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  1. #11
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    There's nothing wrong with your subject. We don't all write "uplifting" stories.

    One suggestion I'll make: be sure you spell and grammar check your work before you post it here, and certainly before you submit it to your teacher. Those kinds of errors are easy to fix, and when you don't they catch the eye and slow down the way we read the piece.

    Also,

    "She gets home and hears her parents bickering to eachother. And suddenly she feels the ice cold, iron grip of despair, like a shard of ice sliding through her numb brain.

    She feels the despair in her blood, pounding through her veins, coursing through every ventricle in her body. It seizes control of her unconscious, crushing her until she finally gives way and embraces her despair."

    The first paragraph is sufficient to establish her unhappiness. The second doesn't add anything to it, just repeats. I'd pull the second paragraph.



  2. #12
    Alex Richardson
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    Thanks for reading, Leslee. I'll just say that I did spell-check it, on MS word. Forgive me the occasional mistake, lol.

    With the the whole uplifting issue, yes, we don't all write with happy conclusions. But at the same time, think about some books you've read. Ones that have a positive ending are, to my mind, infinitely more satisfying. However, i'm not confident in my ability to write something like that yet.

    I'll mature into it, don't worry

  3. #13
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    Your attitude determines whether the criticism is destructive or constructive. I intend it to be constructive. I raised what I consider valid problems with your piece, and I also suggested a specific more uplifting storyline. Whether you address those problems or change the story and how you do it is up to your fertile young mind.

    You've been brainwashed, Alex; I see it all the time. Death, drugs, crime...those are the "hard realities" of life, while joy, love, and hope are fairy tale Ozzy and Harriet dreams. That's a lie, Alex. The horrors of life are really nightmares intruding upon the truth of love. Love is the eternal reality, and suicide, greed, and all the other inhumanities sneer and spit at it.

    It rankles me to no end. Have you ever seen the movie Bridge over the River Kwai? Now THERE'S a dose of reality for you. Most everyone would point to the horrors of the concentration camp and claim THAT'S reality. But tell me, which holds more power, more poignancy, more reality...the torture, or the man who, beaten, bloodied, and weak from the torture, stands straight and strong as he can and will not submit? I tell you the greater reality of that man's character exposes the flimsiness of his circumstantial "realities".

    That's the way it is. That is reality. Love, nobility, compassion...those deep virtues always triumph over shallow, selfish hatred and degradation if we invest enough reason and effort to embrace them tightly. Perhaps they may lose a few skirmishes, even a few battles, but victory is always theirs in the end.

    But our spirits are weak and fat to the extent that deprivation of the latest fad clothing, or a car, or money moves a thin-souled girl to tears and suicide or lard-souled boy to anger and murder. That's the type of girl I see in your writing sample, but it wouldn't take much to add quite a bit more depth and strength to her, if you're willing. However, I understand wanting to travel the route of least resistance.

    And Bets, it is NOT a powerful piece; I challenge you to show me one iota of power in it. Everything about this girl screams powerLESS. Conquering powerlessness...now THAT would be powerful.

  4. #14
    Jon Campbell
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    Alex,

    I too think writing depressing subject matter is perfectly acceptable. Why? Maybe because we can expound on the idea that life as a teenager isn't always great. We don't all get to become prom queen or cheerleaders.

    But that said, I think your short story needs some focus and attention to details. I can't add much more than what others have already said, but concentrate on her emotional state of mind and bring her pain to the surface more clearly. I didn't see any reason for the suicide attempt from the few remarks about her loneliness.

    Neglect isn't a good reason either, sometimes. Anxiety and fear of social standings sometimes are powerful tools to explain our desire for the solitude of death. But the bits and pieces of her experiences aren't enough to justify this behavior, in my opinion.

    Also, as John said, the attempt to stab through her arm and slice the flesh just didn't work. But when you work on the scene again, I think a reasonable slash will do just fine...:-)

    <b She gathers her belongings and goes to walk out. b>

    "She leaves, alone again."

