Allamorph got a reaction from Boo in Draft Scene -- Home
Jason restored—and went immediately alert. For the first time in his life, he could feel nothing about his surroundings. His incoming environmental image made no sense. It wasn’t simply one or two informational oddities, or even a lack of existing data to interpret. The data itself defied interpretation.
Which was impossible.
A retrograde analysis of his passive sensory log indicated no hostile presence nearby—in fact, it indicated no presence of any kind whatsoever, anywhere in range—so Jason opened his eyes.
The addition of visual input provided him little more than he had known already. He was in a … place, he decided to call it. He could see no identifying features through his entire field of vision. It was lit, at least, but there was no discernable light source. Nor were there any shadows, he noted, glancing down the length of his body. He tried to determine the kind of light he was seeing, but that, too defied analysis. The most he could conclude was that it seemed to be somewhere between off-white and a soft yellow, but the exact hue remained elusive.
It wasn’t gaseous, he decided, as there were no detectable particulates in the atmosphere. If there even was an atmosphere at all. There was something, he knew, since he was still breathing normally, and all the appropriate chemical reactions were still occurring, but beyond the boundary of his body, any sense of air motion in the Place simply stopped.
Annoyed, he abandoned the exercise. Maybe exploration would provide him with something useful. He sat up
The groan escaped him unbidden. An empty cough followed, threatening to become a gag, and he froze, forcibly controlling his breathing until his stomach stopped attempting somersaults. This was a new sensation. It had overwhelmed him in a fraction of a second, and it was unbearably unpleasant. He examined it for a long moment and realised with surprise that it was nausea. Motion-induced nausea. He was the first Nephilim to experience vertigo.
In keeping with the Place’s ubiquitous lack of everything else, he could detect no gravitational trends at all. He wasn’t weightless; or rather, he still felt heavy. But he couldn’t feel any direction to his weight, and combined with the absence of a fixed point of reference, he had no idea if he was standing, reclining, lying, suspended, inverted, sideways, tipped, twisting, rotating, spinning
He turned off his gyro synapse. No more of that. Deciding for the moment to assume he initially had been vertical, Jason straightened and, pacing forwards, attempted an exploration of his surroundings. Almost at once, however, he was tempted to abandon the idea as futile, for the frustratingly ambiguous landscape lay unmarred and uniform in every direction. Only his ability to precisely track his footsteps lent Jason any sense of direction; otherwise he might have wandered the Place aimlessly for hours.
This thought led Jason to the discovery of yet another oddity: his internal clock was faulted. It was still running, and a quick battery of diagnostic checksums returned true, but its outputs made even less sense than the Place in which he now found himself. Or, more accurately, it wasn’t outputting anything. It was executing exactly as scripted, but when it incremented, it simply … didn’t. It even registered the increment as successful, but the flagged data target wasn’t there.
Jason checked the timestamps on his previous observations and found himself baffled even further. All of the markers passed checksum, but every single one decoded to garbage data. Which was impossible; data couldn’t be junk and still verified true. It was as if reality no longer supported the concept of time.
Exasperated, Jason sighed again and tossed his arms. His hands flopped up and back down to smack against his legs, the clap echoing faintly behind him.
He stopped. An echo? There had been no echoes before. There had been nothing for the sound to bounce off; he wasn’t even sure there had been an atmosphere to transmit the wave.
Quirking his head, he snapped his fingers once. Sure enough, the snap returned: the faintest whisper of a click, barely even a few decibels, but loud against the prevailing silence. And with the time delay, he even had a precise distance. Intrigued, he turned to face it, and was met with….
A boulder, judging by size and distance. Jason’s eyebrows scrunched together. That hadn’t been there. He was certain. He had surveyed every direction. Thoroughness was second nature to the Nephilim; even his blinks had been corrected by precisely localised muscle seizures. He had seen everything, everywhere, and his entire sphere of awareness had been uniform in its bewildering blandness. There wasn’t a way possible for him to have overlooked the rock; and yet there it was, defying what little reason this Place had left to it, and at a location that matched his aural calculations.
He took a careful step towards it.
It appeared to be a careful step closer.
He took another step.
A step closer again.
