|Reviews for Good Prose|
| huimei chapter 1 . 6/5/2010
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| solitaryAce chapter 1 . 11/30/2009
very good stuff makes me want to re-read my stories!
| Brenda Agaro chapter 1 . 7/3/2009
Another amazing guide. This definitely helps a lot! :D
| Sam Hammer chapter 1 . 1/29/2009
Remind me to write a story of nothing but cliches. It seems fun :D
| Elizabeth More chapter 1 . 9/8/2008
Hi! Another wonderful essay. (I used to be here under the name Queen Galadriel...don't know if you remember, but I loved them then too.) And it just so happens that I've been hating my prose lately, so I'm glad I found this.
Love your essay stile: informative, but you don't make it look like rocket science. Yes, I had to do that. :D
| Sarimbe chapter 1 . 9/8/2008
This essay is very informative and helpful. Thanks!
| Written chapter 1 . 9/2/2008
I add a lot of your stuff to my community, but I stand by the statement that I am not stalking you.
Excellent guide. I love how it's organized. it makes it easier for me to find what I consider my problem spots. It's also concise and engaging.
[The writer uses whatever words comes to mind, creating a jigsaw puzzle of prose. You find yourself wondering what awkward phrasing they’ll invent next just to get the words down on the page. It makes you want to rip your eyes out, or maybe pull the author’s hair.]
Not going to lie, I feel really guilty whenever I send you stuff. So far as I can tell, the latter half of my story becomes really stupid (plot wise; its always a little stupid prose-wise) and I've considered just stopping for a year and working it out by myself before showing it to anyone. it's just that bad.
of course, that's what I should do in the first place, but whatever.
Sorry for the tangent there. I always feel this awkward sense of guilt when reading your stuff... Part of me is like, "OH I HATE AUTHORS THAT DO THAT" but then I know that I do it as well... and I know that you know!
Anyway. Enough about me. This has turned into a bad review.
I'm out. I laughed, I cried, I added it to my community.
| Ergot Dancer chapter 1 . 7/2/2008
I have a quotation that I think would be pertinent here:
"One great part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wideawake language, cutanddry grammar and goahead plot"
It was said by James Joyce, and it broadly reflects my view on this. In a sense, if we ever want to be realistic in our writing then we have to accept that life is not clear, and that people are not rational. Generally speaking, I am not bored by a lack of clarity in prose, I simply view it as a challenge. If there are words I don't understand then I look them up or otherwise decipher them, and then I've learned a new word. Everyone wins.
"This might show up accidentally, however, in an effort by the writer to be fresh." - Some people try too hard, don't you think?
"The writer didn’t really know where he was going, so he kind of went everywhere." - I do this most of the time.
"Second, this means that if the story is about a heavy topic, light words are not used to describe it." - I have seen that done to great effect. It depends what you want to say about the 'heavy topic'. A light tone can be profoundly disturbing if used carefully.
"It surprises the reader, makes them laugh, and makes you hard to take seriously." - Should they be taking us seriously?
"With that in mind, you can break any of these other rules, and also the rules of grammar." - My kind of rule.
"The writer is not redundant and does not state the obvious if it is already shown through the action of the story." - The obvious does have a certain amount of power in a sentence, sometimes.
"Though many people will tell you that you shouldn’t add details that don’t move the story forward" - Surely no one listens to those people?
"Phrases like ‘easy as taking candy from a baby’, ‘cold as ice’, ‘black as a raven’s wing’, ‘this isn’t rocket science’, don’t tell the reader much anymore." - It tells them as much as any phrase. It's just a matter of what exactly is being told.
"So, to summarize that: be clear, keep your ideas in order, beware bathos and anachronisms, use evocative details, make every word count, and don’t use a cliche to say something." - Unless you don't want to.
Nice advice. The qualifications were the best part.
| Justin Carlton chapter 1 . 6/22/2008
Great thoughts, as usual. And I have no nitpicks. Unfortunately, the need fo such essays as this is still prominent on FP...
When will they learn?
| emptyemptyemptyempty chapter 1 . 6/22/2008
Aside from a couple spelling mistakes, hey no one escapes from them entirely...heavens knows I'm the worst hypocryte...(see, bet I spelled that wrong)...This is an excelent and very informative piece.
You are very right.
| half-sketched.staccatos chapter 1 . 6/22/2008
As usual, great advice that I will take to heart. I lean to you to know when my writing will be painful for others, LoL.
"You’ve seen this violated when: It’s pretty obvious. You see a lot of verbal clichés. This isn’t rocket science, people."
*grin* Of course. You had to do it, didn't you? *wink*
I remember reading a story that really intruigued me, that I was sure would be good - because the plot was very interesting. And then, in the middle of a chapter, I read, "He felt as if the whole world were resting on his shoulders." I just... it bothered me insanely. For most it wouldn't but this one had so much potential and that really turned me off. So I told the author. :P It just... BOTHERED me.
Hm, you're just the person to ask. You seem to have loads of advice for writing. Got any for a painful bout of Writer's Block? It's - in a word - BAD. In two words - VERY BAD. Not only is it affecting my writing, but I can't even write music anymore. :( Usually when I have Writer's Block, I'll go down to my piano and make up a tune - but no, not this time.