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#1 2010-12-07 23:01:40

Bridget
God
From: The Internet
Registered: 2006-09-09
Posts: 524
Website

[Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

[Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

The world we live is strange. There is nothing to tell us why we're here or how we came to be. Our senses are so limited, we are barely aware of the Universe we live in. In fact, we cannot even begin to understand how we live or think.

In all of literature, no one has ever offered a hypothesis to explain the almost universal belief in a higher power (the super natural), let alone spirits, ghost, UFO's, ESP, life, gravity, magnetism or even belief itself.

Until now, that is.

A Stone Cut Without Hands is offered as a real answer to all unanswered questions with the hope that at the end you'll ask, "Why didn't I think of that?"

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#2 2010-12-08 00:01:44

LAoW
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2006-12-01
Posts: 450

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Grammar and spelling are a plus! Good job with that and thank you as well for it. However, I can't help but reading this and thinking that I'm just listening to a lot of propaganda and righteous opinions. Sorry. This story doesn't seem to be for me.

(posted from Prologue)


I don't have to worry about revenge because Karma is a bigger bitch than I will ever have to be.

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#3 2010-12-08 11:30:15

Cenobite829
Inebriated
Registered: 2010-11-13
Posts: 28

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Hey it isn't a bad story but it didn't grab me man. I mean the write up got me a little excited but the story itself killed it.

Maybe rework it a little and then come back with it. Make it have a little more flow with it.


Jigsaw: If you're good at anticipating the human mind. It leaves nothing to chance

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#4 2010-12-08 11:49:47

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 4527
Website

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

All I can say after reading this is... Huh?

This made no sense whatsoever.  You've completely failed to give your reader any sense of what the ensuing story is about, and you've really given them little reason to continue reading.  Unless, that is, they wish to read about your main character enslaving and brainwashing an 18-year-old girl, while decrying society for doing exactly the same thing.

Fascism... which is a form of government, by the way, not a personality trait... is caused by microorganisms?  Huh?  You've left the reader with nothing but questions, and your writing style leaves no expectation that those questions are going to get answered.

Sorry I can't be more positive.  I'm left scratching my head.  You have not engendered in me a desire to read your next chapter.

Eric Storm

PS:  In regards to your story description:  There are possibly thousands of literary works that attempt to explain the human belief in the "extra-normal".  There is even psychological theory to describe the phenomenon.


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.

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#5 2010-12-11 21:07:01

Fledgling
Tipsy
Registered: 2010-12-07
Posts: 8

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Thank you for your reassurance that I succeeded in my attempt to leave you with a lot of unanswered questions. Fortunately, your opinion that it gives little incentive to read on has proved to be inaccurate. It seems that a very high proportion of Pub readers wanted more enough to search for it elsewhere on the web with google.

Next you state that "Fascism... which is a form of government, by the way, not a personality trait... is caused by microorganisms?" While it is true that one of the definitions is as you stated, another meaning is also given in the dictionary. To wit: " a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control". Now, I can easily understand your "huh" because that was exactly what I was hoping for. I readily admit that the idea is new and as such, will tend to generate a great deal of unsympathetic reaction. But that is the purpose for which I write, to make my readers think about new ideas.

And the fact is that if that little idea bothers you, well then, if you read on to the surprise at the end of the story, you're likely to blow a gasket, because the idea that fascism is a disease is really tame in comparison to the big surprise.

Finally, why would an author write in such a way as to raise questions without answering them? Where did you read that answers wouldn't be forthcoming? Is there a paragraph where I unintentionally implied it? Personally, when I read a Novel, I assume the Author will explain and the more interesting the question is, the more inclined I am to read the rest of the novel. Fortunately, nearly all my readers seem to react the way I hoped they would. IF you haven't read the new chapters I posted, you are probably the only one (based on the stats).

Ps If you can name even one literary works that purports to answer every mystery, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share the reference with me.

