Jump to content


The First Brick


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic  – Started by legolooney , Jun 13 2011 11:07 AM

#1 legolooney

legolooney

    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12-November 09
    Member: 8164
    Country: England

Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:07 AM

Still got to chop it down as it is over the word limit, but white fang inpsired me to upload a draught and get soem feedback!


When Jack first mentioned the fabled ‘First Brick’ Gibbs had just snorted in an attempt to stifle his laughter. It wasn’t that the old pirate didn’t believe in the super natural, after spending so much time with Jack he had got used to it, but the tale of the First Brick was one even Gibbs couldn’t bring himself to believe. Supposedly when the world was first built all those years ago one of the founding bricks had been lost and swapped by a block from a different world, not just a different place but an entirely different universe.
The preposterous nature of the story hadn’t discouraged the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, he was convinced that he knew its location and was determined to travel to that other world, after all as Jack had put it, “what man is more free than one who is not restricted to just one world?”

Although Gibbs still wasn’t convinced he was happy to humour his good Captain for the sake of a good adventure. After assembling a crew the buccaneers set off across the seas. Eventually they arrived at the most unassuming spit of sand in the Caribbean and after anchoring the Pearl, Gibbs rowed a small dingy while Jack stood heroically at its bow. The island was no more than a few metres long with one solitary palm tree at its centre, and there on its side next to the tree was a simple rectangular red block with a flattened cylinder at one end. Jack swaggered up to it and span around, “You were saying Mr. Gibbs.” The old sailor shook his head as his mutton chop facial hair creased into a reluctant smile.

So now here they were, just moments after simultaneously touching the brick, still dizzy from the trip. They both stood up to find themselves below deck on some sort of vessel with a variety of weapons all pointing at them being wielded by strange yellow faced pirates. Jack paused as his eyes darted around taking in his surroundings, then smiled and lent into the barrel of a pistol being aimed at him by the toughest looking pirate, Jack’s hands parted into a half curtsey as he proposed one of the most useful words he knew, “Parley?”

Word Count: 377

Edited by legolooney, 13 June 2011 - 12:00 PM.


#2 Tazmaniac

Tazmaniac
  • Swings in the right weather conditions


    Posts: 1639
    Joined: 03-October 10
    Member: 13585
    Country: Australia

Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:26 AM

That is a great first draft !!
I'm sure you can cut quite a few words by choosing them carefully.
You have a great story telling style and the imagery flows when reading it.
Best of luck in the comp.Posted Image

May you be touched by his noodly appendage
Posted Image Posted Image
Got Questions? Need help? New member?
Read the site guidelines | Index of helpful tutorials| Eurobricks FAQ


#3 legolooney

legolooney

    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12-November 09
    Member: 8164
    Country: England

Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:00 PM

View PostTazManiac, on 13 June 2011 - 11:26 AM, said:

That is a great first draft !!
I'm sure you can cut quite a few words by choosing them carefully.
You have a great story telling style and the imagery flows when reading it.
Best of luck in the comp.Posted Image

thanks for the positive feedback! i've got a while to trim it so i should be alright!  :pir-classic:

#4 SilvaShado

SilvaShado

    Posts: 457
    Joined: 13-June 11
    Member: 18422
    Country: U.S.A

Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:07 AM

Great first draft! I love the concept of them being transported into the world of LEGO.

Here are my suggestions for improvement. Use what you like and feel free to throw away the rest. :pir-sweet:

1. You have a lot of run-on sentences. Try reading your story out loud. When you stop to take a breath, that is a good indication that you should put in a period or find some way to chop the sentence in half. It's a good idea to only have one or two commas per sentence. More than that and you really should have two sentences.

2. To cut down on word count, eliminate any repetition. Flash fiction like this needs to be short and concise. The first paragraph can easily be chopped down into a few sentences.

3. Dialogue - each person's dialogue goes on its own line. If you have a few sentences of description and then dialogue, put the dialogue on a new line. It helps to emphasize it.

