Author Topic: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story  (Read 4418 times)

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DottyG

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The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« on: October 09, 2008, 02:56:33 PM »
If you're telling a story to get feedback on etiquette, please, please, please put ALL the critical details in there!

If there's something crucial to the feedback that you're going to get, you need to state it initially - not a couple of threads and many posts later!

You don't have to actually do a flowchart on paper, but maybe if we get into the habit of mentally making a flowchart, it'd help.  Before you post, decide

1) who are the characters that I need to mention?
2) who are the characters that are "fluff" and can be left out?
3) what is the timeline of my story - when did each thing happen?
4) what are the critical details that I need to include in order to make sure my readers get the full picture?
5) what are the "fluff" details that can be left out?
6) how can I tell my story/situation in such a way that the EHellions (that don't know these people or this story) can fully and completely understand what I'm telling them?
7) what can I do to eliminate the need for the EHellions to have to ask for clarification or additional details in my story?

Granted, we're not all perfect with this.  We all mess up.  But, if we try to make our posts/threads readable, it'll help! :)


sparksals

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 07:09:30 PM »
Thank you, Dotty.  This is becoming an increasing issue. 

May I add that if one has a continuing saga, to keep it in one thread and provide updates by adjusting the title rather than posting 5 or 6 different threads posted in a manner that everyone is supposed to know what is going on?  Many times, members have not seen any of the backstory threads.  It gets confusing and frustrating.

MayHug

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2008, 07:48:43 PM »
Very good well thought out post Dottyg!

But I was wondering could you clarify....... j/k ;)

DottyG

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2008, 11:10:52 PM »
Very good well thought out post Dottyg!

But I was wondering could you clarify....... j/k ;)

You know, I was wondering which of the smart aleck EHellions was going to say that! ;)


DottyG

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2009, 05:37:41 PM »
Wouldn't hurt to bring this one up again as well while we're at it.


demarco

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2009, 06:20:25 PM »

5) what are the "fluff" details that can be left out?

Yes!  Please, when you've finished writing your post, go through it and see what you can take out before you post it.  This is especially important if you feel you have to include the words "long," "epic," "saga," "novel," etc. in the thread title.   I've seen some really long posts  with so much extraneous information that the essentials are hard to locate.  I've started to skip most of the long ones because it is just too frustrating to plow through them. 


DottyG

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2009, 06:22:04 PM »

5) what are the "fluff" details that can be left out?

Yes!  Please, when you've finished writing your post, go through it and see what you can take out before you post it.  This is especially important if you feel you have to include the words "long," "epic," "saga," "novel," etc. in the thread title.   I've seen some really long posts  with so much extraneous information that the essentials are hard to locate.  I've started to skip most of the long ones because it is just too frustrating to plow through them. 


Oh, yes!  There are very few posts here that need to be "epic" or "novel" length.  More often than not, this person just decided to put in everything under the sun.  STOP IT! :D


sparksals

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 01:07:46 PM »
Please keep character names simple, but please don't use letters.  It is easier to understand a story when we are told that Jane told Sally that Ken kissed Mary when he was dating Linda, not J told D that K kissed M when he was dating L. 

Fluff things like Sally's father's sister's daughter could be changed to Sally's Cousin.  I'm amazed by how many descriptives people use sometimes that makes the story so confusing. 

MrsJWine

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 01:13:40 PM »
Please keep character names simple, but please don't use letters.  It is easier to understand a story when we are told that Jane told Sally that Ken kissed Mary when he was d@ting Linda, not J told D that K kissed M when he was d@ting L. 

Fluff things like Sally's father's sister's daughter could be changed to Sally's Cousin.  I'm amazed by how many descriptives people use sometimes that makes the story so confusing. 

It's especially helpful when you give descriptive names ("Hypochondriac", "Cheater", etc) rather than random generic names whenever possible, at least for long stories or stories that have lots of characters.  When a story involves six different people, it's so much easier to understand everything the first time through if many or all of the characters have names that describe their basic role.  Otherwise I find myself rereading several times before I can remember exactly how Mary, Jim, Ellen, Henry, Jeff, and Wilson all fit together.


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Utah

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 03:05:00 PM »
The only way I will use initials in stories is when I mention Oldest Niece, Middle Niece and Youngest Niece. After posting their names for the first time, I usually move to ON, MN and YN.

Jerkoid Nephew will always be Jerkoid, even if something happens that magically transforms him into a sensible adult (which I don't think is going to come to pass. ::))

I make up names for everybody else, except I do call Catarina's kids by their initials: MR and DB. And I try to remember to say, "Her youngest" or "Her oldest."

I agree that using half the alphabet in the thread for a cast of characters gets very confusing.
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Clara Bow

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2009, 10:48:08 AM »
Can I interject that while I have had to throw in a missed detail here and there (I think faster than I type) I get seriously peeved when the OPs start throwing in opinion details or past history on a story if the advice they're being given isn't what they want to hear......
Relevant, relevant, relevant....if the subject of the post is a meeniehead who likes to short sheet the beds of the elderly, soap the windows of school busses or give out rotten apples on Halloween, include that as a piece of defining information in the OP, don't just say "I don't like So-and-So".
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest Dotty.....who is not a meeniehead.
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DottyG

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2009, 10:54:17 AM »

DottyG

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 02:39:36 PM »
Up


DottyG

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 03:28:38 PM »
Bumping this up, because I want to link to it, and I thought it might be easier for people to find if it's at the top.

Plus, it's a good reminder anyway! :)


Spoder

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Re: The story, the whole story and nothing but the story
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2011, 10:51:09 PM »
Yep, it is a good reminder.  :)

Also, I think we need to be careful when using acronyms. It especially helps newbies if something like 'my STBXMIL' is written out as 'my soon-to-be-ex mother-in-law (STBXMIL)' the first time, with the acronym used subsequently.

For acronyms not referring to people, please be mindful that not everyone has the same knowledge base: e.g., we probably all know what AA stands for, but something like BEO (Bacon Eaters Anonymous  :P), not so much.