CRITIQUE The Passage Above You

feedback-offered
games

#1

So I used to see these games on the old clubs but haven’t seen them that much anymore; so I decided to start one because they were fun and really helpful.

Basically, you have to rate (out of 10) and then critique what the person posted above you before posting your passage that you want to be critiqued. You can just critique their writing style, vocabulary, and just the overall quality.

You can post your passage in blockquote (Ctrl+Shift+9) so people can differentiate your passage from your critique.

I will start by posting mine:

"Ryan you need to be more careful. Especially after what happened."

"Seems like you need to be more careful with that bagel." He pointed to the stain on his dad's uniform. He looked down and then chuckled a little.

"Carrie, the rag." His mom smiled throwing the rag on the counter and he picked it up, wiping off his shirt. "You know I'm serious though, Ryan."

He nodded. "I'm not doing anything dangerous." And he thought about the old house and the creaking stairs and the moldy walls and the ghost. Nothing dangerous at all.

Then Ryan's mother slid a plate of eggs and toast towards him. He ate it quickly and then went back to his room.


#2

Bump :slight_smile:


#3

6/10 Content-wise it’s not bad, but I had to reread it a couple times to understand who was doing what. The ‘he’ pronouns could be Ryan or his dad, and it took me a couple times to figure out who they were referring to. I quite like your dialogue between the characters. If you clean it up a little, this will be much stronger.

Two days ago, a man died here. When the current shifts, his bloated flesh bobs against me.

Back when I still had my light, back when this was a recovery mission, I’d secured his body to my line.

There will be no rescue now.

One of my arms is trapped in my shotline. Plastic snarls around my gear, but abandoning it would rob me of air, and I don’t know what I’ve got left. My breath clots in my throat.

It ends like this. In silence, in blackness, lashed to a corpse.

I wonder who will come for my body.


#4

9/10
I don’t know if this is your story’s opening passage, but it sure as hell could be, and it would draw me right in (it kind of already has)! It has urgency, but maintains that eerie sort of calm that makes me feel this character’s life hanging by a slowly fraying thread. The sensory cues are excellent. My one concern is that I wasn’t able immediately to place where this character is floating… I first pictured them in the water, with their head above the waves, maybe tied to floating wreckage or something, but then you talked about the gear supplying them air so I reckoned they must be underwater somehow… just couldn’t quite picture it, though (at least, not within these first lines).
Still, wonderfully immersive and horrifying and I live for that, so yes. 9/10 :slight_smile:

Here is a passage from midway through the first act of my, er, Spider-Man/Deadpool fanfiction XD

Peter had expected a cathedral. He didn’t know why, he just did. The abandoned church in question, however, was little more than a tumbledown prairie-schoolhouse of a thing; boxy, with a casually steepled roof, and slatted walls from which creamy paint had been chipping and peeling for quite some time. A narrow, cobbled path, cracked with moss and mushrooms, ran from the main drag to the humble door, a direct route through the overgrown sprawl of the churchyard out front. Headstones peeped from amid tall grasses and renegade shrubbery, crooked with weather and greened with creeping, clinging mosses. Peter averted his eyes from them as he followed Deadpool up the path to the door. The thought of the countless forgotten skeletons scattered just beneath his feet was one he didn’t fancy falling asleep to that night.


#5

Thanks! It’s actually a drabble (100 word short story)— I might have to play around with it to make its clear they’re underwater. Thanks for the feedback!


#6

Hey there!

I think this will be better suited in #character-and-games so I’m going to move it there. Thanks for understanding!

Mo - Community Ambassador


#7

9/10
I like the description. I can definitely picture it in my head. I like the last sentence. It gives me a creepy feeling and I can sense how the character feels about the place.

Lya hesitated to go inside the old house in front of her. She didn’t actually think it was haunted but it looked dangerous. She also didn’t want to get in trouble for trespassing. He should be out by now, she thought. She chewed on her lip as she thought of the chances of them getting caught. It seemed unlikely since they were not a lot of houses nearby for anyone to see her and the area was mostly abandoned. Probably hard to sell a house that is right across a huge pile of rotting brick and wood. A complete eye-sore. Lya took a deep breath and walked across the overgrown grass towards the front door. She stepped onto the cracked stone steps that was once beautiful but now caked in mud and dirt. She brought her hand up to the thick oak door but stopped herself before she could knock on it.


#9

8/10
I could definitely picture the setting, and you do a good job of portraying the tension from a third person POV. If anything, I’d say that a few grammar inconsistencies stand in the way of painting a vivid scene and/or intensifying the mood. Some verbage could be swapped out for more effective terms, but it’s clear and interesting as it is!

(sry i forgot to blockquote)

Blockquote

I absorb his words, but don’t bother to tell him that’s not what I was trying to say. I turn so that my back rests against the seat once again, and Mr. C leans back against the window before his eyes sink shut. A smirk tugs at the corner of his lips, and I can tell he thinks he got the better of me. A buzz of rebuttals float around my head, but I know I wouldn’t be able to articulate what I mean. Mr. C seems tired today, anyways, and I feel no need to pester him further.

