Author Topic: The X(cerpt) Files  (Read 26577 times)

Offline audal

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The X(cerpt) Files
« on: August 19, 2007, 04:52:39 PM »
An experiment brought to you by the psuedo-founder (Patrick still reigns over us all) of The Quillkeepers' Tavern...

Thought I could create a thread that might not just accentuate our standard brand of wacko, but also might motivate the WIPs to move forward. 

The idea is this: Post something you're proud of that came from your most recent writing session only.  It can be an excerpt, a quip, anything at all.  Catch is, you're not allowed (by decree of the QT Honor Code) to post IN THIS THREAD again until you have completed another writing session and moved forward with your work.  Session lengths themselves are irrelevant... Maybe it's 20 minutes, maybe two days, doesn't matter.

To hopefully simplify my convoluted explanation... Below is my excerpt.  I am not allowed to post in the X(cerpt)-Files thread again until I have another excerpt to offer.  If you want to comment/critique excerpts of others, be sure to show up with an excerpt of your own.

All other threads across the forum boards are wide open to the wildlife as always.  The intent is only to limit this thread to the evolution of all WIPs.

Lastly, it's perfectly OK to let a reader know what's happening so as the impact of the passage can be maximized.

Anyone up for it?  Guess we'll soon find out, 'cause here I go... Please feel free to PM me if there are any questins, and good luck to all stories!

X-Cerpt (the scene: an airplane just before an emergency landing)

Most of us pass time in some form of prayer, latent disbelief in our words notwithstanding.  At this point, every one of us wants to trust that we will be guided through this, either by pilot or by divinity.  But our own defenses are barely token.  Seatbelts are on, tray tables are in their upright position, and this is all we can do.  I can see my sound byte for tomorrow's headline story:

“‘I can only be thankful I had the presence of mind to put up my tray table,’ said 37 year old Zoe Tisdale of Santa Monica.  ‘If I hadn't, I’m sure the crash would have been the end of me.’”
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 06:32:16 PM by audal »
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Offline Patrick

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007, 06:37:09 PM »
I like this idea, maybe it will help get people rolling.  I also like audal's x-cerpt.  The voice of this little sample makes me want to read more.  What's the book about?  Oh wait, you can't answer me here can you?  And no fair discussing x-cerpt related topics in another thread.  That would be cheating.


PLEASE NOTE:  Unearned posts will be removed from this thread, with a serious wrist slapping for repeat offenders.  An unearned post is any post which does not include an excerpt from your own work.  The excerpt must be something your wrote in a very recent session (preferably that same day.)  But we'll have to trust you on that one.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 12:01:20 PM by Patrick »

Offline justwrite

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 08:41:20 PM »
Great idea, Audal. Love your passage. It has your voice. all right. As I was busy talking about Perfume with Dan, I forgot how much it had influenced me. Here is an excerpt from something I just revised today with a big Perfume induced passage from my WIP:

Chari put a finger over his lips. Mateo closed his eyes for a moment to lock in the sensation. He could always do that; remember more than what he saw. He could remember what he felt, smelled, tasted. The basement was his laboratory where he stored anything he had ever experienced and took pen to paper.

Offline Miss Java

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2007, 08:12:33 AM »
We already have 2 cheaters!

2 of you didn't post anything when you commented! 

He said NO posting in this thread unless you have something to share.



I'm editing my WIP, so this is from the last chapter I edited.


Quote
“You were completely covered in blood and when they took your clothes...”  She shut her mouth quickly.  “I mean, they had a terrible time trying to clean you up...”  A faint pink glow tinted her cheeks. “Oh cripes, I need to quit talking.”

Alec lifted the edge of his blanket and noted that he was completely naked underneath.  He scanned the lodge now noticing all the Rol'dan soldiers milling about. “I suppose they did that all out here in the open?”

She smiled slightly, but couldn’t meet his eyes.

“And you were here too?”

Her blush deepened. “I’m sorry, Alec. I was just worried about you.  I didn’t realize that they would....”  She swallowed.
   
“I suppose that's one way to keep me from running away.”

A faint smile played on her lips. “Yes, I suppose so.”
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 09:09:49 AM by Miss Java »

Offline teen-writer

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2007, 08:57:36 AM »
I'm going to read all of your books when each of you gets published. Audal: I love your style and flow of words. JW: I've said this before, but your style is really matching for YA audiences. You've got the style down, and the rhythm is good. Miss Java: great passage. Funny and suspenseful, and you incorporate settting into the dialog well.

Here's a paragraph I just wrote last night:

It was as if London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the water. The images that began to form in the pools of water faded into nothingness, like paints smearing into the backdrop. The sky was cast in an ink of milky gray, and dappled with ebony.

