PDA

View Full Version : YA Novel ~ A Dark Reality



Missy
January 31st, 2012, 06:02 AM
The name isn't set in stone but it's about a girl (Celeste) who moves to a Canadian Town in Southern Ontario. It's a fantasy story but in the first few chapters the reader doesn't know that.

I must reluctantly admit I am having some troubles ironing out the viewpoints. I really wanted this story from both my character's view points (Sam and Celeste) but I am getting that sinking feeling that Sam isn't coming off as well as I had intended. I would appreciate any feedback, on any parts. (Be honest. I can handle it. Really.) :P

This is only the first draft, but the problem (imagined or real) with Sam is really holding me back.

I have it posted here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ySn_fZzbQx3At7GCp3EOFww4Y0dFFaiOfOTY5bBbNEk/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1#

And in case you don't want to click the link I have the first three chapters posted below (Thank you BabaYaga)

Thank you in advanced. :)


~Sam~
"Stop! Freeze! Don't move! Put your hands the air!" I screamed at the blurry figure, my shaggy brown hair falling into my eyes. "I said don't move!" I had my gun raised and pointed at the figure, a man, I couldn't make out the man's features. "Don't worry Ma'am I will save you!" I tossed my gun in the air and rolled towards the blurry man; I caught the gun that tumbled into my hands with ease. That was what I had been training for. Soon I was upon the man and the woman and I, with my gun pointed at the man, wrenched the woman free from the man's arms. "Now that's justice." I said pleased with myself.
"Yay! Wow! Bravo!" I could hear them cheering my name. I am a hero! I thought gleefully. "Sam. Sam. Sam. Sam." I grinned bashfully as the woman leaned over to kiss me on the cheek and she mumbled her thanks softly in my ear.
"You are an idiot."
"Jason." our mother warned. "You are a hero Sammy!" my mother beamed at me.
"Oh yes. A hero." my brother sneered. "Now we can all rest easy since Captain Doofus is on the case!" my brother snorted and I glared at him wishing, not for the first time, that the small plastic toy gun I held in my hands was real... "Look at the toddler who can roll around and throw plastic!" I could feel his face heat up and I knew I was turning red.
"Jason!" my mother cried, appalled. "Do not call your brother a toddler."
"Well he is! He is just a little baby. Look at him! I think he's going to cry!"
"I am not a baby." I glared angrily. "I am 6 years old." I scowled as Jason cackled and I realized I really hated my older brother. "Stop it!" I finally yelled because I couldn't take Jason's laughing. "Stop laughing you big dummy!"
"Make me." Jason stood up and he was almost double my size.
"Maybe I will." I glared.
"What are you going to do? Shoot me?" Jason howled with laughter as if he had just said the funniest thing in the world. I was so angry, my hands were shaking as I slowly rose to my feet, the small plastic toy gun in my hand and pointed it at Jason's face. I could feel the tears streaming down my face as I pulled the trigger.


