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A bit of one of mine.

 Currently up to 271,000 words, and growing. I will paste some of the start in here, but I may ignore all that's said about it.  ;)

... screaming dislodged bodies’ hands lose grip on the backs of seats and begin to fall forward in disarray towards demanding gravity. Some lucky ones who had not fully risen in shock, voluntarily or otherwise, from their seats, lean on the now increasingly horizontal backs of the seats before them, trying to brace themselves against the increasing verticalness, looking down in horror to the front of the leading carriage Lilium, Junal and Kinli are also in. Thankfully the seats themselves had been well bolted to the floor so had not come adrift even with the accumulatively growing extra weight now on the back of them in a manner they were not designed for. Not become dislodged, yet.

Unfortunately, random untethered luggage, including weapons, from above and below seats, and from laps and even hands, right to the back of all the passenger compartments, which have no doors between the sections, has begun to join the falling and sliding bodies to make its combined chaotic way forward disregarding any obstacles in its tumbling path, adding to the falling men, women and children, babies, and random panicking small creatures, some in small cages, all trying to gain a grip on something, anything, to slow their fall, including grabbing on to each other and on to those still screamingly cringing on seat backs as if they are shelves.

Starting at the front, the combined cacophonic weight mingling together now begins to rip the seats from the floor with metallic screeches, creating bench and humanoid sandwiches, the pings of bolt-heads finally giving up on their uncreated for stress. Those bolt-heads and their washers adding to the shrapnel like shots as if from catapults.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, by now the warped and bent remains of the broken end of the bridge has slowed down the train with friction alone as the Steamtube train’s wheels leave the guide channels, before it had totally gone in to free-fall, to now around forty mph. But not the people and luggage within it who are still in motion at the train’s original speed. Those in the forward compartment can be seen by Junal, Lilium and Kinli still cascading down at over fifty mph and accelerating towards the already broken driver’s compartment’s rear windows. The driver broken, also, because right now he is creating an exit through the compartment’s tough small-paned blood-splattered windscreen and its frame with his unprotected bare head.

Amongst the many tones of wailing and crying and praying, twangs of metal still stressed and breaking, unattached objects banging and crunching as they bounce off heads, backs and each other, and all becoming patterned with blood, no one giving any regard to anyone else apart from mothers still attempting to hang on to or grab their children and babies, some whom are already dead, a small voice may have been audible exclaiming in shock.

“Gar!” shouts Lilium. “Why do these things keep happening to me?!”

Comments

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    One could almost get the idea you're not a fan of economical mass transit.
  • You're clearly not a fan of word economy, but reading this passage I actually like how 'wordy' you've made it. A rare thing to be drawn into a scene by the complexity of the sentences, so well done at that.

    I do think that using language in this way adds a burden - you have to be exceedingly sure about each and every sentence. For example:

    "Some lucky ones who had not fully risen in shock, voluntarily or otherwise, from their seats, lean on the now increasingly horizontal backs of the seats before them, trying to brace themselves against the increasing verticalness, looking down in horror to the front of the leading carriage Lilium, Junal and Kinli are also in."

    I was right there with you on this one until the end. Tacking on where our characters are situated in this way left me confused, which put me in a position of wanting to read the sentence again. For long sentences like this, the urge to reread is going to be strong, so making them as clear as possible would be beneficial.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    One could almost get the idea you're not a fan of economical mass transit.

    Well not in a war, perhaps, and not when just shot across a bridge by momentum by expanding steam in a tube.  :-) I do own a car, though.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    You're clearly not a fan of word economy, but reading this passage I actually like how 'wordy' you've made it. A rare thing to be drawn into a scene by the complexity of the sentences, so well done at that.


    Thanks for that. I do like to play with words. I think without the use of them it would be hard to write a story. :-) But look on it like 'painting' a scene. Some would possibly call it 'Show'.

    I do think that using language in this way adds a burden - you have to be exceedingly sure about each and every sentence. For example:

    Indeed, but who said writing was easy? 

    "Some lucky ones who had not fully risen in shock, voluntarily or otherwise, from their seats, lean on the now increasingly horizontal backs of the seats before them, trying to brace themselves against the increasing verticalness, looking down in horror to the front of the leading carriage Lilium, Junal and Kinli are also in."

