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message 1: by Joy (last edited Aug 02, 2009 06:49AM) (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments Hi! My name's Joy and I, like the rest of you, am an aspiring writer. I do prose. Mostly novels, but I've branched out into short stories (mostly because I know they have to end at some point, wheres my novels just go on and on...). I only have one story linked here for now, but I will be posting more shortly (I hope). I'm 23 and a teacher in New York, but my real passion is writing (which I why I love having summers off! I get to work on it).

I hope you like my work!


message 2: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Hi Joy, I read your short story. Interesting concept and I think the replay with all the changes was well done.

Please read what I told CJ about too much dialog without prose to hold it together. Your story would really jump from the page if you had more prose to glue all that dialog together with.

message 3: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments thanks for the tip- I'll keep it in mind during the re-write!

message 4: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I'm looking forward to re-reading with the changes. So let me know when you post the latest.

message 5: by Joy (last edited Aug 04, 2009 01:17PM) (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments Will do!

Oh- I had a question about the dialog. You told CJ that dialog should reflect the way we actually speak. Do you feel the same about my work (that is- it's not realistic enough). I'm curious because I've been told many times that my dialogue is actually realistic. Just wondering if I should suddenly rethink it!

message 6: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) No, I thought your dialog was realistic. I was thinking more about how you have a lot of he said / she said back and forth without much prose to pull it together. I've heard this kind of dialog referred to as Talking Heads.

Imagine for a moment that you're dangling in space. You can't see anything. You can't feel anything. But you hear these voices. That's what it feels like to your readers.

To prevent this, follow that pattern that I mentioned to CJ: Action --> POV Reaction --> POV Thoughts / Feelings --> Action

And think of dialog as action.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Just a quick question...isn't this supposed to be in the next category for letters. Joy come after H...just wondering...

message 8: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) whats prose?

message 9: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) prose

Dictionary: prose (prōz)

1. Ordinary speech or writing, without metrical structure.
2. Commonplace expression or quality.
3. Roman Catholic Church. A hymn of irregular meter sung before the Gospel.

intr.v., prosed, pros·ing, pros·es.
1. To write prose.
2. To speak or write in a dull, tiresome style.

message 10: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Basically, it's anything not poetry. I used the word to mean the text in between the dialog.

message 11: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) oh!

message 12: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) i knew it was that hymn thing((thanks to mr. jonhson, my orchestra teacher)) but, i didnt know it applied to writing as well

message 13: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) It gets extra convoluted when people start talking about purple prose. That's when your prose gets overly flowery or wordy--when it takes ten or twenty words to say something as simple as "poop smells."

message 14: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) flowery poop...lol!

message 15: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Oh, that is an interesting combination of words. I like it.

message 16: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments Aly ♫SOCCER GOALIE♫SOFTBALL CATCHER♫ wrote: "Just a quick question...isn't this supposed to be in the next category for letters. Joy come after H...just wondering..."

You're totally right! I don't know why I did that...wow, what a genius I am! I think what happened was that I was just going through the different categories and hit new topic in the wrong one. I swear I know my ABCs!

Rita- thanks for the tip again! I've heard of Purple Prose. I think a friend of mine was criticized for that in one of my writing classes in school...

message 17: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Purple prose does have its place. The book Blood and Chocolate (a werewolf story) had a lot of purple prose, and I rolled my eyes at it. But by the time I got to the end of the book, I was weak-kneed and in love with the story--purple prose and all.

But I myself don't go down the road of purple prose. I'm not a poet and not very good with fancy words.

message 18: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Hey Joy, I started a series of articles on writing dialog:


In case this interests you...

message 19: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments That's interesting. I can see your point, but I also feel that too much prose between dialogue sort of breaks it up too much; it doesn't have a nice flow to it. I think we just need to find a right balance.

message 20: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Sometimes my dialog is tight (little to no prose) when I feel like the words are potent. Other times, I fill it out more, letting the prose help build a whole scene. It depends on the affect you want to achieve.

message 21: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) By the way, you are welcome to leave your comments on my blog. I love it when people disagree with me. It opens the pathways to conversation.

message 22: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.

message 23: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments I've updated my story! I tried fixing the dialogue a little bit. Some parts still go back and forth, but I think it's better for the most part. I also changed the ending a bit with Claire and Glenn, something that makes more sense now that I think about it. I just put it under Chapter 2 as opposed to creating a new story. Here's the link and thanks for all the feedback!


message 24: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I read your revised version and enjoyed it very much.

I like how you changed the ending with Claire and Glenn. It makes more senese.

Overall, I think your story has some interesting twists.

message 25: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments Thank you. I agree. I wanted it to be different with Claire and Glenn and this seemed much more appropriate. After all- Grace's wish would not affect Claire's life at all (at least in this instance).

Anything else you think needs some work? What about Jason's cousin...does he fit in or is it just odd?

message 26: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) The first time I read about Jason's cousin, I was expecting him and Grace to get together. It seemed appropriate that--since she was no longer forcing her will--that she'd find true love of her own.

But it didn't bother me that it didn't happen like I expected. I think it was the woman who walked up and put her arm around Jason's cousin that seemed strange. Like who is she? And what's this all about?

I thought it interesting that she lost her job in the second timeline but not the first. And that makes a lot of sense to me. Being in love makes you glow, and that makes you seem more successful which means you stand out and actually become as successful as you seem. So I liked that change in the timeline.

I did wonder why it was that Claire was so happy the second time around and not the first. I don't think that is a bad change. Just a bit enigmatical. What changes to Grace's life could have caused this change in Claire? You don't necessarily need to tell us. But you need to decide in your own head why this change in attitude happened and then you can drop us some hints.

message 27: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments sounds good, thanks!

I originally had Grace and the cousin get together, but then I garnered some criticism for Grace "needing a man" and I found that interesting, so I didn't go that way...maybe I'll leave it more open ended.

Also true about Claire, I never really thought about it- I just thought it would be an interesting change, but I'll think about it and get back to it.

I'm also currently working on another short story that I think is promising. I'll let you know about any updates!

message 28: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) You said that you were criticized for Grace "needing a man." I find that very interesting.

Your character's personality is really in your hands. It is perfectly plausible to write a story about a girl who thinks she needs a man. It is also perfectly plausible to write a story where the woman learns that she doesn't need a man to be complete.

But in real life, men and women do get together because we are good for each other. We balance each other out. There is nothing wrong with that.

And I didn't think your story was about feminism. I thought it was more about the paths our lives could take and that our unanswered wishes might not be what is best for us. Think of that song, "Thank God for Unanswered Prayers."

So I guess you would need to stop and think about the purpose of your story. What message do you want to leave with your readers?

I do like your idea about leaving it open ended. She now has a bright future in front of her and many open possibilities. It makes you feel that the story continues even after the last line. It also goes well with the theme of possible life directions, reminding us that we have an open future before us as well.

message 29: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments Okay- another revision!

I went back and tried to explain (subtly) the difference in Claire's initial, and therefore snowballing reaction to the pregnancy.

message 30: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I'll check that out soon.

message 31: by Joy (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments Thanks!

message 32: by Joy (last edited Aug 17, 2009 03:59PM) (new)

Joy (joy85) | 12 comments I also just posted my second short story. It's different from the first: mainly it involves young adults as opposed to adults. I'm not sure of the title yet (it's always the hardest part!), but I think Sweet Sixteen is a better description than Swimming, it's original title.

The story is realistic fiction and I'd love for everyone to take a look at it!



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