Brutally Honest Reviews | 03 | Extract Edition | READ THE FIRST POST BEFORE POSTING

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#81

Ahh sorry I thought it was chapter 1 cause it seemed like it in the beginning. If this is chapter 5 then it’s fine cause the readers already know what’s going on! I know! You have to use the coding for the italics even though you copy and paste aghhh. No problem, glad I can help!


#82
Line-by-line critique here! Or at least, it should be if I get the format to work haha

“Let’s start with something different today,” Dr. Martinez said, and Addison paused in the doorway of the office. I like this as an opening line! It gets straight into the action, which is what you want.

“What do you mean? We always start the same way.” It was their routine to ask how Addison was and what she had remembered. Doing something different, not following their routine, it was crazy. I, personally, would maybe change this line to: Doing something different? Not following their routine? It was crazy!/. That’s just a personal preference, though, as I think it reads better a bit broken up like that! Her knees trembled at the thought, and she slowly walked over to her chair and sat.

“Just changing a few things up. How was the walk here with your mother?”

Addison’s hands shook as she remembered freezing when she spotted the car. The driver had honked at her to move, but she was frozen: a statue, that needed to be dragged the rest of the way. She had glanced at her mother, who had a blank expression.

“Do you want to move on to something else? We can talk about your goals or routines.” Perhaps include a line along the lines of: Dr Martinez interrupted her daze, or something just to bulk it up a little. I notice throughout the entire extract you use very few dialogue tags which is fine, but I personally would try to mix it up and have lines with tag and lines without.

“No!” Addison shouted. She willed herself to calm down and focused on her watch. Three months, seven days, ten hours, and five minutes. “No. I mean, the walk was fine. I-I talked to Daniel about a week ago. And I called Victoria on Tuesday so that we can work on one of the goals—sitting in front of a… car for a few minutes. She texted me yesterday that she would come over today.” Again, perhaps add a dialogue tag here to expand. Maybe Addison is nervously twisting her watch on her hand or otherwise fidgeting?

“That’s great! I’m proud of you, Addison. What was your reaction after you hung up?”

“I was a little nervous.” Her heels dug into the old rug, and she gripped the edge of her chair. Almost sounds like she’s getting ready to run away? If this is your intention, then it’s 100% but to me it reads with a different energy to the rest of the extract almost. “But I felt like I took a leap?”

“That’s because you took a baby step! You’re going forward! How are your night routines going?” Dr. Martinez uses a lot of exclamation marks - perhaps too many? Sometimes reads like an overly excited teenager texting IMO.

Forward? She wasn’t going anywhere. Addison was either stuck, or she was sinking. Really like this line! “I’ve tried one… kind of? Two days ago, I took a warm shower, like usual.”

“That’s good. We’ve established that you take a warm shower before you sleep to relax a bit. What else? Did you try something new?”

“I… took my watch and my clock out of the room so I wouldn’t be able to tell the time.”

“How did that go?”

Addison shrugged. “I slept… better.” You tend to use ellipsis a lot. Perhaps you could replace some of them with interrupted dialogue tags, such as: Addison shrugged. “I slept-” she broke off, pausing as she listened to the soft ticking noises of her watch. “Better,” she finished. Just a suggestion!

Maybe it was because she was exhausted. Adding another step to her routine, other than the shower, took too much energy. Nearly every second she had her watch attached to her wrist, and during the last few days, being apart from it at night made her mentally tired.

Three months, seven days, ten hours, and eight minutes.

“You’re doing great. What I would suggest is before you sleep, enter your cube of good memories and create a peaceful environment. This is challenging, yes, but it’s like your morning routines.” Challenging? It was more than that. She felt like she was in an endless maze, hitting nothing but dead ends.

Same person speaking, so you don’t need to take a new paragaph.“What do you do once you wake up?” Across from her, Dr. Martinez wrote on her clipboard.

