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  1. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Writing style problem

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by laciemn, Feb 21, 2010.

    So, I know everyone has their own style and everything, but something about my own writing that bugs me is this - I write so much inner dialogue. I don't get too into writing about the personality or background, but I write out all of their thoughts, and I know that most of these things are irrelevant to what I'm really trying to say with the story. I realize that I need to incorporate more action, but I'm not sure how to do change this habit.

    Also, I tend to write obvious questions that are sort of pointless. Should I worry too much about changing the habit, or just focus on writing what I can? Right now, I'm just trying to get some sort of story, I don't care about it being good or perfect, but I don't want it to be completely mangled.

    Here's an example:

    But that could be a long way away. Who knows what would happen. The sun was , and the villagers were smiling, and the children laughed, the water looked calm and still. But what happens when the sun goes down, and the darkness fell over the town? Patrolmen stood high on walls around the village, and scouts explored the area surrounding the village for signs of danger. But, how much caution was too much caution? How much was just enough?
    When she was younger, much younger, she remembered having a brother. The memory of his face was faint, but one incident, she remembered clearly. The adults of their village were worried about something, and the two of them didn’t understand much, but she remembered the fear in his eyes.
    “big sis, what do you think is going to happen to us?”
    “I don’t know. But I think if we sit on the peaceful shore and pray, that we will be protected. There are gods and spirits to protect those who believe in them,” she had said. She felt so wise in that moment, even though she was a child. It felt good to comfort him. The next day, the tsunami had engulfed the village, and she thought bitterly on that day. The gods hadn’t protected them. To her, it was a betrayal…a betrayal she still lived with today. Even as a priestess-in-training, she couldn’t forget.
     
  2. Dee_xx
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    Dee_xx Member

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    I like your style, I honestly wouldn't change it.
     
  3. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    It seems like your characters want to be philosophers. You could right a philosophical book. There is nothing wrong with your style. I have read some books like this. I don't find them that interesting. But some people do. I would have to lessen to this book out loud. I couldn't read to many questions and strafe answers.

    But this is purely me. I would wait for other people to comment before basing your own opinion.
     
  4. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Thank you for the sincere compliment. Maybe I meant to say that I want to incorporate more action, perhaps not completely change it. Just improve that aspect, because it might get boring to a lot of people.


    Thank you!

    Unfortunately, I don't think I want to write that kind of book. Ideally, I want lots of battles and mystic powers and that sort of thing. I definitely want people to think when reading my story, but I want it to be exciting too.
     
  5. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Don't think of the ideallies and the future of your story. Think of what you are and what you write. Because that's not going to change anytime soon. At least not without a lot of frustration and heartache.

    Write a book, not of what you were inspired by. But of what you love to write. And if you find that you are writing something you hate. Then change it.
     
  6. Dee_xx
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    Dee_xx Member

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    Well if it helps, I didn't find it boring at all. :)
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don’t think you ask too many questions in this extract, although if the whole story is like this, continual questions could be annoying, and hold back the story. Make sure you don’t head-hop or suddenly become omniscient. (I’m not saying you do, just that it’s easy to make this mistake.)

    Don’t over-rely on this device. I think you should explore other ways of exposition. It would also be easier for the reader if you grouped your thoughts into logical paragraphs.

    IMO, your tenses are very mixed, so timeframe is unclear. This disrupts the fluency of the narrative. The story is set in the past, so the 'comments' still need to be in past tenses--they are not direct speech. Events that might happen/conditional are presented as foregone conclusion because you inexplicably revert to present tense, and continuous vs short actions aren’t differentiated enough. This is confusing.

    E.g.

    But that could be a long way away. Who knows what would happen? The sun WAS SHINING, and the villagers AND children WERE SMILING. The water looked calm and still. But what would happen when the sun WENT down, and darkness FELL over the town?

    Patrolmen stood high on walls around the village, and scouts explored the area surrounding the village for signs of danger. But, how much caution WAS too much caution? How much WAS just enough?

    When she was younger, much younger, she remembered having a brother. The memory of his face was faint, but one incident she remembered clearly. The adults of their village HAD BEEEN worried about something and the two of them HADn’t understand much, but she remembered the fear in his eyes.

    “Big sis, what do you think is going to happen to us?”

    “I don’t know. But I think if we sit on the peaceful shore and pray we will be protected. There are gods and spirits to protect those who believe in them,” she had said. She HAD felt so wise in that moment, even though she was a child. It HAD felt good to comfort him. The next day, the tsunami had engulfed the village.

    She thought bitterly on that day. The gods hadn’t protected them. To her, it was a betrayal…a betrayal she still lived with today. Even as a priestess-in-training, she couldn’t forget.
     
  8. Kayliss
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    Kayliss Member

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    You could try condensing some of that down. I don't know what's in your head, so I won't pretend I know anything at all about you (see post count)

    I think what you have as an example is just fine, so if you chose that as being typical of what disturbs you I wouldn't worry about it. That's a good editors job, not yours :D
     
  9. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    I've had problems with my tenses in the past. But, I'm not really sure how to correct it. I don't realize I'm doing it at all until someone points it out.
     
  10. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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  11. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Hehe, thanks! I'm going to try not to worry about it, but ya know, the less an editor would have to do, the better for me :p.
     
  12. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Not necessarily. If you spend twice as long redoing your manuscript then turning it in. The editor would rather you spend half as long and let her/him do him/her job.
     
  13. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    I find tenses confusing too. I always just write how I write, like it sounds "in my head" or whatever, and anything else just kind of confuses me.
     
  14. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    I do that to. But then sometimes words i have been spelling for years suddenly change to something else. This is usually when I'm writing dialog. What is in my head changes and i change how i write. Strange but true.
     
  15. Kayliss
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    Kayliss Member

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    Not strange at all neo. You are just really letting your mind assume the mannerisms of the character. It's a quality you really need to have to be a good writer, unless you are a journalist or something.

    Fiction writers need a good sense of character empathy.
     
  16. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I agree with all said here, and would have answered much in same way...also spotted extra HADs (see above).

    The only thing I would add is if you want more action, write more on the tsunami, do some research on the effects, make it come alive not just a single word. Don't get me wrong, I like the way you reveal it, but maybe add a paragraph after "the tsunami had engulfed the village", re-live it with the reader? Or indeed live it with the reader if depending on the tense. Maybe explain the moment they were torn apart, and the emotions of that seperation?
     
  17. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    No.





    Best, Whiskey
     
  18. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    On-target advice, thanks a lot!
     
  19. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    More likely, the editor would dismiss the manuscript.
     
  20. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    I guess that would be right. But in cases there your editor is nice and wants it on time. That is when you send it in.
     
  21. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, if you are using past perfect, the HADs are correct, not extra.
     
  22. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    From what I've read it just seems you ask too many questions. Rather than asking what happens when the sun goes down-- if the intention is to add mystery-- just hint at something, you don't have to give it away entirely. Show don't tell. Or in this case, Show don't ask (or ask as much)

    just my opinion though.
     

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