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Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? (1 Viewer)

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the antithesis

Senior Member
I've only seen the kind of behavior I've seen on this forum outdone by one other forum,
the atheist forum I joined for a short time,
where anything goes no matter how outrageous,
except reason.

That doesn't answer my question. Why haven't you just said to yourself, "What a bunch of jerks!" and log out and never come back to this forum because we're a bunch of jerks and stay on that other forum you'd mentioned? You don't want our advice. You don't like our criticism. So why are you wasting your time here?
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
Keep the discussion on track. If you feel the discussion has run its course, let it die. There's no need to question another member's motives.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
Take the time to write it right.


I’ve spent 19 years on Empress Theresa.


Here’s a tiny fragment…………..


How somebody might write it:


( The President of the United States answers reporters’s questions about 18 year old Theresa who is in her home in Massachusetts………..

“......Can you say this girl won’t lose her temper if people criticize her and go on the rampage?”​
......The President was surprised by the question and winged it.​
......“It’s up to us to be fair to her. There’s nothing in her past that indicates she will do anything wrong. Everybody who knows her says she’s always been a good girl. I don’t think we have anything to worry about. Give her a chance.”​
How I wrote it:


( British Prime Minister Peter Blair addresses the House of Commons in a session of “Questions to the Prime Minister” while 18 year old American girl Theresa watches in a millionaire’s mansion close to London. He anticipated the weekly “Questions” routine for days and is prepared…… )


......A woman rose to pose a question no American politician would get away with. But this was not America.​
......“Does the Prime Minister agree a man’s reaction to criticism is laughter while a woman’s reaction is unpredictable?”​
......The House burst out in laughter. It liked nothing better than a loaded question and this one was a minefield. Blair milked the moment, looking around like he was afraid to answer. His expression was hilarious. Even Steve and I watching at the Parker residence were laughing. Finally, the PM got serious and paused. The world held its breath for twenty-seven seconds.​
......“I understand your fears. What shall we do if a child leads us? And make no mistake, Theresa is younger then many of the children and grandchildren of the members of this House. Who are we dealing with? Will she change?​
......“I say, Theresa’s interests and endeavors may change, but not her heart. It is too well-considered. It is written ‘worse than death is the life of a fool’, but we saw in my talk with her Theresa is no fool. ‘Woe to thee when your king is a child’ says the Good Book, but Theresa shows lack of response to recent ill events. ‘Brutus is at war with Brutus’ said Brutus in Julius Caesar. There is no war in Theresa. She knows what to do and does not struggle with her conscience. A woman who puts her trust in a higher power will be unchanged. Theresa will remain Theresa.”​
 
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Jeko

WF Veterans
Really, I have no interest for how 'somebody' wrote anything. Whether this somebody is a member, someone you know, or anyone in the world, their work has nothing to do with your own.

Whoever this somebody is, please stop posting their work.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
Really, I have no interest for how 'somebody' wrote anything. Whether this somebody is a member, someone you know, or anyone in the world, their work has nothing to do with your own.

Whoever this somebody is, please stop posting their work.



This is one of the most mysterious posts I've seen on this forum.
I'm responsible for every word of the post you "responded" to.

You missed the point entirely.
The President version obscures an important point about Theresa
while the Prime Minister Blair version, written with much more care, exposes this important point and expresses it with Old World eloquence ( which should at least please British readers
:congratulatory: )


 

Jeko

WF Veterans
I'm responsible for every word of the post you "responded" to.

You write a lot better when you're anonymous.

My advice would be to stop trying hard to fulfil some kind of criteria, that which you may have created through style or outlining, and just write what comes to you. As proven above, it'll turn out as a better read.

Oh, and entering your work into this website says you write like William Shakespeare and Mark Twain. I'd work on honing your style, and maybe experiment with different subjects. See what floats your boat. I'm staring to think YA isn't for you - you're not writing your way into the market, if you know what I mean.

And the 'Old Word eloquence' is, for me, terribly written and completely unnecesaary. There is no evidence of the delicate art of rhetoric in the Presidents speech, and the inclusion of such references only worsens the impact. They are tagged on, not intricately woven into the delivery.
 
ET, have you considered taking a break from this novel? From what you've said, you've written several versions of it and it's done. You seem to be quite pleased with its current state and not interested in making any major changes to it. Maybe the best thing to do now is to set it aside and write something else. A short story or two, possibly. Learn as much as you can about writing, try to get some smaller publications so you have a better CV. Or you might want to take some time to read in your genre. From what you've posted on here, I get the impression you don't read many YA books. Cadence (and other WF members of his age group) could be a very good resource for you. He's smart and he reads a lot of books directed towards the YA market. If you asked, I bet he'd recommend some books he likes.