    I was right there with you on this one until the end. Tacking on where our characters are situated in this way left me confused, which put me in a position of wanting to read the sentence again. For long sentences like this, the urge to reread is going to be strong, so making them as clear as possible would be beneficial


    It is meant to be confusing, a lot going on in a 'rush', because it is confusion. However that is of course just a snatch of the whole, starting about a 3rd of the way in to the 1st chapter of Part Three. The entirety makes it clearer. But it does actually begin fully at the end of the previous part in the series. What is going on, for example.

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    In wartime trains [similar to aircraft carriers] are bomb magnets.

    I have a couple cars I don't have time to work on. The Wife has one to get to work [64.37 km distant] since there is no mass transit out where we live. I'm not a fan of living well inside a target rich zone in case of nuclear strike. Then again the view from our front porch stretches out about 80 km.

    One could almost get the idea you're not a fan of economical mass transit.

    Well not in a war, perhaps, and not when just shot across a bridge by momentum by expanding steam in a tube.  :-) I do own a car, though.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    A Texan once told me it took 3 days to drive across his land. I replied that I had a car like that once.

    Ah, the constant worry Americans have of getting nuked. But why worry? if a few land the effects will not just be around where they landed.

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    There are some rather large holdings in Texas.

    Actually being aware something could happen shouldn't be conflated with constantly being worried something might happen. As well, if one is aware of the possibility one can take steps to avoid other effects, like living where the plume from a nuke would drop massive amounts of fallout.

    All that aside there are other practical considerations for not living well within a metro area of two million people.

    1] Cartel and cartel-affiliate activity and attendant problems tends to focus in large urban areas. The last place we lived in town there usually wasn't a day without hearing small-arms fire not associated with a military practice range.

    2] Housing is less affordable in large urban areas meaning you get less while paying more. It's amazing how expensive poorly maintained and small most houses are in town.

    3] Living in a large urban area means dealing with noise, crowding, and lower air quality. I no more want to hear [and moments later smell] when my closest neighbor breaks wind than I want my neighbor to hear and smell mine. Same goes for the neighbors arguing or getting into physical altercations, I don't want to hear or see it.

    4] I personally like having mountain lions, wild hogs, coyotes, bobcats, fox, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, deer, hawks, Caracara eagles, and lizards among my close neighbors. They don't ask for rides to the store, they never ask to [permanently] borrow my tools, and they don't cause problems as long as I don't. The bonus is some of them are fine eating.

    5] Then there's the view from the porch, at no point in time will I see a neighbor dressed up like a parochial schoolgirl so his wife can tell him how naughty he was. We might see a few rooftops, but it's mostly trees and hills stretching out into the distance.

    A Texan once told me it took 3 days to drive across his land. I replied that I had a car like that once.

    Ah, the constant worry Americans have of getting nuked. But why worry? if a few land the effects will not just be around where they landed.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    There are some rather large holdings in Texas.

    Innuendo?

    Actually being aware something could happen shouldn't be conflated with constantly being worried something might happen.

    A meteorite could land on your head also. There's possibly more chance of that.

     As well, if one is aware of the possibility one can take steps to avoid other effects, like living where the plume from a nuke would drop massive amounts of fallout.

    Fair enough if only one dropped, which is unlikely. The results would possibly be a Nuclear Winter, which would effect everyone. It's hardly likely to happen though. It would be suicide, especially for childish despots. The Cold War ended decades ago.

    All that aside there are other practical considerations for not living well within a metro area of two million people.

    I cannot disagree with that. But the UK does not really allow for 'getting away from it all'. It's a small country with a lot of people in it. But having said that, our cities are not as big and there's a lot of countryside around them. I live in it, but not many miles from Manchester.

    1] Cartel and cartel-affiliate activity and attendant problems tends to focus in large urban areas.

    Indeed, but according to crime stats for the USA, they seem to congregate in patches. Some cities are far worse than others. (What is classed as urban in the UK, though, is areas of housing around towns and cities, not within them.)

