YA - adventure/mystery - 1/4 Chapter 12

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ninafromnorway
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YA - adventure/mystery - 1/4 Chapter 12

Post by ninafromnorway » September 7th, 2010, 4:08 pm

I was just wondering if my written English has improved from chapter one (written in December 09) to chapter 12 (written recently). I know my English speech has improved, as I don't have to substitute some English words with Norwegian ones, when I talk to my family.

In chapter one I mixed the past with the present. Also I have been told I use a lot of author surrogacy (the reoccuring words I/my/me).
And of course I would like to hear your general thoughts of the first quarter of chapter twelve. (Here is chapter one: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2110)

It was a strange feeling standing in Stevens embrace; In one way I felt uncomfortable, as it felt like he was claiming me. In another way I felt petrified of him, because I was so uncertain of him and his mood swings. But in a third way – I really liked it! Not in a romancy lovey dovey way, but in a safe and wanted way. It was the same feeling I’d had the first night Derrick had kept me company on the beach. I didn’t know how to react on him holding me; I wanted to let go, but something wouldn’t let me. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to go digging in to anybodies past, but I guessed that if I was going to do it, then this was the perfect opportunity – and he still hadn’t told me who that boy in the car was. To be honest I wasn’t sure that I needed to know, but an itchy, annoying feeling forced me to know the answer. So I went for it: “The guy in the car…” I whispered, but as soon as it was out, he let go of me and backed away, leaning against a couch. I didn’t even need to ask who he was, he already knew that that was what I wanted to know.
Steven stared at me intently, and I hoped he was wondering whether to tell me or not. Finally he shook his head defeatedely, he must have realized I wouldn’t give up before I knew. “He was a guy I knew a while back” he said finally. “And how did you know him?” I pushed, meaning for him to understand that this was a tell all or nothing moment. “He used to be a friend” he said, stuttering on the last word. “He helped me out once when I was in trouble, so I told him that I was forever in debt to him. But if you ask me he took that much too literally” he said, turning his head down in a poor attempt to conceal a fury burning in his cheeks. “How?” I asked, but Steven didn’t answer straight away, instead he procrastinated the answer, wandering around the room and fixing some pillows which nobody could care less how looked. I eyed him suspiciously, nudging my head in his direction in demand for and answer. “Look, I don’t want to talk about this, you already know too much.” he said and continued “I don’t want you to be more a part of this than you already are”. “Well what if I want to be a part of it?” I called for, which for some reason forced Stevens’ lips to part upwards: “Trust me: You don’t” he told me. But this wasn’t enough, I still didn’t have my answers. “Try me!” I said, and he was quick to reply: “God, would you just give it up?! You have a baby to take care of. A life! Do you really want it to be involved in our secrets?”
His voice had evolved from a hush to low shouting, and Derrick shifted on the couch. I couldn’t decide weather he was talking about “us” as in we two, or everybody occupying the house. But he was determined to not tell me more, and I was determined to not let it go.
I looked over at Derrick who still was breathing heavily, and ordered Steven in to the kitchen. “You gonna help me?” I asked, when he was halfway there. He huffed and turned back to give me a hand, leading me to one of the chairs around the table. He grabbed a drink from the fridge and went to stand by the sink. “Could you at least tell me his name?” I asked. He finished off his drink and licked the remainder from his lips, and then he put the corkscrew back on. “His name is Michael” said Steven. That sickly feeling emerged in my stomach. Every hair from the top of my scalp to the tiniest toe was standing up from my skin, forcing a shiver to run down my spine. “M-Michael?” I stuttered. The name I had dreamt, surely this must be some extraordinary coincidence? I’d never seen him before, so I couldn’t know his name, and I’d never met him. Also Steven said that he didn’t want me to be a part of it, so if I did know Michael, then Steven wouldn’t be saying that I shouldn’t be a part of it, because then I would already be a part of it. A hundred thoughts span through my head making it impossible to think clearly. Thinking in itself just made it all worse, so I tried to block out all thoughts and concentrate on Steven instead, who now was looking at me with an eerie touch of enlightenment across his face. “What?” He demanded angrily, my reaction must have caught his attention. “Nothing” I stuttered, but both him and I knew that was a lie. I tried to bow my head down to hide my face, but it was already too late, I’d given myself away.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Classic Camp
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Re: YA - adventure/mystery - 1/4 Chapter 12

