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Can y'all or someone rate my writing, please?

AnonymousMe

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I was searching to see where was the best place to post this, but couldn't find anything, so I'll just put it here.
FYI, reddit is not an option for me, either my questions always get downvoted or nobody responds, for the most part.

A little bit if backstory first, a friend of mine from this site suggested on making a collaborative story, just for fun.  We didn't plan anything, the story is just discovery writing and each of us would take turns on doing some segments.  Like, I would do some paragraphs, he'd do the next, then back to me and so on.  I took it half-seriously, because my writing is usually not like you're all about to see, I prefer to plan first, outline, develop, be more detailed, etc.  However, I also used it as an opportunity to test my skills and see how I fair, so I did manage to put some effort into it.  I still want to ask you all what you think, because if I want to achieve my dream of publishing, at least, one good book, I need to see where I'm at on a scale of 1 to 10.  I think I have a problem with telling and not showing, but I wanna see what you all think first.  So yeah, if anyone wants to rate and criticize me if I deserve it, feel free to read this:

Title: None
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, Fable, Fantasy
Word count: 591 (Part 1) - 1778 (Parts 1&2)
Type of feedback desired: General impression to my writing

The planet was dead, to begin with, it had become a carcass of its former self, a mere wasteland with little to no hope for things growing ever again, a cursed earth where unimaginable catastrophes happen every moment, a living hell for its surviving residents.  It now functioned differently, with new principles meant for destroying just, sustainable, peaceful societies, a basis where the strong could rule over the weak and resist the environment’s lethal, terrible effects which could make any living thing unrecognizable.  What would be considered-abominations were now the natural world’s most innate entities.  There were illogical, purposeless beings with no meaning to their dismal existence, other than wander their desolate surroundings, to kill and to be killed by whatever that disturbed their intuitions.  Then there were logical beings who retained their basic animal instincts or, if they were fortunate, their human logic.  They’re the most sufferers, who ransack former settlement ruins for goods, struggle against any hostile that threatened them and bond with whoever they can to rekindle their ever-fainting hope.

Life was no longer the same, camps were now their residences; havens separate from conflicts or perils brought by other distrusting groups or cataclysms.  While they didn’t offer a complete sense of security, nevertheless, they were comforting shelters, full of supplies and families that kept the morale of others in check.  All aided however they could, most stayed within their territory’s perimeter, safeguarding from any imminent dangers, maintaining their homes or caring for their young.  Those few daring enough to venture out were the scavengers, who also explored for new regions to expand and destroy as many monstrous atrocities as possible, along with other members from rival gangs; whenever the opportunity arised steal, kill, rape and betray, a lot wouldn’t dare to not take the chance.  However, civility was not completely gone yet, despite considering all areas inhospitable, a great deal of survivors had faith that everything could be rebuild again, starting by forming alliances, friendships and relationships.  Such were the thoughts of a young, naïve company.

Within a decaying city, inside an uncharted location from a crumbling building, was that band of inexperienced explorers in their very first expedition, they took it as a silly competition to see who was the “bravest, most fit” to be their leader, it was an opportunity for one to prove himself.  He stood out among all the living, as he was the only tailless, without fur or scales or feathers, just visible, lightly-tanned skin that didn't protrude out anything hazardous; with hands and feet, instead of talons, hoofs or claws; with a nose and lips, instead of a snout or beak.  His hair was straight, pure brown, it didn’t pass his forehead; a petite goatee was his only growing facial hair and his eyes were solid green, noticeable for emitting a slightly faint glow that could only be seen from up-close.  Yet, at the same time, he didn’t stand out at all, he was fairly skinny, but not skeletal; was on the starting ages of adulthood; despite measuring nearly six feet, he wasn’t taller than anyone else around him and, at least according to some witnesses, he was not “well-endowed.”  He knew all too well he wasn’t strong enough to lift over a thousand pounds or run at eighty-eight kilometers per hour or smell one and a half miles away, but he was still determined in demonstrating his worth.  Even though he didn’t know how he would do it, one thing was for certain: he was secretly tired of being ostracized.