     The last place we lived in town there usually wasn't a day without hearing small-arms fire not associated with a military practice range.

    Ah, the advantage of the Right to Bear Arms. A throwback to when America was almost totally lawless.

    2] Housing is less affordable in large urban areas meaning you get less while paying more. It's amazing how expensive poorly maintained and small most houses are in town.

    Gosh, you should look at UK prices. But Location Location Location is always the pricing 'rule'. You should also look at the average size of houses in the UK compared to the USA. Tiny.

    3] Living in a large urban area means dealing with noise, crowding, and lower air quality. I no more want to hear [and moments later smell] when my closest neighbor breaks wind than I want my neighbor to hear and smell mine. Same goes for the neighbors arguing or getting into physical altercations, I don't want to hear or see it.

    I have seven neighbours ( I have a large garden.) I hardly hear or see them.

    4] I personally like having mountain lions, wild hogs, coyotes, bobcats, fox, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, deer, hawks, Caracara eagles, and lizards among my close neighbors.

    Something to shoot at? Almost all creatures in the UK are protected by law. There's even up to a £50,000 fine for stealing some birds' eggs. I get the occasional fox or badger in my garden. I am happy to see them.

     They don't ask for rides to the store, they never ask to [permanently] borrow my tools,

    Most people I know own their own car, or order everything on line to be delivered. Many people also don't need tools, they hire someone to do it.

     and they don't cause problems as long as I don't. The bonus is some of them are fine eating.

    We have local butchers. It's quite civilised in the UK. We can buy all the meat we need.

    5] Then there's the view from the porch, at no point in time will I see a neighbor dressed up like a parochial schoolgirl so his wife can tell him how naughty he was.

    You are missing out.

     We might see a few rooftops, but it's mostly trees and hills stretching out into the distance.

    Well, if I stand on my roof, or take a short walk, I too see such things.

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian

    There are some rather large holdings in Texas.

    Innuendo?

    One could assume that 1.95 million acres would qualify as a large holding, as in land.

    Actually being aware something could happen shouldn't be conflated with constantly being worried something might happen.

    A meteorite could land on your head also. There's possibly more chance of that.

    There is actually less possibility of a meteorite landing on your head. I believe there is only one recorded instance of a meteorite actually directly killing someone.

     As well, if one is aware of the possibility one can take steps to avoid other effects, like living where the plume from a nuke would drop massive amounts of fallout.

    Fair enough if only one dropped, which is unlikely. The results would possibly be a Nuclear Winter, which would effect everyone. It's hardly likely to happen though. It would be suicide, especially for childish despots. The Cold War ended decades ago.

    Your lack of concern is not echoed by the members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

    All that aside there are other practical considerations for not living well within a metro area of two million people.

    I cannot disagree with that. But the UK does not really allow for 'getting away from it all'. It's a small country with a lot of people in it. But having said that, our cities are not as big and there's a lot of countryside around them. I live in it, but not many miles from Manchester.

    1] Cartel and cartel-affiliate activity and attendant problems tends to focus in large urban areas.

    Indeed, but according to crime stats for the USA, they seem to congregate in patches. Some cities are far worse than others. (What is classed as urban in the UK, though, is areas of housing around towns and cities, not within them.)

    One could posit from my earlier statement that I live near at least one of those patches.

     The last place we lived in town there usually wasn't a day without hearing small-arms fire not associated with a military practice range.

    Ah, the advantage of the Right to Bear Arms. A throwback to when America was almost totally lawless.

    Ah, I detect condescension but I do believe smuggling occurs in your country as well, as does suicide, murder, rape, and theft. I also believe you could be charged with a felony for carrying a plastic replica of a sword in public since some English are less civilized than others.

    2] Housing is less affordable in large urban areas meaning you get less while paying more. It's amazing how expensive poorly maintained and small most houses are in town.

    Gosh, you should look at UK prices. But Location Location Location is always the pricing 'rule'. You should also look at the average size of houses in the UK compared to the USA. Tiny.

    There are tiny houses here.

