Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? - Page 2


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Thread: Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    I didn't know what I expected when I joined this forum.
    I hoped to learn something from writers who had books printed by known publishing houses. Are there any?
    I'm a little disappointed at the process.
    It's always good to evaluate what benefit, if any, can be derived from one's activities. Sometimes the benefit is not the one that we expect. Most people on this site are here with the goal of improving their writing; critique is beneficial because they read and evaluate the suggestions received, and apply them if desired. This allows them to identify flaws in their writing or assess audience reaction to it. That is the usual "process".

    In this thread, I and two other people have offered both general and specific suggestions regarding the form and content of your work. You have argued with all three of us and rejected our suggestions. You seem to be convinced that what you have written cannot be improved and that we simply need to be persuaded to like it. If the process is not giving you what you want, it may be that you have misunderstood its purpose, which is not to get you published, but to help you become a better writer.
    Last edited by lasm; November 25th, 2012 at 04:32 PM.

  2. #12
    In To Kill a Mockingbird, the trial doesn't begin until the second half of the book.
    Before that, Harper Lee talks about the kids little activities which is very charming, but if you'd never heard of the story you wouldn't have any idea what the story was about until around page two hundred.
    There is a difference between relevant events and simple backstory. That you said that you:

    noticed that many points made could equally apply to To Kill a Mockingbird, a smash bestseller on the New York Times bestseller for 85 weeks and quickly made into an Oscar winning movie.
    tells me that you need to read To Kill a Mockingbird, or our posts, or your own work, or all of the above, in a different light to get the best out of our advice.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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  3. #13
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    If the process is not giving you what you want, it may be that you have misunderstood its purpose, which is not to get you published, but to help you become a better writer.
    I expected to find writers who did get published, and hear how they became marketable writers, what literary agents and book editors told them they were looking for, what kind of rewrites they had to do to make agents and editors happy, why they wrote in the first place, what were they trying to do with their books, what meaning were they trying to discuss
    that sort of thing.

    In others, high level stuff, the big picture.
    I just read To Kill a Mockingbird. There's at least a hundred pages that could be thrown out with no loss to the main story,
    but at this point who the heck cares!


    Last edited by empresstheresa; November 25th, 2012 at 07:20 PM.

  4. #14
    The difference between Harper Lee and you, is that you aren't Harper Lee.

  5. #15
    I’m Theresa, the only child of Edward and Elizabeth Sullivan, and I hope it’s not bragging to say I was cute as heck at age ten. Everybody in the Sullivan clan said so. I was the princess in the Sullivan family of Framingham, Massachusetts because besides being cute I was a whiz in school. All the Sullivans expected great things from me.
    Already I'm not interested. In fact, I'm not interested and slightly annoyed because the narrator sounds like a Mary Sue, a perfect character. So she is immediately unsympathetic.

    You say she is ten years old, but this narrative so far sounds like it is coming from someone older than age ten. "I was cute as heck at age ten", implying she is not ten now, at the time of this telling.

    Nobody could have dreamed of what I would do a few years later, and nobody would have believed it if they’d been told, but when this story began I was a little girl who didn’t have much of a clue about anything. My job as a kid was to figure out what the heck was going on and what to do about it. It’s not easy when you’re young and everything is brand new.
    This bit of writing is like air. There are no details here. Frankly I'm kind of stunned by how little substance there is here. Who is nobody, what did she do 'a few years later', what the heck was going on, what was brand new? Just in case it needs to be mentioned, these are not questions I have. These are rhetorical -- the answers should be in the writing.
    "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. It was a saying about noble figures in old Irish poems—he would give his hawk to any man that asked for it, yet he loved his hawk better than men nowadays love their bride of tomorrow. He would mourn a dog with more grief than men nowadays mourn their fathers.

    And that's how we measure out our real respect for people—by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate—and enjoy.
    "

    Live like a mighty river: a letter from Ted Hughes to his son, Nicholas

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  6. #16
    There's at least a hundred pages that could be thrown out with no loss to the main story
    As I said, you need to read it again.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  7. #17
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    In my last post, I wrote............
    I just read To Kill a Mockingbird. There's at least a hundred pages that could be thrown out with no loss to the main story,
    but at this point who the heck cares!

    ......and wondered if anybody would pick up on it. Nobody did. I'm not surprised.

    In the March 1962 edition of Mockingbird I have, intended to coincide with the movie's debut,
    Gregory Peck says: "The Southern town of To Kill a Mockingbird reminds me of the California town I grew up in. The characters of this novel are like the people I knew as a boy. I think perhaps the great appeal of the novel is that it reminds readers everywhere of a person or town they have known. It is to me a universal story - moving, passionate, and told with great humor and tenderness."