“I go downstairs, drink coffee, and then I write a goal for myself to complete during the day.”
[/quote]

General critiques:
Overall, I like where you’re going with the idea of the story. You’ve set it up very clearly that she is some sort of therapist’s office, and your quick reference to the car begins to introduce ideas that there has been some sort of incident (an accident?) involving a car. I like this style of exposition as you could have easily just said “after the incident…” and explained what happened, but I much prefer details being revealed slowly!

Like I said, I think a couple more dialogue tags would really help break things up. Sometimes it gets a little hard to tell who is speaking where there are no tags and also they are a good place to introduce details about the characters’ surroundings and perhaps any physical quirks the character may have (e.g. when Addison is nervous, does she have any tics? Does she play with her hair a lot? Fidget with her watch? Her clothes?)

The repetition of the countdown is a good subtle cue to reinforce Addison’s obsession with time and I really like it. You had a couple of really nice lines in the extract, too.

I’d probably give this a 6.5/10? Maybe a little harsh, but to me the lack of dialogue tags really disrupted the flow a bit and left things unexplored. Otherwise good work! :slight_smile:


#83
Extract from the first chapter of Bean Me Up, Scotty

When they first meet she's drunk, he's tired and there's a clock ticking behind his head on the wall of the café. It's quite funny, really, watching them bicker in the wan light – is it rising or falling? – and seeing her try to wedge herself in between the bricks and his chest. She wants coffee and he wants to go home; she's much louder, vocal, insistent but he's just as stubborn – if quieter- , blocking her entry.

The second time they meet is much more civilized: she’s sober, for a start. It’s mid-day and he’s just been told he can have the weekend off if he stays later. It’s sunlight pouring through the windows, casting warmer shadows now than the stars had. Embarrassment flushes her cheeks, not tequila. Their eyes meet behind the counter.

The third time is a little different. He’s expecting her this time. She pushes the door open and he’s pulling something out of the pocket of his worn apron. A smirk tugs at his lips, quips at the ready until something stops him. A smile. That’s when it really begins, if you ask me. But I’m getting ahead of myself: we should probably start from the top.

She’d had way too many shots.

She was shifting from foot to foot, trying to ebb the pain as her heels dug into the concrete outside. A frosty breeze stung her skin while she pleaded with the figure blocking her entry. “Please,” she repeated, hardly even slurring her words. “It’s cold. I jus’ want a coffee. I have money!” She thrust a handful of bills into his face, eliciting a groan as he pulled away.

“Probably not as much as you started out with,” he grumbled, listening to the hands of the clock move, as he remained motionless. “It’s late, we’re closed.”

“The door is open. You’re literally standing right in front of it.” In response he chose to reach up and point to the ‘We’re closed’ sign hanging under the engraved name, fixing her a deliberate stare.

"False advertising," she challenged. He groaned. " Please ."

“We don’t serve coffee to drunks after store opening hours,” he replied, not at all moved by her pleas. As far as Scott Tyler was concerned, he was off work and only had to walk fifteen minutes to get home. His contract didn’t extend to moonlighting as a babysitter for swaying women in the street.

“There isn’t anywhere else open,” she whined petulantly, sticking her lower lip out, at which he laughed mirthlessly.

“Exactly - there’s a reason,” he said with a shake of his head as he went to move back and lock the door. He would have too, if it weren’t for the grip on his arm forcing his head back. Oh no. There were tears forming in between mascara-clumped lashes and he had to suppress a groan.

“Do not start crying,” he muttered under his breath, but it fell on deaf ears as she started to take in big gulps of fresh air and sob. “For fuck’s sake.”

The street was empty apart from the two of them. The moon cast a pale shadow over her, everything playing like a black and white movie as fat tears ran down her cheeks. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out the sounds of her cries even as he felt himself move back, pushing the door open further with his back. Just this once, he thought to himself. She was too busy crying to notice his surrender until his hand gently pressed against her lower back and pushed her into the empty coffeehouse.

“Do not make this a habit,” he grumbled under his breath, back turned as he let the door close behind them. “And don’t throw up: I’m not mopping again.”

