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Could anyone give me some feedback on my writing?
14

Coffeeandroses · 17/05/2020 16:22

I’m not a professional writer , I enjoy creative writing as a hobby , I’ve wrote a passage in the style of a diary entry and welcome and would appreciate any feed back on it

Passage: (Ellie)

I’ve always loved fashion. I love wearing hip trendy clothes. I love seeing fashion , beautiful men and women in all different shapes and sizes sporting unique quirky garments down the runway. I love being apart of fashion, it’s where I feel my passion and love for it ignites.
From a very young age it’s always been one of my ultimate lifetime goals to go to the London fashion week and watch the elegant sophisticated models strut down the catwalk aloof ,sleek and very chic.My heart would ache With adoration to be apart of such a life changing event.
I told Ma how I wanted to one day attend the London fashion week event One evening as I was helping her sort through Milo’s laundry, she let out a laugh and shook her head I like had told her a funny humorous joke like I was some sort of comedian performing my own stand up comedy act.

My ma is a carer and what she does for a living is far from the glamorous. I know we are a million miles away how I envision the future but I wish she would at least would be a bit more enthusiastic on my behalf , unlike other seventeen year olds who craved going to parties , boys and alcohol I was very much the opposite I didn’t want to party or get close to boys who thought smoking and playing video games was the idea of cool.I wanted to be passionate about what I loved which was definitely fashion.
But my dear ma has it hard being a single parent raising me , Kory , Leah and Milo in addition to being a care worker. Maybe it was understandable why she didn’t envision things as vividly as I do maybe it was hard to see the light when you had been shackled and captivated in the dark for so long. My ma can’t change her life but maybe I still could despite the likely hard ship and difficult path I would likely have to walk to achieve my ultimate career goal of becoming a fashion designer. But it would be so worth it in the end. Sometimes the thing you want in life is the most difficult to achieve..But I can do this. I tell myself it every day ,I feel it to the core of my bones, rushing through my blood , it’s the only thing which makes me feel really and truly alive. I have to do this. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted.

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QuiteSad · 17/05/2020 17:40

I started reading this and my first thought was "I don't want to be harsh as she sounds very young" and then I saw that you were writing as a seventeen year old - phew!

I wouldn't be able to read a whole book written like this but you have definitely pulled it off and it is very believable as the diary entry of a teenager who has a had a traumatic childhood. It's hard to say more about your writing style without seeing something more as it is quite hard to tell here whether you are writing in a somewhat "immature" way as a choice or because that is how you write.

If I was going to give one very small bit of actual advice I would tell you to rework this sentence "I love being apart of fashion, it’s where I feel my passion and love for it ignites." as it doesn't quite make sense (to me at least).

Good luck though and keep going!

(Also - just a quick disclaimer, I have no idea what I am talking about. I am not a professional and should not be taken seriously.)

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Frangible · 18/05/2020 07:59

The diary entry mode here doesn’t really work for me, because it involves far too much generalising and telling rather than showing. I think that if Ellie wants to be a designer, she should be focusing more on the clothes (rather than the models — I assumed for quite a while it was modelling that interested her), and perhaps having a conversation over the laundry with her mother about what Ellie is wearing (something she made herself? Does she sew?). She needs to show more knowledge of designer names and looks — where does she get this from? At 17, does she have a plan other than attending LFW? Does her mother want her to go to university while Ellie wants to do a fashion course? Do you want the reader to think this is a temporary pipe dream or something she’s deeply serious about?

I think that more specifics and less vagueness about ‘passion’ will help make this more vivid.

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Coffeeandroses · 18/05/2020 20:34

@QuiteSad : thanks for your feedback and I think your right about what you said about ignites , if I were to re write this again I wouldn’t use that word to describe Ellie’s love for fashion and I never thought about my writing style but will definitely do some research on how I want to develop my writing style in the future many thanks x

@Frangible thanks for your feedback I’ll definitely take your points on Board however the reason why it’s written in a diary way is because it’s meant to be written by a seventeen year old girl and usually teenagers don’t always write in specific detail and a mature kind of way ,in comparison to if a grown adult would be writing it , the writing style is written in a way other young teen agers Reading this would be able to relate to it more , I feel if I were to write in a more mature way it may seem to feel like it was written by an adult rather then a teen but I think your right about making it more specific and less vague in order to make it more vivid as you say and really captivate a reader

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Pelleas · 18/05/2020 20:41

One thing that stands out is that you keep doubling-up on your adjectives - 'hip trendy clothes' 'unique quirky garments' 'ultimate lifetime goals'. This actually has the effect of lessening their impact because you're diluting the image you want to conjure - so I would suggest choosing the adjective that most clearly expresses what you want to convey, and using that on its own. That will give your narrator a stronger voice.

Good luck with your writing!

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themental · 18/05/2020 21:02

I'm not sure I agree with you on your reply to frangible. I think you need to focus on having a more mature writing style, and the immature and relatability would come from the views and opinions.

It's like... Jacqueline Wilson for example. She writes books for nine year olds, with nine year old voices, but she doesn't write them using the standard of english a typical nine year old would have.

But I don't know, maybe I'm just misunderstanding the point of the writing and what you're aiming to achieve with the piece.

