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Old 11-07-2014, 06:31 PM View Post #1 (Link) Wind in my Face
Pony123 (Offline)
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I stared intensely out the porch window at Lake Okoboji. Usually a mild weathered vacation place, it was proving it's reputation wrong today. Of course, today. The south wind ripped down the middle of the lake at 30 mph, streaking it with white-caps that bashed the shoreline. Grey clouds threatened to pour or even thunder.

My grandfather walked in. Still, at 80, he was happy to support my time-intensive sport of sailing, and today was no exception. "Nice breeze out there!" He observed.

Breeze? It was gusting almost 35 miles per hour out there. That was no breeze! "I don't think I'm sailing today." I answered back, "We've never sailed above 15 miles per hour"

My grandfather had been an experienced sailor as a child and looked me in the eye, "Katy, you're sailing. I know you will." Unbelieving, I shook my head, but followed him to the car, nevertheless.

When we arrived at the Yacht Club, It was a bee-hive of activity. Sailors who adorned T-shirts that read, Championship Fleet, or Nationals, raced around, un-rolling their sails or checking safety gear. I rigged my small dinghy, which I had christened Flame. Flame was a 20yo boat that had been used by sailing school kids for years. He wasn't much compared to the brand-new boats of the other kids. Shivering in the unseasonable temperatures, I waved to Alex, my crush, who was competing in the beginner fleet. "Good Luck!" I muttered.

"You too!" Alex answered back, with a grimace on his face. I could tell he too was nervous about the race ahead.

"Competitors Briefing! All championship fleet must meet in the main room!" The head judge announced over the loud speakers. I tied down the main-sheet and walked over to the meeting. An older judge blabbered on about fair sportsmanship and protests. The hour horn blew, and our coach, Max, called us over for a meeting.

"Today is VERY windy," He began, "But we've been practicing for this race, and I think you'll be able to handle it. Hike out to the back of the boat and try not to tip over, you should be fine." I could tell he was anxious too from his pursed lips and wrinkled brow. "Good Luck!" He finally managed.

The middle of the lake was like the North Atlantic, with waves crashing against our boats and spray blowing in our faces. The start line was set up on the west side of the lake. I glanced around through the 50+ boats to try to find Max in his coach boat. He pulled up beside my boat, "Try to follow the others. Don't get stuck in bad-air at the start, or you'll sink behind" I nodded and yanked my sail in to harness the wild wind.

The 1 minute whistle blew and the top sailors were gathered near the committee boat. I knew I would have to start on the line. Finally, the horn blew, and I completed my best start to date. Exactly at 0 seconds, I was over the line. The faster, older, kids took the lead and I found some other sailors from my team to compete against. I knew I was going to get in the lower ranks, so I forgot about trying to beat the traveling sailors.

As I pulled up beside another boat, the sun broke through the clouds. I smiled for the first time that day. I was able to pass the boat and move up a bit from last. By the time I had rounded the last mark, I was in 39th place. I had been able to pass 6 boats, a personal best.

Though I was far from 1st or Race Champion, I was a winner in my own mind. I went home, though prizeless, with a brilliant smile on my face.
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Wind in My Face
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:27 PM View Post #2 (Link)
AdrenalinJunkie (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Pony123 View Post
I stared intensely out of the porch window at Lake Okoboji. I'm not sure if that's just an English grammar mistake, but we don't say "out the". Usually a mild weathered vacation place "Place" seems a bit like you're fumbling for the right word, maybe "spot" instead or something?, it was proving it's its reputation wrong today. Of course, today. I don't really understand this line. I'm guessing it's meant to be the character cursing her bad luck at it being bad weather on the day of the competition, but as the reader I don't know there's a competition, so it doesn't make sense. The south wind ripped down the middle of the lake at 30 mph, streaking it with white-caps that bashed the shoreline. Grey clouds threatened to pour or even thunder. I like the last part of this paragraph, it's a nice description.

My grandfather walked in. Still, at 80, he was happy to support my time-intensive sport of sailing, and today was no exception. "Nice breeze out there!" He observed. I'm not sure about this, but I think that the "He" shouldn't have a capital letter as it's in the same sentence as the dialogue.

