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Thread: [FANTASY] The Squirrel in the Forest

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turia View Post
    I liked it. It was like alice down the rabbit hole. Sometimes we become so focused on our hunt, our kill. It's instinctual, but then life throws you a curve ball and suddenly you're in over your head. Not physically, but somehow. The hunter becomes the hunted.
    I'm glad you enjoyed vjoogerperson's story more than I did. In my opinion, the hunter-becoming-the-hunted scenario you mention is just another cliche from which this story would do well to distance itself. But people's tastes vary, and certainly there is money to be made out of that kind of writing at the moment.

    By the way, since you liked the story more than some of us did, you may want to leave a score above. It would be nice for the author to see more positive opinions reflected, too. None of us is trying to discourage him or her. I think it's great you and YN got something out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turia View Post
    As a fantasy writer, you need to focus more on what could be, and not on bizarre situations that most people can relate to. On that point I would say the rabbit's advice to change the setting of the story is really ineffective.
    I guess the rabbit is me. At first I thought you were still talking about Alice's rabbit--I don't move in such exalted literary circles! But hey, not guilty. I suggested retaining the setting--a wood in which a character has become lost--not changing it. One proposal I made was for the author to tone down the story's style by making the fantasy element intentionally ambiguous--in other words to try the kind of writing heartwing mentions below, which is "set in the real world but elements of magic intrude." My alternate suggestion, that the author retain the "fantasy world" scenario (and the setting) but use a different protagonist as a way to open up less predictable plot elements, is equally not guilty. But those were just free suggestions. My real advice was to "try to develop your own style." And that I would strongly reiterate.

    I'm bit baffled, too, by your reference to "bizarre situations that most people can relate to." Did you mean "that most people cannot relate to"? if so, I have to ask you about the last time you confronted an exposing forest giant. Isn't fantasy supposed to make new things possible?

    In any case, it was nice to read comments by someone who liked the story. Hopefully the author will return and read them.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-21-2016 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #17
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    Okay, you posted as I was writing, so let me see what you said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Turia View Post
    That came out wrong. I didn't mean the suggestion was ineffective, just that...I can't imagine hunting in say an apartment complex. There is something organic about the setting, which I think kind of goes with the ending.
    Right. I wanted to keep the setting. See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turia View Post
    Then again I was drunk when I read it last night. So I could be way off. I actually really sucked in English courses during school, so my opinions are pretty worthless in they aren't based on anything even remotely formal. Probably best taken with a grain of salt, if at all.
    Don't give up on yourself. And choose coffee.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-21-2016 at 09:22 AM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by heartwing View Post
    A Rocky and Bullwinkle thread or do you mean something else? ha ha. Either way, let's do it, why the heck not. I once received a comment that an absurdist piece reminded someone a bit of the cartoon. If there is absurdism to be had, I am in, but if there is anything, well, you know, why not.
    Yes, let's give it a try. I suggest we create a Story Riff Thread in which we write our own versions of some rather specific premise. This will not be a short story game with a general theme and the winner choosing the next one (we've already got one of those). We'll make the premises up as we go along, or better yet, we can post lists of them from time to time and choose as we like. Does that sound too chaotic? The game premise seems too restrictive. Those games work better with poetry in any case. With prose they bog down because of the time factor.

    In this case, the premise is a fantasy story about someone is lost in the wilderness. Anyone who wants to can write some version of that. We can discuss each other's ideas as we go along. One rule that seems fair to me is that those who critique other's work are the ones who already posted their own. In this case, vjoogerperson is already in and is to be encouraged to savage whatever I write. In fact, vjoogerperson is to be venerated as our founding member.

    How does that sound? Do you have tweaks or suggestions?
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-21-2016 at 09:59 AM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turia View Post
    Then again I was drunk when I read it last night. So I could be way off. I actually really sucked in English courses during school, so my opinions are pretty worthless in they aren't based on anything even remotely formal. Probably best taken with a grain of salt, if at all.
    I liked hearing your views.
    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser
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  5. #20
    flash fiction fatale heartwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Yes, let's give it a try. I suggest we create a Story Riff Thread in which we write our own versions of some rather specific premise. This will not be a short story game with a general theme and the winner choosing the next one (we've already got one of those). We'll make the premises up as we go along, or better yet, we can post lists of them from time to time and choose as we like. Does that sound too chaotic? The game premise seems too restrictive. Those games work better with poetry in any case. With prose they bog down because of the time factor.

    In this case, the premise is a fantasy story about someone is lost in the wilderness. Anyone who wants to can write some version of that. We can discuss each other's ideas as we go along. One rule that seems fair to me is that those who critique other's work are the ones who already posted their own. In this case, vjoogerperson is already in and is to be encouraged to savage whatever I write. In fact, vjoogerperson is to be venerated as our founding member.

    How does that sound? Do you have tweaks or suggestions?
    A Story Riff Thread with vjoogeperson as the venerated founding member! I am liking the sound of that. The only thing is I would like to hear from nonparticipants reading the thread if they want to comment.

    I think the more specific the ideas the more fun to be had. The wackier the potential. And it doesn't have to be wacky. It could be anything anyone wanted to make it, more sober too. But as for me, I know I would love a place and excuse to be a bit out there.

