Robinski

Robinski - 160926 - Quirk - Submission 4 - 2205 words (L-slight, S-implied)

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Hey there everybody!

So, last time, I submitted the first 500 words (x3) based on different promises for a scientist, Q and M (S10-Ep14); these included the first 13 lines, ‘crammed’ with set-up (S10-Ep16); also incorporating (in theory) the “gee whizz” theme/idea in each case (S10-Ep17).

This time around, there are two exercises in play from Season 10 of Writing Excuses.

 

(S10-E18) Pick your gee-whiz, whatever it may be, and describe it in 150 words from ten different perspectives. Yes, that’s 1500 words.

(S10-E19) Write dialogue in which each of the speakers has a different subtext and motive. Without explicitly stating those, try and make them clear to the reader.

 

I should mention that I have not edited these much, other than to get them down (or up) to 150 words – in the case of the perspectives. No need for line-by-lines, as doubtless most of these will never make it into a story.

In terms of the second exercise, you may have read a previous submission in which Paxton Grimes, from the colony on Grbr. 34A1, met Moth in a train station and was ‘escorted’ by her into the centre of Milan, where he was meeting with Ant di F. Well, here is the opening of that meeting between Grimes and di F. I will post up (as a hidden ‘spoiler’) the basis for the scene after I’ve had a few comments on RE, assuming anyone reads it!!   :)

Thanks for your kind attention.

<R>

Edited by Robinski
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S10-E18

I'm not certain what I'm supposed to do. I mean, I read the fragments, and certainly each has a strong character voice, but that's all I can tell without knowing who the characters actually are (well, save for Moth - and its consistent with the excerpt I read previously) or going line-by-line.

S10-E19

The dialogue is generally well-done, but too short for me to really get a feel for the characters, and I had problems with deciding who's POV it is (unless it's supposed to omniscient?). From what I got: one man came from outside the Earth, the other is some kind of businessman, and I'm not entirely certain, but is he trying to bribe?

...

I feel I wrote terrible little here. If you have specific questions, perhaps I can be of more help.

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No, my fault, I should have been more specific about the exercises.

The idea of the first one (the 10 perspectives), as I see it, is to practice introducing world-building details about your "gee whizz" (your core cool idea that makes the story interesting). So, I guess I should have asked readers to confirm (I hope) what the core idea is, and to comment on whether the perspectives give a good sense of the idea without being info-dumpy and just telling a bunch of specific details.

In the second one (the dialogue), the idea was that each of the speakers has a main motive going into the meeting, but also a subtext to their discussion. I would appreciate the thoughts of readers here on what the main motive of each of the men is, but also what subtext is there, as you see it, to the way they handle the conversation. If nothing presents itself on this, don't worry about it. It have a track record of being rather oblique in the way I attempt to deliver certain information, so if you come up with nothing clear, that will not be entirely surprising, and entirely down to my ineffective dialogue.

:)

p.s. - I was going for 3rd person limited, but I don't think I've ever used it, and didn't really consider how to before I wrote this, so feel free to have at that too.

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21 minutes ago, Robinski said:

The idea of the first one (the 10 perspectives), as I see it, is to practice introducing world-building details about your "gee whizz" (your core cool idea that makes the story interesting). So, I guess I should have asked readers to confirm (I hope) what the core idea is, and to comment on whether the perspectives give a good sense of the idea without being info-dumpy and just telling a bunch of specific details.

I guess your gee whizz are androids that appear human and are able to keep human company as if they were humans themselves. I don't think you were info-dumpy in any of the perspectives, but well, they were short.

21 minutes ago, Robinski said:

In the second one (the dialogue), the idea was that each of the speakers has a main motive going into the meeting, but also a subtext to their discussion. I would appreciate the thoughts of readers here on what the main motive of each of the men is, but also what subtext is there, as you see it, to the way they handle the conversation. If nothing presents itself on this, don't worry about it. It have a track record of being rather oblique in the way I attempt to deliver certain information, so if you come up with nothing clear, that will not be entirely surprising, and entirely down to my ineffective dialogue.

