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Ed
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2009, 05:02:20 AM »

Interesting article on the style sheet, Elay - thanks for that.

Woody - I hadn't thought much about it before I posted, but I now realise the story doesn't actually begin until page 7 grin so I haven't read as much as I thought I had. The title pages and the sea shanty take up the opening pages of the book.

Have to agree with those of you who have picked up on the use of dialect. The modern approach is to give an example or two, early on, then drop it. But we've also got to make allowances for the author having been a product of his era and following the style of his time. One thing that struck me while reading Bram Stoker's Dracula was that we tend to shorthand our descriptions of places because we're all worldly wise these days, and we think we know what the inside of a submarine looks and smells like, or a B&B in Milton Keynes, or a NYC police department, etc., but at the time Dracula was written, most people reading it would not have travelled outside of the county, let alone the country, in which they lived. There was no TV. There were no movies. No radio. The only way people learned about other places, people, dialects, was to travel, to listen to somebody who had been there, or to read about it.

The thing that struck me, though, was that Stoker had created a snapshot of what those places and the people (the Magyar, for instance) were like at that point in time, pre modernity. That is something that'll be largely missing from our fiction in this era, because we assume everybody knows what we're talking about. So, in years to come, readers won't get the little details that tell them what it was like to be alive in the late 20th Century and early 21st. Sad, really.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 05:03:56 AM by Ed » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2009, 06:00:28 AM »

I enjoyed reading that link to the style sheet too. I admit to losing my commas a year or two back but recently have been adding them back in again around independent clauses, etc. I find readability improves with rather than without them especially in novel-length stories.

Geoff
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2009, 08:06:07 AM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:12:54 PM by Woody » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2009, 02:54:21 AM »

I read a bit more last night, and I see what you mean about old Williams and his 'piy-diy' - I reckon I was stuck on that for a good few minutes before giving up, moving on, and finding the answer 'pay-day' in the next couple of lines rolleyes

The word 'blimed' has obviously gone out of common usage, because I've never heard it said. I guess it's a twisting of 'blimey', which in turn originated as 'blind me', or 'God blind me'. It's a mild form of swearing. Just as irritating is his odd spelling of 'fule', 'cent' and other words that sound the same spelt in their proper form - it only serves to confuse.

*spoiler - if you haven't read past page 19*

It took me several reads to understand that the whole of the previous crew, officers and all, left without being paid, in San Fransisco. Pain in the butt.

Interesting to read what Wiki has to say about Willian Hope Hodgeson, though. I had assumed he died in a sea battle during WW1, but he was hit by an artillery shell during a land battle - he didn't want anything to do wit the sea by that point in his life.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 02:56:07 AM »

BTW, Woody - yep, Hodgson's work is public domain now.
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2009, 01:52:38 PM »

*spoiler page 34 ish)*

Can't help thinking old Williams might have survived with the help of a few elocution lessons. Styll, thank Gord ees ded, ey?
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2009, 05:31:46 PM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:13:08 PM by Woody » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2009, 05:46:18 PM »

Yeah, I was beginning to wonder about the way he tells you what's going to happen ahead of time. I take it that's his way of keeping you interested. There's a little hook at the end of every chapter, too. It's a bit of a clumsy device, IMO.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2009, 04:56:14 PM »

I'm about half way through, now - page 55, and it's starting to get interesting with this ghost ship appearing and disappearing. I'm surprised that he's talking about 'other dimensions', given when the book was written. I wasn't aware those sorts of concepts were around back then.

So, how many of us are reading this book, and how many have finished it, or whereabouts are you if you're still reading? huh
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« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2009, 05:26:32 PM »

I'm only on chapter three. Haven't had the chance to pick it up in about a week. Hoping to get back to it after I get my crits done.
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« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2009, 08:20:09 PM »

I'm done. Finished about a week ago.
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« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2009, 11:36:09 AM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:13:22 PM by Woody » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2009, 10:59:20 AM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:13:40 PM by Woody » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2009, 11:39:59 PM »

Just finished 'The Ghost Pirates'.

What a great book. Full of atmosphere and really brought to life the everyday activities on a sailing ship.

I was also quite amazed at the references to alternate dimensions and magnetic anomolies. Also, you got the feeling that Jessop was spared because he was more 'receptive' to the spirits than the rest of the crew - which is also why Tammy almost survived.

Found myself wondering if Hodgson was influenced by the ship the 'Demeter' from 'Dracula' - a ghost ship, where one-by-one the crew disappears.

As for the huge number of commas, well that was the style then - as was the use of dialect, which I thought worked rother well, except for Stubbins who sounded like a Cockney trying to talk posh. 'Hisn't that so?'

On the negative side, the story was in need of a final edit. There were too many characters whose names started with 'J', and just after half way through the book, everyone 'sung out' when they spoke. Furthermore, unnecessary and irritating repetitions could have been avoided.

Oh, and I've no idea what the sea shanty was about at the beginning.

Otherwise, what a great book, and from a writing point of view I've leaned a lot - honist oi 'ave!

DW Cheesy
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« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2009, 03:36:37 AM »

I finished a few days ago, and I'd have to say over all I enjoyed it, though a question kept popping into my head as I read it - why did the ghosts wait before making their move? Why pick off one man at a time when just a few of them could have murdered the whole crew at any time, being that half of them would be in their bunks anyway.

After having read the book, I reckon Pirates of the Carribean borrowed pretty heavily on some of Hodgsen's concepts.

Another thing that struck me is Lovecraft was right. According to Wiki, he said of the book, something like, world class, but for the inclusion of common sentimentality. All those bits where he felt in quite a funk were not necessary, I think.

And again, as we recently discussed in the crit group, this is a story where for much of the time people just have stuff happen to them. They're not very proactive in the storyline.
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