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Genesis of Dragon Knights


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#21 竜王聖帝

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:28 AM

I found my copy of How Not to Write a Novel, and I just love this part:

Beginning writers often believe that the true genius uses only words from the furthest reaches of the English language, the darkest recesses of the dictionary, the sort of words that cannot survive on their own in any natural environment.

Sorry; this is not writing. This is showing off, and nobody likes a show-off.


Here's a test from the same book to see if you really know what words mean:

A Test: Do I Know This Word?


Ask yourself: "Do I know this word?"

If the answer is no, then you do not know it.


Edited by 竜王聖帝, 03 August 2013 - 11:29 AM.




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#22 Dopple

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 02:43 PM

I often look up simple words on the dictionary.

[edit]

 

Boring: "My girlfriend is beautiful."
Better: "My girlfriend's face glows with the beauty of a dozen roses and a string quartet by Beethoven."


I'll take "My girlfriend is beautiful" over that second one any day. Unless the person really means the beauty of a dozen roses and a string quartet by Beethoven is just like the glow of his girlfriend's face.


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#23 Dopple

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:01 PM

Finally took it upon myself to finish reading the OP.
 

 


I’ve just become an official warrior….despite the pain I had to go through.

I freely swung my long sword in the air, and it felt good to be the warrior I’ve wanted to become since I was a little kid.


Four years have passed! That means it's time to monologue in first person!
 

 

Raised in Kerning, I was utterly disgusted by the city. I had to somewhat deal with the kids in Kerning who’d tease and bully me for not dressing like them. Even my parents sometimes urged me to change my appearance just to get along with people, but I was unwilling.


Emotionally charged opener, noncommittal explanation. This city is so completely awful: I kinda have to deal with bullies, but then I kinda don't have to... yanno.

This character has a rebellious taste in fashion, but the narrator fails to describe how he or anyone dresses, rendering the comparison worthless. 
 

 

One day, my father walked out our doorsteps and announced that he was going to Perion to visit a friend of his, then to Ellinia to acquire a few expensive and magical potions, and to Henesys to visit our family’s best friends, who were another family in Henesys. My best friend, Shiloh, was the only child of the family, like me. I haven’t met him since quite a few months ago in Lith Harbor.

 

Hey. I don't even care about you yet. Why should I care what banal things other people are doing? 
 

 

<Fluff to make your eyes glaze over.>

After that, I went through the most painful experience I’ve ever had. The process to become a warrior was rather…brutal.

When my dad found out, he wasn’t surprised. He’d actually expected me to become one. In fact, he brought his friends in Perion and we had a great festival. They bought me an upgraded long sword, much stronger than an average long sword.


I became a warrior after a most painful trial. It was somewhat-brutal; that's to say it wasn't under-brutal, or really-brutal. I'll just assume you know what I'm talking about because some random guys went through this.

And the author is taking for granted we all know what an average long sword is like in the context of this universe.
 

 

So I’ve just become an official warrior….despite the pain I had to go through.

I freely swung my long sword in the air, and it felt good to be the warrior I’ve wanted to become since I was a little kid.

 

Funnily, OP felt these sentences were good enough to bear repeating, except they fly over emphasis and land in redundancy. This story is twice as long as it needs to be, but doesn't say enough.


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#24 竜王聖帝

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:56 PM

So much padding.

#25 Dopple

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:13 AM

Usually I'll read the stuff here even if it's shoddy. This was boring.

I'm also displeased about the inclusion of first person. Not because there's anything wrong with first person, but it's an easy pitfall to leak personal opinions on the page or have it read like self-absorbed, "Dear Diary" monologue.


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#26 竜王聖帝

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:35 PM

So it's more of a voice thing for you?

#27 Dopple

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 04:10 PM

Voice implies stylistic choice.

It's like the word "I" is some open invitation for personal thoughts, even if they're uncharacteristic of the protagonist. Here the author seems to have written himself in as the main(?) character. Unless the writer stays detached, they'll tend to protect their fictional avatar from harm and folly. Makes for some stagnant storytelling. It's the same deal you see with RPers whose characters dodge and block every attack.


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#28 Dopple

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 05:30 PM

Readers have a finite attention span, and you can't take it for granted. Time investment goes up, patience goes down. Total word count goes up, value of subsequent words goes down. Whether you're writing an essay or a story, your job is to show why anyone should care to keep going. Convoluted sentences and big thesaurus words are great for sending readers scurrying to writing that doesn't suck.

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#29 竜王聖帝

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 12:16 AM

I tend to have the opposite problem where I tend to write minimally for essays. If there are a lot of points that's a great thing, but since I usually don't I rarely make the word count I want to for the first few drafts.



#30 Dopple

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 02:04 AM

Hahah. I've a confession. When it comes to meeting word minimums, it's gloves off on the adjectives and adverbs. Word limits are more interesting if you ask me.


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#31 Dopple

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 07:24 PM

Lately, I find myself with a dreadful inability to shut up.

 

My brother somehow had the patience to listen to me talk about writing and other random love for four hours. But I'd rather not torment people with it, so I come here instead if I'm feeling rambly.


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