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Old 06-14-2013, 05:52 PM View Post #1 (Link) At the Station
OrionRising (Offline)
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I appologize for the bad formating, blame it on YWO, it looked fine in Word.

At the Station

Elliot was never quite pleased with clocks. They never matched up. His pocketwatch said 11:42 but the station clock strongly proclaimed that it was 11:45 and 23 seconds. He reset his watch and sat down on the bench. He was late, 23 seconds late. In 15, no, 14 minutes at this point, the train would arrive. He had to get started. He took his reading glasses from the pocket of his tweed coat, crossed one leg over the other, and settled back, closing his eyes. He counted down to himself. 300... 299... 298... To his left a small girl was crying as the family of, from the sound of it, five shuffled down the stairs, towards the tracks. To the right, a man stood alone smoking a cigarette. 127... 126... 125... More people came in: a laughing young couple, a putrid, limping man who smelled of gasoline and alcohol, a rowdy group of teenage boys. Eventually he began to lose track. The man’s cigarette had been put out, the baby stopped crying and it and its family had disappeared into the quickly compounding crowd.


4... 3... 2... 1.

11:52

Elliot opened his eyes and took in the scene around him. Coexistence. Re-adjusting his glasses he quickly took a notebook from his bag and wrote everything that his four senses could remember.

Shortly the train came screeching into the station and suddenly the patient waiting turned into a desperate struggle. Shoulders bumped, feet intertwined, voices shouted to and at one another. “Mom!” yelled a little girl. An older man with a walker stood looking panicked as the crowd pushed to get on the train. Elliot rose, placing his glasses and notebook in his brown leather bag, and stood patiently at the back, slowly sliding in front of people to get to the train.

12:09.

The train was off a minute early. Elliot was jammed between three men, one a paunchy fellow smelled of candlewax and looked as if he hadn’t slept in days, the other two were thick and muscular wielding multiple tattoos peeking through torn leather jackets.

12:13.

East Clarence Street. More people filtered in. Some got off. Elliot remained cramped between the three other men.

“Lovely day,” he said, gesturing the comment towards the two tattooed men. One man grunted in reply. The other didn’t respond. Elliot turned towards the paunchy fellow. “Your name, sir?” he questioned.

“Ed”

“Well, Ed, how do you do?”

The train grinds to a halt again.

12:17 “Benjamin Ave.”

“I’m just fine, thank you,” replies the man in a flustered voice.

Elliot looks at the man, “Is that candlewax by any chance?” The man glares and pushes away into the crowd aboard the train.

“Coexistence my ass” mutters Elliot.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:55 PM View Post #2 (Link)
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Your story was interesting and I can't wait to read more. You were a little sparse considering details, but grammar was your main issue. When you check your work, make sure you have the correct tense. Also make sure that you use an equal distribution of pronouns and nouns. I did do a quote and edited that but the colors and bolding was working so I had to delete that. I can't wait t read more of your work.
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						Last edited by Emmamsay; 06-14-2013 at 10:05 PM.
					
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:48 PM View Post #3 (Link) At the Station.
ElfMeerkat13 (Offline)
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I enjoyed reading this short, punchy, but descriptive story! I love the vocabulary and adjectives, especially the words used to describe the men on the train, quite a few of them I hadn't heard of before, which I like as I can make a note of them for future reference/use. I was kind of disappointed that there wasn't much of an ending and I'm afraid to say that the bit at the end didn't make much sense, but from that a very good story!
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:37 AM View Post #4 (Link)
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Originally Posted by OrionRising View Post

At the Station

Elliot was had never been quite (I question the use of quite here but have left it in as this seems a purely aesthetic choice) pleased with clocks. The times never matched up. His pocket-watch said 11:42 (I assume it is AM but it is a question easily remedied with a short description of the surroundings at the beginning of the story.) but the station clock strongly proclaimed (Again, I question the use of strongly, it seems a weak word here when a much stronger one can be used, for example, boldly or stridently. Also, I giggled a little at the irony in that statement) that it was 11:45 and 23 seconds. He reset his watch and sat down on the bench. He was late,exactly 23 seconds late. In 15 - no, now 14 minutes at this point, the train would arrive. (I edited the last sentence not because it was wrong in anyway, but because I think it reads better this way. This however, is entirely my own opinion, so others will likely disagree with me on it.) He had to get started begin (Once again, this simply sounds better to me.). He took his reading glasses from the pocket of his tweed coat, crossed one leg over the other (You can be more specific here, for example, his left leg over his right or vice versa. There's not need for such ambiguity.), and settled back down, closing his eyes. He counted down to himself.

300... 299... 298...

