Short excerpt chapter 1 - Jessica

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Glitch

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I say short but it's about 2,500 words, I've written many ides down but this is the first I've actually decided I want to try and finish.

It's a fantasy tale set in modern times and I've written the first chapter as the calm before the storm to try and give the reader a connection to the main character.

All feedback welcome, good and bad, as any feedback can only help me to improve the story, hopefully you will enjoy and be wanting more!!

Jessica stared up at the sky, watching the clouds thinking how peaceful it must be up there, sweeping her hand across the sky.
‘If it wasn’t for all the clouds it would be a lovely sunny day.’
‘It’s the middle of December; even if it were sunny I’d still be bloody cold.’
Jo always says what’s on her mind; the girls are sat on a car roof in the university car park, the fire alarm is still ringing its heart out as it had been for the last hour, everyone is gathered outside in what seems like organised chaos.
‘Where’s Amy?’
Jessica looks around scouting the crowd for her other close friend, Jo’s busy painting her fingernails black.
‘I told her to find out what’s happening’
Jessica looks at her.
‘Why didn’t you find out for yourself?’
Jo’s now inspecting her nails and blowing them.
‘What’s the point in having a patsy if you do everything yourself?’
Jessica nudges Jo and looks back at the crowd trying to spot Amy.
‘She’s not your patsy.’
Jo who’s more interested in her appearance then what’s going on around her and rummages around in Jessica’s bag for some tissues.
‘So you’ve never asked her to do something you couldn’t be bothered to do yourself?’
She doesn’t disagree, Amy is the youngest of the three girls and always wants’ to please, they’ve been friends since junior school, but Jo was right, she had used Amy to do things she couldn’t be bothered, not that Amy ever objected, ok well maybe she did sometimes but Jessica could always convince her without much trouble, Jo on the other hand just tended to be bossy or threatening.
‘She’s a dumb blonde anyway.’
Jessica looks at Jo slightly confused,
‘Aren’t you a natural blonde too?’
Jo looks up, seems that struck a chord, her hair’s jet black but she is naturally blonde.
‘How many blonde Goths have you seen?’
Jessica sighs and looks away it isn’t worth arguing with her when she starts talking about gothic stuff, even when she’s wrong she always wins the argument, anyway Jessica’s in a happy mood for a change, they only have a week left until the Christmas holiday and her older sister Katherine is coming home for the new year, they haven’t seen each other since she left for Australia after the money from her trust fund came through, their father had created one for each of the girls to be released when they turned twenty-one, Katherine went less than a week after her twenty first birthday, her mother had objected but couldn’t stop her leaving, both older girls were closer to their father and always sided with him to the annoyance of their mother, Jessica’s little sister Abbey was only nine when their father died and because of their mothers drinking habits Abbey became much closer to her than her mother, Jessica thinks her mother is jealous of how close they are and is the reason she treats her as she does, not that she was much of a mother to any of them in the first place.
Jessica’s only nineteen and has to wait a few years to gain access to her trust fund, a option she’s been considering is joining Katherine in Australia but she knows her mother would never let her take Abbey and the thought of leaving her behind especially with her mothers and boyfriend Derek on the scene, is the only thing holding her back.
Jessica doesn’t like Derek, he was a business associate of her fathers, Jessica first met him when he came to their house for dinner, Derek was interested in investing money in her father’s business, although it was something he later regretted as the money was borrowed from some shady characters, Derek used money from the business to pay them off, he also started taking money to pay other debts he owed, she often saw them arguing, then Derek started coming round the house when her father wasn’t there, he’d say he was dropping papers off or other lame excuses but it was obvious to Jessica and Katherine that their mother was having an affair with him, whenever they tried to talk to their father about it he would always change the subject, they assumed he knew but they never discussed it.
It wasn’t long after their father died that Derek started spending more time at the house, at first he would stay the night, then weekends, before too long it had seemed like he’d moved in, the only times he wasn’t there was when he was away on business, or as Jessica thought, he was living with another rich widow somewhere else in the country.

