I Bite
03-13-2007, 02:19 PM
I figured i might as well put some of my stuff up...for brutally honest critism and such...If I can get my courage together, I'll post one of my stories...But for right now, just a descriptive paragraph i had to do for school.

He woke up to the sound of rushing water and chirping birds. A slight breeze lifted the green leaves from their branches. He sat up slowly, looking all around him. He was sitting on a moss-covered rock, next to a river, with water clear as ice. A faint mist was in the air. He looked around the bend. There, coming off a cliff, was a waterfall. Tons of fast-moving water dropping down on the rocks below it fed the river. He looked up. Sunlight streamed between the thick tree leaves. Leaves from trees so thick that five grown men could not wrap their arms around the base of one trunk. He cautiously turned around. The grass on the ground was green and flourishing, soft to the touch. The snap of a twig made him jump up, alert and ready to fight. He turned towards the sound to see two deer, a doe and her fawn, drinking at the river.

Here's another one, again for school.

The clouds were dark on the horizon. As I stood on the porch watching, I could feel the tension in the air. There is a certain smell right before a storm hits, one different from any other. It is a sweet smell, almost sickly, but not quite. The haze was growing; it was getting hard to see, but I strained my eyes looking at the sky. It was changing colors now, going from a deep black to a pale green color. Lightning flashed in the distance and thunder followed. The clouds were rolling, circling each other. They were getting closer. As I stood staring at the sky, I felt a tingle roll through my body. Lightning flashed before my eyes! BOOM! The thunder roared, pounding through my entire body, like someone had struck me with a giant hammer. I quickly ran inside and into my basement, waiting for the storm to subside. Waiting for those green clouds to change back into white, and for everything to become normal again.

Laerasyn
03-14-2007, 09:28 AM
Pretty cool! I like both of them, but especially the second one. It has that ominous (sp?) quality of a storm... I saw the picture perfectly. The first one was intriging too, I just didn't think it had quite as much of a gripping feel as the other. I'd be interested to see if a story came of that, though... or if it came from a story...
As far as criticism, the only technical thing I can come up with is that I would question the use of the word "tons" in the sentence that begins "tons of fast-moving water." It may be just an opinion thing, but it just seems a bit too slang-ish and informal and doesnt fit with the scene you've created.
That's about it... I'd definetly be interested to read more if you wanted to post it.

unshakeable15
03-14-2007, 04:54 PM
The clouds were dark on the horizon. As I stood on the porch watching, I could feel the tension in the air. There is a certain smell right before a storm hits, one different from any other. It is a sweet smell, almost sickly, but not quite. The haze was growing; it was getting hard to see, but I strained my eyes looking at the sky. It was changing colors now, going from a deep black to a pale green color. Lightning flashed in the distance and thunder followed. The clouds were rolling, circling each other. They were getting closer. As I stood staring at the sky, I felt a tingle roll through my body. Lightning flashed before my eyes! BOOM! The thunder roared, pounding through my entire body, like someone had struck me with a giant hammer. I quickly ran inside and into my basement, waiting for the storm to subside. Waiting for those green clouds to change back into white, and for everything to become normal again.
i agree that this was the stronger one. i noted one phrase that stands out as both unnecessary and non-descriptive. i would say "if it's so unlike any other smell, what's it smell like" but you go into that in the next sentence. i would just take it out.

The reason the second one is better than the first is that it begins immediately with a place that, lacking the full description to come, you can still imagine. The other one, in the woods, it like watching Bob Ross paint a picture. He's telling you what he's doing, but you can't see it or understand how anything fits together until he's done with the painting.

A way to correct this would be to change things around a bit. Instead of "He woke up to the sound of rushing water and chirping birds," try "It was the sound of the rushing water and chirping birds that woke him." Passive, i know, and teachers are adamantly against the passive voice, but i think it would work better. Take the emphasis off the man in the woods and put it on the woods.

I Bite
03-14-2007, 05:09 PM
Pretty cool! I like both of them, but especially the second one. It has that ominous (sp?) quality of a storm... I saw the picture perfectly. The first one was intriging too, I just didn't think it had quite as much of a gripping feel as the other. I'd be interested to see if a story came of that, though... or if it came from a story...
As far as criticism, the only technical thing I can come up with is that I would question the use of the word "tons" in the sentence that begins "tons of fast-moving water." It may be just an opinion thing, but it just seems a bit too slang-ish and informal and doesnt fit with the scene you've created.
That's about it... I'd definetly be interested to read more if you wanted to post it.

Yah..I put both up because the first one is quite a bit older than the second...And i wanted to see how people compared them...And the first one was kinda setting up a scene for a fantasy story..that i never wrote. ;D


i agree that this was the stronger one. i noted one phrase that stands out as both unnecessary and non-descriptive. i would say "if it's so unlike any other smell, what's it smell like" but you go into that in the next sentence. i would just take it out.

You're right. I shall do that.

A way to correct this would be to change things around a bit. Instead of "He woke up to the sound of rushing water and chirping birds," try "It was the sound of the rushing water and chirping birds that woke him." Passive, i know, and teachers are adamantly against the passive voice, but i think it would work better. Take the emphasis off the man in the woods and put it on the woods.

Again, you are correct. I like the way you did it better.
Thanks for all the tips.

unshakeable15
03-14-2007, 09:09 PM
Again, you are correct. I like the way you did it better.
Thanks for all the tips.
i'm a writer. It's my forté. :)

You're welcome.

dawn of light
03-21-2007, 07:18 AM
Tons of fast-moving water dropping down on the rocks below it fed the river.
I find this whole sentence a little bit awkward.

I'm not really a writer, but I read enough to recognize when something sounds awkward. So maybe someone else has a better suggestion for this sentence, but here's mine:
Fast moving water rushed into the river below it.

riz
03-22-2007, 07:44 AM
Or: All the water cascaded over the edge and into the river below.

("Tons" is what really puts me off to the sentence, despite the clunkiness of it...)