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Thread: Okay, my turn.

  1. #1
    SpookyDude
    Guest

    Okay, my turn.

    Hey, I've critiqued a few passages recently and felt as though maybe I should be on the receiving end for a change. So if anyone wants to take a shot at this piece, I'd appreciate the opportunity to be on the receiving end of a crit.

    ---
    Megan shot a glance over at David. She questioned him with her eyes. The two men couldn’t possibly understand what he was talking about, so why had he blurted out that stuff like he did? She didn’t like talking about her parents with strangers. The two men chewed their food without speaking as though they hadn’t heard the question.

    “Not much going on here,” Roy said.

    Megan touched Ryan’s arm as though to tell him not to talk. She waited for Bardy to finish his bite of food. “My mom and dad are lost. We can’t find them and thought maybe you’ve seen them?”

    “Don’t believe so. But maybe Betsy can help. She knows everyone who comes into town.” Roy said.

    The two men pocketed another mouthful of roast beef and smiled. Megan almost squeezed Ryan’s hand too hard until he quipped. “Megan. Let go of my hand.”

    She heard Betsy laugh. The cottage giggle reminded Megan of a horse when it made those funny whining sounds. She tightened her grip once more on Ryan’s hand until he pulled back.

    “Boys. What nonsense. Let these poor children eat without your stories.”

    David eased to the left and tapped Ryan’s shoulder. He wanted to remind him to keep quiet until he had a chance to talk. The dinner table grew quiet as Betsy swept the broken glass into a dustpan. She straightened and walked back into the kitchen. David caught the dire look on Megan’s face.

    “She’s friendly enough.” Roy said.

    “Yes, I think so too. Maybe she can tell us where to find the sheriff?” David said.

    Bardy raised a glass of milk up to his eyes. He peered at David and then whispered to Roy as though nobody noticed.



  2. #2
    Nathan Nicholl
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    *cracks knuckles*

  3. #3
    SpookyDude
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    Okay, but Nathan at least let me get on a new pair of undies first.

    * oh, boy! *

  4. #4
    Leann R
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    Hmm...I must admit I'm a little confused. There are a lot of characters in there, and I'm having a hard time following who is who. For instance, who are "the two men" - I think they're David and Roy...am I right?

    Also, about "the two men"...you used it as the beginning of a sentence twice in quick succession. Can you change it up a little bit? I don't think it's a huge thing, just something I noticed...

    Megan almost squeezed Ryan’s hand too hard until he quipped. “Megan. Let go of my hand.” - this seems a little awkward to me. Perhaps something like, "Megan was squeezing Ryan's hand, hard - almost too hard. To ease the tension, he quipped, 'Megan. Let go of my hand.' " (Just a thought).

    Where did the broken glass come from that Betsy was sweeping?

    The writing itself is very solid - I really like your style. I can picture everyone and what they're doing, which is a hard thing to accomplish.



    Hope at least something in there helps...you've been giving great critiques to everyone else!!!

    leann

  5. #5
    SpookyDude
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    Hi Leann,

    I reposted more, but you don't have to revisit this if you don't want to. I just provided more of the scene where we begin with the broken glass and go from there.

    Thanks for the feedback, I'll look at the suggestions and take them into consideration.

    Note:

    Betsy is the owner of a boarding house. Roy and Bardy are tenents. Megan, Ryan and David are staying the night while they look for Megan and Ryan's parents. David is along because he befriended them and volunteered to help.

    Bye,

    Jon
    ---

    Megan guided Ryan to the opposite end of the table. She sat him down and helped to push his chair underneath. He wasn’t fully awake and groped for a cup of milk. The glass teetered on its edge before falling onto the ground and breaking. Megan jumped and nearly tripped on the chair.

    “Now look what you’ve gone and done, young man,” Betsy said.

    Ryan leaned over and looked at the broken glass. “It wasn’t my fault. Sorry.”

