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Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? (1 Viewer)

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Jeko

WF Veterans
I say assumptions because all he does is list assumptions about my story which are contradicted by the story itself, which he has not read.

So you have many solutions:

1) Let him read the story.
2) Find a way to stop him from commenting.
3) Use size 4 font next time, it's a lot more shouty than bold.
4) Be nice?

Frankly, when he was talking about emotional stakes, you only gave events. Events aren't emotional. Events cause emotion, and it's the emotion caused that's the emotional part. Put a cheesecake in front of 4 million North Koreans and you'll see how emotionless you can make that scene.

You seem to have an answer for everything. It's just not the right one. Not yet, anyway. Whether you want the right one or not will mean whether your story eventually gets published or not.

I went through a time when I thought I was king of the writing universe. Through the help of others, that side of me is still being fought back every day. Some day it'll die completely, I hope. But only as long as I keep listening to others. A wsie man has many advisors.

Moeslow's advice is some of the best I've heard. The changes you need to make this sell are BIG, and so are his comments (in the sense of quantity, and quality).
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
The laughter of literary agents changed that, hunh?

No. I didn't sumbit anything to any agents in that time.

Neil Gaiman, Bruno Coulais, Henry Selick and everyone on this forum changed that. The first three gave me the direction to go in, and the lattermost people pushed me towards it.

Hoepfully, I'll have a finished manuscript to polish and perfect before I finish my A-levels. Then I'll edit it so much it'll be a completely different story by the end of it all.

Things to look forward to.
 

moeslow

Senior Member
The laughter of literary agents changed that, hunh? [/COLOR]:cookie:

If all you are doing is trying to please them, then you will fail. Readers decide what is good, literary agents follow suit. They can't predict anything or determine if something is good. They are business men/women looking to pay their children's college tuition. They aren't looking for the next Atonement, or War and Peace, or Infinite Jest, and from the sheer volume of absolute garbage that is published, you can clearly see they just look at trends. After Twilight, they bombarded the book selves with teen angst novels. After Hunger Games, now they are bombarding it with dystopian novels.

So, you can either follow suite and be another blip in a trend, or write something that is going to create a following and give you some pride in having published it. It's not hard to get a book published. All you need is competence in prose writing and a teen love triangle sprinkled with a water downed mythology. Easy.

You don't even have to create anything anymore. Just write fan-fiction and then Find and Replace character names. So stop insulting people who are trying to write something they love because they disagree with you.

James Joyce spent NINE YEARS peddling his book. He was rejected by 18 times. You think that stopped him? Nope. That book was Dubliners. If something as magnificent as that book can be rejected, then we have nothing to be ashamed of in our rejections. Never fear rejections or be ashamed of them.
 

Sam

General
Patron
[ot]There's nothing magnificent about Dubliners. For that matter, there's nothing entirely great about any of Joyce's work. He said himself that he wrote most of it to keep professors and academics in work for the next 100 years. It's mostly rubbish written for rubbish's sake. In my opinion.[/ot]

Having said that, I understand where you're coming from.
 

moeslow

Senior Member
[ot]There's nothing magnificent about Dubliners. For that matter, there's nothing entirely great about any of Joyce's work. He said himself that he wrote most of it to keep professors and academics in work for the next 100 years. It's mostly rubbish written for rubbish's sake. In my opinion.[/ot]

Having said that, I understand where you're coming from.

I love the book. It's my favorite amongst his works. I read it simply for the writing. I read a lot of books on rhythm and English prose and I'm blown away by Joyce's sentences in Dubliners.

As for the 100 years quote, that is for Ulysses. Dubliners was not written because he wanted to write rubbish.
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
Moeslow: On what you said - I was browsing the young adult section of my library today for new authors, and it was as if every book I picked up was some sort of rubbish romance, covered in a layer of fantasy or similar brain-rot.

'What if the one you love is the one who has to betray you?...'