Post by Classic Camp » September 8th, 2010, 3:25 pm

ninafromnorway wrote:It was a strange feeling standing in Stevens embrace; In one way I felt uncomfortable, as it felt like he was claiming me. In another way I felt petrified of him, because I was so uncertain of him andhis mood swings. But in a third way – I really liked it! Not in a romancy lovey dovey way, but in a safe and wanted way. It was the same feeling I’d had the first night Derrick had kept me company on the beach. I didn’t know how to react on him holding me; I wanted to let go, but something wouldn’t let me. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to go digging in to anybodies past, but I guessed that if I was going to do it, then this was the perfect opportunity – and he still hadn’t told me who that boy in the car was. To be honest I wasn’t sure that I needed to know, but an itchy, annoying feeling forced me to know the answer. So I went for it:

“The guy in the car…” I whispered, but as soon as it was out, he let go of me and backed away, leaning against a couch. I didn’t even need to ask who he was, he already knew that that was what I wanted to know.

Steven stared at me intently, and I hoped he was wondering whether to tell me or not. Finally he shook his head defeatedely, he must have realized I wouldn’t give up before I knew.

“He was a guy I knew a while back” he said finally.

“And how did you know him?” I pushed, meaning for him to understand that this was a tell all or nothing moment.

“He used to be a friend” he said, stuttering on the last word.

“He helped me out once when I was in trouble, so I told him that I was forever in debt to him. But if you ask me he took that much too literally” he said, turning his head down in a poor attempt to conceal a fury burning in his cheeks.

“How?” I asked, but Steven didn’t answer straight away, instead he procrastinated the answer, wandering around the room and fixing some pillows which nobody could care less how theylooked. I eyed him suspiciously, nudging my head in his direction in demand for and answer.

“Look, I don’t want to talk about this, you already know too much.” he said and continued “I don’t want you to be more a part of this than you already are”. Puctuation in the quotes

“Well what if I want to be a part of it?” I called for, which for some reason forced Stevens’ lips to part upwards:

“Trust me: You don’t.” he told me. But this wasn’t enough, comma spliceI still didn’t have my answers.

“Try me!” I said, and he was quick to reply:

“God, would you just give it up?! You have a baby to take care of. A life! Do you really want it to be involved in our secrets?”

His voice had evolved from a hush to low shouting, and Derrick shifted on the couch. I couldn’t decide weather he was talking about “us” as in we two, or everybody occupying the house. But he was determined to not tell me more, and I was determined to not let it go.

I looked over at Derrick who still was breathing heavily, and ordered Steven in to one wordthe kitchen.

“You gonna help me?” I asked, when he was halfway there.

He huffed and turned back to give me a hand, leading me to one of the chairs around the table. He grabbed a drink from the fridge and went to stand by the sink.

“Could you at least tell me his name?” I asked.

He finished off his drink and licked the remainder from his lips, andthen heput the corkscrew back on. “His name is Michael” said Steven.

That sickly feeling emerged in my stomach. Every hair from the top of my scalp to the tiniest toe was standing up from my skin, forcing a shiver to run down my spine.

“M-Michael?” I stuttered. The name I had dreamt, surely this must be some extraordinary coincidence? I’d never seen him before, so I couldn’t know his name, and I’d never met him. Also Steven said that he didn’t want me to be a part of it, so if I did know Michael, then Steven wouldn’t be saying that I shouldn’t be a part of it, because then I would already be a part of it. A hundred thoughts span through my head making it impossible to think clearly. Thinking in itself just made it all worse, so I tried to block out all thoughts and concentrate on Steven instead, who now was looking at me with an eerie touch of enlightenment across his face.

