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The difference between you and me ( Part 1 of 4 )

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  21:00:39  29 August 2003
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
 

Message edited by:
Ian_C
08/29/2003 21:04:44
Messages: 273
The difference between you and me ( Part 1 of 4 )

Before I post this I just want to say this isn't a dig at the space between updates on the site, I just think that people who are writing multiple-part stories ( like myself ), need to be realistic in the ammount of time it will take them to gain useful feedback then impliment that feedback in their next parts - I want to continue writing but also I really need to know if I'm on the right track, and while I wait for part 1 to go up 'officially' to gain that feedback I find myself unable to carry on writing with any enthusiasm in the meantime.

If this isn't allowed then please moderators don't hesitate to delete this thread.

All opinions welcome.



The difference between you and me

Part 1 of 4







  00:56:08  30 August 2003
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
First of all, don't think that your story sucks because that my comments are long
These are my comments for now, since I only roughly read it through:
1) your story isn't that long to cut it into four sction: you only cut it when it is way too long. When I mean it, I really mean WAY TOO LONG! Like my work, it is about 34 pages in A4 when printed out. The second one is 42 page. the 3rd one is now about 30page. This is really long. You cut it into episodes only beause you donh't want people to got so bored after they read through about 40 pages. You don't believe me? Try to read Tom Clancy's E-books which had over 600 Pages!

2) Your story really lack action. This is an action game, my friend. I know the first paragraph serves as an intro to the characters; that's why I commented that your story is way to short! You should focus on action. When I mean action, it is action from the main character and/or his sidekicks. Firing weapons, runnning, etc. I am sure we will see more to it.

3)paragrahing. I don't know whether you did any paraghing or not while you write, but the first moment I looked into the following pages in the first section, I was disheartened. First impression is most important: It is the line between people having interest in your following story or not. Never forget that as a writer.

4) 15 year as a stalker... The game only started on the second year, I think. If 15 years, I don't think there would be controllers. There would be LOTS OF Controllers! Not to mention new technology, new equipment, new mutants. Try not to make it that far. And I don't think Stalkers would survive for that long...

5)You should try putting some descriptive ie surroundings. I had no idea about the surgey place. The ever acrid smell of Dettol and antiseptics, where is it? (I am a Red Crescent memeber, but not a Muslim.). How about the howling pain of those in pain, mourning of those who lost a limb? The anguish of friends waiting for their friends or comrades' surgery to finsih?

6)But I have to praise you for doing your research though. I am sure you are not a Ukrainian, yet you know Cherkansky (If I spelled it right), located somewhere near the northeast of ukrainian. However, the fallout there, I am sure, isn't really that heavy to cause massive mutation? Maybe I am wrong though.

7) No weapons? (E) Most readers here are guns experts, that's why they had interest in FPS (not to mention STALKER!) For that , you should put in what guns you use. If you don't, they will give you low marks!

That it. I suggest you try to ask for 'proffesional' advise from people who had expereince in writing. try look around the forum. When I did the second story, I sent it to a guy name G*******. not that I don;t want you to sent to him, but he is a really busy guy. Not to mention he is a proffesional commenter who gives Damn good comment . He is still reading my story though. But the point is, try to sent it to someone who is really good at it. If possiblem look for those in the top ten (something I have't archive myself ) Don't look for me though, I am very busy with my story!

Last but not least, keep trying! To suceed, there must always be a first step! Bye!
  15:37:06  31 August 2003
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
 

Message edited by:
Ian_C
08/31/2003 20:14:27
Messages: 273
Thanks for the reply, here are my responses:

1. I disagree that multi-part stories have to be huge. I think of them as short, snappy pieces that leave the reader wanting more. It's true that some epic works were multi-part due to the ammount of detail needed in their storylines, but my intention here was to break up a 20+ page story into smaller parts so it would be more digestable and I could recieve feedback before writing the next part.

