Variety in sentence formation and word usage would be a help here.
April 1st, 2003, 05:40 AM
Well here are a few suggestions.
The most important thing is actually presentation. You need to find better html generating software. I kept reading to the end of a line, then my eyes would swing to where I thought the next line would start and hit a large white space. Or hit the second or third word in a sentence.
This was probably the most annoying thing for me as I had to keep adjusting my eyes at the start of every line I was reading.
You seem to use "Ė" a fair amount instead of punctuation. This hindered the flow of the story, as it is usually very uncommon. Try to avoid using too many "Ė" in your sentences.
The person Twelve, was correct in saying you need to practise your ďsentence formationĒ. This comes with experience from writing and you can also learn, at a slower rate, by just reading.
ďThe man looked round, halloed back.Ē
I think ďHalloedĒ is slang. Avoid using slang when youíre writing as the narrator. I canít explain why, it just feels wrong. Slang is okay to use when your characters are speaking if that is part of their character.
Even though you have only written the first 900 words of your story there should have been some indication where the story is going. At the moment itís difficult to see where youíre trying to lead with this story. The characters seem rather plain and they donít appear to be doing anything special. There are no hints of something greater or more interesting in the future. You should try and gain the reader's interest early on in the story.
When Jakill reaches the town, thereís no mention of his hunger, exhaustion or wound. This is highly irregular unless Jakill recovered while travelling.
I know Iíve written many negative comments about your story, but donít get discouraged. Everyone needs time and practise before they start getting good at writing. Iím sure with a little of both youíll be able to write good stories.
April 4th, 2003, 02:11 PM
I don't think 'helloed' is slang, John.
And about my sentence formation - I can't see where it is bad. I do recgnonize my problem. My story lacks direction and any real character. I want to use the character(s) and basic plot, but first I need to rethink a little...
April 5th, 2003, 03:23 AM
More detail is needed IMO. Maybe you are trying for a certain style, which is fine, but there are a lot of sentences/paragraphs that are too short and lacking for my liking.
April 6th, 2003, 08:30 PM
Well I assumed 'halloed' was slang after checking a spelling book, my dictionary and "dictionary.com". I didn't find an entry in any of the three. Unless you meant Ďhelloedí, which is in the dictionary and is a proper word. I have heard Ďhalloedí used before, but only in conversation.
When I mentioned sentence formation it's not just Microsoft Word grammar. I assume youíre targeting the adult fiction/sci-fiction market with your stories. Most of those kinds of stories have a rhythm to the sentences, and they only break it whenever they want to change the pace or draw the readerís attention to something important.
At the start of your story your sentences tended to be very abrupt. I felt that disrupted the flow of the story. Also adding in a ď-Ē to join two sentence fragments together, isnít done very often. What Iím trying to say is, a story can be grammatically correct but in addition to that it should flow. Good sentence flow, combined with a few other things, can make the reader forget theyíre reading words. Instead all they start to see is the story.
As for making your storyline more interesting, maybe it would be a good idea to introduce some important long term goal/quest for your character early in the story. Or at least a long term complication.
I'm not sure if you're trying to hide some of the identity of the characters. If that's what you're trying to do I'm cheering you on :) . However, if you aren't maybe have the narrator give some additional information about the character's background. If you aren't aiming for mystery with a character, dialogue shouldn't be the only source of character information.
My last suggestion has to do with perspective. When writers write stories each scene usually keeps to one perspective. Now what I mean by that is where the narrator is viewing all the action. Sometimes the narrator chooses to be in a characterís head, first person perspective, and tells the reader everything that character senses. Sometimes as a ghost that is looking on to all the action, third person perspective.
Iím not entirely sure, because Iím an expert at all, but I think you switch between the perspectives of your characters and sometimes to third person too much. It would help with your story telling if you be stricter with which perspective you are using. Either use Jakillís perspective or Rulatís perspective or third person perspective, and only change when you feel it is absolutely required. If you choose to be a characterís perspective you canít write what the other characters are thinking or feeling, and you canít write about things the character canít see. If you decide on third person you canít talk about what a character if thinking or feeling internally, but you can talk about facial expressions and tone of voice.
Ultimately, everything Iíve said are just suggestions and things that I hope can help your writing. If you disagree with anything then just ignore me on that point.
Good luck with your story.
April 6th, 2003, 08:34 PM
Sorry should have read your last post more carefully. It wasn't slang it was a minor spelling mistake.
April 7th, 2003, 11:51 AM
In my opinion, you might try developing the sentences and paragraphs a bit. As it stands, the reading is very 'choppy' since few paragraphs extend more than one or two lines.
April 7th, 2003, 03:20 PM
Either use Jakill?s perspective or Rulat?s perspective or third person perspective, and only change when you feel it is absolutely required.
I kept entirely to Jakill's perspective, actually. Why did you think otherwise?
April 8th, 2003, 07:24 PM
Well because I didn't empathise at all with your character Jakill, and I usually do when I read a first person perspective. So I had a look to see what prevented me from being drawn into the story. As I said Iím no expert, but I had a look and it read like third person in places, and switched to Rulat at one stage too. I may be wrong though.
Wish you didnít remove the link, but I think I remember where I thought you switched perspective. The first scene started out in first person, then during the dialogue seemed to switch to third person as you completely stopped mentioning anything Jakill was thinking or feeling. I would have thought Jakill would have had felt something or thought something about his new friend Rulat that the narrator should have told us about.
The second scene started out in third person, where you described Rulat and Jakill as ďtwo menĒ. It then switched to first person Jakill, then first person Rulat (a single line about what Rulat was feeling), then Jakill, then third person again. I think you finished the second scene in third person because you described what Rulat and Jakill did after they were no longer together.
I may be completely wrong on this point as I may have been looking for problems where there were none. However, itís the best explanation I came up with, why I didnít relate to Jakill.
Just a question, do people actually want these in depth analysis of their stories? It would be easier just saying what I liked or not. Rather than trying to figure out what caused me to like or not like it.