~Celeste~

My skin was a few shades darker than my hair but pale none the less, I had been a northern girl and I looked nothing like the dark, tall teens around me. Most of my new classmates didn't pay me any attention but the odd one caught my eye and watched curiously as I walked to the massive building and stepped inside.
I wasn't very tall and I usually found it difficult to see over everyone's head. However, at least for today, everyone cleared out of the way. Outside the other students had been distracted or at least unable to see me clearly, inside however I stuck out like a sore thumb. Short, blond, fair skin and I even dressed differently.
"I'm going to buy hair dye after school." I muttered under my breath and walked with my back as straight as possible to the principle's office to look taller. I read the directions to the office. "Right. Left. Left... Right?" I looked up to see a wall of lockers where my directions say a hall should be. "Ugh. Wrong turn. How can this school be so big?" I demanded of no one in particular as I turned around to walk the way I came and saw two boys lounging against the lockers leering at me.
"Well now. Ain't she an eyeful?" one said with a smile that made my skin crawl.
"Mhm." one mumbled, creepy smile identicle to his friend's. I swallowed the lump in my throat and smiled what I hoped was a friendly smile and not a grimace.
"Do you know where the office is?" I asked carefully and they looked at each other for a moment clearly pleased I hadn't left yet.
"Maybe." one slid down the hall a little closer to me and instincts told me to back up, but I held my ground.
"Can you please tell me which way?"
"Sure." the other said cheerfully. "But it's going to cost you." he said following the other's lead and sliding towards me.
"Oh sorry. I don't have any money. I'll just find my own way." I smiled, another attempt at friendly but that felt like it probably did come out as a grimace.
"Can we just leave her here Danny?" one called to the other.
"No we can not Gabe." Danny, I presumed, called to the other.
"Well then I guess we are just going to have to find some other form of payment. Aren't we?" Gabe, who had now crept almost all the way to me, leered from only a few feet away. I had stopped listening and instead was flicking through options. A quick glance behind me told me that the end of the hall was close and it veered to the right. If I had to I might be able to out run them.
"Don't worry about leaving. I'll find my way." I said suddenly, cheerfully and their looks told me that they had already moved on from the topic. I guess this is when I run, I thought dejectedly and I turned to do just that and was caught in the arms of a tall stranger.
"For god's sake." I growled into his chest, which smelled deliciously of pine, and knew I was caught. "I would say this could be worse but... Well I think this is pretty much Rock Bottom, don't you think?" I was blabbering and would, in all honesty, later claim it was to buy time. It wasn't, I was ashamed of feeling so, attracted to my attacker.
"I think it's time for you to leave." I felt him growl and I blinked one, twice, three times shocked at the rumbling sound. "Now!" he barked and pushed me behind him. I started to run down the hall but realized I would only get lost again and so turned back to my apparent saviour. He was standing relaxed, hands by his side. Danny and Gabe were shuddering, I had never seen anything quite like it but they looked terrified. Did I miss something here? I wondered and was caught by surprise well my two tormentors bolted in the other direction and the strange boy turned to examine me. "I told you to leave."
Normally I would respond with something witty but his eyes, they were amazing and his face, and his... Lips. I could feel her face heat up as I thought about his lips and what it would feel like to kiss them. "I... Just. I would have got lost again."
"Mmm." he nodded, finding this an acceptable answer. "What are you looking for?"
"The office?" I said hopefully. He nodded once and briskly walked in the same direction my tormentors had just ran. I stared after him wanting to follow, too afraid, but not wanting to admit it. He turned around when he reached the end of the hall, his eyes hard and his face set in irritaition. His eyes were the most beautiful honey brown but they looked out of place set into the hard lines of his face. He watched me carefully, looking for something, and his face softened suddenly and my breath caught at the beauty of it.
"It's alright. They are gone and if they do come back..." he paused uncertain how to say it. "I will handle it." he gave himself a nod, clearly pleased at his phrasing. I wasn't sure exactly what it was, but it was probably the glint in his eyes and the set of his shoulders that made the tight knot of fear in my belly vanish. I smiled and walked over to him.
We walked in silence, me two steps behind and him looking straight ahead acknowledging no one as he weaved around the massing students. Curious, I thought, he is so cute. He should have girls hanging from his arms? He stopped abruptly and I stumbled into him, liking the way he felt. He turned his head to glare at me but we both knew the look was only a show for those around. "Sorry." I mumbled anyway. "Is this it?" I asked and felt silly when he raised his eyebrow and looked at me questioningly. "Yeah. Dumb question. I know, but hey better safe than sorry. I mean you could have seen someone you really don't like, like those two... Jerks and stopped cause you didn't-" I was blabbering and he wasn't telling me to shut up. He was looking at me... Curiously; like he couldn't figure me out. I almost shivered at the intensity of it. "Thanks." I muttered and walked around him. I pushed the door open and stepped inside the tight room. I let the door swing shut but he caught it before it shut all the way and pulled it back open. I turned around just in time to catch his mumbled words.
"Be careful." he said and let the door swing closed. I blinked at the closed door and turned to the secretary. I considered telling the secretary about my earlier encounter with... Garry and Dillon? Then I realized I couldn't remember their names or really what they looked like. Besides, I reasoned, do you really want to be that kid on your first day? No I guess I didn't and then my thoughts went back to the boy who'd saved me. What did he do to them? I wondered as I stepped towards the lady behind the desk.
"Hello. I'm the new student, Celeste?" I said, my thoughts a million miles away.


