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Critique Request


New Member
I don't really have a title for the entire story yet...but what I wish to receive critique on is my prologue: A Dream...a Nightmare. http://www.furaffinity.net/view/4823841/
Summary: A dream setting of the main character's past (the main character is currently after the killer of his family. This scene is basically somewhat showing what took place...this description might seem a little off or lacking from what is in the story...but even in a story I feel it's best not to reveal every little aspect lol...but if needed I will explain more.)
Content: possibly the only thing that is graphic is the use of blood.
Critique: maybe some grammar issues I may have missed, the format of the story (first time I am writing in first person), and possibly any confusion that may come up from reading it.

M. LeRenard

Is not French
Just a quick note: you should review rules regarding proper style for punctuation. For example, in this story there's a massive overuse of ellipses (...) and exclamation points. Two exclamation points should never be used at the end of a sentence. Interrobangs (?!) and the like are also frowned upon.
Might as well refer you to Strunk and White (that's E.B. White, author of Charlotte's Web): http://www.crockford.com/wrrrld/style.html

Proper style will help people take your work more seriously, so it's good to know. This story's got good material, but it's hidden under the chat-room style punctuation, which lessens the dramatic effect significantly.


New Member
Ah ok. I wasn't really familiar with the rules of punctuation in writing. I'm not really used to writing stories. This one is actually my first decent attempt at one. I had thought of using ellipse as a way to show the trailing off of sentences, as well as to try and link many of my run on sentences. And about the interrobangs and multiple exclamation points, that I didn't know about as well. Right now I am revising my story to the best I can. Thank you for the critique. Also, I am leaving some ellipses in, not in disregard to your advice, but that I do not know what to use in order to keep the effect I am trying to have in the story.

Finished revising punctuations, so here is the link to the revised material.
Thank you again for the critique. If there are any more errors, or if there are still punctuation errors I need to fix, please let me know, and I will correct them.
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Mediocre Raccoon
It helps to emphasize the 'dream' aspect of the piece with the way you left the surroundings nearly unmentioned, focusing instead on the relativity of the mother and father to their child. This works to your advantage within this part, but be careful as you continue past the dream. In this dream, this memory, the important parts are made simple and clear: a mother, a father, their child, the book, the loss. After this, however, when a character is awake, the world around them is alive as well. If this is the writing style you were hoping to go with as you continue writing, I'd advise caution. While it highlights interaction and feeling, it could lend an almost constricted feel to things down the line.

Be careful about the amount of use of... Well, I'm not sure if they count as onomatopoeias, but for speech, be careful about using things like heh, haha, hmph, etc. With how often they pop up in the prologue, it's almost more like an IM log with notes stuck between which, to me, is a little dry. This might be more important, however, after the prologue. Like I expressed, for the dream, things work because it's all simple. The character dreaming could simply be experiencing things in such a dry manner because of how the conversation has faded in importance when he knows what's coming (the book) and is focusing his dread upon that. A lot of space can get filled up by taking sounds like that out of the speech, which could detract from the simplicity.

An example of what I mean (I'm going to change up two lines of speech)

"REALLY? Oh, thank you, mother! I'll take extra care of it."
"Heh. I'm glad you like it. Your father has something to give you as well."

"Really?" I almost shouted, the excitement nearly too much to bear, "Oh, thank you, mother! I'll take extra care of it."
Her soft chuckle was humbling. It was momentarily calming, but there were still surprises in store for me. Her gentle voice rang out as she smiled at me, "I'm glad you like it. Your father has something to give you as well."

If simplicity for the prologue was your goal, sticking with the bold, your version, would be my recommendation.
If you wanted to paint the picture in more detail, consider whether or not you want to stretch the prologue out by being more descriptive. Nuances of speech can be described outside the quotation marks, like his voice trailed off as he thought in the case of an ellipse.

In the end, it's all about forging a style that you feel expresses the story and your self the most. Don't be afraid to test the limits of accepted rules of writing if what you want to convey works better in your own style. Finding your own style and honing it is a long journey, but I like to think that every word you put down brings you closer!