Thursday, January 7, 1999

Please read this and leave some honest feedback?

Hi there, I'm in a bit of a tight spot right now. I'm home schooled, and have absolutely no teachers with writing experience to look at my work and tell me what the heck I'm doing wrong! So if someone could please look at my work and give my their honest opinion on it, I would be so grateful. I've been writing for about a year now, but have had no formal instruction in creative writing. Not that I'm giving that as an excuse for bad writing or anything, I'm just saying that so you know my experience level and can maybe teach me some tricks off that knowledge. =)

So here's just a few excerpts from the sequel to the novel I wrote. The first one is to show my dialogue, the second to show some more descriptive work, and the third to show more of a narrative bit.

EXCEPT ONE:

Aram shook his head. “Let’s change the subject,” he muttered.

Yeah. What did you come in here for?”

His sandy eyebrows narrowed. “What, am I not allowed to come in here just to visit?”

You know that’s not what I mean, Aram. You just looked concerned when you walked in.”

Maybe I was concerned about you. Concerned that you were sitting in the lap of an out of control shifter.”

I thought we agreed we were changing the subject?” I snapped.

He retracted his arm from around my shoulders in an angry movement. “Fine. I came in to tell you that something’s going on with Luke.”

I frowned at the context my brother’s name was used in. “What is it?”

I don’t know. That’s why I came to you; I thought you might be able to coax it out of him. But he’s been holed up in his room the entire day, and I can’t get him out.”

The discontent that darkened my expression deepened at this news. Luke was not one to stay in his room; he was sociable, constantly striking up new conversations and charming people with his lopsided smile...

EXCERPT TWO:

As I stared up into the two circular pools of gold before me, I couldn’t help but to marvel at their perfection. Gold. It was truly a perfect color, always splendorous as it glistened, always regal even in a tarnished state. But the lakes of gold before me were far from tarnished; they were lit with sparkling affection and steadfast devotion. The pupils that gave depth to the metallic pools of emotion were focused on me, seeming to claim me as their own.

I reached up with a delicate hand and brushed my fingertips under his golden eye. It was really the only perfect thing about him. His handsome complexion had been marred by scars; his bloodlines lacked any sort of respectable nature; his temperament, which was so sweet and affectionate with me, was anti-social and wary with others...


EXCERPT THREE:

Of course, Aram had answers to these questions. The reason he had been allowed to live was because he had turned over to Flack’s side. He had adopted the man’s beliefs, his morals, and agreed to live by his rules. Or, at least that was what he led Flacks to believe. In reality, he was pulling a classic spy move. By convincing Flacks that he was on his side, he had gained the man’s trust. And then, after months of acting like Flacks’s new best friend, he had been given enough freedom to attempt escape. That was how he had ended up back at the Sentinel, safe and sound at his real home.

Unfortunately, there were people who didn’t believe his story. The majority of the Sentinel was more than willing to accept his word, but some people had lost what faith they had in him during his six month absence. One of the people unwilling to accept his story was Drake...

Answer on Please read this and leave some honest feedback?

You've really done a great job. I'm impressed, especially since you're basically learning this all on your own. It's clear you love what you do. You pay a lot of attention to detail, presentation, spelling, grammar etc. It makes your work a joy to read.

If you're after constructive criticism, I have a couple of things to point out:

"The discontent that darkened my expression deepened at this news" This line doesn't quite work because the protagonist can't see his/her own face. It makes more sense if you word it something like this: "My discontent deepened at this news".

Your dialogue's good but it comes across as quite formal. Given that I don't know much at all about your characters, that might be the effect you were going for. If it is, please ignore my remark! If you'd like to make it more casual, it always helps to read it out loud and listen to how it sounds. Lines such as "“What, am I not allowed to come in here just to visit?” might flow better if you changed it to "What, am I not allowed to visit?" and “I thought we agreed we were changing the subject?” could be "I thought we agreed to change the subject?" It says the same thing but in fewer words and sounds a bit more natural.

But really, those are nitpicky things in a story that's really well presented. I loved your descriptive paragraph and the narrative. It's strong writing, in my opinion.

Well done and all the best with your work.

Edit: If you're interested in joining an online writing community to get feedback on your work, please come and see us at http://www.storiesspace.com It's for writers over the age of sixteen, so if that applies to you it'd be great to see you there.