LambentTyto

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About LambentTyto

  1. Okay, here's that excerpt of Hellhole I was talking about. I made sure not to make it very long, so Its only 1K words. Anyways, in my attempts to understand the finer points of fiction I've tried to identify the various tools (action, dialogue, sensory description, interior monologue, interior emotion, narrative summery, "exposition", and statistic description,) within this excerpt. I'm not entirely sure I have identified them correctly, though I was told I was by two people. This novel was written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. When I read Anderson novels I noticed they are slower paced than most I read, I was never quite sure why this was until I did this exercise, and what I've noticed is that he uses more exposition than most authors in order to slow down his chapters. I admit, Anderson uses a lot of exposition, so don't make the mistake in thinking I use as much as he does. I probably use about a 3rd or 4rth of what he does in this excerpt. Here's the excerpt: Though it was the territorial capital of eleven Deep Zone colonies, Ridgetop was required to pay tribute to the Constellation just like any other world. Governor Carlson Goler had to encourage the production of useful items from all the planets he supervised under authority from the Diadem. It was his job, though he did not relish it.—[paragraph is exposition] * The fledgling DZ settlements struggled to stand on their own feet, even though they still received regular supply shipments from the Crown Jewels. The colonists planted crops to feed themselves, established mining and fabrication industries to meet their own urgent needs and support their own people. They didn’t have surplus resources or luxury items to please the Constellation’s noble families.—[paragraph is exposition] * On each of his eleven planets, Territorial Governor Goler had to act as if the Diadem’s priorities were more important than the colonists’.—[exposition] No wonder the individual planetary administrators didn’t like him.—[interior monologue] How could he sound credible when he didn’t necessarily agree with the idea himself?—[interior monologue] He had done his best, trying to soften the blow from the Constellation behemoth, even though he could never deflect it.—[exposition] And he had to be careful so that his efforts weren’t obvious, which meant the people didn’t realize how hard he was trying.—[exposition] * Goler sighed . . . then sneezed.—[action] The pollens in Ridgetop’s air often irritated him. He was a lanky, dark-skinned man with a quiet voice and a soft demeanor. Many of his fellow territorial governors considered him innocuous; others simply found him invisible.—[the rest of this paragraph is exposition] * With the next stringline hauler due to arrive in three days, Ridgetop’s required tribute had to be prepped.—[exposition] Goler went out to the steep hillsides to watch heavy machinery clear another swath of spindly but beautiful goldenwood trees.—[action, and sensory description] Dirt roads had been carved onto the steep slopes, zigzagging through razed areas where overworked loggers clearcut the tall forest, leaving only stumps and trampled, weedy vegetation.—[sensory description] * Because the goldenwood groves were so gorgeous and serene, such hillside scars offended Goler’s sensibilities, but the logging was necessary; he knew of no other way to meet the tribute. Fortunately, after being severely shocked by cutting, the trees’ root systems responded with an outburst of growth and would cover the hillsides again in a decade.—[paragraph is exposition] * Goldenwood lumber shimmered in the sunlight like veins of precious metal, making it a much prized building material.—[sensory description and exposition] Once processed, the boards were packed into reinforced upboxes and launched into orbit, where they would be retrieved by the stringline hauler, and rushed to Sonjeera for distribution.—[exposition] * Down in the cutting zone, humming lifters grasped smooth trunks, while trimmers sliced off feathery leaf clusters that looked like strips of metal foil.—[sensory description and action] Scooping up armfuls of sheared-off leaves, male and female lumber workers packed them in crates.—[action] In a flash of inspiration, Goler had actually convinced the Constellation that goldenwood leaves were valuable and could be processed into exotic materials and coatings, and they had become moderately popular among nobles on the Crown Jewel world.—[exposition] By contrast, no one on Ridgetop saw much use in the leaves, but the settlers were happy to include them as part of the tribute to the Diadem.—[exposition] It eased their burden a little bit.—[exposition] * For eleven years now, Michella had been content enough with Goler’s leadership. When he was first assigned to this DZ planet, she told him that his utmost priority was to see that the new colonists caused no trouble.—[exposition] “Ridgetop has already given me enough difficulties, Mr Goler. Let’s not do that again.”