View Full Version : Critique: "Severed"
November 8th, 2006, 02:59 PM
A short piece I wrote. Its hard to explain where it came from. Its an excerpt from a series I may or may not finish. Its centered around me and my sister and some paranormal-type things we've experienced - or imagined. In any case, this piece is written from my perspective, what it tells of is embellished with fantasy, symbolic in nature because that's my style, even when writing in my journals, etc. In the series which, at the moment is titled "Sisters of the Hunt", this piece will be an entry in my journal that I call "RED".
All feedback is appreciated.
November 9th, 2006, 02:15 PM
Here are my thoughts:
1. The mechanics are good, spelling, sentence construction, etc. There are a few minor errors that will be caught in editing.
2. I'm taking this as a journal or diary entry. On that basis the heavy introspection is appropriate.
3. Your word choice is sometimes a mite confusing and/or awkward to me. For example:
Perhaps it is because I feel so alive with emotion. Young, lonely and angered, buried in the pain of a past I can't even claim as my own, while dealing with the overwhelming vastness of a present in which I am changing rapidly, my longed-for future so far away...
The subject of this paragraph is the writer's emotions. Yet, you refer to being young (not an emotion) and lonely and angered (arguably emotions but the direct reference loses some of the poetic feel of the rest of the excerpt--it reads kind of like a grocery list), so I suggest a tighter focus on the subject, the writer's emotions, such as:
Perhaps it is because I feel so alive with emotion. Buried in the pain of a past I can't even claim as my own, overwhelmed by a vast present in which I am changing rapidly, longing for a future so far away...
Ah, it makes me laugh. Is it not ironic, my sister, that we are the ones they chose? They chose. Not us. Its amusing to me, how those thought to be as godlike angels would be used as such mindless pawns in a war not of their choosing, unwittingly manipulated by those the world will not believe in.My comprehension of this paragraph at first reading, I must admit, was nil. I had to go over it again, and again, to understand what is going on here. Maybe I still don't quite get it, but here is my suggested edit:
Ah sister, it makes me laugh, the irony that we are the ones they chose. They chose. Not us. That those thought by the world to be godlike, to be angels, instead could be mindless pawns in a war not of their choosing, manipulated by those in whom the world will not believe.
Out of context i cannot say how well this excerpt does or does not advance your story, but I like it in and of itself. It strikes a strong emotional tone, bitter and angry, yet seemingly resigned. Very good in that regard. The flow needs polishing is my only real suggestion.
November 9th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Your text flows well, it's easy to read. I like the language you use. I pretty much agree with BrianC's assessment, and there's little I would add.
"They chose. Not us." --> "They chose. Not we."
Reason: Ambiguity might lead to confusion here (confused me for a split second). Consider these variants, contracted into one sentence.
They, and not we, chose.
They chose, but not us.
Since you spoke of yourselves as "being chosen", I tended to read this section as contradicting what came before.
(Grammatically, "us" isn't quite correct, but it's used so often in such contexts that I wouldn't mark it if it didn't come with the possibility of confusion.)
November 13th, 2006, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the kind comments and suggestions, you guys have no idea how helpful they were. Or maybe you do. Either way, thanks =P
My comprehension of this paragraph at first reading, I must admit, was nil. I had to go over it again, and again, to understand what is going on here.
Something you'd have to know the story to understand, actually, but your suggestion was indeed very helpful.
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