Open Pen

3 a.m. Thoughts: An Open Pen Critique

This Saturday, we have a long fiction excerpt from Readloveexpress22, who blogs over at Read Love Express. Though she welcomed any critique, Readloveexpress22 particularly asked for feedback on her “showing not telling,” description, and grammar.

Thank you for stopping by, and if you have the time, I know that Readloveexpress22 would love to have your feedback on this piece.

The current queue for Open Pen is as follows:

  • Beforetheflames (May 7th)
  • Sami P. (May 14)

If you would like to submit a piece of writing to be critique, you can read the rules and submit on the Open Pen page.

God bless,

Gabrielle

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3 AM Thoughts by readloveexpress22

By the end of yesterday , I was exhausted. After sobbing for hours with attacks raking my body , I had slumped against the sleeping bag tired. Yet , sleep was far from me. I ached to sleep but unfortunately I was unable to do so. I caught about 3 hours of sleep before I woke up again. So , here I am , awake at 3 AM , hopelessly exhausted but unable to sleep. I got up Quietly and left the tent to get some fresh air. I let the cold air hit me as it slightly pricks my skin. The area is silent and wind is howling causing the fallen leaves to sway to the music of the wind. A grim silence has been cast over the camp-site. All are asleep. The birds are perched upon their trees trying to get some sleep. The silence of the woods is broken occasionally by the faint rustling in the bushes created by some animals. I wonder what the hare must be thinking as it slowly creeped through the bushes. Is it unable to sleep like me? Is it hungry and in search of food? Is there a particular reason for it being awake at this hour? Does it know itself that it about 3 or 4 in the morn? My thoughts are broken by the familiar twang of a bow. It’s the sound that bow which a certain boy held in his hand. Dad always told me ,” Every bow will have its own sound. The twang of my bow and that of William’s are not the same. The sound your bow makes is resonant to the beat of your heart. For the bow and your heart are both set to the same beat. Always remember , what sound a person’s bow makes Alyssa. If that sound connects with you heart it means that person connects with you.”

I follow the harmonious sound of his bow until I reach a clearing where I see my very own Adonis shooting the hell out of an old willow tree. I feel the beats of own heart matching that of his bow. I watch as he carefully pulls out his arrow from the bark of the tree. He slips the arrows back into his quiver. He seems so at ease with his weapon. It is said that a true hunter knows which weapon connects with his soul. It is sort of like Harry Potter with his wand. I know it all seems a bit weird. But to a hunter , a good weapon is what connects with his soul. He doesn’t choose his weapon but the weapon chooses him. I remember the first time Dad took me to get a weapon. Most girls asked for a Barbie or a doll house. Being born in the family I was , I always asked for a weapon. I still remember I walked in the shop at a mere age of 9 wanting to get a sword cause I thought they were cool and I could look like a ninga. However , when I picked up a dagger I felt a spark which I didn’t feel with the sword. That day , I bought my first ever dagger. I still carry it with me to mark my journey as a hunter. I don’t go anywhere without it. Later on, once I mastered my daggers ; I moved on to knives, spears and swords. I don’t connect as much with them as I do with daggers. However , my knives are a close second.

As I watched Adonis shoot I realized that his weapon had chosen him and he had chosen it as well. He looked at it with a feeling of safety. I noticed that it was damaged and could snap any second. His bow seemed to be really fragile and hence , he treated it with care. I shift my attention to his body and face. His lips set in a firm , thin line he looks formidable. His stance is defensive and aggressive at the same time. The cheery , cocky Adonis I know is replaced by an emotionless model of him. Looking closely at his features, I can notice the sadness in his eyes covered by an ice cold , steely gaze. His lips tremble once in a while which he quickly covers by moulding them into a thin firm line. He looks sad and misunderstood. His earlier boyish looks are replaced by that of a person who has seen a lot of pain in life. He momentarily looks up at the sky as though praying to some unknown deity up there. A split second of vulnerability passes on his face but it is gone as fast as it had come. His pain and hurt is not visible but in those striking eyes of his a pool of raw pain is floating.

