1. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    What is a World View?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Steph4136, Jul 7, 2012.

    My husband's aunt is one of the women editing my book for me. She sent me back a chapter yesterday with a note asking what my book’s world view was. She then went on to say that once she knows this, she can check consistency and suggest cuss words (which I am not interested in making up swear words, there isn’t a lot of cussing in my book anyway so I don’t know why she’s going on about with this).

    I really have no idea what she is talking about, do any of you? The story is about a woman who dies in a freak accident and crosses over to the other side (explaining in detail what happens as you die and cross over, all made up of course since I obviously have no idea what happens when you kick the bucket). Once she’s in the afterlife it pretty much mirrors our world here with some major differences, such as no cars and they use mirrors to travel long distances. A lot of other things happen, mainly a brewing war in the afterlife that my MC gets swept up in.

    On a side note I’m getting slightly annoyed with my husband's aunt, since this is not just the first, but FOURTH time she’s trying to push different cuss words on me. She really wants me to use ‘zut alors’, which I’m sure most of you know is French, which pretty much means ‘oh my gosh’. I might as well have my characters saying ‘golly gee!’ Keep in mind it’s not like they’re walking about dropping F-bombs or even swearing on a regular basis. Now and then someone may use ‘hell’, the swear words are few and far between.
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If she's trying to re-write your book, and is going beyond suggesting something once for your consideration, I suggest you drop her as an editor. She seems a little too preoccupied with swear words. It's not so helpful to have beta readers/editors rewrite your story the way they'd do it. You want to write your story the way you want it written.

    I'm not certain what she's asking you as far as the character's world view. It seems to me that's something that a reader infers from reading the story as a whole, and generally the character's "world view" would change through the story. Perhaps someone else has more insight than I do on this question.
     
  3. Patrick Gallant
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    Patrick Gallant Member

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    Hey Steph,

    It sounds like she is just trying to understand your setting; I've heard the term World View before but it doesn't really sound like the right context. Time period, physical location, the kinds of characters involved will all have speech and dialect appropriately. To give some contemporary examples, there is of course accents and the colloquialisms that go with the region their from. British 'mate, flat, loo' etc are not words you see in Canadian or American English, but they are still understood by their specific audience. As well as the prose of Shakespeare was written in an entirely different eon of our language, but it still English. Probably what she is trying to understand is where do the characters appear to be from so you will have the most authenticity for any dialogue changes she suggests.

    On a personal note, you should be able to write any piece of dialogue you want, curse or otherwise. If she suggests a grammar or flow change, that's fine, but the individual words you use are important for your writing style and she should shy away from them. Just nod when she suggests and don't make the change. I wouldn't worry too much about your World View because you understand it just fine and I'm sure the narrative dictates it to a reader; she just wants to know as an editor, the same way I might if I was about to travel back in time and wanted to know the local tongue.

    Might be a little off base here, but I think at the very least I've made the right point. :)

    Regards,
     
  4. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. So far I've been ignoring her 'suggestions' when it comes to dialogue, especially when she wants to change it to what I call 'text book perfect'. No one I know in real life speaks like that, especially in this day and age with how much slang we all use. Now I don't go overboard with the slang, but it's realistic, especially as this book is set in current times.

    She's not the first person to read my book, or even edit it for me. I've had several friends read it, as well as some fellow mods on another forum I'm an admin on (non-writer forum) that don't read fantasy. Not one has questioned what time period it takes place in, or the physical locations, or basically anything like that. Sure it's made up since it takes place in the afterlife, but it's laid out in the book quite clearly and everyone has understood it. She's only on chapter 7 out of 24, so maybe she's not used to the 'read and find out what happens'. I don't do infodumps about things, but show it gradually in various ways.

    What I think may be happening here with Cathy (the women doing the edits), is that she really enjoys the story and wants to be involved in it somehow. I know she's done editing before, but for various university thesis-es (wth is the plural for that word?), not works of fiction. It's just a very different genre/style of writing. Up until recently I have liked her edits and feedback, but am done with the suggestions. I don't think she realizes how much she's starting to step on my toes by trying to make those kinds of changes.
     