We spend the rest of the ride in silence, uncharacteristically. But a steady rustle from Mr. C’s breathing confirms that he is sleeping. Every once in a while, like today, we have a conversation that strays from joking quarrel. Mr. C has always been more old-fashioned, and often his rustic perceptions trace cliched ideals, generic formulas of self-help pamphlets. But when he isn’t teasing me, there is a strain in his eyes and a weight in his smile. Melancholy lines his voice, and I know that he believes everything he says. He must have reason to.

The bus pulls to a standstill, and I ease my backpack from the seat slowly, so I don’t disturb him.

Ralph is eyeing me from the rearview mirror, and doesn’t bother turning from the wheel before he chuckles at Mr. C’s slumber. “Almost fell asleep myself, without the sound of you two bickering to keep me awake.”

“Mr. Carrell must be getting real tired of me.” I look back, and he is still leaned against the window in a peaceful trance. “I think he might be fakin’ it, personally.”

Ralph is still chuckling when I turn towards the open door. “Have a good one, Del!”

“Wouldn’t dream of having any other kind.” The words tumble out of my mouth instinctively, but when I turn, Mr. C is still asleep, and I step off the bus without a nod goodbye.


#10

holy frick i am incompetent


#11

10/10. I really, really liked that. I wasn’t completely sure what was going on, but almost immediately I was able to picture the scene. I’m not exactly sure exactly what your story is, but I very much enjoyed that passage, and it made me feel happy reading it.

I slide into the kitchen Risky Business style just as my mom puts a biscuit down on the counter for me and a piece of toaster down for my older brother, Hugh.
Hugh glances up from his phone at me as I take my seat next to him at the kitchen island. I can see he’s just bursting wanting to comment, but he has the decency to wait until I’ve at least started drinking my coffee that mom hands me. Setting down my mug, I let him have what he wants.
“Okay Hugh, where’s my self-confidence boosting comment of the morning?”
He takes a second before replying. “Did you even bother brushing your hair this morning?”
“What? Of course I did! I’m not a heathen.”
“The way you spend all your time typing away on that computer upstairs, it’s a miracle you even remember to brush your teeth,” mom chips in.
“I’m just saying Peyton, it literally looks like you just rolled out of bed,” Hugh added
“Oh, shut up,” I brush him off. He shrugged and got up, picking up a banana off the counter as he went.
“Suit yourself,” he called over his shoulder, walking towards the door.
“Wait, who’s driving today?” I yelled after him.
“Me! You’ll have plenty of time next year to drive around in your car!” He walked out the door. As soon as I hear the door close, I look at mom.
“Mom,” I begin.
“Yes sweetie?” she asks absently.
“Do you have a hairbrush?”


#12

7/10

The dialogue between the characters really show their personalities. I also like the first sentence. I don’t know what risky business is but I imagine her sliding into the kitchen in a comical way.

They had to go inside again. She had convinced Ryan to leave the box there because it was someone's property and they didn't bring a bag to hide it in. Now they had to come back for it and she agreed to come because whatever was going on, it had something to do with her mother.

Lya had to find out what actually happened. Her mother was something her dad never talked about. He didn't even tell much about what her mother was like. What was her favourite food? Did she have any hobbies? She didn't know. So she held onto as many details as possible. But the details were not enough and holding onto them felt like holding onto a string. And at the end of the string were thousands of lost memories too heavy to carry.


#13

bump


#14

7.5/10. this passage is really intriguing, and i want to know more about Lya. this story sounds like a mystery from reading the excerpt, maybe like a quest for Lya to find herself? i like stories like that, and i like opening boxes, so i like your excerpt!

i think the overall message and mood might be better conveyed if your sentences were longer. for example, “She didn’t…to carry” might feel more like a train of thought if rewritten as follows:

“She didn’t know. So she held on to as many details as possible, but the details were not enough and holding onto them felt like a string, and at the end of the string were thousands of memories too heavy to carry.”

Or even like this:

“She didn’t know, so she held on to as many details as possible, but the details were not enough, and holding onto them felt like holding onto a string with thousands of too-heavy memories at the end.”

TL;DR: improve your flow a little and you’re golden. it’s already a great excerpt.

here’s my shameless repost:

When he slid open the curtain, Wilder knew exactly what he would see—farmland that stretched to the horizon in all directions, a sea of gold in the morning light. A few rose-coloured clouds scraped past his window, and a layer of vapour clung to the wing before dissipating in the relative wind. In the distance, cotton bulbs expanded in the blue, the beginnings of midday thunderheads. It was an undeniably beautiful morning over western Nebraska. Wilder only wished he were happy to see it.

“Mr. Wilder,” a soft voice said, somewhere over his shoulder. The stewardess. He was annoyed to no end that she chose to address him from behind. For all Wilder knew, she could have been pointing a gun at his head, and the thought brought with it an intense need to turn around and make certain she wasn’t, in fact, a trigger-pull short of ending his life. Braving the back pain he knew it would bring, Wilder turned to face her. No gun, but she was fiddling with the engagement ring on her left hand. The thought seemed stupid now. “We’re thirty minutes from Black Dog. Can I interest you in some coffee or tea?”

