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From what you tell me of your preferred writing method, I do not think limited third person suits it very well. You really do need to be writing first person if you want to be mainly concentrating on your character(s) thoughts and feelings with a near total lack of description.


I disagree. A limited third-person can be pretty sparse as far as descriptions go. There's no reason Farmer Joe should be rhapsodizing about the virtues of this far-away culture, or pondering the political climate of Kingdom B. An illiterate beggar is not going to express his appreciation for a library; he's not going to describe the library in great details. A duke who loves old books, on the other hand, is going to drone on about each leather-bound book by this author or that scroll of epic poetry. Likewise, this same duke may not be noticing the finer details of shady characters in a tavern -- bulges that signify concealed weapons, regular patrons that have a tendency to start brawls, and so on and so forth, while the beggar might just pick out the pugnacious-looking people for the sake of his own survival.


One thing I would ask, Winterfox, is why you would use limited third person if you wanted to get that far into the thoughts of the characters? Wouldn't first person be better if you are trying to describe everything from the viewpoint of the character only? Isn't the best part of limited third person that it allows the author to show the reader more than the character would if they were narrating?

Just a few thoughts <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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It *is* impossible for me to write first perspective well and I am aware of that. Form the two I'd rather start writing descriptions that use "I" too much while narrating. Though I sincerely can't see any good reasons to describe every corridor, every cloak one of the main characters wears, etc. I believe that most corridors in medieval-like castles are rather alike and anyone with some imagination should handle the fact I won't tell him how this one looks if it is nothing out of ordinary.


Boginka,

Nothing is "impossible". If you already believe that to be true, then your chances of making a successful attempt at writing in 1st person will make it even harder.

I have found that the reason most writers find 1st Person difficult is twofold: 1) An inability to get into the head of their character [roleplay/act]; and 2) they don't know their character well enough.

When writing 1st person, you, the author, must disappear. You have to step aside and allow that character to emerge. Having done that, I have found getting to know that character is a learning process. It doesn't happen over night nor does it happen over the 1st or 2nd chapters. It takes at least 10,000 words of writing to get inside that character's head before you, as the author, really knows their inner workings.

This does not mean you have to know every single one of your characters right down to the last hair on their head. There will be some characters that are basic scenery for the plot. Those are the ones that you don't necessarily have to get to know through and through because they are put in that particular scene for scenery, atmosphere or even as a placeholder.

And, as far as descriptions go, I've read some brilliant stories where the scenery was barely mentioned. Everything was portrayed through dialogue, with attention given to its cadence, the character's peripheral view and general ambiance. General rule of thumb: Describe only those things that drive the plot forward. Readers already know what a phone booth looks like. They can picture in their head their own Medieval dungeon alcove. There is no need to describe each and every nuance of that booth *unless* it's vital to the plot. I say 'less is best'.

Writing is not an art where one can reach a 'level' and claim supremacy. Writing is a process that spans a lifetime. You will always encounter a new point of view. You will always be searching, honing and bettering your skills. So, be patient with yourself. If 1st person does not feel comfortable to you, give it some time. Read as many books in 1st person POV that you can get your hands on. In fact, one book just came to mind that incorporates both 1st and 3d: Grisham's "The Testament". Read the 1st chapter. It's all 1st person. The rest of the story is written in 3d. I'm not saying Grisham is my ideal author. I'm saying note the various authors styles and develop one of your own. It's a time consuming process, but the payoff is huge -- not only in your writing, but for you, as a person. You will discover new sides to yourself you never knew existed.


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />


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Excellent advice, Faralas! I think I agree with everything you wrote there <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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It *is* impossible for me to write first perspective well and I am aware of that. Form the two I'd rather start writing descriptions that use "I" too much while narrating. Though I sincerely can't see any good reasons to describe every corridor, every cloak one of the main characters wears, etc. I believe that most corridors in medieval-like castles are rather alike and anyone with some imagination should handle the fact I won't tell him how this one looks if it is nothing out of ordinary.


Faralas already answered this one far better than I ever could <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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this character is, how shall I put it, a total layman in terms of fighting and one that has a whole lot of self-esteem on top of that which might get him killed pretty easily.