If you want, I'd be happy to go line-by-line once you've fixed it up a bit. I hope my comments have helped. Good luck in the contest!

Check out my profile & blog entries at The Brick Blogger

Here are the MOCs that my husband and I built: Flickr and BrickShelf

My Husband's first novel, The Cleric, is published and available on
Amazon (both print & Kindle ebook)! It's a humoristic tale of moderate adventure with a dash of romance.


#5 blackpyre

blackpyre

    Posts: 108
    Joined: 14-June 11
    Member: 18438

Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:04 AM

Silva does know what she's talking about.  She's entered quite a few flash fiction contests and has done consistantly well in them.

Also, I wanted to point out what your strongest elements are to help you keep in mind what should remain.

1.Above all your story plot is powerful.  You have a great idea with the first brick which drives all the actions in the first part and leads to the cliff hanger at the end.  In short, it's solid.

2.Your point of view is strong until the end.  A good story will often have a centralized point of view.  This is especially true in short works like this.  For your story Gibbs seems to be the point of view you have chosen.  At the end, he kind of disappears though.  This would be a major point for revision to keep good consistancy.

3.Characterization is believable.  Some people can not capture the voice of a character from a movie, show, or other piece of fiction.  This is not your problem.  Keep up the good work.

My suggestions for strengthening your story.

Given all the strong elements, I'd really suggest cutting the word count of course and probably slimming down the amount of scenes.

You currently have three scenes here.  One before finding the brick, one finding the brick, and one in LEGO Pirate world.  I'd suggest cutting down to two scenes since you don't have the proper space for solid transitions.

Perhaps Gibbs and Jack could be talking about everything as they row to the solitary isle and then jump to LEGO Pirate world.  This should give you room to build solid scenes without ruining the best content of your story.

As with all my advice take anything or nothing.  My goal is to offer help in any way I can.

Good luck in the contest.

Will

Check out my LEGO set reviews.

My first novel, The Cleric, is published and available on Amazon! It's a humoristic tale of moderate adventure with a dash of romance.


#6 legolooney

legolooney

    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12-November 09
    Member: 8164
    Country: England

Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:18 PM

Thanks for the really mature feedback guys! I wont let you down. i'll post the next draught in this same thread and ill love to have you critique it again as this was really helpful.

#7 legolooney

legolooney

    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12-November 09
    Member: 8164
    Country: England

Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:47 PM

2nd Draft

When Jack first mentioned the fabled ‘First Brick’ Gibbs had just snorted in an attempt to stifle his laughter. It wasn’t that the old pirate didn’t believe in the super natural, after spending so much time with Jack he had got used to it, but the tale of the First Brick was one even Gibbs couldn’t bring himself to believe. Supposedly when the world was first built all those years ago one of the founding bricks had been lost and swapped by a block from a different world, not just a different place but an entirely different universe.

The preposterous nature of the story hadn’t discouraged the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. He was convinced that he knew its location and was determined to travel to that other world, after all as Jack had put it,

“What man is more free than one who is not restricted to just one world?”

Although Gibbs still wasn’t convinced he was happy to humour his good Captain for the sake of a good adventure. After assembling a crew the buccaneers set off across the seas. Eventually they arrived at the most unassuming spit of sand in the Caribbean and after anchoring the Pearl, Gibbs rowed a small dingy while Jack stood heroically at its bow. The island was no more than a few metres long with one solitary palm tree at its centre, and there on its side next to the tree was a simple rectangular red block with a flattened cylinder at one end.

Jack swaggered up to it and span around, “You were saying Mr. Gibbs.”

The old sailor shook his head as his mutton chop facial hair creased into a reluctant smile.