    3] Living in a large urban area means dealing with noise, crowding, and lower air quality. I no more want to hear [and moments later smell] when my closest neighbor breaks wind than I want my neighbor to hear and smell mine. Same goes for the neighbors arguing or getting into physical altercations, I don't want to hear or see it.

    I have seven neighbours ( I have a large garden.) I hardly hear or see them.

    Last place we lived in town we could hear every conversation, fight, and at times the intercourse our neighbors had. Thin walls and little insulation tends to make a difference. That house was so close you could spit on it.

    4] I personally like having mountain lions, wild hogs, coyotes, bobcats, fox, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, deer, hawks, Caracara eagles, and lizards among my close neighbors.

    Something to shoot at? Almost all creatures in the UK are protected by law. There's even up to a £50,000 fine for stealing some birds' eggs. I get the occasional fox or badger in my garden. I am happy to see them.

    Actually no, I have no reason to hunt at this point but if I do, I have a compound bow as well as a crossbow. As well, wildlife without many natural predators tends to suffer when hunting isn't allowed, as in overpopulation leading to starvation. You can get fined for shooting a turkey vulture here, one of the protected species.

     They don't ask for rides to the store, they never ask to [permanently] borrow my tools,

    Most people I know own their own car, or order everything on line to be delivered. Many people also don't need tools, they hire someone to do it.

    One could posit you don't live in a ghetto area.

     and they don't cause problems as long as I don't. The bonus is some of them are fine eating.

    We have local butchers. It's quite civilised in the UK. We can buy all the meat we need.

    There's that English condescension again. It's a hoot cause I can drive 13 miles and find an actual new-fangled grocery store [which sells that fancified precut meat], a meat store, and even a pharmacy or three. We even has half a dozen stop lights, a post office, and a courthouse in town though the Bijou done closed down. Purty soon we won't have to see the barber to get tooths pulled or have a surgery.

    5] Then there's the view from the porch, at no point in time will I see a neighbor dressed up like a parochial schoolgirl so his wife can tell him how naughty he was.

    You are missing out.

    Ah, no I'm not missing out. Our closest human neighbors are okay people, but he's my age, has a beard, and his wife [sans beard] isn't much younger.

     We might see a few rooftops, but it's mostly trees and hills stretching out into the distance.

    Well, if I stand on my roof, or take a short walk, I too see such things.

    I don't need to look deranged by climbing on my roof, all I have to do is step outside my front door to have a view.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Gosh. this is getting a bit long? Did you miss me? I miss the lack of colours in this new forum setup.

    There are some rather large holdings in Texas.

    Innuendo?

    One could assume that 1.95 million acres would qualify as a large holding, as in land.

    Ah, right.

    Actually being aware something could happen shouldn't be conflated with constantly being worried something might happen.

    A meteorite could land on your head also. There's possibly more chance of that.

    There is actually less possibility of a meteorite landing on your head. I believe there is only one recorded instance of a meteorite actually directly killing someone.

    Well, I suppose they don't have to hit you. Ask the 1000s injured in Chelyabinsk, and in similar happenings in other parts of the world.

    (Odd. I pasted all your reply in to here and most of it has vanished! If that continues it makes it pointless replying.)

    Tries to paste the rest -

    As well, if one is aware of the possibility one can take steps to avoid other effects, like living where the plume from a nuke would drop massive amounts of fallout.

    Fair enough if only one dropped, which is unlikely. The results would possibly be a Nuclear Winter, which would effect everyone. It's hardly likely to happen though. It would be suicide, especially for childish despots. The Cold War ended decades ago.

    Your lack of concern is not echoed by the members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

    An American site. It seems to be paranoid over everything.

    Feck this, the text has vanished again. Autosave is flawed.

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    Mr Lomas,

    I can't say I missed you per se as you're not one of my few close acquaintances. Your previous response patterns [prior to your extended absence] indicated what could almost be termed a pathological need to have the last word. At times you would take it to the extreme of almost satire or caricature. Some might even consider it amusing behavior.

    I suppose you could say your prolonged absence piqued my curiosity, much the way I'd be concerned if some of the local wildlife began acting out of character or outside the typical range of normal behavioral patterns for the species in question.

