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BlueLucario
12-09-2007, 08:30 PM
Chapter two: Werewolf’s curse.



After seeing Lily and the man walking away in the distance, my surroundings transformed back to where I originally was. The cat was resting on my leg again, purring peacefully. I scratched her head and then she stood up and looked at me.

“Did you find anything important?” She asked. “Like you name?”

“I think so,” I answered. “Is this name Lily Rosewood?”

“Yes it is,” replied the cat delightedly, “That little girl you seen in that memory, she was you! You were so cute, but please don’t tell anyone. I’m not supposed to peek in someone’s memory without permission.”

“Um, okay”

All of a sudden, there was a loud, yet recognizable scream. I stood up and looked around the forest with alertness.

“You don’t have to look around so much.” Said the cat, “Do you remember what this man in your memory said about you possessing great ability?”

“He said something about that, yes,” I said, trying to wonder what the cat was trying to say, “Why?”

“Do you want to know what that ability is?”

“Yes I do”

“Close your eyes, and remain calm”

I did what the cat told me. Staying calm seemed so easy. My environment appeared in black with a blue outline. I looked around the forest until I saw two moving living beings which were blue in color, one of them seem to be a girl fleeing from the other being that I could not identify. I knew the one being pursued was Aiyana, but she is so far-off. I opened my eyes and looked down at the cat.

“That girl, do you know her?” asked the cat, “She must be in trouble, let’s go help her. There’s something else that I want to show you.”

The cat ran ahead through the bushes and I soon followed without hesitation. Not running for very long, I began to notice of a cluster of trees just up ahead.

“I think we should jump across those trees” insinuated the cat, “That way we should get to the girl much more quickly. See that tree over there? On the count of three, we’ll jump on that big branch. And keep your eyes closed so you can pinpoint this girl’s location. Ready, One…..Two……..THREE”

I sprung forward and ascended and perched upon a large solid branch. I felt something land on my right shoulder. I turned and saw the cat, who looked back at me.

“Don’t worry about me,” she said, “you should be focusing on helping your friend. Now let’s keep going, and keep your eyes closed and focus. You can still see where you’re going.”

I closed my eyes again, and heard panting. It sounded like it was coming from every direction, making it difficult to follow the sounds. The two blue images returned to my mind, heading in my direction. I leaped forward to the nearest tree branch, and kept going until I brought myself to the ground. I watched them patiently.

“Pretty smart move getting ahead of them,” said the cat, impressed “Now to show you what I promised. Are you left handed or right handed?”

“Do you expect me to know that?” I snapped.

“Okay never mind then, as I recall, I think you are right handed, right? Yes you are definitely. Sorry, forgot. Reach out your right hand and focus your energy through your fingers.”

I extended my right arm forward. Looking at it, I envisioned some sort of electrical surge emitting through my fingers. Immediately there appeared a swirl of blue light which formed into a blue ball. The ball of light grew larger and brighter which each passing second. I could hear the two figures approaching, so closing my eyes to see their outlines wasn’t really necessary. My eyes widened to see the first one running out in the open to be Aiyana, followed by some grotesque looking creature chasing her. She looked at me with a gaping mouth.

“Get down!” I barked.

Aiyana jumped forward, landing in the dirt on her stomach. The creature came at us with its feral hostility. For some reason, it stopped running. The creature was huge and muscular standing on two legs. Blood and drool dripped from his canine-like face. Yellow stained his teeth and his claws were not only razor-sharp, but were also trickling in blood. I aimed the ball of light at the creature, shaking violently as I looked into his golden eyes. The creature gave a deafening roar. He swiftly moved toward me with ferocity, which is what I was waiting for. My energy rushed through my hands with just enough force for the ball of light to blast the creature backward into a tree. I watched the creature carefully for a moment, and noticed it sitting there motionless. I took a deep breath and looked down at Aiyana who was quivering and whimpering like a frightened puppy. She stopped moving and looked up at me. She smiled, but at the same time tears slowly rolled down her face. She quickly got on her feet then wrapped he arms around me grasping me tightly.

“Oh, my God,” she panted, “You’re okay. “This place, I don’t like it here.”

“Lily,” I whispered. “It’s Lily.”

“What? Who’s Lily?”

“My name is Lily.”

Aiyana’s hug was even tighter and it started to become painful.

“Nice to meet you Lily,” said Aiyana, who finally stopped crying. “Let’s go home.”

Aiyana released her grip. We turned around and started walking. I stopped walking after hearing a thumping sound. Aiyana was lying on the grass, which was covered in a pool of blood. I walked towards her to get a closer look at her. I turned her over and saw a large wound gushing with some thick red substance. A wound so deep, that a small part of white bone became visible under the flesh. Looking a wound this deep made me shudder. Aiyana sat up and frowned.

“I’ m sorry.” she said, “That creature, you should have seen how sharp those claws are, and how foul he smelled .He slashed my leg, which now as you already know, quite disturbing to see. It really hurts to walk.”

I continued to examine the injured leg.

“I don’t think we are too far from the city.” I said.

The sky transformed into a yellowish gold color and the clouds were dark purple. White lights flickered between the clouds followed by a noise. Aiyana shivered and her tears became visible.

“I warned you this place is dangerous!” She said barked and cried even harder, “Mum must be so worried. Judging by the sunset it must be five o’ clock. She could have called the police, we could be dead here. And—Lily, why are you-”

I glanced back at Aiyana, who all of a sudden stopped sobbing.

“What’s wrong?” I asked

“You’re not like the other people I’ve met,” replied Aiyana

“Really? How so?”

“At a time like this, an average person would panic. But you, you’re just the opposite, you’re so…. So… calm. Stubborn…yet…very calm. I like your personality, now you have calmed me down already.”

Aiyana looked to another direction

“Look over there,” She pointed at the black cat, who I haven’t noticed since the encounter with the beast.

The cat walked forward and meowed. Aiyana reached out her hand to pet her.
“What’s this kitty doing here?”

“It’s my cat,” I replied.

“Oh, really, does he have a name?”

The cat rolled over meowing and purring, seeming to enjoy being stroked. she quickly got up and jumped backward, hissing loudly. Her back arched, and her tail twitched sideways.

“Something is wrong,” said Aiyana, “When cats behave like that, that means something must have spooked them. But what-”

Her eyes expanded after she looked up. She shivered then collapsed. I noticed a shadow between me and Aiyana, growing larger and wider.

I turned around to see the monster in the air with its mouth open, plummeting down at me fast. I could have darted out of the way, but doing so will hurt Aiyana, so I stood my ground. Before there was enough time to defend my self, the beast landed on me and pushed me onto the ground. Blood dripped from my right shoulder after the creature’s fangs impaled it. I could not move my other arm, while it’s being pressed down by the rest of my body. Struggling free was impossible. The creature’s teeth dug deeper into my shoulder tearing my muscle tissues. The excruciating pain made my teeth and my eyes watery.

“Mew” The cat ran in front of me. There was a flash of bright light and there stood a girl, with hair as black as mine, with eyes as yellow as the creatures and with catlike ears on top. She looked down and winked at me. She jumped backward and extended her arms forward with widened hands.

“ I call upon the fire dog spirit, breathe thy fiery breath, to scorch the wickedness that pollutes our land. I SUMMON THEE!”

Out of nowhere appeared three dog-shaped flames encircling the girl. The dogs faced my direction and one of the charged jumping on the creatures back and bit him. The creature released his grip and struggled to get the fire dog off, but the dog didn’t budge. Following the first dog, the two dogs rushed in and each one grabbed an arm. I turned around and watched helplessly as flames spread around them, morphing in to a fiery sphere. The beast howled in pain. The sphere began to expand slowly until it made a sudden explosion, leaving no remains.

Well, some people liked it, some people have a problem with the cat, but they wouldn't tell me what's wrong. Does this piece protray the Dues Ex Machina, or what ever that means?

What do you think? what can be improved from this piece.

Queen of Swords
12-10-2007, 12:53 AM
I'm afraid the errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation interfere with my reading of this piece. Many sentences lacked full stops at their ends, verbs don't agree with their subjects and the tense went from past to present at least once. I'm not sure if this is because you know better but were in a hurry to post this, or because you weren't certain about what the correct punctuation and so on might be. Either way, though, I tried to read the story but just couldn't get very far and ended up skimming it. You've got a lot of action going on, and I'd like to immerse myself in the narrative and enjoy the ride, but the story is so poorly edited that I keep noticing things like these :

“Like you name?”

One example of a typo.

I said, trying to wonder what the cat was trying to say, “Why?”

Repetition of the word "trying". Besides, why does the narrator have to "try" to wonder? What prevents him from actually wondering?

I stood up and looked around the forest with alertness.

If someone screams and if someone else looks around after the scream, readers can deduce that the second person is alert. There's no need to spell it out.

“I think we should jump across those trees” insinuated the cat

Just use "said". Characters cannot "insinuate" words.

“Pretty smart move getting ahead of them,” said the cat, impressed

This is another example of over-explanation. If the cat says that the narrator made a "pretty smart move", I can tell that the cat is impressed.

I turned her over and saw a large wound gushing with some thick red substance.

If this is blood, just call it blood. Referring to it as "some thick red substance" makes me imagine paint, crushed cranberries and bone marrow.

"He slashed my leg, which now as you already know, quite disturbing to see."
"I like your personality, now you have calmed me down already.”

This isn't natural dialogue. People don't normally speak in this scholarly fashion.

She said barked and cried even harder

Some sentences really need to be edited. You have a workable idea for a story, with the shapeshifting cat and the creatures hunting for them. Correcting some of the errors in the narrative would allow readers to focus on that story without being distracted. Good luck with the writing.

BlueLucario
12-10-2007, 01:07 AM
I'm afraid the errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation interfere with my reading of this piece. Many sentences lacked full stops at their ends, verbs don't agree with their subjects and the tense went from past to present at least once. I'm not sure if this is because you know better but were in a hurry to post this, or because you weren't sure about what the correct punctuation and so on might be. Either way, though, I tried to read the story but just couldn't get very far and ended up skimming it. You've got a lot of action going on, and I'd like to immerse myself in the narrative and enjoy the ride, but the story is so poorly edited that I keep noticing things like these :






If this is blood, just call it blood. Referring to it as "some thick red substance" makes me imagine paint, crushed cranberries and bone marrow.

That means i'll say blood a second time.Is that okay?



This isn't natural dialogue. People don't normally speak in this scholarly fashion.

Aiyana does, she's a smart, pedantic and bookish person. Is that still alright


Some sentences really need to be edited. You have a workable idea for a story, with the shapeshifting cat and the creatures hunting for them. Correcting some of the errors in the narrative would allow readers to focus on that story without being distracted. Good luck with the writing.


This is so hard. Writing this whole story.Especially the errors I can't even see. (ETA): I can't write nor speak in sentences properly. and english is my first language. Sorry If this piece turned out bad. This is really hard for me to write with all these writer's blocks.

Thank you Queen of Hearts.

Queen of Swords
12-10-2007, 01:31 AM
This is so hard. Writing this whole story.Especially the errors I can't even see. (ETA): I can't write nor speak in sentences properly. and english is my first language. Sorry If this piece turned out bad. This is really hard for me to write with all these writer's blocks.

I sympathize. Have you considered working on your grammar, spelling and punctuation, rather than trying to tell a long and complex story? The former is like counting while the latter is like calculus; if you haven't mastered the one, mastering the other is going to be that much more difficult. On the plus side, you take criticism very well. Kudos to you for the mature and positive attitude.
That means i'll say blood a second time.Is that okay?
No need to mention blood twice, then. Sometimes, less is more.

Aiyana does, she's a smart, pedantic and bookish person. Is that still alright
On the one hand, you need to convey that your character is smart and pedantic. On the other hand, you don't want people to stop reading the story, saying, as I did, that this isn't natural dialogue.

So how about having her say something smart and pedantic instead? Take Henry from the show Ugly Betty - he can say the circumference of the earth off the top of his head, and when people give him odd looks, he says, "It's just something I know." That's smart and pedantic without being unnatural. Likewise, don't waste Aiyana's intelligence on complicated sentence construction or psychology-talk. Use it to show something about the creatures that we didn't know before, or use it to devise a brilliant plan. That way, the readers will know she's smart and it will seem much more natural.

BlueLucario
12-10-2007, 02:04 AM
I sympathize. Have you considered working on your grammar, spelling and punctuation, rather than trying to tell a long and complex story? The former is like counting while the latter is like calculus; if you haven't mastered the one, mastering the other is going to be that much more difficult. On the plus side, you take criticism very well. Kudos to you for the mature and positive attitude.

No need to mention blood twice, then. [/color]Sometimes, less is more.

[/color]
On the one hand, you need to convey that your character is smart and pedantic. On the other hand, you don't want people to stop reading the story, saying, as I did, that this isn't natural dialogue.

So how about having her say something smart and pedantic instead? Take Henry from the show Ugly Betty - he can say the circumference of the earth off the top of his head, and when people give him odd looks, he says, "It's just something I know." That's smart and pedantic without being unnatural. Likewise, don't waste Aiyana's intelligence on complicated sentence construction or psychology-talk. Use it to show something about the creatures that we didn't know before, or use it to devise a brilliant plan. That way, the readers will know she's smart and it will seem much more natural.

Ah. I'm good with grammar, but I tend to make careless mistakes. And never pay attention to what I'm doing. And hey, I'm getting used to the critiques I get. but when I see someone who point out something wrong at my piece, like simple tense mixing or spelling errors I get really mad at myself for not seeeing it.

WendyNYC
12-10-2007, 03:44 AM
Ah. I'm good with grammar, but I tend to make careless mistakes. And never pay attention to what I'm doing. And hey, I'm getting used to the critiques I get. but when I see someone who point out something wrong at my piece, like simple tense mixing or spelling errors I get really mad at myself for not seeeing it.

Try printing your work out in Courier 12 pt font. Mistakes jump off the page when Times New Roman sometimes hides them.

BlueLucario
12-10-2007, 06:28 PM
Try printing your work out in Courier 12 pt font. Mistakes jump off the page when Times New Roman sometimes hides them.


I think i made enough changes to the piece. I think. I'll post this later anyway, besides the grammar. What do you think I should Improve on?

geardrops
12-10-2007, 11:36 PM
Ah. I'm good with grammar, but I tend to make careless mistakes. And never pay attention to what I'm doing. And hey, I'm getting used to the critiques I get. but when I see someone who point out something wrong at my piece, like simple tense mixing or spelling errors I get really mad at myself for not seeeing it.

Here's what leaps out at me:

And never pay attention to what I'm doing.

It's easy to make mistakes when you're not paying attention. The problem is, your readers won't really care.

To quote Alastor Moody: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

I'm great at mathematical concepts but make careless mistakes in arithmetic. My report cards were riddled with Cs in math, despite that I can do multi-variable calculus. My professors didn't care about my elegant proofs if at the end my units didn't match up or I wrote 3+2=6. I barely passed many classes as a result. Your readers will be even more vicious.

If you can't even read what you're writing as you're writing it, that bodes ill for everyone else involved.

Things to help you on your path to grammar greatness:

(1) Slow down. Just write slower. Read each sentence after you finish it. Ask yourself if it is correct. Diagram it. I mean that honestly. Diagram your sentences if that's what it takes for you. Questions you should ask yourself: Do my subject and verb agree? Did I use proper punctuation? Is everything spelled correctly? Did I use the correct words (eg their there they're)? And I mean it: after every sentence.

(2) Re-read what you write when you finish. And don't just read it like you'd read a book you pulled off your bookshelf. Read it like you're critiquing someone else's paper in class. Hunt for mistakes. Print it out and grab a red pen if needs be. You're not done until you can't even read the original writing under all the proofing comments. And if you don't know proofreading marks, look them up (http://www.m-w.com/mw/table/proofrea.htm).

(3) Read. Read critically. There are a lot of good books out there, filled with sentences done properly. When you read as a writer, you read differently. You observe how people break up chapters, how characters speak, the writing style, et cetera. Read a book like you're proofreading it. And read good books. If you're unclear on what qualifies, ask your teacher. Or me. I've read a few books.

Don't try to tackle differential equations before you've managed algebra. If you don't feel a vague compulsion to write formally in your IMs you need to keep trying. Poor grammar should just feel wrong. Get your grammar down to the point that you can't even write without writing properly. Proper grammar should be as natural as breathing.

BlueLucario
12-11-2007, 12:42 AM
It''ll be a minute I'm editing this stuff right now. I'll post the revision up as soon as i'm done. Sorry for the grammar errors, I didnt see them

BlueLucario
12-11-2007, 02:52 AM
Revision Complete

Chapter two: Werewolf’s curse.



After seeing Lily and the man walking away in the distance, my surroundings transformed back to where I originally was. The cat was resting on my leg again, purring peacefully. I scratched her head and then she stood up and looked at me.

“Did you find anything important?” She asked. “Like your name?”

“I think so,” I answered. “Is this name Lily Rosewood?”

“Yes it is,” replied the cat delightedly, “That little girl you seen in that memory, she was you! You were so cute, but please don’t tell anyone. I’m not supposed to peek in someone’s memory without permission.”

“Um, okay”

All of a sudden, there was a loud, yet recognizable scream. I stood up and looked around the forest with alertness.

“You don’t have to look around so much.” Said the cat, “Do you remember what this man in your memory said about you possessing great ability?”

“He said something about that, yes,” I said, trying to wonder what the cat was trying to say, “Why?”

“Do you want to know what that ability is?”

“Yes I do”

“Close your eyes, and remain calm”

Staying calm seemed so easy. My environment appeared in black with a blue outline. I looked around the forest until I saw two moving living beings which were blue in color, one of them seem to be a girl fleeing from the other being that I could not identify. I knew the one being pursued was Aiyana, but she is so far-off. I opened my eyes and looked down at the cat.

“That girl, do you know her?” asked the cat, “She must be in trouble, let’s go help her. There’s something else that I want to show you.”

The cat ran ahead through the bushes and I soon followed without hesitation. Not running for very long, I began to notice of a cluster of trees just up ahead.

“I think we should jump across those trees” insinuated the cat, “That way we should get to the girl in no time. See that tree over there? On the count of three, we’ll jump on that big branch. And keep your eyes closed so you can pinpoint this girl’s location. Ready, One…..Two……..THREE”

I sprung forward and ascended and perched upon a large solid branch. I felt something land on my right shoulder. I turned and saw the cat, who looked back at me.

“Don’t worry about me,” she said, “you should be focusing on helping that girl. Now let’s keep going, and keep your eyes closed and focus. You can still see where you’re going.”

I closed my eyes again, and heard panting. It sounded like it was coming from every direction, making it difficult to follow the sounds. The two blue images returned to my mind, heading in my direction. I leaped forward to the nearest tree branch, and kept going until I brought myself to the ground. I watched them patiently.

“Pretty smart move getting ahead of them,” said the cat, “Now to show you what I promised. Are you left handed or right handed?”

“Do you expect me to know that?” I snapped.

“Okay never mind then, as I recall, I think you are right handed, right? Yes you are definitely. Sorry, forgot. Reach out your right hand and focus your energy through your fingers.”

I extended my right arm forward. Looking at it, I envisioned some sort of electrical surge emitting through my fingers. Immediately there appeared a swirl of blue light which formed into a blue ball. The ball of light grew larger and brighter which each passing second. I could hear the two figures approaching, so closing my eyes to see their outlines wasn’t really necessary. My eyes widened to see the first one running out in the open to be Aiyana, followed by some grotesque looking creature chasing her. She looked at me with a gaping mouth.

“Get down!” I barked.

Aiyana jumped forward, landing on her stomach. The creature came at us with its feral hostility. For some reason, it stopped running. The creature was huge and muscular standing on two legs. Blood and drool dripped from his canine-like face. Yellow stained his teeth and his claws were not only razor-sharp, but were also trickling in blood. I aimed the ball of light at the creature, shaking violently as I looked into his golden eyes. The creature gave a deafening roar. He swiftly moved toward me with ferocity, which is what I was waiting for. My energy rushed through my hands with just enough force for the ball of light to blast the creature backward into a tree. I watched the creature carefully for a moment, and noticed it sitting there motionless. I took a deep breath and looked down at Aiyana who was quivering and whimpering like a frightened puppy. She stopped moving and looked up at me. She smiled, but at the same time tears slowly rolled down her face. She quickly got on her feet then wrapped he arms around me grasping me tightly.

