Surprising feedback (on text written in second language)

I’m a writer.

This means I write a lot, mainly in Russian.

Sometimes (like right now) I also write in English or even Spanish. It’s hard to write (or think!) in foreign language. You never know for sure if your attempts to express your thoughts have been successful. Have you chosen the right word from the dictionary? Do people use this exact term? How does this sentence read?

It’s hard enough to create text in mother tongue. But it gets worse with language you “study”, not “grow into”.

I’ve enrolled into free “Start writing fiction” online course lately.

I’ve received a feedback today which I want to share together with my assignment just to show you how much another person can add reading — even if I wanted to say different things.

I’d love to get your thoughts, too.

On writing in different languages. On writing practices. On feedback. On assignment. Anything.

(amazing illustration with cute character somehow related to the character I’ve been describing myself)

My assignment

He stands out. As he always will.
He stands there, close to unknown, and feels free to say whatever it’s on his mind.

Red scarf jumping on the wind, funny hat making his ears warm. He finds joy in being real. Real up to being transparent. Sometimes he is not here as individuality but exists only as passionless observer.

People do not notice him in the crowd. He stands out too much while their eyes are too trained for watching mediocrity or checking for minor fluctuations. None of these words could describe him.

Sometimes he even questions himself: am I human? They pretend I’m different kin.

He doesn’t feel any fear or resentment at all. He knows exactly what needs to be done, and who would be the best man for the job. He chooses any task which have been never touched before. He shows other right tasks to right people.

He feels nothing if someone calls him amateur (in «non-professional» way).
Let’s see: professional knows, but amateur (from lover, «amātor» in Latin) feels.

Isn’t he great?
The saddest part I’m not him, that’s all.

Feedback I’ve got today

The character appears to be an alter-ego, a superhero drawn from films or TV. The sketchy caricature may only be describing a character invented by someone else. It was a limited description given few models were applied, there was no original plot to move it forward and reveal more about the character.

The character was clearly portrayed as a super human, we are told he is different. The English was not always used correctly and the reader has to guess the intended meaning. For example, across two paragraphs we are told he stands out, then he doesn’t stand out, then he stands out again. The attempt to explain the word ‘amateur’ was a good intention but needs more care in presentation. I want to know more about this character — why he wants to be the best or how he actually helps people. What are his values about the human race, does he have friends, and does he work, etc.?

He wears a red scarf and a funny hat. Intriguing! Can you add more? Does he hide his real self from people like superman? He has no fear or resentment, why is that good — do people try to frighten him or making feel resentful. When he shows people how to do a task is he kindly or brusque. How does his superhuman qualities manifest at the supermarket or down town or what does he do to hide his power. An interesting effort to introduce a character.

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