Either way, my point is, maybe you need to get some mental and emotional distance from this novel in order to see it more clearly and/or market it more effectively.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
I get the impression you don't read many YA books


I'm well aware Empress Theresa isn't a typical YA book.

Most YA books are like self-help books. They involve some personal problem of the main character: problems with girlfriends, boyfriends, lousy parents, drugs, bullying at school, and things like that.
I suppose the writer is trying to teach the reader something if he cares, or just writing something for kids to pine over.

Empress Theresa doesn't dwell on Theresa's internal problems or problems with people in her life. Theresa's problems come from the outside and she has to deal with them. Nevertheless, she is 18 to 19 through most of the story, so it's YA.

I'm not sure if the phrase "Young Adult novel" was used in 1960 when Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird. I suspect Lee meant it to be a mainstream novel for adult readers. ( In those days YA novels consisted of the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Trudy Nurse.
:grey: ) But just last week a 19 year old girl told me she was assigned Mockingbird to read in the Freshman year of high school, the ninth grade, 14 year old kids, and she loved it. Today, most people would call it a YA book, although Scout doesn't have internal problems like in most YA books.

ET, have you considered taking a break from this novel? From what you've said, you've written several versions of it and it's done. You seem to be quite pleased with its current state and not interested in making any major changes to it. Maybe the best thing to do now is to set it aside and write something else.

Getting a book published can take more time and work than writing. I'm currently send out queries after a four month break.
Does anybody around intend to get something published? The impression I get is that people just write as a hobby. In that case, it would make sense to move on to another project sometimes.
 
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empresstheresa

Senior Member
No. YA is denoted by the style and use, not the age, of the characters. 'Carrie', for example, is not YA.



Poor example!
It's a Steve King horror book. I can't stand his stuff.
Carrie is ostracized by her classmates, but the major theme of the book is her psychokinetic powers ( which are unexplained, of course ) . This has no relevance to a typical teenager's situation. When does Carrie actually make a deliberate choice about anything? This is not real life. Besides this, the story ends in mass bloodshed.
This is junk.

Neither is To Kill A Mockingbird.



The content is not that of a YA book,
but the book is assigned reading in high schools. It has the effect of a YA book.
 
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Jeko

WF Veterans
This has no relevance to a typical teenager's situation.

So you agree with me. It's not YA.

but the book is assigned reading in high schools. It has the effect of a YA book.

Hence, The Crucible is a YA play and Of Mice and Men is a YA book.

Really?
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member

but the book is assigned reading in high schools. It has the effect of a YA book.

Hence, The Crucible is a YA play and Of Mice and Men is a YA book.

Really?



Books that are not YA books are also assigned in high schools, along with Shakespeare's plays, etc. But they don't have the effect of a YA book.

In Mockingbird, Scout is only nine and not yet making decisions. Can teenagers relate to her?
If the teacher knows his job and guides the class well, he will point out that the book is really about Scout's exposure to racial prejudice from every direction, from adults and even from the kids in her school. Will she become prejudiced too, or can she resist all these influences?
The high school kids will consider their own attitudes about race.
They will think about themselves. That's the purpose of YA books ( unless it's a vampire or zombie story :hell_pawn: .)


Only somebody who can think deeply and not fall for instant analysis should write books.
 
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Nemesis

The Black Goat
WF Veterans
I'm uncertain as to why you keep writing what I suppose you consider badly written versions of your scenes, and then posting those snipets with the scene as you actualy wrote it. If you aren't going to write it that way, why bother posting it? I am getting the impression that you think you are teaching us, but that isn't what the forum is for. If you aren't accepting any critiques or discussions of your story then there is no point in posting any of it.
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
Poor example!
It's a Steve King horror book. I can't stand his stuff.
Carrie is ostracized by her classmates, but the major theme of the book is her psychokinetic powers ( which are unexplained, of course ) . This has no relevance to a typical teenager's situation. When does Carrie actually make a deliberate choice about anything? This is not real life. Besides this, the story ends in mass bloodshed.
This is junk.

