varvaraten Profile

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Location: San Francisco, United States

Member Since: June 2012

Last online: March 2016

Open for read requests: No

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Well, I don't know it it's Booksie or AdBlocker or Open Office/Word or what, but for Booksie apparently I need a new style for indicating minor scene shifts.  Any one have a suggestion? 


AdBlocker appears to change everything I said about posting here: the text comes out generally ugly. I may be able to tweak something by removing, then re enabling AdBlocker. More later, following some experiments.


I left a short review on a story,  Here is it in its entirety:  Erratic proofreading. The whole needs a thorough editing: punctuation, grammar and sense.

The reply:   1. There are way worse stories on here grammar wise, that probably need help a lot more. 2. Your profile makes you seem pretty miserable to be on this site. No one is forcing you to read these stories. 3. You could probably be a lot nicer. I get that your critiquing something but that doesn't mean you have to be blunt and rude. 4. How is the weather up there on your high horse?

I discussed the story, not the author.  The reply used 'you/r' (including one your for you're) 7 times, so the reply was not about the review or about the story, it was about me. 

This site is about the writing.  It is not about personalities, it is not about name calling.  Step back from emotion and focus on what was actually said:  The work needs editing and proofreading.  Excuses don't matter, other authors' errors don't matter.  The work matters.


This is a writing site, not a social site.  It's about the written word.  Write something; do it as well as you can.  Put it out there.  Get reviews.  No one cares about what you thought while you were writing, we care about what you write.  'Other work product' belongs in your file, not here as a story.  Being liked, being disliked are irrelevant.  The writing matters, the personality doesn't. 


This is a good sign:  There is a National Novel EDITING Month.  All NaNoWr-ers should also join NaNoEdMo.  It's in March, so in November, write your draft.  Let it sit quietly through the holidays, and in March EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!  Too bad I missed it this year. 


Well, another datum about Booksie:  It does not like backslashs.  I used a backslash in a review and Booksie dumped the whole review.  Most annoying.  Now that I know about this, I'll use something else.  And now, at a slightly later time, I will use a back/slash.  And at a second slightly later time:  HA!  The backslash came through.  I don't know why reviews are second class prose, but in profiles, we can use backslash. 


6 March 2013:   Beta reads will be offered only to fellow authors who have dual membership in Booksie and  Fiction/Press.  Sorry, but getting a working copy off Booksie is not easy or pleasant.  Exchanging MS on Fiction/Press is quick and secure.  No doubt if I were handier around a computer this would not be necessary, but I'm not, and it is. 


Getting backstory in front of the reader does not require infodumps. Infodumps do the job, yes, but they are fast and dirty and, worst of all, boring as hell. There are ways around infodumps. In the narrative and dialogue, use your vocabulary. Try for a more nuanced delivery rather than a simple neutral word. Most recent example: move. It was used to describe a major upheaval in a society's/people's history. 'They moved from there to here', (Six words). A more selected word choice: 'The people abandoned their long time home and fled...' (Nine words). Which statement adds more to your understanding of the setting and their recent past? ~~find a synonym that has the connotations/emotional baggage you want to emphasize. Use a thesaurus and a dictionary(so you don't end up writing 'scarlet emeralds').


The math is off on the comments:  386 words comes out a 34% of a thousand. 

Recent advice: 

If you're not happy with your story, why leave it up? As it is, it is poorly formatted (and I know you're new to the site, but you can experiment with your posts until you find a style that translates into something you like. Yes, that might mean installing a new writing program, but if you want to write a classic, it will do you no harm to learn that perseverance furthers)and poorly structured(and about this there is no excuse. If you are only thirteen, and apparently from you bio you may be older, even if you never read for pleasure, for at least 6 years you have gone to school, where on a daily basis you will have seen basic grammar/prose on the minimum standard level: "I see Spot," said Jane) and gives Booksie readers a poor idea of your skills.
You are in competition with all other writers for the readers' attention. If your story is poorly spelled, formatted or punctuated, there are many other stories readers can more easily or pleasurably read. Good luck.


You can't say this:  'Please leave feedback/editing/writing tips on any work I publish', and then sulk because the review is factual and not fawning.   


It's DECEMBER all you NaNoWriMoers.  You now have absolutely NO EXCUSE  for not editing your FIRST DRAFT  into something readable.  Get your act together. 


Presentation matters.  The way the story looks on the page is either inviting or it's not inviting.  A monolithic, uncapitalized, unpunctuated paragraph, filling several screens, is not reader friendly.  Look at a hard bound book that you like, one that you've read and re-read.  How is it paragraphed?  Punctuated?  Are all the characters jammed together in a mass of dialogue and actions?  Or is each character, with her actions, words, and thoughts, presented to the reader in a separate paragraph.  LOOK AT YOUR WORK, look at it HERE.  Do you need to edit your text to deal with Booksie's limitations?  If you do, experiment until you're happy with the way the site makes your story look.


When creating a world, it's difficult to consider everything. 
If an author postulates a wandering clan, she needs to consider how all aspects of life will be constricted by the clans mobility.  Here are two points in a story I glanced at where the author did not adequately consider the complexities of nomadic life:  
The author has the clan '...weaving beautiful textiles...' ~~from what?  Cotton and linen, being plant based fibers, require agriculture; sericulture --the production of silk-- also requires a settled lifestyle.  Roaming tribes can have herds of herds of goats or sheep, from which they may gather fiber, but if the tribe has herds of goats or sheep, which are also meat animals, why do they hunt?  Come to think of it, where did they get the leather for the tents?  
The tribe is sometimes visited by merchants:  Where do the merchants, to be hosted in the new display tent, come from?  The clan is out on the grassy plains, remember.  And where does the clan, apparently one meal away from famine, get the time and the materials to create trade goods?  

And we haven't begun to consider marriage/mating rituals yet. 

There is an excellent book, by Diana Wynne Jones, called  The Tough Guide to Fantasyland.  It may be OP, but if you can find a copy, read it, especially the entry on Economy.  It's very difficult to create a believable world, but Jones points out the major pitfalls to avoid.  The entry for Ecology is also helpful. 


To all those below who have requested reviews:  I return reviews


WAREWOLF  ~~seriously!  Does the hero hang around in Walmarts and Costcos?  WER is from Middle English wer --man, the same stem found in Wergild.  Don't write like an idiot.  If necessary, break down and use a dictionary.


"Booksie has detected that you have highlighted content. This content is protected by the author's copyright.  Do not continue if you do not have permission from the author to copy this content.
Your IP address has been logged."  No such thing.  I highlighted a comment I was making.  So why can I use BOLD or UNDERLINE here and not in my comments?  Also, marking MY OWN COMMENT for emphasis should not get a notice that I'm fiddling with another writer's work.



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