Jason chewed on his tongue. The rock seemed to be an ordinary rock, and the fact that its adherence to normalcy conflicted so strongly with the inherent abnormality of the Place bothered him tremendously. He refused to let the staggering amount of nonsense get to him and, leaving the unresolved processes to hang in the background, set out for his newfound bastion of sanity.
He covered the dozen and a half meters easily—although precisely what ground he was covering remained inscrutable—and, after rapping his knuckles against it, was pleased to find that it was, in fact, a real rock. A little over a meter tall and with a blocky, tri-leveled top, it appeared to have broken off from some larger face and fallen, partially burying itself in the nonexistent ground. A pass of his fingers and a quick data analysis determined the stone to be marble, and suggested it had lain here for a few years, judging by the weathering and assuming wherever it had come from possessed recognisable weather. (Jason decided the best approach was to assume anything real came from somewhere Not Here. The idea was still nonsense, but the degree of nonsense was welcomingly less.) And now that he was standing over it, he could see a second, smaller rock a couple of meters past it, also buried in the … whatever, and similarly weathered.
Satisfied and relieved at his discovery, and having nothing better to do, Jason decided to experiment. The boulder had appeared when he wasn’t looking at it, and it had remained relative while his attention was fixed on it. What would happen if he stopped observing it? Ignoring the noise-solutions attempting to submit themselves, he strode around the marble block and past it, walking steadily and directly away from it and snapping his fingers sharply in precise one-second intervals. With each click, he listened for the corresponding report and matched the distance to his distance traveled, marking the rock’s location as he left it behind.
He was almost two kilometers away, and the echoes so faint even his ears strained to hear them, when the data failed to sequence properly. His next snap didn’t echo. He turned around. Sure enough, the rock seemed to be gone. He magnified his vision so that it should have been clearly visible, but the result was the same: there was no longer anything in the Place but him. Jason nodded, shoving aside his disappointment at once more being the sole connection to reality. At least it had behaved somewhat reasonably. It was a start. He merely had to take things as they came, and more bits would fall into place. His spirit somewhat bolstered, he turned back to continue on.
There was the rock. Not a different rock. The same rock, exactly the same distance away as when he had first seen it, but on the exact opposite side.
Jason sucked his teeth.
Allamorph got a reaction from SaiyanPrincessX in Expecting
If you named them Goku and Vegeta, though, which one is the girl?
I also spent the other night looking at twin names, but it was hard coming up with a good boy/girl pair. Most of them were either Kaoru/Hikaru or some version of the harem twins trope, and I don't want to set you up for failure lol. That, and I'm assuming Hansel/Gretel (Black Lagoon) is right out....
It's a conundrum.
Allamorph reacted to Vicky in What Did OB Teach You? [Serious]
Look at all these familiar faces. Hi guys!
I actually came back to this site for a moment because I'm writing a piece for my job, which I wouldn't have without joining these boards. I'm doing my Doctorate in English and Cultural Studies and get to work as a lecturer too - there's a big series of talks in the summer that I'm involved in around digital culture so rightfully I ended up back here.
I'm only 24 now and I joined in 2003, thirteen years ago.
I was the type of kid that spent a lot of time in my room and on my computer, so I was here quite a lot making RPGs. Since I've been writing from my undergrad and had a lot of success in that area, I've never come across a time where I've improved creatively and technically in my life than joining these forums - everything after was a steady climb that doesn't compare to the dive bomb of joining a random internet forum when you're eleven.
It's not necessarily learning how to be a writer, but more the imaginative process that goes into what we used to do here; character and world creations, collaborations, motivation to carry on (I don't recall a finished RPG though) and the benefits of thinking big when you're working with what is essentially such a small, limited platform. You have to come up with a lot of clever solutions and most of the people I work with don't have the same base skill set I feel I've gained from my adventures online.
This forum, which again explains why I'm back here right now, is also a gateway to my field of expertise in what I hope is a long career for me. I feel like I grew up here. There was, of course, the outside world, but this place is influential to my perception of my work and the cultural landscape I'm exploring.