You have obviously never read King's book. The reason for Carrie's telekinesis is explored in some detail, but that's not important--because telekinesis is not the theme of the book at all. The fragility of the human mind when faced with the emotionally cannibalistic environment of high school is. Carrie's situation in the face of bullying, and the violence erupting from it, is almost prophetic when seen in terms of Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook. I don't see how a topic gets more relevant.

Carrie makes many choices in the book: she chooses to defy her mother, chooses to accept Tommy's offer to attend the dance, and, in the end, she chooses to turn her weapon on her classmates and teachers. Ask a teenager which they more relate to; a social misfit who feels alone, powerless, and angry; or an all-powerful Pollyanna, who governments bend their wills to.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
I'm uncertain as to why you keep writing what I suppose you consider badly written versions of your scenes, and then posting those snipets with the scene as you actualy wrote it. If you aren't going to write it that way, why bother posting it?

Another mystifying post.
I did that only once, a few days ago, and to make a point. I don't keep writing them.
 

empresstheresa

Senior Member
You have obviously never read King's book. The reason for Carrie's telekinesis is explored in some detail, but that's not important--because telekinesis is not the theme of the book at all. The fragility of the human mind when faced with the emotionally cannibalistic environment of high school is. Carrie's situation in the face of bullying, and the violence erupting from it, is almost prophetic when seen in terms of Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook. I don't see how a topic gets more relevant.
I did read the book some thirty or more years ago. I remember King gave hints that her psychokinetic power was associated with her puberty. Thus, the many references to blood.
Yeah, mentally ill youths are responsible for Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook, but Carrie is not mentally ill. She's not like her mother. Perhaps at the dance she was driven over the edge, but before that she was fairly normal. I don't see this as instructive or a parallel of real-life situations.

Carrie makes many choices in the book: she chooses to defy her mother, chooses to accept Tommy's offer to attend the dance, and, in the end, she chooses to turn her weapon on her classmates and teachers.


Yesterday, I decided to put on my left shoe before putting on my right shoe. That's not exactly a life-determining decision.
Her lashing out at the dance when the pig blood was poured on her can't be called a "decision". She was not in control of herself.

In chapter one of Empress Theresa, ten year old Theresa decides not to tell her parents and friends about HAL. This is a life-determining decision for herself and everybody else. Had she told people about HAL at age ten, the story and future would have been completely different.

In chapter two, sixteen year old Theresa meets with an agent of the British government. The British know about her and HAl because Jan Struthers, the leader of Theresa's 400 "watchers", has disappeared, but not before she rushed off a box full of documents about Theresa to the Canadian Prime Minister who sends it to the British Prime Minister. It is concluded that the newly inaugurated President Martin is not happy with this years-long stalemate and has ideas in mind. The British agent offers Theresa sanctuary in England, but Theresa decides to stay in America and "wait it out". This decision changes everything. A year later, President Martin acts.
Later, Theresa makes many other decisions about global issues,
but she is always of sound mind and deliberate. This is relevant to teenagers, I think.

Ask a teenager which they more relate to; a social misfit who feels alone, powerless, and angry; or an all-powerful Pollyanna, who governments bend their wills to.

Pollyanna?
Theresa loses her temper, she cries, she gets discouraged.
Perhaps she has other faults, as we all do, but they're not relevant to the events in the story and therefore not discussed.

Governments do not bend their will to her. On the contrary, Theresa has no interest in politics and seeks a private life to the extent this is possible. She never tells anybody what to do, except in the case of the inhuman North Korean leaders who she never actually meets.

When Prime Minister Blair speaks to the House of Commons, Theresa has just started on the road to getting control of HAL with all that implies. Naturally, people are worried what Theresa will do if she succeeds. Blair is convinced that Theresa will be harmless and he's right. Theresa walks the streets of New York and is not disturbed by people who know she doesn't want them to make a fuss. Imagine the U.S. President walking down Broadway!!!
 

dolphinlee

Senior Member
I like the basic idea of a child becoming special and then facingadversity. Everyone wants to be special and to be seen to be special.

I’m Theresa, the only child of Edward andElizabeth 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 theprincess in the Sullivan family ofFramingham, Massachusetts because besides being cute I was a whiz in school. All the Sullivans expected greatthings from me.

It’s a personal thing of mine but I dislike seeing words repeated close together in the same paragraph when with a little time some of them can beremoved.

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.


You might think about the use of the word ‘kid.’ The narrator seems to be extremely well spoken and polite so to me it seems that kid is a word she is unlikely to use.

