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  1. #31
    Hillary W
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    sam,

    you're cracking me up. nice quote.

    i appreciate your opinion, but i'm going to keep the opening that way. the only other way that i could potentially open (at least in my opinion) is with his death scene as a prologue, and then i could launch into him speaking at the beginning of chapter one.

    if you'd like to help me re-work it, i'd appreciate your help. but its not going in the third person!



  2. #32
    Karen Campbell
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    Hey, Hillary—You're a DJ? Nightclub kind or radio? Radio paid my bills for 29 years, but I understand the crap that comes out after a 12 hour day of playing radio.

    I had started some comments before seeing your latest post and those are below:

    First let me say you have an ear for rhythm which I like. I get the sense you love words and want to make them dance a little. That’s a good thing. And I like the fact you’re willing to take a risk with a slightly different voice, also a good thing.

    Now you can focus on honing your skills, and for most of us that means learning to tighten. As Bea said, your repetition here needs to be reduced. Repetition can be effective when used for emphasis, but the volume of it in this piece is a problem.

    My opinion, line by line (for a few lines):

    Do you know how it feels to be dead? *** I like this line. It’s simple and direct.

    No, I tell myself, you probably don’t. **** I would delete this, as you lose the lovely direct speech. You should generally avoid phrases such as “he thought” or “I tell myself” if we’re firmly in the POV of the character with internal dialogue.

    I rise now, as a spirit, and I speak to you. And my only hope is that you listen. *** Nicely pompous and direct.

    A long, long time ago a woman once told me that my spirit was too strong, too strong to be broken by time or by that mortal flesh which binds it or even by death itself. This woman meant very much to me in my mortal life, and I only laughed at her. I laughed at her as any prideful and foolish young man would. ***** This is a quick rewrite, so don’t hold me to it, but this might be cleaner as “A long, long time ago a woman told me that my spirit was too strong to be broken by time or by mortal flesh or by death itself. This woman meant much to me, and I was prideful and foolish and I only laughed at her words.

    But now I am here, speaking to you, and her words ring true in my ears, more true than any hymn or sermon, and more true than any other words that have been spoken to me since. **** here I’m back on track with you, loving the way this guy is posturing.

    And as you read this now, I can sense your disbelief. What, is this a spirit? You are asking yourself, with your modern cynicism and your world devoid of magic and belief. Ghosts aren’t real, after all. ****I wish you’d stuck with him speaking to us instead us “reading”. I want this to be a dialogue, with him assuming our end of the conversation. Something like, “What, you say? Is this a spirit? Such a thing is not possible for you and your modern cynicism and your world devoid of magic.

    Yes, I am a ghost. That much is true.*** simple and direct again. I like it.

    My basic advice is to kill your adverbs, kill the repetition, and stay as tight and direct as this dead guy will let you. And who needs sleep when there's writing to be done?

    Karen

  3. #33
    Mara
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    Hey Hillary! I've got a similar story. (Heck, you almost sound like you could be my twin sister or something. I've even got the loan to pay back.) I've only recently started writing again, because until now, my life was screwed up and I couldn't concentrate. (There were some medical and social reasons for this, and now they're both getting fixed.) If your life is really chaotic and frustrating, there's nothing wrong with waiting a while to get started on writing seriously. That being said, it is definitely more productive to write when you can devote a good chunk of time to it. I hope you can get to a place where you have time to write more.

  4. #34
    Hillary W
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    Hi Karen,

    I dj at bars/clubs and also do private parties. I did a couple of weddings in the past month and let me tell you- WOW, it was an interesting experience. Not sure that weddings are something I want to do full-time, as it drives me into a neurotic fit. Too many crazy relatives and too many weird requests. I love the drunk relatives, though. They're usually the fun ones. But yes, dj'ing is a real passion of mine. There's nothing quite like bringing people together and MAKING them get down.

    As for your suggestions, I like them. I really do. You're right- I do like playing with words and trying to achieve certain results with rhythm, repetition, etc. If anything I'm too cerebral with my writing (someone above pointed out the lack of emotion, and its unfortunately true). Its something else I need to work on.

    I like your suggestion about the modern cynicism line. I will re-work that.

  5. #35
    Josh Lemay
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    I liked the general tone of most of your writing, but I had a few issues with the long, drawn out sentences. I don't mind the repetition too much and I think it can set a tone, but the fact that a lot of the beginning consists of sentences that keep going and going(commas upon commas) can be a little distracting.

    This isn't to say that I don't think sentences like that can't work. Overall, reading them by themselves, the sentences sound fine. When you string a bunch of them together like that, it messes up your flow, though.

    Basically, every comma is asking your reader to pause. If one sentence has three or four commas, that's three to four times you've asked your reader to pause in one sentence. It can be a little jarring. A stop and go sort of thing. As a really goofy analogy, it reminds me of the "Red Light Green Light" game when I was a kid: <http://www.gameskidsplay.net/games/sensing_games/rl_gl.htm> . Although the rules of the game allow the person who is "it" to spin back and forth between "red light" and "green light" in rapid succession, it can be frustrating for the others playing the game to deal with it. Once in awhile it can be ok and fun, though.

  6. #36
    Hillary W
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    Hi Mara,

    Thanks. Yeah, its been an interesting road for me too. Its tough to get into writing when there are so many other things in life sucking up your energy. I find that I have a particularly difficult time writing when I'm tired from work (especially since I stare at a computer screen all day). As a result, I end up only writing on weekends when I don't have other stuff going on. Between work, my boyfriend, friends, and dj'ing, I'm sad to say that writing gets the short end of the stick. Oh, if there were only more hours in a day...

  7. #37
    L Bea
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    Hillary,

    You are young. BUST YOUR BUTT. Keep working that day job to pay the bills, but when you get off, baby -- do your dream. Yea, you're tired. But keep doing it. If you want it, you gotta do it. Period. Email me if you want a link to something I ran into the other day that I thought was interesting regarding this.

    Bea~

  8. #38
    Hillary W
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    Hi Bea,

    Just emailed you.

  9. #39
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    Hillary,

    I'll leave you with this thought tonight:

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." —Mark Twain

    Best,
    Jeanne

  10. #40
    Hillary W
    Guest

    Re: Glad I found this forum--- I have a question

    awesome quote. thank you.

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