Stationery Pt II

monstroooo's avatar
By monstroooo
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The lift beeped and Stanley pushed the trolley out onto the first floor, where most of Greenlight Insurance's business was done. It was casually referred to as 'The Office' by everyone who worked in the building. The call centre was to his left, the soft buzz of conversation humming across the corridor. To his right were the administration and underwriting departments. Anticipation rising, Stanley headed straight towards the call centre. He exited the corridor to enter a long, wide room with desks clustered strategically, low partitions dividing work areas and huge CRT monitors gobbling up  impractical amounts of desk space.

"It's trouble, that's what it is," warbled Mandy (senior underwriter and incessant moaner) as Stanley passed. "Oh, morning Stanley!" she added, with a little wave, holding the phone to her chest.

"Morning Mandy," Stanley replied with a nod and smile, dropping a tatty brown A4 envelope into her 'in' tray. Mandy continued to moan down the line.

Stanley pushed his mail cart around the office, delivering greetings and post as he went. He swiftly arrived at Rachel's desk, noting her absence. Her handbag was on the floor though, and a half-finished cup of tea sat on her desk (black, a habit adopted from her travelling days in Thailand), so she was at least in the office. Stanley checked her stationery draw (full of paper, Post-Its and memo sheets), as well as her pen pot (pretty well stocked, including a well-chewed blue Biro. Stanley left it, knowing that she'd prefer it that way, but gave her pencil a quick sharpen). Satisfied that everything was in order, he moved on away from her cubicle-

And there she was.

Beautiful Rachel, looking wonderfully neat today in a dark grey blazer with matching grey trousers, hugging her legs tightly until they ended in a pair of black, low-heeled boots. Her jacket was open at the front, revealing a deep red polo-neck top. Her brown hair, which sometimes flashed like gold when it caught the light just so, fell down to her shoulders in a high pony-tail. She looked, in short, gorgeous. And worried. She was peering anxiously at the printer, tapping buttons almost at random and chewing on a pen (black Biro, lidless).

Over her shoulder stood Aaron, one hand unconsciously scratching his rough stubble while he chewed a piece of gum. He pointed occasionally at one of the buttons on the printer's keypad, or squinted curiously at one of the many recessed trays. He frowned whenever Rachel did, his dark brows pinching in an obnoxiously handsome way. He wore his light blue shirt with its top button open, a stripey tie hanging loosely around his neck. A small tattoo was just visible creeping up the side of his neck, a vaguely Celtic streak poking just above the loose line of his collar.

Stanley strolled over, leaning slightly on the trolley so as to make one wheel squeak. Aaron and Rachel both looked up as he approached.

"Look," said Aaron, redundantly, "it's Postman Prat!"

Rachel looked down suddenly, raising a hand to her mouth, and frowned again at the keys.

Stanley walked on, ignoring the jibe.

"Hey, Stan," Aaron called. "Give us a hand mate?"

Stanley stopped at Jamie Burrow's desk, taking up some mail from her outbox with exaggerated care.

"What's up, Aaron?" he asked, leafing casually through the letters, peering closely at each before dropping them into the mailbag.

"Oh, hello Rachel," he said, looking up and pretending to see her for the first time.

Her emerald eyes twinkled as they met his for a brief moment.

"Hi, Stanley," she said. "This bloody printer's broken again."

"Sort it out, will you mate?" Aaron asked again. "Rachel will give you a kiss!"

Rachel tutted and lazily waved a hand at Aaron, catching him in the chest. Stanley's gaze followed the movement jealously.

"Will you have a look for us, Stanley?" she asked.

"Um," Stanley hesitated – desperate to help Rachel, but not wanting to rise to Aaron's bait. "I... can't you call I.T.?"

"You know what they're like..." Rachel shrugged.

"It'll only take you a minute!" protested Aaron. "Mate, it's all hitting the fan today. We can't wait for I.T., can we Rach?"

Rachel shook her head.

"Well, alright," Stanley said, stepping away from the trolley. "I'll have a quick look."