After my friend's part was done, (EDIT: which was a group of five, searching for supplies in a destroyed city and entering and abandoned supermarket) I continued.  The make things easier, the characters are: 1) Max, a human; 2) Dimitri, an anthropomorphic reptile; 3) Ojo, an anthropomorphic bear; 4) Luna, an anthropomorphic mare and 5) Zoey, an anthropomorphic she-wolf. (EDIT: the first two stay outside and the rest go inside.)
I have to admit, I really lacked on this part, because one tip writers give is to make the reader use all his five senses and not much in regard to the other four.  Like I said, I only took it half-seriously, but I am aware I have to more immersive than this:

               Expecting the awkward silence between the two, Max stared into the foggy distance, opening and closing his legs repeatedly, resting his hands on his groin, while Dimitri kept minding his business, continuing carving the little wooden piece with his ever-sharp claw.  Too early to tell what he’s been creating, much of the piece was still raw and the carved areas didn’t make sense.  Giving a quick stare at his scaly friend, Max hoped to receive a similar response, to no avail, Dimitri just carried on, sculping in peace, as if there was nothing to worry about with the doomed world he lived in.  Fully aware the raptor would not spark a conversation, Max tried breaking the ice.
 
               “Crazy world we live in, huh?”  The question did not raise any interest in Dimitri, yet Max persisted.  “If you’ve read old books of how things used to be, you’d learn humans were… pretty shitty.  In a way, we deserved this whole calamity.  I mean, if I were Mother Nature and saw humans being lazy, hunting down or industrializing animals to enslave them as “pets” or kill them for mass production, I’d be pissed too.  So, I guess something good did came out of the catastrophe, humans and animals are now one, it balances things out… I wonder, if it worked out so great for animals, how come it wasn’t the same for plants?  True, we can crop them inside, free from all this poison, but still, life would be MUCH easier if they grew outside, I guess it must be part of that balance, otherwise you and many others could have been lazy, like humans were.  I’m just spit-balling here though, who knows why all this happened.”  Dimitri remained ever silent; eyes fixed only in his creation.  “Come on, are you still disappointed of how I’ve been doing so far?” asked Max, after throwing up his arms in the air.  “I am trying my best.  I know I can’t measure up to anyone, but believe me, I wish I could do more…” Max crossed his arms and legs.  “Why was I sent with you guys, it’s as if you’re all trying to humiliate me.  Well, you guys aren’t perfect either.  I’d like to see you get lost one day, that’ll be the day where you’ll all wish to know how to read a compass, let alone a map.  Then again, what are the chances of getting lost in this dump anyway?”
 
               Following the tirade, Dimitri stopped detailing his piece, grabbed it from both ends and, surprisingly, tore it in half.  He then inserted the marked part into the right pocket of Max’s pants, causing the human bewilderment, along great curiosity.  Taking out the small ornament, assuming it now complete, it was hard to describe, as it didn’t have a cohesive pattern, just a couple empty and protruding spaces, adorned with random curved and straight lines.
 
               “What’s this?” asked Max confusingly.
 
               “Goo…” muttered Dimitri after a momentary silence. “Goo… Goo lack sarn.”
 
               “Goo lack sarn?” repeated Max, trying to make sense of his comrade’s words.  “As in, a good luck charm?”  Dimitri nodded in agreement and immediately moved on to the remaining piece.  Taking a closer look at the charm, Max calmly expressed his gratitude, both then stayed quietly seated in their spots, only listening to the passing wind’s echo.
 
               The market’s front was noticeably dirtier than the rest of the buildings, it wasn’t feasible to see through the filthy windows, which kept hidden the completely disastrous interior.  Upon entering, what little could be seen with the barely passable sunlight, revealed an anticipated ugly sight.  Disarrayed, decaying boxes of all sizes, placed throughout the floor and stands; rusty, disorganized carts lied in every corner; black mold grew on wall spots and dust particles floated throughout the air.  Worse, lingering, rotting trash, scattered through-out the building’s entire floor in abundant amounts, made the emitting foul smell unavoidable and cockroaches roamed about, proving again they’re the ultimate survivors.
 
               “Are we seriously looking forward to finding stuff here?” asked Ojo, “If I remember correctly, premises like these were among the first to be raided, correct?”
 
               “Yes, alongside the gun shops,” replied Zoey.
 
               “Guns are easier to find though, save for the bullets, those are a real bitch… Should we even bother searching?”
 
               Disregarding Ojo’s complaints, Zoey advanced into the darkness.  “Our chances here are no different from anywhere else, we might as well check.”  Left with no other choice, he followed in her footsteps, grumbling to himself.  Before going, however, he noticed Luna staying behind.
 
               “Aren’t you coming?” asked Ojo.
 
               “Yes, just… gimme a moment to get used to the dark.”
 
