1. Rémy EL Refai
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    Rémy EL Refai New Member

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    First try at writing a book

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rémy EL Refai, Oct 6, 2014.

    My name is Rémy, I am 22 years old and I live in a village with a population of aproximately 4000, in Sweden.
    Yesterday when I came home late at night, I had an inspiration, I thought I should write a bit of what my mind had to offer. I would like a second opinion on it, I wrote this in 30 minutes but I am ot sure if I should continue or think of something else. Please criticize and give advice.

    -
    I woke up at six o'clock I was consulting myself whether to go to school or not.
    I am sorry that the school has so little to give me in comparison to what I could have been gathering in knowledge among other things, somewhere else where I could be around likeminded people, where I can advance from within and benefit others in same and different ways.
    Why not make the best out of the present situation by going to school and learn as much as there is worthy of learning, I will not get more intellectual and closer to my goal by laying in bed now will I? Up we are! In the name of God.
    For me picking what clothes to wear has always been somewhat tricky, Will a t-shirt and a jacket be enough? or maybe it will get too cold, I might have to take of the jacket, too cold without, too hot with, better put on something thicker, something thicker does clearly not fit with jacket, let us change jacket, other jackets are not as warm, paradox, not to mention pants and shoes, to fit all that aswell. But hey, who cares about how you look, right?.
    In the end I managed to put on an outfit that is acceptable for the weather in the morning but as soon as midday came, the weather changed progressivly, Typical change of mood in Swedens weather.
    Walking to the buss, here again, consulting myself whether to listen to an audiobook or listen to music. If I listen to an audiobook I will learn something and... Well, sometimes there is a whole lot of consulting to do with oneself. On the bus I put down my New York Yankees baseball cap over my eyes so that I can relax and listen to the audiobook, it was about success, I enjoyed the thoughts the book gave me until I arrived at school, entering the classroom. The teacher was talking about halfinteresting matters with a few seeds of knowledge here or there. learning and thoughts are like a farm where information is an infinite amount of seeds, I choose to pick the seeds that will give the best crop. My farm is my kingdom. The teacher asked me how I thought of something concerning the subject, I answered like I felt how I wanted to respond, with a bit of intellect but not stretching beyond the horizon, with a twist of joke and undetectable sarcasm perhaps. I waited out the hour with full observation longing for a smoke, cup of coffee and hopefully a sprinkle of interesting conversations. Walking out I see my English teacher and I think, I am sorry that she had not much at all to teach me, neither in the English language nor as a humanbeing.
    She was young, late twenties, presumptious with a negative attitude and sees no obstacle in lying if need is felt. If not for her conspicious looks and pretty smile, she would have been unbearable.
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Remy,

    I suspect that you won't like what I'm going to say, but you did ask for criticism.

    1/ It's clear that English isn't your first language - I've highlighted a few of the misspellings, etc. - and this reads rather like your English language homework (curious that you don't like your English teacher?). Generally, your meaning is clear enough, and I can translate it into more natural English, but there are some places where it isn't clear what you mean.
    2/ This is a very large block of writing, few paragraphs to break it up, so a bit daunting to read.
    3/ "I woke up..." is about as lame an opening sentence as you can get - nearly as clichéd as "It was a dark and stormy night"!
    4/ Nothing much happens in this extract, apart from your character having some teenage angst and indecision...so why would the reader care enough to read on. The one thing that is any good is the character of the English teacher - there is scope there for conflict, and that is what a story needs if it's going to interest anybody.
    5/ Generally, it's better to write something, leave it for a few days and then re-read it and criticise it yourself before asking for somebody else's opinion (not come home late at night, dash off a few words and submit it as "inspired")...that way you'll avoid the likelihood that your "critic" will be either a sycophant who will praise it fulsomely, or a psychopath who will crucify it!


     
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  3. Rémy EL Refai
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    Rémy EL Refai New Member

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    I love what you had to say, that's exactly what I was hoping for before posting this thread. Thank you for your time!
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum. I'll leave it to one of the mods to comment on the forum rules about posting for critique (but I suggest you check them out).

    Language question aside, knocking out a piece of writing in 30 minutes and asking for comment on it is not going to be a very helpful exercise. You would be much better served by going back to a book you have read and loved, read the beginning of it, and seeing the difference between your opening and that. The craft of writing as we know it is not the simple act of putting thoughts down on paper, but in presenting a story that draws people in and makes them want to read it. Whatever book you pick as a comparison, read it through completely. Not as one reading for pleasure, but as one studying someone else's craft. How is the story put together? How does it unfold? From whose perspective do we see the main character's? What critical facts does the author withhold and when and how does (s)he reveal them? To what effect? Do we experience what the character feels? What does the author do to accomplish that?

    Read widely. Read deeply. Read to enjoy, and then go back and read to understand the craft. That will serve you far better than posting snippets here, having shortcomings pointed out, correcting them, posting the next piece, etc. Not only is that a long and painful process, but it also relies on what others see in your writing as opposed what you see in the writing of others.

    Best of luck.
     
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  5. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    @EdFromNY is correct. The best thing you can do to help yourself is read. As much as you can, in as many genres as you can.
     
  6. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    Firstly by all means continue to write but you need to keep in mind that like anything else you will improve with practice. Do not allow yourself to be deterred by a critic, use them as a reason to improve and your satisfaction from your writing will increase as a result. Good luck.
     

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