Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:58 am

Ishmael wrote:Just in case any other semi-finalists happen to see this post, I was wondering whether anyone has received DF's crit yet?

I've been holding off re-submitting in case any helpful changes were suggested, but it's nearly a month now and I've not received mine. I also already made what I consider might have been one critical change.

Can any previous semi-finalists say how long it takes?


It took me about three and a half weeks to receive my critique from V33 Q1, so you may still be in the expected buffer range.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Dustan Moon » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:23 am

Ishmael wrote:Just in case any other semi-finalists happen to see this post, I was wondering whether anyone has received DF's crit yet?

I've been holding off re-submitting in case any helpful changes were suggested, but it's nearly a month now and I've not received mine. I also already made what I consider might have been one critical change.

Can any previous semi-finalists say how long it takes?


Sorry, Ishmael, I haven't checked in lately, just saw this. In the old days you were promised a critique when you were notified, and it usually came in the mail within a couple of weeks. My last one came with the email notification from Joni, so I suspect Dave sent it out with his judging results. Of course, that didn't happen for you, so you could send a note to Joni. Personally, I like to give Joni time before asking anything, because the answer is usually "working on it." : )

You're past thirty days. If you don't have it by now, I'd ask.

Keep writing, keep sending.

~Moon~

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:00 am

I recommend waiting for the crit before sending, speaking only from personal experience, not a business-y "send it out!" mentality.

His crit to me suggested a rather large change. I agreed, did it, and sold it first time out.

While the sale was awesome, the crit made the story better, which is ultimately what we want/hope for.

So there's two reasons. :)
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Ishmael » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:57 am

Well, I waited until the start of a very narrow submissions window for a outlet that's published me before, then sent it out with just the changes I decided upon for myself. I'd be surprised if too much happens over the holidays and I've only just got Joni's reply to my query about being listed only as a draft submission this quarter.

For those it may concern, she said I was somehow listed as both draft and submission. This WotF online submission system has so many quirks I am tempted to agree with another Forum Member who wondered why they didn't use Submittable.

Mind you there is at least one electronic system that's even more unreliable, at least in my experience.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Ishmael » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:25 am

And of course the critique promptly arrives. Fortunately no major changes suggested.

One issue was raised over which I'd be interested to hear other views. If you're attempting to tell a story from the viewpoint of a character with certain perceptual limitations (in this case autism), are you justified in leaving out aspects of an event / setting that your POV wouldn't notice? It does cut to the essentials but it also leaves the reader (and judge) wanting more detail. Since 'I did it on purpose' is not something you can easily say to the reader, how can the circle be squared?
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:34 am

Ishmael wrote:And of course the critique promptly arrives. Fortunately no major changes suggested.

One issue was raised over which I'd be interested to hear other views. If you're attempting to tell a story from the viewpoint of a character with certain perceptual limitations (in this case autism), are you justified in leaving out aspects of an event / setting that your POV wouldn't notice? It does cut to the essentials but it also leaves the reader (and judge) wanting more detail. Since 'I did it on purpose' is not something you can easily say to the reader, how can the circle be squared?


It seems to me that it would make sense for that lack of perception to affect the character in other ways. Not sure how to explain that better at this point in time.

I read a novel called 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' by Mark Haddon a few years back, and it did an excellent job of narrating from an autistic protagonist's point of view. I highly recommend checking it out.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby amoskalik » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:06 am

Ishmael wrote:And of course the critique promptly arrives. Fortunately no major changes suggested.

One issue was raised over which I'd be interested to hear other views. If you're attempting to tell a story from the viewpoint of a character with certain perceptual limitations (in this case autism), are you justified in leaving out aspects of an event / setting that your POV wouldn't notice? It does cut to the essentials but it also leaves the reader (and judge) wanting more detail. Since 'I did it on purpose' is not something you can easily say to the reader, how can the circle be squared?


This is where you have to get extra creative. The easiest ways would be to have another character mention the missing details, or lapse into a brief omniscient point of view passage (I know this feels like cheating, but if done well the average reader won't notice).

A trickier way would be to set it up such that similar details that are implied to a non-autistic reader are left out earlier. This will cue the reader to start looking for similar holes and allow you to paint around a conceptual negative space in the key passage.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Ishmael » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:19 am

I waited to see if anyone else would offer thoughts on this problem, but since no-one has I'd like to step back in and thank the two of you who did.