              As the two walked away from the grimy entrance, they foraged for anything consumable, excluding the insects, from which kept their distance.  Going from box to box, from stand to stand, nothing valuable came across, as they delved deeper into the store.  The unnerving silence kept them in their toes, while the limited visibility caused no issues for the pair, none could predict where danger resided, none could perceive on which corner lurked death.  Nevertheless, scavengers knew it was part of the job, accepting every moment could be their last.  After proceeding through the corridors in vain, they had only the back room left to explore.
 
              Ojo coughed.  “Goddamn, it’s getting quite dusty in here,” remarked the bear, putting on a bandana mask to cover his snout, convincing the girls to do the same.  “This room better be worth it, otherwise I’ll never rummage ever again”
 
              “Ha, and what will you do then?” taunted Zoey as she looked around.  “Be a camp lookout?  A fisher?  A babysitter?  Any of those deeds will bore you to death.”
 
              “At least I’ll be doing SOMETHING,” explained Ojo, raising his voice tone.  “And it’s better to be death inside than outside.  Maybe I should go hunt down monsters instead?”
 
              “If you’re going on a suicide mission, you might as well take Max.  You should use him as bait, he is better off as waste to the earth than having him as a friend.”
 
              “Zoey!” rebuked a shocked Luna, as the she-wolf chuckled at her own tasteless joke.  “Zoey, don’t say stuff like that.  Max is no different from us, we just need to have more faith in him.  You’ll see he’ll come through.”  Suddenly, both girls jumped in their spots, noticing Ojo tearing up a cardboard box effortlessly.
 
              “Care to warn us next time, big guy?” remarked Luna, but Ojo stayed still, staring at the small destruction he’s caused.  Curious, Zoey approached, glimpsing at a much-rejoiced grin, she learned the cause of his odd behavior, a discovery that eased his whole being.
 
              Zoey grabbed a food can, showing it to Luna.  “Meat.  Seems the room was worth it.”
 
              Unable to control herself, Luna bounced excitedly and jolly, grateful of the finding.  “Yes!  Yes, yes, yes!  There’s a lot of it too.  We should take every single one, there’s more than enough here fo-“
 
               “Shh!” interrupted Zoey.  “Did anybody hear that?”  Unsure of what she referred to; the group stayed immobile, attentive of the surrounding, eerie blackness.
 
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I have to say in advance that this is - obviously - only my opinion.
Generally it's well-written, but I personally find it too detailed. I appreciate preparation and research, you can always tell if the author knows what they're doing or not. But there is no point in putting all research in the paragraphs. To explain everything literally. I work more with metaphors, or with little situations making all the colorful adjectives pointless, and those are the stories I like to read as well. And I like a change of dynamics, an overall recognizeable writing style, but changes in pace, measures, expression. (So also sometimes using very well many colorful adjectives.)
This reminds me of one of Follett's attitudes. While he can very well write, he writes everything he can ;).

I don't know if this was helpful, and it's in no way meant to be rude. It's only my impression.
 

AnonymousMe

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GuiltyAsCharged said:
I have to say in advance that this is - obviously - only my opinion.
Generally it's well-written, but I personally find it too detailed. I appreciate preparation and research, you can always tell if the author knows what they're doing or not. But there is no point in putting all research in the paragraphs. To explain everything literally. I work more with metaphors, or with little situations making all the colorful adjectives pointless, and those are the stories I like to read as well. And I like a change of dynamics, an overall recognizeable writing style, but changes in pace, measures, expression. (So also sometimes using very well many colorful adjectives.)
This reminds me of one of Follett's attitudes. While he can very well write, he writes everything he can ;).

I don't know if this was helpful, and it's in no way meant to be rude. It's only my impression.

Huh, I never thought someone would actually respond, but thanks for the feedback.
Like I said though, even though I haven't written anything yet, this is not how I would do things.  When me and my friend started, I thought it was gonna be like a short story, so I decided to keep things to a minimum and get to the point.  However, had I known it would be longer, I would have started a whole different way, with lots of detail too (it seems that's something I need to get better at).  Thanks again, though.
 
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Yes, but you wanted to hear about this, and this is the only thing I see.
I don't think if it's a short or a long story *necessarily* influences the dealing with details. But, no matter the length of the story, if you normally write even more detailed, it's likely to be even more telling by words.
I also do elaborate research for the simplest stories. It's not redundant though. Even if you place some of the information you gathered only at one point in one word, or you don't place it at all but it influences the character's actions, it adds to authenticity.

