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Author Topic: Advice/Comments  (Read 808 times)

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Offline ELizzyKTopic starter

« on: April 29, 2011, 10:26:12 PM »
So I started this story a long time ago and was hoping I could get some advice/constructive criticism about it?  I feel like it might help me get unstuck.  Thank you to everyone who reads/helps!
A young girl stood in the shadows, waiting for the chance to make her escape.  Already caught twice this month, the brunette knew what her punishment would be if she were caught again.  Laurie shuddered at the memory of her most recent punishment.  It had been the worst and most painful she had experienced.  As awful as her punishments were though, Laurie was determined to flee from this wretched prison.  Laurie took comfort in the fact that she, at least, remained independent and refused to give up getting out of this hell.  She cringed at the thought of turning into one of those brainwashed clones, always so cocky just because they were considered popular at Greenville High.  Please, like she really wanted to be popular.  Laurie rolled her eyes at the thought.  

Suddenly, she felt eyes boring into the back of her skull.  “Well, look who we have here.”  The voice made Laurie’s blood ran cold.  Slowly, she turned around.  Her fear was confirmed when she saw the face of Strider Cane.  His lip was curled into a smirk that made Laurie want to punch his face until it was a bloody pulp.  He was the biggest jerk in the entire school, therefore the most popular.  All the girls in school considered him “hot” and were always flirting with him, praying to be the next in line for the coveted “girlfriend” status.  Laurie wanted to throw up at the thought.  

“Strider, what are you doing here?”  Laurie’s voice was pleading.  She recoiled at her tone.  

He didn’t answer her.  Instead, he asked the question she knew he would.  “Not trying to escape again, are we?”  

Before she could think of a good lie, Strider grabbed her roughly by the arm.  

“Let go!”  Laurie tried to make the words come out threatening, but to her dismay, they sounded whiney.  

“Would you rather let one of the guards find you?”  

Laurie stopped complaining at his words, but refused to stop struggling.  Strider sighed in frustration.  “If you would just quit trying to escape, I wouldn’t have to do this.”    

“That’ll never happen.  Unlike you, Strider, I like not being a clone.”

Strider rolled his eyes.  “You act as if it’s a death sentence.”

“It might as well be,” Laurie muttered, soft enough not to be heard by Strider.

Laurie was so lost in her own thoughts, she didn’t even notice when they were at her dorm.  “Thanks, I guess.”  The words came out cold and harsh.

Strider’s expression looked hurt for a second, but it ended so quickly that Laurie wasn’t sure if she hadn’t just imagined it.  “No problem.  I may be a clone, but I’m not evil.”

Suddenly, the door to Laurie’s dorm flew open.  Laurie’s eyes widened at the furious expression on Sabrina’s face.  She looked absolutely livid.  “Laurie!  I cannot BELIEVE you snuck out again!”

Strider, sensing danger, muttered an awkward “See you around” and ran like hell towards his dorm.  Laurie would have laughed if she hadn’t been in such a terrifying situation.  Sabrina’s wrath could make Satan look like an angel.  Her normally pale face was beet red and her perfect blonde hair was wild, sticking up in all directions and as tangled as a rat’s nest.  Laurie could feel the waves of anger emanating from her roommate.  Ironically, Sabrina's disposition was calm and laid-back.  Who would have thought?

Sabrina’s eyes flashed dangerously.  “Are you going to just stand there all night?  Come in already.”  Her words were acidic.

Laurie swallowed hard.  Slowly, she walked into the dorm, reluctantly closing the door behind her.

“Do you have any idea how late it is?”

Laurie groaned.  “Don’t start.  I’m not in the mood for a fight.”

Sabrina put her hands on her hips, something she always did when she was really steamed.  “Well, maybe if you would just follow the rules, we wouldn’t be fighting.  Do you think that I like these fights?  I would much rather be friendly but I can’t stand by and let you just-

Laurie punched the wall to stop Sabrina’s rant.  She couldn’t listen to this garbage anymore.  Sabrina stopped, alarmed and confused.  

“How could you become one of them?”

“What are you talking about?"  Sabrina stared, perplexed.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about!  You’ve become one of those clones!”  Laurie spit out the word with disgust.  

Sabrina looked away from Laurie, a sad look in her eyes.  It was gone in a second and when Sabrina met Laurie’s eyes again, they were cold and hard.  “You don’t understand.”  