~Sam~
I glided through the halls weaving through my fellow classmates, ever careful to not touch any of them. I could still smell her, her scent was all over my shirt from when she had turned right into me, both times. I hadn't been expecting that, in fact I hadn't planned for it. When I had heard those two idiots: Gavin and Darren? Didn't matter, but when I'd heard them tormenting her I felt similarly to what I felt now. Bile rushing in my throat, fists shaking with barely controlled rage. If I hadn't been walking down the back halls to avoid morning 'traffic' who knows what would have happened to her?
I shook off the rage and stopped suddenly in front of my class room and whoever was behind me very nearly stumbled into me but I shot her a withering scowl and she managed to find her balance. I whirled into the classroom and stalked to the back corner where I promptly plopped down. From my vantage point I saw her walk into the classroom strong and confident. She didn't appear to have been shaken in least by what had happened earlier and I felt a strange swell of pride. She threw a quick glance around the classroom, too quick to notice me. She handed the bumbling math teacher the note from the office and the man, Mr. Winters?, nodded slightly. He gestured around the classroom, probably to mean she could sit anywhere; then Mr. Winters changed his mind and pointed to where he was sitting in the back corner. She nodded once and turned to walk to the back. By now the class was full and all the desks taken except the ones directly beside him and all the kids were watching her with slight curiosity. I was flat out staring.
Her blue eyes sparkled as they caught the delicate morning light; her eyes were the clearest blue imaginable, like looking into a clear lake. Her shimmering white blond hair was cropped just below her ears and she twisted a strand nervously.
"Class this is Celeste Hope. She is from Northern Alberta welcome her warmly." he chuckled to himself as he turned to the chalk board. Everyone was watching Celeste now and she walked with her head down and slid into the seat in front of me. I briefly considered ignoring her but figured she would figure out eventually she was sitting in front of me.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were stalking me." I mumbled just loud enough for her to hear if she was listening, if not... She turned slightly, just enough to see my face and that beautiful smile of hers turned on full beam. She turned back around eyes down watching her notebook.
"How do you know better?" she whispered back softly and I couldn't help but grin.
"Well I could be dangerous. I just assume you would have more regard for your own safety." she snorted derisively.
"Obviously you weren't paying attention to the little incident this morning. Danger is my middle name."
"Obviously." I commented dryly, the memory bringing back a flicker of rage. "Stop distracting me. I am trying to take a note." she turned her head enough to see my desk didn't have anything on it, not even a pen.
"Obviously." she mocked my tone playfully.
"Ahem. Mr. Anderson. Please stop talking." I scowled at Mr. Winter but the teacher had already turned away and Celeste giggled softly.
"Yes Mr. Anderson. Stop talking." she mimicked and beamed when I softly chuckled.
"Now really. I have to get to work." I growled and instantly missed the playful banter.

BabaYaga
January 31st, 2012, 10:12 AM
Hi there, you'll probably get more responses if you post and format your work in the thread. Many people- myself included- are reluctant to click an outside link/ download an attachment. You can post it in the Writer's Workshop if you are worried about non-members seeing your work.

Potty
January 31st, 2012, 10:13 AM
Not a full critique but I hope it helps. Sorry for any mistakes, it's my second time writing it thanks to a computer error and I've just woken up.

This story is keeping my interest which is nice. I usually struggle reading stories as I am prone to getting bored within the first few paragraphs and put the story down. But it had me... not hooked but nicely entertained.


At first I was wondering what was going on with this, what I assumed to be, detective. They way he threw his gun into the air like that I was about to stop reading but kept going to find it was a 6 year old play acting. This was good as I didn't think it was a child until you were ready to let me know. So my opinion of an incompetent adult was transferred onto a 6 year old which instantly made me think of the kid as more of an adult.


I think a little more work could be used on your descriptions. “rolled towards the blurry man;” for instance, I wondered at first if the man was blurry as a kind of super power, then if he was blurry because the kid needed glasses or had tears in his eyes. It took me out of the story a little to wonder why he was blurry... but That’s just me, I try to find meaning in insignificant things. Reading too much Terry Pratchett does that to you!


I loved his one liner, it's nice to see a child has the basics of crime fighting down. Handcuffs are one thing but a good one liner gets you laid.


"Yay!Wow! Bravo!" I found this a struggle as I have never heard anyone actually say this unless they are taking the piss. A better way might be “The crowd got to their feet applauding my heroics and chanting my name.”


"You're an idiot." It took me a few attempts to work out who was speaking here. Might be worth saying: “You're an idiot.” Said my brother, stalking toward me with contempt etched across his face.


Who was the woman leaning in to kiss the boy? If it was his mother then I'm a little creeped out by the apparent passion that goes into it.


Ohhhhh does the toy gun turn out to be real when Sam pulls the trigger? Does Jason die? Exciting!


Celeste.


My impression of your description here is that she is a western girl inan Asian school... am I close?


"I would say this could be worse but... Well I think this is pretty much Rock Bottom, don't you think?" I liked this but I feel it could be polished up into something with a bit more punch.