Showing, not telling is *generally* a good advice for most writers. Others show too much and tell too few, or at some points telling is necessary. But if you generally struggle with more showing, use the research you do anyway for character building and let the characters ACT that way (like an actor who works on the background story of his character, even if only a little bit of that is told in the movie).

Who really is a good example for that is Pratchett. While there are some books you can't tell who's speaking or who would do something until you read the name, in his books it's striking that you don't even have to read the name. The depiction of characters is flawless, in words, actions and telling. And since the characters are what makes a story interesting, and never the story itself, character building is inevitable.
 

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It's a very interesting idea, I like it.
My only criticisms would be word choices and spelling which would probably be covered in editing.
Also, you could cover some of the state of the world in dialogue instead of by just laying it out in the beginning. I thought the second part was easier to read than the first because it wasn't just narration. Narration is good just seemed a little too much in my opinion.

It shows promise, I think a lot of it will come with time. You aren't going to measure up to experienced authors like Pratchett right off the bat. Stephen King just kept writing and writing, it was years before he made his mark. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll get published. :)
 

Wayfarer

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Ok, first off, the usual disclaimer: I'm not a native english speaker; I'm not a writer.

The first part makes your style feel very terse: I'm thinking this is probably because of the occasional oddly placed comma, but overall I'd say it seems you started developing your "points" one by one but rushed a bit too much (e.g. The world is ruined, then I'll tell about camps, individuals).
It's not wrong, but maybe I expected something more gradual; the fact the sentences are short makes the "switch" more noticeable. "Show not tell" is a good but hard to apply principle, as someone else already said in this thread.
EDIT: Just realized the sentences AREN'T short ^^; so yes, it's definitely those pesky commas

There are some few out of place words and weird phrasings. e.g. They’re the most sufferers; Upon entering, what little could be seen with the barely passable sunlight, revealed an anticipated ugly sight.
But yeah, as was already said, nothing editing can't fix.

The second part is noticeably better than the first. The dialogue is good (I can't write a decent one to save my life lol).

I'd say keep at it. You'll become better in no time. :)
 

AnonymousMe

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Hey everyone, thanks a lot for your time.  I really didn’t expect to get this many responses (yeah, I expected cero), so the least I can do is reply back.  :)  From what I’m seeing, it seems I did OK in the dialogue, it could be better, it must match their personality after all, but it’s still nice to see I did something good.  Also, since the start is the most commonly criticized part from the three of you, let me generalize how I would’ve done it (if it’s wrong, then let me know!):

Like I said in the beginning, I normally wouldn’t have started this way, my basis for everything is the three-act structure and, of course, the first act is the most important, where the setting is established and the protagonist is introduced.  I would’ve given a solid feeling of who the main character is, showing what his life is in the camp (which I wouldn’t have described completely right away), demonstrating why he’s so ostracized, he tries to help, yet can’t do anything.  When it’s the time to go out, I would’ve just given a general feeling of what it’s like to be roaming the decaying city, describing in detail only the buildings he enters ALONE (the rest of the characters would’ve been introduced in ACT II, slowly showing what they are capable of and their quirks).  THEN, let readers know how dangerous scavenging is, maybe by showing uneven terrain, environmental hazards or monsters, etc.  All of this would occur, before even the inciting incident, which is also part of ACT I.
And so on, y’all get the idea, basically: tell bit by bit all the important factors.  Only Max, Zoey and Luna are my OCs, Ojo and Dmitri are from my friend; we just wrote, so using all the characters right away wasn’t even planned.

GuiltyAsCharged said:
Yes, but you wanted to hear about this, and this is the only thing I see.
I don't think if it's a short or a long story *necessarily* influences the dealing with details. But, no matter the length of the story, if you normally write even more detailed, it's likely to be even more telling by words.
I also do elaborate research for the simplest stories. It's not redundant though. Even if you place some of the information you gathered only at one point in one word, or you don't place it at all but it influences the character's actions, it adds to authenticity.

Showing, not telling is *generally* a good advice for most writers. Others show too much and tell too few, or at some points telling is necessary. But if you generally struggle with more showing, use the research you do anyway for character building and let the characters ACT that way (like an actor who works on the background story of his character, even if only a little bit of that is told in the movie).

