Author Topic: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]  (Read 1680 times)

Offline Butterfly21

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Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« on: February 16, 2011, 11:33:31 PM »
So I know I have POV issues  :P

but I'm not entirely sure if ive made it any better after revising it
This scene and every scene in my book is from Ela's (ee-la) POV as she is my protagonist
Really would love feedback and suggestions

I would like to know how well or unwell you can visualise whats going on, if you can see the characters clearly (or if i need some more description on them- note: Ela is my main character and ive already described what she looks like in previous scenes and chapters so im only worried about the Carver character) and also if i need any more description of the environment (although i think the minimal description that ive given works -let me know what you think about that!!)

 Oh and Ela by the way is Blonde and pretty fit with fair skin and hazel eyes  ;D just so you know!





Ela sat.
“So Ela, how do you feel today?” Dr Carver asked after switching on the recorder.
“I feel fine,” Ela replied with an even flat tone.
Carver narrowed her eyes. A tiny smile attempted to lift the corners of her thin lips.
“Just fine?”

“As fine as I could be.”
Carver sketched on her tablet. She was a bit of an artist but Ela had never seen any of her work. She specialised in facial expressions, temperaments and how to catch someone lie. She’d draw her patients on her tablet with the expressions she saw on their faces, and the expressions she thought they were hiding.

After twelve years of sessions with her, practically everyone had learnt how to make their faces blank, keep their words so stale that she couldn’t pick up on anything; except the withdrawal. It was her job to document every student’s mental and emotional state. When her patients held back it reflected badly on her and her ability to do her job properly.

Five years ago, one of the students had the wrong sort of feelings about one of the training methods the campus coordinators used to discipline the rule breakers. Once the Headmasters found out, he was put on a three month long detention with that mode of discipline immediately effective, until he changed his mind about the methods they used. Since then everyone kept their true thoughts and feelings to themselves.

“Fine is not a proper feeling. Please elaborate.”
Carver was very relaxed, calm and she never raised her voice or frowned. Girls in Ela’s dorm had started a joke about her face being so full of wrinkle filler, she wouldn’t be able to frown even if she wanted to; she could barely pull up a smile.

Ela drew in a breath and sighed. “I feel tired.”
Carver nodded. Her office was bare and colourless with only a chair for her, a chair for Ela and a coffee table between them. The round palm sized recorder sitting on the coffee table translated spoken words into a written transcript on Carver’s tablet.

Ela knew Carver would highlight tired. Then HQ would set Ela’s alarm tomorrow morning for an hour later to give her extra sleep. Sessions with Carver paid off in some instances, as long as you knew what to say. One wrong word, a slip in your tone and she’d pick up on it.

“Would you like to talk about the incident you had last night?”
Ela waited, pretending to contemplate what Carver spoke of, then replied with a basic, “No.”
“What are your feelings about it?”
These questions were the ones where some of the students would slip. They’d get caught off guard when asked about their failures and shortcomings.

Ela had plenty of practice failing.
“You don’t feel like a failure, Ela?”
She made sure to keep her eyes directed at the doctor the whole time. “Not really. I know it is something I must improve on.” Ela lied.

“The constant failure doesn’t bother you, even a little?”
When Carver didn’t get a reaction, she’d try to provoke you.
Ela smiled pleasantly, “We can’t achieve in everything. Everyone experiences failure one way or another.”
“But I’m referring to constant failure. Something I know you’ve had plenty of. Wouldn’t you like to talk about it, so I can help you deal with the feelings it brings about?”

“If the feelings were negative then yes, I would talk about it. But they are not, so no.”
Carver had gone back to sketching. Ela imagined Carver drawing her with a miserable face and write in block letters, FAILURE, across it.


Max_with_word_processor

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 12:26:07 AM »
I like it. The last para is my favorite; Ela's tone seems to come through as sort of arogant toward the Dr, which seems to suit the scene well.
As for the description of the environment, I think there's still room for improvement: I dont mean put more description, in fact I think you only need a tiny bit, but weave it subtly into the whole passage, just enough to set the scene. For example, when she sat she could could sink into the couch (if thats what she is on), or the Dr could lean across the desk, or something like that, then youv'e given me clues about the setting without being obvious. Perhaps you could think of something in the office that matches the Dr's personality, like a shelf full of phsycology books, or something. I think the way you portray the relationship between Ela and the Dr is the strong point of the passage, so I wouldnt want to detract from that by adding too much other description. ... that's my thoughts anyway.