Carry on while I vomit in the corner.

ET: At least you're not writing that sort of paff.
 

moeslow

Senior Member
Moeslow: On what you said - I was browsing the young adult section of my library today for new authors, and it was as if every book I picked up was some sort of rubbish romance, covered in a layer of fantasy or similar brain-rot.

'What if the one you love is the one who has to betray you?...'

Carry on while I vomit in the corner.

ET: At least you're not writing that sort of paff.

It's how the market works. Readers tend to feel comfortable reading the same story. They understand it, expect the reversals and payoffs. The most profitable market is the teenage girls. The will buy the books, and more, they will go see the film. It's a built in system and agents understand that.

What is important to learn from those books is that character drama sells. People will read 1500 pages (everything is a trilogy these days) because they want to find out how their favorite characters end up doing. You can have a great concept, but if you don't have character drama, no one will want to buy your book. So, when you writing your great concept, keep that in the back of your head and watch out for moments ripe for drama.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Cadence

Moeslow: On what you said - I was browsing the young adult section of my library today for new authors, and it was as if every book I picked up was some sort of rubbish romance, covered in a layer of fantasy or similar brain-rot.

'What if the one you love is the one who has to betray you?...'

Carry on while I vomit in the corner.

ET: At least you're not writing that sort of paff.





How a romance novelist would write it.
Steve saw his opportunity. Ginny’s surprise visit to Jack left Theresa vulnerable. He had a chance to get her.​
He knocked on Theresa’s door. “Come in” he heard her say. He entered.​
Theresa was dressed in a string bikini. Her expression showed she had been expecting Jack.​
“Hi, Steve. You wanted to see me?”​
Was she playing words with him?​
He walked closer. “Ginny is Jack’s hometown girlfriend. They have a longtime understanding.”​
“What about you, Steve? You have a girlfriend hidden away?”​
“No. I waited for college to find somebody really special.”​
She avoided commenting on that to look innocent.​
He looked down on her figure. It was the perfect seventeen year old’s body. Breasts recently fully developed and high on the chest. No cellulite collections anywhere. Tightly toned leg muscles from high school phys ed. And that incredible mane of hair that flowed down over curves to tease him with promises.​
He wanted her, and her expression showed she wanted him.​


It’s all about boy lusts for girl who lusts for boy.


How I wrote it………………..
I went to the closet and pulled out my ’little black nothing’. It was a backless dress made of flimsy, clingy material. It was already short but the occasion called for making it shorter. Jack deserved the VIP treatment.​
I got a pair of scissors and cut five more inches off the hemline. Off came everything I wore. I put on thong panties but no bra and slipped on the dress. It reached only to my upper thighs. String shoulder straps held the nearly weightless thing up. My back was bare to the rump. Cleavage exposure ranked a venial sin. I looked in the full length mirror on the door. Yup. This was the ultimate killer dress. “Jack, eat your heart out!”​
I waited a few minutes. And sure enough there was a knock on the door. I stood against the counter in front of the window and said, “Come in!“​
Steve Hartley came through the door.​
“Hi, Steve. What‘s up?” Probably not the best choice or words.​
Steve walked close up to me.​
“Ginny is Steve’s old high school girlfriend. They have an understanding. She was supposed to drop in next weekend but she showed up early.”​
So it was all coming to an end anyway! “She go to another college?”​
“No. She’s a waitress.”​
Then she could be a cashier in Jack’s father’s store.​
With that, the happy new couple had absolutely nothing to say. Steve stood there glancing down at my dress. He had a lot more to deal with than​
he’d expected. This awkward moment had to be gotten over or he wouldn‘t be back. The problem was there was nothing to do in my room.​
“Want to go downstairs and hang out with the guys, Steve?”​
“Sure.”​
“Ginny should love this outfit.”​
We went downstairs and when the boys lingering around in the hallway saw us them whooped and hollered in exaggerated manner. They were paying tribute to my appearance and Steve’s triumph.​
“Pay no attention to these animals” Steve joked, but he was clearly pleased.​
More boys came out of there rooms and clustered around us. Talk quickly moved to my high school baseball career. I was conscious that they were all thinking of my body. Well, some girls might not like it, but I did. Let prudes go to the beach and then say I was being slutty.​
Steve and I were perfect for each other. In a month we knew we’d get married. And we wanted to get married soon. Well really, now! Could we go four years without doing it?​


