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THIS IS MY FAVORITE DAY ON PLANET EARTH! All at once, my favorite restaurant announced a return to late-night, fine dining. This real, underground, steak and fries until 4am kind of vibe. IDK, maybe it's a Midwest thing. ANYWAY I CRIED when I read the news. And now this. What a blessed day to be alive! I absolutely love these ideas - I've assembled twenty-eight short/micro stories about teeth - and I cannot wait to revisit this piece! THANK YOU A TRILLION TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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That's fascinating, the idea of focusing on teeth. You've got a zany tone, I'd just like to see you push it.

But that's just my MO: Escalate. And while you've got that tooth, and you've mentioned nursing, you might just let the baby bite down too hard...

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founding

“And while you’ve got that tooth...you might just let the baby bite down too hard”

Typical Chuck 😂😂😂

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What's worse. Since the narrator says the tooth will come out, guess where that tooth will (must) be stuck? Ouch!

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founding

If you guys only knew...

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Hah! Thirty years a young mother in Tom's workshop depicted the ill effects of a breast pump. It was such great on-the-body that I still wince remembering it. Good physical detail imprints on your entire body.

Where that writer is today, who knows? But her work is still in my head.

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Chuck beats into our heads about whole not using dialogue to progress the plot. It really wasn't until I was watching a video about screenplay disection on youtube that it really made the point click in my head. The light blub came on. I had my Ah-ha momment. Little cherubs flew down from heaven to award me a sugar free Wether's Original from God himself with a note that said "good job stupid." Anyways, if I rely on dialogue to push my plot forward then I can't have fun with the dialogue. If I have to rely on the characters on telling the reader everything they need to know then I am failing in some way as the writer. I am really just there to lead the reader down a path and hope that it is the same destination that I intended. If not, well I revise and try again.

Thank you for the story Joel.

Thank you for the lesson Chuck.

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Yeah, force Reader to carry the emotion. Create the co-ordinates wherein someone might feel a certain way instead of saying, "they felt this way/that". Very subtle though much more effective if studied the difference.

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It makes so much sense when you put it that way. Going to try focusing on this for my next piece.

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founding

Where is this video you speak of? Would you be so kind as to share it?

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https://youtu.be/eRfXcWT_oFs (watch this if you don't get another link)

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no, this was not was I was referring too. This youtube video is ponderous long and boring.

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Well that's your opinion, man.

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That's what I thought I'd be doing originally: screenplaying/screenwriting whatever. And then Chuck found me.

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In the psych ward to be specific.

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Better than finding you in the hospice.

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Maybe less an absence of opioids in the hospice though.

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https://youtu.be/dxJmlRtoDe4

This is a Robothead video which is mainly a guy that talks about how much Disney Starwars sucks because it has horrible writing. That aside, the important part of the video is at the 4:18 min mark to about 11:03 min mark. He gives several great examples of show don't tell in modern cinema. At 8:24 mark in the video it talks about Roy's speech from the end of blade runner (great example). At 9:18 mark it refers to the speech in gremlins where a character talks about them finding her father on christmas. Which I think is something Chuck has referenced before as a wonderful moment in Cinema during workshop. I could be wrong. You could watch the whole video but its mainly the narrator ripping on star wars which isn't important.

https://www.youtube.com/@filmcourage FilmCourage youtube channel has alot of nice little short videos under 15 mins about story construction while not really minimalism fiction tips the overall craft tips can be applied to i'll try to find the clip I watched about not using dialogue to further the plot and post it below.

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This is the particular clip about crafting dialogue that I was referring too but the point clicked for me before the 15 min mark if I remember correctly:

https://youtu.be/qfQpJxRP8ew

Its a long video at over an hour but it is a good collection of different artists talking about dialogue so the whole video may be great i just haven't gotten around to watching this while doing a chore of some sort yet.

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founding

Oh man, thank you so much for these, Seattle.

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Thanks for sharing Joel. I’m eager to see what you make with Chuck’s feedback. The opening paragraphs were really engaging but that fizzled out somewhat as the story moved too much into the narrator’s head.

Thanks again

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You’ve got the voice down! Very comedic and self effacing. It lends itself to a lot of good lines (the one about girls in China immediately comes to mind.)

Now I want to see this voice interacting with the actual world. Can he be saying some of this stuff to the mother? The father? How would they react? Would they react at all?

Now how does he physically interact with the world? Does he knock the equipment around? Does he know how any of it works?

I think a lot of interesting stuff will come about once you start pulling this character out of his head a bit.

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founding

Very nice story, Joel. Well done, pal. Love the pace, love humour.

Also, 28 short stories about teeth? That’s fascinating. I mean, then you might as well push for 32 to cover the whole mouth.

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i pitched the collection as in, 'the adult human mouth has 28 teeth, absent any wisdom. similarly, this book has 28 stories about teeth. similarly, absent any wisdom.' - anyway, it's something like that. :-D

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Apr 27, 2023Liked by Chuck Palahniuk

Hey Joel!

Thanks for sharing your story! Glad to read this again with Chuck's comments.

Love how the title and first paragraph are connected; both have to do with language. And how we are put in the narrator's head, and his process of going back and forth with thoughts. When you ask, "Is that even German?" It creates a close proximity between the narrator and reader, like he is talking to me.

You do this proximity trick again when you start the third paragraph, "Listen." And I like how you call back the same words from the original paragraph but in a different order:

1) The point is you really have to listen

2) Listen, the point is...

The neonatal teeth are awesome. Because they are horrific! The narrator has good head authority about neonatal teeth (though I do agree it's hard to picture what is happening in Paragraph 5 when the topic is brought up), and bringing them up makes a promise to me, the reader, that the baby from Paragraph 1 is probably going to have neonatal teeth, and in P6, you make good on that promise.

As I read further, I'm expecting the neonatal teeth to be the source of tension in the story, then come to find out, it's actually that the baby is not the father's. I wonder how you can amp up the tension in this more. What is at stake for the narrator? Or even for the mother or the baby?

To me, it seems like what's at stake is this moment of embarrassment for the narrator, who's a newbie in the L&D room. But what else could up the tension before we get the reveal? Like Chuck suggested--perhaps the "father" is flirting with the narrator.

All in all, I love your consistent use of theme "language" throughout.

I like this line, how it brings out the narrator's voice: "I even said it like that: QUAH-SAHNTS. You know. Committed to the bit."

Fun to read, and learned some new facts(???). Convincing enough to be read as real facts, so A plus on authority.

Write on!

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THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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