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Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Caleb Cheong
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Caleb Cheong » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:49 pm

Hi Jan!


Thank you very much for your helpful input!




Regards

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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Caleb Cheong » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:49 am

Hi Jan!

Is sound bite writing related to tight writing? What are the characteristics of sound bites? Is sentence length an important criterion here?


Thank you

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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:40 pm

Caleb Cheong wrote:Hi Jan!

Is sound bite writing related to tight writing? What are the characteristics of sound bites? Is sentence length an important criterion here?


Thank you


Caleb, this is something I don't know anything about. If someone else would like to tackle this question, I don't object; otherwise, I'll research it when I get home from my vacation (Thursday)
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Walkerbunch » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:42 am

Thanks Jan and Shann,
I'm still so new to this site that I forgot my way to the forum, and was happily surprised to find your replies tonight, 6 pages in!
Thanks for those tips. I spotted the adverbs and yes, it was laid on a bit thick. :D
I mainly do my FW exploration and writing from my bed on an iPad, which doesn't have italics. I had an idea that I'd read somewhere that italics were discouraged, along with underlining, bold, different fonts etc., so that the writing itself could do the speaking. I noticed that on Challenge entries, italics are not possible. Perhaps this is just a feature exclusive to the Challenge? Anyway, "formatting" writing is quite new to me, so I'm interested to know about it.
I'm just off to follow that link, thanks Shann.
I so appreciate your responses, and the fact that you seem to check every day!

Love Ruth

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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:51 am

Walkerbunch wrote:I had an idea that I'd read somewhere that italics were discouraged, along with underlining, bold, different fonts etc., so that the writing itself could do the speaking. I noticed that on Challenge entries, italics are not possible. Perhaps this is just a feature exclusive to the Challenge?


You're right that extensive use of formatting (like bold, underline, etc.) isn't encouraged for the Writing Challenge, but it's possible to italicize, and that's not discouraged. You have to use HTML formatting which seems difficult at first, but isn't really that bad once you're used to it.

If I want to italicize the word 'love' in the following sentence...

I really love going to Florida.

...I'd type it like this:

I really <i>love</i> going to Florida.

...and it would show up like this in the Challenge:

I really love going to Florida.

Be sure to preview before you hit 'submit,' because if you type any of the characters wrong, the italics won't work.
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Athayde » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:27 pm

Hi, Jan! After some shortcuts, I'm back :D

Here is my attempt on this one. I tightened it to 76 words, but I'm not sure if it worked:

Doreen stuck to her book while the train clacked through the stations. She shouldered the window and moved her thigh from the big man sitting at her side. This man is too close to me...

Before Doreen stopping, the train screeched and halted in a tunnel. Doreen looked at the man, and at the only flickering light overhead. Panicked, she couldn't breathe and chocked.

"Are you alright, Ma'am? Eased the man. Please, hold my hand.

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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:27 am

Athayde wrote:Hi, Jan! After some shortcuts, I'm back :D

Here is my attempt on this one. I tightened it to 76 words, but I'm not sure if it worked:

Doreen stuck to her book while the train clacked through the stations. She shouldered the window and moved her thigh from the big man sitting at her side. This man is too close to me...

Before Doreen stopping, the train screeched and halted in a tunnel. Doreen looked at the man, and at the only flickering light overhead. Panicked, she couldn't breathe and chocked.

"Are you alright, Ma'am? Eased the man. Please, hold my hand.


I'm going to give you another shot at this--you can add 24 words back in, since you get exactly 100 words. I really appreciate your effort!
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Athayde » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:33 pm

Jan, I just loved this daring lesson! Here's my second try:


Doreen didn't stop reading her book while the subway clacked through the stations. She shouldered the window and moved her thigh away from the big and blue-jeaned man sitting at her side. This man is too close to me...

Before Doreen's stopping, there were still five long tunnels. On the second one, the train screeched and came to a halt. Doreen looked up at the only flickering light overhead, and at the man. She panicked... lost her breath, and chocked.

The man gaped at her--and with a soft voice--eased, "Are you alright, Ma'am? Do you wanna hold my hand?


(Is it right to use those ellipses--three dots and the hidden 'she'--in that sentence? I've seen/thought/maybe learned about it in your Pacing class discussion about your marvelous story, Sacrament. In my level, just a try... :roll:)
Last edited by Athayde on Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Athayde » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:44 pm

Correcting: The discussion over your article, Sacrament, is in the Sentence Structures (The End) class that I'm studying now.

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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:11 pm

Athayde wrote:Jan, I just loved this daring lesson! Here's my second try:


Doreen didn't stop reading her book while the subway clacked through the stations. She shouldered the window and moved her thigh away from the big and blue-jeaned man sitting at her side. This man is too close to me...

Before Doreen's stopping, there were still five long tunnels. On the second one, the train screeched and came to a halt. Doreen looked up at the only flickering light overhead, and at the man. She panicked... lost her breath, and chocked.

The man gaped at her--and with a soft voice--eased, "Are you alright, Ma'am? Do you wanna hold my hand?


(Is it right to use those ellipses--three dots and the hidden 'she'--in that sentence? I've seen/thought/maybe learned about it in your Pacing class discussion about your marvelous story, Sacrament. In my level, just a try... :roll:)


This is a superb tightening of the original story! Yes, the ellipses and the hidden 'she' are totally fine, and show a maturity in writing. The only things I'd tweak would be the spelling of 'choked' (no 'c' before the 'k') and the word 'eased' in the last paragraph. 'Eased' isn't typically used in a dialogue tag, and doesn't work particularly well there.

Other than that, you've done very well!
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Athayde » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:25 pm

Here's my correction, Jan:

She panicked... lost her breath, and choked.

The man gaped at her--and with a soft voice--said, "Are you alright Ma'am? Do you wanna hold my hand?

Thank you so much for this lesson. God bless you.

(no need to reply)

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