About Mr. Know All


Some weeks ago my teacher gave me back my final exam in English. I was rewarded the grade B-, which is not too shabby. Don't give me wrong, I want a better grade. On the other hand, I also want to improve. My teacher said to me that the best way to improve, was to get feedback. That's the reason why I'm trying to get your opinion; what I could have done better.
Take this to consideration:
I'm 17 years old, and I'm from Norway. My vocabulary isn't the best, neither is my grammar.
My sentences can maybe be too heavy. My teacher always says to me that they are too complicated. Do you have any tips and tricks on how I can get rid of this problem?
Any websites I can go to if I want to improve my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, more precise sentences and so on?
Please, read and enjoy. Don't bother to read the original story, just read my continuing from where it ended originally.
My question is: How can I improve?
After that, me and Mr. Kelada went out for an early morning walk around the ship. I started to like this guy more and more. It’s weird after disliking him so much as I did. He was talking to me very open about his plans after we board. The first impression of him was not who he really was. Of course, he had little things that bothered me, but I can admit I was overreacting a bit about it. After all, we all got some flaws, don’t we?
“I’m looking forward to get back to the pearl business again. Long time no see.” Mr. Kelada said. “So it wasn’t a lie, you’re really in it?” I asked, wondering if he actually told the truth. “Yes, I’m in it. My father sailed from England to India when India still was a British colony. India was known for its exclusive things we couldn’t get in England.” He said. “I see, such as what?”
 “Well, for example silk. Nevertheless the business my father went into, the pearl business. After he died, I took over the business. I don’t think my father would be proud of what I’ve done with the business, yet. You see, I haven’t actually done what he would want me to do with it. To be honest, I’ve just been lazy with my job in England, even though pearls are exiting to me. The business is almost bankrupted, which made me choose to take the decision.” Oh, I see. And again, what was the decision.” He stared at me and laughed. “Ha-ha, isn’t that obvious? Travel on this liner, then when we board, take a plane to India. I hope I could help them maintain the business. I want it to be kept in the family in our generations to come.”
I did actually like Mr. Kelada. From that day on, I saw him from a new point of view. He was one of the most sympathetic peoples I’ve ever met in my life. Certainly, he still was a bit cocksure. Always think he knew better than everyone else, which, I must admit, he often does. Even though it was annoying, in the end, knowledge is power. And you can’t see knowledge as a bad thing, which it clearly isn’t. 
But, hey! Want to play a game of poker? I can teach you some card tricks if you want? 
“Mr. Kelada, I’ve already said to you. I hate cards and I hate card tricks.” He started to chuckle. “O my, you lever learn do you? I can read people. That expression in your face did not tell me that you dislike cards, it told me that you lied.”
After all, I did like Mr. Kelada. Simultaneously I did not like him at all. That comment he made on my there, made me remember why I hated him. Nothing that I said about him was incorrect, but he just knows all too much. But after all, he didn’t get the nickname “Mr. Know all” for nothing.

Submitted: May 28, 2012

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Add Your Comments:


Bert Broomberg

It was nice of you to take the story beyond its original ending, but the trick behind the story is the unexpected ending where you as a reader find out that the lady wearing the pearls must have had an affair while her husband was abroad and mister Keleda didn't give the game away. Your story doesn't work if you haven't read the original story. Your remarks about the card tricks are completely wasted on somone who doesn't know the story. In a way your piece of writing works as an exercise, but not really as an independent story.

The style of writing that you use is different from the original story, which is something you should try to avoid.

I'm a teacher myself and I would suggest that you get yourself a good book on the mechanics of writing. A book that can be useful is: The Art of Fiction by John Gardner. My copy comes from Vintage Books. Among other things, it tells you how to write sentences without too much information in them, so your sentences can remain crisp, yet interesting. I also find the Allison & Busby Writers'Guides very useful. They have published an extensive range of titles.

Also Dare to be a Great Writer, 329 keys to powerful fiction, by Leonard Bishop is a very good book on all kinds of writing techniques. It was published by Writer's Digest Books.

If you want to get rid of mistakes in your grammar, try to get a book which goes beyond the material you will find in grammar books at school. You may find the books published by Cambridge University Press really helpful. Start with the intermediate level and work your way up to the advanced level. I'm not sure if you can find them in bookshops in Norway, but you can always order them from the internet.

Fri, June 8th, 2012 8:52pm

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