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18 thoughts on “3 a.m. Thoughts: An Open Pen Critique”

  1. Hi Readloveexpress22! You’ve written a beautiful piece, I enjoyed reading it! I’m afraid I won’t be able to help you with grammar (I’m absolutely terrible at grammar myself) but I can point out some things that caught my eye …

    : ‘By the end of yesterday , I was exhausted.’ (the last bit sounded like telling, and the time reference felt a little strange to me.)
    : ‘I had slumped against the sleeping bag tired.’ (I think this was a little telling too, and I think this sentence could use a comma before the word tired.)
    : Yet , sleep was far from me. (I don’t think a comma is needed after the word yet, and maybe this sentence could be connected to the previous sentence)
    : I caught about 3 hours of sleep before I woke up again. (I would change the word sleep to the word rest, since Alyssa said she couldn’t get any sleep)
    : Quietly (This word doesn’t need a capital letter)
    : I let the cold air hit me as it slightly pricks my skin (Maybe consider changing ‘cold air’ to ‘cold breeze’ and I would say ‘and it slightly pricks my skin’ instead of ‘as it slightly pricks my skin’, because with the way it is now, the actions are a bit backwards)
    : The area is silent and wind is howling (I would change this a bit because they contradict each other)
    : causing the fallen leaves to sway to the music of the wind (possibly change it to ‘to sway to its music)
    : The birds are perched upon their trees trying to get some sleep. (I would say ‘perched upon their trees, eyes shut in slumber’, since you’ve used the word ‘sleep’ many times already)
    : broken occasionally (I think it would read a little better if the order of the words was swapped)
    : Always remember , what sound a person’s bow makes Alyssa (I don’t think a comma is needed after ‘always remember’)
    : I feel the beats of own heart matching that of his bow. (I think there was a typo here?)
    : It is sort of like Harry Potter with his wand. (The reference is Harry Potter is neat, but it seemed a little out of place here)
    : I know it all seems a bit weird. But to a hunter , a good weapon is what connects with his soul. (Maybe connect these two sentences? I think they would go really well together.)
    : He doesn’t choose his weapon but the weapon chooses him. (I think a semi-colon could be used here (He doesn’t choose his weapon; the weapon chooses him)
    : I walked in (this was a little hard to read, I would replace it with ‘walking into’)
    : Ninga (typo?)
    : I don’t connect as much with them as I do with daggers. (I would add the word ‘but’ at the beginning of this sentence)
    : However , my knives are a close second. (I think this can probably be cut since it doesn’t add much to the scene)
    : I noticed that it was damaged and could snap any second (I couldn’t quite tell what you were talking about in this sentence, his look or the bow.)
    : I shift my attention to his body and face (Maybe remove the words ‘his body’; it seems like that would make the sentence flow a little better)
    : His lips set in a firm , thin line he looks formidable. (I think that adding the word ‘and’ before ‘he looks formidable’ would help the flow.)

    Sorry that was so long (and if I sounded really nit-picky), I hope I was able to help! Again, this was a really great piece Readloveexpress22, and I liked it a lot! The idea of a weapon connecting with the hunter is really cool, I absolutely loved that! It was awesome :). And the names you thought of are really great, too!
    Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much! All of your critiques made so much sense and I will definitely keep them in mind. Sorry for the few typos in between. Thanks for the help with grammar and the punctuations and basically everything. I was first going reply to every point but I didnt see the point cause whatever you said really made sense.
      Also, the line ” I noticed that it was damaged….snap any second” is meant for both Adonis and the bow. Even though the bow is frail I feel that Adonis himself is broken inside and very damaged and that as she thinks the sentence she realizes that he too is damaged and could snap any second. Does that make sense?

