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Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:28 pm
by helen1975
JayDavidKing,

I read your vulture entry. And I read the comments.

Wow, you really annoyed a lot of people! Me? No way! I loved the vulture reference! I know, as Christians we would never devour another's story of heartache and tragedy, right? Perhaps not intentionally, but I still believe that we are a curious, flawed lot and will gravitate to the juciest stories. Perhaps it is because we long to feel, something, anything, that helps us overcome this side of our character? We tear up when we read of abuse, particularly of children, because it reaches the core of our spirit and awakens our righteous anger, our indignance and perhaps our sense of relief; we are not so hardened by the evils of this world that we cannot empathise.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and have just revealed my own heart's veiled motives...?!

Great lesson, Jan. Can't wait to get into the challenges again :-)

Blessings, Helen

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:35 pm
by oursilverstrands
Jan, I sure wish I had seen your Memoirs post before writing my "Autobiographical" piece. I have not yet compared it to all the points you made, but I think I was off on more than one. Oh, well, next time.

A belated thanks for posting it.

Lillian

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:43 pm
by glorybee
lish1936 wrote:Jan, I sure wish I had seen your Memoirs post before writing my "Autobiographical" piece. I have not yet compared it to all the points you made, but I think I was off on more than one. Oh, well, next time.

A belated thanks for posting it.

Lillian


Lillian, don't fret about it. My lessons here were never meant to be a writer's gospel--just some suggestions and rough guidelines. I'm sure your entry was fine.

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:36 pm
by JudySauer
I got into my best throw-ready position and hurled the softball hard. Only there was one huge problem, and everyone saw it happen. There was nothing I could have done to stop my momentum. As I began to throw the softball, my left foot pivoted on the grass. By the time I released the ball, it blasted off like a locked-in target missile that had taken aim at the ball field opposite of ours. Everyone yelled “FORE!”

Red-faced mortification was an understatement for how I felt. My wobbly legs had fallen to the ground because I was laughing so hard. Then it happened; I spritzed in my britches. This only made my most embarrassing moment more humiliating. “Oh Jesus, have mercy on me. Have this ground swallow me up whole,” I pleaded. The one time I actually threw the ball strong it launchef like a projectile at another team’s game.
--------------
This is a corrected excerpt from a challenge article I wrote three years ago. The story, now that I'm learning how to be a better writer, is full of errors which this lesson made very clear to me.

Spritzers http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article-level3-previous.php?id=41427

This was an enlightening exercise. Thanks for the awareness.

Judy

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:11 pm
by glorybee
Judy, this is very good. I went back and read the original; it was also very good, but I think the past tense works better for this kind of narrative. The mood is one of self-deprecating humor and there's quite a bit of action--present tense works better for slower, moodier pieces.

Lots of imagery and smiles here--a really good piece. Thanks for sharing it!

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:42 am
by VibrantC
It was a beautiful early-summer morning. The air was still somewhat cool, so a friend and I decided it would be a perfect day to take our boys to the park. After a few hours of talking together and watching them play, we called the boys over to tell them to say their goodbyes.

Mine decided at that moment that he would rather run away. He took off across the field, running as fast as his little legs could carry him. I panicked, taking off after him. I only made it a few yards before I felt the change in my momentum; I knew I was overbalancing and there was nothing I could do about it. I fell head over heals in an ungraceful heap. By the time I stopped rolling he'd noticed my plight, stopping dead. I learned my lesson and walked the rest of the way to him.
=============================
I've loved to write for a long time, but have never written anything publicly before. As I'm new to the site and the format here, I thought some lessons would be a good place to get my feet wet. :)

~ Carol

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:30 pm
by glorybee
Welcome, Carol! Glad you've found your way to FaithWriters, and I hope you'll enjoy it here.

Your writing is excellent as far as writing mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, and the like). I particularly like the way you almost make the reader envision your fall in slow motion by slowing the pace of the narrative right there.

A few things for you to consider in future writing, because you're definitely ready to bump it up a notch:

1. Avoid cliches like 'falling head over heels'.

2. The device of opening a piece by describing the weather is sort of a situational cliche. If you'll be writing for the challenge, you'll need to preserve every word, and an opening like that isn't really needed.

I look forward to reading more of your writing in the weeks and months to come!

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:42 pm
by RedBaron
I need to share this with 90% of my editing clients.......

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:48 pm
by glorybee
RedBaron wrote:I need to share this with 90% of my editing clients.......


Feel free.

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:53 pm
by RedBaron
glorybee wrote:
RedBaron wrote:I need to share this with 90% of my editing clients.......


Feel free.


Awesome!

