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Aiyooona
May 23rd, 2013, 04:23 AM
Alone, in the middle of the dark road, stood a dark figure, watching the teenagers file into the school. No one knew who he was, or where he had come from. Taking the straw out of his mouth, he threw it to the ground and took a deep breath. “Um, sir?”
“What?” the figure demanded.
“When will it be time?”
The figure stopped and laughed with a cold, dark smile and answered,” be patient, my apprentice. The time has almost come. Its very close.”

“As you can see, the wind patterns in this area of the United States causes many twisters to touch down here in Oklahoma. Any questions?”
I raised my hand. “Ms. Folkenburg, if there’s such a danger out here, then why do people continue to live here? When they could live somewhere else, persay?”
“Yes, that may be true, but people are attracted to this state due to its natural beauty, and family-friendliness.” She turned to sit down in her chair. Just as she was about to sit, she cried in surprise and stood up. “There- there was a tack on my chair! Who did-“ she stopped in her tracks. “Bergitta!” I turned and looked at her. “Yes ma’am.”
“This is the third time this week, and its Thursday!”
“But ma’am, its so funny!”
“We’ll see how funny it is when you have after school detention for a week!”
“Alright ma’am. Can I do some pranks, there too?”

I’m not a bad kid. I just love practical jokes, don’t you? Its funny to see people’s faces when they discover something odd, gross, or creepy. But, I’m not a bad kid as I said before, I’m just a prankster. Oh, by the way, I’m Bergitta. I’m 14 years old, am in the eighth grade, am number 3 of 7 kids. I’m the oddball of my family. While the rest of my family has black hair and blue eyes, I have dirty blonde hair with green eyes. Not that I’m complaining. I like to be different. But sometimes its hard. You know, with everyone thinking I’m adopted. Not only is my appearance different, so is my personality. The rest of my family is quiet and collected and generally focuses on their school work, I love sports, and anything active, including pranks. That gets me into trouble sometimes.
“I’ll see you at home, Bergitta. I’ll tell mom you had to stay after.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Thanks Colbs.”

Colby is my older brother, but not by much. As a matter of fact, we’re twins. He’s my best friend- well, one of them. My other best friend is Colby’s best friend, Jorgen. We’ve been the three amigos since the 1st grade, and we have the best fun.
“Bergitta. Why do you insist on pulling pranks on everyone and anyone?”
“It’s fun, ma’am!”
“But, they are not kind and they can be disrespectful!”
I sighed. “I’ll try and do better, ma’am.”

JamesOliv
May 23rd, 2013, 02:10 PM
I like it.

One thing that jumps out at me is the dialogue, however. It all seems very formal and all of the speakers seem to have a similar voice.

For example:

“Yes, that may be true, but people are attracted to this state due to its natural beauty, and family-friendliness.”

If somebody asked me why I live in New York, I can't picture myself saying "due to" in my explanation. I realize that isn't the question posed to her, but the response reads a bit like a brochure blurb rather than a realistic response. Imagine if she said:

"Sure we have twisters. In California they have earthquakes and in Florida they have hurricanes. But sometimes you just see a place so beautiful you just can't imagine yourself living anywhere else. The people seem the friendliest and you just can't get enough of being there," she said with a smile as she lowered herself onto her chair."

Or something like that. Maybe you don't want the teacher to be so nostalgic, that's fine too. The point is, I think, to develop the dialogue to the point where it reflects a realistic dialogue.

Now, back to positives.

I want to read more of this story. Part of it is probably that I am fascinated by tornadoes. Recent activities also make it relevant. But more than that, I'm really curious about the dark figure with the apprentice.

I think you have a good framework and I think it could be amazing if you are able to make the dialogue as interesting as your plot.

Aiyooona
May 23rd, 2013, 02:15 PM
Thanks, yea, I did think to myself that the dialogue was little weird, but I didn't know how to change it. I'm excited to continue this story!

JamesOliv
May 23rd, 2013, 02:20 PM
Just think about how you talk to other people. You can even do a little field research. Find someone who loves their town and ask them why they live there. Their response might give you an interesting insight into how people respond to that.

When I asked my cousin in Atlantic City why she lived so close to the water, her response was basically:

"we used to come to the Jersey Shore when I was a little girl. And when I was having a bad day in school, I would imagine I could hear the waves hitting the beach. So when I had the chance to be near those waves every day, I didn't even consider an alternative."

i took that response and just tossed together an example for your Oklahoma story. Just understanding the emotion behind something like that can help you craft some deep dialogue.

Mieksta
May 23rd, 2013, 10:33 PM
I liked it, The foreshadowing you did in the beginning make me want to read more. You're main characters pretty interesting too. You did pretty well with flow too.
I’m 14 years old, am in the eighth grade, am number 3 of 7 kids. This is really the only sentence that messed up the flow for me. It would fit a bit better as "I'm 14 years old, in the eighth grand, and number 3 of 7 kids."

Aiyooona
May 24th, 2013, 01:30 AM
okie doke. Thanks guys!

Glyph
July 2nd, 2013, 03:26 AM
It was good for me too. I would just change the first question that kid asks the teacher (words like per say are really formal and unrealistic to me). The upbeat attitude of your MC came as a shock to me, haha. I guess I haven't read many happy books. All the characters I read of are morose or dull or delusional. It sounds like a good start to a fun story. Good luck!

Panthera Onca
July 5th, 2013, 07:36 PM
Nice. I too would advise changing the question to be less formal, also, the term family friendly-ness sounds awkward to me. That couldbe just me though, I am looking forward to more. To answer the question posed in the title of the thread, I do believe that the story will be good.

Jeko
July 5th, 2013, 10:14 PM
This is definitely YA. Your view of the genre is raw and refreshing. A good start.

The entire piece suffers from an overuse of commas and short phrasing and sentences. Commas are often a crutch - a set of training wheels, if you will - that those learning the craft can rely on. Taking them off is easy, and will read to having more developed sentence structure flow naturally in the narrative.

I was surprised by the overall brevity of the sections regardless of this, however. A lot of writers begin by writing too much. You write just slightly too little, in my opinion. Keep it small and beautiful, though. It feels more organic and original.

The over-emphasis on characterization made the piece harder to connect with; it was the direct, almost instructive approach to introducing your MC that contributed mostly to this. I would try to work on making your exposition less... exposed. Then the events that happen can breathe more naturally and a more readable, and are hence more fun to read.

The first section felt too shallow for me to be interested it in. Very cliche, not much happening.

The section section also suffered from cliche. Your character doesn't seem very creative - you could probably do more to bring out her mischievous side in a more interesting and less signposted way.

The third section is a whole chapter's worth of exposition in one paragraph. As I said, you write too little. Expand on your ideas; develop them. Add more stuff. A lot more stuff. Then add more.

By the fourth section I was expecting some kind of conflict to arise, but none occurred. As everything seems fine in your character's world, I really have no need to read on. Basically, you need to present some kind of problem. The first section's dark figure doesn't provide this. He is in no way related to anything happening, and in no way catches my attention.

You repeat 'pranks' too often. I would find something else to talk about, or not talk about directly.

Having the MC directly address the reader is off-putting - I would advise against it.

Finally, the dialogue is unnatural. I would isolate it and spend a long time working out how to make it more organic - I can't suggest how, as these are your characters.

mukesh
July 11th, 2013, 08:45 PM
The character sketch seems to be fresh and may hold the readers to know more. If you could add some more witty lines as the theme seemed to be light in the beginning of the story, it would have a new approach. Rest seems nice..Good Luck!!