“Oh, my God,” she panted, “You’re okay. “This place, I don’t like it here.”

“Lily,” I whispered. “It’s Lily.”

“What? Who’s Lily?”

“My name is Lily.”

Aiyana’s hug was even tighter and it started to become painful.

“Nice to meet you Lily,” said Aiyana, who finally stopped crying. “Let’s go.”

Aiyana released her grip. We turned around and started walking. I stopped walking after hearing a thumping sound. Aiyana was lying on the grass, which was covered in a pool of blood. I walked towards her to get a closer look at her. I turned her over and saw a large wound gushing with some thick red substance. A wound so deep, that a small part of white bone became visible under the flesh. Looking a wound this deep made me shudder. Aiyana sat up and frowned.

“I’ m sorry.” she said, “That creature, you should have seen how sharp those claws are, and how foul he smelled .He slashed my leg, which now as you already know, quite disturbing to see. It really hurts to walk. We don’t know how to get out of here. ”

I continued to examine the injured leg.

“I don’t think we are too far from the city.” I said.

The sky transformed into a yellowish gold color and the clouds were dark purple. White lights flickered between the clouds followed by a noise. Aiyana shivered and her tears became visible.

“I warned you this place is dangerous!” She barked and cried even harder, “Mum must be so worried. Judging by the sunset it must be five o’ clock. She could have called the police, we could be dead here. And—Lily, why are you-”

I glanced back at Aiyana, who all of a sudden stopped sobbing.

“What’s wrong?” I asked

“You’re not like the other people I’ve met,” replied Aiyana

“Really? How so?”

“At a time like this, an average person would panic. But you, you’re just the opposite, you’re so…. So… calm. Stubborn…yet…very calm.”

Aiyana looked to another direction

“Look over there,” She pointed at the black cat, who I haven’t noticed since the encounter with the beast.

The cat walked forward and meowed. Aiyana reached out her hand to pet her.
“What’s this kitty doing here?”

“It’s my cat,” I replied.

“Oh, really, does he have a name?”

The cat rolled over meowing and purring, seeming to enjoy being stroked. She quickly got up and jumped backward, hissing loudly. Her back arched, and her tail twitched sideways.

“Something is wrong,” said Aiyana, “When cats behave like that, that means something must have spooked them. But what-”

Her eyes expanded after she looked up. She shivered then collapsed. I noticed a shadow between me and Aiyana, growing larger and wider.

I turned around to see the monster in the air with its mouth open, plummeting down at me fast. I could have darted out of the way, but doing so will hurt Aiyana, so I stood my ground. Before there was enough time to defend my self, the beast landed on me and pushed me onto the ground. Blood dripped from my right shoulder after the creature’s fangs impaled it. I could not move my other arm, while it’s being pressed down by the rest of my body. Struggling free was impossible. The creature’s teeth dug deeper into my shoulder tearing my muscle tissues. The excruciating pain made my teeth and my eyes watery.

“Mew” The cat ran in front of me. There was a flash of bright light and there stood a girl, with hair as black as mine, with eyes as yellow as the creatures and with catlike ears on top. She looked down and winked at me. She jumped backward and extended her arms forward with widened hands.

“I call upon the fire dog spirit; breathe thy fiery breath, to scorch the wickedness that pollutes our land. I SUMMON THEE!”

Out of nowhere appeared three dog-shaped flames encircling the girl. The dogs faced my direction and one of the charged jumping on the creatures back and bit him. The creature released his grip and struggled to get the fire dog off, but the dog didn’t budge. Following the first dog, the two dogs rushed in and each one grabbed an arm. I turned around and watched helplessly as flames spread around them, morphing in to a fiery sphere. The beast howled in pain. The sphere began to expand slowly until it made a sudden explosion, leaving no remains.

“Are you okay?” The girl walked towards me and reached out her hand. Her voice was so familiar.

I grasped her hand and was pulled up to my feet.

“Thanks,” I said.

The girl gave an obeisant bow.

“No problem, Nya” The girl smiled “Happy to help you, Master.”

The last word that she just said made me conclude that she was the black cat. There was a burning sensation coming from my injured shoulder, spreading throughout the arm. My palm turned red and became sore and every time I would move my finger.

“You’re hurt,” said the cat girl

“Don’t worry about me,” I said then turn to Aiyana, who passed out. “I think I should take Aiyana out of here.”

“I can help you with that. I know a teleportation spell. I can get you out of this forest. Is that alright?”

I turned to the cat girl and nodded.

“Go to that girl, then. I’ll get the spell ready. Where do you want to go?”

At first I thought of going to Aiyana’s house, but I changed my mind when I took another look at her injured leg. She needed medical attention quickly.

“ Can you warp us to two different places?” I asked.

“Only if you tell me where,” answered the cat girl,

“I’m going Home.” I replied, “But after I get warped I want you to teleport this girl to a place where she can get medical care.”

“As you wish.” The cat girl bowed.

The girl stood in front of me, placing her hands together like she was praying. Her hands glowed in a light blue color.

“Teleportus” She said

The wind began to blow and I felt somewhat buoyant. A few seconds later, I ended up in front of Aiyana’s house standing at the front door. I turned the knob and walked inside to hear someone sobbing. It seemed to be coming from the Kitchen.

geardrops
12-11-2007, 03:16 AM
Blue,

Don't take "a minute." Take a day. A week. Walk away from what you've written. Read something. Learn how to properly punctuate dialog. Then come back.

Most people will tell you it takes about three months of not looking at what you've written to gain distance. Between your initial post and your revision are thirty hours. At least give yourself a full day before you go back and edit.

There are still a good deal of grammatical errors. When you have several people telling you to slow down and relax, take that advice to heart. Even Jackson Pollack took his time, and he just threw paint on a canvas.

BlueLucario
12-11-2007, 03:32 AM
Blue,

Don't take "a minute." Take a day. A week. Walk away from what you've written. Read something. Learn how to properly punctuate dialog. Then come back.

Most people will tell you it takes about three months of not looking at what you've written to gain distance. Between your initial post and your revision are thirty hours. At least give yourself a full day before you go back and edit.

There are still a good deal of grammatical errors. When you have several people telling you to slow down and relax, take that advice to heart. Even Jackson Pollack took his time, and he just threw paint on a canvas.

I have

Queen of Swords
12-11-2007, 11:19 AM
I have

I'm sorry, Blue, but a quick glance at the most recently posted version of your chapter shows some of the same mistakes that I pointed out earlier, which have not been corrected. I don't feel like making the same comments twice, therefore I won't be critting this again. Your writing can only improve if you take more time to work on the piece.

BlueLucario
12-11-2007, 04:04 PM
I'm sorry I tried to dit it. This is so hard.

Bufty
12-11-2007, 04:44 PM
Stop moaning!

What you get out of anything depends upon what you put into it.

SLOW DOWN. You are drowning us in these submissions and they're all the same. Re-read all the crits you have received and try adopting a different, more positive attitude. Spend time practising what you read in the crits - then resubmit.

From your non-submission posts, it's clear you can speak and write perfectly well when you want to.:Hug2:


I'm sorry I tried to dit it. This is so hard.

Queen of Swords
12-11-2007, 04:55 PM
I'm sorry I tried to dit it. This is so hard.

Lots of things about writing are hard, but they grow easier with practice. Work on your spelling, grammar and punctuation first. Pick out sentences of yours and identify the technical errors in them. Rushing another poorly edited version of your story into this forum is not going to help you as much as a good solid grounding in the basics.

JerseyGirl1962
12-11-2007, 07:37 PM
Lots of things about writing are hard, but they grow easier with practice. Work on your spelling, grammar and punctuation first. Pick out sentences of yours and identify the technical errors in them. Rushing another poorly edited version of your story into this forum is not going to help you as much as a good solid grounding in the basics.


Queen is right. Work on your spelling, grammar, and punctuation first. Go here (http://www.bartleby.com/141/) for a free online version of Strunk and White's Elements of Style if you can't afford to pay for a copy. (It's a very old version, but the basics of English change very slowly.)

You might also want to try using the latest version of Adobe Reader and have it read the story to you. (It's a computer voice, which isn't exactly the greatest, but it's not too bad.) Some word processors have the ability to print to a PDF (like Open Office, which is free). Make, say, the first couple of pages into a PDF, open up Adobe Reader, and turn on Reader's reading capability, and you're all set. True, this won't help with punctuation, but maybe you'll be able to hear what sounds good to you and what doesn't, and go from there.

And take a few days to let this sink in rather than reposting the next day: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither were most good stories.

Good luck! :)

~Nancy

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 12:12 AM
Okay then I'm really sorry, for being obnoxious. I just want to be better. You tell me to revise and I did. Which is something I always do before I write. But everytime I revise there's still errors, which is annoying.

To Jersey Girl: Thanks I'll look into to acrobat.

geardrops
12-12-2007, 12:45 AM
EDIT: Don't worry about being obnoxious (saw it in another thread). Just slow down. Slow down.

I noticed you made a post asking about forced dialog. Asking this question is one step farther from what you need to fix.

I'm going to break this down for you in steps. You mentioned autism. This might make it easier.

Ten Steps to Fixing Your Writing

Step One

Buy a grammar book with exercises in it. Go to your local Teacher's Supply Store. Make sure it isn't too easy or too hard. Do all exercises, cover-to-cover.

Step Two

Pick a book you've read before. Read it again.

While reading, pay attention to the grammar. Try to link what you're reading to the exercises you did in Step One.

Step Three

Use what you learned in Step One in everything you write. Everything. Forums posts. Chats. Instant Messages. Text Messages. Blogging. Email.

Every time you put words down, follow the rules of grammar.

Do this forever.

Step Four

Write slowly. After you write a period, read the sentence you JUST wrote. Think about the exercises in Step One.

Step Five

NOW come back to us with what you've written.

Step Six

Outline the major points of the feedback you get. Write it down, as an outline. Use pen and paper.

If you don't understand what someone means by a comment, ask them.

Until you know better, take just about every comment you get seriously. Especially from mods or published authors. (Note: I am neither a mod nor a published author.)

Step Seven

Don't look at what you wrote for at least a week. Seven days. No cheating.

Step Eight

Take the comments you received, and go through your work. Slowly.

SLOWLY.

Keep an old copy, to compare with your newer, edited copy.

Wait another week. Go through it again.

Step Nine

Do Steps One through Eight until you stop getting critiques on your grammar.

Step Ten

Now you can move on to bigger things, like dialog, storytelling, plot, and characterization.

===========================

I don't mean to sound like an asshole. This is just what it takes. Grammar first. If you can't get that far, you won't get anywhere.

There's a huge difference between being a storyteller and a writer. You may have a great story to share, but until you get the framework of your native tongue down, nobody will hear it.

Show us you care enough to develop your grammar. We'll show you we care enough to read your story.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 01:13 AM
Grammar first then story? I do have a grammar book on me that I just finished.

EDIT: I already know the dialog punctuation. and I very well know how to spell and I know grammar, but the problem is you pointed out errors that I didn't see(not your fault). But not to argue, is it possible to be redundant in your without realizing the sentence is redundant?

Bubastes
12-12-2007, 01:25 AM
Good. Now take the principles you learned in the grammar book you just finished and apply them to your story. Slowly, as in one-sentence-at-a-time slow. It does get easier with practice, but you have to actually DO it. It's like trying to learn swimming -- you can read about it, but eventually you have to get in the water. Good luck!

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 01:28 AM
Good. Now take the principles you learned in the grammar book you just finished and apply them to your story. Slowly, as in one-sentence-at-a-time slow. It does get easier with practice, but you have to actually DO it. It's like trying to learn swimming -- you can read about it, but eventually you have to get in the water. Good luck!

Okay. SLOWLY. I just read the MS once and correct things as I go. then start writing, is that stil rushing? 'll take my time this time.

geardrops
12-12-2007, 01:35 AM
Grammar first then story? I do have a grammar book on me that I just finished.

EDIT: I already know the dialog punctuation. and I very well know how to spell and I know grammar, but the problem is you pointed out errors that I didn't see(not your fault). But not to argue, is it possible to be redundant in your without realizing the sentence is redundant?

I spotted four grammar mistakes in your post. I meant what I said about step three.

Until grammar is as natural as breathing, until typing things incorrectly just feels wrong, you're not done. If you'd like, I can just do a complete grammar scan of your writing (pick one post). I usually avoid doing that (it comes across as pedantic and for all my desire to help I just look like an asshole) but if you want, I can. I'm new here too and thusly have the "I'm new!" energy.

But get the grammar down so you do it without thinking. The best way to proofread: write it down correctly the first time.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 01:48 AM
I spotted four grammar mistakes in your post. I meant what I said about step three.

Until grammar is as natural as breathing, until typing things incorrectly just feels wrong, you're not done. If you'd like, I can just do a complete grammar scan of your writing (pick one post). I usually avoid doing that (it comes across as pedantic and for all my desire to help I just look like an asshole) but if you want, I can. I'm new here too and thusly have the "I'm new!" energy.

But get the grammar down so you do it without thinking. The best way to proofread: write it down correctly the first time.


that's fine with me, you can try the revised post. And your not an asshole is you just wanna help.

geardrops
12-12-2007, 02:31 AM
Okay, here goes. Grammar only. I'm not touching style, facts, pacing, flow, characterization, dialog, nothing. Just the mechanics.

===================

Chapter Two (capitalize): Werewolf’s Curse (capitalize).



After seeing Lily and the man walking away in the distance, my surroundings transformed back to where I originally was. The cat was resting on my leg again, purring peacefully. I scratched her head and then she stood up and looked at me. (awk: make this two sentences)

“Did you find anything important?” she (lowercase) asked. “Like your name?”

“I think so,” I answered. “Is this name (awkward: 'this name' should be 'it') Lily Rosewood?”

“Yes it is,” replied the cat delightedly. (period) “That little girl you seen (verb tense: saw) in that memory, she was you! You were so cute, but please don’t tell anyone. (awk: make this into two sentences) I’m not supposed to peek in someone’s memory without permission.”

“Um, okay. (period)”

All of a sudden, there was a loud, yet recognizable scream. I stood up and looked around the forest with alertness. (awk: 'with alertness')

“You don’t have to look around so much, comma” said (lowercase) the cat. (period) (tag belongs with previous dialog) “Do you remember what this man in your memory said about you possessing great ability?”

“He said something about that, yes,” I said, trying to wonder (someone asked earlier how a person can try to wonder. You didn't fix that. You're not noting what others say about your work.) what the cat was trying ('trying' twice - again, not paying attention to comments) to say. (period) “Why?”

“Do you want to know what that ability is?”

“Yes I do. (period)”

“Close your eyes, and remain calm. (period)”

Staying calm seemed so easy. My environment appeared in black with a blue outline. I looked around the forest until I saw two moving, (comma) living beings which were blue in color (awk: just say 'two blue, moving beings' - most of the time things that move are living, especially if they're 'beings'), one of them seem (verb tense: seemed) to be a girl fleeing from the other being that I could not identify. I knew the one being pursued was Aiyana, but she is (verb tense: was) so far-off. I opened my eyes and looked down at the cat.

“That girl, do you know her?” asked the cat. (period) “She must be in trouble. (period) Let’s (capitalize) go help her. There’s something else that I want to show you.”

The cat ran ahead through the bushes and I soon followed without hesitation (awk: 'soon followed without hesitation' - drop either 'soon' or 'hesitation'). Not running for very long, I began to notice of a cluster of trees just up ahead.

“I think we should jump across those trees, (comma)” insinuated (once more, read the comments you receive) the cat. (period) “That way we should get to the girl in no time. See that tree over there? On the count of three, we’ll jump on that big branch. And keep your eyes closed so you can pinpoint this girl’s location. Ready, One…..Two……..THREE”

I sprung (verb tense: sprang) forward and ascended and perched (awk: too many verbs, cut 'ascended') upon a large solid branch. I felt something land on my right shoulder. I turned and saw the cat, who looked back at me.

“Don’t worry about me,” she said. (period) “You (capitalize) should be focusing on helping that girl. Now let’s keep going, and keep your eyes closed and focus. You can still see where you’re going.”

I closed my eyes again (deleted comma) and heard panting. It sounded like it was coming (verb: came) from every direction, making it difficult to follow the sounds. The two blue images returned to my mind (awk: do you mean she thought of them or she could see them once more using this unexplained ability?), heading in my direction. I leaped forward to the nearest tree branch, and kept going until I brought myself to the ground. I watched them patiently.

“Pretty smart move getting ahead of them,” said the cat. (period) “Now to show you what I promised. Are you left handed or right handed?”

“Do you expect me to know that?” I snapped.

“Okay never mind then. (period) As (capitalize) I recall, I think (awk: if he recalls, he's obviously thinks it) you are right handed, right? Yes you are, (comma) definitely. Sorry, forgot. Reach out with (missing word) your right hand and focus your energy through your fingers.”

I extended my right arm forward. Looking at it, I envisioned some sort of electrical surge emitting through my fingers. Immediately there appeared a swirl of blue light which formed into a blue ball. The ball of light grew larger and brighter which each passing second. I could hear the two figures approaching, so closing my eyes to see their outlines wasn’t really necessary. My eyes widened to see the first one running out in the open to be Aiyana (awk), followed by some grotesque looking creature chasing her. She looked at me with a gaping mouth (awk).

“Get down!” I barked.

Aiyana jumped (awk: verb should be dove, considering the following action) forward, landing on her stomach. The creature came at us with its feral hostility. For some reason, it stopped running. (awk: it came at them then stopped running) The creature was huge and muscular, (comma) standing on two legs. Blood and drool dripped from his canine-like face. Yellow stained his teeth and his claws were not only razor-sharp, but were also trickling in blood. I aimed the ball of light at the creature, shaking violently as I looked into his golden eyes. The creature gave a deafening roar. He swiftly moved toward me with ferocity, which is what I was waiting for. My energy rushed through my hands with just enough force for the ball of light to blast the creature backward into a tree. I watched the creature carefully for a moment, and noticed it sitting (verb: sat) there motionless. I took a deep breath and looked down at Aiyana who was quivering and whimpering like a frightened puppy. She stopped moving and looked up at me. She smiled, but at the same time tears slowly rolled down her face. She quickly got on her feet then wrapped her (posessive, and corrected gender) arms around me, (comma) grasping (wrong verb for the action) me tightly.

“Oh, my God,” she panted. (period) “You’re okay. (deleted open-quote) This place, I don’t like it here.”

“Lily,” I whispered. “It’s Lily.”

“What? Who’s Lily?”

“My name is Lily.”

Aiyana’s hug was (awk: wrong verb, use 'became') even tighter and it started to become painful.

“Nice to meet you Lily,” said Aiyana, who finally stopped crying. “Let’s go.”

Aiyana released her grip. We turned around and started walking. I stopped walking after hearing a thumping sound (awk: 'a thumping sound' should just be 'a thump'). Aiyana was lying on the grass, which was covered in a pool of blood. I walked towards her to get a closer look at her. I turned her over and saw a large wound gushing with some thick red substance (once more, read your comments). A wound so deep, that a small part of white bone became visible under the flesh. (awk: sentence fragment; not stylistic, just incorrect) Looking (missing word: at) a wound this deep made me shudder. Aiyana sat up and frowned.

“I’m (deleted space in 'I' m') sorry, (comma)” she said. (period) “That creature, you should have seen how sharp those claws are, and how foul he smelled. He (fixed spacing problems) slashed my leg, which now as you already know, quite disturbing to see. It really hurts to walk. We don’t know how to get out of here.(deleted space)”

I continued to examine the injured leg.

“I don’t think we are too far from the city, (comma)” I said.

The sky transformed into a yellowish gold (awk: yellow and gold are in the same region of the spectrum, yellowish gold doesn't make sense) color and the clouds were dark purple. White lights flickered between the clouds followed by a noise. Aiyana shivered and her tears became visible.

