A recent review

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Re: A recent review

Post by J. T. SHEA » January 25th, 2011, 10:10 pm

Let me confirm, second, and relay all comments, particularly GeeGee 55's. The balance between showing and telling depends on the context and the importance of the scenes. Some scenes are unimportant but still necessary.

Your original was too long for an unimportant scene, but not immediate and detailed enough for an important scene. Your earlier critiquers, who presumably read the whole story, seem to have taken it as an unimportant scene and therefore shortened it. Polymath and Sierra, who have access only to this one paragraph, treat it as a more important scene and have therefore suggested elaborations.

The scene reads like something out of a boringly official and procedural report written by a military officer. Perhaps that is appropriate for the character and situation.

In your original the 'Abandon ship!' order is confirmed by Commander Williams, presumably after being given by someone else, seconded by the Protagonist, again given, this time by Commander Williams, and then relayed by the platoon leaders, before being carried out. Though such ritual repetition of orders is indeed common in military situations, your earlier critiquers probably thought it unnecessary for the paragraph.

'Keeping my eye on the bridge as I watched the crew the commander could see I wanted to go back.' implies the Commander somehow kept the Protagonist's eye on the bridge while the Protagonist simultaneously watched the crew.

Your earlier critiquers' rewrite introduces a new problem in the last sentence. 'With a nod, I turned and ran towards the bridge.' implies the Protagonist nodded. 'With a nod from my commander, I turned and ran towards the bridge.' states that the Commander did the nodding, but sounds awkward. 'At a nod from my Commander, I turned and ran towards the bridge.' would probably sound better.

And thanks for the great doggerel, Polymath and Watcher55!

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Re: A recent review

Post by BetweenTwoWorlds » January 27th, 2011, 12:35 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:
Mike Dickson wrote:I received a critique /snip/.
I know poly already responded but I have one thing to say from a lay-reader's perspective...

Why are you telling me this?

Seriously. It's like you're just telling me something. It's extremely boring from a reading point of view. "I did this, then this, then this, then that over there, and then maybe I did some of that."

Okay. That's nice. BUT WHY. And for that matter, why should I care?

That's what it's lacking. There's absolutely, positively, NO feeling in it.
Yes. This. I have seen this a bit - it feels like a narrative description of what happened as if someone was typing a summary. I want to tread carefully here, because this is your baby, but it doesn't seem as if you're trying to entertain me.

Why are you telling this story? Do you have something in you that is just bursting to get out? Let me feel that passion - help me see it as you see it and feel it as you feel it
WIP1-4: Dead, and buried, and lost in time
WIP5: Finished, but hidden in a drawer
WIP6: 72k YA/MG. Working on 3nd edit.

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