1. Zap Zimmerman
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    Zap Zimmerman New Member

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    Confused, write as read not as spoken.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Zap Zimmerman, Jul 27, 2013.

    Hi all,

    I have done a few stories in first person POV and really like this way of writing. I can imagine myself in the character shoes, work out his/her problems and get to know them inside and out.

    For the first time ever I let a friend read one of my stories and he told me it was good BUT… -at this point I was waiting to be told about my normal grammar/spelling mistakes- instead he told me I wrote it as if it was spoken and not read. I was (and still am) confused about this because I thought in a first person story the character is telling the story, so it’s as if they are speaking.

    I know I can’t put my work on here yet and that might make it a little harder to understand what my friend mean's, but my question is – In first person POVs is there a difference like this?

    Thank you for reading my question and if you need any more I will gladly help.
    From Zap Zimmerman
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I can't say I fully understand that comment, the only thing that comes to mind is that maybe your character is rambling too much? 1st person is meant to read like it's being spoken to an extent but that character shouldn't say irrelevant things, they should always have a purpose.
    To be honest, you are better off working towards getting your work up so that people can answer this question more accurately.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Perhaps your friend means it sounds more like a screenplay - something designed for television. Maybe your description is very short and you focus more on the dialogue than the narrative, which is how it generally works for screenplays. And if you're that confused, just ask them about it. :)
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Ask them to clarify. If they can't provide more concrete reasons for what bothered them, and why, and clarify what they meant by that comment, I'd ignore it and move on.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm on the same train of thought as Youniquee, I believe. Like dialogue, one doesn't want to pattern first person narrative too realistically. So tone down accents, pauses, rambling, etc, so the reader doesn't get distracted by the voice and lose the story. Not having read the piece, of course, I may be totally off course, but if someone were to say that to me, that's what I would think they meant.
     
  6. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe your friend meant that it should look like it was written by the protagonist, like a memoir? Or a letter, as if they were telling their life story in retrospect to someone?

    Anyway, just do the legwork on the boards and then post an excerpt to the workshop for critique -- that might give you a better idea about your story, its narration etc.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is no way to tell what your friend meant without seeing a sample of the writing... and it's a pointless waste of time to speculate...

    as suggested above, the only practical thing for you to do is fulfill the site requirements for posting material and then post a page of you work so we can give you some feedback on it...

    if you don't want to wait that long, you can send me your first chapter and i'll see if i can figure out what your friend was referring to...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Meeting the requirements and posting will get other opinions. The only real way to get a clarification of the comment you already received is to ask the source.

    The comment as conveyed is virtually useless, which is why we insist on specific examples when giving constructive critique. With an example, you stand a chance of following the thought process.
     
  9. criticalsexualmass
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    criticalsexualmass Active Member

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    seek more than one opinion. ask for clarification. Don't dwell. Move on.
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unfortunately, in books, it's never exactly 'as spoken' not even dialogue. This is because it's annoying to read it. There's a fine art in giving distinctive voices to characters, without actually making any of the common mistakes and shortenings we all do in real speech.
     
  11. Zap Zimmerman
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    Zap Zimmerman New Member

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    I will work on getting my work up on here to get some feed back from it and thank you all for the replies.
     

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