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Brett Matthew West

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How To Improve A Piece Of Writing


<< Thread Modifed December 31 at 6:34AM >>

Would it bother you if a reviewer showed you how to improve or change something, perhaps going as far as to re-write something you wrote doing so? Would you consider their suggestion? Adopt it? Reject it? Be offended? Isn't that what reviewing is all about?


mrsmajor

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RE: How To Improve A Piece Of Writing

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If you're talking about prose writing, the expectations you mention make a lot of sense, and are helpful...I have a different opinion when it comes to poetry writing, that I know doesn't always apply.

In my opinion, being a writer of poetry that enjoys putting MY ideas, thoughts, and happenings down for other's to read, expect any corrections to be made where SPAG is concerned...yet I have often chosen to ignore SPAG, explaining why I have done so in the Author's notes.

I have the feeling, after having often read the work of my favorite poet..E. E. Cummings, who most certainly was an educated man, didn't always follow the usual or expected either.

While I am not at all suggesting that my work is even wildly worthy of being called a poem, where his is concerned, but I happen to enjoy the idea of ignoring SPAG, if I can get my message, idea, or thought across to the reader...without loosing that idea.

That may be wrong for you, or those that prefer perfect compliance with SPAG, and that's fine with me, but if there's even one that enjoys my writing, for what it is, I am so happy about that too.

Very often I've received corrections, and yes a great deal of encouragement during my 15 years here, and I have appreciated every word, I believe it has helped me to mature where writing my poems is concerned.

But I've also found that the changing of one word, straying away from SPAG doesn't always meet the message I might be trying to convey...I've been told words like "alas" were outdated, and shouldn't be used in modern poetry..I happen to disagree with that, yet have no problem with a writer fearing the use of any particular word.

Am I perfect, of course not, far from it, none of us are perfect. Yet with each poem I write, I continue to do what makes me happy, realizing what/how I choose to write may not satisfy everyone...perhaps very few...lol

Over these years I've tried my hand at some of the most difficult forms, following the rules, and explanations, as shown by Garret's instructional guide, and I've found his teachings to be very helpful to me, allowing me to be able to really enjoy myself with my writing ...and so not being a highly ranked poetry writer here on Fanstory, isn't that important to me, I'm pleased if just a few can enjoy reading my work.

To come to one's own way of putting their pen to paper, doesn't mean they believe their work is above correction, we all can use help, but I prefer not one word of anything I write to be changed to make a poem sound better...It would then no longer be mine.

Just Some Thoughts

nor84


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RE: How To Improve A Piece Of Writing
I'm a prose writer. If someone rewrites a sentence to show me a trick or two, GREAT! I have just learned something.

Dashjianta


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RE: How To Improve A Piece Of Writing
As a prose writer, if someone makes a suggestion/rewrite I agree with, I'll adopt it, or perhaps tweak it so it better fits my voice.

Would be a hypocrite not to given I make suggestions when reviewing. Often when I make suggestions, I do so because showing what I mean can work better than telling, rather than because I expect the writer to replace their own writing with it.

mrsmajor

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RE: How To Improve A Piece Of Writing



For those of you that do write prose, I can only wish you well, It's too difficult for some people, and I'm one of those people...There's just too much to remember to put into a story to make it worth reading...So I leave it to those that do it well, and there are many right here in Fanstory, I find Poetry so much easier to write.


rama devi

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RE: How To Improve A Piece Of Writing
I believe offering examples to illustrate points is a super effective teaching tool. Receiving such examples, especially in my first ten years of trading critiques, is something that's personally helped me to evolve in the writing craft.

That's why I take the time to pay it forward by doing the same for my clients and in reviews here.when applicable.

I believe, in most cases, the recipient of such examples knows it is not the reviewer or editor trying to change thier voice but simply offering ideas for thier muses to consider and perhaps to spark thier own new ideas.

One need not use the exact wordings...just apply the concepts being illustrated (if they resonate with your muse).

There are also instances when one is struck by a stronger verb to replace a weak verb (like WAS). Giving an example helps show how that small change can enhance a sentence, a scene, characterization, etc. The writer need not use the exact word offered...there is always a Thesaurus to consult for alternative word ideas if the one offered does not match the writer's intent precisely enough.

Personally, working with clients over long years, I get a sense of each one's unique voice and try to offer examples that maintain that person's own sense of voice and style--not to insert my own.

Some people feel that any sentence being rewritten necessarily means someone is inserting thier own voice. I disagree. It CAN be that way, of course...if the reviewer is insensitive. But it does not NEED to be that way.


2018 Poet of the Year
Gloria ....

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RE: How To Improve A Piece Of Writing
I don't mind suggestions at all and I have used many from the fine reviewers on site. Reviewing is not just as easy as it might seem particularly if one is not familiar with a form. It takes a good long time learning the reviewing ropes.

The only time I get perturbed is when the reviewer gets offended when you don't accept their suggestions which are incorrect. You thank them for their review, and then they get all offended and start calling you names.

Other than that, yes advice is great.

   





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