Amateur Writing

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Amateur Writing

Postby Rkcapps » Fri, 05 Jan 2018 3:32 pm

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Amateur Writing

Postby Rath Darkblade » Fri, 05 Jan 2018 10:45 pm

Here are some things that I think are good to avoid:

1. Repetition of the same word in the one sentence. For instance, "I looked at myself in the mirror while looking at and fixing my ponytail and, at the same time, looking at my mobile phone" - yuck. Just... yuck. People might talk like that, but your story doesn't have to. Use a thesaurus. ;)

2. Overuse of foreign languages. A word or phrase dropped here or there is fine to spice up your story, but writing entire paragraphs in (say) French - unless you intend to sell it in France - is not. If you do drop in a word or phrase here and there, for goodness' sake, don't put in a footnote to say what it means (e.g. "Mais oui," he said [Footnote: "But of course"]). It might be accurate, but there's no need to under-estimate your audience's brains. Treating them like idiots who don't know elementary French/Italian/Spanish/German/whatever, and who can't pick it up, will only alienate them from your story.

3. Overly long sentences/paragraphs. There is a reason why Sir Humphrey's speeches in "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" are so funny: they allow him to take a very simple message and wrap it up so completely in absurdly elongated verbiage that, by the time he's finished, his Minister has forgotten how the sentence began and is very confused. For instance:

Hacker: It was the one question today to which I could give a clear, simple, straightforward, honest answer.

Sir Humphrey: Yes. Unfortunately, although the answer was indeed clear, simple, and straightforward, there is some difficulty in justifiably assigning to it the fourth of the epithets you applied to the statement, inasmuch as the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts, insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear.

Hacker: (confused, frustrated) Epistemological?! What are you talking about?!

Sir Humphrey: (sighs; thinks how to simplify this) You told a lie.
(Sir Humphery tells the Prime Minister that he misled the House of Commons)
I am sure there are others, but these three are very good ones to avoid! :)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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AJ Konlucko
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Re: Amateur Writing

Postby AJ Konlucko » Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:59 am

All good points.

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