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Frangible · 18/05/2020 22:28

Yes, what @themental said. Absolutely, you’re trying to convey a teenage voice in its excitement and immaturity, but you can’t write the way a real teenager would in her private diary, or you’ll lose readers — the same way as no novelist writing dialogue could use a transcript of a real conversation, all ums and errs and repetitions etc.

Look at the sophisticated effects Emma Donoghue manages in Room, which is aimed at an adult readership and deals with kidnap, captivity and rape, but is written from the point of view of a five year old boy.

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NCParanoia · 18/05/2020 22:55

Sorry to be critical but I disagree with you. As someone young(ish) this reads as someone old trying to write young. Diary entry format is difficult because rarely would you write as ellie has here, in sweeping statements about her desires and her mums life story. It would be more interesting to divulge the informstion slowly.

The multiple adjectives are clunky. The passage about her ma laughing was over described imo. As the reader you understand the ma is laughing at Ellies seemingly impossible aspirations just by saying 'ma let out a laugh' without the whole bit about being humorously funny like a hilarious comedian at a stand up comedy night.

I guess in brief: strip it way back. And maybe write closer to your age because even I would struggle to write realistcally like a modern day 17yo!

Also the tense seemed to skip around. One moment we were present tense then past tense.

Disclaimer: not a professional editor in any sense, just someone who has to read a lot of text for their job!

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tenlittlecygnets · 18/05/2020 23:07

Which authors do you like? You write as if you haven't read much fiction, and what I advise all my authors to do is read, read, read - as widely as they can and in as many genres as they can. That will install in you a knowledge of language, and what works and what doesn't work.

I agree with the others about overwriting - it's fine to let your reader work things out for themselves. You don't need two adjectives to describe things.

Also, a lot of the info in your diary entry Ellie already knows, so why would she write about it in her diary? She knows her mum's a carer, etc.

Is this a way of getting info across to the reader? If so, how else could you do this?

(I'm an editor. I work with a lot of indie authors.)

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VodselForDinner · 19/05/2020 00:40

Keep writing and working with different styles, OP.

To be honest, I don’t think this diary style really works. Most people write a diary in a very straightforward style that doesn’t go in to much detail such as their mother’s job, names of siblings etc. Diaries are written for private use, and the diarist already knows their mother’s job and siblings’ names.

Also, pick a tense and stay with it. Play around to see which suits you best, but don’t hop between present and past tense. I notice on your introduction you say “I’ve wrote” so maybe grammar isn’t your strongest skill, so try to simplify it where you can.

Try writing in your own voice for a while. To me, your piece comes across a bit like you’re trying too hard and added in as many words and synonyms as you could, making it feel clunky in parts, and not making sense in others.

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Coffeeandroses · 19/05/2020 07:57

Thank you all so much for your feedback I really appreciate it alot and have wrote down some key points of all of your feedback in order to be able to improve my writing in the future.

I haven’t been reading much recently but definitely have realised I need to start reading more in order to be able to refine my own writing style when doing creative writing and make it flow more natural and to make it more believable for someone who would be reading it @VodselForDinner your right grammar definitely isn’t my strongest skill it’s something I often don’t always think to check over but will definitely try remember my grammar a lot more when I write in the future!

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Wolfgirrl · 19/05/2020 08:03

Hmmm.

I agree with PP about too many adjectives. Some of the sentences are far too long, it needs to be a little punchier IMO. You could probably condense all of the above into half the words.

I also agree that it reads as an older person writing as a younger person. It reads a bit like a Call the Midwife voice over but in the present tense which is confusing.

However your style of writing is quite endearing, I would just suggest you find a topic you feel more comfortable writing about (something within your own life timeline) and go from there.

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tenlittlecygnets · 19/05/2020 08:47

@coffeeandroses - I've edited your passage as I would if you were one of my authors. Take a look at the difference between it and your original... see what you think.

I’ve always loved fashion. I love clothes. I've always wanted to go to London Fashion Week and watch models strut down the catwalk, aloof, sleek and chic. God, I'd love to be part of that.

This week, when I was helping her sort through Milo’s laundry, I told Ma that I wanted to go to London Fashion Week one day. She just laughed and shook her head.

What does she know? She's a carer. What she does for a living is far from glamorous. I wish she'd be more enthusiastic about my dreams. Why can't I achieve them? At least I'm not out going to to parties, drinking and snogging boys... I want to be involved with that I love: fashion. How would it feel to have a model walk down the runway wearing something I'd designed? I'd combust with excitement.

But I suppose Ma's just busy surviving from day to day... She can’t change her life but maybe I still can. I know it's going to take hard work, but I really want to become a fashion designer. It would be so worth it. I can do this, I tell myself every day. I feel it to my bones, rushing through my blood. Drawing and designing clothes is the only thing that makes me feel truly alive. I have to do this. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted.

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tenlittlecygnets · 19/05/2020 11:26

Oops, just seen a couple of typos. Ignore those!

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CaraDune · 26/05/2020 18:08

One thing that strikes me (I've had similar problems with "voice" in the past) is that this is a technical issues.

You need to separate out two issues:

  1. What sort of stuff is my character interested in, and how would they talk about it?
  2. What do I want to convey to my readers about the character?

    It reads to me as if you've written this with (2) at the front of your mind, and it shows. Try turning it round, and think about (1), then try to slip in a few asides (staying in the character's voice - play around with writing this until you've got the sound of her voice in your head). And remember all the technical tips about writing "unreliable narrators".
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