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Katzaniel

Cyberman Commentary

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First off, I'll tell you all that I know my description isn't up to par. In fact, it's far far worse. Just rereading my previous work in this story is enough to make me see so many places where I could improve that. All Anthony's friends are faceless, we have no idea what kind of car he drives, we find out so little about his parents and his previous relationships, which are hinted at. However, this is something that can wait while I get the story down. I mean, I will need to go through at one point and rehaul the whole thing anyway or there will be a huge discrepancy from the quality of writing at the beginning to the end, so I can elaborate then. Right now I need mostly to whip mysef into writing often enough to get the story down.

 

That said, I would like to hear feedback about other aspects of the story that need improving of which I may not already be aware. Whether I decide to work on fixing it right away I can't say, but please feel free to tell me whenever you think of it.

 

Thank you!

Katz

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Katz, that's not really the kind of story that I usually like, but I think you're doing a nice work. Yes, you don't describe anything besides Anthony's experiences, but it's my opinion that it doesn't detract from the story. It really focuses completely on Anthony, leaving his "real life" behind as a kind of fuzzy background. This passes to me a "closed" feeling, making me really see him as very, very uncaring of/not interested in anything that goes around him. More or less the impression I had from your first paragraph describing quickly his relationship with friends, and later when he reacts to his parents' death. I think that, if you expand the description to include "external" things, you'll have to tell more about Anthony's surrounding life - RL, that is. And the story won't be so self-contained (meaning, so focused on cyberspace) as it is. I see it as a choice, keeping it completely focused or not. I think you have just to be careful to be coherent - if later you decide to expand your description of RL, then maybe you should either connect it to some later happening (like, Anthony becoming really more aware of *life* around him) or expand the earlier descriptions accordingly.

 

In this passage, (post of Mar 8 - 12:35)

In rereading it, the memories of the blackness are recreated so well that Anthony decides there could not be any explanation for the experience and for the existance of the file other than that it had been real. He reaches once again to turn off the computer.

 

Anthony lays in the darkness for a while, thinking. He thinks of his parents, of his friends, of a childhood girlfriend. He thinks of his lonliness and his aspirations and weighs them together. In the timeless night, he rereads the efforts of the past hours and then reads it all again. He aligns his emotions and comes to terms with his past. And he decides that there isn't much to drive him home.

I feel that the transition from first to second paragraph is a little bit abrupt. First time I read it, I got a bit confused if he had actually pressed the power switch or not. It was just when I read the first paragraph of next post that I understood completely what he had done. I don't know how to make it feel smoother, or if you really need to, but it's something that broke the flow of (my) reading.

 

Here, (Mar 8 - 1:12)

Excited, he concentrates on creating a user description for himself. He doesn't understand where in cyberspace the description exists, but he can tell very quickly that it's not on this computer. It must be wherever he is. It occurs to Anthony that if all the computers in the entire world were turned off, there would be no cyberspace. No internet. Or would there? If it would still exist, it must do so in the place that he is now.

I got confused about "wherever he is" (phrases in italics)... isn't he inside a computer? Or does it mean that he's not sure where he is? That would seem a contradiction, after having had him following the wires...

 

Later on, you have Anthony deciding to take vacations and go back to chat rooms to enjoy himself. I caught myself wondering why he did that in the "cyberspace" and not normally - I mean, connecting and doing it like normal people do. I understand that the feeling he has while being inside the computer is what makes the difference, but maybe you'd like to mention it in a clear way?

 

And I also wonder (this is mainly just curiosity)... do you mean that, while he's in cyberspace, he is like resting (as you state that he feels refreshed, not hungry, etc?)

 

Well, these were my thoughts...

 

I hope you do have chance to finish this story, Katz :) Now you got me curious ;)

 

*hugs*

 

~Tanny

Edited by Tanuchan

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I'm bringing this back up from the depths of this room, since this is one of the stories I intend to continue this summer, and I have already partially revived it with one post. So just in case people want to comment on it, I don't want them accidentally creating a new thread.

 

And, now that I've found it, I wonder why I never commented on Tanny's suggestions. Bad Katz! Bad Katz! I'll address one point now, hopefully the others later.

