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Thread: November 2017: Mentor Prose Workshop - Tropes, Tropes, Tropes

  1. #11
    Whew, sorry about the delays in responses.

    Plastic: Overall, a decent piece. This workshop asked for pretty specific things and I hope it's not too confusing or challenging for participants.

    "Good" bad writing takes a fair amount of skill to tow the line between cringe-inducing and entertaining. I think this piece is just a hair shy of finesse needed to be "great" bad writing, but that's not to say the piece is bad or that there isn't "good" bits of bad writing here. I genuinely felt uncomfortable while reading this, imagining a deluded, middle aged man go on a Don Quixote-like quest for love. This piece has probably been enacted in real life by some poor sap.

    I think the biggest problem is "show don't tell". You describe him and tell us his motivations and thoughts directly, when you could almost parody a pulp romance piece with these details. I think this slight change in voice would have improved this piece by giving it more direction and structure. For example, instead plainly telling us,
    "I’m sure I look no different than that guy riding a horse with the open shirt and long flowing hair that you see on all the romance novels."
    While he was getting ready, he could have believed he was the man on the horse. In front of the mirror, he could have opened up his ragged shirt and bore his hairy, unclean chest and believed the mounds were just as good as chiseled pecks. You have all the pieces for a "good" bad story here, but they need to be directed.

    I think the amount of time put into this piece is a factor. You wrote and posted the piece in a couple of days. Your attention to SPaG has gotten noticeably better. Minor things here and there like a comma instead of a period but nothing drastic. Thanks for participating Bob. I'm always happy to see your writing improve.
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  2. #12
    Winston - Haha, this was a really playful addition to the workshop. I really enjoyed how you stitched together two vastly different clichés so seamlessly.

    Granthax’s character is a bit unclear. He comes across initially as intimidating and imposing and is willing to leverage this during a discussion. However, there are bits like this:

    "This is insane! YOU are insane!" Granthax stood up, jabbing a pointy claw at Goldstein. "My son was right. We should have just used one of our dark matter singularity bombs on you, and be done with it! But no. I though[t] we could use some slaves..."

    … that are inconsistent. Why is he willing to even talk to Goldstein and tolerate this human? Surely, with technology like subspace carrier waves, he is able to enslave us all by force. Why would he care about earthly currencies and goods? Still, the juxtaposition between how opportunistic and shark-like Hollywood execs could be with both ratings and enslavement was just delicious. Also, this is not to say these inconsistencies couldn’t be used to add layers to Granthax’s character; I liked how his wife handled the financing of the deathfleet. Overall, these are just nits and roughened edges that could be smoothened out with more polish and time.

    Great work, great imagination, great whimsy. I really like how effectively you fleshed out a typical Hollywood exec.

    Minor spelling and grammar errors throughout the piece, which a few read overs could fix. With polish, I could see this getting published on sci-fi short story websites.
    Welcome to WF!
    Feeling lost? Want to connect with experienced members of the forum? Then meet our talented staff of Mentors!
    They're always looking to help and advise and don't bite... much...

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