“attracted to my attacker.” why? Because he smells of pine? If it was this easy why didn't anyone tell me! I live next to a pine forest, if a brisk run through it every morning would cause women to mumble into my chest I would have had a much more entertaining high school experience! … my point is I don't buy it, I think it needs more than smelling of pine to be attracted to someone. Maybe the caress of his chest muscles against her cheek struck at something animal deep within her?


“Danny and Gabe were shuddering,” Bully’s don't shudder when faced with a bigger fish. They slink off shouting cheeky remarks (making sure they are out of arms reach when they do so).


“I could feel her face heat up” Oops! I think you mean my face.


“stared after him wanting to follow, too afraid, but not wanting to admit it.” - What is she afraid of, she is being escorted by someone who has just proven that he will protect her. What's more, she thinks he is hot right? Nervous anticipation might be better employed here.


"I will handle it." he gave himself a nod, clearly pleased at his phrasing.” - Sorry but this made me giggle as it brought to mind the stereo typical caveman. “Me bash smaller men! Me pleased that me able to protect woooman!” I see what you're getting, at but maybe it can be shortened too “You still worried? They won't be back while I'm here.”


“but it was probably the glint in his eyes and the set of his shoulders that made the tight knot of fear in my belly vanish.” - or more likely the size of his skull crushing fists? I wouldn't trust a glint in someone’s eye for anything. A glint in the eye looks exactly the same if you're trying to look dashing or rob a man’s wallet.


“liking the way he felt.” - did she cop a feel?


“He turned his head to glare at me but we both knew the look was only a show for those around.” - Oooh I liked this line. It shows what his character is like. The gentle giant type, likes people to think he is an emotionless wrecking ball but secretly he has a stuffed teddy called cuddles on his bed. Nice line.


"Be careful." he said and let the door swing closed. - All that drama for “Just be careful?” I feel cheated! I wanted “See you around.” or “The names, >insert name<” or something tos how that he means to see more of her.


"I considered telling the secretary about my earlier encounter with...Garry and Dillon? Then I realized I couldn't remember their names or really what they looked like." - I realise you're trying to explain why she wouldn't report the encounter to the teachers, and I'm glad you didn't as I doubt you could be bothered to write about them being pulled up in front of the head master and to be honest, I don't really want to read about it either... HOWEVER in a potential sexual assault scene I think their faces would be imprinted into her mind. And I'm pretty sure she would remember the names. From a male point of view I would make sure I remember every detail for one on one revenge at a later date. From a female, I think the desire to recognise someone to avoid in the future would cause her to remember them vividly along with the whole revenge bit like in that film...with the girl on a writing retreat... what was it called? Well she shoots a guy up the bum with a shot gun anyway.
My point? A better way to write the experience off is just to have her mind swimming of her rescuer and the thought of reporting them doesn't even enter into it.... or something else.


Ooooh hold on a mo! “What did he do to them?” this line peaks my interest. When the bigger boy faced the bully’s down I assumed it was just his size and reputation that scared them off. And the shuddering was a reaction to him just being there. I never guessed he might have actually been doing something to get them to react in such a way... this explains the shuddering! The plot thickens!


I'm going to leave it here for now and keep reading. I like the story! A few little things here and there with tenses but as I have proven, I need to learn that sort of thing myself before I can correct other peoples. Hope you find my comments useful!

LaughinJim
February 1st, 2012, 12:52 AM
Hi Missy,

I went through it twice, the first time quickly to get an idea and the second to go over it with care. It appears to be done but it needs polishing. I could send you a corrected copy with notes but I don’t know how much help that will be. Much of the initial proofreading should be done by you or a loved one before you hand it out for readings. Self-editing is very difficult because the writer sees what he or she intended rather than what is on the paper. Always use paper to edit, the screen causes perception problems.

Many would now write: “That said…” I will not. It has become hackneyed and trite. I once listened to a sports talk radio station while I was working and every time I heard ‘’with that being said…” or one of its permutations, I marked a tick on a memo pad. After four hours, I had scored thirteen ticks… I think I have digressed slightly. Oh yes, your story, something tells me you don’t have too much time in this one so far, that indicates a fertile imagination. Without picking nits, which I have been known to do, I will treat some larger problems that I saw.

Make sure in your dialogue, that you don’t cause confusion by having a character make a statement and in the same paragraph have the other party react. This mistake will nearly always cause confusion in the attribution of the spoken line: i.e.

“Come Jill, let’s go up the hill,” Jack said.
“I don’t want to.” Jack sighed.