The crowd starts to disperse and Jessica sees Amy making her way over to them, she turns to Jo.
‘It looks like there sending everyone home,’
Realising a small portion of the crowd is also making their way to the car par,
‘Whose car are we sitting on anyway?’
Jo’s busy trying to wipe nail polish off her new jeans.
‘I thought you knew.’
‘How would I know? I followed you’
Jessica takes a hair clip from her bag to put her hair up as Amy gets to them and shields her eyes from the sun as she looks up.
‘That sun’s bright; didn’t the forecast say rain?’
They both look up, sure enough the sun is shining brightly and there’s barley a cloud in the sky.
‘I blame Jessica’
Jo says as she puts the nail polish in Jessica’s bag, its Jo’s nail polish but she put’s stuff in Jessica’s bag so she knows where they are when she wants them.
‘My fault’
Jessica protests her innocence as the girls climb down off the car room.
‘You said it would be a lovely sunny day if it weren’t for the clouds’
‘Yeah, but come on, how could I make all the clouds vanish?’
Jo turns to Amy and sarcastically says
‘I think she’s a witch, things often come true after she talks about it.’
Jessica looks up at the sky
‘Oh look a flying pig’
The others look but see nothing,
‘Dam I haven’t got that spell right yet’
‘Oh ha ha’
Amy butt’s in
‘So I have a witch and a vampire for friends’
Jo hits Amy on the shoulder and loudly protests
‘I’m not a ******** vampire you bimbo’
Without a second thought Amy tells them what’s going on with the fire alarm, apparently they can’t find where the fault‘s coming from so are sending everyone home for the day, before she’d even finished the sentence the girls start walking, rather than get squashed in the crowd heading out the front gate they decided to go the back way, it only adds a few minutes onto their journey and they aren’t in any particular rush now the possibility of getting soaked by the rain has gone.

Walking down the high street they spot some guys from the university hanging around outside one of the shops, they don’t appear to have noticed the girls yet and their hoping they don’t, these are the not nicest of guys on campus, they get their kicks from the misfortune of others, recently Jo wore a tight tee-shirt and it was quite evident that she had a pierced nipple, now these guys keep making a big deal out of it hoping she’ll flash them to make them go way, unfortunately it doesn’t take long for one of the guys to spot the girls and start shouting across the street at them, Jessica thinks to herself.
‘I wish they’d all just disappear.’
A second later a bus drives past, it’s engine making a loud rumble drowning out the rest of the traffic as it passes them, once it’s gone the traffic can be heard as normal but upon looking over at the shop the guys are no longer there, thinking they found something more entertaining to do the girls continue walking.
They turn down Amy’s street, it’s a two way street but being full of parked cars on both sides there’s barely enough room for a car to travel down the middle, there aren’t any trees in the street and the houses are only a few feet away from the curb side with a front garden that barely deserves the name.
The girls stop outside Amy’s house where she notices a rust bucket of a car parked outside, the pitch of her voice increases and she bounces up the path saying that her brother is home, she walks in the front door closing it behind her, Jessica and Jo look at each other shrugging their shoulders and then continue walking, Amy’s front door opens and she sticks her head out shouting to the girls that she’ll see them in the morning, the girls wave back before Amy’s head disappears back inside the house.

Jo asks what Jessica’s plans are for the holiday, after a brief pause to think of an answer she says that based on previous years her mother will probably get drunk before dinner and that Derek will either be in a bad mood shouting at everyone for the littlest of things or he’ll be in a good mood which means he will keep groping her arse whenever he’s in arms reach, but on the plus side her big sister Katherine is coming back from Australia for a few weeks so hopefully she’ll be able to avoid Derek’s hands as he’s smart enough not to do anything when other people are around.
Jo starts telling her what she’s got planned for the holidays when Jessica spots a guy from their class walking towards them on the opposite of the street, he wasn’t in class this morning but she’s only just realised that now she sees him, as Jessica mentions this Jo quickly ducks down hiding from view besides a parked car, Jessica keeps walking albeit at a slower pace so as to not get to far ahead, as Jo tries to look through the glass she sets the car alarm off drawing his attention, he spots Jessica and calls to her, asking if she’s seen Jo.
‘She’s gone home sorry, but she was talking about you earlier’
His face lights up at the thought of Jo talking about him; it has the opposite effect on Jo with her head looking like its ready to explode, he continues on his way and Jo catches up to Jessica while staying out of sight setting another car alarm off in the process.
‘You’d look good in yellow, chicken’
‘The guy has one hell of a crush on me; he even sent me a valentine’s card’
They continue to discuss the guy’s interest in Jo and her futile efforts to dissuade him as they turn down another street, this time it’s wider than before and there are no parked cars, instead the road is full of trees and greenery, the pair reach Jessica’s house and her jaw drops when she sees a big black Mercedes parked in the driveway,
‘The *******’s a week early’,
Jo puts her arm round Jessica and tells her not to worry and she’ll see her in the morning, Jessica smiles and walks up the driveway stopping at the front door, she can hear them arguing already, she turns back to see Jo still standing at the end of the drive, she smiles again before entering the house.

