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Author Topic: Write Your Weather  (Read 7711 times)
Jacky
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 09:31:48 PM »

Reiter - I'm guessing I should try a review, as them's the rules. My review might need review...

3.8/5: The dialog was engaging and easy to read, apart from the fact that sometimes I wasn't sure which character was speaking. I have a feeling it doesn't matter, in fact it adds to the heat and confusion theme. It seems something terrible might have happened at the end, which I certainly wasn't expecting.

Here's my effort, conceived when looking out of the window when I should have been working:

Here with us, on the ground, surrounded by earthy greenery only weeks earlier slender shoots, the air stirs lightly. The gold rays of the setting sun dapple the surrounding plants and flowers, attended by insects, floating lazily; some drop to rest, some climb into the fresher current. The trees beyond us reach up towards the mountainous woolly clouds, low and wet in the blue sky, inexorably scrolling on.
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Chromium Steel
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2010, 09:09:18 AM »

Ok JackyS I would rate your piece as 3/5. The basics work well, my only real issue with it is that you are running too many ideas/pauses within each sentence. It feels like a seven-year-old has written it, when they keep on 'bla-bla-bla-and-then-bla-bla-and-then-bla-bla-etc.' The classic rules of essays is that it is a single idea per sentence, and the same does generally apply to fiction. Your 3 sentences I would have written as 5 and only a couple of commas. Still, a good effort and bodes well for the future.

 - Now my entry -

Fat raindrops thrumming against the window pane. Glass rattle as the wind huffs and puffs. Crackle of the fire throwing its' might against the cold of the room. Scratchiness of the wool blanket wrapped tight. Steam slow curls up from the mug of the sweet hot chocolate. Warmth of your body against mine as you snuggle in my arms.
I love the winter.
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Reiter
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2010, 05:50:34 PM »

CS: 3/5. You are carrying your "one idea per sentence" rule to an extreme here, and as a result, the tension and flow of your piece suffer. Hemingway carries this off superbly, but this is because he varies the length of his sentences, taking care not to break the cadence of the passage. Your sentences don't give the feel of abrupt, fast-flowing bullets of ideas; they seem instead like little bursts of light that threaten to explode, but run out of fuel partway through. The piece could use some more compacting - I think its lack of brevity is what detracts from the tension, so whittling it down some more could help a lot.

Jacky: Don't worry; it's a good review, honest and helpful. Later on, you might include things about grammar or pacing or style or whatnot, but the important thing is that the honesty is there and the intent to help is there, and those are really the most crucial qualities in a reviewer. Chin up: you're all right. Smiley

Some more prose poetry for y'all. You probably know of Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which is one of many such settings of weather to music. "Comppose Your Climate", if you will. Now, I will attempt to do the convolutedly unthinkable - set such a (fictional) composition to words! Write Your Compose Your Climate Weather, anyone? Tongue

---

Intone: the langorous, melancholic drawl of violins descending in delicate stammers to a hesitant middle G. Punctuate with the incessant drone of muted cellos, and a single diminished triad chirped downward over and over again by flutes and piccolos until theme's end.

Intone: the piercing, solitary wail of a violin in 3/4 time, beat in the style of a habanera. It rises and falls unsteadily, then, upon reaching the lower registers, transforms into a tarantella. All strings keep time; the cello joins contrario motu after the first iteration of the theme, then the winds, violas, and violins insinuate themselves one by one. Frenzied prestissimo while the distant baying of French horns crescendoes steadily in the background, then all strings and winds whirl in unison down and down  and down until they crash in dissonance --

Intone: dirge of the horns, overlaid by plaintive clarinet. Rustling of the strings; the pattering pizzicati of first violins. An oboe enters midway, a third below the clarinet, and together they spin a song of rain. Rustling intensifies, then all in unison thunder through, in recapitulation of the tarantella. Counterpoint of the rain song and tarantella, escalating to hysterical heights, developing into a cyclone of cacophony, until a calm reaches them. Echoes of the initial melancholic theme;-- before three dissonant orchestral chords bring the piece to an abrupt end.
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2010, 04:31:19 PM »

