During these two weeks, we learnt about nouns, verbs and word structure as a refresher. In addition, we also learnt about the importance of decluttering and editing our work. These two weeks are bundled together as they cover subjects in the same field, and go hand-in-hand together.

Nouns and verbs are the key components of a sentence. A noun is, simply put, an object word. Names, places and objects are all nouns. Formally, it is defined as…

  • a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things ( common noun ), or to name a particular one of these ( proper noun ).

A verb, on the other hand, is an action word. When you are doing something, it is described through a verb. Formally, it is defined as…

  • a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hear, become, happen.

By combining nouns, verbs, connectives and basic words, you form a sentence. As such, sentence structure is very important and can be easily messed up. As said on The Write Practice,

You might be a student trying to get a passing grade on an essay, a guy trying to text to a smart girl without humiliating yourself, an employee writing a company-wide memo, or a writer working on your next book. When sentence structure gets out of whack, there can be consequences (no passing grade, no first date, no raise, no publishing contract, no bueno).

(The Write Practice, 2014?)

As well as this, we learnt of decluttering and editing our work. They are sides of the same coin, as decluttering involves looking over a piece of writing to remove any needless text – filler. This is, by at its core, editing. When looking past decluttering, the process of editing is to look for consistency, genre, tone, plot and style, among other aspects.

To showcase examples of decluttering, here are a list of tips from an article on The Write Life…

  1. Avoid little word pile-ups and eliminate redundancies
  2. Don’t drown your readers in details
  3. Take out empty, ‘filler’ words
  4. Take out the word ‘that’ wherever it’s not needed
  5. Delete words or phrases that unnecessarily reinforce what’s already been said
  6. Don’t tell after you’ve shown
  7. Condense any long-winded dialogue

(The Write Life, 2014)

And tips on editing from SmartBlogger. Shown in a screencap to highlight the unique introduction that the article had.

blah blah editing.png

(SmartBlogger, 2016)

As shown, decluttering and editing are in the same field. Decluttering is one aspect of editing, while editing as a whole is broader.

During class, we were told to do peer edits and review each others work. As I didn’t want to confuse anyone, I chose to show them my first piece, or rather ‘Chapter #0’. This was the prologue, and introduced people to the main three characters. I gave my piece to Jamie, Holly and Robbie, as well as a few others. The main change concerned this line…

“Whoa. Really? Wait– Then how can they listen to us? The X-270 BioChip is responsible for the communication we have.”

As Jamie pointed out, it felt clunky compared to the rest of the dialogue. The sentence shoved a fancy-sounding name into the reader’s mouth, just to sound futuristic. It was clear Amelia (the speaking character) was saying it only for exposition. So, after some changes, I ended with…

“How’s that even possible? You know that other than being the biggest damn case of privacy invasion, we’re talking like this because of these nanomachines.”

The dialogue sounded far more natural. By adding in mild cursing, sarcastic emphasis and a skeptical tone, it fit more with Amelia’s distinctively snarky voice and still exposed readers to exposition.

As for progress on my project, I experienced a panic attack due to overwhelming stress and pressure during the 5th week. I felt as if I had nothing to show, despite being halfway there. Afterward, I sat down and finally finished the proposal (as already seen on the blog) and created a list of things I needed to have for the project. From there, I started writing all the other pieces as well as starting on editing.

The writing aspect is nearly done, and I have plans for how to handle the art and audio. Towards the end of week 6, I contacted several friends for help with the art, and I am currently getting together everything for the audio work – though that requires the writing to be done.