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Writers Retreat

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 on: March 24, 2015, 12:23:45 PM 
Started by Nanlisa - Last post by Nanlisa
Thanks Donna. I really appreciate it. Like I said earlier. these literary magazines are run by these college English departments, and their students and professors read them.

 on: March 23, 2015, 08:04:46 PM 
Started by Nanlisa - Last post by DonnaMW
There are lots of magazines that do want what you write. Probably not literary magazines. Try pop culture, current event, and lifestyle magazines. Maybe even regional magazines?

 on: March 23, 2015, 07:05:10 AM 
Started by judyr - Last post by judyr
This is a relief for me too. There is so much to think about when drafting, I'd just as soon leave theme out of it until revision.

 on: March 23, 2015, 12:38:13 AM 
Started by Nanlisa - Last post by Nanlisa
If the magazines take any and all genres, then I'll send them in.

 on: March 23, 2015, 12:33:54 AM 
Started by Nanlisa - Last post by Nanlisa
I write what I know about. Hollywood, pop culture,  music,  TV, movies,  celebrities,  life in the 60's, work, and travel. I have sent my stories out to the various literary magazines; only to be rejected. Most of these literary magazines are run by these college English departments. They don't want anything about the Hollywood night scene or pop culture.

From this course, I have also learned how to make my sentences short and to the point. I've also learned what markets are right for my stories. For example; I used to send my stories into the now-defunct Writers' Journal and entered them into a few of Writer's Digest contests.

 on: March 22, 2015, 03:45:27 PM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie

Oh, thank you ever so much, Kate and Jan.

Yes, yes, yes! You got what I was really asking but couldn't put into words!!!!!

So by abstraction, you mean it feels distant because it's not precise. The emotion is not precise, you don't know the degree, and therefore not pulling you in.

Abstrations would work better with literary style of writing?

Okay, that makes sense to me. I think I got it, alright!!

Grin I'm glad I asked!!!!

 on: March 22, 2015, 01:04:06 PM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jfields
Passive voice is a very specific grammatical construction and will always use a transitive verb (a verb that acts upon an object, which you have here) and a helping verb (which can be "was"). To make what you have written into passive voice, you could write it one of these ways (depending upon the tense you want):

The sadness was lessened by her smile.
The sadness is lessened by her smile.
The sadness had been lessened by her smile.
The sadness will be lessened by her smile.

Passive voice simply usurps the job of sentence subject by placing the "normal" object of the sentence into the subject spot.

Which means, what you're REALLY asking has nothing to do with passive or passive voice.
What you want to know if why does "Her smile lessened the sadness" feel like weak writing to you?

Probably a couple different things at play. For one, it's very vague writing. I mean, really, what exactly is it trying to say? Does her smile make all the sad people feel better? Does her smile make her profound sadness seem less obvious? Does her smile change the general mood in the room? It's vague and general we shy away from vague.

It's also a bit abstract and abstractions tend also to be something that deadens the tempo of your writing. I mean, it looks (on the surface) like a very concrete sentence. A smile is a thing. The verb "lessen" is a nice active verb. Now, sadness is an emotion and therefore an abstraction but one we all can connect with right away -- so why would it be abstract? Well...the smile is given an agency that it lacks in real life. In real life, a smile is just a shifting of facial muscles, but we're offering it a power in the sentence that might be asking a lot from it. Abstractions aren't always bad. In fact, they can be beautiful writing. But it really helps if they are also really clear -- and the combination of being vague and being abstract is what is making it feel like weak or problematic writing to you.

 on: March 22, 2015, 12:01:00 PM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by ColoradoKate
jojo, there's writing that's generally passive--as you say, distant, or lacking energy, or not involving the MC or the reader much. Then there's passive voice, which is a grammatical term.

Passive voice is when the subject of the sentence isn't doing the acting but rather is being acted on by something else: "Griselda was struck by lightning for the tenth time that week." The subject is Griselda, but it's lightning that's doing the acting. I think it always has some form of "being verb" like "was" in it; Jan will know for sure.

You can have writing that seems passive without it being in passive voice, though, and maybe that's what's confusing you. "Her smile lessens the sadness" isn't in passive voice; her smile is the subject, and it's doing the acting. But it is a very quiet sentence, kind of poetic and maybe a bit distant because it's her smile and not her, herself, that we're reading about?

 on: March 22, 2015, 08:26:51 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie
Does passive always have to have-WAS-in it?

Sometimes the action feels passive to me, even though I can't explain why. Confused?  Huh? It's hard for me to explain.

Example: Her smile lessens the sadness.

Seems distant, therefore = passive?

 on: March 19, 2015, 02:43:00 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by jojocookie

Now, can I afford the the Revision Retreat?!?  Undecided

Any takers?

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