Very possible, yes <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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Oh well, perhaps You've met people with a following attitude: "I am the master of the art so I'll give that ^&%$^$ extra chances to make it more fun"? The only problem is, this hero *isn't* an expert fighter...


Yeah, that can make a huge difference, I agree. If the assailant is basically a bully who is out to prove their own 'power' they may well drag it out a bit just to get their kicks. That could certainly work <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Let me summarize this description theme, to see if I, as a reader (both in general as in this tthread) understood your points - or, as Winterfox put it, whether you failed or not!? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> Which is of course not all factual, as I am making interpretations and am deducing things from your writings.

1. description for support of plot or characterization - mandatory requirement, but should be limited to the details on a "as and when needed" basis.
2. description for "ambiente" - a difficult decision between "I want the reader to see the world, as I see it" and "The reader is free to fill any gaps, that I leave for his imagination".

Mark, I am not judging any side in particular. I have read examples of both, and I can enjoy either. However, if the author leaves room for imagination, my mind will go astray, which implies the risk of differing views between author and reader, which could (though not always does) lead to irritations on the reader side.



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Winterfox...

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Point is, a lot of people try too hard to incorporate "deep" and "meaningful" themes into their stories, and think themselves clever. Confront them with a "What drug were you on when you wrote this pretentious tripe?" and they'd tell you in a roundabout way that "Your pre-Homo habilis brain cannot possibly understand the magnitude of my intellect and deep, deep philosophy!" I quite frankly think this is the case with a number of overrated, overhyped "classical" literature. And I don't care what awards they've won, be it Pulitzer, Booker or even Nobel. Some neophyte writers follow suit, and usually, the lecture/sermon/didacticism found in the writing is there to thinly cover the utter lack of actual plot or characterization. So don't look down on your readers; don't try to brush off comments and impose your delusions of granduer on dissenting opinions. Chances are that you are deluded as hell and need to wake up.


While I would say that you are generally correct, a lot of this does depend on the target audience and the actual intent of the author. Pilgrim's Progress would seem to be the best example of what I mean here, as it is basically one long allegory rather than a story as such. Bunyon didn't write it to entertain so much as to instruct, and taken in that context it is a rather fascinating insight into the mindset of Medieval Christians.

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Never write angst for the sake of angst. Don't let your character wallow in self-pity or soul-searching for pages and pages where nothing happens. Most sane, discerning people don't want to read about conversations and inner monologue that go nowhere except to give the character to revel in his/her/its depression. That seems to be the case with various teenagers, by the way, who just love telling the whole world how miserable, depressed, or "insane" they are.


I agree. I think this is also part of the wider point of always making sure that a writer's character(s) are sufficiently separate from him/herself. Too much projection of the self into a character will always wreck a story, whether by angst, over-happiness or anything else <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Let me summarize this description theme, to see if I, as a reader (both in general as in this tthread) understood your points - or, as Winterfox put it, whether you failed or not!? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> Which is of course not all factual, as I am making interpretations and am deducing things from your writings.

1. description for support of plot or characterization - mandatory requirement, but should be limited to the details on a "as and when needed" basis.
2. description for "ambiente" - a difficult decision between "I want the reader to see the world, as I see it" and "The reader is free to fill any gaps, that I leave for his imagination".

Mark, I am not judging any side in particular. I have read examples of both, and I can enjoy either. However, if the author leaves room for imagination, my mind will go astray, which implies the risk of differing views between author and reader, which could (though not always does) lead to irritations on the reader side.



I would say that was an excellent summation, yes <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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OK - I dare --- this is on the fighting theme

The following is a translation from German of a fighting post I wrote in a RPG-story several authors are writing in German. The participation in this story is my first ever writing experience. I had this written some weeks ago, obviously long before I read any of this thread or any other writing guidance - certainly somewhat naive on my part, but that's how it is. I certainly was not aware of what I was letting myself into, however there is fun in it.
I picked this one as a) it's my first (fighting) scene, and b) is understandable even though taken out of context (I think)

***
Lightfooted and silently Glance is running after the knights. Suddenly, in the corner of his eye to his left, a dark shadow. Instnctively he ducks, rolls over his right shoulder, jumps around and stands, sword drawn, with his back to a rock.

