Offering critiques/editing :)

hello everyone. I’m in the mood to find things to read & give feedback on so hit me with what you got. I’m studying creative writing at university so I know a lot of random things about writing that might be useful for you.
I don’t have endless time so depending on genre/length of chapters/etc I’ll only read the first chapter or two, or if you specify a different chapter you’d like me to read I can look at that one instead. Happy to read any content including mature stories, though fanfiction/thriller/romance are not my areas of expertise but I’ll do my best.

In return just read this story and give it a comment or something, that’d be nice :slight_smile:

Hello! I haven’t done this thing before, but I’d like to see what you can tell me about my story!

my story


Hey I’m really keen! My story is horror with mature content. It’s called “Rise to Ashes”. I’m on my cell so I’ll have to follow this post with the link and details soon. I’m just trying to get in first dibs (as long as you’re interested of course) :grin:

I even have a few days off work coming up so I’ll be able to get on to yours fairly quick (just have to finish two other reviews first).

I liked it! I’ve only read the first chapter but here are my thoughts so far; I thought it would be easier to put them here than to write this all out in the comments.

  • Great first line
  • Your writing style is nice, it draws you into the character. I think it’s worth going through and deleting some words; even though the word count is pretty short so far, you use a few superfluous words here and there. For example in the first sentence: “I first saw her when I was twelve, in an abandoned park that nobody frequented.” By telling us it’s abandoned, we already know that nobody frequents it, so you don’t need to point it out again. There are a few more examples, I can point to some more if you like.
  • You mention in the second paragraph that the protagonist is going to the park to work out - is this when they’re still twelve? Or is there a time skip? If there’s a time skip I think it could be a little clearer, and if not, twelve-year-olds don’t really tend to work out. It’s just not something kids worry about.
  • Why is the girl crying? Even if a place is sad for someone they don’t tend to go there all the time and sit there doing nothing but crying every single time they go there. It gets kind of repetitive if she only goes there and cries. Unless the park is like a place she goes to escape once she’s already crying?And she goes there to finish her crying? Ignore this comment if that’s the case, otherwise you can make her feel a bit deeper as a character if she maybe sits there just thinking once rather than just crying.
  • It feels kind of petty that the protagonist gets angry at her like that for her not being interested in talking. Kinda makes the protagonist seem self-centred and unlikeable. Honestly I don’t really see why this anger needs to happen. Like, how does it progress the story or reveal character? I think it’ll read smoother if you have the protagonist talk to the girl and she comes straight out with the line about the park being haunted. Remember, when it comes to writing less is more: stories tend to be more engaging if you keep the things that matter the most and get rid of what doesn’t matter quite as much. This moment of anger doesn’t contribute much in my opinion and I think it’ll improve it a little if you cut it.
  • “The park’s haunted.” This caught me off guard, loving it
  • Again, what time is this taking place in? Are the characters still twelve and fourteen? I can’t tell if time is supposed to have passed or not. (Talking about the dialogue between the two characters)
  • I think the dialogue section right before the end of the chapter is the weakest part of the story as it stands at the moment. So far I’ve been pretty impressed with the writing but I think it falls flat a little here, I think for two reasons. First one is that I think the character voices are little inconsistent (explain more in a sec) and the second is the pacing of how you are revealing information.
  • In regards to this point, it feels a little off because these two characters have just met each other, and people who have just met don’t really tend to tell information like this. Think: if your dad’s in prison for murder, that’s not usually the first thing you tell someone about yourself. Also in terms of plot, it might work better not to reveal this yet (though this does depend on how long the story is going to be, if it’s just the three chapters or you’re planning to write more, etc) because if you pose a question to the audience and leave it unanswered that is going to propel the reader to want to keep going. Maybe after instead of asking why it’s relevant the protag asks why she likes to come there and she says something evasive about how the place is special to her dad or something. I don’t know if that’s a better solution but try it out and see what you like better. That way an explicit reveal of what is actually going on can be built towards and it’s something for the reader to think about and guess at as they read, which will keep them more enaged
  • As for character voices, what I mean by inconsistent is that the girl goes from explicitly trying not to talk to him to telling him some honestly pretty personal stuff which doesn’t really make sense to me. And the protagonist I think would work better as a somewhat abrasive person (not quite the right word, but i can’t think of a better one right now) so rather than saying “oh s*** , sorry for your loss” just “oh s***”, because them being kind of nice doesn’t really gel with them being like “what’s that got to do with anything?” and “how is that relevant?” if that makes sense? it’s not that bad and you can keep it as it is and it would probably still work, i just think it might feel more cohesive this way. again, try it, see what you think and do which seems to work better for you :slight_smile:
  • Overall it’s an interesting start for a story, I do want to read the rest when I have the time even though it’s not really my genre. I’m happy to look at future revisions if you want, I’m interested to see where it goes.

