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Itachi
October 27th, 2016, 02:42 PM
Hi All,

I am posting a short preview from my first chapter, it reads quite dark and mysterious but it wasn't supposed to :???:. Its supposed to be romance, any tips on how to convey longing.

But maybe that is just the impression that I am getting, I would love any and all critiques you can offer.

Again I would like to emphasise it is very short and it is my first entry of my first attempt at writing.


Her eyes opened in the dark, she wasn’t able to sleep properly anymore. She rubbed her weary eyes of sleep and tried to catch a glimpse of daylight. The darkness outside enticed her to close her eyes again and listen closely; she could hear the slow thrum of raindrops. It was calming, putting her in a trance almost putting her to sleep again. But she knew that was a wasted effort and went into the bathroom to get ready. She looked at her reflection in the mirror; her chocolate brown eyes stared back at her. They seemed so empty like they were incomplete, waiting for something or someone.

When she opened the door the rain had slowed to a hazy shower, she could see the misty rain falling so gently, it looked like someone had draped a lace curtain over the sky, everything seemed to be blurring together. She listened to the sounds of the cars driving over puddles of water in the roads, mothers with their children. The mother try to tell them to avoid the puddles but the children see the rain as an adventure that would be wasted with caution; they are too small to understand her worry about being late, wet and cold. To them the rain shows opportunities to be mischievous, to pretend to be pirates who can siege ships in the tidal waves of rain. What Saman wouldn’t give to go back to that sweet innocence? She could go back to a time before she had heard his name being mentioned, before she had any thoughts of his existence.

Quickly she shook her head, checked the time on her watch and ran at double speed for the bus. Her daydreaming was going to make her late if she didn’t hurry. The bus came just as she made it to the bus stop; it was packed with people all taking shelter from the rainy day. She got on and stood but she was happy to stand as her job had her sitting all day. Working at a small catering company as an administrator, the job was easy for her because she was an organised person. Work was repetitive and oddly soothing, the systematic and regular beats allowed her to concentrate on something all day and forget about him.


Also I am quite aware of how much I have used 'she' and 'her'. I am going to add a inner voice to the conversation but any initial critique would be greatly appreciate. :oops:

Thank you all

Bard_Daniel
October 28th, 2016, 04:42 AM
I like what you have here. A little bit telling at the end but you've got potential here. Also, "like someone had draped a lace curtain over the sky," is a great line. Nice!

Thanks for sharing!

Platoon
November 6th, 2016, 05:31 PM
I think this isn't too bad.

In my opinion, perhaps the prose can be cleaned up a little and at times the metaphors are a little heavy handed, as in too many of them of after another.

But the atmosphere you create is interesting and brings us in the subjective experience of your character. You can feel her detachment from the real world as she is absorbed by her lost love I suppose ? And I like the way she observes the kids outside when she walks out.

Some suggestion for one of your phrases, I made two corrections (underlined) :

The mothers try to tell them to avoid the puddles but the children see the rain as an adventure that would be wasted with caution; they are too small to understand the parent's worries about being late, wet and cold. To them the rain shows opportunities to be mischievous, to pretend to be pirates who can siege ships in the tidal waves of rain.

Jay Greenstein
November 7th, 2016, 04:03 AM
Okay, take a deep breath:
Her eyes opened in the dark, she wasn’t able to sleep properly anymore. This is what's called a comma splice. You've taken two independent sentences and connected them with a coma instead of a period. A bad idea, though one that's very common among new writers. Avoid them because they generate rejections.

As a second point: You say what matters before the comma. Isn't it obvious that she's not asleep by the fact her eyes opened?
She rubbed her weary eyes of sleep and tried to catch a glimpse of daylight. Makes no sense. You just said it's dark. You can't try to see daylight. You either do or don't.
The darkness outside enticed her to close her eyes again and listen closely; she could hear the slow thrum of raindrops. Three sentences to say, "She woke to darkness and the sound of raindrops. You used forty-nine words to say what can be said in nine. Why does that matter? Fewer words = more impact. So squeeze out the fat.

Next: Why does the reader care that it's raining, and that the sound calmed her, when they don't know why she isn't calm, who she is, where she is, or what's going on?

Basically, you, the narrator, are talking about the situation as an outside observer, acting as a tour guide. You talk about what happens, and then explain what it means, all in overview. But story happens. And it happens as we watch, moment-by-moment, or it's a report.

I know this is not remotely what you hoped to hear, but I'm not talking about bad, or good, writing. Nor were my comments related to talent or potential as a writer. The problem you, and virtually all new writers—myself included when it was my turn—face is that though we're not aware of it, we didn't learn to write in our school days, as a publisher views that act. Remember all the essays and reports we wrote? They were helping train us for the kind of writing employers need, fact-based and author-centric. Writing that informs. Fiction, though, is emotion-based and character-centric, because its goal is to entertain. And that's a writing style not even mentioned during our school, days.

And because it wasn't, like so many new writers, you're thinking cinematically. You're listing the events that happen as if the reader is watching the film, and embellishing the telling with literary language. So the reader is being informed. But are they being entertained? A voice devoid of emotion is talking about things for which they have no context. When you read, you begin with context, so for you it works perfectly. You can hear emotion in the narrator's voice, while the reader must guess, based on what the words suggest to them.

The solution is simple enough. Dig into the techniques our medium mandates and add some professional knowledge to your tool-kit. The tricks of the trade are the learned part of the profession. And every profession has them, so it should be expected. But the profession is called Writing, and we believe that writing is writing. Given that we learned to write in school, we assume we need only a knack for words, "talent," a good story idea, and a bit of luck.

If only.

So as I said, the solution is simple. But there is a rub (isn't there always?). It's not easy, because it does take time, study, practice, and perhaps a bit of mentoring. But then, so does any other trade or profession. Things, like the way to make the reader feel as if they're living the adventure, rather than learning about it, how to end the beginning and begin the ending, matter a great deal.

But if you learned the nonfiction tricks we get in school you can certainly learn the fiction writing tricks. So have at it. The local library's fiction writing section is a great resource. With a bit of professional knowledge the prose will read more professionally. And, writing it will become more fun, too. Added to it, if you were meant to be a writer, the learning will be fun. And if it's not? Well, you've learned something about yourself you didn't know. Win/win.

Hang in there, and keep on writing.

Eric Romano
November 8th, 2016, 01:12 PM
It's a good read but has an issue with the usage of the comma.

Avoid comma splices.
Example 1: Her eyes opened in the dark, she wasn’t able to sleep properly anymore.- That comma before she should be replaced with 'and', or make it a new sentence.
Example 2: When she opened the door the rain had slowed to a hazy shower, she could see the misty rain falling so gently- put comma after 'the door' and replace the comma before with 'and'

Use Oxford Comma.
Example: Quickly she shook her head, checked the time on her watch and ran at double speed for the bus.- Add comma after 'watch'

Unnecessary Comma.
Example: ...heard his name being mentioned, before she had any thoughts...- remove comma after ' mentioned'