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Blowout 2

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  17:50:37  7 February 2004
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KakerMix
(Novice)
 
On forum: 11/13/2003
Messages: 18
Blowout 2

Another short story that plays a bit off the first one. I tried to add some more human elements to the story.

let me know what you think.
And, be honest.
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The morning of June 21, 2010, and Sokol had to go get the bodies of yet more people who had no idea what they were getting into when they hopped the fence into hell. It always saddened him to find people, who, for whatever reason, decided to come to the zone. Collecting objects, selling weapons, joining these new
  21:12:14  7 February 2004
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Nauris Krauze
(Novice)
 
On forum: 01/09/2003
 

Message edited by:
Nauris Krauze
02/07/2004 21:16:11
Messages: 44
Well, I owe you for hijacking your previous thread while not saying a word about your story, so I`ll try to make up it for you.
You may freely take everything I say with grain of salt.

First thing that struck me - you focus on the main events: happenings from A to Z, while leaving out too many details. You can describe your morning with "woke up, shaved, packed and left" or you can do the same with greater effect with mentioning how you cut yourself shaving, how you couldnt find right sock how coffee tasted unusually that morning.
These details dont do much for the main events, but they establish belief in your world. Even better if through these events you give some info about yourself (did you curse when cut? was sock lost because of party yesterday or you simply have mess in your apartment?).

In your story, we dont see almost anything what could show us what kind of person hero is. It looks more like a report than narrative.
Now, this could actually be used with great effect - Stalkers original story in fact starts with the interview, for example. But then you have to use "reporting device" throughout the story. Fine example is "Mind Parasites", if you have read it (I guess by Colin Wilson, but I`m a sucker for names) - it creates a disturbing documental feeling describing completely fantastic events, using reports, newspaper quotes, cold, recorded dialogues.
It works, but you have to do it right.

Dont underestimate the power of speech. A single two sentence dialogue can refresh a page, I dont know why it works like that, but human eyes search for speech in text, we love it.

I got feeling you rushed it a little bit. You wanted to get to the part you had imagined in your head and rushed to it. My "advice" is - then write such parts first. With detail and care. After that, write about things that lead to it. It now feels like a sketch: if you can use it as a blueprint for carefully tailored piece - I promise to yell "Yay!!!"
  21:54:15  7 February 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
looks good tp me no this one- you did put in some emotion and thoughts, as wel as some descriptive. The sotry is also short, which is a good thing. bUt as NK said before, speech. Your character looked like a loner who had no friend, so naturally that is not normal when you are in the army and had to depend on others to survive in The Zone. So to make it better, put some conversation between the passenger of the APC, say , put in the conversation between the past where Sokol saw the body of a stalker (or a gal), and comment to his friend. Speech plays a very important in making your character hte kind that you could grasp and hug (*blink*) , so put some in.There is a chinese saying that goes- 'in a house you depend on your family; when you go out you depend on your friend.' So you might want to put in some friends for him, maybe make Sokol kill his friend after being a nutcase.

I have no problem on your style of writing, because style is the biggest part of writing where it differs each one of us. If you are trying to score on your length, just focus on the main event. But if you wish to score on character, you can consider what NK said. Antoher thing was that you should describe a little mroe about the Blowout.

And then there is the problem on name. Chernobyl is in Ukraine, which in turn is in the CIS region. Names there are usually russian, so unless you can associate yoru Private first class Hans with a german descendant, your charater don't look too russian, which in turn spoil your character. *tips- to make the name look a little russain, you can put it this way- Sokol Jakobin Hanskaya'. Now, this look more authentic, eh?

But good job, and better then the previous. Keep it up.
  00:52:07  8 February 2004
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Nauris Krauze
(Novice)
 
On forum: 01/09/2003
Messages: 44
hehe, yeah - "Hans" would mean a curse word in that region. There is that thing with Nazi legacy and if you hear reffered to yourself as "Hans"/"Gans", it means you`ve basically just been called a Nazi pig.
  02:17:59  8 February 2004
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KakerMix
(Novice)
 
On forum: 11/13/2003
Messages: 18
Good thing you told me about the 'Hans' thing. I live in the U.S. you see, so have about zero knowledge of any Eurpoean style. I used a Russian Name list to find names for the 2 characters, and used the website for as much info as I needed.

I know, I keep it simple. My teachers throughout highschool made it aparent, maybe too aparent, with not drowing your readers with saturated details, but to balance it, so the readers imagination can come into play.

That, and to have a thersarus handly.

Anyways, thanks for the truly honest comments. You've driven me to decide to indeed, use these first 2 stories as a blueprint, re-write with far more character interaction, more details (hopefully not too much ), and get some more length out of them.

oh, and besides the Hans thing, was there any other out-of-place detail that slipped in there? Like I said, its pretty unknown to me Russian culture.

