Help Wanted (and a Review Request: The Strange)

3 weeks ago | ScreamingCandle (Member)

Help Wanted:

Young, burgeoning universe seeks omniscient creator. No prior experience necessary or even possible, for that matter.

You must love all creatures great and small, watch them grow, prosper and bloom. Guide them through life's trials and tribulations.

And then kill them.

Other duties include:

Listen to the whining and bitching of entire planets full of beings and return to them endless love.

Plan down to the finest detail every single element of everyone and everything's every day and have a plan for it all and give every action, no matter how insignificant a true and poetic meaning.

Occasionally visit wrath resulting in the deaths of entire civilizations, just to keep things novel. Lesser, more personal smitings are also performed for much the same reason.

Watch without interfering as beings create ever more effective ways to kill each other in your name.

Perks include receiving "Props" from rap artists and athletes, worship in various forms and the occasional human barbeque. Telework available. Flexible dress code.

Anyone with the skill set to prosper in this job already knows how to contact us. Please bring resume and two forms of ID.

********************************************************************************

I thought it appropriate to append this short "Help Wanted" piece to my request for reviews for my newly indexed ongoing web serial, "The Strange". Here's the link. https://screamingcandle.com/2017/02/01/the-strange-episode-1-the-night-before-part-1/ . After all, I do definitely want your help. If you don't want to do a review and instead just want to give me feedback, just say hi, or even pour torrents of flame in my direction, feel free to email screamingcandle@gmail.com - or post them here.

I will gladly review exchange as well if asked.

I'm a little concerned that my story is not well suited for this medium or the audience normally drawn to this medium and if you've something to say about that I'd love to hear your opinion.

Thanks and hope you enjoy the show.

Stay weird.

-SC

"It is not important what you do, but it is critically important that you do it." - Terrence McKenna
The Strange Updating Wednesdays

Read responses...

Responses

  1. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Okay, that made me laugh, and thus I'll give you a review. Plus, I kinda maybe read the first chapter... and *damn* is that an effective story hook.

    You're free to do a review as well, but at this point I've got five and a half entire novels done, three are unconnected, and three others are sequels... so, yeah, which do you like best? I've got one series which focuses on revenge, one which reflects on family obligation and responsibility, and one which is fairly straightforward action-adventure badassery. Take your pick.

    Author of Price.
  2. ScreamingCandle (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Thanks TanaNari. I'm glad you liked the help wanted. My next project post-strange is more along the lines of this little bit but I'm trying to concentrate, lest things go off the rails. The other shiney thing is always ... so ... TEMPTING!

    And I'm kinda in the mood for some badassery, so that's where I'm liable to go. My "To Be Read" pile is threatening to avalanche though (virtually, who kills trees anymore?) so it might be a while.

    Stay weird.
    -SC

    "It is not important what you do, but it is critically important that you do it." - Terrence McKenna
    The Strange Updating Wednesdays
  3. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Awesome. Then you want the Blue Steel series.

    https://pricestory.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/blue-steel-series/

    Author of Price.
  4. ScreamingCandle (Member)

    Posted 1 week ago

    Kinda shamelessly bumping. Plus, I'm wondering if there is something seriously wrong in episode 6. What readers I have seem to get stuck there. This might be the law of small numbers making this seem significant, but I thought I'd ask.

    -SC

    "It is not important what you do, but it is critically important that you do it." - Terrence McKenna
    The Strange Updating Wednesdays
  5. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 3 days ago

    I took a quick scan, and I mean a REAL quick scan, just to get the gist. (Very minimal impressions: As TanaNari said, good hook, you seem to have a good grip on the characters and the world, it simply it feels too dark for me, but then I'm something of a lightweight.) The only hypothesis I can come up with for why readers may drift about 6 episodes in, is how three sets of characters seem to be set up in the First Episode. If people feel drawn into one plot or character in particular, and then don't see that particular point returning much, they may lose interest. (Conversely, if they are drawn into one thread, but then don't like where it's going, that could produce the same effect. Conversely, what do I know.)

    I can offer up the views for my T&T though, if it helps to have a point of comparison. Episode 1: 900 views over 2 years.
    Episode 2: 140 views. Episode 3: 109 views. Episode 4: 94 views. Episode 5: 83 views.
    Episode 6 is unfortunately unreliable, in that some bizarre scriptbot kept hitting Parts 6, 7 and 8 every day in June 2015, so the numbers are inflated.
    Episode 10 is 59 views over 22 months... Episode 66a is 9 views over 6 months.