    Good ideas can become depressing sometimes. I used to write this subject matter as a teen. My teenage children have probably done the same. But some good can come from learning why kids today attempt, or succeed, suicide.

    Cheers and good luck,

    Jon

  5. #15
    CLAIRE GALMAMI
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    Hi Alex,

    I do like your description and use of words, but for me it feels more like a poem, than a short story. Do you write poetry? I think that its true about writing something uplifting, as a new experiance. I personnally find it more difficult to write anything that happy, except for Childrens books, and all my poetry from my teens is very dark. I think you should keep on going, and post more.

    Thanks

    Claire

  6. #16
    C Bets
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    John:

    I suppose I was commenting on the subject matter, not necessarily the writing. "Powerful" may have been the wrong word to use, but I stand by my opinion that, considering the topic he chose to use, it was pretty gutsy. And if he wanted it to end with conquering the feeling of powerlessness, he would have done so. Instead, he chose to continue with the character’s feeling of loneliness and despair. That was the title of the story – Alone – it moved me.

    Anyone could have ended it with “and she lived happily ever after,” after finding the strength to overcome and see the good in life, blah, blah, blah. This was a little unique and, in my opinion, a step beyond the “safe.”

    C

  7. #17
    Jon Campbell
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    Alone.

    She sits alone. She is content to be alone, alone with her thoughts. She sits alone, dreaming of the life that she doesn’t have, of parents that care. But she is alone. She sits alone on the wall, looking at the other children, who look straight through her. Their eyes register no emotion. She would prefer to be bullied than to be ignored.

    ---
    Author: John Oberon (---.64.129.162.nw.nuvox.net)
    Date: 07-27-05 10:29

    And Bets, it is NOT a powerful piece; I challenge you to show me one iota of power in it. Everything about this girl screams powerLESS. Conquering powerlessness...now THAT would be powerful.
    ---

    I read through it once more and believe the isolation she felt was contrived, somewhat. Feeling "alone" and not part of society is so common today. Take all these people on the internet who do nothing all day but "chat" with other lonely people.

    I think the "alone" idea is much more powerful when you put it into some context the reader can identify with.

    She is powerless. John was right on about this. She is powerless to pursuade other people to accept her. She is powerless as a teenager to change her perceptions of how people view her.

    Why is she always alone? Does she have a social stigma or just plain ugly? Why does her teacher ignore her? What are her thoughts about interacting with kids her own age?

    See, there are just too many unanswered questions. She does trudges off to home and slits her wrist. Blah...

    John was so right also about exploring the realities of life. Uplifting stories are food for the soul. Overcoming adversity is a universal theme in many great stories. Suicide is an excuse to evade responsibilty.

    Try again. I think you'll find that writing isn't always easy, so don't seek an easy way out.

    Jon

  8. #18
    C Bets
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    Oh, and I agree that the girl views herself as "powerless." But, regardless, there are many, many kids who can relate to the feeling she's experiencing. Don't you remember your adolescence? Remember how some situations, as stupid and insignificant as they may be right now, were earth-shattering and very important to you at the time?

    C

  9. #19
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    "You've been brainwashed, Alex. . ."

    What arrogance. You don't know the first thing about this person.

  10. #20
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, criticism please :)

    Perhaps I meant to say "inspiring" instead of "uplifting". At any rate, I don't intend to say that you should write only about happy things. I've read plenty of books and seen plenty of movies that are very sad yet inspiring.

    You see my point? This girl is miserable so she kills herself. What good is that story except to spur others who identify emotionally to do likewise? What good is it to learn only of her reasons to kill herself and then read how she follows through? That is an evil, selfish story. Far better to include reasons to live and even better to convince her it's the better course to pursue. The best would show how love eradicates that thinking altogether and guides her on a more productive avenue of life.

    Good grief, don't we wallow in enough real misery without creating fictional accounts?

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