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1

The difficulty in the example is that Louise is clearly a female to me, while the J. appears be an alien or animal. Or is that a human name? So to me "her" can only refer to Louise. In Louise and Anna were sitting on the floor of her room, "her" refers to Louise, because Louise is in the syntactically dominant first place. In Peter and Louise were sitting ...


3

Lists tend to give a more dispassionate sense, and so may be less appropriate in fiction. Your example might be rephrased as something like: His flower-patterned shirt brightened his otherwise drab knit cap and faded jeans. or His knit cap and faded jeans denied the spring cheer declared by his flower-patterned shirt. or even a more neutral ...


1

I agree. The questions don't detract here. It builds some suspense in your writing, so I like them. It makes the character seem very unsure of his situation, too, which fits with the story. If you wanted to leave them out, you can just narrate what he's thinking. You might want to do this later, so I will give some examples how to do it. He put down ...


4

The questions are fine. They tell us what is on Ming's mind. I would put first one in past tense (Wasn't it a little late...) to match the surrounding tense.


1

Sentence length is pacing, and a component of rhythm, and sets up subtle expectations, whether for more of the same or something different. After three long sentences, a short and simply declarative one produces a certain affect, and feels good, rhythmically. But breaking the pattern and changing the rhythm also changes the emphasis, and (as I hear it) gives ...


2

Splitting up the sentences didn't alter the rhythm substantially. However, it did alter the meaning, in the sense that it sounds as if you are trying to emphasize that there were no trees and only bushes. Using very short sentence fragments can alter rhythm, but it does this by adding emphasis to elements. Within your. Writing. I don't think that was your ...


3

I don't remember where I read it, but there is a story about a sculpting teacher who did an experiment on a class. He divided the class in two, and told one half that they should spend the entire semester focusing on one pot or vase, and that they would be graded on the quality of that one object. The other half was told that they would be graded purely on ...


4

First I will be discouraging, then I will be encouraging, then I will be fatherly. OK? 1) Judging by the text of your question, your writing skills are not (currently) up to the task of writing an epic 4-volume novel (which is what you are proposing). Your writing is rife with grammatical errors (not just typos) and other problems. Sorry to be blunt, but ...


4

It sounds to me like you have been building a world, not developing a story. A story, in the bestselling sense of the word, is about characters who overcome obstactles and grow in the process. I miss that aspect in your description of your project. Without reading anything, it is hard to nail down the problems your aquaintance saw, or recommend what to do ...


1

I'd just approach it like any job: Tell everyone you know you're looking for some work and specifically what you're looking for, and if they know anyone they could introduce you to or if they have any gigs Cold calls/emails to agencies (both ones you'd like to work for and one you wouldn't, having a strong CV only helps over time). Google them, then call ...


1

Depends what you think is childish. Is picturing random people naked, childish? I dont know! I didn't immediately get the childish impression, maybe teenage, and I say that because of how the sentences are structured. The short and abrupt sentences like these remind me of teenagers for some reason or another. Maybe it's the start and stop nature of it. ...


1

In terms of market research it sounds like you have identified the niche that you want to target but have come up dry on what to do next. Working with the information you have given me you seem to want to write about TV shows (nice choice) and need to find a buyer for those writings. The question is then who would buy such work? Here I would suggest that ...


2

I think the gender and sexual ambiguity only makes this story that much more compelling. I've written similarly vague characters in the past and consider it not only more difficult to hide a character's gender throughout the narrative but also a pretty big compliment. You can even use this technique to conduct your own mini-experiment of people's perceptions ...


2

I don't think you should make the gender more obvious unless it needs to be more obvious. By choosing a 1st person narration the character uncovers him/herself and the logic should flow from how you have conceived this character to express themselves. Is gender really a duality anyway? Men and women express their gender in such a variety of ways that you ...


0

Sci-fi readers and fictional world fans are often very concerned how stuff works. Adding new element is popular choice to explain certain unusual phenomena like FTL travel speeds, teleports, energy shields and weapons. However there is very little space to develop your new element. Theoretically, there should not be anything before hydrogen, but for example ...


1

A hint where you could actually place the new elements: You could put them in the island of stability. If some people expect half-lifes of millions of years, it's not much of a stretch to also put some stable element there (although a very long half-life may be good enough; after all, uranium is instable, and yet we even have quite a bit of naturally ...


4

The reason you think it's obvious is that you assume that only a woman would be having a romantic dinner with a man. Your baseline assumption is that everyone is straight. There is absolutely nothing in the text which precludes the narrator from being a gay or bi man having a romantic dinner with another gay or bi man. If you want to assert her gender, you ...


4

Yes. When an editor rejects a story, you can revise it and submit it somewhere else. You can also submit it to another editor without revising it. Editors are human, and have individual tastes. And their slush readers are humans with individual tastes. One editor or reader may hate a story, and another love it. Further, editors tastes differ from yours, ...


1

Your main problem/complaint seems to be that your thoughts don't automatically organize themselves. Take comfort. You are normal. Try the following (in order): 1) First, just get ideas down. I like to use FreeMind for this phase, and also a spiral-bound notebook that has no purpose except to jot down ideas. Note that "jotting down an idea" can run on ...


-1

You say, "I understand that writing is like any other skill. Meaning it can be learned, manipulated, and mastered." You left out having a capability for the "skill" to begin with. Sorry to say it, but you sound like the last person who should be thinking of becoming a writer. Is it novels and short stories you want to write? Or just faster emails? ...


2

Unlike a work of prose, which has a generally accepted predefined length (be it a short story, novella, novel, etc.) poetry is not governed by such precepts. Poetry is akin to art. A white canvas with a single stroke of paint on it can be a painting, if that is the intention of its creator. A poem can be any number of words, or just one, or even one letter, ...


2

I think your main problem may be that you're sitting down to write without the following: A PURPOSE Quite often, for an article, you're simply looking for an "angle". Angles don't just spontaneously come to us. We "look" for them. When I'm assigned to write about something particular, I research it, and I try to find an angle within the actual subject. I ...


0

Copying discrete details, outside of parody, is plagiarism and is often protected under copyright laws. Think of it this way. Copying large ideas is okay. Copying the actual details or implementation of those larger ideas is violating someone's rights. Writing a story about a boy who goes to wizardry school is okay. Writing a story about a boy with round ...


4

As we've seen on earth, communities count time in reference to key events -- the creation of the world, the birth of a new religious figure, the beginning of a king's reign (these ones have less staying power), and so on. When calendar systems encounter each other (I say the year is 5774; you say it's 2014; now what?), some sort of reconciliation happens. ...


2

Since asking the question, I stumbled across another single-letter poem. Poem I was skeptical about accepting such poems as true poems, but this is a rather neat one I have to say: Critique The letter i with the author's own unique thumbprint to complete it. The thumbprint is the most meaningful symbol that can express the meaning of the object it ...



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