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Story telling topic; essay based on an interview with a member of your family


econsangel 4 / 19  
Oct 11, 2006   #1
Hello!
I have taken steps to other topic! It is about story telling!
As I read in a book, I see the phrase "tell the story in the third-person voice", I don't understand it much, would you mind explaining for me what the third-person voice means?

and this is my essay

Since I am in Singapore, I have met many people, but I especially paid attention to a man, Mr. Chew, who always looked happy although his business was much busy. When I asked him about this, he cheerfully shared his story which had a great impact on his life.

The story happened 20 years ago. At that time, Mr. Chew was a very young ambitious businessman. He had a small family in the center of Singapore with a wonderful wife who always sacrificed for him and their little daughter. However, Work took so much of his time that he neglected his family. His daughter longed for more love and attention from her father. Business competitiveness made him even get angry with them.

One morning, his little daughter happily whispered to him that she would like him to come back to her early. She said she had something special just for him. He agreed without noticing what she mentioned in her words. (<>May I change into indirect way? What do u think is better? The direct or indirect way?) <>That evening, he ignored the time he should go home as his promise. He thought that everything would be alright and his little daughter's saying was not important at all. It was quite late then, feeling something bad happening made him cannot concentrate on his work. Suddenly, the phone rang, he realized the voice of his wife. She was panic when informing that their little daughter had gone out for more than two hours. He madly rushed out to drive home as fast as he could. "Only when experiencing the feeling of losing something do you find out that thing is really important to you." He said me then. (<>If I still want to interupt by his saying to me, may I do this? Because I want the story to be better, soulful<>). In the dull house, he saw his wife's frightened face and suddenly huge her tightly, which rarely had he acted like that before. They were in a hurry to find their daughter. They looked for her everywhere in vain. It was getting darker and darker. Mr. Chew regretted because of his empty promise. They continued to search, but were beginning to lose hope. There was only a frightening wild wood in front of them. He wondered if his little daughter dare to be in there in such the darkness. But there was something prodding him go in that wood... Oh god! His farther was sitting under a big tree with a frightened face. She busted into tears when seeing her father. He took the daughter in his arm and understood all.

He found the happiness in his wife's eyes. Never did he fell so happy and love his small family so much. He understood that nothing was so valuable as his family. Since that he has cared for his family more, this also has brought his comfort after hard working hours.

He ended up his story with such a bright smile that I cannot forget until now. I always remind myself of his last saying: "I have realized the most important in my life, it is not to pursue the success by all means, but when I can bring the happiness to not only myself but also my dear persons."

Hope for your help! If anything still wrong, I will continue to correct it, thanks
Ha.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Oct 11, 2006   #2
Greetings!

The "voice" of a story refers to who the narrator is; in other words, who is telling the story. The narrator can't communicate anything it does not see, feel, think or experience. Voice is also called "point of view."

In first-person voice, the narrator uses the pronouns "I" or "we." For example, "I wrote to EssayForum for help." First person tends to bring the reader closer in to the main character, to understand and perhaps sympathize more with that character.

Second-person is not used as much these days. It happens when the narrator addresses the reader directly: "You wanted advice, so you asked EssayForum." The "you" can also be implied, as in an instruction booklet: "Turn the applicance on" actually means, "You should turn the appliance on."

Third-person voice can be "omnicient" or "limited." The third person limited point of view picks one character and allows the reader inside his or her thoughts and experiences. The narrator is limited to what that one character can observe. "Jim was angry with Sally. He wondered why she hadn't called him back."

A third person omniscient narrator can shift focus from character to character, knowing events which a single character could not be aware of, as well as everyone's thoughts: "Jim could feel himself growing angry. Sally noticed this, but decided she didn't care."

While it might seem easier to use third-person omnicient voice to jump from one character's thoughts to another, most writers agree that it is difficult to do it well. My recommendation would be that if you are going to write a story in third-person voice, use a limited point of view. Even though you are writing in the third person ("Jim threw his cell phone down in disgust"), you will only tell of events that one character knows about. You can't, for instance, leave Jim at home, and then write about what's happening at school while he isn't there.

In a novel, it is possible to use different points of view in different chapters, for added effect, but if you are just writing a short story, it's best to pick a point of view and stick with it.