    Suffice it to say I don't have to agree with your positions wholeheartedly in order to say I don't wish you any harm or ill health. You do provide some reasonable answers to the inquiries of people seeking assistance.

    Would you have any other queries to present?

    Cameron of Geoghegan Cameron
  • Kevin - I'll see if we can get a plug in to add color options to the text editor
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Sphinx. It's personal comments like that which caused me to vacate the premises. And oddly, the last word in many postings are people saying "you must always have the last word". BTW. I often forget that a Brit sense of humour does not always travel well.

    Thanks Paul. Can you also fix the strangeness of text vanishing please? I am convinced it is to do with the autosave. Can it not be turned off? even if just to see if that mends it?

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    Mr Lomas, You asked me a question and I answered it. Have a good evening.
  • Well, Kevin, you must admit, it's rare one reads a request for comments on a narrative and sees it transform to an argument over the effects of a nuclear weapon and the size of Texas.

    On that last point, I recently took a train ride across the Southwest, and a full day of our journey was just in the state of Texas. Not the most direct route across the state, but on the other hand I can attest to the sheer immensity of the Lone Star Republic.

    Returning to the matter at hand, I find myself agreeing with Paul again, and it worries me when that happens too often, because it makes me suspect that I might be one of someone else's multiple personalities. That would be disappointing. Anyway, your long sentences sort-of work.

    In an action scene, a long chain-reaction sentence, in which each clause builds the tempo, can kind-of work. On the other hand, you do link some... incongruous... information. For example, the sentence Paul mentioned is one that I would have commented on also. If I were writing it, I'd chop that sentence, and several of the others, into more manageable bits. But you do give the impression that too much is going on for anyone to effectively understand it in the moment; it's chaotic and disastrous and it's only getting worse.

    I also have an issue with the fact that the story is unfolding in present tense. Someone once remarked that time exists so that everything doesn't happen at once. We as writers should take advantage of time, and use it as a tool. When a story is in the present tense, we get the idea that we are being told a story, as opposed to being given the opportunity to engage in the story. I know from prior discussions that we differ on points like this, so I won't belabor it. But use of the recently past tense would help us to get our bearings in the story.

    One last point: I'm not sure you've gotten the physics right. I'm imagining two scenarios here: First, that the train is stopped and dangling off of the bridge like links in a chain (the couplings would give way in that scenario, you understand, but the last car over might be dangling). In that scenario, the passengers' weight would be completely borne by the seats in front of them. But you mention that the wheels are scraping, dragging in the dirt, something along those lines... If the train is still moving, and the cars are freefalling off of the bridge, then the seats would bear no weight at all. The passengers would seem to be weightless relative to the car.

    So this confusion in my mind -- is the train going or not -- drags me out of the story. I have to disengage from the narrative while my brain figures out which scenario makes the most sense.

    I hope that feedback is helpful, Kevin, in as many ways as are possible.


  • Also, since we've delved into the history of firearms, the American Right to Arm Bears derives from the French & Grizzly War of 1756-1763, conducted on one side entirely by Englishmen who would soon transform into Americans. By allowing the liberal use of firearms by Ursa Horribilus, we were able to prevent a permanent French colony in North America.
  • Sorry, one more comment. "combined cacophonic weight" -- Well, Kevin, it is your right to use words any way you want, but "cacophonic" cannot normally be used to modify "weight." Weight itself does not make noise, much less cacophony. It may cause other things to make noise, but it itself is never cacophonic.

    I'd normally overlook a point like that, but you did take someone to task for using immense to reference an object that was merely huge, or something like that.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Well, Kevin, you must admit, it's rare one reads a request for comments on a narrative and sees it transform to an argument over the effects of a nuclear weapon and the size of Texas.

     

    Indeed it can be, but it was not me who original went down that path. Scroll up.

    On that last point, I recently took a train ride across the Southwest, and a full day of our journey was just in the state of Texas. Not the most direct route across the state, but on the other hand I can attest to the sheer immensity of the Lone Star Republic.

     

    Quite so, but I was making an old joke. Why it went off at another tangent about the advantages of living in such a place is a mystery. My problem its that I am polite enough to try to reply to all that is posted.