:coffee:


#84

Two days late, whoops. Thank you so so much! I do have a little trouble with tags, so I’ll add a few in and tweak this chapter. The feedback was wonderful, so thank you again!


#85

When they first meet she’s drunk, he’s tired and there’s a clock ticking behind his head on the wall of the café [who hangs a clock above a café entrance? You need to mention that this is one nifty café] . It’s quite funny [I think it needs to be clearer why it is funny to watch] , really, watching them bicker in the wan light – is it rising or falling? [I’m a bit of a pleb, so I hadn’t a clue what was rising/falling] – and seeing her try to wedge herself in between the bricks and his chest. She wants coffee and he wants to go home; she’s much louder, vocal, insistent but he’s just as stubborn – if quieter- , blocking her entry. [in general I really liked the style, but the structure and grammar in this sentence felt contrived]

The second time they meet is much more civilized: she’s sober, for a start. It’s mid-day and he’s just been told he can have the weekend off if he stays later. It’s sunlight pouring through the windows, casting warmer shadows now than the stars had [I don’t like this comparison, end with “warm shadows”? Even then I don’t think its apt to use warm in any sense of the word to describe the shadows. At the beginning it should be “The sunlight pours”] . Embarrassment flushes her cheeks, not tequila [its your discretion but I would reorganise; Embarrassment, not tequila …] . Their eyes meet behind the counter [and what? Seems like a cliched and unnecessary c0ck-tease].

The third time is a little different. He’s expecting her this time. She pushes the door open and he’s pulling something out of the pocket of his worn apron [given the tantalising paragraph before, I initially thought this was a condom … I still don’t know what it is or if there is sexual energy here. It’s just not clear what is intended] . A smirk tugs at his lips, quips at the ready until something stops him. A smile [Again, putting it this way sounds cliched] . That’s when it really begins, if you ask me. But I’m getting ahead of myself: we should probably start from the top [took me a while to realise that this meant the first meeting] .

She’d had way too many shots.

She was shifting from foot to foot, trying to ebb the pain as her heels dug into the concrete outside. A frosty breeze stung her skin while she pleaded with the figure blocking her entry. “Please,” she repeated, hardly even slurring her words. “It’s cold. I jus’ want a coffee. I have money!” She thrust a handful of bills into his face, eliciting a groan as he pulled away.

“Probably not as much as you started out with,” he grumbled [I understand what he’s saying, but it reads awkwardly] , listening to the hands of the clock move, as he remained motionless. “It’s late, we’re closed.”

“The door is open. You’re literally standing right in front of it.” In response he chose to reach up and point to the ‘We’re closed’ sign hanging under the engraved name, fixing her a deliberate stare.

"False advertising," she challenged. He groaned. " Please ."

“We don’t serve coffee to drunks after store opening hours,” he replied, not at all moved by her pleas. As far as Scott Tyler was concerned, he was off work and only had to walk fifteen minutes to get home. His contract didn’t extend to moonlighting as a babysitter for swaying women in the street.

“There isn’t anywhere else open,” she whined petulantly, sticking her lower lip out, at which he laughed mirthlessly.

“Exactly - there’s a reason,” he said with a shake of his head as he went to move back and lock the door. He would have too, if it weren’t for the grip on his arm forcing his head back. Oh no. There were tears forming in between mascara-clumped lashes and he had to suppress a groan.

“Do not start crying,” he muttered under his breath, but it fell on deaf ears as she started to take in big gulps of fresh air and sob. “For fuck’s sake.”

The street was empty apart from the two of them. The moon cast a pale shadow over her, everything playing like a black and white movie [I don’t like this comparison. Either everything is like a black and white movie, for the sheer fact of being black and white, or there are some romantic undertones, which feels strange given the interaction they just had] as fat tears ran down her cheeks. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out the sounds of her cries even as he felt himself move back, pushing the door open further with his back. Just this once, he thought to himself. She was too busy crying to notice his surrender until his hand gently pressed against her lower back and pushed her into the empty coffeehouse.