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP econsangel 4 / 19  
Oct 12, 2006   #3
Thanks for your help, it's helpful for me

When I read about uncluttered writing, I find that the "cluttered" writing will be made when I use the relative clauses, is it correct? If true, it means that I shouldn't use this while writing, right?

Thanks
Ha.
OP econsangel 4 / 19  
Oct 12, 2006   #4
And there is something I feel confusing, they (my book) said that "Story telling helps embody and transfer complete information", on the other hand, they also said that "Don't say everything right way", and "Let the reader do some work", so what will we write completely? what won't we write completely ?(means let readers do some work?)

And how to create picture words? (it means I have to describe pictures about people and places in my story?)

Thanks, Madam!
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Oct 12, 2006   #5
Greetings!

A relative clause can be restrictive or non-restrictive. In English, a relative clause follows the noun, or "antecedent," it modifies. "John wrote the song that the band was playing." The restrictive relative clause is "that the band was playing," because it identifies the specific song that John wrote. If you say, "John wrote a great song, which became quite popular" the non-restrictive relative clause ("which became quite popular") does not help to make its antecedent ("song") definite, but gives extra information describing it.

As you can see from those examples, a relative clause can be quite useful in describing the noun you are talking about. I think when your book says that relative clauses can make writing cluttered, it means TOO MANY relative clauses can. For instance, consider this sentence: "John, who is my best friend, wrote the song that The Tree Huggers, a folk-rock band, was playing, which has become quite popular." Now, THAT is cluttered writing! If you take all the relative clauses out of your writing, you won't have much to say, though.

As to your second set of questions, I can see why you think your book is contradicting itself, but it really isn't. If you tell your reader everything immediately, it takes all the suspense out of the story and gives the reader no reason to go on reading. Also, if you tell your readers what they should be thinking, not only will they lose interest, but consciously or subconsciously, they will feel patronized; in other words, they'll think you think they are too stupid to figure it out themselves. Consider this example: "Fred's eyes narrowed to slits and his lips grew thin. His jaw was clenched so tightly, it was a wonder he could snarl, 'Shut up!' He was obviously angry." Now, did I really need to tell you he was angry? Of course not! I had drawn you a picture of his mood. Which covers your next question as well. Don't tell me Fred is angry; show me his eyes, his lips, his jaw. Let me hear his snarl. Then you will have painted a picture of Fred that is much more interesting than simply saying, "Fred was really angry."

Hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP econsangel 4 / 19  
Oct 13, 2006   #6
Oh, they are very helpful to me, Ms. Sarah!
But when I tell a story in the third-person voice, I cannot show the direct dialogue, such as "shut up!" like you said, right? (also because I see the topic said that "Do not use a question and answer format or include extended dialogue.")

So how to make picture words without describe his face, right?
Thanks, I will start writing story now, hope for your help.
Have a nice day!
Ha.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Oct 13, 2006   #7
Greetings!

I think you may still be a bit confused about what third-person voice means. When you write in third person your characters can talk, go places, interact with other characters or do whatever you want them to.

Let's say your main character is named John. You might describe him through narration: "John was a tall man with long, bony fingers." Or you might have another character describe him through dialogue: "Bobby laughed at John and said, 'Man, you sure have long, bony fingers!' " You might even have John describe himself: "John looked in the mirror and ran his fingers through his dark hair. 'I hate my fingers; they're too bony,' he thought." Now we have a picture of John that helps us feel we know him better.

When you get advice like "don't use extended dialogue," the important word is "extended." In other words, don't have the dialogue go on for page after page. Certainly you can and should make your characters have conversations. That is often the best way to reveal important parts of the story. For instance, you could just say, "Many years ago, John saw Bobby steal a book from the library." But wouldn't it be much more interesting if that information came out during a conversation between the two, like this?

John took one look at Bobby and turned away.
"You still holding a grudge against me?" asked Bobby.
John whirled to face him. "You still a thief?" he said.

Now you've got your reader wondering what that grudge is all about! Your reader wants to continue reading to find out what happened to cause John's attitude.

By all means, start writing your story, and remember to have fun with it!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP econsangel 4 / 19  
Oct 13, 2006   #8
Ok, this is my topic I have chosen to write :
Write an essay based on an interview with a member of your immediate or extended
family. Ask your interviewee to share an experience that has left a significant mark on
his or her life.
You should apply appropriate storytelling techniques in your essay, such as heightening reader interest and creating word pictures. In addition, you should frame your essay within a setting that clearly conveys the time and place of the story that was told to you.

