Reviews for Writing with Diversity
randomperson chapter 8 . 10/30/2006
Your introduction to your guide was a little confusing. You didn't really need to include the meat/fish/stir-fry analogies. Also, once you had said that you weren't talking about cooking fish, but writing and then repeated your comment regarding stir-fry, you had already made your point. It wasn't necessary to repeat it. There were far too many parentheses. But I do understand the point you were trying to make.

Step 1 about simply writing was helpful, and, most importantly; easy enough to understand and apply. Personally, I started to get lost when I was reading the other chapters. You seemed to load too much information into your reader's brain, one point after another. Although I'm sure we're all smart people, it can be a little disconcerting to have everything thrown at you in one huge lump.

The examples about sentence openers were interesting and valid. It was easy to differentiate the GOOD example from the BAD example and understand the effect it had on the paragraph.

Step 3: References to Characters; I have to say that I had some difficulty with this chapter. I think my difficulty mainly came from the GOOD example you gave. Although I can clearly see the point you were trying to make, AND that you stated later it was over-exaggerated, I have to agree with the reviewer from authorsjourney. By the third sentence, I too, am wondering 'Who is the woman?'. 'The giant man' seemed like a slightly awkward reference name for the male you were describing. Perhaps 'the tall stranger' would have been a better alternative? I was left wondering how you would put that method of naming your characters to a story written entirely in first person? You could have included a chapter on which person it is best to write a story in, and how you change your writing to adapt to this.

People are indeed interested in people. That was a good point, and well-made. We all like to see how others behave, what their reasons are for doing so. Essentially, how they tick, and what drives them. That was an excellent point to make. Your BETTER example, although, seemed too strained and overdone. Although, of course that could have been simply because you wanted to stress your point. You misspelt 'trial-and-error'; simple enough mistake to make, though. We all do it. THANK YOU for your comments regarding the overuse of 'said'. That single word is used entirely too much in the examples of writing I've read on fictionpress.

The chapter on using thesauruses (as far as I know, that is the plural) was wonderful. I frequently use a thesaurus when I'm writing responses to literature texts. Although, Microsoft Word's thesaurus frankly irritates me; both because you have to have the word in root form, and because it sticks so stubbornly to the american spelling and grammar. Even when you try to change it to the British dictionary, it goes back to the American one when you open a new document. Also because it's hard to find a word that is actually relevant to the one you wish to find a synonym for. But it is wonderful advice; use a thesaurus!

In the chapter about Proofreading, I didn't like the example 'Eyetk quipped, “She said, ‘I am such a grammar freak.’”'. I preferred the other example that had 'Eyetk quipped' on the other side of the speech component. It made much more sense.

I'm sure your comments on punctuation were helpful to North Americans. However, as a person from Britain, it didn't help much. And, to be honest, you aren't the only one who gets a headache from British punctuation. Most of the people residing in Britain acquire a headache from the hidden secrets of British punctuation. What also gives me a headache is American spelling, so your comments regarding 'favourite' are gratefully read. I'd add in another word; colour. The absence of that tiny 'u' annoys me immensely.

Spellcheck, although an immensely useful tool, does give people an easy way out. But spellcheck can highlight spelling errors which aren't there, or miss spelling errors (strange though it sounds, but it's possibly to do with British spelling and grammar). You need to have a fairly good grounding in punctuation, spelling and grammar before you use spellcheck; that way, you'll pick up on grammatical errors that spellcheck misses/wrongly highlights. Nice conclusion; I definitely got the edit point.

My apologies for the sheer length of this review; I just felt I needed to point those few things out. It is, however, only my humble opinion; I may be completely wrong, in which case you can disregard my review. I'm sorry if it comes off as a flame; it truly wasn't meant to be one, just my suggestions. It's invaluable to have this kind of advice that you're giving, especially to writers just starting out. So thank you very much for writing this kind of thing that can shed light on the dark and confusing world that is writing stories. It's a scary world out there. .

