Once again I am asking for you help on my writing. I have written a few short stories lately and want to know what people think. It is hard to see myself if my writing is good, or really sux.
Well anyway, as well as feedback on the stories themself, I would want to know about my use of the English language, since I it is not my native language.
My webpage where all my work is available.
March 16th, 2003, 08:25 AM
I think your vocabulary is quite good considering that English is your second language. Your grammar is fair with a mistake every two paragraphs or so, but the stories were quite readable.
The sentence structures were shorter compared to what English novelists use. However, you will find that many English high school students tend to use shorter sentences also. This is mainly because good writers like to string connected ideas together in single sentences and use adjectives as much as they can.
I feel you have a good grasp of structuring your paragraphs. Making your idea flow easier to follow.
As for the actual stories. They're shorter than what I'm used to reading, and consequently didn't have as complicated plot lines. I'm guessing this is simply you not having enough time to write longer short stories.
Brother is a interesting short story, although I have read similar stories. It built up the mood of the story well, before coming to the conclusion where everything was neatly tied up.
The story Freedom I am not too sure about. It started up with some good descriptions of the surroundings then some thoughts from the character.
However, the problem I saw was you didn't introduce the character. Who he is remains a bit of a mystery at the end of the story. Also I'm not sure why he decided to throw himself off the cliff. The explanation of the temple and the villagers was good, but you should explain how they relate to the character Alvarce. All you really explain is something about making things right and I can't see the connection.
March 16th, 2003, 08:45 AM
Thank you for the feedback.
Freedom was my atempt to write something a bit more abstract. I did not give much information about Alvarce, I did this on purpous, the reason being that I wanted to make the reader think a little. Why did he jump of the cliff? The big question being if he really is sane. I'm not quite sure myself really. I just wanted to show his oppinions and perception of the world etc.
I'm not quite sure why I write so short, might be because I am working on a novel too, and just want to get some on the paper without having to write forever. (What a stupid explanation). My novel is some 30 000 words... Well Anyways, will write some short stories that are a bit longer too...
March 16th, 2003, 08:59 AM
There's nothing wrong with writing "short" for practice or just for fun. It's just that it's difficult to write an engaging short story without a few pages. As long as you yourself are happy with that trade off then that's all that matters.
Alternative perception stories are more difficult than normal. This is because in fictional stories almost anything goes, and if you have altered reality in the story then the reader doesn't know where to stand and will just get very confused. Jumping off the cliff could quite possibly be a very sane act. I liked An8el explanation of why you need to have careful editing in such a situation.
If you don't make people understand what you're trying to do, then it's hard for them to enjoy your story.
Whoops, I made a spelling mistake so I had to edit it.
March 16th, 2003, 03:49 PM
From "Brother" - "He had the awkward feeling of being watched, but when he looked around the hall was empty."
I think you need a comma in there after around.
"He could not quite understand what it was he saw in the circular glass case, it was filled with a strange green-yellow liquid."
I think this would sound better as two sentences.
"In the last one, was an almost full-grown man"
Delete the comma here.
"His eyes were wide open, still after life had left them fear and pain was evident."
I think this needs to be re-worded. I only understood it after reading it for the third time.
OTHER than these small grammatical issues, I enjoyed the story. You had great description, and the whole plot/concept was well done. I would maybe suggest adding some more emotion though. The ending dropped of real suddenly - I'm not exactly sure this was the effect you were intending.
From "Freedom" - "A road circled it all the way to the top, some times it seemed to be to narrow to walk on"
Delete the space in sometimes, add an "o" to "to." Also I think that comma should be a semi-colon, or else the beginning of a new sentence.
"And they might be correct, Alvarce reckoned, who was he to tell, their gods seemed to be a bit cruel."
This is a bit of a run-on sentence. I'd suggest a period after "Alvarce reckoned," and a semi-colon or dash after "who was he to tell."
"tipping people of balance up there "
"of" needs one more "f."
"It would give the gods a good laugh, of that he was sure."
Semi-colon here instead of comma.
"he could se the endless reaches of land"
"se" needs another "e."
"Yet, they were as villagers most, ignorant, stupid."
Should be "Yet they were as most villagers; ignorant, stupid."
"He himself had kept faith, what was the real meaning of his life."
I'm not quite sure the meaning of this sentence.
"spending his live worshipping, gods."
"live" should be "life," delete comma.
"There was a meaning, though, yet believing some human or creaturelike entity ruled the skies, controlling humans and all living."
Seems like there should be some more to this one.
"All the world had resembling a god, was the earth itself."
"Now their falls beliefs have become something real."
"falls" should be "false."
"Now it was left to him do make things right"
"to" not "do"
"Alvarce did not really care what it would cost him, it did not matter."
Semi-colon instead of comma.
"The consequences if did not would be unbearable,"
"Consequences if HE did not"
"He almost ground his teeth, but he knew with himself that that would never happen."
Not sure what this means.
"He had no longer need for it."
"He no longer had need for it."
"Hopefully it would find someone, he had no doubts someone would find it, but there was a great difference."
Semi-colon should replace that first comma, "doubts" should be "doubt."
"He leapt of the cliff his arms stretched out."
Add a comma after Cliff.
I usually don't point out grammar and spelling mistakes, but it seemed like there were a lot of them here, and it made the story difficult to read.
I didn't like this one quite as much as the other. Is the sword supposed to be excalibur?
March 16th, 2003, 05:57 PM
I must admit I am ashamed of all those grammar mistakes, they are beneath me. I don't really understand how I managed to do it. Well anyways. I know better.
The reason why Brother is 'cut off' at the ending is because it was a school project and I had a word limit.
As for the sword in Freedom, who knows? I think you should decide for your self. I haven't really thought about it. But its not excalibur.
I am still very upset about those grammar mistakes, but thank you for pointing them out. I will certainly pay more attention to them when I write.
Well they were just stupid mistakes. They were prolly caused by the fact that I wrote it (Freedom) in less than one hour.
Again, thanks for all the feedback.
March 16th, 2003, 06:15 PM
Your grammar isn't that bad.
I've seen writing which is far worse and this is at university level. I don't know what possessed me to offer to help them with their writing, but now I'm not fussy about other people's spelling and grammar mistakes. It's just so much easier to tell people you noticed mistakes rather than spend 3 whole days correcting them.
Since English isn't your first language I'm not sure how well this works, but reading out loud what you've written often highlights many grammar mistakes.
March 16th, 2003, 10:24 PM
Again, I only pointed out the mistakes because, for me, they upset the flow of the story. I would like to say again that I thought it was a good story. For being written in an hour, and due to the fact that english is not your first language, it was very well written.
As for Brother - did you have in mind a different ending which you were not able to use due to the word limit? If so, I would be interested to read it. As it stands, the ending works. Who'd know what to feel after a shock like that?
March 17th, 2003, 09:59 AM
I might write the ending of Brother over again, but only to elaborate a bit on his feelings etc. The end would be same, but not as rash.
Hmm, it is funny when I think about it, but when I tried to figure out a plot for a short-story beforehand (I had planned writing one yesterday) it seemes to be a bit clicheish (if that even is a word. :p ). When I wrote Freedom I just started writing without any ideas what so ever, I started describing the surroundings, and when that mountain popped up I sort of continued writing about it...
March 17th, 2003, 12:56 PM
I have written a new short-story today. A bit longer this one, about 1400 words. I think this is the best short-story I have written so far, at least it is the one I like best. Hope you will read it and tell me what you think.