Dragon's desk

#1
Hello Unice chan, I've decided to join your school. I plan to in time go through all your lessons, to become a fairly competent writer. Feel free to make any corrections or suggestions on my writing: style, grammar, description, etc. I promise I'll take it to heart, and do my best to improve.

I'm not making any submissions now; I'll start when I'm on my laptop.






~Dragon God.

RE: Dragon's desk

#2
Prompt (specific version): John and Teresa are having a conversation while working on a school group project. In 500 words, convey to the reader that John is "disciplined" and Teresa is "good-natured". Do not use the word "disciplined" or "good-natured" (or any variants) in the piece.

 

Lesson 1


John walked into the room, with measured even steps: it was his personal study. Everything was neatly arranged; not a single book out of place. The pristine room was a reflection of the state of mind of its owner — Order, just how he liked it. He sat on the chair; his back ramrod straight. There were 25 minutes left till the designated meeting time. John fired up his laptop, and started debugging the code for the project they had been assigned while waiting for Teresa. 40 minutes later, Teresa walked into the room; dripping wet and out of breath.

“You’re late.” John said irritation seeping into his voice.

“I’m very sorry” Teresa replied meekly.

“Why are you in that state?” He inquired, visibly irked.

Her face instantly brightened at his question, her signature smile redolent of angels plastered itself there. Practically bursting with joy she replied:

“I was jogging down the street, when I saw a senior citizen walking; pulling along a heavy travelling bag behind her. I couldn’t leave her to her plight and offered my assistance. She gratefully accepted. While we were crossing the bridge, a car drove past splashing water on the poor lady. She was shocked; thus her handbag fell into the river. I helped her retrieve it, getting wet in the process. I ran back here as fast as I could.”

She’s always so happy whenever she tells of her good deeds… As expected of the one known as the school’s Cherub. John mused.

“While, I find your good deeds admirable, this does not mean you should forget your duties. You have other responsibilities; apart from trying to save the world, and I expect you to fulfill them with no less zeal.” He rebuked her.

“…”

“We should always do our best to fulfill our responsibilities; those we take upon ourselves, and those thrust upon us.”

“…”

“Setting alarms for such events may prove useful. You could also do what I do; use a personal planner — creating a daily timetable. Though it’ll be for naught if you don’t strive to adhere to it.”

“Yes captain!” she replied, calling him by his nickname.

He’s always so stuffy and rigid. He really should learn to loosen up more. It’s not like I don’t get what he’s saying... It’s just that I can’t bear to leave people to their troubles, if I know that I can lend a hand. I don’t think I’ll be able to live with myself if I abandoned people to their problems while knowing I could have done something to help…

He pointedly ignored her reply.
“We can’t have you remaining like this. Go upstairs and use the shower, you should find a change of clothes in my sister’s room… She doesn’t need them anymore.”

“I’m sorry,” she was distraught that she’d caused him to remember a painful memory.

“No need to apologise. Go we’ve wasted enough time”.

She rushed out of the room, not eager to foul his mood any further.

RE: Dragon's desk

#3
To answer your question about word count, I don't actually check the word count unless I feel like it's gone over. You're free to make it as short as you want, though given how limited the word count already is, I doubt you can go much shorter and still complete the prompt.

Onto the lesson:
John's "disciplined" is pretty good. Teresa's "good-natured" is pretty consistent except when she calls John "stuffy" in her thoughts. That's not a particularly good-natured thought to have.

Your punctuation is really quite in need of a complete rehaul. You use commas in places that don't need any punctuation at all, semicolons in places that just need a comma, and incredibly inconsistent punctuation and capitalization around your dialogue tags.

Watch your dialogue. Nobody talks like, "I helped her retrieve it, getting wet in the process." The phrasing that you use in dialogue has to match the era and level of formality that the speaker uses, which is generally more casual than the level of language in the narration. This isn't to say that you can't have characters who speak very formally, but it has to be consistent for that character, and Teresa has a very casual "It’s not like I don’t get what he’s saying" later in her thoughts that does not match the previous dialogue at all.

RE: Dragon's desk

#4
10/28/2016 05:15:37unice5656 Wrote: [ -> ]To answer your question about word count, I don't actually check the word count unless I feel like it's gone over. You're free to make it as short as you want, though given how limited the word count already is, I doubt you can go much shorter and still complete the prompt.

Onto the lesson:
John's "disciplined" is pretty good. Teresa's "good-natured" is pretty consistent except when she calls John "stuffy" in her thoughts. That's not a particularly good-natured thought to have.