The entrance hall is quite large and circular; there are stairs going up round the back wall from left to right with the landing following the wall round to the other side, to the right of the entrance is the living room with the dining room off to the left, a hallway under the stairs leads to the kitchen and the back of the house, upstairs there are two doorways leading to the bedrooms, the girls bedroom are on the left, in the middle is the guest bedrooms one of which the housekeeper is using, on the right is the master bedroom and a communal room which has some exercise equipment in, each bedroom has its own en-suite, out the back garden is an indoor heated pool.

Jessica quietly enters the house, her mother and Derek are arguing about money, something they usually spend the day arguing about before she gives in to him, today is no different and she can hear Derek trying to convince her mother he’s onto a winner with whatever idea it is he has this time, Jessica slams the door to make her presence known, the arguing stops and her mother calls out in a false motherly tone
‘Jess is that you honey’
in a reluctant voice she responds that it’s just a burglar come to take the television, her mother emerges from the living room with an unimpressed look on her face and her hair in a mess and her top half undone, suggesting arguing isn’t the only thing they’ve been doing, Jessica asks what the tow truck is doing picking up the car on the driveway, a comment which attracts the immediate attention of a half naked Derek who jumps up and runs to the door cursing, as soon as he’s out Jessica flicks the lock so he can’t get back in, drawing another unimpressed look from her mother, with Derek banging on the door she makes her way upstairs, her mother goes back into the living room leaving Derek outside hammering on the front door.

Upstairs she goes into her bedroom, shutting the door she throws her bag on a chair, turns on the television and lays down on her bed, she spends a few minutes flicking through the channels before there’s a knock on the door, not waiting for a response her mother enters, standing in the door way smiling and now with her hair neat and tidy she asks why she’s home early, not looking up from the television Jessica tells her there was a fault with the fire alarm, still smiling her mother sarcastically says
‘I hope you didn’t burn the place down’,
The comment draws Jessica’s stare, before asking if she’s let Derek back in, her mother’s smile vanishes and she steps into the room closing the door behind her,
‘Yes he’s home early for the holiday and that was a nasty trick you played on him’,
Jessica obviously disgusted responds
‘I didn’t see you rushing to let the prick back in’,
Her mother in a more serious tone tells her that it doesn’t matter what she calls him, he’s here for the holiday and she better buck up her ideas if she’s to continue living under her roof, Jessica says that she could move to Australia with her sister Katherine, her mother doesn’t answer that and instead just leaves, Jessica turns up the television before throwing the remote control at the door, the picture on the television flickers for a moment before returning to normal, there’s another knock on the door and this time Abbey opens the door, she says that she shouldn’t argue with mum, Jessica tells her that they weren’t arguing, Abbey shakes her head and says that whenever they argue her TV goes funny, Jessica laughs sympathetically and taps the bed in front of her, Abbey picks up the remote and climbs on the bed laying in front of her, she takes the remote and changes to children’s programs.
 
[/quote]
I say short but it's about 2,500 words, I've written many ides down but this is the first I've actually decided I want to try and finish.

It's a fantasy tale set in modern times and I've written the first chapter as the calm before the storm to try and give the reader a connection to the main character.

All feedback welcome, good and bad, as any feedback can only help me to improve the story, hopefully you will enjoy and be wanting more!!