“I warned you this place is dangerous!” she (lowercase) barked, (comma) and cried even harder. (period) “Mum must be so worried. Judging by the sunset it must be five o’ clock. She could have called the police, we could be dead here. And (space) — (space) Lily, why are you-”

I glanced back at Aiyana, who all of a sudden stopped sobbing.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. (period)

“You’re not like the other people I’ve met,” replied Aiyana. (period)

“Really? How so?”

“At a time like this, an average person would panic. But you, you’re just the opposite, you’re so…. So… calm. Stubborn…yet…very calm.”

Aiyana looked to another direction. (period)

“Look over there. (period)” She pointed at the black cat, who (whom) I haven’t (verb: hadn't) noticed since the encounter with the beast.

The cat walked forward and meowed. Aiyana reached out her hand to pet her.
“What’s this kitty doing here?”

“It’s my cat,” I replied.

“Oh, really? (question) Does (capitalize) he (gender: now, you could argue that Aiyana doesn't know the cat is a she, as was stated previously, but as she isn't corrected, I'm assuming this is an error) have a name?”

The cat rolled over, (comma) meowing and purring, seeming to enjoy being stroked. She quickly got up and jumped backward, hissing loudly. Her back arched, and her tail twitched sideways.

“Something is wrong,” said Aiyana. (period) “When cats behave like that, that means something must have spooked them. But what-”

Her eyes expanded after she looked up. She shivered then collapsed. I noticed a shadow between me and Aiyana, growing larger and wider.

I turned around to see the monster in the air with its mouth open, plummeting (awk: use a different verb, like lunging or diving) down at me fast. I could have darted out of the way, but doing so will (verb tense: would) hurt Aiyana, so I stood my ground. Before there was enough time to defend my(deleted space)self, the beast landed on me and pushed me onto the ground. Blood dripped from my right shoulder after the creature’s fangs impaled it. I could not move my other arm, while it’s being pressed down by the rest of my body (awk sentence). Struggling free was impossible. The creature’s teeth dug deeper into my shoulder tearing my muscle tissues. The excruciating pain made my teeth (made her teath... what?) and my eyes watery.

“Mew. (period)” The cat ran in front of me. There was a flash of bright light and there stood a girl, with hair as black as mine, with eyes as yellow as the creature's (posessive: added apostrophe) and with catlike ears on top. She looked down and winked at me. She jumped backward and extended her arms forward with widened hands (awk: 'widened hands').

“I call upon the fire dog spirit: (semicolon, I'd suggest) breathe thy fiery breath, to scorch the wickedness that pollutes our land. I SUMMON THEE!”

Out of nowhere appeared three dog-shaped flames encircling the girl. The dogs faced my direction (awk: 'faced me') and one of the (them) charged, (comma) jumping on the creature's (posessive: added apostrophe) back and bit him. The creature released his grip and struggled to get the fire dog off, but the dog didn’t budge. Following the first dog, the (missing word: other) two dogs rushed in and each one grabbed an arm. I turned around and watched helplessly as flames spread around them, morphing in to a fiery sphere. The beast howled in pain. The sphere began to expand slowly until it made a sudden explosion, leaving no remains.

“Are you okay?” The girl walked towards me and reached out her hand. Her voice was so familiar.

I grasped her hand and was pulled up to my feet.

“Thanks,” I said.

The girl gave an obeisant bow.

“No problem, Nya . (period)” The girl smiled. (period) “Happy to help you, Master.”

The last word that she just said (awk: 'That last word') made me conclude that she was the black cat. There was a burning sensation (awk: we usually associate 'burning sensations' with things not mentioned in polite company) coming from my injured shoulder, spreading throughout the arm. My palm turned red and became sore and every time I would move my finger (and every time I would move my finger... what? Incomplete sentence.).

“You’re hurt,” said the cat girl. (period)

“Don’t worry about me,” I said then turn (verb tense: turned) to Aiyana, who (missing word: was) passed out. “I think I should take Aiyana out of here.”

“I can help you with that. I know a teleportation spell. I can get you out of this forest. Is that alright?”

I turned to the cat girl and nodded.

“Go to that girl, then. I’ll get the spell ready. Where do you want to go?”

At first I thought of going to Aiyana’s house, but I changed my mind when I took another look at her injured leg. She needed medical attention quickly.

“(deleted space)Can you warp us to two different places?” I asked.

“Only if you tell me where,” answered the cat girl. (period)

“I’m going Home (do you mean this to be capitalized?), (comma)” I replied. (period) “But after I get warped I want you to teleport this girl to a place where she can get medical care.”

“As you wish.” The cat girl bowed.

The girl stood in front of me, placing her hands together like she was praying. Her hands glowed in a light blue color.

“Teleportus, (comma)” she (lowercase) said. (period)

The wind began to blow and I felt somewhat buoyant. A few seconds later, I ended up in front of Aiyana’s house standing at the front door. I turned the knob and walked inside to hear someone sobbing. It seemed to be coming from the kitchen (lowercase).

===================

Make those corrections. Then print out what you wrote and re-type it, word by word, until you can't write without writing correctly.

And remember: I didn't go into style. I didn't comment on your writing at all. What is in bold above is the mechanics of writing. From there, there's yet more.

If anyone sees anything I missed, let me know. It's hard to proofread in a forum post editor.

Queen of Swords
12-12-2007, 02:56 AM
Grammar first then story?

You have to walk before you can run. You have to master counting before you tackle fractions. Likewise, you need to have a good command of the technical details before you work on the story. I could discuss the plot and characterization and style, but that would only complicate matters. And I'd prefer you went slowly and mastered the technical stuff before we went into the creative part of the story.

EDIT: I already know the dialog punctuation. and I very well know how to spell and I know grammar, but the problem is you pointed out errors that I didn't see(not your fault).

If there are many errors that you don't see (but which we do), then your story can only benefit from your slowing down and being careful while editing. Whether the mistakes are due to inexperience with the craft or due to haste in posting the excerpt, it turns readers off. And it looks careless. Most critiquers aren't going to spend time on a piece if it looks as though the author didn't.

Good luck with improving your skills!

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 03:30 AM
You have to walk before you can run. You have to master counting before you tackle fractions. Likewise, you need to have a good command of the technical details before you work on the story. I could discuss the plot and characterization and style, but that would only complicate matters. And I'd prefer you went slowly and mastered the technical stuff before we went into the creative part of the story.



If there are many errors that you don't see (but which we do), then your story can only benefit from your slowing down and being careful while editing. Whether the mistakes are due to inexperience with the craft or due to haste in posting the excerpt, it turns readers off. And it looks careless. Most critiquers aren't going to spend time on a piece if it looks as though the author didn't.

Good luck with improving your skills!


don't worry, i'll slow down. You can tell me about the characterization and style, dont worry about complications.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 03:32 AM
You have to walk before you can run. You have to master counting before you tackle fractions. Likewise, you need to have a good command of the technical details before you work on the story. I could discuss the plot and characterization and style, but that would only complicate matters. And I'd prefer you went slowly and mastered the technical stuff before we went into the creative part of the story.



If there are many errors that you don't see (but which we do), then your story can only benefit from your slowing down and being careful while editing. Whether the mistakes are due to inexperience with the craft or due to haste in posting the excerpt, it turns readers off. And it looks careless. Most critiquers aren't going to spend time on a piece if it looks as though the author didn't.

Good luck with improving your skills!


don't worry, i'll slow down. You can tell me about the characterization and style, dont worry about complications. I'll work a little harder and take my time. Just tell me about characterization. That is, if you have time.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 03:37 AM
To Dempsey: You added periods at the end of dialogue tags. I thought you end tags with commas. Thanks a bunch for your help! and you too Queen of Hearts.

Queen of Swords
12-12-2007, 03:41 AM
don't worry, i'll slow down. You can tell me about the characterization and style, dont worry about complications. I'll work a little harder and take my time. Just tell me about characterization. That is, if you have time.

It's not a question of time, Blue. It's a question of pacing ourselves appropriately - us meaning you and me and everyone else. Right now, I don't think it would be a good idea to work on characterization, because that would be rushing things. If you're still learning about when to use periods and when to use commas, then I'd rather you mastered this and felt confident with it before we went into the creative stuff.

Because if you thought grammar and spelling were difficult, characterization and style will seem twice as tough.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 03:52 AM
It's not a question of time, Blue. It's a question of pacing ourselves appropriately - us meaning you and me and everyone else. Right now, I don't think it would be a good idea to work on characterization, because that would be rushing things. If you're still learning about when to use periods and when to use commas, then I'd rather you mastered this and felt confident with it before we went into the creative stuff.

Because if you thought grammar and spelling were difficult, characterization and style will seem twice as tough.

I already know how to use periods and commas. I know grammar. I don't mean to argue, and dont worry about characterization I've been through worse. ^_^

Queen of Swords
12-12-2007, 04:07 AM
I already know how to use periods and commas. I know grammar.

That's great. It means all you have to do is work on using them consistently and accurately in your story. Once you've mastered that, then we can move on to the next step.

No rushing. You can ask until you turn Blue. :) But I still maintain that you'll be better off taking this slowly and applying your knowledge of the technical details before working on characterization. You see, right now it's not clear from your story that you know how to use grammar and punctuation. Once it's clear from your work that you know this, I'll be happy to go over characterization and style.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 04:24 AM
That's great. It means all you have to do is work on using them consistently and accurately in your story. Once you've mastered that, then we can move on to the next step.

No rushing. You can ask until you turn Blue. :) But I still maintain that you'll be better off taking this slowly and applying your knowledge of the technical details before working on characterization. You see, right now it's not clear from your story that you know how to use grammar and punctuation. Once it's clear from your work that you know this, I'll be happy to go over characterization and style.


Like you guys said. I was rushing throughout and I didn't see errors when I revise. Look at how I'm typing now! You said take things slowly, which is what I'm doing.

EDIT: I have a question, what else is the problem besides the grammar? What's the problem with my characters?

geardrops
12-12-2007, 04:30 AM
I know grammar.

I wrote a lot of bold text that proves you wrong.

To Dempsey: You added periods at the end of dialogue tags. I thought you end tags with commas. Thanks a bunch for your help!

Sentences have to end.

"I'm saying something."

See the period? Because the sentence ended.

"I'm saying something. And now I'm saying something else."

Period. Two sentences.

Now say I have to put the tag in to show who's speaking.

"I'm saying something," she said. "And now I'm saying something else."

Just because you're putting a tag in there doesn't mean the sentence doesn't end.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 04:49 AM
I wrote a lot of bold text that proves you wrong.



and thanks for that, no need to prove me wrong. I DID ask you to point it out for me, because I failed to see it.

FennelGiraffe
12-12-2007, 04:54 AM
To Dempsey: You added periods at the end of dialogue tags. I thought you end tags with commas.

It depends on whether the dialog comes before or after the tag. Notice that the quoted dialog starts with a capital letter either way, but "he" is not capitalized when the tag comes after the dialog.He said, "Blah blah blah."
"Blah,blah,blah," he said.
When you have dialog on both sides of the tag, it depends on whether the quoted dialog is one sentence split apart, or whether it's two separate sentences. Pay attention to which words are capitalized and which aren't. (Of course, "I" would be capitalized no matter what.)"I think," she said, "he means it."
(I think he means it. is one sentence.)
"I like red flowers," she said. "He likes blue."
(I like red flowers. He likes blue. is two sentences.)
I already know how to use periods and commas. I know grammar.

We can see the grammatical errors. There are two possible explanations for them:

EitherYou don't know grammar as well as you think you do.
orYou are being disrespectful to everyone here by not making the effort to clean it up.
So which is it? Are you rude, or do you need to study grammar a little more?

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 04:58 AM
We can see the grammatical errors. There are two possible explanations for them:

EitherYou don't know grammar as well as you think you do.
orYou are being disrespectful to everyone here by not making the effort to clean it up.
So which is it? Are you rude, or do you need to study grammar a little more?

I'm not being rude. I'm sorry if you see me this way. Just because you see grammar errors doesnt mean I don't know them. Like I said they are careless mistakes and I will fix them later.

Bubastes
12-12-2007, 05:06 AM
I'm not being rude. I'm sorry if you see me this way. Just because you see grammar errors doesnt mean I don't know them. Like I said they are careless mistakes and I will fix them later.

Here's the thing: you cannot afford to be careless when it comes to showing your work. When you prepare something for critique, you need to make it the best you can possibly make it before posting it. That way, any critiques you do receive will stretch you your current "best" and make your writing even better.

If you hope to be published, you really can't afford careless mistakes. You don't get a "later" when you submit for publication.

Remember that you reinforce the habits you practice. If you practice being careless, you will reinforce that carelessness. So don't do it!

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 05:10 AM
Here's the thing: you cannot afford to be careless when it comes to showing your work. When you prepare something for critique, you need to make it the best you can possibly make it before posting it. That way, any critiques you do receive will stretch you your current "best" and make your writing even better.

If you hope to be published, you really can't afford careless mistakes. You don't get a "later" when you submit for publication.

Remember that you reinforce the habits you practice. If you practice being careless, you will reinforce that carelessness. So don't do it!

I'll be careful next time. Is there anything besides grammar that's an issue? No I don't think I'll be published if the chances of acceptance are low.

geardrops
12-12-2007, 05:14 AM
Is there anything besides grammar that's an issue?

Yes. But I'm not going into it until you present something that is grammatically correct.

Call me a jerk. You don't get pro overnight. Basics first. If you can't get a good foundation, you can't build.

Bubastes
12-12-2007, 05:23 AM
Just take baby steps and focus on one thing at a time. First, work on grammar and punctuation until doing it correctly is as automatic as breathing. Worry about the rest later. The time will come. Have patience!

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 05:26 AM
I told you I already know grammar and punctuation -.-. Can I revise this piece again to prove it to you? I know where to put the periods and commas and apostrophe etc. I know! I've been knowing this since 3rd grade.

Linda Adams
12-12-2007, 05:27 AM
Like I said they are careless mistakes and I will fix them later.


Are you aware that by being careless, you are actually making MORE work for yourself? It's going to be extremely painful if you have to go through 400 pages of manuscript just to add periods at the end of sentences and hunt down comma problems. Not only that, you'll probably have to go over multiple times just to weed all of the problems out. Why add more work for yourself when it's so easy to correct? If you get the grammar reasonably correct as you write you don't have to fix careless mistakes later.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 05:34 AM
Are you aware that by being careless, you are actually making MORE work for yourself? If you get the grammar reasonably correct as you write you don't have to fix careless mistakes later.


You're right. but I just kept writing without paying attention. Everytime I'm so close to an exciting plot, I just go for it. Not bothering to pay attention to what I write.

By the way, is writing sentences properly part of grammar? I can't do that even if you shove a book down my throat. I can't speak properly, and it's probably the same. If this counts as a grammar problem then I see.

I'm sorry I can't even speak right, and I am not a normal person.

Linda Adams
12-12-2007, 06:03 AM
You're right. but I just kept writing without paying attention. Everytime I'm so close to an exciting plot, I just go for it. Not bothering to pay attention to what I write.


If it's an inspiring plot, it'll stick with you whether you write fast or slow. If you forget something because you didn't get to, so what? You'll come up with something better or different. There's no need to race through writing at the expense of the story.

By the way, is writing sentences properly part of grammar? I can't do that even if you shove a book down my throat. I can't speak properly, and it's probably the same. If this counts as a grammar problem then I see.


Writing sentences properly is a part of writing and grammar. It's part of how to make your story understood and to communicate a message.

This site might help with some of the grammar: http://www.newsroom101.com/ It has a lot of repetitive exercises to work the grammar muscles.

By the way, Vince Flynn is dyslexic. He's also a best selling writer. Don't sell yourself short. You just have to work harder at it.

FennelGiraffe
12-12-2007, 09:42 AM
You're right. but I just kept writing without paying attention. Everytime I'm so close to an exciting plot, I just go for it. Not bothering to pay attention to what I write.
A lot of us write a first draft by letting the inspiration flow without worrying much about the words. But we don't ask people to critique those first drafts. We clean them up first.

As it happens, I have a mild motor skill deficiency. It's not much, but I typo probably three words out of every five. Do you see any typos in this comment? Do you see typos in any of my comments at AW? No, you don't. I put in the effort to find and correct them before I hit Submit. (I'm sure I miss one now and then--no one is perfect--but not very often.)

Why do I bother? Why not just submit my comments 'as is'? Because I don't want to present myself as being sloppy and careless. Because I don't want to present myself as not caring how hard others have to work to figure out what I mean. Because doing that would be rude.

Queen of Swords
12-12-2007, 12:31 PM
I told you I already know grammar and punctuation -.-. Can I revise this piece again to prove it to you? I know where to put the periods and commas and apostrophe etc. I know! I've been knowing this since 3rd grade.

There isn't much point in continually saying that you know grammar and punctuation and then submitting excerpts filled with errors. I can tell that you're trying to keep mistakes out of your posts here, but whether you can do the same with your story is another issue. The numerous mistakes with grammar and punctuation in your story are not small things which you can correct later after you rush on to characterization and style. They are indications that the foundation needs work, and they interfere with a reader's enjoyment of the story.

If you know grammar and punctuation, before you post another excerpt, go through it carefully and correct every technical error. As dempsey said, once you show that you can do this, then more in-depth critiques can be done.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 04:02 PM
A lot of us write a first draft by letting the inspiration flow without worrying much about the words. But we don't ask people to critique those first drafts. We clean them up first.

As it happens, I have a mild motor skill deficiency. It's not much, but I typo probably three words out of every five. Do you see any typos in this comment? Do you see typos in any of my comments at AW? No, you don't. I put in the effort to find and correct them before I hit Submit. (I'm sure I miss one now and then--no one is perfect--but not very often.)

Why do I bother? Why not just submit my comments 'as is'? Because I don't want to present myself as being sloppy and careless. Because I don't want to present myself as not caring how hard others have to work to figure out what I mean. Because doing that would be rude.


Oh, I see. You take that much time, into correcting your errors before you post a reply. Me? I just say what I gotta say then press submit. Anyways, I just gotta submit a final draft right, does that mean it has to be finished?

Queen of Swords
12-12-2007, 04:49 PM
Oh, I see. You take that much time, into correcting your errors before you post a reply. Me? I just say what I gotta say then press submit.

Many people here have told you why your approach is not a good idea. Do you still intend to post whatever you have written without checking for mistakes? That is a way to ensure that few people will read your work and even fewer will critique it.

Anyways, I just gotta submit a final draft right, does that mean it has to be finished?

It has to be as error-free as possible. There is no point in saying "I know grammar, I know punctuation" and then posting something that's filled with technical errors.

Bubastes
12-12-2007, 05:47 PM
Oh, I see. You take that much time, into correcting your errors before you post a reply. Me? I just say what I gotta say then press submit. Anyways, I just gotta submit a final draft right, does that mean it has to be finished?

Ditto to what everyone else has already said. Also, the errors in your posts indicate that grammar and punctuation aren't automatic for you yet. Like I said earlier, it should be like breathing -- when it's that automatic, your first drafts will contain fewer technical errors. If you want people to invest time reading your stuff, you should respect them enough to invest time polishing it.

Your draft doesn't have to be finished, but it should be as finished as you can make it. Otherwise, the critiques won't be helpful to either you or the critiquer.

BlueLucario
12-12-2007, 07:33 PM
You want me to SHOW you I know grammar rather than pointlessly tell you? All right then. I'll proofread it and then get back to you is that alright?

Queen of Swords
12-12-2007, 08:53 PM
You want me to SHOW you I know grammar rather than pointlessly tell you? All right then. I'll proofread it and then get back to you is that alright?

I think that posting something free of technical mistakes would be a better idea than posting something riddled with errors and then stating that you know grammar and punctuation. I'm sure you see a contradiction in the latter course of action.

Don't think of applying grammar or proofreading as this unpleasant task you've got to endure before you get to the fun stuff. And don't think of this as something you have to do to satisfy us. It's something you have to do to become a better writer and to have the best story possible.

geardrops
12-12-2007, 09:10 PM
Oh, I see. You take that much time, into correcting your errors before you post a reply. Me? I just say what I gotta say then press submit.