Hope that’s helpful :sweat_smile: Shoot me any clarifying questions. I can’t be bothered to proofread this post so if it doesn’t make sense that might be why.

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oohh, forgot to mention in original post that horror’s not really my genre either but hell yeah i’m up for it.

OK, I just flicked through chapters 2-3 as well seeing as they’re pretty short, not gonna be as thorough, but I do have to say their conversations in chapter three are freaking adorable. Though it might be nice to have a bit more context over when & where these conversations are happening (I’m assuming the park, but are they the next day? next week? next month?)

And for chapter 2, if you go with not revealing the information about her father yet, and you have the parent mention that the girl is living with her aunt, that’ll be like “oooohh what’s going on here?”
Especially if you lead the audience to believe it was her dad who was killed, but then the reveal is that it was her father after all. if you let the audience believe her father was killed for longer than a few lines the impact of that reveal will be greater. You do have to be careful with this in that sometimes if a reader believes something for the whole story and then it’s revealed to be something else, sometimes it can come across as cheap, but as long as you never outright state that her dad was killed, and if you’re planning a LOT of chapters maybe throw us a bone at some point to hint but not say that the dad was the killer, you should be OK.

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definitely interested to read poetry! I think that for poetry my comments are going to be more based around the exact words, so i’ll comment my thoughts directly into the poems rather than here in the thread. I feel like that’ll be more useful to you and you can delete any of my comments that you feel don’t apply or if you make changes :+1:

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It’s a triggering story so absolutely no hard feelings if it isn’t for you. I appreciate it!

Deleting the work you’ve put to help me improve would be rude lol. Be as harsh as you want, I appreciate genuinity and love getting tips and suggestions!

triggering is fine, thanks for the warning though. and it’s always good to broaden your horizons as reader haha

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OK I do have a couple thoughts that apply more in general than a specific part, so I’ll write a couple here after all. Overall I do quite like it, I think that it’s very stylistic and it really feels reminiscent of the old time period you’re trying to portray.

  • This is not a critique just a thought that might be fun to experiment with - what if you changed the rhyming scheme in each part? like the battle at the start could be the AABB rhyming but then in the bit with the king what if it became CDCD? And then like EFGF? Just might be something that’s fun to try, keeping it as it is is perfectly fine it’s just a fun idea
  • Something that you do a lot is a line structure where you have something like: “I understand, words that you speak” and “Their memories, in cold blood killed”. Where you put a comma in and change the word order from what would be more typical. There’s nothing wrong with this, however it can sound a little strange to the ear and a more straightforward line structure feels more natural and tends to have a better impact. That’s just a general rule of writing: simpler things tend to have a bigger and more immediate impact than something complicated that we need a second to understand. And when you do it a lot as well it can come across like you’re trying too hard to rhyme. And in your case I think it does start to get repetitive as a line structure. It might be worthwhile to have a look through those lines and figure out if there’s a more direct way they can be worded.

Hope that helped :slight_smile:

thanks for the review! I’ll keep your points in mind to better the story ^^

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all good! like I said, let me know if you have any more questions or anything else you’d like me to look at

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Thank you for the in-depth look and the massive amount of time you’ve taken to look through my book! The tips are really helpful : )

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Could you look at my whole story? I only have 6 chapters if you don’t count the synopsis.


probably not the whole story, sorry. It would take me ages to be as thorough as I’d like for six whole chapters.I’ll shoot for two or three though.

I have to leave for work in a few minutes so I’ll get to yours when I get home

They are really short chapters, but that is fine.


Can you provide some feedback on Wickedly Wicked? Would appreciate it.

I would love if you could give me some feedback on my story!!! It is called ‘We’re Not Heroes’, and I don’t really know how to edit all that well, especially when it is my own stuff. I hope that you like it!!!'re-not-heroes-1

Have fun!!!
PS, if anyone else wants to take a look at it and give me feedback, I’d love that too!!!