Jessica stared up at the sky, watching the clouds
comma
thinking how peaceful it must be up there, sweeping her hand across the sky.
‘If it wasn’t for all the clouds it would be a lovely sunny day.’
‘It’s the middle of December; even if it were sunny I’d still be bloody cold.’
Jo always says what’s on her mind; the girls are sat on a car roof in the university car park, the fire alarm is still ringing its heart out as it had been for the last hour, everyone is gathered outside in what seems like organised chaos.
‘Where’s Amy?’
Jessica looks around
comma
scouting the crowd for her other close friend,
full stop
Jo’s busy painting her fingernails black.
‘I told her to find out what’s happening’
Jessica looks at her.
‘Why didn’t you find out for yourself?’
Jo’s now inspecting her nails and blowing them.
‘What’s the point in having a patsy if you do everything yourself?’
Jessica nudges Jo and looks back at the crowd trying to spot Amy.
‘She’s not your patsy.’
Jo
comma
who’s more interested in her appearance then what’s going on around her
comma, but no “and“
and rummages around in Jessica’s bag for some tissues.
‘So you’ve never asked her to do something you couldn’t be bothered to do yourself?’
She doesn’t disagree,
full stop
Amy is the youngest of the three girls and always wants’
no apostrophe
to please,
full stop
they’ve been friends since junior school, but Jo was right, she had used Amy to do things she couldn’t be bothered, not that Amy ever objected, ok well maybe she did sometimes but Jessica could always convince her without much trouble,
full stop
Jo on the other hand just tended to be bossy or threatening.
That sentence got a bit out of hand, didn’t it ? Yes, I can understand the “running on at the brain » feeling, but all those transitive verbs with only commas separating them ?
‘She’s a dumb blonde anyway.’
Jessica looks at Jo slightly confused,
‘Aren’t you a natural blonde
comma
Jo looks up,
semicolon, and an “it“ before “seems“ will make the sentence easier to follow
seems that struck a chord,
full stop
her hair’s jet black but she is naturally blonde.
‘How many blonde Goths have you seen?’
Jessica sighs and looks away
full stop
it isn’t worth arguing with her when she starts talking about gothic stuff, even when she’s wrong she always wins the argument,
full stop
anyway Jessica’s in a happy mood for a change, they only have a week left until the Christmas holiday and her older sister Katherine is coming home for the new year, they haven’t seen each other since she left for Australia after the money from her trust fund came through, their father had created one for each of the girls to be released when they turned twenty-one,
full stop
Katherine
had gone
went less than a week after her twenty first birthday, her mother had objected but couldn’t stop her leaving, both older girls were closer to their father and always sided with him to the annoyance of their mother, Jessica’s little sister Abbey
had only been
was only nine when their father
had
died and because of their mothers
mother’s
drinking habits Abbey
had become
became much closer to her than her mother, Jessica thinks her mother is jealous of how close they are and is the reason she treats her as she does, not that she was much of a mother to any of them in the first place.
All right, I give in. Have you seen the nunber of sentences, separated only by commas, that you have strung together. It is possible that I’m overdoing the pluperfects, but sentences have to be trimmed to size
Jessica’s only nineteen and has to wait a few years to gain access to her trust fund, a option she’s been considering is joining Katherine in Australia but she knows her mother would never let her take Abbey and the thought of leaving her behind especially with her mothers
“mother“, or possibly “mother’s“ and no “and“
and boyfriend Derek on the scene, is the only thing holding her back.
Jessica doesn’t like Derek, he was a business associate of her fathers
I asume that’s “father’s“
, Jessica first met him when he came to their house for dinner, Derek was interested in investing money in her father’s business, although it was something he later regretted as the money was borrowed from some shady characters, Derek used money from the business to pay them off, he also started taking money to pay other debts he owed, she often saw them arguing, then Derek started coming round the house when her father wasn’t there, he’d say he was dropping papers off or other lame excuses but it was obvious to Jessica and Katherine that their mother was having an affair with him, whenever they tried to talk to their father about it he would always change the subject, they assumed he knew but they never discussed it.
It wasn’t long after their father died that Derek started spending more time at the house, at first he would stay the night, then weekends, before too long it had seemed like he’d moved in, the only times he wasn’t there was when he was away on business, or as Jessica thought, he was living with another rich widow somewhere else in the country.

