering the city, Penny finds her parents have gone out. This does not surprise her or faze her, and she settles down for a typical night on her own. However, just as she begins to fall asleep with her cat, the apartment door opens. Two robbers, thinking the place was empty, have broken in. They find Penny and decide to kill her so as to die up loose ends. Just as one is about to stab her, a bright light flashes from a hallway mirror and both Penny and her cat disappear.

Luke is Death's son - the "big cheese" of the Underworld who supervises all the collecting and whose word is law. He is an immature, spoiled, hot tempered little brat who really wants to collect his first soul. One day, during a rather hectic time in the Light Room - multiple collectors have gone out at the same time, causing Michael (Death) to suspect a city has been destroyed - Luke corners his father and asks to help out. Despite his own judgment, Michael does not have the time to deal with his son at the moment, and he agrees. He sends another intern, Ennis, to accompany Luke and to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. Needless to say, Luke spectacularly fails at his first collection, bringing both Penny and her cat over a full eleven seconds before the girl's actual death.

The plot surrounds Penny, Luke, Ennis, and Michael as they try to figure out what to do with Penny. Michael cannot think of a way to send her back, as the only way to send anyone back to the living world is in the form of a ghost. There is also a very pesky dead mafia buggering about Michael's authority. And Penny looses her cat.

I should also mention, as this is a rarity in my stories, that this particular story does have some intentional themes in it, surrounding death and our feelings towards it. Despite living nearly the exact same lives they did in the living world, many of the dead are depressed simply because they know they are "dead." I suppose this story touches issues of wasting life and fear of death.

Wish I had something uploaded for you all to read, but right now I'm simply in the outlining stage of this. I have an older version of two chapters, but it isn't the best written thing in the world and I've made too many changes for it to be relevant.

And, er, sorry for the essay. Props to those who read through all of that.

Concerns/Comments

1. I really like my world, but I'm not entirely sure what the plot is or how everything will be executed.

2. Not entirely sure if Penny has a personality. Luke most certainly does, as does Ennis, and so does Michael. Maybe it's because, in the end, Penny is ridiculously, though unintentionally, similar to myself and I don't feel like I have much of a personality. I'm not sure if she'll be a very interesting main character. It seems like she's there more to get the story going, and to be a foil to Luke and his idiotic ways.

3. Not sure about the mafia. Might be a bit too ridiculous.

4. How do you feel about the Underworld and the collection process? Too confusing? Granted, I made up the whole "smashers" and "greeters" bit on the fly, as that part will never really be fully explained during the story anyways, as it does not play a major part. I just felt it should be best to explain the process all the way through for you guys' benefit.

5. Yes, the names of everything are supposed to be simplistic, especially the Light Room, Mirrored Room, collectors, interns, sorters, smashers, etc, as they were named by the interns, sorters, and smashers themselves simply to give them titles. Death's employees aren't a very original lot. Same with Undercity, as saying the City of the Underworld takes too much time. Also, Ennis and I are football nuts and I think Undercity United sounds cool.

1/15/2010 #22
VelvetyCheerio

Feedback-Story-The Other Side

Haha, I love your world, too! And I can see a plot already, especially if it is concerning trying to get Penny's cat back, or her soul back to the living world. Or both!

Mm, I wasn't getting much of a feel for Penny's personality, either, but I think that once you actually get her character down, it'll work out. She sort of strikes me as a person who is quiet, withdrawn, but has an amazing heart.

I think you could work out the mafia bit. I can see them trying to do everything to dispose Michael from power, and now, with his trigger happy son having made this huge mistake, they have even more excuse to get him to sign over power or something. Just make sure you mention them early on so it doesn't seem like they came out of nowhere and a are just there for the plot.

The collection process didn't confuse me so much as the need for a reflecting object. I didn't know what that was all about. :/

All in all, a very interesting idea. I want to see you work on this and produce a story out of it, because it is a very good idea. :D

1/17/2010 #23
MechanicalJunk

Thanks so much for the feedback, Cheerio!