Circlecirclecirclecircle. *lick* circlecircle. OK, the red pen's not working, I can't write a review Tongue

Well I'll refrain from giving it a mark anyway, as I don't know enough about the musical terms. But it does very effectively generate sound in my head. Particularly the introduction. There's only one thing that seemed to me a little out of place - or at least, if not out of place, then unusual. The last intone is the only place that the weather (rain) is used to convey the idea of sound, and I was getting used to hearing it in terms of instruments and composition. I was trying to imagine what it weather it sounded like already, and I felt it was a bit of a spoiler Smiley Otherwise, terrific prose as always.

********

Here's my next attempt at narrating the weather from the point of view of a character:

********

I'm on my feet again, heading for heaven knows where. I'm not hungry; it must be the weather.
 
The rabbits are barely troubled as I falter through the assault of vernal undergrowth, nettles and thorns nagging at my old hide. The familiar green scent of crushed stalks and sickly powdery flowers clings to my pelt. I arrive at the clearing, lungs heaving, cursing the spring.

I know what it was - I came to see the sky. Always the same sky, but never dressed the same way twice. A shroud of bruised purple adorned with a fiery blast of ruby. Dazzling! I sink to my haunches and gaze, once more at rest.

It’s dark again. I will my old, old legs to motion. No, I can’t go on; not this time. And yet, straining to my feet just once more, I begin my ungainly retreat to the cover of the forest.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2010, 04:34:22 PM by JackyS » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2010, 11:19:03 PM »

Thanks, Jacky. It's not my best - I thought it up while waiting for dinner - but it was a fun thing to try, considering my background. There are far too many musicians who do not know how to write music in literal terms, and it shows when they write program notes. I thought it best to give this a try while I'm still young and impressionable. Tongue

Your piece: 3.9/5 - Your voice is coming out more now. The piece is still a bit tentative, and the image suffers a little as a result, but what you've written is clear and simple and forceful and evocative of a late spring sunset. The narrator is a bit vague, though; I can't tell who or what he is, other than that he's old and wearied. But perhaps that's the feel you're going for? I get the impression that he's running away from himself, hence the emphasis on old age and mortality, and his determination to witness the fleeting beauty of the sunset. But I dunno, that's probably just me.

Now, a little nothing that floated into my head an indefinite time ago. Please don't think too badly of me when you see it. Smiley

----

Have a care, have a care, you know not when the wind blows where;
  Susurrus of beetles and rainfall and smog
  Leaching through brambles of mist and of fog.
Unfurl me a sunrise of peaches and nacre, adorning the eye of the Maker of Makers
  When He comes to fetch you, then smile
  And you say "'Twas a beautiful mile."
    Remember the songbirds that came here to rest
    One night last September - was it then?
    Yes -- Eurydike you named the hen.
    You stayed with the warmth of your head on my chest
    While Truth lay unspoken (it was for the best).
    Would it now upset you to think
    Of Orpheus 'neath carpets of pink?
Today's is a morning of finches' delight, of wandering kits, and flies wedded in flight.
  But the church bells so solemnly toll
  And remind me of you and last fall.
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Quinn Yellowfox
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2010, 05:14:05 AM »

I'm sorry Reiter. I feel a little dense. I can see that there are deeper meanings in your story, but I don't get the weather aspect and I'm too obtuse to get the references. 3/5 for confusing me with beautiful but disconnected prose.

Since we are on allegorical prose to a nearly poetic point, here is my humble contribution to the fray (Under 100 words!)