“Do not make this a habit,” he grumbled under his breath, back turned as he let the door close behind them. “And don’t throw up: I’m not mopping again.” [suggests that he’s mopped up after her before, which means this isn’t their first meeting like you said].

Overall, I liked this. If this wasn’t a critique, I wouldn’t think twice about the mistakes I’ve just mentioned because the writing style is so assured, rhythmic and impressive. I even got some Zadie Smith vibes from reading this. My main qualm is that it’s rather cliched. The beginning read like a wistful rom-com. In context, I could imagine that this was intended, and that some sentences like “A smile.”, were a piss-take.

7/10 could easily be higher.


#86

Beginning of a new story, no title atm.

“… - Its something that I feel.” He paused, tasting the spring air, “Do you?”

The shepherd stared absently down the hill, his eyes circling his flock and caring little for this small company. To him, alternating between distinct courtesy and listlessness were the most enjoyable ways of confounding this boy and his attempts at close friendship.

“D’hruian?” He asked expectantly.

“You said we had to wait until the sun has fallen.” Skies of sweet plum clouds and delectable eels of orange stretched on forever, the Broad-lands settled underneath in rolling fields like crests of a woollen sea. Their chosen vantage point offered vistas detailed far and near, neatly exposing the base of the Cranines, a series of hilly ranges at their backs and settlements beyond the woody cragg. His flock knelt in a dry corner of the field before them, having been led from morning deliberately between fields, leaving an easily traceable path directly from the outcrop of trees towards a nook in the cliffs.

So the idea went; their monster, maddened by the trail of pissing and shitting, would climb out the trees, and follow the scent into their trap.

“Yes, it’s just a bear - hungry after a long winter.” The young monk, Thalis, stared at him with a concerned look pacing between his pert features. D’hruian feigned disinterest. “People are ignorant. What they don’t know …”

“It’s only me and my brothers. The rest of them – it leaves them alone.”

“Yes” His expression brightened. “But its patterns won’t change unless its favourite hunt fails.”

D’hruian rested his head between his hands in a faux pensive manner. For a week, something had terrorised his flock. Something the village folk proclaim was sent by God as penance for the devil within his step-mother, his father and himself. Fortunately, God himself extricated his birth mother from her awful situation.

“My mother-“ He began

“Yes?” Thalis replied eagerly

“When she ascended I saw her. She looked like that - a bear, you know?”

“D’hruian …” Of course he knew. Holy miracles had an unfortunate habit of orphaning young children. Divine power belongs in heaven, and those blessed individuals are taken by God. One of them was D’hruian’s birth mother. He watched her transform into a bear and evaporate into blue dust. Five years later and he can’t remember; was it a telling off she was in the middle of – or did she sing to him, ruffle the familiar curly hair that was part of her brother and father whom she also loved.

They each watched as the sky turned this silvery blue colour. For a year, Thalis contrived to spend time with him. Whether this was a monk’s pity or boy’s loneliness, D’hruian did not wish to understand. He hated all of them and would sooner spy that dull rock yonder and dash his brains out than share any kind of affections. And when this was over, he would continue to ignore these efforts for the pleasure of it.

But hopefully the bear would eat him.


#87

“… - It’s something that I feel.” He paused, tasting the spring air, “Do you?” I think the fact that I’m missing the first half of what he’s saying is throwing me off but it should be “Don’t you?”.

The shepherd stared absently down the hill, his eyes circling his flock and caring little for this small company. To him, alternating between distinct courtesy and listlessness were (was) the most enjoyable ways of confounding this boy and his attempts at close friendship.

“D’hruian?” He asked expectantly.

“You said we had to wait until the sun has fallen.” Skies of sweet plum clouds and delectable eels of orange stretched on forever, the Broad-lands settled underneath in rolling fields like crests of a woollen sea. Their chosen vantage point offered vistas detailed far and near, neatly exposing the base of the Cranines, a series of hilly ranges at their backs and settlements beyond the woody cragg. His flock knelt in a dry corner of the field before them, having been led from morning deliberately between fields, leaving an easily traceable path directly from the outcrop of trees towards a nook in the cliffs.