And I agree about your description of Penny. Basically, as the story's been developing, I've been basing Penny's character off what I know of Luke's. He's crass, temperamental, and "trigger-happy", as you mentioned. He doesn't think before he acts and he hates to deal with the consequences of his actions. The epitome of spoiled kid. Therefore, I've always thought of Penny as very quiet, very observant, and very reclusive, and she doesn't like complication or fuss or risks. It also seems that Penny's detached nature creates the impression that she's rather uncaring, when, in fact, she cares quite a bit. And yeah, I think if I just start to write out the story, her personality will work its way forward. I've sort have always felt that the whole mess with Penny's collection, and her quiet adjustment to being in the Underworld, would work towards Luke beginning to feel sorry for what he's done. Doesn't help that he effs up a few more times, where Penny's concerned :P

Thanks for the advice about the mafia, as well. I agree, if I mentioned them too late it would look like they're there simply because I don't have a plot - which, to a point, I don't :P I think they could work, if I figured out some of the loose ends. After all, it isn't as if they don't have a motive. Why should some self-righteous reaper rule the world of the dead, and not the dead themselves? I actually think I could thread that plot with trying to send Penny home as well, and her missing cat. So many possibilities :)

And, heh, I've got to admit, I have no idea where reflections came from either. I can barely remember how I came up with the entire story idea in the first place, but I do remember that mirrors factored into it somehow. Dun'no, I guess I just began noticing all the different reflections found in everyday life, from regular mirrors to TVs to metal and plastic objects to eyes? And I suppose I could get even more symbolic and poetic and all that nonsense by stating that the Underworld as I depict it is somewhat of a mirror image of the living world, but not an exact copy. But that wasn't my original reasoning behind using reflections - I never had any reasoning behind it. I just needed to find a way to link the living world with the underworld, and reflections seemed an easy fix :P

And thank you so much, again, for the review. Funnily enough, getting feedback - even negative (actually, especially negative) - makes me want to write that much more :)

1/17/2010 #24
Thetis of White Isle

This is such an awesome idea for a thread. We all really could use other people to bounce ideas off of. Anyway, I actually have three, but one of them probably won't go on Fiction Press, so I'll leave that aside. Moving on...

Story Idea - Watch the Gentle Tide

For efficiency's sake, I'll just refer to it as Tide from here on out. The story revolves around a man named Michael, and as a kid a second moon appeared in the sky. Later, when he grows up, he made a few bad decisions. He now works at a dead-end job, and he really only has one friend, and lives in a dusty apartment. It's a quiet life, not really lacking in that he's well-fed, clothed, a roof over his head--but is that all there is to living? One day, while he's at the beach in the coastal town in which he lives, he runs into his one friend, a cop, but is currently off-duty. Michael and him see a meteorite from the second moon, and basically? It crash-lands right into the ocean in front of them.

When the dust clears, a girl washes to shore. Who happens to have wings. The rest of the story concerns Michael's life as they try to find out what's going on, where the girl came from, etc.

The tone of Tide ranges from mildly humorous to deadly serious at times, and at the end Michael is confronted with a rather monumental choice at the end, which takes into consideration the theme of maturity, taking responsibility for your own actions.

Concerns: 1) I have continually edited Tide over the last nearly two years, never being satisfied with where it is. Even now. It got so bad that I had to put it down, and work on another story. In its current form, does this story have what it takes to work? I have a great deal more details than this concerning the goings-on and details, but they remain fluid. Should I just give this up?

2) I have a major problem transitioning when they find the girl on the beach to getting into the meat of the plot. She is supposed to stay with Michael, posing as his relative, but is this plausible? Because I think if you told people where she actually came from, nobody is going to believe you. Thanks to Michael's friend, they are able to suss out that she's not in the missing persons database. But I need to ground this more...

3) The actual first ending concerned a reboot in time. I have since excised this in favor of an ending which put a fine point (not too fine of one, I hope) on personal accountability. My concern is primarily whether this ending suits Tide, or should I not even worry about that? The tone can get very humorous at times, but I hope that in the execution, the levity balances out the seriousness of some of the core themes. Any thoughts?

Here's my second idea:

Story Idea - Untitled

This one's even sketchier than the last. Please bear with me.

Ever meet someone who seemed to have the perfect life? He had it all together, friends, job, money, everything that he ever wanted, and he was so content that it made your heart wrench in envy just thinking about it? Even worse, it was someone who, although you'd never knew him before, the way he treated those in his life, with such utter carelessness and disregard, using women like toys, cheating in his job, etc., you knew he was completely undeserving of it? The envy continued to fester because you continually worked for everything that you had, and this man just had it all handed to him on a silver platter. What would you do with the man, this undeserving cretin?

