Theater Masks

Theater Masks

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Having someone else read for you

I sent "Delicious" to my friend Jessica to read over. (So glad we met her!). Anyway, she had some good tips for my story, two in particular I want to talk about here.

The first is her comments on my parentheses use. I apparently use a lot of them. I don't know WHY I do it, but I do. I need to start moving away from them because I know that more often than not they're distracting. Somewhere along the way I picked up the habit of using them - I think because it adds a certain style to the story. Still, I see her point, especially in a third person narrative.

Her other comment was that I didn't describe the locations enough. This goes along with my previous post about character description- how much is too much, how much is not enough? I tend to be even vaguer on setting than on character description for two reasons: 1)I'm not that interested in reading setting when I read books, and 2)I try to focus on the story at hand, and always feel that unless the setting is organic it's distracting. Still, if readers want it, then I should give it, right? I'll have to work on that balance.

I suppose I just have to tell my students that I'm always working on my writing just like they are!

On a side note, Kanye West at the VMAs REALLY got my anger up. I think it's part of the whole entitlement feeling that is sweeping over the nation. At least it did make me happy to see the way the crowd and post-morning blogosphere rallied around Swift.


  1. It's very rare to see parenthesis used in a published novel. Something to keep in mind. And get a grammar book out and review the rules for usage. ;)

    I read somewhere that the magic number of elements to describe in a setting is three. If you're in a room describe three things in the room and that is enough for people to get a sense of the room. Same goes with characters. Describe three most distinctive elements of the character and save the rest for another passage.