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  1. #11
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    Personally, I get irritated when characters are described in too much detail. A reader will fill in certain details for themselves subconsciously. Your job is to move them through the story with as little clutter as possible.

    It doesn't matter if someone's coat is black or white unless they're in a room full of black coated satanists and their white coat is going to get them slaughtered! Lol. Pretty lame example but you get my point... Only write things that are relevant and interesting and that are essential to your story. 😊

    DV



  2. #12
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    Thanks for sharing.
    Don't mention it. My pleasure.

  3. #13
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    , but there's something to be said for leaving some mystery for the imagination.
    Again, you're thinking in terms of the plot. But plot doesn't make the reader want to turn the page. Only emotion does that—the emotion you cause the reader to experience, not that which you mention.

    Stories are about people, not events. So if you make the reader know what matters to that person—your protagonist—the reader will know exactly what the protagonist knows, as they know it. That means they are the protagonist,thinking like them, and learning what they learn at the rate they learn it. Living the story, in other words, not hearing about it.

  4. #14
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    Again, you're thinking in terms of the plot. But plot doesn't make the reader want to turn the page. Only emotion does that—the emotion you cause the reader to experience, not that which you mention.

    Stories are about people, not events. So if you make the reader know what matters to that person—your protagonist—the reader will know exactly what the protagonist knows, as they know it. That means they are the protagonist,thinking like them, and learning what they learn at the rate they learn it. Living the story, in other words, not hearing about it.
    Your watered-down Swain isn't really all that helpful. It probably sounded good to you, though.

    Someone else brought this up recently in regards to world building in terms of fantasy books. Generally you don't want to go into the whole history of the world or it starts to sound like that part of the Bible: "And this guy begat that other guy who begat that other guy and so on..." It really loses the momentum of the story. That whole prologue is one of those begat moments; if people want a history lesson they'd read a nonfiction book.

    In the lobby of a crowded office building, groups of employees were watching the morning news broadcast on a menagerie of high-definition television monitors.
    That's where your story actually starts.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    Your watered-down Swain isn't really all that helpful. It probably sounded good to you, though..
    Aww...poor baby's in a snit again because I pointed out what he missed. Sound and fury, but nothing of substance, as always.

    And of more importance, he read Swain's book in hopes of finding things he could refute, and all he could say is that he personally disagreed with a college professor, as it that has significance.

    Bwahahahahaha.

  6. #16
    Rogue Mutt
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    Sounds like someone is in a snit because he couldn't get away with generic advice again.

  7. #17
    Junior Member adoni's Avatar
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    This hits the circular file at

    Through time and development come breakthroughs…medicine, science, computer technology…truly seems boundless.

    WTF is this? .... and cutoff ideas such as 'truly seems boundless", what truly seems boundless?

    I could get nastier, but wtf, this wouldn't even hit my desk since it's a bs site for authors.

    I don't consider a blog on wp .com a website.
    I created this FREE EBOOKS FORUM TOOL to help Authors hit the top of Twitter using one of my major KLOUT accounts on Twitter It's at FREE EBOOKS FORUM TO HELP AUTHORS Put your Genre in header of post within an hour you will be top of twitter for that Genre

  8. #18
    Junior Member adoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbi V View Post
    Personally, I get irritated when characters are described in too much detail. A reader will fill in certain details for themselves subconsciously. Your job is to move them through the story with as little clutter as possible.

    It doesn't matter if someone's coat is black or white unless they're in a room full of black coated satanists and their white coat is going to get them slaughtered! Lol. Pretty lame example but you get my point... Only write things that are relevant and interesting and that are essential to your story. 😊

    DV
    Actually I love authors that can take a whole page describing say a rose that they are putting on the bed of a loved one as they are in the shower and they await them.

    The art of literature to me is being able to put so much beauty and thought into such a common object that the reader is lost in your world of how great and magnificent this one little thing is in life.

    My 2 cents
    I created this FREE EBOOKS FORUM TOOL to help Authors hit the top of Twitter using one of my major KLOUT accounts on Twitter It's at FREE EBOOKS FORUM TO HELP AUTHORS Put your Genre in header of post within an hour you will be top of twitter for that Genre

  9. #19
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    Thanks for everyone's feedback. Currently reworking the first chapters. To adoni, the phrase "truly seems boundless" hinted at the potential for humankind's growth and achievement through their development of different technologies. That whole prologue was a peek into planet earth from Ontego's eyes. I'm thinking of omitting it, doesn't need to be there right at the start.

  10. #20
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    To adoni, the phrase "truly seems boundless" hinted at the potential for humankind's growth and achievement through their development of different technologies.
    In that statement you encapsulate one of your major problems, intent. When you included the phrase it was your intent that the reader would get that message. But intent doesn't make it to the page. And only you know the emotion you would place in the reading to support that intent. Further, the one reading it will almost always have a different background from you, so the words that have a certain meaning and weight to you won't have that to someone from a different part of your city. And if you cross the country, or an ocean...

    That's why a strong character viewpoint is critical to making your words mean the same thing to every reader, and have the same emotional impact. So instead of all the dispassionate world building that comes from you, let the reader notice it as it becomes important to some decision your character must make. After all, if something doesn't become important to that character, why do we need to know it? For more on the importance of viewpoint you might try this.

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