1. BobLobLaw
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    BobLobLaw Member

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    How to not rush?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BobLobLaw, Mar 7, 2011.

    I feel like I'm having a problem with my writing. It feels rushed, like I'm going through what I'm writing too quickly.

    Here's a sample and tell me how it is:

    Yes, I was leaving my mother, one of my best friends in the world, for Olympia. Olympia wasn’t a bad place or anything, it was just that I was going to miss home, or rather, my old home, terribly. Dad’s last call sounded so lonely and sad, and he missed me a lot. On top of that, Mom was getting ready to travel the country with Phil, my step-dad. Phil was a minor league baseball player, and traveled often with his team.

    Does that sound rushed? Or am I just being paranoid?
     
  2. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    Yes, it does seem a little rushed. What was great about Olympia? What will he miss? How long has the kid been away from the father? (What gender is this?) How does the kid feel about this situation?

    I'd add about two lines to each of those paragraphs, but you aren't me. :)
     
  3. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Don't worry about it, just keep writing. You're in the rough draft stage, just get the words out. You can fix them later.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the paragraph works well until you get to the explanation about Phil. Up to that point, you're describing your character's thoughts about moving away - the paragraph holds together nicely. But then you throw in basic facts about a character (Phil) that probably should have been explained before this. Concise writing is fine, but stuffing two purposes into one paragraph this way may be what's making it feel rushed.

    ChickenFreak
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds like you summarizing the events to a friend.
     
  6. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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  7. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes it sounds rushed because, Your telling not showing. Maybe some dialogue in there would help.
    Here for instance you are telling us that your dad sounded lonely and sad - you are not showing us what was said or how it was said -[QUOTE and he missed me a lot [/QUOTE]How do you know that? Show us how you come to that conclusion, did he tell you that he missed you? if he did, what did he say? or did he cling on to your shirt front and beg you not to go? Did he send you a letter, maybe saying how much he missed you and possibly begging you to come back?

    imo you need to put more thought into 'showing' what is going on.
     
  8. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Is this a short story, or a book you are working on? For a short piece I'd probably start it a bit later, in act of leaving, or saying goodbye to Mom, or even on the journey and look back at Olympia and Mom. In a short story you don't have time to set things up slowly. You have to plunge right in with the conflict, show the relationships. It is probably those relationships which will drive the story.

    If you are thinking about a novel you could write a chapter about each of the main points you touch on here; Mom and Olympia, Dad's state of mind, Mom and Phil's relationship. You have more room to breathe and explore, but it still needs to move.
     
  9. RightBastardWriter
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    RightBastardWriter Member

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    What's the context of this paragraph in relation to your story? Is it your first paragraph? Second? Third? Two pages into the story?

    We can assume it's rushed, but without seeing it in relation to the rest of the piece or even a longer sample, it's hard to tell.
     

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