Author Topic: Endee, NM 510 words  (Read 4964 times)

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 02:31:33 PM »
Much tighter and just as easy - interest piqued about the 'escape'.

Good job. :D

Offline jvk1120

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 02:32:42 PM »
I was hooked at the picnic line...love the voice.  the cigs and bug spray is great too.

a nit-minor at best:  

I would seperate this into 2 sentences...

Now, nearly a year later and only two weeks until graduation,  Pascal is missing, the sheriff keeps stopping by to talk to Dad, and I think I’ve found a way to get out of dusty, old Endee.

Now, nearly a year later and only two weeks until graduation, Pascal is missing and the sheriff keeps stopping by to talk to Dad.  And I think I’ve found a way to get out of dusty old Endee.

Offline herron

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2011, 02:48:51 PM »
Nice.  I like it. This is something I would read.  ;)
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Silt

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2011, 03:16:02 PM »
Hello

As I was about to post this has had two replies since I started :(

These are my thoughts, and give you no need to change your writing. I could see your story as is, would read on with you only as the writer. So please take my critique as only another's pov.

My critiques are always long, so don't think that there is anything wrong. I tend to ramble trying to explain, which doesn't make it necessarily clearer, but sets my mind at ease that I tried :)

Quote
Until this week, the most exciting thing that ever happened in Endee, NM was last summer when a hailstorm killed all of Pascal Pesce’s cows and two of his best dogs.  The whole town showed up to watch Pascal dig a trench with a borrowed machine , and all the men shouted directions as he scooped the bodies in and back filled with dirt.  Afterward we had a picnic.

-

You have two mentions of time, when the first is more important because it leads to what is happening in the now, so the second doesn't need to have a time stamp on it, because it is not about the time it happened, but what had happened on that day which you draw memories from so just 'when a hailstorm...' So you don't have the reader having to think of two times especially when one could have been June/July/August/September.

Remember, these are just my thoughts, and I tend to be sounding pretty pickie, so ignore. I understand exactly what you meant when I read this first.

-

Though I do think it should be New Mexico in full, vice the NM. I had never heard of Endee until I read it in your story, but I do know where New Mexico is. So it's the immediate location it gives everyone, the climate, the culture, the land. That's what a country's name gives your reader.

**

Quote
“We ought to do this every year - The Great Endee Grave Dig.”  Dad joked. Mama blushed and said that was morbid.  I just tucked in and ate, silently calculating the number of days until the start of my last year of high school.

Maybe the Dad speech tag in the front of his joke. It would separate the sort of listing of expressions. But it shows his type of character right away.

'just' - I am in the process of removing most of it usage in my writing, so with anything I work on, I end up noticing in other writers' works.

Look at it in the sentence, whenever you use it. And then look at it without. Ask yourself if it builds the moment, or lessens.

I just tucked in and...

I tucked in and...

To me, I feel closer to the Mc without the 'just' for me just is like almost but not enough. I just made it, so barely, but the moment here seems that the 'tuck' is more than barely, they go in there to escape.

--

Quote
Dad came home smelling like Pascal’s place - a mix of cigarettes and bug spray.

I already knew where he was, so you don't have to tell me again, especially since it is the scent that you wish to highlight.

Dad came home smelling of cigarettes and bug spray.

Keep the scents separated when you describe them, let the reader mix them up in their mind.

**

I have mumbled enough. As I said, I read this piece without a problem, enjoyed the characters as they are and would read on to know what way she had out of Endee, was it to do with the sheriff visiting her father, or the death of Pascal, or was it something else. So that's a good hook to me.

Silt

Offline Laura H

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2011, 08:30:14 PM »
Thank you all for the kind words and suggestions.

Silt - I'm ASKING for in depth critiques and yours is much appreciated.  I think that like me you wring your hands when you have corrections and suggested improvements to offer for fear of hurting egos, but I found your post very helpful.
 I am finding that I do indeed have at least thickish skin.  I DID put my big girl panties on this morning, after all  ;D

Thanks for reading, writers
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Silt

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2011, 08:33:33 PM »
:) Even after years and years of critiquing I am still learning how to do them. So many things to keep in mind...genre/targeted audience/writer's voice, so I have to be careful what I say.

Also I am still learning to write.

But I learn from every writer I read/critique, of which I appreciate.


Silt

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2011, 08:36:49 PM »
ETA - A skin can't be too thick, after all it is your creation, some emotions have to be attached. Or at least I find it with mine. I don't really post stories as such on the net as I never know if they might go somewhere else, but I like to do exercises to see if the lessons I've been practicing out of sight, have improved how I say things.

Still I do as you said, because I know what's its like to be a writer. Thank you for the consideration.

Silt

Wolfe

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2011, 10:26:20 AM »
This is from a line-editor's point of view. I chose this route because certain things leap off the page and demanded blue pencil. Remember, the little errors will result in rejection if piled on the first page.

Line-outs with no comment mean the word choices are redundant or givens.