P.S. I really do wish you had written a piece on what to look out for if you are writing a story in first person... I personally need help with that. But thank you very much!
Siyaa chapter 8 . 9/17/2006
Yay, more writing guides! I've been working on trying to find ways I can improve my writing because even for a first drafts, most of my stories seem off.

I must say that I adore your 'Anywhere the cat can go' trick. Prepositions and I have never gotten long very well. Seriously, the question I always dreaded when doing those Daily Language Practice things was 'Give me however-many prepostitions in sentence whatever'.

Whenever I actually sat down and seriously wrote to my best abilities, I always despised editing. I always felt ike the things I wrote during those times were the best I could do and needed no improvement. I've been learning all sorts of tricks and tips recently, however, and have decided that editing and revising isn't such a death-sentence.

I would,however, like to point out some things I saw here as I am spelling and grammar obbsessed: I think you had 'because' instead of 'became' somewhere in there and I do believe you had 'trail' instead of 'trial'. Aren't I just wonderfully annoying? :P Anywho, thanks for the guide!
www.authorsjourney.com chapter 7 . 7/24/2006
All good, basic advice. Every writer should learn these things. These are the problems I see most frequently on fictionpress.
www.authorsjourney.com chapter 5 . 7/24/2006
Adding adverbs like "enthusiastically" to "said" is dangerous. It's easy to overdo. Something as simple as this can do the job:"Eyetk smiled. 'I love writing,'"Usually the reader will pick up that she's the one speaking, since you were just talking about her.

As for "Show, don't tell" - it's good advice, but way to frequently quoted and oftentimes misinterpreted. This is not so much about dialogue as style. If you tell, you get: "Pierre walked to the store and bought a loaf of bread." Telling leads to stories that read like a summary. Showing is like fleshing out that summary: "Pierre grabbed his coat and left the apartment. He crossed the street and followed the scent of fresh bread into the corner cafe. He sat at a table in the corner and waved to the waiter. 'One loaf of bread please.'"

Eyetk shrugged. “I don’t know…” - This is good advice. However, I don't believe there is a problem with overusing "said". Readers just don't notice it. If you look at almost any book, the author uses boring words like "said" much more often than other words.
www.authorsjourney.com chapter 4 . 7/24/2006
Again, I feel that some of this name changing is leading to confusing prose. In the GOOD section, I get to the third paragraph and suddenly think "The woman? Who is that?". "She" would have worked in this case. "The Woman" sounds like a new character has suddenly appeared. Likewise, using "the man" is confusing because the only other reference is "the stranger", so we don't know if this person is male or female.

I agree that these ideas can spice things up, but care has to be taken to make sure the meaning remains clear. The reader won't care how interesting the prose is if s/he can't understand what's going on, or if s/he has to reread the paragraph to figure it out.
www.authorsjourney.com chapter 3 . 7/24/2006
"When you’re writing, make sure to describe everything." - This is dangerous advice, unless you make it clear that a lot will have to be removed if you put everything in during the first draft.

Some of your sentence openers worry me. Nouns work well, and verbs have a place, but I can't think of any time when an adverb would be a good word to start on. The example you give needlessly moves the adverb away from the verb, making the sentence clunky. Why not "Eyetk walked quickly"? Likewise, I can think of no good examples of using a clause like "Because Eyetk heard the doorbell ring, she dropped what she was doing" that wouldn't sound better as "The doorbell rang and Eyetk dropped what she was doing." The paragraph under BAD seems much clearer and more interesting than the GOOD paragraph, which is confusing in places.
akaBUNKiE chapter 1 . 7/16/2006
good stuff you got here same person as akacheeks just to let you know
akaCHEEKS chapter 2 . 7/16/2006
why do you say that my work is something about an 8 year old.. i'm not even 8.. what.. i was kind of confused.. but this thing right here did help me write stories though! thanks! mines is still pending cause i still need a solid plot! so yeah..
EclipseMystic chapter 8 . 3/11/2006
I promised you a review, didn't I? _ I'm too lazy to read anything, so I'll review this (which I already read and loved a while back). I don't exactly have anything to criticize, seeing as I loved it and have bookmarked it for future reference, but after reading your bio... meh, I'll give you a chapter-by-chapter rundown.

