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Writing Workshop/Discussion & Literature Help [E]


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[color=darkslateblue] I thought it'd be a nice idea if I made a thread for people who are coming up with ideas/are in the process of writing short stories, long stories, novel-lenth stories, etc. and want feedback or advice on their planning (or if you just want to share with other people). Basically, I guess everyone can talk about everything and anything that comes along with the writing process: plot holes, plot bunnies, characters, setting, etc. Or you know...[i]grammar[/i].

Or, if anyone needs help with their literature homework, essay, whatever. I think we can all help each other out with questions.

Note: I had a little hesitation of making this thread, so if there's a problem with it you can close it down or modify it or do whatever. :)[/color]
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mal, brilliant thread. ^_^

I could say a few things about plot holes and structure right now, but I'm actually going to talk about sentence construction, specifically word usage.

The problem with word usage I've found, is that people use too many in a sentence, particularly when it comes to fiction. I'm not exactly sure why they do it, but I figure it's just a "rough draft" remnant. Most of the time, too, people really have to closely read a work to tell when a word isn't needed, or when it doesn't quite fit. This process is a lot like watching a film, actually.

When I watch something like Shaun of the Dead, for example, I'm just watching it to get a feeling for the characters and setting for the first few viewings. Once I "get" the characters, story and plot, then I watch the film a few more times, more or less ignoring the characters and focusing on technical aspects of the film (cinematography, shot composition, for example). With these technical-minded repeated viewings, I'm able to get a better idea of what's good or bad in the film (though, with SotD, there's very little bad ^_^).

I find this holds true with writing. I first go through as a reader, getting used to the characters, getting a feel for the setting and so forth. Then I go through as an editor, making note of where characterization isn't as strong, where language could be tightened to better serve the piece. When I (or any writer, I imagine) do this, the amount of improvable sections increases dramatically. It's quite interesting.

I'm going to end this post with a margin note that Dr. Sill, my Intro to Lit Study teacher, wrote on my Freshman Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness/Dante's Inferno comparison paper:

[center]"Avoid using 'a great deal' unless it's on Ebay."[/center]
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[color=darkslateblue] Hehe. I usually go through writing with much more less-technical process (unless I'm writing an essay). Basically, this quote sums it up: "You write the first draft with your heart, and the second draft with your head." Whenever I have a feeling to write, I'll write anything that comes to mind. When I get on a roll, I don't stop until I get a good chunk of it done (problem is, that rarely happens to me). It's during the massive amounts of time when I'm not on a roll that I'll bring up things I've started to write, cringe a bit at what I did write, and edit. Furiously.

Word usage comes sort of naturally to me, but I do come across problems with word usage whenever my knowledge of vocabulary lacks and I have to use online dictionaries and such. Dialogue, on the other hand, comes as a discomfort for me. Whenever I'm writing dialogue, it's always: 'does this seem natural?' or 'would a high school kid [i]really[/i] say this?'. Sometimes I'll read dialogue from another story, and it'll just be something I can't believe. Other times, I'll read novels and completely worship the author because of his/her dialogue skills. I get with words many times whenever I'm actually writing the dialogue between two people, and I end up using very plain terms that 'normal' people would use. Here ends my ranty opinion paragraph.

Lit. Quote of the Day

"It's tougher for the [i]fish[/i], the winter and all, than it is for the ducks, for Chrissake."[/color]
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