Offline f fff ffff

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 02:23:58 AM »
I enjoyed this post. You have a very natural feel throughout and I was definitely interested. However, I do agree that a more visual aid is needed in this scene. I did not get a real feel for where the characters were in the scene. I had to use my cliched view of therapy with her on a sofa, lying down and the therapist sitting in a chair over her. A little more description to paint the picture of the scene would go a long way IMO.

Carver - I really do not know what she looks like. I have a stereotype in my head, but I do not know how accurate it is... I also found the character 'stiff'. I just did not get that 'alive' feeling from her yet. I think it was the lack of physical description but a little more personality would bring her to life more. I definitely like the idea of intertwining more about the doctor with a more descriptive room. Perhaps a picture of family, or a place where family should be but isnt. Just some thoughts...

Again, I liked the natural pacing in this scene. It definitely has a lot of promise, but I think that you have work to do. Thank you for sharing! I hope I was a little helpful. :)
"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death."
- Orwell 1984

Silt

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 06:45:50 AM »
the pov seems good to me.

a few things

you use the word 'feelings/feel' often, I understand it was why they were talking, but is there a way to say the same things  differently at times? just to lessen the word usage? if not, no worries. :)

this line

After twelve years of sessions with her, practically everyone had learnt how to make their faces blank, keep their words so stale that she couldn’t pick up on anything; except the withdrawal. It was her job to document every student’s mental and emotional state. When her patients held back it reflected badly on her and her ability to do her job properly.

just those two bold areas, I wondered why the need of an exact amount of years when it was more important to show that practically everyone had learnt to hide.  I think the 'except the withdrawal' could be removed, it is an emotion to be seen and would draw in Carvers attention, induce some form of medication or result, but if they remained null to all facial expressions, she would have little to use against them.

just my thoughts.

love the last image, well done


**
oh the second line, do you need to use Ela? I say this because that would be 3 mentions of that name in 3 sentences, I don't think it needs to be there, others may disagree, so no worry :)


thank you

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2011, 09:20:03 AM »
So I know I have POV issues  :P


Ela sat.
“So Ela, how do you feel today?” Dr Carver asked after switching on the recorder.
“I feel fine,” Ela replied with an even flat tone.
Carver narrowed her eyes. A tiny smile attempted to lift the corners of her thin lips.
“Just fine?”

“As fine as I could be.”
Carver sketched on her tablet. She was a bit of an artist but Ela had never seen any of her work. [how does she know this - needs explained, maybe the other 'inmates' talked about it? This would then ensure all the other references to Carver's actions and Ela's assumptions about her have a grounding.] She specialised in facial expressions, temperaments and how to catch someone lie. She’d draw her patients on her tablet with the expressions she saw on their faces, and the expressions she thought they were hiding.

After twelve years of sessions with her, practically everyone had learnt how to make their faces blank, keep their words so stale that she couldn’t pick up on anything; except the withdrawal. It was her job to document every student’s mental and emotional state. When her patients held back it reflected badly on her and her ability to do her job properly.

Five years ago, one of the students had the wrong sort of feelings about one of the training methods the campus coordinators used to discipline the rule breakers. Once the Headmasters found out, he was put on a three month long detention with that mode of discipline immediately effective, until he changed his mind about the methods they used. Since then everyone kept their true thoughts and feelings to themselves.

“Fine is not a proper feeling. Please elaborate.”
Carver was very relaxed, calm and she never raised her voice or frowned. Girls in Ela’s dorm had started a joke about her face being so full of wrinkle filler, she wouldn’t be able to frown even if she wanted to; she could barely pull up a smile.

Ela drew in a breath and sighed. “I feel tired.”
Carver nodded. [opportunity to give a bit more physical description of Craver here] Her office was bare and colourless with only a chair for her, a chair for Ela and a coffee table between them. The round palm sized recorder sitting on the coffee table translated spoken words into a written transcript on Carver’s tablet.

Ela knew Carver would highlight tired. Then HQ would set Ela’s alarm tomorrow morning for an hour later to give her extra sleep. Sessions with Carver paid off in some instances, as long as you knew what to say. One wrong word, a slip in your tone and she’d pick up on it.

“Would you like to talk about the incident you had last night?”
Ela waited, pretending to contemplate what Carver spoke of, then replied with a basic, “No.”
“What are your feelings about it?”
These questions were the ones where some of the students would slip. They’d get caught off guard when asked about their failures and shortcomings.

Ela had plenty of practice failing.
“You don’t feel like a failure, Ela?”
She made sure to keep her eyes directed at the doctor the whole time. “Not really. I know it is something I must improve on.” Ela lied.

