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Thread: Simple Enough??

  1. #1
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    Simple Enough??

    Ok, Sat suggested keeping it simple -- 250 to 300 words -- so that's what I did. I just wanted a simple story. I started with the first sentence and built from there. I know the first sentence is a little long, but I've read that a lengthy sentence is acceptable as long as every word counts. I'm doing this with my fingers crossed, half expecting the headsman's axe, but hoping it works out. I hope this isn't overwritten.

    ---------

    The sun had long tucked itself away for the night as Rich O’Connell stormed across Wilford street with a clenched fist buried deep in his pocket and his teeth silently grinding against each other. The scant hint of peach in his cheeks was covered over by layers of soot from the Denizen mine where he toiled from early morning till the sun set. Four more hours and he'd do it again. No escape. No time to think about his darling son, James, soon be getting his first tooth, or his daughter Mary soon approaching the verge of womanhood. There was only the mines. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen the sun rise or set, he arrived with the night and left with it. In the mines there was only night. Often, he dreaded reaching the crest of hill on Wilford street only to be greeted by the mine's entrance.

    Bill Pickford, another co-worker slaving away at the mine, named it Gehenna: a gaping black hole to the underworld. Light was nearly a foreign concept that O'Connell often encountered through the splintered boards near the hilt of the mine where he peered down the hill and out into the city watching people scamper about like ants. His favorite place in the mine was halfway from the belly to the top, where a faint glimmer of sunlight would reach into the thin air deeper inside the mines and touch him as he ascended. It reminded him there was a world beyond. His life he feared he would toil away under the heel of the pompous fat cat, Devlin McClure, who lived atop Maori hill sitting in his rich house drinking rose red wine, with crackling logs in the fireplace, enjoying the company of some fine winch.



  2. #2
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    The sun had long tucked itself away for the night as Rich O’Connell stormed across Wilford street with a clenched fist buried deep in his pocket and his teeth silently grinding against each other. The scant hint of peach in his cheeks was covered over by layers of soot from the Denizen mine where he toiled from early morning till the sun set. Four more hours and he'd do it again. No escape. No time to think about his darling son, James, soon be getting his first tooth, or his daughter Mary soon approaching the verge of womanhood. There was only the mines. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen the sun rise or set, he arrived with the night and left with it. In the mines there was only night. Often, he dreaded reaching the crest of hill on Wilford street only to be greeted by the mine's entrance.

    nice very descriptive, o-connell is gaining my sympathy, am wondering where this mine is (and where's Wildford Street for that matter?) only just met him and I already know the names of his sons and daughters

    Bill Pickford, another co-worker slaving away at the mine, named it Gehenna: a gaping black hole to the underworld. Light was nearly a foreign concept that O'Connell often encountered through the splintered boards near the hilt of the mine where he peered down the hill and out into the city watching people scamper about like ants. His favorite place in the mine was halfway from the belly to the top, where a faint glimmer of sunlight would reach into the thin air deeper inside the mines and touch him as he ascended. It reminded him there was a world beyond. His life he feared he would toil away under the heel of the pompous fat cat, Devlin McClure, who lived atop Maori hill sitting in his rich house drinking rose red wine, with crackling logs in the fireplace, enjoying the company of some fine winch.

    again like ur descriptiveness, not too technical like Abby/McGee from NCIS, not too philosophical like... well, world religious leaders, and sort of common enough for the layman to understand. Maori sounds like it's in New Zealand (could be wrong) nice, antagonising the boss already. very marxist sounding, lol.

    sorry, probably wasn't very useful at all, but then again, I haven't written a review before

  3. #3
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    Let me guess: Rich's daily quota was sixteen tons and he lived in a company town.

  4. #4
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    I think it reads very nicely. One small error I noted: "There was only the mines" I am pretty sure it should read: There were only the mines.

    You are not doing it yet, but I have found a lot of new writers go overboard with the descriptions and analogies. My feeling at least is (and I have put a few books down and stopped reading them for that reason) that as nice as a thorough description of people and scenes is, the reader is also anxious to get to some action. Especially in the beginning of the book. But that could be just my impatient personality.

    All in all it reads like a novel already. B)

    ============================================

  5. #5
    Cat
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    I would like to see you try to do something with the crit on that passage about the girl with the intuition before I look at a new passage. That crit took me at least half an bout, by the way.

    So much of writing is rewriting it's not funny. And if you're asking for help, that's where the action is, not in continually submitting fresh work, tabula rasa.

  6. #6
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    Author,

    I do think this is an improvement - a vast improvement over the one about Tristan Isolde Romeo Juliet Cosmo Kramer or whatever her name was. Here are my thoughts:


    The sun had long tucked itself away for the night as Rich O’Connell stormed across Wilford street with a clenched fist buried deep in his pocket and his teeth silently grinding against each other. The scant hint of peach in his cheeks was covered over by layers of soot from the Denizen mine where he toiled from early morning till the sun set. MAYBE JUST "TILL SUNSET" Four more hours and he'd do it again. OUCH! No escape. No time to think about his darling son, James, soon TO be getting his first tooth, or his daughter Mary soon approaching the verge of SOON IS REDUNDANT OF APPROACHING, AND APPROACHING IS REDUNDANT OF VERGE; JUST SAY SHE'S APPROACHING WOMANHOOD OR IS ON THE VERGE OF WOMANHOOD womanhood. There was WERE; BETTER YET, JUST SAY THERE WAS ONLY THE MINE (SINGULAR) only the mines. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen the sun rise or set, he arrived with the night and left with it. In the mines there was only night. Often, LOSE "OFTEN" he dreaded reaching the crest of hill on Wilford street only LOSE "ONLY" to be greeted by the mine's entrance.