So the idea went (was); their monster, maddened by the trail of pissing and shitting, would climb out the trees, and follow the scent into their trap.

“Yes, it’s just a bear - hungry after a long winter.” The young monk, Thalis, stared at him with a concerned look pacing between his pert features. D’hruian feigned disinterest. “People are ignorant. What they don’t know …”

“It’s only me and my brothers. The rest of them (you could take out of them) – it leaves them alone.”

“Yes” His expression brightened. “But its patterns won’t change unless its favourite hunt fails.”

D’hruian rested his head between his hands in a faux pensive manner. For a week, something had terrorised his flock. Something the village folk proclaim was sent by God as penance for the devil within his step-mother, his father and himself. Fortunately, God himself extricated his birth mother from her awful situation.

“My mother-“ He began

“Yes?” Thalis replied eagerly

“When she ascended I saw her. She looked like that - a bear, you know?”

“D’hruian …” Of course he knew. Holy miracles had an unfortunate habit of orphaning young children. Divine power belongs in heaven, and those blessed individuals are taken by God. One of them was D’hruian’s birth mother. He watched her transform into a bear and evaporate into blue dust. Five years later and he can’t remember; was it a telling off she was in the middle of – or did she sing to him, ruffle the familiar curly hair that was part of her brother and father whom she also loved.

They each watched as the sky turned this silvery blue colour. For a year, Thalis contrived to spend time with him. Whether this was a monk’s pity or boy’s loneliness, D’hruian did not wish to understand. He hated all of them and would sooner spy that dull rock yonder and dash his brains out than share any kind of affections. And when this was over, he would continue to ignore these efforts for the pleasure of it.

But hopefully the bear would eat him.

I really liked the writing style. I loved the whole idea of people with special gifts being called up to heaven and I noticed something like foreshadowing or something about the bear being what was terrorizing only his flock and that his mother went up as a bear. So yeah, I think it’s also a super original idea and I can tell you’ve worked a lot on this. Other than the couple little grammar things I picked up on, it seems like a really solid excert.

10/10


#88

The Fight for Freedom. Prologue

Have you ever looked off a cliff over the ocean and wondered what if would e like to jump? Have you ever lost yourself so deeply in a book that the world around you falls away? Have you ever walked into the ocean and felt the desire to just keep going into the great beautiful unknown? Have you ever felt so trapped in yourself all you want to do is jump into someone else’s body?

They tell me I have it all, that I am fortunate, that most people don’t get to live like I do. I’d trade places with any of them any day. I’d give my life to have one more moment of freedom looking out at the ocean, one more moment with him. They one who spends walking the beach and climbing the cliffs. One more beautiful day with my Prince Charming. The one who showed me the power of words and the majesty of the sea. He showed me what it’s like to live for something, to give yourself to a cause.

Lately, my days have been lined with studies and constant monitoring. The world has changed completely after the war. We don’t have the freedom we one had. My writing this is illegal, know that if you are reading this you also are committing an act of treason against The State, punishable by death. If someone catches me writing this, I will suffer the same fate, my status will not be able to save me. But I must honor his memory. Make sure he didn’t die in vain. This is our story, this is our call to arms.

Chapter 1:

We were always spending our time in all the important capitals of the world. Washington DC, Beijing, London, Moscow, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, and many many others, but my favorite was always Madrid. I never really knew why, it just was my favorite.

I never really asked why we traveled so much. I knew my parents worked for some politician, I guess thinking back, I should have asked. Maybe I would have been able to stop so much pain.

We were in Madrid, I always made a point to enjoy the cities I was in, this one was no exception. After a day of walking through the city, and enjoying the sights, I decided to settle in at a little cafe with a book. I was right next to the Royal Theatre and an Opera must have just ended as the people pouring out of the building were all dressed to the nines. That was the first time I saw him. His green eyes and dark wavy hair. He was walking out with all the rest, yet unlike the rest, he was wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt with Michigan written in yellow letters. He went over to a group of guys, grabbed a skateboard from one and started riding. I was captivated by him. He seemed so familiar but I knew I had never seen him before in my life. We locked eyes and there was just something about the way he cocked his head to the side studying me. I couldn’t put my finger on it.