Meet Isaac. Who makes it a point to control everything that he can, and use his faculties to his full advantage. When an opportunity arises to put this man in his place, he does not hesitate. But seeing the man stumble quickly becomes addicting, and eventually things go too far.

Comments: 1) How to make someone like Isaac into someone you could have sympathy for? As far as I'm concerned, there's way too many hard edges here to even conceive of making him even remotely likable. Not that he has to be likable, but I find it difficult to write about people I can't relate to at all. This is really thus far an intriguing concept. It mainly surrounds the idea of what it takes to destroy someone. And Isaac isn't even doing it out of any personal vengeance; he just likes to reduce people to breaking point, and maybe even beyond, for the sheer thrill of it.

2) Any good, this idea? Does anybody want to actually read about psychopath who indulges in sadistic mind games? I actually had the idea floating around in my head for a while--the prototype of Isaac is actually contained within my current story, Ugly Girls Blame the Mirror, but he's actually being destroyed himself in that one, so never mind. And Isaac is much, much further gone than George.

I know that was a bit of a book, but if anyone can offer some suggestions, I will be very grateful.

1/30/2010 #25
VelvetyCheerio

Feedback-Story-Watch the Gentle Tide

Well, the plot seems pretty interesting. What I want to know: the second moon isn't natural, is it?

1.) You should never give up a work you believe strongly in, esp. if you've been working on it for the past two years. You can make this story work, but I think you need to first re-work the plot. I mean, try and visualise yourself in Michael's place: he's got a crap job that pays him in rice and beans, he probably lives in a shack; he's pretty much on his last leg. Then, he meets a strange alien girl perhaps? It's like taking home a pet! O: You gotta feed her, cloth her, teach her commands (xD jk)...

2.)

Because I think if you told people where she actually came from, nobody is going to believe you.

Well, why do they have to tell them she's from space? XD They could say she's from Minnesota... or Alaska! o: You know, one of those obscure villages out in the Amazon, mmhmm. Plus, I think the whole wings thing may work against them. Though, I'm sure you have something worked out for that. As for transitioning, well, you could have it that they're trying to teach her maybe language, how to identify certain objects, maybe exposing her to all the aspects of the "typical" lifestyle. I can see how this could get hilarious. xD

3.) Endings are pretty tough, I think. I mean, personally, I can end a story, but probably not like I want to. Usually, the story will end itself and you'll know, but sometimes you have to put a little thought in it. Try visualising the story in your head like a movie (at least that works for me :/) or a novel and seeing how you want it to end.

Hopefully that helped! Keep in touch and don't be afraid to ask more questions. :)

1/30/2010 #26
VelvetyCheerio

Feedback-Story-Untitled

And here's the second one! XD I have to admit, I don't understand this one too much. :| Is Isaac the one that has the perfect life? Who's trying to ruin him, then? Or does he ruin himself?

1.) How to make him relatable/likeable? Give him a pet, a sick sibling, a best friend, a terrible past... give a reason to his madness. Maybe he just wants to please someone who will never notice him. (I wrote a story with a sort of psychopath, didn't pull it off too well I might add ;P, but I mean, people seemed to like him, and I could relate to him, because he loved his pet hamster. *shrugs* just a thought.)

2.) Ooh, people love the psychopath. Mind games are the best of them all, too! Go for it, I say. I'd read it. What sane member of society doesn't love a crazy person story? XD

1/30/2010 #27
Thetis of White Isle

No, the second moon isn't natural. It shows up for a reason. Somebody who read my prologue was like, "There's nothing that stands out about your story yet. People like stuff that grabs their attention." I was like, "What, did you miss the entire celestial body showing up in Earth's atmosphere?" But never mind. The summary went something like this: "Michael was so desperate for something to change that he didn’t care about it being for the better. When it finally does, he discovers there’s more to this existence than getting by. Features angels, extra-terrestrials, and random celestial bodies, and not necessarily in that order."

Well, about the story...I don't know if I believe in it that strongly, especially considering that I don't even know how my writing is. I suffer from self-doubts occasionally on that count. I've been reworking the plot, but what is mainly defying me is that I try to get everything to work logistically, and sometimes with elements of the fantastic, you don't know how far to take it until it becomes completely ludicrous.

