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Hello! I want to write but English is not my first language.

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Old 11-17-2010, 05:46 AM
siovene (Offline)
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Default Hello! I want to write but English is not my first language.


Hello,
let me introduce myself, as this is my first post.

My name is Salva, I'm an Italian living in Finland. I've been an avid reader since the age of 9 (getting close to 30, now), but never much of a writer. I haven't written anything, if you don't count an unfinished novel experiment when I was probably twelve, now lost in time, and some short stories for the amusement of some friends.

You know what my problem is, right now? I want to write, but I realize my English is far from being good enough. Sure, I can write in a grammatically correct way, save the occasional mistake. Sure, if I'm writing personal messages, emails or anything else which is purely colloquial, you won't necessarily notice that I'm not a native English speaker (although you might, mind you!). The thing is that when I'm reading, and especially if I'm reading some beautiful prose, I will understand everything, and I will need to look up only a handful of words per book, but I will also realize that so many of the words I understand and know, and so many of the constructs or idioms I recognize, I wouldn't have used myself.

My writing ends up being dull, poor and just plain forgettable.

I know what you're thinking.
"Well then just write in your mother-tongue, uh?"

I have lived abroad for 5 years, and as I got more and more fascinated with the English language, I've been reading nothing but English. Except a few calls to my parents back home, and the very easy Italian I speak to my wife, who's learning it, I speak very little of my mother-tongue. And, with the disuse, I got increasingly worse at it. To the point that I can know write English in a much more proficient and natural way.

Add to all this the fact that I have stories I want to tell. That I don't feel much trouble in the art of planning a plot (well within the boundaries of an amateur with no experience, though). That I would love to be a writer.

I know, I know. You've heard it a thousand times. And if you had a penny for each time you did... Never mind.

So I thought I'd show you something I recently wrote. It might be confusing, but it's just a first draft. Maybe half a draft. It's the beginning of a story.

What I would like to know is: are my shortcomings surmountable? Is the language to plain, dull and boring. Would you read a novel written like that?

Here it is, please download it and have a look (you don't really have to read all the 15 pages!):

===========================================
 tmp.iovene.com/diary-of-the-devonian.rtf
===========================================

(please just copy-paste it in your browser,
because I cannot post links before I have at least 10 posts).
Thank you very much for the help which I know will flood me

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Old 11-17-2010, 07:01 PM
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Welcome to WB!

That's fine if English isn't your first language! A lot of people here speak different languages. Good to have you here. Have a , and join the table.

Happy Writing!
-Writing.Geek.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:19 AM
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Welcome to the forums, Siovene!

I'm Dutch myself, and I've lived in France for 7 years, but I mostly write and read in English Glad to see another international one here!

For extended critique, I suggest you post part of your writing in the 'Write Here' section. It will keep the boards from becoming cluttered with critiques in the 'introductions' part, and you will most certainly get more people who will be wanting to help you out! Depending on the genre of your writing, you can pick a subforum where to post your work

Have a look at the FAQ and the rules & guidelines to get a general idea of how the forum works, and for any other questions please feel free to contact any member of the staff!

Now have a seat and make yourself at home I'd say; here's a lollipop and a cup of nice, crunchy tea!
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:05 PM
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Hi there =) I'm new too, but saw your post and thought I'd reply. My partner only speaks English as his third (or fourth. not too sure) language but writes A LOT. It's not always perfect and sometimes his dialogue sounds slightly awkward, but he gets his stories across and with a little editing there's no problems. I think with practice your writing will come more naturally, and there's a lot of advantages of not being a native speaker. For the most part our understanding of grammar is just awful. =) I'm not even American (don't be mad Americans =( ) and I'm admitting that! Hope to see you around. =)
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:33 PM
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There is nothing wrong with simple English. Sometimes the simplest words and shortest of sentences convey the most powerful meanings. Go read Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle, or if you want a more politically charged book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Both these books are written from a child's perspective, and the writing style is simplistic yet descriptive and really beautiful. Have fun at WB(:
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