Let me guess: "If I wrote it that way, I must have meant it that way?"

Anyways, I just gotta submit a final draft right, does that mean it has to be finished?

Yes. That's usually what we mean by "final."

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 12:28 AM
Let me guess: "If I wrote it that way, I must have meant it that way?"



Yes. That's usually what we mean by "final."

All right then, I will revise it the best way I can then get back to you later.

QoH: What exactly is the problem with characterization? (Yes I know slow down, but it won't be a final draft without tweak and fixing every problem)

And can you show me?

brianm
12-13-2007, 12:54 AM
All right then, I will revise it the best way I can then get back to you later.

QoH: What exactly is the problem with characterization? (Yes I know slow down, but it won't be a final draft without tweak and fixing every problem)

And can you show me?

BlueLucario,

You have to master the basic mechanics of writing before you can start worrying about characterization, etc.

Reading posts that have numerous grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors is not enjoyable. It's akin to listening to someone singing off key.

You claim your errors are caused by rushing, but it is apparent after eighty some posts that you are lacking in the basic mechanics. You must go back to the basics and learn those before you can move on to the other techniques of writing fiction.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 01:15 AM
BlueLucario,

You have to master the basic mechanics of writing before you can start worrying about characterization, etc.

Reading posts that have numerous grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors is not enjoyable. It's akin to listening to someone singing off key.

You claim your errors are caused by rushing, but it is apparent after eighty some posts that you are lacking in the basic mechanics. You must go back to the basics and learn those before you can move on to the other techniques of writing fiction.


Again, I know the basics. A monkey can do grammar. I'm already revising my piece right now. I can't fix anything without knowing the problems are besides grammar. And if you're talking about the way I post, I never cared how I type in post. It really didn't matter as long as people can read what I'm saying. But I didn't know it was considered rude.

DeadlyAccurate
12-13-2007, 01:57 AM
And if you're talking about the way I post, I never cared how I type in post. It really didn't matter as long as people can read what I'm saying. But I didn't know it was considered rude.

Read, perhaps. But understood? You're a writer. Your job is to communicate ideas to the best of your abilities. Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization are all means to facilitate that. Take a good look at this board and you'll see, consistently, that posts are written with a lot of thought for their style and structure. I usually edit a single post two or three times before I hit submit, and I doubt I'm alone.

A monkey can do grammar. But you want your writing to be superior to a monkey's.

-----

Don't worry about characterization, or motivation, or plot. You have to fix the basic problems before you can even begin to worry about those other things. And be happy you're only concerning yourself with grammar at this time. Characterization and motivation are much, much harder to fix.

Queen of Swords
12-13-2007, 02:52 AM
QoH: What exactly is the problem with characterization?

I'm beginning to wonder if you read my posts, let alone reading yours.

I've made it clear that I'm not going to discuss characterization until and unless you're able to post an excerpt that's free from errors in grammar and punctuation. You may ask over and over again, but I think you'll find that I'm not easily worn down, and I'll either keep replying "not yet" or simply ignore your posts. It's neither fun nor productive to help someone who isn't listening to what's being said.

And it's Queen of Swords, not Queen of Hearts. I don't mind people getting my name wrong occasionally, but it's happened three times now. Not hearts, swords. Not soft warm red valentiney things. Hard sharp steel pointy things. Thank you. :)

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 02:56 AM
I'm beginning to wonder if you read my posts, let alone reading yours.

I've made it clear that I'm not going to discuss characterization until and unless you're able to post an excerpt that's free from errors in grammar and punctuation. You may ask over and over again, but I think you'll find that I'm not easily worn down, and I'll either keep replying "not yet" or simply ignore your posts. It's neither fun nor productive to help someone who isn't listening to what's being said.

And it's Queen of Swords, not Queen of Hearts. I don't mind people getting my name wrong occasionally, but it's happened three times now. Not hearts, swords. Not soft warm red valentiney things. Hard sharp steel pointy things. Thank you. :)

Got it. And sorry about the name. I don't pay attention I have ADHD and autism.

I do have a paragraph. just a paragraph is that alright with you?

geardrops
12-13-2007, 03:00 AM
I don't pay attention I have ADHD and autism.

These are just excuses.

FennelGiraffe has motor function problems, and look at her posts. Nigh-on flawless.

Quit whining and get to work.

Bubastes
12-13-2007, 03:03 AM
Got it. And sorry about the name. I don't pay attention I have ADHD and autism.


John Robison has Asperger's. Check out his posts. Better yet, check out his book!

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1785583&postcount=21

Queen of Swords
12-13-2007, 03:16 AM
I do have a paragraph. just a paragraph is that alright with you?

It's not clear to me what you need or what you're asking, Blue. And I'm tired. It's been a long day. So do whatever you like. Maybe someone else has the energy to deal with this, because I don't. Good luck.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 03:30 AM
It's not clear to me what you need or what you're asking, Blue. And I'm tired. It's been a long day. So do whatever you like. Maybe someone else has the energy to deal with this, because I don't. Good luck.


Here. Just what you asked for.

I glanced back at Aiyana, who all of a sudden had stopped sobbing.

“What’s wrong?” I asked

“You’re not like the other people I’ve met,” replied Aiyana

“Really? How so?”

“At a time like this, an average person would panic. But you, you’re just the opposite, you’re so…. so… calm. Stubborn…yet…very calm.”

Aiyana looked in the other direction.

“Look, over there.” She pointed to the black cat, which I hadn’t noticed since the encounter with the beast.

The cat walked forward and meowed. Aiyana reached out her hand to pet her.

“What’s this kitty doing here?”

“It’s my cat,” I replied.

“Oh, really, does he have a name?”

The cat rolled over meowing and purring, seeming to enjoy being stroked. She quickly got up and jumped backward, hissing loudly. Her back arched and her tail twitched sideways.

“Something is wrong,” said Aiyana, “When cats behave like that, that means something must have spooked them. But what-”

Her eyes expanded after she looked up. She shivered then collapsed. I noticed a shadow between Aiyana and me, growing larger and wider.

I turned around to see the monster in the air with its mouth open, plummeting down at me fast. I could have darted out of the way, but doing so would have hurt Aiyana, so I stood my ground. Before there was enough time to defend myself, the beast landed on me and pushed me onto the ground. Blood dripped from my right shoulder after the creature’s fangs impaled it. I could not move my other arm, because the rest of my body was pressing it down. Struggling free was impossible. The creature’s teeth dug deeper into my shoulder tearing my muscle tissues. The excruciating pain made my teeth clench and my eyes water.

“Meow!” The cat ran in front of me. There was a flash of bright light and there stood a girl, with hair as black as mine, with eyes as yellow as the creatures and with catlike ears on top. She looked down and winked at me. She jumped backward and extended her arms forward with widened hands.

“I call upon the fire dog spirit; breathe thy fiery breath, to scorch the wickedness that pollutes our land. I SUMMON THEE!”

Out of nowhere appeared three dog-shaped flames encircling the girl. The dogs faced my direction and one of them charged, jumping on the creature’s back biting him. The creature released its grip and struggled to get the firedog off, but the dog didn’t budge. Following the first dog, the two dogs rushed in and each one grabbed an arm. I turned around and watched helplessly as flames spread around them, morphing in to a fiery sphere. The beast howled in pain. The sphere began to expand slowly until it made a sudden explosion, leaving no remains.

Queen of Swords
12-13-2007, 03:34 AM
I do have a paragraph. just a paragraph is that alright with you?

Thanks for posting your paragraph.

geardrops
12-13-2007, 03:35 AM
Wonderful.

You had a chapter 1 to this, correct? Take what you've learned and fix that chapter. I'm not going to outline your mistakes there. You have hopefully learned correct grammar at this point, as you have insisted so many times.

Right now I know you can fix errors that are pointed out and corrected for you. Fix up chapter one, on your own, with grammar. Show us you learned.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 03:45 AM
Wonderful.

You had a chapter 1 to this, correct? Take what you've learned and fix that chapter. I'm not going to outline your mistakes there. You have hopefully learned correct grammar at this point, as you have insisted so many times.

Right now I know you can fix errors that are pointed out and corrected for you. Fix up chapter one, on your own, with grammar. Show us you learned.


See I told you I can do it. Grammar is so easy. So you want ALL of chapter one? or just an excerpt.

geardrops
12-13-2007, 03:50 AM
See I told you I can do it. Grammar is so easy. So you want ALL of chapter one? or just an excerpt.

No, listening to a proofreader is easy.

If grammar were easy, all your posts would be better than what they have been. You have a grammar error right there. I'm staring at it. You didn't capitalize your last sentence.

Just an excerpt, please. One with dialog, if you can swing it.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 03:59 AM
No, listening to a proofreader is easy.

If grammar were easy, all your posts would be better than what they have been. You have a grammar error right there. I'm staring at it. You didn't capitalize your last sentence.

Just an excerpt, please. One with dialog, if you can swing it.

Hah, No problem;). Just a second. And do I need to talk in proper grammar? Does it make a difference even if someone else here understands what you are saying?

Does this Dialogue have to be natural? Not forced?

geardrops
12-13-2007, 04:07 AM
Hah, No problem;). Just a second. And do I need to talk in proper grammar? Does it make a difference even if someone else here understands what you are saying? I always talk like this with disregard to grammar.

I'm not the only one who has mentioned your need to write better in your posts.

You are on a board full of people who love English. Love it to pieces. Moreover, this is an industry where, if you don't love English as much as they do, they will take what you wrote and set it on fire. No, I mean it. They will set your shit on fire (http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.html?id=950).

Yes. It makes a difference.

And you need to learn the talk-vs-speak rule.

Does this Dialogue have to be natural? Not forced?

If you can swing it, yes.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 04:25 AM
“Yes?” She answered, “What is it?”

“I want to ask you something.” I said.

“Sure, ask away.” she said.

“Where exactly did you find me?”

“Erm… Sorry?”

“Where did you find me unconscious? Before I woke up here, where was I found?”

“In the Lutwa Forest, why?”

“And where is gthe forest?”

Aiyana gave me a questioning look.

“Why do you want to know?” she asked.

“Just answer my question, Aiyana.” I barked.

“All right, all right,” Aiyana said, giving a light sigh, “The woods just north of here. Why do you want to-”

I walked towards the bedroom door.

“And just where do you think you’re going?” Asked Aiyana loudly, “Don’t tell me you’re going to-”

I stopped walking and there was silence for a few seconds.

“Yes, that is where I’m going” I answered.

“You can’t go,” She said, starting to become very irritating. “The forest is dangerous, you could get hurt or lost. Many people go in but very few come out alive, that place is a labyrinth. I will not allow you to go!”

“And who are you to stop me?” I asked, “I don’t care how dangerous it may be. I have to go there.”

“What if someone sees you and calls the police?” Asked Aiyana, “You’re a wanted for God knows what.”

I did not have time to listen to Aiyana nag nor did I care whether or not someone saw me and reported me to the local police. Aiyana was still rambling on, so I ignored her and continued on.

“Come back here!” Aiyana shouted, finally seeing that her attempt to stop me from leaving was futile, she stood up and yelled out “Okay, but at least wait for me!”

We arrived at horde of trees several minutes later. I took a deep breath and walked in. Aiyana soon followed. The forest became darker and darker the further in we went. After a long period of wandering, the soles of my feet became sore. Aiyana and I saw an opening with two large rocks and patches of soil and went to sit down. Aiyana took off her shoes and placed them aside.

“Let’s just go back,” She said fatigued. “We’ve been walking in this forest for hours. And look at the sky, the weather’s getting bad.”

It suddenly became windy and the sky developed into a grayish color instead of its usual blue. There was a flash of white light between the clouds followed by a loud roaring noise. Aiyana got off her rock and placed her shoes back on.

“We really should go,” she said, “It's unsafe being in this forest especially in bad weather. I think this should wait until tomorrow. I bet Mum is back home wondering where we are.”

“Aiyana, if you want to go home then just go,” I said, annoyed but at the same time remaining calm, “I didn’t ask you to tag along with me. You have already realized now how pointless it is to stop me. Just go home if you want to leave that badly.”

Here we go! Anything else?

To dempsey: Okay, but if it's a way of showing respect I'll do it. I don't want to offend anyone.

geardrops
12-13-2007, 04:34 AM
Grammar is wrong. Please try again.

Also, it's more than a matter of respect. It's good practise. Did you not read the steps I gave you? If you follow those, you'll improve. You don't like to think about your grammar as you write. Best way to do that is to make it so you don't have to. You do this by always writing with good grammar, always.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 04:52 AM
Grammar is wrong. Please try again.

Also, it's more than a matter of respect. It's good practise. Did you not read the steps I gave you? If you follow those, you'll improve. You don't like to think about your grammar as you write. Best way to do that is to make it so you don't have to. You do this by always writing with good grammar, always.


Alright then. I'll try again.


As soon as she placed the wet paper towel on my shoulder, I felt unbearable stinging sensations. The more she wiped the wound, the more excruciating the pain felt. She discovered more of the wound on my back shoulder.

“Is this… a bite wound?” she asked.

“Yes, but I’m fine,” I answered, “You don’t have to worry about me.”

“Don’t you dare tell me not to worry!” shouted Solana, “Whatever the hell bit you could have rabies! I may not be your mother young lady, but I still have every right to be concerned about your safety!”

All of a sudden the phone rang and Solana jumped in surprise. She went to her purse to reach for her cell phone.

“Hello?”

I watched her stand by the counter.

“Yes, this is Solana. I’m sorry. Let me put you on speaker.” She placed her phone on the table and sat down.

“Hello, can you hear me now?”

“Yes I can Ms. Frost.” Said a male’s voice over the phone.

“How may I help you?” asked Solana

“My name is Chuck and I’m calling from Medical Center and I’m calling about your daughter Aiyana.”

Solana’s eyes expanded and she began to breathe heavily.

“What seems to be the problem?” Solana started biting her thumb.

“We cannot give you this information over the phone ma’am.”

“Why not? I’m her mother!”

“Ma’am, you’re going to have to come and visit, we cannot tell you the situation over the phone.”

“Oh…. Alright, but is my daughter going to be okay?

“I’m sorry, but the only information I can give you is that your daughter is here. You must come to the hospital so we can share this information with you. But because visiting hours are closed, we can only allow one family member in the hospital to see the patient. No one else may come but the parent.”

“Thank you,” Solana hung up.

“Solana,” I said and sighed, “Aiyana was with me in the forest. She insisted on making me stay in the house. I did not ask her to follow me there.”

I could have apologized to Solana for the incident, but Aiyana’s injury was not my fault.

“What were you doing in the forest?” Asked Solana, who calmed down.

“I do not have an answer to that question.”

“What do you mean?”

“I cannot answer that.”

“What? Oh, forget it. Anyway did you find any information on the Registry?”

“No. However, I did discover my name and my date of birth.”

Solana smiled, “Oh really, what is it?”

“It’s Lily, and I’m born on the 20th day of December.”

“What year?”

“1995.”

“Ah! So you’re eleven years old. You won’t turn twelve for about another month. Aiyana’s birthday is this Friday.”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“Well, anyways no time to talk,” said Solana, “I must get to the hospital, and hopefully someone can give me an answer as to what’s going on.”

Solana grabbed her purse and left the kitchen. As soon as she opened the door, there were droplets of water falling from above and the ground was covered in puddles.



How's that? Revised it three times. No mistakes!

Linda Adams
12-13-2007, 04:57 AM
How's that? Revised it three times. No mistakes!

Uh, yes, there was. There are still grammatical mistakes and at least one typo.

geardrops
12-13-2007, 05:01 AM
How's that? Revised it three times. No mistakes!

Closer, but no cigar. Pay more attention to your dialog punctuation.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 05:07 AM
Closer, but no cigar. Pay more attention to your dialog punctuation.

Done!

Bubastes
12-13-2007, 06:15 AM
It's still not right. I stopped reading after I counted four errors.

DeadlyAccurate
12-13-2007, 06:24 AM
You're showing some improvement, Blue, and that's fantastic. But, maybe you should set this aside for a few days. I know how tough it can be to see errors in something you've been staring at for several days in a row. Continue writing on the next section, paying close attention to the grammar as you do so. I bet when you look back at this, many of the errors will jump out at you.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 03:55 PM
You're showing some improvement, Blue, and that's fantastic. But, maybe you should set this aside for a few days. I know how tough it can be to see errors in something you've been staring at for several days in a row. Continue writing on the next section, paying close attention to the grammar as you do so. I bet when you look back at this, many of the errors will jump out at you.


Alright then, I will. But can I still ask questions regarding my story? I won't ask about characterization and all that, but what I've written.

BlueLucario
12-13-2007, 08:49 PM
Alright then. I'll try again.


As soon as she placed the wet paper towel on my shoulder, I felt excruciating stinging sensations. She discovered more of the wound on the back of my shoulder.

“Is this… a bite wound?” she asked.

“Yes, but I’m fine,” I answered. “You don’t have to worry about me.”

“Don’t you dare tell me not to worry!” shouted Solana. “Whatever the hell bit you could have rabies! I may not be your mother young lady, but I still have every right to be concerned about your safety!”

All of a sudden the phone rang and Solana jumped. She went to her purse and pulled out her cell phone.

“Hello?”

She stood near the counter. The expression on her face changed.

“Yes, this is Solana. I’m sorry, let me put you on speaker.” She placed her phone on the table and sat down.

“Can you hear me now?”

“Yes I can Ms. Frost.” said a male’s voice over the phone.

“How may I help you?” asked Solana.

“My name is Chuck and I’m calling from Lute Medical Center. I’m calling about your daughter Aiyana.”

Solana’s eyes expanded and she began to shiver.

“What seems to be the problem?” She started biting her thumb.

“We cannot give you this information over the phone ma’am.”

“Why not? I’m her mother!”

“Ma’am, you’re going to have to come and visit. We cannot tell you the situation over the phone.”

“Oh…. Alright, but is my daughter going to be okay?

“I’m sorry, but the only information I can give you is that your daughter is here. You must come to the hospital so we can share this information with you. You cannot see the patient outside visiting hours. ”

“Thank you.” Solana hung up.

“Solana,” I said and sighed, “Aiyana was in the forest with me. She insisted that I must stay here, but I did not listen. I did not ask her to follow me there.”

I could have apologized to Solana for the incident, but Aiyana’s injury was not my fault.

"You should have listened to her," said Solana. “What were you doing in the forest?”

“I do not have an answer to that question.”

“What do you mean?”

“I cannot answer that.”

“What? Oh, forget it. Anyway, did you find any information from the Registry?”

“No. I did discover my name and my date of birth elsewhere.”

Solana smiled, “Oh really? What is it?”

“It’s Lily. I’m born on December 20th.”

“What year?”

“1995.”

“Ah! So you’re eleven years old. You won’t turn twelve for about another month. Aiyana’s birthday is this Friday.”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“Well, no time to talk,” said Solana, “I must get to the hospital and hopefully someone can give me an answer as to what’s going on.”

Solana grabbed her purse and left the kitchen. As soon as she opened the door, there were droplets of water falling from above and the ground was covered in puddles.



How's that? Revised it three times. No mistakes!


Revised. If you see any errors at least count how many there are.

Queen of Swords
12-13-2007, 09:02 PM
I counted nine spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. I was skimming, so there may be more.

geardrops
12-13-2007, 11:09 PM
I counted nine spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. I was skimming, so there may be more.

I counted seven. But I'm skimming even faster, possibly. That, and I have a very difficult time spotting spelling errors (I didn't see any, so trust QoS on that one).

But the quality of grammar above is much closer to what you should post, every time. Significant improvement.

I would say at this point, post something new. Make sure it is as flawless as you can make it. I don't care if you don't post it for a week. In fact, I'd prefer it. Means you're taking your time.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 12:58 AM
I counted seven. But I'm skimming even faster, possibly. That, and I have a very difficult time spotting spelling errors (I didn't see any, so trust QoS on that one).

But the quality of grammar above is much closer to what you should post, every time. Significant improvement.

I would say at this point, post something new. Make sure it is as flawless as you can make it. I don't care if you don't post it for a week. In fact, I'd prefer it. Means you're taking your time.

