BTW, thanks for the follow. :) Much Love, Birdie <33
Poetry. By Ferret.
My pen name is Cynthia Wildeson, but you can call me Ferret. I DO CRITIQUES PM me and we can work something out, or take a look at these threads here: My guide to dialogue: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/vanilla/discussion/745217/ My discussion on female characters: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/vanilla/discussion/834416/ @-1812-'s guide to story structure: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/discussion/849991/ @-1812-'s guide to psychopaths: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/vanilla/discussion/890926 @-1812-'s and my guide to photomanips: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/discussion/886779 If you ask really nicely, I might make you a cover. But odds are I'll ignore your PM. Recent graphics: http://imgur.com/a/HGV7B
Description: A collection of short stories, novelettes, and prose poems, including: "Of Glass and Roses," "The Manor by the Bay," "The Gardens of Hadrax," "The Hunt," "There is a Curse upon This House," "Serpents in a Red Sky," "Queen of Ghosts," "Child of the...
BTW, thanks for the follow. :) Much Love, Birdie <33
This is honestly some of the best description and action I've read in a while You're so concrete and vivid and to the point. Your description of the girl is delightfully disgusting, which works perfectly for the situation. I loved imagining this wild, starved character attack the monster. I'm not sure if you plan on turning this into a full story, since your blurb suggests that there will be different stories in this book, but I think there's a very interested plot developing. There were a few minor errors: "Instead it surrender," where you messed up the tense. The sentence "she attacked the beast with no struggle," makes no sense because attacking would be a type of struggling. Do you mean "without hesitation"? I wish I could give your more meaningful feedback, but what you have here is honestly pretty great so far, and this chapter simply isn't long enough for anything major to have gone wrong xD
A lot of the criticism I gave you for the first chapter would still apply here, I think: try to improve the style of your narration. I also dislike your dialogue here, but for different reasons. I don't think your dialogue flows naturally. For example, the MC's rant at the top of page 3, especially the line "I can't see myself capable of guiding Evan through his teenage years"--it's long and awkward. People, especially when flustered or upset, get the point across in the quickest way they are capable, which of course, varies between character's and voices. But would a crying teenage boy even think that far ahead to his brother's "teenage years," and would he say it in such a complicated sentence structure, rather than saying "I can't help Evan grow up." There are other bits of dialogue are awkward for similar reasons like "your father and brother have been searching desperately for you." I also find it odd that Ethan would have access to his mom's body at that point, capable of propping up her corpse. In most hospitals, they would have already covered the body, and been wheeling it out, plus they would have stopped him from acting so violently with it. I think I partially agree with @PYBthegirl. I do like the way you depict the MC's grief. The way he cries and laughs hysterically I find realistic, but I also think that the emotional tone of the whole story has been very monotone. Everything is just sad. But to create sadness in the reader, you often need contrast. You need to show us happiness, to make the sadness more profound by comparison. Contrast is what adds interest in any form of art. Otherwise, we just remain at the same baseline despair, which has little effect on the reader. You mentioned in your reply earlier that this is supposed to read like the end of a story, but I think that works to your disadvantage. Because the reader walks into this story with no connection to the MC, scenes like this don't have the emotional impact that they should.
To be honest, I was bored by the second page. Because this a character study, I'm not expecting a plot, and you /do/ have a conflict, but it's a very cut-and-dry conflict. There's barely any mystery, and I think the first-person-point of view and dialogue is to blame for this. When writing in first person, developing the first person narrator is actually extremely difficult. Because its in first person, the reader sees everything, which can make the character flat because a lot the characterization becomes explicit, or direct, characterization. It's incredibly important in first person to implicitly develop your character. Show, don't tell. I go into more detail in a link I'll send you through PM. As for the dialogue, we have the same problem. People are so complex that most of the time, we can't even recognize our own emotions. It's unrealistic that a kid, suffering this kind of pain, and previously unwilling to even talk about his mother, can explain so thoroughly his state of mind, such as when he admits to hating himself because of his mother's death. Anyway, as I mentioned before, this is a character study--as in, it's a story that is driven mostly by the development and exploration of a character, not a plot or sequence of events. This makes the narration, writing style, and how you use these to characterize the MC, all the more important. Use the actual narration, the form of your sentences, the words you use and how you describe a situation, to develop the MC. Manipulate the tools you have to take control over the narration. To continue, while your description is fine, it's not what it can be. You're very robotic with the description. You describe what the reader needs to understand the story. But this is in first person. You aren't describing what is in the room--you are describing what the MC sees in the room. You need to filter everything through his eyes, before it reached the paper, and that is more involved than just starting a sentence with "i."