The crowd starts to disperse and Jessica sees Amy making her way over to them,
full stop
she turns to Jo.
‘It looks like there
they’re
sending everyone home,’
Realising a small portion of the crowd is also making their way to the car par,
‘Whose car are we sitting on anyway?’
Jo’s busy trying to wipe nail polish off her new jeans.
‘I thought you knew.’
‘How would I know? I followed you’
Jessica takes a hair clip from her bag to put her hair up as Amy gets to them and shields her eyes from the sun as she looks up.
‘That sun’s bright; didn’t the forecast say rain?’
They both look up, sure enough the sun is shining brightly and there’s barley
barely
a cloud in the sky.
‘I blame Jessica’
Jo says as she puts the nail polish in Jessica’s bag, its Jo’s nail polish but she put’s stuff in Jessica’s bag so she knows where they
“stuff“ is singular, but she puts stuff in Jessica’s bag so she knows where it is when she wants it
are when she wants them.
‘My fault’
I’d imagine a question mark there
Jessica protests her innocence as the girls climb down off the car room.
roof
‘You said it would be a lovely sunny day if it weren’t for the clouds’
‘Yeah, but come on, how could I make all the clouds vanish?’
Jo turns to Amy and sarcastically says
‘I think she’s a witch, things often come true after she talks about it.’
Jessica looks up at the sky
‘Oh look a flying pig’
The others look but see nothing,
‘Dam
“Damn“? comma
I haven’t got that spell right yet’
‘Oh ha ha’
Amy butt’s
butts
‘So I have a witch and a vampire for friends’
Jo hits Amy on the shoulder and loudly protests
‘I’m not a ******** vampire you bimbo’
Without a second thought Amy tells them what’s going on with the fire alarm, apparently they can’t find where the fault‘s coming from so are sending everyone home for the day, before she’d even finished the sentence the girls start walking, rather than get squashed in the crowd heading out the front gate they decided to go the back way, it only adds a few minutes onto their journey and they aren’t in any particular rush now the possibility of getting soaked by the rain has gone.

Walking down the high street they spot some guys from the university hanging around outside one of the shops, they don’t appear to have noticed the girls yet and their
they’re
hoping they don’t, these are the not nicest of guys on campus, they get their kicks from the misfortune of others, recently Jo wore a tight tee-shirt and it was quite evident that she had a pierced nipple, now these guys keep making a big deal out of it hoping she’ll flash them to make them go way, unfortunately it doesn’t take long for one of the guys to spot the girls and start shouting across the street at them, Jessica thinks to herself.
‘I wish they’d all just disappear.’
A second later a bus drives past, it’s
its
engine making a loud rumble drowning out the rest of the traffic as it passes them, once it’s gone the traffic can be heard as normal but upon looking over at the shop the guys are no longer there, thinking they found something more entertaining to do the girls continue walking.
They turn down Amy’s street, it’s a two way street but being full of parked cars on both sides there’s barely enough room for a car to travel down the middle, there aren’t any trees in the street and the houses are only a few feet away from the curb side with a front garden that barely deserves the name.
The girls stop outside Amy’s house where she notices a rust bucket of a car parked outside, the pitch of her voice increases and she bounces up the path saying that her brother is home, she walks in the front door closing it behind her, Jessica and Jo look at each other shrugging their shoulders and then continue walking, Amy’s front door opens and she sticks her head out shouting to the girls that she’ll see them in the morning, the girls wave back before Amy’s head disappears back inside the house.

Jo asks what Jessica’s plans are for the holiday, after a brief pause to think of an answer she says that based on previous years her mother will probably get drunk before dinner and that Derek will either be in a bad mood shouting at everyone for the littlest of things or he’ll be in a good mood which means he will keep groping her arse whenever he’s in arms reach, but on the plus side her big sister Katherine is coming back from Australia for a few weeks so hopefully she’ll be able to avoid Derek’s hands as he’s smart enough not to do anything when other people are around.
Jo starts telling her what she’s got planned for the holidays when Jessica spots a guy from their class walking towards them on the opposite of the street, he wasn’t in class this morning but she’s only just realised that now she sees him, as Jessica mentions this Jo quickly ducks down hiding from view besides a parked car, Jessica keeps walking albeit at a slower pace so as to not get to far ahead, as Jo tries to look through the glass she sets the car alarm off drawing his attention, he spots Jessica and calls to her, asking if she’s seen Jo.
‘She’s gone home
full stop
sorry, but she was talking about you earlier’
His face lights up at the thought of Jo talking about him; it has the opposite effect on Jo with her head looking like its ready to explode, he continues on his way and Jo catches up to Jessica while staying out of sight setting another car alarm off in the process.
‘You’d look good in yellow, chicken’
‘The guy has one hell of a crush on me; he even sent me a valentine’s card’
They continue to discuss the guy’s interest in Jo and her futile efforts to dissuade him as they turn down another street, this time it’s wider than before and there are no parked cars, instead the road is full of trees and greenery, the pair reach Jessica’s house and her jaw drops when she sees a big black Mercedes parked in the driveway,
‘The *******’s a week early’,
Jo puts her arm round Jessica and tells her not to worry and she’ll see her in the morning, Jessica smiles and walks up the driveway stopping at the front door, she can hear them arguing already, she turns back to see Jo still standing at the end of the drive, she smiles again before entering the house.

