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  • Actually, Kevin, that mustache would be better described using bushy, walrus (walrus-like), enthusiastic, overgrown, monstrous, hedge-like, broom-like, enormous, or even dominant ("An enormous bushy mustache dominated his face"). Droopy has a completely different connotation imho.
  • ""Discontented winter split the earth."  -- Good line. Evokes "Now is the winter of our discontent" Also has a cadence, dis-con-TENTed win-TER... Nice.
    "tourists like flocks of butterflies." -- love that one. Makes you see them flitting pointlessly about, each individual and yet a mass...

    One of my favorite of all times was one I saw in a Reader's Digest at least 40 years ago, where it was quoted as "Towards more picturesque speech." The line was:

    "Cars genuflecting at a four-way stop."

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    I racked my brain to think of a metaphor or a simile to describe the pig child's rape---- to describe/show, her feelings after the dreadful event that so changed her life and just couldn't come up with one. Someone came up with "she felt like a splintered board discarded by a carpenter." I wanted something even stronger. I've never experienced rape, but I've read about how most women and girls feel after they have been so viciously violated. 
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    One of the best I’ve run across recently was a character described as having “hair the color of spit.”

    I thought about posting some examples from my own writing...not because they are necessarily exceptional but just in fairness. After all, if I am going to give advice it seems only right to show how I apply it myself. Perhaps Kevin might like to share, too.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    Larika said:
    I racked my brain to think of a metaphor or a simile to describe the pig child's rape---- to describe/show, her feelings after the dreadful event that so changed her life and just couldn't come up with one. Someone came up with "she felt like a splintered board discarded by a carpenter." I wanted something even stronger. I've never experienced rape, but I've read about how most women and girls feel after they have been so viciously violated. 
     The main problem with the otherwise nice splintered board image is that there is no sense of the damage being done deliberately or the carpenter throwing away the board without regret.

    Think of things that are discarded after being used, especially things that might be used and discarded without much thought, adding a sense of worthlessness to the equation. Whatever is done should have been done deliberately, though, even if thoughtlessly. As you might use and discard a tissue. Something that started off clean and wound up soiled and thrown away. The wrapper of a candy bar might be another example, since it is something torn open and then discarded. It is also now empty, which might be used to describe part of Patsy’s feelings.

    Things like that.


    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 2018
    "things that might be used and discarded without much thought"   

    Ron you mean ,    1.  a trampled rose dumped in the trash can 
                                  2.   a toy thrown from a car and crushed by a speeding truck.
                                  3.  a beautiful perfume bottle thrown on a landfill site


  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    You’re getting the idea!

    The first and third are nice. The second might be a little overelaborate. But the image of a damaged, discarded toy is a good one---perhaps specifically a doll to keep the symbolism direct and relevant since the reader can easily imagine a doll as Patsy. Try to have all the parts of the metaphor contribute to the feeling you are trying to evoke. A damaged rose thrown into the trash or a broken perfume bottle tossed onto a landfill keeps throughout the image of something beautiful that has been soiled, especially when something like a rose or beautiful bottle is juxtaposed with trash or garbage. 

    I think (just speaking for myself) that I would probably combine the toy image (perhaps in the form of a doll) with the image of a trash can or landfill. I think that keeps things both vivid and simple.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • If I do manage to rewrite the book, bearing in mind all the helpful comments I have been given here, I might have a really good novel. My first task is that awful opening chapter. I have started!!

    I wish I had the time to read through it all even if you sent it to me :(


    As Booker T Washington said, "success is not measured by heights obtained but by obstacles overcome."

    Gosh, all these ancient names that get  mentioned in these forums!  But perhaps it matters how those obstacles are overcome? Hard work? Bribery? Murder?  :)

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/13/1-in-5-ceos-are-psychopaths-australian-study-finds/

    This is a similar wordage originating 100s of years ago >>

       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants#Attribution_and_meaning

  • Larika said:
    "things that might be used and discarded without much thought"   

    Ron you mean ,    1.  a trampled rose dumped in the trash can 
                                  2.   a toy thrown from a car and crushed by a speeding truck.
                                  3.  a beautiful perfume bottle thrown on a landfill site
    Of those choices, I would go with #1. Others:

    4. A gum wrapper
    5. A torn ticket
    6. A shattered bottle, now mere bits of glass
  • Keep in mind that you can use more than one so long as you spread them out. She might feel like #1 now, and #3 when she gets home, and #6 when she tries to sleep.
  • Kevin, here are some examples of metaphors and similes used by my writing group.
    ""leaves like migrating birds winging across foreign skies."

    Remove the words leaves like and it's just literal, and why foreign skies?

     "bloated clouds".

    Also literal, really. No?

     ""Discontented winter split the earth."

    Not sure what to make of that, is it saying that winter is alive?

    They should read this >>

        https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/book/wintersmith/    :)

     "The air dances, spring's white dress flicks back raindrops, as we speed through cloudy puddles."

    Yes, I like that one.

     "My yellow scarf, gusts and eddies, a parachute silky in the wind."

    That too.

     "gimleted eyes".

