|Reviews for Not At All What It Seems|
| AluminumMuse 12/24/07 . chapter 1
Yeah! Because your grammar isn't bad, I'm going to skip that part of this review and get a little more in depth with the style section. Savvy? Muy bien.
There she was, lying on the bed in the guest bedroom of her aunt’s house.
You just said this. I'm a little confused. What is the part in italics supposed to be?
ON DESCRIPTIONS: Firstly, try not to use so many fragments all in a row. It's jarring for your reader. This is very tricky, but once you really get into more advanced writing, you want to avoid use the verb to be as the acting verb in your sentence.
Secondly, DO NOT ADD A SENTENCE THAT DOES NOT ADD CHARACTER DEVELOPEMENT OR FUEL THE PLOT. Possibly the biggest, bestest rule of literature. It's nice that her walls have ducks on them. Do we need to know this? The less physical description, the better.
Her soft, chocolate brown colored hair lying around her face and head. Oddly enough, it smelled like strawberries. Her soft lips curved in a frown.
You say 'soft' twice. By getting rid of this entire first paragraph and replacing it was a few punchy sentences that show some mood, you could get many more readers.
Do not use ellipses outside of dialog, more than one a page, or where it is possible to not use them.
“Stupid heats…need to cool down…but the power got fried because of that stupid storm…”
Most people don't narrate their own lives.
Slowly but surely, sleep took over her body…
Whoa. So you mean, the entire intro was just leading up to her falling asleep? It would be much better to start this story after she wakes up.
Avoid clichés. Use your own words instead.
She was scared, frightened, and instantly changed the channel, turning down the volume, wondering who in their right mind would have the volume up that high!
OMG! The volume is high! OMG! She nearly fell from her chair! Don't use exclamation points in the narrative, save them for when someone is actually yelling.
Also, do we need to know that the volume is up loud? At first I thought we were going to learn who she lived with, but then it didn't go anywhere. Nearly jumping from her chair' and 'who in there right mind' are both clichés. Oh noes.
Finally, clarity. Is the channel changing by itself? Why does she thing she's in the sci-fi channel? Isn't she at all surprised when the TV stops on the crime network if it is changing by itself? Why is she talking to herself so much?
I would suggest going to a 1st person narration, at it seems to be your natural tendency. If you want to stick with 3rd person, you're going to need to learn how to write in a way that incorporates her view. Read Scott Westerfeld's 'Midnighters.' See how each of his characters has a different and very bold personality, how none of them talk to themselves, and how he gets emotion from their eyes and to the reader? Go for that. -sigh- Still working on that one myself. Character development is hard.
“Today, we’re going to report on a man who kidnapped a girl. His name is Johnathan Bowman. Johnathan is a twenty-six year old man who is originally from Los Angeles, California. He has been on the run for two years, ever since he kidnapped and murdered a twelve year old girl.”
You say girl, and man, and kidnapped multiple times. Also, listen to the news and figure out how they introduce stories. The wording here is a bit awkward.
Through her dark brown eyes, she stared through the window and right at a dark green Chevy Corvette.
She isn't looking through her eyes. She's looking with her eyes. And we've already established that they are brown.
The girl was in a state of shock and panic! She was smacking herself, trying to see if this was a dream!
Don't call her the girl. Use her real name. Also, I'm not getting any emotion here, and the exclamation point's aren't helping.
Her brain wasn’t fully registering what was happening, one minute she’s staring at the car, the next she’s running after it!
This is in present tense. Use 'was,' not 'is.'
Now I'm totally lost. Why can't the car outrun her? How does she bust through the window without getting any scratches? How did the man not notice someone breaking the back windows of the car? Why is the car outside her window anyways?
Do not use all caps locks.
TEXT AFECTS! Do not use them. Not ever.
Even though her medium tan skin felt like it was going to burn off, her blood and heart felt like it was freezing cold.
Medium tan? Isn't that like saying medium medium? Anyways, we don't need to know this. "When you catch an adjective, kill it," said Mark Twain, and this is absolutely true. Use strong nouns and verbs, but get rid of your adjectives and adverbs. They poison your writing as malaria poisons blood. See? No adjectives, and it's still a strong sentence with a tone.
I don't this she would be smiling when she meets the officer, not right after her friend is killed.
It ends really suddenly. If this is just a dream, then what is the point of it? Why does this story need to be told? Even horror shorts should have a reason for being written.
What you did well:
You get all of your information out, you plow through obstacles, and you have a planned plot sequence and you stay on track. Many authors on here blindly stumble into stories with only a few solid ideas, you obviously know what it is you want to do.
Happy holidays and my best wishes,
PS: I am really sorry if this review sounds mean. Know these things:
I wouldn’t bother reviewing if I thought you were a bad writer. Why waste time?
I get carried away. Hey, writing up all these correction and suggestions can get tiring; I entertain myself by adding stupid jokes at your expense.
I am very stressed this time of year.