"Thank you, Stanley," Rachel said with a smile.

Stanley crossed over to try and see what was wrong. Rachel stepped back and rested against a table-top, arms crossed. But Aaron stepped right in front of the printer, standing tall and staring Stanley in the eye.

"Um," said Stanley, a little nervously. "Can I take a look, then?"

Aaron chewed gum at him.

"Aaron?" Rachel prompted. Aaron backed off, a smirk plastered over his face.

"Thanks," Stanley said, stepping up. The printer was a huge beast: about three foot tall, beige, normally full of clicks and whines. It was silent now though; a little light flashed amber on top of the printer panel.

"It's just a paper jam," Stanley said, in case anyone was listening. He squatted down, opening a couple of panels on the front of the printer. Then he saw it – a single sheet of plain A4, crumpled up beneath one of the printer's many rollers.

"Mmm-hm," he hummed to himself. He pulled the paper out slowly, delicately holding the paper between his fingers, tugging gently to try and remove it evenly. After a little jiggling it came out. Stanley scrunched up the paper, dropped it in the bin, and closed up the trays on the printer.

"There," he said, with a satisfied nod.

The printer whirred back into life: cranking and humming frantically. Paper started feeding into a tray to one side.

"Wonderful! Stanley, you're a genius," said Rachel.

Stanley smiled to himself. He reached out to a single sheet of paper, feeding rapidly through the printer tray, and gripped it tenderly between his thumb and forefinger. It was warm to the touch. He released his hold and it fell gently on top of the other sheets. He ran a finger down one edge of the short stack of paper, feeling the grooved surface. He waited a moment, then took up the pile. It was warm on top – he placed a palm flat against it, feeling the heat creep through his hand. He stroked the paper gently, noticing its smooth, almost imperceptible grain; the brilliant bright whiteness of it; the clear contrast between the black letters and the white page. He leaned closer – noticing a faint tangy smell – to better examine the clean edges of the typeface. A beautiful page. Immaculate – not a drop of ink out of place, every line straight and true; every curve smooth and graceful.

Aaaron leant over in a rush of mint (hint of sweat), roughly seized the paper from the tray, and shuffled it around in his hands.

"Right," he said, turning his back to Stanley and striding off down the office. "Rachel, go and tell Sue the printer's up, she can start the meeting ASAP."

Rachel gave Stanley a sad little smile, then set out across the office to find the chief underwriter, Sue.

The printer gave one last click, then hummed back down into silence.

Stanley gave it a last look, ran a finger across a rounded corner of its beige casing, and returned to his post round. He dropped off the last of the mail as the office swept itself into a frenzy. Phones slammed down, chairs skidded across the carpet, drawers were slammed. Everyone made their way into a small conference room at the back of the call centre, gathering around a table clutching pads of paper. By the time Stanley had finished his round, only a skeleton team of two manned the phones.

As he made he way out of the call centre, he paused by Rachel's desk. He glanced around – no-one was paying attention.

He tenderly tore a sheet of paper from Rachel's notepad, listening to the slow sigh as the page peeled away from its binding. He smoothed the paper out over the desk, tracing his fingers across the lightly textured surface. He folded over a corner so it touched the far edge and pushed down firmly along the crease in a single smooth motion. He then folded over the remaining edge of the page, creased that, and raised it to his mouth. He wet his tongue and ran it slowly across the crease, teasing saliva across the line to moisten the fold.

After the briefest hesitation, he placed the paper on the desk, prised open the folds, and laid his hands on either side of the sheet. In one quick motion, he pulled his hands apart, tearing the page across the moist vertical fold. It separated with a quiet gasp, leaving a large square sheet and a smaller rectangular one.

Discarding the smaller sheet, Stanley focused his attention on the square, a diagonal crease interrupting its smooth centre. He folded the paper across the opposite diagonal, opened it out and flipped it over, before making another fold horizontally, and then vertically. His forefinger swept firmly along each crease, feeling the heat of friction licking against his skin. He opened the page out once more, its edges curling up away from the desk. He folded it in on itself to make a tiny diamond, then turned each edge in towards the centre; folding and twisting and folding and flipping the paper in a flurry of frantic motion.

