|Review:||Jackson Robles says:|
You are fantastic at writing. The three you have listed here have done well to push you into writing this.
Have you ever heard the term 'indicating'? And I HATE to point this out as a problem in your story, but it is rather slight and I'm hitting you below the belt to say this, but for your future writing and anything beyond, well, indicating needs to be quelled. The best of the best writers don't have to do it. We get such a picture through their narration and the events that occur in their stories that we don't need to author to tell us how things work in their story. I mean Josephine. And a prime (almost perfect, were it not necessary to move the plot along) example is the following line picked from an early paragraph:
"We talk this way; Fred speaks in long run-on sentences that form into monologues, asking questions that he in turn answers for himself, simply so I can listen and be entertained; not so I am forced to respond. He knows me well enough by now to know that I rarely do. I smile at the knowledge that I finally have a friend who loves and understands me so completely, despite my conversational flaws."
This works. The first sentence really kind of grates on the road as it moves along, but it works. However, if I were to ask you the question - what does this sentence DO? What is it's purpose? What might... someone say? "It lets us know the dynamic, point blank, between these two characters and how they interact." Yet you also show this through the narration within the story. Fred is not perturbed by her lack of answers - you write that in without having to expressly 'indicate' it. As my Fiction professor would say - you're writing on a crutch (he would have verbally abused me beyond that, but I love the guy) REGARDLESS! ... I'm getting sidetracked. Throughout the entire italicized portion of the chapter, you create this wonderful dynamic between Jo and Fred, but you also tell us how wonderful it is - like you don't trust us to get it on our own (honestly, I know that's not what you were trying to do and that's not how your paragraph reads, but that is usually the main cause of indicating). No one likes to be told something obvious. Imagine if, every time you opened your car door it dinged and informed you; "Your door is open."
I'd die. Or hurt the car. But so far as I can tell you don't indicate much, but it is a dangerous habit to form and a tell tale sign of experienced, but slightly flawed writing.
Here is another indication:
"This silence carries tension."
. And again, that's not fair. I'm going through the chapter looking for instances where you think for the reader. And every writer does that quite often. Sometimes I'll just be reading something I've written and it'll dawn on me. I'm usually horribly embarrassed. It's a hard thing to catch, you know?
Stating that 'he quips' a few sentences down is a bit of another. I hate overly critical reviews, so don't you dare think I'm telling you to change anything. I quite like the story. I'm just making observations.
I've decided to leave 'indicating' behind and focus on other aspects of this chapter. . Wait. Did I just...? Noo.
I have never heard of anyone being 'okay' with unrequited love. In fact most people die because of it. What was that bookWutheringHeights..? Right! Anyway, I love the fact that Jo has convinced herself she doesn't need George. And that loving HIM from afar is a privilege. Powerful use of words. Which allows us to get into her head wonderfully. It's not just a nice summer's day she's enjoying. She's enjoying the fact that there is a day to enjoy. It's a very different viewpoint, and you've definitely broken a norm there I think...
"I haven't with a stranger, an acquaintance, or an old roommate, and most certainly not with George..." --- foreshadowing?!?!
omigosh I loved the paragraph about Fred lying in a box. I feel like it's offset in a cheesy way by you telling us it's an oxymoron, so I read it without that sentence Jo likes to be clever. I'll let her have at it then. hehe
Back to the indicating thing, though.. sometimes it is necessary. Most times not - it's finding a good balance, you know? In al aspects of good writing. Adjective use, sentence length, sentence style, character voice, tone, theme... yadda yadda.. and that balance is by far the hardest thing in writing, and it really is only perfectly visible (not to achieve) to the writer. We as readers only have what we know. It's YOUR story, you know?
But once I got into the funeral I got into it. I LOVE 4000+ word dramas. And you've inspired me to pick up the pen for mine again. Because it's the characters that matter. Sometimes people complain of length or of things dragging on, but feeling the characters out comes so well in this long chapters.
And, honest to God, there is a perfect idea of Jo in my head. She's as canon as any HP - more so than some - and it's been just a little while. I accept her. I like her. I think she has flaws - but that makes her HUMAN. Thereby making me like her more.
I think I had better wrap this up. I'm worried this will get too long. I liked the short sentences again. And I hope you keep up with this. You really should.
Author's Response: Jackson! :-D
*blushes* Wow, thank you for that opening to this review! I'm completely blown away because I have the highest esteem for your reviews! So thank you, truly.
Wow. See, this is why I love your reviews: because you go beyond the basic level of reviewing a story by bringing in the technical side of things, and I love it! I've never taken a writing course, so 'indicating' is a new concept to me, but I'm completely fascinated. And you're so right! Now that you've pointed it out, it's like 'duh!' Of course, when I think back on writing all those moments you pointed out, I remember honestly thinking that I needed them there, because what if my writing without that indication wasn't strong enough or clear enough to get those points across? It's not that I don't trust the reader, it's that I don't trust my writing - especially when no one has read it before hand to tell me that they already feel the tension BEFORE I tell them there's tension! Does that make sense? Seriously, you've just opened up a whole new door in my mind as far as writing is concerned. Thank you!
Ah, unrequited love... It definitely tears a person apart, but with Jo, I just have this vision of her where, like you said, it's not that she's enjoying the day, it's that she's enjoying the fact that there simply IS a day to enjoy! And it is a privilege to her! I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed that spin on it!
Hahaha foreshadowing indeed! ;-)
LOL I love that you love that part! And I actually played around with the oxymoron bit a lot; still not sure how I feel about it, but I'm afraid staring at the same words over and over again hasn't cleared my opinions at all, so I've given up on it, haha.
The funeral scene I also enjoy more and spent more time with, to be honest, so I'm glad that you really got into it by then! And yay! I'm so excited to have inspired the great JacksonRobles to continue! And the actor in me knows just how important characters are, how much characters matter, so I'm right there with you. And I was a bit worried that this chapter would drag, seeing as it's pretty long for having only two parts to it, but Jo is my character and I want her to be known, and I'm glad that it's coming across the way I intended!
Yay Jo! I love her, I won't lie. And wow, what a compliment that she feels so canon to you! :-D I'm so happy you like her, that's very important to me, and especially with her flaws, because she's very real to me, very three dimensional, and I'm thrilled to hear she's coming across as so!
I do love writing those short sentences, haha - it's great to hear you still like them! And I will continue the story, I promise!
Thank you so much for the review, Jackson, and for all the thought you put into it. It's incredibly appreciated!