Also, I certainly was a pretty lonely and depressed kid, and I still have trouble talking to IRL people about anything that's troubling me. The friends I made here got me through to being an adult who is almost comfortable with myself, and sometimes I cherish the memories of the friends I had on here more than the ones outside. I'm actually quite upset AIM closed down and I can't stay up until 4am to chat to some of you.
To be specific though, I'd list my lessons from this site as:
Creative Writing; Graphic Design; Handling criticism; Never argue with Allamorph on the rules and regulations of grammar; Internet etiquette; Boo is not from England.
Allamorph got a reaction from James in New Version
Don't mind me, by the by, I was just being absurd. It was just a very abrupt change, is all.
I do very much like how it automatically separates the unread posts from the previously viewed posts with that little blue line. That's clever, and a lot cleaner than one might expect.
I would like the full size avatar back, though. The porthole image is nice and clean and modern and chic, but I'd rather have the full monty, as it were.
Oh, and is there a straight WSYWIG post creator/editor mode, or do we just have the current postbox as is? I noticed the new super-/subscript buttons and I like muery much but the thought does go tickly in the back of my brain bucket.
Look forward to seeing what the rest of it can do.
Allamorph reacted to James in New Version
Fair enough. I think that the result (from what I've seen) is better overall. The gain is a much improved functionality I think.
Also, I know this is just the generic default skin...but I think it's better than the ones we had. We didn't have an in-house designed skin since v7.
Even with the tasks left to go, you've done a good job Petie. I don't know how much easier the upgrade process is these days, but I remember that it used to take a long time and there was a lot to clean up manually.
Allamorph got a reaction from CaNz in Reunion - Process Writing
Here are the notes I took down during the midwatch.
There was an open space four rows back from the entrance. Andy pulled into it, killed the engine and cut the radio, and sat there, indulging in one last uneasy hesitation. The sudden silence, broken only by the clicking and (groaning) of the settling car, snapped around him, wrapping him in a melancholic emptiness that seemed to grow a sentience of its own, pulling his indecision out into open view and judging him for it.
Introspective - he is stuck between knowing intellectually he's pursuing foolishness and knowing in his heart he's just searching for reasons to avoid seeing a lonely, probably crazy old man he's been told is his great uncle. He wavers, but remembers the children at the gas station convenience store and the woman on the roof of the train. He can't explain them, and he's starting to think the headaches are related. And he just wants to sleep again.
He gets out of the car and goes inside.
Brief interchange w/ receptionist â?? use full name Andrew McIlroy (mother Janie McIlroy neÃ© Tomlinson, mother Sarah Tomlinson neÃ© Flaherty, brother Nicholas Flaherty), maybe something about "not many visitors", or "he'll be happy to have someone to see him" â?? Andy feels a slight hint of polite deception mixed with concern and worry. He isn't sure how he knows this.
A nurse, nametag Margaret, soft beauty faded with age, kind understanding face, leads him into visitation area. Commentary on people living there. She is leading him to the far side of the room to a table by the corner window. Only one man is there, obviously tall despite being seated, his gauntness stark and accentuated with age. Hands once wiry, now bony and calcified, features sharp and angular. Hair greyed/silvered but with blazes of defiant jet black, as if refusing to bow to time. Eyes similarly sharp, but softened. He is gazing out the window in the absent reverie of an old man lost in memories.
"Wait here a second, honey," Margaret told him, restraining gesture, arm + shoulder pat; she goes to get his attention "Nicholas? Nick, dear, you have a guest." He doesn't respond "Oh, Nick, don't be like that!" hands on her hips. Still nothing. She sighs, exasperation showing, leans over and murmurs something to him in Latin. "Close your eyes"? He gives a small start and turns to look at her. Brief exchange; he knows he is trying to her and is both regretful and grateful. Andy senses this and is again confused.
When she mentions again that he has a visitor, his expression darkens. Andy gets more confusing sensations, realises that this is the same empathy he's felt before, and it appears to be getting stronger. Awkward exchange as Andy tries to break the ice with an old man who is clearly jaded and suspicious of new faces.
- "...I'm not sure what to call youâ??" // "'Sir' would be appropriate."
- "Why are you here?" // "I wanted to talk to you." // "Talk." *scoff* "No one wants to talk to a crazy man, a black sheep."