On his one side the wolf, which jumped at him, turns around towards him - on the other side two others approach him, cautiously, but with their neck hair raised and their teeth glowing.

"Wolves", he thinks, "and big ones! Even bigger than those at home!" With a smooth movement he debarrasses himself of his backpack and cloak in order to be unhindered. The two to his left jump simultaneously - one he avoids with a reflex, the second's gorge is slit with a sirring sound by his sword, but in the same moment he receives a punch in the back and falls on his nose. Teeth grind in his shoulder - a loud, breaking noise, a howl and the pressure ceases. The teeth of the third wolf have been broken upon contact with his mithril chain armor. But now the first jumps upon him again, Glance rolls around and sinks his sword in the soft belly of the wolf. He frees himself from the heavilly wounded wolf lying on him and kills him with a targeted stab in the heart. The last wolf runs away howling, his tail between his legs - and with a tooth ache.

With a deep breath Glance picks up his gear, puts it on and proceeds after the knights.
***

I concede that, had I written this in English, some of the wording might have been different, maybe even simpler - while I consider my English adequate for most purposes, I feel more at home with my mother tongue when following this new experience of writing fictional rather than factual.

Any comments?


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GlanceALot...

Beyond the odd word that is doubtless a result of mistranslation, as you say, I like this. You keep it quick and simple so that your character feels like he is fighting for his life, and it flows very naturally.

I wish my own first efforts had been half as good, honestly.


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Thanks, Elliot - which word is odd to you?


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Thanks, Elliot - which word is odd to you?


"On his one side" reads oddly, and "debarrasses" is not, so far as I know, a proper word <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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"On his one side" then is a grammatical error of mine (at his one side?, or else?)

debarrasses - ups, that's French, my fault of presuming it found its way into the English language with the Normans - it simply means "to get rid of" or "removing" (you gathered that, I assume) - I shouldn't try to be sophisticated <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shame.gif" alt="" />


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"On his one side" then is a grammatical error of mine (at his one side?, or else?)


I'd go with 'on one side' or 'on his left/right' here. Probably the latter as it aids reader visualisation.

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debarrasses - ups, that's French, my fault of presuming it found its way into the English language with the Normans - it simply means "to get rid of" or "removing" (you gathered that, I assume) - I shouldn't try to be sophisticated <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shame.gif" alt="" />


Heh. 'To try and fail is better than never to try at all' as a wise man once said <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> You have a very good grasp of written English, so one minor fault is nothing to be concerned about, believe me <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

And hey - you learned something new, which is always good <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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OK - I dare --- this is on the fighting theme

The following is a translation from German of a fighting post I wrote in a RPG-story several authors are writing in German. The participation in this story is my first ever writing experience. I had this written some weeks ago, obviously long before I read any of this thread or any other writing guidance - certainly somewhat naive on my part, but that's how it is. I certainly was not aware of what I was letting myself into, however there is fun in it.
I picked this one as a) it's my first (fighting) scene, and b) is understandable even though taken out of context (I think)

***
Lightfooted and silently Glance is running after the knights. Suddenly, in the corner of his eye to his left, a dark shadow. Instnctively he ducks, rolls over his right shoulder, jumps around and stands, sword drawn, with his back to a rock.

On his one side the wolf, which jumped at him, turns around towards him - on the other side two others approach him, cautiously, but with their neck hair raised and their teeth glowing.

"Wolves", he thinks, "and big ones! Even bigger than those at home!" With a smooth movement he debarrasses himself of his backpack and cloak in order to be unhindered. The two to his left jump simultaneously - one he avoids with a reflex, the second's gorge is slit with a sirring sound by his sword, but in the same moment he receives a punch in the back and falls on his nose. Teeth grind in his shoulder - a loud, breaking noise, a howl and the pressure ceases. The teeth of the third wolf have been broken upon contact with his mithril chain armor. But now the first jumps upon him again, Glance rolls around and sinks his sword in the soft belly of the wolf. He frees himself from the heavilly wounded wolf lying on him and kills him with a targeted stab in the heart. The last wolf runs away howling, his tail between his legs - and with a tooth ache.

