First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
Post Reply What changes can I make to this story?
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/16/16
Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks bunches.


Read and review this story please. I plan on redoing this story and want to know what I should do. What changes should I make to have this story becoming greater. It's long but please read as best and as much as you can. It's an older story that I worked on too.


https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3287309/1/The-Labyrinth-of-Melancholia
2654 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / F / England
Offline
Posted 6/17/16
Since I think you're genuinely after constructive criticism, I'll give you a little. I think it's incredibly brave for any artist to subject their work to criticism, so you have my respect.

The tenses are rather confused - it makes it difficult to read.
The punctuation is poor, which again makes it difficult to read.
Formatting the paragraphs will help create suspense - I think this is what you're going for.

I'll admit that you lost me halfway through reading it - I feel like the storyline is there, just overshadowed by the execution.

I hope this is helpful
13127 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M
Offline
Posted 6/17/16
I was going to say mostly what Dazai said. Your mechanics needs to be tightened up a lot.

After that, focus on flow and rhythm of your sentences. Try not to use the same word too often close together. You used the word "eyes" five times in the first two lines. That makes things feel very stilted for the reader. I take it you are going for a more dazed vibe, so you should generally use long sentences which flow into each other smoothly (You do well to use short sentences during action sequences, but you could still improve the rhythm by playing with word choice and sentence structure). This also flows into your dialogue, which feels a bit unnatural at times. Some of that is mechanical, but others just feel like its not something a human would actually say. My advice would be to read your dialogue out loud. Make sure you really know your characters and always be thinking "does this sound natural?" and "would this character actually say this?".

As for the actual story, admittedly I haven't read a ton of it yet, however first things first, it feels like you are starting in the middle of a chapter. I personally really like when stories drip feed you the setting while a character wakes up or something, but it just doesn't work as well in the beginning of a story, because without a base of knowledge on the tone of the story or really anything, the reader doesn't have anything to grasp on to. Because of that, it makes the words empty, which is never good for your first sentence. I would personally rearrange it, and start with her calling out, "Hello, is anyone there?" (PS: Don't use all caps to denote yelling. Just put an exclamation point (don't use "?!") or use "she yelled" as your dialogue tag.)

Next, work on your pacing. Time passes as the reader reads, whether or not you are describing actions. You go so quickly from "she starts walking" to "eventually, she gets tired", that I don't feel it. I'd suggest writing a paragraph or so of her walking and getting herself lost in the maze between the two.

Side note, Florence is a girls name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_(given_name)
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

sundin13 wrote:

I was going to say mostly what Dazai said. Your mechanics needs to be tightened up a lot.

After that, focus on flow and rhythm of your sentences. Try not to use the same word too often close together. You used the word "eyes" five times in the first two lines. That makes things feel very stilted for the reader. I take it you are going for a more dazed vibe, so you should generally use long sentences which flow into each other smoothly (You do well to use short sentences during action sequences, but you could still improve the rhythm by playing with word choice and sentence structure). This also flows into your dialogue, which feels a bit unnatural at times. Some of that is mechanical, but others just feel like its not something a human would actually say. My advice would be to read your dialogue out loud. Make sure you really know your characters and always be thinking "does this sound natural?" and "would this character actually say this?".

As for the actual story, admittedly I haven't read a ton of it yet, however first things first, it feels like you are starting in the middle of a chapter. I personally really like when stories drip feed you the setting while a character wakes up or something, but it just doesn't work as well in the beginning of a story, because without a base of knowledge on the tone of the story or really anything, the reader doesn't have anything to grasp on to. Because of that, it makes the words empty, which is never good for your first sentence. I would personally rearrange it, and start with her calling out, "Hello, is anyone there?" (PS: Don't use all caps to denote yelling. Just put an exclamation point (don't use "?!") or use "she yelled" as your dialogue tag.)

Next, work on your pacing. Time passes as the reader reads, whether or not you are describing actions. You go so quickly from "she starts walking" to "eventually, she gets tired", that I don't feel it. I'd suggest writing a paragraph or so of her walking and getting herself lost in the maze between the two.