Your punctuation is really quite in need of a complete rehaul. You use commas in places that don't need any punctuation at all, semicolons in places that just need a comma, and incredibly inconsistent punctuation and capitalization around your dialogue tags.

Watch your dialogue. Nobody talks like, "I helped her retrieve it, getting wet in the process." The phrasing that you use in dialogue has to match the era and level of formality that the speaker uses, which is generally more casual than the level of language in the narration. This isn't to say that you can't have characters who speak very formally, but it has to be consistent for that character, and Teresa has a very casual "It’s not like I don’t get what he’s saying" later in her thoughts that does not match the previous dialogue at all.


I recently read up on semicolons, and thought that I may have been underusing them. I was worried about it. Would you mind pointing out erroneus punctuation i used? :)

i actually added the "getting wet in the process" to raise the word count. :P

About the 'stuffy' comment, is it really bad. It fit right in with the image of Teresa I had in mind. I imagine John is always nagging her, and 'I think that will grate even her nerves.

If you still think it's no good, I'll pull it out. I'll rewrite it now, but I won't be able to update till Sunday; it's when I'll get internet access on my laptop. {Hope I used that semicolon properly}

P.S about 'Order', I capitalised it for emphasis, and was trying to treat it like a proper noun. Is that no good?

RE: Dragon's desk

#5
10/26/2016 15:27:31 Wrote: [ -> ]John walked into the room, with measured even steps: it was his personal study. Everything was neatly arranged[;,] not a single book out of place. The pristine room was a reflection of the state of mind of its owner — [Oo]rder, just how he liked it. He sat on the chair[;,] his back ramrod straight. There were 25 minutes left [untill] the designated meeting time. John fired up his laptop[,] and started debugging the code for the project they had been assigned while waiting for Teresa. 40 minutes later, Teresa walked into the room[;,] dripping wet and out of breath.

“You’re late[.,]” John said[,] irritation seeping into his voice.

“I’m very sorry[,]” Teresa replied meekly.

“Why are you in that state?” [Hh]e inquired, visibly irked.

Her face instantly brightened at his question[;,] her signature smile[,] redolent of angels[,] plastered itself there. Practically bursting with joy[,] she replied:

“I was jogging down the street[,] when I saw a senior citizen walking[;,] pulling along a heavy travelling bag behind her. I couldn’t leave her to her plight and offered my assistance. She gratefully accepted. While we were crossing the bridge, a car drove past[,] splashing water on the poor lady. She was shocked; thus[,] her handbag fell into the river. I helped her retrieve it, getting wet in the process. I ran back here as fast as I could.”

She’s always so happy whenever she tells of her good deeds… As expected of the one known as the school’s Cherub[.,] John mused.

“While[,] I find your good deeds admirable, this does not mean you should forget your duties. You have other responsibilities[;] apart from trying to save the world, and I expect you to fulfill them with no less zeal.” He rebuked her.

“…”

“We should always do our best to fulfill our responsibilities[;,] those we take upon ourselves, and those thrust upon us.”

“…”

“Setting alarms for such events may prove useful. You could also do what I do[;:] use a personal planner — creating a daily timetable. Though it’ll be for naught if you don’t strive to adhere to it.”

“Yes captain!” she replied, calling him by his nickname.

He’s always so stuffy and rigid. He really should learn to loosen up more. It’s not like I don’t get what he’s saying... It’s just that I can’t bear to leave people to their troubles[,] if I know that I can lend a hand. I don’t think I’[lld] be able to live with myself if I abandoned people to their problems while knowing I could have done something to help…

He pointedly ignored her reply.
“We can’t have you remaining like this. Go upstairs and use the shower, you should find a change of clothes in my sister’s room… She doesn’t need them anymore.”

“I’m sorry[,.]” she was distraught that she’d caused him to remember a painful memory.

“No need to apologise. Go[;] we’ve wasted enough time[.][.]

She rushed out of the room, not eager to foul his mood any further.


Actually correcting people's writing exercises takes quite a bit of time, so I will not be doing this for future lessons.

It's very possible to write entirely without semicolons, and overusing them will annoy most readers.

Padding the word count is never a good idea.

Using "stuffy" is not bad. Like I said before, the point is to be consistent in the way a character talks. People don't generally go from extremely formal sentence structures to casual slang within the same conversation.

Don't capitalize things for emphasis. That is not done in English unless you are repurposing the word for a new, formal designation.