And then he stopped, gazing for a moment at the small kite shape in front of him.

Stanley carefully edged his fingers into one of the points of the kite, teasing apart the folds, and eased the paper back on itself. The sheet's edges rubbed against one another as it peeled backwards, while Stanley's fingers crept underneath the fold, forcing out its edges into clean lines. He flipped the paper over and repeated the process on the other side, gently opening the kite out into a diamond. He spun the diamond around, folded over its edges and creasing the lines once more. His fingers flushed red as they caressed the edges of the paper: folding and pushing, creasing, flipping folding turning. The paper writhed and flexed, changing from a diamond to a vixen's head to a 'w'.

Stanley sighed softly, his work almost complete. He pinched the base of the 'w', teased and stretched out the peaks in different directions, then folded over the corner of one long, thin extrusion.

A tiny paper crane sat on the desk. Stanley stroked its peaked little head tenderly, then placed it at the base of Rachel's monitor. Looking up and around the office for the first time, he was pleased to note that he wasn't being watched.

Stanley retreated to the post trolley and pushed on across the office and into the lift, staring at the floor to hide the smile that crept across his lips.

Afternoon forced itself upon on the day like an unenthusiastic lover, and Stanley found himself touring the office once more. The admin department was frantic, the call centre a veritable blizzard. The afternoon post had brought a tidal wave of post in and out of the building, and Stanley had struggled to keep up. It was half past four by the time he pushed the trolley out of the post room for his late round. Sleeves rolled up, he headed straight to the second floor without hesitation.

"Hold the lift!" a voice cried as Stanley entered the executive offices, the door closing smoothly behind him.
Startled, he hit the "up" button outside the lift to hold it – the doors sliding back open with an unimpressed grunt. Stanley looked down the corridor to see the silver-streaked man from the morning meeting striding towards him. Behind him, Mr Greening staggered out of his office, his face red and flustered.

"You can't do this, Harvey!" he shouted down the corridor. "You have no right!"

"No right?" The man repeated softly, turning on the spot to face Mr Greening. "This is a business, Earle, a public company. I have every right."

"The board won't allow it, and you know it!" Greening replied, shaking a finger. "This company has served the public for forty years-"

"-and it won't last another four unless it moves with the times," Harvey, finished. "The board will recognise that. This place needs to buck up its ideas if it wants to grow – yes, grow, Earle. The board doesn't want to simply survive."

The lift door started to close again. Stanley's eyes flicked from the control panel to the arguing men, nervously. He licked his lips and opened his mouth, then changed his mind and just pressed the button, keeping his finger pressed down on the cold metal. The doors instantly stopped moving.

"You'll be the death of this place, Harvey. You've forgotten who we are, why we started. You've forgotten your place – and it will be the end of you."

"We'll see," Harvey replied, slowly. "We'll see which of us ends first, won't we? I'll give it the cutting edge it needs to prosper, and I'll bring everyone here up with me, while you rest comfortably in your little garden."

"And what about our customers?"

"What about them?"

"Where would you lead them?"

"This isn't a charity, Earle! This isn't a public service! We're here to make money."

"We're here to protect our customers-"

"No!" Harvey interrupted. "We are not. We are here to take money from their pockets and put it into ours. That's the game, whether you see it or not. My policies will win the game – and the board will come to see that."

Harvey turned and resumed his walk back to the lift.

"Your time has come, Earle," he called over his shoulder. Harvey swept into the lift, turned around, and casually pressed a button before raising his hands and fiddling with his cufflinks.

"The guard has changed, and I intend to be at the top of the new world," he added, the doors closing on him.

Stanley fiddled with the mail nervously. Mr Greening stood in the doorway to his office, glaring angrily first at the lift, then at Stanley. With an inaudible murmur, he turned back into his office, closing the door with a wild slam.

