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What's Wrong With my Writing?

Discussion in 'Writers' Room' started by -Carlos-, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    I just wrote this very short passage. But when I read it I feel there is something very wrong. I can't put my finger on it. Can you?

    I do not want to continue making the same errors. Please tell me what's wrong with my words?

    Oh boy. What a mess. :angry:
     
  2. Eva

    Eva Member

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    Eva: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
    Aqua: Yes, ma'am.
    Eva: Are you listening?
    Aqua: Yes, I am.
    Eva: Adjectives.
     
  3. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    Too many. Okay. I agree. Thanks.
     
  4. Hugh

    Hugh Member

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    Yes, too many adjectives, but the last part of the last sentence was very suspenseful and hooked me. Nothing wrong there.
     
  5. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    I am a member of another forum full of real-world writers- people that make their living writing. They told me to be careful with tenses and punctuation. So now I can make the needed adjustments, with less adjectives, in order to be ready for submitting (fingers crossed) a quality manuscript.

    What I really liked is that they said that I have the talent to succeed in the field. That made my day. :)
     
  6. saliotthomas

    saliotthomas New Member

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    Just one question ,when you write
    Is this metaphorical or is it some sort of robocop related sequel?
     
  7. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    OK, if you really want feedback:

    As others have said, too many adjectives. It's not really the adjectives per se, but the way they're presented - too much Dan Brown, "The famous man looked at the red cup." Also, technically, you're saying either that he sells beefy used cars or that he himself is beefy and used. And the phrase "affirming the sly hustle" sounds very awkward to me. Are you trying to say that he's happy to have tricked someone into buying a car that's going to break down? It could be fleshed out. Set the scene. You don't have a word limit.

    I'm sorry, but I don't understand what's going on here. What are "pendulum metal balls"? Where are they? What are his "close quarters"? How do the balls relax his neck and "smooth his shoulders" (sounds rather painful, actually)? How do they make him melt into a chair? Are the balls highly radioactive somehow? And why is he so incredibly tense if he's already happy with what he's done?

    There's a verb missing here someplace. "His eyelids were heavy now..." Do you mean "scrunched" as a verb or an adjective?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure you can actually hear a gait. "Gait" describes how someone moves, not the sound it makes. If you mean footsteps, say "footsteps". Throw out your thesaurus.

    Technically, with this sentence structure, it's the gait that's suddenly sitting erect and wide-eyed. If you must write long sentences, keep track of who's doing what. Use pronouns. And hyphens. Also, end your sentence with a full stop, not a comma.

    Really? That's all it could possibly be? Does he have a lot of experience with guns, does he often find himself in this situation? Because I'm thinking most people wouldn't immediately assume that something poking them can only be a gun. And if he's sitting erect and wide-eyed, shouldn't he be able to see whoever is holding the gun?
     
  8. manuscriptx

    manuscriptx New Member

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    Your passage.

    As most people know me on this website; I almost never post a comment in someone else's discussion. This caught my eye.

    You say you are a member of a forum of other published writers.
    Well if the content of what you wrote is not all that dissimilar to what they write; it's the reason why I don't like to read books. Novels and Autobiographies.

    The content of your story as it starts off should make any reader interested but the longer a reader has to read the words; the direction gets boring pretty fast.

    It's all in the words you're using. I agree with everyone else that you're using too many describing adjectives that they overlap each other and become like a car crash at a busy intersection.

    If no one else has suggested it to you; use a thesaurus.
     
  9. K M Britt

    K M Britt New Member

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    It helps to imagine yourself as the protagonist and as the antagonist. Imagine how they move, think, and feel. What are their backgrounds and history? And then write the scene from both point of views. That way you can be sure to make each scene realistic no matter which point of view you choose for your main story. I also recommend that you buy book writing software. It will help you with sentence structure and plot.
     
  10. Occlith

    Occlith Well-Known Member

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    You can start by putting your finger to the "pendulum metal balls", ;) which I assume is this -
    [​IMG] at3_gstatic_com_images_bb53e4736282432a8584c192e1db1f79._.jpg

    Change "pendulum metal balls" to executive ball clicker, or balance balls, or Newton's Cradle.
     
  11. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    That's what it's called. Thanks!
     
  12. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    Very good. You're a champ beer.
     
  13. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    Noted. Thanks. I love the corrections...I need to sharpen my writing pencil.
     
  14. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    I've been told that before KM. Very true.
     
  15. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    :lol: OK :lol:
     
  16. PlaypitsPark

    PlaypitsPark Member

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    AquaBlue, perhaps you are trying too hard. Try writing more the way you speak, rather than being a writer (if that makes sense). There is too much in that extract. The used car salesman bit - give him a name now, not later. Furillo strolled to the back room, hands in pockets, a smug grin on his face. He settled into his desk chair and swivelled to face the wall. The grin widened. Another sucker, another car gone. The wall looked bare, they all did. He could do with a few pictures, something pricey, something bright. Distracted, he wondered where he could get some. Didn't hear the guy in the grey hood and sneakers creep up behind him....
    Just a suggestion, AB, it's by no means perfect and needs at least two edits! Here, the reader is doing the imagining. A good trick to get yourself into the right frame of mind for writing this kind of novel is to read someone like Michael Connelly. Read it twice, first to enjoy the novel and then again to understand how he writes, how he constructs his sentences. Above all, notice what he leaves out. Notice what he doesn't say, things he knows the readers will visualise or work out for themselves.

    Any help?
     
  17. -Carlos-

    -Carlos- New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  18. buddyrayearl

    buddyrayearl New Member

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    Edit, the more the better

    A good start. Editing is everything. You can never edit too much, I think.
    A possible edit:

    “Sweating profusely, Jim-Bob Bigbargain levered his huge body into his front office chair. Another day, another dollar. Another sucker, desperate for transportation, any minute. The sun was up, the weather was good. He was ready for business, a fine day to sell a clunker.

    The pendulum metal balls on his desk clicked together in rhythmic intervals. He turned on his little desk fan, stretched and relaxed. Jim melted into the plush cushion of his tilted office chair. His eyelids now heavy now. He didn’t even hear the sound of heavy footsteps. He lurched erect and wide eyed, with the cold steel of what could only be the barrel of a gun on his jowl.”

    Only one of a million possibilities. Work on it a little.
     

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