Theresa and Steve are clearly attracted to each, but much more information is given. There’s even a glimpse of dormitory life which will interest high school kids.

Theresa draws Steve out to join the gang until he gets used to her. So nothing happens that they'll wish didn't.

In an earlier version I wrote two years ago, both Jack and Steve walk into Theresa's room. This opened the door to many kinds of steamy developments. Remember, these are teenagers out of contact with their parents for the first time. But I decided that wasn't the way to go.
 
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Jeko

WF Veterans
Both versions make me want to vomit, unfortunately. The latter is far too obvious. If you want YA to be interesting and involve any kind of romantic edge, it has to be touched on with more subtle embrace. The way you describe her putting on her dress reminds me why I don't want to do the English Lit A Level at my school.

Ambiguity breeds emotion, but blatancy breeds contempt.
 

Nemesis

The Black Goat
WF Veterans
I can't say I found either version particularly interesting or realistic, also, if you cut the hem off of a dress it looks like terrible until you go back and add a new hem =p
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
If you want YA to be interesting and involve any kind of romantic edge, it has to be touched on with more subtle embrace.

Theresa has just been humiliated when her boyfriend's secret girlfriend shows up by surprise. It's over between her and Jack.

Instead of showing Theresa going to her room and crying her eyes out, I show her getting revenge on Jack. This girl has spunk. She's going to show him what he'll be missing. She's not in a romantic mood.

But when the door opens, it's not Jack who shows up as promised, but Steve who she knows has had the eye on her. "Mr. Intense" she called him the first time she saw him staring at her in the cafeteria.

Steve's timing is not the best. It might have been better if he'd waited a few hours. But he's a teenager too and there is no manual for how to behave in these situations.

Just as Steve seizes his opportunity, so does Theresa immediately seize her opportunity to welcome Steve and drag him down to be with his friends, safe from making an embarrassing move in the "awkward moment." She has taken control of this situation, just as later she will take control of.......er..... everything.

By now, the reader knows this is not a romance novel. The previous chapter already revealed that something is not right in the White House. A new President is sworn in and in weeks Theresa's only government contact Jan Struthers disappears. Something's up.
Theresa is not going to forget her worries by dragging Steve into bed. She wouldn't anyway. Her possession of HAL since age ten has conditioned her to think in the long term, not the moment.
Steve may or may not turn our to be Mr. Right, but until she finds out she's not going to mess things up with any premature romantic moves, which would be faked at this time anyways.

Thank you for your kind comments, Cadence. I know how fascinated you are with this wonderful novel. :kiwi-fruit:
 
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Kevin

WF Veterans
Thank you for your kind comments, Cadence. I know how fascinated you are with this wonderful novel. :kiwi-fruit:
We've already started a secret fan club. Unfortunantly Cadence can't agree that I'M the PRESIDENT, not him, but more importantly, we're all waiting on pins and needles for the rest of the completed text to come out...
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
we're all waiting on pins and needles for the rest of the completed text to come out...



Thank you! :glee: ( I think :-s )

However,

I've already advised somebody on this forum, and somebody else on another forum,
that if you put your novel on the internet free for anybody to read,
no literary agent or publisher will touch it. You've killed the goose.

So I'm not going to put much more on if any.
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
By now, the reader knows this is not a romance novel. The previous chapter already revealed that something is not right in the White House. A new President is sworn in and in weeks Theresa's only government contact Jan Struthers disappears. Something's up.