Thanks again
  06:15:12  8 February 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
Good thing you told me about the 'Hans' thing. I live in the U.S. you see, so have about zero knowledge of any Eurpoean style. I used a Russian Name list to find names for the 2 characters, and used the website for as much info as I needed.

I know, I keep it simple. My teachers throughout highschool made it aparent, maybe too aparent, with not drowing your readers with saturated details, but to balance it, so the readers imagination can come into play.

That, and to have a thersarus handly.

Anyways, thanks for the truly honest comments. You've driven me to decide to indeed, use these first 2 stories as a blueprint, re-write with far more character interaction, more details (hopefully not too much ), and get some more length out of them.

oh, and besides the Hans thing, was there any other out-of-place detail that slipped in there? Like I said, its pretty unknown to me Russian culture.

Thanks again
---END QUOTATION---



Yes. Vodka!

IT's my style to not to let readers imagine too much. ONly let your reader imagine on the surroundings, because , as we chinese says, a view is worth a thouand word. So you basically cannot do much about descibing your surrounding without putting too much words. You only give the vitals i.e heavy forest with crooked branch or the like However, never let your reader imagine your character's action.

Try to read Tom Clancy's book that revolves aroudn the period before the cold war and post cold-war, as they consisted of many Russian element that can come in handy.

Oh yes, I found out another mistake. You did not put the description of your character's face...

There is no harm done in keeping things simple, which was something I had always done, because you can allow the description to flow more fluidly, and people do not need to spend time to chew on your words. Instead, they can focus more on the story. Yup, that's correct. Like I said again, I had a hard time reading the 120 stories of the contest at the last few days while I was free. Most of the story had such complex description that I want to delete them instantly from my PDA (hard tiem chewing them, and their plot really bores me) , but unfortunately can't as I was planning to give my own notion of top-ten quality stories to be post on the forum around next week, so because I think everyone deserves a chance I continued the long and ardous journey...

P.S- the great guidelines for starting to write is the thread at the upper corner, consisting of great tips given by guys like Ian C, Goodspeed and Midnight Rambler whose stories ( THe difference between you and me, The best laid plans and The inhuman condition) really rocks in term of quality. Give it a try by reading the tips, You will find them useful. And try not to be too serious on writing, or else you would be ending up not having a life just like me (and my physic teacher?) who only likes to play 'chicken invader', watch 'stargate sg-1' and '24', and reading science book when not reading the stories from stalker. (of course, those a due to changes)

and by the way- I am from Malaysia, currently studying in New Zealand
  06:27:24  8 February 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
hey, NK, 'lore' rocks. And you gonna make Ian C real proud when he knows that London is the capital for the Eastern Federation (or something else,)
  10:59:58  8 February 2004
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Nauris Krauze
(Novice)
 
On forum: 01/09/2003
 

Message edited by:
Nauris Krauze
02/08/2004 11:07:03
Messages: 44

---QUOTATION---
hey, NK, 'lore' rocks. And you gonna make Ian C real proud when he knows that London is the capital for the Eastern Federation (or something else,)
---END QUOTATION---



hehe, I`m just an artist on this one and dont have any writing input on the project at all. Just concept art for PC game and illustrations for RPG manuals. Brian and Adrian are "world shapers" and, I guess, I can say without breaking NDA, they have got some pretty famous help on this one. Lots of it is still under wraps, but for an indie project they have taken quite a huge task: launching both computer and board game.

About Tom Clancy thing - this is where we differ, amoki. I have never liked the guy much. First, really dont like his style or lack of it. Its no surprise that many of the novels nowdays are not written by him - they just find writers with no distinctive style and let them write his novels. Its no secret in publishing industry, just a fact they dont like to write on the backcovers.
Second - his "slavic details" make me laugh. I have lived in Soviet Union and I must say - he really has a pretty vague understanding of how things work in Russia, nevermind the details. It works for western audience, I guess, but you wont find many serious people in Russia who would take his novels seriously.

I`d call J.L. Borges my hero - I DEMAND (hehe) that you read him when you have a chance. His short stories can blow your mind.
And visit realms of Gabriel Garc
  04:10:43  13 February 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Yopu gotta be kidding, right? Because Soviet Union is Russian during its communist time, and most probably you are either a East German or a Czech or someone that lived under the Communist's arms to be able to do so, right? Not unless you are a defector . But yeah, maybe when I want to write another entree for the contest (writing nine long ones is already an exhaustive task for me for the last three years, and I still have a lot of studies o go before me before I really finsih studying) I ask for your help.
  04:44:15  13 February 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
I`d call J.L. Borges my hero - I DEMAND (hehe) that you read him when you have a chance. His short stories can blow your mind.
And visit realms of Gabriel Garc
 
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