It appears that Jack sighed the second quote. In fact, the writer intended the attribution to go to Jill but he didn’t think he needed to write: “Jill said” Jack, being disappointed, then sighed. The mistake is not leaving out “Jill said,” but rather stuffing Jack’s reaction on the same line. That’s all. You did this in two places that I recall and I was seriously confused. The reader should be thought of as the nice friend who footed the $7.99US for your book. Don’t confuse your best friend.

As Potty has said, you need more description and it needs to be varied. Each word in the dictionary is a tool for the writer to use. His or her toolbox should be as vast as possible. The larger this box of tools the easier your description chores become. Don’t misuse these tools. Every word has a few very specific purposes. Think ourside of the box with your story not with your word usage. Picasso painted women blue only after demonstrating that he could properly mix and use colors to paint them in a naturalistic style first.

Don’t overuse the same descriptive words and phrases. You used honey brown to describe both Sam’s eyes and Carter’s hair. Unless you have a specific reason in mind for this (which you might) try to vary your descriptions. When dealing with rivals it is more important. You also used the word mumble or mumbled four times.

Don’t overuse emphasis. It seems that you used it sometimes to convey a thought by your first person narrator (but not always) and other times to emphasize something you thought should be read as stressed. Way to much use. Italics are like the F-bomb. Judicious use in the right places and it has power. Overuse is an assault on the eyes and the tool loses its effect.

Last in corrections, adverbs are like cigarettes, some writers think they are helping but they are not. I use them, we all do. Just cut down. If you read authors that tend not to use them like Hemingway for example, you can feel the power of the words not bogged down with unnecessary adverbs. I just pulled a copy of “The Old Man and the Sea” off the shelf and I opened at random to pages 60-61 and found one adverb: the word ‘slowly.’ If Papa didn’t need adverbs than neither do you.

I liked the action very much and it continued to move which is refreshing. One thing of note, the second confrontation between Sam and Carter shush be changed a little bit. I wasn’t clear on whether the pain in the chest was caused by Carter or if it was due to anxiety. Maybe another part of the body should be considered.

I can go over the entire piece and proofread it but I think it should be worked on just a bit. Otherwise nice job, Keep at it and keep the faith.

Tschuss

Missy
February 1st, 2012, 09:16 PM
Hi there, you'll probably get more responses if you post and format your work in the thread. Many people- myself included- are reluctant to click an outside link/ download an attachment. You can post it in the Writer's Workshop if you are worried about non-members seeing your work.

Actually I was worried that my work was too long to post in the forums :P

But I totally understand the reluctance to click the link, so thank you for pointing this out, BabaYaga, as it hadn't even crossed my mind :)

Missy
February 1st, 2012, 10:02 PM
Not a full critique but I hope it helps. Sorry for any mistakes, it's my second time writing it thanks to a computer error and I've just woken up.

Everything helps! I appreciate that you took the time to read my work! And I appreciate it doubly since you wrote this all again. Really, it means a lot.



At first I was wondering what was going on with this, what I assumed to be, detective. They way he threw his gun into the air like that I was about to stop reading but kept going to find it was a 6 year old play acting. This was good as I didn't think it was a child until you were ready to let me know. So my opinion of an incompetent adult was transferred onto a 6 year old which instantly made me think of the kid as more of an adult.


I think a little more work could be used on your descriptions. "rolled towards the blurry man;" for instance, I wondered at first if the man was blurry as a kind of super power, then if he was blurry because the kid needed glasses or had tears in his eyes. It took me out of the story a little to wonder why he was blurry... but Thatís just me, I try to find meaning in insignificant things. Reading too much Terry Pratchett does that to you!

"Yay!Wow! Bravo!" I found this a struggle as I have never heard anyone actually say this unless they are taking the piss. A better way might be "The crowd got to their feet applauding my heroics and chanting my name."

Who was the woman leaning in to kiss the boy? If it was his mother then I'm a little creeped out by the apparent passion that goes into it.

I can see your point. I was attempting to write a typical 'cheesy' child's vision of a dectective. I can see I went overboard without providing enough detail. The 'woman' was supposed to be the woman he saved... I will definately fix that...



I loved his one liner, it's nice to see a child has the basics of crime fighting down. Handcuffs are one thing but a good one liner gets you laid.

Thank you



"You're an idiot." It took me a few attempts to work out who was speaking here. Might be worth saying: "You're an idiot." Said my brother, stalking toward me with contempt etched across his face.

Err... I can admit that was a mechanical error.



Ohhhhh does the toy gun turn out to be real when Sam pulls the trigger? Does Jason die? Exciting!


