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  1. #1
    Ally Seibert
    Guest

    just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    So, this is an excerpt from a story I\'m writing. It\'s only the first chapter. I\'m think it would be under young adult or eventually romance/fantasy. It is in no way near completion and this is a rough draft. I\'m just looking for input please. And please don\'t bash it if it isn\'t your style of story. Sorry if it\'s a bit long...this is also my first post! I\'m nervous!

    “Wow.” I breathed.

    We had reached our destination and the sight was breathtaking. The sun filtered down through the gaps in the tree, producing a spotlight effect that made the whole area glow. The small brook shimmered in the light and a light breeze blew gusts of snow that sparkled like glitter as it fell to the ground. Alex was right, everything was perfect. It looked like a scene from a Christmas card.

    Alex stepped forward and brushed the snow off the large rock so that he could sit down. He faced away from me looking out towards the frozen stream, completely silent. I stood there for a moment, hesitant to approach and unsure of what to say.

    The seconds ticked by and I knew he was waiting for me. I stepped forward and sat down next to him on the rock without any idea of what I should say. A few seconds passed and I was frantically searching my mind for something to bring up that wouldn’t sound too out of place.

    “It’s really nice” he said.

    “Yeah, you were right.” I said thoughtlessly.

    “Mmm.” he agreed.

    I turned my head to look at him only to find that he was already watching me. He searched my eyes as if he was looking for answers. I felt paralyzed, unsure if I should do something or look away. I sat there, frozen, waiting for him to speak.

    He turned his head back, gazing forward, speechless. He was struggling with himself, trying to decide if he should say something or not. Suddenly adrenaline pulsed through my veins and my nerves grabbed at my stomach. I realized I didn’t really want to know what he was thinking, not yet. So I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.


    “So I think we can win in basketball tomorrow!”
    He flinched, unbound by the trance he was in and startled by my sudden outburst. I knew it was the wrong time to speak, but I had to. I had enough on my mind already and I didn’t know if I could deal with something else at the moment.

    “Yeah I think so too.” He sounded almost defeated.

    “I mean we have a good team…” I tried to continue on.

    “Yeah we do.”

    He obviously wasn’t interested so I shut my mouth. I had already done enough damage and the mood had definitely changed. The moment was gone and I knew he would never say whatever he was thinking about now.

    The silence returned and a brisk breeze began to pick up that blew puffs of snow in my face. I zipped up my coat and rubbed my hands together trying to keep warm. Alex glanced over with concern.

    “I think we should go, it’s getting cold.”

    “I’m okay, I’ll stay as long as you’d like.”

    “No, I’m ready to go.”

    I felt awful, seeing how upset Alex was with me. I never wanted to hurt him, but if he had wanted to bring up a relationship… our relationship, stopping him from saying something might have been the best way to do so.

    We stood up together and headed out through the trees, leaving our hidden getaway for another day. I glanced over my shoulder, sad for some reason, as if I’d never see it in the same way again.



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    The writing seems blah. Not technically wrong, but it doesn't really do anything for me.

    Alex was right, everything was perfect.

    You haven't established Alex's character or that he said anything about this. You mention this in dialog a few lines later, so I'd just dump this here.

    ” I said thoughtlessly.

    You don't need the adverb here.


    “So I think we can win in basketball tomorrow!”


    I'm not sure why this is an exclamation point.

  3. #3
    Ally Seibert
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    don't forget that this is part of the chapter...actually towards the end of the chapter, so none of the characters are described in this part. All the previous things you mentioned are from before, but I just wanted to put a preview. And I'll clarify the one part in the story dealing with the explanation point. thanks for reading.

  4. #4
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    Just my opinion, feel free to ignore:

    You need to learn to edit your work. I'm going to give you a couple of examples of the way I begin the editing process. A paragraph might go through 50 edits. But this is how I'd start.