In the end words cannot reach the old man. Andy brings out a small, careworn plush dog, says it belongs to his mother. Nicholas begins to tear up. "I gave her this...." Says she never believed, even after, and Andy interrupts with even after you saved her. He says she told him about the impossible things, the monsters, and her uncle. He says she couldn't believe because she had to live in the real world with real people and a real job. She even tried to forget. But she never could, and that's why he's here. She told him Nicholas could help.
Nicholas has Margaret take them both back to his room. Once there and arranged, Andy tells him all about the headaches, the dreams and visions, the train with the woman on the roof and how he was himself and yet someone else; the gas station where everything went grey and he saw children running in slow motion but backwards and forwards at the same time, and the box that kept its color so he was drawn to it, behind stuff on a shelf, and how he took it and gave it to the store owner who saw it and broke down in tears, and when he looked for the shelf again it was gone. He asks what it means.
Nicholas tells him about his former life, about creatures and monsters, about people called Hunters with extraordinary powers, about the Others who gave out these powers. Andy is skeptical, even despite what he's seen and felt. Their discussion stalls, and eventually Andy leaves.
Nicholas keeps the plush dog.
Allamorph got a reaction from DouglasMr in Super Bowl XLIX
FINAL SCORE: NE 28 SEA 24
That was, without a doubt, one of the best games I have ever watched. Except for that fight right at the end, truly worthy of the legacy of the title history. Both teams played their hearts out, and those last two 4th Quarter drives were absolutely ******* incredible. The last two plays of Seattle's drive were especially nuts. Seattle should not have held onto the football to get that 1st and Goal, and New England should not have been able to intercept it on the one yard line (or, alternatively, the Seahawks should have run with Lynch instead of passing, but whatever).
I don't remember having this much fun watching a professional sports game since I got to see the Carolina Hurricanes take the Stanley Cup way back in .... oh man, 2006, wasn't it? I had just graduated high school. Criminy, that was almost a decade ago now.
Anyway, no. Incredible, incredible game. The Patriots have proven themselves again, and absolutely no one can talk **** about Seattle having a freak program after taking their conference championship and then playing New England down to the absolute wire. Great football programs, great teams, great game, magnificent Sunday evening.
Allamorph got a reaction from Boo in Senior Otaku
Haha, sorry, CaNz, it seems like your thread has been hijacked. Who knew the topic that could draw the most posts is a discussion about why nobody posts anymore, eh? =P
Anyway, James touched on (and Shy and TrollBoo expanded on them a little) essentially everything I was thinking about, but I think everyone keeps missing another major point. I totally agree that social media was and is a huge factor in the decline of message boards in general, mostly because it caters to the quick, stream-of-consciousness style postings that, let's be honest, don't require a whole lot of effort input for a whole lot of potential positive feedback.
Of course, this is me speaking from my vast, extensive knowledge of .... uh ... three separate message boards, so, you know, take that as you will.
Mostly I just couldn't get into any others, to be honest. Ironically, it was that "excessive" quality of effort that drew me in here, since I found an outlet for more straightforward, thoughtful and thought-provoking discussions with people who actually understood their opinions. I still think James and I could get into a fairly good debate if we set our minds to it, haha. I think it was a rarity for us to ever agree on anything, and I definitely remember nitpicking the crap out of him on just, you know, a regular basis, but I could always count on him to make stellar points.
I've also noticed that, as I've bopped around the internet, I really haven't seen any other boards with as pleasant a design as OB. I still half-consciously judge boards I look at against this one. We've gone through, what, five different iterations, and that's just since I started lurking back in Fall '07. I didn't even join until '08, I don't think.
But the point I think people miss is that we all just grew up. College took some of us away, but really the workforce took the rest of us, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed "man, I can get so much more done when I'm not sitting there glued to my F5 key waiting for someone to respond to my post". Being a student in the Navy for two years and a nonqual for the last year has usually left me with around three to four hours of free time per day, including transit to and from base, shopping for stuff, and, you know, general life necessities other than goofing off, which was much easier to do in college when I had a cafeteria and a living space I didn't have to pay for.
That, or families. It's not exactly simple raising a kid and maintaining a highly active internet social life. I'm pretty sure that's where Indi went to, and I think a few others hit that milestone as well.