With a deep breath Glance picks up his gear, puts it on and proceeds after the knights.
***

I concede that, had I written this in English, some of the wording might have been different, maybe even simpler - while I consider my English adequate for most purposes, I feel more at home with my mother tongue when following this new experience of writing fictional rather than factual.

Any comments?


Hi Glance! Great to have you here. Also, thanks for posting your fight scene. I will attempt to give you my comments so that you may take something away that might help you tighten up your prose. Then again, I may fail. In any event, here are some of my thoughts. Take them as you will. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/delight.gif" alt="" />

Before I begin, just want to make a side note. I am, admitedly, ashamed that English is the only language I'm fluent in. The ability to write in another language and do so as well as you did with your first attempt, humbles me. So, with that said, here is my line-by-line critique: [my notes are in orange]

"Lightfooted and silently Glance is running after the knights. [color:"orange"] The phrase "Glance is running after the knights, silently and lightfooted" gives the reader information at its most basic. And because it's basic information, a lot of questions linger in my mind: Is Glance 'following' the knights because they are guiding him to safety? Is Glance running after them in chase? Is Glance tracking them? Is the fact that Glance 'is running after the knights' important information required in this scene? Also, consider this: the words 'running after' means many different things especially when employed with the adjectives/adverbs 'lightfooted' and 'silently'. If he is tracking them, you might want to use another adjective to describe 'silent and lightfooted,' i.e., 'stealth' implies one is lightfooted and silent (just a consideration). [/color]

Suddenly, in the corner of his eye to his left, a dark shadow. [color:"orange"] This previous sentence is incomplete and inaccurate (if you are stating he 'saw' something out of his left eye, then do so). Otherwise, you are literally saying there 'is a dark shadow in the corner of his left eye'. Taking into consideration that English is not your native tongue, I understand what you're reaching for, but you haven't quite hit the mark. Perhaps you might consider the following: "Suddenly, he saw a dark shadow from the corner of his left eye." [/color] Instnctively he ducks, rolls over his right shoulder, jumps around and stands, sword drawn, with his back to a rock. [color:"orange"] There is too much action in this previous sentence. It might read better if it were broken down, in shorter, sticatto-like phrases/sentences. Keeping them short, gives the feeling that the action is quick/fast. Also, the phrase 'he jumps around' brings many images into my head. Is he jumping around 'like an idiot' or did he jump and 'turn' around [fast enough to see the oncoming danger]. [/color]

On his one side the wolf, which jumped at him, turns around towards him - on the other side two others approach him, cautiously, but with their neck hair raised and their teeth glowing. [color:"orange"] This paragraph is also confusing, however, I sense that you wrote it from the 'video tape' that was rolling in your mind's eye at the time. The phrase, "On his one side," needs expansion: which side? Left? Right? Front? If it's not important from which side the wolf attacks, then don't refer to it. Also, keep in mind most wolves who [stand ready to] attack have 'raised hair' but they don't have 'glowing teeth'. LOL If the teeth were truly glowing is it because the wolves are a special mutation? Are they alien wolves? Is the fact that their teeth 'glow' essential to the scene or plot? These are things that you, as the writer, need to consider. If these descriptive phrases are in here to show that wolves are fearsome creatures, then I don't think the phrase is necessary, since they are getting ready to attack Glance. Or are the phrases in there to tell the reader what Glance is visually looking at? If this is their purpose, then why did Glance only notice their teeth and hair? What about his other senses? Toss in the smells that are around him, were they [the wolves] drooling or frothing at the mouth? What sounds were they making? Low, gutteral growls, or whelping? I think you get my point. Your choice of words in an action scene is crucial to setting the tension and suspense. Also, it's more than implied that the wolf who is attacking him is the same one from the previous paragraph. If you want to introduce 2 new wolves, then do so in seperate sentences. [/color]