    That's a commonly used one, so should be avoided and I am not sure it puts an image in peoples' mind that the writer means! In fact I just looked up what it means, and that's the first time I knew!

     "cooked like a well basted turkey."

    I just looked that up, and all I can find is that it was a question in a crossword puzzle! But what does it mean? (And Gosh! Virgin just blocked that page as a potential carrier of a virus! Hrmm, even stranger was that site was masking another window behind it!)

    "tourists like flocks of butterflies."

    Hrmm, I don't like that one. Tourists cannot fly, unless in planes. I guess it's better than tourists like flocks of headless chickens.

    "a frenzied road."

    I have been on roads like that.

     "harlequin pencils".

    Multi-coloured I assume? Or a pencil that is a comic servant?

     "the cover torn to its rudimentary heart in places and its maroon surface blistered."

    Cover of what? and what is its heart? I like 'picturesque' writing, but that goes a bit to far.

    But, the use of ones that are in common use and well-known should perhaps be avoided when writing new fiction? There are types of metaphor also >>

    https://examples.yourdictionary.com/metaphor-examples.html

     I could go on

    No need, it seems as if they are 99.99% making up their own, but I hope no one reads them, notes them, and they become clichés.

    If l looks could kill. He looked at her, eyes like daggers. Etc etc.

    My dad was a blacksmith. Whenever the rent man called, he made a bolt for the back door.

    She opened the door in her nightdress.

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 2018
    I understand what you're saying Kevin but it's difficult to fully understand some metaphors and similes out of context. 
  • Also, Kevin can be excessively literal to the point of being obtuse at times. We're not sure if it's OCD or Curmudgeon's Syndrome.
  • Skoob_ym said:
    Also, Kevin can be excessively literal to the point of being obtuse at times. We're not sure if it's OCD or Curmudgeon's Syndrome.
    I know. He couldn’t understand describing a crowd of people flitting about like butterflies because people can’t fly. That was my favorite.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Actually, Kevin, that mustache would be better described using bushy, walrus (walrus-like), enthusiastic, overgrown, monstrous, hedge-like, broom-like, enormous, or even dominant ("An enormous bushy mustache dominated his face"). Droopy has a completely different connotation imho.

    It without doubt droops, as opposed to sticking up or sideways. I have often wondered if he liquidises all his food, though, and sucks it up through a straw. May be that's why he's called Strawbridge.

  • One of the best I’ve run across recently was a character described as having “hair the color of spit.”

    Transparent?!

  • To be honest I would stay away from metaphors etc., when writing about rape. In fact it's not easy to find any, apart from perhaps in poetry.

    These, in my opinion, just 'cheapen' the act, make it seem trivial.

    "things that might be used and discarded without much thought"   

    Ron you mean ,    1.  a trampled rose dumped in the trash can 
                                  2.   a toy thrown from a car and crushed by a speeding truck.
                                  3.  a beautiful perfume bottle thrown on a landfill site

  • I understand what you're saying Kevin but it's difficult to fully understand some metaphors and similes out of context. 

    But they usually end up quoted out of context, so really they should 'say' the same thing out of it, and some did to me.

    I am sure you know what these mean >>

    1. The detective listened to her tales with a wooden face.
    2. She was fairly certain that life was a fashion show.
    3. The typical teenage boy’s room is a disaster area.
    4. What storms then shook the ocean of my sleep.
  • Also, Kevin can be excessively literal to the point of being obtuse at times. We're not sure if it's OCD or Curmudgeon's Syndrome.

    And I could be your potential 'average' reader.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    edited December 2018

    I know. He couldn’t understand describing a crowd of people flitting about like butterflies because people can’t fly. That was my favourite.

    Of course I understood it, but people cannot fly, it's a fact, so how are they flitting about like them?

    Did you not understand that?

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 2018
    When I ask for advice or help, I listen/read carefully all who respond, They are clearly trying to help me. However I then consider what people have said and decide which pieces of advice I'm going to take on board. I do the same when I read my short stories and poems to my writing group. (I don't read my novels) I really appreciate anyone who has bothered to take the time to try and help me.Now it's up to me. I've rewritten my journalistic first chapter and attempted, right from the start to grab the the attention of the reader. Hopefully  I've made him/her more curious as to what is going to happen next. My problem now is, am I going to rewrite all my previous novels? I'll ponder that one. :)
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    I don’t think you would need to do cover to cover rewrites. All you might want to do is look the books over and expand or elaborate upon any places that might benefit from more information, detail or explanations.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • I know. He couldn’t understand describing a crowd of people flitting about like butterflies because people can’t fly. That was my favourite.

    Of course I understood it, but people cannot fly, it's a fact, so how are they flitting about like them?

    Did you not understand that?

    Just FYI, "flitting" is not a synonym for "flying."   ;)
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Well butterflies are not renowned for walking around.

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/flitting

    It also means to leave one's home.

  • When I ask for advice or help, I listen/read carefully all who respond, They are clearly trying to help me. However I then consider what people have said and decide which pieces of advice I'm going to take on board.

