My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: Niav.Corky on December 27, 2013, 12:47:35 PM

Title: Am I the only one...
Post by: Niav.Corky on December 27, 2013, 12:47:35 PM
Who stubbornly refusing to accept that certain sentences sound awkward when pointed out? lol

I mean I know that when someone says to me "This is a run-on" or "This doesn't flow right" that it's more likely than not to be true. BUT it is so hard for me to because I think it's the way I talk. I'm from Ireland, raised in Scotland, and we rarely thought about being grammatically correct when we spoke. Does any one know of any good ways to get out the bad grammar habit?

A few books have read, especially this one particular biography of a teacher, but I still slip and I find myself arguing with my dear and loving beta (a friend) over these things until she shoves the 'rule book' in my face.  :P
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: ma100 on December 27, 2013, 12:51:47 PM
Why not post a sample? ;)
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: 510bhan on December 27, 2013, 12:52:52 PM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D Get used to wearing an editor's hat and reading it as if it isn't your own work. ;)
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Niav.Corky on December 27, 2013, 01:01:38 PM
Why not post a sample? ;)

I will :)

;D ;D ;D ;D Get used to wearing an editor's hat and reading it as if it isn't your own work. ;)

Oh but isn't that the hardest part. Lol


I am certainly that person who takes everything personally - though I never show it! That's why I joined a forum like this, to get me out of bad habits.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: ma100 on December 27, 2013, 01:03:47 PM
Believe me, I've got loads of them, writing ones as well.  ::) ;D
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Niav.Corky on December 27, 2013, 01:06:55 PM
haha Who doesn't have any bad habits?

I am so used to writing by myself and not sharing it that it's a little weird to let other people look at my writing. Its very personal don't you think?


Blame for most of my bad habits has to go to texting, social media, etc. I'm pretty sure I have never used a comma on facebook.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Niav.Corky on December 27, 2013, 01:09:25 PM
I just also remembered that my biggest critique is "flowery language".

:(

I like flowers.

Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Island Mover on December 27, 2013, 03:44:49 PM
Why not post a sample? ;)

I agree with Ma.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Niav.Corky on December 27, 2013, 03:56:08 PM
I will!

My excuse for the immediate moment is that I'm not home tonight, but also I'm a little gun shy   :-\
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: 2par on December 27, 2013, 04:08:53 PM
Well, your very first post here is a fine example of writing that needs some tweaks.
And I don't like guns.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: hillwalker3000 on December 30, 2013, 05:28:26 PM
Kissing the Blarney Stone doesn't necessarily make you a bad writer. Show us what you've got and let your peers be the judges.

H3K
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on December 30, 2013, 05:30:18 PM
Come on now, you've seen ours. Let's see yours. ha ha. B
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Pale Writer on December 30, 2013, 05:33:25 PM
Good ways to get out of practicing bad grammar? - Always be aware of your writing(this starts the day you decide to be one) This includes comments and such, and it is not only because of their presentation and representation of yourself, but also because bad habits should not be practiced.

As for arguing over wording, well, when you write for yourself, argue all you want, but when you write for others' consider their opinions.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Don on December 30, 2013, 06:07:46 PM
Quote
Am I the only one...

In a word, yes.

No, I'm not being facetious. You literally are the only one who can choose to edit or otherwise modify what you have written.

Your beta-readers can point out any number of things and some may actually have validity. Those you can change. Other things they may have simply misunderstood. You have to look to see if you were being clear enough.

Dialogue and narrative are different. You can have a sentence fragment in dialogue. People don't always speak in complete sentences. Inhabit your characters and speak as they would.

It comes down to being your story told your way. Can you learn a lot here? Hell, yes. So go ahead and post something. MWC is like the armory of storytelling. This is where we come to hone our craft.

Don -
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on December 30, 2013, 06:11:16 PM
Never know how to spell this so . . . 'here here' Don. Or, 'hear hear.' Well said Don. B
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: 510bhan on December 30, 2013, 06:12:53 PM
Hear, hear. ;)
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on December 30, 2013, 06:14:17 PM
Hear, hear. ;)

 ;)
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Wolfe on December 31, 2013, 03:38:31 AM
Who stubbornly refusing to accept that certain sentences sound awkward when pointed out?