“What?” He demanded angrily.

My reaction must have caught his attention.

“Nothing” I stuttered, but both him heand I knew that was a lie. I tried to bow my head down to hide my face, but it was already too late, I’d given myself away.
I'm still a little new here, so I haven't read the previous portions of the story, so mainly I just corrected some paragraph stuff to help what I could. Just remember that when a new person speaks that's a new paragraph and when you change from one person's actions to another person's actions, that is usually a new paragraph as well.

One last thing, and this is entirely cosmetic, has nothing to do with your style or writing, but when posting exerpts on a MB, you should put spaces between the paragraphs because it makes it easier for the reviewer to see the text (never do this in a submission to an agent of course, unless it's an e-mail submission and the agent asks for it that way, but now I'm just babbling).

There does seem to be a lot of emotion going on between the two characters, though, and that came through well. I hope this helps.

ninafromnorway
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Re: YA - adventure/mystery - 1/4 Chapter 12

Post by ninafromnorway » September 12th, 2010, 3:10 am

I'm glad the emotion comes through, otherwise I'd be in trouble!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

pavloviandoggy
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Re: YA - adventure/mystery - 1/4 Chapter 12

Post by pavloviandoggy » October 6th, 2010, 7:56 pm

ninafromnorway wrote:I was just wondering if my written English has improved from chapter one (written in December 09) to chapter 12 (written recently). I know my English speech has improved, as I don't have to substitute some English words with Norwegian ones, when I talk to my family.

In chapter one I mixed the past with the present. Also I have been told I use a lot of author surrogacy (the reoccuring words I/my/me).
And of course I would like to hear your general thoughts of the first quarter of chapter twelve. (Here is chapter one: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2110)

It was a strange feeling standing in Stevens embrace; In Should be a lowercase "i". one way I felt uncomfortable, as it felt like he was claiming me. In another way I felt petrified of him, because I was so uncertain of him and his mood swings. But in a third way – I really liked it! Not in a romancy lovey dovey way, but in a safe and wanted way. It was the same feeling I’d had the first night Derrick had kept me company on the beach.I would suggest taking out the had. Past perfect can sometimes bog down the narrative. I didn’t know how to react on Should be "how to react to" him holding me; I wanted to let go, but something wouldn’t let me. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to go digging in to "in to" should be one wordanybodies past, but I guessed that if I was going to do it, then this was the perfect opportunity – and he still hadn’t told me who that boy in the car was. To be honest I wasn’t sure that I needed to know, but an itchy, annoying feeling forced me to know the answer. So I went for it: “The guy in the car…” I whispered, but as soon as it was out, he let go of me and backed away, leaning against a couch. I didn’t even need to ask who he was, he already knew that that was what I wanted to know.
Steven stared at me intently, and I hoped he was wondering whether to tell me or not. Finally he shook his head defeatedely, Begin new sentence here.he must have realized I wouldn’t give up before I knew. “He was a guy I knew a while back” he said finally. “And how did you know him?” I pushed, meaning for him to understand that this was a tell all or nothing moment. “He used to be a friend” he said, stuttering on the last word. “He helped me out once when I was in trouble, so I told him that I was forever in debt to him. But if you ask me he took that much too literally” he said, turning his head down in a poor attempt to conceal a fury burning in his cheeks. “How?” I asked, but Steven didn’t answer straight away, Begin new sentence here. instead he procrastinated the answer, wandering around the room and fixing some pillows which nobody could care less how looked. I eyed him suspiciously, nudging my head in his direction in demand for and answer. “Look, I don’t want to talk about this, you already know too much.” he said and continued “I don’t want you to be more a part of this than you already are”. “Well what if I want to be a part of it?” I called for, which for some reason forced Stevens’ lips to part upwards: “Trust me: You don’t” he told me. But this wasn’t enough, I still didn’t have my answers. “Try me!” I said, and he was quick to reply: “God, would you just give it up?! You have a baby to take care of. A life! Do you really want it to be involved in our secrets?”
His voice had evolved from a hush to low shouting, and Derrick shifted on the couch. I couldn’t decide weather he was talking about “us” as in we two, or everybody occupying the house. But he was determined to not tell me more, and I was determined to not let it go.
I looked over at Derrick who still was breathing heavily, and ordered Steven in to the kitchen. “You gonna help me?” I asked, when he was halfway there. He huffed and turned back to give me a hand, leading me to one of the chairs around the table. He grabbed a drink from the fridge and went to stand by the sink. “Could you at least tell me his name?” I asked. He finished off his drink and licked the remainder from his lips, and then he put the corkscrew back on. “His name is Michael” said Steven. That sickly feeling emerged in my stomach. Every hair from the top of my scalp to the tiniest toe was standing up from my skin, forcing a shiver to run down my spine. “M-Michael?” I stuttered. The name I had dreamt, surely this must be some extraordinary coincidence? I’d never seen him before, so I couldn’t know his name, and I’d never met him. Also Steven said that he didn’t want me to be a part of it, so if I did know Michael, then Steven wouldn’t be saying that I shouldn’t be a part of it, because then I would already be a part of it. This sentence is rather long. Could you split it into two sentences? A hundred thoughts span through my head making it impossible to think clearly. Thinking in itself just made it all worse, so I tried to block out all thoughts and concentrate on Steven instead, who now was looking at me with an eerie touch of enlightenment across his face. “What?” He demanded angrily, my reaction must have caught his attention. “Nothing” I stuttered, but both him and I knew that was a lie. I tried to bow my head down to hide my face, but it was already too late, I’d given myself away.
I just wanted to correct a few things, but your writing as a whole is fine. Your prose is very easy to read-- in a good way.

