1. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    How to describe this dress?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Mike Hill, Sep 4, 2014.

    I was writing my story Melanie's Blues and I had figured all this out in my head. I saw this dress on my MC when she performs her song but I don't really know how to describe it to my readers.
    Sparkling dress. That's all I can say right now.
    [​IMG]
    She performs at a Blues club amateur night her first time. Idea is that she is beautiful and this sparkling dress just increases the way she shines when she performs.
    Sorry picture is little large.
     
  2. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    shiny elegant dress

    lovely and gorgeous dress

    beautiful shiny dress
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Form-fitting, strapless, gold sequin dress. You can tie it in with what she looked like in it, did it accentuate some good feature, like curves or waist, did it seem to make her look confident, comfortable, restricted, did it match her shiny blond hair, or her sunny smile (other comparisons with shiny yellow or gold things, summer), that sort of thing.
     
  4. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Thanks. Describing things is something I need to work on and this will help.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  5. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    What are your feelings about this?
    "She finally stepped on the stage. Crowd was full of happy people mouths open in a wide smile. She started with positive songs. She shook but after few verses she forget about the audience. Emotions Melanie felt are impossible to accurately describe. Power of music went trough her body. Blues took her away. Last song Cry Me a River made even the toughest men in the audience tearful.
    Audience whistled and clapped more than in any show in years. It took hours that Melanie really understood what had happened."
     
  6. Arbalest
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    Arbalest Member

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    Some suggestions:

    Melanie finally stepped on the stage sounds a little better. The following sentence should start with The crowd, but I'm not a native speaker so I can't be really sure about that. Between "people" and "mouths" probably a comma could be useful. I suggest changing the last words of the sentence in a more linear open with wide smiles.

    I'm not really sure about those "positive songs". It seems a sentence a little out of place...why don't you name a song? Something like She smiled nervously, and started with "XYZ"


    "She shook" does not convince me at all. She shook because she was nervous? Or she was shrugging, leaving behind her nervousness? If it's the first, what shook...her hands? Head? Legs?
    "Emotions (...) are impossible to accurately describe" is a rather strange thing to write down in a story/novel. If those emotions can't be described, why mentioning them? Couldn't you instead describe the classic things linked to such performances (the dread before the event, the spike in adrenaline when you're alone on the stage, the flutter in your stomach and the dizziness during the initial minutes, the thunder of your hearth and the roaring euphoria when you realize you're actually good at whatever you're doing) and hint, instead of say, that there are hidden depth that can't be really described?
    "Power of music" should be The power of music, and after "body" there should be a comma and not a full stop IMHO.
    "Last song" should be The last song, and the title could be in italic just to differentiate it from the text. Just a personal preference here, be advised. I don't think it's the norm.

    Aside from the point-by-point commentary: seems good, but feels a bit rushed. I imagine this scene is an important point, from an emotive point of view...but I can't feel any emotion. I can't feel Melanie's fear, joy, confusion. I can't feel the amazed delight of the patrons hearing her songs. I can't even imagine how could be the crowd looking from the stage or how the people in the club see Melanie when she start singing.

    It's a very good foundation, IMHO, but you should flesh it out more.
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see several problems with this. First, the writing is mechanical, it doesn't paint any pictures, it just dryly lists what happened. Secondly, there's no showing here. You say things like 'positive songs', 'made even the toughest men tearful', 'audience clapped more than any show in years' it doesn't convey any particular meaning, there is no emotion, and the last statement sounds like a cliche hyperbole, the kind where we have to take the writer's word for it, rather than experience this ourselves.

    This is a very quickly scribbled example of showing and telling so that the reader actually experiences what the character is experiencing. I don't really know the context so I guessed a few things, also I'm calling her 'Amanda' for convenience sake.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
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  8. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    With the dress show us what it looks like don't tell us. If it's not the kind of thing she normally wears she might tug down the hemline. If she borrowed it she might complain about it being too tight or keep pulling it up because it's a little big and she's scared it will fall down. Think about how Melanie will react to the dress as well as the flat description.
     
  9. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I'm not trying to be rude but it's quite clear that English either isn't your first language or isn't as natural for you to write in. If there weren't as many grammatical errors in this excerpt, it still wouldn't be fantastic but it would definitely be passable in certain genres. It's better than anything Stephanie Meyer ever wrote without changing a word.

    She finally stepped onto the stage. The crowd was full of happy people, mouths open in a wide smiles. She started with positive songs . She even though she shook with fear, but after few verses she forget about the audience. The emotions Melanie felt are were impossible to accurately describe. The power of music went trough her body. Blues took her away. The last song, Cry Me a River, made even the toughest men in the audience tearful.
    The audience whistled and clapped more than in they had for any show in years. It took hours that for Melanie to really understood understand what had happened.

    That's the grammar. Now read that and notice how many sentences start with The. If you want to keep it in English, you have to be fluent enough to change up the sentence structures so as not to bore the reader with repetition.
     
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  10. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Good points ya'll.
    I actually wrote a blog piece where I attempted to describe the difficulty of describing:)
    I will definitely continue reading and writing. I don't wanna be a copycat but maybe it is good model a little bit.
     
  11. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    And here I thought 'spangly" pretty much said it all.
     
  12. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Iridescent.
     

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