The entrance hall is quite large and circular; there are stairs going up round the back wall from left to right with the landing following the wall round to the other side, to the right of the entrance is the living room with the dining room off to the left, a hallway under the stairs leads to the kitchen and the back of the house, upstairs there are two doorways leading to the bedrooms, the girls bedroom are on the left, in the middle is the guest bedrooms one of which the housekeeper is using, on the right is the master bedroom and a communal room which has some exercise equipment in, each bedroom has its own en-suite, out the back garden is an indoor heated pool.

Jessica quietly enters the house, her mother and Derek are arguing about money, something they usually spend the day arguing about before she gives in to him, today is no different and she can hear Derek trying to convince her mother he’s onto a winner with whatever idea it is he has this time, Jessica slams the door to make her presence known, the arguing stops and her mother calls out in a false motherly tone
‘Jess
comma
is that you honey’
in a reluctant voice she responds that it’s just a burglar come to take the television, her mother emerges from the living room with an unimpressed look on her face and her hair in a mess and her top half undone, suggesting arguing isn’t the only thing they’ve been doing, Jessica asks what the tow truck is doing picking up the car on the driveway, a comment which attracts the immediate attention of a half naked Derek who jumps up and runs to the door cursing, as soon as he’s out Jessica flicks the lock so he can’t get back in, drawing another unimpressed look from her mother, with Derek banging on the door she makes her way upstairs, her mother goes back into the living room leaving Derek outside hammering on the front door.

Upstairs she goes into her bedroom, shutting the door she throws her bag on a chair, turns on the television and lays
lies ; lay is the past participle
down on her bed, she spends a few minutes flicking through the channels before there’s a knock on the door, not waiting for a response her mother enters, standing in the door way smiling and now with her hair neat and tidy she asks why she’s home early, not looking up from the television Jessica tells her there was a fault with the fire alarm, still smiling her mother sarcastically says
‘I hope you didn’t burn the place down’,
The comment draws Jessica’s stare, before asking if she’s let Derek back in, her mother’s smile vanishes and she steps into the room closing the door behind her,
‘Yes he’s home early for the holiday and that was a nasty trick you played on him’,
Jessica obviously disgusted responds
‘I didn’t see you rushing to let the prick back in’,
Her mother in a more serious tone tells her that it doesn’t matter what she calls him, he’s here for the holiday and she better buck up her ideas if she’s to continue living under her roof, Jessica says that she could move to Australia with her sister Katherine, her mother doesn’t answer that and instead just leaves, Jessica turns up the television before throwing the remote control at the door, the picture on the television flickers for a moment before returning to normal, there’s another knock on the door and this time Abbey opens the door, she says that she shouldn’t argue with mum, Jessica tells her that they weren’t arguing, Abbey shakes her head and says that whenever they argue her TV goes funny, Jessica laughs sympathetically and taps the bed in front of her, Abbey picks up the remote and climbs on the bed laying in front of her, she takes the remote and changes to children’s programs.

Unless you are attempting to introduce a new form of grammar (possible, but unpromising for a beginning author) you need to do some work on sentences. Herein, you’ve just about eliminated the concept of the sentence, moving from phrase to paragraph in one step, and that, to me makes the piece difficult to read, and more so to follow. Effectively, the structure is fairly simplistic, with a large number of short sentences and few involved descriptions, and should be easy to absorb ; actually, you aren’t giving the information as to how it’s cut up, just a stream of commas that say “I had to gasp for breath there“ I gave up after a paragraph or so ; it just required too much tailoring
 
Thanks for the effort, apologies for the hard work you had to do :eek:

I think I'll leave the introduction of a new form of grammar to an established author ;)

I can see I have some work to do, next time I'll post a shorter excerpt :)
 
I must admit I'm not comfortable outside of the past tense, and so reading your piece was... out of the comfort zone, so to speak.

Like chrispenycate says, you're lacking description of things. People and places are, to be honest, quite underdeveloped. It's hard to visualise what you're telling me about, simply because I don't have enough clues as to what to visualise.

Not sure about so many one line paragraphs either, but chrispenycate can tell you about all that stuff better I think.

