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> Her Name Was Kitty...
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John Clements 
Posted: 14-Dec-2006, 01:09 PM
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Her name was Kitty and she called me Sweet Pea, being from New Orleans, and all. Except for the subway token I needed to get home with that night. I had spent all the cash I had, having taken Kitty out to dinner, down in the West Village, which was where she lived at the time. I’m not exactly sure what time it was, but I know it must have been around three in the morning. When I dropped that token in the slot, and found my self, standing alone, on the subway platform, at Union Square, waiting for the up town Lexington Avenue. Well, at least I thought I was alone, until I felt a shadow come over me, from behind. At which point I turned, to see some huge homeless guy. Who had to be, at least twice my size, casting that shadow. Of course he heeled out his hand, and asked me for some money, but as you already know, I didn’t have any choice, but to say that I didn’t have any money. At which point, he got in my face, and said, in a loud threatening voice. Don’t give me that crap, man, look at you. You’ve wearing fine shoes, and fine clothes. Now give me some money. Needless to say, he scared the hell out of me, but I managed to return fire, and say, in an equally threatening voice. Let me ask you man. Do you think, that if I had any money, that I would be down in this hole, with you, at three o’clock in the morning? No way man, I’d be up stars in a cab. With that being said, he laughed and went away.


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urian 
Posted: 20-Dec-2006, 12:47 PM
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Her name was Kitty and she called me Sweet Pea, being from New Orleans, and all. Except for the subway token I needed to get home with that night. (Period should be a comma otherwise it’s a fragment.) I had spent all the cash I had, having taken Kitty out to dinner, down in the West Village, which was where she lived at the time. (HUH? That’s like two sentences in one. You need to find a way to reword this so it is more readable. Something like:” After taking Kitty to dinner in the West Village, Where she lived at the time, I was flat broke.” Or something like that.) I’m not exactly sure what time it was, but I know it must have been around three in the morning. Here you are using both past AND present tense. That needs to be rectified. Since you started with a word WAS I am going to assume it’s supposed to be in past tense so it should read more like:” I WASN’T sure what time it was(no comma) but I KNEW it must have been around dawn(or morning). When I dropped that token in the slot, and found my self, standing alone, on the subway platform, at Union Square, waiting for the up town Lexington Avenue. Again,HUH? Firstly, you are way to comma happy. You need to use them less than what you did in this piece of flash fiction. 5 in one sentence is way too much. Secondly, I think it should be myself and not my self. I’m nor really sure what your trying to say here but I’m trying. Maybe:” I found myself standing alone as I dropped the token and waited for the up town to Lexington from Union Square. Well, at least I thought I was alone, until I felt a shadow come over me, from behind. Again with the commas. Drop the WELL and just say:” I thought I was alone until I felt a shadow come over me. Saying the shadow is from behind becomes redundant as you mention you turn around in the next sentence. At which point I turned, to see some huge homeless guy. Who had to be, at least twice my size, casting that shadow. Ok, these should be one sentence. “Who had to be…” sounds like a question more than anything else.” Plus stop with the commas. They don’t make you sound like a better writer. The fact is that they are just breaking up the flow and causing confusion. If you wish to keep them separate sentences then reword the second sentence:” I turned to see a huge homeless man. He had to be twice my size if he were casting a shadow that large.” Of course he heeled out his hand, and asked me for some money, but as you already know, I didn’t have any choice, but to say that I didn’t have any money. *sigh* Ok. It shouldn’t be heeled. It should be HELD. COMMAS COMMAS COMMAS. This could also be two sentences:” He HELD out his hand and asked me for money. But, sadly, I didn’t have any choice but to tell him I had no money. At which point, he got in my face, and said, in a loud threatening voice. OK. You need to stop with the “at which point” schtick. Find a thesaurus ro something. AND STOP WITH THE COMMAS FOR CRIPES SAKE.” He stepped toward me, breath reeking of stale cigarettes and cheap whiskey. His teeth green and rotted and his tongue coated with white sores.” Don’t give me that crap, man, look at you. You’ve wearing fine shoes, and fine clothes. Now give me some money. OK. This is a quote. Right? Dialog? Then you should have quotation marks around it. Dialogs start their own paragraphs as well. However, this should be fine. Plus it should be YOU’RE and not YOU’VE:” Don’t give me that crap, man. Just look at you wearing fine shoes and clothes. Give me the money, punk.” Needless to say, he scared the hell out of me, but I managed to return fire, and say, in an equally threatening voice. Drop the “needless to say” thing. It’s adding too many commas into your piece. Plus, if you’re going to follow this up with dialog, you need to use colons and QUOTATIONS MARKS:” Having been scared but unwilling to show it I answered him in an equally threatening tone:” Let me ask you man. Do you think, that if I had any money, that I would be down in this hole, with you, at three o’clock in the morning? No way man, I’d be up stars in a cab. With that being said, he laughed and went away. The first sentence should have a comma since you’re addressing someone:” Let me ask you something, man.” Way too many THATS as well: ”If I had any money do you think I’d be stuck in this hole with you at three o’clock in the morning?” No need to use man again because it becomes redundant. But, if you do, you a comma there: “Not a chance. I’d be up the STAIRS (not stars) riding in a cab.”
Enough with the preambles in EVERY sentence. It’s useless when done in the EXCESS you use it:” He stared me down making me more nervous than before. After an eternity, he smirked at me, laughed and walked away.”