I am seared as if his fiery stare could woo me. His powerful presence parches my face. I shrivel and wilt. He is praised for perpetuating life, but it's his softer pale brother that I crave. The delicate glow and the cool damp breath he draws across me makes me swell with moist delight. I will surrender my fertility to him. He nurtures my seeds and in the seclusion of darkness a cacophony of creation promises new cycles of life. The brighter brother is my mate, but his dimmer sibling is my lover.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 01:44:24 PM by Quinn Yellowfox » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2010, 12:40:21 AM »

Holy. Macaroni. Quinn. 4.8/5
At 3PM I had trouble identifying the gender of the narrator, but at 2AM it's so very clear. It struck off the dust from my neural pathways, lighting an image of a lonely, moonlit swamp I'm sure I saw somewhere. Humid. Raspy. Noisy. A vast, shriveling reminiscence of Louisiana under a howling satellite. There is even a marriage conflict to further spur my imagination. Venus' birth is somewhere behind, in the subconsciousness, roaring. Possibly, the second dot could be replaced with a comma.


Okaay. My turn. I'll go little bit experimental.


Garvin turned around the hard blanket several times before opening his eyes. It was cold and wet in the tight dormitory and from the top bed he could catch a glimpse of dark blue sky through the tiny, circular windows. Horizon buzzed and waved in a slow, sleepy rhythm, and in the bed's coarseness he could imagine the rain drizzling over Lear's upper deck, soaking the helm and whoever was the navigator. Thunders in the distance, against the snore of his asleep mates nearby. Someone rang a morning bell. Garvin tucked himself under the garments, sucking up the remains of last night's heat. Something flashed outside.
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2010, 11:28:42 AM »

@tempest very nice descriptive technique, but I'd probably advise speaking less about your domatary and more about the actual sky outside, I got that it was dark and raining, but thats kinda it. still, good descriptive technique.

Fictious sat at his computer with a rather happy expression, his ears fluttering at the sounds of birds tweeting. Summer had come to england finally, and the hot weather made things not a little stifling. Getting up he walked to his window, gazing out at the bright blue sky, bollowy clouds painted the azure plain with a calming atomosphear. Fictious enjoyed these days, a clear sky wasn't as peacful and nice as a sky with billowing white clouds. He smiled to himself and took in a deep breath, reaching forward he opened his windows and at once all the sounds of nature and morning greeted him happily. There were conversations to be heard, and a warmth that carressed his face in a plesent way. Turning back to his computer desk, fictious sat down and smiled as he wrote his morning experiance.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 11:30:14 AM by Homo_fictious » Logged


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« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2010, 10:27:04 PM »

tempest: I'll give that a 4.5/5. Like Fictious, I would have preferred more detail about the weather. However, the description of the ship is very well done, and its relation to the weather very subtle. I'm one of those who prefers restraint over blatant descriptions, thus the rating. Still, I think you could "let go" a bit more.

Fictious: 2/5. I found the description cliche-ish. Too much reliance on adjectives, which adjectives turned out to be too simple to add much color to the overall picture. I mean, "peaceful and nice"? Come on, you can do better. Anyway. Usage of unnecessary convolutions like "not a little". Run-on sentences, basic spelling errors. Lack of tension, clunky flow. There's some "show" (barely) but too much "tell". Overall, lots more room for improvement, but right now it just doesn't cut it.

Kay, word offering again. Please accept this humble ego sacrifice (the sacrifice, that is, not the ego, though that too;) and don't be too harsh, though that's okay too. Experimented w/ pacing mostly - need to know how it comes across.

-----

The rain fell. It came in fits and bursts. It dropped to the ground with a disregard for rhythm that would drive any self-respecting conductor insane. The sound of it against the earth was not the fine ptikitikitiktikikitikiktik of the European shower, nor the mind-numbing bkshhhshshsshhhh of the American hurricane, but instead a monstrous, implacable brakatakatakatatakatakakatak, as of machine guns roaring in remote tropical jungles.