Finally... All that about new grammar and being established and the like. Maybe you can't now, but always remember to aim high. ;)
 
Ok so below is one short paragraph I've changed based on Chris' excellent advice.:D


Now I think I know why I didn't do very well in English class, but in my defence when ever I asked a question my teacher told me not to be stupid and continue with the assignment; my brain would be screaming inside 'but I don't understand the dam thing, that's why I asked!':confused:


Jo looks up; it seems that struck a chord. Jo’s hair is jet black but she’s naturally blonde.
‘How many blonde Goths have you seen?’
Jessica sighs and looks away. It isn’t worth arguing with her when she starts talking about gothic stuff, even when she’s wrong she always wins the argument. Anyway Jessica’s in a happy mood for a change, they only have a week left until the Christmas holiday and her older sister Katherine is coming home for the new year, they haven’t seen each other since she left for Australia after the money from her trust fund came through, their father had created one for each of the girls to be released when they turned twenty-one. Katherine had gone less than a week after her birthday, her mother had objected but couldn’t stop her leaving; both older girls were closer to their father and always sided with him to the annoyance of their mother. Jessica’s little sister Abbey had only been nine when their father had died and because of their mother’s drinking habits Abbey had become much closer to Jessica than her mother; Jessica thinks her mother is jealous of their relationship and is the reason she now treats her the way she does, not that she was much of a mother to any of them in the first place.



Sapheron,
I'm interested in what you said about past tense, you prefer to read a story about events that have already happened. My intended aim, which I see I didn't accomplish, was to make the reader part of the story.

Chris, how am I doing? ;)
 
Ah, no. Don't worry about the past tense thing. It's my personal preference to read stories in the past tense. Present, or heaven forbid future, just seems really strange. You could be writing like the next Tolkien or Lovecraft or something, and it wouldn't change that preference.

Assuming this is a story simply from the perspective of a teenage girl (Jessica), you could consider switching to first person. If you want to involve the reader, than specifically talking to them is quite a good way to do it.
 
Ok so below is one short paragraph I've changed based on Chris' excellent advice.:D


Now I think I know why I didn't do very well in English class, but in my defence when ever I asked a question my teacher told me not to be stupid and continue with the assignment; my brain would be screaming inside 'but I don't understand the dam thing, that's why I asked!':confused:


Jo looks up; it seems that struck a chord. Jo’s hair is jet black but she’s naturally blonde.
‘How many blonde Goths have you seen?’
Jessica sighs and looks away. It isn’t worth arguing with her when she starts talking about gothic stuff, even when she’s wrong she always wins the argument. Anyway Jessica’s in a happy mood for a change, they only have a week left until the Christmas holiday and her older sister Katherine is coming home for the new year, they haven’t seen each other since she left for Australia after the money from her trust fund came through, their father had created one for each of the girls to be released when they turned twenty-one. Katherine had gone less than a week after her birthday, her mother had objected but couldn’t stop her leaving; both older girls were closer to their father and always sided with him to the annoyance of their mother. Jessica’s little sister Abbey had only been nine when their father had died and because of their mother’s drinking habits Abbey had become much closer to Jessica than her mother; Jessica thinks her mother is jealous of their relationship and is the reason she now treats her the way she does, not that she was much of a mother to any of them in the first place.



Sapheron,
I'm interested in what you said about past tense, you prefer to read a story about events that have already happened. My intended aim, which I see I didn't accomplish, was to make the reader part of the story.

Chris, how am I doing? ;)

All right, starting from your base I've rewritten a chunk. For goodness sake, don't try and copy what I've done; nobody enjoys reading my style. Just observe how I've used subordinate clauses , and built long sentences (with multipleideas, which is not always a good idea) without tacking together a series of short "bites" with commas.

Jessica sighs and looks away. It isn’t worth arguing with her when she starts talking about gothic stuff; even when she’s wrong she always wins the argument. Anyway, Jessica’s in a happy mood for a change - they only have a week left until the Christmas holiday when her older sister Katherine is coming home for the new year.
They haven’t seen each other since Katherine had left for Australia with her share of the money from the trust fund their father had set up for each of them. Against their mother’s ineffective objections, she had left within weeks of her birthday; both of the elder girls had been closer to their father, and sided with him in family arguments, to their mother’s annoyance. Now, largely due to mother’s drinking problems, the youngest daughter, Abbey, had grown much closer to her sister than her mother. Jessica imputes her mother’s present treatment to jealousy of this relationship, although she never had been much of a mother.
 
It's quite obvious that I need to study writing more than I previously had,

I didn't write in the first person because there are parts of the story which take place between other characters in Jessica's absence.
 
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