Okay, here's a better idea. Why don't I show you my review of someone elses work, but it's at a different site. I'm critting someone right now, and his/her grammar is horrible.(Well, kinda.)

If I show you my crit of someone's work would that be okay?

Bufty
12-14-2007, 01:05 AM
NO. It's strange, but accepted, that one can see the flaws in other folk's work easier than one can spot them in one's own. Having the knowledge is one thing - applying it to one's own work is what is difficult but necessary if one is to advance as a writer.

geardrops
12-14-2007, 01:05 AM
Would that be okay for what? Showing that you can find someone else's mistakes?

(1) Critique on this forum.

(2) Fixing someone else's mistakes makes you a copy editor. Fixing your own makes you a writer.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 01:07 AM
Would that be okay for what? Showing that you can find someone else's mistakes?

(1) Critique on this forum.

(2) Fixing someone else's mistakes makes you a copy editor. Fixing your own makes you a writer.

Not fixing mistakes. I'm doing the same thing you did with my piece.

geardrops
12-14-2007, 01:11 AM
Not fixing mistakes. I'm doing the same thing you did with my piece.

I basically fixed your mistakes for you. I stopped short of rewriting your piece. (And you still didn't even do all of them.)

Why don't I show you my review of someone elses work, but it's at a different site.

Try critiquing a work posted on this site, not elsewhere.

Bufty
12-14-2007, 01:12 AM
For crying out loud - there's Forum after Forum here with pieces you can crit till the cows come home.

Not fixing mistakes. I'm doing the same thing you did with my piece.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 01:49 AM
I basically fixed your mistakes for you. I stopped short of rewriting your piece. (And you still didn't even do all of them.)



Try critiquing a work posted on this site, not elsewhere.

I'll try. It won't be easy, but it's worth a try.

DeadlyAccurate
12-14-2007, 02:01 AM
If I show you my crit of someone's work would that be okay?

Thing is, Blue, you don't need our permission to go out and critique something. People aren't responding to your posts to test you, like one of your teachers would; we're merely offering expertise and assistance. What you do with that information is up to you.

That said, critiquing others' work will help you get better.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 02:49 AM
“Yes?” She answered. “What is it?”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure, ask away.”

“Where did you find me?”

“Sorry?”

“Where did you find me unconscious?”

“In the Lutwa Forest. Why?”

“And where is the forest?”

Aiyana gave me a questioning look.

“Why do you want to know?”

“Just answer my question.”

“Fine.” Aiyana said. “The forest is just north of here. Why do you want to-”

I walked towards the bedroom door.

“And just where are you going?” Asked Aiyana. “Don’t tell me you’re going to-”

There was a moment of silence.

“Yes.” I answered.

“You can’t go.” She said, starting to become very irritating. “The forest is dangerous! You could get hurt or lost. Many people get lost in there. I will not allow you to go!”

“And who are you to stop me?” I asked, “I don’t care how dangerous it may be. I have to go there.”

“What if someone sees you and calls the police?” Asked Aiyana. “You’re wanted for God knows what.”

I did not have time to listen to Aiyana nag, nor did I care whether or not someone saw me. Aiyana's nagging carried on, so I ignored her and continued walking.

“Come back here!” Aiyana shouted. Finally realizing that there was no point in stopping me, she stood up and yelled out “Okay, but at least wait for me!”

We arrived at horde of trees several minutes later. I took a deep breath and walked through and Aiyana soon followed. The forest became darker and murk the deeper we went. After a long period of walking, my feet became sore. There stood two large rocks and patches of soil at an opening just up ahead. We sat down beside the two rocks to relax for a moment. Aiyana took off her shoes and placed them aside.

“Let’s just go back.” She said. “We’ve been walking in this forest for hours and the weather’s getting bad.”

It suddenly became windy and the clouds became gray. There was a flash of white light between the clouds followed by a loud noise. Aiyana got off the rock and placed her shoes back on.

“We really should go.” she said. “It's unsafe being in this forest especially in bad weather. I bet Mom is wondering where we are.”

“Aiyana, if you want to go home then just go.” I said, annoyed but at the same time, I remained calm. “I didn’t ask you to tag along with me. By now you should have already realized that it is pointless to stop me. Just go home if you want to leave that badly.”





Do you see any errors now? If so how many? I'm sorry, I want to show you that I can do this grammar so we can move on(And you told me to show you.). Is that alright? I'm sorry for being irritating.


I also have finsihed the crit. It's kinda short.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1882560&posted=1#post1882560

Queen of Swords
12-14-2007, 03:03 AM
I counted fifteen spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. Once again, I don't advise thinking of the technical part as something to be hurried through and got out of the way "so we can move on". But do what you like.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 03:10 AM
I counted fifteen spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. Once again, I don't advise thinking of the technical part as something to be hurried through and got out of the way "so we can move on". But do what you like.

Fifteen? >.<

Question. Arent there people out there that are hired to proofread your work? I did ask a proofreader to review my stuff(I haven't recieved it yet) so it can help her with her resume. Is that alright?

geardrops
12-14-2007, 03:13 AM
I saw fifteen as well.

Linda Adams
12-14-2007, 03:27 AM
Fifteen? >.<

Question. Arent there people out there that are hired to proofread your work? I did ask a proofreader to review my stuff(I haven't recieved it yet) so it can help her with her resume. Is that alright?

Blue, the skills aren't hard to learn, and if you hone your grammar skills until they're second nature, you'll have less work proofreading. Plus, proofreading, though tedious, can have a huge benefit if you do it. While you're correcting typos and whatnot, you'll spot places where you can make improvements to the content.

Besides, hiring someone to proofread is fairly expensive. Money should flow to the writer, not away.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 03:43 AM
I counted fifteen spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. Once again, I don't advise thinking of the technical part as something to be hurried through and got out of the way "so we can move on". But do what you like.

I'm not giving up yet. How many left?

Queen of Swords
12-14-2007, 03:49 AM
Thirteen.

brianm
12-14-2007, 03:53 AM
Has SYW become a classroom? I feel terrible for the other members in this forum whose posted pieces keep getting kicked down the page so that Blue can try to learn grammar in her threads. This is becoming ridiculous.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 04:35 AM
Has SYW become a classroom? I feel terrible for the other members in this forum whose posted pieces keep getting kicked down the page so that Blue can try to learn grammar in her threads. This is becoming ridiculous.

You guys wanted me to post something grammar free. But if you want me to stop, I will. I'm really trying here.

geardrops
12-14-2007, 04:38 AM
Has SYW become a classroom? I feel terrible for the other members in this forum whose posted pieces keep getting kicked down the page so that Blue can try to learn grammar in her threads. This is becoming ridiculous.

I think Brian's glaring more at me than you, Blue.

He has a point, though.

BlueLucario
12-14-2007, 04:44 AM
I think Brian's glaring more at me than you, Blue.

He has a point, though.

True he may have a point, but I've been overwhelming the other forum members and I'm sorry for that.

brer
12-14-2007, 04:51 AM
Nothing to really apologize for, Blue. Nobody is twisting the other posters' arms to post. :D
(Ya need help, and ya gotta do what ya gotta do. :) )

Although brianm does have a point, and I do agree with him.

Perhaps, either this thread could be moved to "Office Party" . . . (since I don't think the contents are really "wip prose" now, and this thread does have a "Office Party" vibe to it.) . . . But if the contents are still considered "wip prose," then maybe the thread could be moved to the "Main Share Your Work Board -- Start Here" subforum in SYW . . .

just some loose rambling by an anon . . . mouse . . . kinda . . . :)

BlueLucario
12-15-2007, 03:11 AM
Nothing to really apologize for, Blue. Nobody is twisting the other posters' arms to post. :D
(Ya need help, and ya gotta do what ya gotta do. :) )

Although brianm does have a point, and I do agree with him.

Perhaps, either this thread could be moved to "Office Party" . . . (since I don't think the contents are really "wip prose" now, and this thread does have a "Office Party" vibe to it.) . . . But if the contents are still considered "wip prose," then maybe the thread could be moved to the "Main Share Your Work Board -- Start Here" subforum in SYW . . .

just some loose rambling by an anon . . . mouse . . . kinda . . . :)

O...Kay? I don't understand what you are saying.


We aren't going any further yet. I just wanna ask a question. Are the characters in my story believeable and likeable? Do they give you a reason to care? Just tell me what's wrong with it and don't give me advice on how to fix it.

BlueLucario
12-19-2007, 12:13 AM
Looking around for something to occupy myself became very difficult, if not impossible. I got up off my chair and paced around the room until I noticed the filing cabinet in the corner, leaning forward with all three drawers open. I hoisted the cabinet into its erect position and closed the top two drawers. I took a seat on the floor in front of the remaining open drawer and saw a pile of newspapers. What caught my interest immediately was a yellow newspaper buried in the pile with the headline “WANTED ALIVE” printed on the top of the page in large letters.

I grabbed the paper out of the drawer and examined it further. It smelled like coffee. The newspaper was dry and some of the text was either worn out or was washed away by some kind of liquid substance. I also noticed the snapshot of a girl in the middle of the page. Half of her face was covered in coffee stains, making it difficult for me to see her in detail. But for some reason, I felt as if I’ve seen this girl before. A gut feeling inside of me told me to take this paper and read it.

I got to my feet, took the locket and the mirror and left the office. I went back into Aiyana’s room and rested on the bed. I examined the old newspaper once more, and realized that I had, without doubt, seen this girl before and I had a feeling I knew where. I took the locket, opened it and to my surprise, the photo on the locket and the other on the newspaper were a perfect match. I placed the locket on the floor and started to read the front page.




Okay. No errors, I'm sure of it. Took me two hours to proofread. Sorry for *bumping the thread*. You guys wanted me to post something error free so we can move on to something else.

BlueLucario
12-19-2007, 02:33 AM
Oh, forget it delete this thread.

Birol
12-19-2007, 04:34 AM
Blue, you have to have a little patience. It's the week before the holidays. It's year end. People are busy, but they will be around when they have a chance.

BlueLucario
12-19-2007, 06:22 PM
Alright. I'll wait then. I do have a deadline which is next tuesday, and I want everything to be good enough for people to look at.

geardrops
12-19-2007, 09:05 PM
You have a deadline? For what?

Birol
12-19-2007, 11:52 PM
Um, if you're using SYW to get crits before a deadline, you might want to attempt to establish more one-on-one, reciprocal relationships with an individual member or group.

BlueLucario
12-20-2007, 02:33 AM
You have a deadline? For what?

Literary fair and this is also my own deadline. I really want it good enough for presentation. I want to start chapter three right away.

And to Birol: i have. with alot of people.

Birol
12-20-2007, 03:30 AM
Blue, Chapter Two doesn't have to be perfect before you start Chapter Three. Just start it. Write until The End. When you've reached that point, then go back and edit. Otherwise, you'll spend all your time rewriting and you'll never finish.

Also, if you have a reciprocal, one-on-one relationship with lots of people, then why are you so impatient to receive a crit from the SYW peeps?

BlueLucario
12-20-2007, 04:09 AM
Blue, Chapter Two doesn't have to be perfect before you start Chapter Three. Just start it. Write until The End. When you've reached that point, then go back and edit. Otherwise, you'll spend all your time rewriting and you'll never finish.

Also, if you have a reciprocal, one-on-one relationship with lots of people, then why are you so impatient to receive a crit from the SYW peeps?

Well first of all they aren't online much, and yes I can understand they have lives too.


Second: since everyone has different views of my story, I just want to suck up all the advice that they give me and I'll do almost anything to be a better writer, even if I have to jump off a cliff. And queen of hearts said something about characterization, and I'm curious to know what the problems of my characterization is.


Third: Their opinions determine whether or not I should continue writing, if it's not good enough then I'll just stop. When I first submit my story online,everyone wanted to read it. Nobody would stop bugging me, asking me if it's finished. I just want to give readers what they want, a good story. They were the ones who motivated me to keep going. I didn't want to let them all down and give them a horrible story. So that's why I'm here. To become a better writer, and maybe when I gain some experience in writing fiction(and I read alot), I could help others too.

I also heard this phrase and I have read it all the time.

"Writing is like McDonalds, the reader is always right" Meaning that your audience is first priority

brianm
12-20-2007, 04:45 AM
BL,

If you love writing so much that you would be willing to jump off a cliff, then I suggest you heed Birol's advice and write until the end of the story.

I do hope you are not intending to write every chapter, and then place each one of them on SYW for the crits to whip into shape. It doesn't work that way in this forum.

By the by, it's Queen of Swords. Maybe you should just refer to her as QoS.;) It tends to annoy the old biddy when you get her name wrong.

*runs for cover to avoid the Queen's wrath*

Linda Adams
12-20-2007, 04:54 AM
Third: Their opinions determine whether or not I should continue writing, if it's not good enough then I'll just stop.

Why are you letting their opinions make the judgement for you? You're the one who is investing in the time to write; it doesn't have anything to do with them. YOU have to make the decision. Either you want to write or you don't want to write.

And don't expect to come out of the gate and be a master writer right away. There are a lot of skills to learn, and you're only just working through the basic skills. It is something that you really have to love because it may take a long time.

Queen of Swords
12-20-2007, 04:57 AM
It tends to annoy the old biddy when you get her name wrong.

Old... biddy?

Lese-majeste! Off with his head! ;)

Birol
12-20-2007, 09:12 AM
Well first of all they aren't online much, and yes I can understand they have lives too.

This is why you have to keep moving forward. You can't stop to wait. Write to the end, then they can read it and give insights while


Second: since everyone has different views of my story, I just want to suck up all the advice that they give me and I'll do almost anything to be a better writer, even if I have to jump off a cliff.

Following everyone's advice won't make you a better writer. Part of being the writer is to know what advice will work for your story and what advice won't.


And queen of hearts said something about characterization, and I'm curious to know what the problems of my characterization is.

Then perhaps it would be better to ask the questions you want to answer.


Third: Their opinions determine whether or not I should continue writing, if it's not good enough then I'll just stop.

Then stop. Quit. You'll never be good enough. You have to want this for you. You can't do this for others. Yes, you can tailor a story to a certain audience, but you can't write for other people.


When I first submit my story online,everyone wanted to read it. Nobody would stop bugging me, asking me if it's finished. I just want to give readers what they want, a good story. They were the ones who motivated me to keep going. I didn't want to let them all down and give them a horrible story. So that's why I'm here. To become a better writer, and maybe when I gain some experience in writing fiction(and I read alot), I could help others too.

You won't please everyone. You can't. Everyone will not like everything you write.


I also heard this phrase and I have read it all the time.

"Writing is like McDonalds, the reader is always right" Meaning that your audience is first priority

No. The reader is not always right. Audience is a factor when you're publishing, but when you're writing, story is paramount. Tell the story first, then worry about marketing it to a specific audience.

Linda Adams
12-20-2007, 03:07 PM
You won't please everyone. You can't. Everyone will not like everything you write.



A good point. The first two critiques on mine (by people who we should not have asked) HATED it. Not just a little bit. A lot. One of them hated it because it wasn't like Cold Mountain. Another hated it because a character pulled a gun. Later we ran across another person who hated it also because it was slanted towards a woman audience. You may have a book that you disliked, but it was a best seller. I've gone to Amazon and looked at reviews for a book I didn't like and have found review after review giving it four stars. Everyone has different reading tastes; you can't please all of them.

BlueLucario
12-20-2007, 03:56 PM
Old... biddy?

Lese-majeste! Off with his head! ;)


Oh, QueenOfSwords. I'm really sorry. >.< Your name is so similar to a member named QueenofHearts, I think it was this forum.

And you know, I really can't stop writing if I wanted to. It's so much fun! Now it kind of makes sense hearing that you can't please everyone.

BlueLucario
12-20-2007, 10:49 PM
Oh by the way, Queen of Swords.(I said it right this time). Or anyone else, can I ask what the problem with characterization is? Does this story make you care? Are my characters believable? I'm just wondering if I should ask.

EDIT: I also want to know this, does the scenes in the story look like they are wandering around? You get to the action then stop for something else and then get back into the action. Does it do that? And how is the plot?

Okay that's too many questions right? Sorry

geardrops
12-20-2007, 11:30 PM
Blue, have you read/seen Eragon?

I'm going to illustrate a point. I want to know if you have consumed that story in any capacity.

BlueLucario
12-20-2007, 11:46 PM
Blue, have you read/seen Eragon?

I'm going to illustrate a point. I want to know if you have consumed that story in any capacity.

I have heard of it. But I have neither seen the movie nor read the book.

geardrops
12-20-2007, 11:50 PM
Darn.

I'd want to get into HP with you because, well, I know you know the series. I certainly know the series. But I don't think many people will like my opinion of, "Harry Potter was a boring character, and I wish the story were about Snape." (But he was and it should have been.)

Read Eragon. Your opinion of that will let us know where we stand.

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 12:01 AM
Darn.

I'd want to get into HP with you because, well, I know you know the series. I certainly know the series. But I don't think many people will like my opinion of, "Harry Potter was a boring character, and I wish the story were about Snape." (But he was and it should have been.)

Read Eragon. Your opinion of that will let us know where we stand.

If you want, try Harry Potter. After all, you are using an example.

.

By the way, do they have an E-book of Eragon?

geardrops
12-21-2007, 12:20 AM
If you want, try Harry Potter. After all, you are using an example.

I might get yelled at for this. Let's take it to PMs. This thread should be more in the writer's workshop with a new title at this point, anyway.

By the way, do they have an E-book of Eragon?

Google? I'm not doing your legwork for you.

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 12:22 AM
Google? I'm not doing your legwork for you.

Who's asking you to do leg work? I just want to know if there is an E-book on Eragon. You don't have to link me or anything.

And if you prefer PM's, I guess that's alright. But I still think you should post it here,but that's your choice. If anything happens, the MOD's will take care of it right?

After all HP is a bestselling children's book, and I'm underage.(Not for long)

geardrops
12-21-2007, 12:31 AM
Who's asking you to do leg work? I just want to know if there is an E-book on Eragon. You don't have to link me or anything.

You don't know if Eragon is an E-Book.

Instead of using Google to find out, you ask me to tell you.

I don't know either, so I'd have to look it up. I'd probably Google it.

Next time, just look it up yourself.

And it's not that I'd prefer PMs. I think the world would prefer if we went to PMs. I don't want to piss people off with a lesson on characterization (and on how to make a good character) in a forum intended to critique semi-final product.

You PM me if you want.

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 12:43 AM
You don't know if Eragon is an E-Book.

Instead of using Google to find out, you ask me to tell you.

I don't know either, so I'd have to look it up. I'd probably Google it.

Next time, just look it up yourself.

And it's not that I'd prefer PMs. I think the world would prefer if we went to PMs. I don't want to piss people off with a lesson on characterization (and on how to make a good character) in a forum intended to critique semi-final product.

You PM me if you want.

I'm sure you won't piss people off. Like I said the MODs will take care of things when something goes out of hand. But okay. I"ll PM you.

Birol
12-21-2007, 08:47 AM
And it's not that I'd prefer PMs. I think the world would prefer if we went to PMs. I don't want to piss people off with a lesson on characterization (and on how to make a good character) in a forum intended to critique semi-final product.

Ease up a little, Dempsey. If the conversation evolves and the thread is more appropriate for another forum, it can easily be moved. Discussions are for everyone.

geardrops
12-21-2007, 09:24 AM
Ease up a little, Dempsey. If the conversation evolves and the thread is more appropriate for another forum, it can easily be moved. Discussions are for everyone.

I wasn't trying to be mean :( This was in response to what I read here: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86155

I sensed some tension in this type of discussion being in this board. I didn't want to be the instigator and .. yeah.

I'll just stop now. But we can talk here. Whatever. Sorry.

Birol
12-21-2007, 05:19 PM
Ah. Understood.

dpaterso
12-21-2007, 07:11 PM
Since the conversation has turned back to elements of writing, this thread is heading back to AW Roundtable for general discussion.

If feedback on story excerpts is wanted, please post in Share Your Work.

