PROJECT Seeking A Story Revision

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Alekai, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Hello guys! I have a request for anyone willing! I am currently enduring finals week in school and need a revision of a piece of creative writing in order to do my final assignment. Unfortunately, I missed out on the opportunity to have it revised by my classmates, so instead I am coming to iwaku for help!

    I have about six pages of a short story that needs revision within the next week, and anyone willing to give me feedback would be greatly appreciated. This could be anything from grammatical or spelling errors to suggestions for a better layout for the story. This revision is necessary in order to write a revised 15 page paper for my final grade, so the more revision and feedback, the better!

    I have attached a pdf file of my paper, and if anyone wants a different format to revise, please just let me know! And in advance, Thank you!!!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. First, a lot of my advice is going to come from Stephen King. His book On Writing would be very useful to you and I highly recommend it.

    The first thing that I feel obliged to comment on is the opening sentence.
    Frankly, it isn't very engaging. This is the opening line of your entire story. It sets the foundation for everything else. How much pleasanter it might be to start by describing the Broemer Farmhouse, or perhaps a bit of the back story. Get your readers interested right away.

    Example:

    ____ months, ____ days. (or whatever time frame you have in mind.)

    That's how long it has been since the death of his parents. It had only been two years since they were reunited, and how quickly they were gone again. The worst was not knowing. How did it happen? Was it quick, or did they suffer? Why had it happened? Surely, it couldn't be a ransom. The Broemer Farmhouse, though once stood a giant among its provincial neighbors, now was worn and weathered with age. It was there that he resided tonight.

    "Found anything yet, Ardo?" Thoren asked his brother, alike in all ways, as most twins are.


    ----------------

    My goal here is to provide an example of how you might engage someone into the story. Build their curiosity without laying everything out for them. It sounds like you're writing a mystery/thriller. It is important in this genre to leave the reader with questions. This leads me to my next set of recommendations: style.

    In the aforementioned text, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King touches on a lot of important subjects, but to understand them in depth I suggest you pick up a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It may be the single most referenced and well known text on writing. Of a mere fifty pages or so, it tells all you need to know in plain form to all regards to writing.

    The first I will mention is the passive voice. The passive voice is the devil, and you my friend, are writing with a passive voice. Verbs come in two ways: With a passive verb, something is being done to the subject; with an active verb, the subject is doing something.

    "The timid fellow writes The meeting will be held at seven o'clock because that somehow says to him, "Put it this way and people will believe you really know." Purge this quisling thought! Don't be a muggle! Throw back your shoulders, stick out your chin, and put that meeting in charge! Write The meeting's at seven. There, by God! Don't you feel better?"

    - Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    Some of my suggestions are grammatical.

    There would be a comma after chuckled and before the quotation mark.

    Using the above quote, I will also mention the art of "show, don't tell." It paints a much more vivid picture for the reader when you describe something to the reader and let them make the conclusion on their own rather than you telling them. If your writing is clear there will be no misunderstanding.

    Example:

    "Maybe you should get some rest. You stress way too much and it's bad for your health," he said intuitively with amusement. Closing the book, he removed his glasses and rubbed his tired eyes. They'd been at it for hours and had nothing to show for it.

    -------------------------------------

    There are other grammatical errors that can be revised by referencing the aforementioned books. It's not that I'm trying to brush it off, but I'm not an editor and don't have the time to comb through the whole piece line by line. However, I do believe implementing some of the things I mentioned above will help the piece flow. I do hope you'll pick up a copy of each of the books. They are a great investment. I reference mine all the time.

    Best of luck.
     
    #2 Hope, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  3. Thank you so much for your input! It is much appreciated! I agree about the beginning of the story, it did feel a little rushed and didn’t feel like it flowed very well, so thank you for confirming that for me. Also, thanks for referring me to those texts. I will certainly give them a look!
     
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