    We could push it a bit for this first one maybe. Encounter with a talking animal while lost in the wilderness. Is that too much? That still leaves room for the talking to be a hallucination or a magical element. It leaves room for fantasy, horror, magical realism, what have you. Let me know what you think. I'll let you be the thread grand master because who wouldn't want a man in a bunny suit leading the way. Also, you've been around the site a while and know what works I would imagine. I'm just thinking out loud a bit. But I would want to do something that would fly. What fun.

    An example of a challenge I completed on another forum this week but one that might work here is as follows: A speculative fiction story of a love-struck bad poet. I'm not a genre writer really but I like to come up with new weirdness and so participated even though the forum is mainly Scifi, fantasy, horror. It was pretty open to anyone just as long as it had some element of something out there. Oh yeah, and it had to be funny.
    Last edited by heartwing; 07-21-2016 at 10:47 AM.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by heartwing View Post
    A Story Riff Thread with vjoogeperson as the venerated founding member! I am liking the sound of that. The only thing is I would like to hear from nonparticipants reading the thread if they want to comment.
    Okay, done. My thought was that it would keep a lid on petty payback games (which believe me I've seen on this site), but if that ever got to be a problem we could always reconsider the rule. Certainly it would be nice to have as many voices as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by heartwing View Post
    I think the more specific the ideas the more fun to be had. The wackier the potential. And it doesn't have to be wacky. It could be anything anyone wanted to make it, more sober too. But as for me, I know I would love a place and excuse to be a bit out there.
    I agree. I never thought I'd write any kind of a fantasy story, but I started one last night and I'm really enjoying the novelty. Nice to be pushed sometimes. So yes, very specific premises.

    Quote Originally Posted by heartwing View Post
    We could push it a bit for this first one maybe. Encounter with a talking animal while lost in the wilderness. Is that too much?
    Not at all. It sounds great. I'll start the thread.

    All hail vjoogerperson!

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    I'm glad you enjoyed vjoogerperson's story more than I did. In my opinion, the hunter-becoming-the-hunted scenario you mention is just another cliche from which this story would do well to distance itself. But people's tastes vary, and certainly there is money to be made out of that kind of writing at the moment.

    By the way, since you liked the story more than some of us did, you may want to leave a score above. It would be nice for the author to see more positive opinions reflected, too. None of us is trying to discourage him or her. I think it's great you and YN got something out of it.



    I guess the rabbit is me. At first I thought you were still talking about Alice's rabbit--I don't move in such exalted literary circles! But hey, not guilty. I suggested retaining the setting--a wood in which a character has become lost--not changing it. One proposal I made was for the author to tone down the story's style by making the fantasy element intentionally ambiguous--in other words to try the kind of writing heartwing mentions below, which is "set in the real world but elements of magic intrude." My alternate suggestion, that the author retain the "fantasy world" scenario (and the setting) but use a different protagonist as a way to open up less predictable plot elements, is equally not guilty. But those were just free suggestions. My real advice was to "try to develop your own style." And that I would strongly reiterate.

    I'm bit baffled, too, by your reference to "bizarre situations that most people can relate to." Did you mean "that most people cannot relate to"? if so, I have to ask you about the last time you confronted an exposing forest giant. Isn't fantasy supposed to make new things possible?

    In any case, it was nice to read comments by someone who liked the story. Hopefully the author will return and read them.
    I'll leave a score.

    When I said bizarre situations that most people can relate to, I'm thinking of....I don't know if there is a term for it, but bizarre situations with real life outcomes. Meaning, it doesn't matter where the setting is or how bizarre it is, the message is universal and commonly relatable. Like...

    He crawled into the vent trying desperately to fit his large frame into the small square that provided them all the life they needed. As he scooted along, his pant tore on the jagged edges of the opening. "****!" he thought, but ultimately decided the goal in front of him was more important than his dignity, and he continued to shimmy forward.

    She sat in class, the teacher asking a question she knew. She had studied the night before intently, and when the common question fell upon the crowd, she triumphantly raised her hand. "Yes?" the teacher nodded at her. As she bent to stand she heard a subtle tear, but she was focused. Standing in front of the class, she opened her mou.....she stared blankly ahead....In the second it took her to recognize what was happening, her classmates were already laughing at her.

    Or more simply. He saw her from across the room, and suddenly his pants fell down.

    As the ship began to leave its environment, it rumbled with the ungodly sounds of some inner beast craving to escape the torment of its binds. He listened as the radio piece in his head spoke some now incoherent language, attempting to keep him grounded, focused. He never heard the words though, sweat dripping from his elbows as he clutched the machine in front of him. 3, the voice stood out from the white noise, 2, his heart sank and in one second he panicked. "No, no, NO! I'm not ready! Not!," he tugged as his seat belt. One. Suddenly time and space were suspended as a perfect picture in animation. His pants were beside his ankles.

    Meaning, it doesn't matter what setting it is. Everyone can relate to their pants falling down in one way or another. When I think of fantasy...I think of things I'm incapable of thinking. That is, until the story asks me to consider it. In this case it was more (I don't know if I'm using this term right) metaphorical for a real life scenario, more than a fantasy based story. So if you consider that context, it was a bizarre situation that is very relatable. Which is why I thought changing the setting would be ineffective if it was intended to be fantasy based.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Okay, you posted as I was writing, so let me see what you said...



    Right. I wanted to keep the setting. See above.



    Don't give up on yourself. And choose coffee.
    One of these days.
    Last edited by Turia; 07-21-2016 at 09:21 PM.

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