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  1. #11
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    "Malcontent stomach" might be exactly what you want, especially if the character suffers from IBS. It isn't only upset, it's cranky, bad-tempered and unwilling to cooperate. I like it!



  2. #12
    Kitty Foyle
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    Michelle, I had to smile when I read, He titled his head like a confused puppy. They're so adorable when they do that, aren't they!

    As for, I took in my surroundings, deliberately avoiding regarding the..., is there a way you could separate those two "ing" words? They seem a bit too chummy, IMO.

    *_*

  3. #13
    D.C. Eastman
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    Not as bad as the one I just tossed back.

    DCE

  4. #14
    nom de plume
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    I particularly liked the "malcontent stomach." It's word choices such as these that differentiates writing from what's plain vanilla. If you do things like this all the time, it would seem contrived but using them now and then makes the writing more interesting.

    I also liked the "in terror gate" and wonder whether you could have this character bungle up another big word in the previous line of dialogue? This device is a good mechanism for humor, so go for it!

    The first paragraph seems a tad cluttered. Perhaps you could clean it up. If you actually "crack" your head, you won't be wondering whether it clears your head

  5. #15
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    You can like it all you want, folks, but it's still used incorrectly and draws the wrong kind of attention from the reader. (As in, Say what??)

    When a writer chooses to use words incorrectly, it needs to be part of the voice of the first person narrator or of another character. Dickens is a classic example. He often has characters who use incorrect vocabulary. He does this to mock their sense of inflated importance.

    In Michelle's case, her first person narrator sounds like an educated, well-read person, so her random incorrect use of a ten-dollar word looks like a glaring mistake.

    My point to Michelle was that she should be very aware of the exact meaning of her words/diction choices so she can choose wisely. Right now, it has the feel of "I-sort-of-know-the-meaning-of-this-word,-and-it's-close-enough."

    Just my thoughts...

    Jeanne

  6. #16
    A.L. Sirois
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    Okay -- for what it's worth, I didn't like it much. Situationally it is interesting but the language isn't pretentious -- it's just clunky and verbose. Sorry, but that's my take. Were I editing this, I might do something like the following:

    ------------------------------------

    I don’t remember thinking about it, but I must have leapt to my feet. Bad idea! My vision grayed out from the ensuing blood rush. I staggered, and fell against the rocky wall, cracking my head against the damp stone. This increased disorientation, but after a moment the dizziness passed.

    Yes, he was <u>still</u> green.

    “Why are you green?” I shouted, pointing an unsteady finger at him.

    He titled his head like a confused puppy. “We're born that way," he said. "Usually, we change colour by the time we’re grown up, but I never did. That’s funny, isn’t it?”

    <u>Bad cream cheese</u>, I thought. <u>I gotta stop eating before bedtime.</u>

    To let my head clear more, I took in my surroundings, deliberately avoiding looking at the Green Thing. It was a bit of an effort to ignore the curious red-tufted tail flicking in my peripheral vision, but I managed. I was in a room -- more of a cell, actually -- and there was a barred window. Light poured in, bright light, so bright that I couldn’t see much of the outside -- I could only confirm that there were trees out there. Certainly, there was nothing to explain my predicament; or my companion.

    Where as I? I didn't know, but I had no intention on staying in a stone cell for the rest of the day, so something would have to be done. Unsure if I should take the pleading, helpless course or threatening, dangerous course for persuasion, I opted for neutrality.

    “Hey, uh, what do you say we get out of here?”

    “No.” The response was immediate, as if he had been well prepared for it. “My brother told me to guard you here, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

    And he stuck out his lower lip up, like a petulant little bulldog. I was struck by his childish tone.

    “He says he’s going to in-terror-gate you when he comes back.”

  7. #17
    dorian kabana
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    don't worry about how it sounds to use a word, worry about how the word sounds with your writing. if it's over the top, hold back and use a "normal" word.

    hemingway said:
    I don’t like to write like God. It is only because you never do it, though, that the critics think you can’t do it.

    i have a gigantic vocabulary. i use it in arguments and in essays. but style writing? the right word is rarely the rare word.

  8. #18
    Grandmaster Sik
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    "I want my style to be somewhat embellished, but still popularly accessible."
    In other words, you want to be able to write in your own style yet fear isolating your work from anything resembling bestseller lists.
    My advice is to write how you want to write - finding your own style is the most important aspect of being an author - nothing tels a reader that they're perusing a Michelle R novel like her own personal style of word usage and sentence structuring.
    You know what I hate? I hate (seriously, I actually despise) that three or four words and then a full stop crap. I can't read anything by Michael Connely or writers of the ilk with their tabloid style (yeah, okay, he used to be a reporter - figures!); to me it's like they're not an individual but a mass-produced popular fiction entity which grinds out soulless novels for an ever-increasig pay cheque.

    "I don’t remember thinking about it, but I must have leapt to my feet suddenly; I lost my equilibrium in the ensuing blood rush, and my vision blacked. As I fell against the rocky wall, I wasn’t sure if my head cracking against the damp stones only served to further my disorientation, or to actually clear my head."

    Hmm, I'd personally throw in a second semi colon after vision blacked or rearrange the sentence to read mre coherrently - it doesn't quite work the way it is, that full stop having no place to be there, upsetting your flow. Furthermore, the comma before and is defunct.
    There's nothing wrong with your style - if aimed at adults - but beware becoming superfluous - the downfall of ego-driven stylised writers!

    Good luck, carry on and let us know whe you get to 100 pages (have a rum on me, too).

  9. #19
    the cat came back
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    Not pretentious, but a bit wordy and distant.

    I don’t remember thinking about it, but I must have leapt to my feet suddenly...

    Is there any other way to leap but suddenly?

    ; I lost my equilibrium in the ensuing blood rush, and my vision blacked. As I fell against the rocky wall, I wasn’t sure if my head cracking against the damp stones only served to further my disorientation, or to actually clear my head.

    So objective; so bloodless; I want to feel it.

  10. #20
    Busy Lizzy
    Guest

    Re: Is my writing style too pretentious?

    IMO, Your style is too pretentious coming from the mouth of a young girl(who is - how old?).

    Now, if the female narrator is telling this story years later, sitting in her armchair after having lead a life as - say - an English professor, that would make it OK for me. But young girls don't speak like that. Too much of your own voice is sneaking in and spoiling the story.

    Your voice ought to fit in with the genre. Astrid Lindgren writes with the syntax and vocabulary of the children in her story. That is what makes her stories so real and unique.

    Most successful chick-lit "works", because the authors emulate the voice and jargon of "chicks".

    Of course, you don't have to overdo it, but - yes - IMO you should watch out for when you're too "pretentious". From your post, I get the impression that you have a good feeling for when this happens.

    JMO,
    Busy Lizzy

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