This is ridiculous. Short story isn't a genre--it's a length. Most important writing awards, like the Hugo awards, put short stories into a different but EQUAL category as other lengths of work.
All right, so, first thing is that I did find this a bit boring. Maybe it's because this isn't my typical genre, but then again you'e got a wonderfully gay MC, so you'd think my interest levels would balance out. Anyway, I do like your characters. They seem realistic and you've already hinted at more complexity than you've revealed to us so far, which is good. Plus, your dialogue is also pretty awesome, which is impressive, because dialogue can be fucking hard, but yours is just as realistic as your characters. What bores me is, firstly, the lack of plot. Although you have this cliff-hanger drama thing going on with Trent, that isn't very much of a plot. Even though this is romance, it's usually good to have a plot/conflict that is separate from the actual romance. This plot can be a side thing, since character development and the romance would take priority, but it still has to exist. Unfortunately, your characters' club life isn't really interesting enough to make up for the lack of substantial storyline, or even the hint of one to come. For the most part, first chapters need the "inciting incident," which is, to be brief, the event that gets the ball rolling. At the very least, Trent's entrance seems to be the inciting incident, but you've cut it off from the chapter. Before the inciting incident is just fluff and introduction, and, to be honest, cliffhangers are both cheesy, weak, and overdone. Once you've done chapter two, I would suggest tacking on at least part of it to this chapter. Secondly, I found the writing style dry at parts. On one hand, I think your character's voice is realistic--it reminds me of your dialogue. On the other hand, it's too much like your dialogue. It sounds too much like a casual friend telling me a story, that you miss out on important aspects of narration and story telling, such as coherent and interesting description. Try to find a balance between the MC's voice and your own style. I hope I helped! Good luck :D
So, try to focus on plot events, rather than going on describing unimportant events, such as breakfast and talking with Micah, or at the very least, reducing those less important scenes. Simply said, all your scenes should have a purpose--and that purpose should be more than just character development, because any scene can have character development, so it helps to just squish that in with the fun bits. I wish there were more description of the race itself. Climbing is incredibly difficult. I want to know about the bark cutting into his palm, and the strain on his muscles as he pulls himself upward, and the inside of his body heating up and getting heavier and heavier. Your details are all right, but when it comes to more important or interesting scenes, it makes sense to focus more on those than others. It just seems a bit rushed here, to be honest, while scenes like breakfast seemed to drag. So Dalton is interesting and all, but I'm a bit confused about him. For one thing, he seems new, because Craig does not recognize him. But he talks to Craig and interacts with the town as though he's lived there and know Craig for years. I see you're trying to make a point of his strangeness--in essence, he seems like the catalyst for the plot and Craig's character development, but it seems forced to me. What would you do if i guy you've only seen once started intimately criticizing you? Also, I'm having some trouble figuring out his age, and how he sorta fits with the rest of the characters. And seriously, stop with the multiple punctuation marks. All and all, this was actually a pretty good beginning. While it's unfocused at parts, you begin the plot, which a lot of authors forget to do xD Your setting is a bit regular for a dystopia, but it's well-written nonetheless. Good luck :3
Okay, so first, show not tell. I see you've got a "utopia" going on, at least, that's what it is in the character's point of view. But instead of telling it to the reader, show us the perfection that the MC perceives, by describing it in the context and narration, rather than listing traits about it. The same with the MC's father. Indirect characterization, as in character traits described through implication, is more deep than direct (or explicit) characterization. Once we get to the actual narration, it's better, though the beginning (having the MC wake up) is a bit overdone. You still do have the tendency to 'tell,' especially in regards to characterization. It's okay to mention that the MC's parents think he's a problem child, and I actually really like the way you describe "Princess" Spencer, but you go on for too long, and in first person, it pays to be less explicit than usual. This is especially important when we're dealing with the narrator, who will appear even more flat that normal when described explicitly. So this is a bit nitpicky, but if the government is for eliminating knowledge of the past, such as the country Belgian, then I doubt they would have let people continue to call those waffles "Belgian" rather than just rename them something more suitable for the dystopia. I love how you describe Craig. It's very hard to describe the narrator in first person, and this is a great way to do it without being cliche. As I read further, I'm trying to find a point to this chapter. While Dalton seems like a plot point, I dislike how you're going on describing Craig's day. It doesn't do you any good to show your readers an 'average day' in Craig's life, even if it's different from what we're used to.
I posted a new (really) short story if anyone wants to take a look :D "His Blood Makes Strange Patterns" http://www.wattpad.com/77274803 Summary: A high-ranking government peace-keeper and priest witnesses the death of a prominent rebellion leader.
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