Laurie’s anger was replaced with a strong desire to help her friend.  “Then help me understand.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

Laurie cried out in frustration.  She wanted to shake Sabrina until she came back to her senses.  Instead, Laurie yelled.  “How can you say that?  Of course it matters.  Why can’t you just explain to me what’s going on?  We used to talk about everything.  I-

“I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!”  Sabrina bellowed.

Laurie refused to back down.  They were now less than a foot apart.  “I don’t care.  I just want to help.”

“You can’t, okay?  Just leave me alone!  I’m sick of you annoying me all the time.”

Laurie’s face felt frozen in shock.  She couldn’t believe Sabrina could be this cruel.  In all their years of friendship, never once had they fought like this.  “Sabrina-“

“I can’t be your friend anymore, Laurie.”  Laurie took a step back.  She felt like she had been soccer punched in the stomach.

“You can’t be serious.”

Sabrina laughed bitterly.  “Of course I am.  I mean, you’re just a stupid girl who doesn’t know when to give in.  Why would I want to hang out with you?”

“But-”  Laurie stuttered.  She couldn’t comprehend what was happening.  All she could do was stare, open-mouthed, at Sabrina.  Only, this wasn’t the real Sabrina.  It couldn’t be.  The real Sabrina would never hurt her like this.

“What’s wrong?  Cat got your tongue?”  Laurie didn’t recognize Sabrina’s tone it was too cold.  It didn’t fit her warm personality.  

“How can you be like this?”  Laurie’s voice cracked and she couldn’t hold back the tears that flowed freely down her face.

“Be like what?  I’m just telling you the truth about how unbelievably annoying you really are.  It’s not my fault if you can’t handle it.”  Sabrina shrugged.

Laurie was speechless, which was something that rarely ever happened, if at all.  For the first time in her life, she couldn’t think of a witty comeback.  She always thought she could handle anything that came her way, but she never imagined she would have to deal with a betrayal like this.  All she could manage to do was stand there as still as a statue, open-mouthed, and sputter out incoherent babble.  She felt like some unsuspecting victim on one of those horribly cheesy reality shows.  Any minute now someone with a camera would come in yelling “Gotcha!”  

Sabrina let out a bitter laugh.  “What, you’re not gonna be a smart ass for once?  Is poor wittle Laurie gonna cry now?  God, how pathetic can you be?”          

Laurie’s brain couldn’t handle this.  She felt like she might explode if she had to listen to one more cruel word from her former best friend.  In less than five seconds, Laurie was running out the door and away from the nightmare she couldn’t wake up from.

Laurie didn’t know where she was going and she didn’t care.  All she could think about was getting as far away from this horrible place as possible.  In her panicked state, she didn’t realize there was another person not paying attention to his surroundings until it was too late.  The last thing she remembered was crashing into something hard and a sharp pain, then a pair of concerned eyes staring at her.

Offline jaimey

Re: Advice/Comments
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 11:27:11 PM »
Okay, my comments:

1. I like the fire in Laurie's attitude, but it seems really out of context. I'm having trouble keeping up with her pace. I think if you slowed down the narration a bit and really focused on letting that fire smolder, it would help explain the extent of her anger and bring things tighter together.

2. It seems like each character flip-flops around different emotions at the drop of a hat, and that doesn't fit with the scene. I think keeping hold of their initial reaction can help bring the narrative closer.

3. What is going on in the scene? The dialogue is great, but the descriptions are just a bit understated. If we had more explanation as to who the characters are, what they look like, etc., it might be a bit less confusing.

Your narrative is good, I like your prose, I just think it needs a tiny little bit more focus. Try to extend their reactions when they aren't speaking. The dialogue is decent, but you need more nonverbal cues. Also, try to vary up a bit of your vocabulary. You used the word "clone" multiple times without giving too much context. Are they really clones? Or is that just a "Stepford" term for those falling into some indistinct subculture?

Otherwise, I like how swiftly it reads. Your focalization is decent, but you could carry more emphasis on framing the world from Laurie's mind.

Keep writing, though, I'd like to see this scene again, maybe with a bit more context.

Offline ELizzyKTopic starter

Re: Advice/Comments
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 11:32:45 PM »
Thanks so much!  I really appreciate all of your critique, it's really great.  =D