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Utterly unreadable

Tw0Cr0ws

The Exterminators, a Love Story by Sgt1952

No quotation marks.
No separate paragraphs for each speaker.

It looks like it was written by someone who has never read anything with dialog, because otherwise they would know what it should look like.

Seriously? If you care so little for the readers why post it at all?

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What stories would you tell people not to waste their time on?

Replies:   sharkjcw  REP
sharkjcw

@Tw0Cr0ws

Everyone has to start somewhere, maybe you could contact the author and offer to edit the story. It would be better than opening a forum post and asking for people to complain about other peoples writing.

Just saying

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@Tw0Cr0ws

Compared to some of the stories I bailed on, that is a fair grammar. I recall one story in which the first few paragraphs contained sentence fragments, incorrect homonyms, words left in when the author edited a sentence, missing words, misspelled words, NO punctuation not even a period. That is when I bailed.

gmontgomery

I participate in Eric Flint's 1632 forums on Baensbar. The 1632 Slush pile's business is the intake of new writers' first stories and seeing how to turn the story andor the author into something people will spend money on. So with that in mind I make this observation.

Sgt1952 writes in the first person which is a bit non-standard. But it explains why he is handling the dialog the way he is.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl  Tw0Cr0ws
Ernest Bywater

Writing in the first person is not that much different from writing in the 3rd person, it's just a bit more restricted in what you have in the narrative.

The story is a bit terse, but I've seen that style before, a lot, and it was usually in formal reports like police accident reports or after action battle reports.

There's nothing wrong with what I read, from a technical stand point, but the short terse sentences does make it hard to get into a reading flow. It doesn't help he writes some of the dialogue as narrative but not in the full vein of Fred told me blah, blah.

I do find the use of capitals for emphasis more off putting than if he'd used bold. What I don't like is the head hopping style of jumping characters about in the same chapter with just a name to indicate the change of head. It would be better to use third person and ID tags.

From what I saw of the first 2 chapter it looks like he has a good story line, but I doubt I'll read any more, because the head hopping is hard to keep up with due to the way it's done.

Crumbly Writer

@sharkjcw

Everyone has to start somewhere, maybe you could contact the author and offer to edit the story. It would be better than opening a forum post and asking for people to complain about other peoples writing.

Just saying

I agree. Publicly shaming authors who either don't know any better, or who are trying out alternate writing styles seems non-productive. Talking to the author, on the other hand, leaves it in their hands whether they turn the story around or not.

StarFleet Carl

@gmontgomery

I participate in Eric Flint's 1632 forums on Baensbar.


I used to do that, too. Met Eric once when I still lived in Indiana. Nice guy. So is Michael Z. Williamson. Had a big discussion with Virginia DeMarce back in the day, glad to see she's got her name on the covers now. (The discussion had to do with a scene in one of the books where an old woman takes a set of false teeth from someone else and uses them herself.)

Tw0Cr0ws

@gmontgomery

Sgt1952 writes in the first person which is a bit non-standard. But it explains why he is handling the dialog the way he is.


With no quotation marks to let us know which is speech, which is action and which is thought and no separate paragraphs to show that who is speaking, thinking or doing has changed.

Replies:   gmontgomery
gmontgomery

@Tw0Cr0ws

I agree. He'd have to go through and make those corrections before I bought the story. In fact, I'd have drawn a red line of death below the first bit of mis-written dialog. But, I'm not looking at SoL stories in the same light as I look at 1632 Slush stories.

With no quotation marks to let us know which is speech, which is action and which is thought and no separate paragraphs to show that who is speaking, thinking or doing has changed.

BlinkReader

For story to be unreadable it's not necessary to be with no quotation marks, dots and comas.
For instance - I have seen what software for blind people can do with words and their structure, and paragraphs, and ...

It' s more often to see one paragraph "a mile long", changing from first person to third person storytelling in the middle of sentence, and most of all (at least for me) - no clear storytelling that makes story unreadable...

Replies:   gmontgomery
gmontgomery

@BlinkReader

Yeup, this tale has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The characters a well drawn and there is the right amount of conflict. The rest is a matter of taste and editing.

For story to be unreadable it's not necessary to be with no quotation marks, dots and comas.

BlacKnight

I ran into one author around here where...

Well, the words were correctly spelled. The sentences were grammatical. Punctuation was where punctuation should be. The individual paragraphs mostly made sense. But they didn't string together into a narrative in any way I could put together.

Characters appeared without introduction. There'd be dialogue tagged with a name that had never appeared before, and I'd have no idea who they were or what they were going on about. Or a female character would walk in, and there'd be a description of her body and her wardrobe, but no indication of who she was, beyond eye candy.

Scenes jumped from one setting and group of characters (or group of inscrutable names and shapely thighs, anyway) to another without warning or notification. There was no indication of how the characters or events in one scene were linked to those in another.

Stuff happened without apparent cause or consequence, involving people that had never been introduced to the reader.

It was like the author didn't realize that not everyone could read his mind and know all the things he wasn't actually writing down. I tried two or three of his stories before I gave up.

They were harder to read than the ones where the author lives by Andrew Jackson's philosophy that, "It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word," repeatedly switches tense and person mid-paragraph, believes punctuation is optional, forgets their main characters' names, and writes sex scenes despite clearly being a virgin who failed Sex Ed (or took the conservative version - just say no).

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