    Yeah, I have only a dozen or so readers after 2 years (I say 12, not 9, since those who sign up to receive updates don't count in pageviews). So I'm hardly a representative sample. Not sure if that's in any way reassuring.

    Writing a Time Travel serial: http://mathtans.wordpress.com
    Writer of the personification of math serial: http://www.mathtans.ca
  6. ScreamingCandle (Member)

    Posted 3 days ago

    @Mathtans Too Dark. That is really interesting. I'm going to have to digest that. Thank you. I also see your point about people walking away if their character doesn't get much screen time. I made a conscious decision that I'd go wide with the story and show what the bad guy is doing, which significantly ups the heft of the work and threatens to do exactly what you said. I don't know. I suppose it can't be helped as this is set up for later on in the story.

    But again I'm curious about dark. The reason is that the current update, which live and my own stupid brain have conspired against me to produce a huge delay, reads to me as dark. I'm re-doing a section to make it not so down as I thought it didn't fit. Hmm. You've given me much to think about. Thanks again.

    -SC

    "It is not important what you do, but it is critically important that you do it." - Terrence McKenna
    The Strange Updating Wednesdays
  7. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 2 days ago

    Please don't think TOO hard. Every comment comes with context, which you usually don't get. So here's some context - I couldn't get past the first part of "Worm" because it felt like it would become too dark for me. (Contributing factors: Other things I'd read about the story, and the fact that I really don't like bugs.) I'm one of those people who needs Buffy-esque levity to lighten up the apocalypse happening all around. Or a genre gateway, like time travel, for deeper psychological stuff like Doctor Who's "Torchwood" - superheros aren't really my selling point. (I'm also a teacher, so any swearing above "god damn it" automatically makes me hesitate, the same way it would if I heard swearing in the hall at school.) Hell, to get back to serials, rev fitz's "Existential Terror" pushed some of my nervous buttons, and that's just about a guy contemplating his place in the universe. (I don't like contemplating my place in the universe.) So as I say, I'm a lightweight. (If anyone wants an example of something that is around my speed, Jim's "Legion of Nothing" seems to hit a good light/dark balance for me. As did Stable's "Archive of Unusual Events" for completely different reasons.)

    That said, your post here did toss out "And then kill them." along with "Occasionally visit wrath resulting in the deaths of entire civilizations" which is not exactly a benevolent God from Saturday morning cartoons. I dunno, anyone else want to jump in here?

    As to the decision to show the bad guy, you do you, set up as needed. I went full on the opposite way, only gradually revealing my cast of 10 over the first twenty episodes (each 3,000 words). My hands-down most popular character (from a very small feedback pool) is Chartreuse Vermilion, who doesn't even APPEAR until Part 17. Less than 60 people have read that far. Most can't get beyond Carrie's attitude over the first 3 parts. Live and learn. I do wish you all the best, ScreamingCandle, I feel like our situations (trying to persevere as we stare at low numbers) are somewhat similar.

    Writing a Time Travel serial: http://mathtans.wordpress.com
    Writer of the personification of math serial: http://www.mathtans.ca
  8. ScreamingCandle (Member)

    Posted 2 days ago

    Oh yeah. The swearing. That would be a problem if it pings you each time it happens. Honestly, that's an issue I looked at and there is one character that hardly ever swears while Goldberg and Dan are foul mouthed. The narrator never swears. I've thought about it quite a bit and it informs the character voices so ... yeah ... problem.

    I actually did a Levitz diagram for The Strange including the introduction of characters as a beat. I am now, with the episode I'm having problems getting into the can, at the point where all the major pieces are on the board.

    Oh and the Help Wanted was just a short piece I had floating around that I thought I'd put here to amuse rather than just shout "Hey! Look at my stuff!!!" Seems to have backfired :) Really this piece is much more in line with another story I have called Idle Hands. The idea there is that the Devil runs a temp agency because he's got to find work for all those idle hands to do. Now THAT story gets DARK. Not as much swearing though, oddly enough. And I did not say that the position was for a benevolent god, just an omniscient one.

    But really, don't sell your input short. It's important to me even though it's not going to have much of an effect on this particular story. Thanks again.

    -SC

    "It is not important what you do, but it is critically important that you do it." - Terrence McKenna
    The Strange Updating Wednesdays

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