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  1. #1
    Shane Smith
    Guest

    Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    I\'ve spent the last few days reading countless posts on these boards. For the most part, I encountered educated critiques and informed opinions. I\'m hoping that a few of those may spill over onto my topic. Sorry ahead of time if this was posted in the wrong place.

    Prelude:

    “Addie you have to run, I’ll stall them for as long as I can, and don’t even bother arguing with me, you know it’s the only way.” The sadness in Max’s eyes was nearly unbearable.

    “Max you know I can’t just leave you…” How could he even suggest that I leave without him.

    “We both can’t make it, but you might, so please, for me, run.” he looked at me with those same sad, pleading eyes.

    “I can’t Max, I won’t,” It was all I could do to keep my voice steady at this point. “There has to be another way.”

    “Addie, you know I’m right,” he frowned slightly. “And we’re out of time, I’m sorry.” He started walking toward me with his arms out, I let him wrap them around me.

    “I won’t, I’ll just stay with you.” I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer. How did we end up in such a mess.

    “I’m so sorry Addie,” The sudden calmness to his voice made me look up into his face. “Please forgive me.” He smiled down at me, then kissed the top of my head.

    I realized after it was to late what he was doing, one second I was in his arms, the next I was alone sobbing on the ground, my tears dripping onto the freshly fallen autumn leaves.


    Please, don\'t be gentle. Point out -any-, and -all- errors may they be grammatical or other. I\'d also like to hear if this at the least does grab your attention if at only a glance.

    shaneedwards89@gmail.com



  2. #2
    Nan Hammond
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.


    To be honest my first reaction was 'cliche...'. I had a Titanic flashback. "I'll never leave you Jack!"

    I think the reason was that you're asking the reader to buy into a strong relationship without any setup whatsoever. I realize your intention was to grab the reader, but the first first few spoken sentences put me off.

    My second reaction was 'oh its that kind of story where everyone dies'. Oh the drama! It got better though, but i thought it was perhaps slighly thin.

    I think (and maybe its just me) that your prelude would benefit from some sort of intro.

    "Addie you have to run, I’ll stall them for as long as I can..." When you start the story with that, you immediatly have a picture of what's happening. ---> at least two people and they're running from something. its like giving away the entire prelude in one sentence.

    I hope this helps. I don't mean to be overly critical, but I seem to come across that way. Also I am terrible at spelling and punctuationg, so I can't really help in that area.

    Good Luck!

    ^.^v

  3. #3
    Ray Veen
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    I'm really not a jerk, but you said 'please don't be gentle', so I'm gonna tell you straight up.

    It would really really help here to see what's going on. It's hard to get caught up in the drama when you don't why she has to 'run'. And speaking of drama, your dialogue is somehow melodramatic and commonplace at the same time. It would take quite a while to explain what I mean I mean by that, so, instead, let me just suggest that you get a few books on writing and start reading. Every time I type this advice, I picture the poster groaning and rolling their eyes, "But I don't want to read about writing, I want to write."

    That's how I reacted to the same advice a few years back.

    Trust me on this, if you make the effort to learn what you have to learn now, you will save yourself from oceans of bitter heartache later on. If you truly want to write, this is a crucial step that too many think they can skip because of their natural, God-given genius or whatever (not you, Shane, I'm just kind of hijacking your thread so I can rant).

    Anyway, I would highly encourage you to read some good books on writing. They'll help. A little searching through the threads should yield some good titles.

  4. #4
    d. Leroy
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    Similar to what Ray said, only stated a differently...

    Your dialogue doesn't work. The first line -
    “Addie you have to run, I’ll stall them for as long as I can, and don’t even bother arguing with me, you know it’s the only way.”

    People just don't talk that way on the verge of death (which I assume is the case here). Your dialogue sounds staged.

    Definitely read, but the best way to learn dialogue is by listening to people, all people. Then you have to put a setting around it.

    d.

  5. #5
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    JMO.

    Ditto on Titanic. If she'd left the 1st freaking time Jack may have lived. Half-way through your sample I was ready to slam a butcher knife through Max's temple just to get on with the story. Kill the SOB and get on with it.
    km

  6. #6
    Busy Lizzy
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    Wow,Keith, you're taking Shane's "don't be gentle" a little bit too literally, aren't you?

  7. #7
    Jean Bonifacios
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    Yeah that Rose was a selfish b!tch! "I'll never let go Jack!" Until the boat comes back and then I'll watch you sink like a block of ice! Never mind that I've stolen this plank of wood that would've been yours if I had just stayed on the lifeboat! "I'll never let go Jack!"

    Two things, how can the sadness in Max's eyes be "nearly" unbearable. If only he had shed a tear then they would've been "completely" unbearable?
    Dialogue needs to be read OUTLOUD and considered if it's realistic. He says please and sorry too much. Usually once is sufficient in the real world of trying to convince someone to run especially if "Max" is pressed for time. Plus, I get that you put the names in the dialogue so we as the reader are introduced to them, but come on! Nobody ever really says your name over and over in a conversation, once is enough, especially if I'm about to run for my life.

    “Max you know I can’t just leave you…”

    “I can’t Max, I won’t,” It was all I could do to keep my voice steady at this point. “There has to be another way.”

    “Addie, you know I’m right,”

    "Addie you have to run, I’ll stall them for as long as I can..."

    This is just my opinion Shane. Please, Shane, you are free to disregard this if you'd like, Shane.

  8. #8
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    Wow,Keith, you're taking Shane's "don't be gentle" a little bit too literally, aren't you?

    Nah, that's when I want to slam the knife into the author's temple.

    On another note, Shane, you need to read from a popular, published novel every day. I know, pub'd doesn't necessarily mean well written. But read enough and your dialogue, pace and rhythm will improve big-time. Luck.
    km

  9. #9
    nancy drew
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    Just an additional note Shane--

    I get the impression you feel obligated to add a beat ("stage business" or interior monologue) after each snippet of dialogue.

    As it reads now, it slows the scene down too much. With a high-tension scene (such as this one), you need to ease off on the brakes -- add fewer beats to move the reader along.

    As Ray suggested, reading books on writing can be helpful. I'm certain you've got talent. It'll just take some more work.

  10. #10
    cara k
    Guest

    Re: Short Prelude, looking for critique.

    Shane--

    I agree with the other posters. Too dramatic in spots, whereas others were too commonplace. Check your punctuation and watch out for run-on sentences. I also like to jump in with the action, and let the reader catch up as my characters move along. But you really need to add more of a set-up here. At least give the reader a hint about where your characters are. As writers, I think that we sometimes feel that we can't take time out for description. As long as the description flows well, it's okay to put it in; the reader won't lose the momentum. Emphasis is on that flow, however.
    I got hooked at the last two paragraphs. Now, of course, I want to know what happened. Did I read this correctly? Did the guy just disappear? Intriguing.
    Good luck.

    --Cara K

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