You need to go back and do A LOT of work on this. You need to take a creative writing class or something.
But don’t be discouraged. This is just one critique
285 words, 37 commas
That’s, roughly, a comma every 7 words!
[COLOR=red]sfsd[COLOR]


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'Dying for being different is still better than living as a Sheep'-anon
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urian 
Posted: 20-Dec-2006, 12:56 PM
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OK, so I hit the post button before I could sort it out. No one's perfect.




Her name was Kitty and she called me Sweet Pea, being from New Orleans, and all. Except for the subway token I needed to get home with that night. (Period should be a comma otherwise it’s a fragment.)


I had spent all the cash I had, having taken Kitty out to dinner, down in the West Village, which was where she lived at the time. (HUH? That’s like two sentences in one. You need to find a way to reword this so it is more readable. Something like:” After taking Kitty to dinner in the West Village, Where she lived at the time, I was flat broke.” Or something like that.)



I’m not exactly sure what time it was, but I know it must have been around three in the morning. (Here you are using both past AND present tense. That needs to be rectified. Since you started with a word WAS I am going to assume it’s supposed to be in past tense so it should read more like:” I WASN’T sure what time it was(no comma) but I KNEW it must have been around dawn(or morning)).



When I dropped that token in the slot, and found my self, standing alone, on the subway platform, at Union Square, waiting for the up town Lexington Avenue. (Again,HUH? Firstly, you are way to comma happy. You need to use them less than what you did in this piece of flash fiction. 5 in one sentence is way too much. Secondly, I think it should be myself and not my self. I’m not really sure what your trying to say here but I’m trying. Maybe:” I found myself standing alone as I dropped the token and waited for the up town to Lexington from Union Square.)


Well, at least I thought I was alone, until I felt a shadow come over me, from behind. (Again with the commas. Drop the WELL and just say:” I thought I was alone until I felt a shadow come over me. Saying the shadow is from behind becomes redundant as you mention you turn around in the next sentence.)

At which point I turned, to see some huge homeless guy. Who had to be, at least twice my size, casting that shadow. (Ok, these should be one sentence. “Who had to be…” sounds like a question more than anything else.” Plus stop with the commas. They don’t make you sound like a better writer. The fact is that they are just breaking up the flow and causing confusion. If you wish to keep them separate sentences then reword the second sentence:” I turned to see a huge homeless man. He had to be twice my size if he were casting a shadow that large.”)


Of course he heeled out his hand, and asked me for some money, but as you already know, I didn’t have any choice, but to say that I didn’t have any money. (*sigh* Ok. It shouldn’t be heeled. It should be HELD. COMMAS COMMAS COMMAS. This could also be two sentences:” He HELD out his hand and asked me for money. But, sadly, I didn’t have any choice but to tell him I had no money. )

At which point, he got in my face, and said, in a loud threatening voice. (OK. You need to stop with the “at which point” schtick. Find a thesaurus ro something. AND STOP WITH THE COMMAS FOR CRIPES SAKE.” He stepped toward me, breath reeking of stale cigarettes and cheap whiskey. His teeth green and rotted and his tongue coated with white sores.” )


Don’t give me that crap, man, look at you. You’ve wearing fine shoes, and fine clothes. Now give me some money. (OK. This is a quote. Right? Dialog? Then you should have quotation marks around it. Dialogs start their own paragraphs as well. However, this should be fine. Plus it should be YOU’RE and not YOU’VE:” Don’t give me that crap, man. Just look at you wearing fine shoes and clothes. Give me the money, punk.” )

Needless to say, he scared the hell out of me, but I managed to return fire, and say, in an equally threatening voice. (Drop the “needless to say” thing. It’s adding too many commas into your piece. Plus, if you’re going to follow this up with dialog, you need to use colons and QUOTATIONS MARKS:” Having been scared but unwilling to show it I answered him in an equally threatening tone:”)