    Megan tried to recover her composure. She reached to pick up the biggest piece when a pair of brown shoes invaded her vision. She straightened up and came face-to-face with the hawkish stare of Betsy.

    Her heart pounced into her throat. “I’ll get it if you want?”

    “Leave it for the boy. I’ll go get a mop and broom. He can just learn to clean up his messes like the rest of us.” Betsy said.

    “It was an accident. No reason to get so upset,” David said.

    “If I’ve told you kids once, I’ve told you a hundred times not to run amok – you must learn to listen and be good kids. I don’t like a disorderly house. I run a clean home and out of the kindness of my heart. I don’t get no rewards. All I ask is that you don’t run up and down the stairs. And what do you do.”

    Megan stared in disbelief. The woman’s mouth moved at super speed as she rattled off a list of complaints about them. Megan couldn’t believe what Betsy was saying because they were all lies. They never ran around the house, screaming at all hours of the night, or stealing food from the fridge in the middle of the night. They’ve only been upstairs for a couple hours. Megan flinched at the last sentence.

    “I know how to take care of kids like you,” Betsy said.

    “Whoa, it’s just a glass of spilt milk. Maybe we should find somewhere else to spend the night?” David said.

    Betsy smoothed her apron and smiled. “Oh my, what have I done? I’ve gone and scared you poor little kids. Please forgive me. Now don’t fret, I’ll just run into the kitchen and we’ll have this little mess cleaned up in no time.”

    Megan backed away from Betsy. She pulled the chair out and sat down. Her knees shook under the table and she tried to calm herself. The woman who was so kind to them a few hours ago became another person who terrified her. She didn’t know what to think.

    “She’s scared me,” Ryan said.

    “Don’t pay no mind to her, she can get that way sometimes. My name’s Roy and this is my friend Bardy.”

    Megan looked across the table at the two men sitting next to each other. She really hadn’t a chance to notice them before because of all the commotion. But now, she nearly choked on a laugh at the man speaking. He was wiry with wide glasses and big teeth. She wondered if he wasn’t supposed to be fixing someone’s tire or something. He still wore a grease-stained shirt like that of a car mechanic. The other man wore similar clothing but she suspected that he picked up garbage for a living. She just couldn’t imagine enough people lived around town to need a garbage man. Maybe he was a junkman or someone who collected stuff. She wasn’t sure. But one thing for sure, they both had bad teeth and grinned at her too much for her liking.

    “Hi, I’m David and this is Ryan and Megan. We’re trying to find their parents. I mean, I am helping them search for their parents. You haven’t seen them have you?”

    Megan shot a glance over at David. She questioned him with her eyes. The two men couldn’t possibly understand what he was talking about, so why had he blurted out that stuff like he did? She didn’t like talking about her parents with strangers. The two men chewed their food without speaking as though they hadn’t heard the question.

    “Not much going on here,” Roy said.

    Megan touched Ryan’s arm as though to tell him not to talk. She waited for Bardy to finish his bite of food. “My mom and dad are lost. We can’t find them and thought maybe you’ve seen them?”

    “Don’t believe so. But maybe Betsy can help. She knows everyone who comes into town.” Roy said.

    The two men pocketed another mouthful of roast beef and smiled. Megan almost squeezed Ryan’s hand too hard until he quipped. “Megan. Let go of my hand.”

    She heard Betsy laugh. The cottage giggle reminded Megan of a horse when it made those funny whining sounds. She tightened her grip once more on Ryan’s hand until he pulled back.

    “Boys. What nonsense. Let these poor children eat without your stories.”

    David eased to the left and tapped Ryan’s shoulder. He wanted to remind him to keep quiet until he had a chance to talk. The dinner table grew quiet as Betsy swept the broken glass into a dustpan. She straightened and walked back into the kitchen. David caught the dire look on Megan’s face.

    “She’s friendly enough.” Roy said.

