Some advice on what to write next?:
Some time passed onboard the Citadel after the arrival of the ‘fourth lord’. How much time passed exactly would always remain a mystery, for in the Citadel time itself could be called ‘grey’: it blurred together into a thin, mindless paste. Everything was cold and dull and white. For Gaudium, this was intolerable. Deep inside he knew that the Citadel, dull and cold as it was, had to be temporary: the very thought that he would have to spend his whole life there would surely have driven him mad otherwise. As it was, he was only slightly insane. He was stood on the raised platform of yellow, red and purple in the tiny theatre that he called his ‘room’. In the corner was his bed, a simple, 7 foot long rectangle of white metal with a mattress and a quilt displaying the same stylized hourglass that decorated the rest of the Citadel. All around the theatre were seats, which, as always, were simple, backless stools made from the same cold white metal as everything else. In his hands was a long, sleek electric guitar, painted in a mixture of whites and bright yellows: the head was out of proportion, however, and shaped like an archetypical ‘sun’ with its’ rays descending down the neck parallel to the strings. With a smirk, he adjusted his sunglasses and his headphones, and gave a thumbs-up to one of the nearby EGO. It was a small, perfectly round creature, about a foot tall, covered in a thin layer of soft yellow fur, with a set of four extremely stubby limbs. A pair of disproportionately large, bird like wings and the same, eerie blank white mask that all other EGO possessed completed the bizarre creature. It contentedly hopped up and down, and using its’ wing it flicked a single tiny switch on the side of one of the massive speakers that Gaudium had to either side of him. And then he started to play.
edited 22nd Oct '11 10:04:10 AM by Eventua
Time passed aboard The Citadel after the arrival of the Fourth Lord. How much time exactly would always remain a mystery, for in The Citadel time itself blurred together into a thin, featureless existence. Everything was cold and dull and white. For Gaudium, this was intolerable. Deep inside he knew that his time on The Citadel had to be temporary—the very thought that he would have to spend his whole life there would surely have driven him mad otherwise. As it was, he was only slightly insane. He stood on the raised platform of yellow, red and purple in the tiny theatre that he called his ‘room’. In the corner was his bed, a mattress resting on a simple, seven foot long rectangle of white metal, and covered by a quilt displaying the same stylized hourglass that decorated the rest of the ship. Around the platform were simple, backless stools made from the same cold white metal as everything else. In his hands was a long, sleek electric guitar, painted in whites and bright yellows. The head was out of proportion and shaped like a sunburst with its rays descending down the neck, parallel to the strings. Smirking, he adjusted his sunglasses and headphones before giving a thumbs-up to one of the nearby EG Os. They were perfectly round creatures about a foot tall with a four extremely stubby limbs, and covered in short, soft yellow fur. On their backs were a pair of disproportionately large bird-like wings and their faces were covered by eerie blank white masks. The EGO contentedly hopped up and down, using its wing it flicked a single tiny switch on the side of one of the massive speakers standing on either side of Gaudium. And then he started to play.
As for scenes with music, I suggest describing the feelings about the music, and images it invokes rather than going too in depth into lyrics or beats. It gets the reader into it more. When he gets interrupted, just abruptly have musing about the music cut off by whatever interrupts him.
edited 23rd Oct '11 4:04:50 PM by NoirGrimoir
- Vary your sentence structure. I tried not to change things too much in editing it, since I don't believe in altering someone's work in edits to the point that it's unrecognizable, but from this snippet I can see that you start a lot of words with the 'subject'. "It did this", "He was this" "The thing looked like this", etc. It gets pretty monotonous rather quickly. Try switching things up every other sentence or so, if you can. Without altering the text to much, you can really increase the flow just by making more sentence variety. Example of switching a sentence around without changing much:
- He spied something suspicious from the window and went outside to check it out. becomes...
- Spying something suspicious from the window, he went to check it out.
