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View Full Version : First part of my story...any comments welcome :)



lou1912
January 15th, 2011, 10:28 AM
Chapter one

Amber was riding her bike home. Her legs tried to peddle as much as she could; hearing the rush of the wheels and feel the tiny bumps on the handle bars as she raced along. The area was grassy and hard to cycle on. She could just feel them upon her, the great castle looming in front of her like a giant beast.
The bicycle suddenly came from under Amber and she was gliding through the air towards the ground. Once hit, she couldn’t move an inch yet they were coming closer. She could just about see Noah running after them, shouting something she couldn’t quite hear. It was too late though and the last thing Amber remembered was Noah screaming.
Suddenly there was a jolt and she was woken up in the real world, on a train. There was a rustle of paper and the only other passenger, a young man, was looking at her.
“Have a nightmare did you missy? Never mind was only a dream not real.” He smiled and went back to his paper. Amber just grunted in return and went to look out of the window. She couldn’t stop looking at her reflection. Not that she was vain or anything but she just couldn’t see why people would stare at her sometimes. She had bright auburn hair that burned in the sunlight, gray eyes that were quite set apart with freckles over her nose. Yet she felt like she was a giant as she was quite a tall girl for her age and slender.
Trees rushed past with rolling hills and little streams. Occasionally she would see a fox just slinking off into the distance. Amber looked back at the guy opposite her, reading the paper. There was another jolt but this time it was bigger. The man looked at Amber and as soon as she made eye contact with him the train abruptly started turning over on its side. For Amber though it was like watching it in slow motion, newspaper fluttered in mid air, her hair was floating, even the stranger was out of his seat as though he was in space. Then the train smashed into the ground and Amber blacked out.
When she finally opened her eyes, it was blurry. She blinked a few times and things would come into view but it would just go blurry after a while again. The pain in her head was magnified about a hundred times. She put her hand to her head and felt a wet warm feeling, she must be bleeding. Amber put her hand close to her eyes and there she saw bright red blood over it.
“Where am I?” There was a rustling and a man shaped figure came into view.
“It’s ok your still on the train, it turned over. You’ve been out only about half an hour but they should be on their way. Erm I don’t think you should be doing that missy.” Amber was slowly getting up. She could see that the seats were now on the ceiling, the lights on the ground flashing. When she turned around to ask the man another question, he was looking at her funny. Almost a scared but inquisitive look.
“What’s wrong? Why are you looking at me weirdly?”
“Your-your-your eyes. “
“What about them?” her hand went to her head as though she was trying really hard to contain the pain there.
“There gold!” Amber just stared at him.
“There gold? They can’t be!” The man got her a piece of glass to show her. It was hard to see but she could make out her hair but most of all she could make out these huge eyes that were not her own looking back at her. They were so gold that they were sparkling. There was no white to her eyes and her pupils had become slits. Suddenly the pain got worse and Amber screamed louder and louder.
“Calm down. Just try to calm down! You’re scaring me!” the man was crying, on his knees next to her. Amber just couldn’t calm down though, she just couldn’t do it. Next thing she knew there was a light, almost blinding and she blacked out once again.
Amber slowly opened her eyes and saw the familiar wallpaper of her room. She sat up onto her elbows and looked around. The pink and purple quilt still wrapped round her, lavender from her pillow filled her nose. Amber looked out at the window and saw a clear blue sky with no clouds.

Johnathanrs
January 15th, 2011, 01:39 PM
I read your introduction, just remember something. Why should people comment on your story, if you don't comment on theres? Keep that in mind. I went over the first three paragraphs.

Awkward
Mis-placed.
Example below
Erase.




Amber was riding her bike home. Her legs tried to peddle as much as she could; hearing the rush of the wheels and feel the tiny bumps on the handle bars as she raced along. The area was grassy and hard to cycle on. She could just feel them upon her, the great castle looming in front of her like a giant beast. The bicycle suddenly came from under Amber and she was gliding through the air towards the ground. Once hit, she couldn’t move an inch yet they were coming closer. She could just about see Noah running after them, shouting something she couldn’t quite hear. It was too late though and the last thing Amber remembered was Noah screaming.