The fact you are embedding a romantic element in your story means you have to be much more subtle to pull it off well. The scene you wrote would make me forget what the story was about, because it captures attention too much and doesn't reward it fully or continue linking to the main plot.

Take I Am Number Four for example. At one point in the book, our hero reaches a new kind of low. Things have fallen apart somewhat. What does he do? He makes out with Sarah, his girlfriend. Why? Many reasons, all strongly linked to the plot. Lore writes the scene very well, engrossing the reader in what's going on without going to too much of an extreme. Everything prior to the scene has built up his and Sarah's relationship. The scene feels as much a part of the story as any chatper, page or line.

This:

It was a backless dress made of flimsy, clingy material. It was already short but the occasion called for making it shorter. Jack deserved the VIP treatment.

Doesn't fit the mood of what you're going for, in my mind. Too jarring for an idea.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
The fact you are embedding a romantic element in your story means you have to be much more subtle to pull it off well.

What romantic element? Theresa's relationship with Jack is breaking up, and Steve is the bounce back boyfriend. That's all there is to it.
In the rest of the book Steve will be completely supportive of Theresa. The intelligent reader can imagine the romantic elements of their relationship without having to see videos of it. By chapter eight the reader already knows Steve and Theresa are absolutely loyal to each other. This will not be a soap opera.


It was a backless dress made of flimsy, clingy material. It was already short but the occasion called for making it shorter. Jack deserved the VIP treatment.
Doesn't fit the mood of what you're going for, in my mind. Too jarring for an idea.

I'm not going for a romantic mood. Theresa has just been humiliated and she's not in a romantic mood. Unless Steve is completely brain dead he'll also know Theresa is not in a romantic mood, but he goes to her room to become her boyfriend. Theresa is in no mood for lovey dovey, but there's Steve and she knows from her research on him in the school's student guide that he is potentially a great boyfriend. So she welcomes him. If she didn't "he wouldn't be back."
"Jack deserved the VIP treatment" shows something about Theresa. She doesn't wilt and cry when things are going badly. She's a fighter. The reader senses that this will be very important later.


From the text sample given above..................
Steve stood there glancing down at my dress. He had a lot more to deal with than he’d expected.

Amen to that!
The reader already knows Theresa is infested with HAL. It has been drummed into his head throughout the first two chapters, and something's cooking in the White House.
Now here's Steve getting involved with Theresa. The poor guy! What is he getting into? 8-[
 
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Jeko

WF Veterans
What romantic element? Theresa's relationship with Jack is breaking up, and Steve is the bounce back boyfriend. That's all there is to it.

Yeah. That romantic element.

If, as you say, it means little to the plot, then you should tone down the extract you gave.

I'm not going for a romantic mood.

It's all over your extract. You may need to make some changes if you don't want any kind of romantic mood in your story. You use a lot of ambiguous statements, all of which are combined with your desription of Theresa putting on her dress to give the wrong sort of impression.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
What romantic element? Theresa's relationship with Jack is breaking up, and Steve is the bounce back boyfriend. That's all there is to it.

Yeah. That romantic element.

If, as you say, it means little to the plot, then you should tone down the extract you gave.

Tone it down! Isn't it toned down enough already?
Steve and Theresa might as well be out on the street as far as that goes. They don't do anything. In this scene they don't even shake hands.

I had to write some kind of scene wherein they meet, or else later if I wrote "Steve flew to London to join his wife"
the reader would say: "Wait a minute! Who the hell is this Steve? Where did he come from? Is Theresa a mail order bride or something?"

That Steve and Theresa are in love is taken for granted in the rest of the book. Explaining how they got that way would take up a hundred pages. I didn't want to take the time.
If the reader knows anything about human nature, he can fill in the blanks himself.

If, as you say, it means little to the plot

Why do people say somebody else said something they didn't say?
This kind of behavior is incomprehensible to me.:dispirited:
 
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