"Wolves", he thinks, "and big ones! Even bigger than those at home!" With a smooth movement he debarrasses himself of his backpack and cloak in order to be unhindered. [color:"orange"] By the way, 'debarrasses' means 'to relieve' [oneself]. This might not be the best word. I know what you're trying to say, but debarrass is not a word that's used in everyday language (which, the rest of this scene is written in). And since he's removing his backpack and cloak, in the middle of a wolf attack, it's pretty much implied he's doing so, 'to be unhindered'. [/color] The two to his left jump simultaneously - one he avoids with a reflex, [color:"orange"] a reflex[ive] what? Did he deflect the wolf with an arm reflex? His head? A nearby tree branch? His sword? The sword should be included in this part of the sentence, not the next.[/color] the second's gorge is slit with a sirring sound by his sword, [color:"orange"] I apologize, but I did not follow this part at all and I can't relate to a 'sirring sound' [/color] but in the same moment he receives a punch in the back and falls on his nose. [color:"orange"] Does he 'receive' a punch? Is that the word you're reaching for? Or was he simply 'punched'? Can wolves punch? [/color] Teeth grind in his shoulder - a loud, breaking noise,[color:"orange"] ('a loud breaking noise' - could that 'loud noise' be a 'crunch'?) The ability to draw your reader into the scene must be done with using proper or exact words. 'Teeth grinding in his shoulders, should probably be the 'He felt (or 'feels' since you're writing in present tense) the wolf's teeth sink into his shoulder, piercing his skin... (or something like that). Teeth don't 'grind' in a shoulder. They grind in one's mouth. [/color] a howl and the pressure ceases. [color:"orange"] who howled? the wolf or Glance? [/color] The teeth of the third wolf have been broken upon contact with his mithril chain armor. [color:"orange"] How does Glance "know" the third wolf broke its teeth? Does Glance "see" bits of teeth fly through the air" or does he "hear" them break? I know exactly what the author is trying to say, but the necessary verbs and adjectives are missing. [/color] But now [color:"orange"] Note: there was never a 'then' since this scene is written all in present tense. I'll comment on that in a minute <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> [/color] the first jumps upon him again, [color:"orange"] where was the first during this whole fracas? Introducing a previous character takes a bit more finesse. Btw, in an action scene, the words 'upon' are archaic. The word 'on' is enough. [/color] Glance rolls around [color:"orange"] I already pointed out the problem with using the word 'around' -- it's inexact unless he literally is 'rolling around and around and around' <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> [/color] and sinks [color:"orange"] how about 'plunges'? [/color] his sword in the soft belly of the wolf. [color:"orange"] Here is some nice imagery: 'in the soft belly of the wolf.' Excellent job! [/color] He frees himself from the heavilly wounded wolf lying on him and kills him with a targeted stab in the heart. [color:"orange"]Oooh! Nice tight phrase: "a targeted stab in the heart." I like that too! [/color] The last wolf runs away howling, his tail between his legs - and with a tooth ache. [color:"orange"] Okay, these last two sentences are the best of this whole scene, (in my humble opinion), but you lost me with "and with a tooth ache." And here's why: This is written in what is called 3rd person point of view (present tense), therefore, Glance can have only knowledge of himself. He cannot feel what the wolf is feeling. The author certainly knows the wolf has a tooth that hurts, but there is no way that Glance can know the feelings, sensations, thoughts of another character. That's what we call 'head jumping' (in writer's terms). [/color]

With a deep breath Glance picks up his gear, puts it on and proceeds after the knights. [color:"orange"] Glance does not pick up his gear with a deep breath - that's a physical impossibility! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> He would probably pick it up with a blood-soaked arm. You might say: "He lets out a deep breath (sigh of relief?) (or sighs heavily?), picks up his gear and continues to (follow) (track) or (give chase toward) the knights. To simply say he 'proceeds after' the knights is another blunder (in this case). It's called using the 'passive voice'. Which, is not encouraged in this type of scene.[/color]
***

Regarding writing in present tense:

It's not only hard on the reader, but harder on the writer. Action scenes written in 3rd person, present tense are not easy to pull off even for a seasoned writer. When I first began writing, I wrote everything in present tense. For some reason, it felt natural. However, I found myself writing my characters and almost every scene into corners. I simply did not understand the different points of views and tenses that writers can choose from.

I have a book that I've kept by my side for many years: "Characters and Viewpoint," Orson Scott Card - I highly recommend it for beginning writers. It's written in laymens terms by a noted and respected sci-fi author. And without having any knowledge of the skills involved in the craft of writing, Card's book made an enormous impact on the way I approach each and every scene. I don't know if there is a copy in German. Kiya would be the person you might want to ask. If you can't find it in your local library, I'm sure (if there is a German version), you can find one reasonably priced at Amazon.

