[BP] No-Point Lad and the Dismal-Hope Kid #1

Martin Phipps phippsmartin at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 10 11:38:29 PDT 2004

drtimphd at yahoo.com (drtimphd) wrote in message
news:<58265bf5.0409091009.3da84ab7 at posting.google.com>...

> AUTHOR'S NOTES: Hey, my first story posted to RACC!  I hope you guys
> liked it.  It was written almost a week ago now, along with #2.
> It's
> a little short due to the fact I'm trying to write No-Point Lad & the
> Dismal-Hope Kid's adventures on a single lined sheet of paper.  It may
> seem rough because it came right from my brain, with a little editing
> thrown in.  I want it to be like this, some would call it creative
> vision.  This is mine.

We all write the stories we want to write.  Then the RACCies come
along and why we're not even nominated.  Then we try harder and we
still don't get nominated.  Finally after several years we get
nominated as "moved improved writer" and secretly wonder if that means
that people thought everying we wrote for ten years before that was
crap.  Then we feel paranoid and wonder if this is all revenge for our
not liking other people's writing in the past.

Okay, so maybe we don't ALL do ALL of that.

> Boring Publications Presents...
>                       NO-POINT LAD & THE DISMAL-HOPE KID #1
>                                    By Tim Munn
> 	The journey was long and difficult for him, but more so for his
> friend the Dismal-Hope Kid.  D-HK had been dragging him across half
> the country.  But could one argue after not having to do the long,
> difficult job of walking yourself?  He wasn't going to complain.

This paragraph is awkward.  First, you need a comma after "friend". 
The third sentence should be "But how could he complain when he hadn't
had to do the long, difficult job of walking himself?"  This is
because in the first and second sentences No Point Lad is referred to
as "him" so it is more consistent to use "he" and "himself" rather
than "one" and "yourself".  It also makes more sense to use "complain"
here even if you have to use "complain" twice.  You might complain
that I am being picky but you shouldn't argue that "complain" and
"argue" mean the same thing.

> 	But as is human nature, if not generally, then Dismal-Hope Kid's,
> there has to be a complainer.  "Ahh!  We're not going to get through
> this!  I have had no food or drink in the last three days!"  He said,
> raising three fingers to illustrate.

A complainer is someone who complains.  I think you meant "complaint".
 Also the first sentence should be in past tense.  "But as it is human
nature -or if not human nature then at least Dismal-Hope Kid's nature-
to complain, there had to be a complaint."  Finally, the last sentence
isn't a separate sentence: "He said" should be "he said".  Plus, you
illustrate by drawing a picture.  I think "for emphasis" is more
descriptive than "to demonstrate".

> 	"What's the point in eating?"  No-Point Lad said.  He raised his
> hands to the sky, sighing loudly.  "Its overrated if you ask me.  We
> should be like plants and get our food from our skin."

"No point Lad said." is not a sentence all by itself.  You should only
have one space between the quote and the N.

> 	D-HK looked at him confused.  "Get up and get us something to eat." 
> He managed.  He was lucky really; confusion often overtook him in
> times like these.  But hey, it was the way he was written.

You could use more commas.  You put in commas, in sentences like this
one, in order to make the sentences easier to read, because they tell
readers where to pause.  So a comma before "confused" and another one
after "eat" and another one before "hey" would all be appropriate.

> 	N-PL sighed and replied: "You know there's no point in that.  Do you
> remember the time we face the Bored Enigma?  You wanted to me to help
> you beat him?  Well, there was no point to it, so he whooped you like
> a baseball.  You're hopes of not getting severely whopped were as
> pointless then as they are now."  He said, reminding D-HK of a full
> one-third of their adventures.  He could recall their other adventure,
> but that would be going against his recently established idiom of
> having no point.

I'm getting confused by D-HK and N-PL.  Next time, if you want to save
your typing fingers, use copy and paste so that the readers can be
reminded who the characters are.

No Point Lad is talking about a time in the past (He said "Do you
remember...?) so he should use the past tense consistently ("faced"
not "face").

"You're" means "You are" so "You're hopes" means "You are hopes" which
doesn't make sense.  You meant "your".  Besides, I think you meant
"chances", not "hopes".

Is the verb that No Point Lad is using here "whooped" or "whopped"?

An idiom is a common saying like "What's your point?" or "There's no
point!"  No Point Lad doesn't establish idioms: he uses them.  By
making a point he would be "going against the whole point of having no
point".  There's no point No Point Lad ever making a point because the
whole point is that he never has a point.

> 	"Oh."  D-HK said, seeming to think on this.  "So if the world were to
> end, you'd still be lying there, complaining there's no point in
> saving the world?"  He asked N-PL as seriously as he possibly could.

Dismal Hope Lad is complaining about No Point Lad complaining but No
Point Lad had been dragged by Dismal Hope Lad across half the country
without No Point Lad complaining.  Or did I read that wrong?

> 	"Exactly!  That's why we have super-teams.  I vote for So-and-So Team
> to save the world, or So-and-So Hero to save the world."  He said,
> trying to explain it as simply as possible.  "There's no point in me
> saving the world when there are super-heroes around."

Again, "He asked" and "He said" don't start new sentences.

> 	D-HK grunted and drove his foot into the dusty soil.  "We're freaking
> super-heroes, man!  We could try to save the world more often.  Our
> chances would be slim to none though."  He said, realizing his powers
> of Dismal Hope were taking hold.

How do Dismal Hope Lad's powers work?  Does he create a field of
dismal hope much like Limp Asperagus Lad creates a drama dampening
field or does his power just affect himself?  This would have been a
good time to say.

> 	N-PL laughed and rose to his feet.  He clapped D-HK on the back. 
> "Ah!  Now you see the point in having no point!"

Is No Point Lad actually making a point here?  

> 	"Yeah!"  D-HK replied.  But a look of realization flew over his face.
>  "Hey!  I thought your powers were that of Having No Point?!"  He
> said, shaking N-PL by the shoulders.

Ah!  That was deliberate.  Never mind.

> 	"Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!  I do have one point!"  He screamed
> in joy.  "I have a point!"  He screamed again, jumping up and down and
> doing his victory dance.

So next issue does he change his name to Point Man?

I wanted to give you feedback and ended up MSTing your entire story,
or at least I would have been MSTing you if the guys on MST went so
far as to make fun of grammar and punctuation.  Now I've probably
scared you off, invited the wrath of those on this group who might not
believe in constructive criticism and will probably have to settle
once again for "Best Flame War" in next year's RACCies, although
personally I don't equate criticism with flamage.  I hope you feel the
same way.


More information about the racc mailing list