Geez, sorry GuiltyAsCharged, I looked at your post for a couple of hours and I don’t know how to respond to it.  I will say that it makes me feel like a moron though.  :p  Makes me think that I’ve yet a LOT to learn or maybe I just need some examples to understand.  I do know that telling is necessary for some parts of the story though, like, in any scene that’s not important.  Some examples I read were the moments where heroes travel across a land or when somebody’s at a bar; it’s not necessary to tell EVERYTHING, only what’s important to the story.

kaetic said:
It's a very interesting idea, I like it.
My only criticisms would be word choices and spelling which would probably be covered in editing.
Also, you could cover some of the state of the world in dialogue instead of by just laying it out in the beginning. I thought the second part was easier to read than the first because it wasn't just narration. Narration is good just seemed a little too much in my opinion.

It shows promise, I think a lot of it will come with time. You aren't going to measure up to experienced authors like Pratchett right off the bat. Stephen King just kept writing and writing, it was years before he made his mark. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll get published. :)

Really?  How is the spelling wrong?  I thought it was good.  Long sentences aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as it focuses on one thing, right?

Please, I know I’m not even going to measure up to intermediate writers starting, I’m well aware how small I am in the world of writing.  I will say this though: I will be extremely and happily satisfied if my writing is considered better than Stephanie Meyer’s and Tommy Wiseau’s.  Their works have been cemented in history, so I, at least, hope mine surpasses theirs.  By the way, this story is never going to be published.  :p  I’m thinking of doing another one, but it’s still on the… pre-development stages?  I have to do a lot of research, because it’s inspired by Dante’s Inferno.  :)

Wayfarer said:
Ok, first off, the usual disclaimer: I'm not a native english speaker; I'm not a writer.

The first part makes your style feel very terse: I'm thinking this is probably because of the occasional oddly placed comma, but overall I'd say it seems you started developing your "points" one by one but rushed a bit too much (e.g. The world is ruined, then I'll tell about camps, individuals).
It's not wrong, but maybe I expected something more gradual; the fact the sentences are short makes the "switch" more noticeable. "Show not tell" is a good but hard to apply principle, as someone else already said in this thread.
EDIT: Just realized the sentences AREN'T short ^^; so yes, it's definitely those pesky commas

There are some few out of place words and weird phrasings. e.g. They’re the most sufferers; Upon entering, what little could be seen with the barely passable sunlight, revealed an anticipated ugly sight.
But yeah, as was already said, nothing editing can't fix.

The second part is noticeably better than the first. The dialogue is good (I can't write a decent one to save my life lol).

I'd say keep at it. You'll become better in no time. :)

Mind if you tell me where I oddly-placed those commas?  I thought the sentences were good.  Long ones aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as it focuses on one thing, right?

Like I said, had I started differently, all those points could have been the focus of a single chapter.  :)  That’s an exaggeration, but I’m sure you get what I’m saying, I certainly would’ve developed them gradually; I would’ve started small and as it progressed, things would get bigger; it’s called world-building, if I’m correct.
Well, English is not my native language too, so… *shrug*  If I ever start writing something, it’ll be Spanish!  :D
 

Wayfarer

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AnonymousMe said:
...
Like I said, had I started differently, all those points could have been the focus of a single chapter.  :)  That’s an exaggeration, but I’m sure you get what I’m saying, I certainly would’ve developed them gradually; I would’ve started small and as it progressed, things would get bigger; it’s called world-building, if I’m correct.
Well, English is not my native language too, so… *shrug*  If I ever start writing something, it’ll be Spanish!  :D

Something must have gone wrong with the formatting because it keeps adding empty lines. I don't have the time to fix it now since my lunch break is over. Sorry about that

Please prefix everything I say with IMO. Some examples:




The planet was dead, to begin  with, it had become a... -> this is wrong. It should be one of these two:



- The planet was dead. To begin with, it ....



- The planet was dead: to begin with...




Or I guess maybe a semicolon could also work, but I'm bad at using them.



Unless you mean "The planet was dead, to begin with.", but that doesn't seem the case.




- other than to wander their...


or in alternative


- other than wandering their ...


although that sounds weird to me.




...by whatever that disturbed their intuitions...


Also I find the expression "disturbed their intuitions" weird. Even assuming it were correct, I'd expect a singular "intuition".



They're the most sufferers

-> They are the ones who suffer the most (?)



any hostile -> hostile here is used as a noun, or you forgot the noun. Not sure if it's correct, but if it is, it's not common usage. Commonly, it's used as an adjective.




whenever the opportunity arised to steal, kill, rape and betray,




Also there is a difference between civility and civilization.




was that band of inexperienced explorers in their very first expedition. They took



Also the "tailless" paragraph sounds very very weird. But idk enough to be able to explain why..


But in general yes, I find the word choices amd some sentence structures peculiar. Hopefully this post helps in clarifying what I meant.
 
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