Well, the first thought when the winged girl falls out of the sky, they thought maybe she fell from an airplane something. And the funny about the wings, is that they're not sure if they imagined it partly, because they had a beer or two on the beach while watching the sun set, and they disappear. So that casts a few doubts right there on their credibility, though they were far from drunk. Though I have to thank you for giving me the idea of how to transition the 'learning how to be human' bit.

The ending is pure crack at this point, but it raises some interesting questions, I thought. I'll...I guess I'll figure it out as I work towards that point.

Oh, I guess I didn't clarify sufficiently. Isaac is the psychopath that worked hard to get where he is in life, and he observes this other man, who is basically a horrible person, but everyone adores him because he's so charismatic. And Isaac is disgusted by him, and yet fascinated by what he can learn from the other man, and is intent on utterly destroying him eventually. It's really...a messed-up story. And sometimes, there isn't a satisfactory reason as to why people are like that. Some people...are just born unfeeling of others. Antisocial personality disorder is like that.

Is the crazy person story overdone though? Makes me wonder if I can pull it off. *cracks knuckles*

Thank you very much for replying, and so quickly too!

1/30/2010 #28
L. W. Perry

It's late, I'm hyper, and this seems complicated so bear with me.... X3

Story Idea - Hey, Window Boy

I don't feel like typing out the entire title again every time I mention it, so it'll just be HWB for now. I've been planning this story for awhile and the idea keeps evolving and I'm finally starting to write it so I want some feedback. The story will be short (two or three chapters) and features only two characters (with others mentioned) and one place (with others mentioned). The plot is kind of cliche, but I kinda want the story to be simple and sweet. It's basically about my character Noah [Window Boy] who makes lists. He lives in the city and likes to just chill on his fire escape. So, my other character Luke moves into the building and Noah can see into his room from his and the fire escapes are connected. Luke is for the most part oblivious of Noah's view. Noah starts to keep tabs on him and starts his list that he titles Things I Know About Luke Daniel. It starts off with simple things like "Name: Luke Daniel" and "Apartment Number: 211" and "Plays guitar" then he starts to talk to Luke and becomes friends with him. He continues his list adding things like "Dad is having affair with a woman named Melodie" and "Wants to go on a cross country road trip in a VW Bus" and other little things. All this time, Luke doesn't know his name and is calling him Window Boy (hence the name). I want there to be a bit of a romance (if only hinted at) and am wanting Noah's name to kind of be a secret until somewhere in the first chapter where Luke says: "Hey, Window Boy! What's your name?"

Concerns:

1. Is it too simple? There isn't a concrete chain of events and conflict and climax so I'm worried that readers would get bored.

2. The name thing. I want Noah to be kind of anonymous, but I know that some readers won't like not knowing his name.

3. And...any suggestions?

1/30/2010 #29
VelvetyCheerio

"Michael was so desperate for something to change that he didn’t care about it being for the better. When it finally does, he discovers there’s more to this existence than getting by. Features angels, extra-terrestrials, and random celestial bodies, and not necessarily in that order."

I like the summary, but I would advise removing the last sentence. Sometimes the best summaries are the ones that tempt, and I think if you left it at the two sentences you have, that would tempt someone.

I don't know if I believe in it that strongly, especially considering that I don't even know how my writing is. I suffer from self-doubts occasionally on that count.

How about this. I will review the story you mentioned previously and see what I can make of it. :) (not right now though, my eyes are stressing from being open so long)

And sometimes, there isn't a satisfactory reason as to why people are like that. Some people...are just born unfeeling of others. Antisocial personality disorder is like that.

Well, I must disagree. (My dad pushes me into this sort of stuff, so I sort of have to know as much about it as I can. :/) If it is not a whacked up life filled with trauma, abusive/irresponsible parents, and harsh environment, it has been proven that many psychopaths have mental disorders: s***, manic bipolar, multiple personality...

I mean, look at every psychopath you've ever heard of. There's background checks for these people.... ¬.¬ Which makes me mad, cause why do they let people with backgrounds like that go into work and all that jazz? And then they're so surprised when they go berserk, acting like they never knew. -_- /rant

But I mean, if you just want him to hate this other dude with a burning passion, go at it. I mean, this other dude does have everything Isaac worked so hard to acheive and he's a manipulative j*** about it too... I'd be pretty mad myself. Probably wouldn't want to ruin him in sadistic pleasure, but I'd be mad. XD

1/30/2010 #30
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