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Fiction Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 25 comments and questions on Fiction issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

Who started writing the fables? General Phillipines
 
Random plot was very funny Random Story Bulgaria
 
How can reader learn about a character? Developing Characters USA
 
Professional transcribing more accurate Dictation USA
 
How good is Dragon Naturally Speaking? Dictation USA
 
Can't get character traits correct General Namibia
 
Do you have ideas for novel writing? General USA
 
What is the difference between person and fiction? General USA
 
Paddy Chayefsky General USA
 
Wants criticism General USA
 

Next 15 letters

 




First 15 letters


General

Who started writing the fables?

August 26, 2008

Question

who started writing the fables

jennelyn - Phillipines (16412)

Answer

Fables were originally only told verbally many years ago. After writing was discovered, they were written. There is no one person who started it. Fables were written in many countries.

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Random Story

Random plot was very funny

June 12, 2008

Question

I will just show you the random story I got and you make your own conclusions :)
I couldn't get myself to stop laughing for at least 10 minutes :D

Introduce protagonist and setting

A long time ago in an old castle, a handsome boy named Freddy was walking along, minding his own business. Freddy looked and dressed like Mother Theresa.

Antagonist

Suddenly, he saw Bevis, who was weird and looked a little like Homer Simpson.

Point of tension, conflict or problem

Bevis proceeded to eat a huge boy's hat. The boy's name was Saddam.

Effort to stop antagonist

"Stop, you jerk!" Freddy yelled out. But Bevis started to run away.

Seem to fail

Freddy chased Bevis for 3 minutes. Bevis could run fast and seemed to be getting away.

Happy outcome

But then in a final great effort, Freddy ran as fast as humanly possible and surprisingly caught the scoundrel!

Saddam was so happy, that he offered to buy Freddy a banjo.

Thus ends a good story.

:)

- Bulgaria (16084)

Answer

Yes, that was a funny one. I'm laughing too. But of course, it does show a very simple plot that can be recognized in many stories.

Best wishes in your writing.

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Developing Characters

How can reader learn about a character?

April 26, 2008

Question

give three ways by which a reader may learn about a a character in a story

nona - USA (15810)

Answer

In a story, the reader can learn about a character by what he or she does and the reactions to events. Also, other characters can talk about the person. The author can describe the character and tell what type of person he or she is. One other thing is that many stories tell what the character is thinking, which is also way to learn about the character.

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Dictation

Professional transcribing more accurate

February 9, 2008

Question

For years, I've tried voice-to-text software-only solutions. In business applications, none compare with what a trained professional transcription secretary can produce. They are good for drafts. For years, industry statistics have failed to account for user training time and correction time.

For accuracy you can't top a professional transcriptionist.

Good luck.

AK - USA (15316)

Answer

Thank you for your feedback. Over the years, I had tried the software but was also dissatisfied. But the recent versions are so improved that they are well worth looking into. Training time is typically 5 minutes and corrections are not that much of a problem. But also, you must speak clearly to get accurate transcriptions.

For a beginning author, hiring a professional to transcribe the dictation might be too expensive.

Whatever method is used, writing by dictation is something worth trying.

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Dictation

How good is Dragon Naturally Speaking?

January 18, 2008

Question

Enjoyed your article on using a tape recorder.

What is the accuracy in translating your audio files which you have downloaded from the recorder using "Naturally Speaking" to text. Did you use the standard version or the professional - is there a difference?

What is the best tape recorder to use to hook up to "naturally Speaking" - are there format issues for recording the audion on a Windows PC

Thanks

George

ninan - USA (15170)

Answer

I use Dragon Preferred version. Both Preferred and Professional allow input from tape recorders. Professional has a number of features that I would never use, so I purchased the less expensive Preferred version.

See: http://www.nuance.com/naturallyspeaking/matrix/professional/ for a comparison of features.

I use an Olympus Digital Voice recorder WS-300M. The big advantage of this recorder is that fact that it has a built in USB plug that goes directly to your PC. Other recorders, such as Sony, require a cable and installed software to download your dictation.

Naturally Speaking accepts MP3 and WMA audio files.

Using the recorder with a lapel mic improves the Naturally Speaking accuracy, but it still is not as good as the 99% accuracy when sitting at your PC. I'd say 80-90%. Also, you can't make corrections on the fly, as you can at your PC.