The stutter of the rain was Maria's cue to bring in the laundry from the washing-line. Well rehearsed from decades of living in such an environment, she neatly and quickly took down the clothes and carried them inside the house, almost robot-like. She bolted the back and front doors. She checked all the windows, made sure they were shut. She unplugged the electronics. Then, finally, she turned out the lights, went into the bedroom and locked herself in.

The walls, thick concrete, dulled the roar of the weather, but the roof did not. Like all the roofs in the vicinity, it was made of wood, and though last year's storm had beaten it severely, it remained as resonant as ever. In her room, Maria heard the warm fuzz of muted artillery washing in from above. She switched on the CD player and turned up the volume. But just as she was beginning to relax, leisurely folding clothes to the croons of Nat King Cole, the power cut out, and she was left to sort laundry amid darkness and the droning rain.

A drop of water splashed against her cheek.
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2010, 09:12:22 PM »

Fictious: 2/5. It's written like a classical school assignment. Put some spice on it! Do something wild! Think big.

Reiter: 4.8/5. Almost perfect. I understood the weather right away and identified the experience. First paragraph is very graphic, tucked with the small spice that must be used sparingly in order to succeed; the dosage is just right. Why I haven't given it 5/5? First, there is the middle paragraph, in which you're not talking about the weather too much. And second, in the last paragraph I think you could omit the CD player, thus giving the scene a wider time frame (virtually anything from 1910-now would go). Also the mentioning of artillery immediately drew my attention to the fact there could be a war outside, which made me think of this isolated scene as happening just after the WW1 or 2. And the artillery was about the rain, but I needed a second pass to prove it.

~~~~
~~~~

Lone palm trees stood still. Birds decided to stay in their nests but the mosquito weren't that decent. Just slapping one on her neck, Anne-Claire felt her shirt and underwear sticking like they're coated with sugar. Late summer sunset, barely a cloud on the horizon, and a single white chopper arriving at the randevouz point. Aircraft's breeze helped, puffing out the pests insects with a blow of bitter exhaust gas. Out of chopper came Rudolph, breathing heavily, wiping sweat from his forehead. Sun stood low on the horizon, and you could only feel happy because the night would ease summer's burden. His shirt was all wet, like with all fat Sluvanians - they can't seem to handle these wet lands. She lighted out a cigar, inhaling the tobacco mixing with rancid smell of a nearby river. Business as usual. "Are we ready, mister Hess?"

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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2010, 03:41:28 AM »

All you do is describe what the weather's like at your place in as many words as you like - as long as it's under 250 words. Gotcha there, didn't I. Wink  


@ Reiter: You are at 258 words  Wink

@ Tempest: 4/5. There are some grammatical errors, but the imagery is evocative. Since you aren't a native English speaker, I won't mark down for that.

Palm trees suggested a beach scene at first, but the rancid river gave it a swampy feel and I got confused. Associating the feeling of Anne's clothes being stuck like sugar could have been used to link the environment. I.e. Anne-Claire felt her shirt and underwear sticking like they were coated with sugar from the neighboring plantation.

Since I like the feel of your creation, I hope I may run with it a little.

***

Rudolph spit into the mud and leered. Sweat driped from his chin as he moved into the sun. His eyes twitched but never left Anne-Claires chest.

"Ready? Oh, yeah..." He nodded to the pilot.

Anne spotted a glint of light in the pilots hand. She took a deep draw from her cigar; then lunged, driving her shoulder into Rudolphs chest. She pressed her cigar into his face as he fell backwards. He landed in a fire ant nest and began to howl. A blast from the cockpit shattered the silence and sent the birds fleeing their broods. Anne unsheathed her knife and ran homeward through the Spanish moss ...into the land of allegators and anaconda.


« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 03:46:12 AM by Quinn Yellowfox » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2010, 04:07:36 AM »

@ Quin: I'm scoring you 4/5. The writing was good, action packed, and emotive. The problem is that there is no solid reference to the weather in it. While you were running with what was written before, you pointed out that fact then only to give it a passing mention is what brought the score down.

I too will run with Tempest's concept, if I may...

It seemed impossible to Anne-Claire, the oppressive heat was even thicker among the mangrove trees than out in the bay. Thick like warm molasses, clinging to her body, slowing it, and making her limbs feel heavy. Sucking the strength from her body like some giant ghostly mosquito. She had to find safety soon, before the sun began to set, and they came out.

Late afternoon was their time, when the waterways is still blood warm and their prey are getting tired and sloppy. That’s when the ‘gators best like to feed. Struggling through the boggy mud of the humps that passed for islands in swamp, she had seen a couple of them eye her from the water. They had that look, saying to her ‘Go on sugar, wear yourself out in the heat. We can wait. You’ll just be all the more tender.’

Fingering her knife for reassurance, she fights on through the mud to find a haven, any haven.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 04:31:51 AM by Chromium Steel » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2010, 11:15:27 AM »

CS: 3.5/5. Tense inconsistency is your main problem here. You shift seamlessly from past to present, even when there's no reason to. This is kind of a biggie; I've noticed it in your major works and it's something that needs immediate remedy. Aside from that, I'm not sure how effectively the "heat" -> "warm molasses" metaphor plays out. I've heard of *humidity* being thick like warm molasses, but heat doesn't cling to your body or anything that would make you feel like wading. I also stumbled upon your mention of the gators - the cues pointed more to great swarms of mosquitoes rather than alligators yet to be introduced. This is just a simple matter of placing - either move the gators so it's clear that they're the "they" in "they came out" and "their prey", or move/remove the phrase with the mosquito to resolve the ambiguity.

Now, a little something I wrote last month while on the train:

----

It was not a particularly cold day, and yet the mist draped itself over the hills like a flannel quilt on a sombre winter's morn. But despite the fog's fullness of form, it seemed less as if the mountains and trees were being obscured by the fog's weight, than that one was witnessing their gradual, reluctant emergence from the primordial Unbeing. For the wanderer, it was like gazing into space - retreating, the farther one went, into the graying haze of time; straying further and further from tangible reality; in the end, losing oneself in the uniformity of the mist, in the uniformity of the first seed; becoming at once Nothing, and Everything.
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« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2010, 06:05:33 AM »

Beautiful prose Reiter, but the sentances are very long and convoluted; loosing the impact of the adjectives in a sea of conjunctions, semicolons and commas.  4/5. You set a beautiful mood, but there is no impact at the end. Long sentances have mood but short ones add drama. I'm trying to remember the name of a writer that does this a lot and I'm loosing it...Mitchner? It is eloquent and literary, but could be more compelling.

Thunder tried to shatter the windows as hail pounded the orchard. Splattered cherries rode the flood into the street. As the wind whipped, I tried to remember...was the southwest corner of the house safest?

A siren wailed. Was it too late already? I grabbed blanket and covered myself in the bathtub.
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« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2010, 03:35:14 PM »

Oh, Quinn, how can anyone possibly give you anything less than 5? Smiley

4.999bar/5. For effort. You should be glad I didn't take any more decimal points; your (fracking marvelous) description of this tornado feels a tad too hurricaney. The flood may have something to do with it.

To respond to your review: I wasn't going for any "dramatic impact" in my last bit, actually - it was really just a mood-y piece, a kind of pointless portrait of phog and phorest. I'd want it to be phosphorescent as well, but there were no phirephlies. Oh, and the style I was going for was Hesse's. I know, I know, Teutonic scribbling style's different from Anglo-American, but the way he strung his phrases together really appealed to me. Never heard of Mitchner, but I do hope he's not a bad word. Smiley

Now a lazy man's piece, because I spent a whole day writing a short that turned out to be too long for WYW, so I lopped off the end and used it as a summary instead. Here goes.

***

The sun beat down, the flies gathered round. Children skipped across the yellow police line.

Just another dead body, folks, nothing to see here. Plenty of dead bodies across the road. Move along now.
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