1. Keyvee
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    Keyvee Member

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    Not satisfied with my work.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Keyvee, May 17, 2009.

    I have finished writing my first book, and now I am reading and editing the alpha version. However, since English is not my native language I fear what I wrote is not genuine or good or that it is written using too simple language. Here is and example of a dialog.


    No one said anything, they were only looking at Arthur in silence.
    “OK, I see, that you can't wait eating, so let's get started,” he announced.
    Everyone started their breakfast.
    “Did I mention to you that the salads were prepared by Tokutei?”
    Lian’s eyes grew wide. “Do you ever sleep?”
    Tokutei felt her cold look. “Of course I do, I made them after the morning training.”
    “Ah, alright. I just thought, you spent the night in the kitchen.”
    “No, I’m not so crazy,” he replied, then grabbed the bowl with salads and placed some on his plate.


    Any suggestions? What I lack most are gestures and facial expressions. Do you happen to have a list of those like shrug one's shoulders or frown?
     
  2. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    In the first sentence the comma should be a period.

    ==“OK, I see, that you can't wait eating, so let's get started,” he announced.

    I would change this to he said. Also, "that you can't wait eating," should be, "that you can't wait to eat."

    ==Everyone started their breakfast.

    Everyone started eating their breakfast. You can't start a breakfast.

    ==then grabbed the bowl with salads and placed some on his plate.

    Then grabbed a bowl of salad . . .

    As far as gestures, just imagine what they are doing and write it.

    I have been working on a new topical thesaurus. Here is what I have for facial expressions.

    Action: Facial Expressions (emotions)

    Bawled, beamed, blank faced, breathed, cackled, chuckled, contorted, cried, flexed brows (jaw), frowned, giggled, glowered, grimaced, grinned, jaw dropped, laughed, mocked, mouthed, mugged, narrowed eyes, pinched brows (forehead), pursed lips, pouted, puckered, raised brows, rolled eyes, scowled, screamed, scrunched (Forehead, lips, face, brows, nose), serious stare, sighed, smiled, smelled, smirked, snarled, sneered, squawked, squinted, squinched, unreadable, wept, wide eyed, wrinkled nose (eyes, face, nose, forehead, etc), yelled,

    Body:

    balled fists, cracked knuckles, fidgeted, fixed tie, flexed, placed hands in pockets, played with hair or clothes, pointed, raised a hand, rubbed hands together, shrugged, squared shoulders, stretched, tapped foot, tapped table, touched chin, waved hand through hair, yawned
     
  3. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    You don't want too many facial expressions otherwise your book becomes a mirror without substance. Go for mixing it with more action:

    Sitting round the kitchen table, hands fidgetting with empty spoons, they were all looking at Arthur in silence.
    “OK, I get the point you're hungry, so let's get started.”
    A burst of spoons clashing on bowls hit the kitchen.
    “Did I mention these (use of dietic marker 'these' instead of 'the' like this puts the reader in on the action) salads were prepared by Tokutei?”
    Lian peered oover the nearest salad bowl and looked at Tokutei. “Do you ever sleep?”
    Tokutei tried to ignore getting drawn into the game, but failed misreably. “Of course I do. I made them after the morning training.”
    “Oh, alright. I just thought you spent the night in the kitchen.”
    “No, I’m not that crazy,” he replied, then grabbed the salad bowl and tossed some on his plate.
     
  4. Keyvee
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    Keyvee Member

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    This is what I was talking about. How to learn to write like this?
     
  5. Mr Marshmallow
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    Mr Marshmallow New Member

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    I find just reading and taking note of these sorts of things helps me. I just ask whether I think they're done well or not, what I would do to change them if I could, and then I look at my own writing and try to apply that to my writing.

    It doesn't make for very enjoyable reading (looking for well and badly done passages) but it helps my writing.
     
  6. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    Mr M makes a very good point.

    Just try noting down everyday things that happen to YOU, in your life: at breakfast, for example, do you notice one person scratches his head and dry bits fall into his bowl...or don't you sit together as a family? that could suggest loads about a character and his relationships... But even just noting that one person sips milk off a spoon whilst another drinks the last bits from the bowl will help give your chracters some colour.

    This way you build up factual 'filling' elements (and ones that a reader can relate to) which you can then turn into fictional elements. And by getting familiar and practising writing with what you know (like these scenes you yourself are familiar with) you can then start to play with fictional scenes you don't know (fight scenes etc...) Plus it also gets you in the habit of noticing things around you (what it smells, tastes, feels like etc)
     
  7. Keyvee
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    Keyvee Member

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    Very good piece of advice! Thank you guys, I will try... I mean I will do this :)
     

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