Side note, Florence is a girls name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_(given_name)


Thank you for the advice. I could have sworn that Florence was a guy's name.
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

DazaiShinju wrote:

Since I think you're genuinely after constructive criticism, I'll give you a little. I think it's incredibly brave for any artist to subject their work to criticism, so you have my respect.

The tenses are rather confused - it makes it difficult to read.
The punctuation is poor, which again makes it difficult to read.
Formatting the paragraphs will help create suspense - I think this is what you're going for.

I'll admit that you lost me halfway through reading it - I feel like the storyline is there, just overshadowed by the execution.

I hope this is helpful


Sorry about that.

I'll try my best to make it better.
2654 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / F / England
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

qualeshia3 wrote:


DazaiShinju wrote:

Since I think you're genuinely after constructive criticism, I'll give you a little. I think it's incredibly brave for any artist to subject their work to criticism, so you have my respect.

The tenses are rather confused - it makes it difficult to read.
The punctuation is poor, which again makes it difficult to read.
Formatting the paragraphs will help create suspense - I think this is what you're going for.

I'll admit that you lost me halfway through reading it - I feel like the storyline is there, just overshadowed by the execution.

I hope this is helpful


Sorry about that.

I'll try my best to make it better.


Never be sorry! Like all things, it's about practice. I have huge respect for you opening your work up like that. Would be really interested to see the final edits.

12315 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / In Italy for a year
Offline
Posted 6/17/16
the important ones
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

DazaiShinju wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


DazaiShinju wrote:

Since I think you're genuinely after constructive criticism, I'll give you a little. I think it's incredibly brave for any artist to subject their work to criticism, so you have my respect.

The tenses are rather confused - it makes it difficult to read.
The punctuation is poor, which again makes it difficult to read.
Formatting the paragraphs will help create suspense - I think this is what you're going for.

I'll admit that you lost me halfway through reading it - I feel like the storyline is there, just overshadowed by the execution.

I hope this is helpful


Sorry about that.

I'll try my best to make it better.


Never be sorry! Like all things, it's about practice. I have huge respect for you opening your work up like that. Would be really interested to see the final edits.



Thank you very much for reading it.
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

LubbockNR wrote:

the important ones


Did you even read the story?
2654 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / F / England
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

sundin13 wrote:
My advice would be to read your dialogue out loud. Make sure you really know your characters and always be thinking "does this sound natural?" and "would this character actually say this?".
this is really excellent advice. I'm an actress, and this is what I ask myself constantly - it follows that a writer would have a similar process.


sundin13 wrote:
Next, work on your pacing. Time passes as the reader reads, whether or not you are describing actions. You go so quickly from "she starts walking" to "eventually, she gets tired", that I don't feel it. I'd suggest writing a paragraph or so of her walking and getting herself lost in the maze between the two.

This is what I was getting at with the suspense portion of my comment. Take a deep breath. Read it out loud, and read it with the punctuation you write. Slow everything down - less is often more. 'Silence' in a novel isn't unusual or bad.

Best of luck As I said, I look forward to hearing more from you!


42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

DazaiShinju wrote:


sundin13 wrote:
My advice would be to read your dialogue out loud. Make sure you really know your characters and always be thinking "does this sound natural?" and "would this character actually say this?".
this is really excellent advice. I'm an actress, and this is what I ask myself constantly - it follows that a writer would have a similar process.


sundin13 wrote:
Next, work on your pacing. Time passes as the reader reads, whether or not you are describing actions. You go so quickly from "she starts walking" to "eventually, she gets tired", that I don't feel it. I'd suggest writing a paragraph or so of her walking and getting herself lost in the maze between the two.

This is what I was getting at with the suspense portion of my comment. Take a deep breath. Read it out loud, and read it with the punctuation you write. Slow everything down - less is often more. 'Silence' in a novel isn't unusual or bad.

Best of luck As I said, I look forward to hearing more from you!




I have another story that I want some feedback on.


https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3287398/1/The-Wicked-Angel-The-Generous-Devil-and-The-Misunderstood-Prince
12315 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / In Italy for a year
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

qualeshia3 wrote:


LubbockNR wrote:

the important ones


Did you even read the story?


nope
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/17/16

LubbockNR wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


LubbockNR wrote:

the important ones


Did you even read the story?


nope


Come back to me when you read the story.
19300 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / M / Canada
Offline
Posted 6/20/16 , edited 6/20/16
I decided to read the second story since I assumed that everything I would have said, was said.