Also, there are far more knowledgeable people on this board who can better explain the pitfalls of writing in present tense. Especially scenes involving combat. I admit, I'm lousy when it comes to writing in present tense and only do so for short periods of time (when necessary to the plot).


***** end of critique (Yay - finally!) <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

I hacked this up pretty good, Glance. Don't take this critique as gospel. It's merely my personal observations as a writer and reader. And because I made many comments doesn't imply you're not a good writer. You are. It's just important to know a few of the 'rules' (hate that word, btw) of writing if you want your prose to be clear for your readers AND stand apart from the other writers. If you are interested in learning more about writing, I'd be happy to give you a hand, Glance. I see promise in your work. And you picked one of the hardest scenes to write (let alone in a language foreign to your native tongue!). So, do you feel like rewriting this and resubmitting? LOL If you do, I'd be happy to read it through a PM if you're not ready to repost it here.

I hope these comments help you and do not hinder. That's not why I posted them. Thanks for this opportunity, Glance. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />



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Faralas...

I think I am going to have to disagree with you at least a little here. Too much description can kill a fight scene stone dead, especially when written from the POV of the main protagonist. A good fight scene needs a sense of rapidity far more than it needs accurate descriptions. It is also necessary to capture the protagonist's 'voice' in these scenes, which does not always make for perfect English, regardless of the talent (Or otherwise) of the writer.

Also, GlanceALot states this is PART of a story, not the whole of it, so the lead in and lead out sentences don't have to make enormous sense, as they probably work far better in the context of the whole piece.

Lastly, if something bites down hard on mithril armour, some tooth damage is quite reasonable speculation on the part of the protagonist. None of us think in facts all the time, after all <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Ah, differences of opinion! Don't ya love 'em? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


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Faralas...

I think I am going to have to disagree with you at least a little here. Too much description can kill a fight scene stone dead, especially when written from the POV of the main protagonist. A good fight scene needs a sense of rapidity far more than it needs accurate descriptions. It is also necessary to capture the protagonist's 'voice' in these scenes, which does not always make for perfect English, regardless of the talent (Or otherwise) of the writer.


I don't think I said that action scenes require a LOT of descriptive words. In fact, I was hoping to say that if you need to use them, be prudent. Choose wisely. Less is best and use short sentences.

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Also, GlanceALot states this is PART of a story, not the whole of it, so the lead in and lead out sentences don't have to make enormous sense, as they probably work far better in the context of the whole piece.


Point taken. I already was aware of that fact. But wasn't sure if the knights were absolutely necessary. I told him to disregard anything that didn't work for him - not you - him.

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Lastly, if something bites down hard on mithril armour, some tooth damage is quite reasonable speculation on the part of the protagonist. None of us think in facts all the time, after all <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


I'm not stupid, Elliot. I know that teeth can break when biting down on armor. It might pay you to re-read exactly what I wrote.

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Ah, differences of opinion! Don't ya love 'em? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


In this case, no. You've misread what took me nearly half an afternoon to dissect. I have no problems with editing someone else's work when it is asked. I do have problems with others who chime in on another person's critique. I was simply offering my professional opinion.


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Thanks Elliot and Faralas - no need to console me, I am not easily offended, and certainly not by factual voicing of opinions on a topic where I specifically asked for advice. If I wasn't unsure of myself, I wouldn't have asked. And if I didn't enjoy this new experience of writing I wouldn't seek ways of improving.

on tense - it wasn't my choice, but a rule set in the story before I joined it - had I had my own choice, I would certainly not have picked present tense.

A lot of what you comment Faralas is choice of words in English, for which I am thankful, as it expands my vocabulary (no, that is not the whole truth - I should say "my active vocabulary", as the words as such I knew - mostly). I can assure you, that quite a number is as you advised in the German original.

This is not true for the grammatical style - there the translation is close to the original. Where there are incomplete sentences, there are so in German, and your comments are as true in German.

On the basic understanding (e.g. "following the knights"), this, of course is cited out of context, which would have explained some of your (otherwise valid) comments.