In fact I tried and discarded prior to submission the notion of jumping into 'omni' in order to comment. I'm pretty sure Dave doesn't care for omni and I expect a lot of editors will feel the same. Personally I don't mind it, but then I read Victorian novels where such writerly intervention was commonplace.

I thought I'd tried waving a flag early on - 'this character can't perceive x' - however the lack of x was still felt to be a defect in the tale. (And it is.) I'd compare it with the problem of describing colour through the eyes of a colour-blind POV character. You end up with a colourless tale in two senses of the word.

I haven't read 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' but I'll see if I can do so.

Meanwhile, if anyone figures out another system, (and would care to share), I'm still listening.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Dustan Moon » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:29 pm

Ishmael wrote:And of course the critique promptly arrives. Fortunately no major changes suggested.

One issue was raised over which I'd be interested to hear other views. If you're attempting to tell a story from the viewpoint of a character with certain perceptual limitations (in this case autism), are you justified in leaving out aspects of an event / setting that your POV wouldn't notice? It does cut to the essentials but it also leaves the reader (and judge) wanting more detail. Since 'I did it on purpose' is not something you can easily say to the reader, how can the circle be squared?


Hey Ishmael, just read this. When you use a limited POV, and BTW, I think that's wise for today's market, you can only use what your character knows or sees. It's a good thing, because the reader goes exploring an environment through the eyes of your protagonist. If your protagonist is a bead off center, however, you have to tell the reader in the beginning so they know not everything is as it appears. My last Silver HM was one of those stories, about a kid that is hearing and seeing things that shouldn't be in his world, but you know right away he's got something wrong, and when his world changes at the end, you as the reader would know all along even though he could not know or understand what was happening. And therein lies the rub. Doing limited POV, askew POV, but with enough clues to the reader to see the real picture, not the distorted one the protagonist is presenting.

It is possible you hit one of Dave's pet peeves. He doesn't like coming to an ending that he couldn't have reasonably concluded from the facts, however disguised, were presented. The ending can be a total surprise, but the reader should then be able to add up the facts presented and be able to say, 'Ah, I see how that could have happened.' If instead they say, 'What the hell, where did he pull that rabbit out of the hat?' you're probably in trouble, especially if one does it by withholding critical information and not giving that data until the conclusion. You can feel cheated and tricked, instead of smiling and saying, 'Ah, tricky. I like it.' The tricky part is foreshadowing throughout the story, and in your case in a way where your protagonist does not see it, but as you think back as a reader, it was indeed there.

Here is a comment by Dave mentioned by another (above) about Multidimensionality that might help. He's said it before in other ways. "The truth is, the reader wants to feel that there is some meat in your story, that there is some depth to it. Creating a multidimensional story will do that. But withholding information so that the reader doesn’t know what is going on just complicates the story needlessly. In a similar way, authors often complicate their plots by adding one too many twists."

So, did you withhold information until the end, or was it just cleverly disguised within your tale? If you withhold, you have missed the mark. In Dave's opinion, he must have felt you withheld. So to fix the story, figure out a way to cast light on that important fact, without your protagonist understanding what he is seeing.

The best story that did this, IMHO, is [i]Flowers for Algernon.[i] Totally limited POV, and the POV shifted within the protagonist without him fully understanding as the conclusion progressed. But as readers, we all got it, and cried for his change. As a sidebar, I had the privelege of hearing Daniel Keyes talk about this story at the Nebulas one year; it was fascinating.

I hope that helps and is as clear as mud!

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Moon

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby kentagions » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:58 pm

Ishmael wrote:
One issue was raised over which I'd be interested to hear other views.


In deciding on the POV character, the best advice I've read or heard is to choose the one who has the highest emotional investment or has the most to lose. While the audience can become emotional over a handicapped character, the difficulty relating emotionally charged situations to that audience through an autistic POV might be insurmountable. That said, with a good deal of research, one might find gray areas.

How high functioning is the individual?
Is there a degree of sensory awareness (without the requisite emotional perceptiveness attached) that can aid the audience?
Is there discomfort in social situations that can equate with perception?

I'll agree with others that content should be reported. The character is a human with human senses. Nothing need be left out, but sensory content requires stripping of emotional meaning. The story may require the POV to report on emotional indicators with greater detail than an autistic person is capable, but without attaching meaning (Rather than frown, the character could make an upside down U with her mouth.). I think observations of this nature might require a recurring plot device that cues the audience.

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Dustin Adams » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:48 am

Have full results been posted?
I can't remember. The quarters are blurring together. Time is moving too fast...
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby disgruntledpeony » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:27 am

Dustin Adams wrote:Have full results been posted?
I can't remember. The quarters are blurring together. Time is moving too fast...


