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SCRAPPED and being rewritten for literally the sixth time... I'll just update this again once I actually have something to show. Until then!
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Sorry to bother you! I was just wondering if I could ask a favor. Ya see, I’m working on a book and I’m looking for feedback on it- as much as I can get- and I’d love it if you could read it (but only if you have the time and you want to! Seriously no pressure!!). Personally, I think you seem like a really good writer already, and I really need some help with me book.
*Insert tears of desperation here*
Aaaanyways, if you’d like to read it, it’s on my dashboard. (It’s called Collision of Fates.) 🙂
Thanks in advance! Again, only if you want to!!
Hey, Alanna! Is that your name? It seems so. Unless I’m wrong? Also – if it is – would you prefer I call you by it?
You’re not bothering me at all! In fact, I was quite pleased to see you had, um, “messaged” me. Technically commented, I guess. Same concept. So, yes, I have read all six current chapters and am more than happy to give you feedback! (I assume that feedback includes critique, but if not, feel free to ignore it, I suppose.) Thank you! I appreciate it.
Sooo, I’m going to be completely honest. Not brutal or overboard, but honest.
First off, you’re a good writer, especially for your age (I’m *guessing*. Most people on this site seem younger, including myself at the age of 14 ;P). Second, your novel us definitely not bad, but could be a lot better, I think.
When you write something that you want your reader to care about (or when you want them to just feel something), you seem to write very dramatically. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it gets out of hand pretty easily. Usually, the best emotional scenes are not the ones that tell you how sad they are, they are not the ones that tell you that the protagonist’s life will never be the same; they are not the ones that tell you how sad they are. Allow me to interrupt myself here to say this goes with a lot of different parts of writing novels, actually. Amazing writers only use adverbs when they truly need to. Don’t tell me that Kyle was devastated; show me how he screams into the darkness and throws himself against his bookshelf, scattering his most treasured belongings against the ground, ripped pages flailing as they fall. Don’t tell me how surprised Katey was when she was told *something surprising, because I’m too lazy to think of something because I want to move on in the feedback. This part is getting boring.* Tell me how she gasped while still chewing her chocolate chip muffin, causing her to choke on the crumbs that she inhaled. (Okay, maybe a little weird. But contrary to what some people may believe based on my writing, I do enjoy some humor in books. I mean, not that really anyone has read anything of mine anyway; I don’t let them.) ANYWAY, you get the point I hope. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining – show me the glint of light on broken glass.” (I that’s how the quote on my profile page goes.)
Moving on, make sure that every scene has a purpose. Not saying you don’t do that, but if you can take any scene out of your story, and have the reader still be able to perfectly understand everything, then that it’s a bad one.
Something that I noticed you don’t really do as much as you should (or maybe could, depending on your point of view) is descriptions. Now I mean like interesting descriptions. I am NOT trying to be mean at all, and I’m not saying your descriptions are bad, but just that they aren’t really good. Now here’s the thing, it’s not necessarily the way that you describe them that isn’t good (I think you do a pretty good job, to be fair), but it’s just I read your descriptions, and then move on. Forgotten. They feel oddly separated from the story. What I noticed a lot of really good authors do, is they’ll describe something, and then have that affect the character in some way. Now you do this a little, but just saying. You could also make it feel more like an environment, which is kinda what I’m trying to say. Like, try describing… woods, for example… and then having the characters interact with what you described. I’ll make up an example real quick.
I stepped foot into the forest, knowing what I had to do. It glowed red with fire, contrasting the light from the stars above, and I sighed, choking on my words.
“Deborah,” I began, “Listen, I just. . . .”
She began to sob and shake. She lifted her face with a hopeless look to challenge all that I had ever known about her. I wrapped my arms around her, and a tear rolled down my cheek.
“Don’t make this harder,” I said. “But, Deborah. . . . I love you.”
“I love you too,” she whispered.
I let go of her and looked toward the light in the dark. But no, this light was not one of hope; it was a dark light. A light of death and of pain. Of sorrow and of hurt. A light of burning flames.
I walked slowly toward it, and then started to sprint, tongues of fire licking my feet. The world was glowing uncontrollably. My mind started to race. I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I tripped on vines and bushes, causing torturing pain as fire burned through my idle body; it was natures way of getting back at me for all that I had done. My scarred skin was bleeding again. My scarred mind breaking again. The blood then boiling. My mind then failing. I shot a look of desperation back to Deborah, whose eyes had remained solely on me all this time. She was my comfort as I fell to the ground.
The dirt would be my grave, and the flames would bury me.
Okay, well I have to go take care of some things, but I’ll write more tips n stuff if you’d like.
This is absolutely tremendously supercalifragilisticexpialidociously (don’t even know if that’s how you spell it but you get the idea) helpful! Ok, maaaaaybe I’m exaggerating a tiny bit, but… you get the idea. I seriously haven’t had feedback this helpful yet, and I’ve asked a lot of people to read it. I also really appreciate the honesty because too many people are afraid to be truly honest in their feedback.
