Reviews for The Subtle Strife
Brenda Agaro chapter 1 . 7/3/2009
I suspected that the title of this essay is inspired by The Subtle Knife. I love the His Dark Materials Trilogy. XD

I agree with you on being subtle. I actually like it when authors use show and not tell, especially in characterization; and when they use symbolism and motifs to show themes instead of forcing ideas on the readers.

I'm really loving your essays. You have a good sense of humor and you bring up a lot of good points.
alwaysautumn chapter 1 . 4/15/2009
Hey :)

I agree- authors should not treat readers like idiots.

You brought up some very interesting points, that I will take into consideration when I'm writing!

Oh, I thought I should mention this and I don't mean to sound rude. You've got a little typo. 'Just don’t except some readers (read: Sage) to like it.' I'm assuming it was meant to say expect. :)


x reeka
Written chapter 1 . 2/27/2008
This is something I definitely need to keep in mind, as I make the mistake pretty often. :) thank you!
C.M.F Wright chapter 1 . 2/13/2008
Well said! Very useful advice, especially the comment about the quotation marks.

I disagree, however, with your remark about description. I think for certain types of stories, well-constructed description (i.e. using adverbs and adjectives) can definitely be a plus. I do agree, however, with using the show-not-tell technique for emotions is generally a must.

Might I add that your allusion to Pullman's "The Subtle Knife" made me smile? I just finished rereading the series - possibly one of my favorites. Why can't *we* have daemons?
fatbird33 chapter 1 . 12/27/2007
yay helpful stuff. i like how you said that the reader is not an idiot. howver at the end of the story it is awfully fun to put THE END. although i do understand why it's pointless.
Girlbrainiac chapter 1 . 10/2/2007
You need to develop this essay further As it is right now, it merely comes across as a rant with little evidence in support of it.

I would suggest using more examples and explaining the few you've mentioned more fully. What does Phillip Pullman have to do with only saying things once?

PROVE your points.

As it stands right now, I would say this was more an outline for an essay... I see what you're trying to say, but it comes across as bland and uninteresting.

Joan of Snark chapter 1 . 9/21/2007
I am happy to say that I disagree with almost all of your points.

If you need to state something bluntly then state something bluntly. If you need to be subtle then be subtle. It's simple.

"So calling him ‘the evil overlord’ in the narrative would be overkill."

-That depends entirely on what you're writing, the style you're writing in, why you're writing it, and what point you're trying to make.

"some of us readers are just contrary by nature"

-Then such readers are idiots. Unless the narrator is portrayed as unreliable then that's simply a refusal to suspend disbelief on the reader's part, and if that's the case then why the hell are they reading it anyway?

"My major, major sticking point is words in quotation marks."

-If you need to use them then use them. There's nothing wrong with it as long as you use them appropriately (and the same goes for any technique, obviously).

"Use the subtle knife frequently. Shorter is better."

-That's entirely dependent on what kind of style you're writing in, and resultantly, is a completely empty statement.

"Always show instead of telling with one thing"


I appreciate that this is supposed to be humor, but I don't see that this says much that isn't either redundant or just plain wrong. In my opinion.

If I'm honest it wasn't the most amusing thing I've ever read either.

But that's quite possibly just me.
sincerely disregard chapter 1 . 9/21/2007
Thank you, bravo, you have stolen my heart. Really this makes my day.