Please critique, its not finished and I'm sorry to say will be done so at a slow pace.
The youth, lifting his trembling hand, removed his earplugs and scratched the dry, irritated skin. He had a nervous feeling. It made his hands feel disconnected, the mind unable to control them in the chilled atmosphere of night. His other joints were the same in condition. A worn rifle lay upon his lap, its barrel still warm from previous engagements. Disregarding the fire which a muscular soldier had built, the youth wrapped his fingers around the steel tube. It was hot, hot enough the average person wouldn’t touch it, but the youth thought as though it were a fair woman. The youth was but only seventeen, packed down with armor and weapons. Dirt stained his face, and shrapnel wounds were beginning to scab.
December 16th, 2006, 12:08 PM
If you can judge anything on a few sentences: I thought it was good.
December 17th, 2006, 12:21 AM
As Konrad says, if anything can be said of such a small chunk it's fine, although you've overused the phrase 'the youth.'
SubZero, if you want to write, I honestly don't think this is the way to do it. Just writing a paragraph at a time, and worrying about it so much that you put it up for critique, is not the way to get a story flowing. You need to sit down and focus on telling your story, and write big chunks of it at a time, don't stop for the day unitl you have at least 1000 words.
Writing takes confidence, paradoxically it takes a fair amount of self-criticism as well. If you get too self-conscious, or if you get hung up on the idea that you may not have 'it,' whether 'it' be talent, or a good idea, or skill, or drive, or an audience, etc., you most definitely will not have 'it,' and you won't have a story either.
So, if you need permission from a stranger to go ahead and just write I hereby give it; you exhibit competance -- now go write your story and don't worry about critiques or criticism until it's done.
December 17th, 2006, 10:38 AM
I couldn't have said it better myself.:D
December 17th, 2006, 09:08 PM
it was good, however, i found that there were a lot of statements in the paragraph which upset the flow. this can be fixed by some simple tweaking:
Dirt stained his face, and shrapnel wounds were beginning to scab. Lifting his trembling hand, the youth removed his earplugs and scratched the dry, irritated skin. An air of nervousness hung about him making his joints feel disconnected and his limbs uncontrollable in the chilled atmosphere of night. Not even the warmth of a nearby fire could abate his anxiety. A worn rifle lay upon his lap, its barrel still warm from previous engagements. The youth wrapped his fingers around the steel tube. It was hot, hot enough the average person wouldn’t touch it, but he caressed it as though it were a fair woman. Packed down with armor and weapons and carrying the weight of his sorrows, the youth was but only seventeen.
obviously the changes i have made have left the paragraph unfinished, but i hoped that i god rid of the few unnecessaries such as:
-the extra comma in the original first line
-a few of the "statements" and incorporating them into a more flowing sentence. "He had a nervous feeling. It made his hands feel disconnected, the mind unable to control them in the chilled atmosphere of night. His other joints were the same in condition." - sounds ok but can be condensed with the same detail and better flow.
-the sentence about the fire - it is irrelevant how the fire got there. and i know you wanted to ensure that it isnt the fire that makes the rifle hot, but still an important detail so i related it to the "nerves" aspect.
-replacing the first line with the last puts the word "shrapnel" in the opening line and immediately puts the reader in a war like setting.
but yeah, show us more and as you can see i only changed some of the sentences around without adding anything new. good work.
December 18th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Well I'm no pro, but something I notice on here rather consistently in my lurker mode, is that many people seem to use rather short sentences. However, if you pick up most any novel these days, you will in general see a much more complex sentence structure which tends to allow the story to flow better. There are certainly times when the brief description could be used to great effect though.
In my opinion your descriptions and tone are quite good, but your sentences are so short that it seems choppy.
Like not enough information. It's too short for what you are saying. It disrupts the flow. There's only one thought at a time.
There is not enough information in each sentence, which creates the feeling that you are not saying enough and makes the story feel disrupted, with only one thought at a time.
Perhaps that's just me, but then again you are asking for impressions. :)
December 19th, 2006, 07:16 PM
I agree about the sentence interuptions; I bugged myself while writing those and I write small chunks at a time because I dont have a lot of time. :)
Sorry I cant find a more jovial way to write this ^^^^^. Makes me sound depressed.
By the way, the youth is no doubt going to be a better way to address him then my previous attempts.
December 21st, 2006, 11:31 PM
Give your youth a name. Who is he fighting? Why is he fighting? Who is he with?
Metal usually cools quickly. Why not start with him firing the gun? Give us a suggestion of what he's doing.
If he's a youth, what experience does he have with 'fair women'?