2. I used to think exactly the same way. When I first started writing my stories would be balls to the wall action all the way through, until I realised that the characters being killed were little more than 2D portraits - why would anyone care about them being hurt when there was no characterization, why would they have any reason to care? I always shape my stories to the four part formula - setup, buildup, climax, aftermath, hence the first part introduces you to the characters so that when they do get thrown into danger you're interested in what happens to them ( in theory, anyway ).

3. Yeah, I wasn't happy with the way it looked when I put it up on the forums. It was quite neat in MS Word but here it looks all jumbled and sandwiched together, the original document was quite good though so hopefully this should be remedied when it goes up on the site officially.

4. I went forward fifteen years so I could show growing problems within the zone that could potentially threaten Russia as a whole. For example, the mutant 'revolutions' with Controllers attacking the perimeter fence becoming a regular occurance, and in later parts discussion of the book 'Two weeks with a Stalker' making a whole new kind of people interested in becoming Stalkers. Whether or not there would be 'new mutants' after fifteen years is open to debate, I prefered to just show a more established heriarchy becoming apparent among the existing mutants - and the Controllers becoming a serious threat to everyone.

5. Rest assured there is much more description of surroundings in later parts, the reason I didn't focus much on the surgery is because it was in a seperate room to the main character, and the conversation he was having with Tarn was the most important thing at that time ( and I wanted to keep the reader's attention focussed on that ), after all 1st person is also what the main character 'decides' to tell you.

6. Thanks, I did some research on Russian areas before I wrote, and their distance to 'the zone' so I wouldn't end up writing about mutations in a place that was 1000 miles away from it . The thing about radiation is it also affects ground water supplies, so even a relativly small blast has wide-reaching implications, the original Chernobyl disaster affected far more people than just those in the surrounding areas.

7. Don't worry, there are plenty of guns, just not in the first part. I did a lot of weapon research as well but, as I said, I wanted to have the first part focussed on the people who were wielding the guns - then the guns themselves become far more important as they could potentially kill any of the characters you've grown to be interested in.

As for seeking 'professional' experience, I would never call myself a professional ( one day, God willing ) but I have been writing for roughly nine years on and off so If I haven't got it by now I don't think I ever will! I've read all of the stories in the top ten, and while I enjoy them I feel they take a different approach to my own work, I saw so many pieces with non-stop action in that I thought it might be interesting to try a character driven piece.

Hope I assuaged some of the concerns you had with the piece, and while it may look as though I've countered most of your criticisms without a second thought - to counter them I had first to think them over, please bear that in mind and thanks for reading.
  03:40:36  1 September 2003
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serp
whats this?
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 02/27/2003
Messages: 621
I think this story is pretty good, it definitely suceeds in me wanting more. Im not going to analyze your story, because im too lazy. good luck
  03:57:50  1 September 2003
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
I think I want to re-re-comment
1) Your answer does sound logical... but why do it four parts when you can do it in three parts i.e intro+buildup, climax, desolve+ending? Your reply served as a mystery to your story... two climax? (my next story, as my frined suggested, had three peaks , but I do it into one part.)
2) and 3) no comment. My adviser told me the same way after he had seen my story
4) fifteen years... why don't make it five years? and to say if controllers do attack that frequently, if I am the bureucrat (I don't know if I spelled it right), I will deploy a nuke to wipe out The Zone to (1) reduce casualties (2) destroy a threat (3) to get votes for my upcomign election . To say that the webpage did say that when mutant attack is too frequent, Spec Ops would be deployed to wipe them out. Sorry, but I write my story according to everything that was in the webpage.
5)You don't have to write a long sentences to descript your surrounding. Two or three words is enough, not a whole paragrph.
example: Tarn, a veteran fifteen-year Stalker hauled Bloch into the surgery with the others who recovered the poor soul. As I waited in the hospital room, the usual acrid smell of antiseptics wafted through the air, along with the usual crying and talking. But my attention was not on my surrounding, for what Tarn had to tell me was very important. As I studied the men sitting in front of me whose NBC suit was torn with blood seeping out and sweat all over his body, his faces showed an excited look that was trying to speak amid his panting.

