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105247 No. 105247
Didn't see any thread that recently discussed this issue, so I'm making one.

Hello everypony. My name is Khakispony, and I’m fairly new to the reviewing scene, but I have found one particular writing habit in both fics I’ve reviewed that bugs me immensely. Therefore, I’ve decided to start a discussion thread to see how other reviewers feel about this.

The error I’m referring to is when a writer says the same thing twice. Example: Cherilee stood up, starting the day’s lesson. Starting her lesson, Cherilee...” whatever, I’m too lazy to find a good way to close the sentence. But you see how the first sentence is entirely superfluous. I don’t claim to be a great reviewer, but every fic I’ve reviewed has this problem at some point. Another similar problem I’ve encountered is just adding information that is easily inferred. Now maybe I’m crazy, but when someone writes, “A breeze flowed through the open window.” I always find myself snarkily laughing, like the author expected me to think the window was closed. Its completely superfluous in my opinion. So I wanted to know if any other reviewers run into this problem frequently, or if I have a knack for picking fics that have this problem. Furthermore, is it even a problem in the first place, or am I looking at a pet peeve rather than an actual story hiccup. Finally, if it is an actual hiccup, I know of a term used by my history professor that I like a lot that I would like to introduce into a reviewers lexicon: The Department of Redundancy Department (or Redundancy Department of Redundancy). Thanks for your opinions.
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>> No. 105249
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>>“A breeze flowed through the open window.”

Where else would you expect the breeze to flow? The author has shown where the breeze was flowing from. Do the walls have lungs and a mouth all of a sudden?

I would say that it's just a pet peeve. Your earlier words on redundancy sound about right to me.
>> No. 105250

And by right, I mean that something like your example is a bad way to write out a character's action.
>> No. 105251
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>“A breeze flowed through the open window.”
That's on about the same level as the classic Twilight live, "Edward put Bella into the chair upright."

However, keep in mind that stating something like a window being, which has a variable state of "openess" (if you'll excuse my Engrish so that I can make a point), could be important. For example, the window may be opened a crack, enough to let the air in, or it could be wide-open, allowing a certain clumsy delivery pony to fly through it.

This as well. You can't say the wind came through the window, unless it's broken. In this case, stating it's open is a must for the reader to properly infer what's happening.
>> No. 105252
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Yes, redundancy is a big problem. In my experience, it affects even well-written stories when it appears in the form of "telling" the reader what they've just been "shown".

For a quick and simplistic example:

"Pinkie's hair deflated and her chin began to quiver. Tears streamed into her eyes. She was sad."

This "she was sad" business merely restates what's already obvious from the surrounding text. Further, it denies the reader the fun of inferring on his or her own that Pinkie is sad. So it ruins a "showing" paragraph by "telling" what was just shown.

I think this sort of redundancy stems in part from the essay-writing instincts some authors have learned in school, where the goal is to beat the reader over the head with your meaning and leave no subtlety without an exhaustive justification.
>> No. 105292
Words are sexy. Newbie writers do this sort of thing for the same reason they write wall-of-text paragraphs -- they're having fun writing and want to do as much of it as possible. Words splurge everywhere.

Something like
>Cherilee stood up, starting the day’s lesson. Starting her lesson, Cherilee...
could also be because the writer took a break between sentence one and two. I've done it.

Being redundant and verbose is a problem. It kills pacing, bores the reader and wastes everyone's time. Despite the age and disputedness of Strunk and White, I still recommend people read it for its core message: every word must tell. Your prose should be a lean story-telling machine or a delicious feast of imagery (or somewhere in between, or something else that works), not a padded pillow full of padding.
>> No. 105306
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I was gonna offer my two bits but it looks like everything's been said. So I'll just agree with EZN in that yes, this happens a lot. I've been caught doing it once or twice.

>Scootaloo pic
>> No. 105315
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You can't have 'em all

>> No. 105316
>from an open window

Completely non-ironic extract from current draft
The boutique's main doors were closed, but Fluttershy had an open invitation to the back. Rarity left it unlocked when she was at home and Fluttershy eased the door open with a soft, "Good morning."

The hall was empty and so was the kitchen through the first archway on the right. Sunlight filled the room; the counters, sink, and table shone clean and bare. Breeze blew in from an open window and set a chime tinkling.

Fluttershy nosed her panniers onto the table and considered starting the kettle herself. Tea was nice, and so much nicer with a friend.

Well, shit.

In defense of redundancy in general (I'm not sure if I want to keep this case yet):

- Redundancy may function to save the reader effort. Showing is the art of taking over the readers' imaginations and driving them yourself.
If I don't mention the window, it won't enter the imaginary stage and the chime won't hang there. That's the strongest argument for keeping that particular case.

>Edward put Bella into the chair upright.
Implying that "upright" is significant, that Bella would slump over without the help of her sexy strong stalker sparklepire. I think the author effectively communicates her intent, oh so failful though it be...

- Redundancy may be required of identifiers.
Repeated character names are more effective than infinite permutations on "the such-and-such pony."

- Redundancy creates rhythm
Which may be a good thing or a bad thing, a question of poetic aesthetics like alliteration or rhyme, neither feature nor fault outside of context, and much dependent on each reader's taste. Have you ever read the Psalms?

- Redundancy may illuminate logical and grammatical structure.
As in this post.

Redundancy draws attention to itself. Used by accident it is a particularly ugly flaw, fortunately one that revision easily fixes.
>> No. 105327
Things I find redundant are sentences like

She kept falling down, down down.


I've read it in a few fics and that sentence could easily be revised, however, the author didn't take my advice :(

And yes, (while being a culprit to the crime itself) The ruining of a shown part by saying she/he's sad/happy/constipated.

another thing: floating thoughts and 'speech' like hmm, hahahahah, oh, and the such. I can swallow it if it's delivered with more dialogue but if it stands on its own it could easily be omitted.
>> No. 105516
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>She kept falling down, down down
>I'm falling down, down, down
And I was like baby... baby... baby... oooo
>> No. 105517
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>> No. 105519
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Repetition in the name of poetry is Ok, but prose should be purged of all lazy words. Prose should be cut until the story bleeds a bit. Show no mercy.

That said, one of my favorite authors is positively voluptuous with depictions of landscape to the point where his work makes me a touch dizzy to try and drink in. In those cases where there is a lyrical quality to the description, I do not mind the languorous style. Again, the words are in service to the poetic qualities of the piece.

Most new writers have a difficult time finding the balance between the hard-edged prose that forms the structure of the piece, and the little flourishes and details that make the story special. It's all part of the process.
>> No. 105520
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I use that picture so much for a second I thought I had posted that. I was like 'I don't remember writing that...'
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