I think this really applies to me, to be honest. It wasn't always intentional, but I can't deny I have a tendency to deliver certain of my points in a stark, brutal fashion.
Allamorph got a reaction from SpiritOfKorra in A short novel I've been writing
Yeah, it's kinda getting that way. Activity really stalled around 2010, I think, and has been slowly trickling off since then. It did used to be much more active, though. And, once upon a time, I was this section's moderator. =P
But that's neither here nor there.
Sort of. You're right that I'm referring to verb tense, but it's not the individual verbs, it's your choice of which tense you're using at the time. Here, let me show you a few examples.
He opened the door and stepped outside. Courtney greeted him with a hug. Michael shuts the door behind him and locks it....
"Smell this one." She says. Michael looks at her and then takes a whiff.... It was absolute bliss.
Michael took a look at her and liked what she had to wear. ... "You look pretty in it." Michael says, a bit embarrassed.
"Well I'm glad you like it," Courtney says, "A lot of the other boys don't like what I wear."
"What's wrong with how you dress?" Michael asked.
"I honestly don't know. My mom says it's because they like me." She replies.
Here, I've highlighted both the past tense and the present tense verbs you're using. As you can see, you're switching back and forth between them quite rapidly, and with little logical sense or apparent motive, which leads me to believe that you don't realise you're switching tenses at all. This problem is fairly common to newer writers, or writers with little proofing/editing experience, but the fix is fairly straightforwardâ??and, unfortunately, kind of blatantly obvious.
1. Read what you write while you're writing it.
2. Wait a few days, then reread what you've written. Look specifically for errors.
3. Pick a tense. Stick with it. If you don't know or aren't sure of the different situations for using different tenses, stick to past tense.
Once you get better at spotting your tense-switching, you'll start to develop a sense for when past is appropriate, when present might be better, and when [and how] to use future tense.
So you're looking at a Young Adult audience. That's what I thought you meant, but I had to check.
Here's the deal. I asked the question because although you said "juvenile fiction" and that phrase is commonly interchangeable with Young Adult fiction or Teen Fiction, your writing reads like a third grade primer. It's very blocky, moving directly from key action to key action. The most difficult syntax you use is a compound sentence. I think at a couple of points you made an attempt at more complex syntax, but since you weren't sure how to handle it you fell back on what you did know, and ended up (unfortunately) flubbing it. Your narrative thus reads very simply, with little to no appreciable detail or internal character thoughts/observations. It's almost devoid of any sort of artistry at all.
Additionally, what detail you do include is token, somewhat stilted, and often contradictory. For instance, at the beginning of the excerpt you mention that the couple is outside in a park, taking in the flower-scented air and listening to the birds sing, but later you say that the sun was setting and it was getting dark at around 4pm. Now, I live in upper Washington state, so I'm fairly closer to the pole than the equator, but the only time it gets dark that early around here is in the winter. What you're describing is clearly not winter.
What this means for you is that you need a lot more practice. You need to take your story ideas and thresh them out through notes prior to setting them in prose. You need to decide on setting and character and plot details, and then you need to stick to those details. You need to write sketches, and then you need to follow the points I listed aboveâ??specifically points 1 and 2. You also need to read a lot. Read that sentence again. It says a lot. It also means many, many, many different authors. If you want to write, you need to read. You need to look at other authors' styles and how they handle the language. You need to look at what they're doing with their characters and how they're advancing their plot. And you need to do this to the point where you can start reading a book and immediately identify if an author is good, bad, average, awful, or spectacular. And then you need to write again, and reread yourself again, and critique yourself again. You have to become your own hardest critic. Look for things you did well, and look for things you did horribly. Then find ways to make the things you did well even better, and find ways to fix the stuff you messed up.
Sure, some people may be talented and can do stuff like this with what seems like relative ease compared to you. But talent does not equal skill. Skill is equal parts hard work, patience, and desire. Talent is icing on the cake. If you want to write, then write. If you want to write better, work a little more. If you want to write well, work your ass off.
By no means do I mean you are horrible and you should never write again. That's a preposterous idea. Simply being unskilled is never a reason to give up.
