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discuss Nowhereville

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2 years 9 months ago #51395 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
Me too! I know elrod has other things on his plate, but even a simple Go! would make me feel more comfortable at this point....

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2 years 9 months ago #51573 by Polk Kitsune
Polk Kitsune replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
All right. I got through the whole story, and it has been an interesting read in a way. There's definitively some good points, and others where there's signs where improvements woudl really help it. Might be a bit easier on me, since Transformations in general is a guilty pleasure for me.

The concept of Kelly's situation is very good, I'd say. A kid who's just been through the worst moment of his life, all the way to being beaten and... Well, the less said there, the better, I suppose, but mentally wounded when he finds a spirit to bond with, that he loses himself to the animal spirit in the process. He's so detached from the world that at first, he's simply taken for the ride, taking the surprises as they come, and only responding on instincts. He doesn't want to think about his old life, doesn't want to think about what happened to him, so when Coyote takes over, it's easy to give in, and be the animal. Even the surprises of being a dog, and quickly later, being a girl doesn't seem to faze her all too much. There's barely a reaction.

Even more worrisome too, is the fact that she might like being the coyote, that life is so much easier this way. Calmer, without too much trouble. That she might just forget human life at some point. She doesn't want to be just wild, but considering the troubles she had as a boy, and then being a girl too, she hesitates between the two (Although, personally, I can't help but picture how cute she might be as a puppygirl). But the struggle of the story, the big plot of it is for her to find help from this whole mess, see if she'll change back, and what help she can find as a whole.

The process, the journey she's taken does make sense, and although she mostly relies on instincts for the first part, they mostly make sense, even describing how different, and maybe uncomfortable a dog's life must be, including eating raw meat and garbage. And things get complicated when those necessities become scarce. Getting help makes sense, and she's lucky she found someone who could tell she was more than just a wild dog. Maybe a little too lucky, but at this point, I don't know how quickly you want to speed things up, or what your end game will be.

This is where I'll have to admit, I just wana hug, pet, and cuddle the fluffy dog girl.

But as much as the concept is interesting, and I wana find out more, your writing structure does need some work. It's not the easiest to read, and sometimes I cringed at the way it was written.

Although it does get better later on, the biggest problem section is chapter 1. It started real hard to follow, and want to continue. I do get that you wished to make the writing style to feel, and show that Kelly is dazed from the beating, and mental shutdown, and that shows, especially when he remembers pieces of the beating in the woods, and pushes them back in the dark parts of his mind, but parts of it suffer because of this.

A part that I had issues with was how you mechanically described every steps of getting under that fence. It took so long to describe, it took away from the feel of the story, and how distraught Kelly felt. It could have been sped up to move on.

On the other side though, the part when she's a coyote went right by quickly, we don't get much time to reflect on what's happening. The transformation happens between paragraphs, most of the trek through the town is mentioned in a blur, and a part of me wished there was more mention in there.

I will also mention that you want want to limit your use of parenthesis (). Although they might be useful at times, they're usually big breaks when reading, and might pull out a reader from the immersion, when a comma woudl have done just fine. At other times, there may be some paragraphs you'd want to break up into sections, to make things feel like they sped up, or a sense of urgency, like every time there's a howl before Kelly gets under the fence.

Chapter 1 feels like it needs a healthy dose of editing, I feel. There's ways to improve it.

Chapters afterwards though do show some steady improvement, and move forward with the plot. Plenty of attention given where it needs to be, Kelly is careful, and mostly smart, even if she's just trudging along under Coyote's guide, and the structure is a lot better to follow. The more I went, the better I felt about it.

If I had one part I also had to mention woudl be by the last part posted right now, when Sally and Agent De La Santos talk to each other, while Sally calls Whateley. Sally called Kelly over, but as Kelly pointed out, she did nothing with her then. There was no reason to call her there... At least, no IC reasons to do it, but as a writer, I've got a suspicion why. You needed to write about that call, and what that would entail from it. Unfortunately, since your whole story is written from the protagonist's perspective, you needed Kelly there to get the conversation. Unfortunately, pointing out that Kelly was there with no purposes shows your hand on this, and will break the immersion once more. If I had a proposition, the talk could have simply happened by the RV where Kelly was laying down, and she overheard, or you could have have Kelly hover around close to Sally the whole time, feeling safer around her.

Hrmmmm. As for the coyote spirit being the Coyote, I have only gotten a glimpse of him in Kayda, and haven't reached the end there, but it doesn't quite capture the same feel. This once seems much more animalistic, wild, running on instincts. The fact that he was debating with a girl spirit at the mention might also show he's not as independent as he might be, for a spirit that lived for eons.

As for a last bit of criticism, are you sure about the title? Sure, you mention it at the beginning of the story that Kelly considers his hometown to be in the middle of nowhere, but it certainly isn't part of anything else in the story, certainly not a central part of it.

That being said though, I'm still liking it, and I do look forward for more. It's a little rough around the edges, could use some polish, but the concept is there, the journey is done well, and it does get better as you go...

