Author Topic: Please critique my work (582 Words)  (Read 994 times)

Offline Zand

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Please critique my work (582 Words)
« on: May 04, 2011, 03:44:36 PM »
Hey
I'm new here and also quite new to writing so I figured the best way to start would be to write a practice novel to learn and improve. I was hoping you'd be kind enough to review my writing style and share any advice and/or opinions.
Also I know the story isn't going to make any sense from this extract but I'm much more interested in the style of writing etc.
I'd be the first to admit I've still got a lot to learn so I'd really appreciate any help or guidance you could give me about how to improve. (Also please don't hold back. I've got broad shoulders :) )

Thank you

Stepping outside the airport provided a pleasant array of fresh air after being stuck in an airtight cabin for nine hours. Carrying with it the first familiarity Jamie had felt ever since waking up on the unfamiliar continent over five thousand miles away. He had only been to Heathrow airport three times before, but it was enough to make him feel at home. Rory had been correct: it was long past nightfall by the time they arrived and the night breeze brought with it an unaccustomed chill Katie had been expecting, but not prepared for.

   Jamie unzipped his hoody and placed it over her shoulders. ‘Well, here we are.’ He said.

   Rory had spent the majority of the journey with them. The only peace Jamie got was when the seatbelt sign turned on. Not that he didn’t think well of him by now, just there was limits to how much Jamie could take of a person like Rory at any one time. And a nine hour flight was far beyond that limit.

   Miss Ennos had insisted everyone regroup in the Airport lobby, she hadn’t taken too kindly to Jamie informing her Katie and he would be making their own way to the hotel. Still, that had become the least of their worries.

   Katie pulled her arms through the hoody’s sleeves and remained silent as she gazed at Jamie, trying to figure out what he was thinking. As he caught her gaze she finally asked, ‘What’s it like being back?’

   ‘It’s weird, actually. I had almost become used to my life in L.A. Just being here brings back unpleasant memories. Of how my life used to be. Of how I used to be.’ Before all of this Jamie’s life had been far from joyful - Most of which he brought upon himself. He was a loner. He preferred to be – to work – in isolation. He had never had a problem interacting with people. He simply preferred not to do it. Thinking back he’s not even sure why. ‘It’s weird to think how much I’ve actually changed. I’m still the same person, just, I think differently. Almost see things differently.’

   ‘I’m somehow not surprised. I’m sure waking up on another continent with no idea how you got there can spark a few changes.’ She said with a smile hoping Jamie would return it.

   He didn’t. ‘I don’t even think it’s that.’ He said. ‘It’s you.’ Jamie knew he wouldn’t have to explain what he means.

   And he didn’t. Katie said nothing. She simply put her arms around him.

   A second later their moment was interrupted. ‘Err. . . guys.’ Rory said strolling out the automatic doors to the airport. ‘You’re not coming with us?’

   ‘Nope.’ Jamie said. ‘Got some things to do.’

   ‘Like what? Can I come?’

   Jamie thought for a moment about what the politest way to phase his answer would be. Unfortunately, the flight had whittled down any patience he had once had. He responded with a simple, ‘No.’ but after a pause, and Katie jabbing her fist into his hip, he added. ‘Sorry.’

   ‘Sorry.’ Katie echoed. ‘We’ve just got a couple of things to do. We’ll catch up with you at the hotel. Okay?’

   Rory nodded disappointedly, his mouth fixed open. ‘Okay. See you.’

   ‘See ya.’ She replied as he walked back into the airport. ‘So. Shall we go?’ She asked turning back to Jamie.

   He bit his lip and with a sharp nod said, ‘Let’s do it.’



« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 03:49:13 PM by Flawless »

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 03:53:32 PM »


Hi - it's great that you're keen and there is help available for everyone at MWC. ;) ;) ;)

If you check the link below it should help you to familiarise yourself with how things operate around here.

http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=7415.0

You'll find other Blue stick-pin (Stickies) at the top of the various boards to help you learn the ropes and make your time here more productive and enjoyable.

Don't forget to read and comment/critique on other members’ work before you ask the same from them.


The moderators are easy to spot due to all the blue stars floating above our heads. If you have a problem, we are happy to help in any way we can.

510bhan
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Offline Zand

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 04:15:17 PM »
Hey 510bhan

Thanks for the welcome :)

Yeah, I figured it was a little rude asking for help before offering it to others. But being new to this I didn't want to be offering people bad advice.

Offline Amanda George

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 04:19:11 PM »
It's OK but needs some work... this forum is great for helping you to get words to come out and give you a better hook too.  The first thing I would say is that there isn't enough of a hook and the other thing is that I kept getting confused about if Jamie was male or female... it started off with me thinking Jamie was female then it went to male, then female then male again at the end, I think it's the spelling of the name that confused me more than anything, sorry!

Hey
I'm new here and also quite new to writing so I figured the best way to start would be to write a practice novel to learn and improve. I was hoping you'd be kind enough to review my writing style and share any advice and/or opinions.
Also I know the story isn't going to make any sense from this extract but I'm much more interested in the style of writing etc.
I'd be the first to admit I've still got a lot to learn so I'd really appreciate any help or guidance you could give me about how to improve. (Also please don't hold back. I've got broad shoulders :) )

Thank you
There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present (unknown)

Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

Offline Amanda George

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 04:23:03 PM »
Hey 510bhan

Thanks for the welcome :)

Yeah, I figured it was a little rude asking for help before offering it to others. But being new to this I didn't want to be offering people bad advice.