“The constant failure doesn’t bother you, even a little?”
When Carver didn’t get a reaction, she’d try to provoke you.
Ela smiled pleasantly, “We can’t achieve in everything. Everyone experiences failure one way or another.”
“But I’m referring to constant failure. Something I know you’ve had plenty of. Wouldn’t you like to talk about it, so I can help you deal with the feelings it brings about?”

“If the feelings were negative then yes, I would talk about it. But they are not, so no.”
Carver had gone back to sketching. Ela imagined Carver drawing her with a miserable face and write in block letters, FAILURE, across it.



Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 05:42:55 PM »
thanks so much
your comments are all so useful and greatly helpful

Offline Viva

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 09:09:21 PM »
I'm not seeing a POV issue here, you seem to stay in Ela's head and only what she's knows, can see and has learned.  I really enjoyed reading this piece, it felt so natural and fairly polished!  I have a good picture of their relationship, the subtle tension between the two, but I agree with the others that it does need a bit more description/beats.  But only a few, too many and it might mess the flow you have going.  But just a couple things, perhaps Ela shifting in the stiff (I didn't get the impression it was a very comfy, welcoming room) chair, or maybe a subconscious twitch Carver might have when she doesn't "win" in agitating people like tugging on her earlobe or something...am I making sense lol?  I think if you put in a few more of these it would be a solid piece that I wouldn't mess with anymore  :)   
"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."~ William Wordsworth

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 11:34:06 PM »
yeah that sounds great Viva Thanks
I'm giving myself a day to keep my head out of the scene and im gunna revise it again tomorrow
im gunna post it one last time once im pretty sure i can't improve on it any more
but im sure im just gunna go until i get it perfect  :D
your suggestions are great btw  ;D

Offline DixonAlexander

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2021, 07:40:31 AM »
POV issues are without doubt the worst. I didn't even know what they were before I read about them on a regain.us therapy review. They are the worst.

Offline Steve Falc

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2021, 12:59:05 PM »
You should read some essayjedii reviews before ordering papers at this service. These guys are not as good as it might seem, so be careful.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2021, 06:41:20 AM by Steve Falc »

Offline LenaMvx

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2021, 04:25:21 PM »
Hi!
Like was already said before me, my number one thing is I'm unsure of POV. Is it omniscient? Most of it seems to be from Ela's side. Maybe you can clarify it. I think it's probably third person internal with Ela, as we see a lot of her inner dialogue.
Some parts to me are very interesting, especially the last sentence. I also like the intriguing bit about "tired" where we know she's in a completely controlled environment, without exactly knowing what type - hospital, army, dystopian, could be anything. The tension comes through well, it's all interesting; I do agree there is a lot of "feel", that could maybe be shown instead of told, and that you might use more of a bodily reaction to carry some of that rather than comments from Ela.
I don't know what comes before, but I kind of thing it would grab me more if you just got rid of "Ela sat" and started straight with the question, as if we were directly thrown into the session, but that's entirely a personal preference.  For some reason I find the phrase "proper feeling" a bit strange, or like the adjective isn't necessary, but once again that's personal. Overall I think it's a really interesting extract :)

Offline katarina66

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Re: Therapy Session (Revised) [612 words]
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2021, 06:54:48 AM »
All in all I loved it. I would like to know how Ela looks and how she sees herself, pretty or does she only see her imperfections? Maybe wondering how the doctor is going to sketch her, i.e. I wonder how she sees me? 'People tell me I'm pretty, with my big blue eyes and blonde hair, but I know my nose is too big and my jawline too sharp.' or whatever.


Ela sat.

“So Ela, how do you feel today?” Dr Carver asked after switching on the recorder.
“I feel fine,” Ela replied with an even flat tone.
Carver narrowed her eyes. A tiny smile attempted to lift the corners of her thin lips.
“Just fine?”

“As fine as I could be.”
Carver sketched on her tablet. She was a bit of an artist but Ela had never seen any of her work. She specialised in facial expressions, temperaments and how to catch someone lie. She’d draw her patients on her tablet with the expressions she saw on their faces, and the expressions she thought they were hiding. How does Ela know this? She may well have learned it over the years but make this clear, otherwise it's head hopping.

After twelve years of sessions with her, practically everyone had learnt how to make their faces blank, keep their words so stale that she couldn’t pick up on anything; except the withdrawal. It was her job to document every student’s mental and emotional state. When her patients held back it reflected badly on her and her ability to do her job properly. again, make it clear how Ela knows this.