Still, it is a great method to get your spoken words into text.

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General

Can't get character traits correct

April 7, 2006

Question

Hi,
My Name is Katinka Lombaard

I love writing but is seems as thoug I can't get my character traits right. Can you pleas. I write only in afrikaans and not in engels.
If you do send samething to me could you plese

I would like to became a champon at writing

Katinka - Namibia (10775)

Answer

It takes a long time and great powers of observation to have characters in your writing to seem real have have the correct traits. Often writers will visualize people they know and perhaps combine several into one character in their stories.

You must be a careful observer of other people and what they do. You need to listen carefully to how they talk and motivations behind their words. Start with your friends and relatives to observe and learn these skills. Then it can start to apply to your writing.

You want to story to be so real that others will feel they know the person.

Above all, write, write, write. I am sure that then you will be a champion writer.

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General

Do you have ideas for novel writing?

February 9, 2006

Question

Do you have any outlines, ideas, suggestions, creativity boosters, for novel writing??
Thanks.

Alexandra - USA (10009)

Answer

You really need an idea that is burning within you to use for a novel. One way to start is to write out a story idea in one sentence. For example, you can use the format: "This is a story about a woman (or man) who... but (problem), so she works to overcome that problem."

This is a story about a woman who loves horses but finds the man in her life is allergic to them, so she finds a way to... get another man, cure his allergy, or such.

Look at reviews of various novels to get an idea. Write your own review for a story idea as a starter.

We plan to get more lessons on writing novels in the near future.

Best wishes in your writing.

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General

What is the difference between person and fiction?

March 26, 2004

Question

Which is the difference between the ontological PERSON and the Character (fictious)?
thank you

Diana - USA (2830)

Answer

You might check:
http://www.zhurnal.ru/staff/gorny/english/self/ontology_vp.html and
http://www.wmich.edu/philosophy/heraclitean/vol20/dilworth.htm for some discussions on that topic. It is heavy reading.

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General

Paddy Chayefsky

August 19, 2003

Question

Hello, Since I noticed Paddy Chayefsky's name on your web site maybe you can help me. I need to find out some information on what he was doing during his time in the Army. This is why. I came across 6 recorded/record messages to my husbands uncle in our attic from Paddy Chayefsky. He is telling him about a play and what scene he wants what music. Since my husband's uncle was a pianist, I am assuming they were working on something together. Any help would be great.

Laurie - USA (261)

Answer

Chayefsky graduated from City College of New York in 1943 and served during World War II in the U.S. Army from 1943-1945. When he returned to New York City, he worked as a printer's apprentice and began writing for radio. But I don't know what he actually did in the army. He may have been working on his writing in his spare time.

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General

Wants criticism

March 30, 2001

Question

DO YOU OFFER ANY HELP IN CRITICING ONES WORK? I'VE READ A LOT OF BOOKS. CAN YOU MAKE A SUGGESTION ON WHAT BOOK I CAN STUDY TO HELP ME WITH KEEPING MY VOICE AS I AM WRITING. I'M WRITING ABOUT A CHILD I KNEW AS A CHILD BUT WHEN I INCLUDE MORE CHARACTERS AND START WRITNG ABOUT HEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH HER I SEEM TO LOOSE THE TENSE INWHICH I'M WRITING. I NEED TO STUDY BOOKS ON HOW TO WRITE IN THE THIRD PERSON. IT GETS KIND OF CONFUSING. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS. I'M STARTING FROM AGE 7 UNTIL AGE 25 WHEN HER WORLD CHANGED
COMPLETELY. DO YOU HAVE A SUGGESTION? THANKS

Cleta - USA (879)

Answer

If you are having trouble writing in the 3rd person, why not write in the 1st person until you finish the story? It is often easier to visualize things that way. You can always change the tense later, if necessary.

I don't do any critiquing or editing of work. That is one advantage of taking a class--the teacher can give criticism of the work. Sometimes friends can read you work and give an honest opinion if they like the story. Getting someone to edit the grammar is more difficult to do. Of course, you should always use a spell-checker when you write.

There are many books on writing. The best thing to do is to skim them in the library or bookstore to see what appeals to you. The most important thing is that the structure story flows and that the characters are interesting and alive.

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