So now here they were, just moments after simultaneously touching the brick, still dizzy from the trip. They both stood up to find themselves below deck on some sort of vessel with a variety of weapons all pointing at them being wielded by strange yellow faced pirates. Jack paused as his eyes darted around taking in his surroundings, then smiled and lent into the barrel of a pistol being aimed at him by the toughest looking pirate, Jack’s hands parted into a half curtsey as he proposed one of the most useful words he knew,

“Parley?”

Have I got the speech lining right this time?

I am now working on your structure idea, 2 parts rather than 3. Thanks again for the help

Edited by legolooney, 15 June 2011 - 02:47 PM.


#8 blackpyre

blackpyre

    Posts: 108
    Joined: 14-June 11
    Member: 18438

Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:59 PM

Wow, this story dramtically improved. :)

Other than changing "span" to "spun."  I think it is a much more complete story.

At this point I'd only suggest condensing scenes if it helps with the word count.

Great job!

Will

Check out my LEGO set reviews.

My first novel, The Cleric, is published and available on Amazon! It's a humoristic tale of moderate adventure with a dash of romance.


#9 Bricks4Fun

Bricks4Fun

    Posts: 57
    Joined: 14-June 11
    Member: 18465

Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:31 AM

Hello

Since I joined today, I didn't get around to this one in time to help with the first draft. Nevertheless, this is a nice entry that was very much improved since the first draft. You have a unique concept here, with what appear to be the human form of Jack and Gibbs traveling to legoland. I agree with Blackpyre concerning the strength of your story as well, leading up to a cliffhanger.

As you know, you still have to trim it down to meet the contest rules. One example:

"After assembling a crew the buccaneers set off across the seas. Eventually they arrived at the most unassuming spit of sand in the Caribbean and after anchoring the Pearl, Gibbs rowed a small dingy while Jack stood heroically at its bow"

These two sentences can be combined, as you have some 'extra information' in there that doesn't really matter one way or the other. There are bits and pieces in the story which may be combined that will help reduce the word count. When doing this, it helps to think about what kind of information is essential to the story. As SilvaShadow said, keep it short and concise.

Good luck!

#10 Tazmaniac

Tazmaniac
  • Swings in the right weather conditions


    Posts: 1639
    Joined: 03-October 10
    Member: 13585
    Country: Australia

Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:40 AM

I think you could drop this line without hurting the story,

"after spending so much time with Jack he had got used to it,"
Good luck




May you be touched by his noodly appendage
Posted Image Posted Image
Got Questions? Need help? New member?
Read the site guidelines | Index of helpful tutorials| Eurobricks FAQ


#11 blackpyre

blackpyre

    Posts: 108
    Joined: 14-June 11
    Member: 18438

Posted 20 June 2011 - 07:49 AM

These other posts remind me.  If you feel too attached to specific lines let the story sit for a couple of days.  Both the replies you recieved look to be really good advice for cutting the story down.  But it may be hard for a writer if you're too close to the story.

This is something that took me a while to figure out as a writer so I didn't end up being angry and thinking people were trying to ruin my story. :D

I don't think you'll have that problem.  But if you do find yourself to attached just remember to stop, breathe, then go get a brick seperator to remove yourself from the story for a while. :)

And again, good luck!

Will

Check out my LEGO set reviews.

My first novel, The Cleric, is published and available on Amazon! It's a humoristic tale of moderate adventure with a dash of romance.


#12 SilvaShado

SilvaShado

    Posts: 457
    Joined: 13-June 11
    Member: 18422
    Country: U.S.A

Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:55 AM

This version is much better. You’re much more focused and it drives forward very well.

Here are some suggestions for further improvement. As always, take what you like and ignore the rest.