Please don't take my response to your criticism in a negative way. If you feel strongly about your opinions, you should defend them. I obviously read and gave your criticism a great deal of thought, but didn't find it particularly helpful. Since I posted in hopes of generating opinions, I can't be justified in complaining when I get what I asked for. By the same token, you can't expect me to act on criticism that doesn't offer the possibility of helping me to improve my writing. Please feel free to expand on your opinions and offer more support for your claims. 


Fledgling 3dhmm

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#6 2010-12-11 21:37:26

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 4527
Website

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Since it is clearly your hope and intention to leave your readers dazed and confused until you explain yourself to them, if and when you try to do that, I cannot help you.  I find that particular writing style to be uninteresting and not worth my time.  The whole tone of your writing gives the impression that you will not actually be answering any of the questions you're raising within a reasonable time.

As to solving "every" mystery, that's simple:  Mankind, when unable to explain something, invariably makes up a story to fit the known facts.  This is how we ended up with mythology, (most likely) religion, and UFOs.  It's a simple scientific premise:  When we don't KNOW, we will make something up, because we are uncomfortable with the unknown.

You want help improving your writing?  Stop trying to be all mysterious or edgy, and just write a damned story.  That will improve your writing by about 10,000% right there.  The next thing you can do is to lose the attitude that you're involved in some higher art form than the rest of us.  The vast majority of people read to escape reality and be entertained, not to be confused at the barest concepts of what is going on.

Eric Storm

PS: You seem to be rather confused about how many people just "must have" this story.  Your numbers at The Pub have been in a steady decline from the prologue on.  You have lost roughly half your audience with each release.  So no, I am not the "only one" who didn't read it.  And your numbers were not astronomical to begin with.  Your prologue had 57 views at the time of this posting.


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.

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#7 2010-12-11 21:50:09

Fledgling
Tipsy
Registered: 2010-12-07
Posts: 8

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

LAoW wrote:

Grammar and spelling are a plus! Good job with that and thank you as well for it. However, I can't help but reading this and thinking that I'm just listening to a lot of propaganda and righteous opinions. Sorry. This story doesn't seem to be for me.

(posted from Prologue)

The dictionary definition of propaganda;

1.  The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.
2. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda.

According to this definition, any substantial written work would be propaganda. But you probably mean the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause that is unworthy of consideration. If so, then you probably only read material that conforms to your own world view. I did warn you in advance that I intended to take you on a trip outside the box.

As for righteous opinions, absolutely. The hero, George, has lots of them and if I didn't tell you that up front, you wouldn't have a chance at understanding the rest of the story. You certainly don't have to agree with them, but if all you read about is stories of people who only believe the way you do, it has to be pretty boring.

Fledgling

Ps A helpful criticism would be something dealing with the inconsistency of righteous opinions.

3dhmm

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#8 2010-12-11 22:09:20

Fledgling
Tipsy
Registered: 2010-12-07
Posts: 8

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Cenobite829 wrote:

Hey it isn't a bad story but it didn't grab me man. I mean the write up got me a little excited but the story itself killed it.

Maybe rework it a little and then come back with it. Make it have a little more flow with it.

I am sorry it didn't grab you. But then you can't expect me to know what would. It would be a lot more helpful if you had explained how the ideas could have been presented in a way to "grab you".

I can tell you that of 1000 test readers, 970 of them were "grabbed" enough to read the rest of the story. Without exception, those that sent feedback assured me that the surprise ending made the story worth reading.

So why am I posting it to the Pub?

I am hoping to persuade Pub readers to guess at the surprise ending because it is important that the story be presented in such a way as to minimize giving away the end pre-maturely.

Thank you for the feedback. The fact that you sent anything puts you in the top 10% of Pub readers.

Fledgling

3dhmm

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#9 2010-12-11 22:30:51

LAoW
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2006-12-01
Posts: 450

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Fledgling: I am soooo glad you can read a dictionary. Look up the word 'arrogant' and its counter part, 'pretentious.'

I tried to be a little more constructive and give you something positive and not down right rude and flaming. But then you respond to me with dictionary based responses and try to criticize me and assume? Get over yourself, bub. You are not God's gift to the world and I will certainly not be reading any further than the prologue, astounding and earth shattering end as you claim it to have.


