1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does this happen to you too?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tesoro, Jul 4, 2011.

    Often I have a weird feeling, especially when writing this current novel I just finished, that the way I "hear" the story in my head is not the right way to write it, that somehow the words that I put together to form the sentences that build the scenes I imagine is not an acceptable way of writing for a novel. That I should somehow translate them into a novel writing language to which I don't have the key.
    I also get the feeling that my writing is a lot younger than I am, that sometimes the things I write comes out as if written by a fourteen year old and not a grown up woman. They sound so good when I write them down and they come so naturally that I never question them, but when I re-read it it sounds SOOO lame. it makes me despair, honestly, because I don't write, or want to write, for young adults. And I quit that kind of reading really early too, so it isn't that I have read mostly that, I can't even remember if ever reading young adult books when younger, at least not many. Do you have any of these problems? what do you do about it? Is it just read, read, read (although I always have, so why would it change anything now?) as always?
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's the point of editing. It's also the great thing about using the same language for people of all languages. There are fourteen year olds who can use words very well, so that might not be a bad thing. The idea is edit, edit, edit and all related forms.

    Remember, though, as I said. You and a fourteen year old use the same language that consists of the same words, so don't be too quick to condescend. However...

    0.o ... therein lies your problem.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, as a fourteen year old I had a very wide vocabulary, but it seems it hasn't grown much since... :( or maybe it's that I have less life-experience than most people of my age... if it is lame what Am I to do about it, I mean, obviously that is the way i write... :( Should I just give up and realize I'm never going to make it? write just for fun? somehow I would lose the motivation if I hadn't the dream of one day trying to get the stuff published. Once I wrote ONLY for pleasure, but now I want more. I still love it but I guess that extra motivation makes it even more fun.
     
  4. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    While I can't honestly say that this happens to me, I can sympathize with your problem. While yes, you may very well read all the time, do you study what you're reading? Do you pull yourself out of it long enough to analyze how they did something, what you liked about it, what the different characters had going for them, what set them apart? When we read as a reader we tend to overlook the nuances that set a 14 year old character apart from a 30 year old character, because we know how old the character is, what their temperament is, and so we expect them to act a certain way. If the writer doesn't let us down, there are no red flags and we happily settle in.

    When we read as a writer we analyze why we are able to settle in so easily, why we expect certain characters to respond in certain ways, how the writer was able to set that up, how they did not let us down. It's easy to study the times when we're pulled from a story because we WERE let down, but you also have to pull yourself from the story to study what worked.

    Editing is of course important, but you seem to not know how it ended up this way, nor how to fix it, so editing isn't really going to be much help to you I don't think. Perhaps a writing sample posted in the workshop would be helpful, as it's possible you're just overanalyzing, and if not, maybe some objective reactions could help you get a handle on taking it where you want it to go....
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you are right, and I'm not used to read critically, as a writer. I took up writing just last summer after many years of no writing at all and I haven't figured just how to be critical or what to look for when reading books in this way. I think I still read like an entertainment-reader, actually. Ok, it's not all true, some things I do notice now when reading that I would never have noticed before I re-started writing again, but most of the time I read like a reader. Maybe that is the problem, I don't know. thanks for you advice though, I appreciate it.
    ps. It wouldn't make much sense putting something up for review because I don't write in english... I think I write very "scandinavian" (like, stripped of all the purple prose, in a short and concise way) even a friend of mine confirmed that there seem to be a tendency of scandinavian writers to do so, of course it isn't valid for everyone).
     
  6. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could always send a sample to me, Tesoro. You were Swedish, weren't you? I understand that perfectly, at least when it's written.
     
  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    You have a more limited vocabulary that way as well, don't you? (I'm not being at all sarcastic, just truly asking as that's my understanding). If it truly is that concise and short it shouldn't take too much effort to translate a bit of it to see if we could help if you're up for it. You seem to have a quite competent grasp of english, moreso even than some people who speak it as a first language from what I've seen in your posts.

    Also, the limited vocabulary (if I'm correct about that) could be what's making you feel there isn't enough depth in your writing, couldn't it?
     
  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    trish: I think you might be onto something, because I often feel I repeat the same words and expressions when writing, and when I realize that I can't come up with a suitable substitution. I think even though I have a quite ok vocabulary, when writing I seem to limit myself to a part of it. maybe it's also the fact that I'm bad when it comes to details in writing, I don't go very much into detail when describing things. I try, but it doesn't come naturally. I just don't see them.

    edit: that is what my writing lacks, I guess, depth.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Spklvr: thanks for your offer but right now I don't feel confident enough to let any one read this s***. can I keep it for another occasion?:rolleyes: I don't even know which part I should send you...
     
  10. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    guess I should start to read more. I'm just not sure about HOW to "read as a writer".
     
  11. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Reading as a writer is really quite simple. Do a kind of book report as you're reading. When you read something that works well figure out why it works well. When a character is close to flawless in execution (not a flawless character) figure out why that is too.

    You seem comfortable with english, why not try writing the same thing in english and see if that helps? As a test to see if it's the limited vocab holding you up?

    As far as not describing things. Start with a room. Look around, describe the things you see. Then describe one half of the room, all the things on that side, then a quarter of it, then an eighth, until you're down to one item. Find things to say about it. Now odds are your character will never describe a room in such detail, but you keep doing that, room after room, until you're comfortable describing things. It's a good exercise for you to learn to describe things you don't normally notice or describe.
     
  12. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    PM me anytime. I like reviewing stuff, even if I rarely get my lazy butt over to the workshop :p
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trish: thanks for the advice. I'll give it a try.
    Spklvr: I'll keep that in mind :) I'm not sure I would be able to give someone else constructive critique, he** i can't even read a book with a critical eye. I'm afraid I would comment on the wrong things and not be of much help at all. I never did much analytical work in school and I didn't go to university, where I guess people get those assignments all the time.
     
  14. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    You're welcome. Review wise, though, you shouldn't worry about that (your response to Spklvr). You say what YOU think needs work, you see what other people say needs work, you learn. No one is grading you on your education. Reviewing other peoples work is as educational for you as it is for them. Don't let that stop you. The more you do it, the better you'll get, and the more confident.
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, so I did print my ms and read it quickly (the parts that I hadn't read just recently) and came to the conclusion that it's not all bad, some of it is actually good, and the fact that I can tell the good from the bad, plus the second fact that it all comes from the same source... makes me hopeful, that I can transform the bad into good writing as well. :) it's going to be a lot of work but hey-That is what I like about it. I get to spend a lot more time with my guys :)
     

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