1. Your sentences are still a little long and lack any use of commas. I recommend reading your story out loud. If you run out of breath when speaking normally, you know you have too long of a sentence. Also pay attention to when you pause, that’s a good indication of where a comma should go. To give you an idea, here’s how I’d fix up your first paragraph with commas and sentence breaks:

When Jack first mentioned the fabled ‘First Brick,’ Gibbs had just snorted in an attempt to stifle his laughter. It wasn’t that the old pirate didn’t believe in the super natural. After spending so much time with Jack, he had got used to it. But the tale of the First Brick was one even Gibbs couldn’t bring himself to believe. Supposedly, when the world was first built all those years ago, one of the founding bricks had been lost and swapped by a block from a different world. Not just a different place, but an entirely different universe.

2. Some of your paragraphs are too big. Generally speaking, a paragraph should be 4-5 lines, only 3-4 sentences. For example, here’s where I would split this paragraph, indicated in the parenthesis:

When Jack first mentioned the fabled ‘First Brick’ Gibbs had just snorted in an attempt to stifle his laughter. It wasn’t that the old pirate didn’t believe in the super natural, after spending so much time with Jack he had got used to it, but the tale of the First Brick was one even Gibbs couldn’t bring himself to believe. (NEW PARAGRAPH HERE) Supposedly when the world was first built all those years ago one of the founding bricks had been lost and swapped by a block from a different world, not just a different place but an entirely different universe.

3. The dialogue isn’t quite arranged right. You want the leading action/description to be on the same line as the dialogue. And you can have a couple of sentences before dialogue, it’s just not usually recommended. For instance, here’s your first dialogue:

Quote

The preposterous nature of the story hadn’t discouraged the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. He was convinced that he knew its location and was determined to travel to that other world, after all as Jack had put it,

“What man is more free than one who is not restricted to just one world?”


You could change it to this:

The preposterous nature of the story hadn’t discouraged the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. He was convinced that he knew its location and was determined to travel to that other world. After all, as Jack had put it, “What man is more free than one who is not restricted to just one world?”

Or this:

The preposterous nature of the story hadn’t discouraged the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. He was convinced that he knew its location and was determined to travel to that other world.

After all, as Jack had put it, “What man is more free than one who is not restricted to just one world?”


Both are acceptable, though I personally prefer the latter as it puts more emphasis on what he says.

And if you keep Parlay at the end, by itself, the previous line should end in a period not a comma.

One more comment, on this line:

Quote

Jack swaggered up to it and span around, “You were saying Mr. Gibbs.”


The comma after “around” should be a period. A period always separates an action from dialogue while a comma is used when describing how someone speaks. For example:
  • Jack whispered, “You were saying, Mr. Gibbs.”
  • Jack spun around. “You were saying, Mr. Gibbs.”
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions about what I said here. Good luck in the contest!

Check out my profile & blog entries at The Brick Blogger

Here are the MOCs that my husband and I built: Flickr and BrickShelf

My Husband's first novel, The Cleric, is published and available on
Amazon (both print & Kindle ebook)! It's a humoristic tale of moderate adventure with a dash of romance.


#13 legolooney

legolooney

    Posts: 179
    Joined: 12-November 09
    Member: 8164
    Country: England

Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:52 PM

Wow, i'm getting so much help! I love it.  :thumbup:

All this is really helpful and mature criticism. I will get another draught up soon! Thanks again guys.

#14 Zilcho

Zilcho

    Posts: 615
    Joined: 10-July 11
    Member: 18952

Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:47 AM

Hi Legolooney, this is a very interesting story with a strong, original plot line. Unfourtunately, though, it is still over the word limit which means you won't be eligible for winning a prize. Don't let this daunt your spirit though, as this is a very good piece of writing and had the word limit been higher you sure would have had a good chance of winning. I feel your story could also do with a picture of either the first brick on the island or the point where Jack and Gibbs appear in the classics' pirate ship. Other than that this story is very well written and you have used lots of description and narrative as opposed to the speech which a lot of people have used in their stories. I like that fact because narrative helps move the story along whislt giving the reader a view of what is going on.


Well done on a good peice of writing.  :thumbup:

Edited by Zilcho, 18 July 2011 - 11:47 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Sponsored Links