Open Pen

Don’t Believe Us: An Open Pen Critique

I am finally getting started on the Open Pen submissions that were sent over the summer!

Open Pen is a critique opportunity that I run on this blog. Anyone is welcome to submit a work through the form on the bottom of the Open Pen page so long as they have offered constructive feedback for someone else. Unless the author requests otherwise, I post the piece on my blog, send them feedback from myself, and anyone else can offer feedback.

Today, we have a short, non-fiction piece from Readloveexpress22 who blogs over at A Writer’s Paradise. She would like to know how the emotions come across and how you interact with the imaginative nature of her descriptions, but she is happy to hear other feedback as well.

Thank you for taking the time to make a few comments on her piece. Even short, simply comments are very helpful.

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, though I will warn you that I have quite the queue going at the moment so it may be a while before your piece is posted.

Merry Christmas and God bless,



Don’t Believe Us, Writers and Poets by Readloveexpress22

Don’t believe us writers and poets, when we write about the realities and philosophies of life. We’ll make it dramatic in a way, so that you won’t even realize when we’ve gone to the depths of your hearts and seized the emotions that you have hidden behind closed doors.

We’ll show you the stars as they make love to galaxies. We’ll show you the sun-kissed love of two best friends. We’ll show you the resplendent dance of lost love as their owner’s eyes flit to each other across distances. We’ll show you the glorious domination between two broken hearts as they search for an escape through sensual touches and warm, honey-dripped words. We’ll show you the drowning ocean in that boy’s eyes who broke your heart in high school. We’ll remind you of how the girl you met in college tasted of wild, raspberries and sunshine. We’ll make you fantasize about how you’ll love the fire your soul mate will set you on. We’ll make you cherish that burning need for him that will send tingles through your entire being, paralyzing you so no one but him can revive you. We’ll make you remember how your crush waving at you breathed life back into your gasping lungs that was starving for her.

We’ll show you the purples, blues and reds covering our skins as we let the ink empty out our souls onto this blank paper of nothingness. We’ll show you the agony we feel when the words choking our throats refuse to take the leap onto these overflowing preservations of our thoughts and emotions. We’ll romanticize our demons so our pain doesn’t seem anything like the nightmare it is. We’ll make it seem so beautifully addicting that soon you’ll find yourself craving our words of anguish because they make you feel. We’ll write so we can escape our hellish minds. We’ll use these words that strike the cords of your soul and make you move to the beats of our mania. We’ll make you feel what we do and convince you of the beauty underlying in it. Don’t believe us writers and poets as we stimulate your mind through our anxiety rich turmoil. We’ll escape into you reader’s lives without you even catching on. We’ll derive the juice for our madness from your secretive minds. When you think that you have an insight into our troubled minds, that’s when we’ll jump in and figure out the expanse of your mind. There is nothing more captivating to us writers than you who read the mortal words of our immortal labyrinths of arcane paroxysms.

Read our dramatic, passionate words stringed together with dripping emotions but don’t believe them. Don’t believe a word of what we write. Those eyes that we live to describe never emote as much as we portray. That boy whose eyes hold oceans who you find yourself getting lost in, will break your heart. That girl who tasted like the wild will run away; the wild never stay in one place. That’s life- reckless and all-consuming. The madness you see on these ink blotted papers are not you.
Don’t delude yourself into believing our words when we speak of heartbreak at 11 am while sipping the coffee they used to like. Don’t believe us even though our words are relatable. You’ll drown in our endless search for madness and metaphors. You’ll lose yourself so fast in these mesmerizing words and soon, you’ll just be skin and bones trained in these fanatic emotions of ours. Rawness is our way of reminding you of your old tender wounds, so we don’t feel alone in our insanity. We pull at our skin and cry out when our thoughts overwhelm us. We write with our shaky hands until the ink runs out or our hands are numb. We’re always on the brink of plague like madness. Don’t believe us or you’ll fall right in like us into this abyss. Don’t believe us writers and poets because we’ll turn you inside out. We’ll terrify you of the emotions that you are capable of feeling. Don’t believe us writers and poets.


3 thoughts on “Don’t Believe Us: An Open Pen Critique”

  1. I think the imagery of your work is beautiful: it engages the senses, is very emotive, and overall has a sweeping Romanticism to it which I think suits your subject matter very well; the idea that writers and poets sweep readers into their worlds by vividly relating to them via ‘universal’ subjective experiences and emotions. I would however suggest that you vary the sentence length a little bit, just to give the piece more rhythm and to make it a little easier on the reader (a lot of the sentences are quite long and it can be difficult to keep up with all the vivid images when we aren’t given a ‘mental break’, via a shorter sentence or a simpler image (I felt the need for this more in the second paragraph than anywhere else).

    I like how, structurally, you move from individual experiences (best friends, two broken hearts, the boy in high school, the girl in college) in your first paragraph to the more abstract elements (the writing process of the proclaimed ‘writers and poets’ and the connection their own experiences make with the reader); it seems to me, a natural progression. I did feel though that the last sentence of your first paragraph (beginning ‘we’ll make you remember how your crush…’) took away from momentum you were building; it just didn’t seem as strong an image to me (the image of someone waving to someone else it not nearly as strong as, say, the eyes of someone who broke your heart. It is entirely possible it is the way the image was presented that is lacking in intensity; maybe you were trying to present the sensations associated with ‘new love’ in contrast to the images of heart break before?). The syntax too seemed somewhat clunky. Perhaps reshape the image or end with the something else.

    My favorite thing about the piece is what I would envision as the climax and resolution (even if this is non-fiction and does not strictly follow narrative structure); the moment when you go back to the images you presented earlier and deconstruct them with a tad more realism, stripping them of the Romanticism you built up before. I think the shorter sentence structure also aids that. The sentence aren’t long and sweeping anymore; they are more short and to the point, almost abrupt, which reflects how you are essentially breaking the ‘myth’ you presented earlier.

    Once again I feel that the first sentence of your last paragraph in some way takes away from the momentum you build after it, mostly because the phrasing is a little unclear; a little reorganizing will mend that. Also, since the last paragraph has in many ways your most important and impactful points, I think it would be worth playing around with the structure to reflect that; so for example, you could consider indenting ‘We are always on the brink of plague like madness…’ as a new paragraph of its own (maybe even make the next sentence, ‘don’t believe us or you’ll fall…’, a part of it, with a semi colon instead of a full stop to join them together; the points might come of stronger if connected) since it summarizes your message as a whole quite aptly.

    Finally (at the risk of sounding overtly nitpicky, lol) to make the ending even more impactful, (in the way of it being a ‘last line reflects the first line and title’ ending) maybe cut out the phrase ‘writers and poets’ in the third last line (the line that goes ‘Don’t believe us…because we’ll turn you inside out’) just so that it can have the desired impact when you use the phrase as your last line (it sounds a little repetitive when used so close together and thus drains some power from the close of the piece).

    Over all, I enjoyed it very much (as you can tell from the absurdly long critique, haha). Great job!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your review 🙂 I will definitely take everything you said into consideration and work on the piece. Your review has been really helpful, I am grateful that you took the time out to send in this long review. Thank you 🙂


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