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  1. #31
    Chris Redd
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    *It was a bleak day in Oak tree falls. Unraked leaves littered the streets, and there were no signs of human beings anywhere.



  2. #32
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    Leslee wrote: That's fine, but trying to be more obscure or poetic about a pile of leaves isn't going to help Chris.

    Agreed, but I wasn't trying to be poetic or propose a literal solution, but rather an example.

    The idea was to explore descriptive terms that further the purpose of the story. This is an empty, neglected, "ghost town." So the question is, is there a way to describe the leaves and other "props" so the story hints at neglect, ruin, emptiness.

    In other words, instead of someone saying a gray house stood on the corner, maybe they could say a house the color of dust. Sometimes the simplest word is the best word, but sometimes the right adjective conveys the idea more quickly and saves words later on. Orange-brown leaves has a different connotation from rust-colored leaves for most people. One is visual, the other more textural and emotional. The visual solution might be the right one, but that's up to Chris to judge. I just toss it out there for discussion.

    --- Mya Bell

  3. #33
    The Midnight Writer
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    Leaves swirled in the empty driveways of Oak Tree Falls.

    The leaves aren't on the tree, so it's autumn, and the driveways are empty so nobody's home.

    Are any of your characters passing through OTF right now, or are you just setting the scene? i'm assuming a character is going to be introduced soon.

  4. #34
    Chris Redd
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    Yes, this part is just to set the stage, and it is more an excersize to see how my sentences needed to be changed. Honestly midnight at this point I am trying to figure out what to do about my writing? I am trying to correct as many errors as possible, but it just seems like a lot of the same things keep coming up. Leslee said it was still overwritten, but if it is then when does it stop being overwritten? What exactly is the problem with my sentence.

  5. #35
    Chris Redd
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    I am reporting the story just as I see it. The wind is blowing leaves, there are no cars or people anywhere, so what is the problem? Is my meaning unclear? Is it worded wrong?

  6. #36
    The Midnight Writer
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    i was condensing your original post. i didn't expect you to use it or accept it as correct for your story, i just wanted to see if i could paint the picture you wanted with that phrasing.

    as to your latest sentence rewrite, a slight problem i see with it is that now you've lost some of your intent.

    you say it was a bleak day in OTF. so now as a reader, i'm thinking that this day is different and that on every other day it's a regular town, whereas in your original paragraph, i get the sense of a town that is always bleak. now i'm wondering where all the people went recently, where before i was reasonably sure that people had dwindled out of town and slowly it became abandonned. whichever it is, make sure you frame it as such.

    nothing wrong with setting a scene. i only asked if a character was cropping up because i was waiting for the protag in the car to drive through the town and feel eerie and was going to suggest that if such a person is coming up, perhaps you could use his/her reactions to the town to set the scene.

    chris, i sense that you're working at developing your voice as a writer and learning the ropes of structure and flow. you're just going to have to practice and train yourself to recognize weak writing until you develop that voice and then your writing will come more easily and you'll be more confident and have less detours in your sentences. it took me a good six years to get past sounding amateur and figure out how to tell a story how it needs to be told. and i'm never going to stop learning because everything i write teaches me how to be a better writer. just practice and keep writing crap until it isn't crap anymore. and read so you have a basis for comparison. i know i'm harsh, but it's nothing personal. you're here to improve and i'm trying my hardest to illuminate the problems you're consistently hung up on, namely, word choice and economy.

    my opinion, my way, suits me. you're going to have to figure out what suits you and best services your projects. i can't tell you a golden rule to magically transform you writing into the "right way" whatever that is, i can only show you what doesn't work well and give suggestions about what consistently does.

    you'll get there.
    -Midnight

  7. #37
    Chris Redd
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    Thanks midnight, I needed to hear that.

  8. #38
    The Midnight Writer
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    it takes a lot of guts to post your work here and have it gutted. however, you need to learn how to gut your own work. if you keep dashing off and writing up pieces and posting it here for affirmation, you're not taking the time to learn from the advice here and teach yourself how to recognize the problems we've pointed out on your own. that's why your problems keep reappearing and we all keep telling you the same thing every time you post. (and why it's frustrating because while we want to help other writers, no one wants to do anyone else's work for them)

    and it's frustrating you too. if you keep posting here looking for affirmation (without first running it through your own harsh filters that you have yet to fully develop), you're placing all your confidence in us and not in yourself. right now it feels like you're coming to us for a grade. did i get an A yet? how bout now? well how bout now? now?!!! why can't i please you?!!! once you develop your skills you'll [i]know<i/> when you've written an A. and you'll also know when it's a D and how to make it an A before you turn it in.

    make sure whatever you post has gone through a screening process of your own criticism, and make sure you've eliminated the problems you know we're going to point out. this is going to take lots of writing practice, not just writing up one single paragraph and proofreading it fifty times before posting. you'll need to write and edit lots of paragraphs first before you get one that's written well and merits critique in order to polish it.

  9. #39
    The Midnight Writer
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with this paragraph?

    ...forgot to turn off the italics after "know"

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