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wilderness
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Re: YA - adventure/mystery - 1/4 Chapter 12

Post by wilderness » October 8th, 2010, 5:21 pm

Hi there,

I agree with Classic Camp -- the spacing you had makes the work nearly impossible to read. Always start a new paragraph when a character begins speaking. There should never really be more than 4-5 sentences in a single paragraph. When you post to the forums, leave a blank line between paragraphs -- but when you submit to an agent use proper manuscript format (see AgentQuery for help on this).

Your English is not bad at all. A few common mistakes I saw in your writing:

Always put a comma at the end of the dialogue if the sentence was declarative. If it was a question or exclamation, you're already handling it correctly.
“He was a guy I knew a while back," he said finally.
Use apostrophes for possessive form:
It was a strange feeling standing in Steven's embrace.
Also you should end this with a period, not a semi-colon. You can use a semi-colon within a sentence but then the next word is not capitalized. I would stay away from fancy punctuation like semi-colons and colons until you have a solid handle on how to use them.

Another possessive, and "into" is one word.
I promised myself that I wasn’t going to go digging into anybody's past
Wrong use of word:
I couldn’t decide whether he was talking about
Don't separate independent thoughts with a comma. Use a period:
The name I had dreamt. Surely this must be some extraordinary coincidence?
Technically, "The name I had dreamt." is a sentence fragment and not a grammatical sentence, but you can get away with that once in a while. It's an accepted use in novels to emphasize a phrase. However, simply attaching the phrase to the following question was neither grammatical nor an accepted style. Weird, I know. I'm just trying to tell you where you can break the rules.

Mostly, I thought the writing was pretty good, with a nice, easy to read voice. Good luck with this!

