Welcome to your English Degree
There ain’t no party like a Capulet party, ‘cause a Capulet party introduces the plot
“I recently uploaded The Queen of Hearts (a collection of novels written in the 1850s) by Wilkie Collins to the MR library. As well as changing ‘gayety’ to ‘gaiety’ and ‘gayly’ to ‘gaily’ I also changed ‘gay’ to ‘light-hearted’. I did this because the English language has changed in the last 150 odd years. In our day ‘a gay man’ would almost certainly be read as ‘a homosexual man,’ and this is simply not what Collins meant – he would have used a different term if he had dared to mention a character’s sexual orientation at all. I did add a note to the posting that I had updated spelling and hyphenation – I also changed ‘to-day’ to ‘today’ for example.”
I am still unsure how I feel about this. ~ eP
Wtf? Why would someone change the original text?? Anyone with half a brain/education knows that until less than 100 years ago, “gay” meant “happy”. Are we supposed to cut up every other classic work and replace their “outdated” words with modern ones? Language evolves, and people who read books written a long time ago are perfectly aware of this. If it’s a 160+ year old book that people are still reading, I’d imagine that the author was very intentional with his/her word choice, and for someone to alter them later on when converting the text to a format that may be widely disseminated is a travesty.
This made me really angry.
- Over-explanation. This includes prologues. “Prologues are never needed. You can usually throw them in the garbage. They’re usually put on as a patch.”
- Too much data. “You’re trying to seduce your reader, not burden them,” Friedman said.
- Over-writing, or “trying too hard.” “We think the more description we add, the more vivid it will be; but we don’t want to be distracted from the story” we open the book for.
- Beginning the novel with an interior monologue or reflection. Usually this is written as the thoughts of a character who is sitting alone, musing and thinking back on a story. Just start with the story.
- Beginning the novel with a flashback. Friedman isn’t entirely anti-flashback, but the novel’s opening page is the wrong place for one.
- Beginning a novel with the “waking up sequence” of a character waking, getting out of bed, putting on slippers, heading for the kitchen and coffee…a cliche
- Related cliche: beginning the novel with an alarm clock or a ringing phone
- Starting out with an “ordinary day’s routine” for the main character
- Beginning with “crisis moments” that aren’t unique: “When the doctor said ‘malignant,’ my life changed forever…” or “The day my father left us I was seven years old…”
- Don’t start with a dialogue that doesn’t have any context. Building characterization through dialogue is okay anywhere else but there.
- Starting with backstory, or “going back, then going forward.”
- Info dump. More formally called “exposition.”
- Character dump, which is four or more characters on the first page.
Okay so as some of you may know I’m currently at uni and I’m going into my second year.
A couple of weeks ago me and a couple of my flatmates got into an argument and they really made me feel like crap. Now don’t get me wrong I wasn’t entirely innocent. But the fact is I felt like I couldn’t…
Please stop scrolling for a sec and help with this problem!! It will take 2 minutes and you could really help!
A young life tragically cut short. Two young boys left behind. It’s such a shame, rest in peace, Peaches.
I searched and search
for words of meaning. A phrase
to exactly reflect the state
of my heart.
While I searched for a soul
that could wrap itself around mine;
and realised, I
was all alone.
Then I wonder:
to hear voices throughout
or to be left in pure silence.
As I wished and I begged,
prayed and bargained
to hear your voice tell me
just once more: it’s okay.