    Bill Pickford, another co-worker slaving away at the mine, named it Gehenna: WOULD A MINE WORKER USE THIS REFERENCE? a gaping black hole to the underworld. Light was nearly a foreign concept that O'Connell often encountered through the splintered boards near the hilt of the mine IF HE OFTEN ENCOUNTERS IT, IT'S NOT A FOREIGN CONCEPT. ALSO, THIS IS INCONSISTENT WITH YOUR PREVIOUS STATEMENT THAT THERE WAS ONLY NIGHT IN THE MINE where he peered down the hill and out into the city watching people scamper about like ants. NOT CLEAR HOW HE CAN SEE THIS His favorite place in the mine was halfway from the belly to the top, where a faint glimmer of sunlight would reach into the thin air deeper inside the mines DEEPER THAN WHAT? ARE WE HALFWAY TO THE TOP OR STILL FURTHER DOWN? IT SEEMS LIKE THERE'S A LOT OF LIGHT IN THE MINE WHICH HAS ONLY NIGHT and touch him as he ascended. It reminded him there was a world beyond. IF HE'S ASCENDING, ISN'T HE ON HIS WAY OUT AND THEREFORE ALREADY THINKING OF THE WORLD BEYOND? His life he feared AWKWARD he would toil away under the heel of the pompous fat cat, Devlin McClure, who lived atop Maori hill sitting in his rich house drinking rose red wine, with crackling logs in the fireplace, enjoying the company of some fine winch. RUN-ON AND UNNECESSARILY COMPLEX. ALSO, WHAT DOES MCCLURE DO WITH THE WINCH? RAISE THINGS? JUST KIDDING, I THINK YOU MEANT "WENCH." WHICH SEEMS LIKE AN OUT-OF-CHARACTER TERM FOR O'CONNELL THE FAMILY MAN TO BE THINKING


    Again, this is much better, without a lot of purple prose dragging it down.

    JH

  7. #7
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    Author Pendragin Wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    > Ok, Sat suggested keeping it simple -- 250 to 300
    > words -- so that's what I did. I just wanted a
    > simple story. I started with the first sentence
    > and built from there. I know the first sentence is
    > a little long, but I've read that a lengthy
    > sentence is acceptable as long as every word
    > counts. I'm doing this with my fingers crossed,
    > half expecting the headsman's axe, but hoping it
    > works out. I hope this isn't overwritten.
    >
    > ---------
    >
    > The sun had long tucked itself away for the night
    > as Rich O’Connell stormed across Wilford street
    > with a clenched fist buried deep in his pocket and
    > his teeth silently grinding against each other.this sentence isn't too long, but you use two tenses, two useless adjectives, and a useless adverb
    > The scant hint of peach in his cheeks was covered
    > over by layers of soot from the Denizen mine where
    > he toiled from early morning till the sun set. passive voice, try describing it with action verbs.
    > Four more hours and he'd do it again. No escape. back-to-back fragments don't seem to work here. Begin the sentence with 'in' and remove the 'and'.
    > No time to think about his darling son, James, yet another fragment. Keep the sentence shorter because you are telling
    > soon be getting his first tooth, or his daughter
    > Mary soon approaching the verge of womanhood.
    > There was only the mines. this sounds awkward. Spice it up a bitHe couldn't remember the
    > last time he'd seen the sun rise or set, he
    > arrived with the night and left with it. run on. two sentences or join with an evil semicolon In the
    > mines there was only night. thry this: Only night existed in the mines. Often, he dreaded
    > reaching the crest of hill on Wilford street only
    > to be greeted by the mine's entrance. passive and it doesn't quite sound right
    >
    > Bill Pickford, another co-worker slaving away at
    > the mine, named it Gehenna: a gaping black hole to
    > the underworld. Don't need 'another'.Light was nearly a foreign concept
    > that O'Connell often encountered through the
    > splintered boards near the hilt of the mine where
    > he peered down the hill and out into the city
    > watching people scamper about like ants. too many concepts here, but you have already established the darkness as being endless. Instead of 'hilt' try 'rim'.His
    > favorite place in the mine was halfway from the (too wordy. try simply describing it as the middle or the center.
    > belly to the top
    , where a faint glimmer of
    > sunlight would reach into the thin air deeper
    > inside the mines and touch him as he ascended. too wordy It
    > reminded him there was a world beyond. His life he
    > feared he would toil away under the heel of the
    > pompous fat cat, Devlin McClure, who lived atop
    > Maori hill sitting in his rich house drinking rose
    > red wine, with crackling logs in the fireplace,
    > enjoying the company of some fine winch. what? this doesn't make any sense whatsoever


    The story doesn't particularly wow me either. Instead of toiling so much under what the character thinks and describing the mine so much, it would be a good idea to introduce some conflict. This doesn't make the reader want to continue. You could even use the darkness as conflict, but don't oversell the concept.
    Keep trying.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    Author, if Devin McClure enjoys the company of a fine winch, then he's obviously into machinery. Kinky.

    Otherwise, I think the word you're looking for is "wench." LOL

  9. #9
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    Are you actually writing a book of some kind, or are you just producing miscellaneous assignments to post for critique?

    Both are fine, by the way. I'm just curious.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Re: Simple Enough??

    Author, please revisit the thread you started in Smoko about the Geico commercials. I'm hoping you'll have an epiphany.

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