I just published two short stories... actually excerpts from my book Shadow of the Falls in the community section. I would really appreciate hearing all your thoughts/critques. Please tell me about your impressions of the characters and the overall feel for the stories.
February 1st, 2005, 09:46 PM
If it's any consolation I think that your piece is probably better than the first atrocious book that I started... then buried.
The bad news is that you've got some work to do. I'm not sure what to tell you to correct the problems; we've never met. I don't know you or how you learn. The best I can give you is a couple of the tips that helped me. If they sound useful, give them a try.
Style -- The punctuation is sloppy and inconsistent. The language is bland and uses too many adjectives and adverbs to try and cover for weak nouns.
Solution? I have a copy of The Complete Idiots Guide to Grammar and Style parked on my desk. I read it a little at a time and when I finish I start over at the beginning. If I can ever get through it without learning a few dozen new things I'll set it on a shelf and go buy a new grammar book (one that doesn't have the word 'idiot' in the title). As for the language, my solution -- since those vocabulary builders didn't seem to do anything for me -- was to keep a dictionary close when I read. Everytime I came to a word I wasn't familiar with, I looked it up. That helped.
Content -- Every quotation has some sort of qualifier: She asked pointedly/ He replied with determination. Your point of view is unsteady. The pace of the writing never changes, whether you're describing a landscape or battle scene, the sentence length, the type of sentence structures, never vary.
Solution? I bought about a dozen different 'How To' books on writing. Read them all. Some might have helped. The main thing here was simply to keep writing. For some reason, many of the techniques of writing only come with time and page after page after page of text that one day you'll look back on and marvel that you ever wrote like that. Don't ask me why.
February 2nd, 2005, 10:07 AM
:) Uh... Thanks?
February 4th, 2005, 04:01 PM
I must admit at first I your critique was a bit nauseating but after careful review of my work I came to realize that contained in some of your advice was some true evidence that I need to update those excerpts. I appreciate it. Was their anything good though?