-Derek

PattiTheWicked
12-21-2007, 08:03 PM
I'm sorry, but this is driving me nuts:

We arrived at horde of trees several minutes later. I took a deep breath and walked through and Aiyana soon followed. The forest became darker and murk the deeper we went. After a long period of walking, my feet became sore.

When did trees start traveling in hordes? The only place I've seen this phrase used is in bad RPG/D&D fanfic.

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 08:04 PM
I wondered why it was moved. Well thank you dpatsero.

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 08:06 PM
I'm sorry, but this is driving me nuts:



When did trees start traveling in hordes? The only place I've seen this phrase used is in bad RPG/D&D fanfic.

When I said hordes of trees I meant a group of them. And no they don't travel.
They all sound awkward I know. But I can't find another way of saying it.

Birol
12-21-2007, 08:15 PM
And yet, when explaining what you meant, you found another way to say it.

DeadlyAccurate
12-21-2007, 08:21 PM
Copse of trees
Group of trees
A small forest
A woodland area
A woodlot
A weald

A that's just from hitting dictionary.com and thesaurus.com.

CaroGirl
12-21-2007, 08:24 PM
A stand of trees.
A grove of trees.

PattiTheWicked
12-21-2007, 08:26 PM
A cluster of trees.

And I *know* they don't travel.... but a horde does. That's why it was driving me nuts. It's like saying a "flock of stones" or something.

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 08:32 PM
And yet, when explaining what you meant, you found another way to say it.

I couldn't say it because I have already said groups, so I chose another word.

maestrowork
12-21-2007, 09:21 PM
I couldn't say it because I have already said groups, so I chose another word.

Why? If it's a group then it's a group. Why must you choose another word -- a wrong one at that.

If you must choose a different word (for whatever reason), try grove, line, etc. As writers, we must learn how to find the right word, not a random "variety" just for variety's sake. You wouldn't say a "herd" of trees, would you?

PattiTheWicked
12-21-2007, 09:25 PM
A herd of trees? Why, of course I've heard of trees!

s:/rimshot

Queen of Swords
12-21-2007, 09:30 PM
I couldn't say it because I have already said groups, so I chose another word.

Remember when you referred to blood as a "thick red substance"? That didn't lend richness and variety to the text - it just made me think of crushed cranberries. The same thing applies here. Don't use a synonym which makes the reader stop and think "huh?"

Birol
12-21-2007, 09:50 PM
I couldn't say it because I have already said groups, so I chose another word.

Give me the context in which you'd already said 'groups'. Were you thinking of a writing rule when you decided that needed to use a different word?

PattiTheWicked
12-21-2007, 10:00 PM
And actually, you don't have to specify that the trees are in a group, cluster, or herd at all. If you say "trees" it implies more than one, simply by virtue of being a plural noun.

"Some time later, we found ourselves sheltered by trees."

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 10:15 PM
Remember when you referred to blood as a "thick red substance"? That didn't lend richness and variety to the text - it just made me think of crushed cranberries. The same thing applies here. Don't use a synonym which makes the reader stop and think "huh?"

Okay. But again, I could not find another word for blood.

To Birol: What exactly do you mean?

kristie911
12-21-2007, 10:43 PM
BL, go back and read what Maestro said...it was very good advice. Here I'll even quote it because it bears repeating.

As writers, we must learn how to find the right word, not a random "variety" just for variety's sake.

It can seem odd to use the same word twice in a sentence but if that's the only word that works and you have no way to keep from repeating it in a sentence, then that's what you have to use. There are times you'll repeat a word twice in a sentence, a paragraph, on a page. There's no rule against it. No one says you can't. But using an odd word because you don't want to repeat something you've already used, will not make your text better, it'll probably just make it odder.

And I'm confused as to why you needed another word for blood?

Queen of Swords
12-21-2007, 10:50 PM
Okay. But again, I could not find another word for blood.

Why would you need another word for it? Think of the Harry Potter books. Does Rowling refer to Harry's wand as "Harry's wooden magical instrument" or "Harry's twelve-inch power stick"?

geardrops
12-21-2007, 10:50 PM
"Harry's twelve-inch power stick"?

Hey now. Let's keep this PG-13.

;)

Birol
12-21-2007, 11:33 PM
Hey now. Let's keep this PG-13.

;)

:roll:

To Birol: What exactly do you mean?

What do you mean what do I mean? It's not a trick question. There's not a right or wrong answer. I'm merely asking for information sake. Why do YOU think you can't use the same word more than once?

BlueLucario
12-21-2007, 11:55 PM
:roll:



What do you mean what do I mean? It's not a trick question. There's not a right or wrong answer. I'm merely asking for information sake. Why do YOU think you can't use the same word more than once?

Because I thought it'd be distracting to the reader,not to mention annoying.

Does Rowling refer to Harry's wand as "Harry's wooden magical instrument" or "Harry's twelve-inch power stick"?

No, but she doesn't say wand all the time.

Birol
12-21-2007, 11:58 PM
Was there a reason you thought it would be distracting or annoying?

BlueLucario
12-22-2007, 12:04 AM
Was there a reason you thought it would be distracting or annoying?


Because noone would want to read the same word over and over and over again.

geardrops
12-22-2007, 12:05 AM
No, but she doesn't say wand all the time.

I challenge this. I can't successfully challenge it as I'm at work and my books are at home. But I challenge this.

Birol
12-22-2007, 12:08 AM
Because I thought it'd be distracting to the reader,not to mention annoying.

No, but she doesn't say wand all the time.

I challenge this. I can't successfully challenge it as I'm at work and my books are at home. But I challenge this.

I can't think of any word she used for wand other than 'wand.'

Because noone would want to read the same word over and over and over again.

Why? People do it all the time, especially when it's the right word.

geardrops
12-22-2007, 12:09 AM
I counted over seventy-five entries of the word "ineffable" in Good Omens. In about six chapters.

Sometimes word repetition isn't a bad thing.

Birol
12-22-2007, 12:16 AM
I was doing something similar, Dempsey.

Let's look at The Ransom of Red Chief (http://www.online-literature.com/o_henry/1041/), a classic short story by O Henry. By MSWord's count, it is 4,172 words long. In it, the word 'mountain' was used 7 times, the word 'cave' was used 16 times, 'ransom' was used 10 times, excluding the title, and 'boy' was use 19 times.

Take a minute and read the story and tell me if you get tired of reading these same words over and over and over again, or if they work for the story that is being told.

Toothpaste
12-22-2007, 01:18 AM
Blue -

I haven't chimed in yet to this thread, or the others you have started, because I find it difficult to answer your questions satisfactorily. The reason I don't think I, nor anyone else here, can truly answer your questions is that you are looking for absolutes, a rule book of sorts.

I'm an actor. I've been in many a drama class over my life, and you remind me a lot of a good friend of mine who was so determined to find the "correct" method to become a "good actor". He would take notes, ask tons of questions, and in the end would just wind up more confused.

Because the thing with the arts is that there is no right or wrong. And see here, that statement itself is also wrong. Because there are rules of grammar, and there are tried and tested methods. At the same time there isn't. At the same time people write with poor grammar or totally mix of styles and genres and it works. Bloody confusing isn't it?

What it comes down to is an understanding of the "rules" and then an understanding that they can be broken. You need to read A LOT. Not just you, I mean, all writers, and see what people do out there. You can't just imitate a blockbuster bestselling novel thinking that the author must have found the winning formula because each blockbuster bestselling novel is different from each other.

I would suggest to you to stop asking questions. Now I believe that questions are good, that there are no silly questions or bad questions, but sometimes you can ask too many questions, and the act of asking isn't helpful to you anymore. Right now I see you getting confused and frustrated. You felt that the critiques on you work were harsh and so when you critiqued something yourself you were extremely negative. To me this is a perfect example of how you have yet to develop a keen eye, an ability to see subtle differences between writings. This is not a bad thing, this merely means you are untrained, you are young (not age wise, experience wise) at this.

Read. Stop asking. Read. Read many different books. And while you are reading these books, don't even ask then. Some may tell you to ask yourself why does something work and something else does not, but I disagree. I don't think you are ready for such critical thinking yet. I think right now you just need to experience the joy of reading.

Then write. Write short stories. Write poems. Write different genres. And find a voice. A wonderful unique voice that is truly your own.

Yes this seems like a daunting task, and yes I know you have a self imposed deadline for next week, so you are probably not going to like hearing any of this, but honestly if you really want to be a writer, you will be so much the better for this.

Now we can answer your questions till the cows come home. But in the end, it is simply not going to help you because all our answers will be different from each other. And you do not have the ability (yet) to distinguish what you think is most appropriate for your writing. Because there is no one way to writing a book. No one way to getting published. No one way to becoming a bestseller. There may be some ways that are more popular than others, but who is to say those ways are the best for you. Only you can decide this. And I think you are simply not at the place to make those decisions yet.

This is not meant to be an insult, every single one of us was once at the place you are now. There is absolutely no shame in it. And if you embrace it, and honour it, and take your time to grow and learn and develop yourself as a writer, you will be so much more the better for it.

BlueLucario
12-22-2007, 01:40 AM
Blue -

What it comes down to is an understanding of the "rules" and then an understanding that they can be broken. You need to read A LOT. Not just you, I mean, all writers, and see what people do out there. You can't just imitate a blockbuster bestselling novel thinking that the author must have found the winning formula because each blockbuster bestselling novel is different from each other.

I'm not thinking of it as "rules". It's just something I picked up from books on what you should or shouldn't do. What's a good idea or what's bad.

I would suggest to you to stop asking questions. Now I believe that questions are good, that there are no silly questions or bad questions, but sometimes you can ask too many questions, and the act of asking isn't helpful to you anymore. Right now I see you getting confused and frustrated. You felt that the critiques on you work were harsh and so when you critiqued something yourself you were extremely negative. To me this is a perfect example of how you have yet to develop a keen eye, an ability to see subtle differences between writings. This is not a bad thing, this merely means you are untrained, you are young (not age wise, experience wise) at this.

I never asked questions,. and I'm not upset or confused., I take criticism as what it is, criticism. I'm going to have to take it because I asked for it. Now I'm getting too used to crits to think of them as harsh. You all thought I take it well, right?


Read. Stop asking. Read. Read many different books. And while you are reading these books, don't even ask then. Some may tell you to ask yourself why does something work and something else does not, but I disagree. I don't think you are ready for such critical thinking yet. I think right now you just need to experience the joy of reading.

I read alot. But I don't know what I should read besides story structure and all that.

Then write. Write short stories. Write poems. Write different genres. And find a voice. A wonderful unique voice that is truly your own.



Yes this seems like a daunting task, and yes I know you have a self imposed deadline for next week, so you are probably not going to like hearing any of this, but honestly if you really want to be a writer, you will be so much the better for this.

Now we can answer your questions till the cows come home. But in the end, it is simply not going to help you because all our answers will be different from each other. And you do not have the ability (yet) to distinguish what you think is most appropriate for your writing. Because there is no one way to writing a book. No one way to getting published. No one way to becoming a bestseller. There may be some ways that are more popular than others, but who is to say those ways are the best for you. Only you can decide this. And I think you are simply not at the place to make those decisions yet.

This is not meant to be an insult, every single one of us was once at the place you are now. There is absolutely no shame in it. And if you embrace it, and honour it, and take your time to grow and learn and develop yourself as a writer, you will be so much more the better for it.

No I don't think of it as an insult. The problem with me is that I was too narrow minded. I thought because everyone talks about harry potter and discusses it, I thought I should look to J.K Rowling. Now according to some writers, she's not most respected, not to mention the most talented as a writer. With my recent conversation with someone regarding the book, I'm starting to agree with them.

I'm getting a couple of books to read now, like Carrie, Pet Semetary, Eragon, and I'm looking for some other good books. I'm sorry I love to read.

Birol
12-22-2007, 02:00 AM
I'm not thinking of it as "rules". It's just something I picked up from books on what you should or shouldn't do. What's a good idea or what's bad.

That's pretty much the definition of a rule, Blue.

I never asked questions,

You ask questions all the time, but I think that's okay. Asking questions is how some of us learn. You just need to learn to listen to the answers and think about what the other person is saying before you ask the next one.

and I'm not upset or confused., I take criticism as what it is, criticism. I'm going to have to take it because I asked for it. Now I'm getting too used to crits to think of them as harsh. You all thought I take it well, right?

Well, no. Not exactly. I don't think you take it at all, one way or another. You don't stop to process what people are telling you or what they mean. You don't apply the knowledge. My impression is that you're treating it as a step as in, "Okay. That's done. Check. What's next?" You may not argue and you may hear the words that are said, but you're not exactly listening.

You're moving full speed through the process without actually gaining anything from it.

It's like practicing scales in music. Scales are boring. They are nothing more than a technical exercise, but they teach you skills you need to learn. When those skills are later applied to real musical scores, you will be able to play better.

I read alot. But I don't know what I should read besides story structure and all that.

There's reading and then there's Reading. At this point, I strongly suspect that you do read a lot, but that you're still reading as a reader and not as a writer, that you're not actually aware of what it is you're seeing on the page.

As for "all that." What "all that"? This is vague. What are you referring to?

maestrowork
12-22-2007, 02:01 AM
Okay. But again, I could not find another word for blood.

Again, why do you need to use different words for blood?

BlueLucario
12-22-2007, 02:05 AM
Again, why do you need to use different words for blood?
Now that the others have explained to me that it's okay to use the same words. I don't need another name for blood anymore.

maestrowork
12-22-2007, 02:05 AM
Because I thought it'd be distracting to the reader,not to mention annoying.

No, it's annoying if you refer to blood as "the sticky red substance." Blood is blood. If you somehow find a metaphor and you want to use it for effect and it fits the story, go for it. But to use a different word or phrase just because you "think" it's annoying is really rather silly.

ETA: Anyway, I came in a little late so I'm sorry if I'm repeating what everyone is saying. But like Toothpaste said, there are no absolutes. No one ever said "you can't use the same word twice" or "you must not use adverbs at all" or some such. Some of these "rules" are just what writers have found effective (or not). The basic idea is to tell a story the best you can that will enchant and enthrall your readers. Choose the right words.

dpaterso
12-22-2007, 02:10 AM
Ichor sprayed the walls as Derek swung his mighty sword and separated maestro's head from his shoulders!

-Derek

Birol
12-22-2007, 02:13 AM
You know, I think this thread is starting to run in circles a bit and it's becoming all about BlueLucario. Why don't we start breaking down some of the core central elements into different threads and focus on them individually as a group? I'll start. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1903533#post1903533)

BlueLucario
12-22-2007, 02:14 AM
I'm sorry i didn't mean to be annoying.

Breaking down the core essential elements? What do you mean Birol?

geardrops
12-22-2007, 02:15 AM
Writing is a balance between the left and right brain.The left brain is needed for the rules, structure, and form. The right brain is needed for the creativity.

The first step to learning how to write is learning how to read. I'm not talking "Hooked On Phonics." You need to learn how to think about books. There's a whole language that goes with it, concepts, schema, ideas. You can learn them from reading.

You look like you want to write YA fantasy. That's what I read from you. How much YA fantasy have you read? How much fantasy in general have you read? Have you ever read anything literary that wasn't assigned by school? Have you ever read a Greek play? Have you ever read anything postmodern? Renaissance? A Western?

You may think all of this is useless, but man, having read the Little House series helped me add details about a farm in my current short story. Star Wars came about because Lucas decided to read Hero With A Thousand Faces. Voltaire wrote Candide because he thought Leibniz's Monadology was the funniest thing since the Aristotelian Theory of Gravity.

But they didn't just casually absorb these books. They devoured them, analyzed them, pulled them apart like you do in English class. Or like you should, at any rate. That is how you should read.

Birol
12-22-2007, 02:16 AM
I'm sorry i didn't mean to be annoying.


It's okay, Blue. Sometimes it's easy for people to forget they were once beginners, too, and that the rules of respect should run both ways.

BlueLucario
12-22-2007, 02:23 AM
It's a surprise that you all have been so calm about this.

Bufty
12-22-2007, 02:44 AM
:Shrug: What did you expect?

To those of us who have been here a while, Blue, you're not the first to ask questions and pay little attention to the answers, and you won't be the last - you've just persisted a little longer than some, that's all.

It's a surprise that you all have been so calm about this.

kristie911
12-22-2007, 06:33 AM
Others have given BL this advice but I think it needs to be repeated because I don't think it's really sinking in. And it's good advice for all of us writers...

Just write. Get it out, get it on paper, get it done. Don't get caught up in the edits until it's finished. Just get the story out! Who cares if it sucks the first time around? That's what editing is for...but edits should be done after you type "the end".

(I know, I know...don't ya'll jump on me...I know some of you edit as you go but I think it this case Blue is getting too caught up in getting it perfect and needs to save edits until the end)

So just write it. You're getting so bogged down, I'm afraid you're going to burn out and never finish it. Trust me...it happens to the best of us. :) And you'll learn as you go. I promise the beginning will suck way more than the end... :D

CheshireCat
12-22-2007, 07:48 AM
I read alot. But I don't know what I should read besides story structure and all that.

"A lot" is two words.

I'm sorry, but that was driving me nuts.

My sixth-grade teacher drummed it into us, so it always jumps out at me.

geardrops
12-22-2007, 09:42 AM
Others have given BL this advice but I think it needs to be repeated because I don't think it's really sinking in. And it's good advice for all of us writers...

Just write. Get it out, get it on paper, get it done. Don't get caught up in the edits until it's finished. Just get the story out! Who cares if it sucks the first time around? That's what editing is for...but edits should be done after you type "the end".

(I know, I know...don't ya'll jump on me...I know some of you edit as you go but I think it this case Blue is getting too caught up in getting it perfect and needs to save edits until the end)

So just write it. You're getting so bogged down, I'm afraid you're going to burn out and never finish it. Trust me...it happens to the best of us. :) And you'll learn as you go. I promise the beginning will suck way more than the end... :D

Kristie, there's a threshold at which this is okay advice. Some people really do just need to write. But this advice is not for everybody.

That's all I'm going to say on that matter.

dmytryp
12-22-2007, 01:10 PM
I'd want to get into HP with you because, well, I know you know the series. I certainly know the series. But I don't think many people will like my opinion of, "Harry Potter was a boring character, and I wish the story were about Snape." (But he was and it should have been.)


Lol. You should talk to my wife. She hangs around forums where lots of people think this way.
She also told me the other day she imagined what would happen if she dyed her lab robe blackhttp://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

kristie911
12-22-2007, 05:52 PM
Kristie, there's a threshold at which this is okay advice. Some people really do just need to write. But this advice is not for everybody.

That's all I'm going to say on that matter.

I know...that's why I qualified that statement with this one.

(I know, I know...don't ya'll jump on me...I know some of you edit as you go but I think it this case Blue is getting too caught up in getting it perfect and needs to save edits until the end)


Maybe you missed that second part. I said specifically "in this case".

megan_d
12-22-2007, 07:49 PM
No, but she doesn't say wand all the time.

Yes she does.

geardrops
12-22-2007, 08:03 PM
Maybe you missed that second part. I said specifically "in this case".

That's true, I did somehow miss that. Forgive me. It was late and I had traveled. Airports are an adventure, to say the least.

BlueLucario
12-22-2007, 09:24 PM
That's true, I did somehow miss that. Forgive me. It was late and I had traveled. Airports are an adventure, to say the least.


I guess I shouldn't try to be perfect. So just write right?

By the way, did you all know that this story was rank number 30 out of 2622 stories on Urbis? I made the top 30! what did you think?

kristie911
12-22-2007, 10:11 PM
That's true, I did somehow miss that. Forgive me. It was late and I had traveled. Airports are an adventure, to say the least.

No apology necessary. We're all good. I'll stop poking you in the head with that pointy stick now. :e2poke:




;)

Birol
12-22-2007, 11:45 PM
I guess I shouldn't try to be perfect. So just write right?

By the way, did you all know that this story was rank number 30 out of 2622 stories on Urbis? I made the top 30! what did you think?

I don't know anything about Urbis other than what you've said about it. I'd never heard of it before you mentioned it in another thread.

The real question is what do you think about it?

IceCreamEmpress
12-23-2007, 12:37 AM
I guess I shouldn't try to be perfect. So just write right?