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arbraun
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Re: YA - adventure/mystery - 1/4 Chapter 12

Post by arbraun » October 9th, 2010, 4:27 pm

ninafromnorway wrote:It was a strange feeling standing in Stevens embrace; "Steven's embrace." I'd not forget the apostrophe for possession. In one way I felt uncomfortable, as it felt like he was claiming me. In another way I felt petrified of him, because I was so uncertain of him and his mood swings. But in a third way – I really liked it! Not in a romancy lovey dovey way, "lovey-dovey" because it's a compound adjective but in a safe and wanted way. It was the same feeling I’d had the first night Derrick had kept me company on the beach. I'd break up this long, block paragraph into two, three or four paragraphs. It's intimidating to readers. I didn’t know how to react on him holding me; I wanted to let go, but something wouldn’t let me. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to go digging in to anybodies anybody's past, but I guessed that if I was going to do it, then this was the perfect opportunity – and he still hadn’t told me who that boy in the car was. To be honest I wasn’t sure that I needed to know, but an itchy, annoying feeling forced me to know "want to learn"--double "know's" the answer. So I went for it: “The guy in the car…” I whispered, but as soon as it was out, he let go of me and backed away, leaning against a couch. I didn’t even need to ask who he was, he already knew that that was what I wanted to know.
Steven stared at me intently, and I hoped he was wondering whether to tell me or not. Finally he shook his head defeatedely, he must have realized I wouldn’t give up before I knew. I'd delete the adverbs here. I'd only keep a thrilling adverb like "sexily." “He was a guy I knew a while back” he said finally. “And how did you know him?” I pushed, meaning for him to understand that this was a tell all or nothing moment. “He used to be a friend” he said, stuttering on the last word. “He helped me out once when I was in trouble, so I told him that I was forever in debt to him. But if you ask me he took that much too literally” he said, turning his head down in a poor attempt to conceal a fury burning in his cheeks. “How?” I asked, but Steven didn’t answer straight away, instead he procrastinated the answer, wandering around the room and fixing some pillows which nobody could care less how looked. I eyed him suspiciously, nudging my head in his direction in demand for and answer. “Look, I don’t want to talk about this, you already know too much.” he said and continued “I don’t want you to be more a part of this than you already are”. Period inside quotation marks. “Well what if I want to be a part of it?” I called for, which for some reason forced Stevens’ lips to part upwards: “Trust me: You don’t” he told me. But this wasn’t enough, I still didn’t have my answers. “Try me!” I said, and he was quick to reply: “God, would you just give it up?! You have a baby to take care of. A life! Do you really want it to be involved in our secrets?”
His voice had evolved from a hush to low shouting, and Derrick shifted on the couch. I couldn’t decide weather whether he was talking about “us” as in we two, or everybody occupying the house. But he was determined to not tell me more, and I was determined to not let it go.
I looked over at Derrick who still was breathing heavily, and ordered Steven in to the kitchen. “You gonna help me?” I asked, when he was halfway there. He huffed and turned back to give me a hand, leading me to one of the chairs around the table. He grabbed a drink from the fridge and went to stand by the sink. “Could you at least tell me his name?” I asked. He finished off his drink and licked the remainder from his lips, and then he put the corkscrew back on. “His name is Michael” said Steven. That sickly feeling emerged in my stomach. Every hair from the top of my scalp to the tiniest toe was standing up from my skin, forcing a shiver to run down my spine. “M-Michael?” I stuttered. The name I had dreamt, surely this must be some extraordinary coincidence? I’d never seen him before, so I couldn’t know his name, and I’d never met him. Also Steven said that he didn’t want me to be a part of it, so if I did know Michael, then Steven wouldn’t be saying that I shouldn’t be a part of it, because then I would already be a part of it. A hundred thoughts span through my head making it impossible to think clearly. Thinking in itself just made it all worse, so I tried to block out all thoughts and concentrate on Steven instead, who now was looking at me with an eerie touch of enlightenment across his face. “What?” He demanded angrily, my reaction must have caught his attention. “Nothing” I stuttered, but both him and I knew that was a lie. I tried to bow my head down to hide my face, but it was already too late, I’d given myself away.
I'd get some grammar books, as I found some errors you don't want to be in an agented submission. It's hard for me to make comments on the story, as this isn't what I normally read, but the content seemed all right.

Hope this helps,

A. R.

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