I will not take your comments apart in detail, I can differentiate for myself, which is English lessson (Thanks), which is translation loss (as I said, had I written this in English, though more difficult for me, it would have been different) and which is a valid point in the art of narrating a story. Thanks by the way for the book recommendation - I feel confident, that I can get a lot out of it from reading it in English, if no German copy can be found. (My speaking is not different from my writing, except for a German/American accent - as my English colleagues say "I am a bloody foreigner trained by f****ing colonists" - I learned English by Americans mostly and did some of my professional training in the USA <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />)

And thanks for your offer of reviewing any stuff I may write - I will smoke a pipe while pondering this question. But definitely, I will not translate anything I wrote (or will write in German). I have realised that writing, while certainly envolving work, has the charm of creativity - translation is pure work for me.
But I could be tempted to try and write in English - if somebody with a better vocabulary reviews it.


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Thanks Elliot and Faralas - no need to console me, I am not easily offended, and certainly not by factual voicing of opinions on a topic where I specifically asked for advice. If I wasn't unsure of myself, I wouldn't have asked. And if I didn't enjoy this new experience of writing I wouldn't seek ways of improving.


I'm really glad you took the plunge and posted, Glance. It's not an easy undertaking and when I posted my very first story on a writer's board (6 years ago), I was quite apprehensive, but it turned out for the best.


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on tense - it wasn't my choice, but a rule set in the story before I joined it - had I had my own choice, I would certainly not have picked present tense.


You know, Glance - as I read this scene, I was particularly struck that you were able to stay in present tense through the whole scene. I mean, most writers new to the craft jump from tense to tense. And your ability to stay in the present was remarkable! If I didn't express this enough the first time, allow me to do it again: I marvel at other's ability to speak more than one language and also even more, to write in one. You did an excellent job.

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A lot of what you comment Faralas is choice of words in English, for which I am thankful, as it expands my vocabulary (no, that is not the whole truth - I should say "my active vocabulary", as the words as such I knew - mostly). I can assure you, that quite a number is as you advised in the German original.


Writing English and speaking it are two different things. Many English speaking people are lousy English writers! LOL I only wish I knew enough German to read it fluently. Unfortunately, I'm limited to smatterings of Dutch and Spanish.


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I will not take your comments apart in detail, I can differentiate for myself, which is English lessson (Thanks), which is translation loss (as I said, had I written this in English, though more difficult for me, it would have been different) and which is a valid point in the art of narrating a story. Thanks by the way for the book recommendation - I feel confident, that I can get a lot out of it from reading it in English, if no German copy can be found. (My speaking is not different from my writing, except for a German/American accent - as my English colleagues say "I am a bloody foreigner trained by f****ing colonists" - I learned English by Americans mostly and did some of my professional training in the USA <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />)

And thanks for your offer of reviewing any stuff I may write - I will smoke a pipe while pondering this question. But definitely, I will not translate anything I wrote (or will write in German). I have realised that writing, while certainly envolving work, has the charm of creativity - translation is pure work for me.
But I could be tempted to try and write in English - if somebody with a better vocabulary reviews it.


My only concern is that my comments will stop you from writing or posting English translations of your work. As I've stated, I give a lot of credit to people who want to translate their stories into another language. I completely understand that it must be difficult work and the creativity is lost in the process. I'm sure that's frustrating. In all fairness, were I to translate one of my stories from English to German, I dare say I'd do anything near as well as the scene you posted here.

Glad you found some of my comments helpful. That's always a plus for me. I love writing, reading and everything about both. If you ever need any help in searching for English phrases or words, do not give a moment's hesitation to contacting me. I'm only a PM away. Thanks, Glance!


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Faralas...

I apologise for any insult you may have taken from my words. I certainly know you are not stupid, as I hope you are aware. I may have misinterpreted what you meant, but in no way did I mean to insult or impugn you.

I meant only to offer a different view as a point of interest.


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Oh, Elliot! Come here, you big lug *head noogie* I'm over it. I spent hours pouring over every word of that critique. I post it, go to do one other thing, come back to my computer and note that you were able to read it and respond in less than two minutes' time. LOL That's what got my goat (another expression, I'm not quite sure what it means, exactly). Anyway, water under the bridge, buddy. Thanks for your note. I appreciate it. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />



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