To be honest, I think you should read first. And study English grammar and syntax.

While you're reading and studying, keep a notebook/file with your plot and character ideas, because they're clearly exciting you, which is fantastic. You obviously have inspiration and passion, which are two important qualities every writer needs for success.

But there is a third quality that writers need for success: basic competence with language. You don't currently have that. I have every confidence that you can acquire it, because you're obviously a highly motivated person.

Right now, though, it's really hard to understand what you're trying to say on a very basic level. I've taught basic and remedial college writing, including special courses for English as a Second Language learners; I am totally aware that very intelligent people can find it difficult to express themselves in written English, so please don't take this as a critique of your intelligence or your motivation. It isn't.

I really think that you would be well-advised to invest some time (and perhaps money, if that's possible) in learning better writing skills. It'll give you mastery of the tools you need to tell the stories you want to share.

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 03:06 AM
But there is a third quality that writers need for success: basic competence with language. You don't currently have that. I have every confidence that you can acquire it, because you're obviously a highly motivated person.

Right now, though, it's really hard to understand what you're trying to say on a very basic level. I've taught basic and remedial college writing, including special courses for English as a Second Language learners; I am totally aware that very intelligent people can find it difficult to express themselves in written English, so please don't take this as a critique of your intelligence or your motivation. It isn't.


Can you explain this a little more? What do you mean I don't know basic competence with language?

Danger Jane
12-23-2007, 03:32 AM
I think what Ice Cream means is that you don't have a good grasp of the subtle differences between words in most cases and the distinct differences between them in some cases. This is something you acquire through extensive reading. Grammar is the same. Don't get me wrong--your grammar's not terrible. But it will become better through reading.

The way you worded that statement just supports this. "I don't know basic competence." Competence is something you have or obtain, not something you know.

CaroGirl
12-23-2007, 04:15 AM
And an expanded vocabulary, typically through reading, helps you find different and varied ways of expressing ideas, concepts and objects (like different ways to say a "group" of trees).

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 04:27 AM
I think what Ice Cream means is that you don't have a good grasp of the subtle differences between words in most cases and the distinct differences between them in some cases. This is something you acquire through extensive reading. Grammar is the same. Don't get me wrong--your grammar's not terrible. But it will become better through reading.

The way you worded that statement just supports this. "I don't know basic competence." Competence is something you have or obtain, not something you know.

If you are talking about writing sentence properly then that's impossible. If you actually heard me speak verbally, I tend to stutter and it's no different when I write. I'm just very different.

And an expanded vocabulary, typically through reading, helps you find different and varied ways of expressing ideas, concepts and objects (like different ways to say a "group" of trees).

Not to sound arrogant, I have an expanded vocabulary ^_^. It's just when I use them nobody understands.

Birol
12-23-2007, 04:34 AM
Blue, being understood by your readers is rather important.

Linda Adams
12-23-2007, 04:36 AM
Or the short version of all this is that you have some skills that need work and reading a wide variety of books will help you improve those skills. The library is your friend. Go find books that interest you--both non-fiction and fiction and in a wide variety of genres/subjects--and get to work. Even take the time to read a few articles in the newspaper every day. You have to read a lot to learn how to be a good writer.

Queen of Swords
12-23-2007, 04:45 AM
If you are talking about writing sentence properly then that's impossible.

Why is it impossible for you to write sentences properly? How long have you been trying to write properly before you gave up on the effort? And if you really believe that it is impossible for you to write sentences properly, then you have less inducement to improve your writing or correct your mistakes, and it's a waste of time for people to try to work with you on this. If you want people to keep offering help, it would be a good idea not to dismiss such a basic improvement as impossible.

IceCreamEmpress
12-23-2007, 04:47 AM
Can you explain this a little more? What do you mean I don't know basic competence with language?

I mean that people who read your writing cannot tell what you mean to say. The ideas and concepts you are attempting to communicate do not come across clearly.

Part of this, I think, is that you have trouble with grammar and syntax. Part of it is that you sometimes seem to be using words you don't understand (the "horde of trees", for instance). And part of it is that you seem to be impatient with the basic mechanics of writing.

One thing that some of my students, in the past, found to be helpful was to record themselves telling a story, then transcribe what they said. Often they could tell a story much more clearly than they could write it, because the act of writing felt odd and unfamiliar to them, and for that reason their writing came across as stilted. This was especially helpful to people working with English as a Second Language and students with dyslexia and dysgraphia.

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 04:47 AM
Or the short version of all this is that you have some skills that need work and reading a wide variety of books will help you improve those skills. The library is your friend. Go find books that interest you--both non-fiction and fiction and in a wide variety of genres/subjects--and get to work. Even take the time to read a few articles in the newspaper every day. You have to read a lot to learn how to be a good writer.

This shouldnt be too hard. I love reading! Should I still write while I'm read? I have so many books.

I have some really good books(according to reviews): Like Carrie, Pet Semetary, The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

And I'm also getting two books for christmas: The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel and Stephen King's on Writing.

Which do you think I should read first? ^_^

IceCreamEmpress
12-23-2007, 04:53 AM
This shouldnt be too hard. I love reading!


What are your three favorite books?

And, just to ask a deep question, why do you want to write?

PattiTheWicked
12-23-2007, 06:21 AM
Not to sound arrogant, I have an expanded vocabulary ^_^. It's just when I use them nobody understands.

Having an expanded (and I suspect you mean "extensive") vocabulary isn't nearly as important as using the words IN the vocabulary in ways that lead to effective communication.

It doesn't matter to me, as a reader, one bit if you know 23 different ways to say "group of trees." What matters to me is that the one of those 23 that you decide to use actually makes sense.

geardrops
12-23-2007, 02:26 PM
You may know a lot of words, Blue, but you have no clue how to use them.

Linda Adams
12-23-2007, 04:29 PM
If you read a lot, you'll start seeing how the words are used in context--not simply something on a vocabulary test or a word of the day email. That'll give you tools to apply it back to your own writing. You might still have to look the word up to verify that the meaning is precisely the image you're trying to convey.

Yes, you can read while you're writing. In fact, if you run across a sentence where you like the way it was worded, try imitating it in your own work (with your own take on it, of course). If you see a passage of description you really like, try analyzing why you liked it, and see if you can write a description in your work that brings those elements you like into the story. And if you run across a new word that just fits if your story, use it. I did that with the word "gawped," which I spotted in Tamora Pierce's Circle books (YA Fantasy). I looked up the meaning and realized that the word would fit perfectly with the setting in mine. However--and this is where well-read and seeing the words in context helps--the same word won't fit in my current WIP. It just isn't right. That's the kind of decision you need to be able to make as you write.

The list of books sounds good, though I suspect you may find a couple not as interesting as the reviews say they were (that personal taste thing). Do pick books that interest you because it'll be enjoyable. Cruise the library and just look for titles that catch your eye.

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 09:48 PM
Okay. Can I now submit a revised version of my story excerpt? It's very short. And also "horde of trees" was suggested by someone else, because he said he got distracted by the same word "group" twice. Anyways, can I now submit something revised here in this thread, or in SYW? I'm still taking your advice about reading.

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 10:39 PM
Blue, being understood by your readers is rather important.

I am understood by my readers. Why do you think my piece made the Top 30 best overall stories?(Okay, sorry.)

To IceCreamEmpress: The reason I started writing is because I was searching for a talent. I wanted to see if I was good at writing, but now I can't stop. I'm still taking your advice on reading.

To QueenOfSwords: The reason I find it impossible to write and saying stuff properly, is because I'm autistic. I can't say anything right, my speech is incoherent. If you sat right next to me right now, and you hear me talk, you would see how often I would stutter at almost every sentence even if I knew what to say. People make fun of that and call me retarded.

Danger Jane
12-23-2007, 10:47 PM
If you are talking about writing sentence properly then that's impossible. If you actually heard me speak verbally, I tend to stutter and it's no different when I write. I'm just very different.


Okay, lots of writers are "very different" and I'm sure there are plenty of successful writers who have stutters. You learn proper grammar by absorbing it, in a best case scenario, but if you don't have a good understanding of grammar through osmosis--like if you find yourself stopping over where commas go or whether you need a period or not--a book like Strunk & White's The Elements of Style is imperative for you.

Okay, can I assign you that? You must read The Elements of Style. And you can't race through it so you can say, "See? I read it like you said." You have to take it as slowly as you have to to understand the concepts.

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 11:00 PM
Okay, lots of writers are "very different" and I'm sure there are plenty of successful writers who have stutters. You learn proper grammar by absorbing it, in a best case scenario, but if you don't have a good understanding of grammar through osmosis--like if you find yourself stopping over where commas go or whether you need a period or not--a book like Strunk & White's The Elements of Style is imperative for you.

Okay, can I assign you that? You must read The Elements of Style. And you can't race through it so you can say, "See? I read it like you said." You have to take it as slowly as you have to to understand the concepts.

Is this book available in bookstores? I'm going out this afternoon.

And I'm also looking at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780205309023&tabname=custreview&itm=1


Some people would not reccomend this book, but is this a book written in a language an idiot can understand?

Birol
12-23-2007, 11:02 PM
Okay. Can I now submit a revised version of my story excerpt? It's very short. And also "horde of trees" was suggested by someone else, because he said he got distracted by the same word "group" twice. Anyways, can I now submit something revised here in this thread, or in SYW? I'm still taking your advice about reading.

If you repost something for crit, place it in SYW.

I am understood by my readers. Why do you think my piece made the Top 30 best overall stories?(Okay, sorry.)

Blue, you yourself have said that the site where you placed in the Top 30 is filled with writers who do not have the basic knowledge needed to write a grammatical sentence. Also, you yourself said:

Not to sound arrogant, I have an expanded vocabulary ^_^. It's just when I use them nobody understands.

I don't care how many words you know. If your readers do not understand what you've said, then you've not done your job as a writer. Choosing the right word is vital. Choosing the correct word involves knowing your audience, knowing the nuances of the meaning, and understanding what you are trying to convey in the piece you're working on.

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 11:10 PM
If you repost something for crit, place it in SYW.

I don't care how many words you know. If your readers do not understand what you've said, then you've not done your job as a writer. Choosing the right word is vital. Choosing the correct word involves knowing your audience, knowing the nuances of the meaning, and understanding what you are trying to convey in the piece you're working on.

I don't use BIG words in my stories. I just use simple language and use MS word's thesaurus which has symple synonyms unlike an actual thesaurus. I don't use it that much anyway.

Bubastes
12-23-2007, 11:19 PM
But you see, a thesaurus is just a starting point. "Synonym" does not mean "exactly the same meaning." Different words may have similar meanings, but each word has a different nuance that makes it appropriate for a specific context. You can't just substitute one word for another and call it a day. You have to understand the nuances, understand the specific meaning you want for your story, then choose exactly the right word to convey that meaning.

A quote from Mark Twain sums it up nicely: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 11:21 PM
But you see, a thesaurus is just a starting point. "Synonym" does not mean "exactly the same meaning." Different words may have similar meanings, but each word has a different nuance that makes it appropriate for a specific context. You can't just substitute one word for another and call it a day. You have to understand the nuances, understand the specific meaning you want for your story, then choose exactly the right word to convey that meaning.

A quote from Mark Twain sums it up nicely: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."


Oh okay.

CheshireCat
12-23-2007, 11:22 PM
Not to sound arrogant, I have an expanded vocabulary ^_^. It's just when I use them nobody understands.


Try us.

Queen of Swords
12-23-2007, 11:26 PM
To QueenOfSwords: The reason I find it impossible to write and saying stuff properly, is because I'm autistic. I can't say anything right, my speech is incoherent. If you sat right next to me right now, and you hear me talk, you would see how often I would stutter at almost every sentence even if I knew what to say. People make fun of that and call me retarded.

See the sentence I bolded? That's written correctly. I can't see any errors in it. So it's possible for you to write a sentence correctly.

If you knew a girl who had poor physical coordination but wanted to be a figure skater, what would you tell her? Would you say, "It's impossible for you to skate properly, therefore you'll never be a figure skater"? Or would you say, "Well, you're going to have to work harder than other people do, but if you keep at it, you might be a great figure skater some day"? Right now, which one are you saying to yourself?

And at least you got my name correct this time. :)

Linda Adams
12-23-2007, 11:38 PM
I don't use BIG words in my stories. I just use simple language and use MS word's thesaurus which has symple synonyms unlike an actual thesaurus. I don't use it that much anyway.

In order to be competitive with the writers who are getting published, you must aspire to do better than writing using simple language. Writing with an expanded vocabulary doesn't mean using big words merely because they're big; it means knowing which word is the best choice to convey the message you're trying to get across.

The reality is that you're not going to be behind the agent's back explaining your story or offering excuses why something isn't that good. They're not going to care that it was number 30 on some list. All they're going to care about is what they see on the first page. If your writing isn't showing that you have a grasp of the basics like grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary, they may not read past the first paragraph.

Not only that, nearly every agent says that the single biggest mistake writers make is not getting grammar and punctuation right.

Don't be so impatient to rush this out. Take your time and learn the skills.

BlueLucario
12-23-2007, 11:41 PM
Try us.


I meant that verbally.


See the sentence I bolded? That's written correctly. I can't see any errors in it. So it's possible for you to write a sentence correctly.

That's a first.:) Sorry.

If you knew a girl who had poor physical coordination but wanted to be a figure skater, what would you tell her? Would you say, "It's impossible for you to skate properly, therefore you'll never be a figure skater"? Or would you say, "Well, you're going to have to work harder than other people do, but if you keep at it, you might be a great figure skater some day"? Right now, which one are you saying to yourself?

The first one.:cry:

And at least you got my name correct this time. :)

Yes I did. :)

I'll do my best to write sentences.

Danger Jane
12-23-2007, 11:54 PM
Blue, you can get The Elements of Style at a bookstore, yea. And it'll help a LOT with technical grammar stuff.

Birol
12-23-2007, 11:55 PM
Originally Posted by Queen of Swords http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1907683#post1907683)
If you knew a girl who had poor physical coordination but wanted to be a figure skater, what would you tell her? Would you say, "It's impossible for you to skate properly, therefore you'll never be a figure skater"? Or would you say, "Well, you're going to have to work harder than other people do, but if you keep at it, you might be a great figure skater some day"? Right now, which one are you saying to yourself?
The first one.:cry:

That's something you're going to have to work through on your own. We can offer you support, advice, suggestions, and guidance, but you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe you can do this in the face of all the hard work, all the naysayers, all the rejections, all the people who say, "Yes, but what do you do for a living?" You have to want this enough to push forward all alone, when it feels like not a single person is on your side, because, even with that deep-seated confidence and faith, this can be a very tough road to follow.

Birol
12-23-2007, 11:57 PM
Originally Posted by Queen of Swords http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1907683#post1907683)
See the sentence I bolded? That's written correctly. I can't see any errors in it. So it's possible for you to write a sentence correctly.
That's a first.:) Sorry.

:e2headban Why are you apologizing?

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 12:13 AM
That's something you're going to have to work through on your own. We can offer you support, advice, suggestions, and guidance, but you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe you can do this in the face of all the hard work, all the naysayers, all the rejections, all the people who say, "Yes, but what do you do for a living?" You have to want this enough to push forward all alone, when it feels like not a single person is on your side, because, even with that deep-seated confidence and faith, this can be a very tough road to follow.

Okay, I'll do anything to be a writer. And of course I'm going to have to accept rejection. If I do, I might as well just suck it up and write something better.

geardrops
12-24-2007, 04:43 AM
The first one.:cry:

To quote Yoda: "That is why you fail."

And I said it before, I'm saying it again: whinging about your own stumbling blocks gets no sympathy from me. Maybe from others, but I really don't care. Yes, it's hard for you. So? Everybody has problems. I can guarantee 50% of the people on this forum have some similar tale of woe. They deal with it, and I haven't heard any of them complain.

Buckle down and learn. Excuses won't make you a better writer. Only hard work and dedication will.

CheshireCat
12-24-2007, 05:06 AM
What dempsey said.

dmytryp
12-24-2007, 10:24 AM
What dempsey said.



Can you do that again? I simply love your avatarhttp://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

brianm
12-24-2007, 05:13 PM
To quote Yoda: "That is why you fail."

And I said it before, I'm saying it again: whinging about your own stumbling blocks gets no sympathy from me. Maybe from others, but I really don't care. Yes, it's hard for you. So? Everybody has problems. I can guarantee 50% of the people on this forum have some similar tale of woe. They deal with it, and I haven't heard any of them complain.

Buckle down and learn. Excuses won't make you a better writer. Only hard work and dedication will.

Diddo.

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 05:37 PM
To quote Yoda: "That is why you fail."

And I said it before, I'm saying it again: whinging about your own stumbling blocks gets no sympathy from me. Maybe from others, but I really don't care. Yes, it's hard for you. So? Everybody has problems. I can guarantee 50% of the people on this forum have some similar tale of woe. They deal with it, and I haven't heard any of them complain.

Buckle down and learn. Excuses won't make you a better writer. Only hard work and dedication will.


I don't expect sympathy from anyone. And yes, I'll work hard at it. I just bought Strunk and White's Elements of Style.

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 07:12 PM
Um, I have a question regarding characters, I want to make good characters. I know how to make the hero, he has to have a goal and he has to reach for it and have obstacles that will get in the way of his dream and he has to lose battles.In other words, he has to struggle. But I was searching the web on how to make villains, but they couldn't give me a detailed description. I know there aren't any "rules" of writing, but I want to know what makes a good villain. I also want to know what makes an awesome rival. My story will have lots of rivals. How do I make a rival competitive?


I have already discussed this with someone during PM. He used the example of Harry Potter and I realized that Harry isn't someone I would root for. Anyway I didn't discuss villains and stuff with him.

ETA: I hope you guys don't mind me asking this.

dmytryp
12-24-2007, 07:20 PM
I want to know what makes a good villain.

He has to have a goal and he has to reach for it and have obstacles that will get in the way of his dream and he has to lose battles.In other words, he has to struggle.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Hint: make him a real person with real desires and struggles. Many times the difference between the hero and the villain is the choices they make in similar situations. Have i confused you enough yet?http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 07:24 PM
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Hint: make him a real person with real desires and struggles. Many times the difference between the hero and the villain is the choices they make in similar situations. Have i confused you enough yet?http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

I'm stumped. Can you elaborate a little bit more?

dmytryp
12-24-2007, 07:56 PM
I'm stumped. Can you elaborate a little bit more?

Your villain, just like your hero, has to have his goals and motivations. Preferably, goals and motivations the reader can understand.
Sometimes what makes a person a villain is the most natural thing -- putting his own profit/life/health etc. above that of the others (depends on the situation, of course).
The best villains are just as rounded as heroes. They sometimes may even regret their own actions.
As you can see -- this isn't exact science, lol

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 08:03 PM
Okay, what about Rivals?

davids
12-24-2007, 08:03 PM
dmytryp great advice-in fact it reminds me of a villain in one of my best sellers-Pink Black Cabriolet who ran a Gay bar in Des Moines-a decent son of a local Priest who had been forced into it by the Senior Mount!

Linda Adams
12-24-2007, 08:12 PM
I'm stumped. Can you elaborate a little bit more?

First, you need to know there isn't a black and white answer to this. It's not like an adverb where you can hunt them down and edit them out. This is something you're going to need to feel your way through, and it's probably going to be a whole lot harder than mastering grammar!

Each and every character should have a reason for being in the book. Sometimes the reason is easy and dictated by the story. Like the heroine calls 911, and a police officer shows up. The actions of the heroine and the police officer's job dictated his being in the book. But, for your major players, it's a little different.

Let's suppose your bad guy is committing crimes. That's a huge risk for him. He could end up in prison or dead. That's where you have to do some serious thinking. Why is this guy committing these crimes? Why doesn't he just walk away from it? What motivates him to take the risk and continue taking the risk? What happens if he fails in his goals? What happens if he is successful in his goals?