Aha! That was my favourite part to write. ;)




My impression of your description here is that she is a western girl inan Asian school... am I close?

Sadly. No. My description was lacking there. I was trying not to focus too much on description as I was hoping that with a little guiding the reader/audience could fill in... I can see I should have put much more though.



"I would say this could be worse but... Well I think this is pretty much Rock Bottom, don't you think?" I liked this but I feel it could be polished up into something with a bit more punch.

I agree. I'll work on it



"attracted to my attacker." why? Because he smells of pine? If it was this easy why didn't anyone tell me! I live next to a pine forest, if a brisk run through it every morning would cause women to mumble into my chest I would have had a much more entertaining high school experience! Ö my point is I don't buy it, I think it needs more than smelling of pine to be attracted to someone. Maybe the caress of his chest muscles against her cheek struck at something animal deep within her?


*wince*. I can admit that I should have described his character more and that character description is not my strong suit. After re-reading all this passage comes across as is: creepy.




"Danny and Gabe were shuddering," Bullyís don't shudder when faced with a bigger fish. They slink off shouting cheeky remarks (making sure they are out of arms reach when they do so).


I'm only going to say that the fact that they were shuddering is, in fact, important.



"I could feel her face heat up" Oops! I think you mean my face.


Yes. Yes I did. :oops:



"stared after him wanting to follow, too afraid, but not wanting to admit it." - What is she afraid of, she is being escorted by someone who has just proven that he will protect her. What's more, she thinks he is hot right? Nervous anticipation might be better employed here.

True enough. I hadn't thought of it like that.



"I will handle it." he gave himself a nod, clearly pleased at his phrasing." - Sorry but this made me giggle as it brought to mind the stereo typical caveman. "Me bash smaller men! Me pleased that me able to protect woooman!" I see what you're getting, at but maybe it can be shortened too "You still worried? They won't be back while I'm here."

"liking the way he felt." - did she cop a feel?


Ahaha! Okay, definately not the way they were intended (either part), but i see where you are coming from :P



"but it was probably the glint in his eyes and the set of his shoulders that made the tight knot of fear in my belly vanish." - or more likely the size of his skull crushing fists? I wouldn't trust a glint in someoneís eye for anything. A glint in the eye looks exactly the same if you're trying to look dashing or rob a manís wallet.


Yeah, I actually must admit I have never understood the 'glint in the eye' that authors write about, but I thought I'd give it a try anyways. Oh well. Worth a shot!



"He turned his head to glare at me but we both knew the look was only a show for those around." - Oooh I liked this line. It shows what his character is like. The gentle giant type, likes people to think he is an emotionless wrecking ball but secretly he has a stuffed teddy called cuddles on his bed. Nice line.

Thank you!



"Be careful." he said and let the door swing closed. - All that drama for "Just be careful?" I feel cheated! I wanted "See you around." or "The names, >insert name<" or something tos how that he means to see more of her.

Well, see, he doesn't exactly want to see her again...



""I considered telling the secretary about my earlier encounter with...Garry and Dillon? Then I realized I couldn't remember their names or really what they looked like." - I realise you're trying to explain why she wouldn't report the encounter to the teachers, and I'm glad you didn't as I doubt you could be bothered to write about them being pulled up in front of the head master and to be honest, I don't really want to read about it either... HOWEVER in a potential sexual assault scene I think their faces would be imprinted into her mind. And I'm pretty sure she would remember the names. From a male point of view I would make sure I remember every detail for one on one revenge at a later date. From a female, I think the desire to recognise someone to avoid in the future would cause her to remember them vividly along with the whole revenge bit like in that film...with the girl on a writing retreat... what was it called? Well she shoots a guy up the bum with a shot gun anyway.

My point? A better way to write the experience off is just to have her mind swimming of her rescuer and the thought of reporting them doesn't even enter into it.... or something else.

Yes. That is exactly what I was trying for, because it just wouldn't work for her to tell anyone just yet... And I think your prompting already gave me a better idea!



Ooooh hold on a mo! "What did he do to them?" this line peaks my interest. When the bigger boy faced the bullyís down I assumed it was just his size and reputation that scared them off. And the shuddering was a reaction to him just being there. I never guessed he might have actually been doing something to get them to react in such a way... this explains the shuddering! The plot thickens!

Ahaha! Now that right there makes me feel accomplished as a writer :pride:



I'm going to leave it here for now and keep reading. I like the story! A few little things here and there with tenses but as I have proven, I need to learn that sort of thing myself before I can correct other peoples. Hope you find my comments useful!


