Avoiding IKEA prose:

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26 Night30th Oct 2011 05:03:57 PM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
And why, exactly, do we matter? This isn't our story, it's the character's story.

Indeed without knowing where in the work this excerpt comes from, you can hardly pretend it fascinating to the reader. You have no idea how many times similar things have been done.
Nous restons ici.
We're the readers.
28 Merlo30th Oct 2011 05:06:54 PM from the masochist chamber
I don't know, you tell me. Somewhere between the lines, you detect an inevitable conclusionó the prestige of the magic trick. These little parts.. when brought together, they make a whole that is much bigger than the sum of these parts.
That was very helpful, Q :P

I'm having trouble seeing how the tone of these film scenes are supposed to translate to prose.

Maybe I'll just spend some time with it and something will come to me.

Just to clarify, the thing he's doing requires one to not be sober.

I didn't anticipate the "not knowing how magic works in this 'verse" thing would be an issue. I was going for mysteriousness and "let the reader work it out" but I guess I have to give more.

Gonna try out your suggestion, Betsy.

edited 30th Oct '11 5:12:54 PM by Merlo

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
re: That little argument.

Beige Prose, to me, doesn't convey mundaneity (this is a word) - it conveys boredom. Particularly if it goes on for a while. If it's just a normal thing you do, then you don't really think about it that much, and such an emotion would be more easily be conveyed with skipping over the whole thing. If you don't want to make the reader bored, but still want to convey the information, then Beige Prose is no longer as fitting.

I don't think that's quite the thing with this passage, though. It feels disjointed, and some of the sentences go on too long for the amount of information they convey. Post 6 (feotakahari) covered this.

After a few more turns with the calumet, he unwrapped the bandages around his left index finger, revealing splotches of burned skin. Might as well use his bad not-healing-anytime-soon hand, no sense in having two injured ones. He used his knife to draw blood. The high made the pain interesting; the sensation was deep and drawn-out, but less sharp than usual. He pressed the wound to the sigil, completing it with his blood. It went folded into his vest pocket for now, but it flickered in the fire and behind his eyelids when he blinked.

This, for example. Is the burn new to the reader (or narrator) by the time the story gets to this point? Because half the paragraph can be condensed into one sentence, like, "He unwrapped the bandages around his burned finger and sliced it open." Is it important that it's his left index finger? Do you have to emphasise that he uses his knife? Does he have to focus on these to work through the high? (If yes, you'd probably be better off rewording it to more closely resemble his thoughts.) "Might as well use his bad not-healing-anytime-soon hand, no sense in having two injured ones," unless that's literally how he thinks, could easily work without the first half of the sentence, or "No sense in injuring both hands," or whatever. We already know it's injured; you mentioned the burn.

Since the previous paragraph seems to convey that this specific sigil is new to him (since he's not certain the process will work as advertised), he would probably be at least a little interested, making beige prose less fitting. Or if more focus is on him getting it over with, spending less time on describing everything in general and leaving out more unimportant information fits it better. So I wouldn't expect boredom, exactly.

I'm not sure what exactly you're going for, but I do think edits would make it stronger.
You will not go to space today.
[up] Good points.
31 Merlo30th Oct 2011 07:48:27 PM from the masochist chamber
^^ That was... very in-depth. I feel enlightened. Thank you. smile
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
32 Night30th Oct 2011 08:09:14 PM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
@Q5: Again, it's not our story. It was written for us, but it's not about us.

These actions you keep commenting upon on movies for example. They fascinate you because they seem bizarre. They're outside your experience. But the Jackal thing is, to me, not bizarre at all. It's a man adjusting his firearm sighting. I do it myself about once a month.

It's very mundane as an experience. This, I think, is why you're wrong. You want things that are truly mundane in nature to be treated as if they're not because they interest you. The story isn't about you.

Literature is more or less the only medium able to reach out and grab the Mundane Fantastic with both hands. That's what's at work here.
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