** Below may contain spoilers for books **

This is from a series of books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (The Book of the Dead, Dance of Death, and I think Brimstone): Pendergast's insane brother has launched a campaign of murder and terrorism against Pendergast's friends. Pendergast keeps saying that his brother is doing this because he's insane. But evidence keeps surfacing suggesting that Pendergast did something that was the trigger. He searches his memory, but is unable to find anything that would fit. Eventually--I'm working hard at not giving spoilers--he discovers what he did do, and boy, it's a dozy. We start seeing why the brother hates Pendergast so much and how that rage motivates him to this day.

But now I'll compare with opposite--where the writer didn't lay in any groundwork. The book is Blow Up, by Catherine Coulter. It's set in Washington DC. A murder occurs in the Supreme Court. She spends a lot of time delving into the backgrounds of all of the characters, identifying who might have done it. Then, we hit the end, it turns out to be a character barely in the book and a random murder to boot. No motivation.

It's easy to say, "Villain wants to take over the world" and never explain why. The why is what gets you started in characterization.



Okay, what about Rivals?


It's the same thing for all the characters. They need motivations--reasons for acting the way they do. One of the things I didn't like about the Harry Potter books was that Malfoy really didn't have a reason to hate Harry. He just did because the book needed it. That made him rather one dimensional and his later challenges in Book 5 not work as well.

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 08:23 PM
One of the things I didn't like about the Harry Potter books was that Malfoy really didn't have a reason to hate Harry. He just did because the book needed it. That made him rather one dimensional and his later challenges in Book 5 not work as well.

I feel the same way.And that's KIND OF the guy said in the pm said about Harry. So everyone has to have goals and why they want to reach it? It makes no difference what kind of character they are.

You've already read my story, that the main character is searching for memories of her past. Does she need a reason why? Can a character have two goals?

Bubastes
12-24-2007, 08:24 PM
So everyone has to have goals and why they want to reach it? It makes no difference what kind of character they are.

Exactly, just like real people. The conflict comes when one person's goals get in the way of another person's goals.

DeadlyAccurate
12-24-2007, 08:36 PM
It's the same thing for all the characters. They need motivations--reasons for acting the way they do. One of the things I didn't like about the Harry Potter books was that Malfoy really didn't have a reason to hate Harry. He just did because the book needed it. That made him rather one dimensional and his later challenges in Book 5 not work as well.

Malfoy did have a reason. In book one, he tried to get Harry on his side, but Harry saw through his pettiness and bigotry and publicly rebuffed him.

Danger Jane
12-24-2007, 08:45 PM
I feel the same way.And that's KIND OF the guy said in the pm said about Harry. So everyone has to have goals and why they want to reach it? It makes no difference what kind of character they are.

You've already read my story, that the main character is searching for memories of her past. Does she need a reason why? Can a character have two goals?

Well, the kind of character they are defines who is the protagonist, the hero, and who is the antagonist. Generally the more heroic, morally better character is the hero. The less heroic, morally worse character is the villain.

Of course she needs a reason why. So she's forgotten her past. Why does she want to know about it? Might it be more painful once she finds out? Would it be better just to forget it all? Questions like these are the ones that are bound to bother her, and they all cause conflict.

And yes, a character can have two goals. "Save the world, get the girl," type of thing.

Another thing to take note of--not in every story does an antagonist or villain cause the conflict for the protag. Sometimes it's purely within the protagonist. Man versus self.

Here's a blog entry about the sources of conflict:

http://raycattie.blogspot.com/2007/05/conflict.html

Danger Jane
12-24-2007, 08:54 PM
Malfoy did have a reason. In book one, he tried to get Harry on his side, but Harry saw through his pettiness and bigotry and publicly rebuffed him.

See, though? He tried to "get Harry on his side." Tempt Harry to the Dark Side. He was just a device, sometimes nasty and sometimes pathetic, as the plot dictated. He wasn't a real person with a struggle, he was a passionless wuss of a bad guy designed to show off just how strong and noble Harry was.

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 08:58 PM
Malfoy did have a reason. In book one, he tried to get Harry on his side, but Harry saw through his pettiness and bigotry and publicly rebuffed him.

I think I'll have to agree with Linda on this. I don't think anyone would be that childish to hate someone just because a guy doesnt take sides with him. But Malfoy didn't do anything bad to harry. I think he's just there to embellish the story. None of the characters had goals at all, Harry has to fight the Dark Lord. The book doesn't explain why Harry chooses to fight Voldemort. He just fights because some prophecy says so. I feel it's like buying a car just because you have $25,000.

BlackViolet13
12-24-2007, 09:06 PM
BlueLucario, when I began to write, I picked up a few books on creating characters. They helped me brainstorm character traits, motivation, growth, and pretty much everything else a character needs to become "real." I like to use them as the foundation for creating characters, but only when I begin write do they truly come alive. This might be a good place for you to start. Check out Amazon for a list of books and read the blurbs and reviews to see which ones would work best for you.

Something else I do is to read books, blogs, and other things that my character would read so that I can get into her frame of mind. For instance, the character I'm writing now is a biologist/witch doctor. I've taken several biology and medical courses in college that help, but I've also picked up a few wonderful literary-ish books on biology and related subjects that aren't jargon-laden, and very readable. James Michener said that when he set out to write a book, he read over 200 books to research before he wrote a word. YOU don't have to read 200 books, but research is very important.

The same would go for a character who is a musician, artist, airplane mechanic, or undertaker--get into the mind of your main character as much as you can so your writing is true to her. You need to get a feel for what people like her would want to accomplish. A concert pianist might want to write a sonatina to perform for the upcoming spring concert as her main goal, but she's probably got a day job to deal with, friends and family who need her, and other conflicts.

I am one who likes to really study a subject before I dive in, and writing is no different for me. I have a collection of books on writing, plot, characters, scenes, and editing on my shelves and I refer to them frequently. This can be an expensive journey, but I've found some great deals at used bookstores and online, so do your homework.

Best wishes!

PeeDee
12-24-2007, 09:09 PM
I think I'll have to agree with Linda on this. I don't think anyone would be that childish to hate someone just because a guy doesnt take sides with him. But Malfoy didn't do anything bad to harry. I think he's just there to embellish the story. None of the characters had goals at all, Harry has to fight the Dark Lord. The book doesn't explain why Harry chooses to fight Voldemort. He just fights because some prophecy says so. I feel it's like buying a car just because you have $25,000.

Okay, let's say that's accurate for a moment. It isn't, but let's just say it is. Your points are:

1) Malfoy didn't do anything bad, has no reason, he is there to embellish the story.

2) Harry has no reason for fighting the Dark Lord, other than to fight the Dark Lord.

Okay?

Now. Stop and really imagine and come up with two other reasons. Give me a different reason for Malfoy, and give me an entirely different reason for why Harry fought Voldemort. You don't have to agree with the reasons, or like them, but come up with 'em anyway.

I bet you can.

Linda Adams
12-24-2007, 09:14 PM
You've already read my story, that the main character is searching for memories of her past. Does she need a reason why? Can a character have two goals?

She needs a better motivation than simply searching for her memory. It isn't a big enough stake. Realistically, if she doesn't find out who she is, what's the worst that will happen? She'll go off and live with someone, wonder who she is, and go on living a new life ... so what?

You need a crisis that will motivate this character into solving the problem of her amnesia. If she doesn't find out who she is, something terrible will happen to her. I just read Kay Hooper's Sleeping With Fear, a paranormal suspense. An FBI agent wakes up with amnesia. She has no memory of the last three weeks, though she knows who she is. With a goal of amnesia, she could just walk away. But she's also covered with blood, enough to make her wonder if she killed someone. Now she has a reason to find out what happened in those three weeks.

Make the risk high for your character if she doesn't succeed if finding out who she is.

DeadlyAccurate
12-24-2007, 09:20 PM
I think I'll have to agree with Linda on this. I don't think anyone would be that childish to hate someone just because a guy doesnt take sides with him. But Malfoy didn't do anything bad to harry. I think he's just there to embellish the story. None of the characters had goals at all, Harry has to fight the Dark Lord. The book doesn't explain why Harry chooses to fight Voldemort. He just fights because some prophecy says so. I feel it's like buying a car just because you have $25,000.

I do agree that many of the motivations weren't as clearly thought out and that Malfoy could have had a more fleshed-out background since he was an integral part of the story, but I think Harry had a good motive to fight since Voldemort killed his parents.

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 09:24 PM
Okay, let's say that's accurate for a moment. It isn't, but let's just say it is. Your points are:

1) Malfoy didn't do anything bad, has no reason, he is there to embellish the story.

2) Harry has no reason for fighting the Dark Lord, other than to fight the Dark Lord.

Okay?

Now. Stop and really imagine and come up with two other reasons. Give me a different reason for Malfoy, and give me an entirely different reason for why Harry fought Voldemort. You don't have to agree with the reasons, or like them, but come up with 'em anyway.

I bet you can.

I don't remember Malfoy doing anything evil or wrong, that would affect the story entirely. He's supposed to be like the rich kid archtype(or stereotype).

I think Harry may fight voldemort so he can avenge his parents' death. But that wasn't his major goal. I don't see him preparing for a battle within the past seven years. He never said "I'm going to avenge my parents" . He doesn't train to become stronger. I don't see a plot in this.

He only follows through the plot because someone told him to do it. He only fought voldemort because of a prophecy. Why is he looking for horcruxes? Because Dumbeldore told him to.

I never said it was accurate, I'm just feeling unsure about the series now that some writers have told me that the author isn't someone to emulate. It used to be an interesting book.

BlueLucario
12-24-2007, 09:29 PM
She needs a better motivation than simply searching for her memory. It isn't a big enough stake. Realistically, if she doesn't find out who she is, what's the worst that will happen? She'll go off and live with someone, wonder who she is, and go on living a new life ... so what?

You need a crisis that will motivate this character into solving the problem of her amnesia. If she doesn't find out who she is, something terrible will happen to her. I just read Kay Hooper's Sleeping With Fear, a paranormal suspense. An FBI agent wakes up with amnesia. She has no memory of the last three weeks, though she knows who she is. With a goal of amnesia, she could just walk away. But she's also covered with blood, enough to make her wonder if she killed someone. Now she has a reason to find out what happened in those three weeks.

Make the risk high for your character if she doesn't succeed if finding out who she is.

I haven't thought of a motivation for Lily. Is it a good idea to say: Forget the memories because it will come to you natually. Just focus on becoming a better psychic and develop your powers,and become one of the strongest psy to walk the earth. And she must do that by fighting others.

Is that a good motivation?

PeeDee
12-24-2007, 09:30 PM
Blue, don't worry about who you should or shouldn't be emulating. Mostly, that all happens on a subconscious level anyway.

The reason I bring up the point is, it's advantageous to be able to see things from different points of view, and to understand why THEY have THOSE point of views. Even if you don't agree with 'em, or see the point. You don't see the reason for Harry to fight Voldemort. All right, fair enough. But from HARRY'S point of view, why is he doing it?

1) Voldemort is trying to flippin' kill him.

2) Prophecy.

3) Avenging his parents.

4) Avenging Dumbledore.

5) Guilt. (Harry was key in bringing Voldemort back, after all.)

6) Trying to make his parents proud.

7) Trying to do The Right Thing, something that he has been taught is important.

8) Trying to protect Hogwarts, the best home he's ever known, which is threatened.

And on, and on, and on, and on.

The reason it's a useful thing to be able to do with characters -- other people's, and your own -- is that you're less likely to write a generic cackling bad guy if you can sit and say "Okay, he wants to take over the world. WHY, from HIS point of view, does he want to take over the world?" and then work it out.

PeeDee
12-24-2007, 09:31 PM
I haven't thought of a motivation for Lily. Is it a good idea to say: Forget the memories because it will come to you natually. Just focus on becoming a better psychic and develop your powers,and become one of the strongest psy to walk the earth. And she must do that by fighting others.

Is that a good motivation?

Does it FEEL, to you, like a good motivation? At the end of the day, that's what it has to do.

You can keep asking why questions, though. Even just from that paragraph. HWY does she want to become a better psychic? WHY is that important to her? WHY is she willing to fight others? And so on, and so on. There are always questions, and they can always be asked while you're writing.

Linda Adams
12-24-2007, 09:35 PM
I haven't thought of a motivation for Lily. Is it a good idea to say: Forget the memories because it will come to you natually. Just focus on becoming a better psychic and develop your powers,and become one of the strongest psy to walk the earth. And she must do that by fighting others.

Is that a good motivation?

Why must she do this? What happens if she says "No, I don't want to"? The why is missing, and that's the motivation.

Linda Adams
12-24-2007, 09:39 PM
I
I never said it was accurate, I'm just feeling unsure about the series now that some writers have told me that the author isn't someone to emulate. It used to be an interesting book.

Every book has flaws. If you read as a writer, you'll spot problems left and right. The last book I read had two major plot points that went unanswered and dragged during the middle (kick ass beginning though), and the one before had an ending that flopped. But there are always pieces that can be emulated. If some element gets a "Wow" from you even if the rest of the book didn't work, that's worth looking at further.

Toothpaste
12-24-2007, 09:59 PM
The Malfoy question is interesting. People here are saying he had no motivation and was just a plot device, but for the purpose of analysing "bad guys", let's actually take a moment and try to see maybe why he was the way he was.

When you are brought up in a racist household, often times the child will take on the opinions of the parents, even though they may not understand them fully. Draco tried to be friends with Potter because Potter was a) famous, and b) a pure blood (and a rich one at that). Potter said no because he could tell what a stuck up jerk Malfoy was. Now, Malfoy is dealing with embarrassment of rejection. The famous Harry Potter would rather hang out with some poor muggle lover Weasley and a Mudblood than him. Harry Potter also got all the attention in school. When I was their age I had friends who turned on me because they found me a little annoying and they were bored. Malfoy had even stronger reasons to hate Harry. Jealousy and disgust that he would besmirch the name of wizard by hanging out with the people he hung out with. Over time, as the dark lord returned, as sides were being taken, and simply because it was now habit to hate Harry, the hatred turned darker.

See maybe JK Rowling didn't make it all that clear, maybe Draco was just a plot device, but see how I could come up with all these motivations for Draco, based not only on my imagination but experience I had as a child? That's the idea, really try to make them human. Ask yourself, "If I was my character and I had to hate that other person, why would I hate them."

IceCreamEmpress
12-24-2007, 10:04 PM
Everything Toothpaste said, and also this:

Draco expected to be the star, the center of attention, at Hogwarts. He had been raised to believe that everything about him was special--his family heritage and traditions, his intelligence and wizarding skills, his good looks, whatever.

So he gets to Hogwarts, and who is the star? Harry Potter. And it's not just the other kids who think this, it's Dumbledore. Draco's whole worldview is shaken--he's been raised to think that the right pedigree and connections are everything, but apparently not.

Of course he's going to hate Harry. It's a "shoot the messenger" thing as well as a rivalry.

Then, as the Death Eaters v. Dumbledore's Army thing heats up, as Toothpaste says, it becomes the hatred of opponents in war, as well as the personal stuff. Remember that in the Potterverse, this war is REALLY the "war to end all wars".

PeeDee
12-24-2007, 10:09 PM
Personally, I never had any questions about Malfoy's motivations. They seemed pretty clear. He is growing up and coming into his own, in exactly the same way as Harry. He is just coming at it from the opposite end of the spectrum, in many ways.

katiemac
12-24-2007, 10:09 PM
Blue, if you like a book, keep liking that book. Lots of authors look at other authors and say they're not ones to emulate, where other authors would love to be in their shoes. If you like the story, that's what matters.

Right now, if you like your story, that's also what matters. But like others have said, motivation is a key point when it comes to your characters: if you don't know why a character is doing something (this means villains or heroes), you need to think about that. It's what will make them real.

BlueLucario
12-25-2007, 04:53 AM
Is it a good idea to keep the readers mind off the plot for a while with another event that seems irrelevant? There are scenes in the story that seems as if they have little to do with the plot itself, but it gradually leads to a major event.

Stormhawk
12-25-2007, 05:32 AM
Sorry, BlueLucario, random question - why do you have a link in your siggy that doesn't do anything?

I presume it's your story, but it requires permission to view - it's not the most welcoming thing in the world.

Danger Jane
12-25-2007, 09:31 AM
Is it a good idea to keep the readers mind off the plot for a while with another event that seems irrelevant? There are scenes in the story that seems as if they have little to do with the plot itself, but it gradually leads to a major event.

Sometimes the reader does need a bit of a break from the intense action/conflict/emotion. The thing is, you still have to entertain. So you have to make this "irrelevant" scene relevant somehow, probably by making it fodder for characterization. Maybe harder, but humor keeps people reading, too.

Until you're good enough to have people reading on the beauty of your prose alone, every word must progress character, plot, or both. Every other word is needless. And as William Strunk says in The Elements of Style--omit needless words.

BlueLucario
12-25-2007, 10:44 AM
Sorry, BlueLucario, random question - why do you have a link in your siggy that doesn't do anything?

I presume it's your story, but it requires permission to view - it's not the most welcoming thing in the world.
Sorry about that. Just ask for permission, and I will grant it to you. If I recieve an e-mail. Really sorry, I don't know how to use google docs.

megan_d
12-25-2007, 05:27 PM
I'm just feeling unsure about the series now that some writers have told me that the author isn't someone to emulate. It used to be an interesting book.

So, what, some other people told you books aren't great and now you don't like them anymore? At the start of this thread you raved about them, but now suddenly you don't find the series interesting?

Again and again in this thread I see you asking, begging, people to tell you what to do and how to write. Where are your own thoughts and opinions? Write a book that YOU want to write, not a book that OTHERS want you to write.

(For the record, I love the Harry Potter series. I could argue for days over some of the points people are making here (FAMILY! SO MUCH OF DRACO'S MOTIVATION TRACES BACK TO THAT, HE IS NOT A FLAT CHARACTER!), but I won't. Except for just there where I did.

DeadlyAccurate
12-25-2007, 06:13 PM
I'm just feeling unsure about the series now that some writers have told me that the author isn't someone to emulate. It used to be an interesting book.

Why? I'm one of those who said not to emulate her, but I still love the books a lot. Just because I recognize some of the flaws in her writing doesn't mean they aren't still fantastic books. I'm just pointing out that it's not a good idea to copy her style if you don't know which of the elements of her writing are her strong points and which are her weaknesses. Enjoy the books; even analyze them. But if you can't figure out which elements of her stories succeed and which ones are weak, if you try to emulate the wrong one, you'll only end up weakening your own story.

Understand that you won't find the magic formula that made them bestsellers. Trust me, if that were possible, every publisher in the world would've already done so.

geardrops
12-25-2007, 11:10 PM
Just because I recognize some of the flaws in her writing doesn't mean they aren't still fantastic books.

QFT (Quoted For Truth)

Hell, I own them in American-English and British-English. I recognise the problems, but I still read and re-read and I waited in line for them.

And I still wish there had been more Snape.

CheshireCat
12-25-2007, 11:31 PM
So, what, some other people told you books aren't great and now you don't like them anymore? At the start of this thread you raved about them, but now suddenly you don't find the series interesting?

Again and again in this thread I see you asking, begging, people to tell you what to do and how to write. Where are your own thoughts and opinions? Write a book that YOU want to write, not a book that OTHERS want you to write.

This is what keeps jumping out at me, and not just in this thread.

If you make a career of writing, Blue, people will be picking at your stuff forever afterward. Trust me, I know.

If you can't even defend your high opinion of someone else's work, and allow others to destroy or at least alter that opinion, then how on earth are you ever going to defend your own creative instincts and voice?

BlueLucario
12-26-2007, 01:11 AM
Well, I have opinions on something, not strong ones. But when people think the opposite, I'm curious to know why. But when everything makes sense to me, I'm going to have to change my opinion. I listen to more experienced writers and their views. I just want to sit here and say I should listen to them, THey know more than you do. I'm sorry if you find me irritating. They can't change what I think of things, but I should still listen.

I like your advice. All of them seem more like "common sense* than advice.

CheshireCat
12-26-2007, 01:49 AM
I never said it was accurate, I'm just feeling unsure about the series now that some writers have told me that the author isn't someone to emulate. It used to be an interesting book.

Now explain to me how a book that "used to be interesting" to you became less so because other people told you Rowling wasn't someone to emulate?