Intro: Love, love the food analogy! I think it really works well. Only one little nitpicky thing I couldn't figure out:"I recommend that you read ‘Tale Base’ by Scifijesus: Driven by the Word."So the book/story is called Tale Base, but who's the author? "Scifijesus", or "Scifijesus: Driven by the Word", or "Driven by the Word"?

Writing: Not much to say about 4 paragraphs...

Sentence Openers: The 7 types of sentence openers are very useful. However, I do have some issues with your 'Good' paragraph example, quoted below:"/Quickly,/ Eyetk walked over to the door when she heard the doorbell ring. /Turning the handle,/ she opened it swiftly, letting in a cold breeze as she did so. Her hands quickly froze as the cold seeped into her bones. Outside the door stood a stranger, who stepped into the house without invitation. /While the man was extraordinarily tall,/ Eyetk had never seen him before. /Because she was so much shorter then he was,/ the stranger had to incline his head to be able to meet her eyes before he began to speak. /Shocked by his words as he began,/ Eyetk listened intently."While you have indeed used varied openings, you tend to use - grr, what are they called? Those thingys where you write a word or phrase at the beginning with a comma and then the main predicate. I've placed slashes around each of these phrases - too many openings like this, varied or not, still make the sentence repetitive. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, your example isn't exactly the best?

Names: Here I was, about to critique your example paragraph again, and you add a disclaimer! _ Next chapter!

Dialogue: Again, nothing much to say here, although I would like to see a more expository, detailed approach to explaining dialogue and how to write it well.

The Thesaurus: Actually, it is quite possible to write without ever opening a thesaurus. I never use one, and only occasionally look up words on . Granted, I'm a huge bookworm - I read everything I can find, from fantasy to classics to my mom's personal finance magazines. I can see why you might not mention this alternative in a guide, for fear of misleading novice writers, but...

Proofreading: I love your examples. _ Something to add is the fact that, if you can bear the horrendous waste of ink, printing out stories and proofing them that way can be more effective than doing it on the computer. I always print out my chapters as I write them, repeatedly reading and rereading them - I usually find typos and choppy sentences that way.

Conclusion: Now that I've typed all that up... feel free to disregard all of it. I'm not exactly sure that I'm qualified to be nitpicky, as I'm only an amateur writer and rather young to be a grammar nazi (I turn 14 in May). Anyway, the guide is amazing just the way it is. You should write another - maybe one on writing good dialogue? _
FlowingOfWords chapter 8 . 3/7/2006
You are freaking awesome. If there's anything I love, it's editing. In fact, I think I spend more time editing than writing - too much of a good thing ;

Especially Step Two was very helpful - sentence openers is one of my very weak spots. Now I'm just constantly torn whether I'm overdoing it or not XD I dislike '-ed', though. Somehow I feel as though it makes sentences flow less and that they become choppier. Or I just can't handle that opener.

The grammar was explained very clearly, and I'm eternally grateful for every piece of it. I take off my hat for you.

The guide itself was very well written; usually grammar becomes boring very quickly, but you kept me reading D
akaCHEEKS chapter 1 . 2/25/2006
omg! i've been trying to get my writing better and also my stories! thanks!
eyesofahuntress chapter 2 . 1/23/2006
I LOVE my computer
eyesofahuntress chapter 1 . 1/23/2006
This is making me hungry... lol. Nice work.
Nienna Calmcacil chapter 8 . 1/11/2006
WOW! This is EXTREMELY helpful! You could actually pass for a English teacher...lol! And yes, I like editing,too, well at least when I feel like it. Wonderful! I applaud you.
Thurayya chapter 1 . 12/28/2005
Thank you so much for this. :) I had a bad problem with sentence openers, so I'm using that part of the guide as much as I can.

By the way, the person who talked about writing emotions was Goddess Oni. I'm reading her right now.

Thanks again!

- ala
108 | « Prev Page 1 .. 2 3 4 5 6 .. Last Next »