|Re: I haven't even thought of a title yet.. ._.|
Subject: Re: I haven't even thought of a title yet.. ._.
by MarianFrae on 2011/10/23 15:20:32
Alright, before I unleash my inner critic, I feel I should let you know up front that I am neither going to attack nor baby you. What I say in critique is honest and pointed out because you have asked for critique. Once I have finished with the technical bits, I will go into what I liked and what things you *might* want to change because of style... or even what you could elaborate on should it suit you. I want to help you just as I have been helped in the past.
multitasking between answering messages from people she did like with monosyllablic acts of recognition and ignoring messages from people she didn't while walking down two hallways and the spiral staircase which led to her own dining room.
You might want to consider rephrasing this sentence so that her deliberate ignorance of the wants of those people she dislikes be presented first so that the more detailed description of her responses doesn’t swallow the sentence. I had to reread to realize what you were saying because there was so much information between “did like” and “didn’t while” that I was wondering what exactly she “didn’t” do.
An easy fix would be a simple switch with a bit of phrasing touch up:
multitasking between ignoring messages from those she disliked and performing monosyllabic acts of recognition for those she did like while walking [the] two hallways and spiral staircase which led to her own dining room.
I’ve changed a bit in there such as switching where you find “the” in the latter part of the sentence and correcting the spelling from “monosyllablic” to “monosyllabic”... but I still have a couple of suggestions for you. instead of saying that she’s “multitasking between” I would suggest using a word such as alternating or switching. If you’re using the verb “multitasking” to emphasize that she’s texting while walking, you’ll want to do a bit of sentence rearranging. However, if the actions you’re emphasizing are those of ignoring and recognizing, then multitasking is not truthfully a suitable word. She has one phone and she is doing one thing with that one object--responding to messages she deems worthy, one at a time.
As she turned the corner and descended the last few steps, she saw daddy making funny faces at her little brother Benjamen, who was giggling madly in his high chair.
Alright... so far, you’ve been writing in third person. There are two things wrong with your use of “daddy”. The first is that, because you’re using it as a proper noun and not a descriptive noun precceeded by a possessive (her daddy), the word should be capitalized. Secondly, by just saying “Daddy”, it appears that the narrator must actually be a part of that family--a sibling.
This is mainly just a style thing, but this whole sentence is a bit awkward to me. You don’t have to take this advice, obviously... but the way I’d write this sentence goes something like:
Coming down the stairs, she was greeted by the giggling madness of her little brother and her father’s deliberate, goofy faces.
Regardless of which sentence structure you use, you can transition directly from that sentence into the morning greetings. Because her father is entertaining the baby, I would suggest having her greet *them* first. In that way, you can introduce Benjamen’s name through dialog and address the fact that he’s in a high chair without clogging up the first sentence. It also, in my opinion, adds a bit of believability. When people are making faces at babies and entertaining them, they normally don’t notice someone new until that someone makes a noise.
"Morning, gorgeous! Sleep well?" Her father grinned.
Once again, this is just a stylistic suggestion you can take or leave. instead of saying “grinned” I would suggest being a bit more descriptive. He could be grinning in any way here. Often, when I see a question directly followed by someone grinning, I assume maliciousness or teasing. I don’t think this is the case here... but that’s my first thought because that’s how a lot of people show it subtly. What I would suggest is saying something like:
"Morning, gorgeous! Sleep well?" her father called out brightly, looking up with a smile.
It not only pushes away thoughts of teasing or maliciousness... but it adds a suburban innocence to the tone of the conversation as well. They’re not just a family--they’re one that loves to associate with each other. These parents aren’t too busy for her even though there’s a small child now.
Her father laughed. "What she said."
I used to do this sort of thing in my writing all the time... then a literature teacher of mine asked me to keep a literal tally of how many times in a MONTH someone said “what he/she said” in response to someone else answering a question. I think my tally was around 2-5. Most people are concerned with getting their own word in... so they’ll acknowledge the other person is right and add something of their own. Changing “What she said.” to something like “Sounds good, doesn’t it?” creates a more realistic dialog. Once again, this is a style issue that you can choose to ignore or follow.
From there, things get a bit iffy for me. You’ve thrown us into a sea of pre-existence with only half a life raft. Breakfast went on as usual... but she doesn’t seem to be handling things like she normally would. She and her friends always or never do this. It might help if you avoided the absolutes like “every”, “never”, “usually”, etc. Those words are very off-putting to many readers because it’s like you’re giving them rules. Instead of speaking about the past and the present... try things like “Though she heard what her friends said, she couldn’t be sure she’d listened to a single word.”
Now... once you get to the burger joint, you’ve lost me. I have no idea what happened to her. I’d suggest a bit more clarity here.
Over all, this is a good story. I think, because of the writer’s block, you were forced to try too hard. That’s alright--it’s why you find editors. Your story has great potential and I can see you’re a pretty good writer... but trying too hard is the bane of any creative attempt.
I hope I’ve helped. If you have any questions or comments, lemme know!