    Take this paragraph:

    "Alex stepped forward and brushed the snow off the large rock so that he could sit down. He faced away from me looking out towards the frozen stream, completely silent. I stood there for a moment, hesitant to approach and unsure of what to say."

    and edit:

    "Alex stepped forward, brushed snow off the large rock and sat with his back to me, silently staring at the frozen stream. I was hesitant to approach and uncertain of what to say."

    Take this paragraph:

    "The seconds ticked by and I knew he was waiting for me. I stepped forward and sat down next to him on the rock without any idea of what I should say. A few seconds passed and I was frantically searching my mind for something to bring up that wouldn’t sound too out of place."

    and edit:

    "The seconds ticked by. As I finally sat next to him, I searched for something to say that wouldn’t sound too out of place."

    Do you see what I'm getting at? You've got a lot of extra chitchat in your work. I'm not saying edit the way I would edit, because every writer has to find their own method. I am saying that the closer you get to the bone, the better your writing will read.

    Read your stuff out loud. If you hear it, you'll probably find what you can cut more easily.

    Best of luck to you.

  5. #5
    The Midnight Writer
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    "continue on" is redundant.

    i hate to bring this up, but how do you feel about twilight?

  6. #6
    mar quesa
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    Hi Alie,
    I commend you for your courage and enthusiasm. However, you might want to consider giving this piece a lot more thought.

    Here are some comments/suggestions that I hope would help:

    POV
    The Point of View strikes me as inconsistent. You begin with "We" which suggests First Person Plural. Then you go into the First Person (singular) which is okay. The problem is that you get in the head of Alex as a First Person narrator that doesn't sound right to me. "he was struggling with himself, trying to decide if he should say something or not." How can she be sure if he was struggling with himself etc.?
    suggestion: revise POV

    Voice
    The narrator seems melodramatic. Her voice (is it a she?), however, doesn't strike me as distinctive.
    suggestion: Give your narrator a personality before writing from her perspective. What kind of person is she(or is it a he)? Does she have a sense of humour? Is she a cynic? Is she educated. Old? Young? kind? Mean?Some of these characteristics can be reflected in the way your narrator expresses herself, the words she uses to describe people and things. For instance, if a character says something like: Bobby? I wouldn't blame 'em none. He's a man. Now the same thing from a different character's POV: Bobby? I wouldn't say he's the only one to be blamed for that. He's a man after all.

    Great books written in first person: Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and American Purgatorio.

    Dialogue
    The dialogue strikes me as superfluous and the tags stand out as awkward. The exchange between the characters doesn't help to move the plot forward or to add to anything.
    suggestion: Try interspersing action/description with dialogue.

    Last thing, try to be specific when describing something e.g." We had reached our destination and the sight was breathtaking. This doesn't say much really. Try specifics so the reader can see what you see: " We parked the car. In front of us, Lake Triste's waters shimmered...

  7. #7
    Connie Piacitelli
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    Don't mind him Ally you will get a few responses such as his. I know because I am just starting out myself, and we all may get responses that are cold but educational.

    Some of the weaker species might even say' The Hell with this!!'.

    But deep down don't let anyone take your spirit away or make you feel helpless because it can happen very easily..

    Take the good and bad critique and if you think its good, just make it better. Never give up.

    Keep the Faith, Good Luck
    Connie

  8. #8
    Nan Hammond
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    Its boring.

    I dont really feel anything for the characters, the story the scenery, the dialogue or anything. Its all just so mundane and bland.

    Your writing isn't bad. Style wise I have no problem with it.(Except that you have god awefully long sentences).

    You've managed to type alot and told us nothing.

    There are two people enjoying the view. They are in an odd spot in their relationship. The end

  9. #9
    Nan Hammond
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    PS

    Please don't be upset by what I wrote. I can come across as a bitch.

  10. #10
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: just looking for critique :) first post ever and I\'m a bit nervous!

    Don't mind him Ally you will get a few responses such as his. I know because I am just starting out myself, and we all may get responses that are cold but educational.

    Who are you talking about? It better not be me you're saying not to mind because frankly it's none of your business.

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