      It really isn’t nit picky. I’m always happy to get critiques and any advice. You helped a lot. I am so glad that you liked the piece. Thank you so much 🙂

      Like

  2. Hello Readloveexpress22, Sami here! I agree with Savannah, the idea of a weapon was cool, but when the main character Alyssa was talking about choosing her weapon it felt less like showing and more like telling. Also, in the first paragraph, the word quietly is capitalized, which looked a bit strange. Other than that and what Savannah mentioned above, I liked your story, it was great.
    Have a good weekend! 😀
    P.S. The name Adonis is awesome. 🙂 How’d you come up with it? I have so much trouble coming up with names, especially good ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sami ! I am glad you liked the idea of a weapon. Quietly being capitalized was a typo haha so sorry about that. Thank 🙂
      P.S. hahaha the idea for Adonis came from the main character finding him extremely good looking and charming. Adonis is a greek god of beauty and desire. So Alyssa calls him Adonis cause she finds resemblance between the two 🙂
      Finding good names is honestly not that hard. What I do is look through names online and then search for names I connect with. Then I narrow them down to 3 or 4 I can’t choose between. I write a few sentences I think the character would say and see which name fits better with the personality of the character in the sentences. Does that make sense?

      Like

  3. I loved the creativity in your story! The only critique I have is that I found it confusing to tell if you were writing in past-tense or present-tense. It seemed liked you switched between the two, but maybe it was just me. (I have trouble with proper tense-use, so I probably am not the best person to give advice on this area, anyway.) Again, overall great job, Readloveexpress22! It definitely made me want to keep reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, readloveexpress22!

    Thanks for being so patient and waiting for my critique. I’ve had a rough week or so.

    I thought that you did a great job with your description and finding creative metaphors and other figurative language to describe the setting and emotions, and I enjoyed your story overall.

    The biggest problems you had were with consistent tense, showing rather than telling, and putting too much backstory and exposition where the reader wanted action.

    I’ve e-mailed you my critique, since I put the comments directly in a Word document for easy use. Let me know if you have any questions!

    God bless,
    Gabrielle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was worth the wait! Is everything okay? IF you ever need to talk just message!

      Thank you. I’ll keep those in mind. I really enjoyed your critiques! Thank you for the taking the time out for me!

      Have a nice day,
      Readloveexpress x

      Like

      1. Thanks for asking. I am doing okay, but I am really struggling with distraction and finding motivation to write. So I am trying to work around that. Hopefully, I will have a better week with that this week!
        You’re welcome! I am happy to 🙂
        God bless,
        Gabrielle

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoyed the whole idea behind your submission! One thing I noticed when I started reading that threw me off a bit was that there was a space between the words and commas. It may have been a weird formatting thing or something similar, though.

    Another place I noticed that was kind of off was in this section:
    Dad always told me ,” Every bow will have its own sound. The twang of my bow and that of William’s are not the same. The sound your bow makes is resonant to the beat of your heart. For the bow and your heart are both set to the same beat. Always remember , what sound a person’s bow makes Alyssa. If that sound connects with you heart it means that person connects with you.”

    The quotation mark in the beginning is facing the wrong way and is separated from “every” by a space. “‘For the bow and your heart are both set to the same beat'” isn’t a complete sentence and would probably flow better if it was connected to the one before it, for example “The sound your bow makes is resonant to the beat of your heart, for the bow and your heart are both set to the same beat.” Like Savannah Perran said, you don’t need a comma after “remember.” Finally, you missed the “r” in your in the last sentence.

    I really enjoyed this excerpt, though, and would probably keep reading! Also, like Sami P, I agree that the name “Adonis” is pretty awesome. Good luck with your writing and God bless!

    MaryAnn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi MaryAnn,

      Thank you so much for taking the time out to help me out and critique my piece.

      I am so glad you liked the idea. THe words and commas was a formatting problem which I didn’t catch until after the submission but thanks fr pointing it out and I’ll keep it in mind. I didn’t notice that the quotation mark was facing the wrong way. I’ll make sure I change that. Yes the flow is better on connecting the 2 sentences. Thanks for pointing out the little things.

      I am so glad that you liked and that you would keep reading.

      Thank you for everything!

      Have a good day1

      Readloveexpress

      Like

  6. Reblogged this on ReadLoveExpress and commented:
    Hey guys! One of my really good friends critiqued an excerpt of my writing. If y’all would like to comment or critique or let me know, please do so! I really loom forward to hearing about what everyone think!

    Like

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