Stanley stood in the hallway for a moment, then slowly pushed the trolley across the carpet. The executive floor was eerily quiet as he delivered the post. He lingered outside Greening's door before leaving his post on an adjacent waist-high cupboard. Earle would find it when he was ready.

He headed back down to the first floor. The Office was still frantic, even though the day was drawing to a close. Stanley quietly slipped between the desks with the mail, not wanting to get in anyone's way.

He stopped by Rachel's desk just long enough to notice the crumpled up paper crane lying on top of the bin.
Part 2 of Stationery - in which events begin to unfold.

<-- Previous :#: Next -->

A short story in four acts, featuring the fetishisation (ish) of stationery and the moral decline of the corporation (to an extent).

This story represents quite a challenge for me because I've stepped away from all the clichés which define my writing. You'll find no fantasy themes, no western imagery, no whiskey (save for a brief thematic homage which I don't think counts) and not a single reference to folk music (not even outlaw country). Blimey.
© 2012 - 2020 monstroooo
anonymous's avatar
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BrokenTales's avatar
Just to say now that I read through the whole story and enjoyed it. :) I had no problems with the ending.

You did ask for some feedback on Part II specifically so here are some things I picked out:

"...and a half-finished cup of tea sat on her desk (black, a habit adopted from her travelling days in Thailand)..." - That's a good insight into Stanley's relationship with Rachel. He chooses to remember those small details that get mentioned in casual conversation.

"But Aaron stepped right in front of the printer, standing tall and staring Stanley in the eye." - I felt more sympathy for Stanley in this scene than in any of the other parts. Probably because I've seen this kind of casual bullying in real life.

"...only a skeleton team of two manned the phones." - I appreciated this because I know that call centres like these are never left unmanned.

"Afternoon forced itself upon on the day like an unenthusiastic lover..." - Until now, any sense of sexuality has been omitted (or at least buried). So while it's an excellent simile, this was a jarring line to open a paragraph with.

I tried to use the origami section to learn how to make a paper crane, but no such luck :(
I think I would have preferred the section to be a little more abstracted - being used to add a little more to Stanley rather than list the folds he makes (when did he learn origami? how does he feel about creasing & re-creasing, and the imperfections created?)
monstroooo's avatar
Many thanks BT, I appreciate that :)

The black tea has proved popular among a lot of people - I'll be sure to include it in future drafts (and maybe add more details like it). It's interesting that you "enjoyed" Aaron's passive bullying... it didn't seem to register very widely. I'm very much re-considering his role in the next version. He needs to show up Stanley's awkwardness... I don't think he does that very well, but your opinion is noted.

You're dead right about the "unenthusiastic lover" line. Totally inappropriate to the tone of the story.

The origami scene is, in my mind, the most important one in the whole story. Here's Stanley in his element, expressing his love in the only way he's able to. It's been re-written... I don't even know how many times. I revised it just last week actually.

It's interesting: in the earlier versions, I had much more detail. I never wanted to the reader to be able to re-construct Stanley's movements, but I did want people who knew about origami to be able to vaguely follow what he was doing. But I've gradually stripped it down, and the most recent version is, as you suggest, much more abstract. I'd like to send it on to you, actually, see what you think. I'm still not satisfied, but I think it's getting closer. I may have set myself an impossible task with it...
BrokenTales's avatar
No problem :)

I think the origami scene will always be one that some people enjoy more than others. It may well be an impossible task to please everyone.

That said, feel free to send the latest version by note (or email) and I'll reply with any further comments I have.
Faraleigh's avatar
A few technical issues first:

Double spaced: "CRT monitors gobbling up impractical" (between up and impractical, in case it gets eaten in translation).

Unnecessary repetition: "He pulled the paper out slowly, delicately holding the paper between his fingers..."

It looks like you got a little too enthusiastic here: "Aaaron leant over..."

Typo: "As he made he way out of the call centre..."

Editing artifact? "Afternoon forced itself upon on the day..."

"Mr Greening" Is it just some weird American convention to put a period after abbreviated titles like this? I want to say I read something about that a while back...