Plush I really wana snuggle puppydog girl Kelly. >> <<
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2 years 9 months ago #51577 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
When I get a more definitive conclusion I'll polish this up a bit. For the first chapter, I'm not pleased with it. Really I'm not, I'm not sure just what to do with it, I thought about breaking each set of ellipsis, and even if I were working on a web page or with something hand lettered, trying for some of the effect that ee cummings poetry has. That is sort of scatter them on the page, but at minimum that would require writing html to position each piece, but I thought about putting them on a black or mostly black page with white printing, and maybe shadows that are almost visible, trees, fences, the like maybe even every time the Howl happens have a barely visible coyote in the backdrop. But my art ability isn't up to designing a page to fit the feel I wanted for the first half, before Kelly's transformation. Afterward, well I hope I didn't hurry it, but I wanted it to feel urgent, to grab the reader and drag them along like Kelly was.
I'm glad that the conflict is building, and I'll have to work on that deus ex machina bit of Sally calling Kelly over to her, but she didn't hear everything, so maybe Sally was told to get her out from under the coach?
For everyone who is hoping for another part, I have another mostly ready to go, I'm sort of waiting on Elrodw to tell me go on it...

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2 years 9 months ago #51597 by Polk Kitsune
Polk Kitsune replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
Seems like you have a lot more trouble coding a proper structure in the forum, since I tend to simply use a wordpad, and simple formatting for bold and italics. I don't think you need to reverse colors to be effective, or even add in graphics, it might distract more than needs to be. Bold does help, maybe even changing character sizes, but here's one bit where just splittign a paragraph has an effect on how you read it.

The fall of shadows as he turned led Kelly to pause and kneel in the stream bed; the cold water flowing over his throbbing arm and other wounds was soothing for a moment, and he sat letting the coolness ease his pain. Howl! Was that coyote closer than it had been before? Kelly wasn't sure. But it did remind him that he did need to move if he wished to survive, and though he was more weary every moment, giving up seemed to not be part of his make up. HOWL!!! That had to be closer, Kelly thought. That spurred him to investigate to see if what he thought he’d seen when he shifted was so… he followed the upright iron spears of the fence to where they met the water. Yes! They ended just below where they touched the flowing surface.

HOWL!!!!

The coyote’s song made Kelly’s decision for him…


You separate the howls once, but don't do it beforehand, and that could use a good touch-up there. Even using 'howl' might describe what's happening, but doesn't pull the reader into living it.

How I'd edit it, just a recommendation, but see how the difference feels.

The fall of shadows as he turned led Kelly to pause and kneel in the stream bed; the cold water flowing over his throbbing arm and other wounds was soothing for a moment, and he sat letting the coolness ease his pain.

Ahwooo!

Was that coyote closer than it had been before? Kelly wasn't sure. But it did remind him that he did need to move if he wished to survive, and though he was more weary every moment, giving up seemed to not be part of his make up.

Ahwoooo!!!

That had to be closer, Kelly thought. That spurred him to investigate to see if what he thought he’d seen when he shifted was so… he followed the upright iron spears of the fence to where they met the water. Yes! They ended just below where they touched the flowing surface.

AHWOOOHOOHOOOOOO!!!!

The coyote’s song made Kelly’s decision for him…


Even spacial breaks like these have an effect on how people will read them.

Good luck on fixing the Sally calling Kelly over. Not the worst of coincidences, but you can find a convenient fix.

Looking forward to more!

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2 years 9 months ago #51601 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
I probably should have broken the paras (at least) at the howls (I like your Awoo!!) No problem with that, like I said, for the forum is different than I'd want to display it if it were a web page... I still think black with branch and tree shadows just barely visible, and a coyote for every howl however it is written. I'm also thinking that breaking paragraphs at every ellipsis as well as tabbed placement of the movements might help provide the feel I want. Like I said, the main thing is everyone sort of displays our own preference on the web, for example I could choose a serifed font for display here even though Kristin has a sans-serif font in use. At least I think I could. Me as a dyslectic, I hate sans-serif fonts. The more 'modern' a font is the more I hate it!

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2 years 9 months ago - 2 years 9 months ago #51604 by Rose Bunny
Rose Bunny replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
Be glad it's not comic sans.

I use Helvetica, myself... because I like to say "Helvetica"

High-Priestess of the Order of Spirit-Chan


Last Edit: 2 years 9 months ago by Rose Bunny.

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2 years 9 months ago #51605 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
Times Roman has been my default font for a long time, now I sometimes use Day Roman, and for titles I've been known to use one of the antique fonts for titles, but right now I can't find one to name.

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2 years 9 months ago #51613 by Polk Kitsune
Polk Kitsune replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
Heehee. Glad you liked the Awoo touch. Was hoping you wouldn't mind.

But changing fonts and images is much more advanced in the web format than I'm used to, I'll admit.

But it's true word formats can also have an effect on reading, since it changes the tone and atmosphere of the read. It's subliminal, but sometimes, it can make all the difference.
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2 years 8 months ago #52050 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
I posted the next chapter of this for your consideration. Anyone who would like to dabble in polishing the first two chapters, and see how I've changed them can PM me for a google docs link. Thank you all for reading!
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2 years 8 months ago #52065 by Wavehead
Wavehead replied the topic: discuss Nowhereville
Really enjoyed this new chapter :) Your writing style is different from most other Authors but very good imo B)
The cliff hanger ending is making me desperate for the next chapter :silly:
The following user(s) said Thank You: Anne

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