Heaven knew Wilder wanted coffee. Maybe with some cream on the top, and a pinch of cinnamon. His mouth watered at the thought, and then he remembered—barely remembered—feeling his lips and tongue burn, feeling every muscle in his body seize up and not let go. After that he didn’t remember anything, only waking up in the hospital, livid that he was staring up at the same unfriendly ceiling again.

“No,” he said after some time. For anybody else it would have been simple, but for Mr. Wilder, it was not really a question of whether or not he wanted the coffee. “No, thank you.” He turned his attention back to view outside. She knew better than to ask any more questions, and that was the last he saw of her.


#15

Bump


#16

I think I killed the thread :joy:


#17

9/10

The descriptions are absolutely beautiful. The only problem I had was that I’m dumb and I couldn’t understand third to last sentence in the first para because I don’t know what thunderheads mean. I like the last sentence because at first I picture beautiful scene and then it says the main character was not happy to see it which makes me think “why?”. I think maybe it could be it’s own paragraph to make it sound more dramatic.

His interaction with the stewardess also revealed a lot about his character as he seems to be a bit paranoid or too cautious.

The third and last paragraph also made me wonder what happened to him. And what coffee had to do with what he was remembering.

My passage (in the pov of an 8 yr old):

They entered the tiny store. It smelled like fresh coffee, donuts, and a sickly sweet odour.

“Hey kids,” the blond haired man greeted. From what Nancy knew, though it was called Jay’s Shop and the man’s name was Jay, it wasn’t his shop. It was his father’s who got it from his father and they were both named Jay. She never thought it was possible for someone to give their child their own name.

“So, what you got there?” His eyes went to the soda bottles they juggled in their arms.

“We want to trade soda bottles,” Lawrence said. They waddled to the counter, careful not to drop one. They laid them out on it and Jay began counting.

“Ten,” he said. “So you get twenty cents.” Nancy smiled at the thought of how much candy she could buy. “So, what do you want to buy?”

“Um…” Nancy tapped her chin as she looked around the store. She and Lawrence went off in different directions as they started picking out their candy.

“You guys been good?” Jay asked, his elbows propped up on the counter.

“Well Mr. Kent doesn’t seem to think so,” Nancy said. She looked up from the shelf where she was standing at.

Jay shook his head lightly. “Don’t worry about him. You’re good kids. He’s just an old man fustrated with his life.”


#18

7/10

The observations made fit with the perspective of a child, like the strong smells and the small facts like ‘it wasn’t his shop’ - I thought that was a clever literary device. I feel like some of the wording, e.g “she and Lawrence went off in different directions” is quite basic wording though. Overall it seems an interesting paragraph, and I like the way in which the characters interact with each other :slight_smile:

Bat Club

The walls were splattered with grey splodges, flicks of ugly pink where some obtrusive paint had rolled down and dried ungracefully. A heavy, faded curtain was draped over one wall, the decolorized floral pattern not doing much to lighten up the room, which could easily have been mistaken for some sort of abandoned crack-den. Cobie even had to duck suddenly, when a chunk of the ceiling decided to shower him with a sprinkling of dust. A harsh cough escaped his throat, and he waved away the flecks still clouding around him. Oblivious, Vince wormed his way past the three boys to conclude the comically short tour.

“And this,” he panted, finally squeezing past Zach and the poorly plastered wall. “Is the main room.”

You had to give it to the man, he was doing his best to show some bravado, gesturing to the tiny room with enthusiastic gusto. He just radiated ‘crooked salesman’. A silence followed his proud declaration, until the wryest of voices spoke up from Cobie’s left.

“It’s the only room.”


#19

Bump


#20

Bump


#21

9/10 I love how you describe the room. For whatever reason, got the sense that this story is about moving into an apartment or could have something to do with a realtor trying to sell an apartment. I’d be curious to know more.

The Element of Life

“Damn it girls, your late” proclaimed Ned. “I keep telling you, be here before the first bell rings. I swear I’m going to get caught because of you both.” He handed over two papers.

“Ned, just shut up” Regina quickly snatched the two papers. “Some people actually have relationship issues.”

Ned took off his glasses and wiped them. “Does this have to do with Elliot, because if it does, I hate Janelle just as much as the next guy.”

“What did she ever do to you?” I curiously asked looking at the paper.

“She doesn’t know how do drive. That girl has almost killed me at least a hundred times this year. Not to mention she doesn’t do crap whenever we get paired for group projects. I mean I hate group projects with a passion, but she makes me hate them more. Some people have to take their little brother to soccer practice. And…”

“Ok Ned I get it. You hate that skank just as much as I do. Thank you for doing our Algebra Homework.”

“Yeah you’re welcome” His glasses found his way back to his face. “I have Chemistry with her, so if you want I can fudge with her homework.”

We hugged Ned and thanked him walking into class and finding our seats a couple minutes before the bell rung. Students were slowly making their way into the classroom.