""No right?" The man repeated softly..." Lower-case that T.

""-and it won't last another four unless it moves with the times," Harvey, finished." Drop the comma after Harvey.

"Harvey turned and resumed his walk back to the lift." By saying "back" you're saying that's the direction he came from. While that is true in the grand scheme of things, the story and Stanley did not see Harvey originally come from the elevator. So what I'm saying here is that this would work better if you removed "back". :)

Next, I'd like to say that I'm still really enjoying this. Stanley's turned into a bit more of a creepy character, though, after he fondled the freshly printed paper and made that crane. The descriptions were very sensual. It was a little off-putting, though mainly because it's so clear how much Stanley loves his stationery.

Again, you've included great details. I forgot to mention in my comment on Part I how much I appreciated the detail of the elevator button's grain. Delightful!

I love that Stanley knows origami. It's a very organic interest for him. I hope it doesn't come up again, though, because it would feel forced at that point (though I suppose there are ways around that... we'll see).

Love the description of The Office as being a "blizzard" of activity. It's cold, chaotic, unsympathetic, and could destroy you if you don't take the proper precautions.

I love how Stanley's just witness to the Harvey/Earle blowout. He doesn't necessarily know what's going on or what's going to happen, but the reader knows things are going to get bad before they get any better (for Stanley and Earle at least). Will Stanley's position be removed? Will Stanley then indulge in his stationery love in his basement?

I also love the ending to this part, finding the crumpled up origami crane in Rachel's bin. Did Rachel do it? Was it Aaron? Neither would surprise me. I think Rachel just pities Stanley. (oh, side note, I really appreciate you adding the explanation of why Rachel drinks black tea!)

I understand it's probably not applicable to Stanley, but have you ever heard of object sexuality? There are some people that literally fall in love with inanimate objects (like buildings, for example).
monstroooo's avatar
So I'm just coming back and revisiting this piece (I re-wrote part of this chapter just last week). I'm surprised to note that I hadn't replied to any of your critiques yet... :no:

I appreciate the small edits, I totally agree. Stanley is supposed to get a tiny bit creepy here - more interested in paper than people - but it's also supposed to be a sweet-creepiness. Weird, but benign. Odd without being sinister.

I am familiar with object sexuality. Not from personal experience, of course :blush: Stanley definitely exhibits signs of that - although the note of sexuality here comes in more because the crane is a proxy for Rachel. Stanley may never make love to her, but he can craft for her out of love. I love the idea of the sensory mix-up, of having such a limited way to express his emotions, but also being perhaps just a little too caught up in it. I think Stanley's issue is possibly a bit more like OCD - he likes things to be just so, and is very concerned with the tactile feel of things (hence the minute details which run through the piece).

I've revised the origami scene, would you be interested in looking it over? I know you haven't called it out as a problem, but I'd be curious as to whether you think I've improved it.
Faraleigh's avatar
I'm so sorry it's taken so long to respond. I've more or less abandoned dA at this point. I don't think it's a good environment for writers. With that in mind, I would like to invite you to my new part-time home, WritingForums.org. It's incredibly active and, well, entirely for writers. I'm heal41hp on there.

And moving on. I would enjoy taking a look at your revised origami scene, as well as anything else you might have done in the past several months. :)
monstroooo's avatar

Funnily enough, I'm also only semi-conscious on here at the moment. My admin duties are pretty much completely abandoned, despite a couple of attempts to get back in the swing. I've been involved in a number of other projects and simply haven't had the energy. The planned revision of Stationery never actually happened :(

Thank you for the WritingForums tip. I'll be sure to check it out!
RiFlight's avatar
Ok, so I finally got around to reading this part (took long enough ey?) and I have to agree with some of the comments about the printer scene. The thing that stood out most to me was that Aaron was nudging Stanley to fix the printer, but when Stanley tries to - Aaron stands in his way and Rachel has to call him off. I think it seems not so much cliche as unnatural. It's a clear display of aggression that doesn't fit for me. Perhaps Aaron could not want Stanley to fix the printer, but at Rachel's insistence, he reluctantly gives in? Or perhaps Aaron could ridicule Stanley because he thinks Stan can't fix it and goads him on the whole time. After Stanley gets it printing again, Aaron could be "put in his place" by a slightly smug Stanley, maybe?

