Escape Artists

News:

News

ATTENTION: NEW FORUM THEME Please see here for details: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=13188.0

Author Topic: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs  (Read 18241 times)

eytanz

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6109
Reply #60 on: November 09, 2010, 07:54:31 AM
Just gonna have to disagree with you on this point, I think. I've read many a story involving  writers and have never, not once, come across what I'd see as an example of what your suggest, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion.

I sort of agree with both of you.

On the one hand, I think the whole "writing about writers is lazy" is something you really only hear from other writers. I don't think I was ever bothered by it at the least before I came to these forums, started hanging out (virtually) with writers, and heard this said occasionally. I'm still not bothered by it, though I'm aware other people seem to be.

On the other hand, now that I'm a slush reader, I am exposed to a lot more of what Scattercat is talking about. Specifically, a lot of writing that contains features that otherwise mark it as lazy or unskilled tend to be about writers, or about the author's day job. I have never rejected a story because it's about a writer - nor has it even been a consideration - but a lot of the stories I reject for other reasons happen to be about writers.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, if you've never seen a example of what Scattercat is suggesting, then that's because an editor (or slush reader) somewhere is doing a good job, not because it doesn't exist.



Scattercat

  • Caution:
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4880
  • Amateur wordsmith
    • Mirrorshards
Reply #61 on: November 09, 2010, 10:13:34 PM
Just gonna have to disagree with you on this point, I think. I've read many a story involving  writers and have never, not once, come across what I'd see as an example of what your suggest, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion.

As eytanz said, that is because the stories that do what I'm complaining about are ones written by lazy or unskilled authors, and therefore tend to get weeded out early in the editorial process.  Stephen King is something of an aberration, although you'll notice that he didn't do it nearly so much in his early work, when he had to get by on his merits, whereas now that he can basically belch into a voice-to-text program and sell a million copies, he's gotten a lot less self-vigilant about that kind of thing.

This story, for instance, is not an example of the problem.  While the protagonist being a writer doesn't factor into the story much at all, it's also not distracting or self-indulgent.  It's functionally harmless here, serving only to set off the warning signs in those of us like myself and Listener who have had our radars fine-tuned to notice the Symptoms of Bad Writing.

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book


FireTurtle

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
Reply #62 on: December 04, 2010, 04:07:09 AM
Tuning in late but, hey, better than never. Very much enjoyed this light-hearted romp. As for main-character as author- I don't know. It worked for me. I mean, how else would you proceed to the technical manual ending. Well done.

Only nit pick- although one that made me drum the steering wheel endlessly in mute irritation: Closing the water main DOES NOT drain the water out of the pipes. The water that was there is still there. Everyone would have to flush or turn on the faucets, etc to get the pipes to drain dry. Ok. I feel better now.

See, this is why I am afraid to write about things I don't know. Or only think I know. And by the way, how could you possibly drag around a pot for a ficus that fills a room. My ficus fills a small corner of the bedroom and I would be hard-pressed to drag its pot around by myself. Just sayin'

Just in case anyone besides me actually reads this- I loved the monster and the whole candy-temptation thing. It was a nice little "microcosm" story. I like those when they are done well (like this one) and don't merely seem like the author couldn't think of any other settings for the characters.

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
Ursula K. LeGuin


AliceNred

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 86
Reply #63 on: December 09, 2010, 10:17:15 PM
I like candy corn. Not enough to crave outside of the wholiest of seasons, but I still look forward to the happy stripy stuff.

I even like bologna sandwiches.

The story was fun, and where no story is perfect, it did leave me with some questions:

Why did they keep the monster and not turn it over to let's say a college to study or NASA even?

Why would a health nut touch bologna?

How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?


I personally really wanted the tree to some how come more into play, like a love story between  it and monster.

I know, it's just a silly story, and I should really just relax.

Now the guy who read it was great. Sorry, his name alludes me. He sounded like he would do a great job on some detective stories.


Stop throwing gnomes at me. They hurt.


Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8657
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #64 on: December 10, 2010, 02:55:10 PM
Why did they keep the monster and not turn it over to let's say a college to study or NASA even?

free labor!

Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)



DKT

  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • PodCastle is my Co-Pilot
    • Psalms & Hymns & Spiritual Noir
Reply #65 on: December 10, 2010, 04:46:17 PM
Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

I *really* don't have the words to describe how disappointed I am that I've already recorded the feedback segment for this one. Because - DAMN. That would've been fun to have said out loud into a microphone  ;D


Max e^{i pi}

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1038
  • Have towel, will travel.
Reply #66 on: December 11, 2010, 04:24:49 PM
Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

I *really* don't have the words to describe how disappointed I am that I've already recorded the feedback segment for this one. Because - DAMN. That would've been fun to have said out loud into a microphone  ;D
You just like talking about doody. :P

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted!



AliceNred

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 86
Reply #67 on: December 12, 2010, 01:19:59 AM
Why did they keep the monster and not turn it over to let's say a college to study or NASA even?

free labor!

Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

You made some good points.

I do see how somethings should not answered. After it is a short story.

But on occasion, some holes bother me. Maybe I am just hungry?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 04:19:35 PM by AliceNred »

Stop throwing gnomes at me. They hurt.


Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8657
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #68 on: December 13, 2010, 04:15:37 PM
Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

I *really* don't have the words to describe how disappointed I am that I've already recorded the feedback segment for this one. Because - DAMN. That would've been fun to have said out loud into a microphone  ;D

Damn, I should've said it a bit earlier then.  It's always nice to hear my name in the feedback section, and it would've given you the opportunity to talk about candy-shaped poo.  Oh well...   :D



LaShawn

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 550
  • Writer Mommies Rule!
    • The Cafe in the Woods
Reply #69 on: December 20, 2010, 05:40:56 PM
So let's see, I just heard a story about a girl and her blob...now we got a boy and his...er...snot green alien tentacle thing. This one had me grinning all throughout. Love the character voices and the deadpan humor. And I'm so glad he didn't kill the alien. And great shout-out to Vienna sausages! When I was a kid, I used to snarf those up with crackers and cheeze from a can. Mmmm...yummy!

But what I really want to talk about was Dave's intro. I so totally know where he is coming from. Growing up, my mother was the exact same way--Halloween was the devil's holiday, so as a Christian she wouldn't celebrate it. My dad, on the other hand, was just cheap. He didn't buy candy; he gave out stacks of pennies (yeah, imagine all the weird looks he got). He and my mom clashed at times, and oftentimes, really late, he would tell us to get our coats on so we could go trick-or-treating. And because it was last minute, we often had to improvise last minute on costumes. So for most of my childhood, my sisters and I always went as a gypsies because it was the only thing we could think of with our mother's scarves. That is until she started letting us go to the Christian "Harvest" celebrations, where we dressed as Israelite women.

This year, I had the wonderful privilege to go to the American Gods Gathering at the House on the Rock with Neil Gaiman on Halloween weekend. You can find the entire story at my blog, but let me tell you, that weekend made up for years and years and years of not celebrating Halloween. It was magical and mystical and spooky and wild and thrilling and way too many other adjectives I have no room to mention. It basically represented what Halloween 'ought' to be.

P.S. This year, my son went trick-or-treating as a GPS. That was fun.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 05:45:25 PM by LaShawn »

--
Visit LaShawn at The Cafe in the Woods:
http://tbonecafe.wordpress.com
Another writer's antiblog: In Touch With Yours Truly


acpracht

  • EA Staff
  • *****
  • Posts: 229
Reply #70 on: January 14, 2011, 08:30:22 PM

Stephen King is something of an aberration, although you'll notice that he didn't do it nearly so much in his early work, when he had to get by on his merits, whereas now that he can basically belch into a voice-to-text program and sell a million copies, he's gotten a lot less self-vigilant about that kind of thing.

Haha... "belch into a voice-to-text program." I'm pretty sure I've read that one.
King went so far as to not only put a writer into the story but also Himself and his own life events and made himself the ultimate source of a universe! (A la Dark Tower). That's the ultimate in navel-gazing, in my opinion.
Also, the master of purple prose. "The grasshoppers jumping in sporatic parabolas" in Salem's Lot. Come on!
And yet, and yet... I keep reading him. Oh, well...  
-Adam




Mod: just edited the link to reflect whose words you were responding to :p
(I knew I hadn't said that.....)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:59:08 PM by Talia »



Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #71 on: March 13, 2011, 01:19:50 PM
Threadomancy: I found this image. It is relevant.


"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


Scattercat

  • Caution:
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4880
  • Amateur wordsmith
    • Mirrorshards
Reply #72 on: March 13, 2011, 04:18:20 PM
It's all true!  Run!  Save yourselves!!

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book


Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8657
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #73 on: March 14, 2011, 01:20:33 PM
Threadomancy: I found this image. It is relevant.



Awesome!  I wonder if that was inspired by this story or just completely random?



Gamercow

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 654
Reply #74 on: March 14, 2011, 03:46:59 PM
It's all true!  Run!  Save yourselves!!

You just want all the gummy bears for yourself.

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


Fenrix

  • Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
  • Editor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3889
  • I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Reply #75 on: May 21, 2011, 12:23:00 AM
If you're gonna name check Lovecraft, I demand cyclopean and non-euclidean plumbing in the boiler room. I think this is a subversive trick of PodCastle staff to try to make the creature in PseudoPod Towers seem (mostly) harmless. I call shenanigans.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”