Let me ask you man. Do you think, that if I had any money, that I would be down in this hole, with you, at three o’clock in the morning? No way man, I’d be up stars in a cab. With that being said, he laughed and went away. (The first sentence should have a comma since you’re addressing someone:” Let me ask you something, man.” Way too many THATS as well: ”If I had any money do you think I’d be stuck in this hole with you at three o’clock in the morning?” No need to use man again because it becomes redundant. But, if you do, you a comma there: “Not a chance. I’d be up the STAIRS [not stars] riding in a cab.
Enough with the preambles in EVERY sentence. It’s useless when done in the EXCESS you use it:” He stared me down making me more nervous than before. After an eternity, he smirked at me, laughed and walked away.” )

You need to go back and do A LOT of work on this. You need to take a creative writing class or something.
But don’t be discouraged. This is just one critique
285 words, 37 commas
That’s, roughly, a comma every 7 words!
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Dec-2006, 02:30 PM
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Urian -- Much of the time, I agree with the substance of your critique. But your critique style is harsh, and also tends to call attention to itself rather than the writer under consideration. So with all due respect, you might also profit from taking a writing workshop, to learn some workshop protocol. But don't be discouraged -- this is just one writing teacher talking.
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urian 
Posted: 20-Dec-2006, 03:53 PM
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As someone who’s been published I know how hard it is to get out there and how brutal things can be. Hence the harsh critique. I don’t do the PC feel good reviews.

The publishing world isn't all nice and cushy. I've been picked apart and spat back out by fellow authors and editors alike. Sometimes even the acceptance letters are harsh.
If someone has the desire to publish their work they have to have a thick skin as it were. Otherwise they’re in for a lot of hurt feelings. It's a sad dose of reality but the publishing industry is so very cut throat that one can't go into it with rose colored glasses. To do so would be folly.

You think my critique too harsh? Sorry that I seem to have hurt your delicate sensibilities.

Mind you I’m assuming this but; in posting his work, he either wanted accolades or critiques. Accolades I don't give lightly. And I'm not a froo froo touchy feely kinda person. I'd rather give (and take) honest, forthright criticism than smoke being blown up my rear. I’m sure that, as a writing teacher, you can appreciate that.

In the long run, if he is to survive in the publishing world, he needs to know his faults and be able to take people being big meanie heads. If you want a real meanie head, ask someone like Piers Anthony to critique some work. He’s vicious. He makes me look like a harmless little ball of fluff. But I digress.

And, if he only wanted accolades, he should have specified he didn’t want reviews. None of this was personal. I offered my opinion on his work. Period.

“But don't be discouraged -- this is just one writing teacher talking.” Aww. I guess I’m supposed to feel hurt, huh? I’ll try really hard to sulk.

I call them as I see them. Very cut and dry. Like I said before, the publishing world is not a playground and people should be aware of that. But, hey, I’m just a published author. What do I know about things of that nature, huh?

Four posts in a day. I think I’ve broken my record for the past year. I’m gone. Maybe I’ll pop back in six months from now or so.

To Old raven, wizardofowls, Aaediwen, Haldur and any others that may remember me, Take care, God Bless, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Peace be with all of you in the coming year.
Urian Shokar Lightbringer


P.S. John, if you are looking for online writing communities that will help you in developing your work (let’s face it we all need help) try places like writing.com. They offer large communities with people that will help you to develop your work in the way that would fit your style.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Dec-2006, 07:25 PM
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QUOTE (urian @ 20-Dec-2006, 03:53 PM)

I call them as I see them. Very cut and dry. Like I said before, the publishing world is not a playground and people should be aware of that. But, hey, I’m just a published author. What do I know about things of that nature, huh?


Yes, sir. So am I. And I hold by my comment -- there's rigor and there's rudeness. No more about how rude dudes in the fantasy and sci-fi industry treat each other -- I'm aware of it. The change starts with you.

You are not merely "calling it as you see it," and it is not cut and dry -- you are delivering a style of commentary that says more about you than it does about the writer, and it really appears to be a calculated effect intended to hold up your own persona. And if you believe that rigor delivered without harshness is touchy-feely and not credible, then on a scale of one to ten, you know about one and ten, but not two through nine.

This is not about "delicate sensibilities," either -- it's about using the full range of your command of language to increase the probability someone will take and use your comments, instead of rejecting them.
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John Clements 
Posted: 21-Dec-2006, 01:07 PM
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Thanks stoirmeil, you can play defense for me any time. Maybe I just dictate my stories from now on, and have someone else do the grammar and spelling for me.

Thanks
JC
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