250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
AveryMarsh
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by AveryMarsh » August 11th, 2011, 2:44 am

Thank you all so very much for the responses. :D

polymath: You're right, as always. Voice is something I struggle with in the first chapter. There are two MCs and each POV is narrated in a distinct voice since they are polar opposites. To start at a more compelling point, I felt I should use the most abrasive character. But I was worried that if I show the reader too much of who she is too quickly, they might be turned off, not yet knowing the back story of why she's such a difficult person. I'll go back and rewrite the heck out of it all over again.

sierramcconnell:
I like this line, because it shows a lot of the character's thoughts and emotions:
Teri was afraid of her mouth. As if she didn’t know when to keep it in check.
I'm glad you said that. I added that in at the last minute, because I didn't feel there was enough Anika in the story after I toned her down. :oops:

Watcher55: Thanks for the advice. I critiqued the same thing in other people's writing, but when it's my own, I get so close to it that I need someone to point out what needs addressing. ;)

Neil Larkin: It's a problem of mine, too. My first chapter is rife with unneeded infodumps that I'll be sifting through for a while.

ladymarella: Then it's perfect. I like the character even more. :)

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polymath
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by polymath » August 11th, 2011, 9:55 am

AveryMarsh wrote:polymath: You're right, as always. Voice is something I struggle with in the first chapter. There are two MCs and each POV is narrated in a distinct voice since they are polar opposites. To start at a more compelling point, I felt I should use the most abrasive character. But I was worried that if I show the reader too much of who she is too quickly, they might be turned off, not yet knowing the back story of why she's such a difficult person. I'll go back and rewrite the heck out of it all over again.
Consider focusing on what makes Anika empathy-worthy and not so much on what makes her abrasive, the nobility side of the flawed nobility aspect of engaging reader rapport. The flawed facet can almost be taken for granted. That she's self-serving even in her enforced servitude? What's her noble, very human cause? Or at least what makes her or how she acts noble toward others even under trying circumstances.
Spread the love of written word.

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dios4vida
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by dios4vida » August 11th, 2011, 11:34 am

AveryMarsh: I'd like to echo just about everything said about Anika's 250. I was interested and intrigued by the situation but some of the mechanics needed a bit of work. There's no need to reiterate all of the wonderful advice, so I'll just say 'ditto'! I was thrown off by the 'labret' in the first sentence because I have no idea what that is. I'd keep reading hoping for some context, because I don't know if it's something real or something you made up for your world, but other than that I didn't have any major things that tripped me up (other than what's been previously mentioned). I think with some polish this could be a really interesting opening. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Neil Larkins
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Neil Larkins » August 11th, 2011, 2:12 pm

AveryMarsh wrote:Neil Larkin: It's a problem of mine, too. My first chapter is rife with unneeded infodumps that I'll be sifting through for a while.
Another one of my problems with this wip is the balancing act: Allowing the Teresa character to present herself as close as possible to the real Teresa without becoming too much of her. "Too much of her"? How is that? An overriding part of real Teresa's personality was that she felt she had to continually apologize for her life, that her life itself had to be an apology for being handicapped. At an early age she had been "put into this prison" as she termed it by her family and the imprisonment was continued by most of the people she grew up with, many of them her classmates. Not all of them of course, but she loathed the situation and longed to be released, though didn't know if she ever would be. In the story the Teresa character is also aware of this sad state and laments for her freedom. My task is to present the Teresa character as deserving of sympathy and understanding, to be cheered on, rooted for. If I'm not careful I will make her tiresome, whining and pathetic, someone who only wants pity and nothing else -- which she never did but is what her family accused her of all her life. (I know this to be true because I was witness to that appalling lack of understanding and abuse of her person many times.) How I have handled it so far is that character Teresa laments only to herself, carries a secret inward longing that she cannot entrust to anyone because she has been betrayed. Hope I can do it.

Babs in Paradise
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Babs in Paradise » August 11th, 2011, 2:36 pm

Cheekychook
dios4vida
AveryMarsh

Thank you all for the positive feedback. Several really good things to consider. I'll be back.

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dios4vida
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by dios4vida » August 11th, 2011, 3:22 pm

Neil Larkins wrote:An overriding part of real Teresa's personality was that she felt she had to continually apologize for her life, that her life itself had to be an apology for being handicapped. At an early age she had been "put into this prison" as she termed it by her family and the imprisonment was continued by most of the people she grew up with, many of them her classmates. Not all of them of course, but she loathed the situation and longed to be released, though didn't know if she ever would be. In the story the Teresa character is also aware of this sad state and laments for her freedom. My task is to present the Teresa character as deserving of sympathy and understanding, to be cheered on, rooted for. If I'm not careful I will make her tiresome, whining and pathetic, someone who only wants pity and nothing else -- which she never did but is what her family accused her of all her life. (I know this to be true because I was witness to that appalling lack of understanding and abuse of her person many times.) How I have handled it so far is that character Teresa laments only to herself, carries a secret inward longing that she cannot entrust to anyone because she has been betrayed. Hope I can do it.
You can do it. Your love for Theresa will keep yourself from making those kind of mistakes. It's a hard balancing act in life as well as in writing (I have the same apologetic compulsion and have had the same lack of understanding from people I love, but also acceptance from those who matter most). You can let her lament and cry - that was the most important lesson I've learned - but don't let her give up. An indomitable spirit, who refuses to let the world or her situation stop her or depress her, will be a character who people will admire, relate to, and cherish. :)

If you ever need someone to read your work, I'm willing. I feel connected to you and Theresa already.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Neil Larkins
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Neil Larkins » August 11th, 2011, 5:30 pm

dios4vida wrote:You can do it. Your love for Theresa will keep yourself from making those kind of mistakes. It's a hard balancing act in life as well as in writing (I have the same apologetic compulsion and have had the same lack of understanding from people I love, but also acceptance from those who matter most). You can let her lament and cry - that was the most important lesson I've learned - but don't let her give up. An indomitable spirit, who refuses to let the world or her situation stop her or depress her, will be a character who people will admire, relate to, and cherish. :)

If you ever need someone to read your work, I'm willing. I feel connected to you and Theresa already.
Thanks for the offer, Brenda and I will take you up on it. So far, I've only had one person to review my work, my wife Helen who I met in 2003 and married in 2005. Helen has always said she thinks she would have loved Teresa and is sorry she never knew her. (Teresa herself made me promise to remarry after she died, find someone who would be more of a help to me than she had been. But that's another story, though additional insight into the kind of person she was.) I've had people say they'd read and critique my work, even belonged to a local writers club once, but nothing ever came of any of it. My wife's niece, who is my age and a one-time magazine editor (don't know which one) offered to read. After five years she's never been able to "find the time." I need that other reader because my wife is prejudiced: she thinks everything I write is good, even when I know it isn't. In return for the generous offer of your time and opinion I'll read your work, if you like. I guess personal message me? - Neil

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