(The introduction is awkward. It reads like the starting of chapter 2, not the introduction of a story. Needs to be re-written. Feel who upon her? Keep in mind, you as the author know who is. As the reader, I have no clue what you are talking about. How does a bicycle come from under? )

Suddenly, there was a jolt and she was woken up(ex. awoke) in the real world, on a train. There was a rustle of paper and the only other passenger, a young man, was looking at her.

(As the reader, this makes no sense to me thus far. You can't tell me it's the real world. You need to let me figure these things out for yourself. It is your job to tell a story.)

“Have a nightmare did you missy? Never mind was only a dream not real.” He smiled and went back to his paper. Amber just grunted in return and went to look out of the window. She couldn’t stop looking at her reflection. Not that she was vain or anything but she just couldn’t see why people would stare at her sometimes. She had bright auburn hair that burned in the sunlight, gray eyes that were quite set apart with freckles over her nose. Yet she felt like she was a giant as she was quite a tall girl for her age and slender.
(Who are you talking about? Who said what? Why would she grunt?)




Grammar/Wording: Grammar wise everything seems good. Your wording is basic, nothing wrong with that.

Voice/Style: Unable to judge as of yet. It's obviously in third person paste sense. Unable to judge style.

Flow/Structure: Your flow needs work. Things don't read properly. Your structure also needs work. Dialogue needs to be separated into new paragraphs, unless it flows properly. We need to understand what's going on.

Re-write for example purposes:

Not that she was vain or anything but she just couldn’t see why people would stare at her sometimes

Not for the sake of vanity, the passing public's gaze aroused her suspicions.

Story Itself: I can't follow your introduction, I read the first three paragraphs and got confused immediately. Keep practicing. I cannot critique on your plot story with this, and without a synopsis or prologue, or enough excerpts.

(Note: This critique is my own, and not a reflection of a community.)

InsanityStrickenWriter
January 15th, 2011, 01:50 PM
I see you like writing stories about eyes too :) People don't like to take the time to give criticism to writer's who havent themselves taken the time to do so btw, though I imagine most people don't give it out simply out of confidence issues or a fear they might offend or somesuch so I'll give ya the benefit of the doubt.

The good: I like this Amber character. Even though this is a small peice of writing I feel somewhat attached to her.
There is a lot of good ideas here.

The bad: There is perhaps too much packed into too small a space.
There are a few flow issues, though you ought to pick them out in a re-read without too much trouble.
The confusion over what is reality. It seems to start with a dream, which she wakes up from in another dream, which she then wakes up again at the end? I know that this sort of thing does happen to people in real life, but it has me a bit dis-orientated.

lou1912
January 15th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Thankyou for your feedback and i will comment on other peoples work but you should first realise before saying to someone that they havnt commeted because like me only joined today and has been at work most of the day. You need to give people chance before assuming.

This is my first draft so will take in your advise and read back on it. Thanks again

InsanityStrickenWriter
January 15th, 2011, 04:57 PM
Apologies, it wasn't meant to come off as an accusation but rather an explanation of why there hadn't been any comments, but john ninja'd me so I had to edit the 'Btw, the lack of comments so far is probably because people etc.' It was meant to be read more as, 'don't feel that your work is unliked or ignored simply because no one has commented'.

writerchk
January 15th, 2011, 06:15 PM
Pros:Good Grammar, and Describing words
Cons: I'm very confused, don't know what person it is 1st person?, It needs to flow more,
Your writing was very good overall but your story left me confused with it switching from dreams to the present.
I should be able to understand it when you write more. Also try to catch the readers attention more in the beginning.

I hope you continue writing this story because I look forward to reading more :)

oarfish
January 15th, 2011, 07:25 PM
Interesting beginning; I feel it has some potential. I have found that stories pertaining to eyes and/or starting with dreams lead to psycological properties. Having many interests and talents relating to psychology, I find your story intrueging.

thewordsmith
January 15th, 2011, 10:34 PM
Chapter one


Amber was riding her bike home. Her legs tried to peddle as much as she could (awk. It sounds as though her legs are independent of her and they are competing with her in the ability to peddle); hearing the rush of the wheels and feel the tiny bumps on the handle bars as she raced along. (THIS as the sentence is written suggests it is her legs that are feeling the bumps on the handle bars! (Well no wonder she's having a time of it!)) The area was grassy and hard to cycle on. She could just feel them (As Jonathan already noted, "Who is 'them'?") upon her, the great castle looming in front of her like a giant beast.