as easy as that. But just my take on things anyway

6)I did the same. Last time, I wrote unitl the Zone reached Kiev! then when I did the second one, while looking for a base for my Spetnatz, I finally found out that Chenrboyl was so far from Kiev... luckily those who read the novels are gamers, not geographers
7) no comment

Lastly, I am not a pro, just a seventenn year-old Christian who had good English (and a too-vivid imagination and believing the world is good). but I am learning. I took up writing at first to win the story, but now, it had turn into an obssesion as I wound out that writing is a way of telling people how you think. And yes, I had been writing for about 3 months only
  11:08:09  1 September 2003
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273
Hi Amoki, thanks for your continued interest

It's always tricky balancing the information about the game 'world' that you can draw from the webpages with your own imagining of 'the zone'. I've read all the info on creatures and weapons and such, but I do enjoy putting in a lot of unanswered questions that may or may not be answered later on - your example about Spec Ops being deployed to wipe out excess Controllers is one of those, they've got the weapons and the personnel so why haven't they succeeded in making the Controllers less of a threat?

As for just eradicating the zone as a whole I don't think they'd try that. Firstly, it's too much of a scientific interest for Russia and the world at large, they wouldn't want to pass up the chance of studying the anomalies and creatures that reside there. Secondly, if they did want to wipe out the zone, how would they do it? Another nuclear explosion could be catastrophic if it reacted with the anomalies, imagine the detonation catching in a gravitational anomaly then being blown out with ten times the force of a normal nuclear bomb. I'm sure there are quite a few who would want the zone wiped out, but to do that they would first need to understand more about it, know your enemy as the saying goes.

I do see your point about description, and I will be describing far more about Haven and other areas in later parts, the second part in particular contains a great deal more detail on surroundings. Also, I'm pretty sure that parts 3 and 4 will be a fair bit larger than 1&2, not so much as to upset the entire balance but there's definitely more to be told in them than their predecessors.

Also, thanks for reading Bob123.
  05:53:16  3 September 2003
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Ian C, GSC had mailed to me and promised to update the side shortly. The sender was one of the programmer himself. Please be patient for some more time.
  12:27:26  3 September 2003
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273

---QUOTATION---
Ian C, GSC had mailed to me and promised to update the side shortly. The sender was one of the programmer himself. Please be patient for some more time.
---END QUOTATION---



Thanks very much for the update Amoki.
  17:21:04  3 September 2003
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matrok
(Novice)
 
On forum: 09/02/2003
Messages: 13
i think the whole subject of multi-part stories is cack. They're ment to be short stories (i don't mean 100 words or anything) but if you have 3 stories that are all 30-50 pages long, you could almost call it a novel. I've never read any sequel to any of the stories, and to be honest, it's because i don't find that the tension in them could last so long.
  19:26:54  3 September 2003
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273

---QUOTATION---
i think the whole subject of multi-part stories is cack. They're ment to be short stories (i don't mean 100 words or anything) but if you have 3 stories that are all 30-50 pages long, you could almost call it a novel. I've never read any sequel to any of the stories, and to be honest, it's because i don't find that the tension in them could last so long.
---END QUOTATION---



It's not easy that's for sure. I think my story is prob going to weigh in at 30-35 pages in it's entirety, and I was quite conscious about making it too long, it takes a very skilled writer to maintain the reader's interest in a continuous one part, 35 page story, hence my decision to split it into four different parts.

I do agree that, while GSC said no word limit on the stories, people are not expecting to have to read something of novella length - seldom everything is explained in a short story, lots of things are hinted at on a larger scale but only a handful of them are explored. It is, in essence, only a part of the character's story, but you've always got to try and make sure their story is a compelling one.
 
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