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  1. #1
    Amy Boyce
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    Diaries of a vegan lesbian in small town America

    Looking for some ideas on how to improve - any critiques appreciaited!



    Diaries of a vegan lesbian in small town America

    I have a confession. I'm not really a vegan. I eat eggs. They're good for my brain. Thats what I've heard. And thats why I'm here afterall. My brain, my education, graduate school. A small town in southern illinois. The last place I wanted to end up. Where its always hot. Where there is a tick waiting around each corner to latch onto my skin. There's only one other vegetarian lesbian in town. She eats hot dogs once or twice a year she told me. We already dated. We spent a few nights together to be more specific. And then I met her girlfriend. But it was better than being celibant for an entire year. It was my favorite night in this damn town. It was so unexpected. She spotted me in a bar and asked if I was single. I woke up from my haze of stress and bordeom and proceeded to let her buy me a drink. Somehow I found myself getting a ride back to her place. And after sitting on her couch trading words for a bit, we walked into her bedroom and I shut the door behind us. I touched her hip with my fingertips. I smiled. She looked anxious. I leaned in and touched her lips to mine. And for the first time in months I could feel my heart beat through my chest. But it wasn't because I was nervous. It wasn't because I was a hundred thousand dollars in debt and couldn't afford to drop out of school. It wasn't because I was doubting my life direction. It wasn't because I felt tormented by the thought of my eventual death after listening to hours of medical lectures. It was because she was beautiful. It was because I was turned on. It was because I was a lesbian. A lesbian in a room with another lesbian. Kissing her lips. Slowly removing her shirt and fumbling with her bra. It was becuase she was a little shy too. It was because she had turned the lights out and I couldn't find my way back to her. It was because she unziped my jeans. It was because I could feel her fingers inside of me. It was because she was breathing heavily on my neck. It was because she was lost in the moment. It was because I had fallen in love. Fallen in love with a woman who was born in a small town. A woman who had lived in that small town for twenty seven summers and twenty seven winters. A woman who looked up at the stars at night and felt apathetic. A woman who believed in equality. A woman who loved her dog more than she'd ever love me. A woman who was beautiful even though she was broken. A woman.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Diane Theron's Avatar
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    Amy - I am not even going to try crit this - very straight here but this still makes me breathe just a little heavier than usual!
    There was a posting on this site from a website wanting exotic romantic stuff - not sure if it survived the changeover - you might want to pm Victoria and get the details.

    My 5c

  3. #3
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    It's too big of a block of text to even read. You need to edit some paragraphs in there.

  4. #4
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    Hi Amy,

    Echoing Avonne on the NO PARAGRAPHS here. I found the short sentences way too much. They're very useful, and they're very effective when used properly - but not in every sentence. Nobody thinks like that, nobody talks like that - it jerks you out of reading every time a full stop comes in before you expect it. You want to write with the same pace that you talk and think. Throw in the short sentences for effect, to build mood and drama. Don't live and breathe them. You could try reading some Palahniuk - he's one of the short sentence heroes who really knows how to use them without over-using them.

    Some of the ideas and imagery were nice, but I couldn't read it, you know. It's impossible to read something so choppy. You gotta let it flow every now and again. Just my opinion, though. Feel free to ignore.

  5. #5
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    Hi Amy,

    Echo-echoing the no paragraphs, echoing Emily on the artificiality of all the short abrupt sentences. The incessant repetition of sentence beginnings is also overdone; like short, abrupt sentences, this has impact when used sparingly, but when used for virtually every sentence in a long paragraph, it gets annoying to read. Also want to point out your spelling needs work - "celibant," "unziped."

    Good luck.

    JH

  6. #6
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    JUST MY OPINION, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE:

    This is the kind of thing that goes through your head, you write it down, you stick it in a drawer. It may lead you to write something stronger. It may not. The ideas are very ordinary. But an ordinary idea sometimes leads to an extraordinary idea. You never know.

  7. #7
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Actually, I can see the promise of this becoming something interesting. I agree it needs a little polishing, and if I could be so bold, would suggest at least one adjustment:

    I have a confession. I'm not really a vegan. I eat eggs. They're good for my brain. Thats what I've heard. And thats why I'm here afterall. My brain, my education, graduate school. A small town in southern illinois. The last place I wanted to end up. Where its always hot. Where there is a tick waiting around each corner to latch onto my skin.

    There's only one other vegetarian lesbian in town. She eats hot dogs once or twice a year she told me. We already dated. We spent a few nights together to be more specific.

    And then I met her girlfriend. A woman who had lived in that small town for twenty seven summers and twenty seven winters. A woman who looked up at the stars at night and felt apathetic. A woman who believed in equality. A woman who loved her dog more than she'd ever love me. A woman who was beautiful even though she was broken.


    Then, perhaps, continue with the love story. Just a first impression. Keep working it out in your mind and consider what changes work and what don't, what you can improve on.

    Good luck.

    Cindy

  8. #8
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    Amy,

    There's some good writing in here -- that whole last sequence was beautiful -- but it feels like you're panting with a mad-dash to get out anything that may be off-putting about your MC as a vegan/lebso, rather than trying to draw the reader into a full human being.

    It feels like a dare, rather than a come-on.

    Right? You're daring us to to identify with your MC rather an inviting us. It feels a bit defensive rather than offensive.

    You gave no info about whether you're shooting for a GL sub-genre or a general audience. That really makes all the difference. And you chose to ignore that crucial bit.

    I don't think anyone can critique this without knowing your intent.

    I can tell you that general audience would be put off by your need to put dietary and sexual preference before character. It just feels immature and issue-oriented and defensive rather than a writer wishing to explore human nature. I've no idea if GL literature is all up into defensive posturing and diet and sex before character. But, you kinda have to say what you're going after to get a helpful critique.

  9. #9
    Aver0n 2o11
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    When you draw attention to the lesbian-ness of the story, I can't help but feel it's a little bit too cliche. I'm not against gay/lesbian folk, I think they are great people, but the way they are portrayed in the media does not really help their standing in society. I prefer to read books that break the gay & lesbian cliches rather than re-enforce them.

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