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Apr
23
comment How to refer to character of focus in a story
@mattlohkamp -- you must hate Tennyson and Browning with their "Theirs nots" and "Half a leagues" and "I love thees" repeated over and over and over ...
Apr
20
comment Explicitly correcting yourself while writing - how appropriate is it ?
Metanoi runs deep; into your life it will creep.
Apr
19
answered Avoiding foot&note disease
Apr
18
comment Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?
The former -- where the book was just over-stuffed, there were too many character, too many scenes -- is achingly common. Fantasy, as a genre, is probably the worst offender (I'm looking at you, JRR! You too, JK!) but lots of other authors (Tolstoy) are almost as bad. I know I sound like Emperor Joseph in Amadeus saying "Too many notes" but I'm a more careful reader than most and it enrages me when the extra care is not exercised in appreciating the subtleties of language or characterization but wasted trying to remember who took that horse to Gimblethorpe five chapters ago.
Apr
18
comment Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?
@JSBangs -- I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am saying that I've seen a lot more books where the author forgot that I, the reader, am not studying his book, I'm not taking notes or committing it to memory than books where the author forgot something important about the plot, timeline, or characters. In fact, I can only think of one example of the latter: in Catch-22, arguably the most complicated successful American novel, Heller twice mentions "the Splendid Atabrine Insurrection" but forgets to include the actual scene. (cont.)
Apr
18
comment Do Novels follow a 3 Act/2 Plot Point structure like most Movie Scripts?
@jae -- my opinion? Are you sure? I thought I got that from Wikipedia...
Apr
17
comment Do Novels follow a 3 Act/2 Plot Point structure like most Movie Scripts?
@jae -- that's why most jazz sucks. Only a truly phenomenal talent can produce art of any value without introspection, practice, reflection. When the milieu of some popular art form encourages improvisation, most of the result is unbearable.
Apr
17
answered What's the proper way of formatting writing from a character in a novel?
Apr
17
answered Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?
Apr
16
answered How to refer to character of focus in a story
Apr
15
comment Our note in footnote of a book
So you have notes that appeared in the original quote, notes that appeared in your Russian version, and notes that you want to add in your English translation? I think the innermost notes should be marked as from Ivanov (if Ivanov were the original author), your Russian notes unmarked, and your latest additions marked "translator's note" (even though you are your own translator).
Apr
15
comment Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?
Wow, in my comment, I quoted the exact same bit of bad advice, exactly to disparage it. Teachers, what can you do. I think trValdemort is the victim of a really first-rate education.
Apr
15
comment Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?
A lot of teachers recommend "Tell them what you're going tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them" (and it seems you've taken that advice to heart). I don't buy it at all. Newspaper reporter -- who write to be read, not to be graded -- use "pyramidal style": the first paragraph has the big, important facts; the next, all the important supplementary information; each subsequent paragraph is less and less significant until it's basically just amusing trivia. I don't think that form would work for you either, but you might look for a compromise.
Apr
15
comment Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?
An example of shortening: You wrote, "Self-study, be it extracting knowledge from books or from other materials, is one-sided information flowing process, meaning that we only accept facts from the material while our feedbacks are not supervised by it." I would write: "Studying alone is necessarily one-directional." Then I would write another sentence to explain why that's so, and a third to say why I think that's bad (or at least suboptimal).
Apr
15
comment Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?
There's a episode of the TV show "Friends" where an uneducated man finds the thesaurus feature on his word-processor. "A button to make me sound smart," he crows, in a bit of naïveté that should make every writer writhe a bit in self-recognition. Don't be that guy! You think Hemingway or Orwell had small vocabularies? Of course not. Strive to use the right word for the situation -- sometimes that word is "feculence" and sometimes that word is "shit".
Apr
15
comment Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?
(2) It's not that real-life examples are necessarily persuasive, but they're illustrative, they demonstrate your point. About (3), first, you missed my point, which was that emphatic but non-specific words like "irreplaceable" don't convince anybody: they just tempt the reader to think "Yeah, I think I could replace it." You don't have to avoid those words, but if you use one, you definitely have to back it up (how would you prove something really was irreplaceable?) Second, an essay doesn't exist to show off your vocabulary; your vocabulary exists to improve your essay! (cont.)
Apr
15
comment Our note in footnote of a book
@drozzy -- you are translating a book that has quotation from another source, with the quoter's comments interpolated in the quotations? Yikes. What Robert Graves did in the Claudius books (which of course purported to be mere translations) was mark his own comments with "RG" and put explanations Claudius was supposedly adding to letters and proclamations in square brackets unmarked, but you might want to use initials to distinguish every level of commenting.
Apr
15
comment First conversation scenes I've written (looking for errors, conventions, and improvements according to writting standards).
Yeah, nice. @justkt -- try, as an exercise, to make your passage exactly half as long. I'm not saying you should necessarily leave it like this, but you'll see how little dramatic weight each line is carrying. You can leave all the lines in as soundtrack while you fill in the images the way Lauren has done (masterfully imo); or you can cut it down to the bare essentials of conversation like, say, Hemingway; but the third choice -- a fairly accurate rendition of actual mundane conversation, which is what you've done -- is not a good idea.
Apr
15
awarded  Supporter
Apr
15
comment Potential confusion: referring to home planet as “Earth”
@NickBedford -- Samuel Johnson recommended, "Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out." I wouldn't go that far but I do counsel every writer who asks, or sits still to be told, to trim and tighten your drafts as much as you can, and then a little more.