1. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    First impression

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Stammis, Feb 4, 2016.

    Hi, I am a bit conflicted about the text below, to me it sounds good but I am afraid that it may come of as generic and won't sound like something a real person would write.

    What you need to know, concerning the background, is that the text is a note from mother to son. Many days ago the MC's mother and father was killed and had to flee his home town. The Vaan is the indigenous people in this story and a young Vaan woman saved his life and brought him to her hidden village.

    “Dear Fendrael, if you read this there is a strong possibility that I and your father is dead. I know this must be confusing for you, but you must stay brave, because the book you are holding is more important than you may realise. Unfortunately, the answers you seek would be meaningless if I told them to you. Therefore you must seek them out yourself and grow, become a fine young man and learn more about the world. Make reliable friends that will help you during your darkest hours and make your journey a happy experience. By now you must be familiar with the Vaan. Yes I have seen how you have been seeking answers on your own and it makes me so proud. The Vaan is the key to discovering the secrets of this world. Seek out their hidden villages, ask about the temples that holds the truth. Present the book and those truths will be revealed to you. Whatever happens to us, know that we will always love you and watch over you. Good luck my dearest son. Stay safe.”

    I changed the text completely and posted it below.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  2. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    This is how I would reword it. I can't really reword if completely because I don't know what comes before this so...

    “Dear Fendrael, if you read this there is a strong possibility your father and I that I and your father is are dead. I know this must may be confusing for you, but you must stay brave! because The book you are holding is more important than you may realize. Unfortunately, the answers you seek would be meaningless if I told them to you. Therefore you must seek them out yourself and grow, Become a fine young man and learn more about the world. Make reliable friends that will help you during your darkest hours, and make your journey a happy experience. By now you must be familiar with the Vaan. Yes, I have seen how you have been seeking answers on your own and it makes made me so proud. The Vaan is the key to discovering the secrets of this world. Seek out their hidden villages, ask about the temples that holds the truth. Present the book and those truths will be revealed to you. Whatever happens to us, Know that we will always love you and watch over you. Good luck my dearest son. Stay safe.”


    This sentence is confusing.

    Not sure how I feel about this, i think it should be worded differently.

    Is there information about the book before this passage?
     
  3. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Thank you for your feedback!

    Your first question; it is suppose to be a bit cryptic as the mother knows what the book is all about already, the book gives the wielder certain powers, but also responsibilities, responsibilities that she had no choice but accepting. Her goal is to let the MC understand what he will get himself into and be able to make an informed decision in the end. Third; The book is this item, and only memento of his mother, that he has left. It has been a mystery through the MC's life as it is written in a language that nobody can read, except his mother. And he managed to bring that book when he escaped. The note was in the book as well.
     
  4. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Changed the text completely...

    Dear Fendrael, if you read this there is a strong possibility that your father and I are dead. I know this must be confusing for you, but you must stay brave! I am sorry to have laid such a heavy burden on you; I believed that that I would have all the time in the world explaining this to you.

    You must survive Fendrael! and you mustn’t let our deaths affect you. The power that you now hold is as ancient as our people itself, but as of now, is only manifested through this book that you are holding. Not everyone is able to harness its power and I have been dreading the day, but also looked forward to, the day when you became ready. Never let your fear, your sadness and your anger get control of you.

    I wished that I had more time to explain but don't be alarmed. Seek out the Vaan. I know that you have studied them already and it makes me so proud. Ask for Garamond in the Valley of the hidden village. The map is on the other side. Whatever happens to us, know that we will always love you and watch over you. Good luck my dearest son. Stay safe.
     
  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    To me, it definitely doesn't sound like something a mother would write to her son. Specific issues below:

    I believed that that I would have all the time in the world explaining this to you.


    So why is she writing this letter?

    and you mustn’t let our deaths affect you

    Wha? How stupid is this woman that she thinks becoming an orphan won't affect her son?

    The power that you now hold is as ancient as our people itself, but as of now, is only manifested through this book that you are holding.

    This doesn't sound like a mother talking to her son. Even Dumbledore wasn't that pompous when talking to Harry. :D

    it makes me so proud. Ask for Garamond in the Valley of the hidden village. The map is on the other side. Whatever happens to us, know that we will always love you and watch over you. Good luck my dearest son. Stay safe.

    This is more like it. Much more like a mother talking to her son.
     
  6. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Thank you for your comments!

    1; she writes the letter because she believes that she is about to die. or at the very least not be able to see her son in a very long time.
    2; the effects of the power that he has is bound by his emotion, strong sadness or anger will make him "unstable" but you are right, I should rephrase that.
    3; Should rephrase this as well
    4; he newly acquired this power and she believed that she had all the time in the world to help him control it, but sense that is not the case she had to be very brief about something that needed much explanation. I don't think that I can have the same motherly tone throughout the letter because of this.
     
  7. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    The same reason my parents have a will? It's always good to have a "just in case."

    I just took this as, "Stay strong, and don't become depressed/evil." My parents always said stuff like this to me, only they said "when we die" or "if we die suddenly."
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Maybe you want to respond to the OP, not me?
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I think you should focus more on whether or not it sounds like something the character in your work would say. That's much more important.
     
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  10. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    Sorry, I guess that did come off as a little snobbish. What I meant to say was that I disagree with your assessments of those two sentences for the reasons I stated, and that was meant to help the OP see a different opinion.

    To Stammis (the quotes are suddenly not working for me):

    I believed that that I would have all the time in the world to explain this to you.

    You must survive, Fendrael! And you mustn’t let our deaths affect you.
    Or, "You must survive, Fendrael, and you mustn't let our deaths affect you!"

    I have been dreading the day, but also looked forward to, the day when you became ready.

    This sentence reads odd to me. "I have been" implies that he was ready when she wrote this note. If that's the case, why didn't she tell him this stuff in person? Putting it in past tense also gives me the impression he was ready when she wrote the letter. I think putting it in the present tense would work a lot better. If his parents' death means he's ready, you might want to make that a little clearer.

    I wish that I had more time to explain, but don't be alarmed.

    General tip:
    I've read a few times in my writing research, and even in my English class, that it's generally a good idea to leave out the word "that" in a sentence if the sentence still makes sense without it. The word "that" can add a choppiness to a sentence that otherwise runs smoothly. Try it with your sentences. Test them by saying them out loud and see if and where you want to delete "that." It's helped me tremendously with my writing!
     
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