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  1. #11

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    “So… Mr. Chandler. Are you hungry?”

    “No. Thank-you.”

    “No? Would you like something to drink? We have juice and coffee…”

    “No. Really Mr. Morales, Noah and I have to get moving. I just thought it’d be better to take care of this quietly.”

    It's a tiny point, but he's saying thank you before he's been offered anything. It would read more logically if you stuck the thank you in here:

    “No? Would you like something to drink? We have juice and coffee…”

    “No, thank you. Really Mr. Morales, Noah and I have to get moving. I just thought it’d be better to take care of this quietly.”

  2. #12
    Patrick Edwards

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    I kinda-sorta disagree with you (just a little), leslee. I think if he does feel a change is necessary, I'd perhaps add "But" before the "Thank you." (Though I'm not sure what's up with the dash between "Thank" and "you." )

  3. #13

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    Yeah, I didn't understand the dash either, but I figured maybe it was some special regional thing.

    I still think it's odd to say thanks when he hasn't been offered anything. But maybe it's "thank it forward." Say thanks, and they'll offer you a snack.

    What a nice world that would be!

  4. #14
    Rogue Mutt

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    I guess I see leslee's problem with it because he's not asking him really for any specific thing. It would be more appropriate for him to say, "No, but thank you for asking." But really, why is Herm offering him food? If they want the guy out of the house with the kid ASAP so they can cash the check and the guy's got a flight to catch, seems like they really shouldn't offer him a snack. A glass of water maybe, but not food. So maybe change it to "Would you like a glass of water?" (or other beverage) and then he can say "No thank you." And you save a couple nonessential lines that way.

  5. #15
    Patrick Edwards

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    Yeah, that's what I was figuring. One of those "thank yous" for caring whether he was hungry and needed/wanted something to eat. kind of a "Thank you for giving a ___."

  6. #16
    Misty Mann

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    Ok, forgive me if this sounds a bit frustrated. I've just written your thorough critique, and it took so long my browser timed out and I lost it all. Geez. So, I'm going to put what I can remember.

    I like the title, but wonder why you use the main character's last name. Imagine the Harry Potter titles..."Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"...etc.

    I would omit all the phrases such as "pretty much" and "stuff like that"...phrases that add nothing to the reader's understanding. The reader can tell Noah is young based on what occurs in the story. So, his voice doesn't need to be "dumbed-down".

    I would omit the line "that's slang for"...it seems redundant as we already know he is becoming woozy.

    Instead of saying "it was all jumbling together"..couldn't you say "and it all jumbled together..? I don't know.

    I think your story begins with the "me and my foster parents" line. Your story is good and doesn't need the distraction the beginning brings. Whenever you tell your reader to back up, you lose them.

    In addition, in reference to spirits...it took me a sec to figure out they were demons/ghosts instead of alcohol.

    In the dialogue starting with "Sorry Noah" later on in the line you forgot the word "to" before "discuss".

    The reader needs to know Lavida's girth way before you introduce it. Don't use the "did I mention that?" It seems a tad lazy. work it in. Also, I was unaware Lavida was Spanish...haha.

    The hokay's really bothered me. I guess it's meant to sound nervous or like heavy breathing, but it just bothered me.

    The line about the morales not being different than any other families..I would end that sentence at the word families.

    Why is there a hyphen in Thank you? I've never seen that before.

    When you describe the ranch house as saggy, what does that mean? Is the roof caving in? Please elaborate this in your story.

    Lavida's frontal chest area? really? where else is the chest located? the back? smile.

    I would omit the "shouldn't have been able to smell.." line.

    I like your characters..they feel real, 3-d. Your story is interesting. I would read it if it started with the "me and my foster parents"....btw, I can't get past that it should be "my foster parents and I"...just because Noah's a kid doesn't mean he has to have bad grammar.

    I think my niece would like this. I want to read another chapter or so.

  7. #17
    Ray Veen

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    Wow, Misty, very thorough, outstanding crit (despite the timeout thing - I hate when that happens). Anyway, this is just the kind of thing I was looking for. Thank-you very much.

    That dash in 'thank you' -- I've never noticed myself doing that before, so, apparently its a mistake I've been making my whole life.

    Patrick - I love the narrative voice. Doesn't seem hokey or anything (I think you took it to the edge of the abyss that is Hokeyville, but you only teetered...before maintaining). I absolutely think it's very good.

    This comment was very comforting to me, and as a reward, I am giving you permission to enter the YA section of the bookstore at any time of your choosing.

    Denise - By all means, get up the courage to post your writing. People around here are knowledgeable and helpful as hell, and believe or not, I really think they've become more gentle in recent months.

  8. #18

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    We're simple peasant folk. Post your work. It'll be okay. The worst that can happen is you get an opinion you don't value.

  9. #19
    cara k

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired


    I usually try to be really nitpicky with my posts--because I think that's the best way to help--but I have to say that, besides tightening up some minor grammar issues like verb tense, I don't think you should make any major changes.

    Please do not change your MC's way of speaking. I like that he uses poor grammar (this comes from someone dubbed 'the grammarqueen')and I like that he says stuff like 'frontal chest area' and 'that's slang for...' Writing isn't about always being correct. Among other things, writing is about being your character. And you nailed it.

    I read one of your previous posts, and I definitely like this one better. The beginning was a little confusing (and I agree with others, that I wondered if your spirits were ghosts or alcohol), but the fact that your MC acknowledged that fact and backed us up was a fantastic literary move, imo. Please don't change it.

    I had no intention of reading your entire post. But once I started reading, I didn't even think of stopping. Then I was done much too soon. I couldn't believe it. That speaks of great writing.

    One final note: as a few others previously mentioned, I also thought Lavida was a slight woman. I agree that you might want to mention her size earlier.

    Keep it up, Ray. Great work!!

    --Cara K

  10. #20
    Roxanne Skelly

    Re: Thorough critique greatly desired

    I usually like to meet the characters and learn about them via interaction and conversation, so the first part seemed like the character introductions in a screenplay or theater script.

    I also sort of lost track of who was saying what. I find it easier if the dialog and actions are more tightly joined so I can keep track.

    Sort of like:


    Herm roughly shoved my foot off the suitcase, irritation in his eyes, “You know the rules, Noah – feet belong on the floor."
    “Sure Herm – you’re the man,” I edged my foot towards my suitcases, not really caring what he thought. He wouldn't see them again. He wouldn't see me again, either.
    “What do you mean by that? Was that supposed to be sarcastic?” Herm arched the left side of his thick unibrow, and I could feel myself smirk slightly. It was like him to egg me on. Always had been.


    Just my preferences for writing (well, and my style too). I'm definitely not YA myself, and I'm not really familiar with writing YA fiction, so take it with a grain...no, a block, of salt. I'm still new to this writing business myself.

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