I don't have to worry about revenge because Karma is a bigger bitch than I will ever have to be.

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#10 2010-12-11 22:43:02

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 4527
Website

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Fledgling, if you had 1000 people read this already, and 970 of them liked it, then they all thought EXACTLY like you do.  The stats here on The Pub prove you are NOT that popular of a writer with a generic base of readership.  What you should be taking away from this, instead of trying to defend the indefensible, is that your writing style is EXTREMELY niche-specific.

You are not, in other words, writing for the masses.  Do not expect most people to like what you're writing.  Personally, I'd like to know where you got 1000 people to read this thing in the first place.

Further, there is a vast difference between not wanting to read other views, and not wanting to read a spew of seeming nonsense from an unestablished character.  You have yet to give us any reason to give a damn what this character thinks, before going on to enumerate his long list of beliefs.  I don't care if one of his beliefs is, "the sky is blue."  It doesn't matter at all until I have some reason to care what he thinks.

And no, listing his beliefs does NOT establish the character.

Eric Storm


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.

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#11 2010-12-11 22:46:44

Fledgling
Tipsy
Registered: 2010-12-07
Posts: 8

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Eric Storm wrote:

Since it is clearly your hope and intention to leave your readers dazed and confused until you explain yourself to them, if and when you try to do that, I cannot help you.  I find that particular writing style to be uninteresting and not worth my time.  The whole tone of your writing gives the impression that you will not actually be answering any of the questions you're raising within a reasonable time.

       The problem is that I can't give my readers a PHD education in microbiology in the Prologue. The purpose
       of the prologue is to set the stage. New ideas are always confusing and rarely accepted when first
       introduced.  In addition, the character is odd and most people are confused by his irrational (only to those
       who  can't follow his train of logic) jump to strange conclusions. Perhaps the problem you are having is
       that you are reading the story as if it were a gospel instead of trying to see things through
       George's perspective. (Your assertion that fascism as a disease was absurd instead of that George's belief
       that it was, was irrational from the establishment's perspective)   

As to solving "every" mystery, that's simple:  Mankind, when unable to explain something, invariably makes up a story to fit the known facts.  This is how we ended up with mythology, (most likely) religion, and UFOs.  It's a simple scientific premise:  When we don't KNOW, we will make something up, because we are uncomfortable with the unknown.

        So tell me what mythology answers every unknown consistently. Absolutely, mythology, religion and
        even science (it's called a hypothesis) offer answers to some. So which myth, religion or hypothesis
        explains ESP and gravity?
        If you can name one, I guarantee to quote you a dozen mysteries that are inconsistent with it. Except
        for mine, of course.


You want help improving your writing?  Stop trying to be all mysterious or edgy, and just write a damned story.  That will improve your writing by about 10,000% right there.  The next thing you can do is to lose the attitude that you're involved in some higher art form than the rest of us.  The vast majority of people read to escape reality and be entertained, not to be confused at the barest concepts of what is going on.

        Please explain how to present new, never before considered ideas without sounding " all mysterious or
        edgy". And I'm sorry, but I am presenting ideas that the rest of you have never thought of. As far as
        an  escape, well, you would definitely believe you entered a different reality by the time you finish the story.



Eric Storm

PS: You seem to be rather confused about how many people just "must have" this story.  Your numbers at The Pub have been in a steady decline from the prologue on.  You have lost roughly half your audience with each release.  So no, I am not the "only one" who didn't read it.  And your numbers were not astronomical to begin with.  Your prologue had 57 views at the time of this posting.

You failed to take into account the readers who went to google.

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#12 2010-12-11 23:01:56

Fledgling
Tipsy
Registered: 2010-12-07
Posts: 8

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

LAoW wrote:

Fledgling: I am soooo glad you can read a dictionary. Look up the word 'arrogant' and its counter part, 'pretentious.'

I tried to be a little more constructive and give you something positive and not down right rude and flaming. But then you respond to me with dictionary based responses and try to criticize me and assume? Get over yourself, bub. You are not God's gift to the world and I will certainly not be reading any further than the prologue, astounding and earth shattering end as you claim it to have.