My father was in the Navy. He said I had to be the captain of my ship but sometimes the seas would be rough. I had to learn all I could about the world. Yeah, well, why should I be worrying about it in the fourth grade?


I would like to know a little more about the father. What rank does he hold? Is he land or sea based? Has he been around the world? Is he broader minded than his neighbours?.

I was home alone at age ten while my parents worked but I was safe. Mom and dad installed one of those new child safety alert systems. All I had to do was quickly squeeze two buttons on my bracelet three times and the whole street would be blasted with a siren’s earsplitting wail. Neighbors were always around and the security company woulda lert the police.

I’m not sure I am comfortable with the idea of a 10 year old being left alone to fend for herself. Although she is self-assured no child this young should be left without adult supervision. In my country this would be classified as neglect.

I had good parents. By the time I was ten they convinced me I should get myself through the school years without drug or boy problems. There are girls like that, you know. You wouldn’t think so to look at the news. I find it strange that people are interested in news about troubled girls, but wouldn’t want to associate with them.


I am confused by this paragraph.
“There are girls like that, you know. You wouldn’t think so to look at the news.”
From this I understand that stories about these types of girls are not broadcast.
“I find it strange that people are interested in news about troubledgirls…”
Yet in the next sentence you use the word news which implies that thesetypes of stories are broadcast. When you write: “I find it strange that people are interested in newsabout troubled girls…” did you mean gossip?

Our house was next to a pond close to the river where all the neighborhood’s kids had spent many happy hours looking for turtles and frogs. I was lounging on the deck reading a book on the school summer list.
The word kid appears again.

Taking a momentary break from the book, I noticed a red fox walking along the pond's edge. It disappeared behind the little patch of woods which dad let growwild like most of the neighbors. This was very rare. Red foxes were never seen in broad daylight during the summer months. It didn't happen.
Where I live whenever I go for a walk I see foxes out in the daytime.

Then something really amazing happened. It came out of the woods and walked towards me!


I kept still and waited to see how close it came before noticing me. It was sixty feet away, forty, twenty. By now it was clear it was looking at me


I considered running into the house, but curiosity won out.

The fox reached the four steps of the deck. It came up the steps, stopped, and sat on its haunches staring at me. It did not seem vicious so I waited.


In describing the actions of the fox you have already told the reader thatit is calm and so I am not sure if it is necessary to write that “It did not seem vicious…”

In an instant, faster than you could blink an eye, a softball sized white ball emerged from the fox and went straight into my stomach.

This sentence jarred me out of the story. This is describing something that is unique. This is probably the most important sentence in the introduction and yet it is does not come across that way. There is none of the mysterious in your words.

I screamed and ran into the house. The fox ran away. I slid the glass deck door closed and locked it just in time to see the fox disappear in the woods. I stood at the glass door for five minutes watching for anything else that might happen. At last I thought it was all over.


I went into the living room to sit down and think. What was that white thing? I couldn’t come up with any theory. It was nothing I had even seen on those television nature programs.


Perhaps it was a daydream from not eating enough. Mom had warned me about that. At age ten I was already conscious of my weight and tried to stay skinny. I should eat something.


I find it very sad that she is already programmed to be so conscious of her weight that she tried to stay skinny.

After saying she tried to stay skinny you then have her saying she should eat something. To me these two sentences do not flow.

I went into the kitchen to prepare an early lunch of fried eggs, a strip of bacon, toast, and milk. I gobbled all this down in a couple of minutes and soon felt better. It was too little eating after all. Nothing had really happened

The girl who tries to stay skinny eats fried eggs and bacon?

At this point I decided to stop reading. I’m sorry but I found this piece difficult to read. The English is excellent. However, there are too many ideasthat do not sit well with me.
 

Nemesis

The Black Goat
WF Veterans
Another mystifying post.
I did that only once, a few days ago, and to make a point. I don't keep writing them.

Actually you've done it a couple times in this thread and a few times elsewhere on the forums. Nothing mystifying about it.
 

Nemesis

The Black Goat
WF Veterans
Perhaps at the dance she was driven over the edge, but before that she was fairly normal. I don't see this as instructive or a parallel of real-life situations.

It was made very clear right away that Carrie was not considered normal, she wanted to be, but she was frequently bullied and made fun of by her peers. This is very similar to what many of those school shooters had gone through prior to snapping. The final push in her story just happened to be a major event rather than a minor event.

Additionally, King's characters are very dynamic and believable, you might want to take second look at some of his work, it may help.
 
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