What I am saying is that you are currently a fairly young writer in terms of experience, and your writing shows it. You have a lot of room to improve, and I believe if you really want it, you can rise through that room and develop into a fantastic writer. You're just not there now.
I'm not going to comment on your content. I believe that any story idea can make an excellent book. The success or failure of a story depends entirely on the presentation, expression, and craftsmanship of the author, not what they choose to write about. Remember that, because many people will tell you exactly the opposite.
I wish you the best of fortune, and I urge you never to lose the passion for storytelling.
Also, the word you're looking for is 'novella'. ;)
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Allamorph got a reaction from SpiritOfKorra in A short novel I've been writing
Wow, I haven't done this in a while. Standard preface: I am honest, often to the point of brutality. No offense is intended, so if any is felt, please remember I am being as tactful as possible given the subject matter.
Right. So, although this isn't much of a sampleâ??more of a ... a blink, I guessâ??it's still enough for me to pick out a couple of items: one comment, and one question. Comment first.
Your tenses are inconsistent. You switch from past to present back to past, without even realising you're doing so, I think. And while I understand that this point could be considered an editing/revision comment, when you say you write as much as you claim and yet demonstrate such a glaring weakness in work I believe you're proud of (ugh, dangling participle), it calls into question your entire repertoire. With so little to go on, I can't really tell if this is just a momentary lapse in style or if this sort of tense-switching is rampant throughout the rest of your work.
From experience, Present is a harder tense to maintain consistently (especially with flashbacks), and for, in my opinion, a debatable reward vice Past. That isn't to say Present isn't useful, or is undesirable. It's mostly just situational. It promotes a very active narration style, since the narrator is essentially keeping pace with the main characters instead of looking back, and is simultaneously much more limiting, since you as the author are now denied the advantages of using 3rd Omniscient as a perspective, and so are restricted to the information inside the head(s) of whomever you happen to be following at the time. By comparison, Past is much easier.
Tenses may seem like a relative non-issue compared to plot content and character development, but they are grammatical fundamentals that can quickly label you as a novice writer if ignored or misunderstood or misused. Professional writers have been sensetive to what tense they are using for so long that the process of selecting, using, and maintaining the correct one are almost as reflexive as walking.
...no offense if you're wheelchair-bound or afflicted with some other form of paraplegia or mobility impairment. It's just that breathing was too natural.
My question for you: when you say that this story is intended for "juvenile readers", what age range/reading comprehension level are you considering? I have a remark on the subject, but your answer to this question will determine what direction that remark takes.
Sadly, with so little to go on, I can't really remark on anything related to style or content, or really anything fun that we as writers do. I have a feeling your reticence to post more is due to a fear of plagiarism, which I understand. But, unless the responses you're seeking are along the lines of Sounds great! Can't wait to read more!, with the bare bones you've provided here, there isn't a whole lot of constructive feedback possible to give you. You trusted the boards enough to hope you got a response at all (which is admirable, given the abundance of tumbleweeds around these parts...), why not trust us to handle your work like the mature adults most of us try to be?
...I mean, you know, when we're not deliberately being completely not mature at all. With fart jokes. And stuff.
Allamorph got a reaction from showmemark in Reading Rainbow: TNG
LeVar Burton is heading a KickStarter project to bring 90s children's television program Reading Rainbow forward into the 21st century. This show was one of my favorites when I was a kidâ??a close second to Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?â??and I would love to see other kids enjoying it as much as I did.
The project has already (and easily) reached its stated fund goal, but I'm still thinking strongly about supporting it myself, if only because I remember those old Brought To You By prefaces on each show that always ended with "...and by viewers like you".
What about you? Do you also have fond memories of the show? Did the thread title immediately get that theme song playing in your head? What authors did you discover that you might not have if you hadn't seen them there?
Allamorph reacted to AzureWolf in Has Google Ruined Everything?
Max Brenner, as in Chocolate by the Bald Man in NYC?
I think the form of conversation is changing, but it's not dying. My friend and I have debates and arguments about things all the time.
In addition, like James, visiting family or friends used to be about watching stuff together. Nowadays, it's when we do the opposite: maybe talk about shows, or catch up with each other's lives.
I think it's better to look as conversation and lifestyles changing rather than dying.