I still think Toni wants to bribe Paxton XD I'm not so sure what Paxton may want, other than visit a man he had spoken to via internet/whatever the communicator is called in you world. But I'm unaccustomed to this kind of obscure dialogue, TBH. The official (main?) motive seems to be the meeting of friends after one of them finally arrived on Earth, or an official greeting of some sort, like two men getting to meet before they start working together.

21 minutes ago, Robinski said:

p.s. - I was going for 3rd person limited, but I don't think I've ever used it, and didn't really consider how to before I wrote this, so feel free to have at that too.

All right, so I was confused because at first I thought it would be Paxton's POV, but then the tags seemed to be focused on Toni. I expected to know more about Paxton's thoughts if it was his POV, but I got nothing (on Toni too, apart from his gestures). Perhaps it's because of the exercise's nature - you avoided stating their motives in the narrative - but because of that, it felt omniscient to me. Or even not omniscient, but as if there was a third person in the room and was relaying only things he/she sees.

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No LBLs, so general impressions below. 

I really enjoyed the Sister Giulia perspective. Moth seemed pretty two dimensional in this one, and Quirk seemed more, I don't know, tech-y maybe? I was expecting him to comment on the sleekness of design or something akin. A number of the early voices sounded very similar. Sister Giulia's was the one that really stood out to me.

I didn't pick up the subtext from either of the characters in the S10-E19 bit. I caught some wiffs, but not enough to really figure out what was going on.

 

These exercises are fun to read! It's neat to watch your characters develop in such a compact way!

 

ETA: I see your specific questions above. Yes, I did get the core idea from the ten narratives. I enjoyed hearing about the androids from multiple perspectives and it gave me a solid feel for the world. 

Edited by kaisa
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That's great, thank you, @kaisa. Hear what you say about the dialogue and subtext. I think I am always so concerned about having characters just blurting stuff out that I err too much the other way. Having said that, this is pretty quick, dashed out dialogue, so there's be no real refinement of it. It's also only a part of the scene, so would struggle against the objective anyway.

Thanks so much for the comments.

:) 

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- In the gee-wiz exercise, the ones actually written in the main character's mind sound the best. The ones written as a monologue feel a little too stilted, like the main character is speaking in a news interview instead of naturally.

- As per usual, Moth's stands out as the best.

- I liked the bribery element of the other dialogue. The only thing that seemed a little out of place is that Toni didn't seem quite as intimidating as either his stature or his status would allow. 

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Hey Robinski, I enjoyed your writing as usual, and I liked seeing what you could do with ten different voices approaching the same topic. Nice work. How big a part of your plot is this gee-whiz going to be? One concern I had was that--if the androids are meant to be a key element of the plot--I wasn't picking up on a lot of central conflict/theme type stuff that was really drawing me in. For example, some of the characters definitely had issues with this new technology, but I wasn't picking up on serious, plot-driving threats being presented to these characters. With ten voices, I expected myself to think at some point, "Wow, that IS an interesting implication for android-human relations! I wonder what the characters are going to do about that!" These also seemed like some of the usual issues with androids--e.g., replacement of human workers--and so I'm curious what spin you are going to put on these. But, maybe these ten voices are just to present the status quo, and the threat is coming. Or maybe I missed something?

I'm liking these vignettes, which makes me excited to see what you can do with a story!

Edited by Coop
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I liked the perspectives on your "gee-whiz" factor.  I liked the developer's perspective and how it differed from the perspective of the public.  As someone married to a research programmer, it felt very realistic - what "lay" people think is cool can be more of a misunderstanding than anything!  I also agree that Sister Giulia's perspective was the most unique, immersive, and touching.  In my commenting document I highlighted the last line and commented little hearts. <3 <3

I couldn't tell exactly what was happening in your dialogue exchange, but I'll lay out my thoughts so you can see how far I got.  I got that Toni and/or his company was giving the Groombridge government money, and that Grimes was making sure that money got used in ways that benefitted Toni.  I also picked up that Grimes doesn't really want to be under Toni's thumb anymore, and is trying to keep Toni from giving him any more orders or bribing him so he can keep out of Toni's debt.  Grimes wants to be done with it, whatever 'it' is.  But he doesn't want to offend Toni, since Toni obviously has a lot of control over Grimes.  That's all I got!

