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6/26/2008 17:19:45   
Mo
Member

You all must be expecting some kind of formal comments thread like most of the other authors here. Well, due to my inability to make anything remotely appealing, I am willing to use this informal, mess-up comments thread.

Swan Song
AQ MQ  Post #: 1
6/28/2008 15:00:03   
Argeus the Paladin
Member

W00t! First post!

Alright, let's not waste more time, as there are a bit of critique I'd like to address here and now. Now, just as usual:

1) Grammar/Word Usage/Punctuation/anything else dictionary related:

quote:

I had come to accept that I had been convicted for an assassinations that I did not commit


There is only one assassination, so no plural here.

quote:

They managed to find my finger prints and hair pieces on the murder weapon.


Why use "hair pieces" (Which I believe to make no sense) when "hair" is perfectly good and well?

quote:

I could see his hate through his eyes.


"Hate" is a verb. "Hatred" is a noun, which should be used here.

quote:

The sudden hate and sorrow started to seep into me like an atom bomb.


Same as above.

quote:

Did that make me as bad as the killer who intends to kill someone but can't, or like the innocent who commits manslaughter?


Watch your article. When you mean someone in general, not a specific person, use "a", not "the".

2) Anything else:

quote:

bellowed a guard as he threw a blood-red bowl of water and a bread loaf at me.


Hmmm... basically anything that is blood red is as good as poisonous, or worse, resembling something "Gothic"- as in vampire and werewolf tales. Here, if you would mean, prison food is the worst thing to ever be fed to a living being, use any other kind of water, like, rancid-smelling, or muddy, or slightly discolored, but STAY AWAY FROM the color blood red.

quote:

I could see his hate through his eyes.


A soldier has every reason to despite a prisoner, but it is illogical for him to actually hate an inmate. Why bother hatting someone you can toy with like an animal?

quote:

The sudden hate and sorrow started to seep into me like an atom bomb.


I think this sentence doesn't make sense, considering "seeping" to mean, flowing slowly, droplet by droplet into our out of something. An atom bomb doesn't flow. It is dropped, and kills thousands. Period.

Okay, now I am starting to see that you are taking your time to write. That is a good thing, as it would make errors far easier to be spotted and mended. (I've got a 34680 words long fic. Now I cannot even implement all the criticism that Fabula and Mastin offered. The amount of work was just too much for now. T.T)

Still... it gives readers a sense of incompleteness. Why don't you try expanding this by, say 150% before reposting?
DF  Post #: 2
6/28/2008 15:11:01   
Mo
Member

Your the best Argeus. Anyways, I'll finish correcting these (I don't want to stop playing DF, there is just so much to do) as soon as possible. Once I'm done with that, I'll start using Word to increase the size of the story
AQ MQ  Post #: 3
7/20/2008 12:50:17   
Mo
Member

Dunno why I haven't updated in so long. Anyways, I've decided to put quotes after the title of a chapter, and I wrote a bit more.
AQ MQ  Post #: 4
8/7/2008 12:39:29   
Mo
Member

Updated, again. Not finished with the third day on account of writer's block, if anyone would read I'd appreciate any CC
AQ MQ  Post #: 5
8/11/2008 22:12:07   
Sentharn
Member

As you hath requested, I now serveth you! Wait, that sounds wrong...


Quick Overview: I like how you made this story very 'narrtive' in style, where it's told from the perspective of the main character, with all of their thoughts and actions as well. The story was good, your imagery fairly good but possible to improve (what /isn't/ possible to improve, for /any/ writer?)
There's only a few small errors, mostly grammar in nature. There's some spots in the story that have good, emotional scenes, and some that could use some more umph! to them--I'll try and point them out as best I can.
Your style deals with short, arpeggio sentences, which I think adds to the narrative-style of the story, since most of us don't think or talk in really long sentences. The only possible show-stopper I see is your verbs; sometimes they don't match up the rest of the subjects in the sentence (when you have sentence describing more than one event, usually.) A general rule of thumb I use is this: If I'm going without verbs, think and see if the last verb you use matches the new subject in the sentence (In the same sentence, if it's not the same sentence then you probably need a verb anyways). If it doesn't, then it likely needs another verb.


Here's the UberCritique!

Disclaimer: These are my opinions and no one else's. I will not be miffed or insulted in any way if you do not take my advice; indeed, I would be interested to see how many ways my comments could be interpreted into a story! Also, I am not a certified writer, so as with all other advice, take mine with a grain of salt. Use your judgment.


quote:

The toilet was right in the middle of the cell, all cold and damp, my bed just barely dangling from the wall, and sheets spread out everywhere.


It might sound better if you say something like, "my bed just barely dangled from the wall," and "sheets were spread out everywhere;" otherwise the other two sections of the sentence don't have a verb.

quote:

Colorless pieces of bricks had crumbled up from old age and molded on the floor.


I don't think bricks crumble /up/, they just crumble. Since "molded" can have more than one meaning (to join with something, or to waste away,) you may want to emphasize which meaning you want with something like, "...crumbled from old age and were molding away on the floor."

quote:

And in the midst of it all was me, a thin yet muscular man.


