Sharp Prose

56 thoughts on “Sharp Prose”

  1. I love your prose and word choice: “bruised noise” for example, this is a really intriguing piece and makes me want to read more of your work. The only negative is that without an edit there are some lines that I’m not sure about (ie I don’t know whether they haven’t been edited and are meant that way, or that I’m reading them wrongly) – “a stranger to all but her self she is steadily moving into”…..I feel like that should read “the self” because the tense isn’t quite working there, but that’s just my interpretation, and also; “he began where I ended, and the fine between us were the limitations we couldn’t live with or without” did you mean “fine line”? Only minor details, overall it’s a very engaging read!

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  2. The first paragraph I felt like this was about me. The second paragraph I was intrigued but by the 4th paragraph I lost the connection . I do believe you have a great story telling gift.

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  3. “- I just wanted to know who you are, I remember telling him.
    – Then get to know me, he said. I don’t need to tell you complicated stories from the past. Look at me, absorb my words, my looks, my gestures. This is my only truth. All the rest are fractured realities with a taste of imagination. Osmosis.”

    This passage is brilliant. I think the work needs a good solid edit. I became lost a few times which I think was a result of phrasing. Over all, you are an endless fountain of beautiful images and thoughts. I would like the intent to be more clear, in other words -what are you trying to say at the core of this? I am so impressed with your abilities. Keep going! You definitely drew me in!

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  4. Editor hat: (Note:I do this for a few writer friends so excuse the bluntness. if it helps, I tend not to edit or critique things I don’t like.)

    In the beginning you say, “There are two strangers…” Then later, “One of is them…” You’ve told us there are two, I think you can launch right into a description of Ava without that phrase. For some reason it, disconnects me from the subject.

    My tablet is acting up, I’ll see if it will let me continue later.

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    1. Actually, while I can see where janni518 is coming from, I like that you do that. It gives a feeling of active thought that you would not have if you skipped or reworded it. It has an almost poetic feel to it. Though it might seem useless, I think it is sounds very good. I like this story a lot by the way! ;)

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  5. Really very beautiful. Definitely worth continuing with. The words are very musical and the pictures you paint are lovely. There are a few things needing editing but overall wonderful. One comment is that I found the description of Ava as light a bit at odds with your initial description of her.

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  6. CM, I really like the style you’ve used – it is a very good read. Strangers is definitely a “I want more” kind of read and this piece continues that theme if you will.
    Constructive criticism : watch out for repeated words and conjugation agreement.
    Well done!!! x

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  7. This was incredible. Really really nice. Compulsively readable and really making you want more. You’ve got a great talent that appears effortless (though we writers know the difference on that ;)) on the page.

    Ava’s character jumps off of the page and is made flesh and blood by a few finely crafted sentences. She becomes realized by the reader so easily.

    Don’t know what else to say. Think I was gushing a little.
    Bravo. Great job.

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  8. You phrase things beautifully, that’s for sure, there were many passages I enjoyed, and a few things I would consider editing to improve the flow and ultimately the reading experience

    The first phrase for example: “There are two strangers outside my house; they are strangers to each other. One of them is Ava; the one who doesn’t belong. She doesn’t want to be here, in the North; in her body.” The flow is a little rough here and I feel the use of semicolons contributes to it, the rest of the paragraph follows the same format and I would consider getting rid of the semicolons as I feel they interfere with the reading experience, it’s like someone is forcing a stop sign on me, and also I would ask myself is the use of the semicolon justified in all of the instances?

    There’s a lot of description, but sometimes too much of it can halt the actual progression of the story, the development of it. I try to keep myself in check by asking whether what I’m writing is adding something to the story or progressing it, setting up a turning point and what not, if not… It gets axed. The reading experience can get stale, if the reader feels like things are not moving along. In your short story you have two people, they’re lovers and they’re estranged, what of it? It may seem like a harsh question, but those are the questions that are gonna be the most helpful while setting up the dramatic arcs.

    Description surely is the meat on the bones, but make sure the bone structure is solid underneath the meat. Also stay consistent with it, for example the start of the second paragraph contradicts itself later on (the type of person Ava is for instance), and in the beginning you state that Ava is a stranger to you, but you seem to be quite familiar with her, revealing some intimate details about her, inner logic is key while crafting your story.

    I feel there is something you really wanna say, but it hasn’t quite realized itself yet in these paragraphs, granted this is not the entire story and you said this is the first draft so I’m sure once the editing gets done and all that jazz it’s gonna be a stellar story, gonna be interesting to see, where you take it from here. Hopefully you found this somewhat useful, have an awesome day!

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    1. Wow. I can not believe you took the time to write all of this. Honestly, even if this was pure criticism (as in, ‘everything here sucks and you’re not good, go to sleep’ or something) I would have thanked you anyway. So, yeah, thanks a lot! :)

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      1. Well, you don’t suck :) And I sincerely hope I was of some help, I know I find it hard to see past my own writing so eyes on the outside are very helpful sometimes, but also… Don’t let outside influence affect you too much, you know what you want and how you wanna express it so you should listen to yourself first and foremost when deciding what advice to take and what not :) Enjoy the rest of the week and keep at it!

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  9. Just one or two points about that opening. I do like the first sentence, which makes the reader sit up and pay attention.

    I’d change the punctuation. I’m a strong defender of the semicolon in its place, but I think this would read better as:

    “There are two strangers outside my house. They are strangers to each other. One of them is Ava – the one who doesn’t belong. She doesn’t want to be here, in the North, in her body.”

    None of the semicolons you’ve used there seem to me to be doing the job a semicolon ought to be doing. Also their presence makes the text seem jerky.

    Then I suggest: “She is next to her lover, but she can’t be herself with him. Ava is quiet and evasive: she has many secrets…”

    I found “a man she isn’t herself around” a bit confusing, sort of gawky, so I had to study it to be sure I’d got the meaning. Others might find it crystal clear immediately, but I didn’t and very likely some other readers would have the same reaction. The sentence starting “Ava is” is a classic case of where a colon is ideal, where you have two statements that are so closely related to one another that you could see them as different ways of saying the same thing, or the second as an explanation of the first, whereas a semi-colon belongs in a list as in: “She’s told you not to come here again; she’s deleted you from her Facebook friends; she puts the phone down when you call. Don’t you get the message?”

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