#89

bump


#90

ahhh I’m so late replying, I’m sorry!

Thank you so much for the critiques! I acc had to laugh at the start because I realised the first line does read like the clock is on the wall outside haha I totally meant inside, but it reads completely differently!

I think a lot of the things you picked up were half-satire (a lot of it is definitely a piss-take haha), especially re: the ~sexual tension~ aspects. Still, you made some really good points and I’ll definitely be taking them on board.

Again, thanks for the critiques, especially the comment about my writing style - I’ve never been called assured before! Really appreciate your feedback :smile:

:coffee:


#91

6/10
There’s some hiccups with your words, but it’s also captivating and engaging. 6/10 was the highest I could go, due to those hiccups. I thought 7/10 was too close to perfection of 8/10.
The prologue was thoroughly engaging. Although, it has been said prologues are over done and many tend to skip prologues, simply due to the author ‘taking the easy way out of a back story’. BUT it isn’t the backstory, it’s the fore story. A shadow, after the sun in a manner of speaking. It’s one of the best prologues I’ve read in some time. The last paragraph could be divided in two, due to the change of thought about a male. She went from people, to one person.
I love how you introduce Madrid, and how it’s stated that she simply likes the place, although she doesn’t know why. It gives me hope that I would learn why throughout the story. Her family situation is perfectly subtle, telling me she didn’t really care what her parents did when she says ‘they worked for some politician’. It insinuates a relationship that isn’t close. I also like the foreshadow, ‘i should have asked’.
As for the ‘he’ dying. It causes curiosity. At the same time, it causes me to not want to read, to not want to deal with heartache of attachment. Of course, I’m sure there’s many who enjoy those sorts of stories.


#92

From ‘The Darkest Mistake’

“I don’t understand the point of this.” My voice is like rustling leaves as we enter yet another shop. An earthy scented thrift shop.

“Clothes shopping.” Aunt Witch says as if it answers my question, heading straight to a sales wrack.

At 7, I had been awoken and told to take another shower. It was a wonderful experience. I used too much shampoo again. That stuff smells of old earth with mint, a wonderful scent to my nostrils. The smell reminds me of the yellow flowers that hang outside my window, upon the green vines. It’s so much better than that awful hospital smell. I’m sure that disgusting scent won’t be rid of my body for some time.

So far, Aunt Witch has tried to drag me in 3 different malls in 3 different cities! I’d stood like those buildings, awaiting its customers. Unmoving. She could not physically cause any damage, or twist of a finger. She was courteous enough to ask me how I possibly could not want to go to a mall, besides being a male.

My reply was the cameras. I don’t trust them. I’m fact, I keep my face angled away from them.

“Yes, clothe shopping. I don’t understand,” I guess she didn’t understand my question.

“Well you need extra clothes for all occasions. The charter school I’m sending you to doesn’t have a dress code. So you want a variety of things. Kids might pick on you for wearing the same thing all the time. Plus this gives me an excuse to spend money. I don’t have much of an excuse anymore.” It aches my soul that she sounds so wistful about it.

I have no idea what the heck money is. Something with numbers I believe. And why would she want to make numbers less? And if she were money to spend, I’m sure she could afford a bigger house. Or more plants. I know houses have to be built, which probably involves money.

Aunt Witch holds up a shirt in front of me and eyes it. “Hmmm… No or yes?”

My stance relaxes, my attention to the shirt. Its a black t-shirt. My lips tighten, score one for me. I know colors too. Shrugging, non-valiantly, “It’s simple. Black. I do like its darkness.”

She smiles at me, but it doesn’t quite give her eyes a glimmer. It’s the first non glimmering smile I have had since we left the hospital.


#93

Hi! How are you?

All games are no longer allowed in the IYW category- So I’m going to be moving your game to the #character-and-games area. This is so that IYW can be used for more of discussions than games.