Apparently so.

http://www.writersofthefuture.com/4th-q ... e-winners/
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Ishmael » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:20 am

Thanks for the further suggestions. I do like the idea of noticing things but not attaching emotional significance. Sadly it wouldn't have worked here, because my character is, as it were, colour-blind in respect of this aspect of human interaction. However she is also more highly-functioning in certain respects than a normal person, hence she can do things the ordinary person cannot. I thought (and still think) her one of my most interesting characters to date.

I don't think I pulled any unforeshadowed rabbits out of hats, but if I did I certainly flagged in advance that my POV had some special talents for rabbit-pulling.

wotf011

Sadly the list of semi-finalists managed to get my name wrong. This does tend to happen. Maybe I have to start using a hyphen. Alternatively I should just adopt Ishmael as a nomme de plume.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby reigheena » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:15 pm

Ishmael wrote:And of course the critique promptly arrives. Fortunately no major changes suggested.

One issue was raised over which I'd be interested to hear other views. If you're attempting to tell a story from the viewpoint of a character with certain perceptual limitations (in this case autism), are you justified in leaving out aspects of an event / setting that your POV wouldn't notice? It does cut to the essentials but it also leaves the reader (and judge) wanting more detail. Since 'I did it on purpose' is not something you can easily say to the reader, how can the circle be squared?


It's hard to say without knowing specifics of what the judge wanted to see and how you handled it. However, I do have two brothers on the autism spectrum. Saying something like "his mouth made the shape of a u" does not seem to ring true. Seems to me more they would know to label that a frown, but not why the person was frowning, especially if it was related to something that they did, or what they "should" do in response.

It almost sounds here like you're trying to justify leaving out description, and ending up with white room syndrome. I think a better way to handle it would be to have the character notice things, but very briefly, or giving extra attention to things that neurotypical people wouldn't (patterns, flashing things or other things that can overstimulate, making sure that things are in place, etc.)

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (also Borderline by Mishell Baker) handles things by the 1st person narrator stepping back at events and saying "I as an aneurotypical person think through this situation differently than you neurotypical people do it. Here's what I am thinking." I recommend reading the reviews on Disability in Kidlit of autism books read by autistic people. (many actually have trouble with Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time)

Hope that helps.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Henckel » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:04 pm

Writing POV characters with mental disabilities isn’t easy. I just published a book where a key secondary character was mentally retarded. (Apologies, I understand this likely isn’t the socially accepted term now days).

I wrote this character in 3rd limited. And found a way to give an accurate depiction of what was going on by (1) giving that character a very specific singe minded desire and then (2) giving her the abilities of accurate observation of physical actions and activities around her, but then rationalising their meaning against her own desires.

For example… my character, Mary, was in love with Bradley…. But Bradley was gay. In one of Mary’s POV scenes, she walked out of a hotel dragging a corpse by the seat of the pants. As she did, everyone on the streets turned to stare at her. They starred, but didn’t laugh at her the way people normally do. Therefore, she must be popular. She wished Bradley could have been there to see it. She wondered if he would want her if he knew how popular she’d become.

So the reader sees Marys POV but also knows why the people are really starring.

…. It also helped that my book is a comedy. Had it been a serious piece, t would have been a lot more difficult to pull this off.

Hope this is helpful

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:10 am

reigheena wrote:I recommend reading the reviews on Disability in Kidlit of autism books read by autistic people. (many actually have trouble with Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time)

Hope that helps.


I actually found an article on world-building about, through, and with autism thanks to the link you gave, reigheena. It lists multiple examples of books that could make a great read. (Also, I didn't know that, but I could see how it makes sense.)

http://disabilityinkidlit.com/2016/03/2 ... th-autism/
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Ishmael » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:36 am

You see this is one of the things I really like about this forum - You can say 'Hey, I've a problem here, how do I solve it?' and people will actually try and help. Thank you all.

To clarify, I wasn't white-rooming. The problem was mainly in human relationships. (Although to be fair I had slashed a lot of description because I keep being told my stories don't zip along the way they should!)
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:53 pm

Ishmael,

The key is to combine description with POV.
DW mentioned it in an old kick.
PM me if you'd like the exact reference (I don't have it handy, but can look it up if you're curious).

IMO, no one does this better than Kary English.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 33

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:23 pm

BTW With the awards thingie coming up. My poor memory has forgotten plus I may have missed something. Did any of you guys-gals win?
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