- Speaking of switching sentences around, aside from increasing flow, this can help remove some of those linking words like 'and' that can sometimes drag a sentence down when you have more than one. (I didn't necessarily notice this in your writing, thinking back, but it's useful to know, so here you go) Say, if you have a list involved some where in the sentence then you might end up with more then one 'and'. I'd give an example but I can't think of anything at the moment (they exist, though, honest). Personally I try to never repeat a word in a sentence if I don't absolutely have to, or I'm doing so on purpose for some reason. With nouns, verbs and adjectives (and adverbs) I try not to repeat using them within two or three sentences of the last time I used them either, if I can help it. This is where synonyms come in (if they are the right synonym, though. Don't pick a random word in the thesaurus entry, make sure the substitute word is appropriate.)
- Descriptions. You have a lot of them. They are short but noticeable, and I think that is tripping up this passage. Looking at things is boring. Stuff happening is interesting. You can have descriptions of course, (though I generally tend to suggest not writing much or any description unless there is a point other than "so you know what it looks like". I used to always write-in descriptions because I wanted everyone reading my work to visualize things how I did, until I realized that I didn't necessarily like reading the descriptions myself. I'd always skip down tot he part where someone started talking,) just try to incorporate them into some form of action or something otherwise relevant, like thinking, talking or infusing opinion and personality. Also, don't be afraid to put some attitude in your writing, even with a third person narrator. (I honestly don't get why people always make their narrators say such bland things.) Examples:
- The thing had stubby wings and a forked tail which wagged like a dog. (Blah.)
- The thing flapped its stubby wings, wagging its forked tail like a dog. (Better.)
- He doubted the thing could fly with it's stubby excuses for wings and its stupid forked tail brought to mind a long suffering family dog, forced into a devil-costume for Halloween. (Amusing.)
- Also, watch your word usage. I noticed you used a lot of adjectives and such that were just slightly off from what I thought you were actually trying to say. "time itself could be called ‘grey’: it blurred together into a thin, mindless paste," was a big one that had me scratching my head.
- Poetics aside, referring to the abstract concept of time, or the experience of time as 'grey' struck me as a bit odd, especially when a sentence after you refer to everything as white, which felt really contradictory. The "Everything was cold and dull and white" sentence made more sense, so I kept that in there and decided to change the other sentence.
- "Mindless paste" was also really weird. Time = Paste seemed a stretch, especially since blurring things doesn't usually turn them into paste (if we are talking about paints here, then blurring it might make it greyish, but paint is always pasty so again it makes no sense). Grinding might, but not blurring. Also "mindless". "Mindless paste?" Usually an activity or a being is mindless, it's not used for describing objects. So I axed that.
- Basically what I got from all of that condensed down was 1) everything was pointless (from mindless), 2) it was dull and (from gray) 3) it was all the same (also from gray). To communicate this I changed it to 'featureless existence'. 'Existence' implies living without meaning. If you're just existing, you are living but otherwise doing nothing else useful or meaningful. 'Featureless' communicated both dullness (had no features, therefore boring) and the same (if it has no features, there's nothing to differentiate one moment from the next).
- In general I think a lot of people try to be flowery or whatever. They think it's the mark of a good writer. Trust me, it's not. I say save the Purple Prose for something that deserves it. Ignore describing things that don't matter, just give us the basics we need to understand what is happening. Obviously this is early in the story, so set up is needed, but just keep this in mind: make it short and sweet. Unless there's a lot of emotion involved in the scene you're writing, then I say rhapsodize to your heart's content. Even then though, try to make sure you aren't repeating yourself in each sentence, but make sure in any given sentence to say what you want to say and do it once. Don't repeat it in a slightly different way a sentence later. (I still have this problem with my on stuff sometimes.) It tends to take away more than it might add.
- As demonstrated, the right adjective can make all the difference, and the wrong adjective can ruin an otherwise decent sentence. Really, you should go through all your work sentence by sentence checking for coherency and 'efficiency in saying what you are trying to communicate. It's okay to just get everything out without thinking too hard about that at first, but especially if you're having trouble with what to write next, you should probably go back, re-reading and fixing up what you've already written. Often I find when I do that, once I get to the end of what I've already written I can just keep going, writing the next part of the story.
edited 27th Oct '11 11:34:26 PM by NoirGrimoir
You need to Get Known to get one of those.