It has helped a lot. Thank you again! :)

Missy
February 1st, 2012, 10:22 PM
Hi Missy,

Hi Jim! :)



I went through it twice, the first time quickly to get an idea and the second to go over it with care. It appears to be done but it needs polishing. I could send you a corrected copy with notes but I donít know how much help that will be. Much of the initial proofreading should be done by you or a loved one before you hand it out for readings. Self-editing is very difficult because the writer sees what he or she intended rather than what is on the paper. Always use paper to edit, the screen causes perception problems.

Thank you for reading once and thank you very much for reading it twice. Thank you for the consideration and yes it does need poilishing, but it isn't done :P

I agree that self-editing is difficult, and I really did not know that editing should be done on paper.



Many would now write: "That saidÖ" I will not. It has become hackneyed and trite. I once listened to a sports talk radio station while I was working and every time I heard Ďíwith that being saidÖ" or one of its permutations, I marked a tick on a memo pad. After four hours, I had scored thirteen ticksÖ I think I have digressed slightly. Oh yes, your story, something tells me you donít have too much time in this one so far, that indicates a fertile imagination. Without picking nits, which I have been known to do, I will treat some larger problems that I saw.

13 times? I think I will keep that in mind to not use 'with that being said...' in my vocabulary.

That being said, I have spent some time on it, but not months, and you could 'pick nits' if you like. I really don't mind. (I was also joking with the 'that being said'. I promise.)



Make sure in your dialogue, that you donít cause confusion by having a character make a statement and in the same paragraph have the other party react. This mistake will nearly always cause confusion in the attribution of the spoken line: i.e.


"Come Jill, letís go up the hill," Jack said.

"I donít want to." Jack sighed.


It appears that Jack sighed the second quote. In fact, the writer intended the attribution to go to Jill but he didnít think he needed to write: "Jill said" Jack, being disappointed, then sighed. The mistake is not leaving out "Jill said," but rather stuffing Jackís reaction on the same line. Thatís all. You did this in two places that I recall and I was seriously confused. The reader should be thought of as the nice friend who footed the $7.99US for your book. Donít confuse your best friend.

Nice analogy! I did try to avoid that, as I am confused when I read that. Sorry, my apologies.



As Potty has said, you need more description and it needs to be varied. Each word in the dictionary is a tool for the writer to use. His or her toolbox should be as vast as possible. The larger this box of tools the easier your description chores become. Donít misuse these tools. Every word has a few very specific purposes. Think ourside of the box with your story not with your word usage. Picasso painted women blue only after demonstrating that he could properly mix and use colors to paint them in a naturalistic style first.

Donít overuse the same descriptive words and phrases. You used honey brown to describe both Samís eyes and Carterís hair. Unless you have a specific reason in mind for this (which you might) try to vary your descriptions. When dealing with rivals it is more important. You also used the word mumble or mumbled four times.

Okay. Thank you for pointing this out. Sometimes you need a kick to get you started. You and Potty have definately encouraged me.



Donít overuse emphasis. It seems that you used it sometimes to convey a thought by your first person narrator (but not always) and other times to emphasize something you thought should be read as stressed. Way to much use. Italics are like the F-bomb. Judicious use in the right places and it has power. Overuse is an assault on the eyes and the tool loses its effect.

I knew that too and I still did it. I will fix this.



Last in corrections, adverbs are like cigarettes, some writers think they are helping but they are not. I use them, we all do. Just cut down. If you read authors that tend not to use them like Hemingway for example, you can feel the power of the words not bogged down with unnecessary adverbs. I just pulled a copy of "The Old Man and the Sea" off the shelf and I opened at random to pages 60-61 and found one adverb: the word Ďslowly.í If Papa didnít need adverbs than neither do you.

I was actually not aware of this, but thank you for metioning it. I really did think I was helping... Noted.



I liked the action very much and it continued to move which is refreshing. One thing of note, the second confrontation between Sam and Carter shush be changed a little bit. I wasnít clear on whether the pain in the chest was caused by Carter or if it was due to anxiety. Maybe another part of the body should be considered.

Thank you. I understand your confusion and I will clarify.



I can go over the entire piece and proofread it but I think it should be worked on just a bit. Otherwise nice job, Keep at it and keep the faith.


Tschuss

Again. Thank you for your time reading my work. I appreciate all of your remarks and will do my best to apply them! :)

courtneyanne9
March 19th, 2012, 05:42 PM
First of all, I liked the storyline - I definitely want to read more. But there were a few things that turned me off. I'm going to preface my comments with the fact that I'm not a huge fan of reading stories in first person. But, it can be done well and you're close.

