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Great feedback. Those survival tips kept kept me going. What I liked about them, is that they offer something consistent to look forward to, they'll be be there, no matter what. Thats how I saw the opening of each chapter in Damned. You said in your comment, ''use them to establish authority'' What do you mean by that?

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Chuck, your fundamentals are so on point. Besides all the experience you’ve accumulated, what do you use to keep sharp, in regards to storytelling/structuring/character development etc… you have such a keen insight that seems to come so fluidly, regardless of the subject matter. I study daily, and feel more lost than ever. Thanks in advance, my friend.

Be well 🤙🏼

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Hi Andrew. I dig your work. Does this piece stand on its own? Or is it part of something bigger?

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It's a great short story. Reworking it with Chuck's advice will make it even greater.

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founding

Hey Andrew!

I read your story again a few days ago! Great to see it here on Gloves Off!

I had the same reaction as Chuck in the beginning, where I was physically holding up my hand, trying to do what the narrator was describing. I love the sort of foreshadowing when Marcus is like, didn’t Grizzly Man die? I really really loved discovering that the narrator was a woman! And that Marcus was a potential liar got me to thinking about her being an unreliable narrator, which is super fun. Chuck made some excellent notes about this; I hope you use them. At the end, when I pieced together the title and the ribbons, at the ending, I was like, nononononono!!!!!! You totally got me!

Great job, Andrew.

Great suggestions, Chuck. You fleshing stuff out like this is really helping my self-editing skills.

Andrew, looking forward to seeing where you take this!

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Opening paragraphs are so tricky. I think I understand some traits of a good opening according to your advice...mostly through osmosis. It's a short paragraph. It doesn't reveal too much but it raises questions. And it also doesn't give the reader too much. Maybe focus the opening on a single concept or a single action? And in another Gloves Off, you praised their opening because it didn't explain anything which creates tension, if I'm not mistaken. This feels so weird. Until I discovered your book, I always thought the first line ought to be the most poetic. But your opening lines tend to lean toward the bare-bones.

Feels like I'm being horse and quartered by writing advice lol

This'll take some time.

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Chuck, I'm incredibly grateful for the time and energy you put into this feedback (and for all the teaching you do). I was nodding my head to every word.

It wasn't until now that I realized in a lot of my work, I play it safe with my main characters. Over index on likable and sympathetic. This line will always stick with me: "Readers will adore a clever character that fools everyone except us." Changing the voice of the lead here will go miles. Digging deeper into the vertical. Can't thank you enough. This is just what I needed.

Now to embrace my inner evil, scheming genius on the next draft!

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Off topic: I received my serial killer gift box! It was delightful to go through it and amidst the packing peanuts find all the fun trinkets, candies (peppermint puffs are the BEST!), pet toys (my godkitty will be thrilled), and a gorgeously wrapped box tied with sparkly ribbons!

And then… oh, then… I looked down and saw what you had done. I was now contaminated, and your true intent was revealed. For along with the fun, laugh-inducing surprises was hidden the most contagious, insidious, evil creation of mankind.

I speak of course of glitter. And not just any glitter, but the tiniest grains of multicolored sparkle imaginable. My hands resembled roadkill following a Pride Parade, and any movement only spread the disease exponentially. Carefully, I carried the ticking bomb to the bathtub, found a lint roller, and de-fabuloused myself while giggling and hailing your evil genius.

Well played, sir. I salute you with a blinding rainbow sheen.

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Hey Chuck, can I get your thoughts on something?

In a particular story I'm working on, the MC loves to get rid of stuff and replace them. Not just things but also relationships. And I thought it would be a clever to actually include strikeouts in the text, as a subtle way to show how she likes to rid her life of things. And also the MC used to be married, now recently divorced. Whenever she uses the words "us" and "our," I have her strike it out for "him." Our wedding photos becomes his wedding photos.

Would that effect work?

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Another brilliant Gloves Off! I particularly liked the survival tips throughout; I imagined them as little subtitles that got more and more unhinged as the story goes on.

I also like that this could be part of a larger, developed piece. Like some sort of Lord of the Flies descent into a survival show horror.

Awesome stuff.

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Okay, so, I'm a lifelong sticker user, and it's been at least 30 years since I've had to lick and stick. (gummed stickers still exist but are niche or vintage)

A world with competitive reality shows and GoPros isn't going to have that anymore than it would have payphones.

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founding

Crashing this post with a quick comment on a tiny tech blip. Indulgence.

Chuck, I've noticed that Chapter 29 of Greener Pastures (https://chuckpalahniuk.substack.com/p/greener-pastures-29?s=r) is missing the "Greener Pastures" section tag and not appearing in the full list of chapters (https://chuckpalahniuk.substack.com/s/green-pastures-a-serialized-novel).

Just in case someone's reading it from that section and missing that chapter.

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When you want to add a list to your story, how do you format it? Does it need to be in a paragraph, each item separated with commas? Or can it be an actual list with each item given it's own line?

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Chuck you inspire - check out my fiction and poetry if you find time.

https://tumbleweedwords.substack.com/p/getting-educated-in-south-korea-poem?s=w

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