Your tenses are still all over the place. This seems to be a repeating issue in your writing if I'm to take the other critics at their word. While tense mistakes are one of the most basic and thus, easiest mistakes to make in writing, it is important that these are caught in the editing phase, They're one of those things that can destroy the reader's experience, despite being such a small error. Decide on whether you're doing a story in past or present tense and then be extra vigilant in catching the tense errors in your second reading.

Second issue. Full capitalized sentences. In my experience these are something best left out of stories. Instead, use your punctuation and descriptive wording to convey the tone of voice the character is taking. The fact, for example, that you're already saying that God roared at the main character eliminates the need for full caps.

However this ties into the next piece of critique; I'm finding your dialogue very stiff, as if someone is reading it off of the page. This is fair though, dialogue is one of those things that I struggle with as well. To echo a poster above, read your stories out loud as you'll catch these sort of things in your second reading. Even if your first draft has sentences like this to establish what you're wanting to say, it's an important step to go about 'naturalizing' the dialogue so that it sounds like what two people would say to each other.

Finally, you're falling slightly into the practice of overwriting. Your second paragraph, that is, the one after the first sentence, is wrought with repetition that could be trimmed down.

"While God's outbursts were rare, Zachariah was one of those angels that could push him to it. Not since Lucifer had an angel given God this much trouble and his immense anger burned against him."

An example of what it could look like if it were stripped down.

Kudos to posting your work for criticism. That's one of the things that I feel most writers feel most intimidated into doing, so I applaud the effort. My hope is that you take this advice to heart and tidy up the prose a little. It's off to a good start and it's apparent that you have the creative mindset, but with such comes a certain mechanical requirement as well. Good luck and good show.

Edit: Forgot to mention formatting. My recommendation is picking up a cheap copy of "The Elements of Style," and leafing through it. While it's not a perfect guide to writing mechanisms, it's definitely a good start if you want to examine what you might be doing wrong.
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 6/20/16

LITVoid wrote:

I decided to read the second story since I assumed that everything I would have said, was said.

Your tenses are still all over the place. This seems to be a repeating issue in your writing if I'm to take the other critics at their word. While tense mistakes are one of the most basic and thus, easiest mistakes to make in writing, it is important that these are caught in the editing phase, They're one of those things that can destroy the reader's experience, despite being such a small error. Decide on whether you're doing a story in past or present tense and then be extra vigilant in catching the tense errors in your second reading.

Second issue. Full capitalized sentences. In my experience these are something best left out of stories. Instead, use your punctuation and descriptive wording to convey the tone of voice the character is taking. The fact, for example, that you're already saying that God roared at the main character eliminates the need for full caps.

However this ties into the next piece of critique; I'm finding your dialogue very stiff, as if someone is reading it off of the page. This is fair though, dialogue is one of those things that I struggle with as well. To echo a poster above, read your stories out loud as you'll catch these sort of things in your second reading. Even if your first draft has sentences like this to establish what you're wanting to say, it's an important step to go about 'naturalizing' the dialogue so that it sounds like what two people would say to each other.

Finally, you're falling slightly into the practice of overwriting. Your second paragraph, that is, the one after the first sentence, is wrought with repetition that could be trimmed down.

"While God's outbursts were rare, Zachariah was one of those angels that could push him to it. Not since Lucifer had an angel given God this much trouble and his immense anger burned against him."

An example of what it could look like if it were stripped down.

Kudos to posting your work for criticism. That's one of the things that I feel most writers feel most intimidated into doing, so I applaud the effort. My hope is that you take this advice to heart and tidy up the prose a little. It's off to a good start and it's apparent that you have the creative mindset, but with such comes a certain mechanical requirement as well. Good luck and good show.

Edit: Forgot to mention formatting. My recommendation is picking up a cheap copy of "The Elements of Style," and leafing through it. While it's not a perfect guide to writing mechanisms, it's definitely a good start if you want to examine what you might be doing wrong.


Thank you so much. Wow, I guess I'm the world's okayiest writer.
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.