The popular understanding of the word "Propaganda" is hardly constructive criticism. And I noticed you didn't bother to explain you meant it according to the dictionary definition as opposed to the popular unflattering usage. 

As for Arrogant and Pretentious. That is exactly what the Pope said about Galileo. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Ps The Pope didn't read past the Prologue either.

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#13 2010-12-11 23:06:04

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 4527
Website

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

No, I am reading the story as if it were a STORY, rather than your doctoral thesis on the nature of the universe, which is apparently what you're trying to write.  As A STORY, this does not work.  You have not established your character before launching into all his very strange beliefs, and so we have no reason to read through to find out why he believes what he does.

Further, why would people see a story on this site, and then promptly go to Google to read it, instead of reading it here?  You got 57 Downloads on your prologue.  Not 1000, not 100.  57.  Further, why would any of those 57 people, who are used to getting their stories in a consistent place, go looking for more of it?  They would assume, as I did, that you hadn't written more yet, because if you had, it would be posted here.

Your totally condescending view of your readership verifies my "hypothesis" that you aren't worth my time.  The stats on the site suggest you aren't worth anyone else's time here, either.  It was the height of arrogance for you to state that no one has ever come up with the things you are thinking.  Trust me on this: You're not that unique.

Eric Storm

PS:  You aren't Galileo, either.


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.

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#14 2010-12-12 02:38:21

Lucky869
Inebriated
Registered: 2006-12-18
Posts: 30

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

i'm definitely eager for more, this story is very interesting 3dsmile

(posted from Chapter 3 The Other side of the Story)

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#15 2010-12-12 14:09:00

Steen3
Inebriated
Registered: 2010-06-08
Posts: 16

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Deleted

Last edited by Steen3 (2016-06-15 11:02:50)

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#16 2010-12-15 19:01:01

claire-b
Tipsy
From: England
Registered: 2010-01-01
Posts: 1

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

I am intrigued and fascinated by this tale and await further chapters keenly.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#17 2010-12-26 16:32:43

Fledgling
Tipsy
Registered: 2010-12-07
Posts: 8

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

claire-b wrote:

I am intrigued and fascinated by this tale and await further chapters keenly.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

Further chapters will be posted in response to readers guesses as to what/who the swarm is.

Fledgling

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#18 2010-12-28 17:33:03

fiferguy
Inebriated
Registered: 2007-01-29
Posts: 27

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Having read all the posted chapters thus far (at least posted to the Pub), I find that this story isn't really grabbing me either. 

Your descriptions are good, but when you suddenly drop a previously unknown detail (ie, the main character's missing/deformed hand), that effects the entire story.  After seven chapters and a prologue, I find that I still don't have an accurate mental picture of George.  To me, the Prologue should've been chapter 1, while another chapter should've been written before to get a portion of the back story--enough to establish a mental image of George in our minds.  If you want to leave his looks vague, that's fine.  But it's a pretty important detail to mention that he is missing a hand, for instance.  You say in your Prologue that he's old, which is great.  But making the reader continually reinvent his mental image of George is confusing at the least.  The character should evolve over the story, not just spontaneously reconstruct himself (unless hit with a coma-induced reawakening, bolt of lightening, Divine intervention, etc.).  I think it was in chapter 3 or 4 before we learned that George was missing a hand.  In the prologue, you say, "So the problem wasn’t just finding a girl, but also creating a reason for her to stay. 'What kind of girl would choose to help an old man and be grateful enough to stay?'"  It would've been just as easy to say, "What kind of girl would choose to help a one-armed old man and be grateful enough to stay?"  If you're going to make his physical appearance/handicap an issue in the story (ie when he's making Thanksgiving dinner), it needs to be established earlier in the story.

Overall, it just doesn't grab me.  I love puzzles, and the surprise at the end is an excellent, tried-and-true method of keeping the reader interested.  But I don't really get that from your writing.  Really, I'm only confused and disappointed in the story.  The description in the Pub got me interested, but the story itself didn't really hold on to me.

You said you wanted an honest criticism, and I've done the best I can.  I hope it helps.