A few books have read, especially this one particular biography of a teacher, but I still slip and I find myself arguing with my dear and loving beta (a friend) over these things until she shoves the 'rule book' in my face.

Repeat after me: The readers are right. And they'll always be right if you want them to continue reading. You can argue and explain your reasoning to a friend or beta reader, which I don't recommend, but you definitely can't argue and explain your reasoning to readers who bought your book.

You don't get the chance if your writing reads awkward or confusing. If you want mainstream publication, you better stop refusing to accept suggestions super quick. AWK is something editors are quick to point out and expect you to fix. And it's sound. If a reader says it reads clumsy, it does.

Remember, agents and editors have a million other authors ready to make suggested changes. And they'll be more than eager to take your place. No questions asked.

Believe that.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Lin on December 31, 2013, 04:52:54 AM
Well as I am from Yorkshire, I have certain colloquilsms that I inadvertently use in my novels.  It takes my editor to point them out to me!  

Lin  :D
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Jo Bannister on December 31, 2013, 04:13:05 PM
I have no problem with colloquialisms, or accents, as long as - AND THIS IS IMPORTANT - they don't get in the way of telling the story.  If you can only be understood by people from your own part of the world, as a writer you have a major problem.  Work on conveying an accent/sense of place without alienating all your other readers by sending them to a translator.

And can we all make a New Year's resolution that we will read our posts BEFORE we post them, and correct any errors of spelling or grammar that are not a deliberate part of the piece?  If we can't get a 50-word post error-free, what chance have we of writing an 80,000 word novel that's fit for publication?
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on December 31, 2013, 04:30:54 PM
Eyed luv tuh cee thart wun passed beye thuh mords Joe. ha ha

No really, I would love to see this passed by the mods.
I think it should be 'stickied.' HNY. B
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: protekme on December 31, 2013, 04:33:19 PM

And can we all make a New Year's resolution that we will read our posts BEFORE we post them, and correct any errors of spelling or grammar that are not a deliberate part of the piece?  If we can't get a 50-word post error-free, what chance have we of writing an 80,000 word novel that's fit for publication?

It's about time someone brings this up. You are absolutely right.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: 2par on December 31, 2013, 04:35:59 PM
Jo, I totally agree. Once in awhile, something gets by my eye and I'm sure that happens to all of us. A rare one can be forgiven.  But it really annoys me when I see bad grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Wolfe on December 31, 2013, 06:57:37 PM
And can we all make a New Year's resolution that we will read our posts BEFORE we post them, and correct any errors of spelling or grammar that are not a deliberate part of the piece?  If we can't get a 50-word post error-free, what chance have we of writing an 80,000 word novel that's fit for publication?

I'll try. ;)
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Jo Bannister on January 01, 2014, 09:30:34 AM
I think that constitutes a quorum.  Thanks for the support, guys.

And Brian - I'm from just across the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.  And when you go into dialect, even I don't know what you're talking about!  Anyone south of Watford Gap must think you're speaking Klingon.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Gyppo on January 01, 2014, 12:59:07 PM
For Brian:  Here's why it's hear and not here.  You're not the only one who doesn't get this right on-line ;-)

"Hear, hear."  Because you're commenting on something which you've heard Don say.  (Even if, technically, you've read it.  'Read, read' just doesn't work, does it?)  Effectively you are saying "I hear you."

"Here, here." More appropriate for commanding a dog or some minion.  Probably accompanied by a beckoning finger or similar gesture.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on January 01, 2014, 02:22:33 PM
Ahh. I see. Cheers Gyp.

Jo, I DID put a Rosetta Stone underneath for you. ha ha. B
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Jo Bannister on January 02, 2014, 11:33:52 AM
Apparently, "Hear, hear" was originally "Hear him, hear him" - a way for listeners to express their approval of what was being said.

Yes, Brian, thank you for the translation.  My grandfather used to speak - as a party-trick, not in everyday conversation - the old Lancashire dialect, as spoken by the Pendle witches etc.  I couldn't begin to reproduce it, except that he would rhyme "schedule" with "pedal"!

Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: MansuEdwards on January 02, 2014, 12:04:30 PM
Read books with crisp writing and surround yourself with people who speak the way you want to write.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Wolfe on January 02, 2014, 04:03:21 PM
Better yet, read debut novels published within the last ten years. Choose ones that won awards and launched careers.

They're your competition in the business.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: G. London on January 04, 2014, 12:36:30 PM
Better yet, read debut novels published within the last ten years. Choose ones that won awards and launched careers.

They're your competition in the business.

That is sound, sharp advice, Wolfe.

I'm looking forward to getting past 50 posts so I can edit mistakes that creep in when posting on web forums.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on January 04, 2014, 12:51:26 PM
Hey G. Go to The Bar, or Limericks, or Last Person to Post, threads and within an hour you'll probably be well past 50. Bri.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Lin on January 10, 2014, 11:47:27 AM
Well most of us have an accent, but in writing I try to put myself into the role of the character and what she or he might say and keep me out of the story altogether. Does this mean to say you always write in your own voice?  I thought when you write a story you have to write it in the voice of the character.  Do they all speak, Scottish, or whatever?

Okay I'm not perfect and I also have the occasional awkwardness, most of us do, but it's recognising what is me and what is  voice of the character. especially when writing in first person.





Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Gyppo on January 10, 2014, 02:26:24 PM
Writing in character is easier for some than others.  But it's worth working on.

Some writers see themselves more as puppet masters, working the strings to make their characters dance to their tune.  I suspect this is because they fear the close involvement with their characters the 'role players' enjoy and occasionally suffer.  Pulling strings keeps them at a safe distance.

Gyppo 
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Dribbler Scribbler on January 10, 2014, 02:49:30 PM
If your writing reads awkwardly, it's probably because there's an issue with your writing. If you write with your accent proficiently, readers will hear your voice and that's what we all want our audience to do.

One of my biggest influences is Irvine Welsh, who writes his dialogue in a thick Edinburgh dialect. I know published authors who refuse to read Irvine Welsh because they feel the decision to hear an accent in writing should be the choice of the reader. I personally think that's the biggest load of bilge I've heard in my life. Welsh sells many more books than these other published authors because his style works with his audience and there's the key to it for me.

Using an accent requires a distinct style and a certain amount of ability that many writers struggle to cope with, myself included. I'm sure Welsh knows that there are readers out there who refuse to entertain his work because of the way he uses dialogue. He doesn't seem to mind too much because the audience that does buy his books revels in those accents. That's why it makes more sense to write for those who will buy your work instead of changing your style to accommodate those who never have and probably never will.

 
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on January 10, 2014, 05:44:17 PM
I agree with Ma.

Sorry for the slight segue. Has Island Mover left the site?
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Gyppo on January 10, 2014, 09:40:35 PM
It looks as if she's gone back to guest status.  This could mean she has left, or just that she's taking a voluntary break.  It happens sometimes.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: wanderer on January 10, 2014, 09:48:16 PM
In order to have "guest" status, you have to have deleted your account??
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: bri h on January 10, 2014, 10:15:57 PM
Such  shame. She was good fun.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Lin on January 26, 2014, 05:55:27 AM
I think it's good to get a flavour of the character's personality through dialogue, as long as it is done in a subtle way. You don't have to go all out like Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby and speak in pidgin english. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/remus/tar-baby.html (although I loved that story)

Just a flavour will do and in a way to remind the reader who this person is.





Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: 2par on January 26, 2014, 11:17:50 AM
I was wondering about Island Mover too.
Title: Re: Am I the only one...
Post by: Nimyth on January 26, 2014, 11:46:17 AM
I mean I know that when someone says to me "This is a run-on" or "This doesn't flow right" that it's more likely than not to be true.
I especially struggle with this in my dialogue. I want my character to 'sound' and 'feel' a certain way.  And yes where you live has an impact on how you speak. Which for writers also means how you write.  I am the crowned queen of the run on sentence, and a lot of that has to do with where I spent the majority of my life.  Education-portal has a lot a good, free courses on grammar,  writing and word choice. Knowing what the different bits and pieces are called, and learning about the common mistakes has been helpful.It did not change the way I write, but I feel it improved my ability to clean up my own ms. Also when you know the rules you can figure out where you can push that 'envelope' just a bit ;)