Wish you the best! Enjoy your game!

PurelyAliyah :purelyaliyah:

Community Ambassador


#94

bumpy


#95

@FoundAquarius
The whole excerpt is a little odd, which I’m guessing is what you were going for. The pacing is a little abrupt, especially since it’s written in short sentences.

I can’t really imagine a voice sounding like ‘rustling leaves’, and adding that to the fact that the character is describing their own voice, it makes me think they’re either really weird or not human.
The repetition of the word ‘shop’ seems unnecessary. You could join the two sentences with a comma instead.

After the spoken fragment, there should be a comma instead of a period, since it’s followed by a reporting statement. (Check out this link about dialogue punctuation)

Generally, I prefer to see all numbers written (seven instead of 7), but that’s more a personal preference than anything else. The way this fragment is phrased, it adds to the idea that the MC is not a normal human. (‘Been awoken’ instead of ‘woke up’, the fascination with the shower and scents in general,…)
However, I feel like the word ‘smell’ is repeated too much.

Again, I would say “three different malls in three different cities.” (The exclamation mark feels a little out of place).

I don’t really understand that last sentence.

Ok, first, I don’t see how asking him why he does not want to go but dragging him along anyways is courteous. Also, I find this stereotype very annoying. Just because he’s a dude, it doesn’t mean he has to hate shopping.

‘Clothes shopping’ or ‘clothing shopping’

That last sentence sounds really really awkward. If I were you, I’d rephrase.

The MC take on money is a little confusing. At first, he says he doesn’t know what money is, but then he uses terms such as ‘afford’ is are very much linked with the meaning of money.

I don’t understand what you mean by ‘Shrugging, non-valiantly,’.

In general, I like the fact that the narrator is so obviously unreliable (since he doesn’t know a lot about the human world), it’s original and intriguing. However, the punctuation is all over the place and there are some grammar mistakes and typos.

In my opinion, this has potential. But it needs work.


#96
The Colorless Month It wasn't even ten in the morning and her day had already gone to hell. Sweat pooled in the small of her back, and her jeans clung to her legs like a clammy second skin. The man behind her breathed loudly on the nape of her neck; his breath smelled like burnt coffee.

To her right, a woman in an alarmingly bright yellow dress faded into black-and-white. Ava clutched her bag to her chest and fought off the urge to close her eyes. Blues and reds and greens slowly melted into shades of gray, like paint dripping off a window.

Disorientation hit her with dizzying intensity. Nausea rolled in her stomach and she let out a small whimper. The man behind her coughed.

The subway came to an abrupt halt and Ava staggered out of the wagon, stumbling out of people’s way as she followed the crowd. Her ears were ringing; a loud, incessant noise that drowned out all the others. In her pocket, something buzzed.

She stopped and looked down. Her dark blue jeans seemed black now, and her well-worn Converse had lost all hints of purple. Her pocket kept buzzing.

Ignoring the way her hands trembled, she pulled it out and stared at the picture flashing on the screen. Toni’s dark eyes looked just as intense in black-and-white.

The buzzing stopped and the screen when black for a moment. Then they both started up again. A slide of her finger and she brought the phone up to her ear.

“What took you so long, loser? Are those commissions more interesting than me?” Toni’s voice sounded too far away. Fitting, considering her friend was on the other side of the world. “Ava!”

Ava blinked. “I–,” she stopped. She didn’t know how to explain.

The Month wasn’t a big deal—or, at least, it shouldn’t have been. It was a simple process: lose color, find love, find color. All in thirty days. Simple—except for the deadline. And Ava was extremely not-good at deadlines.

So, yes, Ava was absolutely, utterly terrified her color would not come back in time.


#97

omgosh. I COULD HUG YOU RIGHT NOW.

Thank you for such a real and true critique. I really needed it. I’ve been feeling like I need to just get rid of the draft. and rewrite it. It’s completely finished, and I’ve been trying to ‘fix’ it by adding to it. Thank you.