    That is, that "hundred pages" which add nothing to the main story of the trial, and attack on the kids, are the book. ( Much the same could be said about books like Gone With the Wind in which Margaret Mitchell even takes time to describe the color of the mud in roads. )




    I envy Harper Lee. She had a quaint, colorful, nostalgic setting to talk about, similar to her own youth. I don't. Theresa is in Massachusetts close to Boston, then in a millionaire's mansion close to London, then in New York City. It's hard to get cozy with these settings.
    On the other hand, Mockingbird only has two tense situations, the trial and the attack on the kids, so Lee had plenty of time to smell the roses.
    In Empress Theresa, there are a dozen major tense situations to deal with, and lesser issues. If people want story, they'll get their money's worth.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; November 26th, 2012 at 03:01 PM.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    I read the last two posts carefully, and noticed that many points made could equally apply to To Kill a Mockingbird, a smash bestseller on the New York Times bestseller for 85 weeks and quickly made into an Oscar winning movie.

    For example.


    In To Kill a Mockingbird, the trial doesn't begin until the second half of the book.
    Before that, Harper Lee talks about the kids little activities which is very charming, but if you'd never heard of the story you wouldn't have any idea what the story was about until around page two hundred.

    I didn't know what I expected when I joined this forum.
    I hoped to learn something from writers who had books printed by known publishing houses. Are there any?
    I'm a little disappointed at the process.
    This forum has a wide range of members; from beginners just starting to try and organize the stories in their heads onto paper, to authors with multiple published books. The help you are looking for is here if you look for it, and are willing to accept constructive criticism. I suggest you spend some time reading some of the fiction written, by members, for the Literary Maneuvers monthly fiction competition. You'll find that some of the folks who have been responding to your posts are quite accomplished writers whose advice has great value.

    Also: To Kill a Mocking Bird is not about the trial. The book is about the people affected by the trial.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

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  9. #19
    You might consider finding a more appropriate book to compare with yours. Anne of Green Gables might be a better example of a highly successful YA book centered on a good-girl MC who manages to avoid nauseating most readers.

    If you can't make your MC's setting interesting to your reader, you're not doing your job as a writer.

  10. #20
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    I’m Theresa, the only child of Edward and Elizabeth Sullivan, and I hope it’s not bragging to say I was cute as heck at age ten. Everybody in the Sullivan clan said so. I was the princess in the Sullivan family of Framingham, Massachusetts because besides being cute I was a whiz in school. All the Sullivans expected great things from me.


    Already I'm not interested. In fact, I'm not interested and slightly annoyed because the narrator sounds like a Mary Sue, a perfect character. So she is immediately unsympathetic.
    How do you know Theresa is perfect? You've only seen one percent of the text.

    Theresa is not perfect. At some points in the story she's confused and doesn't know what to do next. Others help her get moving again.
    Sometimes she gets discouraged and just wants to go home, but she recovers.

    The main theme of Empress Theresa is a good person doing good in the world. This is not exactly a new idea. We see in real life that good people do a lot of good. Washington started the country, Lincoln kept it together, Roosevelt defeated the Nazis. However, these men didn't do it alone. They needed the cooperation of vast numbers of people, and if these men hadn't done what they did somebody else would have.
    Theresa does it all herself. Nobody helps her and nobody can help her. "Politicians are hiding under their desks" says husband Steve. "Theresa has to do it all". If Theresa doesn't do it it won't get done and that will be a disaster for everybody. That's what makes the story different, and Theresa fascinating to watch.




    It's interesting that you compared Theresa to Mary Sue. So did people on an atheist forum I joined a couple of months ago for laughs. I started a thread arguing for the existence of God. Within two weeks the thread had over 700 posts, only about sixty of them mine. I was called every unmentionable name you can think of. There was no insult too outrageous for them to use. They told lies. They raged on and on. ( You can't see that thread unless you log on because it was banished to the "Enter the Darkness" section which you can't view unless you're a member. I can't see it myself; I was banned. }

    They followed me all over the internet and found everything I'd posted about Empress Theresa in other forums. They found me on two catholic forums. They found my own website. They even found the article I wrote on Joan of Arc ten years ago.
    They savaged my book. They said every negative thing they could think of, even if it was distortions.
    Many of these atheists used the term "Mary Sue" to label Theresa. I looked up the origin of this term on on wikipedia. Back in 1974, some hack writer who had her own little magazine wrote a parody of the original Star Trek tv series. She used a character named Lieutenant Mary Sue, a fifteen year old girl and the best graduate of the Federation Academy ever, a perfect character. But, others have pointed out that Captain James T. Kirk himself was a "Mary Sue" ! It's ok for a male character to be perfect, but not a female. Do you agree?
    Last edited by empresstheresa; November 26th, 2012 at 03:54 PM.

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