Reviews for Writing the Picture
Yioujuin chapter 1 . 4/22/2004
Nicely done! I really love this title-it works beautifully. The simplicity and raw honesty with which you portray the themes in this piece is also poignant and beautiful. But if I were to try and improve on it, these are the changes (of mostly syntax and style) I would make:
I think that the opening sentence might be more effective with more of a separation between the phrases, so I would have it as, "Writing a picture... is it possible?" Then, I would have "Let me explain," as a stand-alone sentence in its own paragraph. Next paragraph, I would correct "me and my family" to "my family and I," unless I strongly wanted to keep the previous form for stylistic purposes. Then, after "for the Death Camps," I would replace, "and never returned," with "[insert comma] never to return." In the next sentence, I might insert "even" before "begin to describe." Then I would either add an adjective onto "place," or I would replace "place" with a more distinct synonym. Or I could also just leave "this place" alone altogether, since changing it would mostly be a matter of preference.
Then, after the sentence ending with "that place," I would end that paragraph and start the next sentence in a new one, to go along with the switch in verb tense. A couple sentences later, before the sentence beginning with "One struck me," I would either space it off into another new paragraph because of the change back into past tense, or I would just go back and correct all of the previous to the past tense, for consistency. After either making a new paragraph or correcting the verb-tense, I would go back to the "One struck me" sentence and replace "was thinking" with "thought," just to keep things simple, but less colloquial at the same time. I would also replace "to show my feelings" with "to express my emotional response" for depth. After "to express my emotional response," I would insert a comma, and then another comma after, "awful painter."
In the next paragraph, I would insert a comma after "The child was nine." I would also replace "crayons" with the singular, "crayon," in the following sentence. After that, I would change "It was not beautiful or incredible" to "It was neither incredible nor beautiful," to help the phrase flow more smoothly into the rest of the sentence. Then after "incredible," I would replace the comma with either a semicolon or a dash to avoid making a run-on sentence. I might or might not replace "beneath" with "underneath."
Also, I would start the "There is one thing" sentence off as the next paragraph, because of the transition in focus. I would then correct the verb-tense in the rest of the sentence and the paragraph that ensues to be either all present-tense or all past-tense-past being preferable unless the mood I would want to convey would only work better with present-tense.
In the sentence with "Across the figures," I would correct "is the harsh lines" with either "are the harsh lines" or "were the harsh lines," depending on which verb-tense I'd decided on earlier. Then, in the last sentence of this paragraph, I would either drop the second "along" from "along and back along the paper," or replace it with "back and forth along the paper," to avoid redundancy.
In the next paragraph, I would back up the "At first" sentence to stay with the previous paragraph. After that, I would insert a comma after "At first," and take out the comma after "guard." I might or might not rephrase "that his captives are people" as "of the humanity of his captives." But whichever I decide on, I would insert another comma after this phrase to avoid a run-on.
The next paragraph would begin with "The little girl sat in a room, staring at her drawing [insert period, then start next sentence]." I would then hyphenate "crimson coloured" and insert a comma after "crayon," after which I would replace "and" with "she." I would insert another comma after "deliberately" and replace "some" with "a bout of." Then I would insert a comma again after "quiet despair" and stop to double-check the rest of the sentence for verb-tense agreement with the overall paragraph. I would then add a comma after "across first their faces," and another comma after "their bodies."
In the next paragraph, I would insert a period after "Her face." I would then insert a comma after "no picture or photograph." I would replace the end of "stupid fantasy" with a question mark. And finally, I would have the last sentence, "That, I think, only Isabel will ever know," stand alone at the end, as its own paragraph.
Phew... done at last! But the more I read over it, the more I like it. I hope that I haven't offended you by this critique, but I only do this when I feel that something is truly worth improving upon. This is a lovely bit of prose, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors!
cookiemonster chapter 1 . 4/3/2004
omg, i am on the brink of tears! if i was there i would have broken down completely. nice job with this tho...