The bicycle suddenly came from under Amber (Inasmuch as you have not introduced anyone else into the scene, it is self-evident that we are still talking about Amber here. Therefore, there is no need to reiterate her name. The reader should know who "her" is.) and she was gliding through the air towards the ground. Once hit (Terribly unclear. "Once hit" doesn't tell us anything. Once what hit? Once hit what? Who hit what? What hit whom?), she couldn’t move an inch yet they (too vague: Who, exactly, is "they"?) were coming closer. She could just about see Noah running after them, shouting something she couldn’t quite hear. It was too late though and the last thing Amber (again, since Amber is the only "she" and you have not had a long exposition, you are probably safe using the pronoun. Most people are smart enough to know about whom you are speaking and they appreciate that the writer respects that. Moreover, it gets to be terribly tedious to continually repeat a proper name) remembered was Noah screaming.

Suddenly (I would avoid gratuitous interjections such as "Suddenly". The sentence can convey the abruptness all by itself without actually saying it occurred 'suddenly'.) there was a jolt and she was woken up ("She was woken up …" Did she wake herself or did someone else nudge her awake? Further reading suggests she woke on her own but "woken up" suggests someone else woke her.) in the real world, on a train. There was a rustle of paper and the only other passenger, a young man, was looking at her. (This is kind of an abrupt transition but, in the context of the story, not disturbing at all.)

“Have a nightmare did you missy? Never mind (In the interests of fluid reading, either there is a missing period to separate the two ideas or there is a missing impersonal pronoun) was only a dream (Again, missing comma) not real.” He smiled and went back to his paper. Amber just grunted in return and went to look out of the window. She couldn’t stop looking at her reflection. Not that she was vain or anything but she just couldn’t see why people would stare at her sometimes. (This comment is so far afield. There was no indication that anyone was staring at her. The young man of mention might just as easily have been distracted from his newspaper by her jumping about in her dream! This lends her preoccupation with "people staring at her" a self-absorbed quality particularly since, after his comment to her, he simply went back to reading his paper.) She had bright auburn hair that burned in the sunlight, gray eyes that were quite set apart with freckles over her nose. Yet ("Yet" suggests a comparison. In this case you might well be comparing her height with her freckled nose … doesn't work. There was no previous comment about her height or anyone else's so I would get rid of the "Yet".) she felt like she was a giant as she was quite a tall girl for her age and slender.

Trees rushed past with rolling hills and little streams. (awk: In this case, I conjure an image of trees running along beside the train dragging hills and streams behind (possibly for bathing and going to bed later?)) Occasionally she would see a fox just slinking off into the distance. Amber looked back at the guy opposite her, reading the paper. There was another jolt but this time it was bigger. The man looked at Amber and as soon as she made eye contact with him the train abruptly (Also, be aware of gratuitous adjectives. The sentence carries the essence well without use of "abruptly" and the adj does not add to the sentence..) started turning over on its side. For Amber though (Again, there is a question of comparison with use of the word "though". Since Amber has not made any reference to how others regarded the jolt and the rolling, there is nothing with which to compare her feelings.) it was like watching it in slow motion, newspaper fluttered in mid air, her hair was floating, even the stranger was out of his seat as though he was in space. Then the train smashed into the ground and Amber blacked out. (Interesting how Amber's dream of falling on the bike seems almost precognitive of the train wreck.)

When she finally opened her eyes, it ("it" what? Clarify.) was blurry. She blinked a few times and things would come into view but it would just go blurry after a while again. The pain in her head was magnified about a hundred times. She put her hand to her head and felt a wet warm feeling (She didn't feel a wet, warm feeling. She felt something wet and warm. There is a distinct difference.(Like the difference between waking up with your favorite pooch snuggled in bed with you or waking to discover you just wet your bed!)), she must be bleeding. Amber put her hand close to her eyes and there she saw bright red blood over it.

“Where am I?” ¶There was a rustling and a man shaped figure came into view. [This is, technically, a separate paragraph.]