    Returning to the matter at hand, I find myself agreeing with Paul again, and it worries me when that happens too often, because it makes me suspect that I might be one of someone else's multiple personalities. That would be disappointing. Anyway, your long sentences sort-of work.

    In an action scene, a long chain-reaction sentence, in which each clause builds the tempo, can kind-of work. On the other hand, you do link some... incongruous... information. For example, the sentence Paul mentioned is one that I would have commented on also. If I were writing it, I'd chop that sentence, and several of the others, into more manageable bits. But you do give the impression that too much is going on for anyone to effectively understand it in the moment; it's chaotic and disastrous and it's only getting worse.

     

    Well, as I replied to Paul. That section is not the start of a story, by any means, and the previous text, in fact a lot of the previous book in the series, puts it in to context.

    I also have an issue with the fact that the story is unfolding in present tense.

     

    It is surprisingly hard to write in it! But does it not give the impression it’s a story in the making? Think of it like watching a film, which are normally all present tense.

     

     Someone once remarked that time exists so that everything doesn't happen at once. We as writers should take advantage of time, and use it as a tool. When a story is in the present tense, we get the idea that we are being told a story, as opposed to being given the opportunity to engage in the story.

     

    I would have that that would be the other way around. With present tense it is sort of reading it ‘has it happens’. I see no reason the written word should differ from the spoken word in film fiction.

     

     I know from prior discussions that we differ on points like this, so I won't belabor it. But use of the recently past tense would help us to get our bearings in the story.

     

    I don’t see why it makes any difference. It’s just the style I was using.

    One last point: I'm not sure you've gotten the physics right.

     

    It was not easy to write. I have to ‘see’ it in my mind as a ‘film’, then describe it.

     

     I'm imagining two scenarios here: First, that the train is stopped and dangling off of the bridge like links in a chain (the couplings would give way in that scenario, you understand, but the last car over might be dangling).

     

    No it’s not, I am not sure how you would think that, it does say it’s travelling at speed. But again, it’s taken out of context. It’s part of previous text and story.

     

     In that scenario, the passengers' weight would be completely borne by the seats in front of them.

     

     

    I doubt that. They are not made for such stress.

     

     But you mention that the wheels are scraping, dragging in the dirt, something along those lines...

     

    It does not say that at all. It does not mention dirt at all! In fact the train does not have wheels in the way you think. But previous text describes what the train is. It’s a form of tube train, it even calls iy a Steamtube, but not driven by its wheels. The bridge is a frame tube with wheel channels, bottom, sides and top.

     

    If the train is still moving, and the cars are freefalling off of the bridge, then the seats would bear no weight at all.

     

    Hence why they come adrift. But they would take some weight, but not for long.

     

     The passengers would seem to be weightless relative to the car.

     

    The train entered the bridge at well over 100mph and began to slow when the bridge was bombed. The items within the train would not have slowed down.

    So this confusion in my mind -- is the train going or not -- drags me out of the story. I have to disengage from the narrative while my brain figures out which scenario makes the most sense.

     

    It does state plainly what is happening with words like “slowed down the train” :-)

    I hope that feedback is helpful, Kevin, in as many ways as are possible.

     

    Indeed. But a lot of what seems to confuse you is explained in the text.

     

    Now I will see if doing this in Word and pasting it in to the forum stops the text vanishing!

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Sorry, one more comment. "combined cacophonic weight" -- Well, Kevin, it is your right to use words any way you want, but "cacophonic" cannot normally be used to modify "weight." Weight itself does not make noise, much less cacophony. It may cause other things to make noise, but it itself is never cacophonic.

    I'd normally overlook a point like that, but you did take someone to task for using immense to reference an object that was merely huge, or something like that.

    It's not modifying anything, it's noisy weight. It's called Creative Writing. I am not writing an English textbook here. It's no more 'bad' usage than saying something is a weighty subject when it has no weight at all. Unlike describing something as massive when it is not.  Anyway, it's all still in draft form.

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    The trick is to describe a chaotic situation without letting your writing become chaotic. By the time a reader reaches the end of a sentence he should not have forgotten how it started out.

    Obviously, you may write as you wish but don't expect the buy button to be working overtime.