    There's only really a very few replying to you here, and it's just their opinions, which can be contradictory, which only proves that each writer has their own way, which does not mean a resulting bad story. As I have said to you before, read as many diverse books of fiction from as many famous writers as you can, and learn from them. And yes, even SF, because your piggy story is SF.  :)

     I do the same when I read my short stories and poems to my writing group. (I don't read my novels) I really appreciate anyone who has bothered to take the time to try and help me.

    And I bet they all have their own opinions too. Rightly or wrongly.

    Now it's up to me.

    That's often the case, but did you not say that your hubby also writes fiction?

     I've rewritten my journalistic first chapter and attempted, right from the start to grab the the attention of the reader. Hopefully  I've made him/her more curious as to what is going to happen next.

    You have to put yourself in to the shoes of the people in your stories, you have to become them (even with different personalities) In a way, being a fiction writer is like being a Method actor. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-method-acting.htm  but you also have to describe what they can see, if it helps set an environmental 'mood' or scene.

    My problem now is, am I going to rewrite all my previous novels? I'll ponder that one

    Many writers often say, never go back, but it's up to you. I sometimes do.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    edited December 2018

    And here's another opinion.

    https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/

    But I do some of what is suggested in my mind, not on paper. Oh, and I rarely plan  a story, I just let it develop naturally.

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 2018
    Yes Kevin, my husband is a journalist and I sometimes ask his opinion. He very kindly edits some of my books, but his style of writing is very different from mine. Burt HATES the phrase "show not tell." Whereas I think I see what Skoob et al meant by it. Burt never consciously thinks about description, similes and metaphors like I do. His advice to me is often, "Go back to painting, you're really good at that." He is sincere in that advice, he's put my paintings up all over the house. :)
    PS My husband's advice is "don't go back." He says "just move on with the next book." On that issue I'm not taking his advice! :)

  • Here is some good advice—along with examples—regarding “show and tell.”
    https://jerryjenkins.com/show-dont-tell/
    https://www.nownovel.com/blog/show-dont-tell/
    https://jerichowriters.com/show-dont-tell/

    You will probably see from these why your husband, being an ex-journalist, might prefer telling or, as Lt. Friday would say, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

    The second and third links make a good point in emphasizing the fact that sometimes telling is the best way to go. The writer just needs to be aware of what is most appropriate at the moment.

    By the bye, I probably should mention that while it sounds very egalitarian to suggest that all advice is equal since it’s all “just opinion,” this is not necessarily true. It depends very much on the source of the advice. Education, training and experience all count. For instance, I would imagine that you would take your doctor’s opinions about your health over those of your grocer.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile

    I would imagine that you would take your doctor’s opinions about your health over those of your grocer

    Yes, as I always say to my husband, "Don't tile the bathroom, fix the roof, carpet the living room, -------------- get a professional!" smile. Mind you I think my husband is a very good writer. He wrote this an excerpt from one of his novels.

    As he put his arm around Rachel's shoulders he glanced at his watch and saw that it was just three seconds short of 9:20. Then he looked at the ground and had the odd sensation that it moved a fraction. As he was trying to take this in, a blast that sent a gust of wind bearing powdery dust and millions of pieces of broken bricks hurtled towards them from the direction of the library at their backs. A lot of people fell to the ground instinctively trying to protect themselves from an unknown attack. Avi fell on top of Rachel; Sam tripped and found himself gasping under an overweight university security officer. Varda, the smallest of them all, somehow managed to stay on her feet, perhaps because the dust and flying debris had practically pinned her and a score of others against the wall alongside the exit gate.No one around them appeared to be seriously hurt. The debris stopped pummelling them as suddenly as it seemed to have been catapulted from the seat of the blast. When they began standing up, the sight of the library shocked them into a momentary silence. The whole long side wall had collapsed and had fallen straight down to form a story-high pile of rubble. The exposed floors above the ground level were seen to be sagging, and shelves of books and office furniture, desks, chairs, filing cabinets, computers, had begun slowly and eerily sliding out of the building onto the mess gathering below. Then there was a huge cracking sound as the roof supports gave way and thousands of tiles began slipping down to end up on the growing pile of broken, jumbled wood and masonry so carefully and skilfully crafted and assembled nearly a century before.The only people visible were a few who had been knocked off their feet and were lying on the wide front steps away from the collapsed side wall. Sirens were wailing and men who had earlier been placed on standby carried stretchers to the prone victims. No one knew how many people were trapped under the rubble. "Get your goddamn carcasses away from that pile of shit," a police sergeant was heard screaming at his men. "The rest of the building is going to come down on your thick, stupid skulls? There might be…. Oh, holy shit, get back! Here it comes!"They heard high pitched scraping and grating like the teeth-clenching dragging of fingernails on school blackboards, as more furniture and books came sliding out of the top floors. Next there were ear splitting cracking and snapping reverberations as the structure began collapsing in its centre. A huge cloud of reddish brick dust rose and hid the library completely almost as if an unseen presence wanted to enshroud the sight of a mournful premature death. Then there was silence. As the dust began to lift, not a word was spoken and not a sound could be heard.

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