Trying to improve writing skills. Critique this short excerpt?

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by wolven9, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. wolven9
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    wolven9 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The end of the world
  2. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Guru

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    There are some minor grammar errors throughout the passage.

    For the most part, you did a good job with showing instead of telling. Taking the first paragraph for example, you show us the rustling leaves by personifying them as fighting each other, but you go on later in the paragraph to tell us about an awful noise without showing it to us. I couldn't imagine the noise.

    Some minor instances of ambiguity interrupt the flow. Taking the first paragraph again:
    While grammatically correct, there are several noun phrases between "several men" and "each one," and that interrupts the flow. Unless you acknowledged the several men immediately before using the phrase "each one," I would be specific and say something like "each man" so it flows better.

    Speaking of ambiguity in that passage, you first acknowledge the men by saying they have torches. You then go on to say that each man has some sort of tool or weapon. Is that in addition to the torch? Are some men carrying torches while others are carrying other items?

    You did a good job using consistent tenses.
    You were inconsistent in how you spaced your dialogue, particularly at the end.
     
    Last edited by Lacius, Jul 1, 2017
  3. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Guru

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    Ask @Chary she supposed to be going to school to be a writer or something I think. :unsure:
     
  4. wolven9
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    wolven9 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I chose "several men" and "each one," so it didn't sound so redundant but I marked a note and will work on it =]. As for the ambiguity hows this:

    "Several men with torches in hand, each brandishing some sort of tool or weapon in the other, walked along side a horse drawn carriage as it drew tracks in a muddy debris riddled path."

    Now about spacing I think part of the issue is due to the change of format when I copied and pasted. Whats the best way to stay consistent with dialogue spacing?
     
    Last edited by wolven9, Jul 1, 2017
  5. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Guru

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    A little redundancy is better if it helps the flow. Obviously, you don't want to be too redundant. Just be clear.

    Your edit with regard to the torches is good.

    During most of the passage, you start your dialogue on a new line. In the second half, you have dialogue begin in the middle of paragraphs. Whatever you end up doing, stay consistent.
     
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  6. wolven9
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    wolven9 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    So pure consistency and less ambiguity is key. Thank you very much =]
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Apparently spiralled has one L in US English, though you use Autumn next which is OK but I want to note it.

    The weapons line wants to be there but the phrasing is a bit awkward to me, what about something like
    "Several men with torches in hand, each brandishing some kind of weapon, or something to be used as one, in the other."

    Watching for sudden movements is OK but feels slightly clunky to me. Wary of, waiting for(, and hoping they never come), bracing for or something else maybe?

    So animals speak in your world? As was mentioned nice show don't tell thing there.
    Anyway the area can be treacherous and being caught off guard can be dangerous. The idea of being caught off guard being treacherous says that it is quite possible to survive that but you probably don't want to.
    It's is wrong in this context. It's is a short version of either it is or it has, if neither of those works as a substitution and the owner or the thing in question is not named It then you probably want its.
    Also an opening in a hilly can mean a small gulley, a simple formation that acts as a windbreak or just something that provides a slight bit of shelter . What you describe would also fit, even if I would probably choose a word like cavelet if cave implied too much.

    Is it passed or past?
    Under the rock side? Under the hill, in the rock opening or in the hillside, but rock side is an odd phrase.
    Do you really need sentences that short at the end there? Some commas and things in the colon family might make that better.
    Including hell in a phrase, even with a lower case h, may imply a Judeo-Christian type phenomenon in the world. If that is OK then so be it, I will note it in passing though. I surely heard it works just as well and you don't need to invent gods, spirits, forces of nature or anything to use as an exclamation.

    Wrong your.

    Is the place itself a bad omen? It sounds like they have a little fire and are doing OK. The place can be ominous or have a bad vibe, or something can have happened there to be a bad omen (fire go out or something) but to my mind if a place is a bad omen then I want to have happened upon a scene where something bad happened.

    Why is Friend capitalised? If it is the name of the concept of talking/companion animals then fantastic, otherwise why?
    Also I don't know what period this is supposed to be evoking but while rucksack is not the newest word ( https://books.google.co.uk/books?id...=0ahUKEwi_if_AsunUAhWFLFAKHZ88BuA4ChDoAQg_MAc ) it does seem to be the style to not use it for older era fantasy type things. Bag or pack tends to be favoured.[/quote][/quote]
     
  8. wolven9
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    wolven9 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    [/quote][/QUOTE]
    I incorporated as much as I could as well as several things from a few other members so it should look much better now =] Thank you for the much needed feedback. Today has been a busy day lol