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paragraph from - Harmonious : Between Hell and Darkness


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#1 Socraticmoron

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:34 AM

This is the first paragraph from one of my characters' first chapter.  Any critiques would be welcome, and thank you in advance.   

 

 

 

 

Soleil awoke soaked with sweat.  She was virtually out of breath, and her attempts at breathing were quite labored.  She was shivering not just from fear of the nightmare that had disturbed her sleep, but also from the cold sweat it had produced.  She could not remember what had happened in her dream, but she was still scared nonetheless.  She sat up.  Her heart raced, and she instinctively attempted to wipe some of the sweat off her forehead.  Too bad her forearm was sweaty as well.  She glanced around her room imagining whatever horror that had been in her dream had followed into the waking world.  Soleil closed her eyes trying to concentrate on the dream.  "No dice, yet again" she whispered to herself.  The dream had been bad, but she could not remember anything pertaining to it.  She tried to relax, and sat there motionless until her heart  no longer felt like it was about to burst forth from her chest.  These night terrors had been a life long occurrence for her. More recently they had increased not just in frequency, but also in strength.  She was dreading the very thought of going back to sleep.  She sighed to herself, mentally and physically exhausted.  Soleil laid back while staring at the ceiling trying to figure out what to do next.



#2 Michi MacMichael

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:02 PM

Soleil awoke soaked with sweat.  ("awoke" is bland.  Considering her mental state this could use more oomph.) She was virtually out of breath, and her attempts at breathing were quite labored. (Passive and explanatory.  Focus on the moment and put the reader there.  Fear?  Surprise?  Excited?) She was shivering not just from fear of the nightmare that had disturbed her sleep, (Passive.  Focus on what is not what isn't.  e.g. "She shivered from the after effects of a nightmare ...") but also from the cold sweat it had produced.  She could not remember what had happened in her dream, but she was still scared nonetheless.  (Focus on what is.  "The details of the dream eluded her grasp ...") She sat up.  Her heart raced, and she instinctively attempted to wipe some of the sweat off her forehead.  Too bad her forearm was sweaty as well.  She glanced around her room imagining whatever horror that had been in her dream had followed into the waking world.  Soleil closed her eyes trying to concentrate on the dream. 
 

"No dice, yet again" she whispered to herself
 

The dream had been bad, but she could not remember anything pertaining to it.  (Repetitious) She tried to relax, and sat there motionless until her heart  no longer felt like it was about to burst forth from her chest.  (Stay in the moment.  "She took deep breaths until her heart stopped hammering.") These night terrors had been a life long occurrence for her. More recently they had increased not just in frequency, but also in strength.  She was dreading (Passive and -ing verbs are weak.  "She dreaded ...") the very thought of going back to sleep.  She sighed to herself, mentally and physically exhausted.  Soleil laid ("...flopped back and stared at the ceiling as she pondered what to do next.") back while staring at the ceiling trying to figure out what to do next.



#3 Socraticmoron

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:41 PM

Thank you for the critique!  I will be posting a revised version soon.



#4 Springfield

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:20 AM

This is the first paragraph from one of my characters' first chapter.  Any critiques would be welcome, and thank you in advance.   

 

 

 

 

Soleil awoke soaked with sweat.  Waking up as an opening is so bad, dude. She was virtually out of breath, and her attempts at breathing were quite labored.  Redundant She was shivering not just from fear of the nightmare that had disturbed her sleep, but also from the cold sweat it had produced. Redundant  She could not remember what had happened in her dream, but she was still scared nonetheless.  She sat up.  Her heart raced, and she instinctively attempted to wipe some of the sweat off her forehead.  Too bad her forearm was sweaty as well.  She glanced around her room imagining whatever horror that had been in her dream had followed into the waking world.  Soleil closed her eyes trying to concentrate on the dream.  "No dice, yet again" she whispered to herself.  The dream had been bad, but she could not remember anything pertaining to it. This is the third time you're saying that. She tried to relax, and sat there motionless until her heart  no longer felt like it was about to burst forth from her chest.  These night terrors had been a life long occurrence for her. More recently they had increased not just in frequency, but also in strength.  She was dreading the very thought of going back to sleep.  She sighed to herself, mentally and physically exhausted.  Soleil laid back while staring at the ceiling trying to figure out what to do next.

 

You're overwriting -- both overexplaining things that don't need explaining and repeating and repeating stuff. Trust that your readers can grasp things -- this kind of overwriting drags a story to a halt. 

 

Also, you're starting with a character waking up from a dream so, you know, you probably don't want to do that. :)






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