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June 30th, 2006, 04:45 PM
My brother (I'm doing this because he won't post on the forums) just posted a story here, "The Burning Plains:"


It's only the first chapter (oh God, there's more?! :eek: ), so please critique it and tell him what you think (don't be merciful!).

In the meantime, I need to get writing some stories of my own...

June 30th, 2006, 05:40 PM
Tell your brother to come on over. We don't bite. Promise.:D

That's good. It has a very distinctive style and sets the scene quickly. Just a couple of things.

There is some repition that could be removed to make it flow easier:

To the south is a more homogenous band, brown-yellow, and flat as a sheet.

It is aflat region, except on the fringes,

By simply changing the structure and removing the word flat the second time the story will flow much better. And:

From space, it is nothing more than a blue bauble; but as one gets closer, more detail emerges. There are silver clouds, and churning blue oceans.

The repition of the word blue really made it stall for me. Its not needed. I can understand mentioning it if they weren't blue but as they are, you can let the reader act on their own assumptions.

There are a few other repitions scattered around, but they can simply be removed when you re-read and edit.

Point 2: ;)

For most of it, the story is passive. I know its meant to be setting the scene but there are some places, particularly the hunt scene, where I wanted the action to be a bit more obvious.

All one catches is a glimpse. Between the buffalo-legs, between the remaining tussocks of grass, one can see the bipedal form, the enormous legs, the handsomely gracile head set upon a sinuous neck, the long ears...and then the creature is gone like a shot, arms and legs pumping insanely. The beasts rear back in indignation and alarm; one defecates noisily and bellows with disgust.

It could become (you don't have to listen to a word i say by the way) something like this:

Between the buffalo-legs, a bi-pedal form emerges, with enormous legs, a handsomely gracile head set upon a sinuous neck and long ears. In an instant, the creature is gone, its arms and legs racing madly ( or something). With bellows of indignation and alarm the great beasts rear, disgust evident in the flailing forelegs.

To end on a positive ('cos we all like to be encouraged): Your characters are very good, you portray the fear and the pain during her run very well. She's easy to empathise with. I like the way she doubts if her father will come back. It hints at a deeper story which you bring out later.