Date: 08/04/15 12:02 am Title: Chapter 2 - The Swimsuit
Okay. I said I would check out the next chapter, and I have. I'm not quite sure I'm interested in where this story is going. However, my reservations aside, this isn't a bad little story. I hope you keep up with it and have fun writing it. Good luck.
Date: 08/02/15 07:49 pm Title: Chapter 1 - The mistake
I would like to leave a rating because nobody has done so yet, but as nothing much has happened yet, I feel that it wouldn't be quite fair. As far as your writing abilities go, your mechanics seem okay. Your verb tenses flip flop a bit, and I caught a couple typos, but otherwise it's not bad. You've got decent flow and paragraph structuring, and you seem to know how to keep the story moving and easy to read.
On of my main issues with the story (and they really aren't big issues) is that your sentence structure can be kinda weird. For example:
"It was a trip like any other, and on the flight home I was quite tired as it was the red eye flight out of the airport."
The elements of this sentence could be restructured to flow better:
"It was a fairly boring plane ride, and since I had caught the red-eye flight I was quite tired."
All I did was restructure the sentence and shrink it. I cut out "out of the airport" because it was self-evident (planes always leave airports), and because it cluttered up the sentence with extra words at the end. I also shifted the order of the elements (red-eye flight, and tiredness) so as to follow a cause-effect pattern, which is much easier to read. As written, the effect (tired) comes before the cause (red-eye flight). By changing the wording of the first half of the sentence, I gave more information. Instead of just telling the reader that there was a trip (road? boat? plane? train? bike? hike?), I informed them that it was a plane ride. I shrunk the sentence to make it easier to read. Being concise (say what you want to say in as few words as possible) is very helpful when trying to keep the flow of a story moving smoothly.
Now, you don't have to analyze every sentence, but it helps to keep in mind cause and effect order (cause always comes before effect), redundant information (can I cut it?), and conciseness (how can I say this in as few words as possible?). You need to be careful with that last point though, because a paragraph of short sentences quickly gains a jerky, staccato feel. It, sounds, like, this, in, your, head, and, that's, not, any, fun, to, read. Be sure to have long and mid-length sentences with your short sentences to keep the reader interested, but don't lengthen sentences just to have long sentences. Take the following paragraph:
I start short. It's an easy introduction. The paragraph draws the reader in. Here, I add in commas. Once I get to the middle of the paragraph, I'm writing longer sentences. As I approach the end they can get more complicated and lyrical. You start to hear music in the words as the pace gradually builds. It rises to a crescendo with a long, complicated sentence with lots of different parts; a sweet symphony of words. Then it ends.
By starting with short sentences it's easier for the reader to get into it. As you get into the story, the reader builds momentum and you can use longer sentences without them wondering when a period will come. Vary the length of each sentence so it doesn't feel repetitive or endless.
My other main issue is that you tend to rush through things that could benefit from a deeper description. That second paragraph? You have like five different things going on there. A good rule of thumb for paragraphs is to make a new one every time the subject changes, the point of view changes, or the speaker changes. You start with the airport. Describe that. Make me see it in my mind's eye. After you've finished with that, do the same thing with the next action/point/location/description/snide musing/whatever. You don't have to write an essay describing the airport: we've all been in one. You do need to show your character in the airport though. A few sentences should do fine, and make the scene feel much realer (totally a word).
That's all. I hope my random musings help, and (assuming I remember) I'll check your next update to see where the story's going.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review. I will admit I am not the best author by far. So your advice is much appreciated and I will do my best to try and put it to good use. Joanne