Until this week, the most exciting thing (be specific: event) that ever happened (to occur) in Endee, NM (no abbreviation for states: New Mexico) was last summer when a hailstorm killed all of Pascal Pesce’s cows and (his) two(comma) of his best dogs.  The whole town showed up to watch Pascal dig a trench with a borrowed machine(no space here) , and all the men shouted directions as he scooped the bodies in and back filled (backfilled) (them) with dirt.  Afterward(comma) we had a picnic.  
“We ought to do this every year - (em dash here) The Great Endee Grave Dig. (comma)”  Dad joked (said). Mama blushed and said that was morbid.  I just tucked in(comma) and ate, (and)silently calculating(ed) the number of days until the start of my last year of high school (senior year at) (Name High School).

After Pascal bought a satellite dish with the insurance money, he invited Dad over to watch a (the) Dallas Cowboys game. I don’t think either of them (Neither) (enjoyed the game) had a good time, because neither Randall Cardosi nor (and) Pascal Pesce are (uttered) good for less than a half dozen words in one (per) sitting.  Dad came home smelling like Pascal’s place - (long dash) a mix of cigarettes and bug spray (pesticides).

“Something('s) is up with Pascal,” he said over dinner that night.  
“Hmm.(comma)” Mom said.
 “Honestly, I think that old man has a secret.” (Change this sentence to something more striking. Right now, it reads weak and obvious. This is your weakest sentence)

Now, nearly a year later and only two weeks until (my) graduation,  (spacing issue) Pascal is missing (vanished), the sheriff keeps (questioning) stopping by to talk to Dad, and I think I’ve found a way to get out of dusty, old (escape) Endee.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 01:04:15 PM by Wolfe »

Wolfe

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2011, 10:41:12 AM »
Notes:

1. Avoid overusing the word 'of' if you can rewrite a more powerful sentence.

2. Avoid overusing negatives. Instead, change them into positives that enforce tension.

3. Avoid using two prepositions together if one will do the job in the sentence.

4. Avoid redundancies if the message is understood without them. This makes your sentences read tighter and creates breeziness readers enjoy.

5. A comma goes before a dialogue tag, not a period.

6. Excellent use of foreshadowing, characterization, and cliffhangers to create a questions and curiosity in your reader.

Overall, if this came across my desk, I would ask to see a partial. But, my concern would be the issues I noted in the critique. In fact, I would more likely ask for a full so I could read the ending. I want to know what happens in the end. If the ending reads as powerful as the opening, I would recommend to your agent to clean the errors noted and return the work for another review.

Otherwise, it's outstanding and a prime example of how to hook an editor's interest.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 06:05:21 AM by Wolfe »

Offline jvk1120

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2011, 11:09:47 AM »
I agree with some of Wolfe's edits, but I think Laura's going for a voice that would speak like that...if so then these are best (IMO of course) left intact...

"the whole town showed up"  (makes me think the narrator would use phrases like 'well gosh dang!'  )

"and all the men shouted directions"  (same feel...a 'local yokel' as narrator)


Offline 510bhan

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2011, 12:52:58 PM »
Notes:

1. Avoid overusing the word 'of' if you can rewrite a more powerful sentence.

2. Avoid overusing negatives. Instead, change them into positives that enforce tension.

3. Avoid using two prepositions together if one will do the job in the sentence.

4. Avoid redundancies if the message is understood without them. This makes your sentences read tighter and creates breeziness readers enjoy.

5. A comma goes before a dialogue tag, not a period.

6. Excellent use of foreshading, characterization, and cliffhangers to create a questions and curiosity in your reader.

Overall, if this came across my desk, I would ask to see a partial. But, my concern would be the issues I noted in the critique. In fact, I would more likely ask for a full so I could read the ending. I want to know what happens in the end. If the ending reads as powerful as the opening, I would recommend to your agent to clean the errors noted and return the work for another review.

Otherwise, it's outstanding and a prime example of how to hook an editor's interest.

Wolfe

Your comments are always so helpful Wolfe . . . and make the pennies drop with dreadful clangs. I hadn't realised how much stronger a sentence could be once it has been 'of' cleaned. :) :) :)

***Slides off to use the 'find' button and review current m/s***

Felt quite chuffed that I've already addressed 2, 3 and 4 [knew 5 anyway] and wished someone might include 6 in comments about my own writing! ;D ;D ;D

Offline Laura H

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2011, 02:32:01 PM »
SO thankful for the corrections and suggestions.  As JVK said, I was trying to capture a certain voice through the narration, but it sounds like I need to leave some things for dialogue. 
I see that I need to brush up on my punctuation rules - it's been a long time.  So glad to know dashes are permissible.  I actually did not know that they were accepted as correct punctuation.  I dash the heck out of my rough drafts  :D

Wolfe, I truly appreciate the detailed critique.  I feel like I've taken a creative writing course today!

Thank you, writers  ;D
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline sericmarr

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Re: Endee, NM 510 words
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2011, 06:28:28 AM »
Very nice local color. I was satisfied with it until the end. It felt too abrupt for the slow, easy pace of the rest of it. The internet courtship is interesting but I wanted it more developed. Good luck developing this.

seric