I know your name.

January 30, 2010 at 19:34 (General)

It has been a fairly good day.
I have spent most of it doing sweet nothing.
And occasionally reading stories labeled as fan-fiction (I am a die hard BBC Merlin fan).
Apart from writing, it is one of my favorite past time activity.
As they say, a writer should read a lot to develop, but you have to be careful not develop in the wrong direction.

I wrote something short (based on my previous fantasy project) to illustrate what is my pick of the day in the writer’s errors department.

Karstan woke up to the sound of a woman’s scream. He recognized the voice, he did not need to look up to know, who it was. He turned to the medic, who was sitting next to him and said not without effort.
-Remove her from here.
The medic paled. Karstan understood him immediately.
-It is the order of the king, have no fear.
The paleness has not left the man’s face. He stood up, yet there was no confidence in his walk. He was about to order the queen to leave the room, where her husband was lying on the verge of death.
Karstan knew she will not like it. The medic also knew that. He also knew, that if the king dies, no words will be able to save him. Karstan had to admit that the man was in a situation not to envy. Yet, he was brave and loyal enough to fulfill the king’s order.
Karstan closed his eyes, he was so tired. He vaguely heard Arian screaming at the poor medic, he heard the medic’s calm and gentle voice. Then he heard doors opening, and closing with a loud thump. And then was silence.

I consider it fairly good (my love of self demands me to praise my work from time to time).
And here I have made some small adjustments:

Karstan woke up to the sound of a woman’s scream. Karstan recognized the voice, he did not need to look up to know, who it was. Karstan turned to the medic, who was sitting next to him and said not without effort.
-Remove her from here.
The medic paled. Karstan understood him immediately.
-It is the order of the king, have no fear.
The paleness has not left the medic’s face. The medic stood up, yet there was no confidence in his walk. The medic was about to order the queen to leave the room, where Karstan was lying on the verge of death.
Karstan knew she will not like it. The medic also knew that. The medic also knew, that if Karstan dies, no words will be able to save him. Karstan had to admit that the medic was in a situation not to envy. Yet, the medic was brave and loyal enough to fulfill the Karstan’s order.
Karstan closed his eyes, he was so tired. Karstan vaguely heard Arian screaming at the poor medic, he heard the medic’s calm and gentle voice. Then Karstan heard doors opening, and closing with a loud thump. And then was silence.

Something is not right here, isn’t it.
I have seen it in a story that I have stumbled upon yesterday.
The names of the characters were repeated in every single sentence. And I mean EVERY sentence.

All in all the story was nice, however, I could not enjoy it completely, because it had that forced feeling to it.
Like a school essay.

The golden rule is – make sure that the reader knows who says or does the things you describe. Use pronouns. And refrain from starting every sentence with the character’s name.
And you should be fine.
The story should have an easy and unforced flow to it.
It might help if you imagine that you are telling the story to someone. Like an eye-witness talking to the police.
You can for example read the story to your teddy bear (when no one else is around, or they will keep giving you the look for days to come ;p).
Once it becomes a tale to be told it is less prone to turn into a classroom assignment and becomes more natural.
It works for me at least and that is my official excuse for owning so many teddy bears ;).

I am currently working on a comprehensive set of rules, I use while writing.
I have mentioned my unfortunate attempt at writing a book in my younger days.
It has taught me a thing or two that i would like to share with my readers.

I only hope that someone will read it.
Thank you for reading this post.
Please leave a comment.

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2 Comments

  1. Jack said,

    I believe that you have many readers, don’t worry. Your thoughts are quite interesting. But, one thing – strict rules in writing? Mhm, it’s rather job of an artist, I think, not craftsman’s ;)

    • aishikami said,

      Thank you for your comment :)
      I agree that a writer is an artist.
      However, as in every aspect in life, there are rules to abide to.
      They are not as strict as in other professions, but they are there.
      My guru is Felix W. Kres with his perspective on writing as craftsmanship, and his opinion that every writer should know the tools of his trade.
      I wish to share what I have learned thus far. :)
      Of course it will be suggestion rather than rules to obey. :)
      And hopefully, they will be useful. :)

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