I thought the origami scene is an improvement over the one I read in the preview. Some people like it, some don't... what can you do? This one is where you'll have to use your artist's license as a trump card and write the scene the way you believe it should be.

The crumple crane was kinda sad. Awwww! Poor Stanley.
monstroooo's avatar
Wait, you need a licence to be a writer? :paranoid:

Thanks though :nod: I'm still not 100% happy the scene, but there we go. If I ever get around to a second draft, the origami and the printer will get a good looking at :threaten:

Aaron's just a big bully. He's just toying with Stanley for his own little reasons - but he's a pretty small-time douche, as you know by now :)
disrhythmic's avatar
Aaand he does origami. Yup, love him.

I think the description got a bit heavy in the middle there--not terribly so, but a bit--but you pulled it back with the dialogue in the last part. It's a pleasant read all around, thus far. :D
monstroooo's avatar
:giggle: I was hoping you'd find time to read this, I though you'd like the origami part!

The feedback I'm getting on that middle section is, well, middling to say the least. I'll have to look to pep it up in the next draft, for sure :)
disrhythmic's avatar
I did! :D And I'm quite glad I -did- find time to read this. ^^
angelStained's avatar
'dropped of' - off

I like how you keep that peaceful pace with great descriptions of stationary, yes.
monstroooo's avatar
There's always one, isn't there? :faint:

Thank you :love:
0hgravity's avatar
great second part!

I liked the scene with the Rachel and Aaron (I think at one point you've got one too many a's haha). Nice tension. I especially liked the contrast between the two - he lovingly deals with the paper while Aaron snatches it up aggressively. I think everyone has something they deal gently and tenderly with that others treat with triviality so I liked how you showed that contrast.

I was a bit torn (hehe punny) with the paper crane folding part. Although I can appreciate the reason for including it I think it could be described a bit better. I think if you removed the directionality bits (horizontal, vertical, diagonal, far edge etc.) it would be easier to follow. With the directionality I think one feels, when trying to picture it, that they have to orient it so one gets frustrated with trying to make sure one follows it correctly. If it is distilled down to just folds and motions it puts less pressure on the reader. I've actually dabbled in origami so I'm familiar with the process but even I was having trouble following along.

that being said I think the second half of the description is superb. It has this great sensuality and intimacy to it and ultimately the whole scene makes the end of this second part particularly devastating.

anyway, I look forward to the next part!
monstroooo's avatar
Very punny :|

Both the Aaron/Rachel scene and the crane are proving deliciously controvertial. I appreciate your comments - I think I may have to look in particular at the first half of the crane scene. I've always loved the idea of the whole scene, but I've never been totally satisfied with the execution. I'm collecting criticisms with a keen eye :sherlock:

Thank you for commenting :love:
0hgravity's avatar
I love me some puns.

haha well that makes for some good reading. I don't see how the Aaron/Rachel scene would cause controversy...
Yeah the problem for me definitely lies in that first half. I definitely think you should keep the whole scene. The physical length I think is necessary because it avoids explicitly saying he took his precious time with it.
The first half just needs some tweaking to get a better build up to the second half and to do that it needs a similar tone. When it first starts out it just seems like he's folding paper with no real intention behind it. It's not until the second half that you get that emotion. It's definitely a tough thing to figure out but I think in the end it will make this read much smoother and more natural.

no problem!
Meggie272's avatar
Loving the characterization in this.
monstroooo's avatar
That's great! :love: I've always felt that character is central to any good story, so I really appreciate your kind words :)
Janoera's avatar
The emotions in your story flows like a roller coaster ride, up, down, up, and then plowed down again at the ending:) I like that you didn't explication state Stanley's reaction to the crumpled up paper crane, but the dedication in which he folded in would tell the reader how rejected he would feel about it.