To his left, a small girl was crying as the family of from the sound of it, five shuffled down the stairs towards the tracks. At very least it seemed to Elliot to be a family of five from the varied scuffles and treads of their shoes they made on their short journey. (The reasons I edited that sentence so heavily is that it was so bland and awkward. It is here you can make your story stand out by describing their actions. If your character is relying so heavily upon sound, make a point of it rather than a short comment.) To the his right, a man stood alone smoking a cigarette.

127... 126... 125...

More people came in: a laughing young couple; a putrid, limping man who smelled of gasoline and alcohol; a rowdy group of teenage boys. Eventually though he began to lose track of the people gathering around him. When he refocused on the scene around, he noticed that the man’s cigarette had been put out. The baby had stopped crying and it and its family had disappeared into the quickly compounding crowd. Elliot closed his eyes again. (This part was rather vague, which I hope I have sorted out to some extent with my added phrases. I added the last sentence because without it the first sentence of the next part makes little sense. Why would he be opening his eyes if they were already open?)


4... 3... 2... 1.


11:52

Elliot opened his eyes and took in the scene around him. Coexistence. Re-adjusting his glasses, he quickly took a notebook from his bag and wrote everything that his four senses could remember. Remember? It's the only word I can think of to describe it right now, but I'm certain that there is a better word just out of my reach. Also, the four senses part confused me slightly. Is it taste or touch you're missing out here? I think it would be better to say five, as you could taste the grime in the air, or feel the bite of the wind, and it wouldn't jolt the reader out of the story as they try and figure out which one you're missing.

Shortly the train came screeching into the station and suddenly the patient waiting turned into a desperate struggle. Shoulders bumped, feet intertwined, voices shouted to and at one another. “Mom!” yelled a little girl, while an older man with a walker stood looking panicked as the crowd pushed forward to get on the train. Elliot rose, placing his glasses and notebook in his brown leather bag (I thought he got his glasses from his coat pocket? a man of habit such as I imagine Elliot to be would certainly place his glasses back where he found them.), and stood patiently at the back, slowly sliding in front of people to get onto the train.

12:09.

The train was off a minute early. Elliot was jammed between three men, one a paunchy fellow who smelled of candlewax and looked as if he hadn’t slept in days, while the other two were thick and muscular, wielding multiple tattoos that peeked through torn leather jackets. (I can't tell if the contrast between wielding, a verb that conjures violent imagery, and peeking, one that conjures to mind a weakness, is intentional or not.)

12:13.

East Clarence Street. More people filtered in. Some got off. Elliot remained cramped between the three other men.

“Lovely day,” he said, gesturing the comment towards the two tattooed men. One man grunted in reply. The other didn’t respond. Elliot turned towards the paunchy fellow. “Your name, sir?” he questioned.

“Ed”

“Well, Ed, how do you do?”

The train grinds to a halt again.

12:17

“Benjamin Ave.” Okay, at first I couldn't tell that this was meant to be the train intercom. I would suggest getting rid of it, or at least making it clear that this isn't a chatacter speaking. The train intercom had never spoken like this before, so for it to start doing so is confusing.

“I’m just fine, thank you,” replies the man in a flustered voice.

Elliot looked at the man before asking, “Is that candlewax by any chance?” The man glared at Elliot and pushed away into the crowd aboard the train.

“Coexistence my ass.” muttered Elliot.
I've corrected what mistakes I felt had to be, or phrases that sounded awkward. I think that what Emmasay said about tense is something to look at. For example, in the first sentence, wouldn't it be better to say that he 'had never been pleased' with clocks? 'Was' sounds rather awkward, giving the reader an idea of a still existing Elliot when the story is so short it doesn't require that. Also, you say that Elliot mutters and looks at he men, present tense, but you had previously used the perfect past tense, 'questioned'. I would suggest looking over it and ensuring all verbs are of the same tense. If there was some intention for using the present tense in the last part, (Which on a second rereading I assume you have) I would suggest dropping it. For such a short story it doesn't require it. Using the past tense exclusively will detract nothing and only serve to allow the reader a greater sense of clarity of the events.

The reason I split the first paragraph is because it was such a bulky piece to read considering the brevity of the following parts. The countdown seems a good place to split it and I would suggest keeping it the way I have formatted it. Also, I can see the format you have tried to put in the quote box, and I would suggest just placing a space before each time and putting them in bold, again as I have done. As I have said before though, these are purely aesthetic choices and if you wish to ignore my suggestions, I doubt it will detract from the story at all.

On reading this, I felt somewhat disappointed. I can see what message you're trying to get across, but the main character is unrealistic and unrelatable, especially with his sudden attitude change at the end, (or this is the attitude he had all the time and he expresses it properly at the end). Either way, I couldn't connect fully to the story.

