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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I want your FeedBack; Be honest, Not brutal...

I want/need your feedback.  Many or most of you know (or maybe don't, not like my life is the center of the circle of your daily lives, LOL) that I signed up and enrolled to take a writing course in writing for children.  Lis had previously enrolled and was enjoying working through it as had a friend of her's prior.

So, doing all things that I think are a way of bettering myself, challenging myself, and improving my skills so that I may one day be published on a regular basis and making my Hubby the pride of Farmville by my income and notariety (Ha ha), and following Lis's start dust -- I enrolled with great enthusiasm.

My first two assignments have been fairly easy and when I received my feedback from my instructor I found myself a little 'aingst' (is that the right word)?  I love a thesaurus because my vocabulary seems to have dwindled that past eight years (minus the last two) as my ability to spell (I was formerly a superb speller, now I am constantly hitting spell check, what the Spell?) and,  I also have a tendency to write exorbitantly long run-on sentences and abuse both the comma and the apostrophe.  (The legal field has that affect on one after 10 - 12 years).

But, that is not what this post is about.  I'm going to share an exercise I did in preparation for Assignment #3.  I will share with you the before that is dull and drab and PROVIDED by the LITERATURE of my course study manual.

I will then provide the FIRST, and rough draft, of my writing the same story/scene and you all give me feedback via comments.  I'm serious here.  If I'm treading water or drowning, please tell me and I'll work harder have a temper tantrum and drown myself in three Shiner Bocks then, I will (if I still feel so motivated) tweak my first draft and post an 'improved' version and then y'all can tell me if I have a lick of sense or talent am able to improve and/or make something readable become 'visual' in the reader's mind.

Okay, so here we go.

The example we are given to make more visual:

She sat down by a big old tree.  It was at the edge of a field.  The light was bright after the dark woods.  She watched the grass move as the wind went by.  In the sky, clouds were coming up from the west.  They were moving very fast.  Pretty soon they began to cover the sun.  She saw some lightening and hear some thunder.  Now the wind was blowing hard, and the grass was really bending.  She felt a drop of rain.  Before long, a lot of rain was falling, and the thunder and lightening increased.  She went back into the woods.  The trees there would protect her from the falling rain.


Now my version:

She noticed how hard the ground was beneath her feet and how the soil cracked across the field as she took shelter from the blazing heat of the sun, under an old, large Mesquite tree.  To the West, she noticed the sky was hues of gray, black and dark blue with the density of denim.

As she watched on, a trickle of sweat ran down the side of her neck and was absorbed in the cotton fibers of the tank she was wearing.  The clouds were moving towards that old Mesquite tree quite quickly.  She could see the dirt and soil in a distant field as it began to whip and blow across the empty plains and fields.  Like a fog of smoke, she thought to herself.

Suddenly, a splinter of light flashed behind the clouds, bright and blindingly.  And then as she heard a boom as the sky cracked with a loud clatter and a bolt of lightening struck the ground.

Finally, the rain this part of the earth was so thirsting for, was coming.  As the clouds of the storm blew closer she rose against the trunk of the mesquite, scratching her back against the dry bark of its trunk on her way up.  That's going to smart tomorrow, she thought.

Realizing the violence of this storm, she turned to make her way to the barn for shelter.  Though withered and old, it would provide safety in the torrent of this storm.  As she began trodding across the field East towards the old barn, she felt little drops of rain pelting at her hair and her face.  The drops became larger and more intense as she began leaping faster towards dry safety.  The wind was pushing at her back, as if to rush her out of its way.

The drops became so large and heavy as they came down with more and more intense force, that they began to sting as the licked the back of her arms and legs.  And, just as she reached the protection of the barn, the storm came fully alive and it let it's anger be known by it's lightening and thunder.


Okay, so.... What do'ya'think?  Do I have a lick of a chance?

Thanks y'all!  Happy Hump-Day!  Hump-Diggty!  (You gotta' have the diggity in it.) ;-)



Melissa said...

I will tell you it's not bad, especially for writing it in a couple of minutes off the top of your head with no edits. However, I see areas that you could streamline to make the passage easier to read and more dramatic.

You're on the right track! Don't get all angsty yet. ;-)

Kristi Faith said...

I think you have a talent and you'll go far in your writing classes. Before drowning in beer, remember that writing is an ever-improving art. We get better and learn more with each passage. :0)

Farmer*swife a/k/a Glass_Half_Full said...

Lis and Kristi, thanks. Both for the realization that Oh, that could have been so much better on the first try and the faith to go back and say, "Hey, I can totally do something with that little brain storm."

I'll totally work it up and repost...along side of working on my REAL assignment. Ya'll are leagues above me.

Stuff could always be worse said...

I do think you write very well, I am not a writer to tell you....I do want to make my blog into a keepsake book for my kids, but I am no writer.

Debbie Yost said...

I have to agree with Lis. It's not bad for the first draft written quickly. In areas it doesn't flow really well. It still seems a little sterile and cold. Kind of the "just the facts" from all that legal writing. Believe me, I can sympathize with you there! But in other areas you get into a good description where you are painting a picture with your woods, like "a trickle of sweat ran down the side of her neck and was absorbed in the cotton fibers ..."

It's hard to not put my own twist on this! One time I wrote a post similar to this. When I did it, I envisioned myself there. I closed my eyes thinking of all the senses and feelings I would have if I was really there. You might try that, if you didn't already.

I hope that helps. You are certainly on the right track.

Melissa said...

I'll post my completed assignment on my blog today so you can see how I did mine . . .