Do not use a question and answer format or include extended dialogue.
Your essay, written in the third-person voice, should be 450-500 words long. It must be
coherent and cohesive, and must apply the principles of plain and uncluttered writing.
OP econsangel 4 / 19  
Oct 13, 2006   #9
I write it after hearing your hints about my questions.
Hope that it can satisfy the story telling technique as well as the topic's request.
I hope for your help.
Thanks
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Oct 13, 2006   #10
Greetings!

The story you tell is a good one, because it has many elements that make a story interesting: drama, suspense, a child in danger, and of course, a happy ending! The changes I would suggest are mainly to do with grammar and syntax.

In the first paragraph, the "when" and "where" of your story are not immediately clear, because you change tenses twice in the first sentence. "Since I was in Singapore" -- does that mean you used to be in Singapore and no longer are there? "Since" then, "I have met . . . many people" makes it sound like you met the man after you left Singapore, yet his story takes place there -- a bit confusing! Even more so when you start out talking in the past tense and switch to present: "a man who always looks happy although I know that his business is busy" sounds like he is someone you see now, on a regular basis. So, be careful with word choice and tenses.

Intead of "there was a wonderful wife" say "he had a wonderful wife." "Daddy, I hope you will come back mommy and me at 8:0 p.m to night" needs a preposition ("to Mommy and me") or better yet, an infinitive: "come back to see Mommy and me at 8:00 p.m. tonight."

"But busy working took him so much time that he could not care about his family, his wife and his little daughter longing for the love and caring of her father." This sentence has grammatical errors and is a bit run-on. Better would be "Work took so much of his time that he neglected his family. His daughter longed for more love and attention from her father."

Be careful not to interrupt exciting action with commentary. "Only when experiencing the feeling of losing something do you find out that thing is really important to you." That's an important thought, but put it later, not in the middle of the action when the dad is rushing out to find his daughter.

A "frightening face" is one which is scary (it scares the people who look at it). You mean "frightened."

"They continued to find hopelessly" doesn't make sense. I think you must mean "They continued to search hopelessly" although it would be better to say "They continued to search, but were beginning to lose hope."

"They did not know whether the girl dared to be in at that time." I'm really not sure what this means.

I won't go through every sentence, but I do advise that you carefully check for both run-on sentences and sentence fragments. You have a few of both.

A little more polishing and I think your story will be fine. You're working very hard and it will definitely pay off!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP econsangel 4 / 19  
Oct 14, 2006   #11
Thanks for your encourage!
As far as you said, the time and the place of the story (in the topic) means when and where I hear the story? Oh, I think that when and where the story happened in the past! Thank you.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Oct 15, 2006   #12
Greetings!

Your story is definitely progressing and getting better every time you work on it! First, I'll answer your questions. Yes, you may say that indirectly rather than directly and it will be fine. It would sound more natural, though, instead of "He agreed without noticing what she mentioned in her words" to say "He agreed without really paying attention to what she said."

As to your second question, yes, I see the effect you are trying to get there, and I agree that it works better like you have it now. One thing, though: "He said me then." is not grammatically correct. Better would be ". . . 'is really important to you,' Mr. Chew told me."

A few more suggestions: "He thought that everything would be alright and his little daughter's saying was not important at all." This sentence is a little awkward and you really don't need it; I'd take it out.

"huge" means "very large." You mean "hugged." "Mr. Chew regretted because of his empty promise" should be "Mr. Chew regretted making his empty promise." Although, it might be more accurate to say he wished he had kept his promise, wouldn't it?

I'll put the rest of the things I think need changing in bold and my suggested substitutions in brackets.

"His farther [daughter] was sitting under a big tree with a frightened face." ["looking terrified"] "She busted into tears when seeing her father." [She burst into tears when she saw her father]. "He took the daughter in his arm and understood all." [It should be "arms" -- but I'm not quite sure what you mean by "understood all."]

"Never did he fell [feel] so happy"

I cannot forget until now [I have never forgotten it.]

"I always remind myself of his last saying [words]: "I have realized the most important [thing] in my life, it is not to pursue the success by all means, but when I can bring the happiness to not only myself but also my dear persons." [I have realized that the most important thing in my life is not pursuing success by any means, but bringing happiness to myself and those who are dear to me.]

Best of luck!

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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