  5. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    The swear word thing is controlling, but the 'world view' matter might just be trying to find out if you know what angle the characters are looking at. If you are doing an afterlife thing, maybe it is a religious matter? I've read numerous stories with different takes on the afterlife, but your description is not identifiable in any of the 'major' religions. As probably was the intention, maybe she is having a hard time coming to terms with the 'Harry Potter equivalent world' which functions like ours, but is just a wee bit different for X, Y and Z. Without really describing why X, Y and Z are done differently.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's up to you whether you want to continue to use her for her comments. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that in dialogue, people frequently don't use correct grammar. (Two common areas would be ending sentences with prepositions and who/whom distinctions -- "what'd you do that for?" or "He's coming with" or who are you going with?" would be very natural things for someone to say, even though they wouldn't be technically correct.) Similarly, they frequently will speak in sentence fragments. You are absolutely correct to ignore her w/r/t dialogue for the reason you stated.
     
  7. Lightman
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    Lightman Active Member

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    Just a note - I've never heard a Frenchman say "zut alors." "Zut," which means something along the lines of "damn it" or "shit!", is fairly common though.

    I have no idea why you'd use mild French curses unless your characters are actually French.
     
  8. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    That is another good point. The French they teach in my neck of the woods (I grew up in Vermont) and in a lot of Canada isn't quite the same as people in France speak it. Hence zut alors.

    Whatever the case, it isn't going in my book.
     
  9. thecoopertempleclause
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    thecoopertempleclause Contributing Member

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    I would say the term 'world view' is a very broad description of the political, gender, and religious bias inherent in your writing.

    If your characters normally speak English, never have them swear in another language. Just because Joss Whedon can do it, doesn't mean that anyone else should try. You really needs an editor who's impartial in matters of content. You want to know what works, what doesn't and any plot-holes or inconsistencies.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is the part that I suspect is confusing her. A story based in the afterlife would tend to have a lot of religious content. I suspect that your reader is searching for the religious elements that simply aren't there. She might be expecting you to provide your religious philosophy, and perhaps try to preach, and not finding any of those things in a story based in the afterlife might be experienced by her as disorienting.
     
  11. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Possibly. I'm not religious and didn't want to include religion too heavily, as that is a huge can of worms to open and could potentially be too controversial anyway. I do touch base on it very briefly, but the book isn't about religion by any means. It takes place in the afterlife, but isn't about the afterlife. That doesn't mean I don't explain how things work there, I do. My MC is a ghost and goes on hauntings (if anyone has heard of Waverly Hills there's a major scene there), not to mention getting swept up in a war between two factions.

    What I think is happening is she's gotten way ahead of herself and what she's supposed to be doing for me as far as proofreading it goes. I want someone else's eyes to look for grammar and punctuation and make sure the continuity is there, there's no repetition. You know, the usual. Not try to re-write and make suggestions.
     
  12. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I've got a few people who've read my work and make suggestions. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, as readers, which cause me to weigh their comments based on the subject of the comment.

    For instance, one guy is very detail-oriented, but doesn't often look up from the details to see the broader picture, so his critiques often include recommendations for explanations which other readers don't seem to need; but he excels at catching punctuation errors, typos, and other errata. I value his critiques for the latter, not so much the former.

    Another friend of mine has a great feel for storyline, continuity, and rhythm -- the more intangible requirements of a good story. He doesn't really care whether I used a semi-colon or gave the clause its own sentence. I don't take his okaying a piece to mean that it is clear of technical errors. He doesn't read, or write, like that. He won't bother telling me that the comma at the end of the quote on page 27 is outside and not inside the end-quotes.

    In short, the criticism is weighted by the skills, interests, and knowledge of the critic, as well as their personal focus.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i caution all new writers to never ask family, friends, or anyone they're sleeping with to read or critique [or worst of all, edit!] their work... now you know one of the reasons why i do so...
     
