Rotsab M. Hyolf
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- Posted: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 02:30:59 +0000
You seem to have a really hard time distingushing between notes of importance and things brought up to accentuate a point. If you read the whole paragraph instead of each sentence on it's own, you'd realise that I was using the 'tone from Hell' as an example of where more elaboration is needed. Even exagerating a parents feelings, there needs to be something to justify that exageration.
Example: The other day, while doing barn chores with my mother, I did a slipshod (that means half assed) job of grooming the horses before we put them outside. Her reaction led me to believe that she was really pissed off, but trying not to make a huge deal about it. I believed this because she takes grooming very seriously due to the fact that leaving dirt on any animal can lead to skin irritations and infections. Because it is winter I assumed that getting lazy wasn't a big deal since there are less microbes to worry about. After we discussed the subject, I learned that she was not pissed, just disapointed.
Did I over estimate my mothers mood? Yes.
Was there a reason why I did so? Yes.
Is it important to the context of the situation? Perhaps not in passing conversation. But if a similar situation were applied to a written novel it becomes very important to explain the what and why. Relationships are important to character building and making a character more real to an audience.
While getting into the reality of the situation (like explaining what the father is really feeling) is unnecissary, the what and why to the characters interpretation of (or reaction to) another is important.
I'm not a teacher, but in grade five this is the writing I was doing. And it's the level of competience that my teachers were directing me towards being capable of. If yours were not, then they did you a great disservice.
All of your examples of what needed more elaboration came across as too much. The breach of trust was the biggest one because it didn't play a part. Saying if the fire started small, how close it got to the garage, and so forth were other things you mentioned. I'm not sure why you would use examples to prove your point that elaboration was needed if you didn't agree with them (such as the tone from hell).
Relationships are important unless it's a throwaway character. As far as we know, we'll never hear from the mother or father again. Saying why you thought she was upset about your job is beating the reader over the head with clutter. It's obvious why she was upset, and there are better ways to infer how important it is to her. Haven't you heard the expression 'show don't tell'? Don't tell me it's a breech of trust/your mother is very serious about her work/the cops are imposing, show me. Show me through body language, word choice, how others react. If you have to info dump/explain things that can be ambiguous you're wasting time.
Interpretation is another matter; however, because the piece follows the main character's perspective we can assume any traits accredited to characters (tone from hell) are how the character is interpreting it.
At ten years old I was writing about dragons and knights fighting over princesses. I'm not egotistical enough to pretend a ten year old is better at writing than that. If you consider yourself the next Paolini, though, by all means continue.
It is very important to do research, and I never said otherwise or that she shouldn't ever do it. I simply stated that right now her time would be better spent working on her style and technique. Time management is also important to writing, why make a piece with all the facts straight if you are still on par with 'See Spot Run' in level of writing? (Which she isn't that was an exageration since you can't recognise it in a written conversation.)
And yes, she can do the research to make this better. She should be capable of figuring out the right questions to ask, or the right people to get information from, to fix those issues. I just think that since she's still in school she has more important assignments to be doing that with at this time. Pleasure writing should be done for fun and to expand your abilities as a writer, perfecting the worldly details can come later with more important projects. It's not like this will be getting published within the next few months, she has time to work out the big bugs and get her facts straight. She also has time to work on her technique. And frankly I don't give two shits if you don't agree with the order in which I advise her to do them in.
You've been arguing with me for a while now because you were offended that I told her she needed to do research. Why did you feel the need to start fighting with me if you agree with the advice I gave? I've said multiple times I agree more description would help, just not mountains of it.
I doubt we're going to agree on technique vs. suspension of disbelief, so I'd rather drop the issue than pointlessly continue batting it back and forth. You seem to have a problem with people being allowed to have different opinions.
Obviously she considers this a serious work, given she tried to get people to ask for a second chapter and proudly boasted about the teacher only being able to say 'wow.' Why post it online to a forum for critique and then ignore it to work on different assignments? If you publish something with the intent of having others read it (and yes, putting it online counts as publishing, as publishers will gladly tell you after refusing your query) then it leaves the realm of 'pleasure writing' and enters into 'I'm serious about this.'
I never brought up spelling or grammar. I brought up technique in a longwinded fashion. And I am the only one who brought up getting additional proof-reading after changes are made. My statements are unique to me, I ignored topics I knew would be jumped on like a fat boy on a package of Skittles. And I stuck to a subject I know enough about to give advice on which also tends to not be said in many topics I've read.
I honestly forgot that it was you who brought up those details first though. After awhile all the replys to these topics merge into one pile of information. And many people do repeat the same information that has already been stated over and over again. Since you summarised the topic; spelling and grammar are the top example for this thread.
The top three things that people go after first are; spelling, grammar, and plot details. I don't often see anyone bring up things like a opening 'hook' or 'connecting sentences'. Both of which are things she has to look forwards to in highschool English class, never hurts to be ready early for things that are important to a person. She can practice now and her teacher can help her refine it further later.
You brought up that she should have a friend or family member proofread it for grammar and spelling. I'm sorry to break it to you, but 'more detail' and 'less detail' is one of the most jumped on things, right up there with spelling and probably above grammar. If you look at several other topics you will see where people are bringing up issues of details and technique.
I still don't know why you've taken so much offense to my critique. I remembered your username and made reference to it because I appreciated the depth you went to; I just didn't like that you left out the huge plot implausibilities and how everyone glossed over it to treat the story as being great. She's already said her English teacher went, 'Wow' and was otherwise speechless, so I doubt hooks or connecting sentences are things that will come up. They don't even bring up prepositions, syntax, so on.
I'm impressed with your level of schooling for a farm boy, I guess? (As in, most rural areas don't tend to have very in-depth schools or classes. Not the ones I've seen, anyways.)