#98

I tried to be a thorough as possible, I’m glad I could help :slight_smile:


#99

Alright. Usually, for prose such as this, I tend to use the analogy “reads like an instruction manual”—though I am aware that come off a little unprecedented. So, I’ll explain what it means: It reads as if the camera is panning inwards, not outwards. It creates a disconnect between narrator and reader, and it’s likely because character emotions aren’t all that elaborated on (or her reactions aren’t documented). For reference, even though I’m not particularly referencing this, Deep POV.

Due to this disconnect, a lot of your narration seems immediate. It doesn’t feel like there’s any connection between narrator and reader, and nothing the narrator says seems to affect the narrator on a personal level. A lot pools into this—sentence structure, word choice, lack of emotive language, etc. And. . . man, it’s hard to explain. But it’s always that one thing I see people falling down on, y’know? Myself included.

Anywho. Let’s go by line.

I believe the rest would be okay without going in line. I would say I disliked the informality of the last few paragraphs but, if you’re going for an informal tone, then that’s just me listening to my bias.

Overall, 8/10. You’re pretty solid. Just a few structural concerns here and there (which, at this level, is unfortunately something that matters a lot in prose, too).


Falling Deep: Child's Play | Chapter 7 | ROUGH DRAFT

(I’d provide more context but I’m trying my best to remain under that 500 word limit sooo)

“The rebels are holed up in those pretty red buildings at the back.”

The man pointed, but Hidayat could finish his sentence for him. I want you to take your own life and blow them up.

Hidayat screamed out.

“I never signed up for this!” Assar yelled. The man pushed a handgun to his jaw and, like ice, he stopped moving.

“I asked for you to stop being selfish, didn’t I?”

His gaze bore down on Assar. Assar, for a moment, stopped breathing.

The man turned to the shorter one. Hidayat couldn’t see his face beneath his long, unkempt hair. “If he refuses, kill Hemyari.”

Hidayat cried out again. The man above him pinned him to the floor. He had a rifle—he could use it. Hidayat tried to find the grip. But, in armlock, the rifle clattered to the ground beneath him.

“I’ll do it!” Assar yelled. “I’ll—”

The handgun pressed harder against his jaw. “Then do it, and we release Hemyari. Or, choose to save yourself, and we kill Hemyari. The decision is yours.”

“I said I’ll do it, you fucking asshole!”

The handgun clattered across Assar’s head. He fell to the ground, clutching his temple.

“Then fucking go!” The man above dropped the explosive beside him and Assar scurried to collect it, rising to a stand. Every step Assar took appeared to play in slow motion. Hidayat’s head grew dizzy. He fell flat against the ground once more.

The shorter man dragged Hidayat to a stand. He stood limply, arms still held tightly, as he watched Assar travel down the street. He couldn’t see any hesitation in Assar’s stride—just determination.

Hidayat then realised that, just then, Assar must have been concerted with the decision to end his own life.

He wanted to run out, but he knew that he would then die in Assar’s place. For a moment, though, he questioned whether Assar’s life meant more than his. Assar clearly thought it was.

The city, from the eternal sound of gunshots to air strikes, silenced then. In an explosion of yellow and orange, the building before them tore apart. Hidayat collapsed to his knees.

“SRA recruits might pass through here soon,” one of them said. “We should be quick about it.”

Their voices annoyed him. He wanted them to shut up. He wanted them to shut up.

Hidayat screamed out once more in a final howl of defiance, just to be kicked in the back, choke, and fall limp. Above, he heard them discuss whether they should kill him. They decided that leaving him strewn across the street would be a more anguishing death. Instead, they seemed preoccupied getting out of there before the SRA recruits came through.

But that didn’t matter.

The sound of a sniper rifle rang out and one of them collapsed. The other, in cold shock, ran. The second bullet missed its target.

Hidayat tried to pull himself to a stand once more. In the blurriness of his vision, he saw an all too familiar figure run towards him.

Nahil.


#100

Thank you so much!! That was really, really helpful, and you are completely right, the whole fragment gives a particular feeling of detachment. I will go fix that now. Thanks again! :smile: