I don't want to make the main character too likeable for exactly that reason, Sionainn. She really resents Emily because Emily is bossy, but I want you to be able to see that she probably wouldn't be much different if she were in charge.
I'll post more as it comes to light ...
You do that very well with your last sentence, Nef. "Mum would make me share, and then I’d get in trouble for not sharing. Mum was so unfair sometimes." Exactly the same 'me, me, me' attitude that Emily has!
Is this story for a competition? You said you were working towards a deadline.
Not a competition as such, but Sleepers Almanac is taking submissions for a couple of months. I want to get a couple of stories up to scratch and choose one to submit.
I've not heard of that. A publication of some kind?
google sleepers publishing. They do a short story anthology each year, focussing on new writers.
This is part of something I started posting on obernosriwin yesterday, which is coming along rather nicely. I'm tentatively calling it "Attn: HR. Subject: Selection criteria"
1. Ability to communicate appropriately at different levels. Demonstrate ability to interact with different stakeholders in the community.
I possess strong communication skills and am able to use such skills in both my work and day-to-day life in a dynamic and effective manner.
I have, from a young age, been exposed to a broad range of groups within the community. I passed my formative years in the
I am able to converse fluently in many of the 16 strayn dialects spoken in Nusinny (except for Murylins as I have not yet been able to locate a speaker who will teach me the dialect rather than attempt to gnaw at some body part still attached to me) and I am relatively comfortable communicating with members of many of these language groups.
At the estimated age of 10, I entered into the utslib school as an apprentice. I was fortunate to receive a full education a the school, gaining a ‘completed’ certificate four months before the school was overrun by the Glebs and destroyed. In that school I was taught to read and write, including the skill of spelling, and am able to decipher and translate a significant portion of the written texts on display, depending on the corresponding skill of the writer. The school also specialised in numeracy, weapons production and combat skills, which have equipped me to deal with interacting with a broad spectrum of the community.
I can also communicate effectively in written form. With my ability to understand the various spoken dialects of the residents of Nusinny, I am able to gain an understanding of a given text by reading that text out loud and determining the dialect by the phonetic markers contained therein. I can recognise the tags of the leading gangs within the city and am conversant with the system of painted warnings and territory markers employed by such organisations. I am confident that I would be able to apply and further develop this skill in the course of employment with your department.
I communicate with different elements of the community on a day-to-day basis. Living and working in the central commercial area exposes me regularly to various cultural groups within the community. I live on the outskirts of the Standard zone and our neighbourhood faces incursions from other neighbourhoods and infestations of halfers. I am able to cooperate with the requisite people in order to repel such attacks and maintain the integrity of our neighbourhood and the standard zone as a whole.
An example of my ability to communicate cross-culturally would be that in my current employment, I am required to deal with persons or halfers who are either disaffected with the commercial activities of my employer, or who are keen to pillage the warehouse for the stores contained therein. I am capable of dealing with the former in a calm yet firm manner, informing them of the complaint process and removing them from the various OH&S risks which comprise our security set up. I am also comfortable in firing warning or kill shots at raiders and engaging in extermination of persistent halfers. I can communicate effectively in both verbal and non-verbal contexts and have been recognised and rewarded by my current employer for my skills in this area.
(NB: There are four more questions, but this is the furthest along in terms of content)
'The school also specialised in numeracy, weapons production and combat skills, which have equipped me to deal with interacting with a broad spectrum of the community.' 'I can communicate effectively in both verbal and non-verbal contexts and have been recognised and rewarded by my current employer for my skills in this area.' ROFL!!!!
Love it. Are you planning this to be part of a larger story?
Nope - when I finish the selection criteria, that will be it - I kinda like the idea of the document being a snapshot of someone's life while leaving gaping holes in the narrative ... like how did he/she get into utslib? how did he/she survive at all? My character has no name, no gender and you won't even know if they get the job.
Sigh. SIGH. SIIIGGGHHHHHH.
I actually have to agree with you, Nef. The snapshot idea is very fun--even if slightly frustrating for eager readers :P
To be honest, I really don't have an idea for a background story, and I can't be bothered to make one up. I just want to get a story (ANY story) completed ... and this seems to be my best bet right now. I have so many story ideas languishing in my head that I don't want to force one out at short notice.
I don't think every idea needs a background story. (I wish this was something my brain would learn already) Sometimes going into the background just overcomplicates and degrades writing--not all the time, but I think some things ought to be left open and simple.
If you think this is one that you can get done, then by all means keep it simple and go for it. It's a fun idea to expand but it's still great as it is now. :)
I agree. I just want more words :(. They help me procrastinate!
Part 2 - not so good. It needs work
2. Demonstrate effective negotiation skills, showing an outcome-based approach.
I believe that I have a strong claim in negotiating. I have a great deal of experience in this area and would welcome an opportunity to further my skills in it.
I am currently still alive, which, given my lack of parents and other protective adult figures throughout my early life, is demonstrative of my innate skills in this area. I exterminated my first halfer at the estimated age of four (as best I can remember) during a dispute between a group of halfers and standards as to territorial rights of the community in which I then resided. I was unarmed in that conflict and assisted in the resolution of the conflict with the aid of a near-by brick. My participation in this conflict emphasised to me the need to acquire and develop skills in this vital area of human and non-human interaction.
As I mentioned previously, I have been well schooled in the use and production of weapons, as well as techniques in hand-to-hand combat, and won the prestigious Utslib combat competition in my final year at the school, in which competition 14 of the 17 contestants did not survive the competition. The high mortality rate of this competition is indicative of the high level of skill required to not only survive the competition but to win.
My education at the Utslib school included a component devoted to negotiation and conflict management. In that component I learned how to both issue and respond to warnings, threats and outright attacks. The subject dealt with assuring passage, both safe and otherwise, from a given situation in which the acceptable level of hostility had been breached. Our assessment in that component was to negotiate our way back to the school from the further reaches of the southern shire, travelling through several hostile districts and thus displaying the skills we had learned in human and halfer interaction. I successfully navigated through the southern shires back to the school within the acceptable time frame, being one week.
Following my apprenticeship at Utslib school, I was for a time the leader of an outskirts patrol cadre, whose primary role was assist in maintaining the safety of outskirt neighbourhoods from outside invasion or infestation. In that role, I routinely met with community leaders in order to
• discuss the various threats to the neighbourhood;
• brainstorm and implement strategies designed to counteract and neutralise those threats to the neighbourhood;
• negotiate modest compensation for my cadre’s past and continuing protection of the community; and
• devise payment plans for that compensation, or discuss an equivalent restitution for non-payment of that compensation
My cadre were an effective and profitable organisation, one which only disbanded after the black spot plague which struck the city several years ago, and which claimed 70% of the cadre. As the leader of the cadre, I was respected in the communities we protected for the prompt and comprehensive protection of the communities whose protection I coordinated, but also for the reasonable manner in which I conducted negotiations with community representatives and the fair compensation which we requested in return for our services. During my time in this role, I did not receive any feedback regarding customer dissatisfaction.
'I am currently still alive' Haha, love this! 'During my time in this role, I did not receive any feedback regarding customer dissatisfaction.' This bit is really amusing because I imagine that any customers who would be dissatisfied would be too busy being dead to actually lodge a complaint.
Anyway, I do agree that this bit needs some work, however. Some of the sentences run on a bit and make it a little difficult to establish their point.
I just don't think that it flowed well as a whole. There are some OK bits, but I need to rethink this one later (once I've fleshed out the other three questions). the biggest mistake? I broke the sacred STAR method of selection criteria: Situation, Task, Action and Response. In my attempt to be witty and tell a story, I've moved away from the soulless writing that is selection criteria.
'My participation in this conflict emphasised to me the need to acquire and develop skills in this vital area of human and non-human interaction.'
Ha ha ha. That is just too funny! The whole thing wasn't bad, though - definitely has potential; I noticed repetitive use of the word 'competition' in there somewhere. It won't take much tweaking to make it flow as well as the rest, I think.