Offline justwrite

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 10:48:51 AM »
Hey Dan, thanks for the props. Very nice description..definitely Perfume inspired. How about some smells too? Hint: maybe don't "tell" us we are supposed to see it as a painting..show us?
And Miss J...very nice! Are you marketing this as a fantasy romance? That might be a cool angle for you.

Harsh, Patrick...very harsh! Where's yours, BTW? Or has Audal appointed you the X-cop? :naughty:

Better?

The sun glinted orange off the river. Mateo remembered the promise the river held for him on those first summer nights after he arrived, before he knew the bite of winter, the sting of Tío’s palm or the pain of blisters on raw, chapped hands.
The drop was far. What would it feel like to fly for just a minute before you hit?
“You’re leaving us no choice, Mateo,” yelled one of them.
He heard their feet clatter up the metal ladder. Pulling Mama’s letter from his pocket, Mateo tore it into bits and released the little scraps of paper. They swirled gracefully down like snow.

Offline Miss Java

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 12:22:45 PM »
JW: No, it's not a romance, though there is a bit of romance in it.


My blurb:

Quote
Alec stood stunned and alone.  On one side of him, the youth celebrated. On the other, the lodge of the Rol’dan towered with arrogant splendor.   

He belonged to neither world.

Why did he have to be cursed with this power? Was it his fault somehow? Nolan had warned him not to lose his temper, yet the rage grew in him so easily.  Perhaps it was this anger that pushed him over the edge of darkness.  If so, there was no repairing the damage now. He was now a Shay Rol’dan, and with the title, there was nothing left of Alec Deverell.

Offline audal

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2007, 12:56:56 PM »
OK, OK... I've got a li'l' somethin'-somethin' to share from the flight in peril.  First, just a few quick comments.  Though I don't really think this is a critique thread as much as it is a motivational one, if something leaps out that you think may help, sharing it is a good idea, no?

That said... JW, you first.  I like the passages but want one less pronoun-ish thing in the last sentence of your Excerpt #1.  It's my rhythm obsession.  Try this on for size, and if it doesn't fit, flame it!

The basement was the laboratory where he stored anything he had ever experienced and took pen to paper.

You think?  Second passage is evocative & gets a  :up:

Miss J... Poor Alec.  Wistful melancholy - is that what you're shooting for?  Which genre is your playground?

Dan... I can see your analytical mind at work here.  I like it, but also have an if-I-were-editing-idea that you should feel free to dismiss.  Have a look.

It was as if London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the water. The images that began to form in the pools of water faded into nothingness like paints smearing into the backdrop. The sky was cast in a milky gray ink dappled with ebony.

Just simple syntax stuff.  A basic note about my "critiques" in general.  I don't think changes are necessary, I just like to present ideas.  Like decorating a new room in a new house - sometimes others see better places to put things, sometimes not.  Given this, please do take my comments as nothing more than me putting a shelf on a different wall and saying, "What about here?"

Also... I'm sure that eventually we all won't be able to comment on everyone's excerpt.  Exponential growth will make this insanely impossible.  So if any of us miss an excerpt or two or ten, no offenses should be taken.   Full upkeep would end up requiring a paycheck, I think.

OK, then... More from the airplane hovering before the emergency landing:

Some thirty minutes later, we are now closing in on our intended descent, albeit as a rattled bunch of hopefuls caught in a confluence of aeronautic bummers: the surly swirl of the springtime Santa Ana's, and landing gear which may or may not have been properly locked into place.  The pilot's not sure about this last bit because the aforementioned thud fouled up his gauges.  Still, he underlines levity over the loudspeaker whenever we get that rare serene moment.  “You may think this is bad,” he says, “but at least you won’t be filling out three hours worth of paperwork when you land.”

Landing.  This was supposed to happen several minutes ago, but we're still up here spinning circles over Southern California in an effort to burn off fuel.  We've been told that this won’t just lighten the load on the uncertain landing gear, but the less fuel we have, the less explosive our jet. 

Believe it or not, we are in such a panic that the plan actually comforts.

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Offline teen-writer

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2007, 04:09:30 PM »
Thanks Audal for critiquing that. I don't know if I'm supposed to post edits here, but how's this?


London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the water. The images that began to form in the pools of water faded, like paints smearing into the backdrop. The sky was gray, daubed in inks of whites and blacks, and frowned upon him, flaunting a grimace that saddened the streets and cast dark colors upon the city.

