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Author Topic: Tiffany Burton  (Read 2335 times)
Johnny Hazard
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« on: February 28, 2007, 12:22:28 am »

I started this over the past weekend.  I am not a writer nor profess to be but I am curious how this carries across to anyone aside from me.  Thanks in advance for any constructive criticism or even-handed accolades.

======================

Tiffany wasn't convinced she would ever become accustomed to her new
limb but she freely admitted the arm was beautiful. Shiny brass
plates and cogs held in place with staid, reassuring iron rivets, all
accented with brilliant nickel. The inner workings were still a
mystery to Tiffany although she knew in time the gears and springs
would become as familiar as her fingernails, teeth and hair. The body
needs maintenance and this mechanical art piece now surgically
attached to her right shoulder was very much a part of her body.

At first Dr. Jacobs was concerned about Tiffany's aether temperment,
suggesting she was anemic and potentially too weak for the surgery.
To be fair, the good doctor was somewhat correct. Over a year in
convalescence after the carriage incident had left her weak and
suseptible to the slightest draft. Add to her physical state an
emotional one prone to bouts of individualism, stubborness and
righteous indignation and you could perhaps understand the doctor's
concern. Through daily constitutionals (in secret, in slacks!) in the
Far Garden on the estate and a strange diet devised by the family's
ancient Gypsy cook, her health within a year improved so dramatically
that Dr. Jacobs could no longer deny Tiffany a new arm based on health
alone. It was Jonathan and Olivia Burton, Tiffany's parents, who
proped the final barrier of her emotional instablity against the
surgery.

Tiffany never saw her personality has a deletious one. She was bold,
she was brave, she was her Uncle Richard's niece and not John and
Olivia's daughter. She was also the recipient of several scars, a
twice-broken left leg, a punctured left lung, a curiously notched
right ear and the final gift from tempted fate: a severed right arm.
Tiffany had recovered from all the previous injuries with all the
grace and aplomb befitting a Financier's daughter but the lost arm
became a personal afront to her parents.

The Business Arrangement was immediately canceled upon the news
reaching The Family Ondaatje in New Yorkstown due to the "Previous
Quality of Her Grace Being Heretofor Compromised". Although Tiffany
was happy she would never have to move away across the sea and marry
the ogre the Ondaatje's claimed as a son, John was furious of a
multi-million pound deal severed from his future coffers. John's only
chance was to marry Tiffany off as soon as possible at an enormous
loss and hopefully get his aging Olivia with child again as soon as
possible. And he knew there wasn't a Financier in all of the Old
World or the New that would arrange their son to a half-metal girl.
As Tiffany's life shrank to a small tunnel with her crawling along on
three limbs towards something worse than Ogre Ondaatje at the end of
it, her Uncle came to the estate for his once-every-two-year
appearance.

Uncle Richard was everything a man should be in Tiffany's eyes. He
was courageous and intelligent, fiercely intense but easy tempered
with a quick laugh, strong and dashing and according to Tiffany,
infallible. Unbeknownst to Tiffany he was also known as a charlatan,
an adulturer and womanizer, occassional drug addict and a man of very
low morales when it came to funding his expeditions. But as a New
World poet was quoted as saying before the interior of that continent
went dark, "Do I contradict myself? Of course I do, I contain
multitudes!" And Uncle Richard contained more than a few multitudes.
But Uncle Richard also had more than a few hundred thousand pounds as
well and chose to offer his brother an unheard-of Business
Arrangement: Richard would take Tiffany has his Permanent Ward, Fiscal
Responsibility for Education and Well-Being Being Soley Owned and
Operated by One Sir Richard Burton. Within three months, Tiffany had
her shiny new brass limb.

=============================================

That's it for now.  Worth continuing?
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Petri
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 01:35:36 am »

Haha... I actually kind of liked this story Smiley

Not bad at all. One of the few stories on the forums that I have actually taken my time to read. I like the way you try to make it sound like the story was written in the era it is happening in.

I wouldn't mind a follow-up Grin
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 01:37:32 am »

Master Hazard,
Pray continue.
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 01:40:04 am »

very enjoyable sir.always like a good read. Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 03:51:54 am »

I enjoyed it quite a bit!  I was a bit unsure of the name "Tiffany" in the beginning, but came to like it by the tale's end.
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Johnny Hazard
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 06:25:07 am »

Thanks for the replies and comments.  As I said, I am not a writer but she came into my head recently and I cannot for the life of me get her out.  I do have a layperson's background in Victorian Era exploration history so some of the voice comes from that. 

Trick is where now, what now?  How does one shift narrative sequence in regards to a persistant tense with backflashes?  Or am I worrying too much about details and just write the damn thing?  Or are the devils in the details and I should worry about them? 

In design, which is what I do to make a living, not only are the devils in the detail but detail IS design.  Am I applying a trade rule to the wrong trade?
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CapnHarlock
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007, 09:10:25 am »

I enjoyed the posted bit very much and found it very evocative of the Steampunk atmosphere. I find myself wanting to know what happens next, or intervene : ) - pray, continue..

As to detail, it seems (in my opinion - worth exactly what you paid for it) that the level of description of detail seems to be a hallmark of *punk-style writing - (PLEASE, feel free to disagree and create your own variation). For example, in the "Cyberpunk Classics", the sky isn't grey, it is "the exact color of a television screen tuned to a dead channel", a thing isn't merely sharp, it is "Gerber-edged".

Keep creating (and don't sue me if I "borrow" the Young Lady's background for an upcoming LARP game)
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2007, 11:56:08 am »

John was furious of a multi-million pound deal severed from his future coffers.


My sincere apologies about seeming picky.  Embarrassed
But wouldn't the use of "Guineas or Sovereigns" be better, when dealing in very large amounts?

What is a Guinea?
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CuriousGoods
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2007, 04:24:38 am »

Being named Tiffany, I heartily approve.  Although I sincerely wish my name was Beatrice.
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OHebel Wring
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 02:46:25 pm »

I am sorry it has taken so long to comment, I have had so much to read.  And given the quality of the portion, I am very sorry I did not read this sooner.

Love it.  Love the characters, love the steampunkishness of the details (without forcing it on your reader), I have a lot of respect for this piece of writing, and honestly, look forwards to seeing more of it completed.

Trick is where now, what now?  How does one shift narrative sequence in regards to a persistant tense with backflashes?  Or am I worrying too much about details and just write the damn thing?  Or are the devils in the details and I should worry about them? 

from Stephen King's "On Writing" (even if you aren't a fan of the novels, he has a very good instructional for budding authors)

"I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months…Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel, like a dispatch from the Romanian Department of Public Affairs, or something broadcast on high-band shortwave during a period of severe sunspot activity."

meaning, forget about everything, just let the pen bleed and get the first draft done quickly.  Do it privately, just finish it.  and what is it that they say... the "devil's in the details"?  Get your thoughts out first, then go back and do your edits.

just my humble humble suggestions....  but I really enjoyed the writing.

oh, and I agree with guineas or sovereigns being substituted.  Just for period sake.
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