But I don't much enjoy the part where he folded the crane. Not because of any element of the writing, but just in the way I'm caught up in the storytelling of the story; there's always something happening, the narrator progressing from one situation to the next, and the part where he folds the crane is a frustratingly laggy part for someone who can't wait to progress to the next situation. I get that the process of folding the crane is important to show Stanley's fetishisation of stationary, but that part is too long to read comfortably and the details are too much to easily digest and imagine.

But this criticism is only because I enjoyed the story, and can't wait to move on to the next juicy bit, (and because I'm the type of reader who just skims through everything until I come to an interesting part, so the crane folding was really draggy for me.) Just a personal opinion, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the story:) Your writing style flows smoothly and beautifully, it's easy for even a casual reader to unknowingly drag their eyes down the page until they come to the end:D
monstroooo's avatar
Thank you :love:

Thank you for your honest feedback about the crane. That went through so many drafts. I honestly had one version which detailed every single fold - I had a whole page of it before I stopped and realised what I was doing :stupidme:

For me, it's a crucial scene where a few themes come together. Indeed, in many ways its the climax of the story - the 'fetishisation of stationery' takes a back seat from now on. It's also a scene where I hope to take some readers with me, to make origami a tiny bit erotic. I'm constantly fascinated by how many different reactions people have to it.

You are quite right in that it stops the story dead. And I think there is a case for making the scene shorter, which I'll perhaps look at in a later revision. I'm not totally satisfied with it at present, but can't put my finger on what's wrong (the length may well be it). I'm comfortable with the idea that people won't enjoy this particular scene, though - I think the challenge is to sell it to as many people as possible. So long as its not actually putting anyone off, I'm happy for it to be skimmed :)
Janoera's avatar
Well, the main problem I have with the crane folding part is the lack of "graphic translation" I have with it. The other parts I can imagine, such as Stanley going about the offices and Aaron being a jerk, as the words manifest itself in my mind as images. But as someone who have never taken to origami, I'm sketchy about how to fold a crane in the first place, so I can't really translate the words into a visual image. Even someone proficient in the art of crane folding might not get it, it's like trying to follow an instruction manual on how to fold a crane, but there's only words to instruct the reader. That makes it difficult to "translate" the words into actions.

I hope I manage to put at least half my finger on it:D
monstroooo's avatar
That's actually where I went wrong in the first place: I started by trying to instruct the reader through each fold, so that you could almost follow it and build your own crane. But then I realised that was the wrong approach, so I took a step back and went for a more general, slightly more abstract description. That way (in theory) I can leave a stronger impression of the emotion and sensation involved, and less on the literal movements of the paper (which isn't really that interesting).

Hopefully there are a few visual images in there to help string the reader along, but the idea isn't to "translate" the scene quite so literally. Make sense? Just like if I were describing a sword fight scene, I'd talk about blows being struck and general movements - but I wouldn't describe each sword stroke in intimate detail :nod:

I still think I've approached the scene in the right way, but your response is very interesting. Perhaps I've given too many details early on, so you think you're supposed? to be able to follow each fold? :shrug:
Janoera's avatar
I don't mean it in a "follow each fold " way, but more of a "being able to imagine what you're reading" way. Unfortunately, all I can imagine is Stanley folding paper in some complicated shape, but that's it.

The sword fight scene is an excellent analogy, but I think you're going about it the wrong way when trying in incorporate it into the process of crane folding. When writing about Stanley folding the crane, you're focusing more on the actual steps and the emotions he feel in regard of it, but not much about how something is taking shape. Instead of writing he that he creased that and folded this, maybe you could phrase it in a way so the reader can see that he's creating something, but not by going through it step-by-step, maybe with lines such as "with the initial folds completed, he pinched out a head and formed a wing", which is not so much the process of folding a crane, but more of the product he's slowly getting.

Not sure if that made sense, but I hope my feedback helped:D
anonymous's avatar
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