Think of the writing here as if a friend had just emailed it to you and asked for your opinion... be honest but gentle is the best advice I can give!  :)
There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present (unknown)

Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2011, 04:33:57 PM »
The name Jamie didn't bug me - I have a son called Jamie :D

Quite often you 'tell' rather than 'show', like when he was explaining his background and choosing to work alone.

Perhaps if you gave more focus to Jamie wanting to get to the hotel with Kate you could slip in some bits of info and create a bit more tension and drama.

array? of fresh air???
Carrying with it the first familiarity Jamie had felt ever since waking up on the unfamiliar continent over five thousand miles away. - This isn't a sentence, the verb isn't doing its work with the subject. Also familairity and unfamiliar don't work, instead of quirky and clever it reads like you don't know how to use the synonym button. :-\

I quite like the short descriptions/action tags, they work like immediate thoughts without explanation - suits me, others might disagree, but that's what this place is all about, a variety of opinion and a feeling for general likes and dislikes.

Sorry - have to dash, I'll be back at a later stage.

Thanks for the read. ;) ;) ;)

Silt

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2011, 04:53:12 PM »
Hello and welcome to the workshop.

I normally talk about sentence structure and time-line, sometimes dabble in repetitive wording, possible tense issues.


Quote
Stepping outside the airport provided a pleasant array of fresh air after being stuck in an airtight cabin for nine hours. Carrying with it the first familiarity Jamie had felt ever since waking up on the unfamiliar continent over five thousand miles away. He had only been to Heathrow airport three times before, but it was enough to make him feel at home. Rory had been correct: it was long past nightfall by the time they arrived and the night breeze brought with it an unaccustomed chill Katie had been expecting, but not prepared for.

Some one will mention gerunds, those nasty little 'ing' in past tense stories and beginning of sentences. I tend to agree it is wise to stay clear of using them unless needed. Many people use it also to lessen the use of pronoun, but often a reworking of the sentence can solve this. That is if you agree, if not, you are not alone using them, so don't think its a real big thing for now.

a pleasant array - when I think of 'array' I think of a variety of things. Yet you show me 'air' though fresh it is still one thing. So though it is a word you can use, meaning it makes sense, it is not used well enough to use. Now if you showed me an array of air, scents of flowers, fresh mowed grass, hotdog stand. Because you want to give him an array of something other than the inside of a plane/airport(stale breathless air) Draw in every word, use it fully. You took some times to consider 'array' but that description and choice does not stop with its simple placement. You have to give it reason to be mentioned.

Imagine, all that ramble and I am still on your first sentence. And this is no fault to your writing or clarity of voice, it is to do with me rambling. Which is why I try to make them short. :)

At the end you use 'night breeze'. Which is fine again, but what I'm going to try to explain without rambling is this. Any time you use a repetitive phrase/saying/word/description(not including those 'I want to kill. Kill. KILL! them all' kind of things. But here. In the first line you use 'air' which is a breeze, also the staleness of an air-tight cabin. So that's twice. When you get to the breeze, it isn't important enough to use again. It brings a chill that is already there, but even without that arguement it is the 'chill' which is the main subject. How it is different from where she was to how it is at here. So it is the 'chill' that is center stage. The use of breeze/air again in such a short passage of words is something to watch for. Each time you repeat you lessen the power of that initial use. This is important if that word sets one moment.

**

You should place that chill more directly on Katie's shoulders, so I see the action of Jamie unzipping his hoodie and then placing it on Katie's shivering shoulders. The way you have it sort blurs in pov.

Quote
Rory had spent the majority of the journey with them. The only peace Jamie got was when the seatbelt sign turned on. Not that he didn’t think well of him by now, just there was limits to how much Jamie could take of a person like Rory at any one time. And a nine hour flight was far beyond that limit.

limit(x2)

But you could trim this para down ie

Rory had spent the majority of a nine hour flight next to them. The only break from him they had was when the seatbelt light went off. He was okay in small doses...but for nine hours, no.

Whenever you write, just write, don't think of all this rewording, how it would sound better, that's what editings all about. I do like the voice in this piece. Still want to read on.

I will stop here just because this is already too long. First step in wanting to write, second is Wanting to write, third is WANTING to write. :)

thanks for the read

Silt
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 05:28:30 PM by Silt »

Offline Zand

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 05:17:29 PM »
Thank you so much for the feedback, just from reading them I've already learnt a lot

And Silt your "rambles" are like gold dust, thank you

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Please critique my work (582 Words)
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 08:33:25 PM »
Its a nice piece, though you say its an excerpt so not the very start of the story.
So I assume you already set up a hook and this is following that hook.

You do a bit of telling in places you could easily show, like this bit.

Rory had spent the majority of the journey with them. The only peace Jamie got was when the seatbelt sign turned on. Not that he didn’t think well of him by now, just there was limits to how much Jamie could take of a person like Rory at any one time. And a nine hour flight was far beyond that limit.

Rory could be bugging Jamie and you could show Jamie's frustration. Then maybe add a little thought like, Jamie could only take so much of Rory before he wanted to gag him. Or something to that effect,  :D

Seem his name is Jamie, I reckon you should change her name to Kate or something, just because Jamie and Katie, have the same ending sounds, it came across a little repetitive while I was reading. But I liked it and I want to know what Jamie and Katie are talking about.   :)