Breeze? It was gusting almost 35 miles per hour out there. That was no breeze! "I don't think I'm sailing today." I answered back, "We've never sailed above 15 miles per hour"
So, the rules I think dialogue follows: When you want a speech and then a disjointed sentence, such as "Bla, bla." Tess looked up. you end the speech with a full stop. However, when you want the speech to lead into a sentence, such as "bla, bla," he said, you end with a comma (or question mark, exclamation mark). Therefore, your first speech should end with a comma, while the second should end with a full stop.

My grandfather had been an experienced sailor as a child and he looked me in the eye, "Katy, you're sailing. I know you will." I don't think the sentence and the speech should be connected, I think they would work better separated by a full stop. Unbelieving, I shook my head, but followed him to the car nevertheless. You didn't need the comma before nevertheless.

When we arrived at the Yacht Club, It it was a bee-hive of activity. Sailors who wore adorned T-shirts that read "Championship Fleet" or "Nationals" raced around, un-rolling their sails or checking safety gear. I rigged my small dinghy, which I had christened Flame. Flame was a 20yo boat that had been used by sailing school kids for years. Is "20yo" a typo or am I meant to know what it means? If it's short for "20 year old" you need to be clear, that's not immediately obvious. He wasn't much compared to the brand-new boats of the other kids. Shivering in the unseasonable temperatures, I waved to Alex, my crush, who was competing in the beginner fleet. "Good Luck!" I muttered. This is kinda silly, but if the speech has got an exclamation mark and Alex can hear her clearly, "muttered" doesn't seem like the right verb.

"You too!" Alex answered back, with a grimace on his face. I could tell he too was nervous about the race ahead. I wasn't even aware there was a race on until two lines ago- I feel like as this seems to be the main plot line of the story, you should have given me this information at the start.

"Competitors Briefing! All championship fleet must meet in the main room!" the head judge announced over the loud speakers. I tied down the main-sheet and walked over to the meeting. An older judge blabbered on about fair sportsmanship and protests. The hour horn blew, and our coach, Max, called us over for a meeting. Repetition of the word "meeting".

"Today is VERY windy," He began, "But we've been practicing for this race, and I think you'll be able to handle it. Hike out to the back of the boat and try not to tip over, you should be fine." I could tell he was anxious too from his pursed lips and wrinkled brow. "Good Luck!" he finally managed. So remember not to have capital letters after speech if it's the same sentence. Apart from that I think this paragraph is cool.

The middle of the lake was like the North Atlantic, with waves crashing against our boats and spray blowing in our faces. The start line was set up on the west side of the lake. I glanced around through the 50+ boats to try to find Max in his coach boat. He pulled up beside my boat, "Try to follow the others. Don't get stuck in bad-air at the start, or you'll sink behind." I nodded and yanked my sail in to harness the wild wind. Alliteration seems a bit over the top. I would cut it, but it doesn't matter.

The 1 minute whistle blew and the top sailors were gathered near the committee boat. Most people say to not use numbers in your work and write them out as words. I think that might be a good idea. I knew I would have to start on the line. Finally, the horn blew, and I completed my best start to date. Exactly at 0 seconds, I was over the line. The faster, older, kids took the lead and I found some other sailors from my team to compete against. I knew I was going to get into the lower ranks, so I forgot about trying to beat the travelling sailors.

As I pulled up beside another boat, the sun broke through the clouds. I smiled for the first time that day. I was able to pass the boat and move up a bit from last. By the time I had rounded the last mark, I was in 39th place. I had been able to pass 6 boats, a personal best.

Though I was far from 1st or Race Champion, I was a winner in my own mind. I went home, though prizeless, with a brilliant smile on my face.
So I like this story; you've improved loads since I last critiqued any of your work, it's really impressive. I think the ending is a bit cliche in that teachers tell you those kind of stories to make everyone feel better, but hey, if that's how you feel, it's good to be realistic.
There were a couple of times when I felt a bit confused as I am neither American nor a sailor, and I think you should think carefully about who your target audience is; if they're sailors, then great, if not, maybe try and make it a bit clearer. (What are travelling sailors exactly?)
What I really like is the description- I now have a very clear picture of the lake in my head and when your character felt happy because it was sunny, so did I
So yeah, keep up the good work!
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