“It’s ok your still on the train, it turned over. You’ve been out only about half an hour (Just as a side note: Being unconscious for half an hour is not an "only". Half an hour unconscious is a serious matter.) but they should be on their way. Erm I don’t think you should be doing that missy.” Amber was slowly getting up. She could see that the seats were now on the ceiling, the lights on the ground flashing. When she turned around to ask the man another question, he was looking at her funny. (If it was her gold eyes that made him look at her 'funny' why would he be doing so before she turned around?) Almost a scared but inquisitive look.

“What’s wrong? Why are you looking at me weirdly?”

“Your-your-your eyes.“ (Try this one on for size. Say this phrase out loud and see if it feels believable to you. Not to me. People don't really do that. Someone may stammer and repeat a word one time if trying to come to terms with some disturbing situation but, unless they are a critical stammerer, they are not going to repeat the beginning of one sentence twice over.(Most people come to grips with their words faster than that.))

“What about them?” [H]er (This should actually be the start of an independent sentence and, therefore, should begin with a capital "H".) hand went to her head as though she was trying really hard to contain the pain there. (This is one of those cases where I might give that most hated, overused and misunderstood mantra "show don't tell". Don't tell us why you think she put her hand to her head. Show us the wrinkled brow and the pain reflected in her face as she presses her hand to her head.)

“There gold!”("There"? There where? Excuse me while I scream. "THERE" IS A LOCATION… "THEIR" IS POSSESSION… THEY'RE IS A CONTRACTION OF 'THEY ARE'!!!!! Now. What you have said (twice, I might add) is "Look! There is gold over there! What you wanted to say is that Amber's eyes are gold. Such grade school errors would cause any agent worth his or her salt to return your manuscript with extreme prejudice and, unless you have a learning curve issue which prohibits you from being able to discern the difference among the three words, there is no excuse for an adult to be making such egregious errors.)¶ Amber just stared at him. [Amber did not make the statement about her eyes and so her actions should be set apart from his words as a new paragraph.]


“There gold? They can’t be!” The man got her a piece of glass to show her. It was hard to see but she could make out her hair but most of all she could make out these huge eyes that were not her own looking back at her. They were so gold that they were sparkling. There was no white to her eyes and her pupils had become slits. Suddenly the pain got worse and Amber ("she", please.) screamed louder and louder.


“Calm down. Just try to calm down! You’re scaring me!” the man was crying, on his knees next to her. Amber just couldn’t calm down though, she just couldn’t do it. Next thing she knew there was a light, almost blinding and she blacked out once again.


Amber slowly opened her eyes and saw the familiar wallpaper of her room. She sat up onto her elbows and looked around. The pink and purple quilt still wrapped round her, lavender from her pillow filled her nose. Amber looked out at the window and saw a clear blue sky with no clouds.
__________________________________________________ __

There is a lot of jumping around in this passage and it is not always easy to follow. There are also too many structural and grammatical issues to make it an easy read.

As the opening to the story, we need to see a bit more of Amber so that we can care about her. As it is, she has just flip-flopped from bicycle to train to her bed and we have not really learned anything about her or anything to make us care about her. Give us the story, not the backfill. Make something happen with Amber that actually involves her in the action. Don't open with things happening around her that only remotely effect her and don't move the reader at all.

As far as the story, itself, I can make no judgment on the quality because there is not enough real story here. I feel as though there needs to be more of Amber before this point. Sometimes, it is a good ploy to open a story in media res, in the middle of the action, as it were. In this case, it does not work because you don't give us enough of Amber within the passage.

Last note: You have used the name Amber 15 times in 760 words. That works out to a ratio 1 : 50 or 15% of your words! Using the proper name … the same name, that many times works out to the proverbial Chinese water torture!

Richard.E.Craig
January 24th, 2011, 07:53 PM
@lou1912 Hi Louise? I have just finished reading your first chapter,and must say I found it engaging as well as enjoyable.I wouldn't at this point worry to much about phrasing or how many times you use you characters name.One of the most important aspects of writing is finding your own voice.I noticed a refreshing lack of cliché in your writing,this I find a very refreshing departure to the usual dross.Keep it up.
Richard