I agree with Ernei that the third person still felt omniscient-ish to me.  But that might be the style of story you're writing, so it's not necessarily a problem.

Very cool!  Excited to read more, as always.

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Thanks again for your comments, @Ernei, sorry I've been so slow in responding.

On 26/09/2016 at 7:51 PM, Ernei said:

I guess your gee whizz are androids that appear human and are able to keep human company as if they were humans themselves.

I'm going for the gee whizz being the ability to link a human to an android the the extent that the human can experience the sensory feedback from the android as if it was the human's own. So, like a VR body instead of just the helmet. That was the reasoning for putting Dr. John Mills' perspective first, but maybe I did not convey that well enough - I shall see what the others say.

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On 27/09/2016 at 3:10 AM, kaisa said:

These exercises are fun to read! It's neat to watch your characters develop in such a compact way!

Awesome!

On 27/09/2016 at 3:10 AM, kaisa said:

I didn't pick up the subtext from either of the characters in the S10-E19 bit. I caught some wiffs, but not enough to really figure out what was going on.

Yeah, this really is something I need to work on.

Thanks for the comments, @kaisa, and for reading - much appreciated.

[edit] Lol - senior moment!!! I already replied. Clearly, your comments were so good I answered twice.

 

Edited by Robinski
early onset stupidity
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On 28/09/2016 at 5:22 PM, rdpulfer said:

Toni didn't seem quite as intimidating as either his stature or his status would allow

Agreed. I was not thinking about that at all, and this really was kind of dashed out, to some degree. I suspect that Toni would have become more intimidating in the face of Paxton's resistance. Toni wants to get (keep) his hooks in Paxton, but the man is trying to send Toni the message that he's a government man (now) and can't be bought. No doubt this situation would come to a head in a more intense way, but maybe not even in this scene at all.

On 28/09/2016 at 5:22 PM, rdpulfer said:

Moth's stands out as the best.

Interesting, as @kaisa didn't like Moth this time.

Thank you, RD! :)

 

Edited by Robinski
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On 30/09/2016 at 1:33 AM, Coop said:

How big a part of your plot is this gee-whiz going to be? One concern I had was that--if the androids are meant to be a key element of the plot--I wasn't picking up on a lot of central conflict/theme type stuff that was really drawing me in. For example, some of the characters definitely had issues with this new technology, but I wasn't picking up on serious, plot-driving threats being presented to these characters.

Yes, no, this is fine. Nowhere in these perspectives does the main conflict of the particular story I have in mind appear and, although the VR body aspect of the androids is the gee whizz for one story, the presence of androids themselves is hardly original, 'gee whizz'-wise. I'm still world-building here, and still following the exercises without really getting into my story (frustratingly).

On 30/09/2016 at 1:33 AM, Coop said:

But, maybe these ten voices are just to present the status quo, and the threat is coming.

Bingo - there you have it!!  (sort of) :)

Thanks for the comments, @Coop, much appreciated.

 

Edited by Robinski
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20 hours ago, Hobbit said:

As someone married to a research programmer, it felt very realistic - what "lay" people think is cool can be more of a misunderstanding than anything!

Wow, awesome!! Thanks @Hobbit, great to hear.

20 hours ago, Hobbit said:

I also agree that Sister Giulia's perspective was the most unique, immersive, and touching.

Excellent - mission accomplished. I totally get that these talking heads are more likely to be devoid of emotion, and that Giulia's is much more internal narrative, therefore likely to have some emotional resonance. I feel like I could have done better on this front with the sex-worker. What I'm finding is that I'm not investing as much effort in these exercises as I would in the story proper, partly through my keenness to get through them to the nitty-gritty or writing the story.

20 hours ago, Hobbit said:

That's all I got!

Hey, I will take that, considering that I didn't really put the hard hours into the scene, and that it's half-finished, and not really sitting in the correct context of a through plot line.

Really appreciate your comments, Hobbit - thank you so much :)

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