—[dialogue] * Before his arrival, the Army of the Constellation had razed an old squatter colony and replaced all the unauthorized settlers with her own people. Over the years, under Goler’s administration, Ridgetop had become a model frontier colony.—[paragraph is exposition] * The numerous habitable planets in the Deep Zone had been known for centuries, peripherally mapped by probes and intrepid long-range explorers. But without any established stringline connections, those worlds were considered too distant and inconvenient to be worth a major settlement effort. The only way to reach them had been via old-style FTL transport, which required voyages that lasted months or years.—[paragraph is exposition] * Back then, the DZ planets attracted only the hardiest and most desperate colonists. Few were willing to leave the comforts of Crown Jewel civilization to risk the long and expensive voyage, unless they had nothing to lose. Anyone who decided to colonize those enigmatic worlds knew it would be a one-way trip, since old FTL ships had insufficient fuel for the return voyage and had no spacedock or manufacturing facilities on the other end. They were pioneers going off into the unknown.—[paragraph is exposition] * The newly extended stringline network changed all that. By dispatching her trailblazer vessels to lay down iperion paths to the frontier planets, Diadem Michella suddenly had fifty-four new worlds under her control. With her blessing, she invited ambitious people from the crowded Crown Jewels to go and make a new start.—[paragraph is exposition] * Not surprisingly, the original squatters who had ventured out to claim virgin territory years earlier were not pleased with the sudden influx of outsiders. They had left the Constellation behind long ago and had been surviving without help or interference from the old government. When Michella annexed the entire Deep Zone and subsequently imposed tariffs and taxes, the independents resisted violently. The Diadem was forced to dispatch her military to squash several uprisings, including one on Ridgetop before she brought in Carlson Goler to clean up the mess and start afresh.—[paragraph is exposition] * Even though he was Territorial Governor out here, the powerful noble families back in the Crown Jewels considered him little more than a trumped-up civil servant. But Goler did his work and paid attention to the way the wind was blowing. He had always been a realistic man, yet he had already achieved much more than he’d expected. Though fulfilling the Diadem’s regular tribute was a persistent thorn in his side, Goler chose not to rock the boat. The people understood that.—[paragraph is exposition, though the last sentence COULD be interior monologue, though it feels more like exposition]. I'm still reading Hellhole and am about 300 pages in, and most the chapters read like this, though there are areas that use more dialogue and action of course, but on average, this is what his chapters look like, and he's a big name author with lots of awards. His scenes are surrounded by exposition, as if it were the glue that holds the whole chapter together. I'm enjoying the book, and its obvious others are too. What do you think?
  2. Thanks for the posts, but I know the difference between show and tell, but these writers seem to think "everything" has to be shown, like exposition is some evil thing that should never be used. In fact, I have an excerpt from the novel hellhole that I was looking at, if you're interested in looking?
  3. I can't help but feel I'm getting bad advise. Though, I could be wrong, which is why I'm making this post. This is for you writers out there. Other writers keep telling me to show, don't tell whenever I use exposition to explain small facts about the characters or story world, even when they don't have any direct bearing on plot. If I had to show everything, I'd end up with a ten thousand page book. What is it with writers and their obsession with "show don't tell"? Orson Scott Card, in his Uncle Orson's Writing class questions and answers calls them "morons." I don't know. Am I getting bad advice do you think? This is one of the reasons I don't want alpha readers (author writers who critque your work) for my work. In my opinion, writers, especially non published writers or small time published writers, tend to be arrogant. And of course, every writer does thigs their own way. I think alphas hurt my work more than help because often what they tell me to do is totalled opposite of what established writers say to do in books they've written on writing, including what Brandon Sanderson says in his lectures. So this is why I'm thinking they're wrong. Any thoughts? Thanks
  4. Yeah, I've ownloaded both his 2012 and 2013 lectures. I love them! Anyways, thanks for posting!
  5. I've been a fan of Writing Excuses for a while now and have listened to most of the podcasts, but I actually started at the beginning, so I haven't reached the latest episodes yet. Still on Season 8. Anyways, just saying hi. Wondering if any of the Writing Excuses cast members ever post on here?