shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
Part two of my application for the Canada 150 ocean expedition. The topic is my vision for Canada's future. How the heck do I do this in less than 250 words without sounding like a beauty pageant contestant? Feedback is appreciated.

My vision of Canada’s future is one in which people live together in harmony with the environment. Although Canada is rich with natural resources, they are being squandered and mistreated. The old growth forests of Quebec are turned into toilet paper. Our drinking water supplies are given to bottled water companies at a pittance and sold back to us with exorbitant markups. Our waterways are being poisoned with acids so powerful that waterfowl die upon contact. Rich farmland is parcelled up into subdivisions with shoddily-constructed houses. Oil pipelines and tankers have disastrous leaks, causing irreparable harm to the soil, to the water, to the wildlife, and to us.

It is irrational that a country as rich as this one has people living with insufficient food and without potable water. It is inexcusable that indigenous people were deliberately deprived of both by the first Prime Minister and that this has still not been rectified.

We must work toward sustainability, decreasing our reliance on non-renewable resources while at the same time safeguarding and replenishing the renewable ones. We’ve shown it can be done. When the coal-powered electrical generating stations were closed in favour of alternative power sources, we removed the smog which blanketed the most populous parts of the country. We must act as custodians to the earth, and not rely upon other people to fix things we are capable of fixing. We are other people.

Date: 2017-03-10 07:15 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] clevermanka.livejournal.com
Best advice I can give you is pare down your sentences to the minimum while keeping the content. So your first paragraph could go from 108 words to 77 with some modifications:

Canada’s future could be one of harmony with the environment. Our rich natural resources are being squandered and mistreated. Quebec’s old growth forests become toilet paper. Clean water is sold at a pittance and returned to us at exorbitant prices. Waterways are poisoned with acids powerful enough to kill waterfowl upon contact. Rich farmland is parceled into subdivisions with shoddily-constructed houses. Oil pipeline and tanker leaks cause irreparable harm to the soil, water, wildlife, and to us.

Does that help?

Date: 2017-03-10 07:29 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] shanmonster.livejournal.com
Yes. Thank you.

Heh. I still have no idea how not to sound like a pageant contestant. Know what I mean? There are only so many things one can address in such a meagre word count.

Date: 2017-03-10 07:33 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] clevermanka.livejournal.com
If you wanna email me your (next-to) final draft whenever it's ready, I'm happy to pare it down for you like I did that one. If you want.

Date: 2017-03-10 08:57 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] shanmonster.livejournal.com
Cool. Thanks. I guess I'm more concerned about content. How do I write about such an enormous topic without sounding like I'm glossing over everything and being devoid of actual content?

Date: 2017-03-10 10:51 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] elanya.livejournal.com
Well, at least everyone else is going to have the same problem, as far as word count goes.

What I would say about this is that it dwells too much on the past without giving a good impression of what the future you speak of would look like. I think it would be pretty easy to invert a lot of it. Speak more directly to the problems being *fixed* in your vision, instead of simply stating what they are.

So, like: My vision of Canada is one where indigenous peoples are all guaranteed sufficient food and potable water, where we take more seriously our responsibility to protect the land against environmental damage, where we are responsible custodiants of our land and water and do not prize profitability above access.

That sort of thing. More "This is what Canada should look like once we have our problems in hand" and less "These are the problems we need to solve." You're an excellent writer - I think you can make the current problems themselves clear when discussing the future without having to explicitly list them first (and save space ;).

Date: 2017-03-10 11:03 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sidruid.livejournal.com
I would fix up the sentence around "by our first Prime Minister" as its awkward.

Also, unless "We are other people" is a recognizable quote/phrase/etc in Canada, I found it to be an odd ending (and didn't quite understand what you meant by it)

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