    “Yes, I think so too. Maybe she can tell us where to find the sheriff?” David said.

    Bardy raised a glass of milk up to his eyes. He peered at David and then whispered to Roy as though nobody noticed.

  6. #6
    Dale Estey
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    Megan [shot a glance over at David. She OMIT]questioned DAVID] with her eyes. The two men couldn’t possibly understand what he was talking about. [so why had he blurted out that stuff like he did?OMIT] She didn’t like talking about her parents with strangers. The two men chewed their food [without speaking OMIT] as though they hadn’t heard the question.

    “Not much going on here,” Roy said.

    Megan touched Ryan’s arm [as though OMIT]to tell him not to talk. She waited for Bardy to finish his bite of food.
    “My mom and dad are lost. We [can’t find them and OMIT]thought maybe you’ve seen them?”

    “Don’t believe so. But maybe Betsy can help. She knows everyone who comes into town.” [Roy said. OMIT]

    The two men pocketed[THEY PUT THEIR FOOD IN THEIR POCKETS??] another mouthful of roast beef and smiled. Megan [almost OMIT] squeezed Ryan’s hand [too hardOMIT] until he quipped.
    “Megan. Let go of my hand.”

    She heard Betsy laugh. The cottage giggle reminded Megan of a horse[,] when it made those funny whining sounds. She tightened her grip once more on Ryan’s hand until he pulled back.

    “Boys. What nonsense. Let these poor children eat without your stories.”

    David eased to the left and tapped Ryan’s shoulder. He wanted to remind him to keep quiet until he had a chance to talk. The dinner table grew quiet as Betsy swept the broken glass into a dustpan. She straightened and walked back into the kitchen. David caught the dire look on Megan’s face.

    “She’s friendly enough.” Roy said.

    “[Yes,OMIT] I think so too. Maybe she can tell us where to find the sheriff?” [David said.OMIT]

    Bardy raised a glass of milk up to his eyes. He peered at David[,] [and OMIT] then whispered to Roy as though nobody noticed.

  7. #7
    SpookyDude
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    Dale,

    Nice. Yes, I add a lot of words at the beginning and then go through the draft and omit needless wording. This is an except from my WIP and I haven't gotten to the edit stage yet. I will by December and have the joy of line-by-line editing.

    Thanks for the critique! Hope you have a great day.

    P.S. My last novel went from 90k to about 70k, give or take a few words.

    Jon

  8. #8
    Dale Estey
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    I've removed 100 pages from a manuscript.

  9. #9
    SpookyDude
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    Dale,

    I understand, believe me. I tend to write more than is necessary and then trim excess fat from my work. What I submitted was (is) unedited and where I left off. I don't bother to edit until I've finished my WIP.

    I provided the piece so that I can decide if my writing is satisfactory or if I need to slow down and think more about the technical aspects.

    I am near the mid-point in my novel, so far 55k and need to take a step back for a day or so.

    Thanks again,

    Jon

  10. #10
    gulliver h
    Guest

    Re: Okay, my turn.

    oh boy, I hope I won't regret this...I'm with Dale on the food pocketing, but I also have a couple of other word quibbles that might or might not be of interest. I don't think 'quip' is the word you want, really. He's not making a joke, right? So it seems to me that maybe he 'squeaks,' or something but not quips. Also, for the horse you want whinny, not whine. And I have no idea what a 'cottage laugh' is, should I? That's a serious question, I've never heard that before.

    Jon, I think it's good, though I'd do the tightening Dale suggested, and think a little about some of the language and whether or not it fits the characters--for instance, 'run amok' to me just doesn't sound like something this Betsy woman would say; it's a little too sophisticated. Run wild, maybe. The writing is good, but I'd think about tightening up the dialogue a little as well, to make sure it's all necessary to the scene. What you do do well is the showing the relationships without describing them. It sets the scene quite vividly.
    I'll shut up now and duck.

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