Dankrubis wrote:I can't see a thing. I'm waving my hand in front of my face and I can't see it. Am I blind or is it pitch black? My eyes don't hurt or anything. Can you really go blind from drinking or is that an old wives' tale? Where am I? Am I in a bathtub? Feels like a bathtub. Why does it smell like shit in here? Oh, wonderful, I'm naked. OK. OK. I was working at the bar last night. I got pretty deep into the well whiskey. There was a girl! Way too interested in me for as hot as she was. Did I go home with her? Did we fuck? I... think I'm sitting in my own shit. That would explain the smell. What time is it? Wait. I don't have a headache. I'm not nauseous. My equilibrium's not off. I'm not hungover. Actually, I feel really good. Well then. This just got weird.
This had me cringing and laughing at once! I love your narrator's voice. (Although said narrator should use 'nauseated' instead of 'nauseous,' but I'll let that pass. Besides, I think the distinction is disappearing.)
I don't have anything to nitpick--except that I'd probably start a new paragraph with "Wait. I don't have a headache."
Thankya jrosemary! Totally agree with the new paragraph and I had no clue on the 'nauseous' vs. 'nauseated' thing. I really should have listened more in 8th grade English.
Time for a critique spree. I'm scared though, cause I hate critiquing unfinished works. I'm fine with a short story, a query, a novel, but a single chapter or page or paragraph throws me off. But it'll be good practice I suppose. Here goes.
jrosemary wrote:The only thing worse than visiting a graveyard is paying your respects to the man you put there. Not that I had murdered Cam--I'm not that far gone--but it was my fault his bones were rotting beneath that dull, gray slab.
Good stuff- I love the aside for some reason. The way it starts is almost misleading, then it gets pulled back in with -I'm not that far gone-. I also like dull, gray slab. Tone is pitch-perfect.
Meh stuff- The first line, but not really. I like the juxtaposition of visiting vs visiting someone who's dead because of you, but the qualifier of 'the only thing worse' doesn't set well with me (obviously there's always something worse). But on the other hand, it's a figure of speech and totally fine.
In a matter of seconds, I witnessed the deaths of my parents and oldest brother. It was then that I realized that my lonely childhood had come to a reverberating halt. This moment in time would forever be seared into my psyche, destined to become part of the psychological baggage that I would carry upon my shoulders for the rest of my life. My innocence was gone and there wasn’t time to mourn.
Good stuff- It's written well, and I like the pacing. Begs a lot of questions to be answered, like, how, with the death of his parents and sibling, is his childhood getting less lonely, and why wasn't there time to mourn?
Meh stuff- I don't know if reverberating is the correct word choice. Reverberating is sort of like bouncing around. Sound reverberates, fire can reverberate. It's a little reaching here. Also, starting with your main character reminiscing about seeing the death of his family is kinda like punching your reader in the face. It's a little much. I'd suggest saving this pretty heavy moment for the end of the first chapter. It'll cause a bigger explosion if we know anything about the world of your story first.
You'd think that way up North there would be no rednecks. But that's not true. There are rednecks everywhere, even when you live hundreds, if not thousands of miles from Alabama or Louisiana or Kentucky. Even way up North in Michigan you'll find guys wearing those cut out shirts that reveal the sides of their ribs and their arm pits, just so they can show off their biceps. You'll find people named Junior and people who say things like 'I ain't gonna say nothing,' or 'I buyed some popcorn when I seen that movie.' You'll find people with lawn decorations. If you can call those patchy brown squares of earth a lawn. I even have a friend whose mother is missing three teeth.
Good stuff- I'm liking your voice, and I just plain like the entire paragraph. It's kinda Palahniukish, telling the reader something he doesn't know in a wry fashion.
Meh stuff- I'm not sure it's a huge revelation that there are rednecks outside of the south. Hell, there are rednecks 50 miles outside of Los Angeles. But I don't think it's that big a deal. Also, I think the redneck quotes need some work, plus you're missing an opportunity for some comedy (though if that's not what you're going for, ignore). I can't see even a redneck saying, grammatically or contextually, 'I buyed some popcorn when I seen that movie." They don't mess up their words that much, it's still gotta flow. Just an example- "Put down dem books an git yer daddy a beer, boy."
sbs_mjc1 wrote:He had lost a lot of blood.
Robert knew this from the way his muscles felt hollow and shaky, and the way his thoughts wavered in and out of focus, like shattered reflections on a pool. One of Gordons had lent him a feilidh-mhòr, which Robert had wrapped around himself as a blanket, the way the Highland men did, but the dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway, and he was too far from the fire to be properly dry.
Good stuff- I like your description. "The dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway." "His thoughts wavered in and out of focus."
Meh stuff- I'm having difficulty connecting wavering thoughts and shattered reflections in a pool. Plus there's a disconnect between the 2nd and 3rd sentences. First you're talking about a guy on the verge of death, then it's a guy sitting next to a fire. A short transition sentence between the two might be of help. Also I'd cut some things. Example-
He had lost a lot of blood. Robert knew this from the way his muscles felt hollow and shaky, and the way his thoughts wavered in and out of focus. One of Gordons had lent him a feilidh-mhòr, which Robert had wrapped around himself as a blanket. But the dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway, as he was too far from the fire.
OK, done for now. I think the other paragraphs have been sufficiently picked apart, but if any of you want a critique, I'll throw one out.