Fifer

P.S.  Personal attacks on the admin and readers aren't really going to get you anything but scorn, and people are going to take you FAR less seriously.

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#19 2010-12-28 20:35:23

Fledgling
Tipsy
Registered: 2010-12-07
Posts: 8

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

What a wonderful piece of constructive criticism!

For those of you who've left comments, you should take note of "how to" give feedback that is useful instead of discouraging.

Please note how Fifer offers both good and bad points, and how he describes the things he found distracting in specific detail.

But what I would really appreciate from Fifer is his suggestion about how to focus the readers attention away from George and onto the puzzle/mystery, because that was my intent. And just out of curiosity, why didn't you pick up on the missing hand when he used it top distract the court clerk in the first chapter?

I truly do appreciate useful criticism, especially when is as articulate as yours.

Fledgling

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#20 2010-12-28 22:28:33

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 4527
Website

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Fledgling, you were given VERY specific criticism from ALL OF US about what we had problems with.  We could not have given the in-depth criticism that Fiferguy did because we did not waste our time reading seven chapters into the story before realizing it wasn't worth the time to proceed further.

Perhaps, if you hadn't been so busy trying to tout how great you were when you were reading our criticisms, you would have been able to take the same message away:  Your story does not grab us, and the writing is very problematic.

I applaud Fiferguy for 1) sticking with it, and 2) giving feedback to the author.

To you, Fledgling, I have this warning:  It is not your job to chastise or "school" the readers on critiquing.  I had no problem with what was said to you, and therefore, the critiques here pass this site's rules on critiquing.  Once again, you're acting as if you are God's gift to literature, and that only you know the proper way to both write, and apparently critique, as well.

You're treading on very thin ice.

Eric Storm


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.

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#21 2010-12-29 04:50:43

unknown1000u2
Inebriated
Registered: 2008-02-04
Posts: 76

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Ah, I wondered if and when this story would surface again.

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#22 2010-12-30 05:02:26

fiferguy
Inebriated
Registered: 2007-01-29
Posts: 27

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Fledgling wrote:

But what I would really appreciate from Fifer is his suggestion about how to focus the readers attention away from George and onto the puzzle/mystery, because that was my intent.

To put it in a literary term: foreshadowing.  There's really no hint of it, or if there is, it isn't really enough to grab on to.  You do introduce a little in the 7th chapter, finally, but even that really isn't enough to whet the appetite.

Eric Storm wrote:

I applaud Fiferguy for 1) sticking with it, and 2) giving feedback to the author.

Thanks Eric.  I devour books, especially when I'm waiting for my favorite authors to continue their stories... winkwinknudgenudge

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#23 2010-12-31 19:06:52

homercles
Tipsy
Registered: 2007-03-06
Posts: 3

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

I like the story, but it does need more character development before the story progresses. It also jumps a little erratically in not just George's, but everyone's emotions seems to be a bit unstable.
I'd say just keep writing, don't take everyone's criticism too personally, but do listen to them.
 
By the way, are the Swarm and components mitochondria ?

Have a good one

Last edited by homercles (2010-12-31 19:08:35)

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#24 2011-03-30 04:14:36

SnakeEater
Inebriated
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 16

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

It has been a while since you wrote all this so I read it all at once. It seemed compelling to me & fairly well written, I almost couldn't stop reading. The collective intelligences are interesting but had me a bit puzzled in the beginning. Now it seems to me that they are nano machine sized within their bodies. Evidently George has one set while Courtney has another & one has something the other needs & the Swarm/Nest are manipulating both of them to somehow create that transfer. The great danger alluded to still escapes me. I hope sometime soon you decide to continue with this storyline. I will be submitting this to the forum as well as sending it via the private email button on netwolf.

PLEASE continue it!

(posted from Chapter 7 My Soul)

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#25 2011-10-30 16:22:24

gadget
Inebriated
From: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Registered: 2007-07-19
Posts: 22

Re: [Fledgling] Stone Cut Without Hands, A

Not sure about anyone else but the story has drawn me in and I would really like to see where you are going with it!

(posted from Chapter 7 My Soul)

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