 

This comment on lack of description actually being good intrigues me. If that were the case, I wouldn't have to fix nearly as much! Also, since at the moment I do intend to have Anthony become more aware of real life by the end (less, and then more) that would work well. Since I've never been very good at describing things, I'd really be stretching my creative writing muscles to intentionally leave out much description, lessen it, and then increase it again, but maybe by the time I get there I'll be up to it.

 

Speaking of the end, I should mention something that may come as a warning as well as an opportunity... I haven't quite decided how to end it yet.

 

Looks slightly abashed.

 

Well, I do have a few endings in mind, but they all seem either corny, unbelievable, too sad, or not conclusive enough. So if I get past all the planned events I do have (which I'm sure will also increase in number as I get to know Anthony better) and still have not decided on an ending, perhaps you can all help me decide on an ending. I'll outline my proposed endings and the pros/cons and ask for opinions, suggestions, ideas, et cetera. So... now you know my deep dark secret. Anyway, gotta zoom!

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Actually, Katz, you commented my comments thorugh IM :) I'll have to re-read everything, but I do remember I wanted to know where your story was going.

 

I'll let you know if I have any comment ;)

 

~Tanny

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An interesting story so far, Katzaniel. I apologize for not commenting on it earlier, and am glad that you've decided to continue it this Summer. :) I find the subject matter of the story very intriguing, and am certain that many people here can relate to it (myself included). I'm not entirely certain whether Anthony actually has cyber powers yet or if it's just something in his imagination, and find the ambivalence in his powers interesting and original. I'm looking forward to seeing where the relationship between Anthony and Angel_A goes as the story progresses.

 

The point of view of this story strikes me as awkward, though it may have certain advantages. Choosing to tell the story in third person may be advantageous as it creates a great distance from Anthony in the narrative, which may be what you're aiming for given the themes of distance and lies on the internet. This point of view also has a great disadvantage, however, as the reader can never really become involved in Anthony's emotions and struggles. For example, in the scene where Anthony mourned the death of his parents, I felt completely disconnected from his character and couldn't really feel anything for him. If this sense of disconnection is what you're aiming for in the story, then you've done an excellent job with it. If you'd like the readers to become more involved in Anthony's struggles, I would actually suggest to approach the story from a different point of view. In reading it, there were several times where I thought that a first person point of view might work well in relaying Anthony's thoughts and feelings, for what it's worth.

 

The other comment I have is similar to Tanuchan's second comment. Where is Anthony when he enters into the computer, exactly? What does it look like? What is the experience of traveling through a cable to another computer? The setting and surroundings of Anthony when inside the computer are very vague, and more detail about his location might spice things up a bit.

 

Nicely done so far. :) I look forward to the continuation.

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I'm looking at this again with an eye toward adding to it, and/or revising it. I would like to get writing again; I haven't really done it in so long. But re-reading what I've written, I find I don't really like the style I used. It's too terse and to the point, rushing to describe important events and push the story forward - I think this makes it less interesting than it might be. I don't like that we can't feel anything for Anthony, that his parent's death is so disconnected (to use Wyvern's apt description) from the reader, that we don't know what the business he runs is, we don't hear about his parents until they're gone, and we know barely anything about the second most important character in the story, Angela. For example, when Anthony finds out that Angela is her real name - well, it shouldn't exactly be a surprise, it's pretty obvious - but it should be a moment. The reader should get to cherish it with him.

 

On the other hand, I don't have enough planned to happen in this story to be very long, and making it too long might bring about an anticlimactic ending. I'm a little torn in that maybe I should actually be making it shorter, and try to do this as a short story. Or maybe pigeonholing it and forcing it into either short story or novella or something else is a bad idea, and I should just do whatever I want to.

 

I'm not sure if I need to hear opinions on this or I just wanted to vent and/or brainstorm aloud. Opinions will not be dismissed, but I think since I'm the one who knows where I'm going with this (roughly, anyway) then I'd better just do some serious thinking...

 

 

(It occurs to me that what story I have could probably fit alright into a movie... but I just don't think I have a sufficiently satisfying ending for a written work...)

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