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Old 06-28-2017, 04:54 AM View Post #3 (Link)
SerialLove SerialLove is online now
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Slavery was meant to be abolished years ago, however I’m living proof that it wasn’t completely. Alright, so as far as openings go, this one isn't so bad. For me at least, it left enough intrigue to keep me reading a little further. However, I would suggest that you think about revising this in future edits.

I’m 12 year old Samantha Green and I’m a slave. Yes, that’s right, a slave. I’ve been enthralled into slavery to Ms. Tabitha Darlington for three years and it has not got better. I [as your reader] wouldn't assume that slavery in any form would be a good thing, therefore I don't think that the ending of this sentence is in anyway necessary. Every minute of every day has been torturous. Since I was 9, I have worked from 5am-7pm 7 days a week. The only break that I ever get is a ten minute one to eat my ‘lunch’, buttered bread with water. So far I'm not feeling anything that would connect me to your character. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I get starved. Do you agree? I’m a growing girl for goodness sake! The exclamation mark here feels unnecessary as does the question before this sentence. I need food and drink to stay alive! Anyway, enough ranting. I bet you are wondering how I became a slave. Are you? Well In response to your question -- not really. If you say you're a slave then you're a slave, you haven't given us any other reason to question it otherwise. [Also to clarify, I'm referencing the speaker when I say 'you' above, though I think that's pretty clear.] My point is, be careful when you [as the writer] ask your readers questions. It can really make or break the story. I’m just about to start my story...

It all started as just a normal day in a back alleyway in London (or home to me and my parents). You see, my mother and father didn’t want help to sort out our homelessness, they liked things how it was and wanted it to stay that way, so we set up our shelter down a quiet, secret alleyway in Paddington.

It was around 10am and my mother and father had gone to beg and scavenge for food. I was often left alone curled up in my sleeping bag. I liked it! Again, the exclamation point seems to be out of place here. I would stare at the clouds and listen to the birds for hours happily, it was almost like a treat for me. This time would allow me to forget about the situation I was in and it would give me some alone time. Try to develop your sentence structure a bit more. So there I was, minding my own business, when a carriage, drawn by two brown and white horses, came down the alleyway to a trumpet fanfare. Suddenly, the trumpet players stopped abruptly and it was silent. I stared wide-eyed at this strange mode of transport. It was rare to be accompanied on my street. As I've said before, there isn't anything connecting me to this story. In fact if I didn't plan on leaving a review, I would have stopped reading by now.

A plump, made-up lady, who was dressed from head to toe in pink, stepped out of the carriage and stood on the dark, deserted street staring at me. Following closely behind her, was a tall, thin man dressed in a three- piece suit and tie. My parents had often told me that it was rude to stare, but I was staring stared at them wide-eyed and I didn’t care that I was being rude. You have a few misplaced commas here.

“You, scruffy girl,” yelled the plump lady.

Puzzled, I looked around then asked, “Me?”

“Yes you. Are there any other scruffy girls on this street?”

Scruffy, I thought to myself, you’re the scruffy lass around here.

“Would you like a once in a lifetime opportunity to come and live in a house?”

I shook my head. I liked it here and I wanted to live with my mum and dad in a house or not. I'm a little confused by this sentence. Well, it looked like I had no choice. The neatly dressed man, with to other tall, ripped men, were walking towards me. Whoa, were did these two other men come from and is it necessary to tell us that they're ripped? The two men picked me up and flung me in the carriage. Did they just fling her from where she was standing or did they drag her back first?

“Let me go,” I protested, whilst kicking and wriggling.

The other man tucked a piece of paper into my sleeping bag and put his thumbs up.

“You’re mine now,” snarled the lady.

“Who said,” I screamed, “You should be arrested! You’re kidnapping me, aren’t you?”

“What a smart one you are,” she snarled, “You are going to need those skills when you’re working in my house. As a slave!” As the horses drew out of the alleyway, she laughed an evil-like laugh that made my stomach flip.
Well, that was an interesting story. There are some things that I would like to touch up on though.

1.) Dialogue -- Few things here. First, the conversation between the lady and the girl seems a bit too mechanical. As well, the girl [at the time of the conversation] is what 9 or so however the way she speaks seems a bit far to mature for a child [but not as mature as an adult.] Going back to the older women, I feel like she would be kinder to the girl in the ally then being this cruel person right off the bat. Have you ever heard of the phrase "You catch more flies with honey then you do with vinegar."(?) I would apply that here into this text if I were you. But I'm not going to go into that much, let's move on.

One of the reasons why I brought up dialogue also has to do with the dialogue tags that you use. Not once did I see your characters use the word 'said.' Now you may be thinking "so what" but the thing is, it becomes jarring to read when you replace the simple dialogue tags with more 'advanced' ones [in a sense.] I mean, take this sentence from your writing for example:

“Let me go,” I protested, whilst kicking and wriggling.

There are so many ways that you can show your reader that your character is protesting the situation without actually stating that she is protesting. In-fact if you just replace the word 'protesting' with 'said' your readers can get the same feeling from your character without actually reading it. You already tell us that the character is 'kicking and screaming' so there's no need to say more.

This applies with other pieces of dialogue in your story, but I'm going to leave you to read through and figure that out for yourself.

2.) Sentence Structure -- I don't have much to say in this aspect other then that, your writing seemed to lack a bit of maturity. Now before you tell me something along the lines of "of course my writing lacks maturity, I'm only [so and so age]" I understand that I do not know how old you are or how long you've been writing. However that doesn't exclude the fact that you do need to develop your style of writing a bit more, in fact so do a lot of older, more matured writers.

Right now, your sentences alternate between being super short and simple, to being clunky and grammatically weird. Lets look at another example from your writing:

It was around 10am and my mother and father had gone to beg and scavenge for food. I was often left alone curled up in my sleeping bag. I liked it!

Here we see simple [not really complex] sentences. For one, the last two could be combined into one sentence by just using a simple 'and.' But even then, there's nothing left to grip your readers further. In fact this all ties in with the simple show don't tell topic. Give your readers more to go on then just telling us that your character likes to be alone and that she is typically left alone.

Anyhow, did you know that you actually slow down the pace of the story when you write smaller sentences? It's true. The reason behind this is because you're making your reader stop more often with every period you place down and in turn, each stop just kills the flow bit-by-bit. Let's look back at the example above [with just a few more sentences from your text] and take in how often you had to pause when you read it allowed.

"It was around 10am and my mother and father had gone to beg and scavenge for food. I was often left alone curled up in my sleeping bag. I liked it! I would stare at the clouds and listen to the birds for hours happily, it was almost like a treat for me. This time would allow me to forget about the situation I was in and it would give me some alone time.
Your readers had to pause five times. Now, look at an example of this being rewritten:

It was around 10am, my mother and father had gone to beg and scavenge for food while I was left to curl up in my sleeping bag. I liked it that way because I could stare at the clouds and listen to the birds happily for hours. It was during these moments that I was able to forget all about the situation I was in.
Now, this isn't a perfect example, but it shows you what I mean. First of all you may notice that I cut and/or changed some words from your original text. I did so, in order to change the pacing of the story while trying to still keep the integrity of your writing. But pushing that aside, I hope you notice the difference between both the pacing/flow of your writing.

Ok, so other then those two main points, I don't want to go into anymore detail. I hope what I have written so far helps you in the revising process. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Good luck.
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