That is a tricky balance to keep: the wit and soul of the story vs the formal STAR formula. I think the second part jis fine, it jyst needs a bit of rewording in parts to make it sound more formulaic and formal. On the whole, though, I love the concept of this. It's very different, and your wit, which is always fun to read, works well with this idea.
WOOT! I am on a roll!
NEW BLOG ENTRY!!!! click my sig for Blyton goodness!!!
Would anyone be free to edit a story for me early next week (hopefully)? It shouldn't be more than 5000 words. Here's the opening (which I may have posted earlier, and which has edits to be taken in):
We were playing princesses today.
The game was pretty boring for me. The princes were coming to see Emily (she was Princess Penny today even though she knew that Penny was my favourite name and I wanted to be Penny, but she took the name anyway). That was because she was the prettiest of us three and that meant that she got to be boss and say what happened. Emily had blonde hair, so that must be prettier but I’ve never really thought about who was the prettiest and why being prettiest let you do all the fun stuff. I had to sit and watch because none of the princes wanted to talk to me because I wasn’t as pretty as Emily. Emily was wearing the long purple swishy dress from the dress-up box because as the boss of the game she got to choose first. I got the yellow one with sequins on the skirt. It sparkled a lot when I walked and swished around, and I liked that. April got the blue cape.
I was the second prettiest and I was called princess Cimorene, like that princess the princess from the book I’m reading who gets to be friends with dragons and fight people. She liked to learn boys stuff like building fences (I don’t know why she liked it – she was always fencing with people, but when dad built our fence he was always complaining and wouldn’t let me help) and doing magic. But she didn’t really want to be a princess. Emily thought it was a silly name and said that Cimorene didn’t sound like a proper princess, but she was still reading little kids books with more pictures than words so she only knew what princesses looked like, not what they did. I was allowed to borrow books from the big kids section because I could read bigger words really fast. Emily said that I was a teacher’s pet because of that but I didn’t think I was.
I'm happy to do it, Nef. I like this story. Do you have a deadline?
You earlier posted a slightly later snippet than the one above, I think. Where the narrator was trying to avoid allowing her friend to ride her bike :).
I'm up for it as well. :)
You know that selection criteria thing? I wrote some more. Let me know what you think:
3. Knowledge of, or ability to acquire knowledge of, the technology and processes of the central authority. Demonstrate general aptitude for technology.
I do not currently have knowledge of the Central Authority’s technologies as I am aware that unauthorised acquisition of such technologies is a capital offence. I have been scrupulous in not acquiring such forbidden knowledge throughout my career, despite it being available on occasion.
I am comfortable with such technology as comes my way. The majority of my experience with old techs has been with machines designed to support infrastructure. For example, during my apprenticeship, I became very familiar with methane based power-generators, from low-level maintenance and fuel acquisition through to the principles of such power production. I have applied my education in this regard from time to time throughout my career, in particular the education in relation to the OH&S aspects of the combustibility of methane gas.
I am familiar with word processing programs, and have employed them on such occasion as I have been possessed of a working computer. My typing skills are adequate to complete an allocated task, and my ability to write and spell in standard is of great assistance when faced with the spell-check virus. I have seen a word-processed document be sent electronically, and I am confident that I could emulate such an action, were I required to do so. I have a strong understanding of what to do when faced with a computer afflicted with “IE6”, and have destroyed four machines to date that were infected with that virus.
I can drive both mechanical and beast-propelled vehicles. I am conversant in the care of beasts and general maintenance of a number of types of vehicles. I have not been accustomed to the use of halfers as the means of vehicle propulsion, being of the opinion that those beings are too inefficient to undertake such a task. I understand that it is not the policy of your department to employ the creatures in this capacity, so I do not see that this lack of ability would be an issue
I always love your dry humour, Nef :). In particular, the comment about the "virus IE6" is gold! I did think the paragraph about methane was a little obscure. I'm thinking that you chose to focus on methane because that's one of the gases produced during flatulence, and, as many teenage boys now, that gas is flammable. In that context, all the stuff about OH&S and combustibility is hilarious, but was that what you were driving at?
I love it. I really need to catch up on everyone's writing sometime soon.