The story itself lacks a force of it's own. In this kind of story you don't rely upon a plot but the main character, and as I said above he is unrelatable. On that note though, the idea of the story is a good one and if you work upon characterisation I think it could be something that stands out from the crowd.

My personal suggestion is that if you want to portray a character who uses his senses to percieve the surrounding enviroement and is disapproving of human society (as you seem to portray in Elliot) I would suggest reading some of Thomas Harris' Hannibal, especially the parts describing Lecter in Florence. He does it in a very similar style as you, a simple kind of prose that still describes one of the most brilliant and disturbing characters in literature in vivid terms.

I suggest you focus somewhat upon time not just in the first part, but also the following parts. There's no reason in introducing a point if you're not going to mention that point again. Elliot is obviously a character that cares very much about time and this idea should be followed through.

Also, I question as to why Elliot got on the train. Was it simply to interact with others and record their reactions? If so, I would suggest you focus more upon Elliot's clinical and observational nature and his own reactions to the people. A man who records reactions and is precise in their actions is usually one who would dislike being crushed between two men and would prefer to stand than to suffer the indecency of being in that situation.

Overall, I suggest you think about what you wish your character to be and how best to portray that. In doing so, you can make the remainder of the story less vague and basic, giving greater purpose to the story. I think that Elliot is a character with brilliant potential and I would dislike seeing that fall by the wayside.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:46 PM View Post #5 (Link)
RDomingos (Offline)
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I cannot offer you edits on any grammatical errors this story may have, but I will my opinions the good and bad things.

First of all, I quite enjoyed reading this. I liked the comedy sowed into the story. You did a great job of incorporating it while making the whole thing flow seemingly naturally. The format is different than most of what I've read before, but that's not necessary bad. Your unique way of telling the whole thing made me think of a narration of movie, which I liked. This story also provides an interesting insight into a small segment of your (presuming it is really a true story) life with family. In all honesty, this feels like a start of a much longer story which just makes me want to read more.

I only have one huge problem with this. It's that you can't have non dialogue sentences after dialogue unless if it is a tag. For example -

“So Hannah how is it going with your football?” Tom, an older cousin of mine, said to me between the breaths of chewing roasted pork and drinking the way too strong red wine. He enjoys food more than the company of most people and that can be seen not only on his body, but also in his eyes. He sat next to me and had not spoken to me for a while, so he probably felt that it was his obligation to ask me about the one thing that we have in common. “It’s going quite well actually. Last week I played attacking midfielder and we…” A more interesting conversation had started between my father and my second cousin, Jacob, and Tom’s attention was no longer mine. It never really was actually. Whoever shouts the loudest, gets the attention. That is the way it has been since man figured out that maybe the whole thing about walking on two legs was not such a bad idea after all. Tom and Jacob, brothers and co-workers, often remind me of two animals fighting to win the admiration of their spectators. Jacob has the same love of food and wine, which also makes him a “big boy”. Tom and Jacob started preparing for the inevitable argument that always follows after they start a conversa-tion. The current discipline: Knowledge about the traffic of central Copenhagen.

There are multiple problems with the above paragraph. The dialogue tag (Tom, an older cousin of mine, said to me between the breaths of chewing roasted pork and drinking the way too strong red wine) is the only thing that can interrupt or be after dialogue. After that there must either be speech (continued or starting and must be belonging to the same speaker) or a new paragraph must be formed. There are specific rules (yes, there are) that go with dialogue which can be easily searched online. Forgive me for being redundant on the word, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of it. It's my only problem about this story.

Overall, this was a good story. It had an interesting way of being told, and what was being told was also interesting. I'm sure there are grammatical errors in the text, but i do not trust myself in finding them. I very much enjoyed reading, and I had a few laughs too. The sudden shift toward the end was intriguing. Oh wait, I just read that the story could be longer. I encourage you to make it so.

I am interested in how you may entertain or perhaps even enlighten me. Keep on writing, and present everyone with the worlds your mind can create. In your hands, just like many writers, is the ability to take people to far away places with great experiences.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:16 PM View Post #6 (Link) My reveiw
Rebekah (Offline)
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I enjoyed reading your story and I would like to read on. Your choice of vocabulary was great and your use of short sentences and other grammatical structures worked well. However you need to change your tenses in some parts of this piece. In my opinion, I thought your story could do with an introduction (setting the scene a bit more and describing what Elliot was doing there and who he was) and a more detailed ending as it just stopped abruptly without much explanation.
In conclusion, I think that your work does need editing, but I hope to see a second part and read more of your writing.
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