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:35 am
by jajjaaDenise
As a child I was full of fear and yet craved adventure. One of my greatest adventures took place when I was 6 and my father was reassigned from Hawaii to Georgia for the military. With 3 months of accumulated leave time he took our family on a tour of the west coast and midland America stopping at National Parks, the homes of distant relatives, and theme parks.

The most vivid memory was when we my parents decided to drive across the dessert at night because it was cooler, and my two brothers and I would sleep. Back then there were no gas stations or towns for miles nor was there air conditioning in cars. I got a sense that the dessert was dangerous. This peeked my curiosity. I pretended to go to sleep in the back of the station wagon. As the sun set, I sat up for a peek at my surroundings. Before me was the most beautiful rainbow of colors I have ever seen. I had no idea the sunset could be so beautiful.

I was so awed, I ask God in my heart, “God, why did you create such a beautiful sunset?”
To my surprise, God answered back, “I did it for you.”

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:03 pm
by glorybee
jajjaaDenise wrote:As a child I was full of fear and yet craved adventure. One of my greatest adventures took place when I was 6 and my father was reassigned from Hawaii to Georgia for the military. With 3 months of accumulated leave time he took our family on a tour of the west coast and midland America stopping at National Parks, the homes of distant relatives, and theme parks.

The most vivid memory was when we my parents decided to drive across the dessert at night because it was cooler, and my two brothers and I would sleep. Back then there were no gas stations or towns for miles nor was there air conditioning in cars. I got a sense that the dessert was dangerous. This peeked my curiosity. I pretended to go to sleep in the back of the station wagon. As the sun set, I sat up for a peek at my surroundings. Before me was the most beautiful rainbow of colors I have ever seen. I had no idea the sunset could be so beautiful.

I was so awed, I ask God in my heart, “God, why did you create such a beautiful sunset?”
To my surprise, God answered back, “I did it for you.”


Lovely!

Just a usage note: you wanted 'piqued' instead of 'peeked' in the second paragraph. Very common error. Also, 'dessert' with two 's's is the sweet course at the end of a meal; you want 'desert,' with one 's'.

The sentiment in your 1st person mini-bio is precious; thanks for sharing it with us.

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:48 am
by sarita2
Slightly over on word-count here, but it's close... :)

***************

105. I peered down at the scale, heart hammering in my chest.

“Five more pounds; I can do it.” I exulted in the wave of determination that swept over me. Power. “I control my body, and nobody can stop me.”

I stepped off the scale, glancing around to make sure no one was nearby. They didn’t understand. They criticized me and threatened me, but they couldn’t make me do anything.

“Let’s see, I had about 100 calories today so far…” I deftly calculated my intake for the day. I was constantly figuring, and refiguring. At school, during church sermons, on the bus, reading recipe books, while jogging on the treadmill. Adding, subtracting, calculating. Maybe this is what Paul meant by “beating his body into submission?” Because my body was…in submission to me, that is. The satisfaction was overwhelming.

And yet, paradoxically, I craved love, appreciation, attention, respect. I was “good,” I was quiet, I was plain-looking. But I would get the admiring glances now, by being the skinniest girl in the room.

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:47 pm
by glorybee
sarita2 wrote:Slightly over on word-count here, but it's close... :)

***************

105. I peered down at the scale, heart hammering in my chest.

“Five more pounds; I can do it.” I exulted in the wave of determination that swept over me. Power. “I control my body, and nobody can stop me.”

I stepped off the scale, glancing around to make sure no one was nearby. They didn’t understand. They criticized me and threatened me, but they couldn’t make me do anything.

“Let’s see, I had about 100 calories today so far…” I deftly calculated my intake for the day. I was constantly figuring, and refiguring. At school, during church sermons, on the bus, reading recipe books, while jogging on the treadmill. Adding, subtracting, calculating. Maybe this is what Paul meant by “beating his body into submission?” Because my body was…in submission to me, that is. The satisfaction was overwhelming.

And yet, paradoxically, I craved love, appreciation, attention, respect. I was “good,” I was quiet, I was plain-looking. But I would get the admiring glances now, by being the skinniest girl in the room.


This is very engaging and well written. A few minor points:

1. Be careful of quotes and italics. Unless you were actually talking to yourself, much of what you had in quotation marks should either be in italics (as thought), or just without quotation marks, as narrative.

2. While it's acceptable to use italics to stress important words or phrases, it's better to just let your words speak for themselves. I don't think they're necessary in your 3rd paragraph.

3. Scare quotes should also be avoided--if I were editing this, I'd delete them around "good."

Those tweaks are very minor, however. This is a good piece of writing.

Re: Be a Better Writer--MEMOIR AND 1ST PERSON NARRATIVE

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:50 pm
by sarita2
Thank you. So thoughts can be either italicized or simply written without any special indicators? Thank you!