|Reviews for Hoping For a New Life|
| DarkHorseBlueSky chapter 1 . 12/1/2013
Where do I begin?
Bear with me now as I proceed.
The correct term for this kind of fanfic would be an "AU", which is short for "Alternate Universe". It might have been nice to include "AU" in your summary.
Your only reviewer, I regret to say, is right. Your writing style is very, VERY direct and painfully nondescriptive, which made the story very hard to follow and focus on. Your grammar is absolutely atrocious, may I say. Correction: for the most part it was spot-on, textbook grammar, which is TECHNICALLY correct and more fit for a research paper if I must be honest, but definitely NOT in creative writing.
(I do salute you, dear, for proofreading enough that your words were legible. There were some words that I found, for instance, "Prime" instead of "Prim", but for the most part it was pretty good. I have read too many fics in which it seems as if the dear authors have typed it out on a smartphone and hadn't bothered to check anything. Sometimes they make me wish I didn't take the "review every story you read" vow. Bcus if your writing astoree lyk this,im gong 2 hav menny tings 2 saye 2 u,deer frend.
But, fortunately for you, you're not.)
The one thing that annoyed me most about this piece of writing, though, is the poor presentation. You have a tendency to tell your readers what is happening, and not show it. For example:
"Miri went home stressed out, hoping for to study, and go to sleep. Instead of people finishing dinner at the village, she heard screams. She ran up the hill to find that they were being robbed. Miri hid behind a bush and watched, as a bunch of men threw all of the people in the village, and all of their things, including her laptop, into a big white truck."
I don't even know what to say. You sound like you're writing a history report, not a story!
Some major points:
– Use more vivid verbs, such as "stumbled" in place of "ran".
– It's totally fine to substitute the occasional "she'd" for "she had" or "couldn't" for "could not".
– There is a fine balance in sentences, a balance among choppy writing (too many simple sentences), monotonous sentences (too many long sentences, which are often chock full of who/which clauses, unnecessary -ly adverbs, prepositional phrases, conjunctions, etc.), and run-on sentences (honestly, you should know what these are). If you can't find that balance, then I can say one thing: READ. Good authors have a nice balance of both and that will provide a good flow to your writing.
– Please, for heaven's sake, find where the emotion is or find a job in writing newspapers. Creative writing should move your reader, make them feel like they are one of the characters themselves. And how do you do that? Show EMOTION. I do not know if Miri is scared out of her wits, confused beyond belief, filled with rage, or doing the happy dance in her head because the villagers were annoying anyway. And please, please don't show the emotion by telling us, "Miri was scared." We have enough of that already. Instead, SHOW us how she is scared. For example:
"As she watched in horror, Miri tried to keep herself from trembling. Her heart was pounding so loudly, she feared that the gangsters would hear it."
Another paragraph, and my dissection of it:
"At 6:00, Miri ran to the bus that took her to work. Miri ate her dinner on the bus, and from 6:30, until 8:30, she waited tables. Miri was paid $7.00, and hour, but she often collected around $20.00 in tips, because the restaurant was the best restaurant in town, and Miri was a good waitress. Thanks to income tax..."
You should be able to see now, my dear, how and why your infamous Guest reviewer thought this story to be boring. Most likely, she/he got to the phrase "thanks to income tax" and fell out of their chair. I almost did, trust me.
See, you are putting too much detail into the little things and not enough into the big things, and that's a problem many beginning writers struggle with. They spend two pages describing the beautifulness of their main character (and if this happens, I can say that the author is probably screwed and that their character is probably a Mary Sue, but that's a totally different lecture there) and two sentences describing a fight scene between a side character and a main villain that ends in the death of the former. You spend a huge paragraph (which is too long and should be broken up at least) describing Miri's paycheck, which, honestly, no one cares about, and then two sentences describing what happened after she made her big dramatic speech.
As I have probably stressed before, the only way to get better at this is to READ. Know what experienced authors put detail into and learn how they write. And I'm not talking about other fanfic writers; I mean the authors of BOOKS that get turned into fanfictions.
Imagery — I'm not even going to get started on it. I don't think I'll have the time to finish.
Upon rereading your dialogue, I get the feeling that, once again, you are going right out of textbook grammar. Truth to be told: good writers hate English 101. One year I got a C in English because, in every piece of creative writing that I turned in, I was marked off for "fragmented sentences" in an angsty part and "misuse of [insert an adjective here]" when it was meant to be SARCASM. My seventh grade grammar teacher loved my writing, but she didn't like that I used fragments in dialogue at all.
So for example, if I was writing about the pilot of a bomber plane, this is what my writing would be like:
"Send 'em down!" he called, grinning madly. "Teach 'em what happens when you mess with us!"
And she would always rewrite it as this:
"Yes. We will send them down," he said with an excited grin. "We will teach them what they will get when they provoke us."
Horrible, I know.
See, the second example is NOT how people speak. So try to loosen up your dialogue a bit; make it sound a bit more realistic. And, if you have to, say the words aloud with the emotion you think they would say it with. People think I'm crazy because I'm always whispering these random things as I write.
On the bright side of things, I like your pen name.
I suppose it's somewhat useless now to suggest reading and reviewing my own sorry excuse for PA fic...
Well, sorry for any hurt feelings, and you're welcome for any "thank you"s you may or may not have for me and my writing tips. Good luck in your attempts of the dark and perilous crusade known as writing...
| Guest chapter 1 . 7/2/2012