Try describing things in non-straight forward ways, for example:


My skin was a few shades darker than my hair but pale none the less, I had been a northern girl and I looked nothing like the dark, tall teens around me. Most of my new classmates didn't pay me any attention but the odd one caught my eye and watched curiously as I walked to the massive building and stepped inside.
I wasn't very tall and I usually found it difficult to see over everyone's head. However, at least for today, everyone cleared out of the way. Outside the other students had been distracted or at least unable to see me clearly, inside however I stuck out like a sore thumb. Short, blond, fair skin and I even dressed differently.

It would be stronger if you said something like this:

Seeing my new classmates for the first time made me shudder. Not only am I in a new house, a new city and a new school, but I am going to stick out here like a sore thumb. The sea of tan, dark-haired students around me is a stark contrast to my pale blonde hair and matching skin. At 5'3'' I'm used to craning my neck to see over people's heads, but here is was useless. It seems like everyone here is tall, thin and beautiful.

I already missed the North - where I belonged. Most of my new classmates didn't pay me any attention, though one caught my eye and watched curiously as I walked to the massive school building and stepped inside. Outside, the other students had been distracted relaying tales of the weekend and making after-school plans. Inside, however, I realized just how much I stuck out. I'm short, blond and fair-skinned and I even dress differently than anyone else.

A few more comments:

1. A few places were confusing and I'm not sure what's happening. They seemed a little rushed. Maybe spend some more time fleshing these out. For example, the part where she is harrassed by the two boys and runs into the handsome guy. You seemed to switch topics much to fast for the reader to follow along.

2. The beginning with Sam and the gun was very cool how it was really a kid, but I think it was a little much to suggest that the six-year-old "wished it was a real gun" so he could shoot his brother. Six-year-olds don't think that and it was very off-putting. If you're aiming this at young adults, you may have parents who would read the first chapter or two to decide whether to let their kids read the book so you don't want outright violence in the first couple paragraphs.

3. Try to describe the characters more in relation to what they're doing, who's around them, etc. instead of outright giving the description. Even if we have to wait longer to find out what the character looks like, it seems more storylike and not like you were rushing to get the info out there.

4. I love some of the hints you have that this is going to be fantasy in the beginning, like Sam saying "I glided through the halls weaving through my fellow classmates, ever careful to not touch any of them." Those types of lines really pull me in!

5. Good work - I would really like to see this when it's finished! Great start :)

abuistrago
March 21st, 2012, 11:16 AM
I liked this quite a bit. Definitely something I'd be into. I did get lost a couple of times and had to re-read to see who said what or what actually happened so please take all the great advice given to you here (it's actually really educational reading criticism of other people's work!).

I have to agree with Potty on the attraction she feels for Sam. You either wrote that she was attracted to him too soon or described why she was attracted to him too late. Personally if I was being assaulted by two bullies I would not feel attracted by my rescuer until after he chased them away and I had time to actually see the guy instead of worrying about getting the hell out of there.

Also I feel that their hushed conversation in the classroom was too long and kinda forced.

I read everything you posted on the link and the only thing that bothers me about the plot is the fact that they fall madly in love (or so it appears) in like about two minutes. Maybe building in up little by little would be better?

I like Sam, I don't know what your problem with him is, but I like him. :)

Red
May 24th, 2012, 09:57 PM
I admit, at first I was cracking up at the ridiculousness of that first section with Sam. But I decided to read on, and I'm glad I did because the next two parts actually made me want to read more. I suggest though that you mention that the first section of Sam's is either a prologue, a dream, a memory, or whatever it is. It threw me off when Sam was six and all of a sudden he's clearly in high school. It would have been less confusing if you had let the reader know that the first part took place in the past (If it actually did, that is...). Also, some grammar problems, but overall I'm interested to see where this goes.

frappie3
May 28th, 2012, 08:07 AM
Well I'm not a pro at giving advice on writing, I'm quite new to this, so I'm trying to give this advice as a regular person reading your work and not some sort of a literary expert... that being said, one of the first problems I had with the Celeste section was that I was really confused and having a hard time following what was actually happening. Personally, when I read something I like to be able to picture the story in my head and it just wasn't happening in this section for me. In Sam's first section it was clearer for me. I feel like there was more being revealed in that section than in Celeste's. Sam's second section got a little confusing also. Perhaps I'm just tired, but I guess all I'm asking for is a clearer picture of whats happening.