Offline justwrite

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2007, 04:47:50 PM »
Mateo walked out of the library with his heart flopping like a baby bird too stupid to know its wings were clipped. The whole thing with Chari was pointless, yet a stubborn splinter of hope had lodged somewhere inside him.
What if? What if they won?
He’d be no worse off, and he’d have helped her. Her photo-art was beautiful. At least one of them would have a chance to chase a dream.
It wasn’t winning the contest for Chari that propelled him but the promise of Orange Mocha. Now that he had the taste for it, nothing was going to stop him from having more.
Mateo’s newly awakened hunger scared the hell out of him.

that's mine...now for the  two cents portion of our show.  >:D Did I tell you in my critique group we call ourselves Cudas? (that would be for barracudas since we shred each other alive?)

Now that I "know" you all so well..I think you are ready for the Cuda treatment.  >:D >:D >:D muahhhha!

You first, A-wise:
Some thirty minutes later, we are now closing in on our intended descent, albeit as a rattled bunch of hopefuls caught in a confluence of aeronautic bummers: the surly swirl of the springtime Santa Ana's, and landing gear which may or may not have been properly locked into place.  The pilot's not sure about this last bit because the aforementioned thud fouled up his gauges.  Still, he underlines takes a stab at levity over the loudspeaker whenever we get that rare serene tranquil moment.  “You may think this is bad,” he says, “but at least you won’t be filling out three hours worth of paperwork when you land.”

Landing.  This was supposed to happen several minutes ago, but we're still up here spinning circles over Southern California in an effort to burn off fuel.  We've been told that this won’t just lighten the load on the uncertain landing gear, but the less fuel we have, the less explosive our jet. 

Believe it or not, we are in such a panic that the plan actually comforts us.

And you, Dan the Man:

London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the watery streets. The Images that began to formed in the pools of water and faded, like paints smearing into the background. The sky was gray sky, daubed in splotches of whites and blacks (note ink is not daubed), and seemed to frowned upon him, flaunting a grimace that saddened the streets and cast dark colors upon the city.
ahhh! this line seems very forced to me. leave it at that.

Oh..thanks, too, A-wise for your edit. Point well taken. I have a critique-mate who slices me to bits. She calls it "corseting" and I am always amazed how much better my writing sounds after she blitzes through. So..call me Cuda.


Offline Patrick

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2007, 06:04:04 PM »
*We interrupt this thread for an intervention*

This thread may be taking a course which was not originally intended.  Let's not over do it with the critiquing here.  The point of this thread is to encourage people to write more instead of spending time posting (eek, did I just say that?)  But I'm afraid that if everyone continues to feel obligated to give detailed feedback and critiques then we have defeated the purpose and just created a monster.

Although the critiquing is appreciated and helpful, lets limit our remarks to simple notes of appreciation and encouragement.

I am lifting the posting ban here so you may comment (temporarily).  Audal, as the founder of this thread your opinion is greatly appreciated.

Offline justwrite

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2007, 06:25:08 PM »
 :no: okay..no more critiques.

Offline audal

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2007, 06:34:20 PM »
You know what?  I think Patrick makes an excellent point here.  It's already taking on crit-group qualities possibly more suited for a first-5-pages thread.  But it's such a grey area, isn't it?  We want feedback, we want to help others.  This is our very nature.  However, my intent was that this be more of a motivational keep-moving-forward thread where we could offer up a go-man-go or a you-go-girl, post an excerpt & move on.

I'm so very guilty of contributing to the critiques - I apologize for that.  Truth is, I was aiming at something that had entertainment value, but was less of a straight-up workshop.  I can see how this could easily cut into our writing time, given that we can write excerpts a whole lot more quickly than chapters.  To comment on or correct excerpt after excerpt could get counter-productive.  Sure, it's still more productive than the Tavern... but it's deceptively time-consuming with the threat of becoming more so with more users.

It's tricky for sure.  Dunno, maybe there could be a way to keep a workshop element in there through the use of private messages?  I don't know how many of you are comfy with that...

So as to not hijack this thread, can I ask for comments to be moved to the Tavern & we can thus clean up here when we've fully flushed out the rules?  For example - Dan asked about posting edits, which I think is completely fine... so long as a passage isn't hammered to death.
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Offline Patrick

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2007, 06:49:56 PM »
*We now return this thread to its previous posting restrictions*

Offline audal

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Re: The X(cerpt) Files
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2007, 10:03:20 PM »
Probably got myself another day of being airborne... and I often don't write in a linear kinda way... But I thought this was something I could be proud of.  That said, I'm delirious from staring at the scene in general, so flame me if you wish.

Again, the plane pitches hard to the left, and what's left of the overhead luggage spills into seats and aisles.  To my right, a peach of a college lass steals a glance out the window at the vibrating wingtips, and digging fiercely into our armrest says, "I'm too young to die."

On my left, a likely grandmother hears the sweet peach’s plea and softly says, "Honey, I was just about to say the same thing."


Flight expected to land sometime tomorrow.
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