"A thin but muscular man," sounds a bit odd. A semicolon could give it more flow, as well as commas. "And in the midst of it all was me: a thin, yet muscular man."
Commas are really a personal preference here.


quote:

My beard was falling to the ground, my jail clothes torn up and dirty from all of my labor. My blue eyes reflected back at the odd sight and my hair gray from various labors.


The first sentence is fine, although you may want to use more elaborate verbs (soiled, etc)
In the second sentence, what is his eyes reflecting from? Also, the second part needs a verb (was, or graying could work.) A general rule of thumb I use is this: If I'm going without verbs, think and see if the last verb you use matches the new subject. If it doesn't, then it likely needs another verb.

quote:

During my appearance in court after I was just convicted, I used the fifth amendment of the US Constitution, which does not allow double jeopardy. I was in court against a corrupt government, however, and I was put in death row.


The "just" might sound better just after the word, "court." In a similar vein, the "however" might sound better at the beginning of the sentence about corrupt government.


quote:

I hardly remember what put me on death row. I had come to accept that I had been convicted for an assassination that I did not commit.


You may want to emphasize exactly what he doesn't remember, maybe say, "what crime put me on death row," or "for what reason I was put on death row..."

quote:


They brought in people who despised me and wanted me to burn in the Eternal Pits Of Hell and asked for some kind of confession in which they would reply, "He told me he was going to kill the man because of a grudge and I didn't want to be involved so I left."


This confuses me somewhat. You may want to make it two sentences, split it up somewhere so there's not so much happening in one sentence.

quote:

The man's face was just a blur to me now. I had been invited to a party at a rich man's home. When I arrived, I looked around the room. I was standing in the entrance hall with other people whom I knew were members of the American Senate. Another glance at the room and I saw a giant spiraling staircase that loomed above us and a chandelier swooping above our heads. The walls were decorated with ornate paintings by famous artists like Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. The owner of the mansion clearly made no attempt to conceal his wealth. I even remember how happy I was to be surrounded by so many important members of the Senate.


I like your descriptive imagery here, like how the chandelier "swoops" above your head. No complaints here!

quote:

"Time for breakfast, Luke," bellowed a guard as he threw a muddy-brown bowl of water and a bread loaf at me. I could see his detest through his eyes. All I could do was take the meal and eat. What's the point? I am going to be executed in 2 days, I thought to myself. The sudden hatred and sorrow started to seep into me like a drizzle of rain. Here I was in jail wishing death to those who convicted me of something I did not do. Did that make me as bad as a killer who intends to kill someone but can't, or like an innocent who commits manslaughter?


Good emotion here! Although I didn't see exactly /where/ he started wishing death on those who convicted him. Also, it seems kind of jumpy between the preceding paragraph and this one, perhaps a line could be added that describes how the guard interrupts his trip down memory lane?

quote:

Everyday for as long as we were not sleeping we would get our breakfasts at 8 A.M, then we would labor in farms and mines until noon to get our lunch.


I personally think this might sound better with commas. "Every day, for as long as we were not sleeping, we..." Also, it's every day, not everyday.

quote:


It was a schedule that we followed every single day without a single change but we let it lead us all the same.

Ditto here, as well as a possible semicolon. "It was a schedule we followed, every single day, without a single change; but we let it lead us all the same." I would use a semicolon here because it's joining what would otherwise be two complete sentences (Thanks, Versilaryan, for that explanation--even I didn't really know what a semicolon was!)

For example,
Two sentences: "It was a schedule we followed every day, without a single change. We let it lead us all the same.
Semicolon: "It was a schedule we followed every day, without a single change; We let it lead us all the same.

Day 2


quote:

You have a visitor, shouted a guard at me. It was morning, the last day I had before my execution. I havent had a visitor in years. I could only wonder who would take a few moments to think about me, as the only people I knew were guards and prisoners. I waded to the cell door reluctantly, waiting for the guard to unbind me from my chains and give me one last second of freedom.


Some emotion here, but it could be expanded. You may want to expand upon his thought of the last day he would walk as a moral on the planet, as well as his precious last few seconds of freedom.
"Shouted a guard at me," seems reversed, it would probably be better with the standard Subject-Verb arrangement, "A guard shouted at me."

quote:

As I went through the building, I saw someone whom I had not seen in eight years. Standing in front of me was Sarah, my ex-wife. Sarah was a blonde with a great body and beautiful green eyes. I couldnt help but grin. She was the last person I had expected to come. Eight years ago, we had gotten in a big fight. She threw a toaster at me and I left the house. After that she filed for a divorce and we havent talked since.


The first sentence implies that you saw here as you were walking down the hallways of the prison. (Well, kids, you see I met your mother in jail...) You may want to add some sentences to describe a visiting area or similar arrangement. Her description seems a bit weak, you might want to go more in-depth--try describing how her hair falls, how the color of her current clothes/skin/hair/handbag/pet parrot matches her eyes, etc. Also, I think that blonde (in the US at least) is 'blond.'


quote:

Youre a sight for sore eyes, so howve you been? I asked her.


