|Reviews for Writing with Diversity|
| Narc chapter 4 . 1/9/2008
Except for the dialogue chapter, this is a decent essay for a raw beginner. However, almost everything you said in your dialogue chapter will lead the unsuspecting young writer in the wrong direction ... completely, and that's upsetting. Several other reviewers have mentioned it as well.
You encourage the use of adverbs to convey mood. Adverbs (such as your example of 'Eyetk said enthusiastically' are usually either redundant because the dialogue already conveys that by itself, or are a cop-out for poor writing. You emphasize 'show, not tell', but these adverbs are really an example of 'tell'. You are 'telling' us that Eyetk is enthusiastic, instead of showing the actions and expressions that portray that fact.
I say usually, because there are sometimes a few cases where an adverb is acceptable, like when it describes the words themselves (the speed of speech, for instance). And they aren't death to a story. Just not the best way to tag dialogue.
The worst advice you gave in this entire article was avoiding 'said'. They are bad for many of the same reasons as the adverbs, because they are either redundant or they tell what should have been shown. Substitutes for said are known in the writing world as 'said-bookisms'.
I think I understand why you feel this way about said. You think it adds 'diversity' to writing. The problem here, however, that your diversity is detracting from the story. 'Said' is a very simple, short word. Thus it takes almost no time to read. When you start going into things like 'announced', 'exclaimed', 'implored' etc. you are adding unnecessary wordiness that doesn't actually add anything.
Along those lines, you mentioned later on how wonderful a thesaurus is. If you don't know the word, why would you write with it? Do you think your reader will enjoy having to look it up in a dictionary?
As a technical essay this is fine. But as an advice on writing I feel like there's not a whole lot of experience to back it up.
| Tetelestai chapter 6 . 1/3/2008
And reading over that last review, I worded an 'its' wrong. Cry.
| Tetelestai chapter 7 . 1/3/2008
You are Godsend! I was watching Harry Potter 5 today with my parents, when suddenly I went, "My stories would do SO much better if I had more variety and description to my sentences." And then I went around thinking about reading random good stories on Fictionpress and pay attention to how the authors word their dialog and descriptions. But I stumbled upon this and it's saved me a lot of time. YAY!
I'm usually a stickler for grammar and spelling when I'm reading stories, but I hate editing my own. And then I find mistakes, but am too annoyed with the whole Fictionpress thing about where you have to replace the entire chapter every time you fix something. (
This was wonderfully, spectacularly, stupendously great and to the point. I love it. :)
| Waiting-On-The-Window-Pane chapter 7 . 11/11/2007
Well...I have to say that I'm utterly speechless...and now I'm not anymore! This was actually really helpful. Most people will look at one of these and think, "Stupid Grammar Guru..." I personally think that this will come in handy for my current story (the only one in my account). Yes, I do think I need to go back and space out some paragraphs (just looking at it made my stomach churn, but I wasn't sure whether changing the spaces was right for the flow or not). I guess I'll just have to see how it goes from here. Good thing they created Export Document! I'm already 3 chaps into my fic and wouldn't like to start over...though it isn't that bad of a problem. Thanks a bundle for posting this! -Haley
| whonow chapter 7 . 10/27/2007
You are a godsend.
The chapter re: sentence starters was exactly what I needed. I've been making my own list by perusing various works of fiction - if only I'd known someone else had already done it for me! LOL.
I'll be linking this article to friends, etc., you big bad bucket of epic win, you. :
| Otaku42 chapter 7 . 7/31/2007
Excellent! A very well-written piece, and certainly useful, to boot. More props to ya!
| Nessya chapter 1 . 7/30/2007
I support you, I think you did very well to post this. There are many writers out there who have good ideas, yet, they don't express themselves so clearly. Thanks )
| Lemon Sparrow chapter 4 . 7/22/2007
Adverbs. My goodness. That and your insistance to stay away from 'said' really get me. I'm sorry, but that's just the way I am. I'll explain though, so it doesn't sound like I'm criticizing you for no reason.
See, when you have to put in 'he said brightly', or 'cheerily', or 'firmly', I think that's pointless. Because what about all the enlightening story before the word? Shouldn't that tell how the person said what he did? And if it does (which it should), isn't 'brightly', 'cheerily', or whatever, redundant?
The same applies to adverbs in sentence structure, for the most part.
And there you have it. Overall, your guide is very helpful, a sort of online, user-made 'The Elements of Style'. I hope you see my point. And good luck.
| bitterlyysweetchoco chapter 3 . 7/20/2007
Good thing this is here.
I'm here on reccomendation
Yeah I'm here about using all my sentences with nouns
but thanks to this I think I can make an improvement to my writing.
So thanks! and thanks to Fractured Illusion, who directed me here
| Fractured Illusion chapter 7 . 7/13/2007
A very good guide that brings out many helpful points (how to start a sentence as well as the dialouge part held most relevance to me).
It's good to see that you explained all things so that it was easy to understandand (still can not figure out what was wrong with the "Good" section in chapter 3 though :P). And overall; good job! *thumbs up*
| Heatless Flame chapter 3 . 6/3/2007
Thank you so much. Ch. 3 is the most helpful thing on FP, I would've paid to read this. Okay maybe not but it's still very helpful with opening sentences creatively.
| Understandably chapter 4 . 4/22/2007
I agree with most of the tips in your essay and learned a great deal from them. The one part I'll have to disagree with is your advice on avoiding the word "said". I think "said" is perfect most of the time because its pretty much self-explanatory. If you have to use verbs like "bellowed" or "shouted" all the time then your dialogue is not exhibiting the emotions you want it to by itself. Instead of writing sentences like: "Stop talking," Bill said irritably, you could say: "My gosh, do you ever stop talking?" said Bill. I agree that overusing "said" can hurt your writing but that goes for any overuse of a word for that matter. Some great authors like J.R.R. Tolkien never used anything but "said" and he got along just fine.
| Ambrosia Shadows chapter 1 . 4/19/2007
What a great way to descrbe the aspects of you point. When I try to look for good fanfictions or good stories I see far to many plots that go like this 'Boy walks up to girl. boy says something along the lines of" I can't beleive I never noticed you before. Lets get married and have a bunch of kids!" Girl says"yes! I will marry you!" and they ride off into the sunset.' It doesn't matter how well the story is written if the plot is no good. I hope this will continue to inspire ofther as it inspired me! Oh! And if you see my muse(tall girl with red eyes, black hair, and black angel wings) send her back to me!]
| CJ Currie chapter 7 . 12/31/2006
| Peach8321 chapter 8 . 12/8/2006
This is great, I'm so glad to have stumbled on it. I hope you don't mind if I point a vast majority of my reviews towards it.
My only suggestion for you would be to add in more about paragraphs. Many times I read a story with huge blocks of dialog and they consider that a paragraph. I'd like to see something in the review about setting the scene interspersed with dialog (like: As the wind whipped through Mary's hair, she fixed her eyes on the giant ship in front of her.
"Mary, time to go!" her brother yelled out at her as he started walking up the wooden gangplank.
"Coming in a moment," Mary answered, taking one last look around the busy docks before boarding the ship to America.
Many stories I read would have written:
Mary looked at the ship.
"Mary, time to go!" her brother yelled at her.
"Coming in a moment," Mary answered.)
Otherwise I look forward to being able to point people to such a competent guide. Thank you for writing it.