  14. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    I disagree. Make your signif other read everything. And if he/she stays, marry him/her. I make my friends listen to my stuff. Pretty feeling sorry for them...me, I am. ? Basically, I feel articulate today.
     
  15. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Well, I'm not really a new writer, been doing it for 25 years. :) I'm confident that what I wrote is good, it's a fun read, quick-paced, etc. I just wanted a fresh set of eyes to proof-read to make sure my commas are in the right place. She also wanted to read it for the sake of reading it when we were talking about it once.

    In the early stages when I was writing it and show some of the rough (very rough) drafts around to friends, I was wide open to suggestions. One of my best friends is great to brainstorm with.

    My husband has yet to read it in its entirety. He read the first five very rough draft chapters early on and that's it, but is going to be putting it on his e-reader now that it's going through the final edit.
     
  16. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    AWWWWWWWWWW. Marry him again?
     
  17. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    I dunno, he's kind of irritating me at the moment.
     
  18. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    Haha. Mine wants to actually read my work, but I still haven't handed it over. Though I have a feeling prying eyes occasionally get a peak at it while I write. Generally, I wouldn't let someone read my work in its current form, it doesn't make any sense still. Besides, if they like it and want to read more, it could end up becoming a chore to write.
     
  19. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, that's my life. ;-)

    I made my husband read my first draft. It was frustrating. All I got was "yeah, it's good."
    "What did you like about it?" I asked him.
    "I don't know."
    "You don't know? There must be something."
    "The characters, I guess."
    "What did you like about them?"
    "I don't know. But it was good. It should be published."
    "But what did you like -- Is there anything you can tell me? Did you have any thoughts at all about it?"
    "No, not really..."

    I am so jealous of those who have SO's who are their first and most meaningful and awesome beta readers.
     
  20. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    I know what you mean, when you have someone asking for more and it's not written yet. Sometimes it'll cause writer's block for me when someone is nagging me about it.

    He's been really supportive about it, in the way of helping me make time to write. We have two young children, one of them is only a 16 month old toddler right now. It's impossible to write when the kids are around and every two seconds is "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!", not to mention that it's not fair to them to have me starting at my computer screen all day. That doesn't mean that I haven't taken some time to hide out in my room with the door closed to try to finish a chapter or do some revision, he'll keep them occupied or go to a park or whatever so I can get that down time.

    Speaking of which, it's been over two weeks since I've been able to do any writing of any sort and I'm dying here! I'm a stay at home mom and just cannot find the time to do any writing and come evening when they're finally in bed, I'm too tired.

    That's kind of how he is too and it drove me crazy. That's pretty much why I stopped showing him anything after chapter 5. Well, he did tell me hat he hated my MC since all she did was whine and complain, and he was right. I had to rewrite everything and was glad of that feedback. Originally it was a NaNoWriMo book so I just wrote like hell and didn't look back. I didn't realize how annoying she was when I first created her lol.
     
  21. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Steph - We're living almost the same life, although my husband would not take the kids to the park so I can write.
     
  22. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Too bad we didn't live closer so we could babysit for each other so the other could write. My MIL started taking Lizzy (my toddler) one day a week and Ayla (my 6 year old) was at school. So I had one day off a week and that was my writing day. But then my inlaws took a trip, school let out for the summer and I've had zero time to myself to write. As much as I love my kids and love being a mom, I'm not JUST a mother. I need my me time. I do work out at the gym so get it there, but that's only for an hour and a half, I need more.
     
  23. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    I'm sweating with fear of getting a second older people. STOP THE MADNESS ALREADY. I'm mature and functioning without a husband and three kids in a park, dad. :)
     
  24. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Haha like any stage in life there's pros and cons. I didn't get married until I was 28, almost 29, and had my first baby at 30. I spent my 20s having fun and traveling. My kids are some of the best people I know.
     
  25. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    I just fainted. lord be with me. your kids are already people? BEST? Get me outtttttt
     

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