I definitely understand these points now that I read them. Judging from your feedback, I should add more description in my chapters, which will add to the realism, which, in turn, will make it longer (which I’m trying to do)?
Also, the point about the purposeful scenes? That’s awesome advice! Thank you!!
Well, I’m off to my Google Doc to add onto my book and test some new stuff out! Thank you so much again! In the future, if you ever want feedback on some of your writing from a fellow 14-year-old, let me know.
And yep, I’m Alanna! I’d actually love to be called that on here; It would be refreshing to have people use my actual name (haha). Nice to officially meet you! 😀
(Extra Note: I would highly advise you to add the example you made up to a book… it’s pretty awesome. 😉
Haha, thank you kindly. Yes, I know how frustrating (at least for me) it can be to have people just tell you ‘it’s good’ when what you wanted was something way more in-depth. 🙂
Yep, yep, yep! I mean don’t ramble on and on about how pretty the roots of trees coming out of the ground look, but let the reader know they are there. You never want to describe something *too* much – unless it’s for plot or related purposes – because then it gives readers no chance to create their own version of your world. As an author, ALL you want to be doing is directing your reader to understand your book at the level you understand (or close to it) and feel a certain way about it, without sacrificing the creative wonder of it. Let them know what’s going on, but make sure you always let them have their own version of your world too. I will also note that I can’t remember what any of your characters look like from your book… maybe you didn’t describe them at all, but if you did, adding a few quirks is always a good idea. Something that lets their personality shine through, ya know? Like a shining blue necklace a teenage girl always wears or a tattoo a detective has, whatever… something that makes them memorable. Also it’s generally a good idea to describe your characters multiple times, in subtle ways, and to give them cutesy/menacing/fancy (i.e. emotionally associated) titles. It can be something *really* simple, even. In The Lord of the Rings Gandalf is often referred to as “The wizard”… they don’t just say “Gandalf did this, and Gandalf did that, and Gandalf-” NO. Mix it up a little. x’D
Yeah, of course! No problemo!
Okey dokie. Fun helping you out. I’ll do it again sometime with new stuff when I think of it. No problem; I’m always happy to help! Haha, I’ll take you up on that.
Cewl! I’ve never heard the name before, but I like it! Haha, I bet! I’m Isaiah, by the way. I don’t think I’ve told you that but you might have figured it out… xD
That totally makes sense! I’m planning to elaborate on those things next chapter, when everything will finally (hopefully!!) come together. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you again for any thank yous I’ve forgotten.
Also, whaaaaaat? Isaiah is your name? That’s so totally unexpected.. I don’t even have words… Okay, maybe I do: Only kidding. And you have a cool name too! 😀
Lol, I love both! I would go with ‘behaviorally challenged’ for a serious story and ‘behaviorally unique’ for if you’re going for a more lighthearted approach. 😀
I’ll take that advice to heart, thanks for everything, and I’ll leave you alone now. xD
I don’t mind at all! I actually love talking to people on here. Random conversations = yes.
It’s not letting me comment on the other thread, so I’ll just comment the last comment in the thread, and then my response. 🙂
“That totally makes sense! I’m planning to elaborate on those things next chapter, when everything will finally (hopefully!!) come together. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you again for any thank yous I’ve forgotten.
Also, whaaaaaat? Isaiah is your name? That’s so totally unexpected.. I don’t even have words… Okay, maybe I do: Only kidding. And you have a cool name too! ????”
Well, good luck with everything! I can’t wait to read more of your stories! Thanks again, and again, and any time I have forgotten to say thank you, haha.
I know, right!? It’s so crazy! Thank you. 🙂
Thank you! Ha ha, no problemo! You’re welcome 🙂
The title has already intrigued me. 🙂 Can’t wait to read it! Oh and a word of wisdom from a reliable source I can’t quite remember(ha ha), don’t worry about your writing, just have fun with it! Focus on getting to the end and then go back to fix the bugs. Second drafts do exist. =3
Try it out if ya want to. Looking forward to reading!
Thank you, haha! I was rather proud of it! Oh, that is an interesting quote (or maybe a semi-quote?), thanks! I think I will use it. 😀 I’ll try not to disappoint you! Just a fourteen year old boy hoping to write a good novel one day, haha. Want me to notify you when I finish it?
Ha ha, same here! I’m hoping I’ll be able to publish something someday (excuse me whilst I hyperventilate from excitememt at that thought.)
Btw, I doubt I’ll be disappointed! You seem like a great writer. 😀 😀
Oh, and I’d love to be notified! Thank you kindly! 😀
Thanks! Oh, nice! Tell me how that goes! Thank you! I’m happy I have someone interested in reading something of mine! xD
If you do not mind me asking, do you like “The North Country Boarding High-School for the Behaviorally Challenged” or “The North Country Boarding High-School for the Behaviorally Unique” more? I have no biased opinion, I just want to know yours. ;P
Thanks for the read. Although I haven’t been checking the stories as often as I should I still appreciate it.
Happy to help!
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