Put yourself in his shoes. Imagine how happy you'd be to see her. Use exclamation points for emotion! (But don't /overuse/ them.) Use adverbs too.
"You're a sight for sore eyes! How have you been?" I asked her happily.


quote:

Aaa son? I trembled at the news. How could I have had a son and not known about it for so many years. If I was still married to Sarah and outside of the jail I may have been as happy as the next guy, but the under the circumstances it just made me more depressed.


Some good emotion here. The second sentence should be a question (with a question mark at the end)

quote:

Yes. Youre son, he is seven years old now, he has your eyes, and hes the best in his class, he was even able to teach himself algebra. Hes lived without a dad for his entire life and I think hes staring to suffer for it. Thats not what I came to tell you though. Luke, I still love you, I dont think I could bear the pain of your death. Ive planned it all out, Im going to hire someone to kidnap you from this dump and then we can run away together, you, me, and our son, replied Sarah, with a little bit of desperation in her voice.


You could probably give this a little more emotion to it. Now imagine her perspective; she loves him, she won't be able to stand the pain of his death (not, "I don't think I could," but "I wouldn't be able to," I would recommend,) and so she's come up with this frantic plan. I would recommend that you try and make her sound more desperate at the end, with /lots/ of desperation, not a little bit.

quote:


Sarah, Im glad that you still love me but you have to let go. Im going to die tomorrow whether we like it or not, I said as a bell rang signaling that Sarahs time was up.


This seems a bit flat. You probably can add more emotion with italics too. Also, commas are missing in the last sentence.

"Sarah, I'm so glad that you still love me, /But you have to let go!/ I'm going to die tomorrow whether we like it or not," I said as a bell rang, signaling that Sarah's time was up.

quote:

As I was getting up, Sarah took my hand and whispered into my ear, Im told going to let you die, and then she kissed me. I cried a little inside, because I thought that it would be the last time I felt the warmth of Sarahs lips brushing against mine. When Sarah had left, I realized that part of Sarah would die with me tomorrow at my execution.


Just for future reference, "was" (the past tense of 'to be') is considered a very weak verb. You can almost always use a different one, even simply, 'got up' (As I got up, Sarah...)
Im told going to let you die, confuses the heck out of me. Do you mean, "I'm not going to let you die," or "I'm too old to let you die," or, "I hate you, I want you dead so I can get your money?"
Get back in your "I'm about to die on Death Row" shoes. You probably wouldn't cry just a little. It would probably work better to have him cry a lot inside. Heck, have him cry openly; there is nothing wrong with a man crying when he knows he is going to loose his dear love.
And this is just my opinionated self, but I think that "realized" is too...'technical' in a way for this scene, it implies that he discovers. Have him /know/ (knew) deep within him that a part of his ex-wife will die tomorrow as well.




Day 3, Day of Execution



quote:

I woke up at 7 A.M, four hours before me execution would be held. I sat pondering about what Sarah had said for the first thirty minutes.

Yes. Youre son, he is seven years old now, he has your eyes, and hes the best in his class, he was even able to teach himself algebra. Hes lived without a dad for his entire life and I think hes staring to suffer for it. Thats not what I came to tell you though. Luke, I still love you, I dont think I could bear the pain of your death. Ive planned it all out, Im going to hire someone to kidnap you from this dump and then we can run away together, you, me, and our son, replied Sarah, with a little bit of desperation in her voice.

Sarah, Im glad that you still love me but you have to let go. Im going to die tomorrow whether we like it or not, I said as a bell rang signaling that Sarahs time was up.

As I was getting up, Sarah took my hand and whispered into my ear, Im told going to let you die, and then kissed me, which made me think that I was not the only one dying, but part of Sarah was with me.


Okay, this last section is a bit confusing, because you already realized that a part of her would die with him. But let's take it from to the top.
It might sound better if you added the term, "of the morning," or something similar to the very end of the first sentence, so it's, "...What Sarah had said for the first thirty minutes of the morning."

Now, if this is a flashback, you might want to italicize it--it's easier to read that way. But we already had him realize that part of Sarah would die with him today, which makes this section redundant. You could probably either take out the part in Day 2 where he realizes that part of her would die with him today (which could make this a powerful emotional turning point,) or write more describing how upset he is at the prospect of loosing his wife. Either way, I recommend you somehow make the flashback portion more obvious. If it is a flashback, don't forget to edit it both here and in day 2.


Well, there we go! I hope you find this useful, you can always bug me on IRC if you need help.

Cheers!

< Message edited by Sentharn -- 8/12/2008 2:07:00 >
Post #: 6
8/12/2008 5:57:41   
Mo
Member

Oops, from that edit just realized I put the last day in the wrong place. Well, I'll go and correct those edits and make sure that Day 3 is in the right place
AQ MQ  Post #: 7
8/27/2008 12:14:22   
Mo
Member

Currently making a list of any good quotes I find to put inside the story, so far:
The fights you fight now are the fights you fight until you die, Movie, Rocket Science

The illusion of legitimacy is more important than legitimacy itself, Movie, Man Of The Year:

Feel free to suggest any quotes
AQ MQ  Post #: 8
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