  • "It's not modifying anything, it's noisy weight. It's called Creative Writing. I am not writing an English textbook here. It's no more 'bad' usage than saying something is a weighty subject when it has no weight at all. Unlike describing something as massive when it is not.  Anyway, it's all still in draft form."

    "Creative Writing" can all too often be simply an excuse for careless writing. How many, many, many times in these forums have we seen a criticism answered by "It's my style"?

    And by the way, using "weight" as you suggested is not improper. The word means more than a measurement or perception of mass. As any dictionary will make clear...

    a : the relative importance or authority accorded something 
    • the weight of her opinions
    b : measurable influence especially on others 
    • throwing his weight behind the proposal
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    edited February 3
    Ron, you beat me to it. I was going to explain that metaphorically, we use weight to mean importance or gravity -- Gravity as a degree of being grave; no pun intended. Weighty words require more from us, just as carrying a physical weight requires more effort.

    The metaphorical use of a term requires a link between the literal idea and the metaphorical idea. With "weight" it is gravity -- Literal weight in the case of literal gravitation, and metaphorical weight with grave or weighty words.

    But I think you made the point more succinctly.
  • Kevin, regarding the physics of the situation... So, we have a train traveling 100 mph, and it slows, then accelerates downward. Assuming you're on earth or an earth-like planet, that new acceleration is 9.8 Meters/second^2, or 32 feet per second per second.

    When it slows, things not fastened down would be thrown forward. Call that phase 1. But once it turns downwards, those objects would accelerate at the same rate as the train. Call that phase 2.

    In phase one, there would be some force against the backs of the seats, because the people are trying to keep moving forward at the same rate. Gravity, however, would also be acting on them at a right angle to the force imposed by deceleration. The full force of their bodies would not be on the seats. But the word picture that you give there is that they are already heading downward, and that the seats have become like ledges, with all of their weight against them. So the degree of force is wrong in phase one; the seats would not become unbolted merely by the train suddenly slowing. If the car were dangling -- and you say emphatically that it is not -- THEN the bolts might tear out and sheer off.

    But if we're in phase two, so that the car is falling (and the people with it) and the description of guns, rucksacks, and similar objects falling downward truly is downward... well, the objects would be accelerating at the same rate as the train. If anything, they would tend to rise slightly relative to the car. The people would feel as though they had no weight at all.

    This sort of effect is used to train astronauts for weightlessness, by the way. Google the "Vomit Comet" for an example.

    So you see that this would tend to confuse the reader.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

     The trick is to describe a chaotic situation without letting your writing become chaotic.

    So, it should all be replaced with "it was very chaotic"? There's around 800 words preceding the bit I pasted in to here. It starts off, well, non-chaotic, and becomes more chaotic, just as such a situation would. It's meant to get chaotic and even confusing, because it would be.


    By the time a reader reaches the end of a sentence he should not have forgotten how it started out.

    I should have your memory checked. :( but maybe it's written to be like that? It's very rapid - chaos.

    Obviously, you may write as you wish

    Indeed I shall. I once did it for a living. This is just a hobby.  :-)

     but don't expect the buy button to be working overtime.

    Gosh, that's a bit harsh. I do OK, thanks.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    "Creative Writing" can all too often be simply an excuse for careless writing. How many, many, many times in these forums have we seen a criticism answered by "It's my style"?

    I have many styles and use them according to the situation. I am far from careless Ron. I am amazed you may be accusing me of that.

    And by the way, using "weight" as you suggested is not improper.

    Some seem to believe that using words beyond their exact meaning is wrong. If that was so, most poetry would never have been written.

     The word means more than a measurement or perception of mass. As any dictionary will make clear...

    a : the relative importance or authority accorded something 
    • the weight of her opinions
    b : measurable influence especially on others 
    • throwing his weight behind the proposal
    • My point exactly, Ron, I'm glad you agree.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Odd, some words got mixed up!


    Possibly only some, those who don't take their time reading it, and people should know it’s only part of that section of the story. It is headed A Bit Of One Of Mine.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Well, anyway, thanks for your comments, It's is only in draft so far.
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